Protein Pancakes Two Ways

While picking up some things at the farmers market, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I ask Barry what kind of fruit he wanted in our pancakes, since his initial craving for raspberries was no longer an option. (They were out of raspberries.) “Blackberry,” he said. I’m not usually a fan of blackberries, but I gave in since Barry wanted them and thought of a way to incorporate the fruit into brunch.

Since I use cottage cheese in my pancakes, I thought about the time I made blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes and how delicious they turned out! I threw a bag of lemons in the cart and when we got home, I got to work. The pancakes I made for Frank and Barry, a little heartier and stick to your ribs kind, were based off Julie’s Banana Bread Protein Pancakes.

Blackberry Lemon Oat Protein Pancakes

serves 2WP_004686

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 packets Splenda

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Pour the batter on a skillet, sprayed with non-stick spray, over medium heat, and pour batter by the 2 Tbsp, and cook accordingly.

Nutrition: (1/2 recipe)

Calories: 256, Fat: 3.4g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 4.5mg, Sodium: 362.5mg, Carbs: 36g, Fiber: 6.7g, Sugar: 3.4g, Protein: 20g

This recipe made lots of pancakes and were quite filling, as Frank and Barry left three on the serving plate.

The ones I made for myself were based off my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes. I little softer and lighter, but every bit as delicious.

Blackberry Lemon Protein Pancakes

serves 1

  • 1 scoop vanilla  prWP_004688otein
  • 2 Tbsp cottage cheese, fat free (about 80 calories per 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Nutrition:

Calories: 88, Fat: 1.1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 1.5mg, Sodium: 264.5mg, Carbs: 8.8g, Fiber: 1.2g, Sugar: 4.5g, Protein: 10g

I liked the texture the blackberry seeds gave the pancakes. I really loved the occasional sweet, but tart, bite of lemon zest!

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No one needed any butter for these babies. Frank ate his plain, in fact! Barry and I did a smidge of a drizzle of SF syrup.

And we were super full! Plus, I adore the purple hue!!!

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Pups Love PB

 

I woke up and was in the mood to make dog treats. I happened to be at Barry’s and he had cereal that he bought to try but did not like. It was a wheat and grain based, so I smashed it up and made these babies. A batch for Lily, Barry’s lab, and Beauty, my baby.

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Whole Grain Puppy TreatsWP_004678

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Engine 2 cereal, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • dash cinnamon
  • splash vanilla extract

Thoroughly combine all ingredients and dollop onto a baking sheet that has a thin coating of oil. Bake for about 10 minutes and let cool. Store in container for a little over 1 week.

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As you can tell, Lily could not get enough!

Barry and I spent most of the afternoon locked in the bedroom, like most couples… building a jigsaw puzzle… NO, really… we are loving jigsaw puzzles! The one we are working on now, is driving us crazy! Its a doozy!

We were in for a surprise when we got home. Mom had plans to put us to work! We were moving the refrigerator, the stove, scrubbing the floors… All of this worked up an appetite. I tossed some onion, carrots, garlic, and sliced bell peppers in a skillet and let them steam down for a bit. In the meantime, I seasoned a steak for Barry and tempeh for myself, with steak seasoning. One both things were done. I threw it all in sun-dried tomato wraps and topped it with some Barry’s Tempeh BBQ sauce! Delicious!!

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Loca

After dinner, with Barry and dad, Friday night, I went back to dads for bit, before the father and I headed out to the DAP to celebrate the retirement of a buddy of his. Gerry is a retired Detective and his buddies at the DAP honored him with a shadow box. After a few speeches, they presented the shadow box and Gerry followed it up with a heartfelt and humorous speech of his own.

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Congratulations, Gerry, on your retirement and thank you for your many years of service!

After an hour or so of socializing, dad and I headed home to complete our DDDNight with some Twilight Zone, celery, and salsa.

I woke up the next morning and cooked dad a breakfast sandwich with egg whites, bacon and coleslaw mix to take to work. Hot sauce was included, and he enjoyed the different crunch. While dad was at work, I made a platter for myself along with some mocha, before heading to my mom’s place.

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And, boy, was that an adventure!

So here is how loopy my OCD makes me:

Today is National Cashew Day so I planned on topping a shake bowl with honey roasted cashews. Mom took the cashews to work, but I wasn’t aware of that until after I made the shake. She wasn’t answering me when I asked her about the nuts, and everytime I said something, she couldn’t here me and everything stupidly snowballed into an axiety attack. I was so nervous that with my intention foiled, I would go on a snack session! Before I knew it, I got ansy and when my anxiety gets really bad, my wrist starts to move. Not like a twitch, just a nervous, anxious movement. As I stood there, with my eyes closed, in the kitchen, trying to breath and center and talk myself down, my mom came in to repremand me on my attitude. I asked her, “Please, mom, not right now,” but she continued. (Thats a problem with the women in my family… we ALL like to have the last word! ) Things blew up, mom stormed out, and I collapsed in toa ball on the kitchen floor, crying in a panic attack.

After calming, and controlling my wrist, I went to my moms room to apologize for my behavior. It scares me often I let this eating disorder control me and how much it changes my personality when it rears is stupid, dumb, paranoid head!

Things are much better with mom and I, now. Thank, God!

I gathered myself and made a Pina Colada bowl and topped it with Kashi Go Lean cereal and a few crush cinnamon sugar Grammy Crisps. Delicious! Plus, I threw some spinach in there for some added nutrients!

Pina Colada Protein ShakeWP_004673

  • 1 -2 scoop vanilla protein
  • half frozen banana
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup frozen pineapple
  • water
  • ice
  • handful of spinach (optional)
  • zanthum and guar (optional)

Yeah, baby! Delicious! Considering its 40 F outside, I made the last of my Pumpkin Spice Brulee tea from Teavana, to warm up, and channeled my emotions into tidying up my bedroom (“much needed” is an understatement) and doing some laundry.

I then packed up and headed off to work. I felt exhausted the entire drive and the complete walk up to my unit, but as always, work has a way of making me clear. My fatigue was gone and I was pulled to the oncology unit for the evening. Break was a big platter of broccoli and carrots, topped with old bay, and the last of my chicken and barley soup. I even had grahms and applesauce as a snack!

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Thank God, this night turned around!

Magical Meat?

Last night, I cried to my parents. I cried because everything I eat haunts me. It doesn’t matter what I eat… rice cake, vegetables… Honestly, thats all I’ve really eaten the past few days.

I’ve worked night shift the last two nights, and between the two shifts, I managed to eat a ton of raw veggies from the salad bar and 1, yes, one, complete Amy’s frozen meal. In all honesty, 240 calories of vegetables and protein, is good for a frozen entree. Amy’s Black Bean and Cheese Enchilada meal hit the spot. It had a combination of my favorite foods: beans, rice, cheese, and vegetables!

In fact, Frank has been making pilaf dishes all week long and I keep stealing nibbles out of the pot. I feel so guilty when I eat carbs like rice, beans, ans quinoa because I just want to eat it all! I miss it!

I cried to  my dad on the phone about how I longed to bite into a sandwich, a burger, something with meat! Again, I barely eat meat because of calories. I snack so much and I’m so insatiable and have so much anxiety, that I just snack. And that’s how I get into calorie trouble.

Whats worse, is that when I get this way, and get in these funks…

I want to eat everything, but I hate myself no matter what I eat.

I isolate myself.

And everyone who tries to help me, even the ones who I ask for their help, become my enemies. Especially my dad. I know they can’t stand this mind game of mine, but I don’t like it either. I don’t want to go through what I went through this time last year. NO WAY!

After work, this morning, I felt like life was on my side. The weather this week has been bitter cold and today was perfect November running weather! Thank you, God! I was pumped. I did some Refrain Running to drop off my rent and then down to Fresh Thymes.

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I really love making this part of my Friday routine! Starting my weekend with a run, today was about 2.1 miles, Bananas Foster coffee, and good company in a mellow corner cafe, puts me into a wonderful mindset!

I love buying my dad breakfast from the ladies at Fresh Thyme, too! Today, I ordered dad “The Epitome of Fabulosity with Vegan Sausage.” Dad really enjoyed the vegan sausage, red onion, and garlic and chive Lancaster cheddar on sprouted grain English muffin! I think he really enjoys the corner shop and Friday coffee tradition, as well. I adored the sprouted grain english muffin!

