Had fun trying out some new food ideas the past few days. I had an idea to try ‘baked oatmeal’ the other day, so I took one serving of already prepared oatmeal (leftover from the day before) and added one egg white, 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, one Tbsp flax meal, cinnamon, 16 chocolate chips, and 1/2 mashed banana. Mixed it all together and baked it at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. It was good, and very filling, but kinda ‘pricey’–came in at right around 300 calories. Needs a little tweaking, but I thought I’d throw the idea out there for those of you who like to experiment.
My BFF mentioned that she was making spaghetti, so of course that put the thought of spaghetti into my brain. Spaghetti with real ground beef, not all the other stuff that I use like shrimp or chicken or veggies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. So I got some ground beef at the store the last time I was there–the leanest they had, something like 3 or 7%. I already had a partly used can of Trader Joe’s marinara sauce that I like so well (the kind that is 25 calories per 1/4 cup.) Here is the recipe I came up with. It was absolutely delicious.
8 oz. extra lean ground beef
4 slices turkey bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 brown mushrooms, sliced and chopped
2 carrots shredded (I use a mandolin)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups TJ’s marinara sauce (that’s all I had)
spices to taste (I added dried chopped onions, dried oregano, garlic salt and pepper)
Cook the turkey bacon pieces in a skillet. Remove from skillet, and add chopped mushrooms and cook a bit. Then add the shredded carrots and cook a little longer. In the meantime, put marinara sauce and tomatoes into a big pan, and add the bacon pieces. Add the partially cooked mushrooms and carrots to the sauce. Use the skillet to cook the ground beef. I mashed it around so there were not too many big pieces, but you can do it however you want. Add the ground beef to the sauce, and let simmer for as long as you want. I was hungry, so it was only for probably 20 minutes or so…
This made 6 large servings of sauce (about 3/4 cup each, and came out to 110 calories per serving. Most worthy, in my opinion.
I am having two friends over for a little Christmas get-together, one on Monday and one on Tuesday. Both of them are Weight Watchers, but neither have gone as ‘radical’ as I have. I know some of you are getting a laugh out of me calling myself radical, but I think you know what I mean. Neither of them have ever completely committed to changing the way they eat for the rest of their life. Both of them (like me) love desserts. So it is always a fun challenge to me to try to make a really good dessert that is also ‘healthy.’ I have had this issue of ‘Clean Eating’ magazine hanging around forever. It had a recipe for ice cream sandwiches that I really wanted to try, so this was the time. I’m not going to copy the recipe here because it belongs to the magazine, I guess. But the recipe for the cookies used agave syrup, which I really haven’t used that much. And the ‘ice cream’ was really frozen yogurt, which you make yourself, AND HERE IS THE INTERESTING PART (in case your eyes have glazed over at all this boring food talk.) To make the frozen yogurt, you start by making ‘strained yogurt.’ This is essentially like making your own Greek yogurt. I tried this once before and I just made a mess, but I followed their directions, and the yogurt came out thick and creamy, just like Greek. The exciting part of this is that if you don’t have greek yogurt available, you can make your own. It is also cheaper to do this. So, to strain yogurt, put 4 layers of cheesecloth into a strainer. Be generous with the cloth. Place strainer over a bowl. Add yogurt to the cheesecloth-lined strainer, bring the 4 corners of the cloth together and twist slightly to cover. Allow to drain 4-8 hours in refrigerator. THAT’S IT. You could keep the liquid to use in smoothies if you want.
The frozen yogurt is simply a combination of strained yogurt, agave syrup and vanilla. I will let you know how these taste, and try to take a picture of them.