Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Shot of Frosting....and Protein

First off, look what came!!!

Now I feel official!!

If you follow me on Facebook you know that I started with a prep coach.  As part of my competition prep I'm expected to eat 150 grams of protein.  I was finding this a tad bit difficult.  The first few days I came up so short!

I came up with this way of adding additional protein into my diet AND treating myself to dessert every nite.  Add a scoop of protein powder into my yogurt.  You can use either the flavored yogurt or plain.  I use the Danon Light n Fit 80 calorie yogurts.  Plain yogurt will work just as well and if you use the right protein powder it will flavor the yogurt for you.  But I have to warn you.  I've tried this with my other protein powder and it wouldn't thicken.  It still tastes good but, it's thin.  

I calculated the calories using Danon Light n Fit Greek yogurt and Spiru-tein Cookies and Cream protein powder.  

Fat Free Frosting Shots
Calories:  200
Fat: 1 gram
Carbs: 24 grams
Protein: 26 grams

1 5.3 oz container fat free Greek yogurt
1 serving protein powder

  1. Stir together until evenly combined
  2. Enjoy!

You could honestly use this to frost a cake.  It would probably be delicious.  And the flavor combinations are endless.  Tell me, what flavor combinations do you think would taste good together?

Monday, March 24, 2014

First Day of Spring, A Few Days Late

If I could change one thing about myself it would be the fact that I could stop giving the girls dessert.    5 years ago, before I started trying to lose weight and get healthy, my girls RARELY ate dessert.  It was a special treat.  They were fine with that.  Fast forward 5 years and they are really disturbed if they don't get dessert after dinner.

How could someone adapt a healthy lifestyle THEN start giving their kids dessert every night?  Easy.  My kids eat healthy nutritious food 99% of the day.  There are not many days that they eat crap food.  So, dessert is allowed.  {Please remember, these are my opinions on the subject.}  Plus, my new rule is that there's a calorie limit.  200 calories is the max for dessert.

I made a festive spring dessert that comes in at half of their dessert limit for a HUGE piece.  I originally planned on making these to celebrate the first day of spring but, our house was overrun with Girl Scout Cookies so, they had to wait a few days.  

I love cereal treats.  They are so versitile.  You can use the traditional Rice Krispies or, you can mix it up and use a different cereal.  My mom used to mix Rice Krispies and Fruity Pebbles.  They were almost as pretty as these and just as tasty.  You can also add stuff to them.  Chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit.  Cereal treats are a blank slate that you can totally go wild with.  Let the kids design their own treats!  

Super Spring Cereal Treats
12 squares/16 squares
Calories:  106/ 80
Fat:  .6 g / .4 g
Carbs:  25.4 g / 19.1 g
Sugar:  16.3g / 12.2 g

6 cups Froot Loops (You can use Fruity Cheerios, or Trix instead if you want)
4 cups mini marshmallows
.25 cup light corn syrup


  1. Line an 8x10 cake pan with plastic wrap and spray with pan spray.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and Karo.  Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, then microwave another minute and stir again.
  3. Put the cereal in a separate bowl.  When the marshmallows are done pour them into the bowl with the cereal and mix carefully until all the cereal is coated with marshmallow.
  4. Press into pan and leave until completely cool.
  5. Cut into squares.
What combinations do you think would taste good?  Do you allow your kids to have dessert?

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Shephard's Pie

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Did y'all wear green today?  I made sure to!  I've always hated the tradition of pinching people.  I take no risks.

Ken loves the fact that St. Patrick's Day means he'll get a shephard's pie.  He adores shephard's pie.  Up until today I've always felt that my shepherd's pie has been missing something.  It never looked as pretty as all the pictures I've seen online.  I have found the perfect recipe though.  I guess I should say, I altered the perfect recipe.

Alton Brown never ceases to amaze me.  It is his recipe that I started out with.  I made very few alterations.  

