Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dad's Porkchops

Had a bad day yesterday. Well, at least eating-wise.... School was cancelled due to inclement weather, and I took the opportunity to be even more lazy than usual.

Anyway, I didn't make dinner last night, but my mom told me I had to photograph my dad's food. :)

Porkchops simmered with tomatoes, onions, and peppers; with whole-wheat pasta and a vinaigrette salad. This is what I would call one of my dad's signature dishes, the others being red chili, green chili stew, and pot roast.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Couscous soup and Cornmeal Crunch

This was a pleasant surprise. I'm tellin you, it's good.

I just came across this blog - 101 Cookbooks - and she has tons of healthy vegetarian recipes. I bookmarked a bunch of them. Anyway, this recipe for Ten-Minute Couscous Soup sounded fast and simple, so I went for it. I wasn't expecting much from it, honestly. But it is SO GOOD. It's got tons of flavors swirling around in it - red pepper flakes, green onion, couscous, and we added some chopped mushroom. I added some extra broth and couscous to make 8 servings, and based on my calculations on SparkPeople, the total is 187 calories for a whopping bowl of soup.

Also from 101 Cookbooks, I was intrigued by a recipe called Cornmeal Crunch. It's like a very crunchy, very onion-y cornbread. Also very good. The recipe makes 16 pieces, 76 calories each.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cookie dough Brownies made with pumpkin

Ok...let me preface this by saying - this concoction is not health food in any way. This is not a 100-calorie pack. This is not breakfast. This is not what you eat for energy before a workout. However, even though this isn't healthy, this is an example of taking a ludicrously indulgent recipe and making it a little more healthy than it was.

So with that disclaimer, here are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies. Basically, in the original recipe, you take chocolate chip cookie dough, and you pour it onto brownie batter, and bake it all together as one glorious pan of chocolatey goo.

Now, here's where the slight adjustment comes in. I knew this recipe would have a plethora of calories, so I decided to soften the blow a little bit, by replacing the brownie batter with Hungry Girl's Yum Yum Brownie Muffin mix. Instead of brownie mix, get a box of devil's food cake mix, and stir in a can of pure pumpkin. And there's your batter. Don't add eggs or oil.

After that, I followed the recipe as is. The change of the brownie batter took off about 100 calories, and in the end, I cut each piece in 2 to make smaller portions, bringing the total to about 200 calories per brownie.

I find it laughable that Betty Crocker lists this recipe as having 48 servings. I ended up with about 26 pieces. (The brownie pictured is a double serving...imagine it cut in half.)

Anyway, these are delicious. Fortunately, we were able to pawn them off on some willing bystanders, so there's not many left in the house to tempt us.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Breakfast Burritos & Pineapple-corn salad

Ok, dinner last night....I woke up craving potato breakfast burritos but I didn't have the willpower to make them for breakfast. So I made them for dinner instead.

I based these off of this recipe, however, I made a lot of changes. The original recipe has a whopping 887 calories per serving. I took out the chorizo to make it vegetarian, used only 1 TB of olive oil, used only 3/4 package of neufchatel, and used corn tortillas instead of flour. I cut up the potatoes and baked them to make them softer, and I also added some yellow onion to the mix. After all the changes, we end up with 420 calories for 2 burritos, or 210 a piece. Not too bad.

The corn salad came about because I wanted to use up some crushed pineapple we had in the pantry. So I searched for some recipes and this one was incredibly simple and easy. Ironically, I am infamous for hating corn. But I decided to give it a try. In actuality, I do like cream corn occasionally, fried corn, corn nuggets.....basically whenever corn has sugar and fat added to it - THEN I'll eat it. Haha.
But this corn salad isn't bad at all. It's about 100 calories for a half cup serving. Actually, probably a little less than that, since I used light mayonnaise.

Mm look at that!
Forgot to mention we used a green salsa that has tequila in it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Homemade Spinach & Mushroom Lean Pockets

Here is one of the "homemade lean pockets" I made the other day. I had a turkey pepperoni one for lunch yesterday, and a spinach one today. Both are very good.

For the spinach pockets, I had a variety of cheeses around, so each one has a different variation of ingredients. I think this one had spinach, sauce, mushrooms, garlic, about a quarter TB of neufchatel, half a slice of muenster cheese, and a little bleu cheese: approx. 250 calories (or less). I made the whole-wheat dough in the bread machine.

