First up is the delicious combo of Fage 0% plain yogurt, 1/4 C. Craisins and 2/3 C. Kashi Golean Crunch, topped with a hearty sprinkle of *pumpkin pie spice. This is so good! The seasonal flavors of cranberries mixed with pumpkin make me happy every time I eat this! This meal, which I rotate between breakfast and lunch, clocks in at 313 calories and is the yum!
All ingredients ready for assembly...A thing of beauty! I sprinkle the pumpkin pie spice on the yogurt and then again on top of the Craisins and Kashi...you MUST try this!Next, I have been eating peanut butter almost every day - either on Orowheat Sandwich Thins as a pb&j, or having a tablespoon of it with a sliced apple as an afternoon snack, which really seems to hold me quite a while - must be the combination of fiber and fat? Any case, until recently I've never had peanut butter and fruit (really, in my old way of thinking the only other combination besides jelly for peanut butter was chocolate!) but I have to say that I really like it. And although I was raised on (and raised my kids on) Jif (yes I am a choosy mom!), in the interest of making it as healthy as I can, I'm using MaraNatha Organic peanut butter - which, I'm surprised to say, I really like. Never thought I would tolerate anything except Jif...but my tastes have changed apparently.
Does anyone else slice their apples pretty thin to in order to make it seem like you are getting a lot to eat, or is it just me that employs such trickery?
This next item isn't really food, but I thought I would update you on the fish oil caplets that I've been taking for a couple of weeks now. The odorless fish oil caplets? Well, most days they are odorless. However, once in a while I get one that gives me the worst fish burps - and I loathe fish. And nothing, not even chocolate, can cover up the smell. I may rethink the benefits (Omega 3's, good for your joints) vs. negatives (the aforementioned burps) before I buy these again!
Ok, back to food. Yes, I know it's winter, but we are still loving my salads. Jeff thinks they are better than any restaurant salad, and while I mostly agree, I still say that anything that someone else makes for me tastes pretty darn good! The most recent ingredient list includes romaine lettuce, English cucumber, sliced mushrooms, green onions, garbanzo beans, little broccoli florets, diced avocado, **toasted chopped walnuts or pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, dried cherries and Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. Jeff
Hunkering down with my salad - now that the kids are gone, we mostly eat in front of the TV (something I rarely allowed when my kids were little) - HGTV's House Hunters is a favorite dinnertime show! Please note my everpresent Camelbak 24 oz. water bottle - I drink several of these each day. Please do not note the lack of makeup, oversized sweatshirt and Crocs...sometimes comfy and warm does not always equal stylish!
On the pure veggie front, going from one of Biz's ideas, I've been ***julienning zucchini (using a peeler, but a mandolin would be much quicker), steaming it, and tossing it with salt and pepper - it's like zucchini pasta! I tried sprinkling some Parmesan cheese on it, but found that we needed quite a bit to actually taste it, so I just leave that off now. This is a great side dish.
Broccoli is another veggie that I've been eating a lot lately. The other day, I had a ton of broccoli florets remaining from a three-pound bag (and this was after serving it twice over the Thanksgiving weekend). At the suggestion of my best friend, Barbara, I made broccoli soup. I diced and sauteed a huge onion in a tablespoon of butter (I couldn't resist!), added some garlic, then poured in a box and a quarter (what was left over from T-day) of chicken broth, brought it to a boil, and added eight cups of broccoli (told ya I had a lot left over). Simmered that for a while - until the broccoli was pretty tender - then used my immersion blender very carefully (caution: hot soup!) and blended all the broccoli and onions together. Added some salt and pepper and that was it! It was nice and thick and tasted great! Best part was that I didn't add any milk or cream, so again, this was incredibly low-calorie, yet very good-for-you (thanks, broccoli!). You can also add a little shredded cheddar to your individual bowl for fun, and if I'd have had some fresh pico de gallo on hand, I would have added that to the top of my soup as well.
Finally, thanks to Lynn's post, I have been dying to try some hot teas - specifically Celestial Seasoning's Candy Cane Lane and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride flavors. Well. Apparently they aren't huge in my town...I checked every grocery and natural food store around here, and only came up with a box of the Candy Cane Lane tea. I finally thought to check their website, where you can enter your zip code to find which stores in your area have the specific tea. Would you believe Dollar General was the only store that came up?!? I never in a million years would have thought of looking for "specialty" tea at a dollar store! Anyway, Jeff went out and found one box of SCSR tea, and also a box of Gingerbread Spice. I am surprised at how much I like the flavored hot teas - as I am not a fan of those fruit-flavored iced teas that have become popular lately. But dang, these are good! So far the Candy Cane Lane is my favorite...it actually has some substance to it, which surprises me considering there's zero calories, no caffeine and no artificial flavors in it.
Tea - who knew?!?*This idea comes courtesy of Lynn!
After reading this incredibly long post, if you still need some ideas for good food, mylifetime.com has recipes online from the authors of "Cook Yourself Thin" - they have been releasing new recipes every week in anticipation of their newest cookbook, "Cook Yourself Thin Faster," that comes out on December 29th. You can enter to win a cookbook - click here - and also check back with me in a couple of weeks, because I should have one to give away around the new year!********************
**Did you know that you can toast nuts in the microwave? I heard about this from Lori - I just fold a paper towel on a little plate, put a handful of nuts on the towel, and microwave for about 90 seconds. So easy! If I've forgotten to do this earlier in the day, then I put the plate in the freezer while I'm preparing the salads so I'm not adding hot nuts. Important thing to remember is to get them out of the freezer...a couple of times I've been halfway through my salad and pulled a Homer Doh!
***Biz actually sauteed her zucchini in olive oil, which sounded great, but I like the ease of steaming (I'm not quite the chef that she is, lol!).