Archive for March, 2013

Wednesday

When I woke up this morning I thought I really fancy some “Cream of Wheat” for breakfast!  I can’t remember the last time I had some.  It somehow reminds of semolina which I loved as a child!  The best part is it is 100% Simply Filling.

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I had mine with some blueberries sprinkled on the top and a Banana to follow, which I ate on my way to a Doctor’s appointment this morning.

Lunchtime was another of those easy ones.

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I took the leftover portion of the Picadillo from last night, together with a Multi Grain Thin bun and made a sloppy joe style sandwich.  Served up with some 0% Vanilla Greek Yoghurt and an Apple.  A 100% Simply Filling lunch.

For dinner this evening I made Italian Turkey Burgers and Zucchini Fries.

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I was actually quite surprised with the Zucchini Fries.  They were pretty tasty.  The first few I breaded up seemed to have more of a coating and they were definitely more crispy.  I used panko breadcrumbs because that is what I had on hand, but I think because the crumbs are bigger they almost didn’t stretch as far as using a fine breadcrumb, if you know what I mean!!  Can’t go wrong with a good old turkey burger, this one had a nice Italian flavor going on.

In a bowl combine the turkey, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes and basil together until just combined.

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Whisk together the egg and tomato sauce and add to the meat mixture.  Mix until just combined.

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Add the breadcrumbs and mix until everything comes together.

Form into two patties.

Grill or heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Cook for about 7 mins on each side or until cooked.

For the Zucchini Fries – Mix together the breadcrumbs, oregano, rosemary, basil and black pepper.

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Beat the egg whites and set aside.

Slice zucchini in half and then slice each half into quarters.  If you want them really crispy, slice each half into eighths.  The skinnier the slices are, the crispier they will be.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit for at least 5 mins on paper towels.  This will help remove some of the moisture.

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Pull out the baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.  Dip the zucchini slices into the egg whites and then coat with the breadcrumbs.  Place onto the baking sheet.  Repeat.

Bake for 15-20 mins, flipping halfway through.  Let cool for 2-3 mins.

Today has been a good day, as I look back I realize that everything has been a Simply Filling food choice.  There are so many great ways out there to cook using only Simply Filling foods.

Italian Turkey Burgers – 6 Points Plus – 100% Simply Filling

Italian Turkey Burgers – 6 Points Plus – 100% Simply Filling

Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/4 cup diced Onion
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/6 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil

In a bowl combine the turkey, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes and basil together until just combined.

Whisk together the egg and tomato sauce and add to the meat mixture.  Mix until just combined.

Add the breadcrumbs and mix until everything comes together.

Form into two patties.

Grill or heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Cook for about 7 mins on each side or until cooked.

Zucchini Fries – 1 Points Plus – 100% Simply Filling

Zucchini Fries – 1 Points Plus – 100% Simply Filling

Serves 2

  • 1 large Zucchini, cut in half and then into quarters
  • 1/8 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 tsp Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg White
  • Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a large baking sheet into the oven to preheat as well.  This helps the zucchini to crisp up.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, oregano, rosemary, basil and black pepper.  Beat the egg whites and set aside.

Slice zucchini in half and then slice each half into quarters.  If you want them really crispy, slice each half into eighths.  The skinnier the slices are, the crispier they will be.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit for at least 5 mins on paper towels.  This will help remove some of the moisture.

Pull out the baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.  Dip the zucchini slices into the egg whites and then coat with the breadcrumbs.  Place onto the baking sheet.  Repeat.

Bake for 15-20 mins, flipping halfway through.  Let cool for 2-3 mins.

Tuesday – National American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Today is National American Diabetes Association Alert Day, it is celebrated annually on the fourth Tuesday of every March.  This day is a one-day “wake-up call” to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes and you are  encouraged  to take the diabetes risk test and learn about your family’s history of diabetes.

As we live in Canada here is a link to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

My husband has two brothers with Type 1 Diabetes.  One of them died a number of years ago caused by his diabetes.  He has another brother who has had both legs amputated to the knee and is awaiting a kidney transplant, again caused by his diabetes.  With a family history I like to try and make sure my hubby eats healthy balanced meals.

Well after Easter dinner rolling over into a Monday dinner as well (there were lots of leftovers).  It was good today to get back to some simple foods.

Breakfast

Breakfast 26th

I had an “unfried” egg with a slice of Canadian Back Bacon served up in a Multi Grain Thin Bun (with a little HP Brown Sauce – the Great British Sauce!!)  A small bowl of 0%  Vanilla Greek Yoghurt and a small glass of Fat Free Milk.  All of these items are on the Weightwatchers Simply Filling List and were 100% Simply Filling.

