Tasty Tuesday: Carb-Slashed No-Chip Nachos!

I LOVE Mexican food.  The hotter and spicier the better.  Since living with candida flare ups, I need to not only stay away from gluten but also from corn which makes it difficult to enjoy one of my favorites – nachos.

Thank you Hungry Girl for suggesting this AWESOME recipe.  I have been known to eat my bell pepper pieces with salsa, so when I saw this recipe using them to create nachos I was thrilled!

It is easy, so flavorful, and way healthier than downing a plate of smothered fried tortillas…

Prep: 15 minutes      Cook: 15 minutes     MAKES 4 SERVINGS

1/4th of recipe (6 loaded nachos): 150 calories, 5g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 370mg sodium, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 15.5g protein.   SmartPoints® value 3*

Ingredients:

12 sweet mini bell peppers (each about 2 1/2 inches long)
8 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less) or ground turkey
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
2 tbsp. seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup salsa
3 tbsp. light sour cream (optional)
2 tbsp. chopped scallions
Optional topping: sliced black olives

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Slice off and discard the stem end of each pepper. Remove and discard seeds. Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, and lay them on the baking sheet, cut sides down.
  • Bake for 5 minutes. Flip pepper halves. Bake until soft, about 5 more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef (or ground turkey), and sprinkle with seasonings. Cook and crumble for about 5 minutes, until fully cooked.
  • Thoroughly blot excess moisture from pepper halves. Arrange them in the center of the sheet. Top with beef, beans, cheese, and jalapeño pepper.
  • Bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.
  • Top with salsa, sour cream, and scallions.

Doesn’t this sound YUMMY!  I’m sure there won’t be any leftovers for lunch the next day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Weight Loss Myths BUSTED!

Tomorrow is my weigh in day after a week of cruising and enjoying.  Did I walk a lot?  YES!  Did I eat way more than normal? YES!  But it is all okay. Life happens.  I have been back on track since I got home and hopefully this won’t be me….

I have been reviewing some of my past Weight Watcher weeklies to help me get back on track.  Somehow I seemed to have missed the one on “myths”.  I was amazed at how many of these myths are still floating around the internet (Facebook, specifically).

#1 MYTH: Some foods can boost your metabolism.

The truth is there is no evidence any food or drink can do this in the long run.  I have heard all about the benefits of green tea and even hot peppers BUT you would have to eat oodles to get a tiny spark.  I was happy to hear eating breakfast doesn’t boost it either.  I am not a big breakfast person, more like brunch… what food have you heard would boost your metabolism?

#2 MYTH: You shouldn’t eat after 8PM.

Your body is a 24/7 machine.  It doesn’t “close” after 8PM and it is working even while you are sleeping.  As long as you are eating within your SmartPoints (a WW thing) and getting in your FitPoints – you will have weight loss.  It doesn’t mean eat all of the leftover points at 10PM and then go to bed because if you do this too often, it could limit your loss.  Also, don’t go too long without eating because it will lead to overeating when you finally do sit down to eat.

#3 MYTH: Eat certain foods to flatten your belly.

WRONG!  There is no scientific evidence any food can do this.

#4 MYTH: You should cut out carbs.

Okay, I will admit I struggle with this one.  I have heard doctor’s talk about “limiting carbs” but not totally cutting them out.  Specifically carbs in processed foods so is it really the carbs or the processed foods we are eliminating.  Okay, back to the myth….When we avoid any one food category for a long period of time, chances are you will overdo it when you do “allow” yourself to have them.  Eat a balanced meal and allow yourself some of your favorites (in moderation) while you are losing weight.  Are you on a diet or are you changing your lifestyle to a more healthy one?

#5 MYTH: Losing weigh will wreck my metabolism.

WHAT????? I know this is crazy, right?  Now it is possible if you starve yourself and lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time because when you do this, the body goes into starvation mode.  When you have a safe rate of weight loss, your body can adjust to the reduced amount of food and increased activity.

#6 MYTH:  Muscle weighs more than fat.

