Tag Archives: losing weight

Crackslaw

26 Jan

Yes you read that right, Crackslaw, that is the name of a recipe I tried out. It is so named because it is supposed to be freakishly delish and addictive.

It is super tasty, and I guess I could see how it could become a frequently cooked dish, especially if you are someone cooking for a family and you have to find something that will at least partially please more than just yourself while not going crazy over your food budget.

It is a definite keeper. πŸ™‚

The original recipe can be found here…

http://www.food.com/recipe/crack-slaw-low-carb-434863

I of course made variations because heaven forbid I make it exactly like the recipe said to! Mostly the changes were because I wasn’t buying new ingredients for a recipe I might never make again when I had slightly different versions that I figured would work just as well. Also, I have it on good authority it is a good dish for customizing, you can tweak it to your preferences and my preference was to not have to buy any more ingredients than absolutely necessary lol

The ingredients for my version are as follows…

1 package of Coleslaw mix (14oz bag)

2 gloves garlic, minced (I have the kind in a jar)

chopped white onion, I didn’t measure how much, just diced till I had a bunch, maybe 1/3 of an onion?

1/2 tsp tabasco sauce

shake of jalapeno flakes

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp white vinegar

2 Tbls soy sauce

2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 pound extra lean ground chicken

So my changes were:

(1) it is supposed to be sriracha sauce, I didn’t have any, so I used tabasco

(2) it is supposed to be toasted sesame oil, same as above, I didn’t have any, so I used evoo because I had that already

(3) it is supposed to be 3 green onions chopped, I already had white onion on hand so I chose to use that

(4) it is supposed to be beef, I was going to get lean ground turkey but the lean ground chicken was the cheapest of all the meats so chicken it is!

(5) it is supposed to be Splenda but I refuse to use things like Splenda or Truvia so I opted for real sugar

(6) there is supposed to be ginger paste in there but I am not a huge fan of ginger so I left it out

(7) the jalapeno flakes aren’t in the original recipe, shrug, I wanted it a bit spicier than what I thought the tabasco sauce would get me and I had jalapeno flakes on hand so I shook some in

So ya know, some minor changes…but nothing I feel ruins the overall structure of the dish.

To make Crackslaw you…

(1) brown your ground meat, season with salt and pepper to taste (if you so desire…I don’t use salt when cooking and I forgot to use the pepper so I added that later)

(2) remove browned meat from the pan and set aside

(3) put oil in pan, sautee garlic, onions, and coleslaw until the coleslaw is at your desired tenderness…remember it will wilt down so you don’t need as huge of a pan as you may be imagining…having said that I almost overflowed mine so use a decently large one…

(4) mix the tabasco sauce, sugar, white vinegar and soy sauce together, pour in to pan, mix (this is where I added the pepper)

(5) add back in the meat, mix well, keep in pan until meat has come back up to serving temperature

If you want you can garnish it with more chopped green onion (uncooked of course), and more hot sauce, for those who like things spicier.

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A bonus to using a bag of coleslaw rather than shredding your own cabbage is it comes with other veggies mixed in already but if you are really anti carrot you could always just shred a cabbage…ya weirdo πŸ˜‰

It is dead easy to make, and because it is so flexible with what you put in it you can make it as tasty or as bland as you like. I ate a serving of it the day I made it then portioned out the rest for two more servings. I could probably have divided it up to 4 equal portions but the day I made it I was super hungry and took a bit more so I opted for 3 equal portions so I could calculate the Weight Watchers points easier. Cuz hey, this is all about me, right? πŸ˜‰ Just like with pasta the flavours got stronger as it sat so when I heated up the leftovers it was noticeably spicier than my first meal. Β Thank you jalapeno flakes! πŸ˜€

So yeah, I’d say it is a good dish to make. The ingredients aren’t too expensive to procure, the meat cost me $7 and the ready made coleslaw cost $1.47. I was lucky that I already had the other ingredients, or at least things that could stand in for the other ingredients, so minimal shopping had to be done. Bonus is most of the ingredients are things you’d have on hand anyways, like the garlic, oil, hot sauce, jalapeno flakes, soy sauce, etc, so you’d probably only really need buy the meat and coleslaw and maybe one other ingredient depending on how low you are running on other items…I’ll have to buy the garlic next time since this used up almost all I had left. But you get my drift right? Easy to make. Fairly cheap to make. Makes a large portion so if you are feeding a family it is definitely a cost effective dish to make, and if you’re feeding yourself you’ve just food prepped for 3 to 4 meals, depending how you divide it up. Go you go!

Oh, and if you are on Weight Watchers, my version, divided in to 3 portions comes out to 8 Smart Points a serving.

