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It’s Wednesday, and now that I’m back to eating real food for all three meals (well, including protein shakes for breakfast), I’m excited that I can once again participate in WIAW. What I Ate Wednesday is a fun weekly post/blog social event started over at Peas and Crayons. If you want to follow my eats everyday, become my friend on MyFitnessPal.

This past week I’ve LOVED my veggies, especially cauliflower! My sister even joked that with all of the recipes I’ve been using cauliflower for, I will soon be able to write my own cookbook. It really is a great substitute for rice and even pizza dough now that I’m eating low carb.

Breakfasts:

As I mentioned, I’ve been having protein shakes for breakfast everyday. Some days I grab a pre-made Premeir Nutrition shake and other mornings that I have a bit more time, I blend up my own using protein powder and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. My go-to protein powders have been Syntrax Cookies & Cream and BSN Lean Dessert Banana Nut Bread. If you have any other favorite protein powders, please let me know.

Lunches:

As much as I crave variety in my dinner menu, you’d think I’d get bored with the thing for lunch everyday. I guess I’ve been loving my homemade wraps so much that I don’t mind. I use a Flat Out wrap, spread it with a Laughing Cow wedge, add clover sprouts or romaine lettuce, and fill it with ham & turkey or tuna, pickles, and mayo (on Fridays). I pair the wrap with popcorn/pretzel nuggets or sliced bell pepper/cucumbers with Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressing.

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Dinners:

Dinners are where my variety and creativity have come into play. I’ve been having fun trying strange and unusual recipes, as you’ll see. I can’t wait to read everyone else’s WIAW posts so I can get even more new ideas. Since I’m avoiding eating complex carbs at night (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread), I’ve noticed that I’ve really been coming up with inventive substitutions. It’s fun experimenting in the kitchen.

Last Thursday I made pizza with cauliflower crust, and while I still need to perfect the recipe in terms of texture, the taste was out of this world. I’ll definitely make this pizza again and again.

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Friday I was having my sister over for dinner, and since it’s Lent, we wanted to keep it meatless. But I also wanted to keep it from getting boring or blah, so I made my grilled sriracha-marinated tofu. It has the perfect amount of spice to warm up any winter night. I paired it with TJ’s Organic Power to the Greens sauteed with onions and garlic.
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Saturday I made my delicious lowfat chicken curry, but instead of having a side of rice, I thought roasted cauliflower would be a great replacement. Boy was I right! I actually think I like the meal better this way.

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I have been really enjoying turkey meatloaf “muffins.”  I haven’t written a formal recipe post for them (yet), but I combine 1 package of Jennie-O Italian seasoned ground turkey, 1 whole egg, a few TBSPs of grated Parmesan/Romano cheese, 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs, 1 onion, and 1 red bell pepper. I spoon the mixture into muffin tins and back at 400 for 45-50 min.  So, so good!   I I love how the muffins give me instant portion control.  Last night I had 3 muffins (mushed up in this photo) along with rainbow chard sauteed with onions and garlic.

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Snacks:

I’ve been trying to make sure that my afternoon snacks have a nice balance of protein, carbs, and veggies:

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When I’m not eating my carefully measured Girl Scout cookies (5 Trefoils = 160 calories), I’ve been loving Fage with 1/2 TBSP of cocoa and a few drops of chocolate liquid stevia. So rich and decadent, yet only 100 calories!

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  • What was the best thing you’ve eaten today? This week?

I highly recommend joining in on the WIAW posts! Not only do you get a TON of great ideas for healthy, interesting meals, but you can make some new blogging buddies, too.

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW. What I Ate Wednesday is a fun weekly post/blog social event started over at Peas and Crayons. If you want to follow my eats everyday, become my friend on MyFitnessPal.


This post is going to be my last WIAW for awhile. I’ve embarked on a new phase of my weight loss journey which doesn’t include a ton of creativity in the kitchen. This week’s post is actually one that I meant to write up last week, but just didn’t find the time.

Last week I did my best to make recipes that use the bounty of late summer veggies. A Sunflower Farmer’s Market/Sprouts went in down the street from my school, and I’ve been hitting it once a week to stock up on veggies and other essentials for these recipes. It won’t replace Trader Joe’s, but it is coming in a quick 2nd.

