Spinach Waffles

I think I am going to have to start eating my breakfast on the way to work.  I normally am not hungry right when I get up, and my coffee is fine for the hour train ride to work.  But lately I’ve hit the ground running and yesterday didn’t even heat up my breakfast until nearly 10.

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Serves 1 waffle

Spinach Waffles

A great way to sneak in veggies to your breakfast!

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.75 cups unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add the spinach, eggs, cashew milk, yogurt and vanilla together and blend well. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour the blender mixture into the flour mixture and whisk just until combined. It's okay if its a bit lumpy.
  2. Heat your waffle maker according to manufacturer instructions. This made 8 waffles - I used 2/3 cup batter per waffle, and according to the WW recipe app, each waffle comes in at 4 smart points.
Recipe Type: breakfast

Notes

These freeze really well. Simply go straight from the freezer to your toaster!

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http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/02/28/spinach-waffles/

These spinach waffles are so good.  I was worried that the fresh baby spinach would “water” down the batter, but it was just fine.  The secret was putting all the wet ingredients into the blender, all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and while I contemplated throwing the flour mixture into the blender as well, I was glad I didn’t.  I just poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and just mix until combined.  It’s okay if the batter is a bit lumpy.  I love how the edges of the waffle stay bright green!  I had lunch plans, and since I ate a late breakfast, only ate one waffle sammie (2 for the waffle, 2 for the egg, 1 for the bacon, 1 for the syrup) with fresh fruit on the side for six smart points.

I am so lucky to have Boston Blackie’s in the lobby of my building.  It’s nice having a restaurant that has good food so close, so we don’t waste time walking somewhere and can spend that time talking at the table.  I had lunch with two of my co-workers, and it was nice getting to know them a bit better.   I’ve said it before, but Tony’s word of advice when going to a restaurant is don’t order lasagna in an Irish Pub.  Get what they are known for, and this place is known for its burgers.  I had this lunch built into my weekly meal plan. 

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Look at that deliciousness!  I used my trusty WW app to guesstimate how much this burger was, and based on other restaurant chains, my guess was 20 points for the whole burger.  My plan, which I stuck to, was to just eat half the burger, and order the side salad instead of fries (or sweet potato fries or mashed potatoes!).   I also asked for the Italian dressing on the side and dipped my fork in there, picked the croutons off and called lunch 12 smart points.  It was delicious, I didn’t feel guilty, I no longer have the mindset that food is “good” or “bad.”  It’s just food!  I plan for deliciousness like this, and move on. 

Work has been so busy that I literally look up and a couple hours goes by.  Before I knew it, it was time to head home.  And guess what I made for dinner – Lasagna Soup!  Batch probably 2,872?!   I halved the amount of Italian sausage I normally used, and added six cheese tortellini, so this giant bowl of soup came in at 9 smart points – leaving me with 3 points for an after dinner snack.

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

I got a few books from the library over the weekend.  One of them was this book called Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss.   I know to truly continue on my weight loss journey, that this has to be a lifelong journey, not just until I hit goal weight.  And I know that through Weight Watchers, which is one of the reasons I love the plan because I can still eat pizza, burgers and the like while continuing to lose weight, but I approach food in a whole different way now.

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Check out my tracker from August through November.  I only tracked NINE full days in four months!  No wonder the scale wasn’t moving! That, and well, maybe all the wine I hardly counted either. Open-mouthed smile

What I like about this book though is that it teaches you core eating behaviors that you build on.  You don’t go onto the next one until you’ve mastered the one you are on, and then take that first behavior, continue it and add the next behavior.

The first behavior?  Only eat 3 meals a day.  Unless you eat a very early breakfast, you can add a 4th meal.  The key to all of this?  Tracking!  Saying “I’ll just do it in my head” or “I’ll just try and cut back” rarely works.  Testament to those four months above, where I “thought” I was tracking everything, but without seeing it in black and white, you easily forget that granola bar you ate when you blood sugar was low in the car, or the cookie you grabbed at work.  “Trying to change your habits doesn’t take the weight off.  You have to actually practice your habits, so make sure you write them down somewhere to keep track.”

I think getting my cough in the middle of January was a blessing in disguise.  I was still high on the “New Year New Me!” mantra, and didn’t want to throw in the towel because I couldn’t work out.  Like most people when they want to make a change, they want to make ALL the changes at once:

  • meal prep
  • exercise
  • track food
  • get to bed by 10:30 at night
  • limit t.v.
  • no alcohol during the week
  • no fast food

The ALL or NOTHING approach.  But what happens to me every.single.time is that I’ll start out great, and by maybe day five or six, after maybe a particularly long day at work, I would come home and have three glasses of wine on a Thursday night.  Well, fudge crackers, that was one of my “rules” wasn’t it?  Not to drink during the week?!  Gah.  Well, if I can’t do that, then I may as well hit up McDonald’s at the train station for breakfast!  Thus continuing my life on the hamster wheel as I am calling it where I repeat the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

With exercise out of the picture for nearly a month, I really had to concentrate on WHAT I was eating, and WHY and WHEN.  This book advocates having three meals a day with nothing in between.  I really like that idea because since I take a shot of insulin every time I eat something, having two less shots a day is just fine in my book.   It’s also okay to feel a bit of hunger between meals.  “Having three or four satisfying meals also can help “reset” your hunger and fullness cues.”  It also suggests that without snacking, it leads to a “metabolic shift” toward burning more fat and relying less on carbohydrates.

