Boli!!!!

Ok… I’m done work early, and have 1 and 1/2 heads of cauliflower in the fridge…. Game on!

Low Carb Boli

makes 1 large boli, 6 slices

Crust

  • 1 medium cauliflower, to make 6 cups riced WP_008685
  • cheese cloth
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded fat free cheddar and/or mozzarella
  • salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, to taste

Filling

  • 6 Tbsp pasta sauce of choice
  • whatever the heck you want
  • 1/4 cup shredded fat free cheddar and/or mozzarella (more if you’d like)

Topping

  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Cut your cauliflower into pieces and place in you food processor. Process until the cauliflower is riced. Measure out 6 cups of the riced cauliflower and transfer to a bowl. Microwave for 8 min.

While awaiting the microwave, combine the liquid egg substitute, with shredded and grated cheese, along with seasoning. Toss it with a fork and set aside.

Carefully transfer the steamed cauliflower to the cheese cloth and remove as much liquid as you can. Don’t sweat it, if there is still some WP_008682liquid in the riced cauliflower, just don’t burn yourself trying to get it all out!

Transfer the strained, riced cauliflower to the bowl of egg, cheese, and seasoning. Use a fork to blend and flush ingredients together.

Spray a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with non stick spray, and dump you dough in the center. Using to hands, spread the dough to  the sides and approximately 13-14 in long. Bake for 13 minutes.

While this is baking, figure out what you want to add. I highly recommend using this time to cook down and vegetables, and cook out some grease from meats. Its pretty simple. Throw all your goods in a pan, cover with a lid, and cook over medium.

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Once your timer sounds, remove it from the oven. Drain the filling goods of any liquid or juices, and transfer to the center of the dough, distributing it evenly from top to bottom. Top 3/4 of the dough with sauce, followed by cheese.

Use your hands or the parchment paper to assist you in rolling the bare side of the  dough over the middle fillings, followed by the sauce and cheese side over that. Again, by hand, or using the parchment paper, roll the stromboli over so the seam is facing down. Sprinkle the topping mix over the boli and return to the oven for a final 12 min.

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Remove from the oven and allow it to settle for a brief 3 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces, beginning with the knife’s tip in the middle, and cutting to the edge, worked best for me.

Serve it with a side of dipping sauce/marinara and Buon Appitito!

The macros will vary depending on the fillings, but for the crust with toppings, here they are:

Nutrition (1 slice, 1/6 of recipe):

Calories:57, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 173mg, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 7g

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Chicken-Stuffed

With so much cauli in the fridge, I made two strombolis:

  1. Made with myself in mind: 4oz cooked chicken, broccoli, onion, sliced banana peppers, and garlic
  2. Made with the men in mind: chopped turkey and ham lunch meats, onion, broccoli, garlic, and chopped tomatoes
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Meaty Goodness

Both were winners, but I hate to say  that the second one tasted legit! As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite calzone is ham, spinach, and ricotta. I’ve made a pizza out of that craving, but I can not wait to make this craving into a stromboli! Gah! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Oh man! And brush it with garlic butter on top!!

 

Indulgent Weekend

After my solid nap and trip with dad to the grocery store, Frank called and offered to buy dinner. I seriously debated saying “no” but I can’t go wrong with steamed shrimp and vegetables. To help me out, dad and I split my Hot&Sour soup and my shrimp and vegetables. I ate the soup and steamed up some more veggies and saved the shrimp and vegetables for my night shift. After a nice dinner and some bill paying, I tiredly went to the couch to attempt a power nap before work. I did not get a power nap, but I got out a good cry. Last night’s episode of Glee had me balling my eyes out from the second it started. I think I cried even harder because, in all honesty, its been a pretty emotional week. I think Glee just provided me the outlet.

I can’t help but dwell on lacking a position as a nurse. I think I’m the only one I know that has not gotten hired, yet. I just don’t understand. Dad says its because I’m so used to exceeding at everything I put my mind to, that this is new concept to me. I guess he’s got a point. Since I’ve been dwelling, I can’t help but think I’ve not only let myself down, but my family… my grandparents, in particular.

