Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIAW: Eggplant "Meat"balls and Healthy Shepherd's Pie for Two

Good Morning!  Or afternoon...or night.  Whenever you are reading this ;)
I tell ya, I am loving this Fall weather!  It's my happ-happiest time of the yeaaarrr.  I know that is supposed to be Christmas, but there is something magical about Fall.

So, anyways.  Here's some stuff I've been eating.

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: Egg, Bagel, Berries

For breakfast I cooked up some liquid egg whites (sounds appetizing, huh?) and put them on half of an everything bagel.  Sliced strawberries and coffee on the side.

Morning Snack: Yogurt

I enjoyed this yummy yogurt around 10:30 to hold me over until lunch.

Lunch: "Meat"ball Sandwich & Veggies

For lunch I had some leftover eggplant "meat"balls on a wheat ciabatta roll with some leftover roasted veggies.  My recipe is here for the "meat"balls.  The only difference is this time I added one shredded zucchini and a clove of garlic and used egg whites instead of whole eggs.  So tasty!

Since it was rainy, my guy and I decided to skip walking the dogs and head to Starbucks for a coffee date of overpriced lattes!

It was super fun, of course!

I had a tall, soy pumpkin spice latte with half the amount of syrup.  I find that the full amount of syrup is just too sweet for me.  A salted caramel cake pop on the side!  Such a treat :)

I was so full from lunch!  It wasn't until I got home at 5 that I started to hear the siren call of the peanut butter toast.

Late Afternoon Snack: PB Toast

Oh, peanut butter toast.  I just can't quit you.

This is Sarah Lee Delightful 45 calorie wheat toast with Skippy natural chunky peanut butter.

Since I got home a little early, I decided to take my sweet puppy girl, Bizzy, on a walk in the neighborhood.
She had a blast!
If you'll notice in the picture she is not pulling me as much.  She's doing great at her training!

After our walk, I headed out to boot camp and holy sprints, it was difficult!

Dinner: Healthy Shepherds Pie for Two

We had 2 leftover hamburgers from Sunday that I wanted to use in some way, so since we had just watched Cutthroat Kitchen on Food Network and they made shepherd's pie...I was inspired.

So, let me see if I can remember everything I put in this "pie," shall we?

Healthy Shepherd's Pie for Two

2 leftover hamburgers (or like 1/3 lb ground meat, cooked), chopped
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 small zucchini, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
chicken broth
4 mini red potatoes, microwaved until fork tender
salt, pepper, cumin, curry, paprika
Parmesan cheese
olive oil for cooking veggies

Heat some olive oil in a medium skillet (enough to cover the pan to prevent sticking) on medium heat.  Throw in the onions and carrots and cooked until softened (about 6 minutes), add in garlic and zucchini and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking smash your potatoes and add chicken broth and salt (to taste).  You can either mash them by hand or use an immersion blender.  I used the blender to whip them.  I probably added 1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth.  Just add a little at a time while blending until you get the consistency you like.
In the skillet with the veggies, throw in the meat and about 1/3 cup chicken broth.  Add in the spices (to taste) and reduce the sauce by cooking for an additional 5 minutes or so.
Spray 2 oven safe bowls with non-stick spray and add half of the filling to each, topping with half of the potato mixture.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and paprika on the top of the potatoes and cook in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.

*note-you could totally leave the meat out of this recipe and it would be just as tasty!

These were really yummy!  Next time I will double the recipe and bake it in a larger dish, probably.

After dinner, I measured out a measly serving of vanilla fro yo (1/2 cup).  Meh.  It did the trick.

Have a great rest of the week!
Be sure to check out my healthy taco roll ups on Endless Simmer!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIAW: Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup

Happy Wednesday!  I can't believe it's almost officially Fall!  
Cooler weather means more time spent outside.  We took Bizzy the Dog on her first hike ever this past weekend.  She loved it!!!
She looks so grown in this picture!
She also started a training program this week, so I'll be sure to update you on how she's doing with that down the road.  She is so smart and loves learning things, so I know she will make me proud.

Ok, sorry.  I'm one of those ladies who loves to talk about her fur-babies :)
On to the eats!!

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: Waffles & Berries

I had plans to get up a few minutes earlier to make some oat and banana pancakes, but that didn't happen.  So, freezer waffles it is!  These are my favorite (and lowest calorie I've found) waffles: low fat Eggo Nutrigrain waffles (140 calories for 2 waffles).  I enjoyed them with some sliced strawberries and sugar free syrup.  Coffee on the side!

Morning Snack: Oranges & Crisps

For morning snack I had opened a can of mandarin oranges (in fruit juice-no sugar added) and portioned them out in the fridge.  So, this is half a can of oranges.  I also had this little 100 calorie pack of pastry crisps.  They aren't bad, kind of taste like a thin Poptart.  I just wanted something extra with my oranges.