Vegetarian Shephard's Pie with Green Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from:  Alton Brown's Shephard Pie
For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
.25 cup skim milk

.25 cup fat free cream cheese 
2-3 cups chopped cooked broccoli (I used leftover.  You can either puree it in a food processor or chop it by hand)


2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 T minced garlic

1 bag of Boca Soy Crumbles
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
3 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
.5 cup corn kernels
.5 cup peas


  1. Peel and chop potatoes.
  2. Place in a pot and cover with cold water
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft.
  4. Drain, put back into pot, add milk and cream cheese, and mash until smooth 
  5. Mix in broccoli until combined evenly.  Set aside
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  7. Spray a large pan and heat over med-high.
  8. Add onions and carrots and cook until slightly soft, adding a bit of water to keep them from sticking
  9. Add Boca crumbles, tomato paste and flour. Evenly cover the crumbles and vegetables with flour
  10. Add in broth, wocestershire, rosemary, thyme and stir together.
  11. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer.  Let it go for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce is thick
  12. Add corn and peas and simmer for approximately 1-2 minutes
  13. Grease an 11x7 baking dish and pour filling in.
  14. Carefully top with mashed potatoes, spreading evenly.
  15. Bake for 20 minutes.  
  16. When you remove it from the oven make sure to let it sit and cool for a while.
What do you normally make for St. Patrick's Day?  Do you go with an Irish theme or a green theme?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Greek Yogurt FroYo

It was close to 80 today!  Spring is finally back!  I'm so excited.  The next week is supposed to be gorgeous and I plan on spending as much time enjoying it as possible.  

Monday was crazy.  So many exciting things happened.  My study materials came, I met with my trainer, my body fat measurer also arrived.  Tuesday was insane due to running errands and Mantha had her opening nite for the yearly musical that the school does.  Today my coach sent my first workout and meal plan.  My nutrition is super tight.  Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month, a month designated to focus on making healthier food choices for better overall health and wellness?  This year the theme for Nutrition Month is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” which is easy when you include California dairy products. 

The California Milk Advisory Board, which represents more than 1500 dairy families, is celebrating “dairy good” nutrition by asking Recipe ReDux members to “lighten up” some of their favorite recipes with California dairy.

In addition to calcium benefits, dairy in any form – whether it’s low-fat milk with cereal, a yogurt parfait, a smoothie, or egg and cheese sandwich – packs protein – which helps keep you full until your next meal. The California Milk Advisory Board and their nutrition partner, The Dairy Council of California, understand that dairy plays a vital role in contributing to an overall healthy diet and in support of National Nutrition Month wants to encourage everyone to adopt healthy food habits with dairy.

Recipe ReDux members are being challenged to lighten up their favorite recipes using at least one California dairy product as an ingredient in recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dish, snack, appetizer or dessert. 

Real California Milk and dairy products are sold nationwide and can be identified with the Real California Milk or Real California Cheese seals on packaging. California is the number one dairy state in the U.S., producing more butter, milk and ice cream than any other state. California is number two in cheese and yogurt production. 

I decided to lighten up one of my favorite desserts, frozen yogurt.  I love this recipe.  Sweet, creamy frozen yogurt that is actually healthy.  Yes, you heard right!  HEALTHY!
  The girls asked me to turn it into milkshakes for them.  

Fat Free Mixed Berry Frozen Yogurt
Makes approximately 2 quarts (8 - 1/2 cup servings) 
Calories:  99
Fat:  0.2
Carbs:  15.5
Sugar:  13.3
Protein:   8.5

.5 cup skim milk
.25 cup fat-free dry milk
2 T sugar
2 t plain gelatin
1.33 cup skim milk
2 cups mixed berries {I used a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries}
.66 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
2 cups California fat free plain Greek yogurt


  1. In mixing bowl combine .5 cup skim milk and dry milk
  2. Put bowl and beaters in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. While the bowl is in the freezer puree strawberries with the sugar. {you can leave some out and dice them if you'd like some chunks}  Set aside
  4. Bring the bowl out of the freezer and beat on high until it reaches soft peak.  Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Refrigerate until ready to use
  5. In a saucepan combine gelatin and 1.33 cups of milk.  Let it sit for 1 minute then cook over low heat until gelatin dissolves.  Set aside
  6. Combine strawberries, gelatin, vanilla and yogurt.  
  7. Fold in whipped dry milk.
  8. Freeze in an ice cream maker and place in freezer for at least 1 hour

What's your favorite warm weather dessert?  

I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Incredible Morphing Shrimp

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!

In French that means, "let the good times roll".  Today is Mardi Gras.  It honor of the day I wanted to give y'all a cajun recipe.  But there was a problem.  My shrimp morphed.  

You read right.  Morphing shrimp.

The don't acually change shape {even though that would be cool and creepy at the same time.}  My recipe morphed.  

