Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Italian Turkey Meatloaf

Another recipe from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield. I will admit that I HATE ground turkey and actually I don't really like meatloaf either! My friend made this and told me I had to try it...and it is actually really good. John and the kids all liked it too. I am horrible at taking pictures of things I cook, especially when it's 6:00 pm, everyone's starving, and I'm trying to get dinner on the table. So I stole another pic from Rachel Ray and I saw this fun video if anyone wants to watch it.

Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup carrot puree
  • 1/4 cup ketchup 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup bottled tomato sauce
  • 4 slices turkey bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, soak the breadcrumbs in milk. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the celery and cook 3 to4 minutes longer. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the turkey, Parmesan, carrot puree, ketchup, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Spread tomato sauce over the meatloaf and lay the strips of bacon on top. Bake until the center of the meatloaf is no longer pink and the bacon begins to brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sugar Free, Whole Wheat, Yummy Banana Muffins

Before I went off sugar I was so bad about using up the vegies I had in my fridge. I would go grocery shopping, buy lots of vegies and swear this time I would use them all up before they went bad-and it never happened. I always ended up throwing out loads of vegies. Well, since I've been off sugar I haven't thrown any fruits or vegies out, I've been using them all up...that is except for one thing. Bananas. Every single time I go to the store I get bananas and I promise myself this time I will eat them before they get overly ripe. Still hasn't happened. I just don't like them. If I freeze them to use in smoothies I can stand them, but other than that I just haven't been able to make myself eat them. So there I was, stuck again with a whole bunch of overly ripe bananas. I was about ready to throw them out when I decided I would make something healthy with them. That's where these yummy muffins come in :)

I looked for a truly sugar free banana bread or muffin online, I didn't even want it sweetened with honey or agave. I found one, better yet they called for whole wheat flour. I was a little skeptical about these, I didn't know how they could be good without any kind of sweetener. But let me tell ya, they were delicious! I added a couple tablespoons of ground flax, I will add more next time. This is a great quick breakfast, snack, or treat. Add a little butter and they are even more amazing. Micah loved them, it's always a good thing when you get the husbands stamp of approval :)

*A couple things: Recipe says it will make 12 muffins, I just got 11. Also says to bake for 20 minutes, mine were done in 15.

Sugar free Banana Muffins


3 lg. bananas

1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 1/2 c. organic whole wheat flour

1/3 c. melted butter


Mash bananas.

Add cinnamon and slightly beaten egg.

Add melted butter.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to above mixture.

Mix until moistened.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creamy Corn and Vegetable Soup

After John had his gallbladder removed he couldn't have any all. So I made a bunch of healthy meals, but never got around to posting them. This is one of the soups I made that turned out really yummy.

Confession: The whole time we were eating it, we both kept saying how much better it would be if I used cream instead of fat free milk! :) But it was good, especially being fat free.

The picture I took didn't turn out very well so this one is courtesy of food network.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Yummy Whole Grain Waffles and a No Sugar High :)

(the picture above has a sprinkling of powdered sugar because it was Micah's,
don't worry I'm staying strong!)

So going off of sugar has made me look at how I cook in a whole new way. The first couple days were pretty hard, but since then I have been trying to embrace the whole foods life and look at all of my other options of what I CAN eat as opposed to what I can't. The blog Unconventional Kitchen by Desiree has really inspired me and given me a lot of healthy recipe ideas. These waffles are from her site.

I decided to start a family tradition, that every Saturday I make a fun breakfast. So today I was excited to try these whole wheat waffles. The recipe says you can use chia seeds or flax in place of eggs, I just used eggs because I needed to use mine up. Desiree of Unconventional Kitchen also said that the batter is very thick, I just added 1 3/4 c. water and it wasn't thick at all, in fact I think next time I might just add 1 1/2 c. water. I think the eggs probably made it a thinner batter. These waffles were so unbelievably good to me. I served them with a raspberry sauce and agave sweetened whipped cream. The whole batter only has 2 tsp of agave. These waffles were like a dessert to me, in fact I kinda felt like I was cheating! With the raspberry sauce, a little whipped cream, and a light drizzle of pure maple syrup (no Mrs. Butterworths here, we're talking the real, all natural stuff:) -it made for such a yummy and fun breakfast. Micah LOVED them! As he was eating he said "we can raise our kids on this stuff, they wont be able to tell the difference". I think that's where my "No Sugar" high comes in, I am getting so excited looking at food, cooking, and eating in a whole new way. I don't have to deprive myself, there are healthier versions of things that are just as good if not better.

It's been a week of no sugar-may sound simple to a lot of you but for me that was a huge accomplishment! You have no idea how much I have been eating, but I have to say I feel very liberated. It's very nice to go to bed at night and not dwell on what I have eaten that day, and feeling guilty about how I went out of control eating that...I now go to bed feeling like I did all I could to nourish and feed my body, and it's a really good feeling. I used to always feel like I had a sense of anxiety in my arms, like a stressed feeling-that's pretty much gone. I don't feel as lethargic and am happier in general.

Yes, there are still some hard moments, but for the most part my big desire for sugar is gone, I actually don't think about it that much, I never thought I would get here, and it's only been a week. I think food is tasting better to me, like vegetables and fruit. The waffles we had this morning weren't very sweet but they seemed perfectly sweet to me, I think it's because I have eliminated the very white sweet sugar from my diet. I also think what's made me be successful so far with going off sugar is having the right food in my house and planning a whole week of meals, so we always have a dinner option in the house and we haven't had to go out to eat. Also it's helped to know Melissa has been off, thanks Melissa for being my support ! :) Are there any of you out there who are off and I just don't know?? Anywho, Just thought I'd share my experience so far :)

Hope you have a chance to try these waffles out, they were really, really good and I think you might incorporate them into your cooking:) And if there are any of you who want to start up the no sugar thing for the month of January but feel it's too late, it's not! If you wanted to start you will still get prizes at the end:)

Whole Grain Waffles

Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl:
2 C whole grain flour *I used whole wheat flour, Desiree from has more options if you go to here recipe on her site
3/4 tsp salt *I used just 1/2 tsp, don't know why but I thought 1/2 was enough
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C buttermilk powder*

Wet ingredients:
2 T flax or chia seeds ( or 2 eggs) *again, I used eggs
1 3/4-2 C water
1/4 tsp vanilla *I put 1 tsp :)
1/2 C plain yogurt
2 tsp agave
2 T olive oil

Combine the chia seeds and flax in a blender with the water. Let them sit while you add and whisk the dry ingredients. Once you are done with the dry ingredients, add the vanilla and yogurt to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients well. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. The waffle batter is pretty thick, if you want a thinner batter add more liquid. Add the batter to a hot waffle maker, and spread it out (it is thick). Cook a little longer than the waffle machine says to ensure it is cooked all the way through. Top with whip cream and berry sauce.
*You can find buttermilk powder in the baking aisle. If you don’t have buttermilk powder you could substitute 1 3/4-2 C of buttermilk instead of water. Or to cut out the dairy you could add 1 3/4 C nut milk and 1 1/2 T vinegar.

*for the raspberry sauce I just took about 1/2 c. frozen raspberries, put a couple tablespoons of boiling water on them to soften, put them through a blender then strained out the seeds. If you had time it would probably be easier if you thawed out the raspberries.

Agave Whip Cream

*this is Desiree's recipe for it, I just used 1/2 c. whipped cream, 1/2 tsp. agave and 1 tsp vanilla and I thought it was perfect.
1 C whipping cream
2T agave
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine the whip cream agave and vanilla in a cold metal bowl. Whip with a hand held beater until the cream makes stiff peaks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Update no Sugar and a Super Super Yummy treat!

