Mexican Lettuce Wraps – Sun Feb 16th

This is another recipe that was passed on to me. 🙂 I love trying new things… and this time I wanted to do a lettuce wrap. Since I can’t seem to ever find the pita’s/wraps the I want… I figured why not nix them all together… My friend Jennifer seems to have the best recipes or she seems to always suggest stuff that is right on what I was thinking of doing. Fun!

So here we have it, my lunch for this week…

Mexican Lettuce Wraps
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1 cup black beans, rinsed
1 cup pinto beans, rinsed
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 small avocado, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Shredded cheese (optional)
Salsa
Stir together beans, corn, tomato, avocado, cilantro, lemon juice and chili powder.
Spoon into lettuce leaf top with cheese and salsa (if desired.)
Pretty good! I should also add to salt and pepper to taste. And let me just say, I love cilantro! I hear more often of people who hate cilantro and I am like what!? To me it’s not a good Mexican dish without some cilantro mixed up in it…. if you feel this way, feel free to add more than what it calls for. 🙂
I spooned about 1/4 cup of the mix into a large lettuce leaf and then I added the salsa and a little bit of shredded cheese…and rolled it up like I would a tortilla…IMG_20140217_133511_983
I thought it’d be harder to handle than it was. I was expecting it to be flimsy and not easy to hold together, but it’s not. It holds together just fine. You could pair it with some healthy black bean tortilla chips… homemade salsa …etc.
Yummmmmy 🙂
If you have any recipes you think I would like feel free to send them to me! I am always looking for new things to try and keeping it healthy as possible! I’d love to hear from you! email: amyount@gmail.com
Happy prepping!
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Vegetable Soup – Sun Feb 09th

This week I am doing a vegetable soup…it’s a recipe that was passed on to me from a friend. 🙂 Since we’ve been under a solid sheet of ice and snow I figured soup was in order!?!

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The original recipe called for 4 beef bouillon cubes and 4 cups of water. I just decided to use what I had on hand so I went with 4 cups beef broth which is just 1 of those containers.

4 cups beef broth
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 pkgs frozen mixed vegetables
1 clove garlic, minced
Half small head of cabbage, chopped
1 (large) can crushed tomatoes (pictured above crushed tomatoes with basil)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Put in pot and simmer until cabbage is

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Easy as can be! I haven’t figured up the calories to it yet… But I divided that pot full in to 5 lunch portions for the week. Can be too bad…

All set for another week. I’ve got some fruit and things for snacks and breakfast.

Due to work constraints I didn’t get to work out last week… So I am really anxious to get back in gear this week. I really do miss it and it is amazing at how much better I feel physically (even when I’m sore!)…

Happy prepping…. Set yourself up for success this week!

Grilled Lime & Taco Chicken Bowl w/veggies – Sun Feb 02

I found this recipe/meal on Pinterest. Click here for the direct link to the originator of this meal.

Grilled Taco & Lime Chicken:

This is probably what sold me to try this dish. I love finding new and different ways to flavor chicken. I decided to marinade the chicken for a few hours and plan to grill it later this evening.

1 lb chicken
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 limes

I trimmed the chicken, put it in a plastic baggy… dumped in the spices, squeezed the limes.. and shook it up good; making sure everything is good and coated then I put it back in the fridge.

I’m putting it together with roasted vegetables and brown rice. I decided to try some new things, again my whole goal in these weekly meals aren’t just to tell you what I am eating but it’s also to discover new foods and ways of preparing. It’s not necessarily a new way to prepare but something new I’ve never done before. I am also trying to eat as cleanly as possible.

So to pair with the chicken I’m roasting cauliflower and asparagus. I had a tad bit of broccoli left over so I decided to toss it in as well. Roasting vegetables is easy…but I didn’t realize that until tonight.

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Preheat oven to 375
I cut up and washed the cauliflower and spread it evenly over a 9×13 cookie sheet.
I then snapped the ends off the asparagus and washed them really good and spread them across a smaller cookie sheet.
I drizzled extra virgin olive oil over both pans, tossed both veggies around a bit to evenly coat. Then sprinkled with kosher salt. Asparagus cook time: 7 minutes (or so…) and cauliflower cook time: 10 mins (or so…)

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I cooked up some brown rice (under the veggies in the pic) Honestly this is probably too much food but considering it’s all fresh vegetables it’s alright. I will grill  up the chicken later and put it on top and the dish will be complete!

Maybe I’ll get Mr Y to eat some for lunch… I probably could divide this up into 2-3 more meals.

Anyways, Happy Super Bowl Sunday… May the odds be ever in your favor!

p.s. Happy prepping 🙂

January – review of meals

I decided I would do a quick review of the recipes and meals I made in January and tell you what I liked and didn’t like. I would love your feed back… any and all feedback is greatly welcomed! I am not a pro… I am a regular girl, no special cooking skills to speak of…trying to learn new recipes and better ways of preparing food at the same time planning my meals and sharing the results. Despite what anyone may think, I actually do this blog more for my own sake than anything but I love hearing that it is inspiring and encouraging others. We learn and grow from each other so any of my readers are free to comment and tell me what they think, tips, tricks, and advice.

