Mason Jar Oatmeal

While my husband watched football Sunday night, I decided to check out Pinterest for fun decorating ideas and easy recipes. I stumbled across these incredible, no refrigeration-needed breakfast jars that I thought were so brilliant, I ran out immediately to get the ingredients:

MASON JAR OATMEAL!

Seriously, so simple, cheap, and easy to store.

I bought a dozen pint-sized mason jars (just $9 at Walmart), and immediately set to work prepping two weeks’ worth of delicious breakfasts!

Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup old fashion rolled oats (go for these instead of the instant, which are less nutritious)
– 2 packets stevia
– 1/2 tbsp Chia seeds
– 1/2 tbsp Flax seeds

I put this as my base in all twelve jars. Then, I decided to get crazy!

In four jars, I added:
– 1 tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut
– 1 tbsp slivered almonds
– 1 tsp Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

In another four jars, I opted for:
– 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
– 1 tbsp crushed walnuts
– 1/2 cup dried apple slices

And in the last four jars:
– 1 tbsp unsweetened craisins
– 1 tbsp crushed pecans

Amazing!!

Twelve jars, three flavors, and about ten total minutes of prep! The jars are air tight, so I can store these in the pantry for at least a month for a quick breakfast on the-go, but I doubt they will last more than two weeks now that I’ve tried one!

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Just add 1 cup of boiling water (I eye-balled it, since my jars have 1/2 cup markers on them), shake it well, and then let sit (with the lid on) for about ten minutes while it “cooks.”

I tried the chocolate coconut almond flavor today and I LOVED IT!

I want to purchase freeze-dried strawberries and powdered milk to see if I can make own own shelf-safe strawberries and cream! Yum!

Bon appetit, my friends!

Halloween Treats

Oh man…

Here come all of the Halloween candies, snacks, and themed-treats to further sabotage my dieting attempts.

These are my major weaknesses of the season:

Why, oh why, does every holiday/season have to be associated with such delicious (and fattening) food?!

Ugh.

I’m going to make this smoothie tonight to try and combat my desire to hunt down pumpkin-spiced-everything after work tonight:

 

pumpkin

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie:

  • 1 scoop Cinnamon Bun Protein Powder (120 cals, low carb)
  • 2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup So Delicious Almond Milk Plus Protein (40 cals, 5+ grams of protein
  • 1 tbsp chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 packets of Splenda/Truvia (whatever I have on hand)
  • 1/2 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 full cup of ice

This’ll be a pretty big – and heavy – smoothie, weighing in at nearly 300 calories, but it’ll pack healthy fats and a lot of filling protein. My hope is that it’ll fill me up AND satisfy my sweets craving for the seasonal treats!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Homemade Guacamole

Easy, fast recipe that can be whipped up in less than a minute!

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Homemade guac!

Ingredients:
2 whole haas avocados
1/2 jalapeño, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tbsp spicy salsa

Mash all together, leaving one pit in the bowl to keep it from browning! Serve with fresh, crunchy veggies or baked tortilla chips!

I made this about five minutes before having friends over Saturday night and they LOVED it! Thought it was store bought!

Bon appetit, my friends!

– Tori

Quick and Easy Avocado Dip!

In an effort to keep my eating clean this week, I sliced up a bunch of fresh veggies to take as snacks while at work. Since munching on veggies alone can get a bit boring, I decided to whip up the following dip (totally made up on the fly) to make my meals a little more exciting.

Check this out:

  • Two whole avocados, peeled and cut into cubes.
  • One 5.3 oz container of fat free, plain Greek Yogurt.
  • Two stalks of fresh green onions, minced small.
  • One jalapeno, diced small.
  • Two tbsp of garlic powder.
  • One tbsp of chili powder.
  • One tbsp diced cilantro.
  • The juice of 1/2 a lime.

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I literally blended this in a food processor for less than 30 seconds and, VOILA! A slightly lower fat version of our favorite guacamole! The Greek yogurt adds a protein punch and the chili powder and jalapeno give it a little spice!

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I might try to make a bigger batch of this next time (if you keep the pit inside the Tupperware, it can hold for over a week in the fridge!] and I might spice it up by blending in a little Ranch seasoning!

 

Six Minute Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Pasta!

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After a LOOOOONG day (work and school), I didn’t get home last night until 10pm. I was hungry, cranky, and ready to completely blow my diet on some junk food – just because I knew it would be fast.

Fighting the temptation of scarfing down a few Cadbury Creme Eggs, I decided to throw together a “pasta” dish (you’ll understand the quotation marks in a second) before I succumbed to diet temptation.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Miracle Noodles. 

Made of yam flour (non-digestible), they have ZERO CALORIES, ZERO CARBS, and ZERO GUILT. They’re a bit expensive, so I visit my local Asian Market and buy the non-branded version, also known as “Yam Shirataki.”

These noodles, which have the consistency of an al dente rice noodle, pick up the flavor of anything you cook them in. Since they’re pure fiber and don’t digest, you feel VERY full after eating them – which definitely helps with overall calorie consumption. I’ve played around with recipes in the past and decided to just wing it last night and see what I came up with. Surprisingly, I concocted a delicious, simple, low-calorie dish that helped me avoid the chocolate cravings on a Monday night!

Ingredients (approximately FOUR servings):

  • Two 12 oz bags of Shirataki noodles, drained
  • One bag of Steamfresh Garlic Sweet Peas with Mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of red sauce of your choosing (I happen to love Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic tomato sauce)
  • 2 tbsp of fat free cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil (or basil paste, as I use)
  • 1 tbsp of dried onions

Super Simple Cooking Instructions:

Empty contents of Shirataki noodles into a colander to drain, then rinse with HOT water for about 30 seconds. I cut them up (the noodles are VERY long) into smaller, easier to manage pieces. Place in a deep sauce pan and cook on HIGH – you need to do this to cook off the excess water and get the desired al dente texture.

While the noodles pan-fry, toss the Steamfresh veggies into the microwave and cook accordingly to package directions. I believe it’s about 5 minutes.

While the peas are cooking, toss your seasonings (garlic powder, basil, onions, etc) into the pan with the noodles and stir vigorously. You should see a lot of excess moisture at the bottom of the pan; the steam is probably intense right about now, so enjoy the facial.

Once the water volume has almost fully cooked off (about 3-4 minutes at the HIGH setting), add your red sauce and cream cheese. It’ll mix with the remaining water, thus fully coating the noodles in a thin, but rich, sauce. Add the Steamfresh veggies to the pan (even if they have a few seconds left in the microwave, you’re fine to pull them out now) and stir into the noodles. The garlic sauce from the vegetables will add to the flavor of the pasta (even more!) and you will notice you don’t need to add any salt to get a lot of flavor out of this dish.

TA-DA!

Seriously, less than six minutes and you have a FULL meal! I didn’t add any protein to it (I’d had a LOT of meat throughout the day), but you can easily add some leftover cooked chicken breast or leftover burger patty to this for a protein punch with no additional cooking time. I almost always have leftover chopped chicken breast in the fridge (I cook about a dozen breasts at a time to guarantee leftovers, actually), so it wouldn’t have been any effort to add some in. At 10pm at night, though, I didn’t want to add any more weight to my dinner than necessary.

This is NOT a Paleo recipe (Paleo would’ve frowned against the cream cheese and peas) but it made my belly happy, was low calorie, and wasn’t the bowl of chocolate I originally was craving when I got home – so I call that a win.

Bon appetit, my friends, and enjoy this simple dinner recipe! 🙂

Tori

Super Simple Paleo Breakfast Quiche

Tired of Greek yogurt every day, I decided to throw together these super simple crestless quiches for breakfast during the week.

Seriously, these took less than 5 minutes to prep and only 15 minutes to cook. They are endless customizable and store well in the fridge or freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cupcake/muffin pan
  • Cupcake liners (these are optional, but the clean-up is MUCH easier)
  • 12 whole eggs (or 6 whole, 8-10 whites whipped together)
  • Chopped turkey bacon, turkey sausage, or meat of your choice.
  • Assorted chopped veggies (onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc)
  • 1/2 cup low fat cheese (or, if you’re strict Paleo and don’t use dairy, Daiya-brand cheese alternative works!)

