Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 14: Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Today's dinner is a big winner! It tasted so good and was easy to make! All of us loved it and I think you should try it out soon. More details to follow!

For today I ate:

Steel-cut oatmeal with brown sugar from Jamba Juice
1/2 of a coldbuster smoothie from Jamba Juice (we had our house cleaners here today and I wanted to get out of the house and I didn't have time to make my breakfast, so we took a long walk to Jamba Juice!)

Salad with tomatoes, cherries, lite shredded cheese, cucumber, black beans, avocado, and dressing.
Trader Joe's Cinnamon Schoolbook cookies

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut squash with some greenbeans

Dried cherries
Goldfish crackers
Cheese stick
Healthy Cupcake (see recipe from yesterday)
Edamame Crackers (to get rid of the aftertaste of the stevia from the healthy cupcake)

Recipe: Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Like I mentioned above, this meal was a big winner with my family! It tasted so good and it was so easy. The chicken was really moist and not dry, which is the best! I got this recipe from myrecipes.com and I can't speak highly enough of it :)! The reason that I picked this recipe was because I had some leftover butternut squash that I needed to use up.

2 tbsp minced garlic, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
3/4 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 roasting chicken (the smallest chicken I could find at the store was 5 1/2 lbs)
Cooking spray
12 ounces red potatoes, quartered
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 8 oz)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and sage in a small bowl. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in broiler pan. **I put the chicken in our dutch oven, without the lid, and it worked just as well!

3. Combine potatoes, squash, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetable mixture around chicken. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin. Serve!

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size; 4 (about 3 oz of chicken and 3/4 cup of veggies)
Calories: 399
Carbs: 25.9
Fat: 12.1
Protein: 43.8
*The website has all of the nutritional information listed.

Day 13: Happy Anniversary to Me

The other day (Sunday and today is Tuesday) I was thinking that my blog needed to be updated in it's look because I felt like it needed a change, something cleaner. As I was in the process of changing it up I decided to look through some past posts. I came across my first 30 day challenge and I happened to start it on January 30th, which is the date (one year later) of this post. I'm actually a day late posting because yesterday was draining and I didn't feel like blogging. Anyway, Happy 1 year anniversary to my blog!

For yesterday I ate the following:

Kale, tomato, and cheese omelet with an egg and egg whites and some avocado on top.

Leftover chicken parmesan with angel hair pasta and homemade tomato sauce

The same as lunch. I had another meal planned, but Big Bubs and Little Bubs didn't want me cooking, so I said, "forget it" and had the rest of the leftovers. I had also previously cooked a meal for a friend that recently had a baby, so I was a little burned out on cooking dinner meals.

Popped potato chips
Homemade bread
Cereal (Crispy Rice, Koala Crisp, and rice milk)

Recipe: Healthy Cupcakes

I decided that for the one year anniversary of my blog I would make some cupcakes (I actually made these tonight and not on Day 13, but oh well!). I Googled lots of different recipes to try and find some cupcakes that were healthy and I decided to try this recipe from toneitup.com. They are all about using Stevia in their recipes and I thought that I would give it a shot. It turns out that I don't like the aftertaste of Stevia at all, so these cupcakes were a no go for me. If you do like Stevia, which my boys didn't mind at all, then these would probably taste pretty good.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 vanilla whey protein powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp stevia powder (I used Truvia)
2 eggs
3 tsp Canola oil
1/2 plain lowfat yogurt (their recipe calls for nonfat, but I only had lowfat)
2 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz light cream cheese
2 tbsp greek lowfat yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp stevia powder
**The above amount of frosting was too much for me and I only used about 1/2, but I also didn't glob the frosting on the cupcakes.

1. Heat the oven to 375º

2. Add the six dry ingredients for the cake in a bowl and mix. Then add the bottom four "wet" ingredients into the dry mix and whisk (or mix) until incorporated.

