Blog Archives

Potatoless Low-Cal Shepherd’s Pie

potatoeless sheperd's pieI love potatoes. Honestly, I think they are probably one of my favorite vegetables. BUT they are super high in calories and carbs, so I try to limit them. One baked potato is a whopping 270 calories – that’s most of my allotted calories for a single meal when I’m dieting (which is around 300-350 calories/meal) – and that’s without butter, sour cream or anything extra!

A medium French Fry from McDonald’s is 360 calories!! Sadly, I have to admit, when I get fries, my eyes are bigger than my brain and I feel the need to order a large fry because I like fries more than the darn burger. However, that large fry will cost me about a 5 1/2 mile run!  A large fry had more calories than my sandwich – 537 calories (Super Size is 610 CALORIES!)!! Needless to say, if you are counting calories, it doesn’t take long to realize you need to limit potatoes from your diet if you want to lose weight.

With all that high-cal potato talk, I got a little creative last night and made a potatoless Shepherd’s pie. Honestly, if I had cauliflower, I would have made mashed cauliflower. Instead, I started my meal out like I always do. I look in the fridge and pantry to see what I have and then I start brainstorming. Yesterday, I ended up with Ground Turkey & Cabbage Shepherd’s pie and it was a success. Steve loved it, and he liked the carb to protein ratio – so here it is!

potatoeless sheperd's pie

Potatoless Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 head of cabbage chopped (made 4 cups)
  • 4 cups cooked and seasoned lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cup yellow corn
  • 1 1/2 cup lima beans ( didn’t have peas!)
  • 1 tablespoon butter/margarine
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of Stevia and Splenda
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Badia Complete Seasoning

First I combined cooked and seasoned turkey meat with cooked corn and limas (cooked and seasoned with salt and pepper) and put that in the casserole dish. (I seasoned my meat with lemon juice and Badia Complete Seasoning). Then, in a separate pot, I boiled the cabbage with seasonings and the Stevia until really tender and soft. I drained the cabbage reeeeeally well and added the butter to add a little fat, as well as a buttery flavor. Next, I spread it out on top of the meat mixture, topping it with the sprinkle of cheese and baked it on 400 for 20 minutes or so (just to melt the cheese and do the final bit of cooking).

After you pull it out of the oven, drain off any fluid (from the cabbage) and let it stand for a few minutes. If you can’t wait, you can serve it right away, but it will be a messy meal. If you let it cool, it cuts in nicer squares. I let mine cool completely and stored it in the refrigerator. Then I cut it in squares and put it in tupperware (cuts beautifully when cold). Steve loved it and it was darn tasty!

9 servings: 278 calories 25g P, 15g C 13g F
12 small squares: 209 calories, 19.1g P, 11.3g C, 9.9g F 

potatoeless sheperd's pie

NOTE: Fat slows digestion, helping you feel fuller longer, as well as provides you with more lasting energy.

 

Advertisements

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Quinoa Chili

turkey quinoa chiliAs many of you know, I’m not a huge “recipe follower”. I own measuring cups and spoons but rarely use them. I like to start with a thought and build my creation as I go, with my mind (and tongue) as my only guide. With that said, I decided to make some Chili Sunday. Although I can’t tell you EXACTLY what I put in it (but, don’t fret, I will try!), I can tell you about a discovery I made that was a huge success – RED QUINOA!

I’ve been cooking with quinoa for a while now and have added to meatloaf, salads, burgers, rice and all kinds of stuff – so why not chili right? That’s what I was thinking!! My chili was becoming a little too soupy and I wanted to thicken it up a bit. As I started to think about what I wanted to add to it, quinoa popped in my head.

I cooked up 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, and added the cooked quinoa to my huge pot of chili. It was AWESOME!! It blended with the ground turkey very well and gave it a great hearty consistency. Here’s (approximately) what I threw in the pot if you’d like to give it a try!

