Only +1.6! And Sweet Potato Toast

My sister and I vowed that good or bad, we’d show up every week to Weight Watchers.  I’ve already talked about how my eating was this last week – 35 weekly points spent on Sunday and Monday night alone, and my 56 point day on Hannah’s birthday, so I honestly thought that I would have a gain of at least 3 pounds.  I just woke up yesterday morning feeling. . .fatter.  

I think I can equate that to the beer – it’s only the fourth or fifth time I’ve had alcohol all year, and my drink of choice is usually wine, but the place we went to for Hannah’s birthday had Stella on tap, and that’s one of my favorite beers.  

In any event, I met my sister there, and she got there first and was disappointed to find out she gained 2.2, and SHE was the one that stayed on track this week!   While I was happy with only a 1.6 pound gain, she was obviously upset that she was up.  But we both know this is our lifestyle, not a diet, and being up one week over the course of months really isn’t going to matter in the whole grand scheme of things.

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

I’ve seen on Pinterest and our WW weekly handout about sweet potato toast.  Huh.  I wasn’t actually sure what it was, but check out this post that has step by step instructions and topping suggestions.

I made this at home last Saturday and it took me about 4 times through my toaster at home to cook it through.  It won’t be crunchy like toast, but I really loved this.  When the sweet potato comes out of the toaster its obviously warm so the peanut butter got all nice and melty.  I like having a sweet and savory side.  It’s 4 ounces of sweet potato for 3, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and strawberries on the left (1) and an egg with 1/3 ounce of pepper jack cheese, salsa verde and romaine (3).   7 points for both and this kept me full for the longest time.

My sister and I met back up at the Weight Watchers meeting.  I did grab my 10% bling from last week even though I had a gain this week, because I’ll know I’ll be back down there next week 😀  

Our leader just got back from a trip to Vegas and guess what?  She had an awesome time.  She was up on the scale when she got back, but she decided what she was going to indulge in when she was there, and is now back and watching what she eats.  No regrets at all, and just another reminder that you CAN have indulgences every once in a while and if that results in an uptick on the scale, it doesn’t matter.

When I got back I heated up this quick lunch.  More cucumber taco bites!  I did eat an ounce of tortilla chips, not just the ones that I crumbled on top (4) because the rest of the lunch was only 3 points for the beef.  Growing up I used to hate bell peppers, but now I love them – red peppers are my favorite.

Once again, I haven’t followed my meal plan all that much, but I had to use up the rest of a rotisserie chicken, and Gimme Some Oven’s 20 minute chicken enchilada soup is so quick and easy.  I didn’t have harisa so I used just 1/2 cup fat free refried beans to thicken the soup.  My 1.5 cups I guestimated to be about 7 points – mainly because 1/2 a cup of corn is 3 points.  I also just top the soup with the cheese, I don’t put it in the soup, but this is hearty and delicious.  I had 16 points going into dinner, so had 3/4 ounce of tortilla chips for dipping, and with the cheese, this bowl of soup was 13 points.  I’ll be having just the soup for lunch today, because I am not sure Mother Nature got the memo that it’s March, and this morning it’s 24 degrees but because it’s so windy, it feels like 10 degrees.

My one boss is out today, but I have a lot of work to do, so the day will go by fast.  Hoping my sister still can meet for a walk – it may get up to 32 degrees today – balmy!

I plan on doing a group workout at the Y tomorrow and maybe even go swimming, I haven’t done that in a long time.   I am also going to be carb cycling my weight watcher meal plan this week starting tomorrow.   It’s going to be cold so I’ll be doing indoor projects.  My basement still needs attention – the rest of the house is pretty much “company” ready all the time, but the basement has become a hot mess and pretty much gets all the overflow.  I am confident a lot of it is just junk, but plan to put some time into that this weekend.  I also have a ton of old computer monitors and need to find a place to drop those off, because I don’t think you can throw those away, right?

I hope you all have a great weekend – and try the sweet potato toast and let me know what you think!  

Make it a great day!

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!

6.8
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?!

calendar-december-2016-january-february-2017

Make it a great day!

