Tag Archives: breakfast

Confessions of a “healthy” food blogger

6 Aug

You’ve heard it here before. I’m not perfect. I like to eat things that are not always healthy for me (read: I am obsessed with dessert). My kitchen “experiments” don’t always turn out. I’m actually kind of jealous of Jamie of The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog for coming up with such a perfect name. I like to say that hungry comes before healthy in my blog name because I’m ALWAYS hungry and sometimes healthy. So are you ready for a round of HHH IMG_2412confessions? Fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause here we go!

Confession Number One: On Thursday night (designated as a splurge night back when I did WW, and can’t get the mentality out of my head) I ate 1.5 pieces of better than you-know-what cake and the little bit of homemade ice cream leftover from Sunday’s BBQ. I smartly gave most of it away, but kept these little pieces for myself. I didn’t post the recipe (because it’s dangerously addictive, and I care about you guys), but it’s basically chocolate cake soaked in the Nectar of the Gods (AKA sweetened condensed milk) and caramel sauce, then topped with Cool Whip and SKOR bars. It is, as Professor Harold Hill would say: “trouble with a capital T.”

I also ate a couple of jelly beans, a brownie, a cookie with PB (but both were small and low-fat), cereal, and a few frozen mango chunks (no, you’re not mis-reading, this is all in the SAME NIGHT). Oh well, just get on with things, start the next day with a workout, and it all works out in the end, right?

Confession Number One point five: This is one point five and not 2 because it relates to number one. I ate a sliver of a piece of better than you-know-what cake after my long run on Monday. Here’s my rationale: chocolate milk is supposed to be the perfect workout recovery food because it its protein/fat/carb ratio. And this cake was chocolate soaked in sweetened condensed milk, so pretty much the same thing, right? (just smile, nod, and agree with my rationalizations to eat insanely decadent desserts before noon). Winking smile

IMG_2450Confession Number Two: Inspired by Nourishing Flourishing’s Savory Summer Squash pancakes I decided to try and create my own variation on it with zucchini, adding fresh corn and black beans, and using a piece of crumbled leftover cornbread . I also added onion and fresh basil, and seasoned with garlic salt, pepper and cumin. While the results were delicious, they weren’t pancakes AT ALL.

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Everything crumbled and fell apart in the frying pan, creating what I called “zucchini hash.” Like I said, delicious, but not pancakes. I think I needed to better drain the zucchini and add some sort of binding agent. It isn’t really a “confession,” but I just HAVE to tell you about the sauce on the chicken in that photo. I made a red wine cherry onion sauce by simmering leftover onion relish (make it. Make it NOW. So good that you’ll eat it by the spoonful) with Dijon mustard, a splash of red wine and pitted fresh sweet cherries. Yeah. It was awesome. You know you want some.

IMG_2462Confession Number Three: I ate chocolate for breakfast yesterday morning. Okay, this really wasn’t a “bad”/unhealthy breakfast, it just sounds like it should be, and it was a really good breakfast and I wanted to share it with you and it’s my blog so I make the rules…okay? I had a deep chocolate VitaTop, a mix of fat-free regular and Greek yogurts, unsweetened cocoa powder, Splenda, fresh raspberries (last of my garden I think for this year) and a few strawberries. I finished it off with an iced coffee made with sugar-free caramel syrup (not chocolate, but still delicious). Mmm…if you want to get your day off to a great start, eat chocolate for breakfast! This one hit all the right spots! Smile

Happy Saturday! Do you have any healthy (or not-so healthy) eating/kitchen mishap confessions of late to share?

Heaven, I’m in Heaven…

15 Jul

“…and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak. And I seem to find the happiness I seek…” …when I’m stuffing local berries and cherries in my cheeks. Winking smile

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I hope you won’t mind the license I took with the last line of that verse. But the opening of “Cheek to cheek” is what was running through my head when I have all these beautiful berries at my disposal! Now, I must confess, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a week! These are the berries from last week’s market (and the mulberries from my house), but so much good food stuff happened that I had to tell you about, that before I knew it,  a whole week had passed and I was buying berries again! The strawberries are now out of season, but everything else is still around, so now I have a a whole week of beautiful berry eats to share. Let’s get started!IMG_2041