So in January I made oven baked fajitas, “skinny” tuna salad, and a chicken veggie wrap. Two bonus items I made was an oatmeal breakfast dish and kale chips.

I was super excited about the oven baked fajitas. I really liked them and it was a so easy to do! It was a bit spicy and got to be a tad overwhelming by the end of the week.. just from eating a spicy Mexican dish every day for lunch. Not to mention that I had a chicken tortilla soup that week for dinner that was a tad spicy as well. So next time I’ll probably tone down the cayenne pepper some and eat milder dinners and maybe my digestive tract won’t hate me as much. 🙂 but for what really counts… it was very tasty, easy to make and pretty “clean” I believe. Click link for more details on that recipe.

The tuna salad was really good as well. A little more hands on in preparation for slicing, dicing, measuring and mixing but it was well worth it. I learned something new with this dish and it is the flexibility of using cottage cheese and plain non-fat yogurt in place of mayonnaise, etc. I really expected not to like this dish at all so I was pleasantly surprised…..if you are a tuna fan I really encourage you to try this dish. Like my hubby says.. “don’t knock it until you try it!”

So the oatmeal dish I posted as a breakfast was not something I liked. I don’t know what it is, I am still struggling with coming up with a oatmeal breakfast dish that I will eat and enjoy. The one I posted (see link above) was no different. It tasted bitter…bland…and just… not good. I’d be interested to hear if any of you have oatmeal dishes that are good or have good breakfast ideas… because breakfast is a struggle for me.

And that leaves us with last weeks post, which was a chicken wrap with vegetables and kale chips. The wrap was really good. I loved it.. I know that recipe/idea can be improved upon because I didn’t have the greatest “wrap” and I couldn’t find a hummus that I wanted to try. It was a good dish and definitely something I will make again.

The kale chips did not work out for me. I have never made them before so this was a test run. I may try again and tweak some things. They were crispy right out of the oven and tasted okay.. definitely something that I would have to get used to..but I could see the appeal. I expected that they would last throughout the week but they didn’t. The next day they had wilted down some. They were still some what crispy but had become very chewy and seemed to me the bitterness was stronger. I ate a few of them but then had to toss them. The concept with this lunch was sort of like a sandwich and chips. I did a wrap instead and the chips were to be kale chips. It was a nice idea…but you win some and you lose some. It’s all a part of the learning experience and the journey. 🙂

So we’re into February now! I don’t know about the rest of you, I can’t wait for spring. I don’t mind the winter but we’ve had a lot of snow here in the Ohio Valley, along with arctic temperatures and I’m over it! I am ready for spring and summer where I can get outside for some exercise and also fire up the grill! But the part I am most anxious about is all of the farmer’s markets!! You just can’t beat fresh produce!

Somewhere sunny and 75 is what I need…. 🙂

Whole wheat wrap, chicken & vegs with kale chips -Sun Jan 26th

So I am kinda making up my own thing this week. I browsed and browsed for something similar that I could follow and couldn’t quite come up with something I’d want and or wasn’t too complicated. I had already decided that I wanted to do a wrap of some kind but there are a thousand types of wraps out on the web and so I figured I’d might as well make it a thousand and one.

I do need to remind you that I am learning as I go. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out and I am almost positive that my recipes and meals can be improved upon. I am just trying new things and adjusting as I go.

I don’t have any pictures for you yet because this will be something I’ll have to take after I assemble at lunch time tomorrow. But I will give you the outline of what I am going for…

I have whole wheat tortillas… I was not super enthused about my choices of “wraps” at Wal-mart and we were shopping in a hurry ..but this is a good lessen to take from me… don’t shop in a hurry and go to more stores if you have to. But this is where I am at this week. I am just being real with you. 🙂

Okay, so the whole wheat tortilla’s are what I plan to “wrap” with. 1 tortilla is 170 calories.
I have “shredded” chicken that I cooked earlier. I just boiled it. I’m not exactly sure how much I plan to put in each wrap but probably between 3-4 oz each. I have sliced up (peeled) cucumber and sliced tomatoes. I also bought an organic “spring” mix of baby spinach and other greens.

I debated a long time on some sort of dairy… whether to go with cheese or something else.. or try something like hummus. I was going to go the hummus route but once again, last minute shopping at Wal-mart left me with few options and I couldn’t find a flavor to go with what I have going on. So I got some feta cheese..which 1/4th cup is 80 calories but feta cheese is one that very little goes a long way…so I probably won’t eat a full serving at once. My other option if I don’t go the feta route, I got some Laughing Cow cream cheese spread which is a garden vegetable flavor. 1 serving of it is 45 calories.

So….
Screenshot_2014-02-03-22-20-22-11 tortilla (170 cals)
3-4 oz shredded chicken (120-180 cals)
1/4 cup feta cheese (80 cals) or 1 wedge laughing cow cream cheese garden vegetable flavor (45 cals)
1/4 cup cucumber (4 cals)
2-3 thin sliced tomato (3-5 cals)
1 cup Baby spring mix (spinach, etc) (6-7 calories)
…. So somewhere between 380-400 calories depending on your serving sizes of each ingredient.

