Tasty Tueseday: Zesty Spanish Cauliflower Rice

Today is another Weight Watcher’s recipe.  I haven’t had the nerve to substitute this for hubby’s favorite Spanish Rice dish yet BUT the day is coming.  I think I will make it for me and let him try it.  Wonder if he will be able to tell the difference??? LOL!

Nutrition facts: 1/4th of recipe (about 1 1/3 cups) is 100 calories, 0.5g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 571mg sodium, 21g carbs, 6g fiber, 9.5g sugars, 5g protein. Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 0*

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 20 minutes   Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

4 cups riced cauliflower (or 5 cups roughly chopped cauliflower)
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. If starting with roughly chopped cauliflower, pulse in a blender until reduced to rice-sized pieces, working in batches as needed.
  2. Bring an extra-large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add pepper and onion. Cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, including riced cauliflower, and mix well. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 6 minutes.
  5. Remove lid. Cook and stir until cauliflower is tender and liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

The Tote-ally Thermal may be a bit large to take for lunch BUT it is one of my NEW favorites…actually it has made a comeback! Why you’ll love it: it is tote meets cooler in this fabulous water-resistant bag. With the Leak Lock® thermal lining which allows for ice to keep food and drinks cool, this is the perfect tote for family outings, picnics, camping, boating or any other outdoor activity. It will also keep things hot if you are headed out to a picnic or family gathering.  The long handles let you carry it over your shoulder to free up your hands, and plenty of pocket space means that there’s a place for everything.

Do you have a favorite recipe?  Share it with me and if we print it, you will receive a FREE gift from me as a thank you.  You can send your recipes to me via email at hopews31@gmail.com

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Microwave Cake

This is one of my all time FAVORITE Weight Watcher’s Recipes.  Yes, it is 105 calories and *5 WW SmartPoints BUT it is so much better than eating a box of cookies or a bag a chips.  My hubby even said it wasn’t bad when I topped it with some chocolate frosting!

This skinny 3-2-1 mug cake is a simple way to satisfy a craving for cake in minutes with just two ingredients, a mug and a microwave.  Add a little bit of whipped topping and a few pieces of chopped fruit for a yummy treat.

It is low in calories and naturally portion controlled for those of us in Weight Watchers who are tempted by an entire cake sitting on the counter.  Admit it, you shave just a little bit off each time you walk by, right?  I know I am not the only one.

STEP 1 – MAKE THE BASE

You’ll need a box of angel food cake mix (make sure it is the one step kind) and a box of another cake mix of your choice.  I love chocolate so I picked Devil’s food (gluten free). But you can use whatever flavor you like best.  Whisk together the cake mixes in a large clear bowl with a balloon whisk. Whisk the two dry mixes together until they are free of lumps and well combined. Now you have enough “321 cake mix” for about 31 little microwave mug cakes.  Store your 3-2-1 microwave cake mix in an airtight container (like a gallon zipper lock plastic bag). Be sure to label it with what it is and the instructions so you are ready the next time a cake craving strikes.

STEP 2 – MAKING A MUG CAKE

Gather your tools:  a 10 ounce mug, measuring spoons, nonstick cooking spray and your mix. Coat the mug with nonstick spray. Then add 3 level tablespoons of dry cake mix and 2 level tablespoons of water.  Stir together cake mix and water with a fork.  Stirring with a fork (acts like a little whisk) until the mixture is well combined. It is okay if it bubbles up.  Microwave your mug cake for approximately one (1) minute and voila – you have cake!

NOTE:  The actual time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. My microwave is 900 watts and takes 60 seconds. If your microwave has higher wattage set your time for a little less.

I will admit, it is not the prettiest thing but it tastes yummy, especially when it is still warm. You can eat it right from the mug.

Or turn it out onto a plate and pretty it up with a dusting of powdered sugar and dollop of canned whipped topping.  You can even add a little bit of chocolate frosting while it is still warm and it will melt down the sides.

It is a great recipe for playing with different cake mix flavors, additions and/or accompaniments. If you are a Weight Watcher concerned about calories and/or tracking your points be sure to adjust accordingly.

You can use any flavor of cake mix you prefer: chocolate, white, yellow, lemon, spice, funfetti, spice, carrot, strawberry, etc.

Try adding 2 to 3 teaspoons of any of the following to the cake batter before cooking: miniature chocolate chips, finely chopped dried fruit, finely chopped nuts, sprinkles.  Top with a dollop of light whipped topping.

Make a Molten Cake by placing a small piece of chocolate in the middle of the cake before microwaving.

Unknown.jpegMake a Caramel Apple Cake by adding a little bit of chopped dried apple to the cake before microwaving and then after it’s baked top with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Make a Cranberry Orange Nut Cake into yellow or white 3-2-1 cake mix by stirring in chopped nuts, dried cranberries and orange zest before microwaving.

Top your favorite cake with fruit and whipped cream for a light and tasty “shortcake.”

Drizzle finished cake with chocolate or caramel sauce.

Let us know what you think…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Golden Autumn Beef Pot

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Today’s recipe is direct from my Weight Watcher’s Facebook group.  It sounded yummy so I wanted to share….

Prep: 45 minutes     Cook: 1:30 minutes     Serves: 8

6 Smartpoints per serving ( 1 serving = 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 12  pound(s) uncooked trimmed top round steak, Cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium uncooked onions , chopped
  • 3 medium uncooked potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups uncooked rutabaga, cubed
  • 12 cups uncooked carrots, chopped
  • 1cups uncooked cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley – chopped or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 beef bouillon cubes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 12 tsp salt

 Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, brown meat in oil in 2 batches. Set aside.
  2. Saute onions in same pan until soft.
  3. Return meat to pan along with remaining ingredients.
  4. Simmer, covered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

This is a great tailgating meal…Okay so it may not be in a crock pot BUT it doesn’t mean you can’t put it in one.  The best way to transport your crock pot or food to a tailgating party is in a Thirty One Market Thermal!  The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes (and a crock pot). 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 ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Beefy American Goulash

Beefy-American-Goulash-5b.jpgThank you EMILY BITES for this yummy recipe….

This one-pot Beefy American Goulash goes by many names.  This is a much better alternative than “hamburger helper”! No matter what you call it, there’s no denying  this is classic comfort food.   Meaty, saucy and full of juicy tomatoes and hearty macaroni, this savory dish comes together simply and all in one pot (yay, less dishes!). This recipe makes a little over 15 cups total, so each satisfying serving is almost 2 cups! That’s a lot of comfort for just 379 calories or 8 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.

This is great just the way it is and PLEASE  don’t omit the soy sauce, paprika or seasoned salt – they’re necessary for the flavor!  Some people add bell peppers or cheese (yuk) or any other kind of veggie.

Nutrition Information:  379 calories, 49 g carbs, 10 g sugars, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 33 g protein, 5 g fiber.  Makes:  8 (2 cups) servings . WWSP: 8

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs uncooked 95% lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (I used gluten free)
1 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
12 oz uncooked elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the ground beef in a large dutch oven and bring over medium heat. Cook, breaking up with a spoon or spatula, until the meat is browned and in small pieces. Drain the grease from the pan.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and stir together. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, seasoned salt, paprika and black pepper and stir together.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add the macaroni and stir until well combined. Re-cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the macaroni is cooked through.
  6. Remove from heat, stir and remove the bay leaves.
  7. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Have leftovers?  Why not take them to work with you the next day?  Why not try Thirty One’s NEW Lunch Break Thermal Ltd?   I know the LunchBreak Thermal is NOT new but this style is…. You can elevate your style with one of our popular lunch thermals in sophisticated fabrics and finishes. Perfectly sized and styled for packing lunch and snacks for work or travel, our roomy insulated cooler bag has a water-resistant thermal lining, zipper closure, extended handle for ease of carrying and chic cotton fabrics. I love the feather personalization because it reminds me of angel wings….  What would your lunch tote say?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Is Impatience Your Problem? –

Patience can be developed with practice. 

As a recovering addict, patience has not been one of my strong points.  Sure I had patience (most of the time) with my daughter as a single mom BUT not when it came to other things it was non-existant.

What about you?  Is there a goal or desire are you rushing toward? What is the one thing in your life you just can’t wait to see happen?  I’m usually an “instant gratification” person but I’m working on changing which takes time (and patience).  Are you getting the vicious circle?  LOL.  It is usually the thing we want the most which take the longest like the struggle to reach your goal weight.

And while we’re waiting for things to happen, we are usually tempted to make things happen — we want the magic wand for things to happen NOW!  In most cases, the solution we find to the problem or desire is not a perfect fit and as a result we muck things up.  We get a SMACK to remind us it is time to practice patience!

The truth is a lack of patience is often a sign of fear and those inner gremlins called fear are waiting to squash your  goals and desires.  We want what we want now!  I know I am not alone, right?   We get anxious and worried then begin pushing for things to happen before their time (remember it is His time, not ours).  We need to learn to slow down.  We need to trust.  We need to breathe. Patience is an act of faith, even when we don’t know when or how things will work out.

Here are four key areas of your life where you may need to practice more patience…

Relationships

Are you short-tempered with people? Does waiting in line at the store irritate you?  Do you get impatient with someone who is trying to do something especially when they don’t live up to your expectations?  Are you scared your dream relationship will never happen?  If you are single, have you pushed a relationship to be “serious” when it may not have been meant to be.  Why?  Because you fear someone special won’t come along, or maybe you think you’re getting too old to get married, or your choices are limited so you are tempted to marry the wrong person.   Love happens when you least expect.  I was one of those who always rushed a relationship.  It was when I made the decision to let things happen it did.  In fact, I told hubby I didn’t want a relationship.  Here we are almost 16 years later and still together.  Don’t rush into things.  Be patient. Trust. I am a definite believer of when you relax about things, the door to love (and other things) will open. Are you willing to wait?

Work

Patience was a lot tougher when I worked in an office. I found my lack of patience sabotaged my relationships with coworkers and clients who came into the office.  Now with my own business, on days I have no patience, my relationships with my customers are in jeopardy.  I was a job-hopper for many years because I thought it was the way to advance in my career.  Then in recovery, I learned some patience and VIOLA things changed.  I worked for 9 years at the Aids Alliance before moving into a consultant position. Then I was with Bethel for about 7 years – both of these long term positions allowed me to put my skills to use.  Is your job hopping depriving you of the chance to let you sparkle?

Finances

The lack of patience and the need for instant gratification leads to consumer debt.  For those, with no patience, we also tend to have a sense of entitlement because we think we deserve things even if we can’t afford them.  The result is we rack up credit card debt instead of saving for things we really want.    Yup, I have been guilty of this which is another part of my addictive personality. We often play the comparison game too.  We want to be like everyone else but never realize we are probably comparing their end to our beginning or middle.  When you have a little patience in fulfilling material desires, you might be able rein in your spending.

Health

If there is one thing which takes patience and perseverance, it’s eating healthy and exercising. It took me 7 years to reach my goal weight and it takes LOTS of perseverance to maintain it.  I lost and gained the same weight many times because I wanted the quick fix.  It wasn’t until I joined Weight Watchers where I learned patience.  The results were slow and steady and before long the changes were noticeable!   Are you looking for shortcuts to good health? There aren’t any. Make a commitment to start making one change on at a time and you’ll build up good habits which lead to good health and better looks.

This week I challenge you to practice patience in an area of your life where you are struggling.  What are you afraid will happen if you are patient instead of racing to the goal line?  Practice patience. Good things do come to those who wait.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!