Thursday, October 27, 2011

Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes!

I've never been a fan of the sweet potato.  I didn't even used to eat them at Thanksgiving when they were all sweet, sugary, and covered in marshmallows.  Yea, ok, so I'm weird.  I know.  I finally tried them at Thanksgiving last year.  They were delish!   Sooo I'm determined to make healthy options of my Thanksgiving favorites for this Thanksgiving. 

An old friend of mine shared this Weight Watchers recipe with me a while ago - but I never tried it - until last night.... It's so simple & quick - but quite tasty!
4 Sweet Potatoes
1 can (15 1/4 oz) Crushed pineapple - drained

Bake potatoes directly on rack, at 400.  Will take about 30-40 minutes.  Test for doneness by cutting into, or pushing your finger into the side to see if it's soft (warning: potato will be hot!). 
Let Potatoes cool for about 10 minutes. 
Slice open and remove potato flesh from skin - put flesh into bowl with pineapple. 
Mash potatoes with potato masher or with a fork until pineapple breaks down (about 2-3 minutes).  Yields 8 1/2 cup servings.  You could also top this with a few mini marshmallows if you wanted to.

Approximate nutrition information..... 
75 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Fiber
21mg Sodium
1g Protein

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


If you haven't tried Naked Juice - Green Machine Smoothie - you should!  It's a yummy blend of fruits & veggies (including spinach & broccoli) - but it tastes fantastic!!  Just tastes like fruit juice - you'd never know that there's veggies in it - but the icky green color kind of gives it away! ;)

I decided to make it into a smoothie today - so simple - but very tasty!!  
4oz Naked Juice - Green Machine
1/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (I used Weight Watchers)
5-10 ice cubes
1/4 cup water
Combine all ingredients in blender - blend until smooth.

100 Calories
0g Fat
22g Carbs
0g Fiber
48mg Sodium
3g Protein

**You could of course add a fiber supplement if you like (I did) - or you could add protein powder (this would change the nutrition information of course) - but because this has so much fruit & veggie nutrients in it, it's a beverage worth the 100 calories!! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

A new love affair....

.... with eggplant!!! 

I've known people for years that claim to love eggplant.... But I had never had it!  Not surprising - I used to be a very picky eater, and I probably wouldn't have tried it anyways! BUT for some reason I recently got it in my head that I wanted to try it. Yesterday I was picking up some groceries, but the eggplant there didn't look all that appetizing, so I didn't buy one.  On the way to my boyfriends house, though, I decided to stop by a little roadside produce market (locally grown of course!) that I've been wanting to go into anyways - this sweet little old lady working there helped me pick one out, and I couldn't wait to cook it! 

I still wasn't exactly sure how to cook it.  I did some looking around online at different recipes, and finally decided to just go with this -- simple & delicious.  I can't wait to have it again!  I'm thinking I'm going to have to start cooking this like once a week.   YUM!!!

1 eggplant, pretty thinly sliced - and peeled.
spaghetti sauce (whatever variety you like)
Shredded cheese - all we had on hand was the mexican variety but it worked well!
cooking spray (I used Smart Balance)
Emeril's Original Essence (or whatever seasoning you like) 

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray aluminum foil (already on baking sheet) with cooking spray. Spray each side of the eggplant slices - sprinkle some seasoning on each side as well.  Place on baking sheet - you may need more than one baking sheet depending on how large your eggplant is, or how much you're making.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  I sprayed the eggplant slices with a little more cooking spray about half way through.... remove from oven, top with a little bit of spaghetti sauce, and a little bit of cheese (almost look like mini pizzas) and bake for a few more minutes (just to melt cheese).  Remove from oven & ENJOY!
 I had my eggplant on a bed of pasta - I used Barilla Piccolini Farfalle Pasta (carrots & squash) -- I like to use whole wheat pasta, but I like this pasta too because it has a full serving of vegetables in each serving!  Score!  

You can add a little more spaghetti sauce if you like for the pasta.... and it's a delicious healthy meal!  My boyfriend, who is kind of a picky eater, and who also had not had eggplant and was not thrilled when I said I wanted to make it, said it was good too! :)

You could also make this as a side dish to go with chicken or pork.

*Nutrition info just for eggplant as prepared above*
140 Calories
4.5g Fat
23g Carbs
10g Fiber
275mg Sodium
5g Protein

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Frozen Pumpkin Pie... or is it?