3. Line a mini muffin pan with cupcake wrappers and then spray with some non-stick spray (I used olive oil)

4. Spoon in batter into the cupcake wrappers. Fill them until they are 2/3 full. Once they are all filled put the pan in the oven and bake for 14-17 minutes. I baked mine for 7 minutes and then rotated them in the oven and baked them for another 7 minutes.

5. While the cupcakes are cooking mix together all of the ingredients for the frosting (I used an electric mixer). If you would like the frosting pink you would add in a raspberry or two (or any colored fruit).

6. The cupcakes are done when you can pull a toothpick out of them and nothing sticks to the toothpick. Take the cupcakes out and let them cool for a minute in the pan. Remove the cupcakes and put them on a wire rack and let them cool completely.

7. When the cupcakes are cool you can now frost them. Or you can get a cute kid to help you frost them and add sprinkles on them! Serve.

Nutritional Information:
Serving: 1 mini cupcake (I was able to make a total of 29)
Calories: 54
Carbs: 8
Fat: 3
Protein: 3
**The above was a little high for my cupcakes since I had only used 1/2 the frosting.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 12: Avocado Sandwich

I am tired and I had a better recipe for today, but I don't feel like typing it all out so that means you will have to just go and buy the cookbook to get it! It is Chicken Parmesan from the America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. It was delicious and only 330 calories! Most everything that we have made from this cookbook and a couple of the other ones they have put out have turned out really well and the books are definitely worth the money!

Greek yogurt with granola, maple syrup, and cherries

Avocado, sprouts, and cucumber sandwich (see recipe below) with some Edamame Crackers

Chicken Parmesan with broccoli and angel hair pasta

These schoolhouse cookies from Trader Joes (I have a sweet tooth right now!)
Mini ice-cream cone from TJs

Recipe: Avocado Sandwich

1 slice of homemade Light Whole Wheat Bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
1/2 avocado, mashed
1/4 cup of sprouts (I used organic pea shoots)
1/4 sliced cucumber
3 sugar plum tomatoes (like cherry tomato size), sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Mash up the avocado and add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the avocado mixture on the bread, then add tomatoes, sprouts, and cucumbers on top. Serve.

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 1
Calories: 231
Carbs: 30
Fat: 11
Protein: 4

Here is the dinner that I made :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 11: Hamburger Buddy

It's been a busy day for me and tonight I had a MNO (Moms Night Out) with a mom's group that I belong too, so I knew that I would probably not have some food low in calories so I tried to eat a little light during the day.

Waffle with blueberries and maple syrup
Tea with honey

Kale cooked in some olive oil and tossed with Cannellini beans and chopped tomatoes. I am really liking the taste of Kale lately and I feel like I could eat it all of the time!

Hamburger Buddy (see recipe below)
Tortilla Chicken soup

Cheese stick
Pomegranate Blueberry Tea Latte
Bread with butter

Recipe: Hamburger Buddy

First, I have to say that this recipe does not look that great in the picture, but I find that a lot of the recipes that don't look great end up tasting pretty good. This recipe from Eating Well must be their take on a healthy version of Hamburger Helper. The meal was really tasty and the boys really enjoyed it. When the boys enjoy it, it definitely becomes a meal that we add to our repertoire.

3 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 2 inch pieces
10 ounces large white mushrooms, cut in half
1 lb 90% lean ground beef (I used grass-fed beef, which was about 84% lean, so there were more calories)
2 tsp dried thyme (I would maybe just use 1 next time)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups water
14 oz can of low sodium beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole wheat elbow noodles
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lowfat Greek yogurt (or reduced fat sour cream)

1. Fit a food processor with the steel blade attachment. With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube and process until minced, then add carrots and mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Turn it off, add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.

2. Cook beef in a large straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Whisk flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth; stir into the hamburger mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve.

Nutritional Information:
This is from their website:

Serving Size: 6, about 1 1/3 cups each
Calories: 326
Fat: 10g
Cholesterol: 54mg
Carbs: 38g
Protein: 23g
Fiber: 4g
Sodium: 431mg

Little Bubs enjoying this meal, as you can see!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 10: Food Truck Fridays

Okay, so today wasn't a great day for me in the food department, but I consider today a special day and because I knew that I was eating bad I ran 3 miles! It is fun to start running again.

