Pin-tresting

Apples and cheese are a classic fondue pairing. So on Pintrest, it really doesn’t surprise me that there are so many apple-cheddar pies. Some put the cheese in the crust, others in the pie, and others on top. And it didn’t just stop at cheddar and pie. There was Brie, and gallettes, and hand pies, soups, and dips.

You all know my experimentality and how much I adore playing in the kitchen. Needless to say, Pintrest got my gears turning… Some food combos just taste odd together, like this grapefruit protein shake I made one time (not a good post, Pintrest)… But lets face it… bacon goes with EVERYTHING!

Apple-Cheddar-Bacon Pie

serves 8

  • 11 slices thin slice turkey bacon (2 slice for 35 calories)
  • 3 apples (enough to yield 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (about 2 1/2 in diameter), finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely choppedWP_008337
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • salt and pepper, to top

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-in pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and weave 8 slices of turkey bacon. Line the last three slices of bacon around the walls of the pie pan to create the crust. I found that making a little tear in the middle of those three slices helps keep the bacon from rolling down the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 min.

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In the meantime, core and thinly slice the apples. Then, cut your slices in half and measure 4 cups. Combine the apples, celery, and onion in a large skillet on medium heat with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with thyme, sage, garlic, Splendas, cinnamon, salt, pepper, vanilla, and lemon juice. Toss the mixture. Whisk the cornstarch with cold water until dissolved and pour over apple mix. Recover with the lid until bacon crust finishes baking.

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Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop 3/4 cup shredded cheddar. Set aside. Next, process the cereal until extremely fine. Add the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar to the processor, and blend until evenly distributed.

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Stir just the processed cheese into the apple mix, and transfer mix to the baked bacon, spreading the cheesy blend evenly over crust. Return to the 350 F oven for 15 minutes.

Lastly, add the unsweetened applesauce to the processor of cheese and Fiber One crumbs and blend until a crumble is created. Get messy, and use your hands to crumble on top of the warm pie. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and return to the oven for a final 25 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, while you make the optional sauce.

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What really is the icing on the pie is this sweetened thyme yogurt sauce!

Thyme Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Blend and dollop!

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Rather than sticking with the sweet/tart, salty feel, I wanted something a little more savory. I was really impressed that the bacon crust stayed perfectly together when the pie was sliced. I was  even more impressed by the the afterthought of dressing up some yogurt. Thank goodness for that afterthought, too, because it tied all the sweet and savory flavors if the pie together.

Nutrition: (1/8 of pie and 1/2 Tbsp sauce)

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 391mg, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 10g

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I would imagine that this could also be served with an over-easy egg, where the yolk would act as the yogurt sauce.

I’ve sort of rediscovered my love for apples recently so you may see another apple pie riff sooner that you think.

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Refreshing Shake

So who’s ready for the first protein shake recipe of the year????

I’ve made shakes since the new year but, wow, was this one blog worthy! So much so, that I dropped everything I was doing to write this up!

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Outside the original Starbucks! Best Caramel Macchiato ever!

I was watching Unique Sweets, last night, and they highlighted a cheesecake business, The Confectional, located in Pike Market! I love Pike Market! I spent a week in Seattle a few years ago with Phi Theta Kappa at my first International Convention! Every morning, I walked down to the Market to get fresh produce.

Anyway, they mentioned this lemon white chocolate cheesecake and the gears started to turn… Dang, that sounds good…

Lemon White Chocolate CheesecakeWP_007575

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp cheesecake pudding mix, sugar free, fat free
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar free white chocolate syrup
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used cookies n’ cream)
  • Ice
  • Water
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum (optional)

Blend everything and enjoy! Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon, if desired.

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I topped mine with some cinnamon and Fiber One bran cereal to complete that cheesecake feel! I loved it! It was refreshing and unbelievably fragrant!

I started thinking about the many ways you could make this using any combination of the following:

  • lemon pudding mix, sugar free, fat free
  • white chocolate pudding mix, sugar free fat free
  • lemon syrup, sugar free

Let me know how yours turn out!

 

A Blue Goat?

If you weren’t sure, I am a huge Triple D fan! Barry and I were watching one night and I was so intrigued when I saw one chef make a pie using goat cheese and blueberries… Does that even go together? Oh yeah, and there was basil in it, too!

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I know, right?