Of course, the berries and cherries make a mean addition to the typical yogurt bowl. Depending on the time I have and what’s staring at me in the fridge, I vary the mix accordingly. But I have had this same breakfast several times: 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, touch of Splenda, splash of vanilla, fresh berries and/or cherries (I believe this particular bowl even had some of my mulberries), topped with 1/2 cup cereal (either some of my US finds or my Costco stuff). Speaking of US finds, see the coffee bag in the background? It’s Starbucks Cinnamon coffee, which I bought my mom for her birthday at Target. I chill the old brewed coffee and use it for my iced latte/coffee concoctions. Mixed with unsweetened original Almond Breeze and a touch of Splenda, that stuff makes a mean drink!

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The berries also found their way into a nice cold bowl of overnight oats – which, by the way, are perfect for breakfast after a hot run! It’s been a week since I made this bowl, but I think it had strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The complete mix is:

  • 1 heaping cup fresh berries
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened original Almond Breeze
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a touch of Splenda

Combine all ingredients in your bowl of choice. Cover, let set overnight, and a cold, berry-licious breakfast is served!

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Question: what is the perfect topping for a blueberry breakfast thin? Answer: 1/4 cup light ricotta, mixed with vanilla and Splenda; and lots of fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, of course (plus more berries on the side). Throw in a cafe mocha to complete the deal, and you’ve got yourself a tasty breakfast!

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Think I’m all out of mixed berry breakfast ideas? Think again! Why not stuff ‘em inside a Flat-out wrap, add some cream cheese, and call it a mixed berry breakfast quesadilla (for the full how-to, check out my strawberry version). Throw some cherries on the side to maximize your breakfast’s fruitiness. And hey, why not another cafe mocha, IMG_2071made in your oh-so-cute Anthropologie mug (you can make one in a mug that’s not from Anthropologie, but that may decrease the cuteness quotient of your morning meal). I had to include this quesadilla close-up so you could get a better look at the goodness on the inside.

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And you already know this, but of course, those cherries would be fabulous in some black forest ice cream, with even more fresh cherries (and hot fudge) on top.

 

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Fresh berries, plus some stewed rhubarb and some fat-free Reddi-Whip, are the perfect way to perk up a frozen strawberry square that’s been in the freezer for a few weeks, FYI.

 

 

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Don’t feel like making a whole batch of ice cream? Do what I did at lunch the other day. Mix up 2 containers of Source Raspberry Chocolate (from the Dessert Selection) with a heaping spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder, add in a cup of pitted cherries…simply divine! Black forest in a bowl…pitting the cherries is the hardest part!

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The next treat I’m going to share contains Saskatoon berries, not shown at the top but pictured in the right. If you’ve never tried Saskatoon berries, you should! They are sort of like a blueberry with a hint of almond flavour – delicious and very unique. I used them to make a dessert that some might call a cobbler, but I prefer to call a Bubbling Berry Biscuit Bake. If you don’t have/can’t find Saskatoon berries, any kind will do.

Bubbling Berry Biscuit Bake – serves one

  • 1 cup berries of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix (this is from the US, and don’t judge me, I had it for a recipe…but you could use regular Bisquick, in the end, the calorie count isn’t that different)
  • 2 teaspoons Splenda, or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk (could use regular milk if you don’t have – I just had some leftover in the fridge and enjoy the flavour)

Preheat oven to 375 **(update: start at 400 instead). Combine berries, cornstarch and Splenda in an oven-safe dish (I had to use this tiny saucepan because I couldn’t find the dish I wanted, but I think it looked pretty cute in the end).

In a small dish, combine baking mix and buttermilk. Dollop this mixture over the berries.

Bake for 20 minutes. After this time, it still wasn’t browned liked I’d hoped, so I put the oven on convect and increased the temperature to 400, and baked for 5 more minutes ***(update: 20 minutes at 400 is exactly perfect).

Let cool slightly, then enjoy with a big scoop of light vanilla ice cream (optional but SO good) and garnish with fresh mint (also optional, but necessary if you are a food blogger/a little OCD/enjoy pretty things).

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Mixing up the biscuit topping.

 

 

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Now we are ready to go into the oven.

 

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My, don’t you look delicious?!

 

 

 

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Vanilla ice cream, fresh mint, and a cup of Earl Grey tea seal the deal – I must devour you!

 

 

 

 

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This guy didn’t last long – oh. so. GOOD! This is a great summer dessert – like I said, use any berry you want, or even other fruits, once they are in season (hello, peaches, plums and apricots). Would be a nice end to a summer dinner party I think. Perfectly portioned and party-worthy, but also easy (and healthy) enough to be an every day treat.

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Finally, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make any of the delicious suggestions above (although you really should), you can decide that, after all, life is a bowl of cherries, and why shouldn’t I enjoy them on their own, in all their glory? Perfect summer snack!

 

 

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you have a great weekend…and please, if you have the chance, visit a farmers’ market and eat locally this weekend. I promise you won’t regret it! What have you done with your fresh market finds lately?

 

Show and Tell

6 Jul

First of all, although she would probably kill me for doing this, I have to give a  IMG_1967shout-out to my mom, who is celebrating her birthday today – happy birthday mom! Now that I’ve got that out of the way, on with the post. I promised on Monday that I would share some of my “American novelty food purchases” with you – so here I go. Warning, this post may have one of two effects on you, depending on your nationality. If you are American, you might laugh and/or get bored with my amusement at products not yet available north of the border. If you are Canadian, you may become annoyed and/or jealous of my fabulous food finds. Either way, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Item Number One: Thomas Breakfast Thins These guys are available in blueberry and cinnamon raisin (I bought both of course). I’ve only tried the blueberry so far, but it was delicious. A welcome change from the typical thin bun at breakfast. I did my usual – toasted (minus the cinnamon Splenda sprinkle ‘cause I figured it was already sweet), topped with 1/4 cup ricotta (mixed with Splenda and vanilla) and fresh berries. Cafe mocha to drink on the side. Speaking of new stuff, don’t my cup and bowl from Anthropologie look lovely? And how about that cute tea towel underneath (don’t worry, you’ll be seeing lots more of it iIMG_1966f you can’t get a good look).

Item Number Two: Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies (also pictured at the top of this post, with the Anthropologie mug again). Just like the thins, these came in two flavours (chocolate peanut butter and chocolate), and of course, I bought both. Umm…a brownie with 90 calories and 5 g fibre? SIGN. ME. UP. I hope the the folks at Canadian fibre one will catch on quickly, just like when they did a copycat 100 calorie version of the American 90 calorie bar. And by the way, these things are GOOD! I only wish I bought more.

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Item Number Three: Bush’s Grillin’ Beans: Black Bean Fiesta I bought these on a whim at Target, ‘cause they were on sale. And since they’re not in a super-sweet sauce and don’t have any meat in with ‘em, they’re pretty reasonable in stats.

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I had the beans as a side dish with Saturday’s BBQ supper: grilled chicken (a chipotle-flavoured one from Sobey’s), asparagus, Vidalia onions, and a salad made with Israeli couscous and fresh herbs and veggies. Everything was delicious, and the beans made a perfect side dish – good flavour, but not too spicy (not that that would bother me though).

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Items numbers four, five and six: Fiber One 80 calories Honey Squares, Barbara’s Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins and Stonyfield Oikos Caramel Greek Yogurt Be jealous, be very jealous here, my fellow Canadians. When you combine one and a half cups fresh berries, a container of this divine yogurt, and 1/4 cup each of the above mentioned cereals, you get a dessert that is more like breakfast! And doesn’t it look just smashing in the bowl placed on the cute tea towel, both from Target? IMG_1986My only regret about this bowl is that there wasn’t more of the yogurt….it was just that good. I decided to enjoy my second one on it’s own with lunch the next day, so I could enjoy the delicious flavour to the max. And peanut butter cereal? Yumfest. I remembered reading about them on Carrots ‘n Cake, so I decided to go for them when I saw them at Target – a decision I’m NOT regretting. I think these guys would be great to snack on – on their own, or mixed with popcorn or other cereal. Better still, according to the website, all of Barbara’s stuff is: “free of artificial preservatives and ingredients, hydrogenated oils, and refined white sugar.” The 80 calorie stuff was good, bot amazing, but pretty decent for the low caloric and high fibre price tag.

