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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PB&J Oatmeal

As predicted, I was pretty hungry when I got home from class. I was craving some peanut butter, but I wanted to stretch a small amount of it rather than eat a lot on a sandwich. Peanut butter is a total trigger food for me and I have to be careful with my intake.

Also, I haven't had time to make oatmeal in the morning lately, so I decided it was time for it! I made a small portion (1/4 c. oats, 1/2 c. water) and added vanilla extract, cinnamon, and 1 T. ground flax. Then I stirred in about 1 T. peanut butter and topped it off with around a teaspoon of blackberry preserves.

This was really good, and the small portion was very filling. I think I might have this again tomorrow morning with a piece of fruit. Too bad I'm out of bananas!

Back to school

Ugh, I need to be more consistent with posting. This week was tough because I'm still adjusting to my new job and a new eating schedule, then I started my graduate classes tonight. I only have four classes left, though!

I think I am getting pretty good at the whole lunch packing thing:

Today for lunch I had a pita (Joseph's Oat Bran & Whole Wheat) with some turkey, spinach, cheese, and mustard. I am starting to like turkey more now, but I still eat it in very small quantities - basically one or two thin slices, enough to add a little protein to my meal. I also had some grapes, a small cup of cottage cheese, and a seltzer.
My work schedule goes from 8:15 to 3:45, then my classes start at 5:30. Right now my choices are to eat a small lunch, then get dinner at 4:30ish and have a snack after school (I get home around 9:00 p.m.). The other option is to switch dinner and a snack, which would put dinnertime around 9:00. Tonight I did option one and ate a mini sub from Subway before class, along with an orange and a granola bar. I'm thinking it would be better to keep it light before bed time, but I know sometimes I'll still be really hungry when I get home at night. Thoughts?

Friday, August 22, 2008


I ate breakfast at home the past two days in spite of the breakfast buffets at school to try to avoid overeating, although I did have some fruit and coffee both days as I mentioned in my last post. On Thursday I had some corn bran and the last of my blackberries:

I need to make another trip to the farmers' market this weekend.

One of the fantastic (wait, I mean bad) things about my new job is that I pass a drive-thru Starbucks on the way. I made a deal with myself that I would only go on Fridays, so today I had the orange mango banana Vivanno.

Unfortunately, traffic near this Starbucks is particularly bad in the morning (two lanes condense into one and it's a school zone). I sat in traffic for almost ten minutes this morning trying to make it through one intersection (while my school is only 15 minutes away normally) so I think I need to investigate a new route. So, maybe I'll have Starbucks Friday and maybe I won't.

I started my new job!

I woke up bright and early Wednesday morning, way before I had to be at work, so...I made a big breakfast! I wasn't sure when my lunch break would be scheduled or if I would have time for a snack, so I wanted to be nice and full for my first morning. I made the Whole Wheat Oat pancakes I posted earlier, but I added the last of my fresh blueberries. You can't see them in the picture, but they were there and really added a lot to the pancakes.

With one scrambled egg and one link of turkey sausage:

I also packed my first lunch, not knowing that the school was providing lunch the first day. Luckily we have a big refrigerator and a microwave in the library workroom, so I saved my lunch for Thursday. I made a wrap with a La Tortilla Factory Olive Oil Softwrap tortilla (I like these because they have 13 grams of fiber yet don't taste like cardboard), Jarlsberg light, cracked black pepper turkey, dijon mustard, spinach, and tomato.

I also took some sliced kiwi:

And a seltzer:

I'll close this post with a warning for new teachers:

Teachers, especially in large groups, really like to eat. If you start a job at a school, be prepared to take your willpower to work with you. So far, I have worked three days and have been provided with two breakfast buffets and two lunches and it has been very hard to make good choices. So far I've loaded up my plate with fresh fruit and tried to avoid the bagels and casseroles, but a piece or two of bacon may have found their way onto my plate.

Also, I may have had two or three (or four) cups of coffee over the past two days. At least it was decaf.


When I went to the Fresh Market for the chicken sausage, the friendly guy behind the meat counter talked me into buying some boneless, skinless chicken breast that was on sale for this week. I think their chicken tastes so much better than what I usually buy, so I got enough for two nights.

I didn't feel like making anything special or new, however, so the first night we had barbecue chicken. Sometimes I have a hard time cooking thick pieces of chicken to the right temperature, so I put this in the oven. I browned the chicken on both sides in a skillet, then stuck the pan into a 350 degree oven for around 10 minutes. After I took it out of the oven, I brushed the chicken with sauce (Kraft Spicy Honey tonight) and let it stay in the hot pan until the sauce thickened.

I also attempted to make a noodle dish with my leftover ricotta salata, but it didn't turn out quite like I wanted it to. My aunt used to make a baked dish with egg noodles and farmer's cheese, which melts and browns in the oven, but the ricotta just stayed the same while the noodles dried out. We ate part of it anyway just so it wouldn't completely go to waste.

Barbecue chicken and noodles with steamed broccoli and 1/2 baked sweet potato:

I was feeling nostalgic on Friday night and wanted some comfort food, so I made one of my favorite dishes from my childhood: Chicken Casserole (and yes, the word casserole does signify that cream of mushroom soup is included).

The good thing is, the amount of this can easily be altered to feed one person or twenty. Just mix the following things in a bowl: boiled chicken (which has been torn into small pieces), mushroom soup, low sodium chicken broth, paprika, salt, and pepper. Put it in a baking dish and top with dry herb seasoned stuffing mix. Bake at 375 until the top is brown and the liquid is bubbling.

Even though this is definitely not a fancy dish, it is one of my favorite things in the world to eat. The boyfriend likes it too, and I think he may have tried to hide the leftovers from me.

With green beans and 1/2 baked potato with light sour cream and lots of pepper:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spicy Chicken Sausage and Penne

Well, I went to the Fresh Market, but I only came home with some chicken Italian sausage and mushrooms. I decided to make a pasta dish and use up some of my pantry staples.

I literally threw this together. It was one pan dish (well, two since I had to boil the pasta) that was easy to make and clean up. I used the following ingredients:

2 chicken sausages
8 oz. mushrooms
1/2 c. chopped onion
minced garlic
1 14 oz. can Italian tomatoes, drained
crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
4 oz. dried penne, cooked according to package
1 1/2 oz. ricotta salata

I browned the sausage, mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a skillet while the pasta boiled. Once browned, I added the tomatoes, capers, red pepper (to taste, I measured in my palm), and S&P. I drained the pasta, mixed it in, and crumbled the ricotta on top.

It was very filling and not too bad calorie-wise since I used chicken sausage instead of pork.

The final product (with a guest appearance of my favorite spoon from Williams Sonoma):

I will be making this one again.


I still have lots of berries left, so I started out my day with them again. Here's a bowl of Quaker corn bran, milk, and blueberries:

I ate the leftover steak salad for lunch, so no picture. I was hungry again around an hour later, though, so I ate a handful of Triscuit thin crisps. They were salty and crunchy and really hit the spot!

I think I'm going to make something new for dinner, and I'm using that as an excuse to make a trip to Fresh Market. I'm off to shop!

Steak and potatoes (and a huge salad)

I was planning on making this for lunch on Sunday while my parents were still here, but it ended up as Monday's dinner for me and the boyfriend. First, I made the Crash Hot Potatoes from The Pioneer Woman:

The herbs are interchangeable in this recipe, and I had chives and parsley in my fridge. That picture was taken before baking.

For the salad, I took my basic salad mix (lettuce, spinach, red cabbage, red onion, and cucumber) and added blue cheese and the purple tomato from the farmers' market. I grilled a London broil and sliced it thinly to top the salad. I also added a small handful of walnuts and some Kalamata olives to my salad and topped it all off with some EarthFare olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

My plate, with the baked potatoes:

There was a big serving of the salad leftover, so that will be lunch tomorrow. See you then!


I have some catching up to do since I didn't post yesterday. I have been busy getting ready for my new job, and I start on Wednesday!

I wanted oatmeal for breakfast on Monday but didn't feel like standing over the stove, so I pulled out the instant steel cut oats. Monday's cast of characters:

All together:

I need to get another box of that oatmeal to make quick breakfasts. It was fast, easy, and filling. I don't know yet what time I will have a lunch break at work or if I will have an opportunity to eat a morning snack, so I need some breakfasts that are going to keep me full for awhile.

For lunch I had leftover veggie calzone and an orange. Look at all of that spinach stuffed in the calzone!

I was out doing some errands in the afternoon and got very hungry. Luckily I packed a snack and stuck my lunch bag in the car. I had some blackberries and a Fiber One bar.

I tried a new potato recipe for dinner, so look for it in the next post!

