Mini Banana Poppy Seed Bread

Good morning!  I have a little bit of a late start this morning as I have my semi-annual diabetes doctor appointment at 11:15 this morning, so I got to sleep in a bit this morning.  Enjoying a nice cup of coffee on what hopefully will be our last 90 degree weather of 2017.  Chicago broke a record for longest hot streak for this late in the season.  I am ready for a cool breeze over my face with my bedroom window open, and will be glad to turn off the central air.  I love all the flowers by my train station – wish I could grow flowers, but I have a black thumb.  If anyone is looking for a great travel coffee mug, Aladdin is awesome.  I have an hour train ride in the morning and my coffee is still hot to the last sip.

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Even though the temps were in the 90s that didn’t stop me from baking over the weekend.  I had bananas that needed to be used up, and I bought these mini bread loaf pans over the summer and hadn’t used them yet.  I am a sucker for tiny food!

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Mini Banana Poppy Seed Bread

Who doesn't love tiny food?!  These mini loaves are 8 smart points each, but half is plenty for breakfast with a hard boiled egg and some fruit.

Course Breakfast
Servings 16
Author Biz

Ingredients

  • 4 large bananas very ripe
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup Splenda no calorie sweetener
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, poppy seeds and salt together and set aside.

    In a large bowl, add the bananas, apple sauce, butter, brown sugar, Splenda, egg whites and with a hand mixer, mix until creamy.  There will be chunks of banana, that's okay!

    Bake in a mini loaf pan - I used a 1/2 cup of batter in each loaf pan.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

    Let cool slightly before using.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have super ripe bananas, just slice a banana through the skin and microwave for 45 seconds, and proceed with the recipe.  It will be easier to combine in the batter when the bananas are softened.

I thought I’d eat a whole baby loaf for breakfast, even though it was 9 points, but half a loaf was perfect.  I had a hard boiled egg (2), half the bread (4) two ounces deli ham (2) and some grapes.  Perfect picky plate for breakfast.

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It was already 90 degrees at lunch time, so Jenn and I walked Macy’s again.  She had a shirt to return, and we just wandered from floor to floor.  We both decided that a fruit salad would be a good choice for lunch.

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Ha, I wish that fruit salad was zero points!  We walked up to the 7th floor where the culinary kitchen is.  It was empty today, but we need to find a schedule to attend a class in there.

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Not shockingly I brought stuff to make tacos for lunch.  I bought these mini Mission brand flour tortillas, you know to continue the tiny food theme of the day.  These are good – but not sure they are worth the 5 points for two when I could have used a 1 point lavash, or 2 point low carb tortilla. 

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My plate: 2 tortillas (5), three ounces beef (3), 2 tablespoons Weight Watchers Mexican blend cheese (1) two tablespoons refried beans (1), shredded zucchini and diced tomatoes.

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I worked late last night – I agreed to help another attorney and the HR director who assigned me the project said “it will only take you 15 minutes” but it took me an hour and it was something he had to get out last night.  I had a few minutes to kill before catching the later train and wondered around the French Market in the train station – I would like one of each of these cheeses!

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I got home late, so I decided to do my workout at home instead of spending an additional 20 minutes of travel to and from the gym.  I had upper body on my workout menu last night, so this 45 minute DVD worked out perfectly.  I watched it with the sound off and Hannah made a workout play list for me.  So sweet.

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I am walking on October 21 in Chicago – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer as a Weight Watcher Ambassador.  I received a goody bag of stuff I’ll share later this week, but I am loving this headband.  My hair stayed back the whole time and I never had to adjust it once.  If you live in the Chicago area and want to walk it with my and my fellow Chicago ambassador Liz, email me at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com.  If you could donate anything, I would appreciate it too!   My donation page is here.    My sister in law Laura is a breast cancer survivor, and sadly, my cousin Pam lost her battle in January 2015.