 

 

A Hike and A Workout

12 May

Wednesday was Day 3 of this new workout plan I am trying (you can read the deets on the plan by going back a post or two). Even though Day 3 is a body circuit day I figured that didn’t mean I couldn’t do other stuff as well, so I went for a hike. πŸ™‚

I worked Wednesday, my normal day off, 10a-4:30p and when I was done I was sooooo close to this hike called Quarry Rock I figured I shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to go. I used to climb this particular trail on an almost weekly basis two years ago, last year I didn’t climb it as much which is unfortunate. I didn’t do as many hikes in general last year, not really sure why.

So this was my first time on the trail in a while. It has changed a bit, not in a bad way or anything, just natural changes that you will find in a forest. It is definitely showing the signs of lack of rain though, which sucks. The trail is drier, there is less green, the bridges built to get over the water aren’t really needed since there is barely any water. It is kind of sad when you think about it.

But! On the plus side I took pictures, so lets focus on those! lol

New signs have been put up, I’m thinking because of the stupid people you see on the trail wearing flip flops (not even joking!). Or I suppose they could be because some people head in to the wilderness with no idea about what they might encounter, and might not be properly prepared for the possibilities. Meh, who knows!

The next pics are views from the top…

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Isn’t it so pretty? Makes the hike up completely worth it! πŸ™‚

While I was sitting up there, even with my sunglasses on, it felt like the sun was searing a hole through my eyes straight to the back of my head. Poor eyeballs. 😦 So I didn’t stay up there as long as I wanted to, but I did stay up longer than I used to. When I hiked this trail on a regular basis I used to get to the top, take a quick glance, then go right back down because I was hiking the trail primarily for exercise, not to enjoy nature. This time, it was such a harder climb than it used to be for me that I decided to enjoy being at the summit.

That climb really made me realize how lazy I have been. I used to be able to hike Quarry Rock without even thinking about it, which is why it was a great hike to do at the end of a busy work day once a week. It was exercise without being extraordinarily demanding. Now? Ha! Now it is hard apparently. There were parts where the only positive thing I can say about myself is that I was still technically going forward, felt like I was moving in slow motion through molasses, but I was still moving, so that’s something…

I have decided that I will hike Quarry Rock once a week, weather permitting, for the next couple months, get back in the groove of dealing with inclines and rocky surfaces an all that.

Here are a couple pics I snapped on the way back down to show you the shape the forest is in, see what I mean about drier than normal and a little sad looking?

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When I got home from the hike I immediately started on the exercises for Day 3. Each set included:

30 seconds jumping rope

15 squat jumps

10 bench dips

15 standing calf raises

20 shoulder presses

10 side lunges (each leg)

25 crunches

I had to make some modifications due to a variety of factors but I did my best to keep to the spirit of the exercise I was modifying so I’d still get the same, or at least a similar, benefit.

The exercises I modified are the jumping rope, the squat jumps and the shoulder presses.

The jumping rope I can’t do because my apartment has an extremely low ceiling, there isn’t enough clearance for the rope. Also, there isn’t enough open space for the rope when it is going around my body. So yeah, not happening. Instead I ran in place for 30 seconds, I didn’t half ass it or anything, I basically sprinted in place for the same amount of time I was supposed to be jumping rope.

As I learned on the Monday, squat jumps and my knees are just not friends. Instead I did normal squats. I didn’t realize until just now when I was re-reading the exercise list that the alternate for the squat jumps was a 30 second wall sit, oops. I’ll do that next time. I don’t think it was soooo bad that I did normal squats though…

The shoulder presses, ok, so this is a weird one. I have free weights, they are only 5lbs and 8lbs but whatever, it is a start! So I have the weights and I know how to do a shoulder press, but I can’t do them in my apartment because the ceiling is too low. I can’t raise my arms above my head when standing and straighten the elbows because I am hitting the ceiling. Instead I did a forward lunge, maintained the lunge position, and did 10 shoulder presses. Then I stepped back, did a forward lunge with the other leg, maintained the position, and did the other 10 shoulder presses. I figure it might even be better than just doing shoulder presses because I am utilizing my core more to maintain balance and using my leg muscles to ya know, stay in the lunge position.

So yeah, that was how the workout went on Wednesday. Haven’t quit the new program yet! lol πŸ˜›

Another New Plan

9 May

I feel like I am always coming up with new plans that never work out. New plans to eat healthier, work out more, lose weight, get stronger, blah blah blah.

I know I am not alone with this, this random stage where ideas are hatched, plans are formed and possibly even followed through for a while but then discarded for all sorts of “reasons” only to leave room for regret because follow through was once again not your thing. I read other peoples’ blogs, I’ve read this story many times over. And each time I feel for that person, because it is a sucky stage. Every time I start the cycle over again, and then fail, I get more demoralized and convinced I will never lose this weight…I’m pretty sure others feel the same.

Plus, it must be super boring to come here to see what I wrote about only to read about yet another Great Plan but a couple weeks later realize I haven’t commented on my new Great Plan in a while.