So this first “habit” is to last two weeks before introducing the next one.  I have to tell you, that even though I was busy at work, there were times when I contemplated checking out what was in my “snack drawer” when I wasn’t even hungry.  Much like checking off something on a to do list, I wanted a check mark on my first day of eating three meals, and I did it.   Even though I had three points to “spend” after dinner, I wasn’t hungry, so I just didn’t eat. 

I like being cognizant of my food choices, not only to get down to a healthy weight, but hopefully that these “lean” habits will become instinctive that I won’t even have to think twice about them.  So here’s to the next couple weeks of my continued journey. 

Curious how many of you eat snacks throughout the day.  I have to be honest, if I did snack, it was on fruit in between meals because they are “free” but not really for me, because fruit is high in natural sugar which would require more insulin.  I’ve probably eaten more fruit in the last two months than I have in the last two years, but it’s so good!  I’ll just have to incorporate my fruit into my three meals.

I guess being aware is working for me, no?!

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Make it a great day!

Teriyaki Salmon with Soba Veggie Noodles

This past weekend was the second weekend I’ve had off, but the first one where I had no plans at all.  And it was perfect.  The weather was back to winter, it was cold, overcast on Saturday and super windy on Sunday.  The kadults worked all day Saturday and Sunday so I had the house to myself.

I was up at 7:00 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. I have no idea how I’ve turned into a morning person these last few years, but I like it.  It also helps that I am going to bed pretty much the same time on Friday and Saturday as I do during the week – between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m.  I sleep like the dead, so I think 8 hour of sleep is plenty. 

I woke up Saturday morning so hungry.  I am trying to limit my in between snacks, even if its fruit, and especially not snacking after dinner, which means I may need to eat a few more points at breakfast and lunch so I still get my 30 points in every day.  At 7:30 on Saturday morning I ate this plate:  light English muffin (2), 2 ounces avocado with Tajin (3), and fruit.

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I fully expected this to be breakfast #1, because it was only 5 smart points, but that kept me full for hours.  So much so that I left to run errands at 12:30 and never gave a thought to lunch.  Until I was at the grocery store and those damn chicken fingers smelled so good!  But I went to the prepared foods by the deli and picked up (an unphotographed) cooked grilled pork chop and ate that while I shopped (4) and had about 4 points of tastes at Sam’s Club while I shopped there.   I love the cut fruit at Sam’s Club – especially the mango and pineapple, because no matter how many youtube videos I watch, or see the Chef’s at The Chopping Block cut those fruits, I am like a kindergartner using a plastic knife for the first time – and have so much waste.  But the mango and pineapple alone are $13.  I couldn’t decide if it was worth the money to get them, or should I try buying the cheaper whole fruit and cutting it myself, when I glanced behind me and saw the wine and liquor section.  And suddenly, like a punch in the face, I realized when I drank wine on the regular, I wouldn’t flinch at spending $13 on a bottle of wine (or two or three!) so I bought the damn fruit.   Strawberries were on sale for .69 cents a container (I should have bought more!) and the kiwi was 4/$1 and bananas were .39 cents a pound at my local grocery store.

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PicMonkey Collage

The left receipt is my local grocery store.  I actually spent $25.26 there, but had a $5 off coupon.  The receipt on the right is the Fresh Market where I bought my salmon.  So with the $13 spent at Sam’s Club for the fruit, my weekly grocery shop came in at $44.35.

I haven’t really followed my meal plans as of late, but I still do them anyway.  I don’t mind changing it up during the week, and it’s nice to have options if I don’t feel like something that I’ve planned:

Breakfasts:

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  • Spinach Waffle Sammies:  That was my breakfast yesterday, and I’ll do a recipe post later this week for these.  Those two came in at 8 smart points and were super delicious and filling.
  • Steel Cut oats and fruit (probably 2 times this week – love it!)
  • Sweet Potato Toast with Peanut Butter (PB2) and Blueberries and Banana
  • Hashbrowns with Spinach and Carrot with Hardboiled Egg and Fruit

Lunches:

  • out to lunch today with co-workers (burger at Blackie’s!)
  • creamy potato soup made with unsweetened cashew milk (x2) (recipe coming later this week!)
  • lasagna soup
  • open faced pastrami sandwich with apple/red cabbage slaw on homemade marble rye bread (recipe coming later this week!)

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Dinners:

  • Taco Salad with ground beef
  • Stuffed shells with my zero point marinara
  • steak/mushrooms/parmesan zucchini
  • lasagna soup
  • Nancy Silverman’s pizza dough pizza (my pics of the dough and quick steps will be a blog post later this week)  you will want to make this pizza dough!

