I love balls!

Turns out my new camera has a little flashy thing that tells me when my battery is REALLY low – so there is no picture of my breakfast – but it was 2 ounces of leftover pepper steak, peppers and cheese stuffed into a hallowed out 2 ounce baked potato – such a filling breakfast for only 6 points!

So guess who’s caught the running bug?  Yep, Helen and Shelley would be so proud of me (sorry Shelley – I know you can’t run at the moment – didn’t mean to throw salt on that wound!)  I ended up running two miles in 22:40, which is a 11:20 mph pace – woot!  I still plan on signing up for a 5k either in May or June – my goal is to beat my PR of 39:21.  I think I am doing pretty good with beating that pace!

I ended up with a total of 35 minutes on the treadmill, then I did 10 minutes of biceps and triceps (really need to up the strength training!) and then 5 minutes of abs on the ball. 😀

For lunch I decided to make the spicy pork stew again, but this time using broccoli.   Pork stew meat was still on sale and when I went to the store, I didn’t see any so I asked.  The butcher went into the back, came out and asked me the price per pound (because I had the sale flyer) and then brought me my package.  But it didn’t look like last weeks – this one was like pork tenderloin, where last week it was a bit darker meat.

I shrugged my shoulders, said it would work just fine.  I did the recipe the same way I did last week, but the pork was like chewing a leather shoe.  I decided to heat it up yesterday morning before work to see if more cooking time would make it tender, but it only made it worse.  But since I bring lunch for two women in my office, I had to think of something.  What other protein . . . I had shrimp!

So I scooped out all the pork, and since the broth was still hot, just threw in frozen deveined shrimp, and it cooked perfectly once we reheated it at work – the shrimp was nice and tender.  So basically you could make the spicy sauce and then just add whatever protein and grain you wanted.  The spicy sauce is zero points – its just 2 chopped peppers (any color) 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons Mexican chile powder which is then pureed.

I added 2 ounces of cooked shrimp (only 1 point) 1/2 cup hominy (2) and 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice (3) and poured that over a bed of cooked broccoli – 6 points for this whole bowl!

Over the weekend my store’s $1 rack had two heads of cauliflower.  I remember seeing Renee’s Lightened Up Cauliflower Gratin and knew I had to make it.  I did make some corrections though – leaving out the onion and adding some corn starch to thicken the cheese sauce and added pepper jack cheese.  And then I wasn’t sure where she put the bacon in on her dish, so I just diced up the cooked bacon and added it to the bread crumb topping.  And I made my servings bigger: 4 servings for 6 points.

Lightened Up Cauliflower Gratin

  • adapted from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
  • 4 servings: 6 points each


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup fat free half and half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg (will add a bit more next time)
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 ounce pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Microwave the cauliflower on the fresh vegetable setting.  Set aside to cook, then chop.
  2. In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter and add the panko bread crumbs and cook until browned and crispy – about five minutes.
  3. Mix together the flour, milk, half and half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mix welll.
  4. Fry the bacon, cool and finely chop.  Add this to the bread crumb mixture and combine.
  5. In a pot, spray with Pam and add the garlic, cooking for a couple minutes.  Add the milk mixture and cook for 5 minutes, or until it starts to thicken.  This is where I added the combined 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water to thicken.
  6. Add chopped cauliflower and mix well.  Put in casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly – then sprinkle the bread crumb mixture of the top and I baked it an additional 5 minutes.

try to use shaved Parmesan when you can - you get way more for the points and its so much more flavorful than grated Parm

Isn't everything better with bacon?

done! Let it sit for about 10 minutes for the sauce to thicken up before serving 😀

So for dinner, since its still just me, I knew the cauliflower gratin was going to be my side dish, and I had green beans too.  Guess what I finally found!

I found the fish balls that Lori keeps talking about!   Luckily they were on sale for $5.99 (normally they are $8.49).  I baked them for 20 minutes, then put them under the broiler for a couple minutes a side – I like my balls crispy! 😀  Dinner comes in at 9 Points.

my zero point dipping sauces - the green one is a caribbean lime hot sauce and the orange one is a mango hot sauce that I got from Rachel - so good!

These were really good – not sure I could consider that eating fish for dinner, but these will be nice to have on hand.  Thanks Lori!

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 34 points (including wine and a serving of peanuts while watching Biggest Loser)
  • 35 minute treadmill
  • 10 minute biceps triceps
  • 5 minute abs

Come back tomorrow for Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup – get this – 2 1/4 cups is only 3 points!  Leaves room for the grilled cheese on the side!



