Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sweet & Sour Chicken 1-2-3

Per Serving (1/3rd of recipe, 2 cups): 7 Points+
295 calories, 2g fat, 730mg sodium, 37g carbs, 5.25g fiber, 27g sugars, 30g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 220 - 221

I have again been in the mood for Asian food, and since I have been trying to eat more veggies, this recipe sounded good to me.  Broccoli, red bell peppers, bean sprouts, and chicken - yum!  The sauce was super-easy to make and was so delicious!  The most clever part of it was using the juice in the can of pineapple as a base for the sweet & sour sauce.  This was a great substitution for the normally fattening sweet & sour chicken you would get at a Chinese restaurant.  

The portion size was nice and large as well.  I made some rice to go with it, since I know my husband's idea of a good portion size is a little different from mine.  He enjoyed the meal, too, and even had enough left over to take some to work for his lunch.  This was a good recipe that I would make again if I was not in the mood for an ordinary stir fry.  Yum!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

So, my birthday is on Thursday, and my Mom was asking me a while back what I wanted for my birthday.  I gave my usual answer of, "I don't need anything.  Just come up and visit".  Then I got to thinking, what do I really want?  I rarely ever actually want anything, to tell you the truth.  There are plenty of things I NEED, such as new clothes, shoes, to lose these last 15 pounds, etc.  But I never really think about what I just plain want.

Then it hit me.  I would really, really like to have a treadmill.  I have been extremely frustrated recently that I have been unable to get some real exercise in, which is probably part of the reason for my loooong weight plateau (not to mention the fact that I'm just not motivated to track my points for some reason).  My husband works graveyard at a job that is two and a half hours away from where we live.  Not to mention that he also works 10-hour shifts.  Needless to say, we don't really see each other during the week.  As a result, I am pretty much a single parent Monday through Friday.  I am the one who gets the kids up, takes them to daycare, picks them up after work, and puts them to bed at night.  I have basically no time to myself except for after 8pm and before 6:30am (while the kids are sleeping).  Even then, I have to be at home with the kids, of course. 

Running is my favorite form of exercise.  Before having kids, I ran a marathon (never again!) and multiple half marathons.  In between having the two kids, I ran a bunch of 10k races.  I really miss running, and have been trying to figure out a way to be able to run even while being responsible for the kids at all times.  After much thought, I finally gave up on the idea of being able to find time to use my gym membership.  Instead, I told my mom that what I really wanted for my birthday was a treadmill.  If she could at least help me with the cost of purchasing one, I could get a fairly nice one.  She gladly said yes, and my treadmill was delivered yesterday.  Yippee!

The best part about this treadmill is that it comes with an SD card slot to use ifit workout cards.  If you don't know what ifit is, let me explain.  Instead of just jogging along at a set speed until you reach a distance or time goal (which can get boring over time), these cards have pre-set workouts that utilize both speed and incline to make you push yourself.  After the kids went to bed, I decided to try the first workout on the Level 1 card, which is the walking card.  I thought it would be super-easy, but let me tell you, I was actually breathing pretty hard.  This 20-minute workout had me walking at a brisk pace at anywhere from a 5% incline all the way to a 10% incline.  Holy crap!  I knew then that I might be in trouble when I tried the Level 2 (jogging) card the next morning. 

I woke up this morning, got on my running gear, and put in the Level 2 workout card.  OMG!  It was a half hour jogging workout, with an incline the whole time.  Now, walking at an incline is one thing for an out-of-shape mom, but jogging at 6mph at a 7% incline?!  Not going to happen!  I burned out after 15 minutes, and flat-out removed the ifit workout card.  Instead, I finished with another 10 minutes of jogging at no incline, which seemed almost easy compared to the crazy workout card. 

Even though it was super-challenging, I am still excited about the ifit component of the treadmill.  It has given me a fitness goal to strive towards, and once I can complete that entire first jogging workout I will really feel as though I am making progress.  I know it will cause me to workout harder than I normally would, and I am stubborn enough to know that I will keep at it until I can successfully complete all the workouts on that card. 
For now, I will just work on getting back into a regular workout routine.  I feel so good today after getting in a good run in the morning, and I miss the feeling of sore muscles after a hard workout.  I am registered to run a 10k November 13 with a friend, so the countdown has begun for me to get in shape.  The fact that I am running it with a friend is even more motivation for me to stick with it. 

I think this is just what I need to push me to lose those last 10 - 15 pounds.  My plan is to do one of the Level 1 walking workouts each night before bed.  I watch TV for about a half hour before bed anyway, so I might as well be working out instead of sitting there idle.  Then, three days a week, I plan on getting in a running workout in the morning before work.  I am so glad that I finally have a way to get some cardio in on a regular basis.  So exciting!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gimme S'more Pancakes

Per Serving (entire recipe, 2 pancakes with topping): 7 Points+
281 calories, 3.25g fat, 523mg sodium, 52g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 14.5g sugars, 13g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 76 - 77

I was looking for something different to make for breakfast this past weekend, when this recipe caught my eye.  Since I have made many of Hungry Girl's s'mores recipes, and they have all been very good, I decided to try this recipe as well. 

These pancakes had mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows right in the batter.  It seemed as though these were going to turn out great.  Instead, they were just okay.  The batter made two nice-sized pancakes, which was definitely a plus.  I just felt as though they didn't have quite enough chocolate chips in them, and the marshmallows kind of got lost in the pancakes without adding much flavor.  The little bit of chocolate sauce added on top didn't add very much to the s'mores taste of the pancakes, either.  The most flavorful part was the whipped topping, which I ended up using Cool Whip for since I was out of Reddi-wip. 

The texture of the pancakes turned out a little odd, too.  Instead of being fluffy and moist pancakes, they were a little chewy and dense.  I did use white flour instead of wheat flour, but I don't think that should have made much of a difference in the texture.  If anything, they should have been even fluffier.  Hungry Girl has several other pancake recipes that turned out much better than these, such as the Strawberry Short Stack (same web link as above), or the Sausage, Egg 'n Cheese ChickGriddle.  I would try out the others before making these.

Friday, August 26, 2011

HG's Caribbean Shrimp Surprise

Per Serving (1/2 of recipe, about 2 cups): 7 Points+
292 calories, 3.25g fat, 795mg sodium, 35.5g carbs, 9.25g fiber, 12g sugars, 32g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 322 - 323

Oh my gosh!  I forgot to take a picture of my food before I ate it all up!!!  That is why the above picture looks so perfect and commercial.  Here is all that was left by the time I realized what I had done:

I did enjoy the food, though.  It was nice to make a stir fry with a flavor other than the traditional Asian stir fry I usually make.  This one had a slightly sweet and slightly spicy taste to it.  A very delicious sauce!  I made rice to go with it, and actually doubled the sauce recipe so there would be extra to pour on the rice.  My husband said there still wasn't enough sauce.  Jeez!  I'm sure the sauce is where the bulk of the points was, since the shrimp and veggies are all low points. 

With a 7-point serving, plus rice and extra sauce, I ended up going over my points values for the day.  :(  I am still struggling with adjusting to having only 29 points as opposed to 43, but I guess I just need to get over it and lose the weight already!  Luckily I have a plan in action to be able to get some exercise in and earn activity points, which I will divulge in another post.  So exciting! 

Anyway, I am digressing.  This recipe was great, but seems to need more sauce.  Be careful adding too much extra sauce, though, because you could end up adding several extra points unnecessarily.  If you eat it as is and with no rice, there should be plenty of flavor so you do not need extra sauce.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ratatouille Frittata

Per Serving (1/4th of frittata): 3 Points+
140 calories, 4g fat, 508mg sodium, 11g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 14g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 120 - 121

Since I now have tons of eggplant left over from making the chicken ratatouille, I decided to follow the book's recommendation and make this recipe.  I still have half of an eggplant left (the smallest one at the store was HUGE!), though, so expect to see another eggplant recipe in the near future...

I made this recipe for dinner last night, but frittata is really meant for breakfast (I think).  However, eating it with the tomato sauce made it taste more like a dinner, so it doesn't really matter when you eat this.  I really liked the spices in this recipe, and I could really taste the fresh basil in it - yum!  I used my largest skillet, and the portion size was nice and big, with a quarter of the recipe being one serving.

There were lots of chunky veggies in this frittata, but no meat.  The nice thing about that was the extremely low points value of this dish.  I actually had two servings for my dinner for only seven points+ (two servings adds an extra point).  Not bad!  I definitely felt full afterwards and didn't feel the need to add a piece of  fruit to the meal to complete it.  If I had eaten only one serving, I probably would have had a piece of fruit, though.

This recipe was good, but I think I enjoyed the chicken ratatouille recipe a little better.  This is a good recipe for brunch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rockin' Chicken Ratatouille

Per Serving (1/2 of recipe, about 2 1/4 cups): 7 Points+
299 calories, 2g fat, 660mg sodium, 32.5g carbs, 9.75g fiber, 18g sugars, 37.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 154 - 155

I was just realizing the other day that I haven't exactly been making the healthiest meals recently.  Looking back at my last 10 posts, none of the recipes have much in the way of vegetables, and many of them can't even be considered remotely healthy.  Yes, they are lower in fat and calories than the alternatives, but I need to get back to eating more veggies and healthier foods in general.  I have been adding the occasional salad to my dinners, but that is about the extent of my vegetables recently. 

So, I am making several meals this week that have tons of veggies in them.  This recipe has zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and some chicken.  Wow!  The best part about making something with a bunch of veggies in it is usually the portion size.  This meal was no different.  The photo below is of a very full bowl (it is hard to tell in the photo, but there is a whole lot of food there).  Since veggies are so low in calories, you can add a ton of them without costing you many points.  I was actually surprised that this recipe was 7 points+ and not lower.  You do get a very large portion for the amount of points, but I still thought it would be much lower. 

That being said, the flavor of this ratatouille was pretty good.  I added a little bit of parmesan cheese to mine for extra flavor.  However, I always feel as though ratatouille tastes like chunky spaghetti sauce without the spaghetti noodles.  I actually feel weird eating it, since to me it always seems like I am just eating sauce.  This would have been much better over noodles, but then the points would have been too high for the meal (in my opinion).  So, although the flavor was good, I think I have decided that I officially am not a fan of ratatouille.  If you are, then by all means make this recipe.  You will definitely get a lot of food for a reasonable amount of points.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Apple Pie Oatmeal Bonanza

Per Serving (entire recipe): 6 Points+
258 calories, 6g fat, 364mg sodium, 44.5g carbs, 7g fiber, 8.5g sugars, 6g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 33

I have been eyeballing this growing oatmeal recipe for a while - probably because it has "apple pie" in the title, which means it will probably taste more like a dessert than breakfast.  As a matter of fact, I made this oatmeal for dessert last night! 

The best part about making this oatmeal bowl was that after it had been cooking for a while, the house actually started to smell like I was making apple pie.  Mmmm!  The oatmeal tasted great, too.  It didn't quite taste like apple pie, but it did remind me of apple cinnamon instant oatmeal.  You know, the kind that comes in a packet that you add hot water to?  This reminded me of that, but tasted much better and fresher.  Probably because it uses fresh apples instead of dehydrated bits. 

The other thing that was great about this recipe, which goes for all of the growing oatmeal bowls, is the portion size.  Compared to the small instant oatmeal packets, this bowl is at least twice the size, and for only six points.  Not a bad deal at all!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gimme Gimme S'mores Sandwich

Per Serving (entire sandwich): 4 Points+
133 calories, 2.5g fat, 99mg sodium, 26g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 11.5g sugars, 1g protein

The recipe: "200 under 200", page ? (I don't have this book, so I'm not sure what page it's on!)

It seems as though I have been on a s'mores kick recently, since I was just realizing that my last recipe review was S'mores Bread Pudding.  I do have to say that this recipe was way easier to make than the bread pudding, and I even liked it much better.  This recipe was like a marshmallow-ey, chocolatey ice cream sandwich - yum!  And it is so easy to make.  Just mix mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips in with some cool whip, place in between two low-fat graham crackers and freeze for an hour.  

The main complaint is having to wait an hour to have to eat it - or maybe that's a good thing.  If I didn't have to wait an hour I might be tempted to just keep making and eating them over and over!  The best part is the use of cool whip as ice cream.  It really does taste just like rich vanilla ice cream, especially mixed with the marshmallows and chocolate chips.  The only difference is you don't have all the fat and calories that ice cream does.  