Anyway, I was super intrigued and immediately had to play with the concept. As I googled, I was lucky enough to find the recipe on foodnetwork.com! The owner of 3 Sister’s Cafe, on my “Too Visit and Eat” List, gave their recipe! Thanks, Moira Sommers, for the recipe and inspiration!

After review, I did my normal brainstorming and created my version: A calorie, fat, and sugar slashing torte-like pie that can be eaten as breakfast, brunch, or dessert. I warn you, though, its pretty damn delicious!

Basil and Blue Goat Torte

serves 12

Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) cinnamon graham crackers, low fat
  • 3 Tbsp Splenda, granulated
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemonWP_005579
  • 1/4 cup soft buttery spread, like Blue Bonnet Light
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup Chavrie sweet basil goat cheese*
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp basil, fresh, finely chopped*
  • 5 cups blueberries

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup almonds, whole
  • 1/4 cup Splenda, granulated
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp, plus 1/2 tsp unsweetened applesauce

* If unable to find goat cheese with basil, simply use plain chavrie and add an extra tablespoon if chopped basil.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine cereal, graham crackers, Splenda, cinnamon, and 1/2 the lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are a crumb consistency. Melt the butter spread. Add 2 Tbsp water to butter (add extra tablespoon of water, if needed), and pour butter mixture onto crumbs. Using your hands, combine the mixture and press onto a ceramic torte dish, that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Once the crust has been pressed, bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the goat cheese, yogurt, liquid egg substitute, Splenda brown sugar, salt, the remaining lemon zest, and flour. Once combined, fold in the basil and blueberries.Set aside until crust has baked. Once the crust has baked, transfer the blueberry cream into the crust. Side aside while making the topping.

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Place the whole almonds in the food processor and pulse until the almonds have crumbled, but not the point of utter pulverization. Combine the remaining streusel ingredients. Using your fingers, sprinkle the topping over the settled pie. Don’t be afraid to get your fingers dirty and evenly spread the topping. Return the pie to the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Turn the pie 180 degrees and bake for another 10-12 minutes.

Allow the pie to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

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As I took my first bight, my mom couldn’t take her eyes off me. Words began to stumble out, as I continued to put more of this dish in my mouth. MMMMM, savory, tart, sweet, delicious, MMMM… “What is wrong with you?” Oh man! It’s just so good!

I was dazzled by its beauty! The way the yogurt and goat cheese firmed up marbled the pie through the blueberries! And the crust and the almond streusel that sandwiched that tart torte! Oh man! Just, wow!

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Nutrition: (per slice, 1/12 recipe)

Calories: 154, Fat: 5.7g, Sat. Fat: 1.4g, Cholesterol: 7.1mg, Sodium: 116g, Carbs: 23.4g, Fiber: 4.8g, Sugar: 11.5g, Protein: 4.5g

I hope you all enjoy as much I do!

Oh Snap!

Since I start my new job today, I decided to try to get as much baking done last week as I could. Are you ready for some cookie recipes??? Beacue today’s post has three! Yes, THREE!

Last year, dad and I tried our hands at gingerbread cookies. We used Hungry Girls recipe and loved it! I have a weakness for ginger snaps, AKA spiced wafers. These cookies utilize molasses, which I don’t have a need for. In an effort to make ginger snaps, I tweaked HG’s recipe to have a pseudo-ginger snap recipe. Dad and I were quite pleased with the results.

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  • 1 14.5 oz pkg Betty Crocker Gingerbread cookie mix
  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 packets Splenda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 3T Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour, divided, for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor, grind Fiber One to an ultra fine consistency. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl, along with spices, Splenda, baking powder, and cookie mix. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, combine pumpkin with water and syrup. Mix well and fold into dry ingredients. Combine thoroughly. It may take a bit of elbow grease, which is why I like to use the kitchen aide. Once combined, use hands to knead dough into two balls. Working in manageable batches, sparingly use the flour to dust the dough, rolling pin, and flat surface, and roll the dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.

Depending on the size of the cookie cutters, you’ll probably have to re-roll the trimmings for more cookies.) Transfer cookies to the baking sheets and bake 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Once fully cooked, either dig in, decorate, of both!

I colored two tablespoons of cream cheese frosting (my fave) with green coloring and decorated my cookies. I only used about half the icing.

I had some very snappy dressing teddy bears, as well as a Beary Gates, cousin to Bill Gates, Dr. Bones, and Spock, as well as business men and nurses and doctors.