Lunch: Salad

For lunch I made salad (again).  I've been making at least 2-3 salads a week.  I'm back on my salad kick!
In the mix today: spring mix lettuce, oven roasted deli turkey, a hunk of goat cheese, shelled edamame, chopped green beans & a lite balsamic dressing (not pictured).  Delicious!
After lunch, I had an iced coffee.  Trying to lay off the Starbucks, so my bf brewed up some super strong coffee and we mixed it with a little sweetener and creamer.

Afternoon Snack: Apple

I packed this apple for snack and I'll tell ya, my brain did not want this apple.  My brain wanted chips, crackers, peanut butter, etc.  But I got hungry around 4 p.m. and sliced the dang apple.  It was delicious, so jokes on you, brain!

Dinner: Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup

I had forgotten how nice it is for dinner to be made for you in the crockpot!  I came home after boot camp and everything was done, so I didn't spend any of my evening preparing food....actually that's not entirely true.  I baked cookies to take to work (but that's another story).

Ok, so this soup--holy yum!  I was going to make my Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup, but didn't have the same ingredients, so I just made a different soup and it was soooo tasty!  I recommend that you make it ASAP!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup
serves 8

1/2 red onion, diced
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 ears of corn, sliced off the cob
1 bell pepper (I used 3 mini sweet peppers)
1 can canellini white beans
1 can chickpeas
1/2 can of diced tomatoes with chiles (aka Rotel)
1/2 cup verde (green) salsa
3 large chicken breasts
1 box chicken broth
2 tbsp spice rub (or 2 tbsp taco seasoning)
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
salt & pepper to taste

Spray crockpot with non-stick spray & lay the chicken breasts in the bottom of the pot.  Add in the veggies, beans & salsas.  Cover with chicken broth until there's about 1/2 inch of liquid above all the ingredients. Cook in the crockpot on low for 8 hours.  Shred the chicken with forks.  Stir in reduced fat sour cream. Top with avocado, tortilla strips & cheese (if desired).

After I ate my already prepared soup, I made a few dozen cookies.  Luckily, I only ate one tester cookie...for scientific research purposes...
I used the back of the Ghiradelli package recipe with a few modifications.  I lessened the sugar and made them with more brown sugar than white sugar, added 2/3 cup of oats and my fillers included chocolate chips, Heath toffee bits and pumpkin spice M&Ms.  So they are more like a monster cookie.

That does it for me.
Check me out later today or possibly Thursday on Endless Simmer...maybe they'll post my baked taco roll up recipe this week...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WIAW: White Bean Veggie Burgers

Peas and Crayons

Happy Wednesday, everyone!
It's been a great week!  I'm enjoying this last bit of summer weather while dreaming of new fall boots and all the lovely things to come.
This week I decided to dust off My Fitness Pal app on my phone and count some calories.  I hope you see a difference from last week.
Mostly, I just need to stop eating so many treats, you feel?

Ok, let's go!

Breakfast: Spinach Omelet, Toast & Strawberries

The day started off right with 1/3 cup of egg whites, 1/2 cup of frozen spinach (cooked) with a little reduced fat cheddar on top.  Strawberries, wheat toast and pumpkin spiced coffee on the side.  Yum!
You like my new red table?  I guess you can't make the assumption that it is cute based on this picture, but it is.  Trust me.  When we finally get the kitchen remodel complete, I'll do some before and after pics.

Morning Snack: Nectarine & Almonds

For snack, I very shoddily cut up a nectarine and had a 100 calorie pack of almonds.  I really don't care much for natural almonds, I've decided.  I much rather prefer the salted and roasted kind.

Lunch: Leftover Healthy "Alfredo" Pasta with Chicken

Lunch was leftovers from the previous night.  I portioned out exactly 4 servings of the dinner and quickly put the leftover portions in containers in the fridge.  That way I can't go back for more bites!  I know myself ;)
Ok, so in the mix is whole wheat rotini pasta, frozen spinach, my healthy alfredo sauce and grilled chicken.  Pretty darn tasty, if I do say so myself.

Ok, so I have gotten so used to having sweets after both lunch and dinner (naughty!) that I've decided to replace most sweets with tea.  That way it gives me a little pick me up and completes my meals.

I had 2 mugs of green tea after I got back to the office.

This is how I feel when I drink alot of tea.

If you guys are on Facebook, check out the Bitstrip comics.  You can design your own avatar (doesn't that look exactly like me-LOL-I'm kidding) and there are a bunch of premade comics you can post.  Fun!