Lunch

Lunch 26th

For lunch I had a piece of the Honey Garlic Chicken that was left over from Saturday.  I didn’t reserve any of the sauce.  Just the chicken and I had it with a nice salad of green leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes and shredded carrot with a Fat Free Dressing.  A small bowl of 0% Greek Yoghurt and a small tsp of Sugar Free Strawberry Jam on top of it, together with an Apple.

Everything was Simply Filling except for the piece of chicken, when I cooked it on Saturday it came out with an extra 1 WPA.

Dinner

Dinner 26th

A  late dinner tonight.  I had my Zumba class from 7-8pm.  I started the prep work before I left and finished cooking it when I got home.

This evening I made Picadillo which I served with Brown Rice and a sprinkling of Low Fat Cheddar Cheese.

I was a little intrigued with this Picadillo.  It sounds Mexican and it had diced potatoes and diced carrots in it, not ingredients I would normally associate with Mexican food.

So I was wrong Picadillo is Cuban

Picadillo is Cuban-style hash and a favorite meal of most Cubans

As I browsed around the Internet I found so many recipes for Picadillo, many of them with a lot more spices added than this one.  This was very mild.  To be honest I could not really see the point of the whole pepper.  I am not sure that it even added any flavor!!  But it is was a simple meal to prepare and in the middle of the week that is important and it was 100% Simply Filling and there is a portion left tomorrow to turn into a “sloppy joe” style sandwich at lunchtime!  Recipe from The Slender Kitchen.

Picadillo – 100% Simply Filling (6 Points Plus)

Picadillo – 100% Simply Filling (6 Points Plus)

Serves 3

  • 2/3 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2/3 Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1/2 lb Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • 2/3 tsp Salt
  • 1 Whole Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1 Large Potato, diced small
  • 12oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Pepper

In a medium pot sauté onion, garlic and carrots in olive oil until softened.

Add ground beef ad brown completely.

Add potatoes, whole jalapeno and bay leaf,  .

Pour in tomato sauce and let simmer on low for 45-60 mins until the potatoes have softened.

Two servings are for dinner

One is for lunch later in the week.

Easter Dinner …. a week early

Sunday we had our family Easter dinner.  We had it a week early due to family travelling next weekend …

Not a day to be trying too hard to count points or to worry too much about Simply Filling.

This is the menu we had:  All recipes below

Glazed Pineapple Ham

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Butter

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Steamed Cauliflower, Broccoli & Carrots

Peaches & Cream Salad

Easter Bunny Bread

Strawberry Pavlova

Cherry Pie (store bought!)

Glazed Pineapple Ham

Prep:  15 mins / Bake: 2 1/4 hours / Makes: 20 servings

  • 1 fully cooked bone-in ham (7-9 pound)
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
  • Can Unsweetened Crushed Pineapple, undrained
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.  Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until thermometer reaches 130 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan dissolve cornstarch in water; stir in brown sugar, pineapple, lemon juice, mustard and salt.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 mins or until slightly thickened.  Reserve 2 cups for sauce; keep warm.

Remove ham from oven.;  Increase temperature to 425 degrees.  Pour the remaining pineapple sauce over the ham.  Bake uncovered for 10-15 mins longer or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

Recipe from Taste of Home, February/March 2013

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Butter

Prep: 30 mins / Bake: 20 mins / Makes 5 servings

Roasted Potatoes

  • 1 Yams, peeled
  • 2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 1/8 cup Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 cup Low Fat Cheddar, grated
  • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Cut potatoes into 1/8″ slices, toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread on 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 20 mins or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and thyme, cook and stir for 1 min.  Transfer roasted potatoes to a large bowl.  Add butter mixture and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with cheeses, toss to combine.

Recipe came from Taste of Home, February/March 2013 edition with some modifications to try and make it a little more Simply Filling

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Prep: 10 mins / Cook:  50 mins / Makes: 8 servings

Cheesy-Potato-Casserole

  • 1 Bag Gold Rush Diced Hash Browns
  • 1  Low Fat Cream of Chicken soup
  • 2 Cups Fat Free Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups Low Fat Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1/3 Cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 2 Cups corn flakes, crushed
  • 1/4 Cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 13×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese, onion and Hash Browns until well mixed. Spoon evenly into baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together cereal and butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of Hash Brown mixture.

Bake uncovered for about 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional sliced green onion if desired.

(The original recipe calls for Ore-Ida Hash Browns, but if you use the Gold Rush potatoes they have no fat added, they are just diced potatoes.)

Recipe on the Ore-Ida website.