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Yes, I’m well aware of how weird I am… But you’ll thank me when you bite into these cookies!

This is one of my favorite recipes this holiday season!

Yesterday, I realized I had a bag of Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie mix, so I decided to experiment… And hence, the following two recipes were created and eaten!

Pumpkin GingersnapsWP_004947

makes 28 cookies

  • 1 bag Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie mix
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients, one at a time.

Using a 1/2 Tbsp, scoop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes and transfer to cooling rack.

The smell of the ginger is fantastic when you pop open the oven door!

Pumpkin Butter CookiesWP_004949

makes 26 cookies

  • 1 bag Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie mix
  • 2 Tbsp pure pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine the wet ingredients and the PB until thoroughly blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Using a 1/2 Tbsp, scoop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Chocolate Covered Anything

OK, lets think this through…

Pretzels + Chocolate= salty sweet

Peppermint + Chocolate= refreshing

Cherries/Raisins/ Nuts + Chocolate= bring it on

Peanut Butter + Chocolate= no brainer

Ants + Chocolate = uhhh, not so much

The point of the story? Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! In honor of this tasty day, I’d like to share one of the winning recipes I made last week during my baking frenzy! Its no secret that I love Chocolate Chunk Rice Krispie Treats, but I will admit that they are NOT satisfying. Luckily, this recipe is sweet, salty, and filling!

Butterfinger Krispie Treats

makes 12 large squares

  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown, or Blue Bonnet Light, soft spread, divided
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Better n’ Peanut Butter, low sodium
  • 1 Tbsp toffee bits, or more
  • 5 cups Chocolate 80 Fiber One Cereal
  • 1 cup puffed wheat cereal
  • 2 Tbsp Butterscotch chips
  • 2 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolates

In a large pot, over medium-low heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the buttery spread. Stir in marshmallows and peanut butter, stirring frequently. Once the mallows and peanut butters melt together, add the toffee bits, the remaining 1 Tbsp of buttery spread, and the cereals. Mix until thoroughly combined!

Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex generously with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the cereal mix into the pyrex and flatten into all corners of the pan. Add water to the empty pot and bring water to a boil. Place a bowl over the pot to create a double bowler. Add the butterscotch and chocolate chips to the bowl and continuously whisk until smooth and melted.

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Once melted, use a basting brush to brush the melted mixture over top the cereal treat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.

This was a big hit with everyone who tried it: Dad, Barry, the girls at work….

Nutrition: per square (1/12 recipe)

Calories: 193, Fat: 6.5g, Sat. Fat: .7g, Cholesterol: 0.2mg, Sodium: 162mg, Carbs: 34.4g, Fiber: 5.6g, Sugar: 16.2g, Protein: 3.1g

Night After Night Shifts

Tuesday

I tried to begin today early. Frank and I began chit chatting and spent the morning together. We both had some delicious coffee, but the entire morning was spend in the kitchen! It was very productive and although the recipe I was working on took about a total of three hours, from start to finish, the final result was well worth it. I cannot wait to share it with you, next week. I am also incredibly excited about a Be Well Bundo first! We, Frank and I, filmed the first video tutorial for the website! It turned out great and that, also, will be posted next week!

WP_004025My appetite will minimal today, as was Franks. Neither one of us ate anything until dinner time. I laid down around 2 pm in an attempt to catch some ZZZss before my shift at 11 pm. Unfortunately, two hours of sleep was all that I obtained. My dad started getting on my case about my calories and I hate it! I’ve been trying to listen to my body and eat when I was hungry. I decided to eat a Raspberry Greek Dannon Light & Fit and topped it with Fiber One 80 Chocolate cereal and chia seeds. This wasn’t good enough for dad. I tried to explain to him that I had my entire shift ahead of me to eat! I am already hard on myself about calories, so when others get on my case , I  get even more paranoid.

Before heading to work, I had some roasted red peppers, garlic, and cucmbers on a rice cake. One thing that put me in a good mood was the delicious coffee I brewed before leaving for work. It was a Vanilla Caramel Creme K cup, with SF french vanilla creamer and a splash of SF caramel syrup! Wow! Delicious!

