Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saving Money Tip on Ground Beef

Research from Iowa State University has shown that rinsing pan-fried ground beef with hot water can reduce the fat content by a whopping 50%. The study found that 4 ounces of 80% lean ground beef that was pan-fried, drained, blotted with paper towels and rinsed with hot water contained 121 calories and 5 grams of fat—roughly the equivalent of 95% lean beef, undrained. By comparison, 80% lean ground beef that was drained and blotted (not rinsed) provided 177 calories with 10 grams of fat. Interestingly, researchers found that rinsing 90% lean ground beef did not provide significant calorie or fat savings over the 80% rinsed beef. We recommend that readers who adopt the rinsing method use the more economical 80% lean ground beef except in recipes where blotting and rinsing are not practical, such as in meat loaf or stuffed peppers. In that case, we recommend 90% lean beef.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Clean Eating Recipes

All of these are from the current May/June issue of Clean Eating magazine.

Yesterday for dinner we had...

Pork Fajita Casserole
1 large red onion, halved, sliced lengthwise
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb lean pork cutlet, sliced into 2 inch strips
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp chile powder
3 fat free tortillas
15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, chopped (or can of diced tomatoes)
1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In large skillet, saute onion and peppers in oil for 5 minutes. Add pork, garlic and seasonings. Cook for 8 minutes. In an 8x8 glass casserole dish place one tortilla on bottom and layer pork mixture, black beans and tomatoes. Repeat layers with the two other tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake 20-25 minutes.

Possible garnishes- sourcream, avocado, salsa

You can also make it even lower in points by using chicken instead of pork.

mmmmmm good

Today I'll be making these for lunches.

Sweet Potato & Jicama Salad
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup jicama, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp jalapeno, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Fill a large pot with 1/2 inch water and steam sweet potatoes 8-10 minutes, until softened. Mix together jicama, onion, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro in a medium bowl. When potatoes are finished, rinse with cold water and set aside to cool. Mix together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Add potatoes to jicama mixter, pour vinegar-0il dressing over top and stir until well combined.

NI- 140/5/4
I like this, the cilantro makes the salad. DBF didn't like it at all.

Red Pepper Tabouli
1 cup bulgur
1 tsp olive oil
2 red peppers, diced (2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp seal salt
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 bunch parsley, minced

Juice 1 lemon(about 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Cook bulgur. Saute peppers, celery, basil and salt in oil for 3 minutes, add garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Mix together lemon juice, oil and vinegar for dressing. Mix bulgur and pepper mixture together, add parsley and pour dressing over. Stir gently.

NI- 93/2/4
mmmmmmm bulgur, ofcourse this is good

For dinner tonight we will be having this...

Couscous with seven vegetables and tilapia
3 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Ras El Hanout (or Moroccan spice blend)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
2 small turnips, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, diced into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 head cabbage, 1 inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, chunks
1/2 cup green beans, cut into thirds
1/2 to 1 tsp hot sauce
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in 2 to 3 tbsp warm water for 10 minutes, drained
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
16 oz tilapia
1 1/3 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Ras El Hanout
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander

Mix spices all together, store in a dark dry spot. Will keep for a year. Makes 2 tbsp.

Heat oil in large stockpot, add garlic and Ras El Hanout. Quickly stir until brown. Then add next 5 ingredients. Pour in enough water to cover veggies. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until veggies are soft. Add pepper, beans, hot sauce and salt. Cook for anohter 10-15 minutes.

Ladle out 3 cups of broth and veggies, puree in blender and add back to stew. Mix in raisins and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and place fish on top of mixture (don't stir in). Cook covered for 10-15 minutes, fish will steam on top.

While fish is cooking, cook couscous according to box directions.

To serve, 1/2 cup couscous in bowl pour 1 cup veggie-fish mixtuer over top and sprinkle with cilantro.

NI- 260/3.5/8
And then there's this. We're not fans of Morrocan food apparently. I'm ordering pizza.

You don't have to stick to these veggies. Use whatever you have on hand.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3/25 Check-In

Maintained this week. I did well making food choices while away for the weekend. mmmmmmm the cosmo was yummy. *slurp*

I need to do some cooking this weekend. My freezer stash of lunches is taking a hit this week. Any suggestions? Anything you're hungry for?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3/18 Check In

I'm alive! Well more or less. I came down with a horrible horrible head/chest cold Sunday. I'm finally back to work and missing my bed.

Surprisingly even with this head full of snot, I lost one pound back down to 116.

I'm going to Traverse City this weekend so no recipes this Sunday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3/11 Check In

I'm up two pounds this week 117. I have major TOM bloat and I finally started exercising again so water retention from muscle repair equals two pounds. No big deal.

I'm getting back into the exercise. Yay! This morning's run was awesome! I didn't want to stop and get ready for work. I love runs like that.

Any suggestions for recipes for this weekend? I've started looking but nothing is jumping out at me.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hope the power stays on

Yesterday was a bad day and it made me very cranky. I sure hope I get uncranky while at craft day today.

Hopefully the power stays on otherwise dinner will be ruined.

Crockpot Spicey Chicken and Sweet Potato

3/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 small or 2 medium sweet potatoes, pared and cut into 1" cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (29 oz) salsa-style diced tomatoes with chilis (undrained)
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1.5 c frozen corn kernels (do not thaw)

Combine everything and cook on low.

Per serving: 270 calories; 1.5 g fat, 7 g fiber

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

3/4 Check-In

1 year ago today, I joined WW online. Today my subscription ended, I did not reup for another month. I'm on my own now. Well not really on my own, I have all the tools.

So now I start a new journey to see if what I learned stuck. Wish me luck!

Weigh in this morning and up to 115. I expected a gain since I finally got my lazy butt up in the morning and exercised a couple times. Weather has still prevented me from running though. I am so sick of this cold nasty weather. I need spring to get here soon.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

LasVegas Food

Just doesn't have the same ring as Fontana, oh well racing is in LasVegas today.

Lots of cooking today, next weekend my girls craft day is rescheduled so won't have as much.

In the crockpot I have-


3-4 lbs boneless/skinless thighs (or breasts)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large red or green bell peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon each basil and oregano
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 8 oz can stewed tomatoes with chiles (I used Italian-style stewed tomatoes instead)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups burgundy wine (see below)
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling before serving

Place sliced onions on bottom of crock pot. Add chicken.Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.Cook on low 7-9 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve over pasta, with a salad on the side.
NOTE: Rather than the wine, I used 1 cup fat-free chicken broth and 1 cup aged balsamic vinegar.

The notes are from the recipe originator, I used wine.

ETA mmmmm good, very good. I served it with rice, since we had pasta for lunch.

For lunch we're about to eat this-

Baked Penne with Asparagus (from the Cleaning Eating magazine)

12 oz whole wheat penne
3/4 lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
3/4 lb lean ground turkey
3 cups tomato sauce (I used two cans)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
4 oz low fat mozzarella cheese grated
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta acccording to box, add asparagus pieces when pasta is about a minute left to done. Drain. Brown ground turkey, add tomato sauce, basil, garlice powder, salt and pepper, simmer to heat through. Add penne and asparagus to turkey mixture. Lightly coat baking dish, layer half penne mixture top with grated mozzarella, pour rest of turkey mixture on top and top with other half mozzarella and parmigiano cheese. Bake 18-20 minutes, let set for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This made a ton, I had planned to also make this- (still will and will have a freezer full of lunches!)

Oh my, this is good. Very good. Makes a ton, I have lots of containers in the fridge and the freezer. I forgot to list up there but I added fresh sliced mushrooms to this.

Wheat Berry Chili (from Heather's Website)

1 c wheat berries
3 c water
2 tsp canola or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 oz can tomato sauce
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 c beef broth
15 oz can kidney beans
15 oz can white beans
salt, to taste

Bring wheat berries and 3 c water to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook for one hour until tender. Add more water during cooking, if necessary. Drain; rinse with cook water and drain thoroughly.Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat; add onion, green pepper and yellow pepper and cook until tender, about five minutes. Add all remaining ingredients; increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered, for one hour or until desired consistency is reached, stirring occasionally. Top with FF sour cream and/or FF or soy cheddar cheese, if desired.

ETA only had a taste of it, but it sure was good. I'm thinking it's going to be a very filling lunch.

LMAO My fridge and freezer are really full now.