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!!!

Continue reading

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).

 

Veggie Delight

It’s leap year, so technically today is an extra day! I celebrated by trying out a recipe I’ve always wanted to try: Spicy Black Bean and Zucchini over at Green Light Bites. Honestly, I really wasn’t prepared for it to knock my socks off because I thought I hated zucchini … well, I was wrong! It’s ridiculously good. You must try it. Right now. Go.

zuchinni.jpg

Start by chopping up a zucchini in teeny tiny bits
onions.jpg
Saute about 1/4c. of onions in a pan
black-bean-and-zuchinni-scramble.jpg
Mix in 1 8oz can of drained corn (or put a few handfuls of frozen corn, like I did), add 1 tsp. chili powder, 1/2tsp cumin and a 15oz can of drained black beans. Heat through and we’re done! That was easy wasn’t it? Full the full recipe click here.
This is where it gets good!
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Grill two corn tortillas on a stovetop grill sprayed with cooking spray (I use Mission Style – 90 calories for 2 – 1pt for both). Add 1/3c Weight Watchers shredded Mexican cheese, melt, and then put 1/3c of Zucchini bean mixture in each.
Top with 1 tbsp. light sour cream.
tortillas.jpg
Lick your plate clean for 6 pts total!
Spicy Black Bean and Zucchini Mixture – 2pts for 2/3c.
Mission White Corn tortillas – 1pt for 2
Weight Watchers Shredded Mexican cheese – 2pts for 1/3c.
Light Sour cream – 1pt for 3 tbsp.

The Spicy Black Bean and Zucchini mixture also turns into great appetizers by using wonton wrappers! Click here for the full recipe!

wonton-assembly.jpg
Careful not to over stuff
black-bean-and-zuchinni-wontons.jpg
Beautiful, crisp and delicious!

Did He Eat It?

As scheduled, I made Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms last night. We’ve had them once before and DH (Disagreeable Husband) ate them “to be supportive”. Last night produced a much more pronounced grumble when he saw what was for dinner. “No Meat? I can’t eat dinner without Meat!”. Oh but you can.

I made plenty of sides so DH wouldn’t starve: Baked potatoes, Fresh Steamed Green Beans and Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls. It was delicious!

The stuffed Portabello recipe is so easy:

Ingredients:

  • EVOO
  • Portabello Mushroom caps (cleaned with a damp paper towel)
  • Stovetop Whole Wheat Chicken Stuffing

Directions:

  1. Heat the grill pan to medium heat. Slather the caps with EVOO – 1/2 tsp. per side.
  2. Grill each side for 4 minutes or until soft.
  3. Assemble the stuffing according to package directions (I use light butter instead of “real” butter. It saves half the calories and fat!)
  4. Scoop 1/2c. of the stuffing mixture onto the grilled mushroom.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.

Mushrooms on the grill

Green beans ready to be steamed

Stuffed mushrooms right out of the oven

Monday Dinner

Well, Did He Eat It? He did, BUT he was “starving” by 7pm. Lucky for him we had a meeting at church last night so he was able to snack away on bagels from Panera.

One Portabello Mushroom with 1/2c.  stuffing –3 WWP