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Tropical Protein Shake

by Steph

Tropical Protein Shake

5 Weight Watchers Points Plus

Protein shakes are a great breakfast, snack or post-workout meal.  Here is one that is Vegan and Gluten free.  The protein powder I use is Arbonne. It is Vegan and Gluten free. It also is free of GMO’s, no cholesterol, saturated fat or transfat, no artificial colors or sweeteners.  And it tastes delicious. I am always mixing up the types of protein shakes I make, the possibilities are endless. They are a great alternative for kids for breakfast, its the only way I can get my son to eat spinach :-)

 Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (or regular milk or water)
  • 2 scoops Arbonne vanilla protein powder
  • 3-4 strawberries
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 banana (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup spinach (optional)

Place all ingredients into a blender with some ice cubes and blend away!

IMG_0851

Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information

1 Serving

5 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving

360 Calories; 6.8g Fat; 6.7g Sat. Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 55.5g Carbohydrates; 8.2g Fiber; 34.4g Sugar; 24.1g Protein

** Nutritional information calculated through weight watchers online recipe builder and calorie-count.com. Some data may not be accurate.

** I am not a nutritionist and am not affiliated with Weight Watchers. Please consult a doctor before starting any new nutritional program or diet

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We watch what we put in our body…Why Not what we put on our body??

by Steph

Hey Everyone!

Today’s post is going to be a little different, but I have a story to share.  I have always been concerned about what I am putting in my body, but until recently I have not really thought about what I put on my body.  The products we use everyday seep into our skin just as if we were to eat them.  Did you know that putting mineral oil (AKA baby oil) on your skin was bad for you? I didn’t even think twice about it.  It is a byproduct of petroleum.  Mineral oil is in a lot of things we use EVERYDAY.  Just a few are; baby lotion; cosmetics, ointments and creams.  Some types of mineral oils are known carcinogens.

Again folks, I have never thought twice about this stuff until the other day.  I was introduced by a friend of mine to Arbonne.  I met with two of the woman who were independent consultants for Arbonne, and I was amazed at the company and the product.  I was so amazed that I signed up to be a consultant as well.  So I am going to share with you what I learned that day.

Arbonne’s promise is to deliver products that are Pure, Safe & Beneficial.  They are a botanical Based company and are vegan Certified.  They do not use  animal by-products or test on animals.  They cary a full line of skin care products (women, men and children) and also a whole line of Health and Wellness products (Nutrition Bars; Protein Shakes; Vitamins etc)

Their products are free of:

  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde (yup – its in your baby’s skin care products!!)
  • PABA
  • Mineral Oil
  • Benzene
  • Petrolatum
  • Phthalates
  • Toluene

Their Health and Wellness line are created without any:

  • Artificial Colors, Sweeteners and Flavors
  • Animal products and by-products
  • Cholesterol
  • Trans Fat
  • Saturated Fat

I’m telling you, their products are awesome.  I am in the process of switching everything in our house over to Arbonne products, not just because I am selling it, but because I BELIEVE in it.

Here is their website…Check them out

www.Arbonne.com

If you have any questions about any of the products or want to order anything contact me at:

BeABetterU@comcast.net

You can also directly order right off their site, but you need to reference your consultant.  My Arbonne ID number is 13152146.

I do hope you check them out, you wont regret it.  Oh and my local friends if you want to try any product just let me know!

xoxo

Steph

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Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

by Steph

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

8 Weight Watchers Points Plus

4 Servings

This recipe for Jambalaya is so simple and easy. By using instant rice and both cooked sausage and chicken it cooks up in 20 minutes. It’s a perfect one-pot meal for busy weekdays. You can use any brand of chicken sausage you like, I used Al Fresco’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage.  If you would like it less spicy, just use a regular chicken sausage or turkey kielbasa.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • ½ cup diced peppers
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 2 small celery stalks diced
  • 6 oz. Andouille Chicken sausage
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. cooked chicken (diced or shredded)
  • 1 tsp. creole seasoning
  • ¾ cup instant brown rice
  • 1 ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

Dice the chicken sausage up into bite size half moons, by first slicing down the center and then dicing into pieces.

Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.  Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add the sausage and cook until the sausage starts to brown, about another 5 minutes.

Add the rice and seasoning.

Then add the chicken stock and water.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until rice is cooked.

Stir in chicken and diced tomatoes

Cook for another couple minutes to heat everything through, then remove the bay leaf.

I hope you enjoy!!

 

Nutritional Information

4 Servings

8 Weight Watchers Points Plus

376 Calories; 9.3g Fat; 2.4g Sat. Fat; 101mg cholesterol; 38.5g Carbs., 5g Fiber; 6.3g Sugar; 33.3g protein

 

 

 

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Soba Noodle Salad

by Steph

Soba Noodle Salad

7 Weight Watchers Points Plus

6 servings

Today’s recipe was one adapted from a Rachel Ray Recipe.  Her original Recipe is relatively healthy however it has a lot of oil in it.  So I had to do was reduced the amount of oil, and sesame seeds.  This soba noodle salad is Delicious, seriously good.  And crazy easy to make.  Its good room temp, cold or warm.  It has all sorts of good things; buckwheat noodles, carrots, and edamame.   Soba Noodles can be found in the international isle of your super market, in the Asian section.

 

Ingredients

½ lb. Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles), cooked

1-bunch scallions cut on a bias

2 Large Carrots, coarsely grated

¼ cup honey

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 tbs grated ginger

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1-cup edamame (shelled)

1 TBS toasted sesame seeds

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 ½ TBS canola oil

4 TBS low sodium soy sauce

Instructions

In small bowl combine the honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic, canola oil, sesame oil and soy sauce. I really have no clue why I have no picture of this, who know.

In a large bowl, add the cooked soba noodles, edamame and carrots.

 

Pour soy sauce mixture over top, mix well.

Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

I hope you Enjoy!

 

Nutritional Information

6 servings

7 Weight Watchers Points Plus

282 Calories; 8.5g Fat; 1.0g Sat Fat; 46.7g Carbs; 2g Fiber; 12.8g Sugar; 9.4g Protein

 

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Low Fat Fried Rice

by Steph

Low Fat Vegetable Fried Rice

3 Weight Watchers Points Plus

8 Servings (1/2 Cup)

As I am writing this, I am chuckling at how ridiculous my evening was. You ever had one of those days where everything was just turning out wrong? Well that was me last night.  After I had to drag 3 year old inside kicking and screaming because we needed to eat and he wanted to keep playing.  That was fun. Then come in to find out that the Frozen Peas and Carrots I bought was actually frozen peas, carrots, corn, lima beans and string beans.  Doesn’t really go well with fried rice.  SO I sighed, grabbed a glass of wine and diligently picked out ALL the peas and carrots.  Then I went over to check the rice, ooops on that one too.  I never measured the water, just dumped the rice right into a boiling pot of water like I was cooking pasta.  AND realizing a minute or two too late that it was instant rice, not regular so it was overcooked a little.  Not a good start.  Thank goodness for wine :-)

But the end result of this low fat fried rice, despite all the beginning downfalls, was actually really good.   You can use left over rice for this recipe if you have it, if not just cook some up ahead of time.  You can even add some diced up chicken to make this a one pot complete dish. I served mine with spicy Teriyaki Chicken (recipe to come later)

 

Ingredients.

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, defrosted
  • 1 Bunch of scallions, about 5
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-3 TBS low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. canola oil

 

Of course, I left the scallions out of the picture.  Pretty much par for the course on this day.

Slice the scallions on a bias, not totally necessary but it looks so much prettier :-)

Heat a wok or a large skillet, add 1 tsp. canola oil.  Add the egg and scramble.  Remove the egg from the pan.

Add the remaining tsp. of oil, add all the vegetables and stir-fry on medium high heat for 5 minutes.

Add the rice, eggs and soy sauce.

Stirring continuously for 5-7 minutes until completed heated through.

Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information

8 ½ cup servings

 

3 Weight Watchers Points Plus

 

117 Calories; 2.4g Fat; 0.4g Sat Fat; 23mg Cholesterol; 20g Carbohydrates; 2.4g Fiber; 1.1g sugar; 3.6g fiber

 

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Cheeseburger Casserole

by Steph

Cheeseburger Casserole

8 Weight Watchers Points Plus

 

Here is a great recipe for a hearty cheeseburger casserole. It’s family friendly and filling.  Using low fat cheeses and healthy request mushroom soup its keeps the fat content relatively low but it is still a delicious and comforting dish.  A real “stick to your ribs” type of meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 LB 95% lean ground beef
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 TSP Italian seasoning
  • 2 -15 oz. cans Diced tomatoes with roasted garlic
  • 5 oz. whole wheat penne or rotini, cooked
  • ½ cup part skim shredded mozzarella
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup 2% milk
  • 1-cup healthy request cream of mushroom soup
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350.

Brown the ground beef with onion and peppers with a pinch of salt and pepper

Drain the mixture and stir in the seasoning, tomato paste and diced tomatoes

In a separate pan, add the milk, cream of mushroom soup, ½ cup cheddar and ¼ cup mozzarella.

Stir until thickened

Mix together the cheese mixture, ground beef mixture and pasta.

Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and pour the mixture in

Top with ¼ cup shredded cheddar.

Bake for 30 minutes

 

Enjoy!!

 

Nutritional Information

6 Servings

8 Weight Watchers points plus

305 calories; 8.4g Fat; 4.1g sat fat; 56mg cholesterol; 31.4g carbohydrates; 6.2g fiber; 9g sugar; 26.8g protein

** Nutritional information calculated through weight watchers online recipe builder and caloriecount.com, some data might not be accurate

 

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Italian Cucumber Salad

by Steph

Italian Cucumber Salad

 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus

Only a few official weeks left of summer and this recipe for Cucumber Salad is a perfect summer recipe.  It is best in the summer when the cucumbers are plentiful, and the tomatoes are in season and delicious.  Cucumber Salad is great either as a light meal with a slice of Italian bread, or a side for some hamburgers.  It can be made ahead and let sit in the fridge, the flavors just get better.  The servings are any where between 2 and 4, depending on if you are eating it as a side or light meal, the points plus value stay the same.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 2 TBS fresh basil, minced
  • 1 TBS Fresh oregano, minced (optional)
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1-2 TBS wine vinegar (depending on taste)
  • Salt to Taste

 

Peel and slice the cucumber into rounds

Add the fresh herbs

Seed the tomatoes and cut into bite size pieces, add to the salad

Add Garlic, Olive oil, Vinegar and Salt.

Mix Well and let sit for at least 1 hour

Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (4 servings)

2-4 Servings = 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus

61 Calories; 4g Fat; 0.5g sat fat; 6.2g Carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 1.9g sugar; 1.4g protein

*** Nutritional Information calculated through weight watchers online recipe builder and Calorie-Count.com. Some Data may not be accurate

 

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

by Steph

I mentioned a while back that it kills me to spend so much money on those pre-mixed spice packages, so I make my own.  Well, same goes for Vanilla Extract. Its really crazy how expensive that stuff is.  I come to find out, homemade Vanilla extract is so simple to make!  Really this post is going to be super short because you can’t believe how easy this is.  Its also makes a great homemade gift Idea if you have any foodie friends.

Vanilla beans can be a little expensive in the store, I buy mine online and they are a relatively good price.  I get them from My Spice Sage online.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Vodka
  • 3 Vanilla Beans

Equipment

  • Glass jar

 

First measure out 1 cup of vodka.

Take the vanilla beans, and using a sharp knife make a slit down the length of the vanilla beans.  Don’t cut all the way through, just through the top layer to open the pod up. (even though I did a little, oops)

Place the vanilla beans in your glass jar and pour the vodka over top.

Place in a dark cool location and let it sit for 1 month. Occasionally give the jar a whirl to mix it up.

After a month it will ready to use. I make new jars when I am low and then combine them.

Now go make some vanilla extract! :-) Enjoy!

 

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Spicy Black Bean Tacos

by Steph

Spicy Black Bean Tacos

7-9 Weight Watchers Points Plus

In an effort to save some money and for health reasons, I decided a while back to try to make at least 1-2 meals a week meatless.   Now, this can be really challenging, you know with the veggie-phobe I married, if veggie-phobe is even a word :-) it takes a lot of pouring through recipe books and looking online to find a recipe that Tom might eat.  I stumbled across this recipe for black bean tacos on Self.  I decided to give them a try and added them to our weekly meal plan.

Well the day came to make them, and Tom called on his way home and asked what’s for dinner.  When I told him, I just heard his voice deflate “oh, ok…” ugh.  To be honest, I was a little skeptical too.  But I pushed through, and boy am I glad I did. These are GOOD.  And Tom not only ate them, but also had seconds. WOOHOO! These are spicy; you can tone down the spice by the amount of jalapeno you add (you can also remove seeds and ribs). Black beans are such a good meat replacement in these; you almost don’t even notice you are not eating meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ yellow corn meal
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (divided)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper (divided)
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or canned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced
  • 2 medium scallions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 8 corn tortillas

*** If you use regular corn tortillas, the points+ value is 7.  I used crunchy and that made them 9 points+

Equipment Needed

  • Food Processor
  • Baking sheet
  • Small bowl
  • Cutting board and knife

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

To make the corn salsa:

In a small bowl, add the corn, jalapeno, bell pepper, scallions, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.