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I had more ground beef to use up or freeze, so made bunless burgers for dinner.  While mine looks like a hot mess, it was delish!  Romaine on the bottom with sauerkraut, my 5 ounce burger topped with a slice of Weight Watchers American cheese, and sauteed mushrooms, mustard and Bolthouse Farms blue cheese dressing

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I have loved every Bolthouse Farms dressing I’ve tried, but this blue cheese and the avocado salsa verde are my two favorites.

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Now I am off to make taco soup for my lunch with more leftovers from my Mom’s birthday dinner.  I am the leftover queen!

Make it a great day!

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Cups

I woke up 30 minutes early yesterday and got a quick walk in before work.  It was gorgeous – no breeze, 50 degrees.  I loved the fog hovering over the river.  It was such a great way to set the tone of being on track for the day.

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I didn’t do a full grocery shop this past weekend because I had plenty of food to use up.  I am the queen of doing a full grocery shop every.single.week until Hannah is like Mom, you can’t fit one more thing in the pantry!  Okay, I get it 😀

I meal prepped these ham, cheese and veggie breakfast cups over the weekend.  So easy and delicious and the best part is that each cup is only 2 smart points (but 5 for two and 7 for three).  This would be perfect for a brunch because everyone could add their own favorite veggies and it bakes all at once.  

I am having trouble with my recipe plugin, so below is the recipe.  I love the crispy edges of the ham.

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Feel free to use any veggies you like 😀

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Yesterday was such a busy day, I didn’t have time to set up any pretty pictures of my food.  I had two breakfast cups (5) with fresh fruit on the side.

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Luckily my sister and I got together to walk – it was sunny and 72 – perfect!  By the time I got back from our lunch walk, I had already walked 11,000 steps!

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In meal planning through my fridge/freezer/pantry I found this . . . soup?  chili?  Not exactly sure, all I know is that I wrote “5 points per cup” so I had that with an ounce of tortilla chips for 9 points.  I think it must have been a vegetarian chili because there wasn’t any meat. 

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The day flew by.  I had a Premier Protein on the train ride home because I had goals to get to the gym before dinner.  Hello stranger!

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I did the 30 minute circuit first:

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And then finished it off with 30 minutes (5 minutes cool down) on the treadmill.  I start out at 3.5 mph hour for 4 minutes, then “sprint” one minute and repeat.  My last sprint was 6.1 mph – which is about a 9:40 minute mile pace.

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I didn’t eat dinner until almost 9:30.  I decided to use leftover steak to make a steak, egg, cheese and hashbrown brinner panini.  I used the Joseph’s Lavash bread (2) two ounces of steak (2) one egg (2) 3/4 cup Ore Ida hash browns that I cooked with Pam (1) and an ounce of muenster cheese (4) then put it on my panini maker to get it all crispy and melty.  I dipped this into spicy salsa and this was a super filling and delicious 11 point dinner.  

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I ended up with a few steps yesterday 😀  I remember when I first got my Fitbit that I thought it would be impossible to reach 10k steps!

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Day 1 of Biz 2.0 was great.  I was tempted by apple cider donuts, leftover pizza, gummy bears that were on sale at the store, and I chose me over the food.  Now let’s see if I can continue that another day.  Just taking it one day at a time, but it feels good to be in control.

The only thing I was lacking yesterday was water – I might have only had 60 ounces, so I am going to fill up my gallon container and keep it on my desk as a reminder to drink up!

How was your Monday?  What are your goals today?  Make it a great day!

Bubble Up Breakfast

As I was walking into work yesterday morning, I got this text from Hannah.  Ignore the part where I texted her the sales at our local thrift store over the weekend 😛  

Pickles, the baby squirrel that Hannah tried to save, died overnight.  She feels she did everything right, she read how they like to burrow when they sleep, she had it in a box with plenty of ventilation.  She buried it in the backyard.  I am sure it is only a matter of time before the dogs figure out where it is – fingers crossed they don’t find it!