Hash Waffle and Weekly Menu

I don’t know what it was about Friday, but I was snacky as shit. 

snack

I normally don’t have wine in the house anymore, but I had 1/3 of a bottle left from my #livefully  party which was 10 ounces – or basically a point an ounce.  After that it was crazy.  I found myself looking for something to eat like every 15 minutes!  But I have to say, I am proud of myself for actually tracking everything I ate.  I even weighed or measured out the food too!  I have no idea why, but in looking back through my eats, I realize I need to bump up the protein big time.  It keeps me fuller longer.  And thanks to my WW app, I stopped my snack total at 31 because I was out of my weekly points, and my WI isn’t until Thursday.  So I just have to be extra careful with how my 30 points are spent each day until WI.

Saturday morning I made hash waffles.  They are the latest craze in the WW people I follow.  I first saw Sophie (who is “Tracking Is The New Black” on Instagram) make these hash waffles back in December and I finally got around to making them.  While she used frozen shredded potatoes which were thawed, I just shredded a raw potato for mine, and it worked just fine.  The recipe is for one waffle – which when put in the WW recipe builder app, comes in at 6 points for just the waffle, and 2 points for my pepper jelly topping.

Steak Hash Waffle
Serves 1
Another great way to use up your waffle maker - make hash waffles!
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
273 calories
28 g
210 g
8 g
22 g
3 g
268 g
324 g
1 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
268g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 273
Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 210mg
70%
Sodium 324mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 1g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
13%
Calcium
7%
Iron
16%
* 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. 5 ounces potato, shredded and squeezed dry
  2. 1 ounce sirloin steak, cooked and chopped
  3. 1 egg
  4. 3 tablespoons egg whites
  5. salt and pepper *
Instructions
  1. Heat your waffle maker on the highest setting and preheat.  Mix the above together into a batter, and mix well.  Pour evenly in your waffle maker.   Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until desired doneness.  Mine was crispy at 8 minutes.  Since the batter was kind of thick, for the last minute I pressed my waffle maker down to make sure I got that crispy potato crunch.
Adapted from Tracking Is The New Black
beta
calories
273
fat
8g
protein
22g
carbs
28g
more
Adapted from Tracking Is The New Black
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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* you can use any spice seasoning you want – cajun, Tabasco, the possibilities are endless!  I used 1/2 teaspoon of this jalapeno pepper – so good!

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While you guys know I LOVE my sweet and savory combo, I melted one tablespoon of Tabasco pepper jelly with one tablespoon of Smuckers sugar free syrup to drizzle over the top for 2 extra smart points.  On the side was banana and blueberries for dessert.  You guys just might as well drop the mic on this one.  Crunchy, sweet, salty – is it wrong that I want to add Cabot cheese to these waffles to kick it over the top next time?!

This kept me full for hours.  I didn’t eat lunch until nearly 3 in the afternoon when I stopped by the coffee shop where Hannah and Jacob work.  It’s become my weekend treat to take an hour to just relax, meal plan, etc.  The soup that day was chicken noodle, and somehow Hannah knew I like a lot of cracked pepper on my soup.  Did I tell you that Jacob gave me his old Mac Book Pro?  He got a new computer a while back and let me have his old one.  The only problem was that I needed to have it plugged in all the time because the battery was shot, hence why he needed a new one.  That didn’t bother me though because I usually have it plugged in while I watch t.v. in the living room.

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But it works just fine now.  I had it unplugged from 8 in the morning until 10 Saturday night before it beeped that it needed to be charged.  Nice!  I still had time to make it to the gym before it closed.  I did 45 minutes on the treadmill on 8.0 incline at 4.0 mph.

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Here is the after – but I just had to show you how my eyebrows are on fleek!  I had a different girl at Wal-mart thread my eyebrows and it barely hurt at all.

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With last weeks grocery shop at a mere $25, I knew I’d be spending more this week.  Still not too bad!

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$23.24 of that budget went to stocking up on meat – I thought I’d show you what I got for that amount of money, and see if it compares to what your local grocery store prices are. 