My Un-Recipe Turkey Quinoa Chili Recipe

  • turkey quinoa chili 2.5lbs of ground turkey
  • 2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 large can tomato paste
  • One small onion
  • 3 small sweet peppers (red, yellow & orange)
  • 3 cans of medium chili beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 cup of frozen fresh organic corn
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa (cooked as directed prior to adding)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • A few shakes of your favorite hot sauce
  • Brown Sugar or Stevia to sweeten (to taste – I used both)
  • Cumin, Chili power, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper, cayenne pepper & all that jazz. I did my own thing, but you could just use a chili seasoning pack to make it simple.

I cooked this chili nearly all day. I like to serve it the NEXT day! It’s just always SO more flavorful the next day!! Let all those seasonings soak in for a phenomenal chili! Top with light sour cream for a peace of heaven. Yes, I’m literally eating a bowl RIGHT NOW!!!! yummmmmmmmmm

diet tipDIET TIP: Track calories by adding ALL the ingredients up (I use the recipe builder in the LoseIT app, putting the total amount and weight of everything). Add how many servings it will serve (you can do this based on how many ounces or quarts your pot is, and divide it by cups so each cup is a set amount of calories so you can easily track each cup). Once you have the recipe in your app, you will always have the calories for that meal! If you are like me, you stick to the same favorite recipes anyway, so you won’t have to build too many recipes. If it seems too hard to track challenging recipes, stick to whole foods while you are dieting (a meat, a veggie, etc) until you get the swing of managing calories while cooking mutli-ingredient recipes like this one. Remember, just because you don’t  know how many calories something is, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Moderation is key – but in order to know how MUCH you can have, you need to know how MANY calories it has! 🙂

CLICK HERE for more information, recipes and nutrition tips on Quinoa!

Fresh & Tangy Whole Grain Pasta Salad

Sometimes you just want a nice cool crisp pasta salad to munch on that isn’t loaded with calories. Yesterday was one of those days, so I whipped this little creation together and it came out super yummy!

Tangy Healthy PastaBox of Rotini Whole Grain Pasta
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cup Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
1 Cup of Chopped Scallions
1 Chopped Green Pepper
28 Slices of Turkey Pepperoni (14 slices per serving)
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
Salt & Cracked Pepper (to taste)
Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Boil the pasta as directed. Drain the pasta and let it cool. Add all the cold ingredients and chill for nibbling later! Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and serve! I added diced grilled chicken (seen here in this pic)! YUM!

Super Simple Chipotle Grilled Chicken and Corn

Chipotle SeasoningSometimes the right seasoning is ALL you need to make a fabulous meal! This week I grilled up some delicious chicken using this simple recipe, and it came out absolutely amazing.

• 8 Chicken Breasts (filleted into 16 pieces)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup lime juice
• LOTS of this yummy Chipotle Seasoning         (until each breast was nicely covered)
• Salt (to taste)

Grill on medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes on each side. End result is one juicy, flavorful batch of grilled chicken – the perfect centerpiece for any meal!

Grilled Mexican Corn:

Grilled Chipotle CornIngredients:
A Bag of Today’s Harvest Frozen Corn 
Chopped Fresh Cilantro out of my “garden” (to taste)
2 Limes
1 Avocado
5 Diced small red and orange sweet peppers
One Tablespoon low-fat Hellman’s Mayo (optional)
Salt

Mix corn, lime juice, cilantro and peppers together.Wrap the loose corn in tin foil and place on the grill until the corn is a little charred. Once the corn is done, add the optional mayo and top with sliced avocado.

What is YOUR favorite seasoning for grilling out? 

Muscle Meat Recipe: Food for Fitness

Two weeks ago, Steve was playing around with his LoseIt app to figure out what ingredients he’d need to make the ultimate nutritious meatloaf that was not only high in protein, but had a healthy dose of carbs and some healthy fat too. After he did the math, he gave me the list of ingredients he wanted is muscle meat dish to have, and said “make this taste good” with a smile on his face. 🙂

Here was the list of main ingredients:muscle meatloaf

• 5 lbs Ground Turkey
• 4 Cups Cooked Quinoa
• 3 Avocados
• 1 Cup Egg Beaters

Steve was on a quest for one dish that had it all, so he could get the protein he needed for muscle repair, but still have a nice amount of energy, which would come from the fat and carbs. I have to admit, I wasn’t totally sure about the avocado, but I was willing to try – and I have to admit, this might be the best meatloaf concoction we’ve made yet! Here is what I came up with.

Muscle Meat

5 lbs Ground TurkeySpicy Muscle Meat Recipe
4 Cups Cooked Quinoa
3 Avocados
1 Cup Egg Beaters
3 T Apple Cidar Vinegar
1 Large Onion
1 Large Bell Pepper
1 Small Can of Green Chilies
2 Diced Jalapeños
2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 T Cumin
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Fresh Minced Garlic or Garlic Paste
1/2 Can Rotel Lime & Cilantro Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Ketchup
3 Tablespoons Stevia or Sugar Twin Brown Sugar Replacement

Mix all the ingredients together and put in 2 large baking dishes. Cook on 350-375 for 1 hour. Top with a touch of your favorite ketchup, BBQ sauce or a yummy hot sauce for an added KICK! I topped mine with this sweet and hot curry Brown Sauce (below), from a recipe my BFF gave me. Thanks Kristie!! It was DELIIIIISH!!

Servings: Makes 16 servings (8 pieces per dish).
50/30/20: This dish is approximately 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fat.
288 Calories Per Serving: 40gms Protein, 20gms Carbs, 6gms Fat

Trevor’s Insanity Hot Sauce Recipe (Brown Sauce)

Trevor's Insanity Hot SauceIngredients:
12 fresh habanero peppers — roughly chopped (unless you want to die. I used 4 habaneros! ha)
1 ripe mango — peel, pit, mash
1 cup yellow prepared mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar — packed (I used Sugar Twin Brown Sugar)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and freshly cracked black pepper — to taste

I blended it in my blender and it made a great thick sauce that was the PERFECT topping for this dish!

Cali-Quinoa: Curried Black Bean & Mango Salad

Chicken, Black Bean & Mango Quinoa SaladYesterday I made a couple of amazing Quinoa salads for this week. I made a Mediterranean salad (which I’ll share later) and this delicious California inspired salad.

When I think of all the flavors that go in this salad, I can’t figure out for the life of me what to call it. I don’t feel like it’s truly “Mexican” cuisine. Maybe you can tell me where a dish like this originated.

The curry and mango almost give it a tropical flair. Personally, for me, it reminds me of California – or one of my beach days when I walked across the beach to grab a Diego salad with curry sauce from  Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burrito in Satellite Beach. Either way, as soon as this little salad hits my mouth, I guess my mind goes on vacation. No wonder I love this one!

I love the sweet with the spicy, and all the textures. This will definitely be one of those salads I bring to parties because all these yummy flavors are like having a party on your tongue!

Chicken, Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

mango1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
Diced chicken (I cooked 3 breasts)
1 cup chopped mangoes
1/2 cup chopped
 cucumber
1 chopped onion
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
handful of torn cilantro
Salt

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
 (you can dilute this with water to reduce calories)
4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

Vidalia Chop WizardCook 1 cup of quinoa as directed (in 2 cups water for 15 minutes). I added a dash of salt and fajita seasoning. Remove from heat and let it to continue to steam (this makes it more fluffy). While cooking your quinoa, also cook your chicken and diced into small cubes. I cooked my chicken in lime juice, cumin and curry. While the hot food cools, start chopping up the cool ingredients. I use the Vidalia Chop Wizard and LOVE it! (Thanks Kristie – that’s a gift that keeps on giving!) In a separate bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Finally, combine the quinoa and chicken with the fresh ingredients and drizzle the dressing over it while mixing it until it is all well coated. Salt to taste. It makes 6 delicious servings.

369 Calories per Serving

  • 21 gms Protein
  • 12 gms Fat (only 1.7gm saturated fat)
  • 45 gms Carbs
  • 6.9 gms Fiber

This is a perfect salad for people who don’t have access to a microwave during the day.

