Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

Okay guys...I'm starting a new food lifestyle change.  I have been wanting to go more natural for awhile now and this is just the next step.  This isn't some fad diet.  All natural, no canned food, no preservatives and a bunch of stuff I've never used before.  For examples, I can have spelt, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet? But... I don't have any idea what these are typically used for or what they taste like (except quinoa...I've had that before).  If any of you have any suggestions or taste descriptions for these ingredients, shoot them over to me :-)
Now, don't get all pissy with me.  This doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing in my just means things are going to get real around here (and by real I mean more natural) It's for the better, really.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Muffin Tin Obsession

I have been a little obsessed with 
recipes involving muffin tins lately.  


I love them because they are perfect for portioning out your food.  Once you calculate the calories in one muffin tin serving there is no more counting or measuring involved.  The Bacon-Wrapped Egg Muffins I make, for example, have 120 calories each.  There are so many things you can make in a muffin tin.
They are perfect if you have to pack a lunch for school or work.  You can pop them out, refrigerate them, freeze them, toss them in you lunchbox, reheat them, and enjoy.
Check out my Pinterest page under "Muffin Tin Obsession" for more muffin tin ideas.  Some are healthy, some are not, but, if nothing else, it will give you a starting point to dream up some of your own muffin tin masterpieces.

Here are some quick muffin tin ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
(Comment and tell me any muffin tin ideas you have too ;-D )

  1. Soups
  2. Smoothies
  3. Popsicles
  4. Frittatas
  5. Crab or Salmon Cakes
  6. Lasagna
  7. Meatloaf
  8. Tacos
  9. And of course cupcakes and muffins

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mashed Cauliflower

So apparently I'm a little obsessed with cauliflower right now.  Maybe it's because it can be converted into some of my favorite starchy foods: pizza crusts, rice, and even mashed potatoes.  Things that were no no's before are now yes yes's thanks to this miraculous heaven-sent vegetable.
So here it goes, get ready to have your mind blown! 

- 1 head of cauliflower
- Skim Milk
- 3T. Light Butter
- 1/4 c. parmesan
- 1/4 c Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 c. chives, chopped
- Optional: Dried parsley to top 

- Peel leaves, wash, and cut stems off cauliflower
- Place in a pot of boiling water and boil until tender (approx. 6 min)
- Drain, pat dry and immediately transfer to mixer
- Add milk, parmesan, yogurt, garlic salt, butter and chives to mixer
- Blend until smooth, but no gluey

Friday, August 10, 2012

Riced Cauliflower 2 Ways

Mexican Riced Cauliflower

After my great success with cauliflower pizza last night, I was left with a dilemma.  What do I do with all this leftover riced cauliflower.  I opened up the fridge, looked in the pantry, and assessed my ingredients options.  Being that I had made my Salmon con Mojo a couple nights prior, I had some leftover Mojo goodness.  I also had some leftover corn from the Cauliflower Crust Shrimp Pizza.  I also had a can of black beans in the here's what I came up with.

- 1 head cauliflower, riced*
- Mojo Sauce (1/2 the recipe should be plenty)
- Steamfresh frozen corn kernels (prepared according to package directions)
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

*To rice your cauliflower:
Take head of cauliflower and remove stems and leaves
Coarsely chop and throw into you food processor
Pulse until cauliflower resemble coarse grain (do not over-pulse as this will create a puree)
Place in a microwave safe container and microwave on high for 8 min.
- Mix Mojo Sauce with riced cauliflower, beans, and corn

This will replace my rice dish anytime I make any Mexican dish! 


Fried Riced Cauliflower

- 1/2 head cauliflower, riced according to instructions above
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 T. low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Oil
- Optional: pork, chicken, or shrimp

- In a wok, or large skillet, heat enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan.  Fry the minced garlic and the white part of the green onion for approx 1 min.  Add cauliflower and fry for approx 5 min stirring constantly.  Add soy sauce, garlic salt, green onion tops, and meat (if using) and stir until mixed.  Push this mixture to one side of pan.  Spray empty side with Pam, if needed, and fry the eggs until done.  Stir eggs into rice and remove from heat.