The other great thing about this recipe is that it is easy to make more than one at a time.  I made three of these so my husband could try them out, too.  We both thought they were great, but just wished they were a little less than four points+.  I don't like to use more than two or three points for dessert at the end of the day.  I saved one for the next day, and it was just as good then.  Definitely a dessert that I will keep in my normal rotation since it was so delicious and so easy to make. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Scoopable S'mores Bread Pudding

Per Serving (1/8th of recipe, about 2/3 cups): 5 Points+
170 calories, 4g fat, 245mg sodium, 29g carbs, 3g fiber, 16g sugars, 7g protein

The recipe:

Well, I finally screwed up a recipe!  It was bound to happen sooner or later, but I was so proud of myself that I hadn't overcooked, burned, or mis-measured anything so far.  The last step of this recipe called for placing the dish under the broiler for 1 - 2 minutes, but apparently 2 minutes was too long in my oven.  I got distracted by my two-year-old and ended up toasting the marshmallows just a little too much.  :(

On the plus side, at least burnt marshmallows are not as bad as other burned foods.  Some people even like burnt marshmallows, and it actually didn't make this dish taste badly.  So, yes, the marshmallows were slightly burned, but at least the whole recipe wasn't ruined.

I am usually not much of a fan of bread pudding, but since this one involved chocolate and marshmallows, I thought it would be worth a try.  It turned out pretty good (despite the burnt marshmallows), but I did have a problem with the fact that there were 8 servings in the recipe.  I should have cut the recipe in half, but I thought I would get help from my husband and son with eating it.  Not so lucky.  Neither one of them wanted a piece, so I was left to try to eat what I could on my own.  I made this earlier in the week, and after a couple of days, I ended up tossing what was left.  I don't think I will be making it again, either.  I am still not much of a fan of bread pudding, and although this one had a combination of flavors that I would normally like, it was still bread pudding.  It was a little dry on top, like bread pudding usually is.

If you are a fan of bread pudding and chocolate, then this recipe is a good one for you.  Just be careful with the broil step of the recipe, and make sure you have several people to help you eat it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Large & In Charge Neapolitan Oatmeal

Per Serving (entire recipe): 7 Points+
275 calories, 9g fat, 339mg sodium, 42.5g carbs, 7g fiber, 10g sugars, 7g protein 

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 34

I haven't made a Hungry Girl oatmeal bowl in a while, so I figured it was time to try out another one.  We had bought tons of fresh strawberries from Costco over the weekend, so this recipe was calling my name. 

The recipe starts with a simple "growing oatmeal" recipe as the base - which basically means that you double the liquid and cook the oats longer so you get a larger amount as the end result.  This one just called for oats, water, almond breeze, splenda, and a dash of salt.  All you do once the oatmeal is done is add sliced strawberries and a teaspoon of mini chocolate chips.  Simple, but good!

I still prefer some of the other growing oatmeal recipes to this one, but I would probably make this again next time we buy strawberries.  It was a nice and filling breakfast, and one with chocolate in it!  Yum!  Now I am eyeballing the apple pie growing oatmeal bowl in the same book.  To be continued... :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bananas Foster Puddin' Parfait

Per Serving (entire recipe): 3 Points+
176 calories, 2.5g fat, 200mg sodium, 39.5g carbs, 1.75g fiber, 17g sugars, 2g protein

The recipe:

As I've mentioned before, I have a severe sweet tooth.  I have dessert pretty much every night after dinner, and sometimes even after lunch.  I could easily skip a meal and just eat dessert if I was less concientious of my eating habits.  Because of this, I am always looking for a dessert that is low in points so I don't use up too many points on empty calories. 

This dessert was a great bargain for only 3 points+.  Although the sugar free pudding isn't super sweet, the caramel was.  Both went great with the banana for a tasty dessert.  This recipe didn't taste at all like a true bananas foster recipe, but the combination of caramel, banana, and vanilla pudding was still good.  Plus, it was very easy to make and only took a minute to put together.  Easy and tasty enough to where I will probably be making this again in the near future.  I love dessert!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eggs Bene-Chick

Per Serving (entire recipe): 5 Points+
183 calories, 8g fat, 627mg sodium, 16g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugars, 13g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 26 - 27

Mmmm!  Eggs benedict!  Yet another of my favorite restaurant dishes that are now for the most part off limits.  Hungry Girl definitely managed to deliver with this recipe, though.  I would actually go so far as to say this is now one of my favorite breakfast dishes of hers. 