PicMonkey Collage

So here are my ideas for the week:

Breakfasts:

  • Chobani parfait with try #2 of PB2 granola (that hasn’t been made yet)
  • Steel cut oats and toasted walnuts and blueberries (from Oprah’s new cookbook)
  • PB2 Banana Muffins picky plate breakfast (that are 4 points each and I’ll share that recipe tomorrow)
  • egg white and spinach breakfast tacos
  • Pork and apple breakfast sausage with egg white avocado toast

Lunches:

  • leftover frozen chili
  • shrimp cocktail picky plate
  • spaghetti squash pasta with pepperoni and mozzarella
  • beef and broccoli stir fry
  • leftovers on Friday of whatever needs to be eaten up

Dinners:

  • beef with zucchini noodles and red pepper orzo
  • baked chicken thighs with rosemary potatoes and spinach
  • pork and broccoli slaw egg rolls (made over the weekend – delish!)
  • skinny New Orleans BBQ shrimp and beef
  • Party Pizza Friday (it’s been too long since I’ve had pizza!)

I am actually glad I had most of this post written yesterday, because I worked late at The Chopping Block last night.  We didn’t get out until nearly 10:00 p.m. (our class ran long) and I drive my friend home because the public transportation isn’t the best on the weekends, and me driving 15 minutes out of my way saves her 45 minutes of walking to and from the train.

It was a fun class – great people, worked with my buddy Chef Nick (pictured below!) doing a surf and turf class.  But a sad one because it was officially my last day of work there.  I’ve only been working one day a week and it’s not worth my time anymore and it takes a huge chunk out of my weekend.  I will still be blogging for them on a regular basis, and I’ll still be involved in their social media and will be a “guest” worker at fun events like Apple Fest.  I really wish I could have made that my full time job, but you can’t always get what you want in life.

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I met some amazing people there that I otherwise never would have met, and for that I will always be grateful.  I need to write a nice note to Shelley the owner thanking her for the opportunity to work at such a great place.

So now I am back to just one job.  A year ago around this time I was just quitting my law firm job, and here I am a year later back at another law firm.  But I had an amazing year and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Except winning the lottery.  Smile with tongue out

UPDATED:  My next post is up on The Chopping Block’s website – you can check it out here – two point Sopa Azteca!  If you could leave me some comment love there, I would appreciate it. 😀

Alright, time to get my stuff together – happy Monday – make it a great day!  Here’s some Monday Motivation:

2e52ea3255f7323c6ae4750e392a2caa

4 weight watcher smart points

Chicken and Waffles

I finally got a chance to download my pictures from the weekend.  I had such a great time at Kendall College for the high school culinary semi-finals, and saw some of the same people from last year which was nice.

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The students practiced three separate menus and didn’t know until last Friday morning when they got to the college what menu they would be doing.  Vegetarian Indian food for the win!  The kids are grouped in threes, but they were grouped with strangers – not who they go to school with.  It’s fascinating to see who takes the leader roll, who is just fine taking orders and following.  And because someone is a leader doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to lead their team to greatness.  One girl who I initially thought was quite a good leader, delegated the tasks, etc.  Until I realized she was micromanaging the others dishes so much, she never actually got her dish on the plate.  I could just see the tears welling up in her eyes as the director counted down the last ten seconds.

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All in all, each team did a great job.  But the potato and chick pea dish was really good, and I’ll be making a variation on that dish later this week for one of my dinners.  Loved the spice of that dish.  If any of you live in the Chicago area, you can eat there – the culinary students cook lunch and dinner at their dining hall.  You can check it out here.   

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I finished around 2:00 p.m. so headed to my sisters office.  It’s the longest I’ve walked since I’ve had my cough – it was near 40 and sunny skies.

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I walked passed the iconic parking garage made famous by the Blues Brothers movie – it’s half condos/half parking garage. 

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Here’s a better view – thanks google images Open-mouthed smile

marina-towers-garage

I surprised my sister.  I wasn’t sure I’d have time to meet up with her, but she was able to have coffee with me, and it was close enough to 5 that I stayed for their office happy hour which was fun.

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

Since I spent so little at the grocery store over the weekend, that meant I made a lot of stuff from scratch.  One of the recipes was waffles.  I was going to buy almond milk, but cashew milk was on sale for only $2.49 a container.  Score!  And only 25 calories per cup.  I have a simple Oster waffle maker – I used 2/3 cup of batter per waffle to get 8 waffles out of this recipe.  According to the Weight Watcher recipe builder, each waffle comes in at 4 smart points (or 1 point per 1/4!)

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Cashew Milk Waffles
Serves 8
A simple waffle recipe that is great to make on the weekends when you have more time, and just go from freezer to toaster during the week for a quick breakfast.
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
323 calories
36 g
48 g
16 g
10 g
4 g
94 g
105 g
4 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
94g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 323
Calories from Fat 134
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
24%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 48mg
16%
Sodium 105mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 36g
12%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
5%
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 eggs
  2. 1.75 cups cashew milk
  3. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  7. 2 cups flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix the eggs, cashew milk, vinegar, yogurt and vanilla and let that sit while your waffle toaster gets to temperature.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar and mix to combine.  Mix the wet into the dry ingredients, and stir until combined.  Use 2/3 cup batter per waffle for eight waffles.  Follow your waffle iron for cooking instructions - mine takes about 4-5 minutes for each one.
  2. These store awesome in the freezer.  Simply go straight from the freezer to your toaster like you would any regular frozen waffle.
beta
calories
323
fat
16g
protein
10g
carbs
36g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/

For dinner last night I made chicken and waffles.  Tyson brand buffalo tenders are 6 smart points for 3 ounces.  I baked the tenders for 20 minutes, so this was a super quick weeknight dinner.  I cleaned the bathroom (one of my week night chores!) while the chicken cooked.  Then toasted the waffles and topped with a bit more buffalo sauce and 1/8 cup of Smucker’s sugar free pancake syrup, so dinner came in at 11 smart points.

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This is the best of all worlds – sweet/spicy/crunchy/vinegary.  And even though I had half of a Reuben sandwich at lunch when I had lunch out with my friend, I still ended up with 31/30 points for the day.  Don’t worry, I do have fruits and veggies planned in my meal plan today.  But again, I like that I can incorporate my favorite foods into my healthy guidelines.  And I am happy to report that my cough is 90% gone and I hope to get a walk in at lunch – we are supposed to have temps near 50 today and I don’t want to miss out on that.

Make it a great day!

Banana Blueberry Pancakes – 4 SP for 3!

I don’t normally blog on the weekends, but wanted to provide a link to share these delicious banana and blueberry pancakes.  While I was writing the recipe down as I went along, in my head I thought for sure they’d be about 7 smart points a serving, but after I put it in the WW recipe builder, 1/2 a serving, or 3 pancakes, came in at just 4 smart points each – and they are delicious!

Since Hannah and Jacob are on their keto diet (Hannah went to WW for a day, then Vegan for 3 days, then back to keto!) I always have a giant container of this Splenda:

 

Banana Blueberry Pancakes
Serves 2
Low smart point pancakes for the win! Even if you ate the whole recipe, it would only be 8 smart points. Paired with sugar free pancake syrup and more blueberries on top? #winning
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
277 calories
60 g
0 g
2 g
6 g
0 g
229 g
5 g
16 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
229g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 277
Calories from Fat 11
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 5mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 60g
20%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 16g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
24%
Iron
8%
* 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. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  2. 1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  3. 2 mashed bananas
  4. 1 tablespoon Splenda*
  5. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  6. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1/4 cup rolled oats
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients from vanilla to almond milk well, then let sit for 10 minutes. The vinegar is going to turn your almond milk into buttermilk - nice and thick!
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. You can cook them off right now, but I like to let the baking powder do it's magic and let that batter sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Warning: These are going to be a bit hard to flip - there isn't a lot of flour for binding, and these will also take longer to cook - about 3-4 minutes for the first side, and 2-3 minutes for the second side. I took my time with the flip using a fish spatula, but be patient - it will work!
Notes
  1. You can always add vinegar (or lemon juice) to any milk if you don't have buttermilk - usually 1 tablespoons per each cup of milk. It won't be as thick as store bought buttermilk, but it will work!
  2. *I use Splenda Baking Super - it comes in a 32 ounce package at Wal-mart for $6.12 a bag.
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calories
277
fat
2g
protein
6g
carbs
60g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
These pancakes are delicious and really filling.  I almost thought to add a scoop of protein powder, but ditched that idea because I know not everyone has protein powder lying around, and that stuff is expensive!

 

The pancakes are 4 points, the sugar free syrup is 1 points, and the hard boiled egg is 2.   So breakfast only came in at 7 points – 23 points left for the day!  I do have turkey burgers on my menu tonight, and might splurge and make onion rings on the side.  So looks like I’ll be eating a late lunch to get all my points in.  I hate when that happens.  (said no one ever!).

Happy Saturday – make it a great day!

Breakfast Biscuits

Hopefully I am on the road to recovery.  I was still hacking up a lung on Saturday, and I literally spent most of the day on my couch, no matter how many things I put into my journal that I want to get accomplished this weekend.  Oh, like my holiday gift boxes I still haven’t sent – promise family you’ll get them before Valentine’s Day!

I did manage to complete one of my meal plan items for the week – breakfast biscuits.  It’s really so easy and took little effort on my part.  The best thing is that these came in at only 2 smart points each!

Breakfast Biscuits
Serves 5
A great way to meal plan for the week - bake these up on Sunday and you've got breakfast for a few days during the week.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
779 calories
93 g
12 g
35 g
22 g
10 g
335 g
1325 g
7 g
0 g
24 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
335g
Servings
5
Amount Per Serving
Calories 779
Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 35g
54%
Saturated Fat 10g
50%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 12mg
4%
Sodium 1325mg
55%
Total Carbohydrates 93g
31%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
24%
Vitamin C
71%
Calcium
57%
Iron
35%
* 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. 10 refrigerator biscuits (not flakey Grands)
  2. 1 cup mixed chopped veggies – (I used red pepper and zucchini)
  3. 1 cup liquid egg whites
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  5. salt and pepper
  6. teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  7. pinch of crushed red pepper
  8. dash of hot sauce
  9. 1/4 cup finely shredded cheese
  10. 1 teaspoon dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375.  Spray muffin tin with Pam.  Place the biscuits into the bottom of the the muffin tin, pressing down and brining the dough a bit up the sides of the muffin tin.  Divide your veggie mix among the 10 biscuits.  Mix the egg whites, almond milk, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and a dash of hot sauce.  Pour that mixture evenly between the muffin tins.  Divide the cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes.   Let cook five minutes before removing from the pan and store in a ziploc bag to grab and go later in the week.
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calories
779
fat
35g
protein
22g
carbs
93g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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The possibilities are endless with these muffins – sautéed mushrooms and spinach, add in some chopped ham for protein (I hadn’t gone to the store yet so it was slim pickings for me!) but bake once and you have breakfast for a few days – I had mine with a giant orange for breakfast on Saturday and this kept me full for hours.

When I woke up on Sunday, I still had this nagging cough and finally decided to go to the doctor.  After waiting nearly 90 minutes at the Minute Clinic – I got the diagnosis that I have a COLD.  Yep, that’s all it is.  I had chills and a fever the first night, my nose runs clear, my lungs didn’t sound like I had bronchitis, and I’ve already had the vaccine for the flu and pneumonia.  She did prescribe me an inhaler and some heavy duty pills to help with the cough, but was told to just rest and drink lots of fluids. The hard part is that I “feel” fine except for the damn cough and funny nose.  So if after another week, I am not better, I am to hit up my primary care physician.

