Coz’s French Toast Strips

french toast

Sexy strips du toast a la francais. Oui oui!

I know I said that last week was “breakfast week” and then I posted only one breakfast recipe before socking you in the face with some lamb stock. How very rude of me. I should have given you at least ONE other breakfast dish! I’ll make up for that now.

Jess is utterly fantastical at breakfast food. I’ve mentioned before how she used to lure me out of my slumber with hot breakfast sandwiches and fresh coffee. These days, she’s been doing it with french toast sticks. I’m not complaining.

I don’t even remember the last time I had french toast at a restaurant. It’s just something that’s so easy to make at home that it seems silly to overpay for unhealthy versions of it at a local chain. I’ve seen some of the stats for restaurant french toast. SCARY. The Strawberry Banana French Toast at IHOP tops out at 1060 calories! That’s around 28-30 PP? FOR BREAKFAST?!?! Noooo thank you. In the Original Pancake House’s Sourdough French Toast, one plate is 1250 calories. Sweet Jesus! I feel like a clogged an artery just reading about it.

Well, this french toast is absolutely delicious and will NOT clog your arteries. It tops out below 250 calories and is sure to leave you satisfied. You can even put some slices of fresh strawberry and banana on it AND a dollop of Cool Whip Free and you won’t even be adding on any extra points. Take THAT, food chains!

french toast

Basking in the sunlight for a photo shoot before ending up in mah belly

Coz’s French Toast Strips
Servings: 2 (8 strips total)
PointsPlus per Serving: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of your favorite 2 PP bread (I use Meijer Organics Multigrain), 9 PP
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 2 egg whites, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cooking spray

Directions

1. Whisk together all ingredients except the bread in a large bowl (because you need the space on the bottom to fit a slice of bread). Get a non-stick skillet or panini pan heated up to right above medium low.

2. Dip your first piece of bread into the mixture and let it sit for a minute to soak up the flavor. Spray the pan with cooking spray and then put bread on. Cook about 1 minute each side. Repeat with other remaining slices. Cut each finished slice into four strips. Top with some sugar-free syrup (around 1 PP per 1/4 cup) and a sprinkle of powdered sugar or coconut flakes and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

sweet potato, breakfast, hash browns, breakfast potatoes

Oh so sweet

Breakfast is easily one of my favorite meals of the day, but only when it’s done right. Like most people, I can live with a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit and then go about my day if I have to, but I’d always rather have something homemade. The only thing that frustrates me about breakfast is the monotony that we’ve settled for! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, cereal, rinse, repeat. Sure, there’s a little more differentiation than that, but it sure feels like there isn’t sometimes.

In order to break up that monotony, I try using ingredients that aren’t normally found on a breakfast menu. I’ve already posted some delicious recipes using wonton wrappers, salad fixings and polenta, but I definitely need to bulk up that section of my recipe index! Here are some examples of different, delicious breakfast foods that I’ve been enjoying lately:

Giardiniera and veggie-cheese omelets
Vanilla chai pancakes (cooked in coconut oil.  YUM.)
– Sweet potato hashbrowns

All these things are extremely yummy and satisfy that need for change. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is for my sweet potato hashbrowns. I’ve been making them for a couple years now, ever since we had run out of regular potatoes and I was craving some hashbrowns. We mash them, soufflé them, bake them, French fry them and turn them into hummus, so why not turn them into hashbrowns as well? I made them for my parents on Christmas Eve morning and they went bonkers. I think they forgot how well the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes lends itself to savory dishes.

I’m actually going to share two variations. One is low-sodium and includes onions and the other is just well spiced and doesn’t have onions. At least one of them is sure to please anyone in your household who likes sweet potatoes!

sweet potato, breakfast, hash browns, breakfast potatoes

Jess took these photos. She calls this one “sweet hash”…. :)

Simple Sweet Potato Hashbrowns
Servings: 4
PointsPlus per Serving: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, 8 PP
  • 2 tbsp light butter/margarine, 4 PP
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • paprika

OR A LOW-SODIUM VERSION WITH ONIONS

  • 1 large sweet potato, 8 PP
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • crushed red pepper or chili powder
  • 2 tbsp light butter/margarine, 4 PP

Directions
1. Get a bowl of warm water.  As you dice up your sweet potato, throw it into the bowl with water.  Letting them soak in the water for a little bit as you are preparing everything will soften them up just enough.  Chop up your onions and set them aside (not in the water).