Here's how a recipe morphs:

Original Recipe:  Cajun Shrimp
Morph #1:   Original recipe had too much sodium.  I decided to reduce it
Morph #2:   Without seasoning, it's just plain shrimp.  I needed to add flavor.
Morph #3:   I'm tired of plain dry shrimp.  It needs to be moist
Final Recipe:   Cajun inspired boiled shrimp 

Cajun Inspired Boiled Shrimp

1.5 lbs medium shrimp, peeled
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 T minced garlic
1 packet 
1 cup water (you could substitute seafood stock for the flavor boost and water)


  1. Saute onions and green peppers with the garlic until soft
  2. Mix together flavor boost and water in a separate bowl (or in the measuring cup) 
  3. Add shrimp and water mixture to pan
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until shrimp is pink and the water has reduced a bit
Serve over rice

This recipe takes about 30 minutes.  It's quick and simple and I love recipes like that. You could even turn this into a soup by increasing the liquid and adding more vegetables.  Look at me!  Morphing these poor shrimp again!

Do you ever morph recipes?  Does one recipe become something completely different?  What was the last recipe you morphed? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

5 Facts About Me

5 Things About Me 
{that alot of people don't know}

1)   I'm obsessed with everything health and fitness

I just got my personal trainer certification through AFAA and I ordered my course to become a Master Nutrition Consultant through AFPA.  I also have plans for a few other certifications in the future.

2)   I hate the cold

Seriously, if I can't wear shorts and a tank top, it's too cold.  Anything under 80 is unacceptable.  This past winter killed me (and it's actually still killing me.)  I have considered moving to Miami or Fort Myer about a dozen times this year to get away from the cold.  {It's been about 20 degrees warmer there all winter}

3)   My dream job is to be an architect

I used to sit and design floor plans just for fun when I was a kid.  I went to college initially to become one but, I found out I wouldn't be able to work for myself until I was *gasp* 27 so I switched degrees.  {27 seemed so old at the time.}

4)   I'm really shy and I have a hard time being around big groups of people

It's seriously difficult for me.  Over the years I've learned how to deal with it.  Christmas shopping is one of the hardest things for me.  So many people.  

5)   I'm a morning person

My alarm is set for before 5 AM every morning.  I'm looking at the clock as I'm typing this and it says 5:28.  I can't imagine sleeping in.  On the days I forget to set my alarm I still naturally wake up before 6:30.    

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Staring at a Blank Screen.....

I have had a major case of writer's block.  It probably doesn't help that a few super awesome recipes I wanted to share with you have failed miserably.  {Yes, even I have failures} The past few days I've been trying to work on a few different posts.  Every one is really difficult for me to write.  

I'm a lover of a few different things:

  1. Carbs
  2. Breakfast for Dinner
  3. Breakfast Sandwiches
I occasionally get cravings for McDonald's breakfast biscuits.  The sausage one was my favorite.  When I get that craving I make them for dinner.  Unfortunately I can't just crack open a can of biscuits like many people do.  I make my own biscuits.  I've shared the recipe with you before.  But it's a "stupid simple" recipe.  So simple you cacn't mess it up.  2 cups of flour, 8 ounces of sour cream or cottage cheese, .25 cup skim milk and 1 Tablespoon baking powder. 

For dinner the other nite I decided to add an extra healthy spin to it.  I added shredded vegetables.  I used squash and carrots but, I bet other vegetables would work well too.  Broccoli or cauliflower would probably be perfect in this.  I'm also betting that this could be done using Gluten Free flour.  Or Bisquick.  If youo  use Bisquick then omit the baking powder.  

Vegetable Biscuits
Makes 10
Calories:  117
Fat:  0.4
Carbs:  22.3
Protein:  5.6

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
8 oz fat free cottage cheese
.25 cup skim milk
1 medium yellow squash, grated
5 baby carrots, grated
1 T minced garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Whisk together flours, and baking powder
  3. In a separate bowl mix together cottage cheese, milk, squash, carrots and garlic
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry {I ended up using my hands to mix it}
  5. Dump dough onto a floured cutting board and knead a few times.  
  6. Roll out and use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out biscuits
  7. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes
Luckily my kids like vegetables.  But Kaylee said the oddest thing to me when we were eating these.  She said "I don't like to know what's in my food before I eat it."  She is so used to me using unusual ingredients that she doesn't want her opinion on them swayed by knowing what the ACTUAL ingredients are.