Friday, April 29, 2016

Foodie Friday: April 29, 2016

Welcome to my newest feature: Foodie Friday.  Some weeks, like today, I will give you a full-day's menu.  Other weeks may just be a favorite dessert, snack or what have you.

I don't know what it is about diets, but, while I am trying to eat less I always think about food more.  What's with that? The good thing is, because I am more conscientious, I am always on the hunt for delicious, filling foods that are healthy.  Today's menu consists of some re-discovered favorites as well as some brand new finds.  Because I am not one to play by the rules when it comes to food, I  tweak most recipes that I come across to suit my tastes and needs.  Feel free to do the same, but let me know what you do that improves what you find here.

Don't panic...I won't always give you the lighter and healthier fare.  I will often break out the recipes that got me to this point in the first place.  Yet, I will always only give you foods that truly taste delicious.

(sorry about the color change of my text later in this post.  Tried to edit that 3 times....)

Breakfast

Skinny Bananan Blueberry Muffins
from Sally's Baking Addiction

I know I shared this breakfast treat on my most recent weekend post.  However, I so enjoyed these that I wanted to present them here on my first Foodie Friday.  Again, I loved the flavor of these and the fact that they are only 108 calories/muffin makes me love them more!
NOTE: I used plain nonfat Greek yogurt and almond milk, which brought my calorie count down from Sally's.

the recipe as copied from Sally's Baking Addiction:
  • 2 and 1/2 cup (315g) white whole wheat flour (or mix of whole wheat and all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (100g) loosely packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 large very ripe bananas)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) nonfat vanilla greek yogurt (or any yogurt) 
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk (I use almond milk, but you can use any kind)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (215g) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray 15 muffin tins with nonstick spray.1 Set aside.
  2. Gently whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the honey and brown sugar together - it will be thick and lumpy. Try to get out as many lumps as you can. Whisk in the mashed banana, yogurt, and beaten egg. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently begin to fold it all together. It will be very thick. Add the milk slowly and continue to gently mix the ingredients together. The milk will thin everything out, but the batter will still be quite thick. Gently fold in the blueberries. Do not overmix the batter.
  4. Divide the batter between 15 muffin cups. Fill all the way to the top. Bake the first 12, then the last three in another batch. (Fill the empty muffin cups halfway with water in the 2nd batch to ensure even baking.) Bake muffins for 17-18 minutes OR until very lightly browned on the edges. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack. Allow muffins to cool and enjoy!
  5. Muffins taste wonderful the next day, like most banana bread recipes because their flavor is enhanced. Muffins remain fresh and moist stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
  6. Freezing tip: Muffins can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm to your liking before serving.

Lunch


Avocado Crab Salad
adapted by me

original recipe from Skinnytaste.com

I came across this recipe a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with it.  I hadn't had it in quite some time, but when I made if for lunch last week, it was a sweet reunion!
287 calories/recipe

the recipe as copied from my own post entitled Ode to Avocado & Crab
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 4 oz lump crab meat
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (I hate cilantro, so I eliminate it from this recipe...and my life)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Directions: 
    In a medium bowl, combine onion, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro (if you can stand the stuff), salt and pepper. Add crab meat and toss well.

    Cut avocado open, remove pit and spoon out avocado. Cut into large chunks and add to crab. Mix carefully, not to mash the avocado. Spoon back into avocado shells and enjoy!  

    Honestly, you can eat it in a pretty bowl, but it's just kind of cool eating it out of the shell.  Makes me feel kind of Martha Stewart-ish.


    Dinner


    Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion & Potato Hash
    from the Two Bite Club

    I made this easy and yummy dinner a week and a half ago and my family loved it!  I went with the creator's suggestion of using turkey kielbasa and I am glad I did.  Such an easy, healthy, and satisfying meal to whip up on a weeknight.  And...my calorie counter came up with just 241 calories/serving (I figure about 1 cup).  I served this with filling tossed salad.  

    the recipe as copied from the Two Bite Club:
    Ingredients
    • 1 (14 ounce) package turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
    • 1 green bell pepper, diced
    • 1/2 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 3 small or 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
    • olive oil
    • salt and pepper

    Instructions

    1. In a heavy bottomed skillet (I like to use my cast iron), heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, around 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure even browning.  
    2. In a separate skillet, brown the sliced kielbasa for around 5 minutes in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat.  Remove the kielbasa from the pan and set aside.  Add the peppers and onions to the skillet and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.  
    3. Add the cooked potatoes and kielbasa to the skillet with the onions and peppers and mix everything together.  Serve nice and hot!

    Notes

    • I use two skillets to make this recipe.  I used to make it in one, but something always came out wrong.  I've learned that when I cook my potatoes in a separate skillet they cook more evenly and stay nice any crispy when they're added to the other ingredients right before serving.
    • Sometimes I'll add some minced garlic to the peppers and onions, but it tastes just as good without it.

    Snack
    NOTE: some weeks this section will be "snacks" while other weeks it will be "desserts"


    Blueberry Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie
    by Skinnytaste

    I love smoothies.  They are fun, usually delicious, and a great way to get some healthy foods all at once and on the go, if need be.  When I came to a stand-still in my weight loss a few weeks back, the only change that I could find to make was adding more protein to my diet.  Smoothies are a great way to do that.  I would never have thought to combine peanut butter and blueberries, but this has quickly become a favorite of mine.
    This was the first recipe I have ever used that called for protein powder.  I was amazed to find that most powders are sold only by the HUGE container-full.  I really didn't want quite that much, as I do like to get most of my protein in real foods, not in powder-form.  However, I did find that our local Wegmans (#1 grocery store in the entire nation, thank you very much!) sells some powders in packets.  Each packet is supposed to be one serving, but I get two servings as I like to squeak out the most for my dollar as well as limit my calorie intake.  The brand I used is Quest Nutrition.
    258 calories/recipe
    the recipe as copied from Skinnytaste.com 
    Ingredients:
    • 1 medium banana
    • 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt 
    • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
    • 2/3 cup unsweetened frozen blueberries (I used fresh)
    • 2 tbsp PB2 (this is where I used the Quest and I did use 2 Tbsp)
    • 1/2 cup ice
    Directions:
    Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. 

    I do hope you try one or all of these recipes.  Please let me know what you think!  Have a fun weekend experimenting!


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