I need to stop this self-pity crap! Let’s move onto the goods…

I always call work before arriving for an 11pm shift. The night shift nurses come on at 7pm and I like to see if anyone needs anything on my way in. My girlfriend, Natasha, a major support person throughout my recovery, asked if I would grab her a coffee. No prob! Easy peasy! I though I was clever, at home, before leaving as I brewed my coffee with SF french vanilla creamer and a splash of SF Pumpkin Pie syrup. Natasha is a genius! “A 16oz pumpkin coffee with Irish cream and 2 Splenda.” After I gave it a try, I felt defeated, but in a good way… This was sooooo good! My coffee had been out-done. I can’t wait to grab another!

WP_004169The weather continued to be dreary, rainy, dark, and terrible… all in time for my alternator to die! Frank was kind enough to take me to my dads at 10pm, and my dad was kind enough to lend me the truck to take to work. Thanks, guys!

Despite the miserable weather and hour-long Glee cry fest, with my adorable cuddle-buddy, I came to work in a great mood! In fact, my shift began with a fun size M&M and  a Dum Dum sucker. I was expecting to be on the floor tonight, but, alas, I would spend my final night shift of my four day span in my 1:1. My patient decided  that they wanted to stay up all night. Once your patient falls asleep on night shift, you kind of want to fall asleep, too; so I was kind of okay with that, and we began our 8 hours together with a game of Phase 10.  I made a solid point to remain standing and walking around, despite being in a single room. I took a bathroom run every 2 hours or so, refilled my water bottle frequently, and even read my book and charted while standing. I think having all the lights in the room on helped , too.

When I was relieved for my break, I went down to caf to scope out the goods. There wasn’t really much in the way of what I would consider “goods.” Nonetheless, I hit up the salad bar, grabbing an assortment of vegetables, like bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and beets. The snack machine also caught my eye with Smartfoods Cinnamon  Brown Sugar popped chips. 100  calories for the whole bag? I’ll give it a shot…

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They weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible, either. Instead, I completed my vegetables with a miso soup packet, and later snacked on some white cheddar popcorn. ( I guess it was a Smartfoods kind of shift). Oh yeah, there was a snack size snickers in there, too… Damn bag of chocolate. As Barry says, “Chocolate makes the world go round.” My reply, “Chocolate, too, makes my belly go round.”

It was quite a fiberful and satisfying meal and I, then, returned my patient’s room. When I’m in 1:1s, I notice my posture sucks, so I made a conscious effort to try to use my core muscles to both sit and stand tall. The result was a sore pack for most of my shift. I’m glad I was standing most of the night so I could continually twist and stretch to try to relieve some pain.

After a quick powernap at dad’s he drove me to Barry’s on his way to work. We have some errands to run to get ready for the weekend ahead of us.

This weekend is going to be a doozy and all this past week I’ve been preparing myself for it. In fact, next week will probably be part of the recovery process.

Tomorrow, one of my best friend from nursing school is getting married and I could not be more happy for her!

The following day is Vendemmia (which I’m thinking might be postponed due to this terrible weather Wilmington is having)!

Oddly enough, since I’ve been stressing about calories in preparation for these events, I’ve actually eaten close to 1000 calories everyday.  I really don’t know how I feel about that…

Today is National Sausage Pizza Day. Dad and I happened to find Al Fresco Chicken Sausage on sale at the store last week and I came up with the idea to combine the best of two pizzas…

Buffalo Sausage Pizza

The Crust:WP_004183

  • 1 md to lg head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp corn meal

The Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese Wedges, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, granulatedWP_004181
  • 1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 3 Tbsp OIKOS plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Al Fresco Buffalo-style  Chicken Sausage burgers
  • 4-5 tsp hot sauce, or tobasco/pepper sauce, divided, plus more for taste, if desired
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat crumbled blue cheese

Preheat the oven at 400 F. Steam the chopped cauliflower. Drain and transfer to the food processor and briefly pulse the cauliflower until it is riced. Combine the warm riced cauliflower with the shredded mozzarella, liquid egg, and spices. Sprinkle a heated pizza stone or pizza pan with the cornmeal and spread the cauliflower dough evenly over top to form the crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, add the onion to a small pan, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, and cover, remaining on a low heat, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle with pepper, to taste. In another small skillet, sprayed, add the patties. Break up the patties using two spatulas, and cook over medium heat just enough to begin browning. Drain the meat, and place in a bowl. Toss the slightly browned meat with 1 tsp hot sauce, and set aside.