I also made kale chips for the first time which is pretty easy to do though I’m not quite sure how much I’ll like them. They aren’t bad… they are just different. 🙂

Preheat oven to 350
1 bunch of kale -washed dried, torn off stems into 1-2 inch leaves
approx 2 tbs a healthy oil… I used extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste…(after baking)

Spread kale pieces onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. Make sure they are not on top of each other and laying fairly flat. Put in oven for approximately 7 minutes… adjust if you need based on your oven. My original instructions suggested 10 mins but my first batch was bitter and a bit brown. So I went down to 7 minutes and they were just right. Sprinkle with sea salt once they come out of the oven. I’m storing mine in an air tight container on the counter.

My plan is to have the wrap with kale chips for lunch this week. 🙂

That’s it for now. I must go. My four legged baby is insisting to be held which makes typing super difficult. I’ll follow up with pictures and my thoughts after I eat tomorrow.

Happy prepping!

Breakfast! BONUS POST

What what? Here I am again! Having just posted my lunch plan for the week, I thought I would share with you what I plan to do for breakfast! Breakfast is my biggest struggle… I just haven’t found many good breakfasts that are easy to do. I don’t always wake up early enough to cook up a big ol deal and need something quick and simple. I’m not committing to posting breakfast every week like I am lunches… I am just sharing since I have one this week. 🙂

This is another recipe I found off SparkRecipes.

Coach Dean’s Blue Oatmeal

1 cup 100% natural whole grain oatmeal
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp unsweetened dry cocoa powder
1/2 cup blueberries (mine are frozen/unsweetened)
1.5 cup water.

Bring water to a boil in pan.
Meanwhile, mix all dry ingredients in bowl. Then add to boiling water.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency.
Stir in still-frozen blueberries after cooking.

Spark recipes says the calorie count is 214.2 and that this serves two. So I will most likely half it for just me. – I haven’t tried it yet but we’ll see in the a.m. I know I’ve read and heard that oatmeal is a good breakfast food because it’s filling and high in fiber so it helps when trying to lose weight. Blueberries are an excellent anti-oxident fruit… not sure why this recipe wants them frozen… but none the less.
It could probably could be made healthier if you don’t use brown sugar and the cocoa powder. But I’m going to try it as is and then see what I can do to improve it.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Tuna Salad -Sun Jan 19th

So after eating spicy Mexican food all last week I was looking for something a little cooler this week. I downloaded an app called “SparkRecipes” because I had pretty much wore out AllRecipes and was looking for fresh ideas. I really like the layout of Spark Recipes because it is visibly appealing and the nutrition facts are right there.

So I went out on a limb with this weeks recipe. I have to admit, I was very unsure about it. It’s a tuna salad… but it doesn’t have your traditional ingredients in it… well it does in a way… but… you’ll see what I mean…

Here we go…

Tuna Salad

tuna_11 can albacore tuna (in water)
2/3 cup non-fat cottage cheese
4 tbs plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard (missing from pic)
Splash of lemon juice
Pinch or two of dill

Directions: Mix it all in a bowl!

Easy huh? So to make a week’s worth of lunches, I tripled this recipe. That’s because the creator of this recipe had a note that she makes all her lunches for work and that tripled this recipe will make 6 sandwiches.

I’m not sure how much tuna she puts on one sandwich but my bowl full looks like it’d make more than 6 sandwiches.  I don’t know. I put this “tripled” into myfitnesspal as a recipe and put it in as serving 5 people (since I’m dividing it into 5 lunches) and it came out to 186 calories per serving. Not too bad, eh? Of course if you eat it on bread or crackers you will want to factor that in to your calorie count too. I have some whole grain sandwich thins that I got from Kroger that I may eat it with. I haven’t decided if I even need to eat the tuna on anything… might just eat it as is….

I just want to say that I was very skeptical about using cottage cheese and low-fat yogurt in tuna fish. I know that using yogurt is a common swap for mayo in many dishes but it’s not something I’ve done before…and cottage cheese? To me that needs a tomato or some fruit and to be eaten as a snack! I wasn’t sure about lemon juice and dill either… Typically my tuna (in the past) would have a couple tbs of mayo, a squirt of mustard… salt and pepper, etc. So I was very unsure about this recipe. After I mixed it up really well, I tasted it… seriously? It’s actually pretty good and I bet it’s going to be better tomorrow after it sits in the fridge all night and the flavors meld together. It really just tasted like tuna salad. I couldn’t distinguish yogurt or cottage cheese (taste wise, you can see the cottage cheese if you look closely) I did salt and pepper it some just to add/brighten it  up a tad.

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But that is it! I’m excited.. it will be something different and new! By the way, I had (oven baked fajita’s) last week …and I loved it every day…. It’s definitely a permanent recipe in my book!

Happy prepping everyone! Here’s to a great week of good nutrition and lots of exercise!