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Jacob asked if his Dad could come over for dinner on Sunday.  So I bought one more steak.  The kadults were working until 6:00, so Jacob told his Dad to come at 6:30.  Guess what time he showed up at?  4:00!   So I don’t have any pretty pictures of my take on this bubble up breakfast from Daily Dose of Pepper (which I now realize she calls a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit bake!)   Let’s say I was “inspired” by her recipe to come up with this one.  Her original recipe was 8 smart points per serving.  My version is 10 points for 1/4 of the cast iron skillet.

So while I had hoped to make this with plenty of daylight and get good pics, I was a good hostess and hung out with Jacob’s Dad.  Who now wants to do this EVERY Sunday.  I don’t mind Sunday dinner, but hopefully he’ll come at the required time so I can finish the stuff I want to.  This recipe is so easy though – I put it together in a matter of minutes, popped it in the oven, and 30 minutes later it was done.

My first substition was to use Jennie-O turkey sausage.  Only 1 smart point per two ounces vs. 1 point per piece of bacon in her recipe.  The second substition was that I used only 4 eggs and used 1 cup of egg whites.  And lastly, I used Trader Joe’s lite mozzarella (one point per ounce) in place of the American cheese she used.  So you can see, mine was inspired by Star – thanks for the inspiration though!

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Oh, and I had a zucchini that needed to be used up, so I added that in with the sausage.

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Just mix, pour and bake!

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Print

Bubble Up Breakfast Bake

A great meal plan breakfast - 4 servings at 6 WW points each.  Cook once and breakfast is set for the week!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 1/4 of skillet
Author Biz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup liquid egg whites
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 ounces Jennie-0 turkey sausage, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ounces Trader Joe's lite mozzarella
  • 8 portions reduced fat refrigerator biscuit

Instructions

  1. Cut the refrigerator biscuits in quarters and toss them in a big bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients except the cheese and mix well.  Pour into a cast iron skillet, or casserole dish.  Top with cheese, another sprinkle of dried parsley, and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

I wish I had a better picture to show you, but this was delicious.  Only one tiny problem.  When I entered this into my recipe builder, I forgot to add the reduced fat biscuits, so instead of being 6 points for 1/4 of it, it’s 10 points per quarter.  But I was only able to eat half of my serving yesterday, so 5 points for 1/8 isn’t too bad! 

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I added two points to my tracker yesterday 😛

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Jenn and I walked at lunch – it was an absolutely gorgeous day.  We walked north on Wabash and never saw this sculpture before.  Hi Jenn!

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It was a tad windy too 😀

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While I know you’ll look at this and think “that’s lasagna soup!”  Nope.  This is tomato soup with baby cheese ravioli and spinach.  I had a giant pot of marinara I made last weekend that had to be either used up or frozen.  I froze two cup portions and had about a cup leftover, so mixed that with one cup of chicken broth and viola!  Tomato soup.  My store sells their homemade ravioli that is 6 points for 1 cup and delicious.  I only reheated the cooked ravioli for about 30 seconds, just to get the chill of from the fridge, then when I heated up the hot soup, just poured the ravioli into the soup and it heated through as it sat on my desk.

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It was a busy day at work, so it went by fast.  Jacob is back doing low carb/keto and when I mentioned I was making Michael Symon’s Cinncinati chili he asked if that would work in his diet.  Yep!  The only difference between Michael’s recipe and mine was that I left out the onions (duh) and I only made half a batch using 95% lean sirloin beef.

Jacob had his served over sauted cauliflower.  Hannah tasted it and thought it tasted like ass, or in her words “it tastes like chili pasta sauce.”  It is a different consistency then regular chili, because it’s meant to be chili mac, but the flavors are amazing – cinnamon, cocoa powder, sherry vinegar.  Yum!  I have some for lunch today.