Remove the set crust and reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Using a spatula, slide around the crust to ensure it is not sticking to the stone. In a small cup, stir the cheese wedges, garlic, ranch, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp hot sauce, and yogurt together, until smooth. Spread the mixture over the hot, baked crust, followed by the caramelized onions. Further chop the shredded mozzarella and top the pizza. Finally, add the seasoned ground chicken. Pour any remaining hot sauce from the bowl over the top and sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 8 minutes, turn the pizza 180 degrees, top with crumbled blue cheese, and additional 2 tsp of hot sauce. Return to the oven for another 8 minutes, slice, and serve.

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Nutritional Facts: (1/8 pizza)

Calories: 104, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 621mg, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 12g

I served the pizza with a tray of celery sticks and baby carrots on the side. I made a quick dipping sauce using 1 LC Blue wedge, lots of hot sauce, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tsp ranch mix, some red pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp of a light blue cheese dressing (like Walden Farms).

The night was completed with some marble cake our neighbor gave us. Oh my gosh, the frosting was amazing! Tempting! Fudgey! Decadent! Thats what kept us going back for nibbles.

I am completing the rest of the night with my mom and a movie!

Homemade Birthday

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day! I didn’t want meat included into my birthday dinner, so I began to play around with gnocchi recipes that incorporated tofu, tempeh, or seitan. I stressed about my birthday dinner for about a week prior. I knew the ingredients I wanted to use, but couldn’t decide how to utilize them… Red sauce? White sauce? Pesto? Wine?  I finally came across this recipe. It appealed to my Sicilian genes and thought it sounded delicious. I figured I could make this into a hearty meal to play with everyone’s taste buds, but I definitely want to make it with the eggplant in the future!

After looking at my other Sicilian recipes, I finally realized where I get this salty sweet tooth from! They love combining savory and sweet and this recipe does just that with the capers and raisins.

Its also a great way to kick off Italian Heritage Month!

Sicilian-Inspired Rabe and Pasta

serves 6-8

  • 1/2 lb broccoli rabeWP_004088
  • 6-8 servings pasta/ gnocchi
  • 2 Tbsp fat free ricotta
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 4 tsp minced garlic, divided
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 packet Splenda
  • 1 15 oz can no-salt-added sliced stewed tomatoes, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Brummel and Brown, or low cal, light buttery spread
  • 1 45 calorie box raisins, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers, chopped

Bring two pots filled with water to a boil. Once boiling, add broccoli rabe to one pot and pasta/gnocchi to the other. The broccoli rabe cooks for about 4 minutes. When the 4 minutes have passed, drain the broccoli rabe and set aside to cool. Cook the pasta according to standard directions.

In the meantime, drain the can of tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Combine the reserved liquid with water and wine. In a food processor, blend ricotta, basil, 2 tsp garlic, crushed red pepper, Splenda, and 1/3 cup drained tomatoes. Set aside.

In a large skillet, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, over low heat, add the onion. Toss the onion until it begins to brown. Chop the remaining stewed tomatoes. Add the remaining garlic and light buttery spread, chopped tomatoes, and chopped raisins and capers. Cover and simmer for a few minutes. Add the reserved tomato/water liquid and ricotta mix. Recover and simmer.

WP_004091Meanwhile, chop the drained and cooled broccoli rabe, and add to the skillet. Recover the skillet and simmer over low heat.

Turn off the heat, remove the lid, stir the pan, and serve over plated pasta. Top with reduced fat grated parmesean, if desired.

I served this over the gnocchi I had made last week! I really enjoyed it!

September 13

Some pretty interesting things happened on this day in history:

1224 – Francis of Assisi is afflicted with stigmata.

1503 – Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David.

1788 – NY City becomes 1st capital of US

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith (R-Me) elected senator, 1st woman to serve in both houses of Congress

1963 – “Outer Limits” premieres on ABC TV

1965 – Beatles release “Yesterday”

1974 – Phillies set NL record, using 27 players in a game, St Louis uses 24, tying record of 51. Phils win 7-3 in 17

To make today even cooler… Its not just September 13th… And its not just National Peanut Day… Its Friday, September 13th!

Do you know what else happened?

1960– My daddy was born!

I follow a law in my head that I call “Experi-mentality.” Its another word I made up. I like to do that… Remember “Crock-Pot-It?”

Experimentality: ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt, men-ˈta-lə-tē

experiment: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law

mentality: a particular way of thinking

experimentality: the operation of thinking up procedures to be carried out to discover an unknown outcome

Sound pretty scientific, huh?