What’s better than pizza on a Friday night?  I made taco pizza, which I found on Julie’s blog.  You can’t tell from the photo, but it’s got lots of healthy toppings – tomatoes, bell peppers, fat free refried bans, olives, and lowfat cheese.  I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, which also saved some fat.  I’d definitely make it again, especially for a football party or something like that.

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20120916-094920.jpg Can you tell how gigantic these prawns are?  Sunflower Market had them on sale for $5.99/lb, and they were phenomenal.  I quickly sauteed them in a chili lime marinade that I found on sale (98 cents!) at Target, and they were delicious.  Keeping the shells on insures that they won’t come out dry.  I cooked them until the shells were just pink, and they were perfect.

Last week my sister made dinner for me, and since the weather was hot, she thought a Chinese chicken salad would be great.  It was!  She makes this amazing dressing with hot Chinese mustard and sesame oil that is a show stopper.  A little goes a long way, so this was still a really healthy salad.  She also topped it with a tablespoon of chopped peanuts for some crunch.  We had jasmine rice on the side.

20120916-094929.jpg If it looks like there’s a ton of chicken, it’s because there was.  LC was tired when she put this together and used an entire container of Trader Joe’s Just Teriyaki Chicken for the two salads.  As soon as I looked at the plate and realized it, we immediately removed half the chicken.  She had enough for two more meals.

This next recipe is a Summer Veggie Stew that I put together from a recipe I found on Pinterest. It made a ton of stew, so I froze half of it to enjoy for the next couple of weeks.  The flavor is wonderful, especially since I kicked it up a notch with some added spice.  The only thing I dislike is that the colors of the vegetables get so dulled when you cook them this way.

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Finally, another recipe from Skinnytaste.com, Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken.  I love crock pot recipes, because once you get everything organized and chopped up, you just set it and go.  This one takes 10 hours on low, and it is worth the wait.  So yummy.  Very versatile, too.  I ate mine over some brown rice, but you could make tacos or burritos out of it as well.  There was so much chicken that I shared half with my parents, and we all made several meals out of it.

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  • What was the best thing you’ve eaten today? This week?
  • What’s one habit you want to “fall into” this season?

I highly recommend joining in on the WIAW posts! Not only do you get a TON of great ideas for healthy, interesting meals, but you can make some new blogging buddies, too.

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW. What I Ate Wednesday is a fun weekly post/blog social event started over at Peas and Crayons. If you want to follow my eats everyday, become my friend on MyFitnessPal.

I’ve been really getting into trying new recipes lately, and I am loving it. I mentioned Monday that I’ve just started using Ziplist, and I love it because it:

  • lets me add recipes that I find on websites or blogs to a central recipe box
  • plan those recipes using their meal planner, which I can then add to my iCal (it has other calendars, too)
  • add the ingredients of those recipes to a list, categorized by section of the supermarket
  • suggests recipes that have been popular within the community

I absolutely love it! It has helped me make meal planning so much less time consuming, and because I can use it to search ingredients, I have been using up the food that’s in my freezer, which means less waste. Win, win.  The other side benefit of all of this cooking is that the time that I spend standing up cooking keeps me from sitting on the couch and snacking mindlessly.  By using my time wisely, I find that I’m craving less, and that I can stay on track easier.

But now let’s get to the food!

I saw this bag at Target, and I bought it merely because of the name – Boom Chicka Pop.  How cute is that?  The “35 calories/cup” also appealed to me as a side dish to salads for lunch.  It tasted really natural and delicious, with just the right amount of crunch.  If you can find it, it’s definitely worth a try.
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On Saturday night I made these Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans  from One Lovely Life. It makes a huge amount, so there’s plenty leftover for lunches and dinners.  Because the peppers come out “al dente” on the first night, they reheat beautifully.  I absolutely hate mushy peppers, so this recipe was awesome.  They were really filling, and perfect for a meatless meal.

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Lunches this week are this really tasty Kale, Cannellini Bean, and Tuna salad that I saw on Kayln’s Kitchen. I changed the recipe slightly by using more tuna (I used a 12 oz can) and by cutting down on the olive oil and adding some lime, and it was delicious.  My sister is actually enjoying it for her lunch today, and she doesn’t even like salads.

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I wish the vibrancy of the salad could come out in this photo. I may try to re-take it Wednesday morning from school.

The main habit that I’m trying to fall into this season is planning my meals and buying food so that I save money and have less wasted food.  I’m slowly working my way through my freezer, and I’m realizing just how much I overbuy on a weekly basis.