Servings: 3
Calories w/o meat: 155

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I was craving pizza something fierce, but my pre-life change pizza recipe contained 3 1/2 cups of white flour...that's 1400 calories for the crust ALONE! NO TOPPINGS!!! CRAZY!!!!! Anyways, this recipe uses a cup of cauliflower, 30 calories, a cup of mozzarella, 240 calories; and 1 egg, 70 calories....
340 calories for the ENTIRE crust! 
1/4 the calories of my original recipe!
Now that's more like it :-)

- 1 c. cooked, riced cauliflower (see instructions below)
- 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- Olive oil or Pam
***Some people have said that you can cut the cheese in half and it still tastes good

Pizza #1
- Pizza Sauce
- Provolone Slices (4 rounds) (I chose to use Provolone vs Mozzarella since the crust contained so much)
- Cold Cut Salami (4 rounds)
- Roasted red pepper strips
- Artichoke Hearts packed in oil
- Parmesan
- Optional: Pepperoncini and Black Olives

Pizza #2
- Precooked Shrimp (tails removed)
- Corn (canned or frozen)
- 3 scallions, chopped
- Pesto
- Fat Free Feta

To rice your cauliflower:
Take head of cauliflower and remove stems and leaves
Coarsely chop and throw into you food processor
Pulse until cauliflower resemble coarse grain (do not over-pulse as this will create a puree)
Place in a microwave safe container and microwave on high for 8 min.

Preheat oven(s) to 450
Mix crust ingredients
Generously spray baking sheets with Pam (mine stuck and I ended up having to pry them off)
Now spread your crust mixture over the baking sheet in whatever shape you please
Brush with olive oil or spray with Pam to aid in browning
Bake for 15 minutes
Remove from oven and top with toppings and cheese (I like to put most of my toppings under the cheese so the cheese melts down and attaches all the toppings like a delicious glue)
***Note your pizza will not be in the oven for long so heat up any cold toppings on the stove or microwave before throwing them on***
Stick your pies back in the oven and cook 5-10 min longer until cheese becomes bubbly and delicious

Slice and Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mini Cheesecakes

OMG! These are amazing! I was out perusing WalMart's grocery section with my mom today and decided to try 2 things I had never had before, but they sounded like they might go good together for a quick sweet snack.  Here they are...Quaker Vanilla Creme Brulee Rice Snacks and Laughing Cow's new Cinnamon Cream flavored cream cheese spread.
I got home from the store, cracked open the bag and a wedge of the cream cheese, slathered it on, took a bite and then....the skies opened up, I felt like I was floating, and the prospect of eating healthy became even more of a reality.  It tasted just like a little mini cheesecake.  Then I remembered I had some strawberries in the fridge...oh know where I'm going with this.  Magic! I'm officially in love :-) The only thing I would have changed is putting a smaller piece of strawberry on to really showcase the amazing flavor of the rice cake and cream cheese...otherwise it will just taste like a crunchy strawberry

Note: You know when it's not quite strawberry season and your strawberries are hard and bitter.  If you cut up your strawberries and throw them in a tupperware with a couple packets of Truvia, your strawberries will become both juicy and sweet.  That is what I do 95% of the time when my strawberries are just not up to par.  I especially like doing it with this particular recipe because it makes them taste more like the strawberries used on traditional cheesecake strawberries (kind of syrupy and sweet) :-)

Calories for 6 rice snacks and one wedge of cheese: 100

Asian Salad

(Picture to come)

- 2 T. Trader Joe's (or any other 25-30 cal per T.) Sweet Chili Sauce 50
- 2 T. Pineapple Juice 16

- Romaine or Spinach
- Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
- Mandarin Oranges (canned)
- Frozen, Precooked Grilled Chicken Strips
- Slivered Almonds
If you need me to tell you how to make a salad we've got bigger problems than a high number on the scale...the only thing I might mention is top with the almonds after you toss the rest of the ingredients with the dressing so they stay crunchy ;-)

Lettuce Wraps

Forgoing bread can be one of the quickest ways to cut some unnecessary carbs and calories.  I guess I wouldn't call this a recipe, but more a can stuff your leaves with whatever you have lying around whether it be leftovers from the night before, or 3 week old produce on the verge of growing white fuzzies :-)
You can think of lettuce as replacing bread on a sandwich or you can think of it as a handheld salad.  For example, you could stuff it with chicken, walnuts, strawberries and blue cheese and dip it in a raspberry vinaigrette.
Serve your wraps with some fruit, I chose half of a grapefruit sprinkled with Truvia, and you have yourself a well-rounded, and surprisingly satisfying, lunch :-)

Romaine Lettuce
Thin-sliced Turkey from the deli
Center cut or turkey bacon
1 T. Yogurt-based Ranch Dressing (to dip)

Roll it up, Dip it, Eat it

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bacon-Wrapped Egg Muffins

These are my new most favorite things in the whole world! I have been making these every other day (only because there are 3 of us devouring them) otherwise these could easily last one person a week.  They are great fresh out of the oven, reheated, or cold :-) I eat them for breakfast, put them in my salads, you can toast and butter (lite butter of course) a lite english muffin and eat it like a samich.  Or maybe throw some lite mayo on 2 pieces of bread and make an egg sandwich....the possibilities for these little handheld wonders are endless, AND they travel well.  Cook up a batch of these and throw one in your lunch for work or school for a quick protein boost.