WP_003882With all of these things falling on one day, all of our shakes followed a theme. We’ll start with the birthday boy and his Birthday Cake Shake:

  • 2 scoops cookie n cream shake mix (1 scoop vanilla and 1 scoop chocolate will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp jimmies/ sprinkles, more for garnish
  • water
  • ice

WP_003885I created a Black Cat Shake for Franks:

  • 1 scoop chocolate shake
  • 1 scoop cafe latte shake
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Black berries (mixed berries will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free licorice syrup
  • water
  • ice

I was expecting Franks shake to be much dark, but it turned out reminding me of  the color of red velvet ice cream. For myself, I call it a Mexican Jumping Bean. There were no peanuts to be found in the house, but of peanut butter, there is plenty…

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I got myself to eat some chips and salsa last night and with the pb being in reach, I’m  always one to experiment. What a combo! I would have never thought salsa and peanut butter would pair! It could be because I’m PMS-ing, but it worked for me. Frank tried it and WP_003886immediately said “No way…” I guess its a love it or hate it shake…  It reminded me of chili chocolate. So heres the Mexican Jumping Bean Shake:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate shake mix
  •  3 Tbsp mild salsa
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • the slightest pinch of cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way)
  • water
  • ice
  • xanthum and/or guar (optional)

I kept busy for the entire day! I even ate! I made a seaweed salad for the first time, to surprise dad with one of his favorite foods. It turned out great! I spent most of my day cleaning the carpets, however.

WP_003889Frank began to whip up a seafood gravy, and its always delicious! But I haven’t eaten it since he used sooooo much olive oil! With his weight loss goals, he has been cutting back on a lot of fattening ingredients in his cooking. Frank said it could be dads birthday dinner. I pulled out the last box of Paul Sorvino’s spaghetti. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. I figured dad’s birthday would suffice. I wanted to to be able to eat dinner with my dad, so I sucked it up, cooked up a bag of Spaghetti Tofu Shiratki noodles, and topped it with a bit of seafood sauce. Frank was happy that I ate his cooking. He knows I enjoy it. Dad’s plate looked like a tour around the world. I had prepared the seaweed salad for him earlier in the day, and Frank made the pasta. I finished his meal off with a birthday drink of Diet Rum and Coke.

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up, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl! Pretty much every childhood memory involves my dad. My first memory of music is my dad popping in the cassette to Locomotion in the stereo, and us dancing around the living room. Music has always been one thing that always has tied us together…

If you couldn’t tell by our matching tattoos… Haha

No matter the song, no matter the situation, my dad would always come up with a song, or a spoof off a song with my name in it. One song he still sings is “Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie… I kiss Sammy Bundo’s eye!” Its silly, I know, but it works.

In honor of the birthday boy and in honor of our daddy-daughter bond over music, I created a special birthday surprise for him:

Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie

serves 8

The Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) low fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown
  • 3 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ground flax, optionalWP_003901

The Apple Peach Pie:

  • 2-3 Fuji apples (enough to yield 2 cups once sliced)
  • 2 4oz NSA peach snack cups, like Del Monte (do not drain)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

The Pumpkin Pie:

  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter with 2 Tbsp water. Microwave until just melted. In a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One and graham crackers to a breadcrumb-like consistency, along with the Splenda. Once its ground, pour the melted butter and blend well.

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Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute crust mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple and peach filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples to produce 2 cups full. In a large nonstick pot on the stove, combine all ingredients for the filling except apples and peaches.  Add 1/3 cup water and mix until ingredients have dissolved. Bring to medium-high heat stirring frequently. Add apples and stir. After about 5 minutes, empty the peach cups, undrained, in the pan and stir. Lower the heat to medium low and stir occasionally until sauce thickens for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and  set aside, while making the pumpkin filling. Combine all the pumpkin filling ingredients and set aside.

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Carefully transfer the apple and peach filling into the cooled pie crust and evenly spread. Top with the pumpkin mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 425 F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F, rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees, again, and finish baking for a final 15 minutes, until the center has just set. Remove the oven and allow to cool.

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Slice and top with whipped cream and pecans (optional).

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Nutrition: (1/8 of recipe)

Calories: 165, Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 259 mg, Carbs: 33.3g, Fiber: 5.1g, Sugars: 17.8g, Protein: 3.8g

WP_003902My kitchen smelled amazing! It took everything out of me not to cut into this baby! “Can’t we sing happy birthday, today, dad???” I said yesterday.

We apparently didn’t have a number 3 candle! But we all loved this pie! It was mildly sweet, the flavors went well, it was light, and the crust was crisp….

