Monthly Archives: October 2012

2 Ingredient Fall Cookies

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These cookies have 2 ingredients, with a possible third. With that being said, I think it’s safe to say that these are extremely easy to make, even for someone who is afraid of baking.

If you prefer a softer cookie, like me, then these are for you. If you are trying to eat healthy and love cookies, then these are for you. As an added bonus, each cookie is only 2 Points Plus if you are on Weight Watchers. You really can’t go wrong with these cookies.

Ingredients:

1 box spice cake mix (Betty Crocker works great)

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

Cream cheese frosting to top (only if you want)

What To Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, pour cake mix and fold in pumpkin. Mix well together. When well mixed, it should look almost like peanut butter.

2. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil. Use a spoon to scoop out an amount for each cookie. Using your fingers is pretty messy since the dough will be quite sticky. Each batch will make about 21 cookies, so you may need to use 2 cookie sheets.

3. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

4. Using a spatula, transfer cookies onto a cooling rack.

5. Once cookies are cool, lightly spread cream cheese frosting on top each one.

There you have it, you have a lovely batch of moist cookies, perfect for the fall season.

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Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla

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I need to start by saying that I get extremely frustrated cooking in such a small kitchen. When we move, I have certain requirements for our new house…it’s not many. It must have a kitchen with a lot of counter space, and it must have a dishwasher. Our current kitchen is lacking both of those, causing me stress!!
Anyway, here is what we made for dinner. My intention was to cook for my husband, but my frustration got the best of me. I really stink at flipping anything while cooking, grilled cheese, pancakes, and yup, you guessed it, quesadillas!
Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts (about 8 oz) boiled

Juice from 1/2 of a lime

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp ground sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

olive oil spray

8 whole wheat tortillas

1 can refried beans

1 small can diced green chiles

1 1/2 cups fat free cheddar cheese, shredded

Chopped scallions, green part only

 

What To Do:

1. Chop boiled chicken. The chopper from Pampered Chef works great for this.

2. Mix chicken, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl.

3. Spray olive oil on a large non-stick skillet. On a plate assemble quesadilla with 1 tortilla, spread refried beans, green chiles, chicken, scallion and cheese, top with a second tortilla.

4. Cook until lightly browned. Carefully turn with a spatula. Press down on quesadilla with spatula while cooking.

5. Makes 4 quesadillas. Cook each quesadilla  individually, re-spray the pan with olive oil spray each time too. Cut each one into 4 pieces. Serve with salsa.

Each quesadilla should be about 9 points. However, the Weight Watcher’s website is currently down, so I can not double check this.

Quick and Hearty Sausage Skillet

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This dish is easy to throw together, also hearty and healthy. With white beans and sausage it is packed with protein and fiber. It is another recipe that I discovered on the Weight Watcher’s website. At first I thought that eating beans and sausage together sounded like a weird combination, but it was quite tasty!

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

1 medium onion, diced

Low-Fat Chicken Sausage, smoked variety thinly sliced

2 gloves of garlic, minced

1/4 tsp dried thyme

30 oz canned great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup of reduced sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

About 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs for topping

What to Do:

1.  Coat a non-stick large skillet with olive oil spray and heat over medium/high heat. Add garlic, onion and sausage. Saute for about 3 minutes, until onion is tender.

2. Add thyme, broth, beans and tomato paste. Stir, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Serve into 4 individual bowls, and top with panko bread crumbs.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

 

Easy Cheesy Quiche

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This was my first ever quiche! (That I made, not consumed). The recipe originated from the Weight Watcher’s website and can be found here. What caught my eye was that the main ingredients include a whole lot of cheese.

One of the biggest challenges was finding a pre-made pie crust, and finding the cheeses in lower fat, or lighter variations. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but apparently everyone wanted to buy ricotta cheese this week. We were able to find fat free cheddar, and low fat ricotta, which was lower in fat than the part-skim kind.
So, here’s the recipe!

