Monday, October 29, 2012

Food Prep Recipe Blast! 10/28/12

I promised you recipes and here they are!! I'm gathering a lot of my inspiration from a few websites, if you haven't noticed :)  This week's are from Skinnytaste and Skinny Ms.  These are favorites and the recipes I've made from these sites have not disappointed! 

Here we go:

Spinach & Feta Frittata
Turkey Sloppy Joes
Beef & Barley Soup

*******************************************************************

Light Spinach and Feta Frittata (from Skinnytaste.com)
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1/4 of frittata Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 140.6 • Fat: 6.8 • Carbs: 5.5 • Fiber: 2.2 g • Sugar: 0.3 g • Protein 15.2
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 oz crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Squeeze all water from spinach. In a 9 inch non-stick sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and scallions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add salt, pepper, cheeses and spinach and mix well. Pour the mixture into the skillet and cook until the bottom sets, about 5 minutes. Hold a large plate over the pan and invert the frittata onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan. Cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.

*******************************************************************

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes (from Skinny Ms.)
Yields: 4-6 Servings | Serving size: 1 Cup (bun not included) | Previous Points: 3 | Points Plus: 4 | Calories: 167 | Fat: 4 g | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Sugars: 8 g | Fiber: 2 g | Sodium: 387 mg | Protein: 23g
  • 1 pound (454 grams) ground turkey breast (raw)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup natural ketchup
  • 1 15 oz can no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 packets Stevia (optional, if you want to make it on the sweeter side)


Mist a skillet with oil and brown raw turkey, onions and green pepper over medium heat. (You could skip this step, but you will get a better flavor.)
Place turkey meat, onions & green pepper in the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. If you don't brown the meat first, then cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
Serve with a whole grain bun, toasted. An Ezekial hamburger bun works well here!

*******************************************************************

Beef Barley Soup (from Skinnytaste.com)
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 336 • Fat: 11 g • Carbs: 27 g • Fiber: 6 g • Protein: 32 g • Sugar: 1.5 g
Sodium: 453 mg (using 1 tsp kosher salt)

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs lean beef round stew meat
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 - 2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2/3 cup dry barley
  • fresh ground black pepper
Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add oil and beef, season with a little salt and brown meat a few minutes.
When meat is browned, add carrots, onion, celery and garlic to the pot and give it a good stir. Add water, salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and coverSimmer covered over low heat until the meat is soft, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.Add the barley, adjust the salt if needed and add fresh ground pepper. Simmer an additional 30-35, remove bay leaves and serve. Makes 7 1/2 cups.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Food Prep Sunday!!!

We had such a fabulous family weekend.  I was in Colorado last weekend for 5 days with my girlfriends so it was a welcome treat to be able to spend the entire weekend as a family.  We took advantage of the sunshine! We went to the park, sidewalk chalked the driveway, carved pumpkins, roasted seeds and watched a lot of sports in the process!! (Lions, Tigers, Spartans, oh my!) 

Charlie showing off his happy and sad pumpkins
Delicious Sweet & Salty roasted pumpkin seeds! (recipe to come!)
Since I was out of town last weekend, this past week was tough in the food department.  I got back on Tuesday evening and did a quick grocery run on Wednesday. We made do with what we had but I had been looking forward to restocking our fridge with some healthy, prepped food.  Today's prep was a success.  I have a stocked fridge and I'm excited about what's in it! 

 
I chopped lots of fruits and veggies (pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, cucumbers, celery, onions, green peppers, carrots). Then I prepped Beef Barley Soup, a delicious spinach & feta frittata, Turkey Sloppy Joes, Aunt Tilda's Brown Bread and a dozen hardboiled eggs. I will be sharing the recipes on the blog tomorrow, so stay tuned! Is there on you'd like me to share FIRST?? Post it in the comments and I'll have it up right away!




The picture above is a little collage of a recipe box that my sister gave to me when I got married 8 years ago.  It's very special to me because it has recipes handwritten by my late Mother as well as my 94 year old Nana.  These are our family recipes and it's such a special part of my kitchen! I find a lot of inspiration online, but this box is full of all of those things I grew up on like Nana's Veggie Beef Barley Soup or Aunt Tilda's Brown Bread.  It's full of goodness! 

Have a great week and if there's a recipe you'd like me to share first thing tomorrow, comment here! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Never Too Late...

