Meanwhile Back At Mama’s

Its been a while! I’ve been in the processes of moving back into moms house, working two jobs (yes, I got another job), and prepping for whats going on right now. Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in. In the meantime, lets focus on this recipe! Ever since I can remember, my mom and I have been obsessed with Stouffer’s Vegetable Lasagna. Its a white lasagna using chopped vegetables and a beschemel sauce.

Vegetable (Noodless) Lasagna

4-8 serving

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large eggplant (approx. 1lb 1/4 to 1/2oz), sliced lengthwise to 1/4 inWP_006541
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/2 pkg of chopped spinach, frozen
  • 1/2 cup ricotta, fat free
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream, fat free
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 (15oz) jar light Alfredo sauce, like Classico (about 45 cal per 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, fat free, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, fat free, divided
  • 2 Tbsp Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 8oz chicken breast (optional)

For those of you trying to figure out why the title of the post sounds familiar…

Wrap the cloves of garlic on aluminum foil and broil 450 F for 30 min. Take this time to prep everything else. On a skillet or griddle, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, lay the eggplant and grill it, flipping after about 5 minutes on either side. Remove from heat and allow it to sit.

Add the chopped broccoli, carrots, onions, spinach, and roasted garlic in a skillet, sprayed with non stick spray, and 2-4 Tbsp water, over medium heat. Sweat the veggies down. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ricotta, sour cream, pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil together. By the spoonful, stir the hot, sweated veggies into the ricotta mixture, until all the vegetables and ricotta are thoroughly combined.

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Preheat the oven for 350 F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Pour about 3 tbsp of the jarred alfredo sauce into the sprayed pan, just enough to coat the bottom. Pour the remaining jar of light alfredo sauce into the ricotta mixture, along with 3/4 cup water. Mix well. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Begin to layer the cooled eggplant on the bottom. Spoon half the ricotta  mixture over the eggplant and spreas evenly.

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Chop the shredded mozzarella cheese finely and sprinkle half of it over the layered eggplant and ricotta. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of grated parm over top. Place another layer of eggplant down, followed by the remaining ricotta, mozzarella, and parm. Lastly, top with the bread crumbs. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes to brown the bread crumbs.

The filling was so darn tasty, I just kept eating it with the spoon! Focus, Sammy, this is for dinner…

The layers are thin, full of flavor. I’ve figured out a few things with making this dish a meal:

  • Cook 1 ounce of pasta and serve the lasagna over top.
  • Make a protein (chicken works fantasticly well).

I shredded up about an ounce or so of chicken breast, tossed it with and ounce of cooked pasta, and served it up to pops.

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Dad devoured this plate in record timing… just saying…

Nutrition: (1/8 of dish)

Calories: 127, Fat: 3.3g, Sat. Fat: 1.9g, Cholesterol: 24g, Sodium: 467mg, Carbs: 15.8g, Fiber: 3.7g, Sugar: 5.2g, Protein: 8.1g

For those of you trying to figure out why the title of the post sounds familiar…

 

Pistachios.

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

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

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

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makes 24 slices

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

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

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

Nutrition (per 1/24, 1 slice):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Double the Crock Pots, Double the Fun: Mexican Chicken: Crock Pot Recipe #9

This is so funny! I’ve never had dueling crock pots before!

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This is the easiest of all the crock pot recipes of this challenge. Since breakfast was  a bit more involved, I’m  glad this was a simple one. And just like the roasted vegetables, the possibilities are endless!

Mexican Chicken

serves 4

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 jar salsa, or 1 1/2 cups

1 packet low sodium Taco Seasoning

Remove the fat from the breast and lay in the crock pot. In a bowl, combine the salsa and taco seasoning. Pour over top of the chicken, cover, and cook on low. When ready, remove from crock pot, shred with two forks, and place back into crock pot until its time to be served.

Is that simple or what?!

I used a jar of Southwest Black Bean and White Corn salsa. Dad really wanted soft tacos, but I couldn’t help but create a salad with mixed greens, shredded chicken, fat free shredded cheddar,  and a few Guiltless Gourmet Spicy Black Bean tortilla chips.  I stuck with the mexi- theme and combined some avocado with some fat free sour cream and cilantro for a dressing!

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Rave Reviews! Dad went back for seconds! (so did I).

I’ve been in a kind of freak out mode! I have some dresses that do not fit me anymore! Ugh! This is the worst feeling a girl with an eating disorder can have! Situations like these really make a girl want to relapse. The worse part, is that I have to energy or motivation to get moving! The weather has been super crap-tastic lately, so I have not been able to go running and the house just looks so dark and gloomy without any sunlight. Thank God today was a nice day! It was the first day in a while I could walk outside without gloves and a scarf.

I’m hoping this dress incident can snap me back to normal eating habits!