Wednesday

WP_004026My shift went great! I kept busy and got to care for some great little kiddos. I also got to care for one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen! And so well behaved! Dinner was half a Smart One Tuna Noodle Gratin. Honestly, even if I had eaten the whole thing, it would be pretty tasty for 220 calories. Rather I split it up and added a little broccoli. Once at work, I topped it with salsa since it was a little dried out by the time I reheated it, and paired it with celery sticks.

My food paranoia has definitely carried over into today. When I arrived home from work, this morning, I was starving. After all, the last time I ate was 230am, and it was, now, 730. I whipped up an egg, and put it on a slice of wheat toast, spread with my copy-cat Panera cream cheese. Its was tasty and I scarfed it! I was starving!

WP_004027With Frank being awake, we ran a few errands to pick up necessities for my little brother. When we arrived back home about three hours later and I needed to sleep! My manager asked it I could work a 12, tonight, since we had a patient that required a 1:1. I was hungry. At least I thought I was. I need to be okay with eating. I took out the turkey salad I made the other day and combined it with salsa. I placed it on a rice cake and had a side of cucumbers. It was delicious! But as soon as I finished, I went to sick girl mode. Oh my gosh! 200 calories! Really, Sammy? 200 is perfect for a small meal. Its lean meat, with light mayo, on an unsalted rice cake! How much healthier can you get?

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I laid down, took deep breaths and prayed. Sometimes, that all I can do. Thanks to the turkey, my stress, and my previous night shift, I actually slept! Thank, God! I slept for a solid 5 hours, or so! I woke up, knowing that if I didn’t get something in my system to hold me over until 230 break, I’d be tempted to snack all night! I made a mini shake. I wanted to use up my blueberries left over from Sunday’s pancakes, and wanted a flavor to refresh me and put me in a good mood. Just filling enough to do the trick.

Blueberry LemonWP_004030

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free Lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 Tbsp SF blueberry flavoring syrup (for an extra pop)
  • 1/2 tsp ground flax
  • water
  • ice
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum

Just double the recipe for a full size. Double-fisting, I brewed some Kahlua flavored coffee. I’m glad I had my shake on the way to work because I was greeted with a box of Philly Pretzel Factory pretzels and the content feeling of satiety made it easier to resist the temptation of the doughy, salty carb.

Thursday

Last night, I ate the other half of my Smart Ones. Rather than topping it with salsa, I drizzled a little Walden Farms Creamy Bacon Ranch dressing on it. Hey, bacon… tuna… sounded good to me! Celery sticks accompanied the meal. I find it is so much easier to just bring the same thing two nights in a row. It saves time and I don’t have to think about food and calories. The Waldens didn’t quite give it enough pizzazz, so I added a bit of spicy brown mustard from the Philly Pretzel Factory to the mix.

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The refrigerator was rocking cold and my food got pushed all the way to the back. My food had gotten iced over. While I ate my warm tuna, I attempted to de-ice my celery sticks. It was rather interesting… frozen celery… I wouldn’t recommend it.

Typically, an Aide doesn’t sit in a 1:1 for 12 hours. It almost never happens. Well, last night was a first. I spent most of the night chatting with my patient, who likes to stay up late, and watching movies with them. By 4am, my tailbone was killing me. Since my patient was asleep, I brain stormed some recipes for my birthday. I think I just about have them down. As 7am rolled around, I was stoked to be able walk around. I mean, I walked around my patient’s room and stretched a bit but its not the same as actually being on the floor. If it weren’t for being so tired, I almost didn’t want to sit in my car to drive home.

You know its been a long night when you try to unlock your car door with the locker key attached to your ID badge, thats clipped to your hip. Its not even in the general area as my car keys… you know, those things in my other hand!

Oh, by the way, today is National Pancake Day! Do you know what that means? That means a new recipe for you all to try! I’ll be posting it soonly!

Hectic Weekend

Saturday

Last night ended with a handful of grapes and a bunch of pretzel sticks with Honey Mustard Dip. I was able to get close to 900 calories in yesterday! It was because I listened intently to my body. I ate when I was hungry, and stopped when I felt full (although I could have ate that whole darn birthday pie, myself). After I reviewed what I ate for the day, I was happy with it. I didn’t eat too much of one thing, and I didn’t eat too little, but that damn number is still hauntingly and dauntingly eating away at me.

I thought about why I could be getting so paranoid. A few things came to mind:

  • Vendemmia (a big wine and food festival coming up)
  • my girlfriend’s wedding
  • Halloween candy
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas cookies

I need to be able to take these events like any other person. Just listen to myself. I know this eating disorder is something I will live with the rest of my life, but as long as there are more good days than bad, and supportive people to help get me through them, I can live with it.

