Food Humor – Halloween Cake Pops

These are absolutely adorable. . .for Witches and non-magical folk alike. Best part, chocolate and cuteness aside?  Peanut butter filled! 

Check it out at Hungry Happenings

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Nutrition Humor – Keep It Simple

I almost fell out of the chair laughing at this one.  It’s almost exactly like Pinterest when there are incredibly, and frankly abnormally graceful, recipe results with an “easy recipe” paired with it… Doesn’t happen.  ISN’T that simple, people.

Nice try with the “simple” breakfast bull too. 

Wait…120 Calorie LAVA CAKE!?

I came across this recipe on FoodieFiasco the other day and nearly fell over.  120 calories for the awesomeness that is lava cake?!  SIGN ME UP!

Let’s just be clear from the get-go…because my jumping for joy chocolate dance may seem a little strange, especially to those who regularly indulge in sweets.  For starters, I don’t eat sugary foods – Fresh fruit and maybe whatever is in my coconut creamer constitute the bulk of my regular intake.  I never order dessert when I’m out, and I haven’t in years – if it isn’t in front of me, it’s much easier to behave.

I have the kind of willpower that would have the Gods (take your pick of the Pantheons) emerald with envy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to cuddle up to all things warm and chocolatey sometimes!  I also work my ass off when I’m in the gym, doing cardio, or attending my Martial Arts classes, so the idea that I’d be negating those efforts for short-term, short-lived deliciousness doesn’t balance out.  “It smells better than it tastes!” I remind myself.  

Often.

My crazy habit – and total “cheat” – is snagging a Dr. Praeger’s chocolate chip muffin in the middle of the night.  But the prospect of a lava cake for the same amount of calories?  I’m not going to lie, it’s more than kind of tempting to whip up the ingredients and have it ready when I wake up…

Anyway, this is designed for one person – I rather like that idea since you don’t end up with more than one serving (that will – make no mistake – be heard calling even when the fridge door is shut.  Amazing how those voices work!)  A little bit annoying from an ingredient prep standpoint but whatever – once you get the hang of the recipe, maybe it will be easier! 🙂

I don’t really cook much, but I might be willing to give this one a go… Volcano cakes are probably the one dessert I actually WOULD break down and have…were my Olympian self-discipline to falter.  Which (furrowing brow into a determined look) it won’t.  (And thanks to this rockin’ recipe, I don’t have to chance it either!)

PS, check out my Low Cal Yums board on Pinterest.  Ohhhh, the shenanigans! 

 

My Current Go-To Meal

Despite my immense propensity for “getting bored,” I never seem to tire of healthy foods.  I’m enormously thankful for that, as I am scarcely exempt from getting cravings.  Fortunately a giant bowl protein and vegetables is generally enough to derail those venomous “you know you want a cookie”s, but it doesn’t mean it is always easy!  My willpower is tightly tied to my goals – I do my best to adhere to those, and focus on the end result as much as I can, which helps me see past the immediate satisfaction I *think* I’ll feel. 

gvu.gatech.edu

gvu.gatech.edu

Eating protein DOES help – you are providing your body with a slower-digesting source of fuel that registers as “satiety” for a longer period…and I definitely need that!  If not, I’d be in trouble – after my late 20s, food started to “stick,” whether I protested or not.  Staying well hydrated helps to stave off cravings as well, which helps me stick to my goals as best I can.

Shutterstock 283730408

Shutterstock 283730408

Lately my protein choices have changed (just a hair!) – since I eat a lot of the same foods, it isn’t at all surprising!  That said, it also isn’t so dramatic a change, my body will have any issues processing.  I’ve swapped out chicken breasts and tenders for ground chicken.  At least for now. I can’t say why specifically, but it totally hits the spot! 😀 Regardless of the protein source (salmon, shrimp and mild fish are other favorites!), I will always add vegetables.  

I add a few veggies into this recipe, but I add even more with it for a meal – I probably go through about 8  lbs of vegetables a day.  Yes…I said A DAY.  You know those enormous 4 lb frozen mixed vegetable packages at the supermarket?  I go through at least two a day (sometimes I use one, along with several smaller packages, varying the “mix.”)  Veggies add healthy, less calorically-dense VOLUME and, because I love to eat, volume is key.  My favorite picks are:

  • California Blend – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots. (I use these for the bulk)
  • Italian Blend – broccoli, cauliflower, Italian green beans, zucchini, carrots
  • Asian Blend – broccoli, snap peas, water chestnuts, red peppers, mushrooms
  • Ranchero Fiesta – broccoli, white beans, chickpeas, carrots, red peppers, dark red kidney beans, Italian green beans. (I generally use half a bag, mixed with less starchy vegetables, but I love these for the extra fiber and protein (which, again, helps you stay satisfied longer!))

Those aside, my favorite vegetables to prepare with the ground chicken are organic red, yellow, and orange peppers (sweeter than the green), sliced baby bella mushrooms, and fire roasted tomatoes.  Sometimes I also add baby spinach, but I’ll toss it in towards the end if I do so it doesn’t get cooked too much and lose nutrients.

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I slice the peppers into small strips, after removing the stem and seeds, and quartering.  The mushrooms just need to be rinsed, and that’s it!  I will heat the stove on high and toss all the veggies with some salt and pepper into my snazzy Curtis Stone pan (which I don’t have to use any oil with! 🙂 ) I generally put the cover on and let them simmer, stirring occasionally, for about six or seven minutes.  