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Item Number 7: DaVinci Sugar Free Caramel Syrup Good news Canadians – you can get this stuff (or another brand) in Canada, it’s just not readily available in stores I frequent on a regular basis. I used it to make an absolutely delightful iced coffee by combining with instant coffee + water + 1 cup unsweetened original Almond milk + ice in my stylish new Target glass (I bought two, so if anyone wants me to make you such a drink, c’mon over)!

All in all, tasty finds for delicious summer eats. I’ll probably share more as I use more stuff. But my conclusion? All of this stuff, but especially Stonyfield Oikos caramel Greek yogurt and 90 calorie fibre one brownies NEED to come to Canada….sooner rather than later!

Chill out!

4 Jun

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I love oatmeal. I love soup. I love summer. Don’t think these things go together? That’s where you’d be wrong. Yesterday, I enjoyed cold versions of both, perfect for warmer weather ahead. Read on, and you’ll learn how to summer-ize two of my (and maybe your) winter favourites.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a delicious take on the blog world’s overnight oats: a recipe I am calling “Tropi-cold” Oatmeal. Here’s how you make it:

The night before, combine:

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • a splash of vanilla
  • tiniest pinch of cardamom (optional: I didn’t put enough in, so couldn’t really taste it)
  • touch of Brown sugar twin (or sweetener of your choice, or leave out)
  • 1 cup mostly mango and pineapple, chopped, plus a few sliced strawberries

Stir it all together in your bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Open up the fridge in the morning, uncover and serve (no AM prep required Smile). Mmmm….SO GOOD! And would be great for a busy morning. I have to say, this was only my second attempt at overnight oats, and I liked it much better than my first. Expect to see this one (and variations, of course) all summer long!

Now onto the cold soup (same bowl, different deliciously chilled dish). I’ve IMG_1657made a cool cucumber soup before, and figured with all this fresh local asparagus, I could come up with something tasty. Add in a few fresh herbs and some PC Blue Menu Tzatziki, and we’ve got ourselves a winner!

Cool as a Cucumber (and Asparagus) Soup (I didn’t measure, so quantities are not exact – this made one large portion)

IMG_1653– several spears asparagus, cooked until tender (I cooked them softer than I normally would since I was going to be blending them up), then immediately plunged into icy water

– a handful fresh spinach

– about 1/3 cucumber, peeled and chopped

– 2 green onions (white and most of the green part), chopped

– fresh mint, parsley, dill and chives, chopped

– a big spoonful of PC Blue Menu Tzatziki

– garlic salt and pepper to taste

– a couple of splashes of waterIMG_1650

 

This is what the asparagus looks like when it’s in the ice water. It’s important to do this right away, so it doesn’t cook too long and so it’s nice and cold to add to the soup.

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This soup is EASY! All you have to do is put everything in a bowl/pot/micro-cooker that you microwaved the asparagus in and then blend away with your immersion blender (or you could put it in a blender/food processor if you don’t have one of these guys, but really, YOU SHOULD….I use mine all the time). Season to taste with salt and pepper, add water until you reach your desired thickness. Then chill it in the fridge until it’s nice and cold (I didn’t have a lot of time, so I actually stuck mine in the freezer for a bit to get it nice and refreshingly cold.

Optional: garnish with Greek yogurt and fresh parsley before serving. Mmmm! This will be a perfect one for the dog days of summer, when it is just too hot to cook (although I will have to eliminate/substitute the asparagus once it’s out of season). It is so refreshing and also filling, while also being incredibly light.

So IMG_1655that soup did not appear all on it’s own on the stage that is the dinner table (or more often than not, dinner counter) of HHH. Nope, it was a part of Friday night PIZZA night! And it had been FAR too long since I made my own Friday night pizza…what with last week’s low carb-ness, 2 Fridays of being on vacation (NOT complaining), crazy-mad catering, ladies’ retreat at church, we’re talking a month and a half! So Friday night pizza at home came back with a bang in a majorly summery and delicious way: summer corn and bacon pizza! Let’s go in for a close-up!

