Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trainer Tips!

Britt and I are lucky to have a friend, Christina, who is an awesome personal trainer. She is amazing at what she does. One night I had a long talk with Christina about her eating habits and it has changed the way I fuel my body and help it to recover after a workout. I've noticed a difference in my running already.

Why do I mention this? Well, Christina is going to be contributing to this blog! Every week she will be posting tips on exercise/healthy eating.

ps. She would never have a "Cheat Day," so hopefully she doesn't notice those posts. HA!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made this soup last weekend and it was the perfect, light meal for a warm spring day. I already had a rotisserie chicken in my fridge and all of the other ingredients are things I always tend to keep in my pantry, so it was easy to whip up real quick.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
from Holly Clegg's Trim and Terrific Gulf Coast Favorites

4 (6-8 inch) flour tortillas, cut into 1/4 inch strips (I used whole wheat tortillas)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 and 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes with juice
6 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen corn
1 (15.5 oz) can navy white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. lime juice
1.5 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese
1 small avacado, peeled and diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tortilla strips on baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a nonstick pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute onion and garlic over medium heat until tender, about 7 minutes.
3. Add chicken and continue cooking until chicken is done, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, broth, green chilies, corn, beans, lime juice, cumin, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10-15 minutes.
4. Serve soup topped with tortilla strips, green onions, cheese, and avacado.

Calories 209, Fat 4g, saturated fat 2g, cholesterol 37 mg, carbohydrate 24, protein 20g

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cheat Day- Easy Chocolate Cake

I call this recipe "easy" because it does not involve any baking on your part at all, just a trip to your local Costco! If you haven't ever tried their All-American Chocolate Cake (found in the bakery section), then you are truly missing out. It's AMAZING! My sister and I have used this cake for many different parties, showers, church functions, etc because it's such a pretty, impressive-looking cake and serves a lot. It's always a hit and one cake can easily serve 25-35 people, depending on how thick you slice it.

Costco All-American Chocolate Cake

1. Get in your car and drive to Costco (don't forget your card)!
2. Head back to the bakery section and look for a massive, 3-layer, round, chocolate cake with chocolate shavings around the outside.
3. Purchase cake
4. Slice and serve either by itself or with ice cream, whip cream, fruit/berries...the options are endless.
*The photo above was taken at a baby shower we threw and we served the cake with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunday Pot Roast- the healthier version

I made this recipe (from Holly Clegg's Trim and Terrific Cooking) last Sunday when I had my family over for dinner and it received rave reviews. I threw everything in the crockpot before I left for church at 9am and when I walked in the door at noon, my house smelled delicious! I grew up having roast for dinner almost every Sunday and always made it the same way, until I found this recipe. One of the best things about this recipe is that it leaves a healthy "gravy" in the bottom of the pan that you can serve with it.

Easy Pot Roast

1 (4 lb.) beef sirloin tip roast, trimmed of fat
6 cloves of garlic, sliced or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion
1 (10.75 oz.) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 (16 oz.) package baby carrots
2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (I ran out of time, so I didn't include these)
2 cups peeled, cubed red potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (if not using a crockpot). Cut slits in roast and stuff peices of garlic throughout meat. Season meat with salt and pepper.
2. Spread sliced onion over the roast and pour soup over onions. Add carrots and potatoes. Cover and leave on low to cook all day if using a crockpot.
*Cover and bake 4 hours if using your oven. Add carrots and potatoes and continue cooking another hour or until tender.

Calories 249, Carbohydrate(g)14, Calories from fat(%)72, Dietary Fiber(g)2, Cholesterol mg)57, Sodium (mg)254

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Turkey Stuffed Green Peppers

My friend that I run with is a very healthy eater. She uses Daily Plate at www.Livestrong.com for a lot of recipes and told me to try this one because it was one of her favorites. Glad I did, because it was so good and my family loved it. My 3 year old was so excited to get her very own pepper with dinner inside of it. I made some adjustments to the recipe by using instant brown rice (instead of white rice that you add in uncooked, then have to wait an hour for the entire dish to cook), and I did forgo the cheese on mine, but other than that it is a pretty lo-cal meal (a little less than 300 calories per serving) and very simple. It's nice to finally use that spice rack I received as a gift at my wedding 6 years ago.

6 servings Green Bell Pepper

1.25 servings Ground Turkey - Raw
7.25 servings Tomato sauce
.5 cups Onions
1 servings Garlic Clove
1 teaspoons Oregano, Dried
1/2 teaspoons Thyme, Dried
1/2 teaspoons Rosemary, Dried
1/2 teaspoons Basil, Dried
1/2 teaspoons Rubbed Sage
1/8 teaspoons Pepper, Black
2 cups cooked instant Brown Rice


Slice tops off peppers and hollow. Set aside.
In a large skillet, brown the turkey. Remove and set aside. In the same skillet, combine 1/4c. water and 1/4c. of the tomato sauce with onion, garlic and herbs. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Stir in rest of tomatoe sauce, turkey and cooked rice. Stuff into peppers and place in a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1/2 hour. Remove, top each pepper with about 1 tablespoon cheese. Return to oven for 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to lose 5 pounds in one day...

1. Spend a fun Saturday with your twin sis, her husband, and 2 children.
2. Eat at your favorite restaurant.
3. Come down with a horrible case of food poisening 24-48 hours later.

Although cooking/ eating healthy and exercising regularly are our favorite ways to shed extra pounds, this is definitely a quick alternative. However, we do NOT recommend it at all! We plan to resume our regular recipe-posting tomorrow, as soon as food sounds good to us again :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Crispy Southwestern Lasagna

If you like mexican food and lasagna, but don't like all the calories associated with those foods, then this dish is a great alternative. It's a great combination of mexican and italian flavors and you'll have more than enough left-overs for lunch the next day.

Crispy Southwestern Lasagna

1 pound ground sirloin (I substituted Jenni-O ground turkey)
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
2 tsp. chili powder
1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 egg whites
2 cups reduced fat or fat-free cottage cheese
14 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into quarters
1 (15 and 1/4 oz.) can corn, drained
1 (8 oz.) package shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large nonstick skillet, cook meat over medium heat until done. Add tomatoes and juice, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper; set aside.
3. In small bowl, blend egg whites and cottage cheese well; set aside.
4. Coat a 13x9x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. COver bottom of baking dish with six quartered tortillas.
5. Layer all the corn, half meat mixture, half cheese, four quartered tortillas, then all the cottage cheese mixture, remaining half of meat mixture, and remaining four quartered tortillas, and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Serve (makes 8-10 servings)

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 239, Fat (g)7, Calories from fat (%)26, Saturated fat (g)3, Cholesterol (mg)40

Friday, March 19, 2010

my favorite breakfast right now

Although our trainer recommends plain oatmeal with half a banana and a small sprinkle of cinnamon for breakfast, I had to come up with something new. I just ate oatmeal every morning for too long and was getting sick of it. So here's one I have been eating every morning for the past couple of months and I doubt I will ever get sick of it. And it has our trainer's seal of approval.

1 Yoplait Smoothie pack (my favorite is the Strawberry banana)
1 cup whole grain oatmeal
1 cup protein powder (I got a big bag of this at Costco, really helps with muscle recovery)
1 cup fat free milk

Blend in blender. This makes enough for 2, so I usually leave half in the blender for my husband, who then adds some weight gainer powder to his smoothie. You can just use half of the smoothie pack and keep the other half in the freezer, then half the above receipe. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cheat Day--Banana Cream Cake

Sundays are my cheat days. To kick off the first post of our new blog, we'd like to share with you a fantastic recipe that's been in our family for years. It's obviously a 'cheat day" recipe and is by far one of our favorite cake recipes. Believe me, as soon as you try it, you'll forget all about making banana bread out of your "too ripe" bananas. I (Brittney) personally set aside 3-4 bananas each week so they'll be ready to use in this cake by the end of the week. Enjoy!
2 cups sifted flour
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco)
1 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Pour dry ingredients over shortening. Add bananas, milk, and vanilla. Mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes more. (stir in walnuts, if using). Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup soft butter
Beat all ingredients with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
*Recipe can also be found on back of C&H brand powdered sugar.
*As you can see in the picture, there is a trademark design in the frosting that you MUST do if you make this banana cake recipe. My mom and grandma always used a fork to make a basket-weave pattern in the frosting and it seriously does not taste as good without it!