Instructions:

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • While it heats, put the cupcake liners into your cupcake pan.
  • At the bottom of the liner, add in crumbled turkey bacon or a few (small) pieces of turkey sausage. I used Jennie-O Turkey Sausage links and could only fit about 1/2 of a link into each tin.
  • If you’re mixing in veggies, make sure they are THAWED or cooked. These cook too quickly to use anything frozen. I’d recommend no more than 1 tbsp of chopped veggies unless you’re using a BIG muffin tray.
  • If you’re using WHOLE eggs, crack a single egg into each cupcake liner. If you’re using the egg white/whole egg blend, fill the tin to 3/4 full.
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I also added a 1/2 tsp of onion flakes, as well, because that’s my thing).
  • Right before you toss in the oven, sprinkle on a tiny bit of cheese/cheese alternative. I didn’t even use the full 1/2 cup I had set aside, but you can be as generous as you’d like.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. I checked mine a few times, as I was trying to keep my yolk soft and my whites cooked, but you can cook it a little longer (up to 16 minutes) without the egg becoming rubbery. Don’t OVERCOOK them if you plan to store them, as reheating them in the microwave could make them tough if they are already well-done.

 

Here’s what my finished product looked like:

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Using whole eggs and a 1/2 turkey sausage link in each, my crustless quiches were roughly 95 calories each. Not bad! I had two for breakfast this morning and plan to enjoy them over the weekend, as well. I’ll freeze the extras for future enjoyment or a quick and easy snack.

These are great for Paleo dieters, low-carb friends, or anyone that needs a quick, protein-filled breakfast in a hurry.

Bon appetit, my friends!

Tori

Insanely Delicious, Low Fat (and high protein!) Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ever since the Superbowl, I’ve been craving tailgate food with a passion. I’m not a football fan, but I’m a huge fan of the snacks that correlate with America’s favorite past time. Burgers, wings, dips – oh my!

A major favorite has always been the infamous Buffalo Chicken Dip. You know, that crockpot dish with a thick layer of oil and fatty goodness just waiting for you to dunk one (or hundreds) of tortilla chips in it?

Yeahhhh. I’m salivating at the thought.

Desperate to recreate the rich flavor and not consume 2,500 calories on a snack-size portion, I decided to concoct an experiment in the kitchen. Let’s just say it was a BIG success.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Approximately 1 lb of chicken breasts. (I used about 1.25 pounds in my batch.)
  • 2 containers of fat free plain Greek yogurt. (I used Chobani, but any brand works.)
  • 2 cups of Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce, Buffalo Flavor. (They make a regular, a mild, and an extra spicy. I opted for the regular in mine and then added more heat post-cooking!)
  • 1 packet of Kraft Ranch seasoning (A huge calorie saver compared to using the dressing!)
  • 1 tub (8 oz) of fat free cream cheese.
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • 1 cup of 2% reduced fat Sharp Cheddar (or fat free cheddar, if you REALLY want to cut the fat content down to nothing).

Super Simple Directions:

In your crockpot, add the chicken breasts and 1.5 cups of the hot sauce. It should be just enough to cover the surface of the meat but not drown it. If it’s a little short, add the full 2 cups.

Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. At this point, the chicken should be fork tender and should easily shred with a little stirring. If not, allow to cook another 1/2 hour or so.

Once you’ve shredded the chicken, stir in the remaining ingredients: cream cheese, Greek yogurt, Ranch packet, and cheese. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook another 15-30 minutes, or until all cheese has melted.

Stir well and serve with sliced veggies, baked tortilla chips, or just spoon it right out of the pot!

Based on MY recipe (I used 2% fat cheddar and 1.25 lbs chicken), the entire crockpot was about 1,600 calories and nearly 300 grams of protein. I divided the pot into 8 GENEROUS servings and froze four of them (in gladware) to enjoy the next time the craving strikes. I swear, you CANNOT taste the difference between this version and the full-fat version. If you’re a blue cheese fan, you can sprinkle in a 1/4 cup of blue cheese in lieu of 1/2 cup of the above-mentioned shredded cheese. I’m personally not a huge blue cheese fan (it’s an overpowering flavor), so I opted for sharp cheddar as the base to my flavor.

Test out the recipe and let me know what you think! If you make any cool substitutions (I debated adding sliced jalapenos), tell us about them.

As always – bon appetit, my friends!