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So here’s the down low on this beauty:

The usual crust (pre-baked, of course)

Sauce: quick mix of some salsa, light BBQ sauce, Splenda and 2 finely chopped grape tomatoes

Cheese: 1/3 cup ligh Italiano cheese (it was what I had on hand)

Toppings: just under 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed; chopped green onion; chopped red bell pepper; chopped fresh parsley and chives; 1 generous tablespoon of bacon bits.

Bake around 425 until cheese melts (5-10 minutes). Cut and enjoy!

I also served this supper with some roasted cauliflower (cumin, garlic salt, pepper, olive oil). Simple, but delicious…why change what works?

Dessert was a new recipe I tried for a frozen creation that I’m debating about whether or not to share with you, as it didn’t WOW me…we’ll see.

Just a note about all the fresh herbsI’ve been using on here (and you’ll continue to see all summer). I have a lovely herb garden to pick from, and I try to take full advantage of it all summer long. That being said, I know that many of you don’t have the luxury of having a wide variety of herbs right outside your kitchen door. I would hope that my posts/recipes might inspire even one of you to plant a few herbs. But I know not everyone is a green thumb, so feel free to buy the fresh herbs, and if this gets too expensive, experiment with dried herbs and/or leave out one or two. I’m telling you now, the flavour won’t be the same. It will be good, but different.

I’m just writing this because the last thing I want is for you to take one look at a recipe and say “I don’t have that herb, I can’t make it.” No, no, no, my friends! One thing I want to get across with my recipes/cooking is that they’re quite flexible, and can be varied according to your tastes and what you’ve got on hand. Who knows? You may just make a variation that is even better than the original. Use my recipe as your guide, and let it be your jumping-off point to whatever you create! Your kitchen is your studio, let the recipe be your own unique work of art (okay, I’m done with the chees-y clichés now Winking smile).

Do you have any summer versions/variations of favourite dishes?

Rhubarb Love and a Challenge

31 May

IMG_1585I’m not sure which part of the title to start with, so we’ll go with the rhubarb first. I love rhubarb – always have, probably always will. It is a sign that spring is well underway, and this time of year, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I used to have my own patch, but it had to be moved, and is now QUITE small. But after some blog-envy at Katie’s strawberry rhubarb muffins last week, I knew I had to get some – stat!

Thankfully, the farmers’ market that I stopped at last Friday had some, so I proceeded to buy $9.87 worth (6 HUGE stalks), and that night I got to work on one of my favourite ways to use it: stewed rhubarb.

Stewed rhubarb is SUPER-easy to make, and it is delicious and versatile – can be IMG_1586used in breakfast, lunch, snacks or dessert. To make it, all you need is rhubarb, water, and your choice of sweetener. For mine, I chopped 6 cups of rhubarb (this yield 4 cups of stewed rhubarb), added water and Splenda, and heated on high until boiling. I reduced heat to medium, then simmered until all the rhubarb had broken down and it was nice and mushy (in the best way). Next time, I ‘d add a bit less water, since it was a bit more liquidy than I wanted.

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Let cool, then store covered in the fridge (add more sweetener of your choice if necessary. I had to. Rhubarb is delicious, but it’s pretty sour on its own). The above picture is a close-up of what the rhubarb looks like when it’s done, so you can see the texture.

So far, I’ve used my stewed rhubarb in breakfast:

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mixed with pineapple and yogurt

 

 

 

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mixed with thawed, frozen strawberries and yogurt

 

 

IMG_1604And as a dessert/snack:

– a sort of rhubarb "cheesecake" concoction: 3 tbsp each of light ricotta and fat-free cream cheese, a splash of vanilla and Splenda mixed together, topped with some stewed rhubarb and a sprinkling of cacao nibs for crunch.

 

All have been delicious, and the best part is, I still have more left!

Now onto the challenge (don’t worry, it’s nothing TOO hard Winking smile ). I’m really excited to be hosting my first official blog challenge to my readers.

It’s no secret that I’ve been trying to take off a few inches since getting back from my indulgent Vegas vacation. I made it 4 and 1/2 days on my low carb-ish plan, have been eating loads of fresh fruits and veggies, and getting in a good amount of cardio and weight training. It’s amazing how good those things can make you feel in only a few short days.

