Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIAW: Southwestern Meatloaf Burgers

Good Morning! (...or good day or good evening...I have no way of knowing when you are reading this.)

It's been another lovely week of fall weather and activities for this gal.  Looks like this week is going to be warmer, though, so I'll probably hold off on making & eating soups for a couple more days.

Anyways, I shall move on to the food, but be sure and come back Friday for a cute little post I have planned.  I know, it's been a while since I've blogged 3 days in one week!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Breakfast: Cheesy Egg Muffin with Jam

My old favorite breakfast is back!  Egg beaters (1/3 cup), some melty Muenster cheese and strawberry jam on a light whole grain English muffin.

Always a winner!


A.M. Snack: Fruit & Bar

This snack was all about convenience foods.  No prep work for me!  These grapefruit segments were kind of bitter, being that there was no sugar, but still pretty good and much easier than cutting a grapefruit myself.

Tried this new Fiber One's actually "for kids" according to the label, but you're only as young as you feel, am I right?

For only a 110 calories, the bar was pretty yummy and satisfying, but sort of on the small side.

I also drank a Lifewater.  This is my favorite flavor!

Lunch: Tuna Melt Wrap, Pretzels, Carrots

After walking the puppies, I whipped up a quick wrap/quesadilla thingy for lunch that included: a light Flat-Out wrap, prepackaged tuna salad in the pouch (90 calorie pouch), cheese and baby spinach.  I just kind of toasted it on the griddle to get the cheese melty.
On the side I had a couple buffalo flavored pretzel thins and baby carrots.

For dessert:

Gosh, I am really promoting the Fiber One brand today (send me free stuff, Fiber One!!!).

Dinner: Southwestern Meatloaf Burger with Sweet Potato & Broccoli

Dinner was kind of an accident.
Yesterday I was having one of those days...
Those days when I run a little behind for exercise because I was chopping peppers and onions.
The kind of day where I put my contacts in my eyes before exercise and I still have pepper juice on my hands and my eyeballs sting like a thousand burning suns.
It was the kind of day, I don't feel like making a meatloaf.  I don't wanna wait for it to cook.
So I kind of formed this mixture into patties...that barely held together.  But tasted pretty great.

Here's what I used:

Southwestern Meatloaf Burgers
makes 8 patties

olive oil
1 diced jalapeno
1/2 diced poblano pepper
1/2 diced red pepper
1/4 diced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1 lb lean ground sirloin
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can corn
1/2 cup low fat cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp egg beaters

Coat a pan in a little olive oil and saute the onion and peppers for 5 minutes, add the garlic in and saute for another 2 minutes.  Dump the pepper mixture into a bowl with all other ingredients and mix well.
Form into patties.  I measured each patty with a 1/2 cup measuring cup.
Cook on the most non-stick surface you can find.  I used my pancake griddle sprayed with non-stick spray.  I guess you could also bake these in the oven, if you want.  Cook until done.

For a mistake, they turned out pretty nicely.  Lots of flavor, indeed!

After dinner, I whipped out a delicious frozen yogurt.

I like Ben & Jerry's fro yo flavors, but they are slightly higher in calories than my favorite Kemp brand of frozen yogurt, so I try to portion them in a cone to control my intake.

This was actually the perfect amount.

Bizzy wants some too!  Sorry, Bizz.  No people food for you!

In case you missed my super rare Monday post: My Favorite Soups & Chilis

Thanks for reading!  Have a lovely rest of the week!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Favorite Soups & Chilis

We turned on the heat last week.  It seems like most people try and hold off on turning on the heat, but I was kind of stoked.  Turning on the heat means it's officially soup weather!  My favorite!
I make at least a soup or chili once a week during the fall/winter months.  Here are a few of my most recommended soups/chilis!

This first one is my absolute favorite.  Can't get enough of it.  So decadent tasting, but hearty and wholesome at the same time.

I love any kind of tortilla soup, so this rocks my socks, as well.  Topped with avocado and tortilla strips, it will convert a soup hater to a soup lover.

I think we all know that I am obsessed with buffalo flavors.  This soup gives me that slightly spicy buffalo flavor with veggies and shredded chicken.

This one was based on an old Weight Watcher taco soup recipe and is by far my most pinned recipe of all times.  With good reason...because it's soooo yummy!

This soup is a little different with a lovely creamy texture and a slight kick.  Sweet crab meat on the top just takes you to tastebud Nirvana.  It's a place.

This is an old favorite of mine.  Just regular healthy chili with some zucchini thrown in.  An easy weeknight meal that is so very tasty!

