Thursday, October 14, 2010

Muffin Tops and Nuts!

Hello Friends...and Family :)
I know I have not posted in a while, but during the summer, I don't cook...or diet very much! I am, however, much better when the weather cools down (and the kids go back to school) about exercising and eating better.
I have found the "Straw in the Haystack" that I have been looking for. What's that mean? Well, I have a GINORMOUS sweet tooth! I know that is not good, especially when I see my little Hershey Kiss eating four year old! :o
Back to the "Straw". Have you ever tried Vitatops? They are muffin tops that are kept in the freezer and I LOVE them! They have only 100 calories and are way bigger than most 100 calorie items. They also have 9 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
I get one out of the freezer and it takes 30 minutes to thaw at room temperature. Here is my way of thinking. I love them so much, I will wait for them, so when I get hungry and would normally eat Hershey Kisses, Cheezeits, Little Debbie Cakes, Chips, etc. (the afternoon binge time), I truly just drink water and wait thirty minutes for it to thaw. Works for me. It is all I eat and I got more water in while I was anxiously waiting.
It is a method of "trickery", people. Try it sometime. You can fool your body! You just have to be very creative!
Check them out HERE.
Have you tried these? Did you like them as much as I do?
Let me know!!
BUT WAIT....we did not talk about nuts!! :)
I have introduced you to my afternoon snack. Now, meet my Breakfast!
Luna Bar "The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women"
I really like these for breakfast! The White Chocolate Macadamia is my favorite, but I really like them all!
This bar has 190 calories, 3 grams fiber and 9 grams of protein. They are also 70% organic.
Have you tried these?
Check them out HERE.
This is just two of the items I have found that are worth talking about while I try to get myself back on track!!
Give me feedback! What gets you through the moments when you could actually "eat a horse"?

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Salami Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad! I got a new magazine by Taste of Home called "Great American Cookout" and it has a lot of great recipes in it. I found this pasta salad recipe and made it for Mother's Day/My Mom's Birthday and it was good!
Salami Pasta Salad
  • Three cups uncooked medium tube pasta (I used a 1 pound box of Rigatoni, more than three cups, but I like for the sauce to spread out and not take over)
  • 8 ounces hard salami, cubed
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • **I added one diced tomato to this recipe. I thought it could use it and we liked it!

In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water and drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add salami, parsley and onions (and tomatoes :).

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and seasonings. Drizzle over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, stir in Parmesan Cheese.



Happy Cooking!~

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Add Fiber to Your Diet!

Are you one of those "afternoon snackers"? I know I am. If not, what is your weakness? Are you an emotional snacker? How about boredome? I even snack when I haven't had enough sleep!
I have often heard that adding fiber to your diet really helps stave off hunger and makes you feel fuller longer. I have always heard that getting 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day helps with weight loss since fiber takes longer to digest.
I have tried many different types of fiber rich products. One of the products I have tried is the high fiber bars. I do not prefer those. They are loaded with sugar and do not seem to help keep me feeling full like they should.
My favorite item to eat that adds fiber to the diet is these tortillas. They have a whopping 12 grams of fiber. That is a lot of fiber in one serving and helps get me through the day. With 18 grams of carbs, the net carb count goes down to 6 since you subtract the fiber. That is a win win for blood sugar also!
Here is a recipe I found on the La Tortilla Factory website. They have many more. Check out their site for recipes and a list of stores where they are sold. What do you do with tortillas that is creative? Do you have any secret weapon that seems to get you through your "snack attacks"?

Recipe Card Cobb Salad Low Carb Wrap
Featured Recipe Product:

La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low Carb Large Size Tortillas™
1 oz garlic & herb cream cheese
Romaine lettuce
1 oz fresh chopped tomatoes
1 oz black olives sliced
1 oz chopped bacon
½ oz crumbled blue cheese
3 slices avocado
3 oz sliced turkey
1.Spread cream cheese over entire tortilla.
2.Add one large leaf of Romaine lettuce.
3.Sprinkle chopped bacon over lettuce.
4.Top with chopped tomatoes, sliced olives and crumbled blue cheese.
5.Layer sliced avocado and turkey in the middle.
6.Roll tightly. Serve as Wrap sandwiches or cut into 1 inch thick pieces for a perfect party tray!
Happy Wrapping!
Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Apple is the New Tot!