Today is National Eat a Hoagie Day. Although it technically wasn’t a hoagie, I made a breakfast sandwich that was pretty tasty of eggs, Canadian bacon, hot sauce and cheddar on toast.

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A little bit later, to hold me over until work, was a bowl of Greek yogurt I i splashed some sugar free pumpkin pie spice syrup into and topped with sunflower seeds for a nutty taste. And it really did the trick!

WP_003916I couldn’t quite wait for dinner but needed something in my belly. My assignment was a bit wacky and out of the ordinary, tonight, so I decided to take advantage of a short break and enjoy a tart granny smith apple. About two hours later, I had my actual dinner.

Dinner tonight was a spinach salad topped with half a Lean Cuisine Greek-style Chicken Salad Creation (minus the croutons).

WP_003917I really liked the cucumber dill dressing that came with it! Ever since I started making dill salads I’ve started to develop a taste for the herb.

I was proud of myself. When I arrived at work, there was a bowl filled with Reese cup miniatures. I went the while shift ignoring them. 7 pm hit like a tornado and I was non stop! . When I finally got to sit down and breath, o decided a salty sweep piece of chocolate was well deserved.

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Sunday

After work, last night, dad wanted me to come over and I was surprised by how hungry I was when I left work. I went to dads house and we stayed up late snacking on veggies and salsa. We even ate half a jar of roasted red peppers! They are so tasty, plain or on a saltine. (Please excuse dad’s pile of mail… its a bachelor pad,,, what do you expect?)I even took a bite of a hoagie, and actual hoagie! It was delicious! I had the calories to spare, and I had a great time!

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The temperature seriously dropped, last night. I know I didn’t need to, but I totally put on the footie pajamas! Yes, I am an adult and adore footie pajamas!! Even my dad says how solidly I sleep when I’m in them. I love this picture dad snapped of me. Red handed with a bell pepper and a jar of salsa in my sock monkey footies! We stayed up, I don’t even know until what time, watching Monk. It used to be our Friday thing before I got sick, so I really enjoyed having that with my dad, again. Its another reminded how important my recovery is.

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The next thing I knew, it was noon, today, and my dad was waking me up. I went back to my mom’s house to grab my medication, and try to keep busy before work. I first made my Key Lime Pie protein smoothie bowl, that I’ve been craving. Instead of the usually flax or crumbled graham topping, I topped it with flax and Fiber One cereal. It was so delicious, especially paired with a coffee. I recently got a new shipment of sugar free syrups flavors and I’ve been trying them out. Today’s first mug of coffee was flavored with Pumpkin Pie Spice SF syrup, and Eggnog SF syrup. Wow!

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I ran out to the oriental market to pick up a few necessities and returned home a bit manic about eating last night at dads. I worked with my best outlet and cooked. Its not really “cooking” but I made my girlfriend a batch of the Sammy San Seaweed Salad.  I can’t wait for her to taste it! I made a final cup of joe for a pick me up before work, flavored with another new flavor, English Toffee SF syrup. I’m glad I went with a second cup of coffee, today, because work had plans to keep me busy.

WP_003923I arrived at work to a birthday cake, which I ignored the entire shift! Not like I would have had time to eat any. I barely had time to chart, let alone eat my dinner. A few animal crackers helped to finish through the night, but I could not believe how busy it was! Weekends at the hospital are usually slow! SSSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW! Its typically filled with discharges and few admissions, and a lot of coworker banter. This weekend, I was lucky if I could grab a drink or go to the bathroom. Even the nurses were feeling the heat!

I was actually kind of relieved when I had to sit 1:1 at 2030. I was finally able to chart, grab a drink, and just breath.

Giving

The past few days I feel like I haven’t slept… I wake up tired…

Today, I hit the snooze alarm until the last possible minute. I finally got up, slammed a bottle of water and headed off to the blood bank. I try to make it a point to donate blood as often as I can… Mostly for the free Nutter Butters that follow…

I’m totally kidding! I am a universal donor and love feeling like I’m saving lives for the 1 hour I take to donate!

