Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIAW: Cheesy Buffalo Meatloaf "Muffins" {30 Minute Meal!}

Peas and Crayons

Hello!  Happy Wednesday, all!
Got some fun eats to share with you today :)

Breakfast: Waffles!

Just some frozen waffles this morning.  But they were oh so good!  I buy these Walmart brand buttermilk waffles for my guy and decided to try some for myself.  For 150 calories for two, they are almost as nutritionally sound as my beloved Eggo Nutrigrain low fat waffles (that I usually eat).  Topped with strawberries and sugar free syrup and paired with some coffee, it was a yummy start to the day!

Morning Snack: Fruit Salad

This fruit salad is leftover from our Sunday brunch, and I'm really glad I packed it for a snack.  I have been feeling very blah about fruit lately, but it is probably because I'm eating the same apple or orange everyday.  This fruit was so tasty and refreshing that it made me crave more!

Lunch: Leftovers

I packed up some leftovers from Monday night's dinner to eat for lunch today.  This is actually a picture of my boyfriend's meal, because my salmon fell apart and looked pitiful in the picture.  Ha!
I just seasoned some thawed frozen salmon with salt and pepper and covered it in honey BBQ sauce.  Then I broiled it for about 4-5 minutes until it flaked apart (I tested the edge of a piece).  The sweet potato and frozen veggies were made in the microwave.  Talk about a quick dinner!

For lunch dessert I had a very deceptive coupon for was 25% off, and with me not being very math savvy, I thought this was great!  But, it was just a discount of 81 cents- ha ha!  See, it pays to do math!
Oh, well.  Still good!

I got an iced coffee with soy milk and sweetened with a Splenda..and a lovely salted caramel cake pop.

Bizzy fell asleep in the backseat after all the fun times she had on our lunch walk and playing with her best (dog) friend, Reggie.  She's so cute!

"She's taking my picture again, isn't she?" 

My afternoon at work was quite busy, so I held off on a snack until I got home.

I had a piece of 35 calorie bread toasted and smeared with natural crunchy peanut butter.  My favorite pre-workout snack (who are we's my favorite snack for any time!)

After boot camp, I headed home to make a 30 minute meal!

Dinner: Cheesy Buffalo Meatloaf "Muffins" & Roasted Vegetables

I wish I had more patience when taking my dinner pictures-lol!  But I am always ravenous by the time everything comes together, I just want to snap a quick pic and be done with it.  Well, hopefully it all translates as super appetizing  because it was!

I was going to make buffalo turkey burgers, but wanted something a little different, so I made some mini meatloaves in a muffin tin.  So much flavor in these little guys!  I actually went back for a third muffin after the pictures!

Here's the recipe:

Cheesy Buffalo Meatloaf "Muffins"
serves 4 (depending on how hungry you are)

1 lb lean ground turkey (or chicken or beef)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small-medium zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp buffalo wing sauce
1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
salt and pepper
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F degrees and grease 8 muffin tins with non-stick cooking oil.
Heat a small skillet  to medium heat (on the stove with non-stick spray) and saute the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes.  Add that and all other ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined.
Evenly divide the meat into 8 muffin tins, top with shredded cheese and extra buffalo sauce before baking, if desired (I used a little Italian blend cheese).
Bake for 25 minutes.  I drained mine on a paper towel after because of the extra moisture from the veggies.

Serve with roasted veggies (mine was cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts and mushrooms tossed in coconut oil and baked for 25 minutes in 425F degree oven).

Seriously.  Try them!

After dinner, I had a lite ice cream sandwich and then Bizzy and I played with her new fox toy (I call it "Foxy Cleopatra.")

picture recycled from here

Have a great rest of the week!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIAW: Roasted Veggie, Chicken & Quinoa Casserole

Hello, hello!  Happy Wednesday to you all :)

We've had a break in the cold weather and finally get to walk the dogs again (as you can see above).  Bizzy and Reggie are very happy about it, indeed. (My boyfriend is so nice to pose for a picture with them.  He looks thrilled, no?)

