Can a Fat Girl on the inside become a Skinny Girl on the outside?

No one said this was going to be easy...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ole! Southwest Bean Dip

So last week I guest blogged over on They Call Me Hypo with my Garlic Bean Dip Recipe.  I told everyone that I would show how versatile that dip was by posting the Southwest version.  Here it is!  The same basic principle apply only this time you get a completely different (and yet still creamy and delicious) dip.  Hopefully between these recipes, and your own imagination, you will have a dip you can throw together at a moments notice and take to any party.  Regardless of the theme.

So please try them both and enjoy this low fat, high fiber, high protein dish!  I promise, no one will know that it's good for them.

Southwest Bean Dip

2 cans white beans (15.5oz each), rinsed and drained
16oz fat free sour cream
1 bundle green onions
1 can chopped green chiles (7oz)
1/2 cup low fat shredded 'Mexican' cheese (I highly doubt the cheese is from Mexico, so that name seems a bit misleading.  Hence the quotation marks)
1 jalapeno (optional)

In the garlic recipe I pureed everything with an immersion blender, but for this recipe I mashed and mixed.  Because beans are a feature in most southwest cooking, I didn't want to hide them altogether.  So mash the beans and then add the sour cream, green onions, green chiles, and jalapeno.  Once you have it well incorporated, add it to a baking sheet, cover it in the cheese, and pop it in the oven for about 15-20mins.  Take it out, garnish it with a little extra green onion (or jalapeno) and serve!  Every time I've had it, its been a hit!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spinach Salad with Sweet & Sour Curry Dressing

Spinach really gets a bad rep.  It can taste slimy or dirty if it's not prepared properly, and one bad experience can turn you away from it for good.  However, when you get it fresh, it is fabulous.  Spinach is high in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin K (which is key to a healthy nervous system and bones).  It really is one of the best foods you can put in your body.

This month for Blogger Night with Melissa from They Call Me Hypo we took on spinach to give you two amazing recipes that will help you incorporate this super food into your diet.  Her stuffed summer squash is creamy and rich, while still being low in fat.  My salad is something that you can make in advance and eat everyday for lunch, and I promise you'll want to!  It is sweat and sour with just a bite of spice.  It plays of the earthy flavor of the spinach and the grease of the turkey bacon.  Enjoy!

Spinach Salad w/ Sweet & Sour Curry Dressing:

2 bunches of spinach, washed thoroughly
6 hard boiled eggs, sliced (you can just use the egg whites if you want to lower the cholesterol)
12 slices of turkey bacon, cooked to extra crispy and then crushed into bits

2/3 cup sugar substitute (approx. 24 packets)
1/2 cup salad oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbl lemon juice
1 Tbl minced garlic
4 tsp chili sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp curry powder
dash of tobasco (you may omit if you want less spice)

To prepare the salad, put all ingredients for the dressing into a jar and shake until well blended.  Add the spinach, eggs and bacon to a bowl.  Add the amount of dressing you desire.  I find that I always have leftover dressing.  You can take this to work as a lunch.  Since I'm only one person I usually eat this salad for the whole week!  It's simple, it's delicious, it's cheap.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Get up, Get Out and Smell the Tulips

Having grown up in Washington I feel there is a certain expectation to get out and do something when the weather is nice.  So this weekend, instead of cowering from the sun, I stepped out and embraced it.  For while most of the time it is grey and drearily oppressive, when it is nice out, it is amazing.  It's our best kept secret.

I headed down to the water and met a friend and her daughter.  We got on our walking shoes and walked along the water.  

We chased each other and laughed.  

We stopped and smelled the tulips.

We took funny pictures with statues.

We enjoyed the moment. 

This is what I have been missing in my life.  The feeling of being totally exhausted because you have be moving all day.  The memories of having that perfect day in the sun.  I fell asleep that night with a smile on my face.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Discouraged and Determined

I have had a lot of time to think the last few weeks.  Between being sick and just being lazy I have found that my mind has wandered to some dark and dreary places.  Some days I leap out of bed, filled with light and determination, like the clouds that are constantly threatening me have finally lifted.  Other days it takes all the energy that I have not to sink deep under the covers and wait for the day to be over.  I have been touting this idea of getting healthier and yet I haven’t done what I need to do to truly change things.  I have allowed myself to become complacent in my own life and accepted that this is all there is.  I know that is not true.  I was able to conquer these feelings before.  I was able to get up, get moving, pay attention to what I was doing.  I will strive to recapture that.

I will note everything that I put into my body.  I will stop making myself feel like crap, by filling my body with crap.  I will record, everyday, what I am eating, so that it will be harder to spiral out of control.  I will make sure that I am taking in only what I need to keep going, not the amount I need to hide behind.

I will move.  I will get up off the couch.  Every day I am going to get up.  No more laying around, waiting for life to pass me by.  No more waiting for my life to just pass me by.  I will get up and move.  I will ride my bike to work instead of driving the 10mins to campus.  I will remove the blankets from my couch so I am forced to sit up if I want to watch anything.  I will sift through the piles of junk that have accumulated, both in my space and in my head.  I will open the curtains and let the light in instead of cowering in the dark.

I will hold myself accountable.  It has been almost a year since I began writing this blog and I haven’t gotten any closer to my goal.  I will weigh myself.  I will record what the scale says.  I will not make excuses.  I have the power to change this and I will not hold back.  It is one thing to talk about living healthy and making a change, it is quite another to do it.  So I will hold myself accountable and track my progress through weight and measurement.  I may fail.  I’m terrified of failing.  However, if I don’t try, I will never succeed. 

I just ask for your support and understanding as I pull up my big girl panties and step out into the abyss.  I promise I will try.  I will try.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mardi Maigre 'Po Boys

This months blogger night has been devoted to Fat Tuesday foods!  Or as my title suggests Skinny Tuesday as I'm now calling it.  Melissa and I got together and made some amazing New Orleans inspired dishes.  I made these amazing 'Po Boys with a spicy Cajun mayo, and a low fat Kings Cake.  Melissa whipped up a delicious gumbo and Cajun green beans, both of which you have to try!  Seriously, go there.

So for the 'Po Boys I fake 'fried' the shrimp, much in the same way I did the pickles from the last post, used a light mayo and kept the sandwich open faced.  This cuts back on the calories, but still gives you all the flavor you're craving.

1/2 lbs medium shrimp, shelled and deviened
1 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup skim milk
dried basil
cayenne pepper
garlic powder
1 French baguette
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
Cajun seasoning (I used a pre-made mix)
shredded lettuce
sliced tomato
sliced red onion

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.  Take a cooling rack and place it on top of a tin foil lined baking sheet.  In one small bowl mix your flower with your garlic powder, cayenne pepper, basil and paprika.  I didn't measure this portion, just season it to your tastes (ie, if you don't like spicy, don't add very much cayenne).  Also add a little of the same spices to your panko crumbs in another small bowl.  In the third small bowl, place your milk.  Dredge each shrimp through the flour, then the milk and finally in the panko.  Add breaded shrimp to the cooling rack.  Repeat until all your shrimp have been coated.  Cook shrimp under the heat for about two minutes on each side, until shrimp is cooked through and they are a toasted brown on the outside.

Next mix your light mayo with your cajun seasoning.  You get a lot of flavor this way, but again, only add as much seasoning as you like.  It was very strong in pepper, but I love really strong flavors.  Take a Tbl of the mayo and spread it on a 3-4 inch section of the french baguette.  Then layer your lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and shrimp.  Viola!  You're done.  Its delicious and I really encourage you not to skimp on the pickles.  They add the salty edge you need to compliment the crispy shrimp.

Next I'll give you low-fat King's Cake and a natural Hurricane.  You need a good drink if you're celebrating Carnival!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oven "Fried" Pickles

I love pickles!  They are probably one of my favorite things ever, and a few years ago I learned of a very, very unhealthy way to make pickles even more deep fry them.  Something about the salty, crispy, hot outside and the garlic, vinegar, pickle inside just makes my day!  Unfortunately like all things fried, they're not very good for the waistline.  So I decided that if you can bake other things to make them seem fried, why not do pickles?  They turned out really good if I do say so myself.


1 jar of thick sliced pickle chips
2 eggs
2 Tbl flour
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (I like the heat with the other flavors)
Non-stick cooking spray

Set up a baking sheet with a cooling rack on it.  Spray the cooling rack with the non-stick spray.  Turn the oven on to broil  Mix the eggs, flour, garlic powder, and cayenne in one bowl.  I started with one Tbl of floor, but my mix was runny so I kept adding more until there was 2 Tbl in it.  Do the same with yours since eggs can vary in consistency.  Keep the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.  Dredge the pickles through the wet mixture and then coat them with the breadcrumbs.  Lay each chip on the cooling rack in a single layer.  Repeat until your rack is full.  Place the pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the chips brown on the top.  Take them out of the oven and flip each chip over.  Put them back under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Once they are brown, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a minute or two.  Then take them off the cooling rack and sprinkle a little salt on them.  They're now ready to eat!

I dipped mine in some fat-free thousand island dressing.  It was great, and they really satisfied my craving for something salty and fried.  I hope they can do the same for you!

Note:  You can use any seasoning you want in the batter.  Whatever suits your current craving!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Curry

So a big ice storm hit Western Washington this week so I've had a lot of time to sit around the house and...COOK!  At least that's what I did while the power was on.  I wanted something to warm me from the inside out, so I went for hot and spicy.  The coconut milk gives it a creamy taste too, so its not all heat.  It is the perfect meal for a cold winter day.