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I wasn’t hungry for dinner yet, so I went to the gym.  Here is the obligatory next to the janitor closet, gym selfie.  I did two miles on the treadmill.  Five minutes of 3.8 mph, then each additional five minutes I jogged – my last 5 minutes was at a 6.2 mph pace!  

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I got home a little after 9 p.m. and the thought of having chili made me want to throw up.  So I made toast!  One savory:  7 grain bread (5 points for 2 slices) topped with 2 ounces deli turkey (1) and 1/2 container guacamole (2) and the second sweet: 1 tablespoon peanut butter (3) strawberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.  I could have that for any meal any day of the week.   11 points of deliciousness.

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I haven’t been on Half Baked Harvest’s blog for a while, but I saw this on Instagram, and this is going to happen this weekend – doesn’t it look amazing?!  Honey, apple, cheddar, and bacon panini.  Um, yes please!

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As far as I know, my parents in law are still without power.  I am going to get in touch with them sometime today to see how they are doing.  Just so glad they are okay!

Alright, the train is almost into the station – happy Tuesday – make it a great day!

Vegan Lemon Waffles and Weekly WI

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed that I had an impromptu day off on Friday.  Sadly, there was another suicide on my line, and it happened on the train in front of me.  I got on the train at 7:40 a.m. – the accident happened down the line at 7:45, and within minutes of leaving our station, our train ground to a halt.  They finally got us to a station ten minutes from my house by around 9:00 a.m.  By the time the trains would have started running again, it would have made all the stops into downtown and I wouldn’t have gotten to work until  1:30, so I took PTO.  I read yesterday that it was a 32 year old woman who took her life.  So sad!  Thankfully Hannah and Jacob were working later on Friday, so they came and picked me up and took me back to my car. 

Hannah and Jacob decided to go Vegan for a couple weeks as a sort of “detox” after vacation.  I started to make myself waffles, and realized that I’d have to tweak my recipe to make it vegan friendly so I could feed them before they went to work.

Serves 1 waffle

Vegan Lemon Waffles

I put the ingredients into the WW recipe builder, and each waffle is 5 smart points.

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.75 cups flour
  • 1.5 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tabelspoons sugar
  • 1.25 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together. In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk with the vinegar - this makes a "mock" buttermilk. Let that sit for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. Add the milk/vinegar mixture, and the remaining ingredients into the dry mix, and stir just until combined. Let the batter sit 5-10 minutes to let the baking powder do its magic while the waffle iron gets to temperatiure. These took 4-5 minutes to cook.
Cuisine: Vegan | Recipe Type: Breakfast
7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/07/24/vegan-lemon-waffles-weekly-wi/

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I used my very berry sauce for a syrup, so with the bacon, this was an 8 point breakfast.

I went to my local WW meeting on Saturday.  I hadn’t weighed in for 2 1/2 weeks, and with my vacation, I knew I’d have a gain. 

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Remember how I talked about indulging in just ONE thing a day on vacation?   Within minutes of entering my Aunt’s house on vacation, she showed us all these delicious pimento cheeses she bought – jalapeno pimento cheese being the best of them all.  I didn’t eat any, and my brother asked “are you going to try it?”  I said I couldn’t break the seal yet, meaning if I started eating stuff on Day 1, all bets were off and I would continue to eat the whole weekend long.

Um, it took me until that first night.  I woke up around 12:30 with a blood sugar of 53.  When I went into the kitchen and saw Triscuits on the counter, I suddenly remembered the pimento cheese and ate that instead of grabbing a banana.   And so it began.  Jalapeno bacon for breakfast, burgers for lunch, wine at dinner, gelato – you get the idea.  So here I am –10 pounds lost on the year when in April I was already down 20! 

I’ve realized that I have to get back to basics – almost boot camp style, to refocus.  I know what to do, which is the weird part – but old habits kind of sneak in and take over if I am not paying attention.  I’ve decided that while I’ll continue to go to the Thursday WW meeting because I love the leader, I’ll also be going to my Saturday meeting for my weekly WI – Mickie the leader there is funny too, and I won’t have to worry about not getting to the meeting because of work. 

