Meal Replacements

So, I am wondering…..why would one do a meal replacement shake vs just eating healthy. Is it because of convenience? I have a friend spelling a specific brand of meal replacement shakes and I am curious. I have also read recipes for meal replacements that you can make out of regular protein shake powder.

I want to reset my hunger gauge. I am.always hungry even when I eat over 2000 calories in a day. A woman my size should be eating around 1500. What is the best way to do this. I don’t have the willpower to simply ignore my grumbling belly.

Gah!!!

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A New Recipe

So, I was browsing the book, and found another recipe, which I changed up a bit, and it is amazingly good, makes a ton, and can be frozen for those lazy days.

  • 1 Can Low Sodium Black Beans (Drained)
  • 1 Can Low Sodium Pinto Beans (Drained)
  • 1 Can Tomatoes and Bell Peppers
  • 1 Bag Frozen Corn
  • A Dash of Chili Powder
  • A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey Cooked
  • Onions

Cook the turkey with the onions, then combine all ingredients in the crock pot, cook on low for four hours.

The recipe in the book is a lot different, so I modified it quite a bit.  It called for a can of corn and a table-spoon of sugar vs my bag of corn which is a larger quantity of corn.  Instead of the black and pinto beans, it called for kidney beans.  So needless to say, I changed it up based on what I have in the pantry.  🙂  My husband loves the meal, and it was good for three nights worth of dinner, plus a lunch for me.  Now I am making it again to freeze for the lazy days.  We made burritos’ one night, nachos another night, and tacos.  A friend even suggested putting corn bread mix on it while cooking, which I don’t have any of that, so needless to say, it isn’t getting done.

On the diet update, I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t been trying as much as I have promised myself.  We ate at home a lot this week, but work has been slow so my daily walking around the big box store isn’t happening as much as usual.  It has also been storming here so I haven’t had the ability to walk around the neighborhood.  At the same time, I haven’t gained any, so it’s somewhat of a wash.  The eating healthier and the lack of physical activities has evened out.  I have lost a few millimeters centimeters off the hips, which did get me into my skinny self/pre-pregnancy jeans, which I am excited about.

I tend to eat the same way over and over and over again, and no matter how much I exercise, I still manage to gain weight.  I have actually lost a fraction of a pound over the last week, so it is truly a move in the right direction. I took an hour out of my day today to prepare meals for the week to make eating healthy at home easier and more appealing, as well as cut up cucumbers, celery, and carrots as easy grab-n-go snacks, to avoid buying a snickers bar or a bag of chips.

Eating healthy isn’t just a way of eating, it is a whole lifestyle change that takes time, effort, and commitment to do the things you need to do to continue eating healthy   You can’t eat healthy and be lazy, because if you are lazy, you will want to go through the drive through instead of make a leaner burger at home.  I know I keep talking about all of this, mostly trying to embed it into my own head, because I am not showing much of a change.  Maybe I will start posting pictures for all of my readers to see.  I have been shrinking, and I have a flatter tummy today than I have in years, just the scale doesn’t show the same thing.

Note to self: More Water!!!  I think I am retaining water thus causing the scale to reflect a heavier weight.

Chicken Soft What?

So today’s experiment in the slow cooker is chicken soft something.  The recipe is for chicken soft taco’s, but I am almost certain my husband will want chicken soft nacho’s.  The recipe is essentially the chicken itself, now what ever you decide to do with the chicken is up to you.  The recipe is simple, and great in a bind.  You don’t even have to defrost the chicken, and there are three easy ingredients.  Throw them all in the slow cooker, and cook on low for six to eight hours.

  • Four FROZEN Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or approx 1 lb.)
  • 1 14.5 oz Can of Tomato’s (or tomato’s with peppers)
  • 1 Packet of Low Sodium taco seasoning.

Note: I put the can of tomato’s in and a little bit of salsa.  Also, instead of the seasoning packet, I put in some of my own seasonings that I know we like, therefore removing some of the seasonings that I don’t like.  I used paprika, chili powder, and dried onion flakes.

I have made this recipe previously, and it was amazing.  Now I am changing up the seasonings.  I am doing this because ever since I got pregnant, my heart burn doesn’t like too many crazy seasonings and spices.