Peaches & Cream Salad

  • 1 3oz Peach Jelly Powder
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • 1 cup Peach Juice from drained fruit (add water if needed)
  • 1/4 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 cup Whipping Cream
  • 14oz Can Sliced Peaches in Juice, drained (reserve juice)

Dissolve jelly powder in boiling water in medium sized bowl.

Add reserved juice and flavoring.  Stir.  Measure out 1 cup jelly into medium size bowl and chill until syrupy.  Leave remaining jelly at room temperature.

Whip cream until stiff.  Fold into thickened jelly.  Pour into mold.  Chill.

Put remaining jelly in fridge to chill until syrupy.  Fold peaches into thickened clear jelly.  Spoon over cream layer.  Chill until firm.

Easter Bunny Bread

  • 2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 sliced almonds
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Dip of your choice

Cut a fourth off of one loaf of dough; shape into a pear to form head. For body, flatten remaining portion into a 7-in. x 6-in. oval; place on a greased baking sheet. Place head above body. Make narrow cuts, about 3/4 in. deep, on each side of head for whiskers.

Cut second loaf into four equal portions. For ears, shape two portions into 16-in. ropes; fold ropes in half. Arrange ears with open ends touching head. Cut a third portion of dough in half; shape each into a 3-1/2-in. oval for back paws. Cut two 1-in. slits on top edge for toes. Position on each side of body.

Divide the fourth portion of dough into three pieces. Shape two pieces into 2-1/2-in. balls for front paws; shape the remaining piece into two 1-in. balls for cheeks and one 1/2-in. ball for nose. Place paws on each side of body; cut two 1-in. slits for toes. Place cheeks and nose on face. Add raisins for eyes and almonds for teeth.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30-45 minutes. Brush dough with egg. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Place bread on a serving tray. Cut a 3-1/2-in. circle in center of body. Hollow out bread, leaving a 1/2-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Place a 1-cup shallow bowl in the hole and fill with dip. Yield: 1 loaf.

Recipe from Quick Cooking Magazine, March/April 2001, p13

Strawberry Pavlova

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1.25 cups Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Draw an 8″ diameter circle on the parchment paper using a pencil (reverse the parchment so the pencil mark is below and won’t transfer onto the meringue.

Put the egg whites in a large, clean, grease-free bowl with the salt.  Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Start whisking in the sugar 1 Tbsp at a time, until whites are stiff and glossy.  Whisk in the cornstarch and vinegar.

Spoon it into a mound inside the circle on the parchment.  Spread it to the edges of the circle.

Bake for 5 mins, then reduce heat to 250 degrees and cook for another 75 mins.  Leave to cool completely in the oven.  Whip the cream until stiff and it holds its shape.  Spoon the cream into the meringue base and top with sliced strawberries.

Recipe from “Illustrated Step-by-Step Baking”, Caroline Bretherton, Page 252

Illustrated Step-By-Step Baking

Saturday

Well Saturday was a somewhat hectic day for me, but I did manage to really think about what I was eating for most of the day!!

For breakfast I made another batch of the Individual Blueberry Oatmeal Cups, I looked at the Points Value on these again and they are Simply Filing plus 1WPA (5pp).  I honestly think I would be happy with one of these every day for breakfast.

Blueberry Oat Cups

When I got back from shopping I made up some soup for lunch and put together a crockpot meal for dinner.

For lunch I made a Roasted Tomato Soup – to be honest for the length of time that it took until we were actually eating it, it wasn’t all that special.  The ingredients were all Simply Filling – Roma tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, chicken broth.  So this the soup 100% Simply Filling.  With it I made a 100% Simply Filing Grilled Cheese Sandwich!  I used 2 slices of low calorie bread, sprayed with a little Becel spray and filled with a tbsp Low Fat Cheddar.  I must admit that the sandwich my husband had using regular cheese and regular bread and butter did look a little more desirable but never mind!!!!!!!

I put together a crockpot dinner, which was able to cook while the hubby and I made a trip to Costco!!!!  Wow, was it ever busy there this week.  Lots of Easter shopping going on I think.

I made Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken.  All ingredients except for the honey were Simply Filling.  So it worked out at 1 WPA per serving.  We had it with brown rice (100% Simply Filling).

So up to this point I had spent 2 WPA.

We ended the evening by going to the Movies with some friends.  I guesstimate that the amount of popcorn that I had was probably about 6 Points Plus, so I have to use my WPA for that.

So today I spend 8 of my WPA, which leaves 41 remaining.  Tomorrow we are having our Family Easter Dinner.  I have been trying to adjust some of the recipes I am using to make them a little more on the Simply Filling side!!!!!!

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