26 thoughts on “I love balls!

  1. I love how recipes make their way around blog world! Your cauliflower gratin looks very yummy…gotta love the crunch of that topping! I don’t think I’ve ever had popcorn fish, but now I’m thinking I want to create an at home version!

  2. Mmm…the cauliflower gratin sounds amazing!

    I gotta get me some balls! 😉

  3. Glad you liked it! i just left the bacon and what little bit of bacon grease i got in the pan and sauteed the onion and garlic in it. But on top with the bread crumbs would work too! What I really liked about this recipe was not having to rely on the oven to brown the bread crumbs…in the pan was quick and easy and I could control how brown they got.

    Fish balls! haha Never had them and I have never seen them! Do they come from round fish? haha Well…now i will be on the lookout for them!

    Too bad about the pork stew meat. Odd that dark would be tough like that. A mystery for sure! haha

  4. The cauliflower looks good! Yes, bacon makes everything better! Love my balls crispy too!

  5. Hahahahahaha! I love that you had wine and peanuts while watching Biggest Loser. Why does that damn show make me want to eat? That’s why I try to watch it while running on the TM on Wednesday mornings.

    Speaking of running on the TM. Make sure while you’re doing these practice 5Ks that you are running at at least a 2% incline. I know where you live is pretty flat so chances are whatever 5K you do will be flat too BUT that little bit of incline also helps imitate wind conditions, etc.

  6. Wow what a fast speed to be running, you will blow that old 5k number out of the water. Loved the cauliflower recipe and I don’t even like cauliflower 🙂

  7. oooh, that shrimp bowl looks DELICIOUS

  8. I love that you turned pork stew into shrimp stew – that looks ABSOLUTELY amazing! So does the cauliflower grautin (minus the breadcrumbs – I hate breadcrumbs!) 😛

  9. Now I want fishy balls, LOL! E erything looks delish. Wish our store had a $1 rack! It has clearance produce but it’s still expensive and not worth it!!

  10. Oh my goodness – I seriously need to stop reading your blog so close to lunchtime – I have to wipe the drool off of my keyboard. You are doing awesome with the running! So, so proud of you!

  11. Fish balls made me giggle. Yes I am 12!

    And between you and my husband you new runners are killing me!!! OK, not really – I am proud of you for taking up the sport, and you are going to blow your old PR out of the water! Now…what are you going to wear for your 5K? 😉

  12. Hey, you forgot me as another running buddy! Way to go for that 5k! You should check out a little 5k training plan–it will help you reach that goal!

  13. I’ll have to try this cauliflower gratin – I still use your recipe all the time! We love cauliflower in our house!

  14. I’ve never had hominy before! Those popcorn fish are SO cute! And CONGRATS on the running – NICE!

  15. Weighting For 50

    Your title and the fact you like your balls crispy made me laugh out loud!!!! If I’m EVER in Chicago, I’m taking you and Jenn out for wine, because I think we’d have SOOOOO much fun. Our sense of humours seem pretty similar. Have a great day, hope you find some different balls today.

  16. Those fish balls are adorable. Makes me want to make some at home. I love the photos of the new camera as well.

  17. Crispy balls..lol! I saw fish sticks in the store last weekend and they sounded sooo good! Balls sound even better!

    And Biz, you are going to crush that 5k time!

  18. Can’t wait for the soup recipe! Love creamy “cream-less” soups! Way to improvise on the lunch situation! I wish someone brought me lunch everyday. Lucky ladies!

  19. love that you caught the running bug! good for you 🙂

  20. Looks like so much crunch action! I love that you lightened the gratin up a bit. I just got a cauliflower yesterday and didn’t really have a plan for it… but I’m thinking this dish!

  21. Forget SeaPak. The brand you want is Pete Schweddy.

  22. I know what you mean about the cooking! My dh just got back from a year in Afghanistan at the end of February, and the cnhgae in the amount of food I need to prepare, besides making *real* meals, has probably been the biggest adjustment since he’s been home! Chicken and dumplings was his first meal back, followed closely by roast, potatoes and carrots It’s GOOD to have them home where they belong, isn’t it?!?

  23. Oh this is fun inspiration – such pettry textures on your paper. We have not experimented with stamp, other than potatoes and not for some time. Agree with Michele’s note above, definitely buried treasure! wishing you a crafty weekend.

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