Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sydney's Fabulous Nachos

Nachos are such an easy and yummy food. So we decided to make them "dinner" tonight. Here is my adaptation of Nachos:

Sydney's Nachos:

1 lb. good pork sausage
1 bag of your favorite tortilla chips
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
Garnishes of your choice (guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, etc)

1) In a medium skillet, cook the sausage with the garlic over medium heat. Add the seasonings and cook well. Drain on paper towels.

2) Arrange a layer of chips on a baking sheet and top with sausage, cheese, and onion. Add another layer of chips and repeat.

3) Bake in a 450 (F) oven for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with any toppings you like.


Baked Potato Soup

Last night I made this hearty soup and it was a family hit. My son absolutely loved it and the hubby and I ate ever bite in our bowls (Stu even went back for seconds). Here it is:

Baked Potato Soup:

4-5 medium-sized baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
(I used low-fat spread… it works just fine)
2/3 cup flour

6 cups low-fat
A few shakes of garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 cup reduced fat
sour cream
green onions, chopped
8 slices
bacon, cooked till crisp and crumbled (low sodium J)
1 1/2 cups
sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1) Preheat oven to 350F and bake the potatoes until fork tender, about 1 hour. (I did the potatoes in the late morning and let them cool so they were easy to handle by the time I was ready to start dinner.)
2) Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly blend in the flour with a whisk until thoroughly blended. Cook the roux until a very pale golden.
3) Gradually add milk the milk, letting it thicken. Add garlic powder and season with salt and pepper to taste, whisking constantly.
4) Cut potatoes in half, scoop out the interior and set aside.
5) Chop up half the potato peels and discard the remainder.
6) When milk mixture is very hot, whisk in potato.
7) Add green onion and potato peels. Whisk well, and then add the sour cream and bacon.
8) Add cheese a little at a time, whisking until all is melted.

I served this with buttered rolls and a side salad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mandarin Orange Muffins

In the ongoing search to find healthy snacks for my 18-month-old, I stumbled across this recipe. It has been adapted to be healthier and ended up pretty good. Great option for kids and it is sweet enough to feel like a treat, but healthy enough to keep Mom happy! :) Enjoy!

Mandarin Orange Muffins:

3/4 cup chopped mandarin oranges (we buy fresh by the case at a local market, so I used fresh. Canned would work fine too though)

1-1/2 cups flour (use whole wheat to make it healthier)

1-3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup of sugar

1/3 cup applesauce (this was instead of the shortening the recipe called for)

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/3 cup fat free milk


1) Preheat oven to 350 (F). Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.

2) In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk them together. Add applesauce and whisk until little balls form.

3) In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Pour into middle of flour and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.

4) Fold in oranges. Pour into muffin pan, filled about 3/4 full in each cup.

5) Bake 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Freezes well.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Counting Calories: Week 2

So this week I feel like I did pretty well again. I lost another kilo, or 2.2 pounds and I still haven’t had any real cravings that I felt like I couldn’t control easily. I found out this week that the two best ways for me to fight cravings are first to try brushing my teeth. My son loves to brush his teeth every time we pass by the bathroom, so I find myself taking advantage of this by brushing mine 3-4 times per day too. If I am craving something sweet particularly, this is a great method.
The other thing I try is drinking a full glass of cold water (not so I get a headache!). A lot of the time I think I feel hungry, I really am just thirsty, and the cold water is so much more satisfying for me than luke warm water.

Anyway, here is what I ate this week. My meals have been pretty boring and repetitive, so don’t expect any fabulous gems in there:

Sunday: (total calories: 875)
Breakfast: tea with honey, a poached egg on toast
Lunch: Salad with turkey, tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese, and light italian dressing and a handful of tortilla chips.
Dinner: Soy Balsamic Chicken, fresh green beans, 1/2 baked potato, and a dinner roll
Snack: Popcorn and a packet of Fun Dip (you know, the sugar that you eat with a stick!)

Monday: (total calories: 1,242)
Breakfast: Mini Fritattas, tea with honey
Lunch: Salad with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and a turkey and avocado sandwich
Dinner: Ground Beef Stroganoff, dinner roll, salad with balsamic vinegar

Tuesday: (total calories: 1,414)
Breakfast: tea with honey, Total cereal with milk
Lunch: Lipton Cream of Chicken Soup packet, turkey and avocado sandwich
Dinner: Tuna Macaroni and Cheese and a dinner roll

Wednesday: (total calories: 1,296)
Breakfast: tea with honey, cereal and milk
Lunch: Turkey and avocado sandwich
Dinner: Barbeque chicken burritos, french fries
Snack: popcorn

Thursday: (total calories: 1,498)
Breakfast: tea with honey, egg sandwich
Lunch: Turkey and avocado sandwich, a mandarin orange, Lipton cup-a-soup, and some prepared, but not cooked blueberry muffin mix (yep!)
Dinner: Chili's Crispy Chicken Salad, Pepsi, Spinach and Artichoke dip and tortilla chips

Friday: (total calories: 1,213)
Breakfast: tea with honey, Total cereal and milk
Lunch: leftover tortilla chips and spinach dip, a lettuce wrap with turkey and feta cheese, and a pita with garlic paste
Dinner: Breakfast! Pancakes and scrambled eggs
Snack: Popcorn

Saturday: (total calories: 1,157)
Breakfast: tea with honey, cereal and milk
Lunch: turkey sandiwich
Dinner: Hamburger with avocado, French Fries and tomato slices on the side.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Soy Balsamic Chicken

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make! We had this last night and it was a HUGE hit! It is super low in calories and fat and was sooo tasty. We ate it with baked potatoes and fresh green beans from the market. YUM!

Soy Balsamic Chicken:

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1) Mix together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until the sugar is dissolved.
2) Put cleaned and dry chicken in a large sealable plastic bag, add the soy mixture, force out excess air and leave to marinate for up to 24 hours.
3) Preheat oven to 425F. Transfer chicken and marinade to a large shallow baking pan (do not crowd chicken) then roast in middle of oven until chicken is cooked through for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
4) Skim the pan juices and reduce on the stove until about 1/4 cup is left (about 4 minutes). Spoon over the chicken and serve.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Counting Calories: Week 1

With the start of the new year, I decided, like thousands of other people, to try to lose a few pounds and get into better shape. Since I am not making fat-filled yummy delights, I figured I might as well post what I AM eating, in case I can help someone else to lose a little weight too.

My plan is to eat between 1,200 and 1,550 calories per day. I am not currently following an exercise regimen since it is usually the first thing to derail my diet. So I decided to get myself into the habit of healthy, low-cal eating first, THEN work on adding in some exercise.

This first week I lost 3 pounds... here is what I ate:

Sunday: (total calories: 1,546) This was our Anniversary and Stu made breakfast AND we went out to eat at dinner. I had to be very careful about what I chose at dinner to make sure not to go over.
Breakfast: 1 slices French toast, light syrup, tea with honey.
Lunch: Turkey, Swiss, and avocado sandwich, lightly spread mayo, 2 slices of an apple, and a fresh mandarin orange.
Dinner: Pulgogi and rice at a Korean Restaurant and a Pepsi.

Monday: (total calories: 1,693) I went over this day. I found that I was too hungry to not have a snack between lunch and dinner and then our dinner was pretty high calorie and then we decided to have some champagne.
Breakfast: tea with honey, 1 egg scrambled with cooking spray and a half an English muffin.
Lunch: Cream of chicken Cup-A-Soup and 10 Ritz crackers.
Dinner: Stu's fabulous burgers with cheddar cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and ketchup, and French fries. Snacks: popcorn, tortilla chips with avocado, and a half of a pita spread with peanut butter and honey. Champagne for dessert.

Tuesday: (total calories: 1,188) I guess I tried to make up for yesterday by eating under the calories I should. This is not a good idea and will make you more weak and irritable than thin and healthy.
Breakfast: tea with sugar, one poached egg on toast with margarine, and a half of a banana.
Lunch: soup and crackers (same as yesterday)
1st Snack: half a pita with mayo and ham
Dinner: Light beef and broccoli over brown rice. 2 Sugar cookies for dessert.
2nd Snack: Popcorn

Wednesday: (total calories: 1,228)
Breakfast: tea with sugar and 2 mini frittatas
Lunch: Cup-A-Soup, an apple, 2 slices of deli turkey, a piece of Arabic bread and garlic paste.
Dinner: Homemade bean and brown rice burritos, garnished with lettuce, tomato, and avocado.
Snack: popcorn and 2 sugar cookies

Thursday: (total calories: 1,495)
Breakfast: Fruit N Fiber cereal with milk, tea and honey
Lunch: Arabic bread and garlic paste, an apple with cheddar cheese, a handful of tortilla chips.
Dinner: Dinner at Chili's: 1/3 an order of the Crispy Chicken salad with oriental dressing and about ten chips with 2 Tablespoons of spinach and artichoke dip.

Friday: (total calories: 1,482) This was the day we had to do a border run to get new visa stamps, so we ate out for lunch at KFC.
Breakfast: tea with honey, 2 mini fritattas, 1 slice of bread with margarine
Lunch: Fish sandwich with tartar sauce, a few bites of a rice bowl, and a small diet Pepsi.
Dinner: Grilled pork chop and a slice of garlic bread.

Saturday: (total calories: 1,326)
Breakfast: Fruit N Fiber cereal with milk
Snack: A Grande non-fat mocha from Starbucks.
Lunch: Turkey and avocado sandwich with mayo and a cup of Cranberry Juice.
Dinner: Grilled Cheese sandwich, tomato basil soup
Snack # 2: popcorn

I hope everyone else's diets are going well for them! Good luck!