I still kept my plan with my Mom yesterday.  She was coming over for dinner and made it to my house after church around 1:00 p.m.  I still had to go grocery shopping, so she came with me.  Since the kadults and I are each doing our own meal plans, I thought I’d give you a run down of my tentative meal plan for the week. 

josephs receipt

I spent $52.87 for my groceries this week.  This included the green beans and polenta I made for dinner last night with my Mom (I already had the pork chops in the fridge), and you’ll notice that the most expensive item on my list is Jennie-O ground turkey breast at $7.45.  I am using it in three recipes this week – another turkey burger, taco wonton bites and using it in a Cincinnati chili.   That turkey burger I had last week was so good, it was worth the price to buy it to me.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • the breakfast biscuits above with fresh fruit x 2 days
  • Chobani breakfast parfait with my homemade granola
  • egg white and zucchini omelette with an apple and PB2
  • breakfast wonton cups with fresh fruit

Lunches:

  • How Sweet Eats Chicken Tortilla Soup x 2
  • zucchini pasta boats
  • leftover Cincinnati chili mac with spaghetti squash
  • turkey wrap with veggie straws and fruit
  • pork fried rice (using leftover pork chops)

Dinner

Sounds like a pretty delicious meal plan, and not too complicated. 

Since I can’t exercise because of my cold, I really have to be spot on with my food in order to have another loss this week.  I was so proud of myself because I drank tea with dinner last night even though I had wine in the house, and my Mom enjoyed a glass of wine.  It was nice hanging out with her, and I went to bed at 10:15 last night to give my body a lot of rest.  Here’s hoping the medicine kicks in soon!

Had to share this photo of my Mom – the dogs love hanging around her at dinner just hoping she’ll share some of her dinner!  I made pork chops with polenta with a lemon pepper sauce with garlic green beans.

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I’ve been using a salad plate lately because it’s the only plate that fits on the shelf below my dining room lamp where I take pictures, but I love how it makes it seem like so much food – this plate came in at 9 smart points.

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For the record, my Momma did share some of her polenta, but saved the pork for herself – I don’t blame her because it was really good!

I was super busy all the way up until 5 p.m. on Friday night at work, so I have a feeling today is going to be a busy day.  Oh well, at least the day will go by fast!

Make it a great day!  Here’s some Monday Motivation:

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Breakfast Tostadas

Breakfast Tostadas

I love cast iron skillets.  Over the years I may have collected, um, let’s say 11 of them?  Here’s the deal though.  I bought all of them at garage sales because they were rusty and had $1 price tag on them.  Guys, if you ever find a cast iron skillet at a garage sale – buy it!  9 out of the 11 cast iron skillets that I’ve acquired are Lodge brand

So what do you do when you find a rusty skillet?  First:  Buy It.  Second:  Season It!   Buy some steel wool at Ace Hardware or any home improvement store.  I actually sprinkle coarse sea salt on the skillet, and using my steel wool, use some muscle and basically sand off all the rust.  Never use soap with cast iron – simply run some hot water over it and scrub until you’ve removed all the rust – from the inside, the handle on the bottom – the whole thing.  Next:  oil it up!  I use canola or vegetable oil.  Lather the whole thing up then bake for one hour at 350 degrees.  I then turn off the oven and let it sit there overnight.  The next morning, it’s ready to go and will be nonstick.  If your skillet ever starts to stick again, just repeat the baking process with the oil and you are back in business.

When you clean your skillet, make sure to completely dry it before putting it away.  I’ll actually put it on my stove on low heat and watch the water evaporate.  Let it cool and then I either spray it with Pam or rub a bit of canola oil on the skillet until I use it the next time.

I posted this picture of my breakfast tostadas on Instagram yesterday, and my friend Lauren wanted to know what kind of pan I was using.  I was at work and guessed that it was a 12 inch pan, but it’s actually a vintage Lodge skillet that is 10 inches.