Other favorite soups I haven't really shared the recipe for:

I loved each of these so very much!  I've made the chicken chili 2 or 3 times.  It is always a winner.  The other two are new favorites that will likely repeat themselves eleventy bajillion times in the next few months.

Ok, well I hope you find a soup to make from my little soup round-up.  I kind of want them all right now!

See ya for What I Ate Wednesday ;)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIAW: Skinny Buffalo Chicken "Alfredo" with Spaghetti Squash

Hello, hello!  I'm back for another What I Ate Wednesday!
I decided to sit out last week.  I was on vacation in Florida (and Louisiana for one day) taking 5 bajillion pictures of the beautiful sky and water...and birds.  Also, I eat really randomly on vacation.  It's like normal meal times mean nothing when I'm out of town.
I'm normally such a creature of I'm sure you have noticed.
If you follow my Instagram, you can see more pics of my vacay.

Ok, back to the food!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Breakfast: Oats!

For breakfast, I made a quick packet of Quaker's date, walnut oatmeal with some almond milk and frozen blueberries.  Coffee happened...and then happened again shortly thereafter.

 Snack: Granola Bar

I tried a sample of these yummy bars in the grocery store this weekend.  I liked them and my mom bought some for us to share.  You get two delicious bars for 190 calories.  Not too shabby.  Although they are kind of small.  Here's my hand for size comparison.

Lunch: Veggie & Spinach Tortellini Soup

Boy, was lunch a winner!  I made Shutterbean's spinach tortellini soup on Monday (here's a picture of it before all the broth got absorbed).  I added mushrooms, carrots and celery to the original recipe.  It was so freaking delicious.  When the soup sat in the fridge overnight, it absorbed alot of the broth, that's why it just looks like a giant bowl of pasta ;)
I made a half grilled cheese on the side, simply using a slice of wheat bread and some shredded mozzarella.

We also walked the dogs.  Here's Bizzy after the walk:

She's such a beauty!  Her neck is soaking wet from playing with Reggie.  Gross, but true.

Speaking of my little puppy girl, her first birthday is next week!  I'm so excited to celebrate with her.  Nothing big, don't worry.  I'm not that much of a crazy dog lady ;)

Anyways, we stopped and got an iced coffee on my way back to the office.


Snack: Fresca & Fruit

Around 4:30 I needed a snack to hold me over until boot camp, so I chose these peaches and Fresca.  So tasty and filled me up until dinner!

Dinner: Skinny Buffalo Chicken "Alfredo" with Spaghetti Squash

This meal turned out alot uglier than intended.
But it tasted really good and was really healthy!
I cooked a spaghetti squash in the microwave (kind of overcooked it, to be honest) and made my favorite faux alfredo sauce.  I also had put 2 big chicken breasts in the crockpot with 2 parts chicken broth, 1 part buffalo sauce that morning and shredded it once cooked.
So, I tossed the chicken in with the spaghetti squash and coated everything in "alfredo."
Topped it all with buffalo sauce and some bleu cheese crumbles.
Grilled zucchini on the side!

Yummier than it looks, I promise!

After dinner, my calorie app informed me that I had plenty more calories for some fro yo!

I had a small bowl of Kemp's cookies & cream low fat frozen yogurt.

Then, Bizzy fell asleep like this on the couch.

What a goof!

Have a great rest of the week!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WIAW: Healthy Squash Gratin

Hey hey hey!  Guess what day it is?  
Actually, you probably already know that it's Wednesday.
I should give you more credit.
But, more's What I Ate Wednesday.  
Always an exciting time!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

As usual, I didn't know the theme for October's WIAWs..even though it was probably the same last year.  So don't expect too many spooky snacks ;)

Breakfast: Eggs, Toast

I have been super not creative in the breakfast department lately.  I need to incorporate some pumpkin into my breakfasts...maybe next week.  On this day I had 1 egg and 1 egg white with a piece of wheat toast.  Coffee on the side.

Snack: Apple & Graham

I love it when apple season rolls around because there are so many varieties at the grocery store.  I picked up this cute little Michigan apple at the store...and I think it's more of a baking apple.  It's not as crisp as a gala or fuji apple.  Still good, though!  I also had a graham cracker square with some crunchy peanut butter alongside my little apple.

Had to fuel up for my walk with this gal:

She's obviously very excited about it.  Ha!

Lunch: Soup & Bread

Yay!  My favorite part of Fall!!  I love making homemade soups.  It's a labor of love..with all the chopping and layering of flavors.
I made my absolute favorite White Bean Soup (<--click for recipe).  I used zucchini in place of the green pepper and mini penne pasta in place of the orzo.
For my bread I made this amazing Cheesy Italian Quick Bread from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life.  It was so perfect!  Like a cheesy, fluffy biscuit.