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Following my donation, a little blurred vision, and getting my purple badge of courage, I meandered over to the canteen. The older volunteers are so sweet there! One of them showed me a variety of K cups to choose from and brewed me a Southern Pecan coffee. I sat down at one of the tables, and after examining the goods (ie. the snacks), I switched up my usual Nutter Butter craze for an adorable two pack of Oreos! Who doesn’t like chocolate in the morning??

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Afterwards, I snuck into Barry’s house to wake him up to go to Cowtown. I know I was just there, but the day was beautiful, Barry had never been, and it kept us out of the house. We explored for about 2 hours, and I showed him around the barns. My last stop of the trip was to an older gentleman that I always buy gladiolas from. These are my moms favorite flower and since we have been getting along the last few days, I wanted to surprise her. The generous man, then asked if I like eggplant and gave me one for free along with a handful of jalapenos!  How nice!

Mom had picked up eggplant on Saturday when we went and now with all the eggplant in the house, it was time for Eggplant Parm (but we’ll get to that in a second)!

As we drove over the Delaware Memorial, Barry and I could both feel hunger approaching, as neither one of us had really eaten and it was much hotter day than we anticipated. I suggested Saladworks, one of my favorite places to eat out, and their was definitely no regretting this decision.

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Both, Barry and I, got the “Create-your-own” option. Mine consisted of spring mix, egg whites for protein, roasted red peppers, corn and bean mix (so sweet), cucumbers, and chopped tomatoes with fat free Balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I like to load up on toppings with moisture and and high flavor so it limits the amount of dressing I need. I adored the colors and fragrant of my salad! Its so pretty! I omitted my beloved wheat roll, but I really didn’t need it. One thing I adore about the Saladworks website is that I can calculate everything on their without a hassle!

Barry and I were content with our meals and it really hit the crisp stop that was need to break up such a warm and humid day! We took advantage of an hour to watch some Twilight Zone in the new living room, at Barrys, after which we went separate ways… Barry to the firehouse, and I home.

I couldn’t wait to play with the Hungry-girl eggplant parm recipe. I was inspired by my salad today and decided to add roasted red peppers to dinner. I have grown up on eggplant unlike Barry who only recently tried it when I made stir-fry. My mom always double breaded and fried it. Don’t get me wrong… its delicious… but it pretty much takes every thing nutritious out! My mom would make eggplant parm layer upon layer of the breaded, fried goods, with lots of full fat cheese in between the slices. I have learned ways to stretch flavor, resources and calories, and this dish was created with huge portions!

Eggplant Parm

serves 4

  • 1 large eggplant

Breading:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/2 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesean cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • WP_0038511/4 cup liquid egg substitute

Sauce:

  • 1 cup jarred sauce, plus 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

The Rest:

  • 2 oz jarred roasted red peppers
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/2 tsp basil

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut the end off of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in large coins, to produce about 10. Dab the sliced with a paper towel to try to grab some excess moisture.

In a food processor, blend all the breading ingredients, except egg, until the cereal becomes a bread crumb texture. Dip both sides of the eggplant slices in the egg and then coat with the bread crumbs. Transfer the coated slices to a well sprayed (with non stick cooking spray) baking sheet/ pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Flip the coins and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, over low heat, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. In the mean time, Further chop the shredded mozzarella cheese (this helps the cheese spread more). Then chop the roasted red peppers. Set aside until assembly time.

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Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non stick spray and spread a thin layer (about 1/4 cup of sauce) evenly over the bottom. Lay half the baked and breaded eggplant on top. Sprinkle half the chopped, shredded cheese, and 1 Tbsp grated parm over the eggplant. Spoon about another 1/4 cup of sauce over this, and top with the remaining cheeses. Lastly, Pour the remaining sauce over the entire dish and sprinkle with basil.

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Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and let set for about 3-5 minutes. Cut into 4 squares and serve it up.

We paired ours with salad.

I love the sweetness that the roasted red peppers add to the dish! MMMM! I forgot how much I loved roasted red peppers!!

It was so good, nothing was left! Not a drop in the pyrex! With so much eggplant on hand, I made another, this one turning out even better than the first. Whats also nice about this is that it can be frozen.