Since tomorrow is the first day of June and summer is just around the corner, I’m proposing a challenge to you, my dear HHH readers: Shape up for Summer (I know, I know, you’re thinking, “where did you come up with such an original name?Winking smile). Maybe, like me, you’ve packed on a couple of extra pounds from winter or vacation, and bathing suit season doesn’t leave you much room to hide. Or maybe you absolutely love the shape you’re in now (lucky you)! It doesn’t matter – either way, you can join in the challenge.

What I’m asking you is to pick one (or more) healthy changes you can incorporate in the month of June that will help you meet your health goals, whether they are to drop a few pounds/inches by the end of the month, stay in fabulous shape, get more exercise or eat healthier. I have several steps I want to take, but one is just fine! I know the challenge seems a little open-ended/vague, but I designed it that way specifically because if I’ve learned one thing over the course of my weight-loss journey, it’s that weight loss/healthy living are very personal, and what works for one person may not work for the next. We’re all at different points in our journey, and the Shape up challenge can be done no matter where you are or what you want to achieve.

So, here are my goals for June:

– eat low-carb, mostly whole foods, one day a week (I felt so fabulous after doing it last week that I want to continue)

– use self-control and make smart choices at food functions in June (showers, graduations, birthdays, Father’s day) and bring a healthier option wherever possible

– push myself in my workouts, especially in strength training, to increase intensity and feel the burn

I could go on, but I’ll stop at 3…if I stick to these goals (or even sort-of do), I know I’ll like what I see. If you’re like me, you don’t need a scale to tell you if you’re at your happy weight, you know what it looks and feels like. Everyone has their own idea of “skinny” – for me, it’s not being a size 0, 2 or 4; it means reducing the size of my middle, being able to see the definition in my waistline (even just a tiny bit), and that my pants fit with no muffin top and blouses/sweaters fit without buttons or zippers pulling at the chest.

If you’d like to join me and share your own goal(s) (and I really hope you do), you can either leave them in a comment on this post, or email me at: hilarymawiebe@gmail.com and share with me. I hope to post weekly updates on my successes (and failures) and you can let me know how you’re doing too! I look forward to hearing from you!

Lean ‘n Green

26 May

Good morning! It is SO good to be home, in my own kitchen, cooking my own food, and eating LOTS of fruits and veggies! IMG_1548After running for an hour and 45 minutes (and it felt amazing…beautiful day, great run), I wanted a nice, healthy breakfast. But keep in mind I still hadn’t gotten groceries, so I had to throw something together that would satisfy my body’s healthy cravings with my limited resources. I managed to McGiver up something pretty tasty though!

IMG_1549Thankfully, my garden helped me out with the green part of this breakfast. I sautéed some fresh arugula and chives to make an egg substitute omelette (I had an unopened carton in the fridge so it was still good). I sautéed the veggies over medium high-heat just until wilted (see photo). Then, I reduced the heat until medium-low and poured in 1/2 cup of egg substitute, let set slightly, then flip and stir around, added salt and pepper, and repeat. I topped it with one wheel of light Babybel cheese (sliced), then put a lid on the pan to help it melt.

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On the side, I made a super smoothie with 1.5 cups frozen strawberries and rasperries, slightly thawed; 1 cup vanilla almond milk, a touch of Splenda and a handful of frozen, chopped spinach (you couldn’t even taste it, I promise!!! Just wanted to get in more greens). Altogether, it was a totally satisfying breakfast, and exactly what my body craved. Like the napkin? I got this cute set (and some new bowls) in Vegas…stay tuned for more!

If you look at the breakfast, you might be asking, “where are the carbs?” A couple of times before when I’ve overindulged/want to take off a few pounds, I’ve tried cutting back on the carbs for a few days and had success. I’m no hard-core Atkins-style girl, I just eliminate things like bread, pasta, and most importantly, the sweets. I won’t do it for any longer than a week (and I’m not sure if I’ll last that long), just for a little bit to help get myself back on track. I definitely don’t believe in low-carbing it for the long run, this will just be my kick-start to getting back to my healthy eating habits.IMG_1552IMG_1553

 

 

 

 

 

 

After work today (thankfully I just had a half day), I purchased more green to add to my life. I normally plant my vegetable and herb gardens over the May long weekend, but since I was away, I was itching to get started. I haven’t done any planting yet, but I bought all of my veggies and herbs. I can’t wait! I’ve got some of my old favourites, and am trying a few new things – I will share once I’ve got it all in the ground.

