Thursday, February 28, 2013

Decadent Dessert

You know when you just NEED to have a treat?  Well, that was me last night.  I went all out.

I got 2 Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate baking squares and put 2 teaspoons of almond butter in between them.  The darker the chocolate, the less sugar, so be sure you are choosing your chocolate wisely.

It took me 10 minutes to eat it.  I savored it and it hit the spot.  It was so good.  Now, it was 205 calories of heavenly goodness, but it was a much better option than any of the other sugar filled treats that were racing through my brain.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Note to self...

Yes, you have a few pounds to lose again from the winter, but you are NOT the girl on the left.  Stop thinking you are!  You are back on track to eating right.  You have lost 80 pounds.  So what if you have to lose the same 6 again.  Only 6 more pounds to go to get back to where you were.  You can do it!  Shake it off and keep swimming (I love Finding Nemo).  Why is it so hard sometimes to be your own cheerleader?  Ugg.  Negativity stinks!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Avocado Egg Pizza

This morning I decided to change things up a bit and made myself a breakfast pizza!  I put a multigrain tortilla in the oven at 350 degrees right on the oven rack until it was crispy (about 10 minutes).  Then I sprayed a pan with cooking spray and cooked an egg.  When the tortilla was done, I spread one laughing cow light garlic and herb cheese wedge and then half an avocado.  I put the egg on top and added some freshly cracked pepper!  DELISH!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wheat Berry Salad

Have you ever had wheat berries before?  They are the whole wheat kernel, composed of the bran, germ, and endosperm.  They are a true whole grain.  This is what I have made for my lunch for the week.

I decided to add some wheat berries to some veggies to make the salad I found here.  Ir is so yummy and I LOVE the crunch of this salad.  It is very satisfying.

Serves 4

1 cup wheat berries, preferably the soft white variety
1 lb tomatoes, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, cut lengthwise into thirds and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
the juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Soak the wheat berries for 8-16 hours.  Drain them in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Pour wheat berries into a large saucepan, fill it about two-thirds of the way with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until grains are tender with some chew still left, about 1 hour. Drain, then run under cool water to bring wheat berries to room temperature. Drain thoroughly. Add the chopped vegetables.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Time to get serious again....

It is winter and we have all been inside hibernating, waiting for it to get warm so we can enjoy some fresh air and stretch our legs again.  I must admit that I have some work to do before it gets warm again.  I have gained about 8 pounds over the winter and I am not ashamed to admit it.  I still work out about 45 minutes to an hour a day, but I have been eating way more comfort food than I should.  Anyone who is facebook friends with me can confirm the amount of baking that has been going on at my house.

For the first time in my life, I am fine with the extra weight.  It is winter.  It is going to happen.  I told myself that I would never deprive myself of the things that I love and since I can't go outside and walk the dog, go to the pool, or play outside with the kids, I am going to bake.  I have loved the heck out of it.  I finally feel in control of it all.  I had lost about 80 pounds....losing 8 again shouldn't be too bad.  I just need to stop eating the junk.  I enjoyed the Halloween candy, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas goodies and Valentine's sweethearts....spring is just around the corner, time to get back to work.

Anyone who has a fitness goal, whether it is to lose weight or maintain, don't get discouraged if you have a setback.  Just pick yourself back up and try again.  Never give up on yourself!  You can do it!  Just believe that you can!  

So, join me in my Spring time shape up!  Make better choices on what you eat.  Yes, there will be cravings.  Yes, you will eat ice cream/cookies/cake etc, but if you eat 80% of your daily allotted calories of good quality food, you will reap the benefits.  You can still treat yourself.  Just don't go crazy.  Measure your teats.  Serving sizes are important.  Just remember that the first bite of that cake tastes exactly the same as the 8th (I repeat this in my head all the time).  So I need to savor that first bite and know when to say when.   

This is my plan.  Does anyone else have a goal they are working towards?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Baked" apples

As you may know from reading my blog in the fall, I love apples.  I go apple picking with the hubs and our kids every year.  I love apples baked/cooked in everything too.  It is a cold and snowy day here and I just needed a snack that would warm me up and make me think I was eating something that wasn't so good for me.  :)

I cored and sliced an apple and threw it in a Tupperware container that had a vent on the top.  You can use your own favorite container you toss your leftovers in.  If it doesn't have a vent on the lid, just don't close it all the way.  Once the apple was in the container, I sprinkled about 1/4-1/2 tsp of cinnamon over them, 1 packet of stevia and a hand full of raisins.  Then I added 1/4 tsp corn starch and 1 tablespoon of water.  I put the lid on, gave it a shake, vented it, and put it in the microwave and cooked for 2 minutes.

Yummy, pie-like deliciousness!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fruit Dip

I am a huge fan of dips.  I loooove fondue as well.  Here is a healthy snack that won't break the calorie bank.  I made 2 dips, one peanut butter and one chocolate to dip my fruit in.

Chocolate dip
6 oz container of FAGE yogurt
1/4-1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa (according to taste)
1-2 Tablespoons of honey (according to taste)

Remember that you won't need it to be too sweet because you are dipping fruit in it.

