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…

 

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Dangerous Cream Cheese

I slept. Boy, did I sleep! I fell asleep on the couch, like mid-conversation with my mom. Talk about a food coma.

I never plugged my cell in and it died, and therefore, no alarm for Sammy. I stirred a bit when I heard mom in the living room and asked her what time it was. “Ten of 11,” she said. What? I need to make breakfast! Dad’s coming over! “I called and told him you were sleeping.” Just as I reached for the phone to tell dad to come over, he was calling me! ESP! Yup, I’m up! I making pancakes! Get over here! 

I just have to say it. I was a culinary queen, today!

I prepped part of the pancakes last night before crashing. The pancakes were a hit and no one knew that there was a secret ingredient. This week hosts National Pancake Day, so I’ll share today’s beautiful pancakes with you then! Since today happens to be National White Chocolate Day, I added some white chocolate chips to a little less than half of the pancakes for Frank, my dad, and my little brother, Dom. Everyone enjoyed breakfast, even my picky mother! We all had our own cups of coffee, and since no white chocolate was in my pancakes, I made sure a little SF white chocolate syrup made it into my coffee mug.

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I was inspired, while cooking pancakes, this morning. I kept thinking about that yummy Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese! I kept thinking how good it would taste on blueberry pancakes. I had half an 8oz container of fat free cream cheese in the fridge and went from there.

Advisory: This is the most dangerous and ridiculously delicious cream cheese you will ever eat.

Healthy Panera Sweet Walnut Cream Cheese

makes 16 Tablespoons

  • 1 8oz container non fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp diced walnuts

Combine all ingredients together until smooth and enjoy!

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Needless to say, I topped my pancakes with my cream cheese!

I asked my mom to test it, since she loves the original stuff. “If I didn’t know better, I would swear it was directly from Panera.” “That’s damn good,” dad said at the dining room table. “Frank, try this!” Its always a pleasure to here compliments like that!

Following breakfast, my godfather and cousin swung by for a quick visit and then dad and I were off to the park. We decided to take the pup with us for a little fresh air. It was brief but an absolute fun filled morning with my dad, shooting hoops. I love getting Beauty out in the fresh air! She always crashes when we get home, but when shes out, she really enjoys herself. And I got some great pictures of her today! I think dad just liked our trip to the park because he beat me in a game of Horse- only by ONE, though!

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Frank and I ran some errands today, and by the time we got home, we were both chomping on the grapes in the car. Neither of had eaten since brunch, and with the sun dried tomato wraps I just bought, a felt a wrap was the way to go. Frank said he had some chicken breast and then we decided to add some shrimp. Oh man! Frank, mom, Dom, and myself loved these wraps. I through the sliced chicken breast and shrimp, about 4 1/2 oz of each, in to a skillet and then topped it with the following and covered it, only tossing it a few times:

  • WP_0039971 1/2 oz broccoli slaw
  • 3 oz spinach,
  • 1 oz sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp oregano

After dividing the mixture among 3 wraps, I topped each with a little fat free shredded cheddar, 1 oz a roasted red peppers (each wrap), and a leaf of ice berg lettuce. I served them with sliced cucumbers for a side dish. Frank kept saying how much he enjoyed it, and he could have eaten another.

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WP_004002I must also admit that I created a monster, this morning. I went with an after dinner snack of celery and cucumbers. I always heard how celery and cream cheese went so well together. Well, I have never enjoyed this combo, but having made my Healthy Panera copy-cat, I get the combo another try.

THIS STUFF MUST GO ON EVERYTHING!

Its a winner!

Ahoy, Foodies!

Today is National Butterscotch Pudding Day, so lets begin our Thursday with a little, shall we Mateys?

Sammy, what’s wrong with you? Why are you talking like that? Oh, because its also National Talk Like A Pirate Day. To avoid the scurvy, let add a little Vitamin C into our meals, today, too!

WP_003957Cinnabon Protein Bowl

  • 2 scoops cookies n cream protein (1 and 1 of chocolate and vanilla will do)
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter buds
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free butterscotch pudding
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp xanthum
  • water
  • ice

WP_003956My vitamin C came in the form of spinach, if you couldn’t tell by the green colored bowl. Oh, and I topped it with ground flax! I experimented with making this into a smoothie by substituting 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt for the vanilla shake mix and 1 tsp cocoa powder. I prefer the shake version better, but not bed.