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After arriving back home, I headed off to my Vagina Monologue auditions, and followed it up with some strolling on Main Street in Downtown Newark. Being in such a good mood, I asked dad if he wanted to go out for dinner. It was also meant as a bit of a peace offering. Last night, dad and I quarreled, repeatedly, about food.

WP_004659Dad has had a gift card to Famous Daves for months. And for all of those months, I’ve been putting it off. I didn’t actually wind up eating until about 1230pm, when I surprised dad at work. He had a packet of Cup-A-Soups, which was only 50 calories, and some salsa, which I added to the soup. Even after the soup, I was still hungry!

I used all my self-control to push away the urge to eat anything else, knowing dad, Barry, and I would be eating at Famous Dave’s (not exactly the golden standard for healthy eating).

I planned ahead, and dad was so pleased that we were finally at the restaurant,  that he let me order something small and nibble off his and Barry’s meals. Since we had the gift card, dad ordered “Traditional Chicken Wings and “Burnt Ends as the starter. I had two wings and a few nuggets of meat. We all love trying to out-spice each other with the assortments of sauces!

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I ordered a cup of Dave’s Famous Chili and a side of “Firecracker Green Beans” (neither of which were exceptionally noteworthy). Barry ordered “The Manhandler,” which was actually much better sounding than it was. (The Hell-Fire Pickles were pretty darn awesome, though!) Dad, on the other hand, ordered a monster of a burger. I took one bite, and I felt like I could breath. Suddenly, the BBQ sauce on face and the crumbs on the plate, magically took away  my anxiety, for those brief moments of burger bliss.

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Barry had to leave dinner early for work, and when I returned to my dad, at the table, he told me how proud he was of me. I know I’m a “Daddy’s Girl,” but I do everything and anything to make him happy. It kills me, it physically hurts my heart, when I hurt him. I know that every time I let this eating disorder creep back up and take control, it hurts him.

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Seeing him smile at me, taking a picture of me with this mammoth of a burger, feeling this positive energy radiating off my dad… it is an amazing feeling! “Please, babe.. take one more bite…” No, I’m good, dad… “Please? For me…”

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I savored every second of this bite, focusing on every flavor and texture of “The Ultimate Brisket Burger”: the crisp and salty jalapeno bacon, the melted sharp American cheese, the juicy beef of the burger melting in my mouth, and the sweet, tangy sauce coating the pulled pork, all between the crumbling corn bread bun.

Oh my gosh… this post sounds like food porn…

It’s Bacon… Brunch!

Today’s brunch features yesterday’s chicken soup, and a recipe I found on Wholefoods.com, that I immediately knew I needed to make!

I woke up nice and early to get the soup back on the stove and  and the bread in the oven, only to find Frank had used the last of the grated Parm! He was a good sport, though, and quickly ran out to the store to pick some up.

Bacon Bread

altered from Wholefoods

makes 24 thin slices

  • 8 slices turkey bacon, choppedWP_004611
  • 1 3/4 cup organic 100% whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby kale
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat grated Parmesean cheese
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/3 cup flax milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 9-x5-inch loaf pan, heavily, with non stick cooking spray; set aside. Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a medium bowl, and add flour, greens, cheese, baking powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Add flour mixture and fold together just until combined. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.

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Set aside to cool and settle until warm. Flip the loaf from the pan and carefully slice.

Nutrition: (per slice, 1/24 recipe)

Calories: 54, Fat: 1.3g, Sat. Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 4.6mg, Sodium: 140.2mg, Carbs: 7.7g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 0.2g, Protein: 2.8g

The soup and bread combo was a hit and almost everyone had seconds! I was lucky to have both my little brothers over for brunch, today, and they went to town on the bread. Wholefoods recommended serving the tea bread with fig jam, I figured the apple butter in the refrigerator would suffice.

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The next time, I’d like to try a little liquid smoke or something to add a little flavor to the turkey bacon…

Following brunch, dad and I squeezed in a catch before the Eagles/Redskins game! Go EAGLES!!! We won!

Around dinner time, I got smacked with a hanckering! Ever since dad and I split “The Julian” from Fresh Thymes, I’ve been thinking about sauerkraut. And with Frank making black beans and rice the other night, I wanted beans. I would up creating an odd quesadilla that hit the spot!