Parents' Visit Day 2

We started off our day with another mini quiche recipe: Mini Mushroom & Sausage Quiches. I found the recipe on the Food Network website, but it is from EatingWell magazine. They were better than the broccoli cheese ones I made a few days ago, probably because the seasoning in this recipe was better than my thrown together version.

My parents, boyfriend, and I ended up eating out for lunch while we were out shopping on Sunday. We went to a pizza place, and I had a cup of lentil soup and around 1/4 of a vegetarian calzone. I didn't take pictures at the restaurant, but the calzone will make an appearance as a leftover lunch.

My mom and I have a common love of kitchen gadgets, so she brought me a few things from a recent Pampered Chef party she attended:

She brought me a new chopper, a measuring cup (the kind Alton Brown uses, yay!), and a strange looking whisk. She also went by the local mill and got a bag of buckwheat flour, so I'll be looking for recipes that use that soon.

We also went to the Farmers' Market, since my parents have never been to one before. I got some blueberries, blackberries, peaches, a jar of blackberry butter, a jar of cranberry honey mustard, and one Cherokee purple tomato.

I'll be having lots of berries and leftovers this week.

Well, that was a bad idea.

1. Don't drink coffee for an entire week.

2. Drink a mug of coffee at 11 p.m.

3. Lay awake until 3 a.m. with a raging headache.

Obviously I am smart.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Parents' Visit Day 1

I started out today with another new flavor of Clif Z bar: Apple Cinnamon. I was not a fan, but that's not surprising because I typically don't like this flavor of bars/muffins/yogurts/whatever. You would think I had it figured out by now, but I keep hoping the next apple cinnamon item will be better than the last. I think I don't like them because there is such a fake buttery taste in the background.

My parents arrived right before lunchtime. Usually we do a lot of shopping and eating out, but I decided to cook for all of the weekend. We started out with lunch, which consisted of barbecue chicken sandwiches, a huge salad, and homemade potato wedges. Sorry there is no picture, but I can assure you a good time was had by all.

For dinner, I made one of my mother's favorite dishes, which so happens to be a recipe I learned a couple years ago in my short cooking class and one of the richest chicken recipes I have ever prepared. It is Sun-dried Tomato Crusted Chicken with Feta Couscous.

Since I didn't create or adapt this recipe, I won't post it, but I will gladly share if you send an email address. I will tell you it involves lots of fun tasks like making your own breadcrumbs out of fresh bakery bread and mixing up a wine and butter sauce. YUM. I ate about 2/3 piece of chicken, 1/2 c. couscous, and a big serving of steamed broccoli which will hopefully soak up some of the butter from my system.

Tomorrow will feature another mini quiche recipe and a huge steak and blue cheese salad for lunch.

Then, when my parents leave for home, I think I'll check myself into food rehab.

Crockpot "Smoked" Chicken

As I said in my post from Thursday, I made some "smoked" chicken for my parents' visit this weekend. I have to say, it was a success. I started with four large boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a spice rub.

(This is where I rant about spice rubs.)

I think most rubs have way too much salt. I understand it is there to season the food and pull out some of the liquids during the smoking process, but I really don't think a great amount is necessary. I started with Paula Deen's house seasoning, which consists of 1 c. salt, 1/4 c. black pepper, and 1/4 garlic powder, and turned it into this:

Rachel's Peppery BBQ Rub

1/4 c. coarse black pepper
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. onion powder
3 T. paprika
2 T. salt

Put it all in a small covered bowl and shake it up.

I sprinkled around 2 T. of the rub over the four chicken breasts and rubbed it in. After that, put it in your crockpot along with 1/2 c. water. Then you use the magic ingredient: Liquid Smoke. Yeah, sounds gross, but it gives everything a great flavor. Pour around 1 T. total over the chicken.

Cook it in the crockpot on High for 4 hours, then leave it on warm until you're ready to eat.

When it's time to eat, put the chicken in a bowl and shred it with two forks.

Then you're ready to put in on a bun, pour on some sauce, or do whatever floats your barbecue boat.

I used this:

I really wanted to buy the Fiery Habenero flavor, but I didn't know if anyone else would be as brave as me.

Here it is, all together:

I had around 1/3 c. chicken, 1 T. sauce, and 2 spoonfuls of vinegar cole slaw all on a potato bun. I paired it with 1/2 baked sweet potato.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

I really wanted pancakes for breakfast yesterday, but I wanted whole wheat. I looked around the Food Network to look at recipes to see ratios of flour to milk, etc. and came up with this recipe:

1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 T. protein powder
1 T. ground flax
1 T. sugar
cinnamon to taste
1 t. canola oil
1 egg white
1/2 c. fat free buttermilk

Mix all of the dry ingredients, then stir in oil, egg white, and buttermilk. Stir it only until it comes together (there will be some lumps), then let the batter rest while the pan heats.

