Category Archives: Recipes & Brands
You had me at goat cheese. Seriously, you could put goat cheese on cardboard and it could make it taste good. So, when I saw a goat cheese and arugula salad on a menu, I just had to try it. The beets (in my mind) were my cardboard I thought, but I just had a feeling that this salad was going to surprise me – and it did. So, over the weekend, I picked up some beets and decided I’d repeat this yummy salad I had on vacation. I searched google for something similar to the menu item and this is what I found.
First, I must confess, I’ve never even bought a beet before, much less cooked one. I don’t even know if I had ever had one (that wasn’t pickled or something). This means I actually had to follow directions, which were simple: Peel, chop, boil. I just had to boil them like I would a potato. It was kind of fun getting my hands “dirty” in this new experience – literally! I never thought about the extreme red juice that would come from this vegetable while cutting it up and boiling it. I swear I think I could have dyed clothes with the water I boiled it in. It reminded me of coloring Easter Eggs. What can I say, I am so easily entertained.
All in all, this recipe was super simple – and SUPER yummy! I added grilled chicken, which I marinaded in Lemon Pepper marinade and topped with seasonings, to complete my meal. Besides my typical substitutions, like trading sugar for stevia and diluting olive oil with water, I pretty much followed this recipe (for once) to the T!
I don’t think Steve was as excited about my beet salad as I was, but judging by his empty plate and full tummy, I’d say it was a success in his eyes too when it was all said and done! The sweetness of the beets paired with the flavor of the goat cheese complimented each other so well! This salad will be a regular treat at the Pfiester Pfit Cafe for sure!
Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese Recipe
- Beets – (boiled until a fork easily goes in it, about an hour), peeled, sliced into strips
- Fresh arugula – rinsed, patted dry with a paper towel
- Goat cheese – chevre (just a little if you are watching calories!)
- Walnuts – chopped (don’t use too much)
- Olive oil (as always, I cut my olive oil with water)
- Dry powdered mustard
- Sugar (I used Stevia)
- Salt and pepper
Get the rest of the directions and measurements at Simply Recipes.com
When I think of all the flavors that go in this salad, I can’t figure out for the life of me what to call it. I don’t feel like it’s truly “Mexican” cuisine. Maybe you can tell me where a dish like this originated.
The curry and mango almost give it a tropical flair. Personally, for me, it reminds me of California – or one of my beach days when I walked across the beach to grab a Diego salad with curry sauce from Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burrito in Satellite Beach. Either way, as soon as this little salad hits my mouth, I guess my mind goes on vacation. No wonder I love this one!
I love the sweet with the spicy, and all the textures. This will definitely be one of those salads I bring to parties because all these yummy flavors are like having a party on your tongue!
Chicken, Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad
1/4 cup olive oil (you can dilute this with water to reduce calories)
4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed (in 2 cups water for 15 minutes). I added a dash of salt and fajita seasoning. Remove from heat and let it to continue to steam (this makes it more fluffy). While cooking your quinoa, also cook your chicken and diced into small cubes. I cooked my chicken in lime juice, cumin and curry. While the hot food cools, start chopping up the cool ingredients. I use the Vidalia Chop Wizard and LOVE it! (Thanks Kristie – that’s a gift that keeps on giving!) In a separate bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Finally, combine the quinoa and chicken with the fresh ingredients and drizzle the dressing over it while mixing it until it is all well coated. Salt to taste. It makes 6 delicious servings.
369 Calories per Serving
- 21 gms Protein
- 12 gms Fat (only 1.7gm saturated fat)
- 45 gms Carbs
- 6.9 gms Fiber
This is a perfect salad for people who don’t have access to a microwave during the day.
Ways to reduce calories and make it even healthier:
- Use Stevia instead of honey
- Use less (or no) oil
- Use more chicken, and less quinoa
CLICK HERE to learn more about Quinoa – including where to get it, great nutritional information and more!
My husband, Steve, LOVES him some meatloaf! It’s his favorite dish I make. And, for people who really don’t like the texture of meat, it’s a great way to get more protein in your diet when you are sick of chewing on chunks of meat. Even people who enjoy meat get sick of eating chicken sometimes you feel like if you have one more piece of dang chicken, you’ll SCREAM. That’s when it’s time to get your baking dishes out!
I would post more recipes, but the truth is, I rarely follow them. I make stuff up as I go. Monday I made Turkey & Quinoa meatballs and shirataki noodles with a sweet basal and spinach sauce. I have no idea what I put in it because I just added a dash of this, a dash of that and just played around until I liked what I tasted.