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When I was meal planning Friday night, I stumbled upon Gordon Ramsey’s recipe videos that he does with his kids.  I watched several of them and there pretty much wasn’t a recipe that I would make.  I have the Cooking Club to thank for me trying AND liking seafood.  I tried Tina’s halibut en papillote, (check out her blog – it has amazing recipes!), I’ve tried Julie’s ceviche with tilapia, I’ve tried Catherine’s lemon garlic shrimp,  and this last Cooking Club, Donna’s Salmon Salmon with Hearts of Palm with Goat Cheese.  Who knew I even liked that much seafood other than shrimp!  So while I loved all those dishes, I don’t cook seafood all that much at home.  Usually because seafood is expensive, and if I mess up, that’s just money wasted.  I can’t remember if I ever bought salmon for Tony other than packaged smoked salmon for his bagels on Sunday mornings, so I really had no idea how much it was going to cost.  Well, turns out on that receipt above from The Fresh Market, only $6!  The episode that caught my eye though was the teriyaki salmon with soba noodles.

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I did scale this recipe to one serving.  I also adjusted it a bit because he added generous pours of sesame oil in the soba noodles, and I made this a bit more Weight Watcher friendly.  I put this in the WW recipe builder and it came out to 11 smart points for the whole plate.

  • 5 ounces salmon, raw
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces soba noodles*
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha

Put the ginger, garlic, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin (rice wine vinegar) and olive oil.  Coat the salmon on the marinade and marinate for as little as 20 minutes, or two hours, or even overnight.  I marinated mine for about 3 hours.   Take the salmon out of the marinade and salt and pepper (I actually thought the marinade had plenty of salt, so I skipped this part).  Heat skillet over medium heat, add a bit of oil and when hot, add the salmon, skin side down.  Reserve the marinade.  Cook for 2 minutes, then pour the reserved marinade over the salmon**, and cook for 2 more minutes, then turn and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side.

So while the salmon was cooking, I used my wok and cooked up the peas, carrots and zucchini in coconut spray and a touch of chicken stock (since I didn’t use any oil), then added the cooked soba noodles and the kale the last two minutes of cooking.  Removed that from the heat and stirred in the soy sauce and sriracha.   That process only took about 8 minutes.  Then I just plated the noodles and veggies, and topped it with the teriyaki salmon.  (Gosh I am a horrible recipe writer!).  Hopefully after watching Gordon’s video, you’ll see how easy this is to put together.

PicMonkey Collage coconut spray

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** this was my one mis-step – because I reduced the marinade to make it more WW friendly, I didn’t have a lot of sauce, and putting it on the salmon half way through, the sauce in the pan started to burn.  The flavor was still there in the salmon, but next time I’d just add the reserved marinade at the last 30 seconds of cook time.

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Wish this was a prettier photograph, but this was delicious.  The salmon was flakey and the bits of teriyaki that stayed on the salmon was delicious.  I will definitely make this again!  Thanks to all my Cooking Club friends for widening my seafood repertoire! 

I am expecting another busy week at work, but after my lunch out today, hope to get in some steps with my sister this week – I think we only walked together once last week?   I cannot believe there are only a couple more days of February left – so crazy how fast 2017 is going by so far.  But I am happy with my progress so far this year.  I think I am getting a handle on this whole food thing – which will be the topic of tomorrow’s blog post – how to form Lean Habits for lifelong health.

Make it a great day!

sinking ship

-2.6!

So my weird dream with Oprah weighing me in with a 4.5 gain was all for nothing! 

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I forgot my WW journal at home that has my weekly WI booklet.  Check that out – only .7 pounds from the 150s!  I am down 17.8 pounds since December 26.  I actually thought “maybe I’ll hit 20 pounds lost by the end of February! Until I realized that next Thursday is already March!  Oh well! 

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My goal now is to be 154 by our birthday, which is a month away – so another 6.6 to go until my next mini goal.  You may be wondering, why 154 pounds?

Well, when I did my six months of Insanity, it took me 6 months to lose 20 pounds.   And the lowest I got was 155.4 before I had to get a second job to make ends meet and gained it all back.  It’s weird, I just went back to that link and I posted it December 2, 2013 – who would have thought Tony would have died exactly a year later?!  So weird sometimes to think about.

But what is different about this time and last time?  I concentrated on getting the workouts in and “tried” to eat better.  “Tried” being the operative words.  Tony and I were still going out for beers on the weekends, which led to ordering onion rings, and then I’d try to work out more to work off what I ate.  Rinse and repeat.   That’s why it took me so long to lose the weight is because I wasn’t consistent with the food.  And when I think about it, while I had meals that were “Weight Watcher friendly” it was all the other crap that I never counted (coffee creamer, wine, beer, extra night snacks).  You get the drill.

But guess what happens when you actually track your food?

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February 9 was Cooking Club (counted points but was at 39 for the day) February 10 was the picky snack night (that was 46 points for the day).  Last Friday night I had two glasses of wine (that put me at 39 points for the day).  So even when I do go over, it’s no where near what I used to do, and no matter what, it goes in the tracker.