Friday night we had super bad storms.  I have an external pump that I plug in when we get a lot of water.  I checked the water level (too hard to explain, but I have a water “basin” under the front of my house).  If that fills up, the water comes in my basement.  It’s rare – we have to have either a lot of rain at once, or if we get a weird rain in the early spring when the ground is still partly frozen.  I went to bed at 10:30, and apparently the storms went on for hours, and as I left for WW Saturday morning, realized I had three inches of water throughout my whole basement.

The river is so high – higher than it was in 2013, the last time I got a ton of water in the basement – that time the water in my basement was 6-8 inches deep!

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This is the channel across the street from my house.  The water is all the way up to these people’s back doors – they had a giant sandbag station down the street for anyone who needed it.  I didn’t notice it until I walked after the storm, I would have been happy to help my neighbors.

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After we pumped out all the water in the basement and did an initial clean up, I had no desire to cook.  So I picked up a Lou Malnati’s frozen spinach pizza.  This slice set me back 15 points but it was delicious!

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Yesterday morning Hannah and I did a quick Sam’s Club run – she had to do a pick up for work and I had to pick up just a few things – paper towels, egg whites, baby spinach and a rotisserie chicken.  So I made a quick iced coffee with the chocolate Premier Protein.  So good!  Two smart points and 30 grams of protein, this kept me full for a few hours.

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 I love Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken.  It’s been a few weeks since I bought one.  It’s $4.98.  First thing I do when I get it home is to pick off most of the meat and make Rummy and Roman happy by letting them eat some of the chicken skin.  

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With the chicken I will make:  chicken tikka masala, chicken enchilada soup, chicken tacos and a Chicken and spinach Caesar wrap for lunch one day this week.   The chicken tikka masala turned out amazing if I do say so myself – I’ll share that recipe later this week – I actually used jarred pasta sauce as the base for the tikka sauce and it turned out so good.

After doing more laundry, I finally hit up the grocery store to buy the rest of my stuff for my meal plan.  I spent $38.  When I got out of the store, the storm clouds were back – luckily the storm only lasted an hour – but it was 89 degrees when I went into the store and when I came back out a mere 20 minutes later, the temps dropped to 68!

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I have all my food packed today – I bought a new lunch bag so I am testing it out this week.  I’ll post a picture later if I love it.  I am also restarting Insanity.  I was on Day 11 the Wednesday before vacation, but I haven’t done it in over a week, so I’ll start over.  I also lost the piece of paper that had my Fit Test stats, so that’s what I’ll do tonight.

How was your weekend?  Happy Monday – make it a great day!

 

Premier Protein–Your New BFF for Weight Loss

I get a lot of requests each week to partner with certain products, links to articles, advertising – most of which I just immediately delete after receiving them because I am not going to promote anything that I don’t already use, or think that other people will find value with.

I am happy to say that I am a Premier Protein Ambassador!  I tried to jump on the protein bar/protein shake bandwagon several times.  Only one teeny tiny problem.  Turns out most of those have some sort of ingredient in them that makes me need to find a bathroom within five minutes after eating/drinking such products.  Not going to name and any names (ahem, Pure Protein, EAS, Atkins, – just to name a few).

So I tried Premier Protein after Instagram Weight Watcher peeps were buying these 2 smart point shakes and adding them to a two shot espresso from Starbucks.  A great, quick on the go mini breakfast as I like to call it – for only 160 calories and a whopping 30 grams of protein.  I recently bought an espresso machine at Goodwill, so now can make my drink to go at home, saving me $2.17 a day. Open-mouthed smile

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I recently made vanilla coffee protein pancakes using the powdered protein mix:

coffee protein pancakes

But yesterday?  Holy balls, I made the best fluffy protein pancakes out there. 