However, sometimes I like to follow recipes to get ideas. I rarely follow it to the T. Most of the time I double, triple or quadruple it (you would too if you were married to Steve Pfiester – that boy can EAT! haha). So, here’s the recipe I followed from Lazy LowCal Cookbook by Becky Clark to put Quinoa to the test. Result: SUCCESS!
I doubled this recipe, added a little more kick too it with the fresh jalapenos, and personalized the flavor with some of my favorite spices.
Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf (from the Lazy LowCal Cookbook)
- 1lbs Ground Turkey
- 1/2 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
- 1 Onion Diced
- 7 oz Green Chiles
- 2 Diced Jalapenos
- 6 oz Can of Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- Seasonings (I used spices like Chili Pepper, Salt & Stevia to sweeten a little)
Cook your quinoa first, then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all together, put in your bakeware, and bake on 375 for 90 minutes. If you have your own favorite meatloaf recipe, use Quinoa instead of breadcrumbs.
People can normally handle looking up calories for whole foods, but it seems they “Lose It” when they start doing complicated recipes and casseroles. If you use a calorie management app (I like LoseIt) Managing calories from your favorite recipe is easier than you think. Simply add each ingredient (full amount for the whole recipe) into your lose recipe builder (located under More & Edit Foods & Exercises). The total calories will look huge – but remember, you have to set the number of servings for that meal.
So, divide the meatloaf into squares (or simply mark with a knife) when it cools and put the total number of squares in as number of servings to get the number of calories for each piece. It’s better to have smaller squares (and serve more than one piece), than to have large squares. This way you can have “snack-size” pieces that you can easily manage when you count calories. Also try using miniature cupcake pans instead of full baking dishes to make it even easier to serve and manage calories!
10 Servings: 153 calories, 1.4gm fat, 11.7gm carbs, 24.6gm protein, 2gm fiber.
8 Servings: 191 calories, 1.8gm fat, 14.6gm carbs, 30gm protein, 2.5gm fiber.
Turkey Meatloaf Wrap
- 1 Healthy Grain Flat Out Wrap
- Cold Meatloaf
- Romaine lettuce
- Lite Mayo
- Optional Burger style: Add onion, Mustard, Ketchup & pickles and heat the meatloaf
The lettuce adds a nice fresh crunch – and the whole thing stayed with me for several hours. Totally yummy!
I swear, everytime I go to say Quinoa I want to say Kuinoy. Keenwaw is how it is pronounced, and it’s a previously overlooked grain that is gaining popularity, and is a wonderful addition to a healthy meal plan. It was hard to find at the grocery store however. I searched several times before I finally found it. Mine is organic and it came in a bag and it looks like little round seeds. Some people have found it in the grain (rice) section, however, I found it by the flower, corn meal and stuff, in the Greenwise section at our Publix. If you can’t find it, find a grocery employee to help you locate it because I don’t think people really know where it is supposed to go yet. Also check the gluten-free section as a possibility.
Look at the Nutritional comparison between 1/1 cup of cooked quinoa (120 calories) and 1/2 cup of cooked instant long grain rice (180 calories).
In this particular brand of white rice, the protein appears to be the same, but if you are counting calories and compared 120 calories of quinoa to 120 calories of rice, the protein would be less for rice (approximately 2.7gms). Not only do you get to eat fewer calories, quinoa has all the essential amino acids, plus lysine which aids tissue repair (great for helping repair muscles). Quinoa is even more nutritious than brown rice, which is pretty darn nutritious.
CLICK HERE for 20 Ways to Cook Quinoa from CookingLight.com
One of my facebook friends, Vanessa, commented on my omelet yesterday morning and said she’d love to see my shopping list. So I decided to grab my receipt and share what i got.
First, I must confess. My eating has been so off the last 2 weeks since my vacation. I often skipped meals or opted for a can of soup because I was too lazy to cook – and the main reason cooking would be challenging is because we were low on groceries. Betty Crocker I am not. I cook easy, fast, simple meals. If it can’t be simple, I won’t bother cooking it. This girl has very little patience.
We rarely eat out, but this past week I resorted to restaurants simply because I didn’t want to cook and I didn’t want to shop. (I keep telling you how lazy I am. Eventually you will start believing me! If I can do this anyone can!)