I cooked them over medium high heat, probably 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second. I topped them with a little Smart Balance and maple syrup. This made two huge pancakes, and I only ate one. Next time I think I will make more smaller sized ones so they are easier to flip, and I think it would help to monitor the cooking time.

Also, next time I am going to try whipping the egg white and folding it into the batter just to see how that changes the texture.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I had plans to eat out at a Japanese steak house tonight with some friends from school, so I wanted to keep my other meals small and light today. I also wanted to get my dairy in early, so I had a big cup of milk and a Clif Z Blueberry bar for breakfast:

I was really looking forward to trying this bar. The honey graham is still my favorite, but blueberry solidly earns the #2 spot. Or, in the spirit of the Olympics, you could say it gets a silver.

Around midday, I felt horrible. I was extremely nauseous and almost canceled my plans, then suddenly I was starving. I needed something immediately, so I microwaved a Lean Cuisine five cheese lasagna. It's not that great in terms of sodium, but it was hot and cheesy. I'm going to say I felt bad because I didn't sleep enough last night and didn't drink enough water yesterday so it caught up with me today. Hopefully I'm not getting a bug!

Dinner tonight was a lot of fun. I was disappointed, though, because the sushi bar was closed for the week for remodeling. I was looking forward to a Tiger roll! Instead I ordered chicken and shrimp, which came with mushroom soup, salad, and rice. There was a ton of food and I brought around half the chicken and most of the rice home. I didn't eat my salad (I know, BAD), but it was just a bowl of iceberg lettuce and that is my least favorite. I did eat all of my zucchini, onions, broccoli, and mushrooms.

Sorry there is no picture, I was too busy talking and completely forgot! I'm sure you'll get the idea since it was standard hibachi fare.

I should probably start chugging some water to flush out all that soy sauce.

Tomorrow I am making a batch of crockpot barbecue. My parents are coming to visit this weekend, and I have to prove to my father that it is actually good. He is an avid griller and smoker, so he is pretty serious about his barbecue. Unfortunately I don't have that option since I live on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex, and I'm sure the management would frown upon flames and excessive smoke. I might make some new friends if I tried it, though! I love the smell of a hot grill.

See you tomorrow!

Pre-made breakfasts

I had never eaten quiche before Easter of this year, but I instantly fell in love with it. Since then, I have made quiches for brunch and dinner and I like ability to use so many different ingredients. As I was looking for some breakfast recipes for my parents' upcoming visit, I saw several for mini quiches and I decided that they be a great pre-made breakfast item for when I start my new job.

Last night, I made broccoli cheddar mini quiches:

3 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 c. 1% milk
2 T. fat free half and half
6 T. shredded cheddar
1 c. broccoli, steamed and chopped
2 T. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
salt and pepper

Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, and half and half . Pour evenly into 6 muffin cups (coated with non-stick spray). Add 1 T. cheese to each cup. Divide the broccoli, parsley, and scallions evenly between the cups. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and lightly stir each cup with a fork.

Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. They will be puffed up when they come out of the oven but will deflate after a few minutes.

My thoughts: They need a crust. That is the main factor (for me at least) that makes quiche so enjoyable. Also, next time I will use all fat free half and half instead of milk, because I wanted to be a little creamier, and using all FF H&H won't add that many extra calories. So, I think I should rename them Broccoli Cheddar Baked Eggs until I tweak the recipe. Don't get me wrong, however, because they were still quite good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My friends think I'm crazy.

Who drives 40 minutes to a new city, right before rush hour, in the pouring rain, just to go to a new grocery store? That's right, me. I've heard such good things about Whole Foods and today was my afternoon off, so I had the urge to go. Honestly, I didn't see much that I can't get at the Fresh Market or EarthFare, but it was fun and I did buy a few things:

I got some instant polenta, a whole wheat baguette, a chunk of ricotta salata cheese, some Italian crispy chips, and some Clif Z bars (new flavors - Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry!). I also bought a new reusable grocery bag to add to my collection.

There is one reason that I will go back occasionally: The gelato bar.