We finished this wonderful day with playing Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, doing a birthday jig, and watching the new Star Trek movie on DVD!

WP_003904 ?????!

I loved  seeing dads face as I ate my dinner, and hearing him talk about how happy he was to see me in such a good mood! I am so blessed to be one of those lucky girls in the world that gets to be so close to her dad.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Mad Cow

I arrived at work, last night, and was somehow relieved to be in a 1:1. I wouldn’t be tempted to nibble. I spent the next 8 hours watching movies and reading up a storm! My friend from high school was always a writer. He recently sent me a copy of his pilot for a miniseries he wrote to proof. He and I both were in theatre. I was honored to finally read his work  and took advantage of this night shift to read it. It was fantastic! His descriptions were so vivid, it was like I was watching it! I was disappointed when it ended when the pilot ended. Wheres the rest? I kept thinking, scrolling with the mouse as if I had misplaced the page on the screen. Don’t leave me hanging!

Around 2 am, I took a brief break and enjoyed the broccoli salad I had made. It was better now than it was before! It was so filling, too, that only around 5am did I start to get a bit hungry. I curbed this with two saltines and, sticking with my green theme of the night, a reduced-sodium miso soup. I love these packets! Only 25 calories and I’m content!

WP_003790It was a great shift and I felt great when I left. I then met dad at my mechanics to drop off my car. By the time we got home, I was starving. I had bought dad Dunkin to begin his day of work. I got home and wanted a breakfast sandwich. Alas, I could not bring myself to do it and I really wanted breakfast meat. I was still pleased with the end a result. I made the messiest and ugliest lean beef scrapple, swiss, and spinach omelet over half a toasted english muffin. With hot sauce, of course.

To make my day even better, I was full and spent it with my mom. We drove out to Cowtown, New Jersey and then to the Farmers Market. Unfortunately, I was surrounded by the smells of indulgence! I called this the Cowtown Devil: Its a pretzel  braid, sliced lengthwise stuffed with cheesesteak! The smell wafts around the market. Its almost impossible to resist!

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Also an irresistible treat to look forward to at Cowtown is this lemonade. Lots of places serve fresh squeezed lemonade, but Duke’s is where its at!

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I couldn’t bring myself to get either one of these treats but mom did buy me a huge container of raspberries from one of the produce stands, which helped curb my appetite.

Following the Cowtown experience, we decided to go to the Farmer’s Market. While I was there, I couldn’t bring myself to eat a thing. Not a simple thing! I did, however, find a surprise in one of the candy stores. I always get a sugar free cordial cherry, but, today, I found sugar free Chick-o-sticks! Sometimes I can’t decide if I like these of Butterfinger bites better… To make this even better, they’re bite sized! I grabbed three! Oh my! Only 17 calories each! I can live with this! I did eat one!

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That was last thing I ate until close to 7pm. Mom had once again oWP_003795rdered hoagies. I guess the fresh turkey was too much for my deprived WP_003794body to resist and ended up eating out the turkey meat from the hoagie. It was heavenly! I followed this with a box of vegetables. And then, sliced up a whole bell pepper and steamed that, as well. I was starving, but did not know it until I ate.

 

Almost immediately following the last bite, I went into a full-blown anxiety attack! I cried on the couch with Frank on one side and mom on the other. I squeezed their hands as I cried and talked myself out of purging…

Is Mad Cow disease airborne? Something set me off!

One Slice Wit Wiz

Today began with a plan: Refrain Run to the store, grab cat food, swing by the garage and grab my bike, put air in the tire, ride it home and enjoy a shake. Things went just as planned, except for the fact that I left the key to the garage at home. Yay, for Frank being awake because he ran it over to me. It inspired him and he proposed that he grab his bike and we ride together! After walking our deflated bikes to the gas station, we rode them home.

I forgot the muscle groups biking works. My quads hated me! It was so great to see Frank on a bike! He was smiling, and really enjoying himself! This brief little bike ride set us up for a great day of decisions!

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While I prepared our shakes, Frank brewed some coffee. I made Frank a Banana Blondie shake, which is just the Blondie recipe with a banana, and a Butterfinger shake bowl for me, which is a Blondie shake with chocolate protein mix, rather than vanilla. I threw a handful of spinach in mine for a little added vitamins.

