Category Archives: Recipes & Brands
Eating healthy is always easier when you plan ahead. Part of my planning ahead includes making a healthy breakfast that’s easy to heat and eat! This week, my breakfast of choice is a low-fat spinach quiche made with Daisy low-fat cottage cheese.
One thing I love about adding Daisy Cottage Cheese to my quiche is because it’s packed with protein (13gms per 1/2 cup 90 calorie serving). Since I like to get the majority of my protein from whole foods, Daisy Cottage Cheese is a great way to boost protein in your diet naturally. (FYI: Daisy Cottage Cheese has no preservatives, thickeners or additives and only has ingredients, where other brands have more than 10).
Shopping Tip: Look for the LIGHT blue lid (that’s the low fat one. Daisy’s regular cottage cheese has a dark blue lid). Also, alway look at ingredients when shopping. Less is more! I took a photo of the ingredients for Daisy (below left) compared to another popular brand (below right). Look at all the extra ingredients. Who wants to eat Xanthan gum and Guar gum? lol
63 Calorie Quiche
16oz Bag of Defrosted & Drained Spinach
1 Cup Egg Beaters
2 Cups Low-Fat Daisy Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup Crushed Crackers or Croutons
6 1 Medium Tomato, Diced
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Cook the spinach in a pan and drain well. Mix spinach in with all the ingredients. Pour in well greased muffin pan (I use Pam) and cook on 325 for 45 minutes. The recipe makes 12 63-calorie yummy low-fat, high-protein, low-carb mini quiches! BAM!
Change it up
Use this same recipe and just make some subtle changes to make your own new creations. Swap cheddar cheese for feta cheese or tomatoes for mushrooms. Change spinach for broccoli or asparagus. Dress your recipe up but adding a sliced cherry tomato on top. Don’t care about calories? Use 2 cups of cheese instead of 1/2 cup of cheese to richen the recipe (NOTE: that will make each quiche 120 calories instead of 63 calories).
Enjoy 2 quiches for only 125 calories, 16.4g of protein, 3.9g carbs and 4.8g fat. Look at this awesome pie graph! See all that light blue – that’s ALL PROTEIN!! WOOOT!
I log my recipes in the LoseIt app to track calories and nutrients. What I love about making quiche in a muffin pan is that I have 12 perfect individualized portions, making tracking calories a breeze!
10 Ways to Cook With Cottage Cheese
1. Use cottage cheese instead of sour cream to add creaminess and a bunch of protein to a baked potato.
2. Use cottage cheese to thicken homemade dressings (using blender)
3. Use cottage cheese in place of Ricotta cheese in Italian dishes. (90 calories per half cup vs 216 calories)
4. Add a nice dollop of cottage cheese to a salad.
5. Use pureed cottage cheese instead of sour cream for a creamy healthier chip dip
6. Add cottage cheese to your smoothie for a creamier protein shake with even more protein.
7. Use cottage cheese in place of oil when baking.
8. Use cottage cheese instead of mayo when making tuna salad. (Puree it to make it creamy if you don’t like it chunky)
9. Mix cottage cheese with salt, pepper and herbs for a yummy and healthy cracker spread.
10. Mix or layer with fresh pineapple, apple sauce, peaches, pear or mandarin oranges and top with a dollop of whipped cream for a healthy dessert or breakfast.
HOW DO YOU EAT COTTAGE CHEESE?
Join us in our Twitter Chat! Daisy wants to know how you “Power Your Way Through the Day”. Getting the proper fuel we need can be hard on the go. Getting protein, outside of eating meat or having a protein shake, can also be challenging. Daisy Cottage Cheese is the perfect protein source. Daisy is extremely versatile and can help power your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and pre/post workout. Learn more about the Daisy Difference April 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm EST #DaisyDifference! See you there!
What typically goes in soup? Well, let’s think… Potatoes, Carrots, Corn, Peas, Lima Beans, any kind of bean, rice, pasta…basically all high carb vegetables. What do you not see in soup that often? Low-carb veggies like Brocoli, Cauliflower, Spinach and Cabbage. Why not? Did someone make a rule? Are there only a few soup-approved veggies? NO! People just like their carbs. A high-carb meal is a high-calorie meal, so i decided to make a low-carb soup that would entertain my tastebuds without costing me a few miles of cardio to burn off. This soup is perfect for those nights I had a post-workout shake and don’t need a lot of calories, but still want a hot meal when I get home for the gym.
4 Quarts Vegetable Broth Base (I used Knorr Vegetable Mix)
1 Bag of Frozen Cauliflower (or 2 cups fresh)
2 Cups frozen chopped spinach
2 Cups chopped brocoli
2 1/2 Cups Ground Turkey (20 oz)
2 Chopped Zucchini
2 T Splenda/Stevia
2 T Hickory Liquid Smoke
Salt/Pepper to taste
Makes 25 Cups
59 Calories per Hearty Cup!
I entered everything into my LoseIt app. Here is the profile :)
I love potatoes. Honestly, I think they are probably one of my favorite vegetables. BUT they are super high in calories and carbs, so I try to limit them. One baked potato is a whopping 270 calories – that’s most of my allotted calories for a single meal when I’m dieting (which is around 300-350 calories/meal) – and that’s without butter, sour cream or anything extra!
A medium French Fry from McDonald’s is 360 calories!! Sadly, I have to admit, when I get fries, my eyes are bigger than my brain and I feel the need to order a large fry because I like fries more than the darn burger. However, that large fry will cost me about a 5 1/2 mile run! A large fry had more calories than my sandwich – 537 calories (Super Size is 610 CALORIES!)!! Needless to say, if you are counting calories, it doesn’t take long to realize you need to limit potatoes from your diet if you want to lose weight.
With all that high-cal potato talk, I got a little creative last night and made a potatoless Shepherd’s pie. Honestly, if I had cauliflower, I would have made mashed cauliflower. Instead, I started my meal out like I always do. I look in the fridge and pantry to see what I have and then I start brainstorming. Yesterday, I ended up with Ground Turkey & Cabbage Shepherd’s pie and it was a success. Steve loved it, and he liked the carb to protein ratio – so here it is!
Potatoless Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 head of cabbage chopped (made 4 cups)
- 4 cups cooked and seasoned lean ground turkey
- 1 1/2 cup yellow corn
- 1 1/2 cup lima beans ( didn’t have peas!)
- 1 tablespoon butter/margarine
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon of Stevia and Splenda
- Salt & Pepper
- Badia Complete Seasoning
First I combined cooked and seasoned turkey meat with cooked corn and limas (cooked and seasoned with salt and pepper) and put that in the casserole dish. (I seasoned my meat with lemon juice and Badia Complete Seasoning). Then, in a separate pot, I boiled the cabbage with seasonings and the Stevia until really tender and soft. I drained the cabbage reeeeeally well and added the butter to add a little fat, as well as a buttery flavor. Next, I spread it out on top of the meat mixture, topping it with the sprinkle of cheese and baked it on 400 for 20 minutes or so (just to melt the cheese and do the final bit of cooking).
After you pull it out of the oven, drain off any fluid (from the cabbage) and let it stand for a few minutes. If you can’t wait, you can serve it right away, but it will be a messy meal. If you let it cool, it cuts in nicer squares. I let mine cool completely and stored it in the refrigerator. Then I cut it in squares and put it in tupperware (cuts beautifully when cold). Steve loved it and it was darn tasty!
9 servings: 278 calories 25g P, 15g C 13g F
12 small squares: 209 calories, 19.1g P, 11.3g C, 9.9g F
NOTE: Fat slows digestion, helping you feel fuller longer, as well as provides you with more lasting energy.
It’s Dinner Time!
When we are in “diet mode”, salads are our first pick for supper. Since we try to minimize carbs, and predominately eat protein, greens and fats at night, salads make a perfect filling (and delicious) dinner. However, you can only eat a traditional Chef salad so much, so I’m always making new creations to entertain our taste buds. This is when I open the fridge up, see what I have and start brainstorming on what I can create based on what ingredients I have on hand.
My Salad Formula
After I see what I have to work with, I first choose my “style”. Then I pick my greens. To help me manage calories, I normally choose one sweet item (like Craisins, apple, pear, mandarin oranges, etc) and one fat (like goat cheese, avocado, nuts or olive oil). Then I add in “freebies”, the extras that don’t have a lot of calories like tomato, onions, cucumbers, seasonings, etc. Lastly, I top it with protein and choose a light dressing to toss everything in.