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Nutrition: (1/4 recipe)

Calories: 160, Fat: 1.5g, Sat. Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 6.2mg, Sodium: 648.7mg, Carbs: 33.1g, Fiber: 14.8g, Sugar: 8.4g, Protein: 12.7g

A big topic of conversation at dinner was the madness that ensure in college town last night. Main Street was flooded with kids, jumping on cars, yelling, etc… I thought it was about the Eagles winner! I was wrong! Apparently, the cops broke up a huge party and the 1000 kids flocked to Main Street and swarmed! Thats just dumb! It caused enough of a ruckus, though, that not only did campus police get involved, but also, city, county, and state! Here one guys YouTube video of the events…

Blew my mind! I’m so glad I was in the safety of my home, last night, 20 minutes away from the mayhem!

Dreams Come True

After chewing Extra Key Lime Pie sugar free gum, and slurping on the sugar free Key Lime Creme Slurpee, I needed to come up with a recipe for a real one! I did a lot of investigating on this classic treat, because I’ve never actually had it!

Getting a crust for this bad boy, was no worry, but the filling… thats where I hit a wall. In my head, my sister is the Key Lime Pie Guru, and uses condensed milk. Other recipes use whipped cream, yogurts, cream cheese, egg, and cornstarch, to name a few ingredients. Now, where should I begin?

The topping was inspired by these meringues.

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serves 8

The Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One Original bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) low-fat honey graham crackers (thats 4 squares)
  • 3 tbsp. granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown yogurt spread, or another light butter spread
  • 2 Tbsp water

The Filling:

  • 1/4 tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 limes, at least (1/4 cup juice needed)
  • 1 4 serving box sugar free, fat free lime jello mix
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup OIKOs plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cup fat free Cool Whip, thawed

The Topping:

  • 1/2 cup fat free cool whip, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp shredded coconut (all I had was sweetened), toasted
  • 3/4 tsp lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin the filling by juicing two limes to produce  about 1/4 cup, and combine with 1/2 cup water, and   1/4 tsp lime zest in a small pot, over medium heat, with box of gelatin. Stir until completely dissolved and transfer pot into ice bath. Continue to stir to release heat. Gradually fold into yogurt and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, giving it the occasional stir.

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WP_003366Combine butter with water and microwave until just melted. Place cereal and graham crackers in a food processor and grind. Transfer to a bowl, and add Splenda. Add the melted watered butter to the bowl of sweetened crumbs and mix thoroughly. Spray a pie pan heavily with nonstick spray and evenly distribute the crust mixture along the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Press firmly to form the crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While the crust is in the oven and the filling is setting, combine Cool Whip and white chocolate pudding mix in a bowl. Transfer mix into a zip lock plastic bag or piping bag and refrigerate.

Once lime mix has cooled, whisk in the Cool Whip until the congealed yogurt and whipped cream are one thick, smooth filling. Pour into cooled crust and use the back of a spoon or spatula to evenly spread. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray and toast the coconut over medium heat, tossing continuously. (The aroma, alone, is enough to put you on cloud 9). Set aside to cool.

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Pipe the sweet white chocolate Cool Whip onto cooled and settled pie and garnish with lime zest and toasted coconut. Slice and enjoy!

But, Sammy! Theres so much topping left! What should I do? Either keep on decorating of take my lead and eat it with a spoon and fruit!

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Nutrition (1 slice, 1/8 of the pie):

Calories: 106, Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 0.7g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 175mg, Carbs: 17.3g, Fiber: 2.4g, Sugar: 3.5g, Protein: 3.1g

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This pie was so light and tart! It is the perfect summer treat! Everyone enjoyed it… Well, they must have because it went pretty quickly!

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I was really excited about Frank enjoying it. He is usually my brutal critic, which I appreciate (and despise). He said I didn’t need to change anything! Yay! I am particularly proud of this recipes for two reasons.

1. I have only had 1 bite of Key Lime Pie before in my life.

2. I had a dream, jumped out of bed, wrote down what I had dreamed about, and that dream turned into this pie! (I guess my mind is still working when I sleep).

Meatloaf Mania

This morning began with a girl jumping on top of me, tickling me and asking me out for breakfast. After some coaxing, Maggie, her boyfriend, Barry and I headed off to Denny’s. I haven’t been to a Denny’s in probably 10 years so I looked up the menu on the drive. The most amazing pancake breakfast off the Fit Fare menu caught my eye, leaving me craving this meal: Banana Pecan Pancake Breakfast!

“Glazed pecans cooked into two hearty wheat pancakes and topped with fresh banana slices. Served with two scrambled egg whites, two strips of turkey bacon and a side of warm syrup. Fit Fare® Lean: Under 15g of fat. Fit Fare® Fiber: Over 8g of fiber.”