I firmly believe to be successful at any weight loss plan you have to hit your breaking point, or as a friend calls it, have your “a-ha!” moment. I had that back when I initially lost all my weight but this time around, with all these different plans, and ideas, and attempts I hadn’t had it. I don’t know why I hadn’t had it, it’s not like I didn’t want to succeed, shrug, but for whatever reason it just hadn’t happened.

Yesterday though, it happened.

Gotta say, it was pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

I’d been toying with actually signing up for Weight Watchers, starting next month, cause I can’t afford it this month, if only to get me started. But for some reason that idea wasn’t inspiring me.

I toyed with trying to find the money to get a personal trainer for however many sessions to get me in to a routine and force me to be less lazy. But the cost of a trainer didn’t appeal to me and again, something about it didn’t feel right.

Then out of nowhere I thought about the old meal plan I used to follow, the high protein, high healthy fat, low carb meal plan combined with daily exercise. It was hard core, hard to maintain even when I was super dedicated, and kind of miserable at times because I was eating almost the exact same thing every day. Plus, the plan has you tracking your micro-nutrients and the amount of carbs I was allowed was soooooo low and I love carbs soooooo much, it was kinda sucky at times lol.

But…it worked!

When I started that plan I had already lost over 30 pounds, I was trying to get that last 5-10 pounds and tighten up. This means I was already in the mind set of watching what I ate, and working out often, and was used to following a healthy life routine. Plus, I was starting all that exercise when I was in better shape than I am now so while it was a challenge it was do-able.

This time I am starting farther away from my goal and I am trying to be realistic about what I can handle so I don’t end up quitting.

I don’t want to eat the exact same foods, in the same order, 7 days a week. I don’t want to never splurge. I don’t want to order salad with no dressing topped with a grilled chicken breast every single time I eat out because that is the only “safe” meal I can find on a menu.

I know to hit my goal I will need to make sacrifices and I am ok with that. I won’t get where I want to be without stopping habits I have formed and routinely doing things I haven’t been doing.

But I can’t just half-ass this. I need a plan, a detailed, written out plan that I can refer back to when my brain blanks on day 2 and I can’t remember what the hell I am supposed to be doing for breakfast lol

So I wrote down all the foods I ate on that plan, then I tweaked a bit. Instead of only eating chicken and tuna for my protein I added lean beef burger patties, fish steaks, hard boiled eggs, maybe quinoa (I’m currently researching to decide if the protein I’ll get from quinoa is worth the carbs).

I decided that I’d be allowed 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of dressing on my salads. I might even let myself have cheese every now and then…crazy huh? πŸ˜‰

Then, after thinking of little tweaks I wrote down what I will eat and where (at work or at home) on the different days of the week. This might seem strange but I did it because three days of the week I have no structure decided by work. Two days of the week I work 3p-9p and 2 days of the week I work 7a-3p. When I started this job the transition to my odd work schedule threw me off, because this meal plan was not only food specific but very structured for how far apart the different meals were eaten and where in the day you exercised in relation to your meals. I couldn’t make every day the same anymore and I quickly spiraled in to not following a plan because I couldn’t follow my plan perfectly.

I’m hoping by being a bit more relaxed with the timing, and being willing to switch things up a bit, I can make it work.

For instance, I am supposed to start my day with 1/2 an apple and a simple protein shake. Then a half hour to 45 minutes later have one egg, 2 slices of turkey bacon and the other half of the apple. Well sure, that is fine on my days off and my days where I start work at 3pm but the days I work at 7am? Uh yeah, not gonna happen. So, the days I start at 7am I will have 1/2 cup of oatmeal for breakfast when I am at work.

Does it follow the rules of the plan exactly? No. Is it something I can actually do, that is relatively healthy, and maintainable? Yup.

I have to be ok with these little changes. And sure, maybe I’ll get more hard core as I really get in to things and revert back to how it was last time I followed this plan but I have to ease in to that level of dedication, re-drink the kool-aid so to speak lol

keep-calm-and-drink-the-kool-aid-8

I am so psyched to start this new plan but I won’t be following it properly until Saturday because I have to wait for Friday to be able to buy groceries so until then I will make do with what foods I already have. I can increase my protein since I already have protein rich foods. I can work on the timing of my meals, so I get used to that structure again. I can start to cut out unnecessary carbs (sadness 😦 ) and I’ve already got my grocery list written and ready to be filled.

Maybe this lull before I can start this plan full time is a good thing, it will allow me to prep and plan and psych myself up even more. πŸ™‚

meal plan

This is an example of my meal plans for the different types of days I have. It isn’t exact or set in stone. The proteins can be swapped out and moved from one day to the next. For ease of making the document I put in mostly chicken but I have another page written up with other meal ideas that are high protein, low carb, high healthy fat. Plus, I’ll have to work on the timing, figure out where my exercise fits in to each day and maneuver some meals around that – my large protein shake for instance will best benefit me if I have it after I exercise. So I will probably end up moving that to when I am home after my 3p-9p shift because I tend to work out after that shift rather than prior. But it is a framework for me to move within, which is what I know I need to succeed.