After some conversation and mild house chores, and preparation for tonight’s dinner, Frank and I sat down to lunch. A yummy salad! I threw my random, last piece of tempeh from the fridge, the last of the olives, and sliced the last of the onion to make my light lunch. The picture kind of looks like a face…

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good cheesesteak! What  I don’t love is the typical carbs, fat, and excessive calories that go with it. With my new Chicken Steak-Umms screaming my name from the freezer, this was created!

Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza

serves 4-8

The Crust:

  • 1 md to lg head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp corn meal

WP_003692The Topping:

  • 1 md bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 md onion, sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 4 slices Chicken Steak-Umm
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fat free shredded cheddar cheese

The Wiz:

  • 2 Tbsp non fat sour cream
  • 2 slices fat free cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven at 400 F. Steam the chopped cauliflower. Drain and transfer to the food processor and briefly pulse the cauliflower until it is riced. Combine the warm riced cauliflower with the shredded mozzarella, liquid egg, and spices.

Spray a pan well with non stick cooking spray. Add the sliced peppers, cover with a lid, and allow to cook for 9 minutes on the lowest heat. Add the sliced onions, minced garlic, chopped mushrooms, and black pepper, recover, and maintaining the lowest heat setting, allow the vegetables to cook down for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

WP_003693Sprinkle a heated pizza stone or pizza pan with the cornmeal and spread the cauliflower dough evenly over top to form the crust. Bake for 20 minutes. While the crust is baking, remove the steamed vegetables and give them a rough chop. In the pan used to make the vegetables, tear the chicken Steak-Umm slices, season with pepper, and cook. Get your hands messy and toss the chopped vegetables and chicken together.

WP_003694By this time the crust should be done. Remove the crust from the oven. Using a spatula, ensure the crust is not sticking. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar on the hot crust. Then, top with the vegetables and chicken steak mix. Return to the oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven. In a microwaveable cup, break the slices of cheese and sour cream. Microwave for 30 seconds, stirring every 7 seconds or so. Drizzle the wiz over the pizza, slice, and serve!

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We ate dinner with big refreshing salads. Dad topped his slices with crushed red pepper flakes. Dinner with my daddies!

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Haha! I told my dad that dinner would be ready as soon as I “drizzle my wiz.” He said, “Okay, Snoop. Drizzle your wizzle, dog.” Hahah!

To end the night, Frank and I sat on the porch and enjoyed a sugar free Cherry Popsicle for National Cherry Popsicle Day!

Its early to bed, for me tonight. I am quite sleepy. See you in the AM.

Eggplant Pie

It was nice to sleep in yesterday and not have anything to do! I spent all day studying for the NCLEX, filling myself with brain food, like Saturn peaches, sugar free chocolate pudding, and a delicious dinner! (recipe to follow) My family has really been lucking out these past few weeks. Since I’ve found an outlet in cooking, my family has been eating really well. During my studying, I reward myself with breaks to cook, or prep to cook. Yesterday the result was baking Strawberry Muffins, and Eggplant Pie. Both were so good! Frank, my biggest critic, said the muffins were very good and the Eggplant Pie was,”Outstanding!” Having the word “outstanding” come from him was definitely a treat!

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The muffins came in handy when I woke up this morning to find a tray of donuts on the table from an apparent late night craving they had while out on the town… To resist the urge, I warmed up a strawberry muffin, sliced it in half, and added to the already gooey strawberries inside it with some sugar free strawberry preserves. Take that, donut!

After dinner, and along day of brain overload, I rewarded myself with Zumba. Unfortunately, my booty shaking was cut short when a girl got light headed and fainted. I ran to help her. Behind me, I hear my girlfriend yell,”It’s okay! She’s a nurse!” It was thrilling hearing someone yell that so close to my exam!

WP_003511Following Zumba, I got really hungry. Thank goodness Zumba is early on Monday nights and I went home to enjoy an Orange Cream Dannon Light & Fit Greek, with cheerios for crunch. I got antsy and wound up finishing a head of romain with salsa, filling up on water. I’m such a bunny rabbit…

I headed to bed with a mug of chamomile tea and fell asleep in NCLEX-mode.

After Sunday’s adventure at the Ren Faire, and my brief time at Zumba, last night, my calves we starting to feel it today. I began the WP_003512gloomy day with my normal routine of a shake. Since my vanilla protein powder has been replaced, I began with an Apple Eggnog Shake:

  • 2 scoops Vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 md fuji apple, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free Eggnog Da Vinci syrup
  • spinkle apple pie spice
  • water
  • ice

A total winner that Barry didn’t think would work! I made Frank a very bright Watermelon Shake.

