Shout Outs

Shout Out to my mama:

I finished up my Zumba class, last night, and found a voicemail on my cell from my mom, raving about the meatloaf! About 9 years ago, my mom had the gastric bypass surgery and ever since, she has had a difficult time holding pretty much any real food down. Its amazing, really. You would think her body would crave protein, but the only foods that settle are things like chips and pizza. Its pretty bizzare.

So one of my nutrition goals is to cook food that my mom will and can eat. She devoured last night’s Honey Mustard Crusted Poultry Loaf! I think the trick with her is lean protein. When I cook soy products for her, she enjoys it. Last nights meatloaf was super lean!

Then, she began to tell me how much mashed potato she ate! She couldn’t believe it, either, that is was cauliflower!

At this time I was in the Walgreens, grabbing a bottle of water, crying in the middle of the story. I felt like such a goof, but I had never heard my mom talk about my cooking like this!

I also mentioned I dropped dinner off to Barry at work, last night, and he sent me this:

“Dinner was excellent hun. It was finished before you text me. Superb!”

The time that elapsed between me dropping it off and texting him was under 15 minutes! Haha! I think he was just hungry! Haha!

Shout Out to all you carb-counting, comfort food loving followers! This is for you!

Garlic Mashed Cauli-TatersWP_003265

  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic*
  • 2 tsp Brummel and Brown light butter spread
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp low fat original creamer
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sour cream, fat free cheddar, real lean bacon crumbles (optional)

In a microwavable bowl, add a splash of water, about 1/4 cup, and the cauliflower, cover with with plastic wrap, and microwave for 9 minutes. Carefully, spoon the cauliflower into a food processor and add all the other ingredients. Whip it up and occasionally vent the processor to relieve the steam pressure.

WP_003266Top with what ever you’d like!

*If resources and time allows, roast the garlic before adding it to the mix.

MMMM! For a carb-lover, such as myself, I was in heaven with its garlicy, creamy, potato faker goodness!

Shout Out to my girl, Alex!

Every week, you read about my time at Zumba. Well, now its time to meet the girl behind it all! Alex kicks some serious Zumba ass and I love her classes. She incorporates, not only Latin-style dances, but Indian and hip-hop. Having such a variety of styles, music, and Alex’s personality, keeps me coming back every week!

I asked her after class if I could share her Facebook page with you, so if you’re in the area, look her up, and come join the party!

After dinner, last night, I suited up and headed to Zumba. You know I’m about to go hard when the pink pre-wrap headband  comes out!

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Zumba with Alex always send me home hyped with energy and good vibes, and I sleep like a rock!

WP_003277And Alex must have worked me hard, too, because I was hungry when I got home! Yay, for Special K Chocolatey Strawberry 90 calorie cereal bars!

throwback to sophomore homecoming 2006

On the Food Front:

Shout out to my Sista from Anotha Mista (literally):

Caterina is my step-sister, Frank’s daughter. I recently found out that she began cooking. Growing up, I was always the one in the kitchen, but now, Cat has her own recipe blog with wordpress.com. Enjoy!

Soon enough, we will be teaming up for a “Sisters Who Cook” post. Keep an eye out!

As I laid in bed, last night, my tummy began to growl and I snack on a handful of pretzel sticks, which was quickly followed by a mild tummy ache. Maybe it was the duck tongue on the episode of Chopped I was watching. Either way, I tried my best to settle both my belly and my mind…

Yesterday, Barry bought me Kashi’s new cereal: Heart to Heart Nutty Chia Flax! This, topped with flax milk and a handful of freeze dried strawberries, hit my breakfast tooth, this morning. Its like cheerios with a sweetness with flax and chis seeds stuck to each “O”!

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After a late night and a very early morning, thanks to my brothers alarm buzzing for 40 minutes, I laid back down to see if a mid morning nap could happen. It didn’t, but I did give me the motivation to get myself up and going. I got changed, and took advantage of the nice breeze and went for a nice brisk 2 mile walk up to the store, where I, of course, took advantage of the discount produce!