Wanna talk about food?  Ok, let's do it!
Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: Half PB English Muffin & Fruit Smoothie

I made a quick breakfast this morning of half of a toasted wheat English muffin smeared with natural peanut butter.  I also made a fruit smoothie that I didn't finish (until snack time).  It contained: 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup cherries, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, a sweetener packet and almond milk.  Yum!
Oh, I also had coffee.  It rarely makes it to the breakfast picture...

A.M. Snack: Muffin Top & Shake

I used to buy Vita Tops all the time, but found out Target had their own version of this 100 calorie delight for $2 less!  So, I had a chocolate muffin top with the rest of my shake from earlier.

Lunch: Taco Stuff Sweet Potato & Roasted Veggies

This looks like a mess in a bowl, but it was the most delicious lunch ever!  In the bowl is a medium sweet potato that I baked, topped with taco stuff (93% lean ground turkey cooked with diced chilies, corn and black beans) and cilantro, surrounded by roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts.  Pure amazingness.
Anyways, I ate this after we took the pups on a great lunch walk!

P.M. Snack: Cheerios!

I had brought an apple to work for afternoon snack but did not get a chance to eat it.  So, I made a snack to eat when I got home of 1/2 cup of Chocolate Crunch Cherrios with almond milk.  Bizzy watched.

Then I went to p.m. boot camp to get my twice weekly butt-kicking.;)

Dinner: Roasted Veggie, Chicken & Quinoa Casserole

Dinner was very tasty and simple to throw together.
I had made roasted cauliflower, brussels and broccoli on Monday, so my veggies were already cooked and ready for a casserole.  In case you are curious on how I roast my veggies, I usually cut them all about the same size, toss them in some sort of oil (here I used 1 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil), season them with salt and garlic powder and roast them for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.  I heart roasted veggies.  Forever-ever.

Here's how I made it:

Roasted Veggie, Chicken & Quinoa Casserole
serves 4

2 large chicken breasts, diced and cooked
1 cup roasted broccoli
1 cup roasted cauliflower & brussels sprouts
1 recipe of faux-fredo sauce (below)
1 cup quinoa, cooked (I didn't have quite enough quinoa to make this, so I added some whole wheat couscous to make this a full cup)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup of shredded cheese for the topping (I used Muenster)

Combine all except shredded cheese. Grease an 8x8 pan (with non stick cooking spray) and pour it all in.  Top with cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes.

"Faux-fredo" Sauce
makes 1 1/2 cups of sauce

1 1/2 tbsp light butter spread
1/4 cup flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 wedges Laughing Cow Swiss Lite cheese
salt & pepper

Heat a small skillet to low-medium and add butter and garlic.  Once the butter has melted, add in flour and whisk.  Pour the chicken broth in and whisk some more.  Let this cook for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat.

If you like this, you should check out my cajun quinoa casserole!

Clearly I have no patience for food photography when I'm hungry-ha!  Oh well...

For dessert I had a 100 calorie ice cream sandwich.  Bizzy watched.

Here's a picture of my little Bizzy girl after our walk yesterday.  Doesn't she look like a sleepy sea lion?

Ok, have a great week!  Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WIAW: Sweet Potato Chicken Enchilada Crunch

Hello, hello!!
Well, we finally had a little bit of snow here in the south.  By a "little bit" I mean it melted well before lunchtime.
But, it was Bizzy's first snow, so we had to get out there and take some pictures of her reaction.  She kind of loved it.  Doesn't she look like a deer in the snow above?  I love her deerly (sorry, couldn't resist).

Ok, onto the food stuff!

Peas and Crayons

I guess it's "Love your Veggies" month.  Cool.  I got a couple veggies in today..

Breakfast: 1/2 Bagel with Egg, Berries

My love affair with the over easy egg continues.  We bought bagels this past weekend, which we almost never do, but we wanted to try this bagel quiche (worth it!).  We did get whole wheat bagels, so that's something.  I had half of a wheat bagel with a Laughing Cow Swiss cheese wedge and an over easy egg.
Fresh strawberries and coffee on the side!

Such a satisfying start to the day!

Bizzy smelled the egg cooking and came to beg.  I think this is the only picture I have of her sitting in her "beg" hand is just petting her, not holding her up or anything.

Lunch: Stuffed Pepper Soup

I actually did not have time for a morning snack.  Usually I make time, but I had forgotten to pack a snack..and that really helped my decision making process ;)

So, I was starving at lunchtime.  Had a bowl of leftover Stuffed Pepper Soup.  I made a few changes to the recipe.  I added celery, carrot and 3 kinds of peppers.  So yummy!

For dessert I had a whole wheat cookie that I made Sunday.  This picture makes it look huge, but it was really about an average sized cookie.

Snack: Apple

Since I had lunch with my boyfriend, I asked him to bring me an apple for snack (since I ran out of the house forgetting to pack snacks).  I enjoyed it thoroughly.

But was hungry after work, so had a 35 calorie (healthy life, I think is the brand) piece of toast with Skippy natural crunchy peanut butter.

I needed this fuel for boot camp.  It was a booty burner for sure, with squats, lunges, dead lifts and more.  Wowzer.

 Dinner: Sweet Potato Chicken Enchilada Crunch & Broccoli

This dinner.  I mean.  It was epic.  Looks like a mess, but was so perfect.

I was in Subway last week getting a turkey sandwich for lunch and noticed they have a new sandwich.  This is it:

Enchilada drenched shredded chicken with cheese and Fritos on a flatbread.  Sounds innocent enough.
I looked it up and a 6" is 580 calories.  That's insane.

So, I took inspiration from that sandwich and created my own chicken enchilada crunch.
I was going to put this on a Hungry Girl Flatbread, but decided I'd rather have it on a sweet potato.

I am obsessed with sweet potatoes.

This is really, really good.  You should try it!

Sweet Potato Chicken Enchilada Crunch
serves 4

3 chicken breasts
3 tbsp taco seasoning
1 can enchilada sauce
1/2 cup corn chips (like Fritos--you can buy them in the little, bitty bags at the gas station..good portion control so you don't have a giant bag of chips in your house to tempt you!)
4 medium sweet potatoes

For the chili lime cheese sauce:
2 tbsp lite butter (like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp flour
1/2 can green chilies
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth
3 Laughing Cow Swiss cheese wedges
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a medium sized skillet on medium heat, coating the bottom of the pan with non-stick spray.  Season your chicken breasts and sear both sides in the pan, cover with enchilada sauce and cover the pan with a lid until the chicken can be shredded with forks (about 10-15 min).  Shred chicken and leave in the sauce for a few minutes to absorb.

While the chicken is cooking, microwave some sweet potatoes (I washed and pierced 4 medium sweet potatoes and microwaved them in a gallon Ziploc for about 13 minutes) and make your sauce.

For the sauce, heat a small sauce pan to medium and melt butter, add garlic and cook for a minute.  Add flour and whisk around.  Pour in a little chicken broth and whisk lumps out.  Add chilies, lime juice and additional chicken broth until it is the thickness you want.  It will thicken a little more upon cooking.  Add the cheese wedges, breaking up with your whisk.  Season with salt and pepper.

OMG, the sauce is so good!

Lay out your sweet potatoes on individual plates (I put two of mine in to-go containers for lunches) and smash them open with a fork.  Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1/4 of the shredded chicken to each potato (it's probably about 1/2 cup of chicken), top with sauce and a sprinkle of Fritos.

Add cilantro to the top, if desired.

Holy yum!

That's it for me!

Have a lovely rest of the week!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Project Lean and Clean, Part 2

Ok, so I might have been putting off getting this post together.  My millions and millions of food pictures can be pretty overwhelming!  But I am currently stuck at work because my car broke down (lucky?  unlucky?), waiting for my parents to pick me up (best parents ever!!!)...and now I finally have time to work on this-yay!
Too much of an explanation?  Maybe.

So, without further ado.  Here's part 2 of Project Lean & Clean!

I hope that this helps people come up with healthy meal plans and ideas.

Here's a little blurb to remind you all what this is about:

I thought it would be fun to do a quick round up of my self-imposed January challenge that I call Project Lean and Clean.  I have been posting these pics every weekday in January on my Instagram to help me with eating healthy, balanced meals full of all the good stuff.

*Keep in mind that I may have had an ice cream cone or occasional glass of wine after some of these food collages took place...I'm human ;)

I will include links to any recipes I used.

January 16

Breakfast:  Aldi Raisin Bran and an apple
Snack: Orange and a rice cake
Lunch: Leftover Grilled salmon and grilled veggie couscous
Dinner: Cauliflower "rice", fajita veggies and chicken (homemade), smashed black beans and fresh corn

January 17

Breakfast: Toast with pumpkin peanut butter (equal parts PB & pumpkin puree with cinnamon and honey) and a tropical smoothie containing frozen mango, pineapple, splenda and almond milk
Snack: Rice cake with pumpkin peanut butter, apple
Lunch: Leftover Cauliflower "rice", fajita veggies and chicken, smashed black beans and fresh corn (and a tortilla)
Dinner: Store bought wheat pizza crust with spinach, artichokes, mushrooms and parmesan cheese; roasted cauliflower and butternut squash

January 20

Breakfast: English muffin with pumpkin peanut butter, banana slices and honey
Snack: Pear and homemade granola bar
Lunch: Salad of spring mix with roasted butternut squash, salsa and a frozen black bean burger
Dinner: Stuffed Pepper Soup
January 21

This entire day's eats can be seen on this What I Ate Wednesday post (how's that for lazy?)

January 22

Breakfast: Aldi Raisin Bran with banana
Snack: Pear, almonds
Lunch: Some salsa verde chicken soup my mom made, grilled cheese and roasted cauliflower..followed by a cookie bite
Dinner:  Spaghetti Squash Primavera

January 23

Breakfast: Whole wheat English muffin with 1 egg, plus 1 egg white
Snack: apple, homemade granola bar
Lunch: This was a canned soup.  I think it was Progresso heart healthy black bean and vegetable.  Pretty  good..
Dinner: Leftover Spaghetti Squash Primavera topped with a piece of chicken that I baked with pesto on it.

 January 24

Breakfast: Whole wheat English muffin with natural peanut butter, banana and honey
Snack: apple, homemade granola bar
Lunch: Salad with leftover pesto chicken and veggies..followed by a Starbucks salted caramel cake pop
Dinner: Spinach Tortellini Soup (except I added zucchini and mushrooms)

January 27

Breakfast: Chocolate Toast Crunch with strawberries
Snack: apple, homemade granola bar
Lunch: salad with deli roast beef, edamame, cottage cheese and tomatoes..followed by half of a funfetti cupcake (that I made for a friend's bday)
Dinner: Taco Soup

January 28

This whole day's eats can be found on this What I Ate Wednesday post!!

January 29

Breakfast: English muffin with pumpkin peanut butter and bananas
Snack: homemade granola bar
Lunch: Leftover pumpkin enchilada casserole
Dinner: Israli Couscous with veggies and roasted pork loin (I used this recipe)

January 30

Breakfast: Overeasy egg on a half of an English muffin
Snack: Chocolate Toast Crunch cereal with almond milk and an apple
Lunch: Leftover pork loin and couscous
Dinner: Baked crusted tilapia, quinoa pasta with (jarred) butternut squash sauce and steamed broccoli

January 31

Breakfast: Over easy egg over half English muffin with tomatoes and provolone (under the egg), strawberries
Snack: Chocolate Toast Crunch cereal with almond milk
Lunch: Panda Express--I had the mushroom chicken and some sort of pepper chicken (basically the only non-fried entrees) and mixed veggies.  I did not finish this plate, just so you know.  Way too much food!
Dinner: Microwaved sweet potato topped with steamed broccoli, slices of turkey sausage and a little cheese.

Ok, so that about wraps things up!  Thanks for sticking with me! :)  This challenge was very helpful for me to visually see what I eat and a way to mindfully make better choices on normal days (not just WIAW days).

I doubt that I'll do another challenge where I flood people's social media newsfeeds with my daily eats, but there will always be What I Ate Wednesday for a peek into my current food obsessions.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WIAW: Healthy Supreme Pizza Spaghetti Pie {Low Calorie, Low Carb}

What if I told you you could have pizza for under 250 calories?  Plus you can have spaghetti on top of all that?  And get a serving or two of vegetables at the same time? Too good to be true?

I think not.'ll have to wait, because I have other eats to discuss today before that recipe.

Peas and Crayons

It's What I Ate Wednesday time!!!  Yay :)

Breakfast: Egg & Bacon

Oh, how I love over easy eggs!  I had an over easy egg (that my boyfriend cooked for me--best boyfriend ever award!!!) on half of an English muffin with some precooked bacon and grapefruit slices.  Mixing it up for breakfast!  Loved this change from my usual thang.

Morning Snack: Cheerios

I have been loving cereal as a snack lately.  I just measure out a serving of cereal in a Ziploc and have a little tupperware container filled with 1/2 cup of almond milk.  Perfect to take on the go!  These are the new Dark Chocolate Crunch Cheerios.  I like them alot, but I gotta say, the Chocolate Toast Crunch I had last week was 10 times better (although it was like 20 more calories a serving--no big deal).

Lunch: Sweet Potato and Roasted Veggies

For lunch I had prepared these little containers of goodness the night before.  I roasted brussels sprouts, zucchini, squash and red peppers (in 400F degree oven for about 25 minutes) and "baked" sweet potatoes in the microwave.  This lunch was super flavorful and low calorie!  FTW!

Afternoon Snack: Apple

Surprised to see an apple on WIAW?  No?
Yeah, I had another apple today.  It was pretty tough to stay on track having to cut my apple in this kitchenette, surrounded by junk food:

I mean...really?  There are 3 of us in this office and my bosses know that I don't eat that junk.  Why oh why do we need 3 boxes of chocolates, snack cakes, chips, etc.?  It's infuriating, I tell ya.
So, just figured I'd let you know that I am tempted on a daily basis..but luckily most of my snacks stay at my desk with me and I don't go to the kitchen that much (I took this picture when I was heating up my coffee).

Moving on...

I made a winner of a dinner tonight!

Dinner: Pizza Spaghetti Pie

I had 1/4 of the below recipe with a side of roasted broccoli (roasted in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes).  Such a yummy and veggie-fied dinner!

Healthy Supreme Pizza Spaghetti Pie 
serves 4 

Small to medium spaghetti squash
Medium zucchini, shredded
Turkey breakfast sausage (you could also use ground turkey)
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup pizza sauce (low sugar, preferably)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp pizza seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
*note--black olives would be great in this..but I didn't have any

Cut your spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp (and discard), lay the halves face down on a plate with a little bit of water in it.  Microwave until done.  My spaghetti squash was on small side and it was done in 8 minutes.  (You can also bake the spaghetti squash in the oven, but it takes a million years.)
While the spaghetti squash is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat and throw the onions and green peppers in.  Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the sausage.  Season with 1 tsp of pizza seasoning and the garlic.  Break it into pieces and cook until browned.
Scoop out the "noodles" of the spaghetti squash and all the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.  Taste and season more, if needed.
Spread into a greased 8x8 pan and cook at 350F degrees for an hour.

Add a little extra pizza sauce on the top and a sprinkling of parmesan (optional) before serving.

*note--next time I'll probably try and squeeze as much moisture from my veggies prior to cooking, because it released a little water in the pan.  No biggie, but just thought I'd mention it.

I hour is a long time, but it's totally worth it!  

You get the taste of pizza without the carbs from the crust or the fat from the cheese.  Normally I would weep missing these two ingredients, but this was very good and you should try it!!! 

(mine was 233 calories per serving, but of course that varies by whatever brand of sausage or sauce you use)
recipe adapted from PaleOMG

After a delicious dinner, I had a low sugar ice cream sandwich.  I forgot to take a picture of it before I hoovered it, but here is another one in the package...and a cute dog photo bomb!

Have a super fun day!

Oh, before I go, let me try a new thing:

Question of the day: Do you deal with food temptation at work while trying to eat healthy?  Or even at home?  How do you deal?

It's so much easier for me to control it at home, because I do the grocery shopping.

If you feel like answering the question in the comment, that's cool.  If not, that's cool too!

Ok, peace out!