Gluten Free Veggie-full Quinoa Salad

I went to Whole Foods yesterday, which is always a special treat for me!

I don’t just go there to grocery shop, I go there to eat!

I know, I know, I’m breaking the golden rule of healthy eating: Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry!

But let me tell you my friend, those paninis are too difficult to refuse!

Ham, mango chutney and melted brie between two pieces of toasted ciabatta! Are you freakin’ kidding me??!!!

As I was slowly ascending to heaven with each bite, I couldn’t help but notice my gluten free husband eating his GF bread with cheese and quinoa salad.

Yes, he looked like he was enjoying it, but not nearly as much as I was enjoying mine. Not even close!

Don’t you worry, I was not bragging about how amazing my meal was during lunch. I was sitting there composed while my stomach was doing victory laps, and my taste buds were giving each other high fives.

Even though I felt like I was eating like a champion, I still felt the need to try a bite of my husband’s salad. After the mediocre bite, I thought to myself, “I can make this at home and probably could do a better job!”

And boy was I ever right! Below is my quinoa salad, which happens to be a scrumptious recipe! It ain’t no panini, but it’s better for you and will give the gluten free person in your life something to eat when they come over.

Veggie-full Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, juice of one lime, salt and pepper to taste
  • feta cheese to your hearts delight

Directions:

  1. Prepare quinoa with chicken broth or water as per package directions. Let cool
  2. Mix black beans with red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.
  3. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables on top of black bean mixture.
  4. Make dressing: combine olive oil, garlic, lime, salt & pepper
  5. Add dressing and cooled quinoa to vegetables and mix
  6. Keep in fridge for at least 1 hour
  7. When reading to serve, mix in some feta cheese!

I don’t always use all those veggies but if you want to make it extra veggie-tastic, make as above and maybe even add some edemame!!

Low Carb/Low Fat French Toast

We all come to a point in our lives where a bowl of cereal for breakfast is just not good enough anymore.

That’s why I often have 2 or 3 bowls of cereal…that’s a lot more satisfying!

Below are some of my favorites!!!

Since one of my bowls of cereal is equivalent to 2 servings…3 bowls of cereal adds up to too many unnecessary carbs.

If you’re a fibre lover like me, 6 servings of fibre-filled cereal will get you into some serious trouble at work! Trust me! Lucky for me our work bathroom holds “odor be gone” spray! Is this too much information?

So I’ve been trying out different fun and healthy breakfast recipes to spice up my mornings. The type of breakfasts that contain a healthy amount of fibre so you won’t feel like you’re being prepped for a colonoscopy the next day.

I’m a lover of french toast so I developed a delicious healthy french toast recipe.

It takes less than 10 minutes to prep so it is early morning breakfast appropriate!

Enjoy!

Low Carb & Low Fat French Toast

  • 1/2 cup egg beaters
  • 1 tbsp skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 2 pieces Weight Watchers bread
  • Toppings: Blueberries and Fat Free Cool Whip
  1. Mix first 5 ingredients together.
  2. Dip bread into egg mixture and throw onto hot pan
  3. Flip after a couple minutes and brown the other side as well
  4. Top with blueberries and cool whip.

Skinny Chocolate Dessert

Several years ago, half of America and I decided to do the South Beach diet.

To my surprise, I actually stuck to it and lost 25 pounds. Probably because I was on a pure carb diet before that and the South Beach diet completely eliminated my carb ingesting tendencies.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the diet, but if you are, I’m sure you are aware that ricotta cheese is a staple in almost every South Beach diet phase one dessert.

Since I love chocolate, I mixed cocoa and splenda with the ricotta cheese and ate that every day for 2 weeks.

Let me tell you one thing folks….after 2 weeks of ricotta cheese, I was disgusted by it and never wanted it in my home ever again!!

So now what was a girl to do! I needed a yummy chocolatey easy-to-make-South-Beach-friendly dessert.

I looked in the pantry and the refrigerator and saw the following:

The light went on in my head!

I mixed 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 2 tbsp cool whip, 1 tbsp cocoa and some splenda.

I then took a big spoonful and put it in my mouth.

My eyes were opened! I found happiness again!

Did you know that I eat this every single day?? Not a lie my friend!

I hope you enjoy these 110 calories as much as I do! I promise that it will satisfy your chocolate tooth!!!

 

 

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Dressing

I have a love/hate relationship with strawberries.

I love to eat them but I’m an absolute stress ball when trying to pick a perfect container of strawberries at the grocery store.

I often rummage through the pile of strawberries for at least 5-10 minutes, praying to find a container that doesn’t contain a single rotten strawberry.

I really don’t think it can be done. I’m sure the produce manager is in the back of the store, hiding all the rotten strawberries in the middle of the containers so they cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Just a word of warning, if strawberries are on major sale and the price seems too good to be true, well newsflash lady, IT’S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

Half those strawberries in that pristine container are good for nothin! And you’ve just been hosed by the conniving little produce manager who’s laughing and watching you through his security camera at the supermarket.

However, it is the strawberry season, so I’m planning on setting aside extra time tomorrow to purchase several pounds of fresh strawberries from a small family owned local farmer’s market. I’m hoping I’ll have better luck with fresh ripe strawberries from them rather than getting shady strawberries from Foods R ‘Us or whatever hot shot grocery store I usually shop at.

This weekend I’m planning on making this delightful strawberry salad with strawberry dressing. I made it last summer and it was absolute deliciousness!

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Dressing

Dressing:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp. champagne or white wine
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the salad:

  • Baby spinach leaves
  • sliced almonds
  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • feta or blue cheese
  1. In a blender, combine dressing ingredients until completely smooth.  Transfer to an airtight bottle or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Combine salad ingredients and top with dressing right before eating.

WARNING: This is a very healthy recipe!!!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

So you’re following this diet blog about a girl who lost 50 lbs and is now acting like a diet expert. She has created a meal plan which you decide to follow!

You make a grocery list and head to town to do some shopping. That night you lay in bed in excitement to try this amazing diet that will help you shed those last 10 pounds.

You can just picture yourself in that bikini bod now! Yowza!

Ok, so for breakfast you enjoy a bowl of fibre one cereal with blueberries and unsweetened almond milk.

Yum.

For lunch, it’s a turkey wrap and some carrot sticks.

Delicious and guilt free!

3pm you enjoy an apple with a piece of cheese!

Then, you look at the clock and it’s 4:58pm…you’re husband is about to come home and you need to get dinner started.

According to little miss skinny pants, tonight’s menu calls for steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup non fat cottage cheese and tofu burger minus the bun.

Well isn’t that just gonna go over well with husband.

What you could do is make that meal for yourself and then make spaghetti and meatballs for him.

I hope you’re rolling your eyes, because I too am fully aware that it is slightly short of complete ridiculousness.

To be completely honest, I would love to follow a diet meal plan to a T and watch the pounds melt off. But since I’m not cooking for just myself, that’s really not reasonable.

For now, I am just throwing away the suggested dinner menu and instead I’m just trying to be as healthy as possible for supper. That means protein and veggies!

I get quite excited when I find entree’s where I can make them healthy and then easily make them husband friendly.

I’m so thankful to have discovered P.F. Chang’s Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

It’s quite the healthy recipe. For myself, I follow the below recipe but instead of wrapping it in lettuce (which I have not yet mastered) I throw the goodness onto a bed of lettuce on my plate.

The not-as-healthy version is throwing the goodness on to some rice noodles.

Voila! That’s how you make the same healthy dinner for you and your husband without spending hours in the kitchen making two completely different meals!

Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

  • 3 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 8 mushrooms, diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 head iceberg or butter lettuce
  • rice noodles

sauce:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (I left this out)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
  1. bring chicken breasts to a boil for 10 min in water with a pinch of salt and a clove of garlic. Remove from water and chop finely
  2. meanwhile, chop and dice veggies to the size of a kernel of corn
  3. then mix together sauce ingredients
  4. heat 2 tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp sesame oil in a large pan and add onions, mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes to soften.
  5. add chicken, water chestnuts, and garlic and saute for 2 minutes
  6. add sauce to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until liquid is reduced and there is almost no liquid left in pan and then stir in grated carrot.
  7. serve on bed of rice noodles or lettuce!

Healthy Restaurant Etiquette Part 1

Say you’ve been eating healthy for the past few days and you’re feeling on top of the world!

You’re starting to feel good about yourself and you believe everyone else in the world should eat just like you because that would solve all the world’s problems.

You’ve followed your pre-planned healthy meal plan to a T and you’re currently checking the computer for tomorrow’s delicious veggie and protein filled menu.

Then you get a text message from your darling friend inviting you for dinner at a restaurant the next day.

Although happy to see your friend, a part of you dies inside and you may let out an audible “NOOOOOO!!”  because you had worked soooo hard to eat healthy that week.

No fret my friend, there are a few things that you can do to make it a stress free and enjoyable meal.

Before I share what you do do (that’s right, I said do do), let me share what not to do.

1. DON’T order the smallest thing on the menu. A side salad does not constitute a meal. If you eat like a bird, you’re friend may give you the bird and never want to dine with you again.

2. DON’T eat a 1/4 of your meal and doggy bag the rest. You’re friend may feel bad that she finished her plate and almost licked it clean and she may never want to dine with you again.

3. DON’T make a zillion substitutions. It’s annoying, and your friend may wish she hired a substitute to dine with you that evening and forevermore because she will never want to dine with you again.

4. DON’T take 2 hours to figure out what you’re going to eat, trying to calculate how many carbs each meal may contain. You can pretty much count on your friend to never want to dine with you again.

5. DON’T comment on the fat content of the food or how many hours you will have to exercise to burn all those calories. This pretty much gives your friend the freedom to exercise the right to never dine with you again.

But on the bright side, if you happen to do the above 5, you will never have to stress about going out to a restaurant with a friend ever again. Catch my drift?

Ok, so next time I’ll share what to do when eating out! So, to be continued….

The Skinny Rules

To be honest, I’m a little frustrated with myself these days. I would like to loose some pounds (who wouldn’t, right?) and it just seems impossible!

Why does food taste sooooo good??!!

Why does exercise suck so harsh??!!

While on pinterest the other day, I found “The Skinny Rules” by Bob Harper (he’s the hottie from “The Biggest Loser”).

I’m a rule follower so I thought this whole rule approach would be better for me psychologically!

Well today I put one of the rules to the test.

I had an amazing meal at my in-laws tonight, which included a yummy dessert (I actually made the dessert which I will share tomorrow!!)

After coming home tonight, I walked into the kitchen and said to myself, “I already ruined my diet today by having dessert…might as well have a little more.”

Then, all of a sudden, Bob Harper flew into my home wearing a cape and zapped that pint of ice cream in my hand into a glass of water! I drank the glass of water and immediately lost 2 pounds!

Ok, maybe that didn’t exactly happen. But Bob did swoosh into my mind, which reminded me of the skinny rules.

And then what did I do??

I drank a glass of water.

The result…

Well, I’m laying in bed right now, typing on my laptop, and having to urinate. Kinda annoying but I’m also proud that the glass of water kept me from having dessert #2.

Thanks Bobby!

Because his skinny rules are popping up all over the world wide web, thought I would post them here as well!

Image

Previous Older Entries