A week ago I went to the lake for the weekend to spend some (much needed) time with my high school girlfriends. We do this annually, in the Fall while the weather is a little cool and we can just sit around a fire and enjoy each other's company.  Before I left for the weekend, a best friend stayed with me and we were looking through old Girls Weekend photos and came across the pack from our first year back in 2009.  As we were flipping through each photo we came to a few that had me in them.  Surprisingly.  Because back in 2009, I was a year post-baby and hid as best as I could from the camera lens.  These pictures made me GASP.  Even though the numbers on the scale say what they do, and my confidence is through the roof, I still have a hard time grasping the fact that I've lost a lot of weight. Shoot, I've even done it a few times now! ;) Put a photo comparison together and it's like I finally understand the scope of what I've accomplished.  

Back in 2009, I was obese.  I was my highest weight EVER.  230 pounds (as logged by my scale, but really the HIGHEST point was around the 245/250 mark). I really didn't like myself much back then.  Not because of the extra weight, but because I didn't have that deep FIRE of LOVE for MYSELF.  I was miserable, to put it lightly.  I still remember all of my girlfriends going out for a run during that Girls Weekend in 2009 and I remained on the couch and sulked.  Why couldn't I be fit, healthy, motivated to run and LOVE myself like they all did?? WHY?? I went home from that weekend and decided to make a change.  I was at my Tipping Point and have the blog post to prove it. I joined a Facebook Challenge group and decided that if I was ever going to have another baby, I needed to do something to get myself healthy.  I lost the weight, got pregnant and then in some respects felt like I was starting over again after putting on another set of baby pounds. However, that Tipping Point was really it for me.  I haven't seen 230 pounds on a scale since that day in November 2009 and I don't have any intention of EVER seeing it again. 

Now, the thing about being obese is that you feel helpless.  The road ahead seems daunting.  I knew it was going to take a lot of work and for a long time I wasn't prepared to really make this a lifestyle. That day back in 2009 was the fork in the road and I haven't gone back.  I committed to changing my life no matter how far gone I felt I was at that time.  I am the only one in charge of my own destiny in this life and it was up to me to start making small changes to get myself back on the road I knew I deserved.  If you are overweight or struggling with your weight, I have compassion for you. I know what you are feeling. The road seems long: the goal, unattainable.  Commit to yourself and start making small changes.  There is a quote that says something like "The hardest lift is your butt off the couch." Yes, it is.  You will even hit a bump (or 100!) along the way, but when you commit to making a better life, you are guaranteed success. 

Here I sit, 3 short years later and I feel (and look!) like a whole new person.  I feel strong when I climb a set of stairs or lift a heavy box over my head to stack in my storage room at work.  I can run 3 miles without heaving and I know what foods my body likes to be fueled with now.  I have confidence and walk with a swagger I didn't have back in 2009.  Best of all, I love what I see when I look in the mirror.  A happy, Mom of 2 that loves the person she is inside and out.  I have fallen, I have failed and succeeded but when I decided to change my life, everything changed for the better.

There is no gift better than the one I have given myself: the gift of a healthy body, mind and spirit. ♥ For that, I am eternally grateful.

Food Prep Sunday and Chicken Pot Pie Soup!

Yesterday's food prep was a fun one!  The girls in my Food Tracking Accountability group on Facebook all rallied together and we prepped a lot of yummy things.  I know these girls will appreciate their hard work when they are looking for something to eat this week.  No Taco Bell runs needed! It's all right in your fridge, ready to eat.  That's the simple beauty of a few dedicated hours in your kitchen on Sunday.



I prepped a few of my usual favorites:  2 loaves of Aunt Tilda's Brown Bread, hard boiled eggs, Asian Chicken Slaw Salads, lots of chopped fruits and veggies, Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes and Easy Broccoli and Pasta for the kiddos.  I tried one new recipe, from Skinnytaste (my fav lately!) and I tasted a little bit yesterday and it was the definition of Fall comfort food.  I prepped 8 servings for lunches and dinners. I love how excited I feel about my food after my prep work on Sunday!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

1/4 cup flour (to make gluten-free use 2 tbsp cornstarch instead)
2 cups water
4 cups fat free milk
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1/2 medium chopped onion
8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
2 chicken bouillons
fresh ground pepper
pinch of thyme
10 oz frozen classic mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed small
16 oz cooked chicken breast, diced small
salt

Create a slurry by combining 1/2 cup of the cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.


Pour remaining water and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, chicken bullion, thyme, fresh pepper, frozen vegetables and return to a boil. Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, add potatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, and slowly whisk in slurry, stirring well as you add. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thickens, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Here's a 
link to the recipe on Skinnytaste.  Enjoy! 

Have a great week!!!