Old Chicago – 142 Calorie Pizza!

OK to be fair it’s 142 calories per PIECE (that’s an entire quarter!) of this pizza.  At Old Chicago I ordered the individual size thin crust cheese pizza – minus sauce and plus tomatoes and basil.  It was quiet possibly the best bang-for-your-buck pizza ever!  I stuck the iPhone in the picture for size comparison.  I ate half of the pizza for 284 calories and saved the other half for later.  I’m not even sure their website is being honest about the calories….

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Bow Tie Pasta Salad

1/2 C bow tie pasta – cooked, rinsed, cooled
1 1/2 C lettuce
1/2 of a large tomato
1/2 of a cucumber
1/3 C scallions
2T parmasean cheese

SO FILLING!  I might have a new favorite… and the best part?  160 total calories!  I didn’t use any dressing because the juices from the cucumber and tomato coated the pasta well.

Scrambled Egg Whites

This morning for breakfast:  Scrambled egg whites with celery and sweet yellow grape tomatoes.  Orange watermelon and a quarter of a grapefruit on the side.  163 total calories!

Recipe Attempt: Baked Chicken & Veggie Packets

Yet another gem from the Weight Watchers Power Foods Cook Book (P. 108).  This isn’t the actual title of the recipe… I don’t have the cook book with me right now so I will update it when I get home.

Being a clueless cook I am absolutely terrified of cooking chicken.  In fact, a couple weeks ago I tried a panko crusted chicken recipe in the frying pan and it ended in an absolute disaster.  So when I looked over this recipe I was a little bit intimidated but it sounded delicious and I was anxious to try a new technique – baking in foil packets.

I altered the recipe a little bit by using tomatoes, green peppers, and onions instead of tomatoes and zucchini.  I placed one chicken breast in each of the packets and divided the veggies evenly between the 4 of them.  I was a little concerned letting them bake for 35 minutes and not being able to look at them until they were done and the packet was opened.  The result:

This was as amazing in my mouth as it is in the picture.  Even the fiance loved it!

This dish also made great leftovers for work the next day.  Next time I think I will even make a few extras just to bring to work.  I was pretty impressed with this simple dish.  It made me feel like a good cook (for a day).

Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese + Zucchini, Turkey, Quinoa Loaf

I have been really meaning to incorporate quinoa into dishes.  It’s very easy to use, it has a great flavor and an interesting texture.  Plus it’s a whole grain and a WW Power Food.  So, to me this was a no brainer.  This past week quinoa was the star ingredient in 2 dinners.

Quonia Mac N Cheese

This recipe for Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese came from monicanelsonfitness.com.  It was very quick and easy to prepare.  I altered it a little bit and used half low fat mozzarella cheese and half sharp cheddar cheese.  I also topped it with a mixture of 1 part panko crumbs and 1 part low fat mozzarella.  It looked just like the picture after it was plated:

I served it with pineapple and watermelon just because that’s what we had on hand.  It was delicious… it tasted like an omelet crossed with mac N cheese with quinoa in the mix.  I served it as a main dish but it would have been great as a side with a slab of meat (maybe a pork chop) or with crumbled turkey breast, chicken breast, or lean ground beef mixed in.   If I make this again I will try to bulk it up with even more veggies.

Now, on to the next…

Turkey, Zucchini, and Quinoa Meatloaves

This gem came from the Weight Watchers Points Plus Power Foods Cookbook (p.138).  I’m not going to copy the recipe onto the blog but it’s a basic meatloaf made with lean ground turkey breast, shredded zucchini, and cooked quinoa.  I shaped them into 8 mini-loaves and… they came out AMAZING!

I served them with roasted cauliflower and a spinach salad.  They made awesome leftovers for work lunch and I cannot wait to make them again!