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I threw fat free refried beans, sauerkraut, fat free shredded cheddar cheese, and salsa on a sun-dried tomato wrap! I topped it with chili powder and hot sauce!

In Bulk

I had three goals today, all of which I accomplished!

  • Exercise
  • Make soup
  • Make today better than yesterday

I woke up and began making today’s recipe. I figured that it could simmer while I went to my Zumba toning class. I arrived at Zumba toning only to find out it had been cancelled! I guess thats what happens when you don’t check your facebook…

Nonetheless, I was determined to be active! As I drove home, I thought of what I could do and the chores I needed to do. Well, I need to pick up flour for tomorrow’s recipe… I decided to take the opportunity to continue to train for a 5K and ran 2.6 miles down to The Riverfront, where the ShopRite is. I always enjoy mixing up my running trails. Its like 5 Gum.. It “stimulates” my senses! Haha. I just enjoy the different scenery, smells, people….

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I was so proud of myself for making it there in 35 minutes, as opposed to the navigators estimate of 58! Yay for Refrain Running!

Frank picked me up and I treated him to a breakfast of “The Kim” from Fresh Thymes (bagel, cream cheese, onion, tomato, and lox), and grabbed a cinnamon coffee for myself. When I arrived back home, I whipped up a Black Forrest bowl, topped with Gnu’s Espresso Chip, and spent some time sending out resumes, and checking my email.

  • 1 scoop chocolate proteinWP_004603
  • 1/4 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Splenda packet
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp rum extract

It was just what I needed to fuel my day even further! Suddenly, I was Suzy Homemaker! I did tons of work! I began vacuuming and suddenly I realized this kitchen floor needs to be cleaned. I got on my hands and knees and began to scrub away. We have a textured floor and so much dirt gets stuck. Such a pain in the butt! Then, the old girl, Beauty, peed on the carpet. Poor baby. After I used the carpet cleaning machine to clean up the pup’s mess, decided the carpet could use a one over, too! Next thing I knew, the carpet was scrubbed and smelling good!

WP_004608It was also a good today because I had a lunch, a dinner, and a snack! Yes! Normalcy!

Dinner was a chicken cheese steak with onions, ketchup, and cheddar! The day flew by! I couldn’t believe how quickly it went! I ate like a real person, kept busy, got shopping done, cleaned the floors, did some laundry, and cooked one heck of a brunch for tomorrow!

In my opinion, cold weather has the best food! Sure I love fruits and veggies fresh from the garden, but I love chilies, soups, dumplings, turkey, pumpkin, and, hello, Christmas cookies! This is one of those recipes that means Jack Frost is in the air! Its a set and forget recipe, minus the crock pot, that yields beaucoup (boo-koo) amounts of soup! This family has no clue how to cook for a family… we cook for an army! We freeze this stuff and eat it year-round, but its usually gone by March… I use a 32 cm pot, about a 2-3 gallon pot, with lid.

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Chicken and Barley (Noodle) Soup??????????????

  • 10 chicken thighs
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • celery, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dried pot herb*
  • 2 cups uncooked barley
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • abobo, to amp up the flavor, if necessary**

Place chicken, water (to the top, about 40 cups) , carrots, celery, and pot herb*, cover, and simmer over lowest heat for 3 hours. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and add barley. Boil the barley, skimming off the starch as it forms, for about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse the barley, return to the pot with water, bring to a boil, again. Skim off the starch, boil for another 8 minutes, rinse and drain, until the water is clear.

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After 3 hours, the chicken will begin to float to the top of the pot, as will fat and marrow byproducts. With tongs, remove the chicken thighs and set aside, allowing to cool. While the thighs are cooling, add ketchup, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Remove the skin and bones from the thighs, and discard. Shred the chicken with your fingers, removing any fat or grissel. Return the shredded chicken to the pot, as well as the drained barley, recover and allow it to simmer for another 2 hours.

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Your heart and waistline will thank you.

Your heart and waistline will thank you.

Optional, but highly recommended: Working in batches, spoon the soup into containers and refrigerate. This allows grease and fats to float to the top and solidify, so it can be removed. This may take a few hours, I recommend letting sit over night. Skim the fat off the top and discard. Return all skimmed containers back to the pot, cover, and heat through.

If you are a noodle person, boil some pasta, we use farfelle (AKA bow tie). Once al dente, drain and rinse the pasta and divide amongst the bowls. It can also be served, as is! Ladle the soup on top, and finish with a sprinkle of reduced fat grated Parm!

WP_004702*Pot herb: Pot herb is, technically, any green grown for the use of its leaves, including kale, collards, parsley, ect. Typically, mom and I use fresh pot herb, which is hard to find, but some grocery store have it in the produce department. If using fresh, place in a paper bag over night before using. Snip off most  of the pepper, with just a piece of the pepper still in tact, and throw the whole thing in there! If using dry, place two tablespoons in a cheese cloth and create a spice ball, and throw the whole thing in!WP_004607

**Abodo: The broth in this recipe is from scratch and sometimes the chicken flavor may not shine through. If this is the case, sprinkle some adobo in, to taste. It brings out all the flavors in the soup!

Sorry bloggers! Its a huge vat and goes pretty quickly! A rough estimate would be around 135 calories per serving. Even without the noodles, its keeps you seriously full!

Slacker Blogger

Brisk Awakenings

After dinner, Tuesday night, I was a bit manic. I decided the best thing to do would be to go to bed. Thank goodness I did because at 1220am I got a phone call from work.

“Hey, are you okay?”

Yeah. Is everything alright?

“You were on the schedule for 11p-7a and its not likeyou to not show. We were getting worried about you.”

I didn’t have that in my schedule and I felt terrible! I made to work in under 40 minutes! I have NEVER done that before and felt just awful about leaving my team hanging!

WP_004579While I made a mug of coffee, I began stressing about food.Oh man, I already ate, but I can’t go through my shift without eating… Dad suggested a salad! Genius! I quickly tossed carrots, spinach and a cherry pepper in a container and ran off to work.

If the coffee didn’t wake me up the bitter cold of midnight did! Brrr, baby!

At 3am, we sat down to eat, and I added mushrooms, onions, and beets from the caf to round out my salad. I got to try out my new salad dressing, too! Walden Farms put out a few new dressings and the idea if a Balsamic Pear sounded spectacular! It really was good! It was probably the sweetest salad dressing I’ve ever had, so I did not need a lot of it!

I’ve worked three night shift this week. Some other featured meals of the week were Three-Shroom soup, which I made after work one morning, protein hot chocolate, and To-Go Tuna.

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On a side note, I’ve never had this tuna before, and, frankly, I was a bit skeptical. Pre-packaged tuna salad?? I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed the 90 calorie pack! I mixed it with BBQ sauce and honey mustard, and served it over some veggies from the caf.

WP_004590After my final 12 hour shift of the week, I finally figured it out! I need to keep a 100 calorie pack with me for that 5am hungry strike! I couldn’t shake how hungry I was, no matter how much water I drank. Luckily, Brittany came to the rescue with Special K. Note to self: get 100 calorie pack for work!

Slacker

WP_004591I hate when I don’t blog! The last few days have been filled with food paranoia! In fact, when I woke up from a nap, after work this morning, I grabbed pretzel sticks and peanut butter, and started feeling the heavy chest. Despite being so tired, I couldn’t be home. I was thankful my iPod was in the car. Since it was Friday, and my Friday Tradition of Banana’s Foster coffee has been setting me for a good weekend, I took a round about way with some Refrain Running to Fresh Thymes to complete a total of 2.5 miles! I sat at Fresh Thymes chatting with the girls, sipping my coffee, reading some local mags, and jotting down things on a napkin to shut my busy brain up.

I have also found myself rediscovering my love of PB&J! Weather on crackers, toast, applesauce, rice cake… heck I dipped a grape in my Better n Butter! If thats not the epitome and PB&J!

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To make up for my blogging laziness, heres a new soup recipe to keep you toasty this winter! I based most of this off a South Beach Recipe.