Easy Cheesy Quiche

Ingredients:

6 oz, or a 9″ refrigerated pie crust

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 of a medium red onion

1 1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese

1 cup fat free cheddar cheese

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

10 oz of frozen broccoli, or spinach thawed and drained, or fresh zucchini diced. (Broccoli was used this time around. I also forgot to thaw it out ahead of time, so I ran it under warm water, then drained it. Red pepper would also be a yummy addition)

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

What to do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Press crust into a 9″ pie plate, and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

2. Heat oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Transfer onion to a large bowl.

3. Add the following ingredients to the onion, ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, egg and egg whites, Dijon mustard, dried oregano salt and pepper. Mix well.

4. Fold in broccoli and or other vegetables.

5. Spoon mixture into crust and level it out with a spoon. Top with Parmesan cheese.

6. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

7. Cut into 8 pieces. Each piece is 6 points.

A Manly Steak Dinner

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I love eating meat and potatoes and Montreal Steak Seasoning. This meal has all three, so of course, I love it.

First part of this meal, is the steak. Flank steak is reasonably priced, and tend to be pretty lean. One flank steak would be enough to feed a small family. It is more than enough for us for dinner and for lunch the next day. In my experience, they also grill very well on our cheapo grill. To make it taste even more yummy, sprinkle (or in our case heavily sprinkle) the steak with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Then grill it however you like it.

The second part of this meal is the potatoes. We happened to have 5 small red potatoes that I had forgotten I had bought. They ended up being a perfect side for our steak.

I cut them into chunks, and laid them out evenly on a baking sheet I had sprayed with olive oil. I then sprayed the top of the potatoes with olive oil, and topped them with rosemary, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Parmesan Cheese.

I baked them at 425 for about 20-25 minutes. The end result was this:

We served the steak and potatoes with a side of broccolini with a little more Parmesan cheese. If you haven’t tried this stuff I highly recommend it.

Simple, easy, healthy and tasty…the only kind of meals we will be making.

Santa Fe Rice and Beans

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Do you ever see those lovely frozen dinners that appear to be so healthy? You know, the Smart Ones, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice? When I see those, I either immediately think, “Holy Cow, that looks amazing!” or “Who the heck would ever actually eat that?!” Of course the ones that I think look so delicious are typically the ones with the highest fat content, and or sodium, go figure. Yes they are convenient, likely better for you than fast food, but in my book, it’s like the equivalent of going out to eat.

First of all, I don’t have to wash any dishes. (Best part of eating out) I don’t have to really cook. However, I also do not know exactly what’s in the food I’m eating. Have you ever looked at one of the ingredient lists?

With that being said, I took my favorite Smart One’s meal, and recreated it myself. It doesn’t taste exactly like the one in the package, but it’s pretty darn close. It also continues on with another one of my favorite cooking themes, hiding vegetables from my husband.

Santa Fe Rice and Beans (long version)

1 tsp olive oil

4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 zucchini

1/2 large onion

1/2 red bell pepper

1/2 green bell pepper

1 cup of frozen corn

Chili Powder to taste

Cumin to taste

Coriander to taste

Red pepper flakes if you like a little extra kick

1 can dark red kidney beans

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (diced would work fine too)

1 Package Uncle Ben’s precooked brown rice

 

1. Cut up all veggies. Warm olive oil in a large skillet. Dump in all veggies, cook about 3 minutes.

Yeah all those veggies are in there and my husband ate it!

 

2. Add crushed tomatoes, and season to your liking. You can always add more seasoning later on. We are very seasoning/spice happy in this house.

3. Drain and rinse the beans. Add them into the skillet. Cut open the bag of rice and add that in too. Cook on low about 10 minutes to heat through and let all the flavors mesh. Or if you are impatient while cooking like me, turn up the heat higher until it’s heated through and just eat!

Serve with fat free or reduced fat cheese, and or sour cream.  It makes A LOT, plenty for lunch the next day.

If the above seems to complicated try the “Quick and Dirty” version.

1. Rice

2. Salsa

3. Beans
Throw it all together, heat it up and eat it.

 

10 Tips for Eating Healthy

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You are what you eat No, you feel how you eat.