Egg, eggwhites, yogurt with maple syrup, granola, and blueberries

Woodranch's Natalie's salad (1/2 portion with maybe a tsp of dressing) and one roll...oh, I also had a few bites of Little Bub's smashed sweet potatoes.

Food Truck Friday!!! Fries and two burgers (they are the size of sliders) from The Patty Wagon Food Truck. I had the "You Are My Everything" and the "La Vie En Rose." They are so tasty! And since it was my 10th visit I got one burger and some fries for free!

Chicken Fried Rice
Rice crackers
Cookie/cracker type things
*I went to a playdate and they had a lot of food out that I grazed on :(

Okay, that is my day. Unfortunately, there will be no recipe for today because I didn't make anything and I am feeling a bit tired and would like to get some reading done!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 9: Boule (Artisan Bread)

Today I didn't make any recipe to share and was mostly eating leftovers, so I figured that I would share the recipe to the bread that we have been making lately. The recipe is below!

Steel-cut oatmeal with brown sugar and blueberries.
Tea with honey

Leftovers of the Quinoa, Butternut Squash, and Kale salad
Turkey sandwich-Big Bubs said that he wanted a Turkey sandwich (1/2 size), so I made him one and then he didn't want to eat it, so I did.

Sweet Italian Sausage with some quick-cook brown rice and kale.

Hard boiled egg
Popcorn (from a microwave bag)
**I still need to eat something else to increase my calories, but I haven't decided what.

Boule Artisan Bread
I had heard about this book Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day and I was intrigued. I looked it up on Amazon and it was rated 4.7 stars out of 5, which is pretty impressive. My husband and I also used to make our own bread, but had stopped doing that once Little Bubs was born. This book made the bread making seem easy and fast and I wanted to start baking our own bread again, so I put this book on my wishlist for Christmas and received it! I definitely recommend getting this book because it has been really easy and the bread has tasted delicious!

This is their Master Recipe: Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf)
They are all about making a lot of loaves at a time, so this recipe makes four 1-pound loaves.

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour, measure with the scoop & sweep method
Cornmeal for the pizza peel (or in our case the cookie sheet)

1. Warm the water slightly, to about 100ºF.

2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container. Don't worry about getting it to disolve

3. Mix in the flour--kneading is unnecessary. Add all of the flour at once. Mix with a wooden spoon or the dough hook attachment on a food processor or stand mixer until the mixture is uniform. You can use wet hands to mix the dough too. You are all done with there are no more "dry" spots in the mix.

4. Allow to rise. Cover with a lid (do not use screw-topped lids because the trapped gases could cause it to explode). Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on the top), approximately 2 hours (if you go up to 5 hours it will not harm the results). You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Put the dough in the refrigerator and let sit overnight or at least for 3 hours.

5. "Cloak" and shape a loaf in 30-60 seconds. Prepare a pizza peel (or cookie sheet) by liberally sprinkling cornmeal on it, so that the loaf doesn't stick to the peel. Sprinkle the surface of your dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won't stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. The correctly shaped final produt will be smooth and cohesive. The entire process should take no more than 30-60 seconds.

6. Rest the loaf and let it rise on a pizza peel. Place the shaped ball on the cornmeal-covered pizza peel. Allow the loaf to rest for about 40 minutes (it doesn't need to be covered).

7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the over to 450ºF, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

8. Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, which will allow the slashing knife to pass without sticking. Slash 1/4-inch-deep cross, "scallop," or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife.

9. After a 20-minute preheat, you're ready to bake. With a quick forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the preheated baking stone. Quickly, but carefully, pour about 1 cup of hot water into the broiler pan and close the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire cooling rack.

10. Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded container and use it over the next 14 days.