Peanut Butter Dip
6 oz container of FAGE yogurt
1/4-1/2 cup of PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter)
1-2 Tablespoons of honey

As a note, it can last a few days in the refrigerator, but it thickens.  You may need to add some almond milk or milk to thin it out a little so you can dip in.

Just as another side note.... if you were to pop these in the freezer until frozen and perhaps put it on top of your favorite brownie, right out of the oven, that would be some darn good fro-yo.  Just saying.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mediterranean Farro Salad

I love farro.  I love salads.  I love making salads on Sundays to have for lunch all week.  :)

I adapted this recipe from here.  Actually, the only thing I changed, was I omitted the olive oil.  

  • 10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips (about 4 ounces or 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small bunch chives, snipped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with the farro. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the farro is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and simmer until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for 2 minutes.  (I used a frozen steamer bag of beans that I tossed in the microwave, so either way will work.)   Transfer the cooked green beans to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 2 minutes. Drain the green beans.
Once the farro has cooled add the green beans, olives, red pepper, Parmesan, and chives. Stir to combine. In a small bowl mix together the sherry vinegar, mustard, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Pour the sherry vinaigrette over the farro salad. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

French Onion Soup

I LOOOOOOOVE French Onion Soup, but a lot of them aren't very good for you.  This is what I whipped up today and I must say, it is delicious!

Makes 5 servings

3 large sweet onions
Cooking Spray
6 cups beef broth
1/2 cup Sherry
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 sprigs of fresh thyme chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2.5 oz grated parmesan cheese

I sliced the onions in about 1/8th inch slices and tossed them in a stock pot that had been sprayed with cooking spray.  I started them off on high and cooked them down for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then I lowered the heat to medium-medium high and cooked until golden and caramelized (about 20 minutes more).

Then I added the sherry, balsamic, thyme and pepper.  I stirred it all until it was incorporated and then added the beef broth.  I brought it up to a boil.

I added 2 cups of soup in my mug and grated 1/2 oz of parmesan on the top.  Oh MY!  SO YUMMY!  I know what you are thinking, "What about the baguette, Kim?"  Well, I didn't add it.  It ends up being a soggy lump anyway (In my opinion).  If you miss it, think about adding a few croutons before adding your parmesan.  That would be easy peasy.

Nutritional Info:  161 calories for 2 cup serving, Saturated fat: 2 grams, Dietary Fiber: 3.6 grams, Sugars: 8.8 grams, Protein: 8.6 grams

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dessert for 1!

I love desserts and will never give them up, but making desserts and then having left overs in the house for days after they are made are no good for me.  My thinking is either, "Man, One cookie is good....surely 6 more would be even better." I also think, "I need to get these cookies out of the house so I am not tempted to eat them every day, so maybe I'll just eat them all now and be done with them."  Yes, I have been known to be a binger.  Confession made.

Since I have accepted a life that includes desserts, I have discovered making smaller batches so that there are no leftovers.  I do not have dessert all the time.  Sometimes, you just need a cookie or some cake.  I am not including calorie counts for these things because, honestly, I just don't want to know.  If I want dessert, I eat dessert.  Then I just continue eating right and working out.  No big deal.  Just so you know...the following desserts, I have tried and tasted in the last 24 hours.  I love writing this blog.  :)

Chocolate chip cookies!  This recipe says it makes 2 cookies.  I made them for my kids and they are HUGE cookies.  I will make 4 cookies from the recipe next time.  They are DELISH!  This was MY FAVORITE small batch dessert I made.

Mug Cakes...They can be tricky.  You can put them in the microwave to bake them, but you need to keep an eye on them.  Most of the recipes say to put them in for 1-2 minutes.  I highly recommend you put them in for only a minute, take it out to test the center of the cake to see if it is done.  If it isn't done, put it back in the microwave for an additional 30 seconds and repeat test for doneness.  If left in the microwave for too long, they will be rubbery and gross.  I have also been known to put the mug in the oven at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Be sure your mug is oven safe.  Mine are Fiestaware, and they work just fine.

I made 2 more mug cakes in addition to these and they just weren't very good.  I am not going to be posting them.  I guess that is the good thing about making a dessert that isn't very good.  If you don't like it, you can just throw it out .

Coffee Cake in a mug.  I am a fan of eating coffee cake with my coffee and this hits the spot.  The hubs thought so too.  :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake  This was very rich and yummy.  I am a big fan of frosting, so I tried finding a cake that I didn't want to add heaping Tablespoons of buttercream on and this one hit the spot.

I also have a recipe for carrot cake in a mug, but I didn't get around to making it as I didn't have the buttermilk needed on hand.  I WILL be making it though.  :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Food of the Week: Chobani Bite

Heaven in a cup
I just came back from the grocery store and had to share a very yummy treat I got.  They are called Chobani Bites and they are single sized Greek Yogurt snacks that can curb your afternoon cravings.  This is my new favorite 3pm snack.  The one I had today was Coffee and Dark Chocolate flavored.  Ummmm, YUMMMMMM!  They are only 100 calories each and have 8 grams of protein!  That is the perfect snack to help me get through to dinner.

They come in 4 different flavors, Fig with Orange Zest, Caramel with Pineapple, Coffee with Dark Chocolate Chips, and Raspberry with Dark Chocolate Chips.  I can't wait to try more!