Summer Memo

I know its not winter, but by the way Mother Nature has been treating us, I don’t think she got the memo… So on such a cold, rain day as today, I believe a warm, cozy, creamy meal is well called-for.

After seeing this recipe on Pintrest, I thought… I like veggies.. I like cheese… Makeover!!!

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Winter Veggie Casserole

6 servings

  • 12 oz package frozen Winter Blend vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower)
  • 12 oz package frozen California Blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
  • 1/2 7.5 oz pkg fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 7.5 oz pkg fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 4-5 oz can (2 servings per can) water chestnuts, sliced, drained
  • 1 8 oz can bean sprouts, drained
  • 1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/3 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Dijionaise
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In one bowl, combine the vegetables. In another bowl combine the cheeses, and in a third bowl combine the remaining ingredients (I also added a finely chopped jalepeno for heat). Add half the cheese mix to the bowl of food glue (the soup-yogurt-egg- spice combo). Once well-combined, evenly coat the mixed vegetables.

Spray a 9 x 13 dish with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the coated vegetables to the dish, and evenly spread into the corners. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese blend.

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Bake for 1 hour, uncovered.

Nutrition: per 1/6

Calories:207, Fat: 1.1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 1503mg, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 24g

I served this with steak, and a doggie bag for pops to take with him. You could probably add the protein to the actual casserole, as well, and then bake it…. Or for a meatless meal, like I did, eat 1 1/2 servings for about 300 calories!

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Whats not to like? The crispy cheese shell? The creamy blend hiding just beneath it? Exactly! Dig in!

I started thinking about how versatile this recipe is. With the water chestnuts and bean sprouts, I began to think about playing on the Asian influences and tweaking this with Asian sauces and seasonings. I think my favorite part of the this were the carrots. I just love how cooking carrots brings out their naturals sugars and sweetness!!

What’s Your Story?

Another year of a successful Vagina Monologue performances! We raised over a grand for Natasha’s Justice Project, all while empowering others and ourselves. This year, I was in three scenes: Wear and Say, The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could, a moan in Woman.

Wear and Say

Wear and Say

Middle Coochi  (ages

Middle Coochi
(ages 10 and 13)

The Starwars Moan

The Starwars Moan of “Woman”

I tell the girls of the cast the same thing every year, “I’m surrounded by 30 or so females, but this is the one place that I’m not afraid to change my clothes, goof off, be myself, by proud… Its because of you, ladies… ” They empower me. Most of us are complete strangers, but we end each year making new friends, finding common ground, and growing and being inspired by each other’s strengths.

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An Army of Vagina Warriors

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That O Face!

Cast Party Beer Pong

Cast Party Beer Pong

 

Still Friends since High School

Still Friends since High School

This year, a few weeks post the conclusion of the show, we got approval to host another event. This time, its OUR story. Any member that wanted to write and perform their OWN story, was welcome to do so. I knew immediately I wanted to participate.

I wanted to share the struggle and  the fight of perfectionism. The OCD that overcomes our minds. The hidden pain, anxiety, fear, and self mutilation that is experienced.

The following is MY story: Perfection

234 lbs. That was me 4 years ago.

She’s so pretty. Why can’t I be that pretty? She’s thin, and chesty, does her hair, make up… All the guys like her. God, I long to be in a bikini.

I hate going shopping for clothes. Another party? “ Sammy, how do I look,” she asks… “Wow,” I say, “fantastic.” In my mind, I’m crying. Someone hide me. Can’t I just curl up in a ball? Suck it in, Sam! Why am I always the third wheel? Why doesn’t anyone like me? I’m a nice person…

Enough is enough! I can’t be the fat friend anymore! Run, Sammy Run! You can do it. No cookies, veggies please.

Yes! 5 more pounds gone! “You’ve lost the weight of a third grader, Sam! You need new clothes!” my friends say to me.” Sure! Let’s go shopping! No, I’m not hungry, but thank you.

