Friday, April 27, 2012

Banana Bran Muffins

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ cup sugar
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
¾ cup low-fat or fat-free milk
1 egg, beaten
2 cups bran flake cereal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and cereal. Let wet ingredients set for 5 minutes, then mix again to mash the cereal. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fill 12 greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

I used half wheat flour, half white. I added a couple chopped strawberries in half of them, and frozen blueberries in the other half. These are SO GOOD! They’re really chewy and sweet without tons of sugar. MFP says they are 82 calories each with 4 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber. I would love to have a couple of these for breakfast!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Almond Joy Oatmeal

I didn't take any pictures of my own meal, but here is the link to the page where I got it from:  Almond Joy Oatmeal from Cookin Cowgirl
(Image from Cookin Cowgirl's blog)

A couple of changes I made from the original recipe:

* I doubled the recipe to make enough for me, my husband and a little for our daughter.  (mostly straight up doubled it all).
* I didn't have unsweetened coconut shreds, so I used the sweetened stuff I had.
* I use Blue Diamond Almond Coconut Unsweetened milk (I cooked the oatmeal in this on my stove top for a couple of minutes).
* I only had milk chocolate chips, so I used those instead.

I plugged the recipe (as I made it - doubled and with the sweetened coconut and milk chocolate chips) into My Fitness Pal, and it is 760 calories for the whole batch, so right around 300 calories for how much I ate!

Almond Joy Oatmeal
     serves 2-3
1 C old fashioned oats
2 C unsweetened, coconut almond milk (I use Almond Breeze)
1/4 C shredded coconut
1 TB sliced almonds
2 TB milk chocolate chips
Pinch of salt

Prepare the oats according to your favorite method, stove top or microwave. Once cooked, stir in the coconut, almonds and salt and top with chocolate chips.

And it was DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

3/4   cup   all-purpose flour
3/4   cup   whole wheat flour
3   tablespoons   sugar
1 1/2   teaspoons   baking powder
1/2   teaspoon   baking soda
1/2   teaspoon   salt
1 1/2   cups   low-fat buttermilk (I used regular milk)
1   tablespoon   vegetable oil
1   large egg
1   large egg white
1 cup frozen blueberries

1 medium overripe banana, mashed

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Add frozen blueberries and mashed banana.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with syrup and butter.
  Makes 12 pancakes, serves 4.

I add the banana for sweetness and to keep the pancakes moist. They are moist and sweet enough that you don't need syrup. Without butted or syrup, 1 serving has 318 calories. They are SO filling. I especially love these, because they freeze really well. I make a double batch and then freeze them all in a big bag with parchment paper between them so they come apart easily. I also have a rubbermaid tub thing where I mix the dry ingredients ahead of time and then use 1 3/4 cup mix plus the wet ingredients. If you decide to make them without the fruit, they are 272 calories.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

                I’m a big fan of Sunday dinners.  They are always something a little different from the rest of the week.  Tonight was no different from except for the fact that a favorite recipe of mine needed to be tweaked to make it calorie friendly.   A friend of ours shared a really tasty enchilada recipe she found.  The link to the recipe is here.  A quick look at the recipe makes it seem not too bad on the calorie load.  That is until you count the calories.  A single enchilada, in a pan of 8, is around 430 calories.  That’s a large chunk especially if you are planning on having any sides.  So I tweaked the recipe a bit.  It serves 10 people the way I did it and each serving is 285 calories, but if you want it to serve 8 then each serving is about 356 calories.  The chicken and seasoning is the same from the other site.  I made it more like a lasagna with a layer of black beans and I only used about 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese.

  •          1 ½ pounds of chicken
  •          6 Tbsp Lime juice
  •          7 tbsp Honey
  •          1 ½ Tbsp Chili powder
  •          2 cans of Black Beans (12oz)
  •          1 can of diced tomatoes (12oz)
  •          1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  •          ¾ tsp garlic powder
  •          1 ½ cups cheese
  •          4 tbsp lite sour cream
  •          2 ½ flour tortillas (burrito size)
  •          1 large can of green enchilada sauce
  •          1 large onion

  1.         Boil chicken.  Once it is cooked all the way through shred it.
  2.         As you are cooking the chicken dice the onion and with a little bit of oil sauté the onion with the crushed garlic.
  3.         Once the onion is soft add the black beans and dice tomatoes.  And a dash of salt and a dash of chili powder.  Simmer until the beans are cooked.
  4.         Add the chili powder, 6 Tbsps of honey, garlic powder and lime juice to a large zip-loc bag.  Mix the spices well to make your marinade.  Once the marinade is ready add the chicken.  The original recipe says to let the chicken sit for 30 mins  I just make sure the chicken is well coated and go straight away.
  5.         In a 9x13 pan take enough of the enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. (a couple of tablespoons should do) then folding the tortillas in half cover the bottom of the pan (there may be gaps that is fine.  I used about 1 and ¼ tortillas per layer)
  6.         Add 1 tbsp of honey, 4 tbsps sour cream, a splash of lime and a dash of garlic powder to the remaining enchilada sauce in the can.  Mix well.
  7.         Layer half the beans, cheese, meat, and enchilada sauce. Put the remaining tortilla on top.  Layer the remaining half of beans, meat, enchilada sauce on top.  Top with the last half of cheese.
  8.         In a preheated oven at 350 degrees cook for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and browning.

We have a salad and some Spanish rice as sides.  The flavor is really good and the dish is fairly filling.  Until next time I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cloud Bread

Since starting on the calorie counting wagon in February one of the things that I've been most scared to eat much of is bread (seriously, anxiety accompanies when I think about having a sandwich!). It just has too many calories in it for me to want to waste my time with. Which is sad to me. I've probably had 4 slices of bread in the last month and a half. Maybe.

At only 43 calories each piece for this "cloud bread" how could I not try it?! The thought of having a sandwich was too good to let it pass. 
Cloud Bread
(link to recipe I used -
I really didn't make many changes, but my notes are in red :)
  • 3 eggs , separated
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk cottage cheese or 3 tablespoons cream cheese (I used cream cheese, can't go wring there)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (I didn't have any so I looked up substitutes and ended up using 1/2 tsp lemon juice.)
  • 1 (1 g) packet artificial sweetener (I used 2 tsp splenda)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Separate the eggs very carefully, there must be no yolk in the white.
  3. In one bowl, mix together the egg yolks, the 3 T. of Cottage Cheese OR Cream Cheese and the one packet of Sweetener until smooth. (I softened the cream cheese for about 30 seconds in the microwave)
  4. In the other bowl add 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar to the whites and beat the whites on high speed until they are fluffy and form nice peaks.
  5. Very carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites until mixed, but try and not break down the fluffiness of the egg whites too much.
  6. Spray two cookie sheets with Pam or other fat-free cooking spray.
  7. With a large spoon, "scoop" the mixture into 10 even rounds on the sheets (about the size of the top-half of the McDonalds hamburger bun; roughly 3/4 inch thick and 4 to 5 inches across).
  8. Bake on the middle rack. Here is when you have to watch them, because the cooking time the same on any two batches. It is somewhere around 1/2 hour, but it could be less or more. (Mine only cooked for 21 minutes)You just need to watch them until them become nice and golden brown (again, the color of a McDonalds bun).
  9. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack or cutting board.
  10. While warm they are crumbly and similar to cooked meringue - but don't let this fool you! Once completely cool, seal them in a ziplock storage baggie or a tupperware over night. They will totally change their consistency, to something much more like bread - a softer texture that is nice and chewy. If you do not like softer chewy bread, then eat them as they are, nice and crisp
     **I let them cool for about 10 minutes and then spread butter on one and ate it with my breakfast. I was actually pleasantly surprised and how good it was. Maybe it's because I haven't eaten bread in a while? I'm interested to see how the texture changes after they've sat for a while longer. They were so easy to make though, I think I'll be making them again.  I'm also already thinking of things to add to them, seasonings, chopped dried fruit, chocolate???, cheese, mmmm.
    I'm seeing how these store in the fridge, left in a ziplock on the counter they're pretty soft and a little sticky to deal with. Or maybe I just need to bake them longer next time.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

A yummy high fiber snack.

15oz can garbanzo beans
1 tbsp olive oil
Spice of your choice

Preheat oven to 400F.  Drain the garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse.  Shake and tap the strainer to remove excess water.  Poor the beans onto a paper towel and pat dry with another paper towel.  Place the beans on a baking tray and pour oil over the top.  Cover the beans with oil (use hand or spatula to mix).  Sprinkle with salt and seasoning.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy.


2 tbsp chia seeds
5 c water
1/4 lemon juice
stevia (optional)

Bring the water and chia seeds to a boil for a minute or two.  Remove heat and let it set uncovered until it cools.  Add the lemon juice and stevia. 

Variation: Add 1/4 cup of unsweetened cranberry juice and reduce the water by the same amount.  It makes a pretty pink version with just a few more calories per serving (only 20) and more vitamins and antioxidants.  (I always make mine this way but it isn't the traditional version)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goat Cheese and Artichoke Chicken Breasts

This recipe is recommended not only for diabetics, but also for anyone on a special gout diet. It is low in uric acid (too much of uric acid causes gout). Everytime my family comes to visit I make this and they just rave about it!__________________

Source: dLife Recipe
Baked chicken breasts stuffed with creamy goat cheese and artichokes, served with a lemon sauce.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Makes 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories 95.1
Total Carbs: 3.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Sugars: 0.3 g
Total Fat: 2.4 g
Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
Unsaturated Fat: 1.8 g
Potassium: 183.7 mg
Protein: 14.4 g
Sodium: 198.5 mg

Dietary Exchanges
1/4 Fat, 1/2 Vegetable, 2 Very Lean Meat

See the Detailed Nutritional Analysis

Note: One or more ingredients from this recipe are not included in the nutritional analysis above. Either the ingredient is missing from our database or is listed as "optional" in the recipe.

Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil , divided
6 oz frozen artichokes hearts , thawed and chopped
1 large shallots , 1/4 cup (peeled and chopped)
1 oz goat cheese , 1/4 cup (or crumbled feta)
1 tsp ground thyme , divided (or herbes de Provence)
1/4 tsp salt , divided
1/4 tsp black pepper , divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp cornstarch
1 oz chopped parsley (optional)
1 tsp fresh lemon peel , grated (optional)

1. In large skillet, over medium high, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add artichoke and shallots. Cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and let cool slightly. Mix in cheese, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
2.  Wash chicken breasts and pat dry. Slice horizontally to create pocket. Rub remaining salt and pepper evenly over front and back of each breast.
3.  Stuff 2 tablespoons artichoke mixture into each pocket.
4.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
5.  Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large skillet over medium high. Place chicken breasts in pan and cook for 6 minutes without moving them. Reduce heat to medium, flip chicken breasts and cook additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
6.  Remove breasts to oven-proof dish. Cook in oven 15 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165°F on meat thermometer.
7.  While chicken is baking, place pan back on stovetop, add chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon thyme and bring to boil. Deglaze pan by scraping brown bits from bottom. Stir until bits have dissolved.
8.  In small bowl, whisk lemon juice and cornstarch. Add to bubbling broth. Whisk continuously for 1 minute until sauce is thick.
9.  When chicken is baked, transfer to skillet along with any baking juices. Cover and cook on stovetop for 2 minutes.
10.  To serve, cut stuffed breasts in half. Place on dinner plates and top with sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated lemon zest, if desired.

Additional Information
Feta cheese or blue cheese can be substituted in stuffing mix.

Joycelyn's Tweaks:
  • I use feta cheese bc we like it the most.
  • I use regular onions instead of getting shallots.
  • When I didn't have enough lemon juice, I sub'd lime juice and it was just as amazing!
  • I have stainless steel pans so I decided to "grill" it on my non-stick counter grill. Worked just as well if not better. Afterwards, I scraped the grill of the leftovers into my pan to make the sauce.
  • Use a jar/can of marinated artichokes. Reserve the liquid and add it to your alfredo sauce for a pasta side dish. It makes the flavor amazing!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stuart's Homemade Alfredo

Let me start off by saying how much I love food. I eat food for all the wonderful flavors and textures. I’ll eat until I’m full and pack on another three helpings just because it tastes so good. Even after the meat sweats set in when dessert is offered, especially if it has peanut butter or a brownie involved. While we’re at it lets make it a la mode. My mouth is already watering and I just ate my dinner. The downside to watching what I am eating, and I mean the amounts not just what is on my plate as I shovel it in, is my love affair with food has been put on hold. It’s now more of a fling.

One of my favorite dishes is alfredo. I loved it so much I learned how to make it myself. I made it for my family too. It was a dish I made once or twice a year. Little did I know how many calories were in the sauce alone. The recipe I was using a serving of sauce (one cup) was 1270 calories. For a male my size that caloric count is around half of my daily calorie allowance to maintain my weight! I knew the sauce was calorie heavy but I only found out how much when I was getting ready to make it for dad. It’s the whipping cream and butter that gets you, both of which dwarf the amount of calories the parmesan cheese contributes. Using myfitnesspal app on my iPhone I’m currently allowed 1850 calories per day in order to make my weight goals.

This left me with only a few choices. I could work out like mad to offset the meal I was going to eat or I could find a way to make it a little lighter on the calorie side of things. The second option seemed the most prudent of the two as I add blackened chicken and shrimp to my alfredo. After talking with my lovely wife we both agreed that alfredo sauce is just a fancy form of mac and cheese I tweaked a recipe to see if it would work and it did. I had half a chicken breast and four shrimp on a bed of jasmine rice (one cup) with ½ cup of sauce and a salad with a raspberry vinaigrette. Grand total calorie count for the meal 530, the sauce alone was 187. It was tasty without all those extra calories and grams of fat. I do a lot of my cooking by taste but the following recipe sets you up to tweak the flavor of the sauce to your taste.

This will make six ½ cup servings.

• 4 Tbsp Butter
• 4 Tbsp flour
• 3 cups milk (I used 2%)
• 1 ½ tsp garlic (minced or crushed)
• ¾ cup of parmesan
• Salt
• Pepper

• Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat

• Add the flour to the butter and mix well

• Add the garlic to the flour and butter

• Keeping the heat low, let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes (I read somewhere this reduces the flour taste in the sauce) stirring occasionally. DON’T LET YOUR MIXTURE BURN!!!

• Slowly add the milk to the flour and butter whisking it until smooth.

• Bring the heat up to about medium and let the sauce thicken, stirring frequently

• Add the parmesan cheese to the sauce

• Stir until the cheese is melted, add salt and pepper

As I said before this recipe gets you to the point where you can tweak the seasonings to suit your taste, just keep track of any extra cheese you may add to the mix.

Georgina's butternut squash and chicken

Hello Girls, My recipe that I love that is full of goodness is as follows:
 1 x Butternut Squash
1 x 100g Broccoli
1 x Chicken Breast
1 x chilli
Feta cheese
Pine nuts

 Pre heat ur oven to too 200'c
roughly chop the butternut (with skin on) pop in a baking tray, dizzle some olive oil over that, and pop in the oven for 45 mins.

 Whilst that is in the oven mix together grated ginger and chopped chilli in a pestle and morter and once that's like a paste coat the chicken breast with it and pop it in the oven for 30 mins.

 Gently roast the pine nuts and when there is 10 mins left pop them, feta and some salt and pepper over the butternut squash.

 Blanch the broccoli and pop that in the over with the butternut 5 mins before the end.

 Dish up and enjoy!!!! It's delicious xxx