Tag Archives: pina colada

Tropical Treats

15 Mar

As I promised, here are all the recipes from our “Trop Swap” party on the weekend. If you’ve never had a clothing swap night, I encourage you to try it with your friends…it’s a great way to get rid of things you no longer use that someone else might love. And any leftovers go to charity! 🙂 The tropical theme was a perfect remedy to the winter blahs (like the centerpiece behind the cupcakes?). Add a few flowered leis and you’re good to go…the tropics come to the great white north!

Now onto the recipes….the cupcakes themselves only have 3 ingredients, it’s just the frosting that takes a few more. I don’t love cake mixes on their own, but I will use them in recipes like this that zazzle up the mix a little (and make it guilt-free 🙂 ). These cupcakes are super-moist, so be sure to keep any extras in the fridge.

Hungry Girl’s Pina Colada Cupcakes (each one only has 115 calories and less than 2 grams of fat!)

For Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups moist-style yellow cake mix (about ½ of an 18.25-ounce box)
  • 1½ eight-ounce cans crushed pineapple in juice (NOT drained)
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
For Frosting:
  • 4 ounces canned crushed pineapple in juice (drained)
  • 1 Jell-O Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding Snack
  • 1½ tablespoons fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 no-calorie sweetener packet – I used Splenda.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all frosting ingredients and mix until well blended. Refrigerate until cupcakes are ready to be frosted.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix with undrained pineapple. Add coconut extract and mix until thoroughly blended.
4. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute cake mixture among cups.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
6. Allow cupcakes to cool completely, then evenly distribute frosting over the tops. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Optional: garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple to make them look extra-pretty.
Now for the cookies. I wanted to make a tropical spin on chocolate chip cookies, but I wanted to start with a base that was not too high in fat/calories, since I was adding extras (like coconut and dried fruit).  I remembered a recipe I had made a few years back from Weight Watchers magazine that was really yummy. The original recipe makes 36 oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies with about 50 calories each. My recipe makes 24 good-size cookies – not sure on the calorie count because of the added ingredients, but would still be better for you than the average cookie. The girls went wild for these. I will definitely make them again.
Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Weight Watchers Magazine
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 large egg
3/4 cup rolled oats (I like old-fashioned, not instant)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut (I didn’t measure this or the fruit)
1 cup (approximate) tropical fruit mix (or any kind fo fruit mix/trail mix you like, I just got mine from the bulk section) – chop any large pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray (or do like I did, use stoneware so you don’t have to spray).
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed (or do with a spatula/spoon like I did), beat the brown sugar, butter and vanilla and coconut extracts in a large bowl until blended. Beat in the sour cream and egg. With the mixer on low speeds, add the flour mixture and beat until blended, about 1 minute. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, coconut and fruit.
3. Drop the dough by level spoonfuls onto the baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart, making 24 cookies. Slightly flatten cookies with fingers. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool.
The pina coladas were really popular at the party. I set up a station with all my ingredients and made the drinks to order. This is a simple, tasty, alcohol-free version of the favourite tropical drink – with less than 100 calories per serving – waaaay better than those creamy concoctions you can get at bars. Substitute one sugar free pudding cup for the frozen yogurt if you avoid dairy.
Hungry Girl’s Pina Colada Smoothie
From Hungry Girl: 200 under 200

1/4 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
1/4 cup pineapple juice, cold
3 tbsp water
3/4 tsp coconut extract
2 1/4 tsp Splenda
1 tbsp crushed pineapple in juice
1 cup crushed ice or 5 to 8 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds, until mixture is smooth and completely blended. Pour and enjoy! Optional: garnish with a paper umbrella and a slice of pineapple, for added tropical flair :).
Last but not least, my tropical fruit dip. I love making fruit dip by mixing about equal parts of fat free cool whip and fat free flavoured yogurt. The flavour possibilities are as limitless as the flavours of yogurt you can buy. Since I wanted a tropical flavour for the Trop Swap, I went with pineapple-banana-coconut yogurt. Served with bananas, oranges, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple, it was a tropical treat!
So there you have it….now you can bring the tropics to you! These are all simple recipes that deliver tasty tropical flavour – go make them now – summer’s still months away!