I can’t sleep, I’m going to the gym. “Sammy, this is your second time going today,” she says “ we think you have a problem. You’re scaring us.” I storm out the door and spend the next two hours pedaling a stationary bike.

130 lbs! I can’t believe it!

Suck it Sam! Yes, I do have ribs! Wait! What is that? How can I still have stomach fat? No! No!

Walk everywhere…

150 calories? I think to myself, for one snack bar? No thank you. How many carbs are in this? No only 30 carbs a day for me!

Run! Damn it, Sam! Run, you fat ass!

Why? Why won’t this fat go away?!?!  I wish I could just cut it off!  Cut it off… Cut… It cuts so smoothly through my skin. Ahhh. I can breath. Again. Ahhh, yes.  I watch the blood drip down.

94 lbs.

I’m not eating today. No way. I need to work out.

I’m cooking daddy dinner. I don’t feel well. Oh man… “Dad!” I’m down. On the ground. “How many calories have you eaten today? “He yells to me. “50,” I reply.

Mom watches me sleep, fearing that each shallow breath would be my last.

“Samantha,” my boss say to me, “ You’re late, your weak, you’ve become a hazard to your patients and for the company. You need to resign or we’ll have to terminate you. ” No, not my patient’s. I can’t lose my patients.

12 weeks of FMLA. 12 weeks of crying, cutting, fasting, binging, purging. 12 weeks of no exercise. 12 weeks of denial, realization, bargaining with God, pleading for help, yet unable to actually help myself.

Physically, emotionally, spiritually weak.

140 lbs

I wake up at 3am and write.

From sound asleep, I awaken,          Frantic, Nervous, shaken,

My mind racing a mile a minute,           Pumping the brakes, but its in it to in it.

Memories of my past mistakes flashing before my eyes,            How did I? I could I? How will I survive?

Trembling, ashamed, wanting to cry,            This mind fuck is a game, wishing I would die.

Take me home, Heavenly Father,           I beg of you, please

I’m down here, screaming, crying,             Pleading on my knees

Swallow another handful to numb myself,              Oh God, I’m begging you for your help

This blood I bleed,          These scars I see

This pain I feel,          Shits getting too real

Hearts racing, hearts pounding,          All these thoughts, taunting, resounding

Grit my teeth, fists getting tighter,          Look out world, ’cause this bitch is a fighter

The good I’ve done,         The lives I’ve touched

It must outweigh,          This hatred of self

I am my enemy,          And you are my Savior

With your many blessing, Oh Lord,          My faith should never waiver

I did it once,          I can do it twice

Can’t hold me down,           I’m still alive

Dear Disease,

You don’t make me,          I make me

And your foolish games,          Can only strengthen me

The marks on my body,          I wear them with pride

They’re not a sign of weakness,            They’re proof I survived

That I thrive,          That I strive

To carry on,          Head held high

Watching my world around me crumble,          You reached out, Lord, grabbed my hand

Pulled me from the rubble,          You’re my rock, my hope

The light of my tunnel,            The strength getting me through this struggle.

154lbs

The constant comparison of her to me to her and her and her.  No one can see the pain behind the scrubs and the smile. I ride a rollercoaster. Never sure if the day will bring anxiety, if I can bring myself to have dinner with my family and friends, if I can pull myself out of bed in the morning, if I can control a binge, how many pills I will take, how deep the next cut will be…

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

 

Mama’s Lean-zagna

Meatloaf, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Noodle Soup, Honey Mustard… just a few of the make-overs I’ve done of my mom’s hit meal! But I cannot forget the lasagna!