After a healthy lunch, then a grocery trip to re-stock the house with LOTS of produce, then a healthy supper with some local asparagus (yes, it’s still on, thank goodness), I am feeling much better about things! Thanks for sticking with me through all of my food issues. Winking smile

Have you planted/are you planting a vegetable and/or herb garden this year?

Bagel lovin’

23 May

I bought a lot of food when I went grocery shopping in Buffalo back in March. Thankfully, much of it was non-perishable or freeze-able. IMG_0996What this means is that some things did not get sampled for almost 2 months. One such product? Thomas’ Everything Bagel Thins. At the same time, I feel like I don’t know why I waited so long/think they’re totally worth the wait! Honestly, I thought these would just taste like thin buns and have a hole in the middle. But they are SO much more than that. They’ve got the poppy and sesame seed thing going on, and that hint of onion-y flavour that makes everything bagels so delicious! My only regret is that I bought just one package when I went Stateside…I will DEFINITELY get more next time (I’d get some on this trip, but they’d likely end up smushed in my suitcase).

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So far, the thins have made it into two breakfasts. The first time, I enjoyed the thin toasted with 2 wedges of laughing cow on top, with a pear on the side. I also made an iced coffee (1/2 cup skim milk, Splenda, vanilla extract, instant coffee, water (or just use cold, prepared coffee) and lots of ice. Yum! Guilt-free, lower calorie swaps for both the bagel and the cream cheese!

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The second bagelicious breakfast was a toasted thin with a couple tablespoons light shredded cheese, melted, topped with halved grape tomatoes, salt and pepper.IMG_1080

 

 

 

The sides were some chopped muskmelon and another iced coffee (expect to see this more often in place of the old cafe mocha as the weather heats up).

Thomas’ – my life will never be the same! I can’t wait until I next visit your homeland so I can take you home with me. Smile What is one food product you’ve recently discovered that you now can’t live without?

Moms are amazing

8 May

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…especially mine. The older I get, the more I am overcome and overwhelmed with how much my mom has done for me, sacrificed for me, and given me so many opportunities. She has never wanted me to be anything more or less than what I am, and has been an amazing support through good times and bad. Happy mother’s day Mom …. and to all the mothers who may be reading this.Red heart

I have a longstanding tradition of making my mom breakfast in bed. But this IMG_1039year, my mom was spending mother’s day with her mom, so I made breakfast and brought it to her and my grandma. I opted to go with a Weight Watchers recipe for cinnamon raisin biscuits, as we’ve been to lots of food-centred events lately (and are leaving for Vegas in 5 days…eek!). The biscuits were loved by both mothers (and one father/grandfather who snuck some too). It’s nice to have a recipe that feels special but is still healthy, so these biscuits fit the bill. On the side, I made some maple butter (mixed maple syrup with softened butter) and fruit and yogurt parfaits, topped with the rest of the mango curd and some granola I found in my grandparents’ cupboard. Smile

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Here’s the recipe for the biscuits if you want to try them…each one has only 153 calories and 3.3 g fat…a bargain if you ask me!

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits

from Weight Watchers: Simple Goodness

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup raisins

3/4 cup 1 % milk

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tbsp 1 % milk

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add raisins; toss well. Add 3/4 cup milk, stir just until dry ingredients are moist.

Turn dough onto a heavily floured surface; knead dough 4 or 5 times (note: in this recipe and most scone/biscuit recipes I make, I usually skip the kneading step, and just finish mixing it in the bowl using my hands and give a knead then, before turning it out on the counter). Roll dough to a 1/2 inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 11 minutes or until golden.

Combine powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk; stir well. Drizzle over the biscuits. Yield: 1 dozen.

So…wondering how all the catering craziness went? Update to come! Now, I leave you with some pictures of the spring beauty in our yard…just to prove I can take pictures of something other than food! I am blessed to be able to live in the house I grew up in, and always enjoy the beautiful flowering trees around Mother’s Day.

 

May 8 2011

Melty Mango

28 Apr

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Remember that case of mangoes I bought? They’re all gone, by the way. The last of the fresh ones was in the fruit salad I ate Easter morning. I used the last frozen chunks in some ban-ango soft serve Tuesday night. But, due to Easter and other food goings-on, I didn’t share with you all of my mango experiments.