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I am calling these Elvis Banana Pancakes because they have banana, peanut butter AND bacon.  And each fluffy pancake is only 4 smart points.  I use the Weight Watchers recipe builder to figure out  the points using my exact ingredients, so please don’t go by the nutrition label that is auto generated on generic ingredients.  My guess is that each pancakes is about 170 calories.

 

Elvis Protein Pancakes
Serves 8
A great, protein packed breakfast using Premier Protein.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
326 calories
37 g
71 g
17 g
8 g
9 g
131 g
67 g
12 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
131g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 326
Calories from Fat 147
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 9g
44%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 71mg
24%
Sodium 67mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 12g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
11%
Iron
7%
* 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. • 1.5 cups flour
  2. • 3 teaspoon baking poweder
  3. • 1/2 teaspon salt
  4. • 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (I used PB2)
  5. • 1/4 cup sugar
  6. • 1 large egg
  7. • 1/4 cup Premier Protein vanilla milkshake protein powder
  8. • one 11 ounce container of Premier Protein prepared bananas and cream shake
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, peanut butter powder and protein powder and mix with a whisk, just until combined. Add in the egg and bananas and cream shake, and using a fork, mix just until combined. It’s okay if it’s a bit lumpy. Now here is the secret to fluffy pancakes. Let your batter sit a minimum of 15 minutes to let the baking powder do its magic. I used a 1/3 measuring cup to get 8 fluffy pancakes. Just cook with a lid on your pan between flips – because these are so fluffy, the lid helps steam the pancakes so they cook in the middle too.
beta
calories
326
fat
17g
protein
8g
carbs
37g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
For my breakfast yesterday I took the top pancake (4 points) used my sugar free syrup (1), ate all the banana and blackberries, the tablespoon of real bacon bits (1) and the two slices of peppered bacon for a very filling and protein packed 6 point breakfast.

I have also tried their protein bars:

images

They are 8 smart points.  I’ve eaten half for breakfast on the train before work if I am extra hungry, and saved the second half for the train ride home so I don’t feel like I have to eat the second I walk in the door.

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I also like to chop up half a bar and top it on my parfaits for a bit of texture.  I think the chocolate one tastes just like a snickers bar.

I now have found these products at Walgreen’s, CVS, Walmart and Sam’s Club.  Sam’s Club by me (Chicago area) is the cheapest – a 12 pack for only $16.68. 

Have you tried Premier Protein yet?  If other protein products bothered you in the past, I’d recommend trying these.  I am down 15 pounds this year, and I think in part because I’ve been able to drink a 2 point shake on my train ride home and have time to make a sensible dinner instead of coming home starving and driving through the Burger King drive through.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Note: This is a sponsored recipe post.  However, I will only endorse products I use and recommend.

Huevos Rancheros with Cilantro Lime Potatoes

I hardly ever am hungry right when I get up.  I think its because I am used to eating breakfast at my desk a couple hours after I wake up.  But yesterday?  Hungry!  I ate half of this Premier Protein bar, and that hit the spot.  It’s 4 points for half and to me it tastes like a Snickers bar.  

As most of you know, I have an hour train ride to work every morning.  I had pretty much written my blog post yesterday the night before, so I put my laptop in  my bag 15 minutes into the train ride and proceeded to sleep the remaining 45 minutes to work.  The guy who sat behind me had to wake me up when we got into the station, otherwise who knows how long I could have kept sleeping?!

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Breakfast part 2:  I’ve seen variations of this on Instagram, but it’s basically a breakfast sundae.  A banana sliced down the middle, filled with a 5.3 container of Chobani (2), strawberries, PB2 (1), and a tablespoon of pecans (2).  For 5 points this was super filling, and had everything in a breakfast – sweet/tart/salty/crunchy.