THIS, my friend, is how to NOT live! Steve and I both felt horrible, unhealthy and fat. AND we missed the taste of fresh food, healthy food. Our bodies are smart – once it gets the good stuff, it craves it. We couldn’t WAIT to go grocery shopping and get back to normal healthy eating habits. So THIS was my weekend!! My weekend to get back in control, get organized and plan for a week of clean eating and healthy living!
Before I went to the store, I cooked up some brunch (I made an eggbeater omelet with broccoli, grilled onions and goat cheese). I was stuffed! Now I was ready for my day of healthy preparations! But, before I begin, let me share with you a few simple shopping tips to help you on your diet (or just healthy eating) before you even take the groceries home.
7 Healthy Shopping Tips
Tip #1: NEVER go to the store HUNGRY! Eeeeeverything will look amazing if you go in that store hungry! The only way to hink with your brain, and not your tummy is to go to the store nice and full. Your waistline AND bank account will thank you. That’s why I told you I ate that omelet. I promise, nothing makes me more stupid than being hungry.
Tip #2: Be realistic. Don’t buy celery and stuff you know you won’t eat just because it looks healthy. Buy foods you enjoy and WILL eat. You’ll be less wasteful and a more satisfied dieter. Consider your upcoming schedule. If you are busy, shop for stuff that is simple, quick and easy to throw together. Save your complicated fancy recipes for another shopping trip.
Tip #3: Avoid Fat Free items. Normally fat-free items have more sugar. Since fat slows down digestion (which helps us stay fuller longer), going fat free can actually make you feel hungrier. Don’t avoid fat, just eat it sparingly. Beware of healthy appearing titles. Many times they are not as healthy as they want you to believe.
Tip #4: Don’t Rush. Shopping healthy requires time. You need to read labels and use your noggin to make good choices. Following a shopping list can help a lot, but when you are starting a diet plan, it’s imperative you have the time to really study food and make the best choices. If you don’t have the time to shop smart, get the bare necessities only, and go back when you have more time to shop right. The more educated you become, the faster you’ll get in and out.
Tip #5: If You Can’t Control Yourself Around It, Don’t Buy It. Even if it’s pretty healthy, if you can’t control yourself around that food, you don’t need it in your house. For example, Steve loves Peanuts. They are not bad for you (in low quantities). However, if Steve has a handful of nuts, he has the whole container. As a result, this is one item we rarely purchase.
Tip #6: Be prepared for emergencies. While I believe whole food is ALWAYS the best choice, keep a stock in a few low-cal frozen meals like Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones or Healthy Choice, as well as some high-protein bars like Designer Whey, Detour or Zone Bar (which are all around 200 calories and have 10gms or so of protin). So, in the event you are in a mind and rushed for time, you have something to eat that is much healthier than fast food or not eating anything at all.
Tip #7: Shop around the outside of the store 1st. Only venture in the aisles to find specific must-have items – never browse. Most of the stuff on the aisles are processed foods, toppings and extras we don’t need. I listed all my groceries that were in the refrigerated, produce & dairy sections in green and the inside aisles in red. Black is 0-calorie items.
My Grocery Shopping Receipt
Sometimes your shopping list and shopping receipt can be two totally different things. So, I’m sharing with you my grocery receipt.
- Cabbage (to make Roasted Cabbage)
- Green & Red Peppers
- Romaine Lettuce
- Spring Mix
- Cole Slaw Mix (I use it for sides, toppings & salads)
- Orange Juice
- Edamame (I love this as a salty snack with soy sauce)
- Pastrami (for my Low-Cal Rueben Quesadillas)
- Sauerkraut (for the Quesadillas)
- Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
- Coffee Mate Hazelnut & Almond Joy Creamer (my treat)
- Frozen vegetables (only snow peas & spinach. I have plenty at home)
- Steam Veggies (for emergency quick meals)
- 5 Lean Cuisines & Healthy Choices (aiming for 18-25gms of protein and around 300 calories)
- Flat Out Healthy Grain Wrap (for the Quesadillas)
- Fruit & Cream Oatmeal (we also have whole oats at home)
- Bear Naked Granola (toppings for my Greek Yogurt Bowl)
- Pineapple slices (for kabobs, salads & stirfry)
- Low-Sugar Craisins (for salads)
- Honey Roasted Almond Accents (salads)
- Mio Lemonade (to spice up water)
- Dasani Pinacolada/Coconut (never tried it)
- LaCroix Cran-Rasp sparkling water
- Secret Deodorant, paper plates, plastic forks, etc (but you probably don’t want to know that kind of stuff! ha!)