What 11 miles looks like

14 Mar

I have to things to share with you all. 1) – I look absolutely disgusting after I run/work-out. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, you’re being too hard on yourself, everyone does.” No really, I do. I’m not one of those people who “glows” and looks all cute and fresh. I get quite sweaty, red-faced and disgusting. 2) – I am absolutely terrible at taking self-portraits. Given those two facts, it is against my better judgment that I post the picture to the left (I was going for a more abstract/artistic look, not looking into the camera 🙂 ). See those beads of sweat? I earned them in 11 miles/over 2 hours!

I was SO THANKFUL that I could do my long run outside this weekend….wasn’t sure if I could take another long treadmill-fest. The weather was fairly mild…I opted for slightly less layering than my last outdoor long run (no headband and I switched to my lightweight lulu gloves over the heavy-duty fleece ones I wore previously). Not long into my run, it started to snow…now it wasn’t blizzard conditions or anything, but it was quite a wet, heavy snow, and it was blowing right into my face! I prayed for the strength and endurance to make it, and also that the snow would let up! Thankfully, it didn’t last too long and the weather was totally clear by the end of my run.

I had one moment of slight panic – when I came across a sign like the one in this picture with a warning underneath that there was water on the road! 😦 I wondered what I would do if I encountered a big puddle – would I be able to go around, would I be forced to go through, would I have to turn back? Thankfully, the water in question didn’t materialize – needless to say, I was quite relieved! 🙂 Although it was kind of a soggy run – my feet were a little more damp than I would have liked when I got home! 😦 On the audiobook front, I got to hear all about 9/11 and the goings-on surrounding it from President Bush, so that was interesting. I finished in about 2 hours 10 minutes, which is pretty much what I expected, given that I seem to average about 5 mph. As usual, I did the run 10/walk 1 method.

When I got back, I stretched, then had an Epsom salt bath and put Rub A5-35 on my hamstrings. I also iced them a couple of times. I tried this combo last week and it really seems to be doing the trick! 😀 No muscle soreness at all for the rest of the weekend…I don’t know why I never thought to try a muscle soreness cream during my marathon training….better late than never, I guess.

My post-run lunch may not look pretty, but it was yummy…it felt super-healthy and hit the spot after a long run. I roasted some chopped eggplant, broccoli, onion and red pepper with 1/2 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper and some random “pizza seasoning” in the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes (I would have gone about 10 minutes less though, they were a bit crispy…but I was soaking in the tub)! I made a quick tomato sauce by sauteing a clove of chopped garlic and some red pepper flakes in half a tsp of olive oil, then adding 5 or 6 frozen plum tomatoes (I had a bumper crop in my garden in the summer, and my mom suggested I freeze some and use them like stewed tomatoes…great idea, thanks mom! ;)) and a blob of frozen tomato paste (since you almost never need a whole can of tomato paste, I like to put it in blobs in a ziploc bag then stick in the freezer, then I can just plop one out and add it to recipes as needed), and seasoning with salt and pepper and letting it simmer together for a few minutes. To the tomato sauce, I added 1/2 cup partially thawed soy crumbles (I use Yves meatless ground round), the roasted veggies, some thawed frozen chopped spinach (squeezed dry) and half a cup of my leftover cooked quinoa. I let everything cook together for a couple of minutes. Then I topped it all off with an ounce crumbled goat cheese…mmmm….I heart chevre! Such a flavourful, creamy, delicious cheese, and actually fairly light! I made a HG raspberry mocha for dessert…no pic, but you’ve seen it before (note, I used skim milk though for mine). So glad I found more sugar free raspberry syrup at Winner’s last weekend! 🙂

You know what else I did after my run? Hosted a super fun tropical-themed clothing swap night! Here’s a photo of the food, which included:

tropical oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

pina colada cupcakes

fruit with tropical dip

tropical Real Fruit gummies

chips and salsa

HG pina coladas!

…recipes to come soon (I promised my guests)! But it was all delicious, and the night was super-fun!

After the horrific photo I opened this post with, I feel I need to put another one in just to prove that I can look normal (and maybe even nice) with a little work and when I haven’t just run 11 miles (Megan…hope you don’t mind being featured too)! Like my tropical shirt? Definitely went with the theme of the evening (thanks to Megan for the fancy lei and flower clip). I would love to be going someplace warm, but for now, this party is as close as I can get…and it was not bad at all!