Shorty after arriving home, I wrapped three dill pickles in some lean turkey lunch meat to replenish my sodium electrolytes. My walk made me feel a little less guilty about sitting on my tush for the next hour studying.

The tummy began to grumble, again, about 2 hours later, to which I responded with POPCORNERS (its terrible how good these are). I, then, realized a better, crunchier, more refreshing option! I felt like a genius! Celery!

WP_003278This leads me to admitting a very serious problem: My name is Sammy Bundo, and I am a salsa addict.

Yes, we know I’m a dancing fool, but I am referring to salsa of the chunky variety, especially the homemade stuff! “How filling and refreshing and yummy was my celery and salsa,” you ask? Yummy enough to account for majority of the missing salsa from this jar! New favorite health snack! 

Lunch time was not the last appearance of salsa for the day. After dinner, snacky Sammy kicked in and nibbling ensued. I introduced dad to the snack, and he couldn’t believe was good it was! We wound up finishing the celery and a bell pepper, that we used for dipping. The jar is almost empty! I’m serious when I say try this combo! It feels like your chewing and chewing and its sooooo good!

So, Tuesday was meatloaf, and potatoes, and tonight’s comfort food was pasta! Dad and I are both suckers for scallops, so when I came across this at Trader Joes, I scooped it up!

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Saucy Scallops with Mushrooms in an Emmental Cheese sauce! I didn’t know what emmental cheese was, but I was sold! (Emmental cheese is a swiss cheese, by the way).

I threw this in the skillet with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, additional mushrooms and peas, and reduced fat Parmesan.

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MMM! The sweet peas and scallops with the earthy tones of the mushrooms was absolutely delicious with the creamy white white cheese sauce! While pops prefers pasta, I topped a bowl of Fettuccine Tofu Shirataki Noodles with the saucy mix, and served both up with a glass of wine that I had gotten on my trip to San Jose and some garlic toast.

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WP_003279The wine was a Rose wine from Napa Valley, CA called Ménage à Trois. It was a complete combination of sweet and dry and refreshing and tart! Perfect for what a rose should be! We actually finished the bottle of wine, which is probably why I had the munchies. The wine was delicious! I’m going to keep an eye out for it on the east coast.

Continuing our guilt-free snacky adventure as we watched our Redbox movie, Flight, I serve up a big bowl of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Arctic Zero, sprinkled with Chocolate PB2, multigrain cheerios, for crunch, and jimmies!

The remainder of this night, I plan on sleeping, hopefully, and studying away.

Big news: I scheduled the date, time and location of my NCLEX exam! I had a hard time clicking ‘confirm,’ I was so scared! I can do this… maybe the munchies were wine induced and nerve-related… who knows, but please keep me in my prayers!

(Not) Down with the Sickness

Did you know March is National Noodle Month? Neither did I.. but it worked out that I brought a noodle dish for dinner last night. Last night I brought Smart Ones Shrimp Marinara and bulked it up with some Fettucine Tofu Shiritaki Noodles and broccoli. I’m glad I spiced it up a bit. The shrimp was a little chewy, also. I don’t see myself getting this one again…

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Eating was pretty decent last night, thank God! I got all my work done so quickly that in my down time I watched a lecture! Woo Hoo!

I have sooo much work to do this weekend! I need to kick some serious butt.

Today came with sleep deprivation, stress, but uber excitement! I was watching my goddaughter today! It has been so long since I’ve seen her and she got to play with all her Christmas presents over here!

Before I picked her up, I made dad and myself a cup of coffee. I also whipped up last night’s smoothie for dad, while I enjoyed a little sweeter Apple Crunch shake:WP_001432

1/2 frozen apple, cubed

1Tbsp toffee bits

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

ice

water

1/8 tsp xanthum

I loved having Kinley over! She is so smart! She shocked me when she grabbed a coaster and put her cup on it, or at lunch when she out her napkin on her lap! She only a year and a half! My baby girl is a genius!

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Isn’t she beautiful?