Of course, I did the things you’d expect with mango – like making smoothies, or mixing it with yogurt for breakfast. I also made a few more unconventional combos. The picture above is one such creation. What you see is the mango and the light English muffin. What’s hiding is the melted light brie cheese in between the two. To make this breakfast, I just toasted the English muffin, then sliced an ounce of light brie over it, topped with mango slices, and microwaved for about 30 seconds. I served it with extra mango on the side. I love any brie and fruit combination (really, any fruit and cheese combo is good in my books), so it was no surprise that this was totally delicious! I think the combo would also be great for lunch, grilled in a panini.IMG_0815

The mangoes also found their way into supper – on a BBQ chicken and mango pizza. Crust – usual suspect. My sauce was mainly BBQ sauce, mixed with a little salsa. I topped it with chopped mango, onion, red and green peppers, one cooked PC Blue Menu Herb and Garlic Chicken Skewer (chopped up) and an ounce of the light brie again, sliced.

I loved the sweet and slightly spicy combo of this pizza. The brie wasn’t really the star (I would have had to used a lot more to get the flavour to come through). I think if I was making this again, I’d probably just use cheddar. Still, it IMG_0816was a really tasty (and colourful) pizza. My sides were kale chips and a spicy/sweet slaw, also with mango in it (going with the theme).

So mango (and any other fruit) is not just for breakfast any more. Think outside the box – you’d be surprised what flavours go together! Do you have any unusual flavour combos you love? What flavours do you like to pair with fruit?

Saturday Speed Post

24 Apr

Saturday was a busy day….and today is Easter (happy Easter!) filled with IMG_0864church, food and family. Long story short: I’m going to make this quick. More detailed posts about all of my Easter baking and eating adventures to come, I promise! After a delicious hot and cold breakfast (apple cinnamon oatmeal and a cold vanilla iced latte) and a quick round of baking, I headed to the gym for a good sweat session….just under half an hour on the stair master and then Military Tone class. Never underestimate the power of a good sweat! No matter what my problem, I almost always feel better after working out. It was the perfect chaser to all the food I ate on Friday.

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After a shower, it was off to Hamilton to help sister and brother-in-law with the move again. Saturday was mostly cleaning. We went out for both lunch and supper. Lunch was an heirloom beet salad (you can’t see them in this photo, but they’re in there, I promise) with arugula, feta and sunflower seeds. It was yummy! Lightly dressed and perfect for a warm spring day (and I think my body was craving veggies after the previous night’s meal)IMG_0866. I also enjoyed a piece of my sister’s cheese/greens/olive (minus the olives for my piece) pizza. More lunch than I would consume if I was at home, but all things considered, I’d say a pretty healthy meal.

After a day of cleaning and moving, we were all tuckered out. We chose another restaurant for supper, and were more than ready to sit down. IMG_0867

Of course,  after all that hard work, I couldn’t resist the bread basket. Winking smile For my entree, I had this whole wheat spaghetti with an olive oil and garlic sauce, grilled vegetables and goat cheese. It was good, but not really out-of-this world. I feel like I could re-create a more flavourful, and less calorie version at home. IMG_0868But it was still pretty good. I ate all the cheese and veggies and left some of the noodles behind. I also had a few bits of my sister’s Caesar salad.

After dinner, we headed home. I would like to say I went straight to bed….but I had two baking projects for today’s Easter to begin. I’ll leave the photos below to keep you guessing and then fill you in in a post to come. I snacked on an apple, as well as some tastes of my “projects,” and a few other things here and there when I got home.

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Food-wise, it wasn’t the best day ever, but it could have been a lot worse. I was thinking on the way home, that I need to get better at ordering what I really want at restaurants. I have it in my sub-conscious that I need to order the healthiest thing on the menu, so I’m always looking for that item, instead of going for what  I really crave. Then, as I eat my meal, I’m wishing I ordered something else. Does that ever happen to anyone else?

Anyways, that’s it for my quickie post. Once again, happy Easter! I hope you’re all enjoying lots of food and family, and if you’re celebrating, being grateful for what Easter’s all about!