Three-Shroom Soup

makes 4 cups

  • 1/4 ounce mushrooms, porcini, dried (about 1/3 cup)WP_004597
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 8 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 20 ounces cauliflower, florets, frozen or fresh and steamed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, black, freshly ground
  • 4 tablespoon non fat sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  •  1/8 to 1/4 tsp thyme, to taste
  • 1 4oz can of mushroom stems and pieces
  • 1 tsp parsley

In a small saucepan, bring the porcini mushrooms and 1/2 cup of the broth to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside. Spray a medium nonstick saucepan with non stick cooking spray, add the baby bellas, onion, and garlic, and cover over low heat. Cook/steam the vegetables, stirring often, until softened. Meanwhile, place the frozen cauliflower in a strainer and allow it to thaw, OR if using fresh, mildly steam in the microwave and drain excess water.

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Add the remaining 3 cups broth to the soup. Drain the porcini in a strainer held over the saucepan so the soaking liquid is added to the soup. Add the cauliflower, salt, pepper, and thyme, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute to heat the cauliflower through.

Meanwhile, cut the porcini into slivers, and then roughly chop. Transfer the hot soup in batches to a blender or food processor, and purée until smooth. After the first blending, add the sour cream, nutmeg and chopped porcini mushroom to the processor. While the soup is blending, drain the can of mushroom pieces and roughly chop. Return the incredibly pulverized and smooth soup back to the pot, over medium-low heat, and add the drained, chopped mushrooms and parsley.

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Heat the soup through and serve. Dad simply added salt and pepper, to taste, and asked for more, while Barry paired his bowl with a few shots of hot sauce and a grilled ham and cheese.

Bundo Bleus

Monday, yesterday, began with a adrenaline. I had planned on an early morning, to cook today’s featured recipe and bring it up to Philly. The alarm never went off, and I woke up to Barry, telling me it was 9am. WHAT?! I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to toss the dish in the oven and get ready for our day in Philly.

The following is a recipe that gets filed away under comfort food. Its a recipe, that is a specialty of my moms, that I’ve minimally altered to cut some fat and calories. I grew up falling in love with this meal and have great memories of being my mom’s sous chef.

Not only is this a favorite of mine, its a favorite of my Aunt Chrissy’s. My mom and I would bake a batch for her birthday every year and for the past few years, I’ve continued the tradition, each year playing around with recipe.

Bundo Cordon Bleu

makes about 18 rolls

  • 1 box chicken stuffingWP_004554
  • 5 Tbsp Sugar free pancake syrup, (OR 3 Tbsp honey, or agave (or a combo)), divided
  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 2 cans 98% fat free Cream of Chicken condensed soup
  • 6 slices 96% fat free honey ham (around 60 cal per serving)
  • 5 slices thin-sliced provolone cheese (around 40 calories per slice, like Sargento)
  • 6 slices fat free sharp, cheddar, or American cheese (around 30 calories per slice)

Boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a pot. Once boiling, add 1 Tbsp sugar free syrup, followed by the box of stuffing mix. Turn off the heat and partially cover pot with a lid, to vent. In the meantime, carefully filet the chicken breast into thin slices, about 18 filets total. Set aside. In a bowl, empty the two cans of cream of chicken and 3 Tbsp of syrup. Set aside. Slice the provolone into 4 quarters, each slice, the sharp cheese into 6 slices, per slices, and the ham into 3 or 6 slices, per slice.

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Scoop 1/2 cup of the sweetened, condensed soup into the bottom of a 13 x 9 pyrex, and evenly coat its bottom. Lay a chicken filet out. (If necessary, to allow more surface area, place the breast under a piece of clear wrap and pound with a meat mallet). Do this to each chicken fillet. WP_004547 Preheat the oven to 350 F. Fill each fillet by laying one quarter of provolone, two slices sharp cheese, and one to two slices of ham, depending on how it was sliced). Scoop 1 Tbsp of the sweetened stuffing on one side of the chicken and roll the breast closed. Place this roll on the thin layer of soup in the pyrex. Repeat this filling and rolling process with each chicken fillet, rolling tightly, and placing them snug in the dish. WP_004549 WP_004550

You may have stray pieces of chicken. Chop these up and stir into soup mix. After all the rolls have been made, evenly coat the rolled breasted with the entire bowl of chicken soup. Lastly, crumble 1/4 cup of the prepared stuffing over the entire dish (which will crisp while baking).

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Cover the pyrex tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, rotate the dish 180 degrees and bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes. Allow the dish to rest for 15 minutes. WP_004565 You will have about 1/2 cup remaining of stuffing. I find that dads are a great way to rid of this. WP_004574

Nutrition: (per roll, 1/18 recipe) Calories: 124, Fat: 3.4g, Sat. Fat: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 530mg, Carbs: 8.9g, Fiber: 0.9g, Sugar: 1.1g, Protein: 14.5g

Its almost too hard to resist when you pull it out of the oven. Somehow, I pulled myself together and refrained myself, so I could eat it for tonight’s, Tuesday’s, dinner. As odd as it sounds, this stuff is even BETTER as leftovers! I can’t believe my mom has actually given me permission to share this recipe! Grant it, its my version, but her recipe is coveted; I mean lock and key!

Our Veteran’s Day, Monday, adventures consisted of a trip to the cemetery with my grandmother to give my hero, my vet, my poppop, a copy of my nursing license! After spending some time with mommom, Barry and I hit a few health food stores, since I was in a weird mood and really did not want to go home. While we were out, we found these adorable apples, called Lady Apples! How cute!

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I invited Barry and dad over for dinner, prepared some stuffing, as well as cut green beans and onions. We sat down and ate dinner, while watching a movie. “Dinner and a movie?” dad asked. “This was a pleasant surprise!” I have to warn you, folks, that this recipe is addicting! There is NO WAY you can eat just one roll! We all went back for seconds! Yes, even I grabbed another! When the lights came back on, dad cracked me up! “Oh, I missed some!” and her began to eat what was left on the bowl. “That was plate-lickin’ good, Bunch!” (Dad calls me “Bunch.”)

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There ya have it! Its “Plate-lickin’ Good!”

Pistachios.

Last night, I could not fall asleep when I got home. A bit manic, I got a jump start on 2 recipes I was planning on making this morning. Instead I made them at 1am this morning! While the cake was in the oven, I assembled chicken cordon bleu (recipe on Monday’s post).

I will never forget the first time I fell in love with pistachio… not the nuts, but everything else. It was highschool and my girlfriend, Leah, brought in Pistachio Chocolate Chip cake for one of our friend’s birthday. I was a bit skeptical but after the first crumb touched my tongue, I was sunk. It was loaded with chocolate chips and smothered with chocolate icing! I, then, tried pistachio pudding, pistachio ice cream, and so on… Heck, I even made shakes!

I asked her for the recipe and its probably one of the easiest cake recipes. But just because its easy doesn’t mean it isn’t good… its fantastic! I remember huge chunks of chocolate scattered in the green cake, all pulled together with chocolate icing. Here is my take on her recipe.

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makes 24 slices

  • 1 box fat free, sugar free Pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 box sugar free, non butter, yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup liguid egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup non fat sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (more, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate syrup OR Chocolate icing

WP_004545Preheat the oven to 350 F. Blend the cake and pudding mix. In a separate bowl, whisk the applesauce, egg, extract, and sour cream. Add the wet to the dry and mix well. Whisk in the mini semi sweets. Transfer the dense batter into a well sprayed bundt pan. Using the back of a spoon or spatula, spread the batter into one even level. Bake for 45 min.

Removed from the oven and let rest for about 8 minutes. Flip the cake onto a plate, and allow the cake to cool. Once the cake has cooled and has been removed from the bundt pan, drizzle the top with your syrup or icing.

Nutrition (per 1/24, 1 slice):

Calories: 81, Fat: 1.8g, Sat. Fat: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 228mg, Carbs: 17.4g, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 1.6g, Protein: 1.9g

Thanks for the original recipe, Leah! I hope this one does you justice! I wish these pictures could show the beautiful green color of the cake! Its so elegant. The texture of the cake is a little less dense than a pound cake and the chocolate adds so much creaminess!

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I sliced a slice, drizzled a little more SF chocolate syrup for garnish, and enjoyed it with a mug of coffee!

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I started thinking, after I sliced it up, about adding chopped pistachios into the batter the next time, or using it as a garnish over top the chocolate syrup! Oh the possibilities!

My mother, the picky eater that she is, actually went back for seconds! I, then , packed up a bit for Amy, at work, my Aunt, for her birthday, and my mommom, for her sweet tooth.