2. Warm up a non-stick skillet or cast iron pan (my preference).  Once it gets to a medium heat, put in the butter and let it melt.  If you’re doing the version with the onions, put the onions in and let them soften up just a little.  Then put in the drained potatoes.  Sprinkle your spices over top (I just do a sprinkling of each and use a little more of the flavors I really want in there), mix around the potatoes so they are well coated with butter and spice and then let them sit for about 4 minutes.  Once they start to brown up on the bottom, scrape them all over to one end and give them a flip.  Let them sit for another 4 minutes or so.  Do this until they meet your level of satisfactory softness/crispness and then transfer them to a plate.

**PLEASE NOTE** – If you are doing the version with the onions, you’ll have to stir them up more often so the onions don’t burn!

What are some other things that you eat for breakfast that you’d consider “different”?

Goetta Breakfast Salad (uhh.. salad for breakfast?)

Oh boy was this tasty.

No, no. Breakfast food in a salad and eaten for lunch! Although, I’m sure it would be delicious and filling as a breakfast dish, but I just can’t get myself to eat salad for breakfast. Weird.

How did this fusion of German breakfast food and salad come to be, you ask? This is just what happens when two people start making two different things for lunch and decide that they both want a bit of what the other is having! Hee hee. No, literally. I’m sitting here giggling because I find it kind of funny. I wandered in the kitchen with a desire to cook up some of the goetta we brought back from OH last weekend and she was already in there washing some salad and putting it into bowls for us. I asked her if she wanted some goetta too and she said yes. I asked if she wanted an egg too and she said yes. I said, “what if we make it into a salad?” She said sure! BAM! Idea was born.

You can’t just put an egg and goetta on some lettuce and call it a new and interesting recipe, though. So, I mixed it up with some sauteed mini sweet peppers (because their flavors blend so well with egg and goetta) and threw in some zucchini as well because, let’s face it, you can pretty much add it to anything savory and it’ll taste good and fill you up.

Cheese and croutons were added in there too because we are a house that looooves cheese and croutons. In fact, during our latest visit to OH, we bought a bag of croutons to have with salad one night for dinner and the next night my dad decided to bring home FOUR MORE BAGS because… he figured we needed to eat them like french fries? I don’t know, lol, but they certainly didn’t last long.

They were good in this salad, but they didn’t add too much to the salad other than some more texture and a bit of cheesey/carby goodness, so if you want to save yourself some points you can go ahead and leave them out. I was just excited that I made up a new recipe using goetta that’s different than just slicing and pan-frying them up or inserting them into a breakfast sandwich. And it was definitely satisfying to both my palate and my stomach! Yum :)

Goetta Breakfast Salad
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 11 (or 8 without cheese or croutons since they’re more of an afterthought)

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 handfuls of salad greens
  • 2 oz goetta, 5 PP
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 3 mini sweet peppers
  • 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 1 tbsp low-fat french dressing, 1 PP
  • 1/2 oz dill havarti cheese (or another cheese of your choice), 2 PP (optional)
  • 2 tbsp croutons, 1 PP (optional)

Directions
1. Get out goetta and slice off two 1-oz rounds. Heat up a non-stick skillet to medium heat and cook goetta on both sides until nicely browned.

2. While the goetta is cooking, wash lettuce, drain and put in a bowl or on a plate. Wash zucchini and peppers. Slice peppers in half long-ways and slice zucchini into rounds.

3. Once the goetta is done cooking, cut each slice into quarters and put on lettuce. Cook up peppers and zucchini with a sprinkle of salt and pepper until slightly tender. Once done, slice the peppers into strips and put those and the zucchini rounds onto the salad.

4. Cook up your egg over-easy (so that the yolk will mix with the french dressing and be generally amazing.) While it’s cooking, cut up or shred your havarti cheese and put on salad.

5. Once egg is done, put it on top of the salad, add your croutons (if you’re using them) and drizzle the french dressing over top. Cut up with a knife and fork, mix it all up together and enjoy the delicious flavors!

Italian Spinach and Tomato Egg White Frittata and a New Endeavor

Spinach growing at Dienger Gardens in Cinci, OH

I have awesome cousins. See, I come from a very LARGE Irish/Italian/German liberal Catholic family. I have 27 first-cousins; they’ve survived leukemia, marathons and mudathalons, political protests, backpacking through 6 different continents, stints in the Finnish Army, lots of college and lots of crazy family get-togethers. How could I not think they are amazing?

Some of these awesome cousins started a CSA. That’s “community supported agriculture”. My cousin, Stephen, decided he wanted to be an organic farmer, got some apprenticeships on farms and the rest is history. Well, actually, it’s just starting so it’s not history yet! Here’s a link to more information. He did it last year and my parents took part. They were absolutely thrilled! His produce is BEAUTIFUL. I’ve never seen swiss chard so vibrant. The pumpkins were bright and full of flavor. I love it! Here’s his garden’s FB page if you want to check out pictures and more recipes!

This year, Steve and two of his sisters, Amy and Ellen, decided to do a newsletter for all those who are participating in the CSA. And since I’m their awesome chef-to-be cousin, they asked me to write up a recipe each week highlighting some of the produce that will be given out that week! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of this. I’m even participating in another local CSA this year (splitting a basket with a friend since our full basket last year was too much) so that I can get some seasonal produce to be inspired by.

This first recipe highlights spinach. It’s a stealthy, sneaky leafy-green that gives you large amounts of calcium and iron (even some fiber!) without you even noticing. It cooks quickly and tastes amazing. Mix it with some tomato, cheese, egg and italian spices and you’ll be in heaven (especially since it’s only 3 points per portion, so go ahead and have two!)

My cousin, Steve, is on the right and the other guy is Jules. They both have their own farms and together they are “Our Harvest Coop”.

Italian Spinach and Tomato Egg White Frittata
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg whites (or 5 extra-large), 2 PP
  • 4 oz crumbled light feta cheese, 7 PP
  • 3 handfuls of rinsed and drained spinach
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions
1. Turn oven on to 350. Then heat up an OVEN-PROOF skillet (small or medium sized) to medium heat.

2. Cut up the onion and tomato if you haven’t already. Spray the skillet with Pam and put in the onion. Saute for about 2 minutes and then add tomato and spinach. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain some of the excess juices from the pan and return it to the stove.

3. While your fillings are cooking, mix your cheese into your eggs whites (shred it first if you need to) and add the spices. Pour egg mixture over fillings. Put away all your utensils now! Leave it be until it browns slightly around the edges.

4. Once it’s slightly browned, stick the whole skillet onto the top rack of the oven and let it finish cooking for about 10-12 minutes. This will finish baking it and let it get nice and bubbly on top. Once the timer goes off, check to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly. If it is, there should be no excess liquid on top and it should be able to slide right out of the skillet once you loosen the edge. Slice into fours and enjoy!

If you want to check out some other frittata recipes, try my Havarti Ham and Veggies Frittata or this Bacon Tomato Cheese Frittata that I highlighted from Closet Cooking!

Smoothies and Shakes… What’s the Difference?

Click here for this Wild Blueberry Shake recipe by “Colorful Palate”!

I’ve been on a smoothie rampage lately. Well, by rampage I mean that I have at least 1-2 per day… and not really for the purpose of losing weight, but because they are damn tasty! If I can have something that tastes like ice cream without all the guilt for any meal of the day AND it takes less than 5 minutes to make from start to finish why would I NOT have 1-2 a day? They satisfy my massive sweet tooth and since I put protein powder in every one, they fill me up. It’s a win-win.

Click here for this Juicy Pear Smoothie recipe by “The Healthy Foodie”!

My history with making shakes and smoothies has not been a great one, though. Until my mom showed me how to properly make one last month, I ended up disappointed in most of my smoothie attempts. I’d already packed the blender up for our move (which is next weekend) because I didn’t see the point in keeping it out! Oh, silly silly me. Mimsy (my nickname for my mom) brought over some Weight Watcher Protein Smoothie packets, bought some frozen fruit and went to work.