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Even though I am not 100%, I still got my walk in with my twin sister.  It was windy!  We decided to head east on Randolph.  While I’ve driven by here before, I’ve never walked on foot this far east on Randolph.  As soon as we got close enough to read the sign, I think we both said out loud “Is that a Marianos?”  

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And a giant Mariano’s at that!  They are building a Mariano’s in the next town over where a Sears went out of business – right across the street from my regular grocery store, so it will be interesting to see where I shop once Mariano’s opens, because I puffy heart this store.

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I didn’t even notice our reflection until I downloaded this pic!  Ha!

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There is also a park outside, so when it does finally get nice and stay nice outside, we can have a picnic lunch.  This is probably a leisurely 10 minute walk from my office.  The Mariano’s has been there two years and my sister is kicking herself that she didn’t know it existed so close to her office as well. 

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I got back to my desk and quickly threw my lunch together.  A ham/spinach/cheese wrap (6), with carrots and ranch dressing (1) and an apple (I had to throw half away – boo!) with the rest of my PB2 from breakfast (0).

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Later on ate my chicken soup, except without noodles or chicken so it’s basically a zero point soup.  I love sipping on soup out of a coffee cup.  This was hot and delicious and I remember how my sister and I used zero point soups a lot on our last successful Weight Watchers run.  They are hot and filling.  I remember us sipping on these type of soups while making dinner – which prevented us from snacking while cooking.  

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I hit every single light on the way to the train station, and missed my train by a minute.  It’s not a big deal because since it’s rush hour, my next train was only 13 minutes later.  But that train was running 20 minutes late, so I didn’t get home until 7:15.   As soon as I walked in the back door Hannah said “the basement is flooded.”  Rat farts.  I have an old home (1922) and there is an external well outside my walkout basement door.  Many years ago Tony rigged up a sump pump in there because this time of year when we get a lot of rain, that well fills up and well, comes right under my door into the basement.  The only caviat is that you need to plug it in to drain it, and I forgot to tell her to do this.

So after 45 minutes of plugging in that sump pump, mopping up and running fans, I really just wanted to order a pizza and call it a night. 

But, I am participating in Weight Watchers #cincofoodsincinco – and had already prepped everything for dinner, so this was ready in a matter of 10 minutes, still on plan, and I didn’t cave to the stress.

I made Huevos rancheros – not sure how authentic these are because I saw so many variations online, but I love having these dried peppers on hand.  All you need to do is rehydrate them and they make amazing salsas.  

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As you can see, this made a ton.  However, I am going to try a baked version of this recipe over the weekend, I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I also think this would be an awesome marinade.

Colorado Sauce:

  • 4 dried New Mexico chili peppers
  • 2 dried Ancho chili peppers
  • 1 canned Chipotle pepper (or more if you want it really spicy!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soaking liquid
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Boil some water.  Add the dried peppers, which the stems and seeds have been removed.  Let the peppers soak for 15 minutes or until soft.  Throw everything into a food processor and let it whirl until everything is completely pureed.  That’s it.  Store in a mason jar for up to two weeks.

I pan toasted my corn tortilla in Pam until it was slightly crunchy, then filled it with a bit of quesadilla cheese, one scrambled egg, baby spinach, drizzled with the Colorado sauce, and topped with sliced jalapeno and radish. 

On the side was cilantro lime potatoes. Um, why haven’t I thought to do that before, I mean I love cilantro lime rice?!  I baked some potatoes over the weekend, and just pan fried 4 ounces of potato in 1/2 a teaspoon of ghee, then tossed it with chopped cilantro, lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice.  A delicious 10 point dinner.  Or brinner. 😀

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I am counting the Colorado sauce as 1 point, because of the grapeseed oil.  It’s smoky, spicy and adds such a depth of flavor to this taco.  Let me know if you try it – I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Another dreary day in Chicago, feels more like October than May, but I know we’ll get spring one of these days. 

Make it a great day!

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.

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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!