Planning Ahead

Mac N’ Cheesey (click for printable recipe)

One of the keys for me staying on track is having dinner already prepared and ready.  If I make extra of something, I preportion it, and put it in the freezer for a quick meal. 

Lately though I’ve been falling into the convenience trap.  Well we’ve been traveling a lot, so we’ve been constantly going out.  It’s been hard to get back into the swing of things when you get out of it for a few days…weeks. 

In an effort to get back on track I made two things yesterday:  Mac N’ Cheesey (my absolute favorite recipe) and shredded chicken for tacos.  I’ve already portioned each and put them in the freezer for the week.

I’ve also climbed back on the ‘ol treadmill.  It was tough, but I felt GREAT after my workout.  *Bonus* I always workout to an online show (my computer faces my treadmill) and guess what I found on CBS?  Full episodes of Family Ties and other classics.  Woohoo!

I’m also working on my meal plan for the week.   Weight loss is definitely all about planning ahead!

Shredded Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Packet Taco Seasoning (low sodium)
  • 1c. Fat Free Chicken Broth
  • 1lb.  99% Fat Free Boneless Chicken (all fat trimmed)

DIRECTIONS:

Place ingredients in a crock pot on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours until chicken falls apart with fork.

WWP:  3pts per 1/2c.

Spring Pasta Salad

This salad deserves it’s own post – it’s that good. Oh my.

Spring Pasta Salad
(Click here for a Printable recipe)

I don’t have a lot of experience with asparagus or squash. In fact I’ve exhausted a lot of energy avoiding these two vegetables quite successfully for the last 20ish years. Last week though for some reason I brought them both home from the grocery store and came up with this pasta salad. I hope you try it – I really like it, and the husband actually ate it.

Look at the nutritional information for Asparagus! It’s crazy good for you!

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Grill Asparagus and squash on indoor grill until soft. Set aside to cool.

  1. Slice tomatoes, olives, pepperoni & cheese into bite size pieces.

  1. In a large bowl combine pasta (cooked), veggies and fat free Italian dressing.
  2. Serve or cool in refrigerator.

Yield: 8cups
WWP: 3 (1/2c portion)

Click here for printable recipe of Spring Pasta Salad

Week Rewind

We all know I haven’t been blogging this week, so what have I been up to?

Saturday:  My husband, and fellow youth group leader, took our teens to see The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian.    It was another great movie by Disney.  It did deviate from the book a little too much for my husbands liking, but if you don’t study the works of C.S. Lewis on a daily basis you probably wouldn’t have noticed the difference.  I certainly didn’t.  I’m sorry to say that I did indulge in a little movie theather popcorn.  Bad, Amanda.  I could should have brought my own snacks like one of these choices:  Kettle Korn Mini Bag (1 Point) , Fiber 1 Bar (3 points for the Peanut Butter one), even taking Almond M&M’s(5 points) would have been better than the fatty-full-of-bad-calories Movie popcorn.  Oye.

For more choices read:  Eat Smart at the Movies

SundayAfter church we met friends at Old Orchard Beach for a little seaside fishin’.  It was positively freezing!!!  I didn’t last too long so my friend Jessica and I went home to prepare the feast:

Jessica’s Homemade Salsa – 0pts per 1/2c.
(Click for Printable Recipe!)

Grilled Hamburgers, Hotdogs and Brats and…

Spring Pasta Salad – 3pts per 1/2c.
(Click for Printable Recipe!)

OK, my fingers are tired from typing.  I need to refuel, get some lunch and then I’ll be back to share more good times from last Monday to today. 

Black Bean Bonanza (Burgers and BROWNIES!)

I’m sorry; I couldn’t resist the alliteration.

I was craving a burger today. Real. Bad. I really didn’t want to halt any progress though so I began to look for alternatives. I’m not extremely comfortable with the idea of eating weird vegetarian food quite yet. I get very hot and flustered in “that” section of the grocery store, so I was thrilled when I found a Black Bean Burger recipe online. I actually had all the ingredients too. That never happens! The Result: Burger Heaven

Click “read more” for Black Bean Burger and Black Bean Brownie Recipe!!!

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A love affair with Ellie K. and her Smoothies

Ellie Krieger has got to be one of my favorite Food Network personalities.  She not only makes healthy food, but it’s delicious and easy.  My husband bought me her new cookbook The Food You Crave for Valentine’s Day this year and I haven’t put it down since.  I can’t say the same for many of the other cookbooks on my shelf.  Oh look, here is part of my shelf now…

Buy the green one!  It’s Great!

This morning I flipped to dog-eared page 18, Blueberry Blast Smoothies.  Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!   We ate all our blueberries earlier in the week, so I substituted strawberries and added a little flax seed and it turned out amazing!  Let me walk you through it…

Gather ingredients:  FF yogurt, FF milk, Frozen Strawberries and Flax Seeds (optional), oh and honey!  I always forget the honey!

Add 1/2c. FF yogurt and 1/2c. of FF milk to the blender

Add 1 rounded cup of Frozen strawberries

Measure out 1 tsp. of Flax seeds.  Aren’t they pretty?

Add them to the blender

1 tbsp. honey

Blend until smooth.  I let it run about a minute.

See the flaxies in it?

Enjoy!

Recipe makes 1 serving (appox. 12oz)

Each serving is 3 pts/4pts with optional flax seeds

 

A Taste of Morocco

I was feeling adventurous today so I decided to try a new recipe, and then I modified it to something completely different and came up with:  Moroccan Chicken Soup.   And, well it’s delicious!

 Moroccan Chicken Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can of Garbanzo beans (Chick peas)
  • 6 cups FF low sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Durham Semonila (couscous)
  • 6oz. prepackaged Chicken, diced into 1″ pieces (I use Perdu Short Cuts)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp sweet Paprika
  • 1 can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups chopped spinach
  • 2-4 tbsp. fresh basil (2 dried or 4 fresh)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Mince 6 cloves of garlic.

2.  Chop onion and 3-4 cups baby spinach.

3.  Add EVOO to pot and saute onions and garlic until translucent.

4.  Add diced tomato (with juices) and chicken stock and bring to a soft boil.

5.  Add chicken and couscous to the pot.  

Measure couscous carefully and only put it recommended amount.  It swells with cooking!  See how I careful measured?  I only got a teeny bit on the counter.

6.  When couscous is done cooking, add the Garbanzo beans and spinach.

7.  Heat through on low until warm.  Add fresh basil and parika at the end.

8.  Serve

9.  Enjoy

10.  Portion.  I divide the soup into 1 1/2 c. portions to freeze for lunches.

11.  Label.  It’s much easier to label than remember!

12.  Leave on the counter to cool, then put in the freezer!  This recipe makes 8 – 1 1/2c. portions.  Each portion (1 1/2c comes out to 3 pts).