Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sweet Teeth

I'm an ice cream person. Not really a candy bar, chocolate or cookie person; just ice cream. In reality I eat ice cream 5-7 days a week. Obsession? Maybe a little. My grandma says this is a good thing though, and I always listen to Grandma.

For Christmas, Mr. M bought me an ice cream maker. Making rich, creamy ice cream is simple and amazing. But trying to create healthy ice cream options at home is definitely not my strong suit. This is why the ice cream maker sits on our countertop.

I finally found a recipe that doesn't make me cringe: Orangesicle Ice Cream inspired by Alton Brown's Orange Sherbet recipe. (p.s. without the cool whip, it's dairy free)

1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
1/4 tea salt
2 cups orange juice (freshly squeezed is preferred)
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened Almond Breeze
4 tbsp Splenda
Fat Free Cool Whip

In a large bowl whisk all ingredients, except for almond milk, until splenda dissolves.
Add almond milk and continue mixing.
Process in your ice cream maker (takes about 25 minutes).
Top with 2 tbsp of cool whip
Serve immediately.
Transfer leftovers into lidded container into freezer. Let defrost until soft when serving again.

In picture: I topped this ice cream with a tablespoon of graham cracker crust for a little crunch.

Serving Size: 6
Approx: 62 calories without any toppings. 77 calories with cool whip. 100 calories with crust topping.

A Bowl of Burrito

Instead of eating the standard 80/20 (80% healthy, 20% unhealthy), I've been more of a 50/50. Even when I am in my "binging" state of mind, I still fit in some healthy meals. This burrito bowl is packed with fiber and protein and kept me full for hours. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to cook.

Side note: In the following recipe, I use the microwave. Now I know it's somewhat of a faux pas to use the microwave in the culinary world....but I live in the real world.

1/2 cup fat free refried beans
3oz lean steak sirloin
1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
5 olives
1 tbsp fat free sour cream
1 tbsp salsa
chili powder
garlic powder

Rub chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper into steak.
Cut steak into 1 inch cubes.
Cook steak in non-stick pan (med-high heat) until both sides get golden brown (approx 3-4 min per side).
Spread beans onto bottom of your serving bowl. Cook in microwave for 45 seconds. Add meat, cheese, olives.
Heat again in microwave for 30 seconds (until cheese melts).
Add sour cream, jalapenos, and salsa.

Serving Size: 1
Approx: 335 calories

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When Life Gets In The Way

My absence from blogging this last week had been due to lack of time, lack of motivation, and consumption of yummy-yet-definitely-not-figure-flattering foods. And realistically, I've been living this somewhat gluttonous lifestyle for weeks now. At first it's fun and exciting, and now it's just down right depressing.

Where did my drive go? If you find it, please let me know. I'm definitely getting lost without it.

After a handful of weeks of eating out, drinking like there's no tomorrow, and forgetting the gym even existed, I am back in this place where my clothes are a bit tighter and suddenly want to beat myself up for it. I can blame it on the summer parties, my job in which I contemplate quitting every week, or trying to spend time with Mr. M after months of barely seeing him. Maybe I can blame it on the other food/nutrition blogs that make it seem like keeping in shape is easy and fun, or I can blame it on all the cooking shows that make me want to make a chorizo and bacon stuffed cheeseburger.

In the end, I just got tired.

With most previously-fat-yet-still-not-skinny people, we may always be stuck in limbo. I should be happy that I have maintained most of my 60 pound weight loss, but I somehow focus on the fact that I still want to lose 15 (now 25!) pounds. After almost 25 years of knowing that I will never be that "damn, look at her body" girl, I still haven't stopped comparing myself to her. When will I look in the mirror and say "I am happy with being a size 10"?

Possibly never. But that's not going to stop me from trying.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Know You Hate Veggies, But..

Mr. M (the boyfriend) and I do not see eye to eye on a dear friend of mine. He seems to think the friendship is unnecessary and tasteless; while I think the friendship really adds richness to my life. Without having to sever the ties with a friend that I've adored years before Mr. M entered my life, I do my best to hide this friendship.

Vegetables: you will always be a best friend.

Here's a simple veggie side dish that every kid (and grown man) that hates veggies will enjoy.

1 cup canned pineapple chunks (no added sugar or sweetened juices)
1 cup canned cut green beans
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 -5 sprays of no calorie "Can't Believe It's Not Butter" Spray

Heat pineapple and green beans in pan.
Add soy sauce.
Cook for 3-5 minutes on med heat.
Add "butter" and pepper.

Yes. It's that simple.

Serving Size: 2
Approx 59 calories per serving

Friday, July 17, 2009


Yes. The economy sucks. I cannot afford giving my leftovers to my dogs. So, this is me making due:

Avocado Chicken Sandwich

1 100 cal sandwich bread (I used Orowheat 100 cal sandwich thins)
2 oz leftover orange glazed roasted chicken
1 oz fat free cheddar cheese
1 tbsp jalapeno
1/4 cup cubed avocado
2 tbsp salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mash avocado with salsa and jalapeno
Spread avocado mix into sandwhich bread
Top with chicken, then sliced cheddar, and final slice of bread
Put in oven for 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted

Serving size: 1
Approx 320 calories

Jalapeno and Orange Burrito?

The huge benefit of roasting your own chicken is all the amazing leftovers. The orange glaze chicken we made the other day really puts a little zest into any dish you recreate with it. In this quick and easy burrito, the orange roasted chicken definitely compliments the heat from the jalapenos. Be prepared to salivate.