The thing I like most about this recipe, is it is great in a bind.  I don’t know how many of you have a ton of chicken in the freezer to take out when you want it.  Well, this is the recipe for when you don’t want to risk the chicken de-frosting on time (like today when I remembered to take something out at noon!).  You can toss the frozen chicken in the slow cooker with a can of tomato’s some salsa and seasonings, turn it on, and you have a great meal that looks like it took all day to make.  This chicken can be used, like I said before, in so many different meals, like burritos, enchiladas, nachos, tacos, and change-up the seasonings for even more feasts.

Feel free to suggest seasoning alternative idea’s, and meal ideas for this simple easy main ingredient.  (And low sodium and diet friendly!)

Slow Cooker Parmesan Chicken

This recipe is from the Fix It and Forget It Lightly cook book, and is what I am making tonight for dinner.  The recipe says it makes 8 servings, however while shopping around today, I wasn’t able to find a package of chicken with four or eight chicken breasts, so I got a package with five monster breasts, chopped three in half, froze two, and so essentially I have six pieces of chicken in the slow cooker.  The prep time took about ten minutes, including cleaning up the chicken and chopping off the fat.   The recipe takes about four or four and a half hours to cook, and you should use a larger 4-5 quart slow cooker.

What you will need:

  • 8 Boneless Skinless Chicken breast (Like I said, I couldn’t find this, so I have three really really big chicken breasts cut in half)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated fat-free parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

First, of course, clean up the chicken, cut off the fat, remove any blood vessels if they are in there (cos that’s just nasty).  Then cover and cook on high for two hours.  (This is where I am now!) Then mix the remaining ingredients and spread over the chicken, then cover and cook on high for two to two and a half more hours.

I like my crock pot because it will cook for the specified time, then keep the product warm.  So I can prepare this meal and have it done and then just keep it warm for a few hours while I am at work.  My theory is, make it on days I am off and my husband works, so that I can still get my errands done, play with the baby, etc and have an amazing meal waiting for him when he get’s home.  alternately, when he is working, I can get the first two hours done, and add the additional ingredients just before I leave for work on a closing day, have the crock pot cook and keep warm after the second two hours, so he can eat when he gets home, and I can eat when I get home.  Since when I close I often don’t get home until after 9pm!  I can make my husband dinner and don’t even have to be home.

Edit: Ok, so it is now 7:45pm, and dinner and dishes are done.  I didn’t take any pictures because, well, it didn’t look too pretty.  It did, however, taste amazing, and I am already looking forward to lunch tomorrow!  I was a little concerned because there is a lot of mayonnaise, but the majority of the ingredients added toward the end, stayed in the slow cooker, and went in the trash.  Someone else may choose to eat the sauce, but we are not big fans of mayo or miracle whip.  Enjoy!!!

Gourmet meals with time to spare.

So many evenings, so little time.  So many mom’s and dad’s work full-time and have to come home to spend another hour on a decent meal.  I have been trying to figure out ways to eat healthier, but not spend half my evening at home cooking.  After all, I hate cooking, and I hate cleaning up after it even more.

My solution, the Crock Pot!  I purchased a crock pot recipe book that was a combination of multiple books brought together.  It has everything from beverages to desserts, healthy eating to game day favorites. I am excited because there are several healthy eating recipes that are easy to make.

I was looking at just getting the healthy version of the book, but then I decided, sometimes a girl needs a good comfort food of chili, lasagna  or whatever comfort foods the bigger book had, for not much more money, so I got the full book. We are talking about 1400 slow cooker recipes, anything you can think of, it’s in this book.  I really like how the index is organized, and the Light recipes are clearly labeled and easy to distinguish.  

I will try out the recipes and share them here as I try them, and let you know what I think, any modifications I’ve made, and any tips and tricks I think you might want to know.  After all, recipes are not a law of cooking for the most part, we will all change it up to our own tastes.  Like for one, I am not too big on artificial seasonings, so I will probably exclude them, and try my own flavorings.

Note: I have decided to do this because hey, my most popular posts are all about food and recipes. And since I am not a big cooker, great meals that take minimal prep and baby sitting are just the right recipe for me and my lifestyle. 