Pinsipration: Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

This is actually one of the very first items I ever pinned on Pinterest.  Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies!  The recipe is from divine-baking.com and I followed it exactly as it was written with a few exceptions:  I didn’t have any corn starch on hand so I doubled the amount and used regular flour instead.  I also didn’t have a regular baking sheet (due to cookie baking gone horribly wrong the day before) so I used a pizza sheet.  The result:

Divine, heavenly, chocolatey, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth little pieces of heaven!  I only made half a batch for experimental reasons and it turned out great.  They were even better and just as soft and moist the next day.   I will be making these again (and again and again)!

Pork for Supper!

Last night for supper:

Grilled pork, pasta with a low fat cream sauce, roasted cauliflower with olive oil, and fresh kiwi.

This meal was so filling and done without the pasta would have been a SFT meal!  I tried the Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan recipe from WW.com and it turned out great.  I modified it a little by leaving out the Parmesan (to save on points) and adding in a little bit of garlic powder.  I need to remind myself how good it feels to make a home cooked meal and try a new recipe every once in a while!

Blood Orange

I find it so easy to eat fruit and veggies at work!  Blood Oranges are in season right now… and they are amazing!  Don’t they make a pretty picture?  Definitely going to be picking more up after the gym today.

Bloody Mary

Bloody Marys.  My favorite Saturday and/or Sunday food group.  The ultimate “I want a drink before noon – and I can justify it because it’s the weekend” drink.

Recipe Attempt: Caramel Puffcorn

There’s a good chance you’ve tried this stuff before.  It’s amazing, the recipe is on the back of the Old Dutch Puffcorn bag.  It usually surfaces around the holidays.

Well, I tried it for the first time last December and instantly went home and Googled the recipe.  I found this on cooks.com and later figured out that this is the only website that has this specific variation of the caramel puffcorn recipe!

I also figured out that this recipe isn’t the same one that’s on the back of the puffcorn bag!  People who have tried this stuff say it’s better than the other puffcorn they’ve tried.

It’s my go-to sweet salty party snack recipe!

Caramel Puffcorn

    • 2 bags Old Dutch puffcorn
    • 2 c. brown sugar
    • 1 c. butter
    • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  On the cooks.com recipe it says to use a large roaster pan.  I find the cookie sheets work great.  Have an area ready on your cupboards also lined with parchment or wax paper for cooling.

In a medium saucepan heat the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and vanilla to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Remove from heat and add the baking soda.  Stir.  You’ll notice the consistency will become frothy.

Pour over the puffcorn (this should be in a bowl) and stir it.  It is impossible to eavenly coat it.  You will notice that it seems like there isn’t enough coating for all of the puffcorn – that’s ok!  That’s what makes this recipe way better than other puffcorn recipes.

Pour the coated puffcorn onto the 2 baking sheets.  This will make 2 huge piles.

Place baking sheets in the oven (use 2 racks) for 1 hour.  Break appart or stir the puffcorn every 15 minutes.

Dump it out onto your parchment paper lined counter tops to cool.

Simply Filling for a Day

I am trying the Simply Filling Technique today.  I’ve tried this with much success over the past 2 weeks so I’m going to try to incorporate it into my regular diet one – three times per week.   It seems like it’s especially easy for me on my work days.

So what’s for lunch?  Leftover Spicy Veggie Soup (which I froze in to single servings), a hard boiled egg, an apple, and some fat free cottage cheese.  I was absolutely stuffed after eating the soup, cottage cheese, and egg so I’m saving the apple for and after-the-gym snack.

And for the rest of the day:

  • Breakfast:  coffee, banana, egg
  • Snack: FiberOne cereal (dry)
  • Lunch: see above
  • Snack: natural apple sauce and/or apple and/or celery/green peppers with FF ranch
  • Dinner: chicken breast, possibly with whole wheat angel hair and/or sauteed or raw veggies

Tupperware

Tupperware is my best friend.

It makes consuming veggies (and fruit) easier!  I usually bring 3-4 Tupperwares full of food and snacks to work on any given day.

Pre-packaging food in Tupperware (and sandwich bags) is one of the keys to my healthy eating success.

