Sweet Potato Bisque and Filet Mignon with Texas Toast

Before I get to the delicious food, I want to wish my MIL a speedy recovery – she had knee replacement surgery today and while the surgery went very well, she’ll probably have a tough couple weeks ahead of her – send good thought her way! 😀 

Breakfast was a good ole bagel sammie – this version is a smaller Lender’s bagel with egg white, spinach and 1/2 an ounce of Volpi salami.  I had 5 ounces of cantelope on the side – I finally picked a ripe one!

P8250007

Breakfast comes in at 328 calories, 8 fat, 21 potein, 42 carbs and 2.2 fiber

Breakfast comes in at 328 calories, 8 fat, 21 potein, 42 carbs and 2.2 fiber

I hate sweet potatoes.  My Mom loves them baked with a simple pat of butter, and she makes a mean sweet potato pie.  I have never been a huge fan of them by themselves.  Until one day with the BSI was sweet potato, I had to put my thinking cap on.  How do you create a dish when you hate he main ingredient??!!

But that’s how I came up with Sweet Potato Ravioli with Red Pepper Sauce.  Holy yum!  (and a reminder that I need to make these again – soon!).

So in my Eating Well magazine this month there was a recipe for Sweet Potato-Peanut bisque and I was immediately drawn to it.  I am sure you could make this with canned yams (same thing?), but I used fresh – a total of 24 ounces.

Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque (adapted from EW – you’ll see the changes I made)

  • 24 ounces sweet potato (this was about 3 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (NOPE!)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable juice (I bought a generic brand)
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilis (I used two tablespoons of Giardiniera)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (left this out too, don’t like allspice!)
  • 1 15-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used TJ brand with flax seeds)

Bake the potatoes in the microwave for 8 minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Meanwhile heat oil in large pot, add garlic and onion if using, and cook for 5 minutes until they start to brown.

At this point I threw everything in the pot, the peeled sweet potato, juice, spices and let it cook for 15 minutes on a low simmer.  Then I use one of my favorite kitchen tools – the stick blender!  While the recipe said to only puree half the sweet potatoes so its a bit chunky, I like my bisques to be smooth – and you know what?  It tastes like there is cream its so rich!

I love the slightly sweet, kick of the giardiniera, the touch of ginger – this is definitely company worthy soup!

Each 1 1/2 cup serving comes in at: 291 calories, 16 fat, 30 carbs, 6 fiber and 10 protein.  And a whopping 300% of Vitamin A and 100% Vitamin C per serving!

no pantry is complete without giardiniera!

no pantry is complete without giardiniera!

I love this peanut butter!

I love this peanut butter!

Lunch comes in at 390 calories, 17 fat, 5.8 protein, 51 carbs and 6.6 fiber

Lunch comes in at 390 calories, 17 fat, 5.8 protein, 51 carbs and 6.6 fiber

Dinner is also from Eating Well, but its from my cookbook.  Here is the link with the recipe for the herbed butter, but since I have my scampi butter already prepared from the farmers market, I decided to skip that step and just use my butter.

is there anything more gorgeous than scampi butter?

is there anything more gorgeous than scampi butter?

I bought this at the farmers market, and sadly I only have one and a half sticks of butter left - the woman who makes it is having a baby and day now!

I bought this at the farmers market, and sadly I only have one and a half sticks of butter left - the woman who makes it is having a baby and day now!

I had three pieces of  corn I needed to cook, so they went on the grill first.

the multi-colored ones are from my CSA box, the bigger one was from my mom - and while a bit wrinkly, it was still good!

the multi-colored ones are from my CSA box, the bigger one was from my mom - and while a bit wrinkly, it was still good!

Okay, so I have seen grilled Caesar salad on other blogs, and thought it was interesting.  Um, can I just say that Tony and Hannah were a bit suspect?  My fire was a bit hot, so I may play around with this one on the gas grill.  I thought it would be “smokey” flavored, but not so much.  I just drizzled a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper on the romaine after I sliced it in half.

P8250015

We like our steak on the rare side, so these filets only took 5 minutes tops.  And these were on the small side – mine weighed in at 4 ounces and Tony’s weighed in at 6 ounces – both only cost $8!

after I moved the steaks to the cool side, I added 1 ounce of scampi butter to each steak

after I moved the steaks to the cool side, I added 1 ounce of scampi butter to each steak

I then put Healthy Life wheat bread on the grill to toast – only 35 calories a slice!  But the best part was resting the steak on the bread, because the juice of the steak soaked into the bread – it was DELICIOUS!

And I may have rolled my corn into some of the scampi butter! :D

And I may have rolled my corn into some of the scampi butter! 😀

I may need to figure out how to make my own scampi butter - Tony and I both thought this was more flavoriful than the shrimp scampi I made - maybe because the butter was still solid?

I may need to figure out how to make my own scampi butter - Tony and I both thought this was more flavoriful than the shrimp scampi I made - maybe because the butter was still solid?

Dinner with the salad comes in at 508 calories, 25 fat, 34 protein, 37 carb and 8.3 fiber.  This recipe is a keeper!

But what I enjoyed most was sitting outside for an hour after we ate, enjoying a glass of Pinot Grigio with Tony and just enjoying the weather – it was perfect outside tonight!

I love this time of year!

I love this time of year!

My friend had plans with her husband at lunch today, so I hit the elliptical.  I was only 35 minutes in and my blood sugar was taking a nose dive – it was 62 when I got back to my desk!  But at least I got some exercise in!

Stats for the Day

  • 1226 calories
  • 52 fat
  • 61 protein
  • 131 carbs
  • 17 fiber
  • 35 minutes elliptical

Thanks for everyone’s comments on Hannah’s senior year – she appreciated it!

Off to make chili for tomorrow nights dinner – its a new recipe (Tony and I are chili challenged) so I am keeping my expectations pretty low!  See you tomorrow!

    Where did the time go?

    Seems just like yesterday I was teaching her the wonderful world of Tabasco!

    P8240039

    And today she started her first day of Senior Year!

    P8240014

    She always has the same smile! 😀

    Hope you have a great senior year Hannah!  I am so proud of you!

    Breakfast:  Egg white scrambled eggs with chocolate zucchini muffin.

    • 351 calories, 12.5 fat, 28 protein, 23 carbs, 3.2 fiber

     

    Lunch:  Macaroni and Cheese with Carrot Puree and Spinach Salad

    • 377 calories, 9.8 fat, 1.3 protein, 59 carbs, 1.0 fiber.  Here’s how it looked right out of the oven.

    P8230014

    P8240026

    This was so simple and so good!

    • 9 ounces dry whole wheat elbow macaroni
    • 12 ounces carrots
    • 3 ounces cheese of choice
    • Italian seasoning to taste

    Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions.  Reserve 1 cup of the starchy water before draining.  Cook carrots until tender (about 20 minutes on my stovetop).  Add the 1 cup reserved pasta liquid and cooked carrots to blender and puree.  Mix with the cooked macaroni and 2 ounces of cheese and seasoning.  Put in casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until cheese browns.

    Makes Four Servings:  320 calories, 7.75 fat and 55 carbs

    Dinner:  Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole thanks to Eating Well Magazine!

    with my chips:  532 calories, 17 fat, 16 protein, 81 carbs 16 grams of fiber!! 😀

    I cheated though!  I didn’t cook my beans from scratch – I used a mixture of pinto beans and canelli beans to total the 2 1/2 cups beans.

    P8240035

    I made guacamole – I love avocado!

    P8240036

    If you leave the pit in the guacamole and put saran wrap to keep out the air, it will stay green!

    P8240038

    I pan fried the burgers in a touch of olive oil and Pam.

    P8240004

    My plate with a light whole wheat bun and 1/2 serving jalapeno chips.

    P8240005

    Truth be told, I liked these burgers, but they needed to be WAY SPICIER!  I added Tabasco to each bit which helped!  I think next time I might add chili powder.

    Stats for the Day:

    • 1260 calories
    • 39 fat
    • 46 protein
    • 164 carbs
    • 20 fiber (thanks to my fiber rich dinner!)
    • no exercise :( 

    Speaking of Eating Well, my friend Jen is giving away the Eating Well diet cook – chock full of tons of healthy recipes! 

    Tony is out with Joe seeing that Brad Pitt movie – I really had no interest in seeing it, so while Hannah does her homework, I am going to go through the DVR to see what I can watch!  Hope everyone had a great Monday – see you tomorrow! 😀

    A Gorgeous Summer Day!

    Today was simply perfect weather!  I love Sunday’s where we don’t have anything planned and the day just flows along!  Hannah had to work all day today – she’s tired and tomorrow is her first day of school!

    It is our tradition for me to take her picture on the first day of school – and tomorrow will be my last picture as she starts her senior year!  I really don’t know where the time went!

    Breakfast was ham and cheese omelets with black sesame bread and apples.  I did a deep clean of the fridge and freezer and found ham that is probably left over from Easter?  I thawed it in the fridge overnight.

    I used two eggs from my CSA – I get 1/2 dozen and 3 were tiny and 3 were big!

    P8230001

    So the tiny one has a much more yellow yolk – not sure what that means though?!

    P8230002

    My plate comes in at 411 calories, 21 fat and 24 carbs.  There may have been Tabasco added! 😀

    P8230007

    Then while Tony took care of the outside by mowing the lawn and edging the grass, I cleaned the inside: kitchen, bedroom, vacuum and dusted.  By the time we were both done it was almost 1:30!   We took grocery list in hand but hit up our local wings place for a quick bite to eat.  We enjoyed watching the White Sox (even though they lost) and the Little League World Series.  Um, I may have had a beer!

    P8230027

    I got the grilled chicken sandwich and Cajun curly fries – I only ate about 1/4 of the fries, but all of the sammie – I was hungry!  My guess is lunch was around 655 calories, 24 fat and 78 carbs.

    P8230028

    P8230030

    A couple good finds at the store!  OMG, these chips are amazing! Think Fritos with flaxseed!

    P8230033

    And lots of pickling cucumbers!   I got the whole package on the $1 rack!

    P8230032

    I still plan on making refrigerator pickles, but today was all about pickled jalapenos!  My store had jalapenos on sale for .49 cents a pound – I couldn’t help it!

    PICKLED JALAPENOS WITH CARROTS AND GARLIC

    • 1 pound of jalapenos, stems removed
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 3 medium carrots cut into thick slices
    • 15 cloves of garlic
    • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 4 generous sprigs of fresh dill
    • 1 tablespoon sugar

    Heat oil in large frying pan.  Add the jalapenos, carrots and garlic cloves and pan fry until everything is tender – about 20 minutes. 

    In a separate pan, add the vinegar, salt, herbs and sugar and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 

    Pack pint-sized sterilized jars with the jalapenos, carrots and garlic.  I pulled out the dill and evenly disbursed it among the jars, then poured the vinegar mixture just to the top of each can.  Boil in a water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove and let cool.  I usually let them sit on the counter overnight, and check to make sure they sealed the next day – you shouldn’t hear any popping when you press down on the lid.  When working with jalapenos, be sure to wear gloves or put your hands into plastic bags to protect your hands!  Sadly one time I decided to skip that step, and my hands burned so bad I had to sleep with bags of ice on my hands!

    P8230035

    P8230040

    P8230039

    Stuff the jars – I used tongs to transfer from skillet to the jars.

    P8230002-1

    Pour the vinegar just until it reaches the brim.  Cover with lids and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

    P8230006-1

    I have these rubber tongs to transfer to the hot water – I lucked out a few years ago and bought a woman’s TOTAL canning kit (including about 4 dozen jars) for $20 bucks!

    P8230007-1

    Make sure your water covers the jars by at least two inches. 

    P8230010-1

    Done!  This batch made 6 pints.

    P8230011-1

    We ate such a late lunch, I am not even hungry yet!  We planned on beer can chicken so we’ll see if that still happens!  Hope everyone had a great weekend – I’ve got some interesting recipes coming up this week!  Here are a few!

    • quinoa bean burgers with spicy avocado spread
    • sweet potato and peanut soup
    • macaroni and cheese with carrot puree
    • Filet Mignon on Texas Toast with Shrimp Scampi Butter
    • Chili roasted carrots
    • Chicken Divan
    • Ultimate Beef Chili Three Ways

    See you tomorrow night!

    Grilled Sirloin Roast with Wet Rub

    Usually I do a dry rub on our roasts, but I found a recipe that added olive oil to the dry rub – that way it stays on!

    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon  pepper
    • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil

    P8220008

    I brushed on the wet rub and put our roast on a rack over a cast iron skillet – this way any drippings are caught before hitting the hot coals, and it gets a nice crust all over.

    P8220010

    My Mom brought me corn when we met each other for the movie – its seriously so good!

    I like mine a bit charred!

    I like mine a bit charred!

    taking the roast off the grill when it hits 125 degrees ensures a perfect medium rare!

    taking the roast off the grill when it hits 125 degrees ensures a perfect medium rare!

    with cucumbers on the side with Annie's dressing - Tony loved it!

    with cucumbers on the side with Annie's dressing - Tony loved it!

    If I have any frequent readers, you know Hannah is not a huge fan of red meat.  I bought her the “skinny” chicken breasts and she made chicken tostadas – they looked really good!

    she has some serious chopping skills!

    she has some serious chopping skills!

    While grilling, I may have had a glass of chardonnay – it’s Yellow Tail – cheap, but good!

    I love summer!

    I love summer!

    While I was grilling I was reading my new Eating Well magazine – definitely going to make these quinoa bean burgers with spicy guacamole!

    Hannah and I are in . . . um, Tony, not so much!

    Hannah and I are in . . . um, Tony, not so much!

    Stats for the Day

    • 1381 calories
    • 76 fat
    • 87 protein
    • 88 carbs
    • 11 fiber
    • oops – 49% of my calories today were from fat!
    • no exercise

    I believe I’ll be looking for lower fat meals this week!  Hope everyone had a great Saturday, see you tomorrow!

    A baking day! – Death by Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and Low Fat Banana Bundt Cake

    I consider myself more of a cook than a baker.  But when you have bananas that are black and zucchinis the size of a baby, you have to do something!

    First thing we did was go to the farm for our CSA loot – here is a picture of one side of the “cold” room.

    lots of tomatoes!

    lots of tomatoes!

    Then Tony and I went out for breakfast.  I had a corned beef hash omelet with egg beaters – there was maybe 1/2 cup corned beef hash?

    I ate all the omelet, 1 piece of toast, 1/4 of the potatoes - my guess is around 475 calories, 23 fat and 36 carbs

    I ate all the omelet, 1 piece of toast, 1/4 of the potatoes - my guess is around 475 calories, 23 fat and 36 carbs

    some of my loot!  not sure why I picked up the grape tomatoes, we don't like them!

    some of my loot! not sure why I picked up the grape tomatoes, we don't like them!

    we also got 5 pears

    we also got 5 pears

    and a multitude of hot peppers!

    and a multitude of hot peppers!

    I had a combination of both yellow and red tomatoes, so I decided to use both in my pasta sauce – it is simmering as we speak.  Look at how pretty it looks though going in!

    can't wait to taste it - curious what the yellow tomatoes will taste like

    can't wait to taste it - curious what the yellow tomatoes will taste like

    First on the baking list was to make low fat banana muffins.  Until I went downstairs and saw my silicone bundt pan and quickly changed my mind!  I love it – nothing ever sticks to it.  I bought it at Bed, Bath & Beyond for around $20.

    cleans super easy too!

    cleans super easy too!

    Low-Fat Banana Bread (makes 12 servings if you decide to make muffins)

    • 3 very ripe bananas
    • 1. cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur)
    • 1/2 cups bread flour (I use King Arthur)
    • 1 cup Splenda (my brand is called Ideal – no calories!)
    • 1 teaspoon baking sode
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 egg
    • 2 heaping tablespoons of applesauce.

    Mash bananas in a bowl.  Add all the other ingredients and mix well.  Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes.  I sprinked mine with about 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar.

    Each Serving:  88 calories, .75 fat, 18 carbs,2.8 protein, 2 fiber!  LOVE THE STATS ON THIS ONE!

    this one is a keeper!
    this one is a keeper!

    Death by Chocolate Zucchini Muffins  (makes 12 muffins)

    • 3 cups grated zucchini
    • 2 tablespoons room temperature butter
    • 1 cup Splenda
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • pinch of salt
    • 1.25 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1.25 cups bread flour
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 8 ouncs firm tofu
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 1/4 cup applesauce
    • 1/4 cup cottage cheese

    In a food processor, blend eggs, butter, tofu, applesauce and cocoa.  Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour tofu mixture into flour mixture and mix well – it takes a while to incorporate this, it will be a pretty stiff dough.

    Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

    Each serving:  145 calories, 4.1 fat, 22 carbs, 6.3 protein and 2.8 fiber.

    I love how fast the shredding goes in my food processor!

    I love how fast the shredding goes in my food processor!

    here's how the tofu "paste" looks

    here's how the tofu "paste" looks

    a very generous muffin!

    a very generous muffin!

    I decided to add the cottage cheese at the last minute.  I made homemade smores last week that used a dark sea salt chocolate.  I thought I could get the saltiness in the cheese to meld with the chocolate – but it wasn’t as noticable as I thought it would have been, so you could easily leave it out.

    I still haven’t gone to the grocery store, I need to take stock of what’s in my fridge and freezer before I go.  So the only quick thing I had to make for lunch were brats.  I boiled them in a can of beer – so not good for you, but so damn good!

    turns out I like a little mustard!

    turns out I like a little mustard!

    I love these chips!  Lunch comes in at 475 calories, 31 fat and 37 carbs

    I love these chips! Lunch comes in at 475 calories, 31 fat and 37 carbs

    And then the mail came!

    can't wait to read it - they have tons of apple recipes and I need to use up my apples

    can't wait to read it - they have tons of apple recipes and I need to use up my apples

    Alright, back to my chores – see you for dinner tonight – not sure what it’s going to be yet though! 😀