Frank’s Ascorbic Acid was made with a ton of cantaloupe and half a banana.

I grabbed a shower, hoping that it would get me out of this lazy funk I’ve been. I felt like I was falling asleep in the shower, but after a good facial scrub, smoothie bowl, and a cup of caramel coffee, I felt a little more like myself. I threw on my sneakers and iPod and took a 2 mile walk. My fitness goal was not to go full on running, but rather work on form. It so easy to lean forward when power walking. Instead, I focused on keeping my shoulders back, and my abdominals tight. After a few blocks, you can really feel the muscles on your stomach, obliques, and shoulder muscles!

I felt even better coming home to a bottle of water and having enjoyed a brisk walk on a beautiful day!

WP_003958I made sure to set aside a solid hour and a half to send our resumes! But after that, I actually felt hungry! I had discussed the possibility of making seafood for dinner, with my dad, and he had put in the idea of a tuna melt. Simple! I mixed together a rather delicious tuna salad!

  • 1 can solid white albacore
  • 2 Tbsp light mayo
  • 1 oz roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 3 large black olives, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesean
  • black pepper, taste

I ate mine just microwaved, and I made Frank a tuna melt! Not only was it tasty, but its colorful! Spectacular!

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After Frank and I ran a few errands, and a little tidying up was done, I got a hold of mom to see what her plans were for the night. I’m really in the mood for Saladworks, I said. “Do you want a turkey sandwich?” No, because then I’ll wind up eating it. “Well, I’m going to get one anyway. You can just eat the turkey.”

Thanks, mom! But it worked out really well! I ate half a Luna Carrot Cake bar to hold me over until dinner, and when it was time, I offered to pick it up. I power walked another half mile, and was pretty stoked that I ran the last block uphill! I ordered a turkey sandwich with extras pickles and onions, American cheese, lettuce, on rye bread, with sweet peppers on the side. Mom typically orders extra mayo. No way, woman! You can add your own mayo!

I took this….

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And transformed it into this….

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A delicious salad over spinach! And Beauty got the treat of rye bread and a slice of cheese.

WP_003967This was so good, that I made another small salad! Every time mom and I get a hoagie from Degnar’s Deli, we get into onion mode. They have the best onions! They are perfectly sliced, crisp, strong and mom and I always wind up slicing onions as a snack. To the second salad, went a whole cucumber, two sweetened gerkins, and a bunch of onion, all topped with salsa! Sooooo good! I thought the combination of pickles in my salad was odd until dad reminded me that they technically are the same thing… duh, Sammy.

This meal put me in quite a veggie mood, and I snacked on celery and sugar snap peas with salsa until mom and I met up with dad and Barry for the Eagles/Chiefs game.

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I stuck with my pirate theme and got Captain and Diet Pepsi. Barry got a little intoxicated! But on the bright side, I got to drive his car. (It’s a stick shift, and hes been teaching me.) But I drove home and didn’t stall! Woo Hoo! And Melissa, my favorite bartender made bacon mac n’ cheese, which was good sober-up food. She also let me play around with two new Pinnacle vodkas on the shelf. The first was Caramel Apple, but the one that grabbed my eye was the Pumpkin Pie! Yes, Pumpkin Pie vodka! We started thinking about things that you could drink it with. I suggested Rum Chata and it worked beautifully! Like a pumpkin egg nog!  Melissa, then, added a few drops of Bailey’s. It cut some of the alcohol bite, and I would have poured that shot right into a cup of coffee! MMMM!

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A Side Note:

Teresa mentioned to me that I used pigeon peas to make yesterday’s Split Pea Soup. I forgot to address why. Thanks, Teresa!

I grabbed the wrong bag of peas from the farmer’s market, but did not realize it until they had already been soaking overnight. I watch shows like Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and Iron Chef because I believe a great chef goes with the punches. I always challenge myself when I watch the shows to try to come up with what I would do if I was on the show. Therefore, once I realized my mistake, I rolled with it, and made it work!

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.

Mean and Green

I spent the remainder of last night awake! I didn’t fall asleep until 130am or so. Oh well! At least I came up with delicious ideas for this week’s meals. It began this morning with a change of pace from my usual shake. It was also a good morning, as I was able to sense hunger, again!

I’ve been craving quinoa for weeks now, but with the madness going on in my head, I couldn’t get myself to eat it. Alas, I microwaved Amy’s Light & Lean Quinoa & Black Beans bowl. Meanwhile, I whipped up some egg whites, for myself, and a sunny-side up, for Frank! Frank and I really enjoyed this. We are both huge fans of black beans! Plus, we got a boost of protein and fiber bright and early to start our week! Yum!

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WP_003806I’ve planned today to see green! Not as in envy, but as in E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!!!! Eagles/ Redskins game baby! Dad and I are all about the green, but mom won a bet at work like 20 years ago on a Skins game, and has been a fan ever since. Silly woman!

To get on my game face, I whipped out my Eagles jersey to rock for a day of errands.

After unpacking the groceries, I make another batch of Bundo Broccoli Salad, since the first batch went so quickly neither Frank nor Barry got a taste.

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Afterwards, I was feeling tired but couldn’t sense if it was due to a lack of eating. After all, it was 2pm and I ate my filling breakfast around 10am. I decided to whip up a super green shake! Its one of my favorites!

Pistachio Ice Cream Shake:

  • WP_0038121 Tbsp sugar free fat free Pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 to 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • lots of spinach!
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • water
  •  ice
  • shelled, unsalted pistachios (optional)
  • xanthum and/or guar gum (optional)

After my last few shake bowls, I’ve rediscovered my love for ground flax and chia seeds, so to play off the nuttiness of the pistachios I added both to today’s bowl!

This held me over for hours! I attempted a nap before Zumba, and, sadly, it just didn’t happen. When I got up after an hour, my mom took one look at me and said, “You look tired. I don’t think you should go to Zumba.” I felt guilty not going, since I didn’t go last week, but I truly was tired. I then spent the next few hours working on a new recipe for you!

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try, again. Although, I wasn’t hungry, mom was and we kicked off our first Monday Night Football of the the 2013-2014 season!

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I prepared a plate of crudites, featuring scallions, sugar snap peas, green beans, celery, and baby carrots. I served it with Honey Mustard, blue cheese dressing, and PB. We split one of my favorite personalized pizzas, VitaPizza Cheese and Tomato. Mom and  I also split a strawberry daquari, topped with a dollop of fat free Cool Whip.

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I was not hungry, tonight, but had tons of nervous energy and filled up on veggies. No harm in that…

After the Eagles started kicking some serious butt, mom went into a sore mood and said, “That’s it. I’m going to bed.” I, now, find myself, here, with you, reminiscing and working on yet another new recipe for you.

Sweet Green Dreams!

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!

I’d Rather Go Green than Be Blue

After a wonderful birthday party, last night, Barry and I came home. While he mowed the lawn, I unloaded some bags and really got in the mood for something. I’ve said it before… Trail mix can be mighty dangerous! I grabbed a handful of mix and a  big spoonful of Edy’s slow Churned to satisfy this sweet crunch tooth. Unfortunately, I kept nibbling on the trail mix (I love the nuts and raisins so much). It wasn’t like a binge, and it wasn’t like a I couldn’t use calories. If it weren’t for the trail mix I would not have gone over 600 calories, today. This did not stop my guilt and after walking outside to vent to Barry, I went to the bathroom for a small purge. Stupid, I know, and unnecessary.

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After and interesting attempt at making some not very attractive, homemade Blueberry PopTarts (I’m sure we’ll get it next time! ), and splitting a banana, Barry and I headed back off to bed, as we both have night shift tonight.

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It was a pretty scatter-brained afternoon for me. I forgot my phone at Barry’s and, of course, when I got back to the house, I couldn’t remember the security code, so the alarm went off! On my way home, I began an anxiety attack. I arrived home just in time for Frank to help talk me down. “I can’t eat! I can’t eat!” I kept yelling between hyperventilations.

I did what I do best and cooked. Well, its not so much cooking, as assembling, and playing with measurements, but however you look at it, I made a pretty mean broccoli salad.

Bundo Broccoli Salad

makes 4 large servings

  • 2 boxes 45 calorie raisins, by SunMaid (or 90 calories of raisins)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup OIKOs plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Hellmans light mayo
  • 2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp real bacon crumbles, like Oscar Mayer
  • 12 oz bag fresh brocolli florets
  • 1.5 oz broccoli slaw

Chop raisins, shredded cheddar, and onions. Combine with yogurt, mayo, Splenda, vinegar, pepper, sunflower seeds, and bacon. Pour over top broccoli and slaw and thoroughly mix.  Add pepper to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition:

Calories: 148, Fat: 6.7g, Sat. Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 4.1mg, Sodium: 282mg, Carbs: 14.8g, Fiber: 3.6g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 8.1g

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After a quick taste test, my nerves were calmed a bit and made the decision that I needed to eat. I whipped up a Sam-Rock Shake, for something low-cal and filling. Its going to be a rather green night, but I’d rather go green with health than blue with depression. To top off the night, I spilled a mug of hot tea on myself. Just great!

Before leaving work and before my mom’s boyfriend, if that what you’d call him, came over, I told her we needed to talk! She’s been acting like nothing ever happend. You know we’re not okay, right? She has been trying to make plans with me, but I’m just waiting for her to back out at the last minute. Don’t think because we spend a few hours together tomorrow that nothing happened this week. She kept responding with “I know… I understand…” No! You don’t understand! You have never had to experience with your mother what I have with you, It hurts and its NOT okay!

We ended the conversation on a good note and I pray it didn’t just go in one ear and out of the other. We supposedly have plans for tomorrow…

Sweet 16

Today is a most wonderful day for this family! Beauty is 16, today! Can you believe it? My beautiful beagle is sixteen years old!

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When I was turning 6, my uncle worked for a company that tested on animals. He rescued his dog and for my 6th birthday, grabbed me her half sister: The most beautiful pup I’ve ever seen! I got her when she was just 6 weeks old and I feel so blessed to have 16 years with her, now!  It seems surreal! We weren’t sure if she was going to make it to her 16th birthday with the health problems she was having earlier this year, but we were all wrong!

This was a big day in our house and I was prepared to celebrate!

Our day began with… uh, oh… where are the eggs? We opened the fridge and had to run out to the store so we could have our omelets this morning. My girlfriend Maggie was here so I made breakfast for the three of us, plus a sandwich for dad for work.

I browned up some turkey sausage links while I cooked Barry a jalapeno and spicy cheese egg, which I served with the sausage on toast. HE was ballsy enough to try out new ghost pepper hot sauce on the sandwich, too! For Maggie and myself, I used the the liquid egg substitute, salsa, spinach, and chopped turkey sausage with fat free cheese. She enjoyed hers with ketchup, and I with hot sauce. My breakfast was completed with a mug of coffee, while Barry’s ending with a glass of milk to cut some of the fiery hot sauce.

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After assembling a shopping list, and dropping off dad’s breakfast sandwich at his work, we ran our errands and arrived to see the birthday girl! She was sleeping, of course, but her loud mommy woke her with balloons and kisses!

By far, Beauty’s favorite treat is peanut butter! Duh! Isn’t it every ones? Every year, we typically get a coffee cake or sticky bun to celebrate, but this year, I made a peanut butter creme pie, compliments of Hungry Girl. It was delish! We all were in PB heaven.

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While this was firming up in the freezer, the birthday girl got to lick the spoon… and the bowl, while her mommy made dinner.

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Today, also happens to by National Cheese Pizza Day. I had left my scale at Barry’s and made this without weighing a simple thing, only measuring spoons, same with the salads that accompanied dinner and the PB Creme pie. This was a big step for me. So much so that I needed to take a walk while it was baking…

The pizza was one of the best I’ve made yet! The humans loved it and went back for seconds. The canine of the house was treated to a special meal, as well. I found in a health magazine a while back a recipe for heart healthy food patties for dogs. Both meals were cooking.

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WP_003760Salmon Patties for Pups

makes 8 cakes

  • 1 14.75 can salmon
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, or panko
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine the first three ingredients and form 8 patties. In a hot skillet, drizzle with half the olive oil and brown one side. Drizzle the remaining oil and flip patties until the other side is browned and patties are warmed through.

These can be frozen and refrigerated.

She, too, wanted seconds! Its her birthday, so, of course, she got them!

Cheese Pizza

serves 4-8WP_003761

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)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornmeal

The Topping:

  • 1/4 cup fat free ricotta
  • basil, to taste
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp pizza sauce
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella
  • granulated garlic, to taste

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. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the hot pizza stone or pizza pan. Spread the dough on a hot pizza stone and bake for about 20 min at 400 F.

Check, using a spatula, that the crust is not sticking to the pan/stone. Allow the crust to slightly cool while you lower the temperature of the over to 350 F. Once slightly cooled, top the crust with an even spread of ricotta, and sprinkle that with basil. Next, spread the pizza sauce, and, finally, the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle the granulated garlic over the top and bake at 350 F for about 8 minutes.

Slice and serve.

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After our pizza and salads, we digested while Beauty took her full belly to Nap Time Land.

We eventually got the pup up, lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday, and dug in! She was so cute as she kept trying to lick the pan. This picture looks like she is trying to blow out the candles!

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She seriously loved her pie! We could not top watching how much she enjoyed it!

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Happy Birthday, Babygirl!

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My Mug Overfloweth

I was greeted with some disappointment, this morning. As Frank and I headed out for our bike ride, I discovered a flat tire! My bike ride was cancelled for today, but luckily I was hungry.

In honor of National Banana Lover Day, I whipped up a Banana Creme Pie Shake Bowl, with a handful of spinach.

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  • 1/2 to 1 frozen banana
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free Banana Creme Pie pudding mix
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum (optional)

I enjoyed this bowl while sitting on the porch and chatting with Frank! It was a beautiful morning with the sun shining and a light breeze.

For some reason, despite my cup of coffee, I could not wake up today. I tried keeping busy until Barry came over on his lunch brake. I saved him some of the Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza from last night’s dinner. It was his first experience with a cauliflower crust and he liked it. I think each time I make the crust, I get better and better at it.

WP_003700As noon approached, the sun began to hide and a mildly grumbling tummy came out. Frank made a tuna sandwich for himself and I finally gave into my nutella desire with a slice of oatmeal toast and Be Well Nutella. It hit the spot and was just enough to satisfy my hunger.

The entire day was spent in an odd funk. I just could not get with the program. Frank and I watched movies all day! I was quite lazy, but maybe my body just needed that.

Dad came over for dinner before I headed to Barry’s. I had picked up cebollitas at the farmers market and had been itching to make them. They are typically made on a grill coated in salt and olive oil. Every time dad and I go to a Mexican restaurant, we go to town on these babies, and we always dip them in the chorizo con queso! This was my first time making the cebollitas and they could not have turned out any better!

Cebollitas (Spring Onions)WP_003701

  • 8 cebollitas
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp, divided, plus 1/8 tsp seasoned salt

Heat a cast iron grill pan, or skillet if you do not have a grill pan, on medium to medium high heat. While the pan is heating up, snipthe top stems of the onions down until there is about 2-3 inches from the bulb. Spray the pan with non stick cooking spray and lay the onions down. Sprinkle1/4 tsp of seasoned salt over the onions, followed by squeezing half a lime over top. Quickly cover the onions with a lid. After 5 minutes, turn the onions to the other side,sprinkle the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and squeeze the other half of the lime. Recover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Removed the lid and toss the onions every 3 minutes or so for an additional 10 minutes. On the last toss, sprinkle the last 1/8 tsp of seasoning salt. Serve them up!

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Dad and I ate our with a bowl of soup! It was one we had never had before by Campbell s, but it is definitive one we will be getting again! Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo Style Chicken Soup was creamy, with a kick of buffalo sauce and blue cheese flavors! MMMM! And I dipped my cebollitas in there and the creamy consistency worked great as a substitution for the chorizo con queso! The soup even had carrots, tomatoes, celery and potato like the classic home-style chicken soup.

Dad wanted a grilled cheese on the side. I’ll tell ya, just the soup and 4 cebollitas kept me full for the rest of the night!

I met up with Barry, still feeling in a haze, but being with him and getting out of the house helped perk me up. His house was bareso we headed off to the grocery store, as opposed to my usual Tuesday night Zumba routine. We are spending the rest of the night in movie mode.

Tooty Fruity and Hydrated

WP_003587I don’t know why, but on days that I have shakes, I always feel well hydrated!

I began this morning with a bit of refrain running as I made my way to Church. I couldn’t wait to share the news with Fr. Hurley! I made great timing and wound up sitting outside for about 30 minutes, waiting for the Church doors to open.

Dad was right… never leave at home without cash. I didn’t anticipate the time. I could ave grabbed a coffee in the waiting time.

But good things come to those who wait. After mass, I walked over to the cemetery to talk to my grandparents. While I waited for dad to make it there, I sat on the curb. The landscaping guys drove over to see if I was okay. It was pretty awkward trying to explain that I WP_003591was talking with my grandparents and waiting for dad.

When I arrived home, the wilting spinach in the fridge was screaming to be used! Green shakes for Frank and I, today.

An Green Apple Cheesecake shake for Frank, and a Green Colada, for myself! Delicious!

Along with the shake, was a cup of coffee and a Vitamin Water. Like, I said, hydrated!

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I want to take a brief second to explain the importance of staying hydrated. I’ll begin with a few examples:

When I was in prime eating disorder time, I was incredibly dehydrated. It affected my muscles, my reaction time… It got to the point that I had not had a bowel movement in 8 days, I was grey and weak, completely uncomfortable, and was in the ER for 10 hours with an open IV line. I was simply there for hydration. I was pumped with about 3 L before I was discharged. I would stand up, and have to sit back down. I would already be standing, and my vision would get so blurred and I would feel so light headed that I needed to lay on the floor. I really scared my dad a couple times. It was to the point that this was even happening at work.

Last week, at Zumba, I mentioned that a girl felt light headed and she was lying on the ground. Its because she was dehydrated, not only from sweating, but because she had donated blood about 6 hours before class.

Our bodies are naturally fueled by water. Think about it, up to 70% of our bodies are made of water! Scientist believe that water is the source of life, from which species are born. It acts as the medium for all our cellular processes to occur.

Water is needed to help digest, rid your body of waste, absorb nutrients from your food, send signals, lubricate joints, regulate temperature… Water is an important part of life.

For the weight loss followers, it helps to drink lot of water because it makes you feel full and you eat less. It also helps burn fat. The temp of the water really doesn’t matter. Any water is better than none. Thank goodness for those Dasani and Crystal Light squirty things because plan water can get really boring. I’ve drank so much fluid, today, I feel like my belly is a bag of water! Last night, after Zumba, I slammed so many bottles of water, I woke up every 3 hours to pee! Hahah!

Lunch was eaten all throughout the day. I actually finished off a huge fruit salad from 7 Eleven.

You guys are getting alot of TMIs, today, so let me make it up to you with a yummy comfort food recipe that everyone is your house will love!

Chicken Pot Pie

WP_003597serves 8

  • 8 ramekins, or 2 9 in pie plates

Filling:

  • 10oz chicken breast, diced to bite size pieces
  • 5 cups frozen mixed vegetable
  • 2 10.75oz cans 98% fat free Cream of Celery condensed soup
  • 2 tsp dried chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp chicken/ poultry seasoning, optional

Crust:

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Preheat the oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, over medium heat in a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, cook the diced chicken breast with the seasonings. Toss until all the chicken is just cooked and none have stuck to each other. Transfer the warm chicken, with any juice produced into a large bowl with the condensed soup. Add the mixed vegetables and thoroughly combine. Spray dishes with a non stick cooking spray and divide the mixture amongst them. Place the dishes in a shallow pan (a roasting pan or pyrex should work) and fill the pan with a cup of water. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Give the soupy mix a stir and return to bake for another 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, working in two batches, work on making the crust. Roll, with hands, 3 pieces of dough, and using a rolling pin roll out into 4 circles, or one large circle if using a pie pan.  Repeat this step with another ball of 3 crescents. 

Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully seal each ramekin, or pie pan, with your dough. Sprinkle the top of the crust with the garlic powder and return the dishes to the oven, still in the water pan, for 20 minutes, until the tops of golden brown and flaky.

Remove from the oven and dig in!

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Each serving is around 240 calories. I was told this was one of the best dishes I’ve made! There was only once complaint! They wanted more!

Just like the pot pie, who doesn’t love pantless? Haha! I had to sign off with another TMI!