Ways to reduce calories and make it even healthier:

  • Use Stevia instead of honey
  • Use less (or no) oil
  • Use more chicken, and less quinoa

This recipe was inspired by Curried Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango at Babble.com

CLICK HERE to learn more about Quinoa – including where to get it, great nutritional information and more!

Easy Food Prep Tips

In this video, I share what food prep day is like at the Pfiesters, including this paleo meal I made for our food exchange at our club, which I found this recipe found at http://www.PaleOMG.com. Prepare to succeed.

Ropa Vieja & Cuban Cauliflower “Rice”

ropa vieja

For the ropa vieja (Approximately 300 calories for 5 oz)
  • 1.5-2lbs chuck roast
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the Cuban rice (6-8 servings, 62.5 calories/serving)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and roughly chopped
  • 3 thick sliced of bacon, diced  (I skipped the bacon)
  • 1 (4 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the cooking directions & get more healthy Paleo meals.

Think Outside the Oven: 7 Ways To Cook Meat

We all get stuck in a cooking rut at times. We are such creatures of habits, we often forget their are other options outside of normal cooking routine – especially when cooking meat. To fix our rut, we often look for new recipes when we may need a new cooking method altogether.

When meat is cooked right, you barely need anything on it to make it taste great. For a dieter, that is key. The fewer ingredients, the fewer calories. So, I asked my facebook and twitter friends their favorite way to cook meat, they spoke out – and shared some great ideas.Here are 7 cooking methods to freshen up your meals and excite your taste buds (without packing on the pounds).

1.) Green Egg Smoker (&169) – Can we say Christmas Present? Yes, “I waaant thaaat”.

2. Crock Pot ($34-79) – Cook food while you sleep – this is my favorite way to cook. Cook chicken with Sweet Baby Rays’ BBQ sauce overnight and you’ll have an amazing mount of tasty meat by morning! (pictured left) Add vegetables and you have en entire meal without hardly breaking a sweat!

3. Wok ($59) – Cooking with a wok is great for people who don’t like the texture of one big chunk of meat, or like more flavor. Slice and dice up your favorite meat and veggies with a dash of olive oil and your favorite seasoning for a delicious quick fresh meal that packs a bunch of flavor in each bite.

4. Grill ($79 & up) – We grill up a bunch of meat every Monday for quick meals during the week. We keep the grill low, and cook the meat slow. Add big chunks of pineapple, mushrooms, green pepper, onion, tomato, zucchini, eggplant or asparagus too!

5. Rotisserie  ($199) – Another item on my wish list. Just be sure to peel the skin off before you eat it to save calories. The more options you have, the less bored you’ll become.

6. Roaster ($44) – Perfect for cooking Turkey on Thanksgiving Day, a roaster will keep lean meats moist and tender – and the big ones hold a ton of food so you can cook up several meals at once.

7. Indoor Grill ($59) – Not everyone has the space for an outdoor grill, so an indoor grill is the second best thing – or a quick fix in a rush. This was our primary way of cooking when we lived in our first apartment.

 
What is your favorite way to cook meat? Grill? Crock Pot? Oven? Stove Top? Join my facebook friends, and share your favorite cooking method below!


Kristin Hager Stones I love the crockpot..melts in your mouth.

The Get In Shape Girl grill or oven

Dee Spooner All of the above, keeps it interesting xx

Tara Finch Rotisserie

Steve Benway 1. Grill 2. Grill 3. Grill

Elle Curtin I like them all as long as it’s done right!


Alyssa Sterner Favorite is crock pot..but they all are delish!

Ma Ne Grilled… or smoked! Yum

Jennifer O’Keefe Grill is my absolute favorite by far (especially for Tandoori chicken, OMG!!)!

Kathy Cagnetta grilled!

Don Seymour Oven…….broil

Richard Cale Grill , george foreman grill, bake/broil, crock pot,


Bob Welch Burger King. (HAD to include his comment for a good laugh!)


Richard Cale Bk can grill stuff.. Well flame broil anyway

%d bloggers like this: