Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WIAW: Light Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Turkey Burgers

Peas and Crayons

Good Morning!  We are halfway through the week!

Nothing new going on in my neck of the woods.  Except that we toured a winery last weekend (pic above).  It was beautiful and some of the best wine I've ever tasted.

On to the food stuff:

Breakfast: Egg Sandwich

I am so totally predictable, if you read last week's post...I repeated this breakfast a few times this week, actually.  It is so filling and delicious!

This is 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters on a whole wheat English muffin with a little muenster cheese and strawberry preserves.  2 cups of coffee on the side!


Morning Snack: Apple

I cut up a jazz apple for snack in the morning.  It was so crisp and perfectly sweet and tart at the same time.

Lunch: Quesadilla Wrap

After a short dog walk, I whipped up some turkey and spinach quesadillas on Flat Out wraps (I get the original light).  A couple big ole strawberries and veggie straws on the side.

Afternoon Snack: Sad Grapes

I have been loving grapes this season.  These guys were on their last leg and I had to throw the wrinkly ones away.

Before my boot camp workout I went home and made some toast with crunchy (reduced fat) peanut butter to hold me over.

Bizzy the dog watched with bated breath.

"Um, can I please have some, mum?" 

It's so cute, she raises one paw off the ground when she wants something.

"Seriously?  You're not going to share?!"

 Dinner: Light Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Turkey Burgers & Veggies

I got home from boot camp, walked Bizzy (again), did some house chores and finally got around to making dinner.  This was a winner of a dinner!!

I love adding buffalo flavor to everything burgers.  It's so spicy and flavorful!

Here's a quick recipe of what I put in my turkey burgers:

Light Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Turkey Burgers
serves 4

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
2-3 tbsp buffalo sauce
1 tsp salt
sprinkle of pepper & garlic powder

Mix all this up and portion out 4 patties.  Press a thumb sized hole in the center.

Then put half of one of these cheese wedges in the center of the burgers (so you'll need 2 wedges for 4 burgers)

Fold the turkey patty in a ball around the cheese and press down.

Sprinkle some grill seasoning and grill those bad boys for a few minutes on each side until cooked.

Add a little extra buffalo sauce on top to serve.

I tried to take a picture of the cheese oozing out, but I was preoccupied with cleaning up after dinner, and the patty got a little cold, so no hot oozy cheese.  Sigh.

Still delicious!
I had my turkey burger on a lettuce bun with a side of grilled sweet potato wedges, steamed veggies and half an ear of corn.

Then my favorite frozen yogurt in a cone followed.

Um, I guess I made buffalo turkey burgers this month already.  Forgive me?
Well, they were slightly different: Spinach Dip Buffalo Turkey Sliders

Have a lovely week, all!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WIAW: Maple Dijon Salmon & Photo Challenges

Good Morning, Friends!  This week is just zooming's already time to do What I Ate Wednesday...can you believe it?!
Well, there's not much going on with me this week.  We are still in the midst of a kitchen remodel (on a budget).  Some day in the near future, I will have some pictures to share with you on that.
Now, get ready for some yummy food stuff!

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: Egg Sandwich

I had the best, most filling breakfast of a whole wheat english muffin, 2 egg whites, 1 slice of muenster cheese and strawberry preserves.  It really hit the spot!  Plus 2 cups of coffee!

It's been at least a week since I've made eggs.   I missed them!  I love eggs...from my head down to my legs!

A.M. Snack: Nuts & Berries 

I packed a little mason jar of strawberries & blueberries for snack..accompanied by a handful of salted, roasted almonds.  Yum!

Lunch: Buffalo Chicken Wrap

I've come to the conclusion that I am now totally and forever addicted to buffalo sauce.  I never cared much for it until about 3 months ago.  Now I cannot get enough of that flavor!  The great thing about buffalo sauce calories (some brands have 5-10 calories--check the label)!  It adds lots of flavor with no calories!  Hooray :)
For lunch, I made some Flat-Out wraps with leftover chicken, some mozzarella cheese, buffalo sauce & romaine lettuce.  On the side, leftover roasted veggies (sweet potato, brussels, green beans, asparagus) and veggie straws.

Here's the wrap before it got...wrapped:

I didn't really feel like eating an afternoon I had a Starbucks refresher drink.  These are pretty tasty & it put some pep in my step.