Lean-Zagna

24 servings

  • 2 lbs 99% lean ground turkeyWP_007931
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried chopped onion
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • (72oz+4lb3oz) (about 15 cups) your favorite sauce
  • 3 (11oz) bags fat free shredded mozzarella
  • 2 lbs fat free ricotta
  • 24 oz lasagna noodles (no-boil if possible)*
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat grated Parmesan

In a large pot, break up and brown the ground turkey. Make sure there are no chunks of meat, make it a nice fine ground. Over medium-low heat, add the spices and Splenda, and toss to coat the meat. Top with sauce, stir, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Combine the ricotta and mozzarella in a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Coat the bottom of a large pan, about 17 x 12 (this is the one time I choose a disposable pan, like a large rectangular roaster) with sauce. Line one layer of lasagna noodles, with edges slightly over lapping. Evenly distribute some of the cheese mix over the noodles. Ladle another ladle of sauce and use the back of the ladle to smooth and even out the layer. Place another of noodles down and repeat with the cheese and sauce. Repeat this process, reserving a small amount (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) of the cheese mix, until you’re out of noodles (about 3 or 4 layers).

Top the last layer of noodles with the reserved cheese and the remaining sauce. Smooth out the layer with the back of the ladle and distribute the reserved mozzarella and the Parmesan topping.

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Bake for 90min. Let it rest 5 minutes before cutting (6 x 4) and serving.

*If NOT using no-boil, just ensure you make up for it by using more gravy (and by gravy, I mean sauce), because the noodles will absorb a decent amount of liquid, and no one wants a dry lasagna.

WP_007932Nutrition (per 1/24, 1 piece)

Calories:291, Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 902mg, Carbs: 37g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 15g, Protein: 28g

**Nutrition info based off using an 80 cal sauce. If you use a lighter sauce, congrats! You cut more calories!

Oh man! All of the delicious flavor of mom’s lasagna without all the guilt!

While waiting for this to bake I put this together for my kitchen… I think after all my hard work I deserve a nice hunk of lean-zagna!

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What Time Is It?

Hey Kids! Do you know what time it is?????

Thats right! Happy Peanut Butter and Jelly Day!!!

You know if its a holiday involving any nut butter, I’ll know about it! A classic side kick to peanut butter is jelly, of course, and one of my favorite collections of such items is Polaner’s Sugar Free with Fiber collection! Well, recently, I’ve gotten on the mason jar bandwagon, and since doing so, have wanted to make  my own jam. Pops brought home a big container of blueberries and JAM, I mean, “BAM!” Don’t have a canner? No worries… Neither do I.

No Sugar Added Blueberry Jam

makes 16oz (approx. 32 Tablespoons

  • 2 cups blueberries or strawberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (zest would probably be a nice addition, as well)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp No Sugar Needed Pectin
  • 1/3 cup granulated Splenda

Mash blueberries to your preferred consistency. (I like chunks remaining, just makes it a bit more textured.) Transfer mashed blueberries to a medium pot with the water. Sprinkle with Splenda and pectin. Turn heat to medium high. Continue to stir constantly and you bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute. Thats it!

Remove the pot from the heat, transfer mixture to clean jar(s). To seal jar(s), tighten the lids to a finger-tightness. If you have a canner, now is the time to use it… If not? Follow along:

In a large pot, place the sealed jars, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the top(s) of the jar(s). Bring to a boil. Check on the jar(s) every few minutes. Use a utensil to poke the center of the lid(s). If the lid dips when pressure is applied, continue to boil, rechecking the lid(s) every few minutes. Once the lid(s) are solid and no longer “pop,” turn off the heat, and carefully remove the jar(s), using tongs, and allow the jar(s) to cool at room temp. Then you can refrigerate.

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Go Ahead… SCHMEAR IT!!!

Nutrition (per tablespoon):

Calories:9, Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 0mg, Carbs: 1g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 0g

Fun Fact: What the heck is the difference between jelly, jam, and preserves??

The difference between them comes in the form that the fruit takes.

  • In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of fruit juice.

  • In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less stiff than jelly as a result).

  • In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a syrup or a jam.

Thank you, howstuffworks.com!

When Life Gives You Lemons…

… make Limoncello! Or as I like to call it: Italian Moonshine

My Uncle has been making this stuff for a few years, now. I began my first batch on Black Friday 2014, hoping it would be done in time for New Years. And it was perfect! I don’t know what it was, but its the best I’ve ever had. Even Uncle Eddie left me the best voicemail telling me how fantastic my batch of his limoncello was. “I hope you wrote down everything you did, because I’d use that recipe.” That’s a huge compliment coming from my uncle. One that made me smile ear to ear!

