Monthly Archives: January 2013

When You’re Sick of Carrot Sticks and Fruit: Healthy Snacks

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So you made the New Year’s Resolution to eat healthy, be more active and lose weight. This is likely NOT the first time you have made that resolution, and you are in the same boat as me, and many others too.

By this time you are about a week into eating healthy, you are probably feeling pretty motivated and your home, hopefully is stocked with healthy eating choices. But, what do you do when you just simply get sick of snacking on the same things? A person can only take so many carrot sticks and apples to work each day before they get sick of it and start reaching for the unhealthy alternatives.

I want to share with you some of my non-fruit and veggie snacks, for when I simply don’t want fruits and veggies, but I also know that if I open up a bag of chips I will likely eat the entire bag. All of these snacks are also convenient, easy to pack on the go, and require little or no prep time what so ever.

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Fiber Selects Wheat Thins: Crunchy, salty and 5 gm of fiber per serving. A serving is 15 crackers. Each serving is 3PP if you are counting points for Weight Watchers. They are great by themselves, with laughing cow cheese, cottage cheese, lunch meats, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. They also make other varieties of the Fiber Selects but this is the only one that our store carries.

DSC_0677Chick Peas: Chick peas are pretty legit as is. They are great as a salad topper too. My favorite way to snack on them is to roast them. Two cans of chick peas, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray, drain the beans and spread them out, top with whatever seasonings you like and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. This snack is 3PP if you are tracking with Weight Watchers.

DSC_0675Apple Sauce: Although made from fruit I do not really consider this a fruit when it comes to snacking. They make so many varieties of this stuff it’s crazy. You can even buy strawberry or grape apple sauce now. The points value on this varies from 0-3PP per serving depending on what you buy.

DSC_0674Fat Free Pudding: A great snack for when you are craving chocolate. Also, makes a great dessert. Points vary between 1-2PP for this. If you are feeling fancy you could top it with strawberries.

DSC_0673Yoplait Light: I am a big fan of these. There are lots of different flavors to suit anyone’s taste buds. For 2PP per serving you really can’t go wrong either. Some of my favorite flavors are the apricot mango, key lime pie, and strawberry banana. The vanilla is also very yummy and tastes even better when you mix in some powdered peanut butter. These also freeze! Throw them in the freezer for a refreshing snack on a hot day or after a workout.

DSC_0672Cheese Sticks: These bring back memories as a kid. I normally do not pull them down little string by little string anymore, but they are still good. They do pair well with fruit, but I also like to cut them into chunks and eat them with grape tomatoes. The low fat varieties are usually only 1 PP each if you are counting points for Weight Watchers.

DSC_0669Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Bars: These are my life-saver. When most other granola type bars contain nuts…this specific type does not. Therefore they are safe for me to bring to work. (I work at a nut free school). They taste like a candy bar, and my students often get mad at me when I eat these in front of them because they think they are a candy bar. They are only 3PP each too! I have also tried the peanut butter, and chocolate almond ones…all are amazing. And as the box says, “tastes better than Fiber One!” I fully agree.

DSC_0666Frozen Edamame: Put some in a sandwich bag and add a little sea salt. Take them with you on the go, or to work and by the time you are ready to snack they will be thawed out. If you are tracking your points on Weight Watchers it is 3PP for 1/2 cup.

DSC_0665Healthy Choice Greek Frozen Yogurt: This is my latest find. They come in 3 flavors, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry. All equally amazing. I love ice cream, it is my favorite food. This is pretty similar and it is portioned out into individual cups so there is no opportunity for me to eat an entire 1/2 gallon. Each cup is only 100 calories and 3PP.

 

Just because these snack ideas are not fruits and veggies does not mean you don’t have to eat your fruits and veggies to stay on track with getting or staying healthy 🙂

Muffin Pan Veggie Quiches

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In the search for new and healthy things to back for lunch, I thought that mini quiches might be an easy and fun thing to throw into my lunch bag. I had seen many recipes on different websites but most had a few things in common: they required a mini muffin pan (which I do not own), they made 48+ servings (I don’t love quiche THAT much and I’m not having a party), they needed 6+ eggs (I only had 3 on hand and didn’t want to run to the store).

