1/24/11

Fried Rice


I love Chinese food. But one bite would send me into what I like to call a grease coma. Not fun. So yesterday I made this Shrimp Fried Rice for lunch and it was delicious. You can add whatever mean you want, such as chicken, beef, tofu or whatever else you like. You can also mix up the veggies in here. I went for the traditional peas and carrots, but peppers or broccoli would be delicious too. I found the recipe here and followed it exactly, except with not as much oil.

Chili Dog


Alright, not the prettiest, I know. But the taste makes up for it. This is your average meaty, cheesy, chili dog, but a lot lot lot better for you. It took me about five minutes to make these for my mom, my little bother and I, and we all thought they were wonderful.

Chili Dog

Ingredients: 

Ball Park Smoked White Turkey Franks ( 45 cals, fat free, all white meat, no fillers!)

light wheat rolls 

can of chili (use any kind. I used turkey, but vegetarian would also work)

diced onions

relish

mustard

light cheddar cheese

Directions:

These can be made in the oven at 350 for in the toaster oven if your lazy like me. Place buns in a heatproof dish and toast until a little crispy. Remove and squeeze some mustard and relish into the buns. Next place the hot dogs and top with chili. Dice some onions and place on top. Finish the dogs with a sprinkle of light cheddar cheese. Put the dogs in the oven or toaster until the buns crisp up, the filling is hot, and the cheese is melty, about 5-7 minutes.  

Spicy Chicken Bowl


So this recipe may seem a little strange. But I love it. Whenever I got to one of my friends house, I always see her brother eating the same thing. I mean for every meal, five times a day, every day. He's buff, healthy, and addicted to working out. I was curious one time so I had him make me one. It was so good! (Which was kind of a bummer because I always made fun of him for it) This is definitely not a gourmet dinner, but it is a fast healthy, and tasty lunch anytime.

Spicy Chicken Bowl

Ingredients:

Brown Rice

Boneless, skinless chicken breast (or rotisserie chicken)

Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Fat Free or Light Mexican cheese blend

Cook rice according to directions. You can cook a bunch and leave it in the fridge along with extra chicken, or just make a little for one serving. If you are cooking your own chicken, put a few pieces in a slow cooker in the morning on low and they will be done when you get home. If you're not this organized (like me) you can pan fry them, boil them, or stick them in the microwave for a few minutes with some water. Shred the chicken and place roughly the same amount of rice and chicken in a bowl. Add hot sauce to taste (I like a lot) and top with some cheese. Put it all in the microwave for Minuteman until the cheese is nice and melty. 

Mexican Eggs


My mom lived in Mexico for a summer and brought back all kinds of good recipes. This one has become a family favorite. There are not many things that all three men in the house beg for, and these eggs are one of them. We make a ridiculously large amount of these, leave them on the counter, and they don't last an hour. Expecting a "thanks!", my mom and I usually just get a "is that it?" These eggs are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or even a quick dinner. We even served them at a football party and they were a hit.


Mexican Eggs

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil

1 oz can rotelle tomatoes (diced tomatoes with green chili), drained

1   14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

10 slices canned or fresh jalape├▒os, minced

Lowry’s seasoning salt to taste

Pepper to taste

12 eggs, beaten

Corn tortillas

Hot sauce

 Directions

Saut├ę onions in olive oil until transparent.  Add garlic. Continue to cook until garlic is soft. Add both cans of tomatoes and cook thoroughly. Add salt and pepper. Add eggs and cook just like you would make scrambled eggs. 

Warm tortillas on a skillet or over gas burner, turning frequently.  They should be crispy and begin to bubble.

Serve eggs with tortillas and hot sauce (I use Frank's red hot. Even if your not a fan of hot sauce, try it!). Tear the tortillas into quarters and pick up egg with tortilla sections or you can make mini burritos like my dad.

Turkey Reuben

The only reason I can think of not to eat a Reuben is because of its rather unappealing nutritional stats. But don't worry. I've taken care of that. I use a much healthier turkey pastrami that is just as good regular, along with light swiss cheese and a light yogurt thousand island dressing. Trust me, if my brothers didn't notice a difference, neither will you.