I picked my little girls up from preschool today and they asked for Sonic. Immediately, I sigh. I have been running my very long driveway every morning and really trying to stay on track with eating healthy. I will not lie. It is not easy. Is it easy for anyone? You can ease the burden a bit by being creative, though, and that sigh will be followed by an "I can do this".
We pulled up and I decided to order myself a grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo), a diet coke and I substituted the apples and fat free caramel dipping sauce for my beloved TOTS! I love their tots. I got home and ate the sandwich with some buffalo sauce (our fave) and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the apples were! I looked up the nutrition info on the site and the apples and dip side item has a total of 115 calories! I went and calculated my whole meal and the total calories were 389! That really isn't bad at all. So many restaurants have meal calculators where you can plug in items and come up with a total that works for you!
Here is the kicker: I entered in what I would normally eat if I were not watching what I ate. Crispy chicken sandwich (548 cals), Medium tots (203 cals) and the medium Dr. Pepper (157 cals)! My meal can be either 389 or 908! Wow! The food is gone, people. Whether I ate the healthy meal or the fattening meal, it is GONE now. Which makes you feel better afterward?
I tried to find a low cal caramel dip to share, but decided I would need to try it first anyway, so here is a dip I have tried many times! I LOVE it.
Pampered Chef Fluffy Peanut Butter Dip
*Make this regular or substitute the lower cal ingredients to make it healthier! Just make it!
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (use the lower cal kind)
1 8oz container vanilla yogurt (lite or fat free)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup thawed frozen whipped topping (again, lower cal)
Apples or pears for dipping
Mix together PB, Yogurt and Cinnamon until thoroughly blended.
Gently stir in whipped topping and place in a chilled bowl.
This dip is great to take to parties for a healthy alternative or even a great way to get your fruit in!
Happy cooking...or mixing! :)
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Healthy Eating Makes This Momma Happy!

Hello Friends. I am back to healthy eating after a small break following our weight loss contest and spring break. When I eat healthy, I feel better inside and out. After only a few days of eating healthy, I already feel happier. There has to be some sort of chemical alteration that happens when you do not take in any junk!
One recipe that we love that is super healthy is Chicken Bruschetta. It is similar to the Bruschetta topping for bread that you may have eaten, but you put it on Chicken Breasts. I paired it with a salad and some fresh mushrooms. This is such a great dish because there are so many fresh vegetables on this plate! I felt healthier just chopping all of them! :) Maybe because it took a while and I burned more calories! Totally worth it!

Hopefully you can click the picture and see all the great veggies on the chicken!

Our favorite salad dressing is this Toasted Sesame Soy and Ginger. I hope you can find it and try it. It really is good. With only 40 calories per 2T serving, you can eat it without feeling guilty at all!
*Here is a pointer and something I like to do with dressing. I know lots of people say to get the salad dressing on the side at restaurants because you can better control how much you eat, but I also do it at home. I believe you will find that if you measure out 2T of salad dressing in a small cup like I did in the above picture, you will not use as much as you would if you poured it on. The lettuce stays crisp and I do not even eat the whole 2T when I dip it in the cup. This is just one of those small things you can do to save unnecessary calories.

Here is the recipe for anyone who wants to try it:

Chicken Bruschetta



  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 (4.5 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 3 medium italian plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz (1/4 cup) shredded fresh parmesan cheese


  1. Spray broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Broil on sprayed pan until done at 170 degrees (I always use a thermometer with meat).
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot.
  5. Add mushrooms, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until garlic is tender.
  6. Add onion, chopped basil, tomatoes, vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  7. Cook 30 to 45 seconds or until heathed throughout.
  8. Arrange chicken on plates and sprinkle with half the cheese.
  9. Top each serving with the mushroom mixture and remaining cheese on top.

I hope you will try this. It is really a healthy and filling meal with a salad.

**Dressing on the side!!


Happy cooking..thanks for looking!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Asparagus and Prosciutto Wraps

We are approaching the last week of the weight loss competition and Derek and I have done really well. He was a great partner as I am sure I was, too! After all, I cooked all his meals. Some days I made him breakfast at home, lunch at the office and dinner at night! I am not saying "behind every man is a good woman" or anything... well, maybe I am! :)

We switched up our diet this last two weeks a bit. I can not say any more because one girl I work with may come look at my blog!

I have a cookbook and found a new side that is better tasting than I could possibly describe!

Have you ever used Prosciutto? I had seen it on cooking shows, but had never used it until I ran across it at the grocery store last week. You must try this recipe! This honestly could have been a whole meal. They were that tasty!

Asparagus and Prosciutto Wraps

1. Trim one bunch of asparagus spears and plunge them into a large saucepan of boiling salted water. Cook over a medium heat for 4-8 minutes, or until tender but still crunchy.
2. Drain and plunge into cold water. When they have cooled, drain once again and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400.
4. Cut provalone cheese into 18 equal slices (the recipe called for mozzarella and I accidentally bought provalone, but it was so good, I am changing it!). Separate the prosciutto into 6 even piles and cut the butter into 12 even sized pats.
5. Take 3 asparagus spears and place them on 1 slice of prosciutto. Cut or tear cheese and lay a bit on top of the asparagus and put a small pat of butter on top. Wrap the prosciutto around the asparagus.
6.Repeat until you have used all the asparagus. If you have leftover prosciutto, wrap one with the extra. It will be good!
7. Lightly grease an oven dish with some butter and place the bundles on the pan. Cut or tear cheese and place across the spears and put another small pat of butter on top. Season with pepper and bake at the top of the oven for about 20 minutes.

You MUST try this if you like asparagus. It is a beautiful side for company. I can imagine it would be a great side with steak, although it worked for us with pork tenderloin!

Happy cooking.....Thanks for looking!! Wish me luck! I am almost there!!!!!