Today I got the tiramisu flavor, but I also sampled the avocado (I was too scared to get a whole cup of it). The tiramisu was delicious, and the avocado was pretty good as well. It was sweet and very creamy, and the avocado taste kind of appeared as an aftertaste. I ordered the 4 oz. size, but the server gave me almost double that. I ate half in the car before I left, and the rest is in my freezer for tomorrow. Two for one, yum!

I had plans to eat more leftovers for dinner, but I got distracted by the Whole Foods sushi bar. Tonight I had a shrimp California roll, and I added some cucumber sticks when I got home. I also made more of the Asian slaw from a few night ago, just without the noodles and pork. So basically, shredded cabbage and carrots with the rice wine vinegar mix. The whole meal was very filling!

A new breakfast and some leftovers...

I wanted something new for breakfast, so I combined the oatmeal recipes at Kath Eats and The Fitnessista for some Pumpkin Oats. I used 1/2 c. each water, milk, rolled oats, and canned pure pumpkin along with a dash of salt, 1 T. ground flax, a splash of vanilla extract, two packets of Splenda, and cinnamon to taste. I also added 1 T. soy protein powder since I wasn't going to have an egg this morning. Just cook it all in a pot on medium until it the oats soak up the liquid, somewhere between 5-10 minutes, stirring about once a minute.

It was so filling, I actually didn't finish the bowl. I covered it and put it in the fridge for tomorrow morning.

Today was my last day at my old job, but I didn't pack my lunch because I only had to work until 1:30. I did slice two kiwis to take with me for a snack:

I also had a piece of string cheese with my kiwi. When I got home, I had leftover potato soup from yesterday with an orange:

It was every bit as good as yesterday. I did have to add a little extra broth before reheating because the soup became very thick in the refrigerator overnight.

I have a trip to Whole Foods planned for this afternoon. I'm excited because I've never been there before, but it won't be a regular thing since it takes over 30 minutes to drive there, and I have the Fresh Market and EarthFare both within five miles.

I will also be experimenting with breakfast ideas this evening. I start my new job next week, and I need some pre-made items that I can either grab on the way out or just warm up in the mornings.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I declare Aug. 12 Cilantro Day.

I used to hate cilantro, but a few months ago I gave it another try and have been cooking with it a lot lately. I need to back up, though, because Cilantro Day actually started with some beans that I found at the Farmers' Market:

These are anasazi beans, which are very similar to pintos. I rinsed, picked over, and soaked the beans overnight and cooked them this afternoon. Once they are cooked, they turn pink:

After doing a little research, I found out that anasazis are often used to make refried beans. I was inspired to make a Mexican style meal, and that is where the cilantro comes in. First I made some salsa:

I made this in my food processor. It has two fresh tomatoes (seeded), 1/2 red onion, 1 Anaheim pepper, 1 can of Rotel tomatoes (drained), and a HUGE handful of cilantro.

Then I made some guacamole, which was very similar to the salsa. I started with 1/2 fresh tomato, a chunk of red onion, around 1/4 of an Anaheim pepper, and some cilantro. I pulsed it in the food processor, then added one avocado. I did not put the avocado in the processor, though, because I like guacamole chunky. I just smashed it all together with a fork. I also added a few drops of lime juice to stop it from browning.

Layered all together, with a spoonful of light sour cream:

I ate this with a handful of Scoops baked tortilla chips and a big glass of iced tea. Yum!

I like free stuff.

I had to run some errands this morning, and I knew today was Free Vivanno Tuesday at my Starbucks, so guess what I had for breakfast:

When I got home, I tried out two new recipes. First was Potato and Bacon Soup, which is actually a Weight Watchers recipe. You would never know it though - it was thick and creamy and TASTY. It is made mostly with fat free chicken broth, but there is a little bit of half and half for creaminess. I topped it with one scallion, one strip of bacon, and a little mound of shredded cheese:

I also made some zucchini pancakes. Again, I read several recipes and pieced my own together. They were so good! The amount I had today made three pancakes. I meant to save one for tomorrow but ended up eating all three!

Zucchini Pancakes

1 medium zucchini, shredded with a box grater
diced red onion
chopped Italian parsley
salt & pepper
1 T. bread crumbs
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg white

Lay shredded zucchini on a layer of paper towels for approx. 5 minutes to soak up some of the moisture. Then mix all ingredients together with a fork.