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Then I put two pounds of ground chicken (Whole Foods can grind breast meat for you if they are out!) into a second, larger pan, over high heat – again, no oil is necessary, but I do sprinkle Jane’s Mixed Up Salt on both sides (it’s easy to sprinkle on one side while in the package, then when you place it in the pan face down, you can add to the second side.)  I give it about two or three minutes on high to let one side brown gently, then I flip.  I’ll give it a minute or two and then start to chop it with my spatula, and flip as necessary.  

I DON’T like dried-out meat, so I will get it cooked about 75% through, then add in the vegetable mixture, which is softened by now, but not overcooked.  I’ll let that simmer on a medium to high heat mixing periodically until it’s cooked through.  

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And voila…easy as that.  The whole thing doesn’t take more than about 15 minutes or so, and it lasts me through a few meals.  I DO tend to eat “dinner” a few times at Night, though… 🙂  It really is like feeding a raptor.

For more of my Nutritional Choices… 😀

Surf And Turf

Last night my hunnie made a veggie Surf & Turf stew – SO GOOD!  

The dish was made with the following:

  • Rao’s tomato sauce (one that has a lot less sugar and added “junk” than many others)
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 box of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bag of sweet mini peppers
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 3 bags of broccoli (which is probably 3 large heads, chopped)
  • 1 lb or so of Argentine shrimp
  • 1 lb + of chicken tenderloins
  • Salt and spices

He’s quite the chef, and I am always impressed with how much he keeps track of at once!  The chicken was broiled separately, and the shrimp done towards the end – both came out perfectly. ❤ 

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It’s such a healthy meal and honestly, it was so good I couldn’t stop eating it – I had it for breakfast and lunch! 😀 It’s filling, and good for you – lean protein and veggies?  It doesn’t get much better!

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I’m not a big “sauce” person because I don’t like to add calories to my meals that aren’t particularly necessary.  But this wasn’t the kind of thing that will break your bank, so to speak, unless you are using way too much, and / or having it all the time!  We usually have grilled or broiled chicken, shrimp or fish and keep condiments to a minimum.  With the right spices, you don’t even need sauce!  I never understood the whole “smother” phenomenon…  

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If you love the idea but DON’T want sauce, use a little bit and cut up whole and cherry tomatoes to lighten up the nutritional stats. 

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The only fat in the meal (or in the sauce) was derived from olive oil, and that’s always a good thing!  I don’t have a ton of fat in my nutritional scheme (not on purpose at all!  I eat salmon, almonds, pistachios etc to add it in, as it is vital to proper function of the body!) so I like to have “good” oils here and there.  Also keep in mind, that’s where some of the calories are coming from – it wasn’t a sugar-laden dish at all!

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Something fun, especially as the colder winter moths are coming. I’m so thankful and appreciative of his cooking, and it’s fair to say, so is my tummy!!

 

Eating At Home

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…I’m very blessed.  My hunnie is amazing in so many ways.  One of those, while seemingly minor to him, is a big deal to me – he doesn’t make me feel badly that I don’t “cook.”  I’ve sadly met a good number of people who DO see that as a huge problem, and I’m vastly more thankful for his “what’s the big deal if you don’t?” than he may imagine.  

I’m not a terribly “domesticated” type with hundreds of recipes up my sleeve.  In a way, I have felt badly about it…but only in so far as other people are concerned.  I pretty much subsist on easy-to-make foods (or I’ll just wing it.  Winging it, however, only applies to me – messing up my food isn’t a big deal, but I’d never want to mess up someone else’s food.)

He’s also incredibly supportive of my clean and (relatively) healthy nutritional habits – he actually cares that I am comfortable, happy…and FULL!   If you are in the fitness industry, or follow this lifestyle, you may know how UNsupportive people can be about our personal choices.  (You did read that “personal” part, right?  😉 ) 

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He has a long and exhausting day…and he will still make dinner.  And dinner is always perfect.  It’s most perfect because he is with me, but whatever he does make is always delicious…and right up my alley.  He thinks I’m biased about it, or just being polite but…I’m not.  When you are as particular about food as I am…and I say “I love it”…I LOVE it. ❤

I’m so grateful I probably get annoying saying “thank you!” all the time…but it is something I appreciate enormously. We have a snazzy Breville Smart Oven Pro that we call the “Magic Machine.”  It’s amazingly efficient and has a ton of functions!

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I never really eat a meal withOUT my veggies…so he will often roast some in the oven, while preparing chicken or something else in…the “Magic Machine.”  It could be shrimp or scallops, broiled salmon…or wok-tossed asparagus…  It’s all wonderful, and has NOTHING on it but some salt, pepper and spices.   

That’s the thing…you don’t need much!  You can always add a touch of salsa or something more if you need it.  But it doesn’t need to be doused in oil or butter to taste good or stay moist.  A spray of olive oil is enough…. REALLY.

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It’s also often more cost-effective to eat IN.  I don’t really eat a ton when I’m out, and I would be fine with something simple.  But the point is, it doesn’t HAVE to be.  AND…if you have someone in your Life who prepares the meals…don’t forget to say THANK YOU.  It really is a treat, and a blessing…and something I am thankful for EACH TIME he does it.