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(makes a small batch)

  • 750ml bottle grain alcohol (like Everclear)
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more
  • 1.4 lbs sugar
  • 10 lemon peels
  • large glass jar
  • plastic wrap or wax paper
  • food scale (optional, but helpful)

Shallowly  peel the lemons, ensuring not to include the pith (the white part of the peel). Place the peels into your large jar. Pour the grain alcohol a top the lemon peels. (Save the alcohol bottle!) Cover the jar opening with wax paper or plastic wrap, and seal the lid. Place this jar in a dark spot for at least 3 weeks. Turn the jar back and forth each day.

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After 3 to 4 weeks of the peel steeping, strain the peels into a large pot. While the peels are draining, refill the saved grain alcohol bottle with water. Empty the water into another pot, in addition to 1/3 cup water. Weigh out 1.4 lbs of sugar, and add to the pot of plain water. Continually stirring, bring the pot with the sugar to a rolling boil, ensuring the sugar melts, creating a syrup. Let it slow bowl for 5 minutes. Remove this pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Discard the drained lemon peels. Once the syrup has cooled, stir it into the lemon-infused grain alcohol. Transfer back to the large jar. Reseal with plastic wrap or wax paper and seal the lid. Place back into dark space for an additional week, turning the jar back and forth each day.

WP_007506After the final week, transfer the completed limoncello into your empty grain alcohol and another* bottle. Place in the freezee to chill and enjoy.

*You can find empty bottles at Bed Bath and Beyond like these, in a variety of fluid capacities. Or recycle an old wine bottle, like I do. actually, empty Torani and DaVinci syrup bottles are useful to.

Salud! 

But then you’re left with a bunch of peeled lemons… so now would be a good time to make lemonade… And we did! Brett juiced all the lemons, while I was peeling the zests. We followed this recipe with a change of sweetener, and using 3 cups of water, for the most perfect lemonade! One thing I love about homemade lemonade is the pulp that sneakily makes its way through the juicer. Plus, you can make it as tart or as sweet as you like. After the finished lemonade was refrigerated, we brewed a gallon of tea… Home-brewed tea and fresh squeezed lemonade??? Best Arnold Palmers!

Lenten Promises

ashAsh Wednesday is here. Sure, most people think of today as one or more of the following:

  • people get that cross on their forehead made of burnt palm
  • start of the Easter season
  • start of the Lenten Season
  • no meat of Fridays

In actuality, it begins a 40 day period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It mirrors the time that Jesus Christ spent in the desert, fasting and reflecting, being tempted by sin, Satan to be more precise. As a child, we are told that during this period, we should give something up. My childhood priest would pick a different class every year to watch over his stash of bubble gum. As I entered middle school, I began giving up things I thought would help me lose weight, like soda and chips. In more recent years, I’ve gotten my dad to participate. While I still can’t get him to stop smoking, he does give up his favorite drink of cherry brandy.

Side Note: You’ve mastered giving up cherry brandy! Pick something more challenging!!!

Within the past couple years, my view of Lent has changed. A few years ago, after my mom got clean from a prescription drug addiction, I talked to my priest and asked if my Lenten Promise had to mean I would be giving something up… If I could try to improve my relationship with my mother, instead. That’s when I began to see the true meaning of a Lenten Promise. I really liked how Father put it tonight at mass, “Hey, we’re all sinners! But that does not mean we are to be ruled by sin.” Father Hurley’s homily, as always, made me examine my life.

So here’s my conclusion on Lent:

This is the time we not only repent, but also “refocus” our attention, as Father put it. Lenten Promises are not about giving something up. It’s a time we focus on on how we can live more like Christ, how we can live in a way that reflects God and his message. (But if you ask me, we should be doing this self-examination thing way ,ore often than just Lent.)