Turkey Reuben 

Ingredients:

2 slices Rye bread 

Light Thousand Island Dressing

3 slices Turkey Pastrami

 sauerkraut

light swiss cheese

Directions:

Turn on a panini press or mini grill. Spray the outside of the Rye bread (use Rye!) with cooking spray. Spread a few teaspoons of light thousand island dressing on both halves. Add a few slices of turkey pastrami, 1 to 1 1/2 slices of light swiss cheese, and a generous helping of sauerkraut. Place the second piece of Rye on top and grill sandwich until golden brown and crispy.



Greek Pizza


Yum! We had a get together at my house yesterday and a friend brought a few of these delicious pizzas over. They were great! Full of Greek veggies, this "pizza" is light, quick and flavorful.

Greek Pizza

Ingredients:

whole wheat pita bread

purple onion, sliced

feta cheese (you can use fat free or regular)

green and/or Kalamata olives

mushrooms, sliced

green and red peppers, diced

artichoke hearts

fresh basil

Directions:

Brush the pita bread with a little olive oil and crisp it up, either in a pan, in a toaster oven, or in the oven for a few minutes until crispy but still soft. Remove pita and top with remaining ingredients to taste (the more the merrier!). Stick it back in the oven for a few minutes until warm.


1/14/11

Products I can't live without

Peanut Butter Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl 


I love peanut butter. Honestly, who doesn't? It's creamy, smooth, and tastes amazing. And this flavor is the best of them all. After trying this peanut butter, I can't go back to regular. The cinnamon goes perfectly with the peanut butter and the occasional raisin is heaven. I eat this on everything, from pretzels to a pb&j sandwich. PB and Co. has a bunch of great flavors, such as Bees Knees, which has honey, Mighty Maple, White Chocolate Wonderful, and Dark Chocolate Dreams. This peanut butter actually has the nutritional info to match any low fat peanut butter, but tastes way better. You can buy it most places, such as Walmart or Wegmans. Although it's about four dollars a jar, it's well worth it. 

Reddi Whip Fat Free Light Whipped Cream


Theres something about whipped cream that makes everything taste better, no matter what you out it on. And with Reddi Whip fat  free light whipped cream, you can put on as much as you want.  2 tablespoons have only 5 calories and 1 gram of sugar. Hallelujah. This goes on everything for me, whether it's pancakes, oatmeal, pie, shakes, or fro-yo. It never lets me down. 

Act II Buttery Popcorn Salt and Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasonings


If you didn't already know, I'm addicted to popcorn. If I could have one thing on a stranded island, it would be my popcorn maker. Unfortunatly, popcorn gets a bad rep, due to it's horrid nutritional state when sold in movie theaters. To many people's surprise, popcorn is full of fiber and really very good for you. The trick is making it taste good without added oil or butter. First off, the popcorn needs to be crispy. Mine comes out perfect, due to  my lovely Cuisinart Popcorn maker (if you don't have one...GET ONE). Next, the popcorn needs to have a good flavor without a ton of oil flavoring it. This is where my popcorn salt comes in. It has an insane amount of flavor and Kernel Season's has so many flavors to choose from. In the picture you can see White Cheddar and Nacho Cheddar, but they also have Butter, Garlic Parmesan, and Kettle Corn. They are all delicious, but I don't buy the Kettle Corn, as it's simply salt and sugar. You can find these little bottles of seasoning in most stores. I get mine at Walmart for about a buck.  The second kind of seasoning I use is Act II Buttery Popcorn Salt. This stuff is strong, so I always sprinkle a little bit on before the Kernal Seasons just to get a good salt flavor. To find out exactly how I make my popcorn, look here.

PB2

Ahh. PB2. Also known as powdered peanut butter. Sounds weird right? Well, who cares. For all you people out there who want the delicious flavor of peanut butter without the large amount of fat and calories (even though it's good fat), PB2 is for you. Basically, its peanuts that are roasted, allowing the majority of oil found in the nuts to drain out. This leaves dry, low-fat peanuts that are then ground into a powder. Wallah. PB2. Besides the fact that PB2 has 85% less fat and calories that regular peanut butter ( 2T has 45 calories and 1.5 grams of fat), the powder is extremely versatile. By adding water, you can make your own low fat peanut butter, but I use mine mostly in shakes, sprinkled on popcorn, in baked goods, in oatmeal, in sauces, or whatever else I can think of. Honestly I don't know what I did without it. It's a little pricey, due to the fact that I can only find it on line (some stores sell it, just not around where I live), but once again, totally worth it. 


Spriana Balsamic Vinegar 

This stuff is liquid gold. Seriously. When a drop of this spills, you don't wipe it up. You lick it up. The first time I tasted this Balsamic Vinegar was at the Rochester Public Market. There were samples in little Dixie cups of three kinds of Balsamic Vinegar; Raspberry, Blueberry, and Traditional. The first two were delicious, but when I tried the Traditional, I fell in love. I literally drank balsamic vinegar. It's that good. This isn't your average balsamic. Its sweet and insanely flavorful. For some reason unknown to me, we didn't get a bottle that day and for months, I dreamed of tasting it again. When winter of that same year came around, I had assumed I would never again taste the wonderful vinegar. But on Christmas morning, while I was passing out gifts, I picked up a wine bottle box and asked my mom who it was for. She said it was for me. What? Wine? I opened it and there sat a wonderful 8.5 ounce bottle of pure joy. I couldn't believe it. We immediately tasted the balsamic on a little Italian bread ( I refrained from drinking it again) and it was as good as I remembered. People, you need to get a bottle of this. You can order all the flavors here.  It won't let you down. 

**The bottle for the original on the website looks different from mine, which was purchased at the market, but I believe it is the same because the flavored ones have to correct bottle. If I order a bottle and for some reason it is different, I will let you know.

1/9/11

Buttermilk Pancakes


I love pancakes. I really do. But your average pancake does not contain the nutritional stats I would like them do. That said, not all pancakes are created equal. I have successfully made pancakes that are delicious and nutritionally sound. The real difference is in the flour used as the base for the pancake and obviously, the omitting of oil or butter. There are many options for a healthier flour and I have tried most of them. Oat flour is good, but it doesn't taste like a traditional pancake. Today, I made these pancakes that use whole wheat flour. The whole wheat, combined with flax and cinnamon give the pancakes a nice nutty flavor and they are extraordinarily fluffy. I don't have pancakes very often, but I'm glad I made these. My whole family ate them!

Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour <---(I now use whole wheat white for both flours)

1/2 cup all purpose flour<---

2 tablespoon flax meal (optional)

1 tablespoon sugar substitute 

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 eggs

 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4- 1/2 cups of milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients in another (reserving 1/4 cup of the milk). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix just until combined (don't worry about lumps. Mixing too much creates excess gluten, which will make your pancakes less fluffy). Test the batter and add up to a fourth of a cup more milk to get your desired thinness ( I don't like mine thick at all. I think they are fluffier when they are thinner). On a hot skillet, pour 1/3 cup of batter and cook until bubbles show around the edges. Flip. Cook until golden brown.



I top mine with sugar free maple syrup and in this case, homemade raspberry preserves. If you want to make a fruit topping, simply add any kind of fresh/frozen fruit to a pot, add sugar substitute to taste, and add some water. Let the mixture cook until thick. If you want it a little thicker, whisk some corn starch into the sauce. My favorite fruits to do this with are blueberries and raspberries.


**Today, after I put my leftover pancakes in the toaster, I topped them with peanut butter and raspberry preserves. It was delicious. Reminded me of a pb&j sandwich. 




1/6/11

Healthy One Ingredient Ice Cream


Mmmmm...I just finished one of these and couldn't wait another minute to tell you about it. This ice cream is healthy, creamy, delicious, and made out of one ingredient: frozen bananas. It takes literally two minutes to make and is the perfect ending to any meal. You can add anything to it and make it any flavor you want. The picture happens to be my favorite, mint chocolate, but the possibilities are endless. Chocolate peanut butter, cherry chocolate, raspberry, banana caramel, ect. 