What a surprise when I clicked the nutritional facts and found this so-called “fit” menu item was 750 calories! 750 calories is NOT fit, Denny’s!  I knew it was too good to be true! But at least I can make them at home 😀

In the end, after endless time spent weighing my options, I decided on the Fit Fare Omelette, minus the cheese.

“Egg white omelette with spinach, mushrooms, freshly made pico de gallo and shredded Cheddar cheese. Served with two slices of turkey bacon and seasonal fruit as your side choices. Fit Fare® Light: Under 550 calories. Fit Fare® Protein: Over 20g of protein.”

Barry made his own pancakes, Blueberry banana, with a side of eggs, hash browns, and bacon.

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Marie’s Meatloaf. How can I describe mom’s meatloaf?

More More More! Give me! I’ll fight you for it! Get back! I’ve got a fork and I’m not afraid to use it! 

Yeah, something like that…

My mom makes the best meatloaf I have ever had (mmmm, especially the butts, of the ends, of the loaf), so the last time she made it, I plugged it into MyFitnessPal… full fat block cheddar cheese, 85/15 beef, bread crumbs…

Needless to say, I needed to try my hand at it. I’ve recreated mom’s loaf using extra lean beef and it still rocked. Sunday, I recreated it using a ground poultry blend, fat free cheese and Fiber One cereal bread crumbs.

The magical thing about meatloaf is that the possibilities are endless! In the past, I’ve thrown in vegetables, sauces, meats… literally, anything my kitchen had…

The cool thing about my mom’s meatloaf: no condiments required. All the flavor is in the loaf!

Basic Bundo Poultry Loaf

serves 8

  • 1 lb 98% fat free ground chicken
  • 1 lb 93 % fat free ground turkey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp onion soup mix
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Shake n Bake BBQ glaze, powder
  • 2 Tbsp Fiber One Original bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 . Using a Magic Bullet, or other processor, grind the cereal until fine. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Shape loaf.

Either store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, or bake.

To bake, wrap in foil, and puncture holes at the bottom to allow for fat drainage. Bake for 1 hour. Carefully open the foil and expose the loaf and return to the over to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Nutrition per 4oz serving:

Calories: 172, Fat: 5.6g, Sat. Fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 78.1mg, Sodium: 412.2mg, Carbs: 5.7g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 1.9g Protein: 24.5g

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The Basics

Mustard Crusted Bundo Poultry Loaf

serves 8

  • 1 lb 98% fat free ground chicken
  • 1 lb 93 % fat free ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp onion soup mix
  • 2 Tbsp Fiber One Original bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Bundo Honey Mustard Sauce, separated, plus more, if wanted
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Using a Magic Bullet, or other processor, grind the cereal until fine. Combine all ingredients, and only 1 Tbsp honey mustard, in a bowl. Shape loaf. Once shaped, brush 2 Tbsp honey mustard sauce over all sides of the loaf. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze, with a wrapping of foil, until ready to bake.

To bake, wrap in foil, and puncture holes at the bottom to allow for fat drainage. Bake for 1 hour. Carefully open the foil and expose the loaf. Brush the last 1 Tbsp pf honey mustard and return to the over to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden brown, at 360 F.

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Something to remember: ground turkey, and especially ground chicken, will not brown like ground beef!

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Nutrition per 4oz serving:

Calories: 177, Fat: 5.6g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 25mg, Carbs: 4.5g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugars: 2.8g

After slicing up the meatloaf, I decided to brown the sides of the slices in a pan and a brush more of honey mustard! I just love that sweet and spicy mustard!

After steaming up some broccoli and topping that with garlic, I threw another surprise on the kitchen table! People were raving about how yummy the garlic mashed potatoes were, which I topped with fat free cheddar an some real bacon crumbles! My dad couldn’t believe it when I told him it was cauliflower!

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Garlic Mashed Cauli

With the leftovers, I packed up dinner for when mom gets home from work, and since Barry is working night shift, I made a meal for him. I also made dad a meatloaf sandwich for lunch tomorrow with Bundo Honey Mustard Sauce and BBQ sauce! Can you say, “drool-worthy?”

I just thought about how good these loaves would be with a fat free Monterrey or Pepper Jack…

MMMMM….. See meatloaf is magical! You can dream it into anything!