Easy Homemade FroYo

Hey look! A healthy Pinterest recipe that actually turned out great!

Image

1 cup frozen fruit of your choice (I used peaches, strawberries and mangos)
1 container Greek yogurt (I used the 2PP+ Yoplait Greek, mixed tropical fruit flavor)
Some splenda (or not, if you don’t want to use sweetener.  I hate Greek yogurt, so I knew I wanted some Splenda.)
Blend it all together in your food processor until it comes out looking like ice cream.  That’s it!

It was really great.. and like I said, I don’t even like Greek yogurt.  I think next time I’m going to try the combo of lemon flavored yogurt with frozen strawberries.  Doesn’t that sound good??

Faux Mashed Potatoes

Well, this week’s fruit and veggie co-op bushel came with two heads of cauliflower — and wouldn’t you know it —  I had just bought a head a few days ago.  So that means I now have THREE heads of cauliflower to work into the meal plan for this week.  Good thing I like cauliflower!

Today’s cauliflower side dish was one of my favs. I’m sure most of you have seen (and probably even tried) this recipe, but in case there are a few of you out there who still haven’t, I have to give my two thumbs up for this much lower calorie version of mashed potatoes — mashed cauliflower.  I eat it all the time.

Image(Sorry for the really bad pic.  Not only am I too lazy to bust out my good camera, but I am also without photo editing software at the moment… so this is straight outta my phone!)

Anyway… here’s my basic recipe for mashed cauliflower:
–   Take one medium-large head of cauliflower and chop into chunks.
–   Place chunks into a big pot of boiling, salted water and cook until soft (about 10-15 minutes, depending on how big your chunks are).
–   Drain well.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! The more dry you can get your cauliflower, the better.  I have left too much moisture in before and it really makes it quite yucky!
–  Place extremely well drained cauliflower back into the big pot and add 2 tbs of whatever butter product you want to use.  (Real butter is the yummiest, of course, but I usually use my Brummel and Brown yogurt spread cuz it’s lower in calories and fat.)  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
–  Break out your hand mixer and beat on low until your cauliflower looks like mashed potatoes.  Adjust seasoning as needed.
–   EAT.

There ya go!  Give it a try!  And let me know what you think.

Week 2 of recommitment

Nothing really exciting to report here, except I’m still tryin’!

I don’t know if last week’s “recommitment week” did me any good weight-wise because I hadn’t weighed myself for a few weeks before, so when I did weigh in on Friday I wasn’t able to compare it to anything.  All I can say is that number I saw on Friday was waaaaaaay too close to 200 pounds, so needless to say I am remaining recommitted!  That scares the crap outta me!

Today being Monday and all, I thought I’d share with you my dinner plans for the week.  I know, I know… super exciting!  But hey, it helps keep me on track, so here we go:

Monday:  pork tostadas
Tuesday: bacon-topped petite turkey meatloaf from Skinnytaste (can’t wait to try these!)
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: breakfast for dinner (egg white omelet with bacon) Hey I’m only using 5 slices of bacon on Tuesday…gotta use up some more! 😛
Friday:  date night dinner out
Saturday:  grilled chicken salad
Sunday:  shrimp with grits from Bobby Dean (another one I can’t wait to try)

There ya go… that’s my week!  Here’s to being committed!

A Pinterest tip that actually works!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a Pinterest-er.  I’m always trying out new recipes and other fun tips I find on there.  Some work – some don’t.

This one was a tip for storing cilantro. I love cilantro and I end up buying a little bunch of it almost weekly because I use it in tons of recipes and I can never get it to last me more than a few days before turning mushy.  [Yes I know I could just grow my own.  Trust me I’ve tried, and I apparently am incapable of growing anything.  Plants hate me.]

I’ve tried a couple suggestions for storing the yummy herb, including this one from one of my favorite Food Network people, Aarti Sequeira… and none of them  have worked as well as this super simple one:

Image

Just wash and dry the cilantro and then stick it in a cup, standing up in a little bit of water… and voila!  It works!  I’ve had this bunch since Monday, and today is Saturday and it’s still looking good!  Yay!

On a side note… if you haven’t tried Wickles, you really should!  They are super spicy pickles that are deeeelicious and very low calorie/points.

Day 3 of Recommitment

I don’t have much time, but I wanted to check in (keeping myself accountable!) and let y’all know I’m still committed!

I can already tell that working from home is going to be a huge blessing when it comes to my weight loss journey.  I feel so much more in control of my diet, and I have a lot more time to fit in exercise without a 2-hour commute.  I even cooked a real lunch today!  Yay! Check it out — Polenta stuffed poblanos with pepper jack cheese:

Image

Yum!  No more sandwiches or frozen meal lunches for me!  
Yessss.

Salad-a-Day Challenge — Day 2 — Southwestern Steak Salad

Image

I really should stop being lazy and bust out my good camera for these food pictures.  This salad was actually really good, but my phone’s camera makes it look pretty gross!

I braved the cold and wind today and fired up my bbq to grill up some steak and corn and zucchini (yum!)… threw them on top of some romaine, added some mushrooms, avocado… then topped it all with my experimental “ranch” dressing.  The results?  Salad = YUM YUM YUMMY!  Dressing = so-so.

Image

I got this recipe from Pinterest.  I took 2 tbs cottage cheese, 1 tbs sour cream and 1 tsp taco sauce… added a couple tbs of water and whipped it all together in my little Magic Bullet blender.  It was ok.  For only 45 calories, it was WONDERFUL.  I like the idea of it, and I was surprised how well cottage cheese blends up, but I think I’ll play around with the technique a little bit and see if I can come up with a better combo. 

Anyway, thanks again Grace Got Healthy and Trying Not to be Fat for giving us this challenge. I’m all on track for Day 3 tomorrow! 🙂

Planning, planning and more planning

One of the things that has helped me be successful so far has been planning.  Gone are the days of being able to spontaneously decide when, where and what I’m going to eat… and when, where and how I’m going to exercise.  I have learned when I don’t plan ahead, I get into trouble.

As you know, I’m a Weight Watcher, which means I have to track all my food anyway.  I found very quickly that I needed to change that up a bit and actually PRE-track all of my food.  So before I go to bed every night I go into my Points Plus Tracker and track tomorrow’s food.  It helps so much to wake up and know the exact plan for the day. In the morning I can pack my breakfast and lunch (I eat both at work), and I can make sure everything’s in order for dinner. Then I don’t get caught scrambling for something last-minute, which usually results in bad choices.

But even before that, every Sunday night I plan out all my dinners for the whole week.  I use the Evernote app on my phone to jot them down, and then when I do my grocery shopping on Monday, I know what I need to be shopping for (I have a separate shopping list in Evernote also).  Here’s what my menu looks like this week:

Image

I also cook up a big thing of veggies on Monday, to have on hand for the rest of the week.  My favs are zucchini, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers and asparagus.  I cook up a giant batch, then put them into serving-size plastic containers and stack them up in my fridge.  Then when I want to add them to my breakfasts and lunches, they are all ready to go.  That helps so much.

I took some pics this week while I made my big batch of zucchini and squash.  I thought I’d share my “recipe.”

First I turned my oven on to 375 degrees.  Then I cut 3 medium zucchini and 3 yellow squash into bite-size pieces.  Then I sprayed a cookie sheet with olive oil and spread them out on the pan.  Next I drizzled a couple teaspoons of EVOO over the top and sprinkled liberally with powdered ranch dressing and cracked black pepper.ImageThen I took a big ol’ spoon and gave the squash a good mix to spread the EVOO and spices evenly over them.  You can kinda tell they’re coated in this picture:Image

Then I stuck them in the hot oven and let them bake for about 20 minutes.  They come out of the oven slightly browned on one side, which gives them that yummy roasted flavor.   This picture isn’t so great (I really need to stop being lazy and use my actual camera instead of my phone), but trust me …. they’re yummy!  Roasted veggies are the best.Image

Anyway, like I said…. I pack them up in serving-size containers and now I’m good to go for the week.  I’ll add them to Lean Cuisines or leftovers or sandwiches at lunch time, or egg scrambles and omelets at breakfast time.  Works great!

I have tons more ‘planning’ tricks I’ve picked up along the way, but I need to run for now…  They’ll have to come in a later post.  Meanwhile, I’d love to hear how other people “plan for success.”  Let me know!  I’m all ears!