My sister also kicked but this week and lost 1.6!  Whoop!  

Had another super busy day at work.  Breakfast was steel cut oats and fruit with granola and a bit of brown sugar for 7 points.  I could literally eat this every day and never get sick of it.  Even when it wasn’t hot anymore, I still loved it. 

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I was able to break away at lunch to go back to WW for the meeting.  Our Leader Cheryl is hysterical – she makes us laugh so much.  Lots more people at the meeting too – I think every seat was filled!   Only one tiny problem.  When I walked from the train station to the WW office to weigh in before work, it was so warm I was sweating balls and I had my giant Eddie Bauer winter coat on.  So when I left to go back at lunch I just had my sweater on and was smacked in the face with cold air – wtf?!  I didn’t have time to go back up and get my coat, so suffered for the six block walk there.  Later in the afternoon I checked the weather – oh, only about a 25 degree drop in temps from the morning:

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Lunch was super quick to put together and was fine to eat room temp.  I used some more of my leftover grilled chicken breast to make a chicken sandwich on an English muffin, garlic hummus and red pepper and carrot for dipping.  Lunch was 7 smart points.

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I didn’t feel hungry until I started walking to the train station, so used some of my Starbuck’s gift card to pick up a banana and string cheese for a 3 smart point snack.  Even though I was eyeing the scones! Smile with tongue out

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I’ve had a crock pot Italian beef recipe on the menu all week, and Hannah assured me that she was going to put it together for the last few days, but so far that hasn’t happened yet Open-mouthed smileSo leftover night it was!   She was making a zesty chicken soup for her and Jacob.  I didn’t partake because swear to God that girl chopped up the biggest onion I’ve ever seen and proceeded to chop it all up and put it in the soup.  Gross.  But I did snag some chicken to make a deconstructed nacho supper for myself.  You know how I love my picky plates!  11 points for dinner – 2 for the chicken, 3 for the avocado, 2 for the black beans, and 4 for the tortilla chips.

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I can’t remember if I’ve shown this on Instagram before or not, and I am too lazy to look, but it’s worth sharing again!  First of all, if you haven’t completed your grocery list for the week, go out and buy Cabot whipped cream.  Hannah is actually my whipped cream aficionado and she has declared this the best whipped cream she’s ever tasted.  1 smart point for 2 tablespoons and 15 calories.  If you click that link you can put in your zip code to see where it’s sold near you.  I found mine at Trader Joe’s.

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This is my favorite after dinner treat – I usually eat it a couple hours after dinner, and while that’s not too long before I go to bed, it keeps me full, satisfied and feels like an actual dessert.  Apples and banana with 1 tablespoon sugar free syrup (1) 11 chopped peanuts (1) and 2 tablespoons of Cabot whipped cream (1).  3 points and delish!  And I haven’t been waking up with low blood sugars.

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I have no concrete plans for the weekend which I am loving.  I think Hannah and Jacob work all day Saturday so it will be nice to have the house to myself and cook and blare MY music Open-mouthed smile I am hoping the snow they think will hit us will go north (sorry Lynne, Jessica and Louise! ), but with temps back up in the 60s next week, I can’t complain too much.  I also officially quit the Y and my membership ends at the end of this month, so I’ll take advantage the last few days I have it. 

I have some goals lined up for March as far as exercise goes – stay tuned!   Happy Friday and have an awesome weekend!

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Zero Point Marinara

I get strange looks when I walk down the hall of my office carrying a stemless wine glass.   I should just throw a box of wine in the office refrigerator to really get them talking!  It’s the perfect size for my parfait.  Hannah actually had bought Great Value (Walmart) brand Greek yogurt and it was delicious!  It wasn’t until just now when I looked to see what size container it was, that I actually READ the container and it was whole milk yogurt – so what I thought was 3 points was now 6!  Totally fine because I had weeklies left yesterday, so this parfait is actually 9 points not 6 like I posted on Instagram.  No wonder it was so delicious!

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Another gorgeous day in the books in Chicago.  I again just wore a light jacket to work.  I had to run an errand for work, but got in a lot of steps in the process. 

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There are some mornings that I feel like I have all the time in the world, and other mornings where I look up and I’ve got ten minutes to get my shit together and out the door.  That was me yesterday – although I hadn’t packed my lunch yet.  I contemplated just picking something up downtown for lunch because I hadn’t touched my $20 weekly budget for eating out yet.  But you know I love a good “throw shit in a bag!” lunch.

  • 2 leaves of romaine
  • a grilled bone in chicken breast
  • red cabbage
  • Trader Joe’s reduced guilt chunky guacamole

And with that and leftover fruit from a work meeting, chicken lettuce wraps it was!  It wasn’t until I put it in the WW app, that I realized my lunch was only 4 points.  3 for the chicken, 1 for the guacamole.

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I really really love this guacamole – it’s made with Greek yogurt, and I am loving it even though I believe there are green onions in there.  It’s got that nice tang from the yogurt, and a bit of spice.  I think it was $2.29 for that container?