First off, let me tell you the difference between a SMOOTHIE and a SHAKE. I had to do my own research on this just to figure it out. A smoothie is typically made with fruit – frozen fruit, fruit juice, fresh fruit, etc. It’s not a dairy affair. It’s a fruit party. A shake (“milkshake” being the source of the word), on the other hand, is a dairy-based treat usually made with ice cream, milk or both. The thickness of either does not change the name; as long as you can suck it up through a straw, it’s either a smoothie or a shake. When you start to need a spoon, then it becomes an ice cream or a sorbet.

After you figure out if you’re making a smoothie or a shake, you then want to decide how thick you want it to be. Do you want to easily drink it or do you want it thicker so that you feel more like you’re “eating” something rather than “drinking” it? The breakdown:

Click here for this Blood Orange Smoothie recipe by “Bittersweet”!

– Start each shake/smoothie with no more than 1 cup of a liquid, whether that’s water, fruit juice or some kind of milk (soy, almond, coconut, regular, etc).

– If you want a treat you can DRINK, you can either skip the frozen stuff all together (like ice cream or frozen fruit) and just put in fresh fruit like berries and bananas (or even spinach or avocado!) or you can put in frozen items that are UP TO OR EQUAL to the amount of liquid you’re using. If it’s too liquidy, blend in something frozen like ice or fruit.

– If you want a treat you can EAT, you can put in frozen items that are EQUAL OR UP TO TWICE the amount of the liquid you’re using. You could also use half the amount of liquid and sub the other half with tofu, yogurt, avocado or cottage cheese. Any more than that and your blender won’t blend it properly and you’ll end of with icy chunks of fruit covered in what resembles a smoothie texture. If it’s too thick for you, add some more liquid.

Click here for this Lemon Apple Honey Smoothie by “The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife”!

– If you want a treat you NEED TO EAT WITH A SPOON, you’ll want to use 2 parts frozen stuff to 1 part liquid. Maybe a liiiiiiittle bit more, but not too much. Or you can use about 2 tbsp liquid, up to one cup of tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt or avocado and then add your sweetener and frozen ingredients.

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: you want to make sure you eat/drink your treats right away. Smoothies and shakes lose their wonderful consistency within about 30 minutes. So, don’t make it until you’re ready to consume it.

Click here for this Papaya Strawberry Avocado Shake recipe from “Family Fresh Cooking”!

Now you know how to make it work. So all that’s left is some delicious recipes, right? Well, you can certainly click on any of the pictures I’ve posted to go to those recipes on different blogs or you can try some of these simple and delicious combos listed below! Just put in the wet ingredients first, then the protein powder (if using) and sweetener and THEN the frozen items. Blend and enjoy! You may need to use a spoon to re-position the fruit so that it blends properly. Once you see the top of the mixture seamlessly swirling towards the center, your treat is ready to be devoured!

Chocoberry Protein Shake (4 PP)

  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 2 PP
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 2 PP
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries

Click here for this Carrot Cake Smoothie recipe by “Pursuit of Hippieness”!

Tropical Breeze Protein Shake (4 PP)

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar, 1 PP
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen tropical fruit medley

Peaches and Cream Shake (4 PP)

  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 2 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream, 2 PP

Simple Strawberry Smoothie (1 PP)

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp truvia, 1 PP

Chocolate PB Banana Shake (5 PP)

  • 1 cup skim milk, 1 PP
  • 1 tsp peanut butter, 2 PP
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 2 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen banana

Watermelon Explosion Sorbet (1 PP)

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen watermelon chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp truvia, 1 PP

Havarti Ham and Veggie Frittata

Delicious. Photo by Jess!

“The secret to a great frittata is a very hot pan… because that’s what makes it fluffy.”
– Harrison Ford as Mike Pomeroy

Thank you, Morning Glory, for such a fantastic one-liner that it actually stayed in my culinary brain.  It’s great advice, by the way, because it actually IS the secret.  That one line (and one scene where he actually made one) was all I needed to be convinced that frittatas actually ARE that easy to make (and that I never want to be a news anchor.  Early morning drama?  No thanks.)

Making this frittata was quite possibly the easiest egg dish I’ve ever made.  Aaaaaaannnnnndddd… the cleanup was ridiculously easy!  You know how your pan gets all egg-crusty when you make scrambled eggs or breakfast scrambles and you have to clean it all out before you can even think of using it again?  Yeah, none of that with frittatas.  If you cook it right (with a really hot pan), it’ll slide right out and your pan it perfectly usable for another frittata the next day!