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My mid-morning, sort of lunch time snack, was a sliced bell pepper, wrapped in honey ham, with salsa. Yums!

I was pretty hungry early on in my shift, soI ran down stairs to grab another 32 oz cup and a few snackables from the caf. At soon as 5pm hit, I was back downstairs for the grill to be on and grabbed the steamed mixed veggies, a container of shredded carrots, broccoli, onions, zucchini, and green beans, which I sprinkled with old bay.

A patient’s family ahd brought in Dunkin Donuts, and another family, Philly Pretzel Factory. I’m really not a donut girl, but bread, I would eat all day, if I could. I ate 1/4, a quarter, of a pretzel and could feel some anxiety creeping up. I was comfortable. I didn’t over eat. I was, luckily, able to talk myself down.

That was the trick and it held me over until close to 9pm, when I finished the last slice of Savory Pumpkin Quiche. It was pretty good with BBQ sauce.

The closer 11pm came, the more tired I felt, and the more heavy my chest was feeling. This anxiety stuff sucks! Nonetheless, it was another good shift, where I kept busy, and my mind focused on work.

Emotion-Coaster

It was rather a rollercoaster of a day. It started out great, then got bad, then it got better, and then it was just okay.

Before I get into that, I have to share with you some of my mad scientist brain. My hot chocolate did not quite satisfy my sweet tooth last night. I popped a mini bag of popcorn, for crunch, drizzled a bit of SF chocolate syrup, for the sweet, and a handful of raspberries for juice and tartness! Sounds crazy but it was pretty awesome and did the trick!

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I got up to make dad breakfast before he headed off to work. Today is National Scrapple Day, so I made his favorite: scrapple, egg whites, and cheese on a toasted everything bagelthin with hot sauce!

After a mug of coffee and some resume sending, I thought scrapple sounded great! How dare I, a Delawarean, not celebrate National Scrapple Day?! Right as I was about to toss a slice of toast in the toaster oven, it hit me! While picking out my bell peppers, yesterday, at the farmers market, a woman mention stuffed peppers. I could totally make a breakfast stuffed pepper! I could stuff it with anything! Its genius! (If you want stuffed peppers for dinner, try out my Quinoa Stuffed Peppers!)

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serves 2

  • 1 medium bell pepper, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute, divided
  • 2 oz scrapple (or meat of choice), divided
  • hot sauce (or condiment of choice)
  • cheese (optional)

Spray a pan with non stick cooking spray, and lay the pepper halves, boat style, and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, brown 1 oz of scrapple, or meat of choice. Once browned, roughly dice the meat, spray the pan with non stick cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup egg over top. Top egg with condiment (and cheese). Quickly, fold the eggs over to just barely cook. Transfer the egg mix into a pepper half. Repeat with the remaining meat, eggs, and pepper. Bake at 350 F for another 15 minutes.

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I sprinkled mine with reduced fat grated parm! MMMMM!

It really was a great idea! A few hours later, I knew I needed to get food in my stomach before work. There was no way I could run my shift with some little calories in my system. Some peanut butter and pretzel sticks later? An anxiety attack!

Not only was I frustrated, for some reason, about eating lunch, I was frustrated with myself for this stupid anxiety attack! I had been doing so well! Why now? Darn it!!!!

I pulled myself together, enough, to get ready for work. My thinking was Sammy, if your at work, your moving, which means you’re burning calories…

As always, work pulled me out of my funk and I threw myself into my patients. I kept myself busy until, my stomach told me it was time to eat. Amy and I headed down to the caf and I was pleased to find steamed broccoli on the menu. I dug into some steamed broccoli, sprinkled with Old Bay, and raw mushrooms and baby corn. I grabbed the plum for mom.

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WP_004543Around 830, I sat down, once more, to the last slice of Sweet Pumpkin Quiche, which I topped with toasted coconut and raisins! I felt a little leery about eating, but I knew that it was best for me! How can I take care of my patients and set an example if I’m not healthy and taking care of myself? 

I had to have been the most hydrated I have ever been, tonight! Early in my shift, I grabbed a 32 oz cup so I could refill it throughout the night. I drank FOUR of these! FOUR!