Speaking of peppy steps, due to a hamstring injury from last week (ouch!!), I decided to sit out of boot camp on this particular day.  My body is just not ready for that impact after pulling a muscle last Thursday.  I went for a long walk with Bizzy and my Mom instead.  It's my Mom's birthday, today, also!!!  I am looking forward to celebrating with her and family tonight.

afternoon shadows

Dinner: Maple Dijon Salmon with Bacon, Rice & Broccoli

For dinner, I knew I was making salmon, but came across this recipe from How Sweet It Is blog & decided to make it. I cooked the salmon in a pan instead of grilling it, but it was super easy & flavorful.
I served the salmon with some steamed, fresh broccoli (sprinkled in Parmesan) and this rice mixture (found in the frozen veggie section of Walmart):

I've been loving frozen rice lately!  Cooks perfectly and is nicely portioned for two people.

Dessert happened, of course.

Froyo in a waffle cone=one happy Renee!

Here's my frozen yogurt of choice at the moment:

That does it for my eats!

In other news:

I posted a healthy & hearty Beefy Taco Veggie Quinoa Bake on Endless Simmer last week.  Here's a picture to entice you to go check out the recipe.  Give me a "like" or a comment over there, if you wanna:

Speaking of pictures, I am now participating in not one, but two photo challenges on Instagram.  Why do I do this to myself? ;) I kid.  I really enjoy taking pictures and feel like doing several pictures a day is going to make that skill stronger and make me more creative.

If you want to join me on the challenges, here's some info:

1) Fat Mum Slim's July Photo-A-Day: You get different photo prompts for each day.  Today is Day 17, but it's never too late to pick up this challenge.

2) A Beautiful Mess's 30 Day Self Portrait Challenge: This one might be more of a challenge, because it's just a picture of me everyday.  Some days I don't necessarily like the look of me-LOL!  But, the point of this challenge is to find alternate ways to think about a "selfie" by exploring composition and angles.  I think it will be a fun way to grow with my pictures.  

Feel free to join me & to follow my Instagram, of course ;)  Chances are, I'll follow you back!

Ok, have a fantastic week, all!

I'll leave you with a picture of Bizzy smooching me...and me smooching the air in front of me apparently!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Yummy Seasoned Oven Fries

Good Morning, everyone!

Just popping in on a Monday to say hello and share this delicious recipe for fries!!!  Fries are the best, especially when they are healthier and full of flavor.  

I was watching Next Food Network Star (love that show!) and they were doing a challenge where they had to describe food in a way that would make the viewer understand the flavor of a dish, without just simply saying "delicious" or "tasty."

I'm gonna try that now.  These fries are slightly spiced and perfectly soft and pillowy on the inside with a lovely crisp on the outer edges.  They hit you with just the right amount of salt, followed with a tiny bit of heat.  I didn't even use ketchup (and I really like ketchup)!

I could eat one million of these fries.

Luckily, I had other people there to share with, so I was not forced to eat it all ;)

I used russet potatoes here, but sweet potatoes would be ah-maze-ing!  Definitely trying those next!

Seasoned Oven Fries
serves 4

5 medium (smaller than a fist) sized potatoes 
drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash the potatoes & pat them dry.  Cut them lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Turn each slice flat and slice again lengthwise into even 1/2-inch-thick fries. 

Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl and add the olive oil, all seasonings and Parmesan. Toss well to combine, then transfer the fries to a large oiled baking sheet and arrange them in one even layer. 

Bake for 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Emeril

Have a Wonderful Day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIAW: Healthy Banana Honey Oat Pancakes

I have a thing for patriotic pancakes.  Especially healthy pancakes!

Well, it's What I Ate Wednesday time, folks.  Time to partay!
Or at least look at pictures of food.  Party in the houssseee!

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: Healthy Pancakes with Fruit

These pancakes have 4 simple ingredients.  Can you believe it?!
Here's a "recipe" for ya:

Banana, Honey Oat Pancakes
serves 1 (makes 3 pancakes)

1 large banana
heaping 1/3 cup quick oats
1 egg
1 tsp honey

First grind the oats in a mini food processor (or blender), then add in the banana.  Lastly, add in the egg and honey and combine.
Cook on an oiled griddle until golden (flipping halfway through the cooking process).

I topped mine with a smear of reduced fat peanut butter between the layers, fresh fruit and a drizzle of sugar free syrup.  Yum yum!

It makes me happy to think that I got at least 2 fruit servings in my first meal of the day :)

A.M. Snack: Cheese & Crackers

I had a quick snack of multigrain crackers with a cheese wedge.  Just enough to hold me over til lunch!

Lunch: Cheeseburger Wrap

For lunch, I used half of a leftover burger (made with 93% lean sirloin) and made a wrap.  In the mix--half a burger, romaine lettuce, pickles, ketchup & mustard on a low carb wrap.  I had a side of sad looking veggies and some sweet potato chips.

For lunch dessert (it's a thing), I tried a cookie my boss's wife had made.  It was tasty.  Speaking of which, does anybody else's boss or coworkers bring junk food to your work environment??  I am mentally battling staying away from that junk in the mini kitchen back there.  "No, Nutty Bars.  Not today! I am a strong, independent woman and I do NOT need your chocolaty, peanut buttery wafer goodness!"