This recipe does a great job imitating a real eggs benedict dish, but without the insane amount of calories and fat, as usual.  The thing that makes it so good is the sauce.  It is so rich and creamy - and tastes a lot like the standard hollandaise sauce that comes on an eggs benedict dish.  I was pretty surprised that the combination of ingredients used actually tasted this good, though.  Lemon yogurt, dijonnaise, butter spread, and light mayo all combine to make a very good sauce.  Yum!

As for the egg, the recipe calls for poaching it, which I have actually never done before.  I was nervous I was going to drop the egg in the water and it was just going to become a runny mess that I would somehow have to retrieve.  I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out perfect on my first try.  I removed it from the water with no problems, and it turned out cooked perfectly on the outside and runny on the inside - just how I like it.  I sat down to enjoy my eggs benedict before anyone in my family was even awake.  I actually got to take my time savoring every bite - so good!  If you like eggs benedict, then you definitely have to make this recipe! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Upside-Down Coconut-y Cream Pie

Per Serving (entire recipe): 4 Points+
124 calories, 3.5g fat, 243mg sodium, 24g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 6g sugars, 3g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", page 221

I usually don't like the flavor of coconut in desserts, but for some reason, this dessert was calling my name the other night.  I did have to go out and buy coconut extract and shredded coconut, which are two ingredients I'm not sure I will use very often in the future.  I was worried I had wasted my money on one dessert.

This dessert turned out pretty good, though.  I made two of them so my husband, who is a fan of coconut, could give me his input, too.  He said it was pretty good as well, so I will take that to mean this is a successful recipe.  It had the perfect amount of coconut flavor in it without being too overwhelming.  I liked the crushed up graham crackers, which did a good job as a make-shift crust.  I also liked how simple this was to make.  It really only took a minute to whip together - no cooking, blending, or anything.  Just mix in the coconut extract to the pudding, add the other ingredients on top, and there you have it.  A yummy dessert!

However, I'm still not sure it was worth investing the money in the coconut extract and the shredded coconut.  Now I am going to have to search for more recipes that use these two ingredients so I won't feel as though I wasted my money!  More to come...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Per Serving (entire recipe): 6 Points+
232 calories, 7g fat, 954mg sodium, 21g carbs, 5.25g fiber, 3g sugars, 25g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 274 - 275

I remember first getting a Monte Cristo sandwich at a diner in Los Angeles when I was young.  I remember thinking how awesome it was that I could get a sandwich like that for lunch or dinner, and it was almost like a dessert since the powdered sugar made it sweet.  I have such a strong sweet tooth, that when something savory like a sandwich is mixed with something sweet, I usually like it.  I feel almost like I am cheating and getting dessert for a meal!  Yum!

This sandwich was no exception.  It, too, was delicious.  I love that Hungry Girl was able to make one of my diner favorites into a healthier alternative.  Only six points for a sandwich like this is pretty incredible - especially since the diner alternative is probably loaded with fat and calories.  Granted, this sandwich is much smaller, and doesn't come with a side of french fries, but it still brought back memories of that yummy Monte Cristo sandwich from when I was younger.  And was also just as good!  Mmmm!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three-Cheese Chicken Cannelloni

Per Serving (1/2 of recipe, 1 stuffed cutlet): 6 Points+
274 calories, 3.5g fat, 776mg sodium, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 6g sugars, 43g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 236 - 237

After checking out this recipe, I thought it was such a great idea to make something that is usually a stuffed pasta calorie nightmare into something fairly healthy just by swapping the pasta for chicken.  So smart!  I am always looking for tasty Italian recipes that are healthy as well, and this one fits both of those criteria.  These were delicious, low points, and filling.  I also made some asparagus to complete the meal, and both my husband and I were pleasantly satisfied afterward.

I did have a hard time pounding the chicken into thin cutlets that were a good shape for stuffing and then rolling.  It turned out not to matter all that much, though.  Since you secure the chicken roll with toothpicks, they really don't have to be stuffed and rolled to perfection.  After cooking, if you let them sit just a bit before taking the toothpicks out, they hold their shape very nicely. 

Other than the assembly, these were pretty simple to make.  Just mix some ingredients together for the filling, spread the filling on the chicken, roll, make the sauce, and bake.  Not the quickest recipe in the world, but also not the most challenging.  Plus, you make the sauce while the chicken is baking, so it feels as though you are accomplishing two things at once.

I doubled the recipe and made four of these, since I am never sure how much my husband is going to eat.  We ended up having one each for lunch the next day, which is always nice when the meal was yummy and low points.  If you are an Italian food fan, then I would definitely recommend this recipe.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Super-Duper Spaghetti Pie Part Deux

Per Serving (1/4th of recipe): 3 Points+
140 calories, 3g fat, 499mg sodium, 16g carbs, 5g fiber, 6g sugars, 13g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 196 - 197

This is actually my second time making this dish, and I was happy with it both times I made it.  Last time, I made it for my family and my mother-in-law who was visiting.  I made no mention of the fact that the meat in it was actually soy crumbles, and no one even noticed. This time, I doubled the recipe and cooked it in a 9 x 13 baking dish, which is why the photo is in the shape of a square instead of a pie shape.  It was again a hit, and we even had leftovers for lunch the next day.  A nice change from the usual sandwich or frozen meal I usually eat for lunch.

Given that I used regular spaghetti noodles instead of the House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles (find my explanation here), I did have to add 2 points per serving.  The whole recipe only calls for one bag of shirataki noodles, and is split into four servings.  With regular noodles, that is still only 5 points+ per serving - not too bad!

I really liked the fact that there are a ton of extra veggies added to this spaghetti pie.  This bulks it up significantly without adding very many calories.  There is even canned pumpkin in it, which you would never guess by the taste!  The serving size is a nice size, but I would still recommend adding a salad or vegetable on the side for a more complete meal.  I added a salad and it was plenty of food for me.  My husband ate two servings - but he always requires more food than me!

Everyone in my family loves this recipe, including my two-year-old, so it will probably become a regular one in my rotation.  Yum!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gimme S'more Sundae

Per Serving (entire sundae): 5 Points+
175 calories, 1.75g fat, 125mg sodium, 38g carbs, 2.25g fiber, 20g sugars, 4g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 223

At my last grocery trip, the Breyers Fat-free ice cream was on sale for two for $5, so I bought one of each, and promptly made this recipe.  So good!  I love chocolate, so this was perfect for me.  I don't usually think to use marshmallow cream as a topping on ice cream, but it tasted great with the graham cracker crumbs and the mini chocolate chips.  Just like smores, but in ice cream form.  Yum!  All it was missing was some Hershey's lite chocolate syrup!

I will probably try to stay away from this dessert as much as possible, however.  I just cannot trust myself to limit the portion size to what it is supposed to be, and can totally see myself making a big 'ol smores sundae that is way more points than this one is.  Plus, now that I am down to 29 points per day, five points is a lot to use for dessert.  But it was definitely tasty!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Crazy-Creamy Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Per Serving (4 mushrooms): 1 Point+
53 calories, 1g fat, 323mg sodium, 5g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 7g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl Recipes and Survival Strategies...", page 162

Mushrooms are one of my husband's favorite foods, so I try to incorporate them into meals every once in a while.  I saw this recipe for stuffed mushrooms, and it sounded like something he would really love.  With crab, cheese, and mushrooms, how could I go wrong? 

These turned out to be as tasty as I had hoped, and were only one point for four of them.  Nice!  The only thing I didn't like much was the celery, which I think I will omit next time I make these.  I will probably keep the bell pepper in, though, since that added a nice crunchy addition to the mushrooms.  I am just not a big fan of the flavor of celery.

These were obviously meant to be an appetizer, but since we both like mushrooms, and these were only 1 point for four, I doubled the recipe and made 24 of these.  I made a salad to go with it and we just munched on mushrooms for dinner.  Yum!  I bought the large mushrooms that say they are meant for stuffing, and they worked out perfectly for the amount of filling that the recipe made.  If you are picking mushrooms from a bulk bin, make sure you pick the larger size ones so they are big enough to stuff them. 

Overall, these are GREAT for an appetizer, especially considering their points value.  Most appetizers have many more points than these, and then you still have a whole meal to eat afterward!  Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Creamy Caramelized Onion Bisque

Per Serving (1 cup): 3 Points+
109 calories, 1g fat, 912mg sodium, 21g carbs, 1g fiber, 2.5g sugars, 4g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 202 - 203

I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I decided to make this recipe, but onion soup in 100 degree weather is not exactly the most appetizing.  I think it just sounded like an easy recipe to make, and one that I had most of the ingredients for already. 

Don't get me wrong - it was delicious.  By cooking the onions for a long period of time and caramelizing them, you get a great onion flavor without it being too strong.  Blending the onions with coffee creamer was something I never would have thought to do.  It allows you to get a creamy flavor, but without the high amount of fat and calories that heavy cream would normally add. 

This soup kind of reminded me of a french onion soup, but without the bread and cheese that is normally on top.  I might make this again in the winter when the weather is more suitable for soup.  It's just been way too hot, and the leftovers ended up going to waste since my husband refused to help me with them! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Upside-Down Bananaberry Crumble

Per Serving (½ of recipe): 4 Points+
140 calories, 1.5g fat, 174mg sodium, 32g carbs, 3g fiber, 14g sugars, 2g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 224 - 225

Although this looks like a gross pile cooked fruit, it actually tasted really good.  I had tons of bananas and strawberries, so this was the perfect dessert for me to make.  The only problem was, I made this after the kids went to bed, so I had no one to share it with.  Since my willpower has been lacking recently, I ended up eating the whole dessert.  Luckily, the whole thing was still only 8 points, so the damage wasn't all that bad. 

This dessert was cooked in a mini loaf pan, with the fruit on the bottom and the graham cracker crumbs on the top.  Removing it from the pan requires you to quickly flip it over and have it land nicely on a plate.  Since my pan is actually four mini loaves in one, it was a little difficult to do a quick, neat flip.  I'm pretty sure this is why mine came out more as a blob of fruit than a nice-looking loaf shape. 

This was a great dessert for summer.  Nice and fruity, but still rich enough to be a delicious dessert.  It reminded me of a yummy fruit cobbler.  The graham cracker crumbs made a nice crust without adding too many calories.  If I had someone to share this with, I would definitely make this again.  Mmm!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Open-Faced Chicken Salad Melt

Per Serving (entire recipe): 7 Points+
299 calories, 7.75g fat, 1,224mg sodium, 26g carbs, 5.75g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 31g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 295

For lunch on Sunday, I made this yummy sandwich for my Mom and I, who was visiting for the weekend.  We both love chicken salad sandwiches, which of course, are usually loaded with mayo and other fattening ingredients.  I made this healthy version, which both of us thought tasted decent, but wasn't anything super-exciting. 

I loved the fact that the sandwich was open-faced and that there were two halves to eat separately.  It made us feel as though we were eating more than just a small sandwich on light bread.  The flavor of the chicken salad was pretty good - it was just a little dry since there was not much in it to moisten it up.  I am used to using much more than just a half tablespoon of mayo in my chicken salad! 

I also loved the fact that the recipe called for broccoli slaw in the chicken salad.  The extra veggies really bulked up the sandwich without adding hardly any calories.  It also added a nice crunch to it that I really loved.

A pretty good lunch, and one that I might make again if I am in the mood for chicken salad again.  If I was in maintenance mode instead of weight-loss mode, I might add a tablespoon of mayo to add a little more moisture to the chicken salad.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Per Serving (1/8th of recipe, 1 pinwheel): 4 Points+
134 calories, 5g fat, 555mg sodium, 13.5g carbs, <1g fiber, 3g sugars, 8.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 122 - 123

My Mom was visiting this weekend, so I wanted to make something fun and interesting for breakfast while she was here.  I've been wanting to make this recipe, and since I had some of the Pillsbury Seamless dough in the fridge, this sounded like the perfect breakfast to make. 

These turned out to be pretty tasty.  Almost like a ham, egg and cheese biscuit sandwich, but rolled up in a croissant dough instead.  Yum!  The main problem with these is that they are four points for only one!  Yikes!  And you definitely want to eat more than one - not just because they are good, but also because one is not enough to make you feel satisfied.  We ate two each with some fresh strawberries and blackberries for a delicious breakfast. 

My two-year-old also loved these, so I would recommend making these if you want to make something fun for breakfast for your family.  I would not necessarily recommend these as a filling, low-point breakfast, however!