Heat oil in a skillet. Drop zucchini mixture into pan in large spoonfuls, then flatten out with a spatula. Cook on both sides until browned.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Adventures in Baking

I love to cook, but I REALLY love to bake. Before I moved last year, I used to make and sell specialty cakes regularly. Unfortunately, now I rarely have time to bake something that doesn't start in a box, but I made time for these:

Berry Scones

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 T. sugar
2 T. butter, cold
1 c. fat free buttermilk
2 c. frozen berries (I used a blend of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Preheat oven to 400. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and cut into dry mixture. Pour in buttermilk and mix, then mix in berries (still frozen).

Cover a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Divide dough (which is quite sticky) into 2 mounds and shape into flat, approx. 7 inch diameter circles. Cut each circle into 4 wedges.

Bake for 20 minutes.

This recipe was inspired after I ordered a (very tasty) scone at Starbucks that cost me almost 1/4 of my daily calories and fat. I knew I could make something similar for less. I think these turned out very well, and I have already eaten one as a snack with a glass of milk. At this rate, I may have to make another batch before the boyfriend comes home.

Recipes up to bat for tomorrow:

Potato and Bacon Soup
Zucchini Pancakes
something with the anasazi beans I picked up at the farmer's market - they are soaking as I type!

Cooking for One

Since the boyfriend is out of town, I'll be making single serve meals all week. I started out this morning with a bowl of Kath's Classic Oats (whipped), along with hot black tea and the first glass of water for the day:

No, I'm not advertising for Starbucks, although I do spend a lot of money there and often receive their products as gifts. I love my reusable plastic cup!

The oats kept me full for a long time. I had to go out and run some errands today and didn't plan on eating lunch, but I brought a pear and some string cheese along with me and ended up eating both in the car. On the way home, I stopped by Panera for a cup of Garden Vegetable soup. Is it bad that I have their daily soup rotation memorized? Not all of them, but I know when to get my favorites.

I made a new recipe tonight for dinner: Asian Cabbage Slaw with Pork. Since this is not my recipe, I won't post it, but believe me when I say it was delicious. It was very easy to prepare also. If anyone would like the recipe, just give me your e-mail.

I did double the amount of vegetables, and served it on 1 oz. of Smart Taste thin spaghetti for some carbs (there was no pasta in the original recipe). I will tell you what was in the sauce, just not exact measurements, because I plan on using it as a salad dressing in the future: rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, canola oil, and honey. Yum!

For dessert, I made a yogurt parfait. I used Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt, 1/2 c. of white peaches that I froze earlier in the summer, and a handful of Quaker Corn Bran.

I'm in the mood to do some baking, so I'll be back later with a recipe for Berry Scones. I've been wanting to make a healthier version of these for a long time, and finally found some recipes that I could combine. See you then!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I was in a crunchy mood this morning, so I had a big bowl of my other favorite cereal (I told you it would make an appearance soon!). I love that I can have a double serving of this for less calories and fat than most other cereals. A double serving has 180 calories, 2 g fat, and 10 (!) grams of fiber. With 1/2 c. milk:

The boyfriend left for a business trip this afternoon, so I let him choose a restaurant for lunch on the way to the airport. Naturally, he chose a pizza buffet. I started out with a big plate of salad, but I did have a couple pieces of pizza (one veggie, one spinach alfredo) and a very small brownie.

Since I had such a high calorie lunch, I wanted to keep it light for dinner. I decided to come up with a new recipe and go meatless at the same time. I started with a salad:

My salad has green leaf lettuce, tomato, red onion, red cabbage, a few kalamata olives, and a sprinkle of parmesan. I topped it with low calorie Italian dressing.

My new recipe is Tortilla Soup. I read around five recipes and took the ingredients that sounded best to me, then I was off to the grocery store. Here is my recipe:

Vegetable Tortilla Soup

1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 small zucchini
1 Anaheim pepper
2 tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion
1 c. corn kernels
2 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can vegetable broth

Pulse all of the fresh vegetables in a food processor until finely chopped, then saute in the olive oil. Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in tomatoes and broth and stir.

I let it come to a boil, then reduced the heat and let it simmer for around 20 minutes.

For toppings, I used a small handful of baked tortilla chips (technically they're on the bottom of the bowl, so you can't see them), chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, a very small amount of shredded cheese, and a spoonful of light sour cream.

The consistency was kind of thick, closer to a stew than a soup. I had an extra can of broth but chose not to use it.

This was so delicious and easy to make! This recipe is definitely a keeper. I also have two more servings to look forward to, one in the fridge for later in the week and one in the freezer for another time.

I picked up a few more things at the store too, so there will be more experimenting in the next few days!

I'm off to have some chocolate milk.