I have heard this a million times so I know you have too.  The truth is, muscle doesn’t weigh more.  How can 5 pounds of muscle weigh more than 5 pounds of fat?  5 pounds is 5 pounds right?  The truth is muscle is more dense than fat so it seems to weigh more.  I know it is hard to wrap our heads around – I still struggle after all of these years (and 120 pounds lost).

What myth have you heard as you travel your weightless journey?  Is there something you have always heard but aren’t sure it is a myth – ask!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Things People On Weight Watchers Understand

Thursday morning weigh in with my extended family.  I have been on Weight Watchers for years.  I have lost more than 120 pounds and believe it is the best way to lose weight (for me).  Is it an easy road? NO!  Do I get frustrated? YES!  Do I keep going? YES!

If you are on Weight Watchers, can you pick out those who are also adopting this way of life.  No, it is not a diet but a change in the food we eat and the way we look at eating every day.  Those of you on WW will understand today’s blog – see how many you can identify with…

1. Your friends know you always have snacks stashed in your purse (or in the car) just in case.  Anyone need a carrot or a granola bar or maybe even a jerky stick?

2. You’re have a deeply committed relationship with your pedometer or your fit bit.  Have you been known to do the happy dance when you hit your steps goal before sundown?  Or maybe you have walked circles around your living room just to hit your goal before the clock strikes midnight?

3. You know exactly how many ounces of chicken fit in the palm of your hand.  Or maybe you measure tablespoons by the tips of your thumb?

4. And you’ve figured out how to include exercise into every space you spend time in.  Even at the doctor’s office — why not? Parking in the farthest spot away from the store or carrying one thing at a time up the stairs?

5. You’ve considered walking a few extra miles for wine…Yup, that’s me!

6. …or for a little reward when you deserve it the most.  Keep the dessert and give me wine!

7. You have a special lightweight outfit set aside for your weigh-in day each week. Yup, been wearing the same type of outfit every week for weigh in FOREVER and never denim!  Or maybe you have been known to change clothes once you weigh in?

8. You know the feeling of pure bliss after having all your work lunches figured out ahead of time.

9. You’ve grown accustomed to people asking “can you really eat that?”  Yes, that’s chocolate chip cheesecake. And yes, you can have the recipe.

10. You find yourself doing things you thought were impossible effortlessly.  Well, almost.  Maybe the stairs are a little easier.  Maybe you jog more instead of walk.

11. You find yourself talking to strangers about how amazing spaghetti squash really is.  “It’s just like spaghetti. But it’s squash! No, really!”  So guilty of this one and cauliflower rice!

12. Light whipped topping is basically your boyfriend at this point.  You’ve found a million and one ways to use it, and you’re never gonna let it go.

13. More than anything, people can’t put their finger on what’s different about you… …but you look and feel great — of course they noticed!

Whether you are on Weight Watcher‘s or not, I’m sure you can identify at least a friend or two who fit one of these things.

How can you spot a fellow Weight Watcher?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Fast Protein-Packed Breakfasts! 

I don’t know about you but breakfast is the toughest meal for me.  I am up early and can get down a cup of coffee but anything else before like 10AM, well, it just doesn’t happen. I have heard it all – need to eat within an hour of getting up to start your metabolism, breakfast is brain food.. blah, blah, blah.  So, if you are like me, these speedy b-fast recipe packed full of protein may be the answer you are looking for.   Thank you Hungry Girl for some more yummy recipes.

Mixed-Veggie Soyrizo Scramble.  

I LOVE soy chorizo for many reasons, from its great flavor to it has way less fat than the real deal. This tasty recipe is an incredible way to enjoy the mighty meatless protein!

Entire recipe: 207 calories, 5g fat, 764mg sodium, 12g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g sugars, 26g protein — PointsPlus® value 5*  MAKES 1 SERVING

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz. (about 2 1/2 tbsp.) soy chorizo (like the kind by El Burrito or Tofurky)
1/2 cup frozen petite mixed vegetables
3/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Optional toppings: salsa, fat-free sour cream

Directions:

  • Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and crumble soy chorizo until browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove cooked chorizo and set aside. Remove skillet from heat, re-spray, and bring to medium-high heat. Cook and stir frozen vegetables until hot, about 2 minutes.
  • Add egg substitute and scramble with veggies until cooked, 2 – 3 minutes. Add cooked chorizo, and cook and stir until hot, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with cilantro, and eat up!

