Good Clean Fun

This is good clean fun!  That’s what I thought as I made some pumpkins scones (thanks for the recipe, Suzi!)  The original recipe for these scones was only 87 calories each.  By the time I changed up the recipe and the portion size a bit, they came out to be 135 calories, which is still pretty good for a treat.  And as I thought about what would make them ‘perfect,’ I remembered that a little Fage greek yogurt was a pretty good substitute for the traditional clotted cream served with most scones.  Fun!

I’ve been on quite a cooking/assembling jag lately.  Probably the reaction to being away from my kitchen for a week.

I ran out of the wonderful Justin’s Cocoa Almond Butter, and I thought I could probably recreate it.  Here’s the recipe.  Pretty easy to make yourself, especially if you start with the slivered almonds.  It’s kinda hard to get a nice shot of chocolate almond butter, so here’s a pic of my favorite way to enjoy it–on a nice crisp apple.

After I got home from my trip I had quite a hankering for Mexican food.  Here’s the simplest way I know how to solve that one.  I picked up some tortillas at TJ’s that were only 60 calories each.  Added one ounce of cheese, some salsa and chopped romaine lettuce.  Very satisfying.

I also picked up a bag of TJ’s broccoli slaw.  I followed their recipe ALMOST exactly.  They said to use 1 cup of your favorite dressing.  Wowza.  That could be a lot of calories.  I made this dressing to put on it:  1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt, 1 Tbsp Honey, 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp honey mustard, and 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.  JACKPOT!!  This was so very tasty, and it was good for a few days.  (Main recipe:  1 pkg broccoli slaw, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup walnuts, and 1 apple chopped.)  For 6 servings it is 130 calories.

 THEN, I had bookmarked this recipe for pumpkin butter quite a while ago.  I thought the stats were pretty good (47 calories for 2 Tbsp) and when I compared it to TJ’s commercial pumpkin butter, I was right–theirs is 45 calories for ONE Tbsp.  So I finally set out to make it.  I followed that recipe almost exactly.  Very tasty, and a little goes a long way.  Oh. When I made those pumpkin scones, I didn’t have any canned pumpkin in my cupboard, so I sub’d a smaller amount of the pumpkin butter.

I got a cold or something this week.  Just feeling under the weather, but not bad enough to stop eating evidently.  I was so glad I had stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies, because that is what I crave when I get a cold.  Now that’s a change for the better, isn’t it?  The asian pears and fuji apples that I brought home are just so delicious.  I had a head of cauliflower in there, and that Cauliflower Potato Bake just does the trick for some healthy ‘comfort style’ food for me.

Trader Joe’s was featuring a few new foods, and I succumbed to both of them.  One is frozen sweet potatoes.  I believe they are sweet potato cubes LOL.  And the other was some BBQ pulled chicken breast.  So yummy, and only 140 calories for a 5 ounce serving.   Yummy, but quite zesty, I have to admit.  It would be great over something bland, like a baked potato.  Or like they served it at TJ’s, with the mashed sweet potatoes.

So another thing I’ve been thinking about is how I learned in W.W. that the little changes you make really do count.  Suzi’s pumpkin scone recipe is definitely a lesson in that.  It is a very low fat recipe, which is why the original recipe was only 87 calories (and it was a modest portion size.)  When you start adding a ‘bit of this,’ and a ‘little of that’ for a treat or for extra flavor, that is when the calories start creeping up.  Do that enough times, and you won’t be on a diet any more.

Which brings me to my last point.  I didn’t write a final thought on The Hunger Game.  As I said before, I kind of stopped waiting until I was hungry to eat.  Which points out that there are a lot of reasons I eat besides just to ‘fuel’ my body.  Still, I did learn that it was unnecessary for me to have those little snacks or bits that I would indulge in between meals.  And it is a tool that I plan to continue to use and to strive towards.  I just checked out Georgie’s blog this afternoon, and there was an EXCELLENT article about calorie counting, and her suggestion that you just wait until you are hungry, and then wait 30-60 minutes to eat!  How about that!  Georgie is a registered dietician, and everything she’s ever written has made sense to me.  I hope you’ll check it out if you don’t know her.  She is also a wealth of excellent healthy, low-calorie recipes.  Lately she’s been experimenting with more grain free recipes.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print around here.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I plan to stay inside with the doggies on my lap.  Very comforting, even if it is a bit difficult to stitch with 45 pounds of dog on your lap.  (I just figured that out!  No wonder I get tired after a while with all three of them on there!)

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11 thoughts on “Good Clean Fun

  1. You have no idea how happy to makes me to be able to think, “I’m going to go get some of that TODAY when you or anyone else mentions TJ’s!” Thankfully, I only have to travel 10 minutes rather than 4 hours to get to one. I just love when you have one of these “cooking” weeks as I always get some ideas to try RIGHT NOW!! Made a new run of homemade yogurt yesterday – will ALWAYS think of you and the fun we had when I make yogurt!

    • Glad to be of service! Really, I am glad to hear someone likes reading this stuff. I tend to think no one wants to read about my cooking adventures.

  2. I love that pumpkin butter, in fact I don’t have much left!
    I’m definitely going to make that cocoa almond butter. Just have to buy more almonds.
    You’re right it’s the little things that can add up. I also think keeping track of the little bit here and there helps me to stay on top of them.

  3. I made that pumpkin butter a couple years ago, I think? It’s good stuff. Very thick.

    What exactly is clotted cream, anyway? It has always sounded do gross to me that I never was interested in trying it LOL!

    You are so right with adding the little bits of this and that. It’s how I get my 400 calorie bowl of oats LOL!

    • Well its best that you keep thinking of clotted cream that way LOL! Essentially, it is pure cream, thickened. Oh my yummy deliciousness. The process sounds a little similar to making yogurt, only without adding the bacteria cultures.

  4. You have been a cooking maven this week! 🙂

    All three of the little dogs sit on your lap at once? That’s impressive, especially that they all tolerate each other enough to do so. I guess they manage…probably know that if they cause trouble, they’re off the lap and that would be tragic!

    • Oh yes. I was just describing the process to my brother. Sophie gets that “look” because she wants the central spot. And I tell her to wipe that look off her face (what, no one’s mother ever told them that?) And then there is a little rearranging to make sure everybody gets a fair and comfortable spot. And then we all settle in. Until I have to get up to change the computer, or get a drink, or … And then we start all over again.

      • Paco has been crawling onto my lap lately – I think it’s the cone. He just wants to sleep in my arms, which I appreciate considering he’s never been a lap dog. But it’s hard to knit that way, and I also feel bad when I have to get up and disturb him (all that hydrating for running means a lot of bathroom trips).

  5. Hmmm, who do we know who has a mason jar full of slivered almonds just begging to be smashed to smithereens and converted to something even tastier than slivered almonds? I think tomorrow is going to be a very yummy day.

    I make a similar dressing for coleslaw/broccoli slaw, only I use apple cider vinegar. I’d rather have this style dressing than any mayonnaise-y dressing!

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