This is great for an evening snack -- It's sweet so it'll satisfy your sweet tooth, but not over the top, It's got a ton of protein, and it's low in calories -- even has some fiber in there for good measure! 
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Jillian Michael's Natural Whey Protein)
1/4 cup Canned Pumpkin
small squirt of honey (maybe 1/4Tbsp)
3/4 container Stonyfield Oikos Caramel Greek Yogurt
Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste
Topping: a few Tbsp Cool Whip Free

Combine all ingredients (minus topping) in a bowl -- freeze for an hour or two.  Top with Cool Whip Free - enjoy! 

240 Calories
1g Fat
30.5g Carbs
6g Fiber
108mg Sodium
23g Protein

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Ahhh.... Why didn't I think of this sooner?  This is the perfect breakfast for this time of year - or yesterday I had it as my pre-gym snack!

I use Better Oats OatFit Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal -- This comes in boxes of 5 packets - and the packets actually can be used to measure out the water, so you can make the perfect bowl of oatmeal every time!  You can find BetterOats at Target, and they often have them on sale for $1 per box!  They make various different flavors - I like the OatFit variety because they are only 100 calories per pack.  They have just the right amount of sweetness!

1packet OatFit Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
1/3 cup Canned Pumpkin (Libby's 100% canned pumpkin)
1/2tsp sugar
1/8 scoop vanilla whey protein (I used Jillian Michael's Natural Whey Protein Powder)
1/10 cup 2% or skim milk
Prepare the oatmeal as you normally would.  Mix in all other ingredients and stir until nicely blended.  ENJOY!

162 Calories
2g Fat
25g Carbs
6g Fiber
240mg Sodium
8g Protein

Monday, October 17, 2011

Zucchini Spaghetti!!

Who doesn't like spaghetti?  I just try to avoid it because of the carbs... even if you use whole wheat pasta, it's still a heavy dish.  I adapted this idea a while ago from a zucchini pizza bites recipe I came across. It was delicious!!  

I just slice up Zucchini (used 2 zucchini's today) (You can also get frozen zucchini, already sliced up if you like - the only place I've been able to find that is Giant) & saute it with a little olive oil or cooking spray, and some Emerils Original Essence.  I also, like to add in some mushrooms, sometimes some onions - you can do whatever you want here.  I used 1/4 cup Prego Light Smart Spaghetti Sauce - but you can use whatever variety you like - and I topped it with a little (about 1Tbsp) Fat Free Parmesan Cheese. Keep in mind, if you change the ingredients, the nutrition information will be different.....  It's good with mini turkey pepperonis & also with tofu!

This makes a light satisfying meal....

110 Calories 
0g Fat
23g Carbs
6g Fiber
376mg Sodium
8g Protein

I paired this with a yummy spinach salad! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Simple Healthy Snack - Salsafied!

Here's an idea for a simple tasty snack....
I love chips & salsa, but I try not to eat chips too often - but I eat salsa almost daily.
My favorite is black bean & corn salsa.... Newman's Own & Great Value (yep, WalMart) are both fantastic.  They each have a different taste even though they are both black bean & corn - but they are both very tasty!  A while ago I randomly decided to try cucumbers with salsa. It quickly became my new favorite snack!! An entire medium cucumber only has about 45 calories -- and the salsa only has 20 calories per 2 Tbsp.  Woohoo - healthy and tasty!  Try it!  :) 

Pumpkin Yogurt!

And the pumpkin saga continues... 

I love yogurt - so I thought why not pumpkin yogurt?  Though I've never seen that as a pre-packaged flavor, I thought it must be do-able!  And all I can say is YUM!

This is high in protein - low in carbs & calories - AND high in Fiber!  Major SCORE!  You could make this your entire breakfast, or if you want a little something more, pair it with a tasty egg white omelet. 

1/2 cup Weight Watchers NonFat Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin (Libby's 100% Pumpkin)
1 packet Splenda
1/4 scoop Syntrax Nectar Sweets Vanilla Bean Torte Protein Powder
Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste

Combine all ingredients in bowl - stir until smooth/mixed.  
115 Calories
1g Fat
14g Carbs
7g Fiber
95mg Sodium
11g Protein

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte - Gone Skinny!!

Continuing with what looks like my Pumpkin obsession....
After I finished at the gym today, I wanted some coffee -- DECAF of course!  (It was a cold rainy afternoon - hot drinks are always good!)

I stopped by 7-11 ($1 refill in my reusable cup - score!) and saw that they had pumpkin spice latte!!  Woohoo!  But upon looking in my most favorite app ever - MyFitnessPal - that a 20 oz serving of the Pumpkin Spice Latte has 250 calories.  NO THANK YOU!!

So, being the foodie genius that I've become, I decided to fill my cup about 2/3 of the way full with decaf coffee - and then added 1/3 (about 4oz) of the Pumpkin Spice Latte -- ONLY 50 calories!!   Just as good as the full calorie version!! :)

I'd imagine you could do this with any of the latte flavors there at 7-11 or anywhere else....

Something a little different...

I think I saw a pizza omelet in a cook book somewhere, I know I didn't just randomly think of this on my own - though I did not follow any recipe - and it turned out pretty good!  You can add veggies if you like, I just didn't because I didn't have much on hand - but I wanted something tasty and high protein for breakfast!  

3 Eggs - Whites Only
1/8 cup Prego Light Smart Spaghetti Sauce
a sprinkle of Reduced fat Shredded Mozzarella
10-15 mini turkey pepperonis

Start cooking egg whites in pan -- add some cheese and pepperonis.  cook for a minute or two, fold, and cook for another minute or so, flipping half way through. 
Top with a little cheese & the Spaghetti sauce after plating. 

86 Calories
2g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Fiber
576mg Sodium
15g Protein

I paired this with another pumpkin pie protein shake -- a little different than the one I had yesterday.... Now, this does make a large smoothie, you could easily share this with someone else - or for the calories, you could just have it all yourself - It could be a meal in itself! 

1/2 scoop Nectar Sweets Vanilla Bean Torte Protein Powder
just under 1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin - Libby's
1 Container - Stonyfield Oikos Greek Yogurt - Caramel - comes in 4 pack
Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste
5-10 Ice cubes
1/4 - 1/2 cup water

Combine all items in blender - blend until smooth.

192 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
4g Fiber
124mg Sodium
24g Protein

Awesome breakfast - under 300 Calories!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bring out the pumpkin!!

I love anything pumpkin... so naturally, Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year just because all things pumpkin come out!  I was super excited yesterday to see that my gym has brought out their Pumpkin Pie recovery shake so I decided it was time for me to make my own!!
Under 150 calories and only cost me about $1! 

just under 1/2 scoop Syntrax Nectar Sweets Protein - Vanilla Bean Torte
1/2 cup Libby's canned 100% Pumpkin
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Cinnamon - for topping/garnish!
Honey (about a tsp - just a small squeeze!)
1/2Tbsp Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Whipped Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Lactose Free 2% Milk
1/3 cup water
5-10 ice cubes

Combine all items in blender and blend until smooth!  Top with cinnamon!

Almost like drinking Pumpkin Pie - but way better for you!! 

144 Calories
3g Fat
12g Carbs
5g Fiber
104mg Sodium
14g Protein

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Southwestern Tuna

I was just going to make a normal boring tuna sandwich today - I have always loved tuna!  BUT then I didn't have any relish - and I happen to like a little relish in my tuna (which I know is weird because I don't like pickles).

But then I remembered I had rice cakes, and salsa -- and my lunch took on a whole new flavor!! 

Quaker Lightly Salted Rice Cakes
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Chunk Light Tuna in Water
Light Mayonnaise

So I had already mixed the tuna and mayo - but you don't have to put mayo in this if you don't want to - it was quite good with it though. 

Mix 1/4 can tuna with 1/2 Tbsp Light Mayo.  Top Rice cake with Tuna.  Top it all off with a couple TBSP of salsa.  I use the black bean & corn salsa (LOVE the Wal-Mart/Great Value brand) because that's my favorite but you could use whichever kind you like.  

2.5g Fat
11.5g Carbs
1g Fiber
230mg Sodium
6.5g Protein

Double the recipe and have a hearty healthy lunch for under 200 calories!! Pair it with some raw veggies and/or fruit -- SCORE!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

So lately, it seems like I can't get enough coffee!!
 It's cool enough in the mornings now that hot coffee makes me feel toasty.... I love a good coffee shake or iced coffee anytime of the day - And blast of java can really hit the spot after my workout!  It's not even the caffeine, it's the taste.  Don't get me wrong - the caffeine is good - especially in the mornings - and in the afternoon if I'm feeling tired, but it's more about the yummy taste of it for me.
Today I concocted a choco-java shake/smoothie of my own - and it turned out so good I had to share!

1/2 scoop Syntrax Nectar Sweets - Vanilla Bean Torte
1tsp instant coffee
1tbsp Hershey's chocolate syrup
1tsp Coffee Mate Creamy Chocolate
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup 2% or skim milk
1/4 cup water
5-10 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. 

177 Calories
3g Fat
101mg Sodium
22g Carbs
2g Fiber
16g Protein

photo borrowed from: