Mudslide Cookies

cookies, dessert, chocolate, mudslide

Click here for Jacques’ Chocolate Mudslide Cookies recipe from “Stylish Cuisine”!

Let’s get honest for a minute here.  There’s a solid week every month that women are allowed to be bitchy more abrupt than usual.  This coincides with all sorts of wonderful things like cramps, hypersensitivity, extended bathroom breaks, chocolate cravings, etc.  For the last three years, I barely had a period.  My body seemed to try to have one, but I just couldn’t pull it off most months.  Because of my unruly body, I didn’t have any excuse for my abrupt behavior… except that I was bitchy (What? NO!).

Good news, though!  My body is currently back to working correctly and my excuse for craving chocolate is back full force.  This is a dangerous craving for me.  I love chocolate on a regular day, so when I crave it on an extreme level, my dieting is constantly on the brink of disaster.  Last month, everyone and their mother and their sister and their bestest friend in the whole world decided to make cookies.  I’m not even joking.  EVERYONE MADE COOKIES.  And then they posted about it on Facebook.  Cruel!  Jess said she wanted to make some too and I was happy to participate in that.  I didn’t want to make any regular cookie, though.   My brain told me, “You want chocolate cookies with walnuts in them.”  I said to my brain, “Damn, that’s a great suggestion.”  So I made some.

chocolate, cookie, brownie, healthy, dessert

Click here for this Secretly Healthy Chocolate Brownie Cookies recipe by “Eliza’s Edibles”!

I found a recipe on the Cooking Light website for Mudslide Cookies and went from there.  They were perfect!  Not overly sweet (which is easy to do with chocolate cookies), perfectly crisp on the outside, but pillowy on the inside.  Best part?  Low calorie!  Granted, it’s still a CHOCOLATE COOKIE, so it’s going to have at least a few calories in it, but these aren’t over the top.  I made 30 ginormous cookies (as in the size of the palm of my hand) and they were only 4 PP each.  You could easily make cookies that were slightly smaller, and make 48 at 2 PP each.  Best part?  They satisfy my chocolate craving without making me want to eat seven in a row.  I get my momentary fill of chocolate after one!  That’s incredibly important  for me.  I have a tendency to go for chocolate CHIP cookies and then I eat four in a row just to get enough chocolate chips to actually satisfy my craving.  That’s not so helpful when you’re dieting.

Mudslide Cookies (slightly modified from Cooking Light)
Servings: 30
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4 (or 48 cookies for 2 PP each)

Ingredients

  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, 10 PP
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, 9 PP
  • 1 1/2 tbsp organic unsalted butter, 4 PP
  • 1 1/2 tsp strong black coffee (CL used instant coffee granules, but I’m classy, so I don’t have those)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour, 17 PP
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 4 PP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
chocolate, cookie, peanut butter, pb fudge, fudge, dessert

Click here for this PB Chocolate Fudge Cookies recipe by “Sarah Cupcake”!

  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, 4 PP
  • 3 egg whites, 1 PP (CL used 1/2 cup egg substitute, but I didn’t have that)
  • 2 1/2 cups organic cane sugar, 52 PP (CL used regular refined sugar)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 11 PP

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place butter, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate is almost melted. (I melted my chocolate in a sauce pan on the stove since I have a tendency to over-nuke my chocolate.) Stir until smooth. Combine coffee granules and 1 tablespoon hot water, stirring until granules dissolve. Stir coffee and vanilla into chocolate mixture.

3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Combine sugar, egg substitute, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed 6 minutes or until thick and pale. Gently stir 1/4 of egg mixture into chocolate mixture; stir chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture. Stir in flour mixture and nuts.

4. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat mat (BUY ONE. Do it now.) Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets; with moist hands, gently press dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (the pressing is optional.  I didn’t press and they turned out perfectly round). Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

When the cookies are done, they’ll be cracked on top and still moist in the center.  And magically delicious!  Hee hee!

Balsamic Beef and Veggie Soup

beef stew, balsamic, soup, dinner

Yummy yummy in my tummy!

You can tell it’s the winter season when the majority of my recipes are soups, stews or chili. Here’s more proof that it’s cold outside! Although not today… it’s a freaky 65 degrees, which Maxwell and I enjoyed with a long walk outside. But that’s beside the point; I still made some damn soup.

This one was thrown together when I went home during a lunch hour to check on our sick little poochie. I peeled/cut everything, threw it in the crockpot and came home to fantastical smells permeating from our apartment. If you follow these simple steps, you too shall experience such fantastical smells permeating from YOUR home. Ridiculously awesome, right?

Balsamic Beef and Veggie Soup
Servings: 4 (2 cups each)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 (or 4 PP per 1 cup)

Ingredients

  • 9.5 oz lean and trimmed steak, 12 PP
  • 5 oz frozen green beans
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium red potatoes, diced, 12 PP
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste, 1 PP
  • 3 tsp Better Than Bouillon beef base, 1 PP
  • 5 tsbp balsamic vinegar, 2 PP
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Directions
1. Chop up all those veggies and the meat and throw in into the crockpot. Then mix the tomato paste and bouillon base into the water and pour over the veggies. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and the rest of the spices. Cook on low for six hours and enjoy!

Yep, that’s the beauty of a crockpot.  No worries, just dinner!

Spicy Beef Lentil Chili

lentil chili beef

Photo Courtesy of the “Debbie Does Dinner” blog!

My friend, Carissa, found this recipe on AllRecipes, modified it to her tastes and then sent it to me when I begged her for it.  I modified it as well by using beef instead of turkey, adding in white beans and upping the spices a bit.  It’s got the perfect level of heat for me… which could mean it’s a bit spicy for other people, but I also use very pure chili powder, so it could just be that!

This is a perfect dish to eat on such a perfectly chilly day like today!  It’ll warm you from your head to your toes and leave you with a bunch to eat throughout the week.  Score?  I think so :)

Spicy Beef Lentil Chili
Servings: 15 (1 cup each)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz raw 85/15 lean ground beef, 12 PP
  • 2 cups cooked white beans, 11 PP
  • 3 cups dry green lentils, 24 PP
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 quarts chicken/vegetable broth, 3 PP (I used water and 3 tbsp Better than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base)
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin, 2 PP
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Directions
1. But everything into a giant pot, turn on medium heat and cook for about 3-4 hours! Easy, right? You could even do this in a crockpot… but I’d recommend splitting the recipe in half because it is a LOT for a crockpot.  I even halved the written recipe after making it at home since the crockpot almost overflowed.  I had to put it into a pot and continue cooking it in there!

Top it off with a little Chobani 0% and you’ll be set!  If you don’t eat meat, you can leave it out and put tofu in there.  A little trick for those vegans out there… if you want your tofu to take on a similar texture to ground meat, try freezing your tofu and then thawing it.  Once you’ve drained it, it’ll have the texture you’re going for!

Diet Coke Brownies

Some people are just sheer genius. Who was the first person was that said to themselves, “Hmm… maybe I can replace all the oil, water and eggs in a pre-packaged cake or brownie mix with a can of pop and see what happens.”? I want to know who it was so I can give them a big shiny medal! I don’t know why it works, but it does. It works well.

It really isn’t too much of a surprise, though. I’ve made other tasty things with a box of cake mix and a can of somethingoranother like Pineapple Bundt Cake and Pumpkin Spice Cookies, but when I saw that you could make brownies with a boxed mix and a can of diet coke, my mouth literally dropped open. It was like a sign from heaven.

You see, there are many things that I love about my fiancee. Two of them are her obsessive love for diet coke and her sweet tooth that usually only craves brownies (or kit kats). So, DIET COKE BROWNIES??!?!? A-freaking-mazing. Two of her favorite things in one! Of course, it was a requirement that I test them out. And I did. And they were oh-so-tasty. But the best part? Only 130 calories/4 PP each. An indulgent dessert without actually indulging. Oh happy day :)

Click here for this Dr. Pepper Brownies recipe by “The Novice Chef Blog”!

Diet Coke Brownies (as shown on Eat Yourself Skinny)
Servings: 18
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4 (although EYS says they’re 3, but I put mine through the WW recipe builder)
Calories Per Serving: 130 (but EYS says 115. It really just depends on the mix you’re using)

Ingredients

  • 1 box brownie mix, 70 PP
  • 1 12-oz can of diet coke (or whatever pop you’ve got since it doesn’t make a difference in points!)

Directions
1. Follow directions on box as far as what temperature to set the oven to.

2. Combine brownie mix and pop in a bowl until completely mixed. Spray a baking dish with Pam and then pour in the batter.

3. Follow directions on the box as far as how long to cook PLUS 5-10 more minutes. Just make sure the check that they are cooked to your liking (anywhere from 38-50 minutes). Take out and enjoy!

Now, the combinations don’t stop at diet coke and brownie mix. If you want to keep things all natural and organic, try a can of diet Zevia and some organic brownie mix. Or maybe you want a little more depth of flavor? Then try diet or regular cherry coke. You can even do the same thing with cake mixes! I’ve heard of people using confetti cake mix and a can of sprite or selzer water. Maybe a can of coconut or lime flavored selzer and a white cake mix? Or some root beer and chocolate cake mix? There are just so many combinations you can try! I LOVE it when that happens!

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

Lemon Curd

Click here for this Ginger Grapefruit Curd Recipe from “101 Cookbooks”!

Let me start off by saying that normally I do NOT like citrus-flavored baked goods. I used to get terrible migraines and horrible car sickness as a kid and I was always taking orange-flavored dramamine pills (which never worked). I’d get physically sick eventually, and because of the dramamine, fake citrus flavored were ruined. No lemon bars, no fruit pizzas, not even plain cheesecake with a “hint” of lemon juice. No orange pop, no lemon tarts…. the only time I could enjoy citrusy sweets was when they were SOUR.

I CAN eat a lemon raw. I DO love lemonheads! I can’t get enough of edy’s all-natural lime fruit bar popsicles. That sh*t is ahhhhhhmaaaazing. So when I wanted to make an egg white frittata a couple weekends ago, I remembered reading a recipe in my Cooking Light magazine for Lemon Curd and Mixed Berry Parfaits and I decided I needed to put those egg yolks to good use, even if I wouldn’t like it (I knew the rest of the people at work would appreciate it!).

Click here for this Coconut Curd recipe from “Country Cleaver”!

Well, the lemon curd didn’t make it to the office. It didn’t make it 24 hours. Why? Because I ate it… one delicious spoonful at a time. Oh, the treachery!! A lifetime of saying “NO!” to lemony baked goods and here I was, standing in front of the fridge for the 5th time, dipping Trader Joe’s Coconut Thins into the curd a few times before going back to eating it plain with my spoon. I felt like a traitor to myself. But I couldn’t deny how delicious this curd was.

It was sour, but perfectly sweet. It had no “fake” lemon flavor because I used real lemons and oranges. I used light buttery spread to cut down the points by just a little. It was just…. perfect. I ate all 32 of those WWPP from that little tub of curd in 24 hours and realized that I have a new weakness: Lemon curd. Curd in general.

I CURSE THE CURD!

But I am most definitely sharing the recipe with you. Because I love you all and you deserve to taste such deliciousness. But I’m warning you…. make it to SHARE it or you will eat it all yourself. Or try one of the other curds that I linked to because they all look outstanding.

Lemon Curd (from Cooking Light)
Servings: 8 (about 1/4 cup each)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4

Click here for this Blood Orange Curd + Bars recipe from “Local Kitchen”!

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks, 9 PP
  • 2/3 cup sugar, 14 PP
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 PP
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 1 PP
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread, 4 PP (Cooking Light used regular light butter)

Directions
1. Heat the egg yolks, sugar, juices and sea salt in a small sauce pan over medium heat for 6 minutes (it will become slightly thickened). Add in the butter and stir until completely melted and blended in.

2. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put it into the fridge until cooled throughout and set. Take out a spoon and fall in love.

Chicken and Corn Enchiladas

I have made quite a lot of dishes in my time, so when I realized that I’d never made enchiladas, I smacked myself in the face. How could I have waited this long to make them? It’s pretty much the easiest mexican dish you could ever make. Enchiladas to Mexican cuisine is like lasagna to Italian cuisine. You put whatever filling you want inside the carb and top it all with whatever sauce you want and sprinkle on your cheese of choice.

Even my pickiest of pickiest-eater friends love to eat and make enchiladas. They just don’t add much spice and cover it in cheese. As delicious as that can be, it wreaks havoc on my tummy with all that dairy, so I wanted to fill my enchiladas with lots of different flavors and ingredients that wouldn’t make me a personal methane gas distributor.

When I took these out of the oven and gave some to Jess, she started singing praises by the second bite! That’s usually a sure sign of success around here :) So, cook these up, eat em, and let me know how much you love them!

Some for now, some for later!

Chicken and Corn Enchiladas
Servings: 5 (or 10 if you count each enchilada separately)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 9 (or 4 if you count them individually)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce, 4 PP (I used Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce)
  • 10 four-inch corn tortillas, 8 PP (I used La Tortilla Extra Thin ones that are 40 calories each)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup black beans, 2 PP
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 2 small red peppers, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 7 oz reduced-fat colby cheese, 15 PP
  • 1 chicken breast, 6 PP
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (or 1 tbsp fresh cilantro)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tsp olive oil, 2 PP

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375. Slice the chicken into 1/2 inch thick slices, put into a bag or bowl and cover with all the spices from cumin through black pepper and one tsp of olive oil. Mix it all up and let it marinate while you get the veggies ready.

2. Next, heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat with the other tsp of olive oil. Cut up the red peppers, jalapeno and onion and put into a mixing bowl with the corn. Pour into pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until veggies are just barely tender. Put back into the bowl and mix in black beans. Add a little salt and pepper and the cilantro if you are using it. Mix up.

3. Now, cook up the chicken slices in the same pan until thoroughly cooked (around 5 minutes). Dice up and pour into the bowl with the veggies. Stir everything up.

4. Take a 9×13 glass dish, coat with cooking spray and set to the side. Get out the enchilada sauce and pour about half of it into that same skillet along with around 1-2 tbsp water. Mix it in. Then, take each tortilla and dip it into the sauce so that both sides are coated. Then, put it in the pan, put in around 1 tbsp cheese and 2 tbsp chicken/veggie mix. Roll up and position it with the overlapped edges on the bottom. Repeat with other 9 tortillas.

5. Pour any remaining mixture into the sides of the dish, then pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over top of the whole pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the enchiladas. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Angela’s Nut Bread

I once posted a family recipe on this blog. WON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. Lord! I thought I was gonna lose my fingers one at a time to my Aunts. So, when I made my Great-Grandma’s nut bread on St. Patty’s Day and thought to myself that I wanted to share it, I nixed that notion and decided to re-work it so that I would have an original nut bread recipe to share!

You know what? I think I enjoyed this version even more. It’s lower in PP and calories and has a bit of a lighter texture to it. I’ll probably make a loaf of it every week so that I can slice off a couple pieces each day to enjoy for breakfast and a snack! And for all those people who have dairy or yeast allergies/sensitivities, this bread is perfect for you.

Beautiful photo taken by my very talented Fiance!

Angela’s Nut Bread (inspired by my Great-Grandma’s Nut Bread)
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white cake flour, 13 PP (or all-purpose white, but it’s denser, so the bread will be too)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tsp baking soda, 1 PP
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 8 PP
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, 4 PP
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricot, 2 PP (optional)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 2 PP (skim milk works fine if you don’t buy almond milk)

And the sexy inside view.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray all until well coated and then pour the mixture inside. Let sit 10 minutes before putting into the oven.

3. Bake for 1 hour. If you’d like to give it a nice shiny look on top, take the bread out when there’s only 10 minutes left to bake, rub some light butter over top (or fake butter or canola oil) and then put it back in for the last 10 minutes. Best served warm with a little butter or peanut butter spread on top!

Now, when I make bread like this, my way of controlling portion sizes is to make little notch marks with a knife along one edge of the bread.  Thank GOD I do this too otherwise I’d be eating 2-3 servings at a time without knowing it!  If you struggle with figuring out how much bread to slice off a tasty homemade loaf, you should probably try out this technique.

Oh, one more thing.  I actually tracked every morsel that went into my mouth for an entire week!  WOOT WOOT!  Now, I’m on to week two of tracking and I started the day off with a slice of this fantastical stuff, a blueberry yogurt, a banana and a glass of vanilla almond milk.  It’s gonna be a good week, I can feel it :)

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 :)

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

Click here for this Red Lentil Hummus recipe by “Sweet Potato Soul”!

There is hummus among us. This simple dip/spread has worked it’s way into my life over many years. My parents used to make hummus and tabbouleh for dinner occasionally! I’ve had spicy ones, savory ones, plain ones. I’ve eaten it on sandwiches, crackers, veggies, chips, spoons. It’s pretty much awesome.

It’s also super filling and good for you! There aren’t many health and fitness blogs that haven’t mentioned the awesomeness of hummus at some point. Today is that day for me! I’m sharing with you a recipe that I found on The Novice Chef Blog. That Jessica, she’s so crafty! Not only is she a hilarious writer, but her recipes and pictures are just amazing. I want to be like her when I grow up. Especially if it involves eating this hummus.

Click here for this Jalapeno Cheddar Hummus recipe by “Eat Live Run”!

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus (based off a recipe from The Novice Chef Blog)
Servings: 12 (1/4 cup per serving)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, 4 PP (she used two, but I only had one)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 17 PP
  • 1/4 cup tahini, 10 PP
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, 7 PP
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 PP
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 PP
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Click here for this Roasted Garlic and Sriracha Hummus recipe by “Olives for Dinner”!

Directions
1. If you haven’t already baked the sweet potato, go ahead and turn your over to 400 degrees. Wrap the sweet potato in foil and set in there for about 45 minutes to 1 hr. You’ll know it’s done when it’s soft and mushy to the touch and your whole house will smell like sweet potato pie.

2. Once your sweet potato has been baked, peeled and mashed, get out a food processor and puree the chickpeas and garlic. Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, brown sugar, and spices. Puree until smooth. Then add sweet potatoes and puree until completely combined.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. To freeze, place in a freezer safe ziplock bag and ensure there is no air in the baggie and freeze for up to 3 months.

Now, I only have a two-cup food processor, so I tried this in my blender at first. Blenders are practically USELESS when attempting to puree something that isn’t mostly liquid already. Sheesh. That was a big mess. So I just mixed all my ingredients in a bowl and then did two batches, one at a time, in the food processor and it worked just fine!