So ok, sorry to bore you with the food portion of my “Great Plan”. But writing this and putting it out in to the world helps me, it helps me stay committed to the plan (theoretically) and helps me believe I can make it work.

I feel I should warn you my next post will probably be about the exercising portion of my new plan, especially since I’ve already started the workouts lol

Some Healthy Food…For A Change!

6 Nov

It seems that lately, when I write about food I am writing about baking I have done. Delicious but completely unhealthy baking. I don’t believe in baking “healthy”, ya know, where you swap out sugar for splenda or use apple sauce instead of, well, whatever it is people take out when they swap in apple sauce. Nuh-uh. If you’re gonna eat a cupcake, or cookie, or piece of cake or whatever than just go for it and eat the real thing! Just maybe not all day every day… πŸ˜›

Don’t fret, the post I am writing after this one is about some Nutella Brownies I made recently but for this post it is all about healthier options that I have made lately, and surprisingly, each one is tasty!

My first happy find was at Whole Foods, which makes me a bit ashamed because I am anti-Whole Foods buuuuut I was in the attached coffee shop with a friend last week, it was pouring rain, I was cold, wet, and super hungry and instead of splurging on a piece of pie or cookie I bought this…

Oatmeal!

Oatmeal!

Ok sure, it would make a better picture if the oatmeal was still in the jar but I had already eaten it lol It is a fake mason jar, it had oatmeal, coconut, pecans and some brown sugar all layered in a pretty way on top of each other. I think it is actually meant to be purchased and taken with you as-is but I had them add boiling water to it and ate it while sitting in the coffee shop with my friend. It was a bit bland, I had to add more brown sugar to it, but otherwise it was good. What I like most about it is the jar, which seems odd but hear me out! Race days always start super early, too early to be eating breakfast at home so usually I end up buying a brekkie sandwich on the way to the race grid and eating it while driving which lets be honest, may be tasty but isn’t a healthy way to be starting the day. Plus eating that fast leaves me feeling icky lol So I brought the jar home, washed it, and will tuck it away until I have a morning where I have to leave early and don’t have time to eat before I leave. I will fill it the night before with oats and whatever toppings I want, add boiling water in the morning, stir, pop the lid on, and bring it with me. By the time I get to wherever I’m going I’ll have a perfect jar of oatmeal! πŸ™‚

My second healthy food is super simple, and I suppose a bit boring but I like it! I’ve been wanting a rice bowl lately, which is unfortunate because I don’t really eat rice anymore. I love rice but I lump it in the same category as potatoes and other “filler” items which means to me they are unnecessary and to be avoided. sigh. Just because something tastes good doesn’t mean it is worth the calories! I was at a Sushi restaurant that I frequent quite often (I looooove sushi!) and I, on a whim, bought a take-out serving of brown rice. Mmm, brown rice! White is tastier but if I’m gonna splurge on rice I figure make it the healthier option…which I just realized is in complete opposition to my feelings in regards to baked goods, weird…

To go with the brown rice I bought some “pulled chicken” which isn’t really a thing. Safeway sells rotisserie chickens and every now and then they strip the meat off of one and sell the meat in a container, it is already in bite sized pieces, the skin has been removed and oh man is it tasty! I really like those chickens but it is way too much meat for me so when I see the containers with the smaller amounts in them I pluck them up from the deli section super fast.

I also bought a sweet potato, cucumber and yellow pepper. I put half a cup of brown rice in a bowl with 38 grams of the chicken and popped it in the microwave for a minute. When it was hot I mixed in 1/2 tablespoon of bbq sauce then topped the rice and chicken with some cubed sweet potato, pepper and cucumber.

Brown rice, chicken, sweet potato, cucumber, yellow pepper and bbq sauce.

Brown rice, chicken, sweet potato, cucumber, yellow pepper and bbq sauce.

Ok so not the most appetizing looking dish but it did taste good, satisfied my yen for the rice bowl and wasn’t too bad calorie wise.

I copied the instructions from a video I found on YouTube for cooking the sweet potato and it worked great! Here is the video…

The third food is sort of a two parter. I was watching a different YouTube video and this girl made a banana smoothie. All she put in the blender were two sliced and frozen bananas and two “splashes” of milk. I hate when people don’t use measurements, sigh. The result was a frothy, creamy, tasty looking smoothie that she swore tasted good. I decided to give it a try but just did one banana and half a cup of milk. I didn’t want to commit to a larger smoothie drink in case I didn’t like it. Well, turns out I liked it, it was good. The size I made was perfect if you want to use the smoothie as a treat or dessert instead of a meal.

Now, on a whim I bought some Special K Protein Shakes (chocolate flavour). Don’t judge! I was in line at the grocery store, the line was massive and wasn’t moving and I was standing right beside a display for these things and they were on sale. Total impulse buy! I put them in the fridge and had yet to work up the courage to try one, I was kinda worried they would taste super gross and I’d be stuck with them anyways lol

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I decided to use the chocolate protein shake instead of milk and a sliced, frozen banana to make a shake this evening and figured the addition of frozen raspberries could only make it better, right? Right! The result turned out like this…

Chocolate protein shake, frozen banana and frozen raspberries. Mmm!

Chocolate protein shake, frozen banana and frozen raspberries. Mmm!

It is delish! I used about 3/4 cup of frozen raspberries, one small banana (sliced and frozen) and one container of the Special K Protein shake which is about 1 cup. One thing I didn’t anticipate is that the chocolate shake is thicker than milk so the resulting drink was super thick. I could have thinned it out by adding some milk I suppose but I opted to try it as-is. I ended up eating it with a spoon lol Next time I just might put it in a bowl, it was like ice cream after you stirred it all around in the bowl with a spoon and it is smooth and creamy. Definite dessert material! The shakes also come in vanilla and strawberry and there is no end to frozen fruit to try, I’m looking forward to experimenting and trying all sorts of new flavour combos. πŸ™‚

A Vegan Breakfast

19 Jun

Recently, for reasons even I don’t understand, I seem to be watching YouTube videos about being vegan. Now, there is absolutely NO danger of me going vegan but I seem to keep watching the videos about what a vegan eats in a day, or how to eat vegan or how eating vegan helps with weight loss. Topics like that…

There are these two girls, twins, who are vegan and have a channel that just seems to be about them and their vegan-ism. For the most part I don’t agree with what they eat. Not because they are vegan but because they have such a restricted list of food they eat, they basically eat the same things every single day, with very little variation and while they swear they are being healthy I think they can’t possibly be getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need.

I know I shouldn’t judge, and I try not to but when I was chatting with that nutritionist I was speaking with a while back she explained something to me that made perfect sense. She said how you shouldn’t eat the same things daily, even if they are healthy, because there are so many nutrients your body needs that no way it can get everything it needs if you are eating the same foods day in and day out. So, instead of eating an apple everyday, swap that apple out every now and then for a kiwi, or a peach or whatever you can get your hands on. She stressed that she is not saying eat kiwi every day, maybe eat a kiwi once a month, just make sure that you are swapping in to your daily food alternatives so your body is getting supplied with all the various minerals and vitamins and nutrients it needs. Your body will know what it needs and will take it from the foods you eat, as long as you eat them. But if you eat apples everyday for your fruit then you are limiting your bodies ability to get everything it needs. Does that make sense?

So these girls, they eat pretty much the exact same thing daily, and while the foods themselves are healthy, I don’t think following their example is a good one because the food list is so limited.

Ok, enough of me being on my high horse! Something they showed intrigued me and I thought I’d give it a try and it turned out to be…interesting…

You take a banana and some water, put them in a blender and blend until you have a smooth mixture. Pour it in to a bowl, add oatmeal, mix it up, cover it and put it in the fridge overnight. By the next morning the oatmeal has soaked up the liquid so it doesn’t need to be cooked and you have a ready made breakfast. They added maple syrup and hmm…something, I can’t remember what right now, to it for flavour. I planned on adding maple syrup and brown sugar but tasted it first and found it was actually really sweet all on its own so instead I added some vanilla and some cinnamon.

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It looks like oatmeal you’d make with water but it sure doesn’t taste like it. The texture was a bit odd, I didn’t hate the texture but it took some getting used to. I think if I had a working blender and had blended it I’d have found the texture more enjoyable because it would have been smoother. But my blender is dead so I smooshed the banana with a fork and ended up with a slightly lumpier version. πŸ˜›

Like I said it was quite sweet all on its own so I added a small splash of vanilla and some cinnamon. It tasted quite good, and I would make it again. It was nice having breakfast ready for me when I got up, a definite plus if you are short on time in the mornings! And bonus, if you aren’t a fruit person well boom! one fruit serving done for the day and all before you’ve finished waking up. πŸ™‚

Something else they do with bananas is take some frozen bananas and some non frozen bananas (they didn’t give quantities), put them in a blender and blend. It turns in to a smooth, chilled, soft ice cream type of texture and they swear it is just as good, if not better than ice cream. I want to try that one too but have to wait until I can afford to replace my blender, sigh.

My Own Recipe

17 Jun

Normally when I cook I use a recipe, I tend to follow the recipe quite diligently because I suck at cooking and I am not good at winging it, at least not when it comes to cooking.