I thought I was going to go to my sisters office after work for their chili cookoff.  Usually everyone hangs out and drinks, hence my low points going into dinner, but they had another event immediately after and by the time I would have gotten there, the chili contest would have been over.  The good news is that Jennifer won!   And she won with award winning buffalo chicken chili – the only thing she switched up was she used ground turkey breast instead of chicken, but still won.   Whoop!  If you ever need to enter a chili contest, use this recipe, because everyone who has done that since 2010 when I first published it has won best chili – whether it is at an office party, or block party.

So on the Plan B.  But here’s the thing about only eating 10 points (well, now 13 points!) before dinner.  I was really hungry.  So I picked up Garrett’s popcorn (light butter) and ate that on my train ride home – that little snack set me back 7 points, but totally worth it.

Last weekend Hannah and Jacob had people over for a bonfire and they bought snacks.  They had a whole veggie tray leftover and Hannah was going to throw it out.  What?!  While I could have chopped up the veggies and frozen them for soup, I decided to make an oven roasted marinara with the leftover veggies.

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  • 4-6 cups mixed raw veggies
  • Pam spray
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400.  On parchment paper, place the veggies on the cookie sheet and spray with Pam, salt and pepper.  Roast for 25-30 minutes, just until the veggies start to soften.  In a large stock pot, add the roasted veggies, crushed tomatoes, garlic, beef broth (starting with 1/2 a cup) Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper.  Simmer for 30 minutes, then using a stick blender blend away.  This is where you may want to add the additional 1/2 cup of beef broth to get to your desired consistency.

I went to measure out the 2 ounce portion of pasta, and can we just say that it’s a bullshit amount of pasta?  I still remember one of the first meals Tony made me.  It was pasta with a rosemary garlic olive oil sauce and it was spectacular.  He brought a bowl into the living room (yep, couldn’t get him to eat in the dining room!) and handed it to me.  I thought that was the serving dish and he left to get dishes to put it on.  Nope, he went to the kitchen and brought me a fork – it was all for me!  Even eating probably a couple cups of pasta, I went to the kitchen and measured out six MORE cups of pasta in my bowl.  No wonder I gained 25 pounds the first six months we were together. Open-mouthed smile

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Thanks to my sister for giving the Vegetti to my Mom, who I then stole it from.  It cleans up really easy, doesn’t take up too much room and this really bulked up my pasta.  All I did was add the zoodles to the pasta water the last minute the pasta cooked.  It will be a bit crunchy, but after it’s drained, the pasta will continue to steam the zucchini.

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The meatball was from Sam’s Club – I didn’t keep the package, but it’s 5 smart points for one.  I only ate half of it because it was really salty for some reason.  I counted dinner as 9 points, so I was at 29/30 for the day.

So it’s another WI day – didn’t that week go by fast!  The night before last I had a dream that I went to my WW meeting and Oprah weighed me in.  I stepped on the scale and it said I was up 4.5 pounds.  And I was telling her “that’s impossible – I still have weekly points left!” and she said “Biz, think about it” and went on to tell me I was only cheating on myself by not tracking everything I ate. Smile with tongue out

Again, no idea how I’ll do, but my sister and I are Team WW Twins and we will not miss a weigh in or a meeting if we can help it.

Hope you have an amazing day! 

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Mini Orange Walnut Scones

I am sure I am not the only one that eats/sleeps/dreams of food pretty much all day.  If I am not meal planning, I am grocery shopping, meal prepping – the list goes on and I basically love it.  Except there are only so many hours in the day that I can actually spend in my kitchen during the week.   So my Pinterest page of “recipes I want to make” keeps growing.   When I was on the train on Monday, I saw that my friend Liz from Floating Kitchen made blood orange scones with hazelnuts and white chocolate drizzle

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Hope you don’t mind me stealing your photo, but they look so amazing!  Only a couple tiny problems.  I wanted to make them.  Like that night.  But I didn’t have white chocolate.  Or blood oranges. And her original recipe calls for heavy cream and a whole stick of butter for 8 scones – which would make each scone 14 smart points.  Damn.  While I normally wouldn’t flinch on making an exception to these, I am a #goaldigger and I wrote out a recipe on the train home on how I could make this a bit more Weight Watcher friendly. 

  • For the Scones
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Splenda baking
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange segments
  • 1 ounce chopped walnuts
  • For the Chocolate Drizzle
  • 2 ounces chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse until you have a coarse crumb.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together 2/3 cups of the heavy cream with the vanilla extract and egg. Add this liquid mixture to your food processor along with the thyme and blood orange zest. Pulse until the dough has just come together. (While Liz folded in her oranges and nuts, I just threw them into the food processor before putting the dough on the counter).  Be sure to just pulse to combine – don’t let your food processor run otherwise it will warm the butter too much.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a well floured counter top and use your hands (flouring them will make the dough easier to handle)  being careful not to over work the dough. The dough will be slightly wet.
  5. Continue using your hands to shape the dough into two round disks. Then cut the disk it into eight wedges. Transfer the wedges to your prepared baking sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between them. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven and bake the scones for 9-11 minutes. They should be golden brown around the edges. Remove the scones from the oven and allow them to cool on their baking sheet for 10-15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  6. Once the scones have cooled, make the chocolate drizzle. In a small heavy bottom saucepan (or in a double boiler) set over medium heat, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil, stirring frequently. Once smooth, drizzle the melted white chocolate over the scones.
  7. These scones are best when eaten the day they are made, but they will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Allow the white chocolate to set before transferring them to a storage container.  They also freeze really well!

