Friday, February 22, 2013

Breakfast A-Go-Go
A-go-go (adjective) 2. Being in a whirl of motion; as stated in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. That is typically how I would describe my mornings; getting three kids up, ready, fed and out the door with both shoes on, backpack and lunch box in hand. I timed us once and from the first 'get your shoes' to us rolling down the driveway was 7 minutes! I have since made it a little easier on myself and have started to put the backpack and lunch box in the car the night before and put the shoes next to the door. I am hoping these pins will also help me in the morning's mad dash: Freezer Breakfast Burritos and Yogurt in a Mason Jars. For the Breakfast Burritos I used the Romero's Casera Style tortillas, half a package of Trader Joe's Frozen Hash Browns, 10 cage free eggs, sauteed bell peppers and a sprinkle of  mexican blend shredded cheese. The total cost for one burrito is .65 cents and each one is about 225 calories. Just wrap it in a paper towel and heat, I flipped them at 30 second intervals and it took about 2 minutes. The yogurt jars I made yesterday but of course I had to try one even though it wasn't breakfast so these could also double as a mid afternoon snack. I made two variations one with honey flavored Greek yogurt and the other with vanilla Greek yogurt. I have to admit I am not a huge honey Greek yogurt fan but when I was at Trader Joe's the other day they were sampling it with their granola, it was amazing! I bought two of the 5.3oz container of the honey and the vanilla and couldn't wait to get home and mix these up in 4oz mason jars. I use apricot preserve with the honey and sprinkled a tablespoon of granola on top. For the vanilla I heated blueberries and a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of Stevia (you can also use Splenda or even sugar, in sugars defense it does only have 17 calories per teaspoon) and let it cook for about 5 minutes on high till it made a nice chunky syrup. I poured that on the bottom of the 4oz mason jar and topped it with 3oz of yogurt and of course the granola. They are both approximately 120 calories but have 9g of protein and cost about .75 cents each to make.  I hope these help make your morning a-go-go's a little less hectic!
Till next blog,

P.S. The granola was a little mushy the next morning but still really good, if you like yours with crunch add the granola right before serving.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Shock Me, Shock Me, Shock Me!

Do you ever wish your pancakes had more double P(protein & potassium)? Do you ever debate  "I really love pancakes but they just aren't very nutritious"? Well your prayers have been answered! I was extremely sceptical of this pin, Egg & Banana Pancakes. I mean really only two ingredients both super healthy and it tastes good, Mama always told me 'If it sounds too good to be true it probably is too good to be true.' This recipe is definitely the exception to that rule. I told the boys last night if they behaved and took a bath and got ready for bed without any fuss I would make pancakes in the morning. They were great; brushing their teeth with (almost) no fighting and got their PJs on with out running around like naked little hooligans, I must commend them on their good behavior. So this morning I got our skillet and thought of this pin, after the Greek FroYo I thought they might riot if I fool them again. Then I thought I'll make one batch and if it doesn't work out I'll make regular pancakes, no harm no foul, right. So I got the ingredient and made a batch which was about six, 3 inch pancakes. The boys ate them at lightning speed, I didn't even have a chance to sneak a bite off their plates or even add syrup to them! So I quickly whipped up a second batch and then a third batch. They were so delicious! They were like really moist sweet pancakes, the only difference is they weren't fluffy like regular pancakes. They are 44 calories per pancake or 264 for an entire batch and 14g of protein! I used one large banana and 2 cage free eggs, to me it is worth the extra money to get eggs from happy hens, I would love to have a coop in my backyard but I am pretty sure the HOA frowns on backyard barnyards.  The Winco's in our town has them for $1.89 only .20 cents more than the regular eggs. I highly recommend these, they are healthy and delicious; so are the pancakes;)
Till Next Blog,

1 ripe banana+2 eggs= super yum healthy breakfast!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bring Me to My Knees Grilled Cheese
I have two recipes for grilled cheese on my "Don't mind if I do" board, yesterday I made one and today I made the other. The first is the Caprese Grilled Cheese. This grilled cheese is mouth watering, ring the dinner bell, smack your donkey good! I really love Caprese, the mix of tomato, basil and mozzarella is so perfect I thank my Italian ancestors every time I enjoy this trifecta of goodness. I have made Caprese appetizers by sticking all three on a tooth pick, I love Margherita pizza, in or as a salad and of course the old Italian way with just a drizzle of olive oil as an antipasto. I am kicking myself for not having tried this before! I used 2Tsp of pesto, spread on each slice of sourdough bread, then layered thick slices of tomato and one and a half ounces of mozzarella; grand total of 300 calories. I have a grilling pan but I don't have a panini press. I believe why buy when you can improvise, I just cover it with a plate to compress it, that really gives the nice grill marks on the bread.  Why buy... unless someone is looking for a gift idea for me and happens to see a nice panini maker on sale. The second is the "Grilled Cheese...Adult-Style." I often thank Baby Jesus for the small things in life, for example: nap time, the Walking Dead, kid free Target trips, pumpkin spiced lattes...etc. ( I save the big stuff like my husband, the health of my kids and a roof over my head for the Big Guy.) I definitely thanked Baby Jesus today for this recipe! My record for following directions is pretty bad, sometimes it serves me well and sometimes not. Well this time my gut told me to stick with the recipe and I listened and boy am I glad I did! One of the things I love about grilled cheese is the meatlessness, like an independent woman it doesn't need a piece of meat to complete it. However this recipe suggested using pepperoni and I just so happened to have a package of turkey pepperoni in the fridge so I threw a couple slices in between the mozzarella and the tomatoes, it was cross your eyes fantastic! This recipe calls for 1/4 of an avocado (I mash mine so it won't slide around), tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni and I added a tiny sprinkle of sea salt for a grand total of 366 calories. These are simple and delicious and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Till Next Blog!

Fun Fact: In 1889, Raffaele Esposito, baked a pizza for the royal visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The Queen's favorite pizza was the pizza evoking the colors of the Italian flag-green (basil), red (tomato) and white (mozzarella), this pizza was named in her honor!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tomato Basil Bisque of Awesomeness
There is nothing more comforting on a rainy day than a hot bowl of tomato soup. Over the years I have become a tomato soup connoisseur, and one of my favorites is the Mimi's Cafe Tomato Basil Bisque, we rarely leave Mimi's without a pint or two. One day I stumbled across this pin for Tomato Basil Soup and couldn't wait for the next rainy day. A couple days after pinning I made this soup and it is amazing! I am not one for following direction (see my last blog about the Greek FroYo) and this recipe is no exception, this time it actually came out really well without following it word for word. The recipe calls for 3 cans of Italian diced tomatoes, I like my soup to be smooth with minimal chunks so I pureed two cans of the tomatoes and one cup of carrot juice instead of adding the diced carrots the recipe calls for. I did however finely dice the onions and celery and sauteed them in a small sauce pan before adding them to the crock pot. The last can of tomatoes I did not puree so the soup did have some chunks. I cooked all ingredients in the crock pot including the roux and the half and half (I used fat tree half and half.) Roux may sound intimidating but is actually pretty easy to make so don't let that discourage you from trying this recipe. I also omitted the parmesan cheese to save a few calories. The serving sizes were heaping cups (probably in between a cup and a cup and a half) and came out to 160 calories per serving and price wise about a $1 per serving for 12 serving (it makes a lot!). I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches made with sheepherder bread and cheddar cheese. This soup was a huge hit with the kids and was filling enough for the hubs. This recipe would be great for a meatless monday meal, a rainy day or just because!
Till next blog!

P.S. You don't have to wait for a rainy day or even a cold day, in the summer serve it chilled, gazpacho style!