Today was so gloomy that my dad’s boss told him not to come to work because there was so much flooding! It was also gloomy in my kitchen when my spare Magic Bullet bit the dust. I’m glad I had my smoothie maker to fill in.

Before heading to work, I filled up on some watermelon and I’ve really been digging the beet scene lately. I actually made another beet salad for dinner tonight, for work. I even used some Fakin’ Bacon Tempeh! And what goes well with bacon? Bleu Cheese! I steamed together sliced onion, chopped tempeh, sliced petite carrots, and chopped, sliced beets and served it over a bed of spinach, topped with crumbled reduced fat bleu cheese. The warmth from the vegetables warmed up the cheese and this salad was “no dressing required!” I’ve been trying to talk dad into trying beets, but I haven’t quite gotten there. Maybe I’ll sneak it into something one day. What can I say? You can’t beat beets!

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Usually, being clerk at work makes me want to eat. Not because I’m hungry or burning calories, but because I’m bored. Tonight was great because I ate my delicious salad for dinner, and had some grahams and PB for a snack! Plus, with studying and all the paperwork at the desk, I kept busy!I’m serious! As soon at 7pm hit, this place went crazy, like full moon crazy! Eureka!

I picked up a pack of sliced eggplant from the farmers market last week and wanted to use it up before it began to turn. My intent was to make an eggplant parm pizza, but then this brain of mine began to crank some gears and this little beauty was born. Its like if eggplant parmesean and spaghetti pie had a baby…

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Serves 4

1 large eggplant, sliced 1/8in
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup fat free ricotta
1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pkg Fettuccine Tofu Shirataki noodles
3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella, divided
4oz 96% lean ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh spinach, packed (25g)
1 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan

Peeling the eggplant is your preference. Over high heat, in a skillet, cook slices of eggplant until they begin to shrivel from the water loss, flipping to ensure both sides cook. Transfer to a paper towel while cooking the remaining slices of eggplant. While eggplant is still pliable, lay the eggplant strategically in a sprayed 9in pie pan to create a pseudo-pie crust (about 7 slices). Sprinkle the bottom on the pan with 1/4 cup of mozzarella.

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Empty the noodles into a colander, rinse, and snip through the noodles with scissors, as these these noodles can be pretty long. In the hot pan, after the eggplant has been cooked and removed, briefly toss the noodles in the pan, tossing constantly to remove excess fluid, and return to the colander.

Spray skillet with non stick cooking spray and briefly cook down onions, garlic, and bell pepper, until onions are
mildly translucent. Transfer warm vegetables into a bowl with uncooked mushrooms, ricotta, spices, and egg. Then add the noodles to the ricotta mix. Transfer into eggplant crust and distribute evenly.

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Brown the ground beef. Once crumbled and browned, add the can of diced tomatoes. Stir together and top over the noodles in the crust. Sprinkle a pinch on mozzarella and the grated cheese. Add the chopped spinach and cover with the remaining eggplant (about 5 slices). Top with remained shredded mozzarella and bake in a preheat oven  at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.

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Slice and enjoy!

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Nutrition (1/4 recipe):

Calories: 149, Fat: 0.8g, Sat. Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 22.5mg, Sodium: 294mg, Carbs: 15.8g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4.7g, Protein: 16.8g

Calzone or Pizza?

Yesterday, I had every intention of a new recipe for you and I was really excited about it, but….

WP_003389My day began early with and orange banana shake (I prepared one for Frank for when he got up) and a trip to my moms new job. It was followed by lots of food shopping for her and then a doctors appointment. The doctor was really excited to see me healthy and at an ideal weight! By the time I left, the shake had definitely worn off and i was hungry! I grabbed a snack bar and slammed like 30oz of lemonade… NOT a good idea. By the time I got home, I felt terrible and got sick! I think there was just too much acid at one time from the lemonade.

This totally sucked since my dinner involved tomatoes and I decided to stick with soup. I actually made another batch of Italian Peasant Soup since I had so much cabbage left, and a half grilled cheese. It did the trick and dad and Frank were more than happy to benefit from it.

Note to self: Italian Peasant Soup cures belly aches.