I knew that I wanted cute little quiches and I knew that I had lots of veggies, some cheeses, 3 eggs and a regular muffin pan. Thus, this experiment of making my own quiches came to life, and surprisingly they turned out really well. My husband even said, “Those smell really good,” as they were cooking. Of course he followed that up with, “that doesn’t mean they will actually taste good”. After they cooled he had one and said they were pretty good.

This recipe makes 12 quiches. Each quiche is 1 PointsPlus value if you are on Weight Watchers.

Ingredients

1 small zucchini

1/2 cup or more of fresh broccoli

1 small onion

1/4 cup skim milk

3 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 oz reduced fat cheddar, cubed

1/2 Tbs dried basil (or more)

Salt and pepper to taste

12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in to halves

 

What to do:

1. Combine/chop zucchini, broccoli, onion in blender. (I did only these ingredients first, since when they are chopped up they take up less space in the blender making room for all of the other ingredients.)

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2. To the veggie mixture add in milk, eggs (cracked of course), cheeses, baking soda, basil and salt and pepper.  Blend together until all ingredients are well combined. It should look like the picture below.

DSC_06563. Spoon mixture into muffin pan, lined with paper liners. Top each mini quiche with tomato. Do not fill all the way to the top as the quiches will rise a little while baking.

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4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until edges and tops start to brown slightly.

DSC_06615. Transfer to a metal cooling rack. Let them cool a bit before serving.

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You could add in whatever veggies you would like, this is just what I had on hand. I think next time I would like to add in some red sweet pepper.

 

On a side note: My husband and I recently invested in a Ninja Blender. We purchased it at Costco before the holidays on sale to replace our “cheapest blender they had at the time from Walmart” blender. This Ninja is the best blender I have ever owned. It makes great smoothies, and blends together ingredients for recipes that I simply would have never thought of even attempting with my old blender. It is also much more affordable than the Vitamix.

Chipotle’s Barbacoa Beef

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Recently, my husband and I traveled to Arizona for the holidays. One of the big things for us when we travel is eating at places that we don’t have in Hawaii. Typically, In and Out Burger and Chipotle are at the top of the list. But, this time we just didn’t make it to Chipotle. Both of us are big fans of their Barbacoa Beef, so we decided to do some research online and make our own.

The original recipe I use can be found here. I used the same ingredients, just mixed up how we used them a little bit, and also how we cooked it. It makes 9 servings and is 7 Points Plus per serving if you are on Weight Watchers.

Ingredients:

About 3 pounds eye of round roast, all fat trimmed

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 medium onion

1/2 lime juice

4 chipotles canned in adobo sauce

1 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs oregano

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup of water

salt & pepper

1 tsp olive oil

3 Bay leaves

Procedures:

1. Trim fat off of roast, cut into 4 inch chunks.

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2. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a large pan. Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper and brown it on high heat.

barbacoa beef browning the meat

3. Meanwhile, put garlic, onion, chipotles (with a little of the sauce too), lime juice, cumin, oregano, cloves into the blender.

Barbacoa Beef Ingredients

4. You can attempt to blend it just like that, but for me that didn’t work. I improvised by adding 1/2 cup of water into the blender. It then blended up great.

Barbacoa Beef Sauce

5. Add browned beef, 3 bay leaves and sauce and the other 1/2 cup of water into your Crock Pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Finally, use two forks to shred the beef and let it cook a little longer to gain the full flavor of the sauce.  I also left the lid off of the crock pot toward the end to allow the sauce to thicken.

6. Serve with rice, on quesadillas, tacos, burritos or all by itself.

Barbacoa Beef

Just to warn you, this really smells amazing. Just the sauce by itself before cooking smelled amazing. Since it was so delicious we will be making quesadillas with the leftovers tomorrow.