**I left out some things that they talk about in the book that aren't crucial to the baking process, but they might be useful. They also have pictures in their book. So I would definitely suggest to get their book! They also have tips and other useful information at the beginning of the book**

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 1 oz slice (16 oz-1 pound loaf)
Calories: 46
Carbs: 9
Fat: 0
Protein: 2

Day 8: Quinoa, Butternut Squash, and Kale Salad

Sorry for the late post! I had bedtime duty for Big Bubs and he was not in a mood to sleep and he doesn't fall asleep unless we stay in his room. Well, I must have been really tired because I too fell asleep while waiting for him to go to bed (I'm not sure who fell asleep first) and by the time I woke up it was late and I was just plain tired!

Anyway, here is what was on my menu for yesterday :)

Breakfast sandwich, yummy! (homemade bread, egg, and cheese).
Tea with honey

Leftover Beef & Broccoli with rice

Quinoa, Butternut Squash, and Kale Saled (see recipe below)

Dried Cherries


Quinoa, Butternut Squash, and Kale Salad
I forgot to take a picture, but please take a look at the wonderful picture from Tartelette where I got the recipe. I made a few adjustments. It was really tasty and I would make it again. I think that I would add more Kale, a little more Butternut Squash, and reduce the Quinoa amount by 1/2 cup (it is a lot that you get!).

1 1/2 cups Quinoa (dry)
3 cups Chicken Broth (the original recipe called for water, but I like the flavor of Quinoa with chicken broth. Veggie broth can be substituted too).
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled, cored, and diced
1 1/2 cups kale, roughly chopped (previously washed and cleaned)
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 shallot, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

For the quinoa, I put it in my rice cooker along with the chicken broth and let the rice cooker do the work. If you do not have a rice cooker you want to bring the quinoa and broth to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to simmer, after it has come to a boil, and cover until all of the water has been absorbed (about 20 minutes). Take the pot off of the heat and fluff with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet, on medium to high heat, and cook the onions until they are translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Add the butternut squash, garlic, and kale to the skillet. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and check to see if the squash is tender, but not mushy or hard when you poke it with a fork or knife. Add the thyme and continue to cook until all of the liquid created by the cover has evaporated.

To make the vinaigrette add all of the ingredients together and stir.

Gently fold in the quinoa, the vegetables, and the vinaigrette. Serve.

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 4
Calories: 344
Carbs: 57
Fat: 8
Protein: 11

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 7: Beef & Broccoli

Here are my meals for today!

Greek lowfat yogurt with granola, cherries, and maple syrup.
Tea and honey

Salad with goat cheese, beans, plum tomatoes, clementine, avocado, and salad dressing.
Homemade bread with butter

Beef and Broccoli (see recipe below)

Dried Cherries
TJs small ice-cream cones, vanilla.

Recipe: Beef and Broccoli

I'm a pretty big fan of Beef & Broccoli, but I know that the kind that you get from restaurants is not on the low calorie side. I found the recipe listed below from The Meal Planner and I thought that I would give it a try. It actually tasted pretty good. In the future I would not add as many chili flakes because it was a little too spicy for me. My husband thought that it needed to be sweeter.


Marinade for Steak:
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb flank or sirloin steak cut across the grain, into thin 2 inch strips (I got sirloin steak and only .89lbs, so not a full pound).

Stir-Fry Sauce:
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp garlic sauce or stir-fry sauce (I didn't have anything like this, so I used Trader Joe's Island Soyaki sauce)

2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp chili flakes (I would only use 1/4 tsp next time)
2 green onions, sliced
3 cups broccoli, cut into florets


In a bowl combine all ingredients listed under "Marinade" and toss with a fork until well coated (we put ours in a freezer Zip-Loc bag). Cover and leave in fridge overnight.

Stir-Fry Sauce:
All all these ingredients in a jar and shake it up. Leave it to sit overnight in the fridge.