Of course, even though I was full, snacky Sammy snuck up…

I’m not kidding when I tell you that I looked like a rabbit, tearing off 1 leaf at a time off a head of romaine lettuce and dipping it into salsa! (Which was genius and all since salsa has absolutely ZERO acidity!)~ that was sarcasm…

Today began rather early for a Saturday, as I picked up a shift for a girl at work. After my cup of coffee, made with my new Cashew Milk (35 calories a cup), and rounds, my tummy began sending me the “feed me” signal. I microwaved some liquid eggs substitute, while toasting a cinnamon raisin bagel thin. As odd as it sounds, I spread a tablespoon of sugar free orange marmalade on the toast, popped my micro-egg on there and had  a delicious breakfast sandwich that lasted me until about 1pm.

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WP_003396The girls always order out on the weekend shifts, but I was determined to stick with my lunch. But watching them eat Seasons salads and calzones made me really want a calzone from the place, as I ate my turkey and pepper romaine wraps.

One of my favorite calzones is ham, spinach, and ricotta. I had ricotta, ham, and spinach in the refrigerator… What is a Bundo to do? To take my mind off the intensity of studying and work, I did one of the things I do best: Cook!

Do I make the calzone or whip up a pizza?

I opted for the later since I’ve had it in dough, but never on top of it!

I picked up a super huge head of cauliflower from the farmers market. I’m serious! Talk about a “head!” Its as big as mine! And guess who has enough for another pizza?

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Ham and Spinach Pizza

serves 8

The Crust:

  • 1 medium to large cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup shredded fat free mozzarella, further chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp minced)

The Toppings:WP_003409

  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 3/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups (85g) fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 8 slices 98% fat free ham, or low sodium
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp fat free shredded mozzarella
  • basil for sprinkling

Steam the cauliflower with 1/3 cup water in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap. Microwave about 9 minutes. Carefully transfer the steamed cauli into a food processor and blend until the cauliflower is a rice consistency. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of “riced” cauliflower. Mix that with egg, cheese and spices. The mixture will form a dough like consistency. Spread the dough on a hot pizza stone or a baking sheet (my least favorite part- it may take a bit of work to finally smooth out) and put in the oven for about 20 min at 400.

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Next, roll ham slices, slice lengthwise, then across the two halves until a bunch of hammy shredded are made. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine ricotta with garlic, a handful if the chopped spinach, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Set side. Pull out the crust and using a spatula, ensure it is not sticking to the pan/stone. Spread a large spoonful of the ricotta mix on the crust along with the mozzarella. Dollop sauce and remaining ricotta mix around. Top with ham and the remaining spinach.Sprinkle some dried basil over the whole pizza and put it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 min.

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Slice and serve.

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

When managing your weight, u should always drink water before eating if you think you are hungry. This is because your body often confused thirst for hunger. Last night, I drank lots of water in an attempt to prolong my hunger until this morning. It didn’t work, meaning I was actually hungry. I sat down and dipped blackberry pomegranate rice cakes in pb and cottage cheese. It was delicious! Afterwards, I started to plug it into myfitnesspal and realized I had literally eaten a meal! Oh man!

My eating has been great the last couple days and last night started a wave of insecurity and anxiety. Between last night and today, I’ve noticed two things:

  • I get freaked out because in terrified my screw up will derail me and my progress
  • I confuse satiety with fullness, not satisfaction and contentment

I’m glad I’ve been able identify these things about myself, because I have something to focus on to work towards improvement. Nonetheless, the guilt and fear are still with me.

Staying on the right path, I planned this weeks meals to keep me on track. Mom is away so I invited dad over and made dinner for my dads and brother.

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Serves 6

3 medium bell peppers
1 shallot, or small onion, chopped
2 Tbls dry quinoa
4 to 5 baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, pepper
1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 lb ground meat

WP_002125Bring quinoa to a bowl, reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tops of the bells peppers. Remove the seeds and stem and chop pepper surrounding stem to use in the meat mixture. Slice peppers in half to form boats.

Spray a small Pyrex with nonstick spray. Lay pepper boats with veins facing upwards. Combine all chopped ingredients, quinoa, spices  and meat in a bowl and combine well. Divide the mixture evenly among the boats.

Cover with foil and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Uncover , drizzle with favorite sauce, recover, and return to over for another 30 minutes.

The peppers are perfectly cooked, and the meat is moist and savory!

Mushrooms are a fantastic bulker for ground meat dishes, especially portabellas because they are such a hearty vegetable!

Dinner was served with a big spinach salad! Mangia!

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❤ Thoughts and prayers go out to those in Boston ❤