Last night, I was in the mood for Oriental! So here’s what I whipped together for Steve and I! I have to admit, I couldn’t get enough and was super sad when it was all gone! :)
2 Cups Shredded Cabbage
2 Cups Finely Chopped Kale
1 Can Low Sugar Mandarin Oranges (chopped up slightly)
1/2 Chopped Sweet Onion
2 Small Grilled Chicken Chopped (I smoked chicken rubbed in Curry & Seasonings)
1/3 Cup Cooked Quinoa
Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Lite Dressing
1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds
Almond Accents Sliced Almonds
In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, vinegar and about 1 teaspoon of splenda. Let the cucumber marinade while you mix the salad together. In one large bowl, toss together all the salad ingredients accept for the chicken and almonds. Divide the salad into 2 servings and top with chicken and the cucumber topping, sprinkling the almond accents on top for a nice added low-calorie crunch.
Is Your Salad Making You Fat?
Something I heard once that stuck with me was when my sister said “I never realized how bad unhealthy felt until I discovered how good it felt to be healthy”. This is something I had never thought of at the time, and her insight opened my eyes. She wasn’t talking about feeling good because she looked good, she was talking about feeling even after only a couple of weeks of eating healthy. She basically immediately started having more energy and feeling as healthy as she was eating – way before the weight started coming off.
Not only does unhealthy food not fuel you properly but it weighs you down – literally. Overweight bodies are tired from the weight alone. Then couple that with being tired from the lack of energy from eating foods that lack nutrition, and you’ve got one tired, sluggish, heavy, unmotivated person. Yet, as soon as you start eating healthy, you immediately start benefiting from the nutrients you are putting into your body. People go from having no energy at all, to having TONS of energy when they begin to FUEL their body instead of just feed it.
Nowadays, when I have a period of time where I’ve been cheating or eating poorly (like over the holidays), I truly crave healthy eating because of how it makes me feel. I miss the way my body feels on a higher quality foods.
I challenge you to not just think of healthy eating as “dieting”, but choosing foods that will energize you, and give you the fuel you need to feel your absolute best! You’ll be SO surprised of the difference good fuel makes!!
Hale the Kale Salad
Thank you Offerdahl’s for the inspiration! Loving this salad!!!!
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (I cooked with a splash of lemon juice, salt & garlic powder)
2 cups chopped kale
4oz diced chicken breast
1 heaping tablespoon of chick peas
1 tablespoon chopped sweet onion
1/2 tablespoon low-sugar Craisins
1/2 tablespoon goat cheese crumbles
Squirt of lemon
1 tablespoon Honey Roasted Almond Accents
Honey Lime or Lemon Vinaigrette
Light Honey Dijon dressing (I used Publix brand, but I also make my own)
Toss all the ingredients together with the dressing and top with the roasted almond slices. YUM!!
CLICK HERE for 10 delicious Kale Recipes!!
Since Steve LOVES BBQ flatbread pizzas, I thought I’d work on whipping up a healthy version that would satisfy his tastebuds, and his waistline.
1 tbsp Sonny’s Sweet BBQ Sauce
4 oz Smoked Chicken
1/8 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Preset the oven to 350. Place the flatbread on a baking sheet and cook for 4 minutes. While the flatbread is cooking, slice the onion up very finely and caramelize in a frying pan with the balsamic vinegar and pam or a little olive oil (optional). Pull the flatbread out of the oven and top with a thin layer of BBQ sauce, cheese, caramelized onions and diced chicken. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until the flatbread is firm and has crispy edges.
More flatbread recipes to come – including the Balsamic Veggie Flatbread (the flatbread pictured on the right). :)
As many of you know, I’m not a huge “recipe follower”. I own measuring cups and spoons but rarely use them. I like to start with a thought and build my creation as I go, with my mind (and tongue) as my only guide. With that said, I decided to make some Chili Sunday. Although I can’t tell you EXACTLY what I put in it (but, don’t fret, I will try!), I can tell you about a discovery I made that was a huge success – RED QUINOA!
I’ve been cooking with quinoa for a while now and have added to meatloaf, salads, burgers, rice and all kinds of stuff – so why not chili right? That’s what I was thinking!! My chili was becoming a little too soupy and I wanted to thicken it up a bit. As I started to think about what I wanted to add to it, quinoa popped in my head.
I cooked up 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, and added the cooked quinoa to my huge pot of chili. It was AWESOME!! It blended with the ground turkey very well and gave it a great hearty consistency. Here’s (approximately) what I threw in the pot if you’d like to give it a try!
My Un-Recipe Turkey Quinoa Chili Recipe
- 2.5lbs of ground turkey
- 2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 large can tomato paste
- One small onion
- 3 small sweet peppers (red, yellow & orange)
- 3 cans of medium chili beans
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 1 cup of frozen fresh organic corn
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa (cooked as directed prior to adding)
- 1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- A few shakes of your favorite hot sauce
- Brown Sugar or Stevia to sweeten (to taste – I used both)
- Cumin, Chili power, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper, cayenne pepper & all that jazz. I did my own thing, but you could just use a chili seasoning pack to make it simple.
I cooked this chili nearly all day. I like to serve it the NEXT day! It’s just always SO more flavorful the next day!! Let all those seasonings soak in for a phenomenal chili! Top with light sour cream for a peace of heaven. Yes, I’m literally eating a bowl RIGHT NOW!!!! yummmmmmmmmm
DIET TIP: Track calories by adding ALL the ingredients up (I use the recipe builder in the LoseIT app, putting the total amount and weight of everything). Add how many servings it will serve (you can do this based on how many ounces or quarts your pot is, and divide it by cups so each cup is a set amount of calories so you can easily track each cup). Once you have the recipe in your app, you will always have the calories for that meal! If you are like me, you stick to the same favorite recipes anyway, so you won’t have to build too many recipes. If it seems too hard to track challenging recipes, stick to whole foods while you are dieting (a meat, a veggie, etc) until you get the swing of managing calories while cooking mutli-ingredient recipes like this one. Remember, just because you don’t know how many calories something is, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Moderation is key – but in order to know how MUCH you can have, you need to know how MANY calories it has! :)
CLICK HERE for more information, recipes and nutrition tips on Quinoa!
Since yesterday was the first day of boot camp and Steve’s schedule was jam-packed with non-stop training from 5:30am to 6:30pm, I thought I’d make him his favorite meal – a grilled steak salad. I actually had never made one but planned to replicate a salad he once ate at a restaurant and loved. It was absolutely DELISH so I thought I’d share it.
First I cut the vegetables crosswise to make onion and pepper rings. Then I marinated my steak, onions and green pepper in a Honey Teriyaki Marinade and I sprayed olive oil over everything, dusting it all with a season salt. I placed the steaks and veggies straight on the grill. After flipping the steaks and veggies, I took the veggies off as soon as I felt they were nice a charred like we like them, and left the steaks on to finish cooking. As soon as the steaks were ready it was dinner time!
I threw the mixed greens in a big bowl with a little cheese crumbles, Craisins and almonds and tossed my homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette in with it. Once all the ingredients were well coated, I put the salad mix on plates and topped them with the sliced steak and grilled vegetables. The end result was quite a yummy treat!! Steve will keep me for at least another year! ha :)
I have to admit I don’t use measuring cups, and really have a clue what I put in last night’s dressing, but if I had to guess, it was something like this. Feel free to alter it or play with it :)
Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 cup Balsamic Vineger
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2-3 Heaping Tbsp of Light Hellman’s Mayo
1-2 tsp Stevia (depending on how sweet you want to make it)
1 tsp honey
A few dashes of Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
Note: Most dressings call for a lot more oil – sometimes more than twice the amount of oil than vinegar. I add water to cut the vinegar instead of a lot of oil to save more calories. Then I add light mayo to help thicken the dressing. Sometimes I don’t even use honey and just use more stevia.
Blend in a blender until the consistency turns a light tan and thickens slightly. Enjoy!
Here’s a similar recipe I found online (from someone who actually measures! Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
4 Salad Tips for Dieters
1.) Avoid big clumps of gorgonzola, or blue cheese, crumbles. You can get more taste in each bike with smaller crumbles. I like Stella Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles.
3.) Don’t go nuts for nuts. I love Almond Accents because they are super thin. Regular whole, or chopped, nuts don’t go as far, which means you will eat more to get a similar taste. More nuts, means more calories.
4.) Toss, don’t pour. I use SO much less dressing if I toss it in my salad instead of pour it on top. Tossing your salad in dressing allows the dressing to coat every leaf so every bite has flavor.
For more tips and salad recipe ideas, check out my latest article for DetourBar, “Tips for Salad Lovers“
I had some extra tuna in the pantry so I decided to make a cold tuna salad to make easy go-to snacks. As you probably know, it’s hard to eat on the go. You don’t always have a microwave handy, so it’s great to have a cold meal that’s travels easily. While protein bars are always nice to have on hand, sometimes you just want to eat real food. This is a great solution for dieters on the go.