Cheesy Veggie B-fast Sandwich

This hearty breakfast sandwich features a veggie-packed egg patty (made in the microwave!) that’s topped with melty Swiss cheese. Make it SOON…  Headed to work? This is great to make ahead and then microwave when you get to work!

Entire recipe: 228 calories, 4g fat, 764mg sodium, 26.5g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 22g protein — PointsPlus® value 5*  MAKES 1 SERVING

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped spinach leaves
1 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
One 100-calorie flat sandwich bun (like Arnold Sandwich Thins)
1 slice 2% milk Swiss cheese

Directions:

  • Spray a medium microwave-safe bowl with nonstick spray. (The bottom of the bowl should be about the size of the sandwich bun.) Microwave spinach and onion for 1 minute, or until spinach has wilted. Blot away excess moisture.
  • Add egg substitute and stir well. Microwave for 1 minute.
  • Gently stir, and microwave for 1 more minute.
  • Place the bottom half of the bun on a microwave-safe plate. Top with egg patty, followed by cheese. Top with the other half of the bun.
  • Microwave for 20 seconds, or until cheese has melted. Eat up!

What is your favorite quick breakfast?  Share it with us.  Have a recipe you want to share? We would love to hear your family favorites.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Cauliflower Rice Recipes

Get creative with your cauliflower rice! These comfort-food-inspired recipes will earn rave reviews…  Yumminess from Hungry Girl...

First up is: Sloppy Jane Stuffed Peppers.  Sloppy joes are yummy… but why let bread have all the fun? Enter peppers! Add cauliflower rice, and prepare to be wowed.

1/4th of recipe (1 stuffed pepper half): 278 calories, 5.5g total fat (2g sat fat), 423mg sodium, 28.5g carbs, 7g fiber, 18g sugars, 28.5g protein.  SmartPoints® value 4*.

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 30 minutes     MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

4 large red bell peppers (look for peppers that sit flat when stem ends are up)
2 1/2 cups roughly chopped cauliflower or 1 3/4 cups cauliflower rice
1 1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. molasses
1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1 lb. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
1 cup chopped onion

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Carefully slice off and discard stem ends of bell peppers, about half an inch from the top. Remove and discard seeds. Place peppers cut-side up in a deep 8″ X 8″ baking pan. If they don’t sit flat, gently lean them against the pan sides.
  • Bake until soft, 25 – 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, if starting with roughly chopped cauliflower, pulse in a blender until reduced to rice-sized pieces, working in batches as needed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, honey, red wine vinegar, molasses, and 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Mix until uniform.
  • Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef, and sprinkle with remaining 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Cook and crumble for 4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add cauliflower rice and onion. Cook and stir until beef is fully cooked and veggies have softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add tomato mixture, and cook and stir until hot, about 3 minutes.
  • Blot away excess moisture from bell peppers. Evenly distribute filling among the peppers.

BONUS recipe: Cheesy Broccoli Cauli’ Rice.  Why do broccoli and cheese pair so well together? We can’t explain the secrets of the universe, but we can give you a great recipe featuring the combo plus cauliflower rice.

1/4th of recipe (about 1 1/4 cups): 144 calories, 6g total fat (3g sat fat), 416mg sodium, 17g carbs, 5g fiber, 6g sugars, 8g protein.  SmartPoints® value 3*

Prep: 15 minutes     Cook: 15 minutes     MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

5 cups roughly chopped cauliflower or 4 cups cauliflower rice
1 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp. chopped garlic
3 cups roughly chopped broccoli
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup light/reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  • If starting with roughly chopped cauliflower, pulse in a blender until reduced to rice-sized pieces, working in batches as needed.
  • In an extra-large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir until onion has slightly softened and garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cauliflower rice, broccoli, and broth. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, uncovering occasionally to stir, or until veggies have softened and broth has evaporated.
  • Reduce heat to medium low. Add all remaining ingredients, and cook and stir until cheeses have melted and mixture is uniform, about 2 minutes.

Share your favorite recipe with us….. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!