  • What was the best thing you’ve eaten today? This week?
  • What’s one habit you want to “fall into” this season?

I highly recommend joining in on the WIAW posts! Not only do you get a TON of great ideas for healthy, interesting meals, but you can make some new blogging buddies, too.

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW. What I Ate Wednesday is a fun weekly post/blog social event started over at Peas and Crayons. If you want to follow my eats everyday, become my friend on MyFitnessPal.

This week I tried lots of new recipes. In fact, I made 3 of them for a dinner I hosted for my sister and parents on Saturday night (recipe blog pots to follow). It all started when I saw this lobster salad recipe on Skinnytaste. I’ll get into the details of that meal later, it’s a good one. Ever since school started I’ve been in the mood to try new recipes. Summertime is always really laid back, and I go with the flow in terms of recipes. Now that school’s back in, I find myself craving the creative outlet that trying new recipes gives me. It’s strange, you’d think that I’d do more innovative cooking in the summer, when I have nothing but time on my hands, but I guess I like to keep it flexible, even with cooking.

First up is a delicious baked crab cake recipe from Skinnytaste. (Can you tell I love her site?)  I tried the recipe out earlier in the week, because it was my first time making it, and I didn’t want to serve it to my parents and sister at Saturday’s dinner party without trying it first.  I modified the recipe just slightly, and although mine don’t look half as appealing as hers, they tasted great.

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The diner party was designed around Skinnytaste’s Chilled Lobster, Sweet Corn, and Tomato Salad.  There’s quite a story behind making this dish, but I’ll save the details for the actual Bella Cooks blog post.  One thing I will say is that this is one time that living on the West Coast puts me at a disadvantage.  Lobster is expensive here – two lobster tails were $50!  But my family is worth the splurge, and the salad tasted so fresh and healthy that it was well worth it.

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I wish this photo wasn’t blurry, because the dish really looked gorgeous.

I wanted to start off the dinner with a nice accompaniment, and my sister actually suggested an avocado salad.  I searched, and found this Chilled Avocado Soup on EatBoutique.  This was the surprise hit of the evening.  Everyone raved about it, and I agree.  I’ll absolutely make this again.  I don’t like cilantro, so I substituted Italian parsley, and it was simply divine.  And it only took about 15 minutes to put together!

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Here’s a shot of the seafood feast.  One of my FB friends said that this angle makes it look like you’re sitting with us at the table, so I thought I’d include it. My mom, who is an amazing cook in her own right, was incredibly impressed by my planning and execution, and I think she was really touched that I put in all this effort for my family.

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The cooking bug has struck, because even after all that cooking on Saturday, I still made unique and interesting dinners for myself this week.

Monday’s dinner was my version of these Authentically Baja Fish Tacos that I found on Healthy Chic Eats.  These were, by far, the best fish tacos I have ever eaten.  I used Swai, and I loved the way it tasted. I changed thing up a bit, because I didn’t have bell peppers or jalepeno peppers on hand, so I used Sriracha instead.

20120828-201104.jpg The mango salsa had red onion, green onions, lots of spices, and lime juice.  I wish this photo had turned out better, because the colors on the plate were so beautiful.  I ended up making more of a taco salad, using shredded cabbage as the lettuce, topping it off with a scoop of guacamole and a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt.  So filling and so delish!

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Finally, Tuesday night I made Skinnytaste’s Baked Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes.  I’ve never used lemon juice and olive oil instead of egg to add breading to chicken cutlets, but I will from now on.  The citrus flavor of the lemon added so much to the chicken.  I used chicken tenders instead of full chicken breasts, but it still made enough for lunch today and dinner at least two more times.  If you have access to homegrown tomatoes, you HAVE to make this salad!  It was fairly simple to put together and reminded me of my Nana’s kitchen, while still being super healthy and low calorie.  The entire plate is only 250 very filling calories.

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What was the best thing you’ve eaten today? This week?

  • Which food blogs are your favorite?
  • Any recipes to share? Leave ’em in the comments, please!

I highly recommend joining in on the WIAW posts! Not only do you get a TON of great ideas for healthy, interesting meals, but you can make some new blogging buddies, too.

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW. What I Ate Wednesday is a fun weekly post/blog social event started over at Peas and Crayons. If you want to follow my eats everyday, become my friend on MyFitnessPal.

