Tasty Tuesday: Italian beef and Lentil Stew

Thank you Weight Watchers USA for today’s recipe……

Last week, I took the plunge!  I signed back up for WW Online.  I know going to meetings can be overwhelming for me and it is hard to focus BUT I wanted to get off the few pounds which crept back on over the last year or so.  I am determined to get back to my goal weight.  It will help with the walking issues I am having with MS and I will feel better about ME!  So, watch for some YUMMy recipes to come your way….

The weather is getting colder and I am a soup/stew nut!  I could eat it for lunch and dinner   every day…. Slow-simmer soup is a cold-weather comfort food and makes the house smell so GOOD! This one takes just 20 minutes of prep and your slow cooker does the rest.  The result is a flavorful soup with tender pieces of beef. For the lentils, opt for green or brown lentils. They hold their shape better and add more texture than red lentils, which dissolve as they cook (ideal for a smoother soup). Dry lentils don’t need to soak like dried beans do before adding them to the soup.   It is a good idea to rinse them and remove any debris. You can substitute 2 cups of fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths, for the zucchini, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley for the basil.
Total Time:  7 hr 20 min     Prep:  20 min     Cook: 7 hr     Serves:  6

Ingredients

  • 1 small, chopped uncooked onion(s)
  • 1 medium clove(s), minced garlic clove(s)
  • 1 large, diced uncooked zucchini
  • uncooked lean beef round: 16 oz, cut into 1-inch chunks, or 1 pound
  • ½ tsp, crushed dried oregano
  • 14½ oz, undrained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp canned tomato paste
  • ¾ cup(s) dry lentils
  • 4 cup(s) canned beef broth
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup(s), fresh, slivered basil
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except basil in 5- to 6-quart slow cooker; stir well. Cook on Low until beef is very tender, 6−7 hours.
  2. Stir in basil and cook 5 minutes longer.
  3. Serving size: 1½ cups

Headed to a tailgate party.  What better way to warm up then with a cup of soup!  Thirty One’s Market Thermal is the perfect way to keep things HOT….The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal that’s large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes. A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Have a blessed day!

Tasty Tuesday: Flourless Pumpkin Pancakes

It is the Pumpkin Spice time of year from coffee to cookies to marshmallows….These yummy pancakes will surely be a hit in your house.

Nutrition facts for the entire recipe: 169 calories, 4g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 420mg sodium, 16g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 19.5g protein

Prep5 minutes     Cook:  5 minutes     FreestyleSmartPoints® value 2*  Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1 packet natural no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup (about 2 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Seasonings:

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional toppings: lite pancake syrup, light butter

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix powdered peanut butter, sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract, and stir until uniform. (Batter will be thick.)
  3. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat.
  4. Add batter to form three medium pancakes (about 1/4 cup each).
  5. Cook until solid enough to flip, about 2 minutes. Gently flip, and cook until both sides are lightly browned and the inside is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

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Have a blessed day!

Time for a Spiritual Checkup

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…

I have struggled with weight issues since I was a little girl. Part of my struggle is rooted in “fluffy” genes lovingly passed down to me through several generations of “fluffy” relatives. The remainder of my struggle is firmly rooted in the fact that I hate exercise, take medications that cause weight gain, enjoy eating, and sometimes use food as an emotional outlet and reward.

I was a young adult and living on my own before I realized that part of the creation process included green things called vegetables. The motto in our family was, “If it ain’t fried, it ain’t right.” Gravy was a condiment and potatoes a staple at every meal. No bread? How can you have a meal without bread? And dessert was a necessity. Get the picture?

Over the years, I have tried just about every diet I could find. I could always lose weight. I just could not keep it off. The day came when I threw in the towel.

My name is Mary, and I am a Carboholic.

I was done. I was burned out on diets and quick fixes. I didn’t want to be a certain size. I just wanted to feel good and to be as healthy as I could possibly be at this point in my life.

I went to a highly-recommended Christian nutritionist who asked me to complete a packet of 500 questions (not kidding), did an EKG, ran more blood tests than I have ever had run in my life, and introduced me to the coolest machine that measures fat and muscle in the body. After all the tests were in, Dr. Tague smiled at me and calmly said, “Mary, you are a malnourished woman.”

My mouth literally fell open in shock. At the time, I was at least 50 pounds overweight and ate pretty much everything in sight whenever I felt the slightest twinge of hunger. How could I possibly be malnourished?

The doctor went on to explain that I was indeed eating … but I was eating all the wrong things … at all the wrong times. In fact, I was dangerously low in several key vitamins and minerals. He handed me a small paper cup filled with a mixture of those vitamins and minerals to take before leaving his office and said, “If you were my patient in the hospital, I would not release you until some of these levels came up.” Now he had my undivided attention.

God often works the same way.

I spend more time working on ministry checklists than I spend in God’s Word.

Prayer is more often a drive-through event than the sit-down-at-His-feet experience it should be.

I give God the leftovers of my day when I should purposefully plan my time with Him.

Rather than investing time in relationships, I follow friends on Facebook or text them to ease my guilt.

