Category Archives: dog

Epic breakfast…for dinner

Just for fun, here are just a FEW questions my students have asked in our first 2 classes:

  • How often should you have a bowel movement?
  • Is high-fructose corn syrup really worse than sugar?
  • Is stevia safe?
  • Why does the Atkins diet help people lose weight?
  • How many calories do I need to gain weight?
  • Do carbohydrates make you fat?
  • Why does the government subsidize corn  if the MyPyramid is aiming to reduce high-fructose corn syrup consumption?

Do I have some smart, inquisitive pupils or what? I guess I should now mention that the first 2 chapters we’ve gone over have nothing to do with any of those questions (and those were just a FEW), but the class discussion is priceless. And some of the false information floating around out there is just plain’ol SCARY!

So while teaching is going well, a 6pm start time has caused dinners to be very…rushed. And that is quite the understatement.

Let me preface this next part by saying that I am notoriously late, always. Not a lot, but a little. And when you’re the teacher, that just doesn’t fly. So I’m really trying to be ON TIME…if only to class.

Monday night I shoveled down a bowl of cereal and a banana before jetting off to class. Last night, I made an epic breakfast for dinner that I had to eat in, literally, 2 minutes. Of course, had I not taken the time to photograph this lovely meal, I would’ve had 4 minutes or so, but I had to do this French toast justice. Because I very well know that pretty pictures make you more likely to believe my rave reviews…riiiight?

Lightened Up Crème Brûlée French Toast from Skinny Taste

1 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/4 cup water
cooking spray
10 oz Challah bread, sliced 1 inch thick
2 large eggs
1 cup egg substitute
1-1/2 cups 1% milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Meyers rum (optional) – I omitted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

In a small heavy saucepan melt brown sugar and water over moderate-low heat, stirring, until smooth and melted, about 1 minute, then pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, egg substitute, milk, vanilla, rum, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° F and bring bread to room temperature. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 40 to 50 minutes. Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 342 calories; 4.5 g. fat; 84 mg. cholesterol; 378 mg. sodium; 64.6 g. carbohydrate; 1 g. fiber; 12.2 g. protein

Result: YUM-O! When I saw Renee rave about this recipe on her blog, I knew I had to try it. As if the title of the recipe wasn’t tempting enough. I made this in the morning and we had it for supper, but you could just as easily, and more traditionally, make it at night to serve the following morning. Super simple, absolutely delicious!

I want to continue making nutritious meals on Monday and Wednesday nights, but I think 1) I need to utilize the crock pot on these nights (or eat leftovers), and 2) I may need to go lighter on lunch and have a small, early dinner (4:30ish) before class and a snack afterward. I did the later last night — one piece of French toast before class and a fresh strawberry and banana smoothie for afterward. It worked well. 🙂

I am looking forward to a long workout and another healthy, homemade meal tonight. Lily is going to daycare so that after work I can get in a long run not feel guilty about it. Plus, she could use the exercise, too! 😉

Question: What’s your favorite quick and easy meal? Or a meal that can be prepped ahead of time?

P.S. Last chance to enter the LARABAR Giveaway! It ends TONIGHT!

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Filed under Atkins, breakfast, carbohydrates, crock pot, dinner, dog, exercise, fruits and vegetables, Gina's WW Recipes, Giveaway, high-fructose corn syrup, pets, physical activity, recipe, running, snack, teaching, vegetarian

Teacher, teacher!

I am officially a college instructor! I taught my first nutrition course last night and it went really, really, really well! My class only has one open spot and all of the students seem eager to learn and cooperative. Oh, and VERY talkative. I feel like they asked wonderful questions and I can tell they are all fully engaged. Or at least most of them 😉 It should be a busy, fun quarter! I think I will learn just as much about myself and teaching as my students will about nutrition…or at least that’s my hope! Thank you for all of your kind comments and emails of encouragement – muah! I never imagined being so nervous about teaching a subject I am so educated and passionate about, but my anxiety just melted away as the lecture went on and I felt completely comfortable leading the class; with one class behind me, I am feeling much more at ease. And I will feel even more at easy when I have the next 2 chapters read and ready to lecture on for Wednesday’s class 😉

Anyhoodles, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend ringing in 2011. I enjoyed some Prosecco – delicious! It is going to take a long time for me to quit signing the date as 2010, how about you? I think I finally got over signing ’09 by ohhh…September 😉

Mr. Prevention and I had a very relaxing weekend. I stayed in my PJ’s until 5pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Now THAT is what I call a weekend! While in my PJ’s, I was rather productive, however. The Christmas decorations are down and packed away, I meal planned for the busy week ahead, I made breakfast for the week, I made bread for a new co-worker of Mr. P’s, I developed my course syllabus and class schedule, etc…productive! 😀 And on a less productive note, The Fighter was fabulous — love, love, loved it!

The breakfast I made for the week was probably the highlight of my PJ time. It was so impressive that I made the same recipe for Mr. P to give to his new co-worker who just moved to town. Yep, impressive recipe it was!

Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread adapted from Joy the Baker, as seen on The Healthy Apron

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 medium egg whites, beaten
4 medium over-ripe bananas
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven 350° F and spray 1 loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine all dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon. Mash bananas in a separate bowl, adding the oil and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture; mix until combined (do not over-mix). Fold in chopped walnuts last. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 45-50 mins. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then flip out onto a wire rack. Yield: 10 slices.

Nutrition Information (1/10th of loaf): 208 calories; 4.9 g. fat; 22 mg. cholesterol; 179 mg. sodium; 37.6 g. carbohydrate; 3.8 g. fiber; 15.5 g. sugar; 3.3 g. protein

Result: This was deeeelicious! I love the addition of oats for added fiber and the use of LOTS of bananas makes the wet ingredients lighter than lots of oil, butter, milk, eggs, etc. Erin described this bread as one of her favorite recipes in 2009 and that sealed the deal and I had to make it. Very glad I did — you will love this bread, too. I also simplified the directions…by not reading them — oops! The original recipe called for a hand mixer and beating the egg whites to peaks and folding them in to the mixture. I simply mixed the wet ingredients: eggs, bananas, and oil together and combined with the dry ingredients. The bread was not overly dense and so I saw no reason for the added steps and kitchen mess 😉 Sometimes not following directions ends up in disaster, sometimes it’s a time saver! Enjoy!

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And because my readers love Lily and she was so darn cute this weekend…

What dog spends so much time flat on her back creating endless funny photo ops? LILY!

Question: What’s something you want to accomplish in 2011? Health-related or otherwise!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the LARABAR giveaway I’m hosting! It ends Thursday! There will be TEN lucky winners!!!

Lots of love,

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Filed under breakfast, dog, fiber, healthy cooking, movie, pets, recipe, reduced-calorie, teaching, vegetarian

Lily’s Face-Licking Photobook

Do you remember those picture books you’d flip through really fast and it would show movement through slight variations in the picture images? Yeah, here’s Lily licking a pumpkin-covered spoon, and my camera shot photos fast enough that it reminded me of one of those picture books. Girl must love pumpkin has much as her mama! Obviously..

Well, that was fun 🙂

Question: What treat is on/in your favorite spoon/bowl to lick clean? 😉

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Filed under dog, pets

Winter Extremes & Lemon Coconut Snowball Cookies

TGIF!! 😀

Smart cookies! By legal definition, chocolate must contain 35% cocoa solids to be considered chocolate!

I am in this all-or-nothing phase with exercise lately, and it’s not good. After my killer workout on Tuesday, I took Wednesday off…for no good reason. And last night I worked out — 2 mile run + 25 minutes on the elliptical. And to break the cycle, I commit to workout today after work. PROMISE. There, done…no weaseling your way out now, self!

And as Lily and I were walking last night, I realized she is all-or-nothing, too. She is a chick of extremes.

Kissies: Here’s 576 slobbery ones! Or, I’m soooo not in the mood…buzz off, mom.
Weather: 100° and sunny –> sunbathing…9° –> long walk, please!
Vet bills: Always 3 digits, often times 4.
Alertness: Snoring like a grizzly bear, or awake and tearing through the house like a tornado.
Appetite: Down in 1, or on a hunger strike.

Crazy gal. Unfortunately for me, she’s all about the long walks with this frigid winter wonderland. She expects it. I walk in after work, and she meets me at the back door shaking her whole body in excitement. Off we went. Wool coat, scarf, mittens, and boots weren’t enough to keep my feet dry, thighs from getting the early stages of frost bite, and nose from running (thank you, neighbors who shovel!). She loved it, my little snow bunny. I, on the other hand, wanted to cry and crawl into bed with a hot mug of tea the second we walked in the door. Putting on shorts and hopping on the treadmill was literally the last thing I wanted to do...but I did.

After that ordeal, Mr. Prevention walked in the door and informed me he was ordering pizza for dinner. He then asked if I was planning to make something. Thoughtful, huh? The man and his pizza. I was planning Savory Leek Bread Pudding and leftover Spicy Black Bean Soup, but making dinner for 1 is just not worth it. Leftover Spicy Black Bean Soup it was. Mmmm 🙂

So, no savory delicious bread pudding recipe to share, but I’m not done with Christmas cookie recipes yet! 😉

Lemon Coconut Snowball Cookies seen on My Kitchen Adventures, adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

For Butter Cookie Dough:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Zest of one lemon
3/4 cup of granulated sugar, which has been pulsed in the food processor for about 20 seconds
1/4 tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. unsalted butter ( 2 sticks ), cut into 16 1/2 inch pieces at cool room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. (1 oz) light cream cheese, at room temperature

For Frosting:
1 Tbsp. (1/2 oz) light cream cheese, at room temperature
approx. 1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, pulsed in food processor until finely chopped

Directions:

For the cookies:   Preheat oven to 375° F.  In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle beater, mix flour, zest, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined.  With mixer running on low, drop in the butter one piece at a time slowly; and continue to mix until the mixtures looks slightly wet and crumbly. Add vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until dough just comes together. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.  Remove to wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.

For the frosting:  In the same bowl you mixed the cookies in, with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and the lemon juice on low until incorporated.  Add in the confectioners sugar and mix on low until a nice thick glaze like frosting appears.

Dip tops of cookies into frosting, or use a knife to spread the top, then dip the cookies into the coconut.  Allow the cookies to sit and allow the frosting to set.  About 20 minutes. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Nutrition Information (per cookie): 107 calories; 5.3 g. fat; 1 mg. cholesterol; 28 mg. sodium; 14.2 g. carbohydrate; 0.2 g. fiber; 8.7 g. sugar; 1 g. protein

Result: These were really good! I don’t know that they scream “Christmas Coookie!” to me, but they’re a great change of pace and a great option for those that don’t (GASP!) like chocolate. The lemon flavor is excellent and the dough is unreal…it’s like silk! Gorgeous dough! Be careful with the cook time, however. The cookies will not look done, but they will quickly burn on the bottom, so beware! You were warned 🙂 Enjoy!

Question: What was one thing on your holiday wish list?

I asked for a lot of kitchen stuff: a dutch oven, a donut pan, a cast iron skillet, pastry brushes, and silicon spatulas. I also asked for an elliptical (which I got! :-D) and books by Chelsea Handler. I was very specific with Santa this year, and that’s a first! 😉 Really, it’s a first!

TGIF,

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Filed under dessert, dinner, dog, exercise, holiday, pets, physical activity, pizza, recipe, running

Home for Thanksgiving!

We are at home in Chicago and it is rainy and cold! Mr. Prevention and I got in last night (midnight-ish our time), but made it to the gym already today! I even signed up for an 11am spinning class tomorrow. That is if my legs allow after the stair climber had its way with me today 😉 Thank you, parental unit, for keeping our gym membership a “family membership”. There’s just no excuse to not take advantage when I’m home! 😀

Mom put me to work making breakfast: Cinnamon Biscuit Peach Cobbler from Taste of Home — it was NOT easy to make, but it sure was delicious!

My family’s infamous conversation piece at the table: salt and pepper shakers

 

My purty mama and handsome bro-bro

 

And Lily, who was rip roaring and ready to play at 6am after a 5 1/2 hour car ride last night…

She doesn’t look too energetic in those pictures, but I assure you she was. And now Princess Lily is sleeping in the comfy chair — a luxury (the only, quite possibly) she does not have at home!

Italian dinner and Chianti at home tonight with the family, Mr. P, and my college friend, Megan! 😀

Can’t wait for Thanksgiving, more family time, and food! 😀

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving where ever you are!

From the Windy City,

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Filed under dog, holiday

White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Fudge

I love playing hostess and entertaining. In a perfect world, Mr. Prevention would clean the whole house and I would take on all meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and kitchen clean-up. In a perfect world…

Luckily for Mr. Prevention we travel for the holidays…we leave tonight for Illinois, in fact. Lily, too…FAMILY ROAD TRIP!! We will travel to both Chicago and central Illinois to celebrate Thanksgiving with both my family and my in-laws. In order to take a piece of hospitality with me, I made those decadent buckeyes and one more treat: White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Fudge. Green and red, I realized after making the fudge. Blonde moment.

If the fudge goes over well, it will likely be repeated for the Christmas holiday…it was so easy, and it is so good. And talk about show-stopping, it certainly has that wow-factor. And with 15 minutes of minimal effort, you can’t really beat it.

White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Fudge from Elly Says Opa

16 oz. white chocolate, chopped (chips will work, too)
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup chopped dried cranberries, divided
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachio pieces, divided

Directions:

Line an 8″ square baking dish with parchment or wax paper.

Combine the white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a double boiler or a glass/stainless bowl over some simmering water.  Heat until the mixture melts together, whisking occasionally.  Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from the heat.

Add all but about 2 Tbsp. each of the cranberries and pistachios to the white chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Spread the mixture into the baking dish in an even layer. Top with the remaining pistachios and cranberries, pressing them in slightly with a spatula if necessary. Allow fudge to set (I do so in the fridge) and then cut into 1.5″ squares. Yield: 25 pieces

Nutrition Information (per piece): Nutrition Information (per piece): 186 calories; 7.9 g. fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 44 mg. sodium; 27 g. carbohydrate; 0.5 g. fiber; 2.2 g. protein

P.S. There are 162 calories in a 1″ diameter buckeye! Eek!!! 😦 Worth it!! 😀

I have only had 4 buckeyes since Saturday — talk about self-control! 😉

Question: Would you rather spend the holidays hosting or being hosted?

Healthy cooking & recipes to resume next week! 😀

Homeward-bound (with desserts in tow),

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Filed under dessert, dog, holiday, recipe, self-control, Uncategorized

Chili Contest: Entry 9 + Crab Queso Dip

While the Illini loss was nothing short of TORTUROUS :(…it didn’t phase Lily. This dog is a SUN GODDESS! She will nap in the sun for hours and even when she’s indoors, she plops down where the sun is shining in. She barely moved from 10am to 7pm. LAY-Z!!

But yes, tough losses all around for the Big 10…thank goodness the food was good, at least!

Best Buffalo Chicken Chili from My Bizzy Kitchen

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 large carrots
3 stalks celery
1 large red pepper
5 cloves of garlic
5 Tbsp of chili powder
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Moore’s Wing Sauce
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 (15 oz) chili beans in sauce (do not drain)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put chicken breasts in food processor to grind up  if you can find ground chicken breast, you can use that too. Heat oil and add chicken and cook about 10 minutes on medium heat until no longer pink.  Rinse out processor and add carrots, celery, garlic and red pepper and puree. Add to chicken mixture and cook about 5 minutes until veggies start to soften.

Next add the rest of the ingredients, put stove on simmer and cook for 1 hour.

Nutrition Information: 248 calories; 3.8 g. fat; 44 mg. cholesterol; 1362 mg. sodium; 25.3 g. carbohydrate; 10.8 g. fiber; 28.3 g. protein

Result: I made this recipe of Biz’s back in February, except I followed the directions this time…since I am now the proud owner of a food processor. And I liked the chili better this time! For whatever reason, it wasn’t as spicy (which was fine with me…still had plenty of spice!) and I LOVED the texture — dicing/grinding the meat and vegetables completely changed the chili (as gross as grinding your own meat is — it’s good!). The chili is low in calories and high in fiber like a lot of the chili recipe entries, and similarly, high in sodium. Just no getting around that with the canned goods!!! Mr. Prevention (got his buffalo chicken fix!) and I both loved it, thanks Biz! 😀

Aaaand…

Crab Queso Dip adapted from Homemade by Holman, inspired by Paula Deen

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large or 1 whole small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4-6 jalapeno peppers, minced (I used 4 large)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-8 oz packages 1/3 less fat Neufchatel, cut into 1 oz pieces
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 cup 2% skim milk
2 cups 2% sharp cheddar cheese, grated/shredded
12 oz lump crab meat
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

In a dutch oven or large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos and garlic.  Cook 3-4 minutes until slightly softened.  Reduce heat to medium and add cream cheese.  Stir to distribute and melt.  When melted, add sour cream and milk and stir to incorporate.  Mixture should be relatively smooth aside from the vegetables.  Add shredded cheese and stir to melt.  Add crab meat and spices.  Stir until well mixed and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes, until bubbly and hot.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with chips or transfer to a crockpot and set on “warm” setting to keep hot. Serves 15 as heavy appetizers.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 176 calories; 12.1 g. fat; 42 mg. cholesterol; 331 mg. sodium; 6.4 g. carbohydrate; 0.8 g. fiber; 12.3 g. protein

Result: As I was stirring this HUGE sauce pan full of cheesy queso I thought to myself, “Wow, Nicole…you’re such a stand-up dietitian!” That thought quickly passed as I tried the queso and my heart skipped a beat. It was really good. Mr. Prevention and I settled in for the Illini game and proceeded to make a substantial, and yet very small, dent in a bowl of this queso dip…the recipe makes a ton! I felt a bit guilty for my indulgence and then (never before!) I decided to calculate the nutrition stats. Like I said, this makes a TON and when the WHOLE recipe clocked in at just over 2,640 calories I was FLOORED! I checked my math, re-checked my math…yep. My best guess is that this appetizer would serve 15 for heavy, heavy appetizers and could easily serve 20 at a party with a large spread. Mmmm! Enjoy!

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My workout for the day was interesting: a 4-mile power walk. My 5’3 frame was HUSTLIN’ at 4.0-4.7 mph. I think it was harder than running!!

Question: What’s one food you’d THINK would be really unhealthy but isn’t all that bad?

Queso loooove,

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Filed under dietitians, dog, fiber, garlic, guilt-free, healthy cooking, hors d'oeuvres, low-carb, pets, recipe, reduced-calorie, self-control, snack, sodium, Uncategorized