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These are delicious!  And while not as decadent as Liz’s, these are still really light, just slightly sweet and made the best addition to my picky breakfast plate:  My scones come in at 4 smart points.  With the egg (2), the turkey bacon (2) breakfast came in at 8 points.

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I wasn’t actually sure that I would be able to take a lunch.  I missed walking with my sister and her co-worker, but finally came to a good stopping point around 2 and walked for 45 minutes before coming back and heating up my lunch and continued where I left off.  I will share this recipe with you another time, because it looks like ass in this container, but I made laughing cow cheese stuffed zucchini with homemade marinara and  Parmesan cheese.   Because the zucchini didn’t have a lot of protein, I threw in 3 ounces of leftover grilled pork.  Hot mess, but this was delicious and 8 points.  That apple is a Pinata apple – if you can find it, buy them because they are the perfect apple – nice sweet/tart flavor, firm flesh and thin skin.

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And normally I can’t wait to get home and start cooking, last night I just wasn’t feeling it.  I haven’t made a panini since I left my old job nearly a year ago!  I used one of my homemade naan breads, added 3 ounces of grilled chicken, 1/2 ounce of cheese and giardiniera, made some homemade potato chips on the side with fruit for dessert.  11 smart points, quick, delish and easy!

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Look at all that glorious cheese!   I swear there is only 1/2 ounce slice on there.  Hannah bought checkerboard cheese, so I am not sure what the cheese actually is, but pretty sure there isn’t a cheese I don’t like.

Hoping my work schedule will let me leave to meet my sister for a walk tomorrow – our high is going to be 70 degrees!  Just in time to have a possible snow storm Friday into Saturday.  Gah.  At least at this point in the year if we get any snow, it doesn’t last that long.  I’ll continue to enjoy this weather as long as possible.  I’ve already had our heat off for a few days and have slept with the window open.  Love.

Make it a great day! 

Saved By Blue Balls

It’s so weird to have such nice weather in February, that it’s hard to figure out how to dress, what coat to wear.  It was still around 40 degrees when I left the house, but by the time I got downtown it was already 52 degrees.  The weird thing is seeing what other people were wearing downtown.   As I was waiting at a stop light, I saw two women standing side by side.  The woman on the left still had her UGG boots on, North Face down coat and scarf on – while the woman next to her was wearing a mini skirt, bare legs, sandals and short sleeved shirt.  I was just fine in my fleece jacket and actually took it off once I was on the train.

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As I do with my weekly meal prep, I baked off a few baked potatoes to use later in the week.  Gotta love a 10 pound bag for $1!  I normally take the potato filling and mix that with the scrambled egg mixture, but I wanted fruit too and used just 2 ounces of the baked potato shell (2).  I scrambled a whole shredded zucchini with one egg (2), then topped it with an ounce of 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese.  6 points for breakfast.

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My twin sister and walking buddy had the day off yesterday, so it was just me on my walk.  I started walking southwest of my office in a different direction than I usually take.  The streets weren’t nearly as crowded in this area (maybe Greek town?!) because of President’s day.  I got about half way through my walk when I realized that I smelled something amazing – and it was coming from an Indian restaurant.  I stopped to look at the menu and saw they had buttered chicken, fresh naan, basmati rice, and all of a sudden I had thoughts of ditching my lunch that I brought.  I was literally standing there thinking “okay, I still have 22 weeklies left before Thursday’s WI, lunch would probably set me back 15 or so points . . .”  The internal dialogue went on for a couple minutes when I decided to walk around the block and see what I decided.

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Yep – giant BLUE BALLS!  For you non-WW peeps, blue dots are shown on your calendar for the day if you eat within your healthy range – which for me is 27-37 points.  It was a sign to just eat the fricken lunch I brought!  Happy to say I continued on, sans the Indian food.  I don’t know if I’ll ever not be tempted by the smell of certain foods (burgers/fries/pizza/Indian food/Greek food/Italian food . . . !)  I was saved from making a poor food choice by blue balls!  Never thought that would happen to me! Smile with tongue out 

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And I packed a delicious lunch!  Baby pork tacos – 3 mini Mission corn tortillas (3) three ounces leftover grilled pork (3) topped with red cabbage and salsa, cucumbers carrots and apple and not shown, 1/2 a serving of tortilla chips so lunch came in at 8 smart points.  And was delicious!  I found this mini tortillas at Wal-mart – a package of 24 was only $1.79.

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I worked a bit late and missed my usual train, but had time to walk around for about 30 minutes before catching the 6:00 p.m. express train, which got me home in :57 minutes – nice!  I can’t help but walk through the French Market which is below my train station.

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I had my banana and an 1.5 ounce of my Cabot cheese for a snack for the train ride home (3), but I would have given my right arm for this thing of beauty!

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“Delicious milk chocolate cup filled with chocolate moose, topped with fresh fruits and glaze.”  #swoon  Pretty sure that’s insulin worthy!

It was only Monday night and I am already off my meal plan, but in a good way.  I had forgotten I defrosted a small steak over the weekend and never used it, and it had to be cooked.  It had already been sprinkled with Hardcore Carnivore Rub, so dinner came together in a matter of minutes.   After I cooked the steak in my cast iron skillet, I added 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms, sprayed the pan with Pam and cooked them for a couple minutes.  Then added 1/2 teaspoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon flour and cooked that for about 30 seconds, then added 1/2 cup of beef broth and cooked until the pan sauce thickened, just a couple minutes.

My twin sisters daughter Claire LOVES boxed mashed potatoes.  I had a small package of potatoes, but I actually made them completely different from the package instructions.

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That package said that there was six 1/3 cup dry servings in the bag, to make 2/3 cup prepared potatoes with butter and milk.  When I opened the bag up I thought, there is no way that there is six servings in here, and sure enough, it was only 5.  So I calculated the whole bag to be 11 smart points.  In a microwave safe measuring bowl, I heated up 2 cups of water for 3 minutes (or until boiling), I added 3/4 cup of unsweetened cashew milk to the water, a teaspoon of Everything But the Bagel seasoning and parsley, and whisked it up.  Each 1/2 cup serving is only 6 smart points, making my dinner just 7 smart points.

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This was literally ready in about ten minutes – perfect on a night when you get home from work a bit late.  That dinner put me at 26/30 points for the day, which left me with 4 points for dessert.  Which you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe.  My friend Liz reposted a recipe for her blood orange scones – they looked amazing, but with heavy cream a whole stick of butter for 8 scones, I knew I had to come up with a healthy, yet tasty alternative using her recipe as inspiration.  I made 16 baby scones that come in at just 4 smart points each – perfect for a picky plate breakfast this morning with a hard boiled egg and fruit.

Hope you had a great start to your work week – here’s to having a great Tuesday!

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Skinny Twice Baked Potatoes and Weekly Menu

What an amazing weather weekend we had!  Not only was the weekend gorgeous, but this was the first full weekend I’ve had off in the longest time – I think since last May?!  I worked the weekends at the farmers markets over the summer, then at The Chopping Block on the weekends.  One of the first things I did was call my Mom up and ask to get on her social calendar.  She’s a busy woman!  All I knew was that I was going to her neck of the woods and we were going to lunch and a movie. 

We never discussed where we were going, so to be on the safe side, Saturday morning I made a 4 point smoothie – a Premiere chocolate protein shake, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of ice and used Hannah’s Ninja blender to blend it all up. 

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In my pajamas, no bra – thanks for the great photo Hannah!  Aren’t these mason jars amazing?  They hold 24 ounces and for $5 at Wal-Mart you can get a set of four lids with a straw for a grab and go breakfast. 

Hannah was off on Saturday and offered to do my hair and make up.   Hair done, before makeup.  I see more and more grey hair but I am not at the point where I want to die my hair because I know I’ll be horrible with the upkeep.

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Sunroof open – check!  Eyebrows on feel – check!  Makeup on – check!  AND JEWELRY – check!  Hannah was actually my stylist.  If she could just get up every day and make me look good, I would appreciate it.  It’s not too much for a Mom to ask, right?!

We settled on Prasino in LaGrange because it was right across the street from the movie theater.  Perfect!  That way we wouldn’t feel rushed.

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Super cute restaurant.  The service was excellent and I really liked the mediterranean plate that I got.  My Mom’s short rib tacos were a bit on the dry side before she got to the avocado side.

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How cute is my Momma?!   I had to try the sweet potato and coconut bisque – it was delicious and I need to recreate a healthier version of this at home, because I am sure it used full fat coconut milk or heavy cream.  I only ordered a cup and my Mom and I split half of the cup.

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My plate, which I ate 3/4 of and called 12 points.  I wasn’t sure how much olive oil was in the hummus.

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We saw the movie Lion.  I won’t do any spoilers in case you have it on your list of movies to watch, but we both enjoyed it a lot.   And of course I had to take a picture of the two of us together to put on Facebook just to remind my brother and sister who Mom’s favorite is. Open-mouthed smile

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As I was downloading my pictures, when I got to the one above, I thought “I think my face looks a little thinner.”  While I am wearing a size smaller pants, I really haven’t “felt” that much of a change in my body since I’ve been recommitted to Weight Watchers.  I went back and found a picture from late November for comparison.  Is it just me, or can you see a difference?

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The kadults were up early yesterday morning to open the coffee shop.  After the dogs settled in bed with me for a bit, I got up at 7 a.m.  It’s so crazy because I never used to be a morning person.  I’d stay up until 2 in the morning on the weekends, then sleep until noon.  What a waste!  I got so much done before 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning:  made a batch of granola using prunes and a bit of brown sugar for sweetness (recipe coming later this week – Errign, you are going to love it!), a batch of very berry sauce for parfaits later in the week; another batch of cashew milk waffles for sweet/savory breakfast sandwiches later in the week and the rest for the freezer; and I cooked off the rest of the overnight naan dough that’s been in my fridge.  This time using Everything but the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s – I want to put this on everything!

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After Hannah and I went grocery shopping and ran a couple errands, I was all prepared to go on a walk/run, but my blood sugar was only 77.  I ate a banana and some strawberries, but could only walk for fear of having my blood sugar tank on me.  I managed to hit just over 10k steps yesterday.  Short sleeve shirt in February #love.

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It was still light out by the time I rounded the corner to my house at 5:15 – look at how tall my pine trees are in front of my house!

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Here was my grocery total this week, which included a $13 chuck roast that’s going to be a dinner this week for all three of us:  $42.84

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Meal Ideas This Week:

Breakfast:

  • breakfast baked potato
  • steel cut oats with fruit and eggs (maybe Starbuck’s sous vide again – which my friend Beth pointed out are 5 points, not 4, but still worth it!)
  • mini bagel sandwich
  • egg white and spinach pita pocket
  • parfait

Lunch:

  • grilled chicken picky plate
  • leftover crockpot Italian beef salad
  • zucchini lasagna boats
  • mini pork tacos with avocado and refried beans
  • leftover Friday

Dinner:

  • grilled pork chops with skinny twice baked potatoes
  • crock pot Italian beef on naan bread
  • meat ravioli with homemade marinara
  • grilled chicken Caesar salad
  • Thursday is leftover night
  • Nancy Silverton’s pizza dough – I am thinking garlic/pepperoni/spinach*

*Nancy Silverton is the famed baker of Le Brea Bakery in California, but if you have Netflix, you have to watch her episode on Chef’s Table.  I love these cooking documentaries on Netflix.  It’s funny because as I was writing part of this blog post last night, my sister messaged me on Facebook and asked if I had seen it – of course my response was, “duh!”  I liked the detail in the pizza dough link above – my plan is to make the dough on Tuesday night for Friday night pizza.

I was so happy to light up my grill for the first time in 2017!  Sadly it was nearly dark out by the time the coals were ready, but Hannah hung some lights up on the gazebo frame and that helped.

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I already grilled up the meat for a pork chop dinner last night, and to have pork later in the week, and I grilled four bone in chicken breasts for the later in the week.  Here’s my meal prep tip to you though – if you plan on grilling meat to use later in the week, cook it about 80%, that way when you use it in a dish later, the chicken won’t be dried out.  And always try to grill bone in – the flavor is so much better.

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My brother and his family sent me Robert’s Reserve Texas Style Hatch Marinade, and that’s what I used to marinate my pork in for about 6 hours before grilling, as well as a drizzle over the top right before eating.  It’s delicious – spicy flavorful and only 15 calories for 2 tablespoons.  Texas folks can find the marinade at HEB.  (Tony used to call the store HIV when we visited his son – and it used to drive Joe crazy whenever Tony said “why don’t we stop by the HIV on the way home and pick up some beers!”

Here is the “skinny” twice baked potato recipe – still 6 smart points but a very generous serving for 6 points!

Skinny Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 4
A great side dish to any grilled meat.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
264 calories
37 g
17 g
9 g
9 g
4 g
223 g
109 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
223g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264
Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 109mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
18%
Calcium
15%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 large baked potatoes
  2. 1/4 cup plain Chobani yogurt
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  4. 2 ounces 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese
  5. 1 teaspoon everything but the bagel seasoning (or salt/pepper combo)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake potatoes for 45 minutes, or until a knife goes through cleanly.  Let cool slightly.  Slice in half, remove the potato pulp to a bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of the potato shell.  Mix the potato with the yogurt, cashew milk, cheese, seasoning just until combined.  I kind of like my twice baked potatoes lumpy but feel free to add another splash of cashew milk to make the filling creamier.  Put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese gets melty and sprinkle with the smoked paprika.
beta
calories
264
fat
9g
protein
9g
carbs
37g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
We will have temps in the 60s the next several days and a slight chance of rain on Thursday, which I will take all day long.  Hopefully my sister and I can walk again together this week – we walked together three times last week and it’s nice to catch up with her without distraction.

I also did all my laundry – folded it and put it all away!  I took the Weight Watcher’s weekly focus of Clearing the Clutter challenge seriously, as did my sister when she Facetimed me on Saturday night showing me that she was getting rid of clothes that don’t fit (some to me!) and giving the rest away to Goodwill.  It will be nice to have everything in order this week clothes wise this week. 

Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!  And I had to laugh at this – my friend Allyson sent this to me over the weekend, and it literally made me laugh out loud – love it!

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Make it a great day!