Squeeze limejuice over mixture, stir and set aside.

To make the tacos:

Chop your garlic in the food processor.

To the food processor, add black beans, rolled oats, corn meal, chili powder, and ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Process until well combined.  Stop a few times during the processing to scrape down the sides (uh um…turn processor off first)

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and crumble the black bean mixture on the pan. Yes, I know it kind of looks like dog food.

Cook for 15 minutes until they become crispy.

Break up the pieces with a spoon until crumbly and resemble ground beef.

Cook for 10-15 more minutes.  While black beans cook, warm your tortillas.  If you sing crunchy, just warp in foil and place in oven. If you are using regular tortillas, heat in a skillet with non-stick spray.

Divide the bean mixture between tortillas and top with corn salsa

Enjoy!

 

Nutritional Information

4 servings, 2 tacos per serving

7 Weight Watchers points+ (for corn tortillas)

9 Weight Watchers points+ (for crunchy shells)

321 calories per serving, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 60 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 14 g protein

Spicy Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ yellow corn meal
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (divided)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper (divided)
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or canned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced
  • 2 medium scallions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 8 corn tortillas

*** If you use regular corn tortillas, the points+ value is 7.  I used crunchy and that made them 9 points+

Equipment Needed

  • Food Processor
  • Baking sheet
  • Small bowl
  • Cutting board and knife

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the corn salsa:
  3. In a small bowl, add the corn, jalapeno, bell pepper, scallions, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Squeeze limejuice over mixture, stir and set aside.
  4. To make the tacos:
  5. Chop your garlic in the food processor.
  6. To the food processor, add black beans, rolled oats, corn meal, chili powder, and ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Process until well combined.  Stop a few times during the processing to scrape down the sides (uh um…turn processor off first
  7. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and crumble the black bean mixture on the pan.
  8. Cook for 15 minutes until they become crispy.  Break up the pieces with a spoon until crumbly and resemble ground beef.
  9. Cook for 10-15 more minutes.  While black beans cook, warm your tortillas.  If you sing crunchy, just warp in foil and place in oven. If you are using regular tortillas, heat in a skillet with non-stick spray.
  10. Divide the bean mixture between tortillas and top with corn salsa

 

Nutritional Information

4 servings, 2 tacos per serving

7 Weight Watchers points+ (for corn tortillas)

9 Weight Watchers points+ (for crunchy shells)

321 calories per serving, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 60 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 14 g protein

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Kale with Sausage and Cannellini Beans

by Steph

Kale with Sausage and Cannellini Beans

10 Weight Watchers Points+

I got this recipe inspiration from a friend of mine who was making this sort of dish but with Spinach.  Well, I did not have any spinach, I had Kale.  Good Substitute.  This is delicious!  And it takes just minutes to cook, perfect!  Especially for a quick lunch, I am sure you could make a big batch and keep in the fridge all week.  This meal is packed with protein and fiber, which keeps you satisfied forever. It’s loaded with vitamins and has about 1/3 of your daily calcium intake.  If you have not tried kale yet, I urge you to. You don’t know what your missing, you will like it I promise.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups chopped kale (Some store sell it already chopped for you, I know trader joes does)
  • ½ cup cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 link of turkey sausage
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • about ¼ cup chicken stock, low sodium
  • Crushed black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil

 

Equipment Needed

  • Skillet
  • Cutting board and knife

 

Instructions

 

Heat your olive oil in a skillet.  Remove the casings from the sausage and crumble into the pan

Brown well, breaking into smaller pieces as you brown it.

Add the kale, garlic and a splash of chicken broth.  Cook until kale starts to wilt.

Add in cannellini beans and crushed black pepper.  Cook for a 1-2 minutes until beans are heated through.

Serve and Enjoy!!

PS – you could probably grate a little fresh parmesan on there which would be awesome…shhhh I wont tell :-)

Nutritional Information

10 WW Points+ per serving

CALORIES 396; FAT 15.5g; SAT. FAT 3.3g;  CHOLEST. 65mg; CARB. 35.6g; FIBER 12.7g; SUGAR 1.2g; PROTEIN 30.5g

(Calculated through calorie-count.com, some data may not be accurate)

BREAKDOWN

 

Good points

 

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