But I have to say, I felt exhaustion kick in around 11am. Luckily, mom said she would watch Kinley while I took a power nap! I haven’t seen my mom with this much energy in a long time! I woke up with a bit of a scratch throat. Oh no! I can not be getting sick! I immediately brewed up some ginger and lemon tea and shot back a glass of Airborne. It was only a matter of time until the stress of the past few weeks, plus working with kids with respiratory illnesses, caught up with me. Fingers crossed- I’ve nipped this in the bud!

Right as we arrived back at Kinley’s house, she was passed out! And I had worked up quite an appetite! Frank, my step dad, called while I was out at the supermarket picking up a few things and asked if I wanted Chinese food. I LOVE Chinese food! On the occasion  I’ll make it from scratch, but I had been wanted Chinese food for the past few weeks, and, hey, he was treating! I opted for one of my favorite and more health conscious choices: Steamed Vegetables with Shrimp, and a side of garlic sauce! This meal NEVER disappoints! I love the sweet and spicy bite of the garlic sauce, the protein from the shrimp (no meat of Fridays), and the fresh, crisp, crunch of the veggies. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, “I just don’t know how these places get their veggies so perfectly steamed!” (My stepdad always gets the ribs, so I had to sneak in one of those!)

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The immediate dessert was, duh, a fortune cookie. Later, it was a salty sweet favorite: 94% fat free Kettle Corn popcorn and nutella drizzle!

The remainder of the evening is going to be spent ATTEMPTING to watch renal failure lectures, without falling asleep (I’m in desperate need of solid sleep!) and winding down with some chamomile and honey tea.

Venison Crock Pot: Recipe #1

I woke up in a major funk this morning! I hoped that a protein shake would help brighten my spirits a bit. My dad got me a big bag of Welch’s Four Berry frozen berries. I wanted to use some of my new sunflower butter to see how that would work in a shake but then I remembered I bought this little nifty cashew butter packet from Artisana the last time I was at Wholefoods:

I figured, “Hey! Berry on berry!”

Cashew butter isn’t like normal PB. Its so much smoother and creamier and the berry flavor is so light.

I still couldn’t shake the funk and heading off to class did not help…even though this is my LAST semester!

Apparently, the birds weren’t pleased with me either…

My car was completely bombed!
Okay… now onto the food:

So over the winter break, while visiting some family, I learned that my uncle hunts. My aunt offered me some venison, and never having cooked it, I gladly accepted the challenge. I scoured the internet for some recipes until I found one that my dad really wanted to try. Then I did a little research on preparing and cooking this roast. The followed this recipe and added some tweeks of my own… and thus this deliciousness was created!!

Creamy Onion Venison
serves 10

2 1/2 lbs venison
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Fat Free Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup red wine
1 Tbls low sodium soy sauce
1 (1oz) package dry onion soup and dip mix
7 oz (large) onion
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 oz sliced raw mushrooms

Remove as much fat off the venison as possible. I learned that the more fat, the more gamey-er the taste. Cut a few slits into the roast and stuff with the minced garlic and lay at the bottom of the crock pot. Cover with sliced onion and drizzle the sauces.Sprinkle in the dry onion mix. Pour the soup in a bowl. Pour the wine in the soup can and swirl around to get as much soup out of the can as possible and pour into the bowl with the soup.Repeat with the 1/4 cup of water. Mix the ingredients in the bowl and pour over the roast and onions. Cook  on low from morning to dinner time.
30 minutes before serving, add the mushrooms.

We ate this stroganoff-style, over noodles. I’m a HUGE fan of House Food’s Tofu Shirataki Noodles. I prepared the fettuccine style noodles and topped with 4oz of meat and some of this deliciously light gravy.

My dad, and even my picky  step-dad went to town and raved about this recipe!! Enjoy, ya’ll!

PS          The next crock pot recipe I’m doing is also one I have never made before: White Turkey Chili.
Some recipes add corn and/or tomatoes, both of which would probably taste great in this… What are your thoughts?