Part of the reason I haven’t been blogging as frequently is that we simply have not been being healthy as frequently. In the beginning of my weight loss journey I vowed to not be one of those people who puts all of the weight back on. Unfortunately, I have put SOME (about 20 pounds) of the weight I lost back on since our wedding. I am holding myself accountable for this, and hitting the reset button right now. I haven’t been active with Weight Watcher’s so I am officially signing back up today. Weight Watcher’s is not the only way to be healthy and lose weight, but I know it’s what works for me, and has worked for many others.
Myself, and hopefully my husband too will also be sticking to these tips for eating healthy, and continuing to eat healthy long-term.

1. Plan Ahead.  Planning ahead is critical to both long and short term success of eating healthy. Plan what you will eat for all meals, and snacks either daily or weekly. Plan and create a grocery list. If you know you may be eating out, check out the menu and make a smart choice before hand. Plan ahead when you will work out, have me time, do house work etc. Being well prepared also helps to reduce stress, stress can add to weight gain…moral of the story, plan ahead. Oh, and sometimes life throws us a curve ball, so don’t get upset if your plans don’t go as intended.

2. There is a Difference Between Need and Want. My parents used to say this to us quite a bit growing up. It’s even more true when it comes to your body and eating. Think of food as fuel. Your body needs fuel to function, it merely WANTS all the other stuff. Eat foods that will fuel your body. Eat because your body needs it, not because your brain wants it.

3. Track What You Eat. Whether you count points, count calories, or just write down what you ate, tracking can turn into a resourceful tool for you. When you track, you have something to refer back to which allows you to see why you were or were not successful. It helps you to notice if you struggle with eating at a particular point of the day. Tracking also helps you to remember your favorites. It also helps to track your weight and body measurements to monitor your progress.

4. Ask Yourself, “Are you hungry?” before eating.  When you ask yourself that question, it forces you to think about what you are about to eat. How do you know if you are really hungry or not? You could ask yourself, “Am I hungry enough to eat and apple?” If you answer no, then you probably shouldn’t eat that tempting snack. If you answer yes, then your body needs something to fuel it.

5. Be Mindful of How Much You Are Eating. Portion control is an issue for many of us. In my book, there is a difference in eating a large healthy meal, and a large unhealthy meal. Think about what it is you’re eating, and what a serving should be. Use measuring tools when at home. When eating out (typically the portions are HUGE) use the eat half now, eat half later rule.

6. Learn How to Cook.When you cook at home you know exactly what’s in your food. You have control over it all. Once you are familiar with your favorite ingredients you can throw a lot of yummy dishes together. Cooking at home good for your body and good for your wallet.

7. Ask Questions. When you eat out, ask questions. Ask to see nutritional information if it isn’t already posted. Ask how things are cooked, baked, boiled, cooked in oil etc. Ask for substitutions. Most restaurants are more than willing to accommodate, but it can take courage to ask. Ask your doctor questions about healthy eating. Ask others questions, but prepare yourself that you may not like their answers.

8. Monitor your fluid intake. Water, water, water. Drink enough of it every day. Lay off of the other drinks including sodas, alcohol, and other sugar drinks. Limit artificially sweetened drinks as well. Be aware of how much water you should be drinking, and space it out throughout the day.

9. Keep it Healthy in Other Areas.I have found that when I am healthy in other areas, I am more apt to continue to eat healthy. Exercise to keep your body healthy. In the area of hygiene,  brush 2 times a day, floss daily, use a body lotion, facial lotion to keep your skin looking healthy (and reduce stretch marks/sagging skin if you are losing weight). Keep your mind healthy, make time for yourself, to be social and to relax. All systems of our body work together like a machine, so we need to keep them all healthy.

10. Surround Yourself With Positive.Finding people who support you can, for some, make or break healthy eating. The best option is to be able to surround yourself with others who are also eating healthy. This isn’t always possible. Thank goodness for social networking. Check facebook to find groups that have similar health goals and support one another. Part of surrounding yourself with positive if being positive about yourself. Use positive talk, celebrate small achievements.

So here is to a new start. Looking forward to not needing to squeeze into my clothes every morning. I want to need to wear that belt that’s hanging in my closet!