Here’s what you do: pick your fillings, cook em up and then pick your cheese, mix into eggs, pour over fillings, saute, bake.  VOILA.  Seriously.  It’s that easy.  And I figured this out from a freakin’ movie.  It was a hilarious movie, though, so that makes it double awesome.  Here’s my very first frittata recipe for you to enjoy!

Double Awesome. Photo by Jess!

Havarti Ham and Veggie Frittata
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4


Ingredients

  • 2 oz ham, 2 PP
  • 2 oz creamy havarti cheese, 6 PP (if you have a lighter version, use that!)
  • 3 eggs, 6 PP
  • 3 egg whites, 1 PP
  • 1 medium scallion, sliced
  • 5 mini sweet peppers, diced
  • 1/4 zucchini, diced
  • salt and pepper

Directions
1. Turn oven on to 350. Then heat up a skillet to medium heat.

2. Cut up the zucchini, peppers, scallion and ham. Spray the skillet with Pam and pour in the veggies. Saute until desired tenderness (about 3-5 minutes).

3. While your fillings are cooking, mix your cheese into your eggs (shred it first if you need to) and add the salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over fillings. Put away all your utensils, now! Leave it be until it browns slightly around the edges.

4. Once it’s slightly browned, stick the whole skillet onto the top rack of the oven and let it finish cooking for about 10-12 minutes. This will finish baking it and let it get nice and bubbly on top. Once the time goes off, check to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly. If it is, there should be no excess liquid on top and it should be able to slide right out of the skillet once you loosen the edge. Slice into fours and enjoy!

We topped ours with Sriracha the first time and this morning when I had my other piece, I topped it with my favorite mix of Chobani 0% Plain and Spicy Guacamole with fresh chopped cilantro on top. Aaaahhhmazing. I can’t wait to try some other combinations soon!

Oh, and I lost a few more pounds this week when I wasn’t really trying.  I just ate less and made better decisions.  I love when that happens :)

Bacon Egg and Cheese Wonton Cups and some Exciting News!

Guess who dropped 2.5 lbs this week?  ME!  Annnddddd, that means I’ve officially hit (and passed) my 10% mark!  33.2 lbs down.  If you recall, I came up with a list of milestones and rewards a while back and the reward for hitting my 10% mark was purchasing my blog domain.  DONE AND DONE!  This blog is officially housed at www.reluctantwwfoodie.com now!  I have always wanted a website of my own and now it’s official.  It’s been a great morning :)  Snuggles with my baybsie (who lost a pound too!), goetta breakfast bagel sandwiches, good weigh-ins and a newly purchased official blog domain!  Now, onto the foods….

O. M. G.

How could I have not ever cooked with these before!!??!?!  These being the incredibly versatile wonton wrappers that I found in the freezer section of my local Asian food mart.  For $1.99 I got a package of 60 wonton wrappers, and after doing the math, I figured out that they are only 1 PP for two wrappers!  Awesome.  Whether you get the round ones or the square ones, they have the same PP value.

Click here for this similar recipe by the Eat Drink Repeat blog!

Bacon Egg and Cheese Wonton Cups
Servings: 5
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3

Ingredients

  • 10 wonton wrappers, 5 PP
  • 1 eggs, 2 PP
  • 3 egg whites, 1 PP
  • 3 slices cooked low-sodium bacon, chopped, 3 PP
  • 2 oz low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, 2 PP
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic, chili, tamarind powders (optional)
  • sriracha sauce (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. If you haven’t cooked up the bacon and chopped it up yet, do this now.

3. Get out a cupcake pan and lay your wonton wrappers inside, 2 in each, forming a little cup. IMPORTANT – do not use non-stick spray. You don’t need to use ANY spray as long as the cupcake pan is non-stick. The wonton wrappers will cook perfectly and come right out.

4. Mix together all eggs and season with salt, pepper and other spices if using. Divide egg amongst wonton cups, making sure not to get any egg on the actual pan. Keep it inside the wonton wrappers (otherwise it will stick to the pan while cooking). Put chopped bacon into each egg cup and then top each cup off with shredded cheese.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Take out of oven, put on a plate and top off with a little sriracha sauce if you want a little extra kick (that was my fiancee’s idea!) and enjoy!

