Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TMI Tuesday, the Wednesday edition

Can I just tell y'all how sick to death I am of hot flashes? I put on and take off layers of clothes so often, I'm starting to feel like a stripper.

Thank you, Pixar

Please, take a few minutes and go read this post by Ryan. It will put a smile on your face, and in your heart.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weight Watchers - week 17 update

So, I didn't do too badly this week at weigh in. This is a good thing, considering I was up 1.6 last week after finally getting to my 10% mark. I was back down that 1.6 and a little more, for a total of 2 pounds down. It's really strange being this weight, because I haven't weighed this little in years. I'm actually going through my closet and finding things I can finally fit in to again. Not everything, mind you, but I'm getting there. Ideally, I'd like to fit in to a little black dress that I bought to wear to a New Year's Eve party in Australia many years ago. That's still 25 pounds off though, which is less than my official goal weight. I'd like to fit in to my wedding dress again, too! Anywho, slow progress is good progress.

Nothing new cooked this week, so far. I'm actually back to tracking this week. I need to reign myself back in. I was cooking with mostly power foods, so I wasn't eating badly, but I don't want to get too far removed from tracking and accountability. Speaking of tracking, I had to suck it up and write down that I ate pizza last night. We were getting our taxes done, and our accountant was running behind schedule, so we took advantage of the delay to go get some dinner at a nearby pub. The Aussie had his beloved fish and chips, and I splurged and had one of their naan bread pizzas. It was strange, but tasty in it's own non-pizza way. It was topped with garlic spread, apples (they weren't carmelized like the description said, though), bangers (a sausage sliced up) and brie. And I had a Harp lager. O.M.G. that was tasty. So a few points (about 7) came off of my weekly points allowance. That pizza and beer was worth it. All in all, it was a good night. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bad pictures, fantastic chili

I apologize, in advance, for the pictures in this post. Tired of strangely shaped pictures taken by my phone camera, I went back to my digital camera. Because I don't like to use the flash, I have to be my own auto-focus and try to stand very still while taking pictures. Needless to say, I'm not very good at this. I am pretty good at cooking, though, so it all evens out in the end.

Speaking of cooking, I came up with the idea for this chili while I was half asleep yesterday morning. I'm glad I did, because it tastes amazing.

Turkey Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili (serves 8)

1 T canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground turkey
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
2 bell peppers, diced (I used red because it was on hand)
1 poblano pepper, diced (I remembered to use a glove while cutting this time!)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans black beans, rinsed

1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. When it's hot, drizzle in your canola oil. Add in the chopped onion, and after a minute or so, add in the garlic, making sure it doesn't burn. After these have cooked for a few minutes and have softened, add in the ground turkey, breaking up the clumps. Cook until you don't see much pink in the turkey. Add in your ground spices, stir to coat the meat evenly with the chili powder, cumin and coriander.

2. Stir in the diced bell pepper and the diced poblano pepper.

3. Now it's time for the sweet potato, diced tomatoes and the chicken broth. Stir well, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.

4. Uncover, stir in the black beans, and simmer until the potatoes are done and the black beans are heated through. Season to taste. I didn't add any salt, because there's enough sodium with the canned ingredients. If you're a salt lover or want more heat, please feel free to spike your chili with more salt and some cayenne.

Enjoy! FYI, the WW +points for a 1 cup serving is 7. Everything in here, except the garlic and spices, allowing for your healthy oil, counts as a power food.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Breakfast Treat

A while back I picked up the WW Power Foods recipe book. I figured, since I'm going back to the Simply Filling technique, that I'd look through the book and see what struck my fancy. What struck my fancy was the Dutch Baby recipe. (They call it a "blueberry" Dutch Baby, but even I can clearly see the blackberries in their picture) First, I'll say that the recipes use power foods, but aren't only power foods. This means that I can't count them as power foods when I track what I eat, since the entire WW +points amount would come out of my weekly points total. To get around this, I just logged the components of the recipe, so only the non-power foods points came off of my total. If you're going for straight points, this came to 4 points, because I didn't use any confectioner's sugar on top or serve it with fat free Greek yogurt.

Three Berry Dutch Baby

2 t butter
1 cup of fat free milk
3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup Egg Beaters
1 t canola oil
1/4 t ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
3/4 cup of frozen mixed berries (I think I used closer to 1 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 450. When it's come up to temperature, but the butter in a 9 inche glass pie plate. Place in oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the butter has melted.

2. While oven is heating, combine the milk, flour, Egg Beaters, canola oil, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in your blender. Blend until the mixture is very smooth, making sure you have no flour clumps hiding.

3. Remove the pan from the oven, swirl until the butter has coated the bottom and just up the sides of the pan. Pour in the mixture. (The butter will move up the sides of the pan, around the mixture) Sprinkle your berries evenly on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the Dutch Baby is puffed up and lightly browned. When you take out of the oven, it will be very puffed up, but it will drop as it cools.

4. Enjoy! (The book calls for you to sprinkle with 2 t confectioner's sugar and serve with 1/2 cup of fat free Greek yogurt. This will at 1 point to the total). I served with a drizzle of sugar free syrup one morning, at it plain (and cold) the next. Delicious either way.

(Oh, and for my WW check in, I didn't do very well this week. In fact, I regained what I'd lost the week before... I was totally expecting it, so I'm not concerned)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Asian Lettuce Cups

After a couple of day off the Simply Filling wagon, I'm back on. Blame Valentine's Day, blame TOM, blame whatever... (the chocolate in the fridge that I got The Aussie...) Hopefully I have some of the bad choices out of my system. Last night I made Asian lettuce cups, and they were good. I actually just had more of the filling for my breakfast. Yum. :)

Asian Lettuce Cups

1 pound of extra lean ground turkey
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 t fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 T sriracha sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 can of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
lettuce leaves (bibb lettuce is recommended because the leaves are flexible, but if you only have iceburg, like me, that works fine)

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile, combine the ground turkey with the soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a bowl and mix well. Cook the turkey mixture until there's no more pink, breaking apart any big clumps of meat with your spatula. Add in the sriracha, or any hot pepper sauce you have, the hoisin sauce and the chopped water chesnuts. Mix thoroughly and take off the heat. Serve with lettuce leaves to spoon the mixture into, and have fun playing with your food!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weight Watchers - week 15 update

Woo Hoo! I made my 10% goal at yesterday's weigh in. I was down 1.6 pounds.

The Simply Filling technique has really been working for me. I eat foods off of the power foods lists and I don't have to worry about points so much. Because I'm eating off of the power foods list, I'm not eating highly processed foods, full of preservatives and sodium. Win-win situation, in my book! Not every day is easy, and I'm still tempted by certain foods, but I'm trying not to get tripped by them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weight Watchers - week 14 update

It's been a while since I've posted a Weight Watchers update. As of yesterday's weigh in, I'm down 16.4 pounds. I'm currently obsessed with getting jeans that fit. The droopy drawers look is funny, but not very attractive. (Can someone tell that to all the guys who wear their pants around their asses and have boxers showing?) Not all days are easy to stay on plan. Last week I tried the Simply Filling Technique for 3 days. Friday was lunch at the restaurant run by a local cooking school. I planned ahead, because I knew I wanted the pork schnitzel with braised red cabbage and the chocolate mousse for dessert. Worth every bite. By the way, it's a serious bargain too. $10 for a 3 course meal. Check out cooking schools in your area and find out if they have a teaching restaurant.

On the recipe front, I made buttermilk roast chicken last night. I read about it over at Running Off The Reeses. It looked good, it smelled good, it tasted like regular roast chicken. So, I won't be posting it, but check out Smitten Kitchen if it sounds awesomesauce to you.

Finally, I've made a concious decision not to run the Hot Chocolate 15k this weekend. I'm not making any excuses. I'm not up with my mileage, and we have a lot going on. I'll still do some races this year, but I'm focused on other things right now. My mother in law's illness has made The Aussie and I to start to focus on new priorities.