Slow Cooker Brownies

Now, to me, the slow cooker has always been for stews of sorts, as that is all my mom ever really cooked in there.  Sometimes chicken to be shredded for enchiladas, but always dinner.  Now that I have been thoroughly addicted to Pinterest, I am noticing a bunch of dessert recipes pop up, and they have one thing in common, the slow cooker.  Dessert?!?!?!?  From a Slow Cooker?!?!?!?!?!  Now who ever came up with this ingenious idea?

by Martha Stewart

The Ingredients:

  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • 1-1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour (Spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Coarse Salt
  • 1/2 Cup (or 1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 Oz Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs, Lightly beaten
  • 1 Cup Walnut Halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (6 oz)

The Directions: 

  1. Lightly coat a 5-quart slow cooker insert with cooking spray.  Line the bottom with parchment paper and lightly coat with spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Place butter and chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, in 30-second increments, stirring after each.
  4. Add sugar, stir to combine.
  5. Stir in eggs.
  6. Add flour mixture, walnuts, and chocolate chips, and stir just until moistened. (Do not over-mix).
  7. Transfer to slow cooker and smooth top.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 hours.  Uncover and cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove insert from slow cooker and run a knife around the edge to loosen the brownies.
  10. Let cool completely in insert on a wire rack (about two hours)
  11. Turn onto a work surface, cut and serve.

This recipe is pretty darn simple, and the best part is, you can have it cooking and run errands at the same time.  Perfect for a busy mom-on-the-go!

Enjoy!

Chocolate and Peanutbutter Cheesecake

Chocolate & Peanutbutter Cheesecake from Brown Eyed Baker

I am not a big fan of cheese cake, but I found this on Pinterest, and I must say, I know my husband would love it. If there is ever cheesecake in the area, he is drawn to it like a magnet.  I generally will steal a bit of his cheesecake when he isn’t looking, and then I am done.  This recipe, however, sounds good enough, I might have to have my own square.

The Crust: 

  • 2-1/2 Cups Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, Melted.

The Cheesecake

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

The Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 oz Milk Chocolate (Or Semi Sweet Chocolate) Finely Chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vegetable Shortening (or coconut oil)
  1. Making the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Add the butter and toss together with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch baking pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool.
  2. Making the Cheesecake: Beat together cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flower on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, while mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after adding each egg.  Slowly pour in the milk and the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  3. Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the cheesecake layer is set around the edges and still appears slightly soft when the pan is wiggled. Cool the cheesecake completely in the pan.
  4. The Glaze: Combine the chopped chocolate and vegetable shortening in a bowl and microwave on 50% power in a 30 second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted.  Spread the glaze evenly over the cheesecake layer.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then cut and serve.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Birthday Cake Shots

Birthday Cake Shots by Sweetapolita

Mmmmm. Birthday Cake in a shot glass. Now you have my attention.  With my moms birthday this weekend, along with my best friend {and obviously her twin sister} and my other friend, I couldn’t have found this recipe at a better time!  So, pull up a shot glass, and lets toast the fabulous birthdays for everyone!

What you will need: 

  • 1 ounce cake flavored vodka. (I like Pinnacle!)
  • 1 tsp dry white cake mix
  • 1/4 ounce whipped cream flavored vodka (I like Pinnacle for this one too!)
  • 1/4 ounce Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Half and Half (or 10.5-18% fat cream)
  • Whipped Cream (Topping)
  • Sprinkles (Topping)

Making the Shot:

Shake all the ingredients in a martini shaker with ice and strain into a shooter or shot glass.  Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.  You can also create a sprinkle rim around the shot glass if you choose.

Want more great tasting recipes?  Check out the Pinnacle Vodka recipe page.  (Note: You must be 21 or over to check it out!)

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

I saw this on Pinterest and I just had to share it.  I mean, it just sounds so tastey and looks so easy to make.  The ingredients are even found in most kitchens, so no special trips to the store will be needed.  I am excited to try it for the first time.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 Pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 35o degrees, then grease the bottom of an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes, until light.  Meanwhile put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup but do not combine.  With the mixer on medium – low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time.  Scraping down the bowl and allowing each to become incorporated before adding the next egg.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined.  Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top.
  4. Bake for 50-60minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes, turn onto a baking rack and cool completely.

Healthy Dessert Recipes

I was looking on Food Network again, and found quite possibly, my favorite section.  We all know I love my chocolate and sweets.  In fact, right now I could kill for some chocolate!  This is what I found:

Healthy Dessert Recipes

Like the “Healthy Meals in 40 Minutes” recipes, I will try some of these out and post reviews and photographs later on, once I try them out.  This grouping of recipes, I am excited to get to cooking and enjoying.