- 12 slices center cut or turkey bacon
- 12 medium or large eggs
- 2% sharp cheddar (shredded)

Preheat oven to 400
Spray muffin tin with Pam
Cook bacon in microwave, but don't cook it too much as it will not be pliable
Immediately situate bacon around the circumference of each muffin tin
Crack eggs into the center
Sprinkle tops with cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bake for 7-10 minutes depending on whether or not you like your yolk runny or solid

Salmon con Mojo

I got this recipe from a friend and it looked too interesting to pass up.  You see, I hate salmon! There is only one place I will eat salmon (Stone Mountain, GA Metro Diner's Salmon Bella Tower) other than that, it is always too fishy for my tastes.  I know, I know salmon is SOOO... good for me.  That is why, once in a blue moon, I will get a wild hair up my butt and try it again in hopes that I will find once a week, go to salmon recipe. it goes....

...OH MY GOSH! Everyone, including my salmon-hating self, loved this meal! I brushed the salmon with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper, then grilled it on high for 4 minutes a side, then topped it with the sauce recipe below. AMAZING! Not fishy at all! You don't even taste the banana so don't be scared of it.  It is just used as a thickening agent.

- 1/2 c lime juice
- 1/2-1 c ripe banana
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1 c cilantro
- 2 heads shallots
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1 1/2 t black pepper
- Salmon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Spoon on top of lightly grilled salmon.

Buffalo Chicken Pita

I was craving chicken wings for lunch today, but 10 wings at Taco Mac are 876 Calories!!! Crazy! Beings that A) I don't live near a Taco Mac,  B) My calorie limit for the day is 1000,   and C) I knew I could not sustain myself on 10 wings for the entire day...I looked in the freezer and pulled out my go to "fried chicken" (aka Morningstar Farms Chick Patties).  I LOVE these! Anytime I am craving fried chicken I grab one of these babies.  I love them on a lite bun with lite mayo and lettuce (tastes just like a Burger King chicken sandwich), turned into a quick chicken cordon bleu, chicken parmigiana, cut up and thrown in a salad, or, in today's case, cut up and thrown into a toasted pita.
- 1/2 Whole Wheat Pita
- 1 Morningstar Farms Chik Patty
- Franks Red hot sauce (or other buffalo-type hot sauce)
- 1 T. Yogurt-Based Blue Cheese Dressing
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Cucumber
- Optional: 1 wedge Laughing Cow Blue Cheese (add 35 cal)

Cut lettuce into bite-sized pieces
Dice cucumber
Toss lettuce and cucumber with dressing
Heat Chick Patty in microwave according to package directions (1 min for 1, 2 min for 2), dice chicken into bite-size pieces and place in ziploc bag, throw in some Franks hot sauce and shake to coat
Cut the pita in half, spray with Pam, and toast in a skillet until a few dark spots appear and pita is pliable
If you want it super blue cheesy crumble some Laughing Cow Blue Cheese in there too
Stuff with salad and chicken and Enjoy

Calories: 250

Monday, August 6, 2012

2 Second Breakfast Parfait

Okay, so it's not really a parfait, but that's what makes it 2 seconds :-) I have been making this nearly every day for breakfast because it is SO easy.  Trying different recipes is fun, don't get me wrong, but everyone needs a quick, mindless, go-to recipe for each meal.  That is what many people's downfall is.  They come to a point in their diet where they are in a hurry and frantically searching for something healthy to eat.  They finally say "screw it!" grab a bag of potato chips, burger at McDonald's, etc, and end up hating themselves in the morning.  Don't be these people.  As you explore different fabulous 3 hour recipes make sure you have a few quick go-to's in there.

(I like to list exactly what I use. That DOES NOT mean you have to use that brand.  I don't get paid to name drop and, as of yet, I don't receive free samples or any compensation of any sort for name-dropping...unfortunately....because I'm broke)
- 1/4 c. Lite 'n' Fit Vanilla Yogurt (or enough to coat your fruit)
- 1/4 c. Cascadian Farms Granola Cereal (any flavor)
- Whatever fruit you have lying around cut into bite sized morsels (today it was bananas, grapes, and apples for me)

- Mix fruit with yogurt
- Top with granola (I like to top mine as I go so it stays crisp)
- Eat immediately
(See I told you it took 2 seconds :-) )