Thursday, February 26, 2009

A few more Flat Belly Diet Meals

Tuscan Chicken - I found this surprisingly good served over greens, normally it would be pasta or some type of grain. The MUFA was the almonds.Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast - this was a big hit and also the first time I've attempted a stuffed chicken breast (any tips appreciated) the spinach was sauteed with onion and sundried tomatoes, plus it had a little bit of grated parm in it. As you can see the pine nuts were the MUFA.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Leftover Ham & Cheese Strata

Here's a really simple and delicious meal to help use up leftover ham. It's from the Rachel Ray show so you can get the recipe here. Basically, the only things I changed were, I used frozen asaparagus (defrosted), I used shredded cheddar (pretty cheap) and used my own bread machine bread.

Don't make my mistake, I forgot to grease the dish which made it very hard to get out:)

Simply pour the beaten eggs over the broken bread and then top with ham, asparagus and cheese. Then bake.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pretzel Crusted Chicken

I had made this a while ago and forgot to post but I just ran across the picture. Anyway, this is one of my absolute favorites (my family's too) so I had to share.

Original recipe is from Rachel Ray but I just ad lib now. Really simple.

Chicken tenderloins (buy frozen, they're so much more affordable) dipped in egg, then ground pretzels (I use the food processor) and a second round of egg and pretzel (keep your cost down and buy the no name store brand pretzel, no one will tell the difference), then simply fry till done.

They're topped with a mustard cheese sauce. Easy route, just melt some shredded cheddar and mix in spicy brown mustard, longer route, but still easy, make a rue with butter and flower, add some chicken broth and milk and then add cheese and mustard.

Then top with chopped dill pickles. To me you can't get any better than that!

BTW - the side is Trader Joe's frozen marinated and grilled eggplant and zucchini.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Make your own Peanut Butter

Just got this link from my friend Robin, It's on Homemade Peanut Butter - "Peanut butter recalls got you scared? Play it safe and make your own PB instead"

Ok so this is awesome in so many ways from recalls, to saving money to less plastic peanut butter jars. I'm going to try it, how about you?

Anyone tried this before, how did it come out?

I'm still baking bread and now add making my own peanut butter, need to get one of those bread machines that you can make jam in (mine just makes bread, but I saw some at Goodwill) and my kids lunches are totally set:)

Winter White Lasagna (from Rachel Ray's new book)

I used Trader Joe's spicy Italian chicken sausage
White sauce, this was really good but I'll make double next time.

Loading up on those no-boil lasagna noodles (also at Trader Joe's), which I love but they seem to take more sauce.

So good. No this was not a flat belly diet meal, actually made it before and forgot to post, however I did add flax seeds (you can see some peeking out) so there's a MUFA

For my no cheese eaters I just swapped the white sauce for marinara and they loved it.

Recipe pg 236

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eating really local with a home garden

So I was reading Robin's post about planning her home garden and I have to admit to doing a lot of dreaming about mine as well.

I made some great eggplant and tomato dishes last year and hope to expand my green thumb for more variety this summer.

How about you all, anyone have big (or little) plans for their garden's? I'd love to hear tips and tricks especially from my Jersey girls.

Here's something I just learned, you can plant cabbage in Spring and it's done by June for you to plant something else. Got any good cabbage recipes?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Anybody try The Grocery Game

I'm trying out I've had some savings so far, even got a couple items for free. Has anyone tried it or tried another grocery saving system that they recommend?

The grocery game keeps track of sales and sales trends and then combines them with coupons to get you the most savings. Seems to make sense.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Some of my favorite Flat Belly Diet Meals so far

Avocado Herbed Breakfast Tacos
Meatball Melt (substituted pesto (which is cheap at Trader Joe's) for Olive Oil and a whole wheat wrap for the pita, it's what I had:) Did you know you can get whole wheat wraps pretty cheap at Target? The meatballs are vegetarian (from Trader Joe's), or fake as my hubby says, but he keeps eating them.

Dijon Egg Sandwich (LOVED this one)

Soba Noodle Salad with snow peas - you can find soba noodles in the international isle of the grocery store or get them even cheaper at an Asian food mart. I've also seen people substitute whole wheat spaghetti if you can't find soba noodles.

Hearty Sausage with Brussels Sprouts - I will say this picture does not do it justice, it was actually a favorite that we've had twice so far (I got sausage on sale).

Turkey Avocado Cobb Salad - yes, even my kids ate it. I let two of them have ranch so they polished it off and my no frills one just ate it plain, he gobbled the turkey and turkey bacon ate the avocados and then had at least a little bit of the greens.
Actually my kids have eaten most of these meals without griping, except for my middle child who complains if I give him anything that isn't pizza. We've also eliminated most of the junk food (there's still a little bit) from the house so they're learning to snack healthy and don't seem to mind. It's much easier when it's not there, for me too:)

Get the recipes and portion sizes in this book, sorry, don't want to share copyrighted material.

Flat Belly Diet 4 Day anti-bloat meals and drink

So, my hubby and I, along with my parents have been trying the Flat Belly Diet. Basically it incorporates proper portions of healthy foods (whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies) with a MUFA (monunsaturated fatty acid).

You have four meals a day and a snack that is the same amount of calories as a meal. The meals are filling and to incorporate the MUFAs they have something like oils, olives, nuts, seeds, avocados and dark chocolate in every meal and snack! Can't loose with that, I mean you can loose weight but it's a winner on flavor:)

It starts off with a four day anti-bloat jump start, which I'll admit I didn't love, but mainly because a lot of the flavors I crave (salt and spice) can cause bloating so they were off the list, but only for four days, wait till you see my pics from the other meals. The meals were really filling, though I will admit to cheating a bit on an extra snack at night, which I know is the worst time:)

Still, for the four days I dropped a few pounds and 2 inches. Keep in mind this is mainly excess water weight. I have kept the pounds off (been three weeks on the diet) and am getting a bit smaller inch wise, though the scale stays the same so I'll chalk that up to weight training. Hubby keeps loosing and looks great, he is also working out.

This is "Sassy Water" not sure what exactly it does, although it had me drinking my water which is good. You had to drink 2 liters a day for the first four days. It had cucumber, lemon, ginger and mint. Any guesses on the benefits of these? It was actually quite good and refreshing.
One of the anti-bloat dinners - tilapia, red potatoes in olive oil (your MUFA) and green beans, the nice part of this diet is that it encourages healthy eating and it's something I can feed my kids as well.

This one I loved! Chicken (I seasoned with Trader Joe's no salt seasoning), mushrooms sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, and brown rice.
Another thing, this isn't so bad on the budget. Been to Produce Junction for the fruits and veggies and I looked through the meals and bought things I knew we would eat and I could save on. I did not however, buy all of the name brands that the book endorses because they were just not in my budget.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dinner Size - Texas Chili Cheese Fries

This was a meal that everyone gobbled up! With ground turkey, beans and some veggies on the side, it's not too unhealthy as long as you monitor how much you eat, which was hard on this one:)
Fries seasoned and coated with Olive Oil ready to go in the oven.

Chili brewing away. You could really use any chili recipe for this or keep it easy and go canned.

Finished plate. Really should have had more veggies on that plate, but I'm learning in that department. You'll see some more veggies in future posts, look out for some Flat Belly Diet meals. Actually, top your chili fries with avocados and have proper portions and this one could be a Flat Belly Diet Meal!

Get the recipe for this on the Rachel Ray site. The only thing I adapted was I added some black beans into the chili.