Well, I wanted to let you all know about some of the great recipes I have been eating and serving up at our home courtesy of the Skinny Taste website (thanks again, Nicole, for sharing this!) ...
1. Southwestern Black Bean Salad. This is just fantastic and the ingredients are pretty easy to keep on hand. I always question how to eat it. So this week I bought some baked tortilla chips and romaine lettuce. I really like to use it as a "salad dressing" of sorts, and it gives a lunch salad a little more staying power-- meaning I'm not hungry 30 minutes later, in the middle of session, with no break in sight for the next 4 hours. I add the avocado daily so it doesn't get brown. I use lemon juice. And I sometimes skip the tomato because I don't love tomato and I think they are hard and a MESS to get cut up. I also like to eat it as a "dip" and I like to eat it with a spoon (like my friend Cari would suggest-- check out her fab foodie blog).
2. Macaroni and Cheese. I loved this too. I really loved that this made a TON of food. My oval casserole dish wasn't big enough and I ended up making it in a 9X13 pan. Needless to say the three of us did not get it all eaten. My tips on this: Plan ahead. Read the recipe all the way through a few times so you can clean and reuse pans, etc. It made a mess out of my kitchen and was a little more involved than I first anticipated. And use the Sargento cheese. I couldn't find it, so I used Kraft, and it melted like crap which almost ruined the near hour I had put into this. I added broccoli and I didn't do the breadcrumbs. I think this is a great recipe for a family and I will do it again.
3. Italian Turkey Meatballs. Love, love, love. Spaghetti is such a great, low point meal and you get to eat a lot for not a lot of points. I used whole wheat penne pasta (it's easier for Dekker to grab and eat) and made these up before I headed out to volunteer and just left them in the fridge for Dave to "brown" before serving (abt 5 min). It was super easy to make and make ahead and made several little meatballs. A great way to dress up spaghetti. Dekker loved them, too. Fab leftovers. I did not make my own marinara sauce (are you kidding me?). I left a can of Hunts for Dave and it was perfect for us.
4. Beef Stroganoff. Again, super easy and fantastic. I used a super high fiber spiral noodle and skipped out on the mushrooms. I also used onion and garlic seasoning. I love the Tastefully Simple Onion/Onion and Garlic/Garlic for times like this. It is just much easier for me and it still tastes great. I did use a bay leaf, and I was very proud of myself for having them in my cupboard. I used lite sour cream. Dave says next time he thinks it needs some hot sauce or pepper added when served. Noted.
5. Pasta with Asparagus. Not a real brain-twister but it was a great way to use some fresh asparagus from the farmers market. And the asparagus reheated well for leftovers, which surprised me. And, Dekker ate the asparagus, which also surprised me, but made me very happy. Asparagus is such a "super food."
6. No-bake Strawberry Cheesecake. I made this for Becky's clan Sunday-- reviews to come. It was very easy to make, though you will need your hand mixer (or your counter top, however you do it). It was also a great way to use up some strawberries that I must have bought thinking I had a family of five to feed. I did easily find a low-fat graham crust. I wished I would have followed the directions for a "golden" crust-- brushing with an egg white and putting in the oven for 5 minutes before filling. I will do that differently next time b/c I think the crust would be more firm and less "crumbly."
7. Chicken Parmesan and Shrimp Quesadillas. Ingredients bought and on "the list" for this week. Note that you can make your own bread crumbs with low point bread (Sarah Lee Delightful?) if you want for the chicken-- I would use my magic bullet for that (or a food processor). And do those quesadillas not look to die for. I can't wait.
A few other thoughts:
* I always plan a week of meals at a time and go to the grocery store. Since Dave works from home, we literally eat three meals out of our kitchen everyday (well this is true for many families-- work from home or not). So it's important that we keep our fridge stocked, and with healthy options. This week when I planned my menu I went to the Skinny Taste website and just searched for a few recipes that I knew Dave and I would typically like. It was a great way to find some new "low point" recipes for traditional family meals.
* I went to Hy-Vee and walked through the health mart section first. I got anything that was on my list and available there first.
* I had so much fun trying some new things that I haven't even minded the extra time in the kitchen.
* I have a friend, Starla, having a big Tastefully Simple sale (can you see that link?) on the 28th (that's Monday!). Let me know if you want details, up to 30% off if you're willing to text her your order between midnight and 3AM-- as the day goes on your discount is less and all orders must be in by 7PM. Her info is below. This is a great time to stock up. But double check shipping-- it ships to your door like the next day, but it can get costly. However, the amount of shipping goes down as your product order goes up. Maybe combine your order with some friends or family and deliver yourself! Or stock up and get discounted shipping! With orders over $50, you can also purchase a $9.99 bucket drink of your choice for half price and your shipping rate also drops. These rates are only good through Starla.
This Friday I weighed in and I maintained again. Would love to lose these last 2.5 lbs but I am thrilled with my progress so far (13lbs). Just need that final push for those fake nails...
On the Journey,