This past week I found a bunch of fun new foods/drinks and I also started the new school year. Which means I’ve transitioned from “summer staples” to “school staples.” I have a lot of fun photos to share with you this week, so let’s get started.

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My sister actually told me about this Arnold Palmer zero calorie drink from Arizona Iced Tea. It’s really refreshing and definitely not too sweet.

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I’m a sucker for matching “lunchables.” I got the coffee tumbler from Target, and it keeps the coffee hot for quite some time. The insulated lunch bag is from Sachi.

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My lunch staple for this time of year, before the weather turns cold. Fruit, salad (this version had mache, a tiny bit of sweet corn, 1/2 cup of sugar snap peas, and 3 oz rotiserie chicken) and Chobani yogurt. It keeps me full till dinner.

20120821-201643.jpg I tried The Fitnessista’s Breakfast Cookie for the first time this week, and I can say that it is the best make-ahead breakfast I’ve had. Period.  Delicious, modifiable, and packed with protein.  If you haven’t tried it yet, do it.

Next up is a fabulous food find from Trader Joe’s: Gourmet Chicken Meatballs.  I bought both flavors: sun-dried tomato, basil, provolone AND spicy buffalo style with blue cheese.   The nutrition is for the buffalo, but the sun-dried were similar (150 calories).

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Tuesday’s dinner: Salad (romaine hearts, Persian cucumbers, raspberry vinaigrette), buffalo chicken meatballs, and brown rice medley.

Those who know me know that I am a coffee lover, so I was thrilled to see this can of limited edition Peaberry Kauai coffee beans at Trader Joe’s.  It says medium roast, but it’s definitely a full-bodied coffee.  A great way to start the day.

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What was the best thing you’ve eaten today? This week?

  • Do you have a go-to salad idea to share?
  • Have you found any new foods?
  • What’s your favorite make-ahead breakfast?

I highly recommend joining in on the WIAW posts! Not only do you get a TON of great ideas for healthy, interesting meals, but you can make some new blogging buddies, too.

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On a side note, late last year when school was ending, I was really struggling with heavy snacking in the afternoons, after school until dinner.  It was like I had a compulsion to overeat, and I set myself back every single day because not only was I eating way too many calories, but I would get really sluggish and not work out.  I had some ideas for how to tackle this, and I’m proud to say that so far this year (I’m only 2 days in, but I’m feeling confident about this), I’m not having that same issue.  Part of it is that I’m eating more at each meal (400 calories), but I’ve also changed my habits.  I get home, change, and take Sofi for a walk immediately.   Then when we get back, I clean up my lunch stuff and set up my lunch bag for the next day.  Afterward, I head straight into a workout.  And by then it’s time for dinner.  Alternately, I’ll go straight from school to workout, then come home and do the walk, clean-up, set out tomorrow’s clothes, and cook dinner routine.  The point is, I keep myself busy and don’t sit down until it’s finally time for dinner, and that makes all the difference.

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW. What I Ate Wednesday is a fun weekly post/blog social event started over at Peas and Crayons. If you want to follow my eats everyday, become my friend on MyFitnessPal.

This week I was able to make some really yummy food, which is always fun to share on these WIAW posts.

A salad of prawns, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, corn, and chives dressed with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, a dash of olive oil, and the juice of one lemon.

This salad was inspired by the Chilled Lobster Salad with Sweet Summer Corn and Tomatoes recipe I saw on Skinnytaste.  I substituted shrimp instead of lobster and added in cucumbers for a bit more crunch.  The weather here has been over 90 degrees for a week, so a light, summer salad was an ideal dinner.  I liked the original recipe so much that I decided I’d indulge in the lobster and invite my parents and sister over on the 24th to make it for them. I’ll make sure to post pictures.

Grilled pork chop with Chaka’s MMM sauce, steamed zucchini, and toasted pine nut couscous.

This meal was my “recovery” dinner after my grilling disaster on Saturday night.  If you want to feel better about yourself as a cook, go and read that post.  This dinner turned out really well, and since it’s been one of the staple meals this summer, I was so glad to have all the components on hand.

My second attempt at these pancakes turned out much better than my first batch a month ago.

I originally found the recipe for Blueberry “Cheesecake Pancakes from Sara @ Nourish and Flourish. The first time I made them, I was making 4 servings and had to use my blender and hand mixer to get the dough blended.  It also turned out that the original recipe had been missing one key ingredient (1/4 up of milk/almond milk), and they turned out very dense.  This time I only made one serving, so I was able to use my Magic Bullet, and what  difference it made!  The Bullet completely ground up the oats into a true oat “flour,” which made my batter much lighter and fluffier.  I also used coconut oil for the first time with this recipe (to grease the pan). I love making these pancakes on a Sunday morning as a special treat that still packs quite a protein punch (37g for a 300 calorie serving).

This week I also spent some time on Pinterest, Self.com, and of course Peas and Crayons gathering great ideas for future lunches and dinners.  I can’t wait to try them out soon, and when I do, you can believe they’ll be in a future WIAW post.

I highly recommend joining in on the WIAW posts! Not only do you get a TON of great ideas for healthy, interesting meals, but you can make some new blogging buddies, too.

What was the best thing you’ve eaten today? This week?

  • Do you have a go-to summer salad idea to share?
  • How would you recover from a recipe gone wrong?
  • What’s your favorite weekend breakfast?

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Before I install a lock on my fridge, I thought I’d come to you for some help.  I need some support and suggestions, guys.  Much of this post is going to be a bit stream-of-consciousness, so I hope you can follow me.

I know I can do better with my food.  It must be obvious to you guys, as well.  Anyone who is working out as much as I am (3-4 times a week, at least, an hour each time) should be losing more weight than I have been.  During the summer it was because of an adverse reaction to medication, but since then, I should have shown bigger numbers on the scale each week.  The reason why I haven’t is because I’ve been eating too much at night.  Call it stress eating, call it emotional eating, call it binge eating.  The point is, at night I seem to have something take over me and I feel like a serious food addict.

It’s strange because when I was doing the fasting, or when I was on Medifast, I didn’t “cheat” at all.  I never overate.  I stuck to the 500 or 800 calories a day and was fine with it.  (Well, it was f-ing up my metabolism, but I wasn’t eating more than they prescribed).  Now that I can eat whatever I want to (as long as I fall within my points), I’m doing terribly.  I do well all day and even at dinner, but once the nighttime hits, I’m like a caged animal that has finally been set free.  I’m not even hungry, but there is this insatiable need to eat and eat and eat.

So it’s time that I take real control of myself.  If I can do it on an extreme diet, why can’t I do it when I’m eating in a healthy way?  Why is it so difficult for me to stop myself from overeating at night?  I know that I’m not alone in this, and I’d love for you to give me any pointers that you might have.  I know that one big culprit is probably watching too much t.v. at night.  The thing is, I love certain shows on t.v. and do not want to give up watching them.  The evening after dinner is the only time I have to really unwind.  But maybe I can do something so that t.v. time doesn’t equal eating time.

One thing I know I can do is to stop eating dinner in front of the t.v.  I do it far too often, and even though that’s guideline #1 on most diet plans, I’ve fallen into that habit.  Mostly because I like the “company” the t.v. offers.  Since I’m single and live alone, it’s nice to have the t.v. on when I eat so that I have some sort of entertainment.  But I know that I don’t have to.  I can eat dinner in my cozy breakfast nook while reading a magazine (I have so many that I need to catch up on) or a book (lots of those, too).  Plus, if I eat in the other room, it’s right next to the kitchen, making clean up easier.

Ok, so solution #1 is to stop eating anything in the living room (where the t.v. is).  The only thing I’m going to allow myself to have in this room is some sort of drink – water, tea, coffee.  No more eating meals in front of the t.v.

The second thing I need is some new meal plans.  I have loads of cookbooks that I should go through to get inspired, but I never seem to have the time.  So starting this week, I’m going to use a half hour of my evening after dinner to find at least one new recipe.  I think breaking it up in smaller bits like this will actually help me accomplish more than if I try to devote 2-3 hours at a time.  Little steps.

This is also where you can come in.  I need ideas for all meals because I’m getting bored of my usual food.  Please post meal plans in the comments, and be as specific as you can.  Exactly what you ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on a given day.  That will really help me.  If some of you have a new recipe that you’ve tried recently, could you post about it and send me the link in the comments?

I need to get serious here.  There are only 9 weeks left in this year, and I want to show some sort of positive momentum going into  the new year. That’s what my Countdown to Christmas Challenge is about.  That’s what this post is about.  I’m “coming clean” about overeating at night because I need your help and admitting the problem is the first step.

iStock_000004917602XSmall Please help me feel more like this.

 

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