Steve shops for meat and bulk items at Sams. Here was what he brought home:
- Ground Turkey (for my Mexican Meatloaf)
- Mango (I put in my Greek Yogurt)
- Brussel Sprouts (We grill them with curry)
- Pretzel thins
- Almonds & Pistachios
Of course I already had some groceries, so don’t trip if you don’t see eggs, etc – I still have a pretty full pantry and I do have 2 refrigerators that are not even close to empty. I always stay stocked on condiments and, more importantly, seasonings.
- Lemon Juice
- Lime Juice
- Alessi Balsamic Vinegar
- BADIA Complete Seasoning (can’t live without this!)
- Grill Mates Mojito Lime Seasoning (awesome stuff!)
- Hot Sauce (I love them all)
- Olive Oil
Off the top of my head, I will probably cook the following this week:
- Filet Mignon and Quinoa (which we had last night after I shopped)
- Grilled chicken kabobs with green pepper, onion, tomato & pineapple over brown rice quinoa mix
- Chicken & vegetables with PB2 peanut sauce from Diabetic Living magazine this month (no, I’m not diabetic, but they have great ideas for eating low-cal, healthy, low-glycemic meals)
- One or two of my sensational low-cal salads
- Grilled salmon & asparagus (for Steve)
- Mexican Meatloaf (going to try it with cooked Quinoa instead of bread!)
- Pulled BBQ chicken and low-cal cole slaw wrap
- Rueben Quesadillas
- And probably a lot of grilled meat with veggies.
Grocery Shopping is great, but to be super successful with your diet, you have to actually cook. ha! So, once I got home from the grocery store, the cooking began.
Last night we cooked:
- 10 filleted chicken breasts (making 20 filets) with lime and Grill Mates Mojito Lime Seasoning
- Blackened Salmon
- Filet Mignon (we probably have steak once every 3-4 weeks)
- Turkey Quinoa meatloaf
- Low-cal Italian Turkey Meatballs
Now, all I have to do is throw sides with everything and we’ve got plenty of lunches, snacks and dinners ready to rock!
Makes 4 servings
1 small head napa cabbage (about 12-16 leaves)
2 small carrots (I used the pre-schredded mix)
2 green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Visit theKitchn.com for more info and recipes.
I recently got a new cookbook called the Lazy Low Cal Lifestyle Complete Cookbook (does that say something about me? hah), and I am loving the creative simple recipe ideas – one of which is this recipe for Reuben Quesadillas.
- 1 Whole Wheat Tortilla
- Spicy Mustard (I like light thousand island!!)
- 1/2 c Shredded Swiss Cheese
- 8 oz Can of Sauerkraut, drained
- Four 1-oz slices of pastrami
Spray 1 side of the tortilla with Pam and place sprayed side down on skillet. Squirt the mustard on the tortilla and start layering the ingredients on one half of the tortilla, and fold in half. Heat it on medium and then flip.
For more great low-cal recipes, check out Becky Clark’s book:
Picture of Reuben Quesadillas
If you love your salty snacks at night, there are very few choices that may fit your caloric budget. Last night I was feeling adventurous. I looked in the refrigerator and took a mental note of what I had on hand. I was craving chips. Since I had zucchini, I googled “zucchini chips” and saw a few sites to give me some ideas. I didn’t measure anything or even read the full recipes. My thought was – how could you really go wrong?! And I was right!
I sliced zucchini up into very thin pieces. Sprayed pam on the pan and on the zucchini. Then I sprinkled garlic, sea salt, cracked pepper and parmesan cheese on top, baked on 425 for 20 minutes and BAM! I had my yummy loc cal snack! 1 whole zucchini is only 45 calories! It was a fun experiment.
Here are some fun recipes for veggie snacks:
3. Veggie Chips (roots like beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc)
4. Herbed Veggie Chips (zucchini, squash, sweet potato, carrots)
6. Carrot Chips
10. Beet Chips (saving the best for last! These are my FAV!!!)
OK, so I saw this beautiful picture of Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Roasted Cabbage, and knew I MUST give it a try. When I took a look at the recipe, I was surprised to see so few of ingredients. It looked so yummy, yet it was so simple – Too simple, I thought. Honestly, after I read the ingredients, I wasn’t expecting much. But, since I love cabbage, I new I couldn’t go wrong. BOY WAS I IN FOR A TREAT!
I did make some slight adjustments to the original recipe. I like a lot of flavor, and I needed less fat, so here was what I did.