Friday, February 5, 2010

Yo Crunch Knock-Off

I tried these new yogurts. Yo Crunch. They are a great sweet treat at only 100 calories. I thought they were a bit pricey, though. I am not a fan of the 100 calorie packaged items very often since it is just a measured and packaged version of the real deal and they charge you extra to measure it for you. I also have to mention that the cookie crumbs they give you with the cookies and cream yogurt can not be more than one cookie.
So....I decided to make a knock off version. I bought a container of vanilla yogurt and a bag of lowfat chocolate chip cookies. I used 1/2 cup of yogurt and crushed one cookie and put it on top. It was just over 140 calories, more yogurt, and very good. I figured the cost at around 64 cents per serving and there are 8 (1/2 C) servings in the yogurt container. Here was the good part for me: If I only use 8 cookies, that leaves the rest of the pack for the kids, which drives the cost of each yogurt down even lower! Win-Win!

Do you have any Knock-off ideas about food like this? If so, share please!!
Til next time!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chicken Salad on a Diet!

Some of you already know this, but a bunch of folks at our office are competing in our own version of the Biggest Loser. We started about a month ago and have one more month to go! The person who loses the most percentage of body weight gets all of the losers at their house for a half day to do whatever needs to be done. I do NOT want to lose because I have heard some of them mention painting, weed pulling, cleaning, etc.
I hope having my Hubby in the same competition will give us a better advantage. If I do not win, he BETTER! I really like this version because no one really loses anything but weight if they tried to win. At least no one loses money. Wish me luck!
While on this diet, I have really had to be creative with my food choices. I can not get bored! I found a new way at the grocery store the other night to have something I love...Chicken Salad! I bought these "Flatout" wraps. They are low calorie and loaded with fiber (big bonus).
I bought some canned chicken (70 or 80 calories per serving).

I Mixed the chicken with some of this Mayo with Olive Oil (64 calories per serving).

Once I mixed it up, I added some pepper and wrapped it up. You could add lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc. It was really good. The wrap I ate was 224 calories with 9+ grams of fiber. I had made a pot of pinto beans the night before, so I ate 1/2 cup of those for an additional 122 calories. Not a bad lunch and all the fiber had me so full!

Do you have any ideas on making meals you love healthier? If so...SHARE!! I will certainly appreciate it.

Happy Cooking...thanks for looking!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crockpot Taco Soup AND Crockpot Gumbo

(picture from the website:
I know there are alot of Taco Soup recipes going around and I am not sure what the variations are because this is the first one I have made and it was GOOD! I have some left today and need to either freeze it or eat it...hmmm...tough call! I cooked this one exactly as the recipe stated. We loved it. I would call it Taco Chili, though, instead of soup, which is probably why we loved it so much! We LOVE Chili!
Go to her website and check out her recipes. She is great. If you do, come back and tell me what you cook. As I cook, I will post. I dog-eared A LOT of her recipes!
How do you cook your Taco Soup? Just wondering what is different!
(picture from the website:
I have made several recipes now from this cookbook Mom gave me for Christmas and I have not made one yet that we did not like! is another one! The picture above came from the website, but that is exactly what mine looked like! Thanks, Stephanie, for another great recipe!

Here is the link, but first, one quick note:

Her recipe calls for several different sausages. We had trouble with that part, so I just used two packs of turkey smoked sausage and added creole seasoning, since they were not cajun flavored. It was really good.

Have a great day!

Happy Cooking...thanks for looking!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Another Crockpot Recipe "Broccoli Beef"

Well, I found another good one!! Broccoli Beef! The sauce is so good and it really tastes like the Chinese Restaurant version of Broccoli Beef. I really like that. Of course, we ate it over brown rice to make it healthier and you could certainly add or take away items. I got a thumbs up and also a "Yes we would eat it again." from the family! I chose to just link to the Cookbook Author's site when I cook her recipes to make it easier and so you can find other recipes that interest you. In fact, the pic above is hers (figure I should give her credit). Ours looked exactly like that but with brown rice.

I am cooking gumbo in the crockpot today! It has shrimp, smoked sausage and lots of veggies with brown rice! 12 servings and the whole pot is just over 3000 calories! I calculated it! Watchin my calories these days for the weight loss contest!

I will post back tomorrow on the gumbo!

Happy Cooking....thanks for lookin!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crockpot Peppercorn Steak

I just finished cleaning the kitchen after trying the first (of many) recipes from my new cookbook my Mom gave me for Christmas. Thanks, MOM! I just had to share this one. I have the ingredients for many of them, so as I love them, I will post about them!

This recipe is called Peppercorn Steak. It has a great sauce that I could actually see using on other meats. It was that good.

Along with the steak, which I WILL be making again, we had corn on the cob cooked in the crockpot, also from the cookbook. I just put it in foil like I would a baked potato and placed it in the crock pot for about 2 1/2 hours on high. It was so good. I will definitely make the corn again, too!
I am just going to link up to the Author, Stephanie O'Dea, since she has a blog. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this cookbook! It has tons of great recipes in it.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking...thanks for looking!!