2 C Chicken Broth (fat-free, low sodium)
1 lb Peeled, Cleaned Shrimp
1/2 lb Frozen Cauliflower
1/2 lb Frozen Broccoli
2 Stalks Celery (finely sliced)
2 Carrots (finely sliced)
1 Bunch Scallions (diced)
1 Tbl Curry Powder
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
Cayenne Pepper to taste
3/4 C Lite Coconut Milk
1 Tbl Flour
2 C Cooked Rice
Fresh Cilantro for garnish if you so desire

Put all of the ingredients except the coconut milk, flour, cilantro and rice in a large crock pot.  Turn on high and let cook for 4 hours.  Once that is done, mix the coconut milk and flour together in a separate bowl.  Once that is mixed pour it in with the curry mix.  Allow to sit, uncovered, in the crock pot, on high for at least 30 minutes or until it reaches your desired thickness.  Pour over 1/3-1/2 cup of rice and garnish with fresh cilantro (optional).
Garnish with fresh cilantro for even more deliciousness!
So there you have it!  An incredibly satisfying meal, made while you're off doing something else.  Enjoy and stay warm!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

French Onion Soup

One of my favorite soups of all time is French Onion.  The combination of the butter, wine, onion and cheese all soaking into a crisp baguette.  However, like all things delicious and French it isn't naturally low in calories.  So I accepted that challenge and brought this recipe for Blogger Night with Melissa!  I eliminated the butter and lightened up the cheese.  I also used chicken broth instead of beef broth to stick with the Swank Diet that Melissa observes (read more about that on her blog).  You still get the flavor from the onions, only without all the extra calories.

French Onion Soup

3 Large Onions thinly sliced
1 Tbl Olive Oil
9 Cups Fat-Free, Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Cup White Wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
1 Bundle Fresh Thyme
4 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp Salt
1 Baguette sliced thick
10 Slices Reduced Fat Provolone (I hate Swiss, it is yucky, but feel free to use it if you so desire)

Heat a frying pan on the stove to medium heat.  Add the olive oil and the onions.  Allow the onions to cook until they are soft and slightly browned.  Once they are fully cooked transfer them into your large stock pot.  Add the chicken broth, wine, thyme, bay and salt.  Set the pot to medium and cover.  Allow to cook through for 2-3 hours.

Just before you go to serve, turn on the broiler.  Toast the baguette slices until they are slightly crisp and brown.  Add a slice of cheese to 10 of them.  Allow the cheese to melt and pull these bread out of the oven.  Serve up a bowl of the soup and add a slice of cheesy bread to each.  Enjoy!

Also be sure to pop on over to They Call Me Hypo and check out Melissa's Quinoa Chili and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup.  You will not regret it!

Tip:  You can use the extra bread slices to soak up the Tomato Basil Soup!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tomato Basil Soup

Some things just say winter to me.  Soup is one of them.  That's why this month's Blogger Night with Melissa was all about the soups, and we made some AMAZING dishes to cool up to on a cold winter night.  First I'm going to share with you my recipe for a light Tomato Basil and then I'll give you the recipe for my light version of French Onion soup.  Hop over to Melissa's blog where she shares a Bean-less Quinoa Chili (for those of you weirdos that don't like beans) and my favorite of the night Spicy Sweet Potato soup.  Seriously, I can't wait to make it again!

But first, try this amazingly simple and delicious family friendly recipe.  It is one of the easiest soups you can make, and it goes wonderfully with a toasted piece of baguette.

1 Tbl Olive Oil
6 cloves Garlic (or you know, a TON), chopped
1 28oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
2 cups Low Sodium, Fat Free Chicken Broth
1 bunch Basil, finely chopped

Start by heating your pan, when its hot, add your oil and then your garlic.  Wait for the amazing garlic smell to hit your nostrils.  Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and basil.  Using an immersion blender (I bought one and I am already in love with it, but if you don't have one just use an upright blender) blend the mixture until smooth.  Serve with toasted bread, garlic bread, grilled cheese sandwich, or just eat it plain.  Either way it is sure to be a healthy, easy recipe that you can enjoy all winter long.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012: Awaken

There has been something going around on the interwebs about finding one word that you want to describe 2012.  I really had to think about this.  Finding one word to sum up a goal, or a feeling that you have for an entire year.  So I started by looking back at last year, and what I was most disappointed in myself for not doing.

I'm disappointed that I spent so much time cooped up in my apartment.  I still spend too much time sitting alone watching TV.  Lacking the basis motivation to leave the house.  I am disappointed that I allowed myself to gain so much weight and that I can't seem to make myself strong enough to say no to the comfort that food has given me.  There are days when I feel the fat pushing up against my lungs and trapping the active person I know is inside me in a huge cushion of self-loathing.  I am disappointed that I let opportunities pass by my window while I was too emotionally tired to deal with the outside world in even the basest fashion.

So this year I want to awaken.  I want to take in the world.  I want to move. Dance. Laugh.  Cry.  I want to FEEL what is going on within me and outside of me.  I don't want to hide myself away from the world.  I no longer want to give myself excuse after excuse not to live every single day.  I want to work on this from the inside out.  Learn about myself.  Accept and love who I am and not allow anyone to make me feel differently. Stop using my weight as an excuse not to get out in the world and let people in.

So this year I will pull myself off the couch.  I will make myself feel the sun on my skin and stop hiding away.  Someday I will die, and I don't want to lay on my deathbed and cry over all the things I could have done.  I will awaken and see the world through new eyes and experiences, well rested from 2011 the year of hibernation.
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