As if lunch weren't filling enough, we topped it off with some coffee and a pumpkin cookie.

This cookie is a product of some recipe testing I did on Sunday night to try and recreate the Starbucks pumpkin shaped sugar cookie.  I used Martha Stewart's recipe.  I have a few more tweaks to make before they are right.  Also, I didn't have any black icing for the it just looks like an orange blob.  Sigh.

Snack: PB Toast

I seriously needed this toast before my boot camp workout.  It was tough and I'm glad I had the fuel.

Dinner: Tilapia, Squash Gratin, Veggies

For dinner I cooked some quick tilapia with some steamed veggies to accompany the most amazing side dish ever!

When I got home from working out, I got to work on this super delicious squash basically was like a mac & cheese without the mac.  And with veggies.  Um, okay.  I guess it was just cheesy veggies.
I modified this recipe from Food Network Magazine (aka the best magazine in existence).

I think I need to make this at least once a week.  It was that good.

Healthy Squash Gratin
serves 4 as a side dish

1 small butternut squash, peeled, cored & cubed (I bought mine already cut up in the produce section)
1 kabocha squash (roundish and it), peeled, cored & cubed
olive oil
1/3 of a yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup broth (I used beef broth, chicken or veggie would work too)
1/2 cup reduced fat half and half
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese 

Microwave your cubed squash for about 3-4 minutes or until fork tender.  
Coat the bottom of a large, oven proof skillet with olive oil and heat to medium heat.
Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, then throw in the garlic for an additional 2 minutes.
Add the squash, salt and pepper and broth and cook until most of the broth is gone.  Add half and half, cheeses, then bread crumbs on the top.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Serve hot!  Yum!

Next time I make this, I'll take a better picture of it...I promise ;)

I was so stuffed from dinner, I thought I could resist trying some cookies I was baking up for my friend's birthday.

I thought wrong!
Good thing a tester cookie has zero calories, right?  Right???
I used this recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I'll leave you with a picture of the world's cutest hot dog!

Happy Wednesday!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WIAW: So Much Color!

Peas and Crayons

Hi-dee-ho!  How's everyone on this beautiful Wednesday?

I felt like this week's WIAW was kind of boring.  I guess I feel like that when I don't have a recipe for you.  I try to come up with a new recipe every Wednesday, but let's get real..sometimes life just doesn't work that way.  So today was just a normal day of eating with some leftovers.

There was alot of colors, though.  So, that's something ;)

Alright.  Here we go!!

Breakfast: PB English Muffin 

I had plans to wake up early and make some pumpkin pancakes, but you know how that goes.  So, I got up at regular time and threw together a quick breakfast of a toasted wheat English muffin with crunchy (reduced fat) peanut butter, banana slices and a drizzle of honey.  I also had two mugs of coffee.

A.M. Snack: Berries

For Snack I had some kind of dry strawberries.  But they held me over til lunch and that's what matters.

Lunch: Subway

You'll notice that all my plans today went awry..but that's okay!  My guy was doing some yard work for his uncle so we met for some quick Subway.  I had plans to make the salad you'll see later (we had it for dinner, instead).  I ordered a 6" ham sub with no cheese and all the veggies.  So colorful and delicious.  I also nabbed a handful of my boyfriends Sun Chips.

I'd like to say that I had to be talked into going to get frozen yogurt after lunch, but I think it was pretty much in the stars.  We actually split a froyo this time.  It was just as good.  And half the price, obviously.
I think there was cookies & cream froyo, cake batter froyo, sprinkles, Oreo, Butterfinger, cookie dough and fudge sauce.  Yes, we go big or go home.

P.M. Snack: Instant Latte

Later in the afternoon, I made an instant pumpkin spice latte.  Definitely not as good as Starbucks, but soooo much cheaper and alot less calories.  FTW!

Got home and walked Bizzy, then went to boot camp and got my butt kicked.  Thank goodness I didn't have to cook!

Dinner: Leftover Fajita Salad

For dinner, I whipped up some leftover fajita fixins on a bowl of lettuce.  Here's everything in the bowl: romaine lettuce, whole grain rice blend, black beans, corn, sauteed peppers and onions, zucchini and mushrooms, shredded (reduced fat) cheddar cheese, avocado, greek yogurt with some ranch seasoning, buffalo sauce.  It was pretty dang good.  And just look at those colors!  Lovely.

After dinner, I had my latest drink obsession: Fresca with fresh mint in my big ole wine glass.
Zero calories and so refreshing!

The evening ended with puppy cuddles with this little girl.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!!!