P.M. Snack: Apple & Almond Butter

I bought a few individual almond butter packets from Target for on the go snacks this week.  They are so yummy.  I like how grainy and salty Justin's almond butter is.  That's weird, right?  Well, it's delicious.  You should try it if you haven't.  
I had a big ole apple and some almond butter for my afternoon snack to tide me over until dinner.

Got home and had some iced coffee before boot camp.  I read somewhere that if you drink caffeine 30 minutes before you exercise, you'll have better performance.  I didn't prove that theory so much, but it was delicious and it kicked my tiredness in the bootay.

Cue the selfie.

Dinner: Leftovers Casserole 

Things may have gotten a little weird for dinner.  I'm not really sure.  I only have my judgement and my boyfriend's opinion.  We both loved it!

I had made BBQ pork loin chops with zucchini and corn for dinner on Monday and I planned to use the leftovers last night.

Now, I think I have been watching too much Chopped because I was convinced I needed to "transform" the ingredients.  So I made a leftovers casserole.  You should give it a go.  It's much better than just microwaving some meat and veg.

Leftovers Casserole
serves 2

2 leftover chopped BBQ pork loin chops (or you could use BBQ chicken..or just regular chicken)
1 1/2 cups brown rice (I used a microwavable bag and it was awesome)
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup leftover vegetables (I used zucchini and corn)
1/2 cup reduced fat or fat free sour cream
2 tbsp goat cheese
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
topping-- 1/2 cup white cheese & a sprinkle of dried basil

Combine all but the topping in a bowl and mix it up.
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees & spray a small casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread the mixture in the dish and top with cheese and dried basil.
Bake for 25 minutes & dig in!

I swear, this will not get you "chopped." ;)

Then for dessert, I did something I almost never do--I ate an actual serving of frozen yogurt.  I usually eat more than that!
Yay, portion control!

Also, I gotta give a shout out to my diet coach...well, she appointed herself as such.  Bizzy the dog barks at me every time I eat fro-yo.  Without fail.  She's probably just wanting it for herself, but I can guarantee she doesn't want me to eat it.

Such a little stinker!

Have a super fantastic week, all!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

WIAW: Spinach Dip Buffalo Turkey Sliders

So, it's a holiday week and I'm lazy.  In lieu of our normal What I Ate Wednesday shenanigans, I bring you a proposed party food.  You can make it for a party of one or twenty.  That part is up to you.

People loooove spinach dip with sweet Hawaiian bread at a party, no?

Well, this slightly spicy turkey slider topped with creamy spinach dip on a Kings Hawaiian bun will knock your socks off.  You will be barefoot with taste buds that are completely satisfied.

And you know what?  So quick, easy and delicious.  My favorite combo for dinner :)

Do it.

I think turkey burgers get a bad rep for being dry.  This turkey burger is not, by the way.

Spinach Dip Buffalo Turkey Sliders
serves 4 (serving--2 sliders each)

For the sliders:
1 lb ground turkey (I used 85% lean, but up to 93% lean would work beautifully)
2 tbsp buffalo sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
grilling rub or spice blend (I used one similar to this)

For the spinach dip (recipe adapted from Skinny Taste):
1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess moisture
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
3 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

For assembly:
Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls (I used honey wheat)
lettuce leaves (optional)

Combine spinach dip ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Mix all your slider ingredients together, except the rub and divide into 8 equal balls.  Form little patties and sprinkle with rub.  Grill the burgers for about 3-4 minutes per side or until done.
Toast your buns.  I used a grill pan for my sliders, then wiped it down and used it for the buns, as well.
Assemble burgers with lettuce on the bottom, a slider and a large spoonful of spinach dip.

**You can also make full sized turkey burgers using the same ingredients.  You will just portion the lb of ground turkey into 4 or 5 patties and cook a little longer.  Kings Hawaiian also has full sized sandwich buns. 

Holy yum, this is amazing!

I served mine as a quick weeknight meal with my new favorite method of preparing sweet potatoes (alongside some microwave steamed broccoli).
To make grilled sweet potato wedges for 2, clean 2 small to medium sweet potatoes and poke a hole with a knife.  Put them in a Ziploc, but leave a little bit unsealed.  Microwave for 5-6 minutes.  Cut the potatoes lengthwise in half, then in half again to make 4 wedges per potato.  Spray with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt  & garlic powder and grill in grill pan until crispy on the outside.  So much quicker than oven fries!

Ok, I hope everyone has a super fantastic holiday week!  See ya on the flip side!

Peas and Crayons