Category Archives: Recipes & Brands

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Casserole

spaghetti squash casserole recipe

Steve and I have recently discovered spaghetti squash (yes, I’m a bit behind!). So now we’re on a spaghetti squash kick! Steve can’t get enough of it, and for only 42 calories a cup, you can’t really beat it!

On our weekly “Sunday Food Prep Day” I began to get creative in the kitchen, thinking of ways I could use spaghetti squash. We were going to dinner at my parents house last night so I wanted to bring a new healthy flavorful dish to introduce to the family. I was in the mood for some Italian, so I began brainstorming and concocting, and this is what I came up with.

I was cracking up because no one knew what it was. My sister asked what the “squishy stuff” was, saying it was really good! My aunt also was perplexed, as she was asking who made “this dish” as she points to it. She took a plate home to her son (my cousin) and said he lapped up the plate, and he too wanted to know what the mystery dish was too. So, even though no one could place it, everyone liked it and there wasn’t a drop left of it to take back home with us, so I guess this creation is a keeper! Hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: As always, I did not follow a recipe and was just making this up as I went along – which often means, I add a dash more of this, and a pinch more of that. This recipe is what I came up with to the best of my recollection. I hope you can recreate it and enjoy it too! 

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients:
1 Whole Spaghetti Squash (makes approximately 4 Cups)
1 Bag of Marzano Tomatoes (approximately 20 Cherry tomatoes)
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Sliced Black Olives
1 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoons Basil Paste (or fresh basil leaves)
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Cracked Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
Shredded Cheese (optional)

Directions:
spaghetti squashCut the squash in half and take the seeds out. Place face down in a microwave safe dish and add one cup of water. Cook for approximately 15 minutes in the microwave until soft. Let it cool before handling.

While the squash is cooking, you can slice the Marzano tomatoes and measure the black olives, combining them in one container for holding. In a separate small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, basil, cracked pepper and salt. Add a small portion (maybe a teaspoon), along with the vinegar, to the tomatoes and black olives in a small container. 

spaghetti squashOnce the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the squash out in spaghetti strands into your mixing dish. Mix in the olive oil mixture until the squash is fully covered. Add vegetables and parmesan cheese until mixed evenly. 

Measure cup by cup to (for tracking calories) into a baking dish. My ingredients added up to 5 cups, making 10 1/2 cup servings. Sprinkle a very light layer of cheese (I used a little regular cheddar with some shredded parmesan cheese) on top and back on 350 for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. 

Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
51 Calories (not including the cheese on top)
Only 6.4 Carbs

Food Prep: 6 Healthy Chicken Salads

low-calorie curry chicken salad recipeWe Pfiesters are always looking for high-protein snacks and easy meals. This is why chicken salads are a hot item in our kitchen. Last weekend I made a Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Salad that Steve LOVED, and this weekend I made a Curry Chicken Salad. Throw it on a cracker for a snack or scoop a cup out on a bed of greens for a meal. Either way, this is one great low-cal recipe that makes dieting pretty darn easy! The only hard part will be not going back for seconds!

Curry Chicken, Grape & Apple Salad Recipe

curry chicken salad1/2 Cup Chobani Plain Yogurt
1 Cup Chopped Grapes
1 Cup Chopped Apple
6 1/3 Cup Chopped Chicken Breast
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
4 Packets Truvia (or your favorite sweetener)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Whisk the yogurt, curry powder, 2 (of the 3) tablespoons lemon juice, salt and sweetener together until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the grapes, chicken, apple and the final tablespoon of lemon juice together. Then stir both together until well-coated and mixed. Chill before serving.

TIP: I’d add walnuts if I wasn’t dieting, but they crank up the calories quick, so no nuts for us.  I do have some nuts, but I don’t put them in our food because they are too hard to count accurately in a recipe. Instead, I add them on top so I can adjust my fat as needed for that day. 

Makes 8 cups, or 16 1/2 cup servings. We do 1/2 cup servings because we often eat them as a snack. 2 servings with salad greens is great for a full meal.

Nutritional Information:
97 servings per 1/2 cup serving
15g protein, 1.8g fat, 3g carbs

5 More Chicken Salads

2 Healthy Broccoli & Chicken Salads

121-Calorie Waldorf Chicken Salad

Low-Cal Chicken Peppercorn Salad

Curried Chicken, Black Bean & Mango Salad

Refreshing Protein Drinks for Hot Days

isopure protein drinkIf you are like me, sometimes the thought of another frothy thick milky protein shake on a hot day is enough to make you want to gag. When you have a protein shake every day, they can get old. Of course, this isn’t always the case with everyone. I don’t think my husband EVER gets tired of them! However, I am very different. I don’t like super sweet drinks and I don’t crave sweets so I struggle to get a chocolatey milky shake down sometimes. So, when IsoPure asked if I would like to try some of their crystal clear protein drinks, I jumped on the opportunity!

Gulp Gulp!

isopure drinksThe first drink I tried was their Cocotein. OMG! That’s all I can say. OOOO MMMMM GGGGGGG! My eyes must have popped out of my head when I took my first taste. I had to read the label again to make sure I was seriously getting 20gms of protein in such a refreshing awesome tasting cold beverage!! I was FREAKING out!!! I was sad I only had one bottle. I chugged down a few sips after a hot run, enjoying every drop. Being the wonderful wife I am (lol), I saved a little for Steve so he could taste it too because that’s what you do when you taste something amazing. He doesn’t even like coconut water and it wowed him too!! So I am hooked! Now I have to do a GNC run and stock up!

Where to buy them:

GNC
Vitamin Shoppe
Bodybuilding.com
Amazon
Lucky Vitamin

Why would you want to get IsoPure (besides because it tastes ridiculously good)?

  1. Lactose Free – First, for all those lactose intolerant peeps, IsoPure Drinks are Lactose Free!
  2. Low-Carb/Low Fat – Most of their drinks are super low-carb and have little to no fat.
  3. Extra Oomph – IsoPure has potassium, sodium and to help replace electrolytes from sweating.  Their IsoPure Teas have caffeine, BCAAs and antioxidants too (SO COOL!)!
  4. Refreshing & Thirst-Quenching – The crystal clear drink is super refreshing, tasty and easy on the tummy!
  5. Yummy! – Out of all the flavors I tried, I have to say the Cocotein is definitely my favorite.

There you have it! There’s my review on IsoPure drinks! Now, go out and grab a bottle and see for yourself!! And don’t you leave without trying the Cocotein – and then tell me what you think!!!! YUMMMMMMM!!

Follow IsoPure

Check out IsoPure Protein at http://www.theisopurecompany.com/
Follow them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Isopure
Follow them on twitter: https://twitter.com/isopurecompany
Follow them on Instagram: http://instagram.com/isopurecompany

muscle motivation

2% Fat vs Non-Fat Yogurt

Chobani YogurtMany people grocery shop with the best intensions, searching for low-fat low calorie items. However, just because an item is low calorie or low fat doesn’t mean it is the best choice. A great example of this is Greek Yogurt.

Before you can decide which yogurt to purchase, you need to ask yourself “what type of fuel do I need?” and “what are my goals?”. What do I mean? When I added my yogurt into my LoseIt app, I realized my yogurt was one of the small things throwing off my goals. I was getting more carbs than I wanted and I noticed my protein wasn’t quite as high as I expected (especially at breakfast). As I looked a little closer, I discovered the difference was my yogurt. I had gone from plain greek yogurt to vanilla (and had no idea it was non-fat).

Non-Fat vs. 2% Fat Greek Yogurt

As I compared the 2 yogurts, I was surprised to see how different their profiles were. See for yourself!

greek yogurt nutritional information photo 1

The non-fat vanilla yogurt has zero fat, but a whopping 20g carbs (and 20g SUGAR!) – and only 14g of protein compared to the 2% which only has 7g carbs and 17g protein. Don’t boycott non-fat vanilla yogurt just yet though. There’s more to this story than just choosing low-cal, low-carb foods.

While the 2% plain yogurt is ideal for a breakfast, snack or meal, there is one time of the day the non-fat vanilla yogurt would the perfect fuel for you – after a workout. You see, after a workout you want protein and sugar (to help push the protein through your system quickly). You also don’t want to have anything that would slow digestion in it (like fat). So, the non-fat vanilla yogurt would be a great fuel for those times you can’t get a post-workout protein shake. Since you can buy yogurt in small containers, this makes a great alternative to a shake if you are traveling or in a pinch.

When it comes to breakfast, stick with the 2% plain (unsweatened) greek yogurt. The fat will help the yogurt stay with you longer, keeping you full and energized. You get more protein and also less carbs, which is great for all of us trying to limit carbs and sugar while building or maintaining muscle mass.

Yoplait_Original_Blackberry_HarvestRemember, not all yogurt is created equal. If you have some regular yogurt in your fridge, you need to compare labels. For instance, plain Yoplait yogurt has 33g carbs and ONLY 5g protein! That’s MORE calories, MORE sugar, MORE carbs and much less protein and nutrition for the fit peep.

Even Yoplait Lite has double the carbs and sugar than Chobani’s plain Greek yogurt. This means you will be hungry about 30 minutes after you eat the stuff, and that’s not what any dieter wants to hear!

As you track calories and learn more about nutrition, take your time studying labels and shopping for foods for fuel. Dieting isn’t just about choosing low-calorie foods, it’s choosing healthy foods that give you the nutrients you need without the extra riff-raff (sugar, fillers, etc). When you eat like this, you’ll discover you aren’t really dieting at all, you are just eating smarter!

 

Low-Calorie Summer Salad

This summer salad is not only a refreshing healthy salad that’s super yummy, but it has just the right amount of healthy fat to keep you feeling full and energized!

Summer Strawberry & Grilled Chicken Salad

Low-Calorie Summer Salad RecipePrep Tip:
Dice up your favorite yummy ingredients to have more yummy in each bite!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cup Mixed Spring Greens
1/2 Cup Baby Kale
8 Ounces Grilled Chicken (marinaded in Apple Cidar Vinegar, Splenda, Salt & Spices)
1 Cup Chopped Strawberries
1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Chopped Avocado
2 T Slivered Almonds
1/4 Cup Panera’s Low-Calorie Poppy Seed Dressing (available at Publix)

Toss the above ingredients together until all the ingredients are covered in a light coat of the dressing. Makes 2 servings.

Add 1 tablespoon of a low-calorie Balsamic Vinegar to your salad for more yummy Zip!
(look for the lowest-calories one you can get. See my blog on calories in vinegar for more tips)

Total Calories per serving: 315 calories
Protein: 27gms
Fat: 15.3gms
Carbs: 25gms

Prefer to Dine Out? Be careful!

You may get more than you bargained for. These 10 salads have more calories than a cheeseburger and large fry!!!
CLICK HERE to read my blog on LiveExercise and get 10 diet tips for salad lovers.

WARNING: Your Vinegar May Have More Calories Than You Think

surprising salad dressing caloriesFor YEARS I poured balsamic vinegar on my salads having NO CLUE they had so many calories in them. I thought, like apple cidar vinegar, they were ZERO calories so I thought I could pour on as much as I wanted. Well, imagine my surprise when I looked at the back of my vinegar and saw that 1 tablespoon had 20 calories in it! I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I use TONS of the stuff – and at LEAST four times that much for a salad. Yes, 80 calories in what I thought was calorie-free bliss – PLUS I added olive oil too! Cha Ching (that’s me racking up the calories!)

The good news is, this isn’t the case for all balsamic vinegars. Balsamic vinegar just has more sugar in it than white vinegars. I bet you are thinking “Oooooh! THAT’s why I like it so much better”. Yep, that’s probably right!

Last night I was checking out labels of some of the salad dressings I had in they fridge, and low and behold, this yummy poppy seed dressing had HALF the calories of plain balsamic vinegar!! See! You NEVER know unless you take the time to study labels.

VINEGAR: The Search for Calories

I did a little homework on various vinegar for you. Here’s what I found.

Calories for 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar:
Balsamic Vinegar, Of Modena: 0 Cal
Balsamic Vinegar, Roland: 20 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, Of Madena, Monari Federzoni: 20 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, Pompeian: 10 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, Bertolli: 30 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, Alessi: 20 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, White, Alessi: 20 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, Ages, Colavita: 10 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, Regina: 40 Cal/2 T
Balsamic Vinegar, Holland House: 30 Cal/2 T

Average Calories Per Tablespoon (for all types of vinegar)
Cidar Vinegar: 3 Cal/1 T
Red Wine Vinegar: 3 Cal/ 1 T
White Wine Vinegar: 0 Cal/ 1 T
Balsamic Vinegar: 14 Cal/ 1 T
Distilled Vinegar: 3 Cal/ 1 T
Rice Vinegar: 1 Cal/ 1 T
Malt Vinegar: 0 Cal/ 1 T
Sherry Vinegar: 0 Cal/ 1 T
Champagne Vinegar: 3 Cal/ 1 T

Chicken, Pear & Goat Cheese Flatbread Recipe

pear and goat cheese flatbread recipeA few months ago Steve and I went to a restaurant and ordered a pear and goat cheese flat bread, simply because it was such an odd combination we just HAD to try it. We were amazed how tasty it was! Although I really didn’t remember what was on it exactly, I tried my best to recreate it last night with Steve and it was DELISH! So here are the basic ingredients I came up with…

YUMMY INGREDIENTS:

2 FlatOut Flatbreads
2 Tbsp Sweet BBQ sauce
1/3 Cup Shredded Cheese
1/2 Onion Thinly Sliced
1/2 Can of Pears (no sugar added)
2 Cups Chopped Grilled Chicken
1/3-1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
Balsamic Glaze

First, throw the sliced onion in a small frying pan with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium heat. I also added a dash of salt. Cook them until they are nice and soft and brown. These are like candy to me! YUM!

bag-pizza-rustic-whiteGrab one of your nice cookie sheets (or pizza stones) and set the oven to 375. Spray Pam on the pan and place the 140 calorie Flatout flatbreads side by side on the pan. (PS: they also have 7gms of protein and 3g of fiber!) Add in ingredients in the order listed above. Don’t use too much BBQ or it will make it too soupy. 1 Ttbs per flatbread should do it. Spread it all over the flatbread so that every piece has a thin layer of sauce. I used just a light sprinkle of cheese to help things stick. Then I began to layer the ingredients.

The smaller the pieces of pear and chicken, the less you’ll use if you are counting calories. Steve went a little overboard with the goat cheese, but I’d recommend just sprinkling a little on top. Finish with a light drizzle of balsamic glaze on top and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the pizza crust begins to harden.

Cut in triangles and enjoy!

Tag me in pics if you make it! I’d love to see your creations!!

Instagram: @bonniepfiester
Pinterest: @pfitblog
Facebook: @bonniesfanpage
Twitter: @bonniepfiester

:)

The Amazing 63 Calorie Quiche

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Daisy Cottage Cheese. 

63 Calorie Quiche RecipeEating 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

Daisy Cottage Cheese Daisy Cottage Cheese

63 Calorie Quiche

Daisy Cottage Cheese

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

63 Calorie Quiche RecipeUse 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).

Nutritional Information

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!

63 Calorie Quiche Recipe

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

cottage cheese recipesIf you are like me, and aren’t a big fan of eating cottage cheese solo, here are some great ways to enjoy the benefits of Daisy Cottage Cheese to eat healthier, reduce calories and boost protein.

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?

twitter chatJoin 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!

 

100-Calorie Soup

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.

Low-Carb Low-Cal Soup100-Calorie 2-Cup Soup

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 :)

100-calorie soup

Potatoless Low-Cal Shepherd’s Pie

potatoeless sheperd's pieI 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!

potatoeless sheperd's pie

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 

potatoeless sheperd's pie

NOTE: Fat slows digestion, helping you feel fuller longer, as well as provides you with more lasting energy.

 

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