Roasted Cabbage with Lemon
1 Head of Cabbage, cut in 8 halves (keeping stem)
3 TBS lemon Juice
1 TBS Olive Oil
I sprayed the baking sheet with pam, then placed the cabbage halves neatly on the pan. I brushed the lemon juice and olive oil mixture over the cabbage until almost all of it was used. Finally, I dusted the cabbage lightly with garlic powder, sea salt & pepper. I cooked the cabbage on one side for 15 minutes on 450, then flipped each piece, recoated with the remaining lemon mixture and baked it for another 10-12 minutes.
Makes 8 servings: 45 Calories each
14.2g Carbs, 3g protein, 3.7g fat
I had 2 pieces and it took EVERYTHING out of me not to have a 3rd and 4th piece. Then Steve came home and had his 2 pieces with grilled chicken. Then he went back for more…and then some more. Then there was one very lonely piece left behind. What was one to do? Yes, you guessed it, he went back and had the final piece too, saving me the final bite. Now you know why I am calling it Crack. We couldn’t stop eating it. It was so dang delicious! I will be going back to the store today and I plan on wiping out the cabbage aisle! So, if you live in Vero Beach, you better get to the store fast if you need cabbage! haha ENJOY!
My friend GiGi is one Kale of a blogger. She totally cracks me up with her fun wit, but inspires me with her passion for eating healthy – and just making healthy living super fun. After one of her recent blogs about Kale, I’ve just had Kale on the brain – and on the plate!
Ironically, while I was picking up some kale at the grocery store this weekend, Steve was researching Kale online and was amazed with it’s nutrition. By the time he got hom that night, I already had Kale cooked and waiting – and had no clue he had already gotten on a kale kick himself! Great minds think alike!
See What GiGi has to say about Kale:
Don’t believe us? Check out What WebMD says about Kale:
“One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.” Read the whole article, The Truth About Kale.
Simple Kickin’ Kale Recipe
Kick it even another notch by serving it with your favorite hot sauce.
Do you eat Kale? How do you cook it? Share you kale story!
I first discovered this originally as a “chicken dip” nearly 20 years ago. It was served with wheat thin crackers at a gathering at one of my old friend’s house. I immediately fell in love with this healthy snack and used to make it all the time – until I ate it so much I got sick of it. ha! (isn’t that what we do? We wear something out that we love!)
Although I try to stay away from crackers, this “chicken dip” is great on top of salad greens or eaten alone. It’s also perfect for eating healthy on the go since you don’t have to heat it up. It has a TON of flavor and is super healthy!
Chicken Peppercorn Salad
3 Chicken Breast, cooked chopped and shredded
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Small Diced Tomatoes
25 Finely Chopped Green Olives
1/2 Cups Green Onion
1 TBS Fresh Minced Garlic (I buy it in a jar for easy cooking)
2 TBS Whole Black Peppercorn (amount is your preference)
Salt to taste
FOR SNACKING: Makes approximately 8 1/2-cup servings. 74 calories per serving, 10gms of protein. Eat with celery sticks, low-cal crackers or alone.
FOR MEALS: Makes 4 1-cup Servings. 148 calories and 20gms of protein. Serve cold over greens with a freshly squeezed lemon or greek style vinaigrette (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper).
Please forgive me Diane Kawar if I butchered the original recipe. I never wrote it down, so I’m just going by memory here! ha! ….but it’s still a Pfiester Pfav!
I was in the mood for something different last night so I whipped this together and it was totally delish!! After I posted it on facebook & instagram, a recipe was requested so here you go!
3 1/2 oz Grilled Jerk Chicken (sliced & diced)
2 Cups Mixed Greens
1/3 Cup Thinly sliced Mango
1/8 Cup Chopped Onion
1 TBS Low-Sugar Craisins
1 TBS Honey Roasted Almond Accents
1/2 Cup Papaya Dressing
Total Calories: 344 Calories, 24.5gm Protein. I put 7 ounces of chicken on Steve’s salad (452 calories and 40gms of protein).
TIP: The smaller you slice and dice your toppings, the more you can spread small portions and still get delicious flavor in beach bite.
Papaya & Maui Onion Dressing
1/2 small Maui onion (or any sweet white onion)
1 Large Papayas, seeded and peeled
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 TBS sesame seed oil
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Water
salt and pepper
1 TBS Stevia
Blend until smooth. Super healthy, super yummy, and 1/2 a CUP has just as many calories as 2 tablespoons of most “Light” dressing! So enjoy!
Makes 10 1/2 Cup Servings. 82 Calories