Afternoon Snack: PB2 & Graham Crackers

Ok, so I'm totally obsessed with eating peanut butter toast before I go workout.  I do it almost every day.  I did NOT do it Monday...but Tuesday (the day I take pics for WIAW) I was jonesing.
So, I found an alternative that is fewer calories.  Graham cracker squares with powdered peanut butter.
Powdered peanut butter is in no way nearly as delicious as regular PB, but the calories are like 3x or more lower (I'm not good at math).
You used to only be able to buy PB2 online, but I saw it at my Kroger the other day!  You mix the powdered PB with water to make a paste.  I added cinnamon to mine.

A pretty decent snack.
Then I prepped dinner to put in the fridge before heading to my boot camp workout.  It was a killer workout, indeed.

Dinner: White Bean Burger, Roasted Veggies

For dinner, I went totally veggie and roasted some cauliflower and green beans in the oven (for about 25 minutes at 425 degrees) and made some yummy burgers (I ate mine bunless, but you could add a bun if you like).

White Bean Veggie Burgers
makes 6 patties

1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained + rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
1/3 cup liquid egg whites
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 ear corn, cooked & cut from the cob
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed

Add the beans and chickpeas to a food processor with the egg, garlic, panko, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is just combined but also a bit coarse. Remove it and place it in a large bowl, then stir and mash in the corn and spinach. Form the mixture into 6 even patties.

Heat a large griddle and spray with non-stick cooking oil. Cook the patties (in batches, if necessary) on both sides until they are golden and warmed through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Make sure to be gentle when flipping them, and make sure that both sides are brown and crispy.

recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is blog

After dinner, I had plenty of calories left to have a lovely sugar cone with 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt!  Yay!

I did drink some sleepy time tea later in the evening, but did not take a picture.

I'll leave you with a super sweet picture of Bizzy!

Check out my (healthy) buffalo chicken dip over at Endless Simmer today!!!  Perfect for football or any type of gathering!

Have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WIAW: Following Recipes is Overrated & Some Links

Peas and Crayons

Well, hello there!
It's already Wednesday!!  Oh, how I love a short week.  I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day.  Mine was quite relaxing.  No labor for this gal ;)

Nothing too exciting today for What I Ate Wednesday, but I did try some new things.  So, let's get to it.

Breakfast: Honey & Ricotta English Muffin with Fruit

I saw this Ricotta Toast at A Beautiful Mess blog and thought it sounded interesting.  I did my own version on a toasted whole wheat English muffin.  I added skim ricotta, sliced strawberries and honey.  Pretty tasty!  Coffee on the side.

 A.M. Snack: Watermelon & Cereal

I originally packed watermelon for my snack, but at the last minute decided I needed to eat some Cinnamon Toast Crunch (which was on sale at the grocery this week!).  I put about 1/2 cup in a Ziploc.  It was very tasty, indeed.

Lunch: Mixed Veggie Salad with Meat & Cheese

After a quick walk with the dogs, I made some salads containing: baby romaine mixed lettuce, broccoli, fresh corn (sliced off the cob), cajun deli turkey, colby cheese and greek yogurt ranch dressing.
Such a perfect end of summer lunch!

My guy brought us some cake to share, too.
Mostly because I heavily suggested it ;)
I made this Texas Sheet Cake for the holiday weekend, but I made it in a 9x13 pan (and baked it about 10 minutes longer) and it was perfection.  Best cake ever.

Not the best picture ever, but trust me.  This is the cake you want to make...for every event.  Forever and ever.  Amen.

P.M. Snack: PB Toast

I did pack an apple to eat for afternoon snack, but I didn't get to it, so I had some whole wheat toast with natural crunchy peanut butter before heading to boot camp class.

Dinner: Ratatouille Pasta 

Remember last week, I was talking about my Food Network magazine?  This was a recipe I wanted to make from it.  So I did....and it was pretty good, though not very photogenic.
My first inclination with any recipe is to simply be inspired by it and not follow it.
I tried my darndest to follow this one, though.
Here's the recipe if you want to check it out: Ratatouille Pasta
I added mushrooms, red onion and subbed wheat lasagna noodles.
Anyways, next time I think I'll use a rotini veggie pasta and roast the veggies instead of grilling them.  Maybe I'll make my own recipe.
Following the recipe is sometimes overrated ;)

For dessert I had some Moose Tracks froyo, this brand.  I did not take a picture.

I'll leave you with some pictures of my sweet fur babies (well, Reggie is not technically my fur baby, but I love him like he is) and some fun links!
Bizzy the dog, Baby the cat, Boscoe, Reggie

A Few Links I must Share:
20 Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipes-I sent this link to my boyfriend, and he is very excited to try all of them!
Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup-I cannot wait to try this recipe--yum!
Butterscotch Banana Bread Oatmeal Bites-I tried these over the weekend.  So good!!  I will definitely be making them again.

Have a great rest of the week!!