I choose what is easiest and more convenient in ministry instead of choosing the best part of ministry, which is often messy and inconvenient.

I often allow the hedges of protection to go untended, resulting in a lack of boundaries and margins in my life.

I allow myself to become a malnourished Christian.

God then lovingly but unquestionably gets my attention in several ways – a crisis that knocks every prop but Him out from under me, or an illness that rips every choice out of my hands and really makes me stop. I can then get the spiritual nourishment that really feeds my soul. Nourishment like sustaining time in the Word of God … significant, life-giving time in prayer … nurturing time with encouraging friends … opportunities to give myself away in service.

After following the carefully laid out plan of my nutritionist for two years, I have lost 65 pounds, but that is not the best or most important news. I feel better than I have felt in many years! My blood work, EKGs, and BMI (body mass index) are all perfect. And the doctor has now pronounced me a well-nourished woman.

I want to be a well-nourished Christian. I am taking the next year to get my spiritual ducks in a row. I am seeking God on what I should and should not do. I am setting boundaries and asking my husband and accountability group to hold my feet to the fire in keeping those boundaries firmly in place. I am practicing saying “no.” I am bringing order to any areas of chaos. I am resting beside the still waters. And I know He will restore my soul just as He has restored my body in so many ways.

How about you? Are you a malnourished Christian? Today is the day to take a step toward spiritual health!

Have a blessed day!

Tasty Tuesday: Grandma Tillie’s Cole Slaw

Today’s Tasty Tuesday is about an amazing product I round at the Brick Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago.  I LOVE cole slaw but since I’m not able to have dairy and eggs, I haven’t been able to find the perfect one.  I was offered a sample while strolling one Saturday morning.  OMG!  It was amazing.  The perfect blend of ingredients. Their mission is a world of longer, heart healthier lives. They take pride in their product!

Here are some facts about them:

  • Just 6 Ingredients.
  • Better Taste, Better Quality!
  • No Mayonnaise!
  • Great For The Calorie Conscious! Only 50 Calories Per Serving!
  • Long Shelf Life!
  • At Grandma Tillie’s We Stand By Our Product!!
  • Our Packaging Is Tamper Resistant, Safe And Secure To Arrive Cold!
  • 10% of the purchase price of each container will go to Tackle Kids Cancer

Here are the nutritional facts.  I absolutely LOVE putting it on my salad – no need for dressing.

Here is the story behind the product straight from their website.  ……..Grandma Tillie was born in Warsaw, Poland on a potato farm. She was one of four siblings. After the family traveled to America, to Ellis Island, Tillie began her educational studies, and by the time she was ten years of age, she had mastered the English language. Her  entire life she helped out her parents in terms of financial support, as when she sought full time employment, to help her bed-ridden Mother.

Tillie’s rule in life gave her an understanding of the value of family ties and to cherish life instead of focusing on problems. She enjoyed dances in her town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and spending time at Coney Island and the Jersey shore.

Tillie met my Sicilian Grandfather while working in a cigar factory in Newark, New Jersey, who she later married.

The downside is they will no longer be at the farmer’s market in Brick….BUT you can call to place orders or find out where you can pick some up. Their number is 908-330-5717.  Check at their Facebook page too:

Packing lunch, this makes a great side for any sandwich or add it to your salad.  Need a NEW lunch box??? Try Thirty One’s Lunch Break Thermal (one of my favorites).  It is the stylish way to take your lunch to work or wherever you and your family go. Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a blessed day!

Tasty Tuesday: Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

Thank you to “The Staten Island Family” for today’s recipe.  These yummy muffins are only TWO points on the Weight Watchers (WW) program.  You are definitely going to want to give them a try.  I’m still working on a gluten free version.  I need to find a Kodiak-like mix which is gluten free.  If anyone knows of one, please let me know!

Despite the newest health struggle and the restriction AGAIN to more things, I am trying to stick with my points.  My goal is to get back to Weight Watchers soon (maybe by mid-June).

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Protein packed whole grain buttermilk flapjack and waffle mix 19 Points
  • 14 tsp table salt 0 Points
  • 12 tsp baking powder 0 Points
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 0 Points
  • 1 cup Sugar-free syrup, maple flavor Point
  • 3 eggs 0 Points
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk 1 Points
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 0 Points
  • 5 sprays Cooking spray 0 Points

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
  3. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  4. Pour batter evenly into the 12 muffin cup tins
  5. Bake for 17 minutes.

Once they are all done, you can freeze them individually for a quick easy on the go breakfast.  Just take them out the night before OR zap them in the microwave to warm them up.  You can drop one in ThirtyOne’s Cool Zip Snacker and take with you as you head out the drop.  These are food safe and reusable.  This cute thermal pouch  has a zipper top and adorable critter design! Choose from our fun Pink Flamingo, snappy Crabby Claws or magical Mermaid Tail, plus our popular Shark and Unicorn! Snack in style all season long.  They will only be available till the end of the month so be sure to grab yours NOW!

Let us know how you like the recipe.  AND if you have a favorite recipe you want to share, if we use in our blog……….YOU will receive some FREE happy mail from ME!  Share as many as you want, as often as you want.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!