Spaghetti Squash Pancakes

Thanks for all the wonderful comments yesterday on My Bizzy Kitchen’s 5th birthday!  Even though it was a super busy day at work, I kept looking down at my phone whenever another comment was left – I felt the love. Open-mouthed smile

So not having gone grocery shopping this week, it’s been . . . interesting.  I had half a spaghetti squash that was already cooked leftover in the fridge.  I usually just use it as the base for chili or pasta sauce, but I wanted to see what else was out there.

A quick Google search landed me at Half Baked Harvest.  I love it when I stumble upon a blog and instantly love it.  I am following her on Instagram too (halfbakedharvest).

So my idea for these spaghetti squash pancakes was to make them as a base for an open faced egg sammie.  I didn’t have very high hopes for this one, so I set the bar pretty low so I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Spaghetti Squash Pancakes

  • makes 6 large pancakes – each one:  110 calories, 5.5 fat, 10.5 carbs, .3 fiber and 5.0 protein

I ended up doubling the recipe since I had two cups of spaghetti squash.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (for frying)
  • salt and pepper
  • that’s it

Mix everything together.  Melt half the butter for the first three pancakes (I also used Pam) and then the second half of the butter to pan fry the second three.

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p.s.  I love using an ice cream scoop for pancake batter

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I scrambled 3/4 cup of egg whites with salt and pepper.  When I got to work I heated up the pancakes for 30 seconds in the microwave.  Then topped each one with two slices of deli ham.  Divided the scrambled eggs between the two and then topped with 1/2 an ounce of cheddar cheese and put it under the broiler until the cheese was nice and melty.  This plate comes in at 426 calories, 17 fat, 25 carbs and a whopping 40 grams of protein.  I didn’t end up eating lunch until 2:15 so this breakfast stuck with me.

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The verdict?? I loved these pancakes.  Just slightly sweet from the spaghetti squash, but with the mix of the salty ham and cheese – it was the perfect bite when you got pancake, ham, egg and cheese.  These are a keeper!

I ended up going to the gym late – not many people there at 1:30 in the afternoon!  Yesterday was legs and calves.  I am happy that I was able to increase my weight on every exercise but one. Open-mouthed smile

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And I have put my weight exercises on my phone so I don’t have to carry around a piece of paper anymore.  The first number is the weight, x 12 reps x 3 sets.  That took me 30 minutes.

I actually had . . . .canned soup for lunch!  I know, crazeballs.  I have no idea how long this has been in my pantry, but the expiration date is next month!

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It actually wasn’t too bad – I added Tabasco to the broth to spice it up – but the whole can was only 200 calories.

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And on the side I had a low carb spinach and cheese wrap – just 1/2 a cup of baby spinach, 1/2 ounce of cheddar and melted in the broiler.  It was crunchy and chewy at the same time.

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My sister doesn’t have Instagram on her phone because she’s got a Windows based phone – I like to send her pictures of my Instagram’s just to show her what she’s missing!  (are you following me??  biz319!)

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This app is called “picplaypost.”  The picture of the weights is actually a video. Open-mouthed smile

When I came home Tony was outside – it was such a nice night.  It was a long couple days of work, so wine won over Insanity. Open-mouthed smile  Tony tried to catch birds again – it hasn’t happened yet but he’ll keep trying!

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I had to work late the night before last so the bone in chicken breast I thawed hadn’t been used yet.  Tony asked if we had any tomato sauce and I said no, so yesterday he did a quick shop and told me not to worry about dinner. #love

He was making chicken cacciatore – and I had to really think about it, but I am not sure I’ve ever had it!  He simmered the bone in chicken breast with canned pureed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and mushrooms and just let it simmer for a couple hours.  The chicken was so tender it shredded easily – the only problem was making sure all the bones were found!  Next time he wants to use dark meat so the bones will be easier to get out.  And next time he’ll add black olives.

We had leftover egg noodles so we threw those in the last few minutes.  This was so good!

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Pure comfort in a bowl.  I had to guess on the calories since I don’t know exactly how Tony made it – but I put this plate at 571 calories.

Stats for the Day:

  • 1875 calories (including wine), 134 carbs, 90 protein, 17 fiber
  • Calorie Count gave my day a C+ for not enough carbs, the alcohol and too much sodium
  • 30 minute legs and calves at lunch

You still have until Monday to leave a comment for a chance to win Nicole’s cookbook!  The winner will be announced on Monday.

Alright, I am off to sauté some zucchini to go with Tony’s leftover cacciatore for lunch.  Happy Friday – make it a great day!

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What Happened To Operation Bad Ass?

Can I just say that I was hoping you wouldn’t notice that my big fan fare announcement April 1st was operation bad ass kind of lost steam towards the end of the month?

Well after receiving the 14th email from blog readers asking me how the month went, the answer is simple.  I stayed exactly the same.  Which in and of itself is not a bad thing.  Last month my brother was diagnosed with cancer.  A part of me was like “why bother with this whole weight loss and exercise when life could be short and why not enjoy more wine, pizza and cheese? Martini glassPizza

I should know this about myself now – making grand statements on my blog isn’t going to guilt me into doing what I need to do.  The answer is simple – move more and eat less.  That’s my goal for May.  Just that. Open-mouthed smile

I had leftover mashed potatoes so I decided to make mashed potato and zucchini pancakes for part of my breakfast.  These didn’t crisp up like shredded potato pancakes, but the flavor was delicious.  And you can’t go wrong with the bacon and cheese on top.  Maybe that’s my problem too – too much bacon and cheese. Winking smile

Mashed Potato and Zucchini Pancakes

  • makes 2 servings (2 cakes each)
  • 173 calories, 7.7 fat, 20 carbs, 2.2 fiber and 6 protein

Ingredients

  •   8 oz. shredded potato (I used the fresh bag from the store – Ore Ida brand I think)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Mix all ingredients together and form into patties.  Heat oil over medium high heat, and cook about 4-5 minutes per side.  I made these before work and then just put them in a container to assemble at work.

Once at work, I put the patties on foil.  Split a scrambled egg between the two patties, topped each with a slice of cooked bacon, then .4 ounce of American cheese on top (which was 1 slice of American cheese, split in two).

Put under the broiler for about 4 minutes, or until the cheese is all melty.  Next time I’ll use a less busy plate – it kind of gets lost on the plate, but this was delicious – with strawberries on the side, breakfast comes in at 461 calories, 26 fat, 34 carbs, 5.2 fiber and 23 protein.

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I didn’t bring lunch yesterday – I know – shocker!  I made turkey burgers for me and my SIL this week – um, turns out I am not a fan of this turkey burger – I hope my SIL thinks otherwise!  So I ordered Chinese food from across the street – I asked for extra broccoli – I ate what you see in that bowl, plus about another 1/2 cup of broccoli – I forgot to say NO ONIONS so the fried rice had tiny chopped onions – I only at 3/4 of a cup, the rest was just way too oniony.

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The broccoli is perfectly cooked – crisp tender.  Lunch comes in at 442 calories, 12.5 fat, 60 carbs, 5 fiber and 21 protein.

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It was a skinny pork chop dinner – simply pan fried with some garlic salt.  I made a shredded scalloped potato for a side dish – that one needs A LOT of tweaking, so I’ll go back to the drawing board on that one.  It was edible, but just okay.  Can’t win them all, right?  Dinner comes in at 503 calories, 29 fat, 19 carbs, 2.0 fibe rand 38 protein.

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Are you wondering what’s in the silver cup?  My dipping sauce – my PIL gave me this sauce at Christmas and I’ve been waiting to use up some of my hot sauces to make room for new ones.

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Holy cow, is this stuff delicious.  Spicy, sweet, savory – the whole shebang.  I could slather this stuff on just about anything and eat it – thanks guys – another winning hot sauce from Florida.  And I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but you won’t find onion in the ingredient list. Be right back

I feel like I let you guys down with my grand plans for some bad ass month, but I need to take my own advice and just make each day a great day.  Who’s with me?

Have you ever declared something on your blog before and didn’t follow through?  Please tell me I am not the only one. Embarrassed smile

Stats for Wednesday

  • 1406 calories, 68 fat, 113 carbs, 12 fiber and 82 protein
  • 44% of calories from fat – oops!

Make it a great day!

Oh, check out my recipe that made it on The Daily Meal! Open-mouthed smile

http://www.thedailymeal.com/spicy-tomato-soup-chicken-meatballs/

Charlie Update and Marinated Grilled Broccoli

My brother was feeling well enough to go see The Hunger Games over the weekend! While the awful taste isn’t as prevalent, he still doesn’t have much of an appetite. My Mom is actually coming home today too!

Here is Charlie’s latest update on Facebook:

I just wanted to take a few minutes and thank everyone for the outpouring of well wishes over the last couple weeks. Apart from the Facebook posts here, I’ve received many emails, cards, and even a few personal visits. For that, I owe a big thank you to everyone. To say I feel overwhelmed doesn’t come close to covering it.
You know, it’s funny: it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day routine (wake up, go to work, stay there 47 hours, come home and go back to bed; lather, rinse, repeat) that you forget the wider world is still out there, still holding the hundreds upon hundreds of people you’ve met throughout the years. It’s not until you’re forced to step back and look at the big picture do you remember: there’s a lot more out there than the daily grind. You’ve all helped me put that into proper perspective again.
Now, for those just joining the party or wondering just what the heck I’m talking about, let me ‘splain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up. A few months ago, I started getting a touch of a cough. Maybe six weeks ago, the cough got bad and invited headaches and fevers to come along for the ride. Finally, after three doctor visits, they decided to actually look at my blood. The very next morning, my doctor called and told me the bloodwork wasn’t looking too hot. She recommended I head to the ER immediately for further probing.
So literally overnight, I went from what I thought was a bad cold to a surprise diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My ER visit turned into a ten-day hospital stay, which among many other events, included my first round of chemotherapy. At the moment, I actually feel almost normal again (first time in a long time). But then again, I still have five to seven more treatments, so I’m fully prepared for lots more ups and downs.
So there we are! I’ll wrap this up just how I started: with a big thanks for all the kind and encouraging words. And going forward, I’ll keep everyone posted . . . without being too annoying about it.

I love you Charlie!

I was out of granola and tried to substitute 1/3 cup of honey nut cheerios, 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries in place of the granola.  The first few bites were good, but because this takes me like 30 minutes to eat, at the end it was just all soggy.  I made two batches of granola last night so I am back in business!

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Breakfast comes in at 413 calories, 5 fat, 78 carbs, 7 fiber and 21 protein.

I checked my blood sugar before going on my walk – shit – it was only 66!  I ended up eating my lunch first – 1 cup of cantaloupe (not pictured) and had a bowl of my Spicy Indian Tomato Soup with meatballs.  Yep, one and only shot of my soup – that’s what happens when my blood sugar is low.  I added fresh chopped spinach to mine too.

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While that doesn’t look too pretty, the spice combination is wonderful – its flavorful spicy.  And because I brown the meatballs first, there is a bit of crust on the balls, but the inside is very tender.

So my blood sugar was up to 140 by the time I left for my walk.  I don’t recommend eating a bowl of soup and then walking 15 minutes later.  It was sloshing around – not my best 40 minute walk ever, but I moved!  It was perfect weather too – sunny and 50 degrees.

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I had steak and baked potatoes on the menu and was wondering how to kick up some broccoli for my side dish.  I have this blog to thank for the idea for this broccoli dish – since Tony doesn’t eat dark veggies, I made this one serving.

Marinated Grilled Broccoli

1 serving:  113 calories, 5.5 fat, 15 carbs, 3.9 protein and 3.6 fiber

  • 1.5 cups broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cut the broccoli up and set it aside.  Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk.  Toss the broccoli in the marinade and let it sit 5 minutes.  Grill over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until desired doneness.  Keep an eye on it and move to indirect heat if it starts to burn.

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I like that Tony and I split a steak – I used to make two of those.

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I even ate a couple mushrooms!  My baked potato has two tablespoons of tzatziki sauce.  Dinner comes in at 504 calories, 25 fat, 39 carbs, 5.9 fiber and 29 protein.

While the steak was delicious, the star was the broccoli – the honey kind of caramelized on the grill and the dijon mustard gave it a nice bite.

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I had to wait to do my 30 day stretch until after dinner since it records it around 8:00 in the morning.  My heel pain was alive and well since I hadn’t stretched since Friday.  But after 30 minutes?  The heel pain went away and it doesn’t hurt this morning either.  Still so happy I found that show!

I had to stop at CVS on my way home for dish detergent and saw they had a bin of Christmas bags – everything was 75% off.  Check out all these wine bags I got – all for .67 cents each!  The original price was between $2.99 and $3.99 – score!

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Thanks for your continued well wishes and emails for my brother – we appreciate it!

Stats for the Day:

  • 1468 calories, 48 fat, 173 carbs, 17 fiber and 91 protein
  • 48% of calories from carbs, 30% from fat and 22% from protein
  • 40 minute walk at lunch
  • 30 minute stretch

Make it a great day!

Creamy Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Why do weekends have to go by so fast?  I think Monday is my least favorite day of the week.  Again since I woke up late yesterday, I had another brunch – this time with 2 ounces french bread topped with spinach and ham scrambled eggs, topped with 1/2 ounce of cheese, then put under the broiler.  Breakfast was a delicious 10 points.

On Saturday when I was doing an inventory of my pantry/fridge/freezer I forgot that I had a whole cauliflower to use up.  I was recently sent a box of Dreamfield’s Pasta to try (I received two boxes of pasta to try for free).  Being diabetic, I appreciate the fact that this pasta is low on the Glycemic index, meaning that I don’t have a spike in blood sugar like I normally would eating regular pasta.

I adapted a recipe from Mark Bittman to make a Creamy Cauliflower Mac N Cheese.  The only thing I did was reduce the broth to 2 cups, left out the Parmesan cheese, left out the olive oil and reduced the bread crumbs to 3 tablespoons over the top – and reduced the cheese to three ounces total.  Six servings (a generous cup) is 6 WW points.

Creamy Cauliflower Mac
Instead of using high-fat butter and cream, Bittman makes his healthier mac and cheese with pureed cauliflower, chicken stock, and a moderate amount of cheese.

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock  (I used 2 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves (nope, hate by leaves)
  • 1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni  (I used Dreamfield’s Pasta)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Emmental, or a combination)  I used 2 ounces in the sauce, and 1 ounce for the top
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs (I used 3 tablespoons)

Heat oven to 400° F. Boil a pot of salted water.   In a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for five minutes; turn off heat.
Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes. Put cauliflower in a food processor.  Cook pasta in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse to cool; put pasta in a greased, nine-inch square baking dish. Process cauliflower with stock (discard bay leaves), cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, working in batches.
Pour sauce over pasta, toss, and spread evenly in dish. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes. Serves six four.

This was super delicious and creamy.  And the pasta tastes like regular pasta to me – sometimes whole wheat pasta has a different texture that I am not fond of.  Best part is that this reheats really well too.

My SIL and I went to see the Vow yesterday – really cute movie, but TOTAL chick flick. 😀  I ended up making a whole chicken on the gas grill.  I cut out the back bone, put about 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the top, then salted and peppered it and added chopped fresh rosemary.  I put the chicken back in the fridge and it stayed there for about 2 1/2 hours before I grilled it.  Because it’s butterflied, it only took about 50 minutes to grill.

 

I just happened to have brussel sprouts on hand – I wanted to give them another try and bought them last week, but never used them.  My SIL and MIL love them, so I cooked them up with broccoli – simply tossed in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.


Guess what?  I still don’t like brussel sprouts, but the broccoli was delicious!  I never took a picture of my finished plate!  Oh well, my SIL loved dinner.  Remember how I used to cook her lunches when she first started WW?  She’s lost almost 35 pounds so far!  Well, she’s decided to hire me back in a couple weeks – she pays me $25 a week, and since I usually make recipes that serve at least 2 people and usually 4, it’s not a big deal.  She missed my food!

Alright, I guess I have to jump in the shower, unless anyone wants to sit at my desk today – any takers??

Make it a great day!

No More Mallows!

I actually didn’t even try a sweet potato until a few years ago.  That’s one thing that food blogging can do – tempt you into trying foods again that you otherwise thought you hated.

I actually love coming up with recipes – and decided it was high time I entered some recipe contests – I figure I have nothing to lose!  So I google searched “recipe contests” and one of the first things that popped up was a sweet potato contest.  I love the logo of this contest!

I am sure everyone at some point or other has been offered sweet potato casserole with mini marshmallows on top.  Ew.  Since the sweet potato is sweet, I decided to spice it up with a spicy Asian sauce.

Sweet Potato Wontons with Spicy Asian Dipping Sauce (4 wontons and 1 tablespoon of sauce is 5 WW points)

  • 3 sweet potatoes (I ended up with 1.5 cups of sweet potato)
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot sweet chili sauce
  • 40 wonton wrappers

Put the sweet potatoes in the microwave and press fresh vegetable or baked potato setting.  Let cool – enough so that you can easily peel off the skin.  Mix the sweet potato, ricotta cheese, five spice and chili sauce and mix well.  Using a small melon baller, place a heaping tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture inside each wonton wrapper.  Wipe the sides of the wonton with water, bring together and crimp.  Place about 3 tablespoons of water in non-stick skillet.  Add wontons, moving them around making sure they don’t stick, and put a top on and let cook for 5 minutes.  If the water hasn’t evaporated, pour our any excess water.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil and cook about 2 more minutes, until the bottoms are nice and crispy.

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 fresh Thai chili – chopped

Mix all the dipping ingredients together.

To plate: Place wontons on a plate, and spoon over 1 tablespoon of the spicy dipping sauce.

Holy shizz, this is an amazing combination.  You can definitely get the sweet potato flavor from the wonton, and the spicy sauce is the perfect balance to the sweetness of the sweet potato.  Serve with some steamed broccoli and some brown rice, you’ve got yourself a nice meal!

If you have any of your favorite sweet potato recipes, I’d love to have links in the comment section!

My eats for the day were otherwise uneventful and breakfast and lunch were not even photographed (shocker!).  I had 1/2 a jalapeno bagel egg beaters sammie and a cup of fresh pineapple for 8 points.  Lunch was roasted veggie soup (recipe to come later this week) with a ham and baby spinach sandwich on an arnold thin for another 8 points.  It was super cold (23 degrees) so I ditched my lunch time run and ran an errand.  Tony offered to put dinner together so I went straight to the gym after work and ended up doing a 5k in  36:45.  I never did exercise over the weekend and when I start to run again, its hard to get going.  With my warm up and cool down I moved for 50 minutes, so that’s good! 😀

I had cheese ravioli on the menu – Tony kicked up my marinara sauce – nice and spicy!  Sadly 5 ravioli are a serving for 6 points, so I put them on a bed of mixed greens, 1 Tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese and 2/3 cup of marinara sauce – dinner was a delicious 10 points.  I ended up with exactly 26 points for the day. 😀

So today we are supposed to have temps near 60!  I’ll definitely be running outside at lunch.  My blood sugar was 53 this morning, so I don’t plan on taking any insulin with breakfast, so I should be good to go.

Make it a great day!

UPDATE:  THE BSI THIS WEEK IS PARMESAN CHEESE!   Renee of My Kitchen Adventures is hosting this week – you can check it out here – and she will have a nice prize – she’s traveling this weekend so she’s not sure what it will be yet! 😀

Suck it IRS

I was going through the mail yesterday and Tony and I each got a notice from the IRS.  Um, never a good sign, right?  So I opened it.  Apparently they reviewed our 2009 return and found a credit that was erroneously applied to our account.  We owe them $45.  Fine.

The penalty to pay late?  .26 cents.  Still okay.  The interest charge from 2009 to date?   $95.04!  So they want us to pay $140.30 by December 19.  I am telling them to suck it and appealing it – I truly hate the IRS and if they had balls I’d like to kick them there.  Okay, whew, glad I got that out of my system. 😀

I had another hash for breakfast, this time with the leftover kielbasa from our red beans and rice from the night before – this time with egg, spinach and red pepper – my camera was fully charged too!  On the side was half a banana and a few pecans. Gosh I love pecans – especially eating pecan on top of the slided banana. 😀  Breakfast comes in at 405 calories, 29 fat, 21 carbs, 4 fiber and 15 protein.

I loved my work day yesterday – I had my checklist of things to accomplish, and slowly but surely crossed some of them off my list.  My desk doesn’t look like a disaster anymore and I hope to catch up on my filing by the end of the week.  No interruptions!

For lunch I had chili mac – I had two servings of Paleo Chili in my freezer so I brought one to be served over tofu noodles – I know, not quite Paleo but I love these things – a whole package is only 40 calories too.  Some people think they stink – just rinse them well, cook them in the microwave for 1:30 seconds, then rinse them again – my lunch comes in at 388 calories, 24 fat, 15 carbs, 6.2 fiber and 27 protein.

I had pork on the menu, but was wonderding what side dish I should make and remembered I had zucchini.  I decided to attempt another (almost) Paleo zucchini pancake as our side dish.  The texture was much better!

Zucchini Carrot Pancakes  (made 8 – 1/2 a serving is 156 calories, 5.4 fat, 17 carbs, 3.3 fiber and 9.9 protein)

  • 3 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (to bind)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • oil of choice to pan fry (I used about 2 teaspoons olive oil)

Shred the zucchini and carrots.  Put in two layers of paper towel and squeeze as much moisture out as you can.  Add to bowl and mix with remaining ingredients.  Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium heat – cook for 2-3 minutes a side.  Keep in a 225 degree oven to keep warm.

Dinner comes in at 356 calories, 7 fat, 298 carbs, 5 fiber and 47 protein.

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 1313 calories, 75 fat, 72 carbs, 18 fiber and 97 protein
  • 35 WW points (based on total calories, which includes fruit)
  • no exercise
  • average blood sugar – 139

Just curious who opens the mail in your house?  My answer is:  ME.  I’ve always been in charge of the mail since Tony and I got together. 😀

Have a great day!

Hanging with Hannah…Baked Falafels…Almost Just Overweight!

Two reasons I look forward to Wednesday.  First of all – its starts off with bagel Wednesday!  I am so happy I am stealing Lori’s idea on this.   I had a Pam fried egg in the middle of my spicy jalapeno cheddar bagel – breakfast comes in at 10 points.

Things have been so crazy at my office – nothing I can go into detail here, but let’s just say I couldn’t wait to leave to go workout.  I decided to do a 5k, but break it up and do some sprint work.  I don’t know about you, but the first 10 or 15 minutes I run are just awful and I want to stop.  Then all of a sudden, my breathing is fine and I get my rhythm.  😀

I ended up doing 3.5 miles in 45 minutes with a warm up and cool down.  My sprints were in .2 mile increments, then I’d walk .2, increase the speed, etc.  My last sprint was 7.0 mph! Melissa told me I could in an email a while back (um, her whole run was at that pace!), but I didn’t believe her – thanks for the push Mel!

I had baked falafels on the lunch menu yesterday.  Um, pretty sure my co-workers thought this was a home run!  One even wrote me “I think every Wednesday should be Falafel Wednesday!”

Baked Falafel

  • makes 4 patties – 5 points plus each

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cups drained canned chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • a couple drops of sriracha
  • 2 tsp. olive oil (for baking sheet)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Put your baking sheet with 1 tsp. of oil on the pan while your oven heats up.  Mix all the ingredients in a food processor.  Form into equal size patties.  Bake for 10 minutes, add second tsp. olive oil and flip.  Cook an additional 10 minutes.

I served with a 3 pt. whole wheat pita (3 pts.), lettuce, red peppers and for my two co-workers, tomatoes and . . .this is what I great friend I am . . .sliced onions! And a serving of tzatziki sauce (1 pt.)  This giant plate of food was 9 points.

I actually thought the falafel could have been spicier, but my friends loved it.  I may have added a splash of Tabasco to mine after the picture was taken! 😀

Second reason I love Wednesdays?  It’s Hanging with Hannah Day!  We were going to do a group class, but by the time she got home from school, none of the times worked out.  We left the house around 6:15 – went to the gym and I did 20 minutes on the roller blade machine (very hard!) while Hannah ran on the treadmill.

Then we got our suits on.  Our gym’s pool not only has lap lanes, but what they call a “leisure” pool that is 10 degrees warmer than the lap pool.  We got in the lap pool but it was so cold!  So we went to the warmer one – for the first five minutes we found those weighted rings so we were throwing them and then seeing who could get to them first – we were laughing so hard!

Then an instructor came over and said “those are for swim lessons” and took them away. 😦  We both decided we need to get our own pool toys for next time. 😀  So we did laps for 15 minutes.  Then the best part . . . 10 minutes in the hot tub!  It was so relaxing.

On the way home we stopped at Chipotle.  There is a site where you can build your meal.  I chose:

  • chicken
  • cilantro lime rice (my favorite!)
  • black beans
  • corn (that had hidden red onions in it I didn’t see – had to pick those out)
  • lettuce
  • spicy red salsa

My bowl comes in at 12 points

I ate about 3/4 of  it and 3 points of chips, so I am still calling dinner 12 points.

I got a junk email yesterday from Dr. Gourmet – its a site where you can find recipes for different types of diets, mostly medically related, such as diabetes, low fiber, low salt, etc.   It had a BMI calculator and I was curious, even just losing 8 pounds, where I ranked on the chart.  I am 5.2″ and 165 pounds.  I am still obese according to that chart.  But guess what?  In 7 more pounds lost, at 158 pounds, I will be in the overweight category!

So I am going to be breaking up my weight loss goals into smaller ones.  Instead of the typical “I want to be 135 pounds” my only goal in sight is to be just overweight, and lose 7 pounds.  I think it sounds much more attainable, and then figure out from there what my next mini-goal will be! 😀

Stats for Wednesday:

  • 36 points (including 2 glasses of wine while watching the Top Chef reunion and Storage Wars with Tony)
  • 10 flex points remaining
  • 45 minute treadmill walk/jog/sprint
  • 20 minute roller blade (the machine said I went 5.6 miles!)
  • 20 minutes swimming

Off to make some breakfast pizza – I haven’t had that in a while!  Have a great day – its another overcast day in Chicagoland – hope its sunny where you are! 😀