Heat a wok or skillet to medium-high. Add the ginger, drained beef and chili flakes. Then add the onions and broccoli. Toss until the meat browns. When the meat is browned, add the stir-fry sauce and cook until thickened Serve!

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 4
Calories: 228
Carbs: 12
Protein: 27

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 6: Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Apple Hash

What I have determined from doing this 30 Day Challenge is that I need to learn how to take better pictures! I guess that I should have learned that during my Photo Challenge :)! All of the pictures of the food that I am taking don't really do it justice and the pictures of the food from the other websites that I get the recipes from make the food look even better than what it turns out to look like. I guess that I should have a future challenge where I learn to take better pictures in 30 days!

Onto today!

Cheese, spinach, and tomato omelet (with an egg and egg whites), homemade artisan bread, and some tea with honey.

Leftover taco meat with beans, tomatoes, lite cheese, lettuce, and greek yogurt (I wouldn't call it a taco salad because there was not a lot of lettuce in it!). Plus, some more bread.

Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Apple Hash (see recipe below) with some bread...I'm addicted to this bread today! It really tastes great and knowing that it is homemade is awesome!

Dried Cherries
Popped Potato Chips
Bread and butter (here I go again with the bread!)


Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Apple Hash

I got the Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Apple Hash from the blog Multiply Delicious and it looked yummy. The lady that does this blog is into the Paleo Diet and the diet has me intrigued, but not enough to give up my carbs that I get from flour (did you see how much bread I ate today?). I made some changes to her recipe and directions, but I am sure that both of ours end up really similar.

2 small to medium sweet potatoes, peeled & diced (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, divided (I think that 1 tbsp might be enough)
3 Italian chicken sausages, removed from casing (9 oz total)
1 small sweet yellow onion, diced (1/2 cup)
2 to 3 large cups of baby spinach (I only used 2)
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet (we use our cast iron skillets), heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once heated, add the diced sweet potatoes, apples, and onions. Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt to the pan.

Cook until the sweet potatoes, onions, and apples are softened (about 5 minutes).

Add to the skillet the 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (or you could omit this) and then add the chicken sausage making sure to break the sausage up into small pieces while it cooks.

Once the chicken is no longer pink in color and completely cooked add the spinach to the skillet (the spinach should wilt in 1-2 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve :)

Nutritional Information:
*I just want to put out the disclaimer that I get the nutritional information from My Fitness Pal's recipe calculator and I can only assume that it is fairly accurate.

Serving size: 3 (1 cup each)
Calories: 375
Carbs: 32g
Fat: 19g
Protein: 19g

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 5: Taco Seasoning

Last night I also had a cereal bar because I needed some extra calories and I wanted something sweet!

For Today:

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancakes with maple syrup (yummy!) and an egg (from one of our chickens!).

Leftover two bean veggie chili (see recipe from yesterday)

Burritos (tortilla, lite shredded cheese, black beans, ground turkey with onion, diced tomatoes, and seasoning, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and lowfat greek yogurt) and green beans.

Cliff Bar


Since I am tired (I ran 3 miles today, which I haven't done in a LONG time, and I went to a bootcamp and I'm drained!) I am going to post a link to the recipe for today.

DIY Taco Seasoning

It was so easy to do and I have a ton of it to use. It was much cheaper than buying the packets at the store and tastes just as great.

Nutritional Information:
When you make her recipe it makes 7.5 servings (each serving is 2 tablespoons)

Calories: 10
Carbs: 3
Fat: 0
Protein: 0

All of the above is really minimal because I added it in to 1.35 lbs of ground turkey and I only had a portion of the turkey :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 4: Two Bean Vegetable Chili

Last night after I posted this I ended up having some popcorn too :). My husband made some and I just couldn't refuse! BTW, we are not using microwave popcorn, but making it on the stove. He wants to try to make Kettle Corn and that will be hard to not shovel down!

For Today:

Greek lowfat plain yogurt with blueberries, granola, and maple syrup (I'll have this be one of my recipes one of these days!)

Spinach salad with rotisserie chicken breast, clementine, goat cheese, cherries, cucumber, tomatoes, and the cranberry, walnut, and Gorgonzola dressing. Along with a cheese stick and some goldfish crackers.

Two Bean Vegetable Chili (see below recipe)
Boule (Artisan bread that we made. I'll have to post the recipe on this later. It was delicious!)

Popcorn (we are addicted to this stuff!)

Recipe: Two Bean Vegetable Chili courtesy of the Best Life Diet by Bob Greene.

This recipe is super easy and fast to make. I think that it is also very delicious!

3 tbsp Buttery Spread (we used Earth Balance, but in the past I have also used 1-2 tbsp of olive oil)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 large zucchini, chopped
2 large yellow, orange, or red bell peppers, chopped
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce (low sodium preferably)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 salt

**To make the process of chopping vegetables go by very fast you should invest in the Chop Wizard. It really does make chopping vegetables go so quickly and it is so easy! I got mine at Target in the "As Seen On TV" section.

In a 4-quart pot, melt the buttery spread over medium-high heat. Add onion, zucchini, and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and just starting to brown.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to low and simmer 8 minutes or until heated through.

Serve, if desired with sour cream (not in calorie count).

Here are the veggies cooking. They look so colorful and yummy!

Nutritional Information:
Serving size 8 people (about 1 cup)
Calories: 225
Fat: 3g
Calcium: 97g
Sodium: 137g
Fiber: 10g
Sugars: 5g
Carbs: 39g
Protein: 12g

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 3: Dinner Menu

On Fridays my family usually goes out to where all of the Food Trucks are and we call today "Food Truck Friday." I was really looking forward to going because there is this food truck, The Patty Wagon, that has grass fed hamburgers that are so delicious! I really crave them and just thinking about them right now makes me want one. Since I knew that the calories on these are a little high (I get two 3 oz burgers) I ate light today. Well, Big Bubs was not behaving so the food trucks were out of the question for him :(. I had to come with some alternative for dinner that had more calories then what I was planning. I also still have some more that I need to eat, but I am not sure what I will have and I want to get this post finished :)

Here is today's menu:

Steel-cut oatmeal with honey, fresh blueberries, and almond butter with flax seeds.
Tea with honey

Leftovers of the cauliflower crusted pizza
Salted Popped Potato Chips
Wasa Crispbread with tomato basil hummus and rotisserie chicken

Goldfish Crackers--the boys were having some and whenever they are out I cannot not have them.
Graham Cracker

Dinner Menu with Nutritional Information:

1/2 Bun
1 Vegan Burger
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp ketchup
handful of fresh spinach
2 tomato slices

1 cup of fresh spinach
1 tomato (I used the rest of the tomato after I cut the slices from the burger)
1/2 oz of crumbled goat cheese
4 cherries
1/4 chopped cucumber
1 tsp Cranberry, Walnut, & Gorgonzola Salad Dressing

Sweet Potatoes:
1 small (130g) sweet potato, sliced
*I heated the oven to 385 and sprayed a baking sheet with olive oil. Then I put the slices of the sweet potato on the baking sheet and sprayed them with olive oil and lightly salted them. I baked them for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 450
Carbs: 75g
Fat: 8g
Protein: 23g

*Again, the above is calculated from My Fitness Pal's recipe calculator.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 2: Cauliflower Crusted Pizza

After I posted my blog entry yesterday I realized that I needed to eat some more calories, so I had a small bowl of Crisp Rice Cereal (TJ's knock-off of Rice Krispies) and Gorilla Munch with some Vanilla Almond Milk.

And for today:

Spinach, mushroom, tomato, and cheese omelet (with an egg and egg whites).
Toast with some butter
Tea with some honey from my friend's bees (the honey tastes delicious and so different from what you get in the stores!)