Healthy One Ingredient Ice Cream

Ingredients: 

1 frozen banana* 

any flavor combo add ins**

fat free whipped cream (optional)

Place frozen banana and added ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor (the better the blender, the better the ice cream). Blend until creamy. Add any mix-ins desired (raisins, chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, ect.) Top with fat free whipped cream. If you want a thicker ice cream, stick it in the freezer until set.

*Let your bananas ripen until they are black before you put them in the freezer. The riper the banana, the sweeter it is due to the higher amount of natural sugar. I let my bananas ripen for as long as possible, peel them (impossible to peal after frozen), and place them in a zip lock baggies in the freezer.

**Favorite Flavors- add before blending

Mint Chocolate- 2 drops peppermint extract (it's strong), squirt of sugar free chocolate syrup or a tablespoon of cocoa

Chocolate Cherry (or raspberry)- 6-7 frozen cherries, squirt of sugar free chocolate syrup or cocoa

Chocolate Peanut Butter- tablespoon of peanut butter (or peanut butter powder), squirt of sugar free chocolate syrup or cocoa

Caramel- spoonful of fat free/sugar free caramel

Try adding any other fruit, such as frozen raspberries or blueberries 

I haven't tried it yet, but I plan on making a cafe mocha flavor by adding instant coffee granules


1/3/11

Roasted Veggies


Roasted vegetables are one of my all-time favorite snacks. They are delicious, amazingly good for you, and you can eat a boat load of them and not feel guilty:) Making them is as easy as it gets and they are done in about a half an hour. The pictures show one of my favorites; brussel sprouts. Above, you can see the raw, seasoned veggies and below after they've been roasted (they must have literally just been taken out of the oven considering they're still there). 


You can roast any kind of vegetable you want. Play with the seasoning to find your favorite. I promise they won't last long, as you can see below. 


Roasted Veggies

Ingredients:

Vegetables (brussel sprouts, red peppers, carrots, broccoli, califlower, turnips, beets, green beans ect.)

Kosher Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Garlic Powder

any extra seasonings you like*

Directions:

Preheat you oven to 400 degrees. Cut your vegetables into a reasonable size. I like my brussel sprouts in half, or if they are very large in fourths. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet. Lightly drizzle olive oil and mix, making it so there is just enough olive oil to allow seasonings to stick (too much wont hurt). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (or another seasoning combo). Mix to combine. Roast vegetables for about a half an hour, checking every ten minutes untill your desired doneness. 

Some great combos-

carrots-add fresh chopped rosemary (delicious!)

            -leave out the garlic and pepper and glaze with honey 

Broccoli-when almost done, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

              -add balsamic when seasoning

1/1/11

The Only Way to Eat Chili


My mom makes the best chili. Hands down. (Alright, alright MY favorite chili). It's the perfect blend of everything that makes delicious chili; the spices, the beans, the tomatoes, the mushrooms...I could go on forever. Unfortunately, that recipe is still in the a hand full of this a pinch of that format. Next time we make chili we will be measuring out the ingredients so I can post the recipe. But in the meantime, I will be sharing the ultimate secret on how to maximize your chili enjoyment. And here it is (drum roll please) : a PB&J sandwich. Yup. That's it. Who would have guessed? I can remember the first time my mom forced me to try this heavenly combo. And I remember my skepticism. I couldn't have been more wrong. There's something about the sweetness of the sandwich that balances out the tartness of the tomatoes that creates perfection. Every time I try to convince someone new to try dunking a PB&J sandwich in their chili, I get the same reaction: disgust, followed by extreme skepticism, and hopefully (with an hour or so of convincing) a feeble promise to try it the next time the opportunity presents itself. And when that opportunity does come along, and they try this amazing duo, they eat their words. Along with the best bowl of chili they've ever had. Ever since my first PB&J/chili experience, I haven't been able to eat a bowl of chili alone. Its like it's naked or something. I'm begging you people, try it once and you will be converted. 

Best Way to Eat Chili

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter

Jelly

2 slices of bread 

Chili

an open mind

Directions:

Make your best PB&J sandwich. Grab a bowl of chili. Dunk. Eat. Be amazed.