1 low carb burrito size tortilla (around 100 calories)
3 oz leftover orange roasted chicken.
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup fat free mozzarella
2-3 tbsp sliced jalapenos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In small bowl mix sour cream, mozzarella and jalapenos
Spead cheese mixture onto tortilla
Top with chicken (after being shredded or cut into smaller pieces)
Roll into burrito (tuck sides in first, then roll)
Put into oven for 10 minutes to allow cheese to melt and tortilla to crisp.

Serving Size: 1
Approx 350 calories

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Roasted Chicken with Orange Glaze

I do not have much to say today. Grumpy? Yes. Tired? Probably. Stressed? Always. So instead of faking my way through a cutesy little story about chickens, here's a recipe. It good, cheap, healthy, and is destined for leftovers. Enjoy.

4-5 lbs Chicken
1/2 cup low sugar orange marmalade (try Smuckers)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 orange
red pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Remove giblets from chicken. Wash throughly in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
Mix marmalade, orange juice, salt, and red pepper and sriracha (to taste). Grate your orange to add orange zest to your glaze.
Loosen the chicken skin.
Rub your orange glaze mixture under loosen skin and onto outside of skin
Puncture at lease 20 holes in your orange with toothpick. Place orange in chicken cavity.
Close up chicken cavity with string or toothpicks. Make sure not to tighten it too much.
Put chicken into roasting pan, breasts facing down. Cook for 30 minutes.
Flip chicken over with breasts facing up. Cook for another 30 minutes.
Then turn thermostat up to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Serving size: approx 8
Calories: 170 - 200 calories for each 3oz portion without skin (depending on the part of the chicken)

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Little Armenia

I live in city in which I am the minority to Armenians. I love this. Every half block there is a another family owned Armenian restaurant with homemade lavash bread, rich hummus, and succulent beef kabobs.

This is my (sad?) attempt to recreate some of these foods.

Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup fat free plain yogurt
Freshly squeezed juice from 2 lemons
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
dill. dill. and more dill.

Makes 4 servings. Approx 42 calories each.

Cut. Squeeze. Mix. Eat.

Beef Kabobs with Yogurt Sauce:
1 lb lean sirloin steak (boneless)
1/2 cup o% Greek Yogurt
Freshly squeezed juice from 2 lemons
Curry Powder
Garlic Powder
(How much of each spice you ask? Well, I do equal parts of all. Then add to your own taste. Sorry, my laziness does not allow me to measure my spices.)

Note - I do not have a BBQ or grill (apartments in LA are not very conducive to them). Therefore, instead of grilling these kabobs, I am forced to cook them in a frying pan. If you can avoid this, please do. And if you have a BBQ in your backyard, I prefer you keep this information to yourself. I'd rather not cry today.

Cut steak into 1 inch cubes
In mixing bowl, mix yogurt, lemon juice, and all spices.
Combine all. Mix.
I let the meat sit in the sauce over night. But if in short of time, this probably isn't necessary.
In large frying pan (non-stick), cook meat over high temp until cooked to your "color" preference.

Serving size: 4. Approx 230 calories each.

Serve with warm lavash bread, your already made Tzatziki sauce, yellow or jasmin rice and hummus. Welcome to my home: Glendale.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beware: Amazing Food Found Below

I can't always cook all my meals. And I definitely can't always eat healthy. So, when I do get the chance to indulge on a meal, I make sure it is damn worth it.

Luckily, I have great friends that also enjoy amazing food. So, for a recent dinner rehearsal that I attended for our best friends, I was treated to the refreshingly great food of Cafe Firenze by Chef Fabio Viviani (Top Chef Season 6 anyone??)

I had to start with the most important thing of all: Dirty Martini. Perfection.

The trio of Bruschetta: Tomato & Basil, Artichoke & Cheese, Zucchini & Shrimp.

The Parmesan on the Artichoke Bruschetta definitely made this the best seller of the group.

Then I had this divine drink...Balsamic Martini? Yes that's a question mark...I can't clearly recall what it's called!

Next up was the Prosciutto, Melon & Mozzarella and Shrimp Pancetta. BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP?? The word Bacon honestly says enough.

Then instead of remembering to take a picture of the Pear Salad, I drank. Vodka, Sprite & Orange Juice.

And the the entree, I chose the Filet Mignon "in a peppercorn sauce served with mashed potatoes and garlic broccalli". I obviously enjoyed this. Juicey, buttery and amazing.

The lastely dessert. A Trio Cake sampler. Trio?? Yes. Three cakes. I know. I almost died. Chocalate cake, lemon cheesecake and bread pudding. Really couldn't have ended it any other way.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Not Your Mother's Grilled Cheese

After a few weeks of complete insanity in which I can't remember how and where life has taken me, quick and cheap comfort food always helps me get back into the routine of things again. But rather than indulging in comfort food that usually leaves me feeling guilty and ballon-esque, this twist on the classic grilled cheese is the perfect solution.

2 slices light whole wheat bread (80 cals per 2 slices was used)
1 oz pepperjack cheese (shredded)
5 slices light turkey lunch meat
1 tbsp green olive tapenade
1 tbsp fat free mayo
Can't Believe It's Not Butter 0 Cal Spray

Spray one side of both slices of bread with 0 cal butter spray
After placing one slice of bread in medium heat frying pan (butter side down), top with 1/2 oz of shredded cheese and all 5 slices of turkey meat
Top with remaining pepperjack cheese
Then place remaining slice of bead, which has been spread with both tapenade and mayo, on top
Leave on low-medium heat and cover for 3 minutes
Once on side is crispy and brown, flip and cover for another 3 minutes

Enjoy your meaty grilled cheese

Calories: approx 265