Recipe Attempt: Bubble Pizza

I first tried this recipe WAY back in 7th grade foods class.  I remember it being amazing and amzingly simple.  A few weeks back a women who works in the office next to me passed along a recipe for Bubble Pizza (or as I used to call it Pizza Bubble Bread) and I started reminiscing right away!

Bubble Pizza

    • 1 tube pizza crust dough
    • 3/4 c. spaghetti (or pizza) sauce (we used about 1 1/2 c. because we LOVE sauce)
    • 8 oz. Mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
    • Toppings of your choosing (we used pepperoni)
    • Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the tube into 3/4 – 1″  slices, then cut the slices in half.  Roll the pieces into balls.

Stir dough into sauce and coat evenly.

Dump dough/sauce mixture into a greased 8X8 pan.  If it seems like there isn’t enough dough for the bottom of the pan – don’t worry!  It will expand.

Add your toppings, then top with cheese and Italian seasoning.  My edge didn’t have any pepperoni.

Bake 12-15 minutes.  Enjoy!

The result: doughy balls of delicious pizzaness.

For a larger crowd you can add another can of dough, and use a 9×13″ baking pan.  Of course you’ll need more sauce, cheese and toppings too!

Subway Breakfast

My all time favorite on the go breakfast:  Subway egg-white on English muffin with Pepper Jack cheese, topped with spinach, green peppers, onions, and olive oil.  5 PP+!  It would be 4PP+ without the olive oil but I need to get in my GHGs – and this is an easy way to do it!

This picture doesn’t do a great job of showing it but my muffin was rock hard.  I still ate it anyways.

Pinspiration: Freezing Soup

I found this idea for freezing leftover soup in silicone muffin liners on Pinterest – it originally came from themommyincharge.com.  The idea is to freeze it in single servings and wrap it in plastic for later consumption.  Perfect to just pop in a mug and re-heat!

I was very excited on Christmas night when I unwrapped a gift from my future in-laws containing a 17-piece silicone baking set, which included 12 silicone muffin liners.  The very first thing I thought to use them for was freezing soup!

I made Spicy Veggie Soup last night and thought this was the perfect opportunity to use my muffin liners.

Each muffin liner holds 1/2 cup.  I’m finding pre-measuring items into single servings is one of the best ways to set my self up for food consumption success.

Once they were frozen I just put each one in a sandwich bag and tied it shut with a twist tie.  Back in the freezer they go.  Easy meal – ready to go!

Recipe Attempt: Spicy Veggie Soup

On a cold unseasonably warm Minnesota winter day nothing hits the spot like a piping hot bowl of soup!   Tonight I attempted Spicy Vegetable Soup via NutriNosh.

I wanted to try this soup the second I saw it for a few reasons.  The top 3 being:  it’s low in points (1 PP+ per cup), it’s made from all power foods (perfect for the days I attempt the Simply Filling Technique), and it looks delicious!

The only variations I made were no yellow squash (our grocery store didn’t have any :\) and no spinach.

I snuck a taste of a veggie here and there.  I could eat this as a side.  A very spicy side.  The house smelled amazing with those veggies sauteing on the stove!

The final product.  It would have been more colorful if I would have added the yellow squash and spinach, but this color palette will do.  This is definitely going to be a go-to recipe for point friendly soup!

Leftovers are chilling in the freezer as I type.

Wine

I spent the Chamber Bucks I received as a Christmas gift from my board of supervisors on some delicious local wine from the municipal liquor store!  That’s keeping the money in our community x3!

NOVA Semi-Sweet Red Table Wine – Morgan Creek Vineyards, New Ulm, MN
The Wine-ing Farmer Semi-Sweet Red Wine – Fieldstone Vineyards, Redwood Falls, MN
Morgan Creek Myst Sweet White Table Wine – Morgan Creek Vineyards, New Ulm, MN

I’ve already tried NOVA – it’s my all time favorite wine so I’m going to save this bottle for a special occasion.  And tonight I’ve enjoyed 2 small glasses of The Wine-ing Farmer diluted with water while reading a new book.