So I'm almost done with my fifth day of no sugar. It's been going pretty good. I've had some really hard moments and some really good empowering moments. I say empowering because I feel like I am taking control of my health and eating habits how I want to. For a while I felt so out of control with my sugar consumptions. I HAD to have a treat at least once a day, and whenever I went places I always was thinking of what bakery we would pass and I could swing in and grab a cupcake. It's interesting-I still have those thoughts. When Micah and I are driving around my mind goes to "where can we grab a fun treat?!" I just have to retrain my way of thinking and know that I can still have fun if there's not a treat involved:) I've been feeling physically good, even though I still do crave treats I feel like my mind is a lot more clear. Ok so enough about my updates, on to a really fun recipe:)

I've recently stumbled acrossed the site/blog unconventional kitchen. It's a great site with lots of healthy recipes. I saw these snowball cookies on her site and just had to try them. You can go here if you want to see a fun little video of her making them. I made them today and they were so so good! Ok so some of you may say "that's cheating! There's honey and brown rice syrup in those!" Ya ya I know, but I am not going off natural sweeteners, and plus there's a lot of health benefits from consuming raw unheated honey. These little cookies are full of energy and nutrition. Protein from the peanut butter, energy from the honey that wont make you crash in an hour, and lots of nutrition from the chia seeds, go here to read about how good they are for you. I can't wait to make these into granola bar forms and pack them full of flax and nuts and send them off with Micah to work. I am also planning on making them to send in my kids school lunches, kinda planning ahead I know but it's really fun to find healthier yummy alternatives to treats. These would be great rice krispy treat substitutes, and you don't have to add the chia seeds if you don't have them. Hope you can try these out, they are really nummy:)

Snow Ball Cookies

1 C peanut butter
1/2 C honey
1/4 C brown rice syrup, or more honey
2 1/2-3 C cereal, I used a brown rice cereal from Good Earth that is like rice krispies
1 C puffed millet cereal, also found at the health food store, again any puffed grain cereal would do, or you could do 1/2 C of oats (I just used the brown rice cereal, couldn't find puffed millet
2 T chia seeds, or flax, or both

Mix all of the ingredients together and scoop out with a mini ice cream scoop, or you can press the mix into a baking pan to make bars, they will soften as they sit. After lettting them soften for 1-2 hours cut into bars.

Feel free to add coconut, wheat germ, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, really whatever your heart desires. You can also make them with almond butter instead of peanut butter.

Here's what Desiree of Unconventional Kitchen has to say about Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are SO good for you, they have more omega threes than salmon. Chia has fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli, three times more iron than spinach, six times more calcium than milk, and two times more pottasium than bananas. 2 oz of chia seeds gives you 560 mg of vitamin c! Chia seeds soak up to 10 times its weight in water, this helps you to stay hydrated longer (which helps with endurance).
The greatest part about chia seeds is that they are tasteless, so you can add them to salads, smoothies, power bars, muffins, cookies, ext. ext.
To get the most nutrition out of them put a 1/4 C in a jar and fill it with water. The chia seeds will soak up the liquid in the jar, making it like gel. You can then add this gel to your smoothies. Don’t let them sit too long or they start to get really thick, because chia seeds can also be used to thicken things.
Chia seeds are very filling, and some people use them as a weight loss aid. They make you feel full, and so you can take a 1/4 cup of the gel before meals to help curb your apetite, and still get all of the nutrition that you need.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Starts tomorrow?!?!

So I woke up this morning to realize that tonight is New Years Eve! Yes-I thought it was tomorrow, which means that I thought my sugar free diet started Sunday...but it starts tomorrow! I have to say I'm excited! So I'm changing the rules of the game a little bit, initially I said the sugar free challenge would be 5 weeks, well I'm changing it for 4 weeks. I just figured it might be easier for some people to think of going off for the month of January. Now you just have to go off sugar 4 weeks to get the prizes at the end, but you can go off for longer. So far it's just Melissa and I doing it, so guess I'm just talking to myself and Melissa! haha, but Melissa I'm excited to have your support!!! Happy New Year!!! I'm going to go have some ice cream right last chance...:)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sugar High

Looking forward to January 1st! Been eating way too much sugar and feeling not so great...I'm doing no sugar, no white carbs, and no red meat for 6 weeks! (Just thought I'd share)