Well for some reason I decided to create my own dish, mostly because I was sick of googling recipes lol but also because I had some random things in the fridge I wanted to use up.

When I was growing up my mom would make this thing called Mom’s Amazing Mixed Up Mess…basically it was her version of what I did, or I should say what I did was my version of what she perfected. My mom can look at a bunch of random ingredients and somehow make something that tastes good. I look at a bunch of ingredients and see nothing except the individual ingredients, sigh.

The only thing I bought was some ground turkey, which I proceeded to brown in a frying pan along with some garlic and chopped up white onion. I then added a whole lot of mixed frozen veggies, they are from a stir fry blend that I have had in my freezer for over a year, yes, I know that is ridiculous. They were starting to not taste as good as they used to, I’m thinking because of the freezer burn, so I wanted a way to cook a lot of them at one time. I then moved everything in to a large pot, added 1 cup of pasta sauce (it was how much I had left over in the jar), 1/2 cup of salsa (it was how much I had left over in the jar), 1/2 a jalapeno chopped up (because it was how much I had left…detecting a theme yet? lol). Once it was all mixed together and cooked I put it in to a casserole dish, spread it out, sprinkled some shredded cheese on top and tossed it in the oven until the cheese melted.

It was originally meant to be a sort of stew/casserole type of thing but there wasn’t that much liquid in it so I don’t know what I should label it as, not a stew though…

Whatever it is called, I liked it! It was a good ratio of meat to veggie, it was just spicy enough, the veggies cooked up well and bonus points because it is healthy! Woohoo!

When it was still in the pot

When it was still in the pot

Just out of the oven with the cheese melted on top.

Just out of the oven with the cheese melted on top.

My first bowlful.

My first bowlful.

In the land of Weight Watchers Points Plus, if you split the entire dish in to 8 portions each portion is 3 points, if you split it in to 6 portions each portion is 4 points.

Even if I wanted to I don’t think I’d be able to recreate it perfectly since it was basically a dish I created specifically to use up what I had in the fridge and freezer lol Oh! I forgot! I put in a bunch of Mrs. Dash Seasoning as well, I didn’t measure it though, just shook the shaker thing until what came out looked about right…something else I won’t be able to duplicate.

I know it is a ridiculously easy meal to make, not fancy, not all that inspired or impressive, but I am proud of it anyways. It is the first time I cooked without either following a recipe or the instructions on the packaging my food came in. This is, weirdly enough, a big step for me cooking wise. πŸ™‚

Nachos!

16 Jun

I looooove nachos! Haven’t had them in ages though. I generally think of nachos as a great pub food, something you order when you’re out with friends because you can share them. But when you’re actively trying to lose weight eating nachos is not exactly a great idea.

Well, a couple weeks ago I made a dish that used black olives and corn (among other things) and I had left overs of both those items. I immediately thought “oh those would be perfect to put on some nachos” but of course I didn’t have any of the other ingredients needed for nachos, except for salsa because I always have salsa lol

Not wanting to put those leftover items to waste I bought other necessary items to make nachos the following week and voila! Healthy nachos! Well, healthy-ish lol πŸ˜‰

Before they went in to the oven...

Before they went in to the oven…

Fresh from the oven, Mmm! Melted cheese!

Fresh from the oven, Mmm! Melted cheese!

I had some light sour cream and some salsa in little dishes for dipping but I figured you don’t really need to see pictures of that lol

I can claim they are “healthy-ish” only due to the portion size I made lol

There are 16 chips, I used the Compliments brand bite size rounds. For toppings I used Cheddar & Part Skim Mozzarella cheese (1/3 Cup), black olives, jalapeno and corn. You can use whatever measurements of olives, jalapenos and corn you would like. I used less that 1/4 Cup of corn because that is how much I had, I used 18 black olive slices (again because that is how much I had) and the quantity of cheese used was because I was wary of using too much and making the nachos ridiculously high in Weight Watchers points.

All in all the entire thing (including the sour cream) was 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus points. Which is a lot considering the portion size wasn’t large enough to be a stand alone meal. But meh, I made and ate it on a day I had exercised so I had the extra points available to me and I’d been craving nachos for weeks so I feel the points were well worth it. πŸ™‚

Hawaiian Turkey Loaf

15 Jun

No. Just…no. This did not turn out well at all! Partly because I made mistakes, partly because the recipe calls for too much ginger and partly because, well, I dunno, it just isn’t good. πŸ˜›

I like meatloaf, no, scratch that, I love meatloaf, my mom’s meatloaf anyways. Nobody makes it better! I always intend to try duplicating it but haven’t gotten around to trying. Well, in my hunt for healthy recipes that I can make on Thursdays so I have food to last me through my working days (Fridays through Mondays) I came across a Weight Watchers recipe that looked easy and interesting so I thought I would give it a try.

It is called Hawaiian Turkey Loaf but in reality it is a turkey meatloaf with a pineapple chutney for topping. The original recipe can be foundΒ here.

In theory the recipe is an easy one, you make a puree using orange juice, soy sauce, onions, peppers and ginger. You then pour the puree in to a bowl, add ground turkey, bread crumbs and an egg. Once it is all mixed together put it in a loaf pan that you have liberally coated with non-stick spray, toss that sucker in to an oven that has been heated to 350F and about 45 minutes later you have turkey meatloaf. While it is cooking you combine crushed pineapple (and the juice), sugar, vinegar, onions, peppers, ginger and pepper flakes in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3-5 minutes, add raisins, microwave for a couple more minutes then let stand for a couple minutes. You can use the chutney when it is warm or cold, serving it on the side or on top of your turkey meatloaf.

See how easy all that sounds?

Well…things did not go according to plan when I was cooking that night, sigh.

Thinking how smart I was being I chopped the onion and pepper needed for the puree in advance and left it in the fridge. Well, I didn’t chop the correct amount, somehow I read the 3/4 red pepper as 3 tablespoons red pepper and well yeah, those two quantities are so not the same. Oops!

Then the big screw up! When I was shopping for the ground turkey I was so worried about buying the correct quantity, because once again the recipe is american so it told me I wanted 18 ounces of meat and I was translating that in to kg and trying to find something close. And yeah I know that doesn’t seem too hard but I suck at math and I don’t really care for being surrounded by raw meat so I wanted in and out of the meat section as fast as humanly possible lol Once I’d found the package of ground turkey that was as close to 18 ounces as I could get I tossed it in the cart without double checking the label. Stupid move. It turns out that I bought turkey cutlets, not ground turkey. In my defence it kinda looked the same and it was in the ground turkey section so I just assumed it was what I needed.

So there I am with my puree in a bowl, trying to open a package of raw turkey without touching any turkey liquid or meat and then putting it in to the bowl with the puree only to realize the meat is not ground, it is solid. Aww shit. I tried mixing it up with a spoon, thinking it might break in to pieces. It didn’t. I tried hacking at it with two knives, hoping I could chop it in to small pieces. I couldn’t. So I did the only logical thing I could think of…I poured the entire concoction in to the blender.

FYI, don’t put turkey cutlets in to a blender…

My blender is now dead. 😦

It blended a teeny tiny bit but all of a sudden the blender stopped. Didn’t make any scary warning noises, it just stopped. I think maybe it blew a fuse or something, not an apartment fuse but a fuse inside the blender, if that is possible…is that possible? I now think that is possible…

I was so incredibly mad at this point, mostly at myself since it was my fault but a little bit with the universe cause well, I can only yell at myself so much before I stop listening to myself lol πŸ˜›

I took the meat out of the bowl I had poured it back in to, plopped it on to a cutting board and proceeded to cut it up in to itty bitty pieces…I also took this opportunity to remove some ribbons of fat that were running through the meat cause yuch! Once it was as chopped up as I could manage I put it back in the bowl with the puree, mixed, added the egg and oatmeal (I used oatmeal instead of bread crumbs because 1. it is a healthier option, 2. I already owned it and 3. I checked with my mom and she said it would be ok), threw it in to the oven then proceeded to clean and then bleach everything in the kitchen because I was paranoid due to the raw turkey.

I made the chutney according to the recipe, well, almost according to the recipe lol I didn’t add the raisins because I don’t like raisins, shrug, why add something I know I don’t like? Oh and I couldn’t find crushed red pepper flakes so I bought red jalapenos flakes and used that. The chutney was meh, nothing amazing and I won’t make it again cause it made a huuuuge batch that for the most part ended up in the garbage.

This is what it looked like in the end…

2015-06-05 00.09.52

2015-06-05 00.13.18

I’m sure it would have had a better texture if I hadn’t screwed up and bought the cutlets instead of the ground turkey but even if I hadn’t messed that up I still wouldn’t have liked it. There was too much ginger in it and the overall flavour was one that was kind of musky, it was gross.

Despite my not liking it I had to eat it, I can’t afford to throw food out. I tried eating it with light sour cream, ketchup, brown sauce, anything I could think of really. I did discover one thing that made it ok, I put it in a sandwich and disguised the flavour with cheese and pickles and mustard which sounds gross but I really enjoyed lol

So yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe, it didn’t taste good, in my opinion anyways.

If you are following Weight Watchers Points Plus I cut the loaf in to 6 slices, each slice is 4.192 points, so 4 points. At 6 slices per loaf each slice is quite thick so don’t worry that it isn’t filling.

Vegetarian Lasagna

21 May

Tonight for dinner I made Vegetarian Lasagna. I got the recipe from a friend, she made it one night when I was over at her place and it was oh so yummy. She’s really good in the kitchen whereas I am so-so. I thought since I watched her make the lasagna, I had a copy of the recipe that she had sent me right in front of me, and there was no meat I could probably make this dish without screwing up too badly lol

Well…it wasn’t hard to make, though I made some rookie mistakes that I will correct next time (if there is a next time!) but despite it not being that hard to make it wasn’t anywhere near as good as when she made it. Le sigh.

The layers go like this:

Noodles

Sauce

Sliced yams

Noodles

Sauce

Ricotta cheese

Mushrooms

Noodles

Sauce

Zucchini

Red and yellow peppers

Onion

Yams

Mushrooms

Sauce

Noodles

Sauce

Ricotta cheese

Lots of layers!

I used the Compliments brand Oven Ready Pasta, the Compliments brand Six Vegetable Pasta Sauce and some randomly chosen brand of Ricotta cheese…I figured all ricotta cheese options would be the same, regardless of the brand. Actually, I figured that about the pasta and the sauce also so I chose Compliments brand because it was the cheapest lol πŸ˜›

2015-05-21 19.10.15

Side view

Side view

It didn’t plate well, at least the first piece didn’t…

2015-05-21 19.32.20

The first piece basically became a mooshed all over the place mess, there was definite structural integrity issues. sigh. I figured every piece would be like that but when I was putting the left overs in tupperware it held together a lot better so maybe the mess you see above is just a casualty of being the first piece taken out of the dish?

Like I said, it didn’t taste as good as when my friend made it, I’m not sure what I did wrong…maybe I missed some seasoning or something…I know I didn’t use as much cheese and sauce as her, she just sorta put it on until it looked right whereas I measured everything so I knew exactly how good/bad the end result would be calorie wise lol

Even though it wasn’t as good as KL’s version it was still good, all those veggies, how could it not be? πŸ˜‰ I’m pretty certain you could use any combo of veggies you like, personalize it to your taste buds. πŸ™‚ It took almost 40 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees. That’s one of the things I would change next time, I’d cook it at 350 instead because some of the noodles got really burnt, and I don’t mean burnt but still tasty, I’m talking burnt so they are so hard it hurt my teeth when I bit down. Not cool.

Despite some issues that stop the lasagna from being as good as it could be I am happy with it. It made 8 portions which is great because I froze some and put the rest in the fridge, I plan on using it as meals for when I am at work over the next 4 days, yay for pre-cooked meals! πŸ™‚

Oh, and in case you are following the Weight Watchers Points Plus program, one serving is 5 points.

The Sweat of a Mushroom

7 May

Have you ever wondered why, when buying mushrooms, you put them in a brown paper bag instead of a plastic bag like all the other produce? I haven’t, shrug.

mushrooms

When I was a child and would tag along with my mom as she went grocery shopping I noticed that mushrooms went in the the mini brown paper bag, and I thought it was fun (yeah, weird, I know), but I never wondered why. It was just the way it was done.

As an adult, when I grocery shop, I automatically put mushrooms in the supplied brown paper bags and never question why I do it, it is just how things are done.

Normally I question everything so when I realized I had never questioned this it got me wondering why I never wondered about it, and would I have ever wondered about it if my grocery store hadn’t run out of those mini brown paper bags, thereby forcing me to either buy the over priced pre-sliced mushrooms or buy the non-sliced mushrooms and put them in a plastic bag?

Oh the oh-so-deep places my brain goes… πŸ˜‰ (sarcasm people, that’s sarcasm!)

Last week I bought mushrooms and put them in a plastic bag because that is all the store had, I vaguely wondered if this was going to affect the mushrooms but once I put them away in my kitchen I didn’t think about them again. Go figure that mushrooms don’t hold a huge section of my brain’s thoughts. πŸ˜‰

I discovered why we don’t put mushrooms in plastic bags and ew, it was not pretty!

Mushrooms sweat.

I thought about saying they cry, since that seems less gross, but nope, with the amount of liquid on those suckers it just has to be called sweat. Icky, gross, dripping sweat.

Why was I never told this??

I innocently pulled a mushroom out of the bag and was all “what the hell, why is it wet?” I washed it, then peeled the top layer off of it, sliced it and threw it in the frying pan and when it was mooshed in with the other ingredients I was eating that meal I didn’t notice it all that much.

My lesson from this was that it may be gross but it can be washed and salvaged.

However, the next day I went and grabbed another mushroom and it was even wetter, ugh. I washed it, and peeled it and well, there’s no nice way to say this, it had died a tragic, liquidy death, it just couldn’t be salvaged. It was gone.

Well ok, not gone gone since it was in my hand, but gone as in it wasn’t going to fulfill it’s life purpose which was to be eaten and provide nutrients to someone’s body.

I couldn’t even slice that thing, it just fell apart in my hand.

So my new lesson was: Don’t ever put mushrooms in a plastic bag, you will regret it!

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