Rotisserie Chicken (breast meat)
Sweet Potato Soup

Cauliflower Crusted Pizza (see recipe below)

Dried Cherries
Frozen yogurt with granola and kiwi

Cauliflower Crusted Pizza

I had originally found a recipe on Pinterest (you should really check out the site if you haven't, although it could become a bit addicting!) for a cauliflower crust pizza. The site that I had found is no longer around, so I had to do a Google search and I came upon this recipe from Eat.Drink.Smile. It looked like a good one to try out, so I did. It turned out really great and tasty. I wouldn't say that it tasted exactly like pizza dough, but it wasn't a bad substitute.

Cauliflower Crusted Pizza

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
2 cups shredded lite mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/3 cup pizza sauce
3 slices of Canadian Bacon, chopped
1 cups of Spinach, raw
1/2 Tomato, diced
1/2 medium Zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup Mushrooms
Olive Oil (optional, I did not use it)

To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.
One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and the remaining cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.* I cooked the spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and Canadian bacon in a skillet until the spinach was wilted and the zucchini was softened.

Nutritional Information: (I get the nutritional information from My Fitness Pal's recipe calculator and it seems like it is pretty accurate).
2 Servings (4 slices when cut into 8 slices)
Calories: 268
Carbs: 13g
Fat: 12g
Protein: 28g
*I don't know the rest of the nutritional information

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 1: Sweet Potato Soup

Here are my meals for today:

Greek Lowfat Plain Yogurt (do you know one serving has 24g of protein?)
Fresh blueberries
Maple syrup (grade B)

Salami (low sodium)
Sweet Potato Soup (recipe below)


Monterrey Jack Cheese Stick
Potato Chips (I only had 4 and they were the popped kind)
Dried Cherries
Fruit Bar
Tomato basil hummus
Sweet Plum tomatoes

Filet Mignon with a sun-dried tomato relish

Sweet Potato Soup with Yogurt courtesy of The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene

Serves 4
2 tsp olive oil (I used extra virgin)
1 small onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 cups fat-free and low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt (the original recipe called for nonfat yogurt, but I like the extra protein added to my meals)
Salt and pepper to taste

Over medium flame, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cumin and saute for 10 minutes (I think 8 would be fine), stirring frequently. Add the sweet potato and chicken broth, raise the flame to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup, until the potato is tender, 25-30 minutes.

Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender. Puree the soup at a low speed, until smooth. Add the yogurt and blend until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Per Serving Info: 1 serving is about 3/4 cup.
Calories: 94
Carbs: 14g
Fat: 1g
Protein: 4g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Cholesterol: 3mg
Sodium: 94mg
Calcium: 81mg

**Some of the above (Dietary Fiber and below) might be slightly different because I used lowfat yogurt**

The soup was tasty, but I kind of like my soups to be thick and this one was water thin. I'm also thinking that I should take pictures of the meal that I will be highlighting each day...next time!

Challenge #5: Food Diary

Hello! I'm back and ready to start a new challenge for 2012. At the end of 2011 I went on a food debauchery and gained some weight and my pants were fitting a bit too tight! I knew that in January I needed to start eating better and exercising. With eating better I have to start counting calories so that I know exactly what I am consuming. I've also read somewhere that one way to help you lose weight is by keeping a food diary of what you have eaten, so that you know exactly what you are consuming. I found this site called My Fitness Pal that was perfect for what I needed to do. The site is the most comprehensive one I have found and they have all of Trader Joe's foods in their database, which is great because that is where I do about 99% of my shopping. They also have a great mobile app where you can scan bar codes and it brings up the food's information.

I have actually been counting calories for a week and a half now and had plans to start this 30 Day Challenge earlier, but some things came up and I didn't have much time for blogging. Therefore, I will be starting today. For this 30 Day Challenge I will be writing down everything that I have eaten for the day (I won't be writing out the calorie count, but it will be between 1,200-1,500 until I start exercising and then I'll increase it accordingly). Each day I will also make one meal and I will include the recipe for that meal along with nutritional information. I pretty much eat healthy, but with this blog I am sure that I will be eating healthier since I will be blogging about what I am eating!

Here's to healthy eating!