Low-Fat Tuna Pasta Salad
3 5oz Cans of Tuna (I used 3 3oz cans & a 4.5 packet of lemon pepper tuna)
1 Box of Ronzoni Garden Delight Trio Pasta
2 Full Cups of Baby Spinach
1 Chopped Green Pepper
1 Chopped Small Sweet Red Onion
1/2 Box of Frozen Peas
2 Stalks of Celery
1/2 Cup Hellman’s Low Fat Mayo
1 TBS Lemon Juice
1 TBS White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Stevia
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
Freshly Ground Pepper
Cook the pasta for 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and run cold water over the pasta in the strainer. Throw the pasta in the bowl, add all the ingredients* and chill for serving.
* NOTE: You can leave out the spinach and mix it together when serving or eating, to keep it super fresh if you plan on eating it as left overs.
Makes 8 1-Cup Servings for meals or 16 1/2 Cup Servings for snacks. Serve over a bed of greens with balsamic vinegar to turn this into a wonderful salad and to make it even more filling. If you are watching calories, divide the salad into the desired serving sizes to help you manage calories easily.
Meal Size - Serving Size: 1 Cup
Snack Size - Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
DIET TIP: I hope seeing the nutritional value makes you realize how a tuna salad, which we could easily think is a “high-protein” meal, is not really that high in protein. This is a great snack or meal, but it’s more of a balanced meal – but it’s not truly a high protein meal. If you want to make this salad even lower in calories and higher in protein, use less pasta and more spinach and tuna. :)
There’s just something fun about grilling out on a holiday. The aroma blankets the neighborhood and gives a home a festive atmosphere with each whiff – but grilling out isn’t always healthy. While most people are grilling high-calorie hot dogs and hamburgers, and serving it with potato chips, baked beans and potato salad, you could be grilling up healthier options.
First, there’s the meat. Trade regular beef burgers for homemade turkey burgers. If you buy pre-made burgers, look at the fat content. Most of the time it’s crazy high. I prefer buying lean ground turkey meat and making my own turkey burgers. They not only have less fat, but I can make mine more flavorful. (Try my Spicy Turkey Burger & Mexican Slaw recipe!)
Even if you have kids coming over, watch out for high-cal hot dogs. Either skip the wieners altogether, or look for healthier options with just meat and spices without all the crap (and fat), like Applegate Farms Uncured Beef Hot Dog. (Click here for more dog options). Or, stick to whole meat like grilled chicken, pork or fish instead of doing burgers and hot dogs since they require bread – which is just more unnecessary calories.
As for the sides, leave the potato chips and dip at the grocery story and forget the traditional BBQ sides like cole slaw, baked beans and potato salad, which are loaded with fat and sugar. Instead, go for grilled veggies for tons of flavor without the guilt. They are tasty hot or cold – and a heck of a lot better for you!
10 Healthy Veggie Grillers
1. Grilled Asparagus: Toss asparagus in Olive Oil, Garlic and Sea Salt and place directly on the grill or on a sheet of tin foil.
2. Lemon Cabbage: Slice cabbage into 8 large wedges (using the core to keep the wedges together). Put the wedges in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and brush equal parts lemon juice and olive oil on wedges of cabbage. Sprinkle with seas salt, a dust of garlic powder and wrap in tin foil. Cook until they are soft and golden grown on the sides.
3. Cilantro Corn: Mix corn, diced onion, red pepper, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and a little olive oil. Wrap in tin foil or grill loose on a non-stick griddle pan, until kernels are slightly charred.
4. Teriyaki Mushrooms: Wrap mushrooms in a tin foil, keeping the top open, but ready to close. Add teriyaki marinade and a little olive oil. Close the tin foil and cook until they are tender.
5. Curried Brussels Sprouts: Boil brussels sprouts for 2-3 minutes. Drain, and lightly coat the brussels spouts in olive oil. Dust with curry powder and sea salt. Wrap tightly in tin foil. Cook until tender to the core.
6. Grilled Eggplant: Slice eggplant in large slices and coat with lemon juice and olive oil. Grill straight on the grill, or on tin foil.
7. Potato Wedges: If whole potatoes take too long to cook for your liking, cut your potatoes in large wedges and grill in light olive oil and sea salt. Spice them up by adding a sprinkle of parmesan and garlic powder over potato wedges toward the end of grilling. For sweet potato wedges, serve with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar and a drizzle of light maple syrup.
9. Green Beans: Toss green beans in soy sauce, olive oil & fresh minced garlic and let sit for a couple of minutes while you prepare the grill. Lay beans in a tin foil packet (for more flavor) or place on an a grilling pan or grate.
10. Zucchini, Squash & Eggplant: Slice vegetables long-ways and coat in the marinade mixture in the video (below) and grill straight on the grill.
Great Veggie Grilling Tips from allrecipes.com