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So while you won’t be able to purchase that exact skillet because it’s so old, Lodge does sell a similar pan – they call it a griddle pan because the slightly raised edges will hold pancakes, eggs, oil, etc.   And it’s only $24 bucks!  I use this pan for making hash browns, even frittatas because you can obviously go from stove to oven with these skillets.  Have I convinced you to buy cast iron skillets yet?! Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast Tostadas
Serves 1
A delicious way to start your day with these crunchy breakfast tostadas.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
968 calories
132 g
402 g
31 g
44 g
12 g
950 g
1525 g
1 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
950g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 968
Calories from Fat 273
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g
47%
Saturated Fat 12g
59%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 402mg
134%
Sodium 1525mg
64%
Total Carbohydrates 132g
44%
Dietary Fiber 15g
61%
Sugars 1g
Protein 44g
Vitamin A
44%
Vitamin C
1710%
Calcium
42%
Iron
62%
* 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 extra thin mission tortillas (2)
  2. 2 eggs (4)
  3. 1/2 cup fat free refried beans (2)
  4. 3 small baby bell peppers, sliced and sautéed
  5. 1 ounce 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese (2)
  6. drizzle of taco bell fire sauce (0)
  7. drizzle of Trader Joe’s avocado salsa (0)
  8. cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the peppers just until they start to brown but are still a bit crunchy.  About 3-4 minutes.  Reheat the refried beans in the microwave.  Remove the peppers and cook your eggs to your desired doneness.  You all know that I didn’t eat those runny eggs above, but they look so much better in pictures!  Anywho, place your cast iron skillet on medium high heat and spray with Pam.  Put 1/4 cup of the refried beans on each tortilla, then place in the hot pan.  Top with the fried eggs and cheese and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt.  The bottom of the tortillas will get nice and crunchy.  Sprinkle on cilantro, taco sauce and avocado sauce and enjoy!
Notes
  1. You could reduce the points if you used scrambled egg beaters. 😀
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calories
968
fat
31g
protein
44g
carbs
132g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
That was a filling 10 point breakfast.  I wasn’t really all that hungry by the time I got to work, but I was about 30 minutes early and realized I should eat something, so I went a couple blocks from work and stopped and picked up panang curry from Pho’s Spicier Thai Cuisine.   It was a bit “hole in the wall” kind of place.

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When she asked me how spicy I wanted it, I blurted out “I like spicy!”  She said “okay – I make medium” and walked away.  It wasn’t until she walked away that I looked down and noticed this heat chart:

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So medium is described as “quite hot” but what I was really worried about was the disclaimer at the bottom that said “be careful if you never been here.” 

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This photo does not do this dish justice.  It was the perfect spicy flavorful that I always look for with a spicy dish.  I don’t want to just taste spice and nothing else.  This had layers of flavor, and a nice peanuty flavor at the end.  I will admit, there wasn’t a whole lot of beef, but I ate half of this dish for 10 smart points.  Next time I’d like to try their pho soups.

It was a demo class yesterday and it was unlike any class I’ve ever witnessed thus far at The Chopping Block.  We had two groups of four women, so we put them on each end so they could easily talk to each other, then had a couple in the middle.  Chef Dionna started going over the menu, talked about her favorite French seasoning salt (which is amazeballs!)  and before we knew it, both groups of ladies lost complete interest and Dionna basically had a personal chef show for the couple in the middle.  So it all worked out in the end, but I don’t know why I would pay $50 for a demo class, and not pay any amount of attention to it?

I will recreate this dish soon – it was a flank steak salad with a warm tomato vinaigrette.   I think I may add some toasted pumpkin seeds when I make it though.

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And the next dish was an Asian marinated salmon with a baby bok choy and carrot salad that is also going to go to the top of my list of things to make.

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We gave the best two pieces of salmon to the couple in the middle who paid attention.  Open-mouthed smile

I am working a private party today so that means I get to demo some dishes: 

· Frisée Salad with Roasted Beets, Toasted Pecans and Oranges

· Chocolate Crêpes with Mascarpone Cream and Homemade Caramel Sauce

Um, I’ve never worked with beets before or made crepes, so this should be interesting!  I may watch a couple youtube videos before I head to work today.  Chef Rachel is super nice though, so I know she’ll be a great resource for me. Open-mouthed smile

Alright, time to get this show on the road – I am working on another blog post for The Chopping Block that’s due tomorrow.  My topic?  Soup and Bread!

Make it a great day!