I have a picture of the ones we made, but they are on my other computer!  Pictures of OUR delicious wonton cups will be up later.  And after searching all over the internet, it seems that this is possibly the first recipe posted of this kind on the internets!  How crazy is that?  I CLAIM THIS ONE, PEOPLE!

Cinnamon Peach Pecan Zucchini Muffins

Before I dive into any recipes, I have to say thank you.  Thank you to all of you who sent me such beautiful supportive comments after my last post.  After a hard week, it was so wonderful to read all the love on wordpress and facebook; to get private messages and texts from friends and family who wanted to let me know that they love and support me and my girlfriend.  My grandparents even sent us flowers!  It was so humbling.  So, thanks you all from the bottom of my heart.  It was exactly what I needed to jump start my tracking and exercising again!

A nice healthy glow from all the good eating and exercise.  And also from knowing how much I am loved and supported!

In fact, I earn 33 activity points this week from all the working out I did!  After my small weight loss of 3/10ths on Friday, I woke my ass up early and went to the gym before work on both Friday AND Monday, and I did 25 minutes of weights and some cardio each time.  It felt great and I don’t even mind the fact that my arms and legs are sore from it all.  I also did a MUCH better job tracking my food.  I’ve barely used any of my 33 AP or 49 Weekly Points.  And now I have a gym buddy (Sarah from the Reluctant Losers Page) and we’re going to the gym every Monday and Wednesday morning!  So, I will continue to get great exercise.  Lucky for us, one of the benefits of working for Wolfram is a SUPER discounted gym membership.  I basically pay 18 bucks a month for TWO “gold” memberships  (me and the girlfriend) at a local gym.  I have no excuses for not working out.  Period.

So, life is back on track, the weather is becoming manageable again, and cooking has been happening a lot lately!  On Saturday, I made a tasty gourmet sandwich for lunch using chicken, “zucchini linguine”, feta and tomatoes… that delicious recipe is definitely coming soon as I convinced the girlfriend to take a picture before we all dug in.  Last night I made a mexican pizza with homemade dough, refried beans, green enchilada sauce, chobani ‘gurt, corn, tomatoes, sliced up marinated beef, jalapeno, cheese and adobo spice.  It was gooooood!  Although, some guacamole or avocado would have cinched it.  Tonight, we’re finishing up our latest round of ravioli making using the ravioli recipe I posted last year (that was my girlfriend’s doing.  She loves those ravs!).  So good!  And tomorrow, I’m cooking up another batch of my Fried Rice with Prawns and Ham, although I think chicken will be replacing the ham since I no longer have any ham in the house.  That’s quite possibly our favorite leftovers meal, which is hard to come by since the girlfriend isn’t a huge fan of the leftovers.  But that’s the thing about fried rice, it always tastes better the second day!

Now… for the recipe that claimed the title of this blog!  I LOVE these muffins.  They absolutely are the best right out of the oven or warmed up in the microwave and slathered in a bit of light butter.  My girlfriend doesn’t like nuts in baked things and she really liked these ones!  I didn’t take a pictures because, really, they look almost exactly like the Lemon Walnut Zucchini ones that I posted a while back.  Just a little more “peachy” than “lemony” :)  So just trust me, they look tasty!

Cinnamon Peach Pecan Zucchini Muffins
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 5 PP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz container of peach chobani, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (and carrot if you want), drained
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 PP
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 8 PP
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees.

2. Grate zucchini and drain. I used my awesome food processor for quick grating and squeezed it all by hand to get out as much liquid as possible.

3. Put all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix with the same wooden spoon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until fully blended.

4. Spray your muffin pan with some Pam and scoop the batter evenly into the pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes. They should be perfectly done once the timer goes off, so take em out and enjoy! I highly recommend heating them up if they’ve cooled down before you got a chance to eat one, then slice apart and put a little bit of butter on each side. It just brings it all together!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Mmmmmmm chocolate.

WOW.  Does it feel like it’s been forever since I blogged?  Sure does on my end.  Sometimes life just gets busy and you don’t have time to cook; that’s what life has been like for the past few days.  Luckily, that was not the case last night, and I had the chance to try out a couple new recipes with some of the Chobani ‘gurt from the extra free case of it that the amazing people over at Chobani sent me!

I can’t even express in words how much I love baking with yogurt now.  No butter, no oil, just pure awesome.  Add a little chocolate in there (like I did) and you’re basically biting into a little piece of heaven.

My girlfriend and I have a favorite chocolate chip.  It’s the Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips.  We don’t use any other kind anymore.  During the Christmas season, we went through about SIX bags of these chips in baking, eating them frozen, etc.  So, on our last trip to the grocery store… as we passed them in the aisle… they mysteriously ended up in our cart.  It was fate!  We had to buy them.  So last night, they became part of my new muffins.  And every bite was awesome.

See all the chocolate inside???

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6 (4 PP if you only use 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips!)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 5 PP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz container of raspberry chobani, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, drained
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 PP
  • 1 cup special dark chocolate chips, 36 PP

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees.

2. Grate zucchini and drain. I used my awesome food processor for quick grating and squeezed it all by hand to get out as much liquid as possible. You don’t want the extra juices, believe me!

3. Put all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then put all the wet ingredients for your muffin of choice in another bowl and mix with the same wooden spoon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until fully blended. No need to over-mix!

4. Spray your muffin pan with some Pam and scoop the batter evenly into the pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes. They should be perfectly done once the timer goes off, so take em out and enjoy! I highly recommend heating them up if they’ve cooled down before you got a chance to eat one, then slice apart and put a little bit of butter on each side. It just brings it all together!

Stay tuned later this week for another muffin recipe: Cinnamon Peach Pecan. These muffins were AMAZING too! Even the girlfriend, who doesn’t like nuts in baked goods, really really liked these muffins. Tastes a little like the holidays :)

Other recipes on the blog that I’ve used the Special Dark Chocolate Chips for:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Five Ingredient Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

Weekly Weigh-In and a Smoothie Recipe

This is Immi doing a happy dance for my good weigh-in. Or maybe it was an escape attempt….

After three weigh-ins of gains and not enough time spent at home cooking, I finally made up for it and lost 5.4 lbs this week! But really, it’s just 2 lbs less than what I weighed in at before I gained those 3.4 lbs back. So yay for redeeming myself!

They were pretty, delicious AND WWF. Better than a cake!

A list of random things before I give you the yummy smoothie recipe….
– I turned 27 this past Sunday. Happy birthday to me!
– My girlfriend is awesome. She bought me a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries for my birthday rather than a cake! Sweet AND WWF :)
Chobani chose me as their featured blogger of the week, so I’m currently accepting more entries for the case of Chobani ‘gurt they’re letting me give away! Enter here.
– I need to buy MORE Chobani ‘gurt so that I can make more muffins. I’m all out.
– 3 new people joined the Reluctant Losers in the past two days, so there’s 19 of us all together now!
– I got a subscription to Cooking Light for the next two years and I am PSYCHED. 218 recipes in the latest issue alone! I’m in heaven.
– I bought a juicer after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I’m totally a convert. Zero PP and it’s incredibly good for you? YES PLEASE.

And now, for your yummy smoothie recipe!  This is another recipe that I created using Chobani ‘gurt.  It was quick, easy and delightful.  You can switch up any of the ingredients to make it your own.  I’m not a HUGE fan of bananas and berries in the same shake, but it’s what I had on hand.  I’d much rather pair bananas with peanut butter or coconut and some chocolate syrup… and let the berries do their own thing with either lemons, vanilla gurt or ice cream, or…. chocolate syrup.  Yep.  Chocolate syrup is pretty much my “go-to” in many dessert situations.  But not too much!

Berry Banana ‘Gurt Smoothie…  Made with Chobani Pineapple ‘Gurt.

Berry Banana ‘Gurt Smoothie
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5

Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz container of Chobani Pineapple, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup mixed frozen strawberries/raspberries (or fresh if you have them)
  • 1 cup frozen banana rounds (slice up bananas when they are just starting to brown and then freeze them!)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk or Silk Coconut Milk, 1 PP
  • 1 packet sweetener like splenda or truvia

Directions
1. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend. Pour. Enjoy. The end.

Since the bananas were frozen, there’s no need for ice! But if you don’t have any of your fruit frozen, then you’d want to add about 4 ice cubes or so. One more picture for the road!!

Pretty much the same picture, just more saturated and sultry….