Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Couscous has been on my bucket list of foods to try for some time. I picked up a box of whole wheat couscous on Friday's grocery trip and decided to give it a whirl. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to cook. All you do is boil some water, add your couscous, put the lid on and remove from heat, then let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff it up with a fork, that's it! It turned out way better than any of my quinoa exploits. To be honest, I like it a whole lot better too. It has a pleasing texture that reminds me of roe.
We had done a turkey a on the BBQ and have tons of meat right now, that narrowed down my choice of protein. I came across this recipe online:
I made some modifications. First, the recipe calls for 1.5 tbsp. of olive oil per serving! I shudder to imagine the amount of calories that would be. I only used 1 tbsp. for 2 servings and mine was 400 cals. It was plenty oily with it. I used fresh kale from my garden instead of spinach. I ran out of walnuts! Quick sticks I substituted some cashews instead.
I decided to pair it with the skipped stuffed portabella I was suppose to have for a snack. By dinner I was quite peckish. My stuffed portabella:
1 portabella mushroom
1/4 can light flaked tuna (skipjack)
2 portions of light laughing cow cheese
1 tbsp. light cream cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
Just mix in a small bowl and spread over portabella. Cook the mushroom at 300 F for 20 minutes on the middle rack and then move it to the top rack and broil for 3-5 minutes.
That's not corn, btw... it's bell pepper. Perhaps a different colour next time for presentation?
Now I'm stuffed. ugh... it doesn't help that I did 100 sit ups yesterday as part of my new training routine and the ache in my abs is unrivaled.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Growing up surrounded by the Great Lakes, it's not a wonder I grew up eating pickerel and perch. My grandparents and dad were really into fishing and our freezers were always stocked full. I spent the better part of my childhood trolling for pickerel. My grandmother and I used to even customize our lures with nail polish. Our lucky lures were a sickly, neon lime green and a deep plum purple.
Pickerel was always battered, perch was always breaded. I decided to venture out and experiment with a sauce. I kept coming across this recipe on nearly every website and blog I visited so I figured it was a must try:
Of course no white fish is complete without a strong tasting green veg like asparagus ( broccoli or brussel sprouts) and a bit of citrus fruit. This fish is packed with flavour; tangy dill and lemon and creamy mushrooms, mmmmmmm.... I also use the Lemon Mushroom sauce with broiled salmon on pasta.
The recipe: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
I followed this up with some seasonal apple crisp. I have tons of apples right now from my in laws' apple tree, apple picking with my kids and the local apples at the grocery store. We had a bountiful year this fall, last year apples were scarce due to a late frost. I stumbled across this recipe for Butterscotch Apple Crisp in a slow cooker: www.crockpotninja.com/apple-buttersc
I was a bit skeptical about making an apple crisp in a slow cooker. I mean, the point to apple "crisp" is the crisp. That can't really be accomplished in a slow cooker. I was right, it was lacking in the legendary crisp. It still tasted great and my husband and two of my kids loved it. My always picky son snubbed it for a plain apple instead. He likes his food plain, simple and usually in its original state.
Next time, I'll do it in the oven.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Ever try mixing pumpkin puree with some natural peanut butter? It truly is a winning combination. It's strange... I've never been a pumpkin pie person. It's one of those things I want to love because let's face it, pumpkin pie looks and smells amazing. I'm always tempted to try a slice for Thanksgiving but then I taste it and meh, it's just not my cup of tea.
It was quite a surprise when I tried pumpkin puree for the first time and actually... liked it! I started with muffins and breads and then began venturing out into other uses for it. I discovered this blog and a wonderful man who shares my affinity for peanut butter: www.peanutbutterboy.com/
He is the one who first introduced me to combining pumpkin and PB and I was in love.
What can you do with this combo?
Use it as a topping for yogurt parfaits, overnight oats, in muffins and breads (of course), a French Toast or crepe filling, pancakes or use it as a dip for apples, pretzels or crackers.
To make a Pumpkin and PB condiment (1 serving):
2-3 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tbsp natural peanut butter (I personally prefer crunchy)
a few dashes of cinnamon
optional- sweetener. I find some real maple syrup works the best. Brown sugar and honey also do the trick.
Here are some gorgeous creations...
Pumpkin, PB and Apple Overnight Oatmeal
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup almond milk
1/8 package of sugar free vanilla or white chocolate pudding powder
a few dashes of cinnamon
1/4-1/3 of an apple cut into small chunks
Prepare at least 3 hour before you plan on eating it. Mix the pudding powder and almond milk in a sealable container. Add rest of ingredients and stir. Add a small amount of water at a time if too thick.
When it's ready prepare your Pumpkin and PB mix and layer it in a tall clear glass with the overnight oatmeal. I like a little crunch to mine so I used Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal and added a little to the top of each layer. Dried cranberries would also be a nice topping.
French toast with Pumpkin and PB
Make your pumpkin and PB filling.
Spread over two slices of bread. I used raisin bread in this photo and oh man... was it wonderful. I usually use an 80 cal thin sliced rye/wheat bread and fold it in half when I want to save on calories.
Cut 1/4 of an apple into small chunks and put it between the slices of bread.
Dip in eggs or egg whites and toast on a frying pan.
I usually don't add a sweetener to the filling because I like to sprinkle more cinnamon and powdered sugar on top of mine. Or if you don't use maple syrup in the pumpkin and PB filling, you can add it now.
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