Tasty Tuesday – Fudge Brownies

Today’s recipe is courtesy of Hungry Girl. The actual name of the brownie is “secret-ingredient” fudge brownie BUT I figured you would’t check it out if you knew there was a secret ingredient. LOL.  I’m trying to get back on track but I do love my sweets.  I never remember craving them this much but lately it has been really bad!  The best part about this recipe is I can make it gluten free with almond flour.

NUTRITION FACTS:  1/9th of pan (1 brownie): 107 calories, 2g total fat (1g sat fat), 190mg sodium, 23g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 5.5g protein

FreestyleSmartPoints® value 2*  MAKES: 9 servings

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 30 minutes    Cool: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • One 15-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup (about 2 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Truvia spoonable no-calorie sweetener (or another natural brand that’s about twice as sweet as sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8” X 8” baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor. Puree until completely smooth and uniform.
  3. Fold in 1 tbsp. chocolate chips. Spread mixture into the baking pan, and smooth out the top.
  4. Evenly top with remaining 2 tbsp. chocolate chips, and lightly press into the batter.
  5. Bake until a toothpick (or knife) inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Want to take these yummy treats on the road?  What better way than with a Thirty One thermal.  First up is the Cool Zip Snacker a perfect size to keep one of these yummy brownies from melting in the summer heat.  The best part is they are in the Summer Sale-a-bration and are only $8 (while they last).  Kids love snacks, and the Cool Zip Snacker makes it fun for them to enjoy their favorites! Available in two-themed characters, our snacker is food safe and reusable. The water-resistant thermal lining and polyester shell are hand-washable and easy to care for.

Looking for something a little bigger?  Why not try the Thermal Tote?  This is one of our most popular items, the Thermal Tote is the perfect-sized lunch bag for work, school, play dates, sporting events, golf outings, fishing trips or travel. The thermal lining and zipper closure help keep your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket is the perfect place to keep your cell phone, wallet or other important small items. Also makes a great gift for your kids’ teachers, tutors and babysitters, or your coworkers, neighbors and friends!

Share a recipe with us and if I post it, you will get some AWESOME happy mail from me.  Let’s us know what you think about this recipe.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Energize Your Business

It’s HUMP Day and I am trying to get energized! I’m in a slump with my business. I’m not sure if it is MS related or if I am in-between “why” or if I just need a jumpstart!  What is a girl to do?

When all else fails go back to what worked in the past.  So I pulled up an article on the DSW website entitled “Seven Ways to Energize Your Business“.  I need some motivation.  I need to find a purpose.  I need to figure out what it is I really want to do (when I grow up! LOL)

Here are some of their suggestion which I tweaked just a little.  I mean a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right?  
  • Establish priorities. I used to be a multi-tasker, trying to tackle everything at once. MS has changed that AND I usually forget what I am doing without a list.  I’m looking at things now through my recovery eyes.  Just One Day (or step) at a time.  So, list all your priorities (or to dos).  Then focus on one or two items at a time. I have lots of ideas squirreling away in my head but once I get them on paper, it is easier to put them in perspective.  I keep a list on my planner so I can cross it off when done.  I love seeing the pink lines which mean I have accomplished something for the day.  Prioritizing takes the stress off. I helps you  to focus on one thing at a time with the comfort of knowing you will stay on the right track.
  • Be as efficient as possible.  What are your time suckers????  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, binge watching on Netflix?  A time sucker is anything which distracts you from your daily goals.  I have been known to put a picture of a “security camera” in front of me as a gentle reminder I have work to do.  Don’t have a lot of time to “work”, grab that list of two of three things and set aside some time to get them done TODAY.  You will be amazed at how accomplished you feel when you cross them off the list as done.
  • Combine your work with different areas of your life.  No matter what kind of work you do, you can combine it into other areas of your life.  If you truly love what you do, this will be easy.  I am struggling with my purpose lately so some days this is a little bit more difficult.  As a Thirty One Director, it is an easy!  I use and carry our bags every where I go. People comment about them and I share how awesome they are. As for “The Angel Connection“, this is a no-brainer too.  I always have an angel on.  I am learning to change up my angel so it POPS when I wear certain shirts.  Seems basic enough, right?
  • Actively manage your time and stop wasting it.  Time management may be easy for some but for me it is a struggle.  I am getting better with the help scheduling things in my planner.  Color blocking used to work but now it confuses me.  I still set aside time for family, work, my Thirty One and Angel Connection business and time for me (ok, so maybe sometimes this gets pushed to the side).  Manage your time when it comes to activity or exercise.  Add it to your calendar so it becomes a part of your every day life and you aren’t wasting the small amounts of time doing nothing when you could be active.  I know, I need to practice this one myself!
  • Commit to learning new things.  Lately, it seems like I am learning something new every day.  The struggles with MS has made this an ongoing process.  I invest in my professional development because it helps my business and my team.  You can learn new things in a variety of ways like reading a blog, watching a video, listening to a conference call, a networking meeting or a formal conference/ training.  And a way that works for you.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.  There are going to be bumps in the road but you can learn from them and then you MUST let them go.  Sometimes it is easier said than done – whether it is in business or in life.  Just because you hit a bump or deal with a little negativity, it doesn’t diminsh all the positive work you have done.
  • Laugh more. I am learning to laugh at myself.  I feel like this was so much easier before MS.  The truth is sometimes I just don’t get the pun or joke.  It kills the punchline when someone has to explain it to you.  In recovery, I am learning to laugh again.  It is a process but one I am enjoying.
The lesson is simple – we tend to look at our lives as separate compartments – business, family, work, spiritual, etc. – which very seldom merge together.  When they do, it is often in a negative way – why not take the positive lessons we have learned in each part of our life and apply them to every part of our life as we take this journey through life.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Salad

I have struggled with staying at goal for the last few months.  Just when I wanted to get back on track eating zero point foods, it has been recommended in addition to dairy free and gluten free – I go vegetarian.  BUT before I made the change, I tried this YUMMY recipe.

Give this AWESOME 1 Smartpoint. per 1/2 cup service recipe a chance.  This will make 12 servings!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup purple grapes, halved
  • 2 TBS chives, scallions or green onions, minced
  • 5 ribs celery, washed and chopped
  • 1 TSP garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain, non fat Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken breasts until done. You can pan fry with non stick cooking spray or bake in the oven.
  2. Shred the chicken or chop using a knife. Place in medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Wash and cut the grapes in half. Place in bowl.
  4. Wash and mince chives. Place in bowl.
  5. Wash and chop celery. Place in bowl.
  6. Add garlic powder to bowl.
  7. Add light mayonnaise and Greek yogurt to bowl.
  8. Add a dash or two of this seasoning if you’d like some more flavor.
  9. Mix well and chill for an hour before serving.

Since this makes 12 servings, why not take some for lunch using your Thirty One Around the Clock Thermal..  It is one of the most versatile totes.  Great for lunch or snacks anytime, anywhere—work, school, festivals, road trips, pool, beach, golf course, boating or sporting events. The water-resistant thermal lining keeps contents cool and makes cleanup easier. A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including crossbody for hands-free movement. An interior mesh pocket and exterior front zipper pocket provide separate storage options when needed. Makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, kids, teachers and everyone else on the go!

If you try this yummy recipe, let us know what you think.  Have a recipe you want to share?  Send me an email – if I use it, I will send you some happy mail.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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!