This years Lenten Promise:

This year, my goal is to refrain from self injurious behavior. In this term, I include binge eating, purging, and cutting. God would not want me to hurt myself. God created us in His image. When I hurt myself, I’m really hurting God.

2 Songs

Now I just feel stumped! Music is my constant in life.

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2 Songs…

  • All You Need Is Love

I chose this because it sends a great message. This world is so full of hatred and harm. It could all change is everyone adopted this. The Beatles are geniuses being able to place it into one simple lay mans sentence.

  • Keep Your Head Up

Andy Grammer has a way of putting me in a good mood with his songs, whether its the beat or the lyrics. This song does both. When I feel down, I tend to really be hard on myself, so this song is a good reminder I can turn things around.

Can I cheat and mention that these two songs by MGK really resonate with me? They remind me of my eating disorders, the demons in my life that haunt me every day.

D3mons featuring DMX

“Every night I hear them f***ing with me.” Those taunting whispers in my mind that tell me I’m not good enough, I ate too much, I’m a failure, etc…

“Please God tell these demons to stop f***ing with me.”

Lead You On

This entire song I could equivocate to my life, the sruggle and suffering, how I alienated myself from others… everything. “Overdose on your love so I can’t have it again.” When these eating disorders consume my mind and body and I feel as though theres nothing left in my life… At many points during my recovery, I wished the same thing.

3 Films

Wow! Only three?! I better make these good!

10-Day-You-Challenge1

3 Films…

  • Jesus Christ Super Star

jcssI guess “obsessed” might not be a strong enough word… I may or may not own the 1973 version on VHS, DVD, and have the soundtrack on CD. I may or may not own the vinyl recordings. I may or may not own the 2000 Great Britain version on DVD and CD. I may or may not have seen the show performed live 7 times. And I may or may not have met Ted Neeley (1973 Jesus of Nazareth) for one of my birthdays… I could probably put on a one man show…Yeah…. I might have a problem…

  • Armageddonarm

Oh, Bruce Willis, how I love thee…. I love Bruce in every movie/show I’ve ever seen him in. I actually met him once, too! I loved the concept of ordinary men saving the world, the strong love he displays towards his daughter… Plus the cast is absolutely fantastic! Its always on FX. Its one of those movies that I never get tired of watching. I remember my mom and I watched it so many times, we made a song about it when I was a kid. Oh, and another happy memory… that and Mulan were the double feature at my first drive-in movie! Its the only movie I’ve ever laid on the hood of a car to watch.

  • The Ten Commandments

chYes, its an “epic” movie, but its a classic! I look forward to this every Easter season. Some scenes I can recite by heart. Charlton Heston is fantastic in everything he is in, but he blew this one out of the park! His delivery, the language, the voice… everything! Even the terrible 1956 special effects, which, come to think of it, aren’t as terrible as you think they would be…

(I  started this challenge last May.. I don’t know why I didn’t finish it… Its about damn time I did, don’t you think?)

Chocolate Angel

mass prodYes. I’ll admit it. I’m most definitely one of those Valentine’s Day cynics that think it was solely invented for the chocolate and greeting card companies. Actually, I feel about Valentine’s Day the way I feel about Christmas: once a day to be remembered, now corrupted and scewed by humans and selfishness. It’s technically the Feast Day of St. Valentine. Today, its a day that we tell everyone we love them, give candy, flowers, and cards, and overexert ourselves to impress someone else. Today is the day we persecute ourselves if we don’t have a date. But why just today? Shouldn’t we be telling those dear to us how much we love them everyday? Are we really any better or worse, with or without a date? Why just today? Shouldn’t we be performing random acts a kindness everyday, rather than picking one day a year to blow too much money on a dozen roses and a box of gourmet chocolates, that will die in a week and we know we will regret eating, anyway?

choc penis

With this lovey-dovey, Hallmark/Russel Stovers-centered week, coming to a close, I did begin to think about what I’d like to find in a partner. I guess you could call it my Match.com ideas:

I think a lot about the future. I know I’m 23. I’m young. I’m still a baby in this world, but my hopes and dreams are that far beyond my age. I want something real. A family man. An honest, hard worker. An animal and music lover, who appreciates black and white pictures and musicals. Who knows who Abbott and Costello, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, and the Rat Pack are. Someone who can dig The Twilight Zone. Someone who lets me cook for them. Someone who supports me, understands me, comforts me, and loves me despite how incredibly screwed up I am. Show me. Show me something real. That we are a team. That we can do anything, achieve anything. Be the people we want to be. Be successful, pay our bills, smile, laugh, cry, dance, sing, never go to be angry, go to Church, visit our families, and so, so much more…

Moving on and stepping off this soapbox, lets get to the goods… every channel I turn on is doing a million specials on chocolate. (Apparently, Valentine’s Day is the only day people consume chocolate.) So, in this chocolate theme, I give you a low calorie chocolate angel food cake and mixed berry compote. Sweet enough to get at those cravings but light enough to eat your feelings on V-Day and not feel guilty.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Mixed Berry Compote

based off Trisha Yearwood’s recipe.

serves 12

CakeWP_007684

  • 2/3 cup cake flour (measure after sifting)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Compote

  • 2 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp granulated Splenda (how sweet do you want it?)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, and 3/4 cup of Splenda. Set aside.

WP_007683Using an electric mixer, with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites and whip on high until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup Splenda, about 2 tablespoons at a time.

Using a spatula, gradually fold in the flour mix, about 1/4 cup at a time, into the peaked egg whites. Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch angel food cake pan and bake about 30 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour. While the cake os cooling, combine all compote ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, continually stirring, for 2-3 minutes. This makes about 1 1/4 cup of compote. Set aside to thicken and cool.

Once cooled, loosen the cake from the sides and center of the pan with a knife and remove cake from the pan. Sift the powdered sugar over the cooled cake. Slice into 12. Top each piece with 2 Tbsp of compote and dig into a light, yet decadent treat sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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The pairing of a slice and the compote comes to about 75 calories! I can dig that. In fact, I think I’ll dig in!

Blueberry Waffles

My mom and I have a bit of a love for blueberries, but my mom is especially obsessed with Eggo Blueberry Waffles.

I based this recipe off my Easter Carrot Cake Waffles.

My mom was so excited when I told her last night that I wanted to make waffles in the morning, and not the frozen kind! She turned into me! She started coming up with all these different pairings and toppings and ideas. I was so proud! Haha!

I hope you enjoy!

Blueberry Waffles

makes 12 wafflesWP_007610

  • 3/4 cup Bisquick (Heart Smart, if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup flax milk (milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup sugar free syrup, plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Warm up the waffle iron and ensure it is coated heavily by non stick cooking spray. Combine the dry ingredients. Place the frozen blueberries in the microwave for 15 sec, just enough to start to thaw. Transfer the blueberries to a food processor immediately and give it a few pulses (just enough to break the berries, but not puree them). Whisk the milk, sugar free syrup, and vanilla into the dry ingredients, followed by the pulse blueberries. Using a 3/4 cup measuring cup, pour the batter directly on the center of your well-coated waffle iron. Close the lid and cook to your liking. Repeat the spooning of the batter two more times, ensuring the iron is coated in between each application.

Nutrition: 1 waffle

Calories:56, Fat: 1.3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 158mg, Carbs: 10g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugars: 0.7g, Protein: 1.2g

Mom had the idea to top our waffles with an egg over easy. I was game. We drizzled just a bit of our syrup over top the finished product and it created just the right about of sweet to balance that savory yolk! And the flavor of blueberry was scattered all throughout the waffles!

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After mom and our devoured these waffles, I started thinking how light they would have tasted with some lemon zest or how much of a treat they would be with some white chocolate chips! My mom yelled into the kitchen, “Now we need ice cream to sandwich between them!” When my mom likes my food, its a success!

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The waffles wound up being our lunch, as well. But this time, I spread a ripe banana all over it!