Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Under 500 Calories: Elegant Eggs!

For most people, Valentine's Day dinner is a steak, lobster or some other expensive fancy meal, but in our house, the gang voted on breakfast for dinner! I have seen several pictures of bacon roses on Facebook over the last few days, so I tried my hand and creating flowers fit for a man! I wrapped the bacon before putting it into the skillet. I had to turn the bacon several times to prevent burning of the outside while the inside cooked through.

I also got creative with the eggs. I sautéed mushrooms, spinach and leeks and mixed them into the egg mixture along with some Swiss cheese. Instead of then making an omelette, I put the egg mixture over hash browns in individual custard dishes. This was my version of a quiche. The finished product was well received by my family. My boys were astonished that they liked all the veggies! My husband said that he felt like he was in a restaurant!!

Elegant Eggs:
(Serves 6; 336 calories per serving)

6 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 leek
5 mushrooms
1 cup spinach
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 tbsp butter
2 cups Oreida hash browns, thawed
Salt and pepper to taste
12 slices of cooked bacon

Preheat oven to 400*. Place 2 cups of hashbrowns in a bowl. And set aside to thaw for about 30 minutes. Dice up mushroom and spinach. Trim the root and leafy ends off the leek. Dice up the leek and place in a bowl of water for 10 minutes to wash off any sand or grit. Spray 6 custard dishes with nonstick cooking spray and place some hash brown in each dish. Shape the potato to the bottom and sides of each dish leaving a well in the middle. Bake the hash browns for 15 minutes. While the hash browns are baking, sauté the vegetables in a tablespoon of butter for 5-6 minutes. Let cool slightly. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and cream. Dice up the Swiss cheese and add to the egg mixture along with the sautéed vegetables. Evenly divide the eggs between the hash brown cups. Place the cups on a baking sheet and loosely cover with foil. Bake in a 400* oven for 30 minutes. Serve with 2 slices of bacon per serving!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Freezer Meal: Lasagna

Last night, we had he first freezer meal from the meal exchange that I did with my friends on Saturday. It was so nice to pull a ready made meal out of the freezer in the morning and have a no fuss dinner ready in under an hour!! The lasagna was prepared by my friend and neighbor, Sherry. She used the recipe on the Creamette Oven Ready Lasagna noodles and it was super yummy! I cut down the serving size so the meal also fit into our under 500 calorie meal plan as it was 497 calories per serving!

Yesterday was day 35 of the under 500 calorie challenge and I had a hold on my weight. I think that was due to eating too many snacks like brownies and cookies! I've refocused for this week and am hoping to see a loss next Monday!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 29: Tried and True Chicken Soft Tacos

Last night's dinner was a staple that I've posted before, crockpot chicken soft tacos. Everybody loves this meal and it takes about 10 minutes of prep in the morning and another 10 before serving. Since I do a long cooking time of 10-12 hours, I put the chicken in frozen. This keeps the recipe from getting too dry. The meal is about 490 calories when you add the cheese, pico, salsa, sour cream and guacamole! This is a two meal recipe which I love! If you go back to my previous post, you will notice fewer servings. I didn't change any of the ingredients, but since we have been punting calories, I've tried to be more conscious of serving size. Now, it is one taco verses two. Rewiring our brains to correct portion sizes has been what has made this last month successful. On Tuesday, we had haircuts and scouts so I took the boys to McDonalds. We had a great discussion on daily caloric intake and how we choose to spend those calories. About how we still eat out and stop for DQ treats, but in moderation. I enjoy food too much to limit my choices, but I can choose a balanced eating plan which I hope is what the boys are learning!

Crockpot Chicken Soft Tacos:
(Serves 12; 241 calories per serving)

1 pkg of boneless, skinless chicken breast (~3lbs)
1 can of black beans drained & rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapeño
1 pkg taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning (recipe blow)
Corn Tortillas
Shredded Mexican cheese
Pico de gaillo
Sour cream

Taco seasoning:

2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Place chicken breast in crockpot. Mix the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken. Lastly, place the black beans on top. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours. About a 1/2 hour prior to serving, shred chicken and stir. serve chicken mixture on corn tortillas. Top with Pico de Gallo, cheese and sour cream if desired.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 28 of the Under 500 Calorie Dinner Challenge: GF Blueberry Crisp!

Yesterday was Day 28 of my under 500 challenge! I can't believe it has been a month! I lost another half pound which was a grand total of 5 lbs in a month! My husband lost weight too so that is incentive enough for me to keep going. That being said, I hit a bump in the road foodwise when I tried a mashed cauliflower recipe. Nobody really liked it, so it will not be a repeat. I also made my miracle meatloaf that I posted in September which is only 242 calories per serving. Since the plate was less than 330 calories, I splurged and made a blueberry crisp. It is a cooking light recipe that I modified to use GF flour. I used King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten Free flour. I really love this product as it takes the guess work out of mixing together flours and binders such as xanthum gum! I also used pecans because that is the nut I had on hand. The original recipe called for walnuts. The whole meal was 547 calories, but since nobody really ate the cauliflower, we probably consumed under 500 calories!

GF Blueberry Crisp:
(Serves 8; 217 calories per serving)

Cooking spray
4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup gluten free multi-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons cornstarch evenly in dish. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, vanilla, and blueberries in a large bowl; toss. Place in prepared baking dish. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cinnamon) in the bowl of a food processor; pulse twice to combine. Add butter; pulse 5 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Spoon topping evenly over blueberries, packing down lightly. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden.