Tag Archives: banana

Mexican and Mango

19 Apr

IMG_0797After all that moving on Saturday, my mom and I needed some sustenance. So we decided to stop for dinner on the way home at Lonestar Texas Grill. We knew it would be packed, being Saturday night after all, so we put our name on the waiting list and made our way to the bar. We found a spot at the end of a long table, my mom was seated, but I had to stand. Tables and booths in the bar are first come, first served, so we kept our eyes peeled.

We ordered drinks (diet Coke and water for me) and then they brought us the usual free chips and salsa. Now these chips are made fresh in the restaurant, and the salsa’s nice and chunky, but I exercised some MAJOR willpower. I ate a few small nacho fragments, but really didn’t dig into the basket…I was SO proud of myself! I was thinking about it, and chips and salsa, even if they’re really good chips and salsa, are still just chips and salsa. I can have them anytime, anywhere. So why blow a bunch of calories before I even get my meal on something that’s pretty run-of-the-mill? Plus, I had indulged the night before and have more indulgences coming up, so I did NOT need the extra calories.

We ordered while we were still standing/sitting at the long, crowded skinny table, and chose to share an order of steak fajitas. I was a little nervous when they brought out the fajita add-ons that I’d have to eat standing up! Thankfully, a booth right next to us cleared out, and we pounced on it (I tell you, the killer instincts are right on when it comes to food). Not long after, the tell-tale sizzle alerted us that our fajitas were a-comin’.

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I really enjoy fajitas, and if they’re on the menu at a restaurant, I always almost order them (sorry for the not-so-stellar photo). Unless they’re cooked in a crazy amount of oil or sauce, they’re an easy do-it-yourself healthy option when dining out. I ALWAYS limit myself to two tortillas per sitting (the tortillas at Lonestar are REALLY good, and when visiting the website, I discovered why – they’re cooked fresh to order)! I never use the sour cream, cheese, rice or guacamole that comes with the fajitas (well, ok, I had a tiny dab of guac on SaturdayWinking smile). I load up my wraps with lettuce, salsa, veggies and meat and enjoy. I usually eat some extra meat after I’m done my allotted two wraps, which fills me up with protein but not the added carbs and calories of more tortillas.

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The Lonestar fajitas also come with a side of beans, which I had a couple of bites of. All in all, this was a satisfying meal out that was without regret. Since I was smart at the restaurant, I could even have an HG vanilla milkshake and then later on some popcorn to snack on when I got home…SCORE!

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Onto the mango portion of the post (you didn’t think I’d forgotten about my mango stash, did you?). Last week, I froze some mango chunks and finally got around to trying Katie’s ban-ango soft serve. For my version (makes one serving), I combined 1 frozen banana, in chunks with between half and one cup of frozen mango chunks and a couple of splashes of almond milk. I processed in my mini food processor until nice and smooth.

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The results? Just look at this big beautiful bowl of delight. That’s one thing I really like about this stuff – BIG PORTIONS! I eat low fat ice cream and frozen yogurt, and love every bite of my tiny half cup serving, but sometimes, you just need a BIG bowl of dessert, ya know? My only complaint was that it wasn’t as mango-y as I would have liked. Even with that beautiful orange colour, the banana was still the dominant flavour. It was still absolutely delicious though.

There is more mango mania on the horizon, so stay tuned!

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Banana Bonanza

16 Feb

I  had these pics on my computer so I thought I would share them and continue with the b-themed posts this week. 🙂 Have you ever heard of banana soft serve? I first saw the idea on the Rachael Ray Show…then not too much later, Tina of Carrots ‘n Cake featured the idea. Basically, what it is, is a homemade, all-natural, creamy and delicious frozen yogurt/ice cream-ish dessert.

You need to have frozen bananas to start with. I like to cut bananas in half and freeze them wrapped in saran wrap (important: Peel before you freeze)! They are great eaten on their own this way for a snack…but we’re going to go to the next step – ice cream time! Roughly slice up the bananas and put them in a food processor (LOVE the mini food processor for this, just the right size for a single serving). Add a splash of milk. Process until smooth, pulsing and adding more milk as necessary until the mixture comes together smoothly. Put in a bowl and serve – that’s it, you’re done!

Now, the first photo is just the basic banana version which is delish on its own. But you can play with the basic banana soft serve idea. In the next photo, I topped it off with a tablespoon of Nutella (this was back around World Nutella Day, when I was in a Nutella mood). It was yummy (although the coldness of the ice cream made the Nutella a little firm). I’ve also made a pumpkin pie version of banana soft serve (adding in a spoonful of canned pumpkin and some spices). Peanut butter would also be a nice addition…or you can blend in cocoa powder. You can stir in any candy/chocolate/cookie you’d like (can we say homemade, delicious, healthy Marble Slab anyone?).

Hope you try this out…and if you think of any creative and delicious variations, let me know!

Snow day banana bread

19 Jan

I will take an opportunity I’m given to bake. This banana bread was one of the 3 projects I tackled on my recent snow day. Surprise, surprise, another Hungry Girl recipe. I love banana bread and baked goods of any kind. But, when I started Weight Watchers, for the most part, I gave up on having quick breads and muffins as part of my every day diet. They tend to be way too high in fat and calories to enjoy on a regular basis (but of course, as I always say – in moderation, anything can be part of a healthy diet). In reality, many muffins/quick breads have as many (or more) calories than desserts!

Thank goodness for Hungry Girl. She and her team renovate recipes so we can enjoy our favourites in a slimmed-down version, perfect for every day life. Now…I’m not going to lie. This doesn’t exactly taste like classic banana bread, what your mom or grandma would make. It is good, and I really enjoy it; but the recipe has no fat or sugar in it…you can’t expect miracles! On the upside? Serving size is HUGE…one serving is a slice that is 1/8 of the loaf – pretty generous – and with 140 calories and almost 4 grams of fibre, that’s only 2 WW points (on the old system)…not too shabby! Some of this loaf will be eaten fresh, but most will go into the freezer to be enjoyed later on as part of a quick breakfast or a snack. My favourite way to enjoy it is as a snack spread with a tablespoon of Better ‘n Peanut Butter (this a product I discovered via Hungry Girl that, sadly, I haven’t been able to find in Canada, so I buy in the US when I can). You can’t beat the combo of PB and banana! For about the same calorie count, just use 1/2 tbsp of regular or low fat peanut butter.

Thanks to the snow day, I now have 8 servings of a healthy breakfast or snack waiting for me. 🙂 What’s your favourite quick bread recipe?