You can buy packaged dough to save time. Roll it out and throw in whatever ingredients you want, then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You can wrap them up and freeze them, and reheat them in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Zucchini Potato Bake

Here's a recipe I tried last night from Allrecipes - Zucchini Potato Bake.
Potatoes, zucchini, red bell pepper, and I threw in some spinach too: 245 calories.
I also made some "lean pockets" from scratch...spinach and turkey pepperoni. I'll get to postin those soon.

It's so pretty...

Right out of the oven...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Homemade Pizza Bagels

I made these pizza bagels the other day. Yummy. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Picnic with Veggie Sandwiches

It was such a pretty day that we decided to pack a picnic. I made a Cobb salad based on the Cheesecake Factory's California Salad, and my sister made a variation of Pioneer Woman's Veggie Bagel.

On the salad: romaine lettuce, hardboiled eggs, craisins, bleu cheese, red onions, soy bac'n bits - 200 calories.
On the sandwich: whitewheat bread, neufchatel with chives, cucumber, red onion, sprouts, cheddar cheese - 310 calories.

This delicious. If you look at PW's recipe...our version has considerably less calories, since we used bread instead of the giant bagel, and we left out the avocado. I also left out the muenster cheese....the reason the picture has two slices of cheese is because I photographed my sisters instead of mine. So there you go.

We didn't want to actually bake anything, so we cheated and bought a berry pie from Tom Thumb. It was pretty good. The only thing I feel bad about (diet-wise) is that I drank a glass of Dr. Pepper (GASP). I never drink Coke (soda). I mean never. But I stupidly forgot my water bottle and there was nothing else to drink. So I regret using up calories for that.

Then I intended to have a light dinner, since we had such a big lunch.....until we up and went to Ikea. We always buy a box of double chocolate crisps when we go, and I couldn't resist....I had FOUR of them while walking through the store! At 94 calories a piece, that's 376 calories on cookies alone. Curse those delicious cookies!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Polenta Lasagna and Oven-fried Squash

Last night I made a polenta lasagna for the first time. I was so excited to make it, because you use polenta slices instead of lasagna sheets. It was from a Pesto Lasagna on Allrecipes that I changed up. Instead of pesto and pinenuts, I put in lots of sauteed onions and red bell pepper, and added some spinach. It was very tasty, lemme tell you. I think next time I'll add some ricotta cheese to make it taste more lasagna-y.

I also found a recipe for Oven-Fried Courgette. Courgette is just the fancy British word for zucchini. (And zucchini is the fancy American word for courgette.) Well, we had a bunch of yellow squash so I used that instead, and I whipped up some honey mustard, and voila: squash fries. We actually used wheat flour and wheat bread crumbs to coat them, and they still turned out really good.

It looks really decadent in the pictures, doesn't it? But it's not....the lasagna has only 270 calories for a big ol' piece, and the zucchini is about 120 calories. The only fattening thing on that plate is the honey mustard, and we barely used any of it.

Polenta lasagna

Oven-fried squash


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Egg pizza

This is my version of the Hungry Girl Breakfast Pizza. I used real eggs instead of egg-beaters, so mine had more calories.
Eggs, pasta sauce, turkey pepperoni, Sargento string cheese, onions and baby spinach: 252 calories. It was pretty good!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apple-oat Muesli

Apple-oat muesli I accidentally put too much water in, so it was a little soupy...basically the consistency of apple sauce. I think I'll try it again some other day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken Stir-fry

I have been wanting to make stir-fry for the past 2 weeks. I decided to take some pictures while I was making it.
Broccoli, peas, baby corn, red bell pepper, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, a few mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks, orange juice, soy sauce, sesame seeds. Plus some grilled chicken and long-grain rice. It was good but a little bland. I think I will add some more pineapple to the leftovers. Plus I realized that I forgot to add the wonton strips my sister and I bought especially for the stir-fry. They're garlic-ginger flavored.

Another thing is that I have discovered the bento box. OMG they are gorgeous. It's like packing a lunch, but making every single food look gorgeous. Like a magical little bento box world, where everyone makes gorgeous delicious recipes every day and then chops them up and packs them perfectly into a cute little box. Here's a link to some really awesome bento boxes: