Eat Low-Fat Food

Hi! I'm a mom of 2 and I love tasty (and fatty) food (Really, who doesn't?)! I own my love for the lards of life, but I budget my fats daily or else I easily overspend. By living a low-fat lifestyle, I hope to develop super powers (or something comparable would suite me just fine). At the very least, I hope my cholesterol levels will be thanking me as I gracefully progress through the ages and stages of life. Follow me on my eating journey to a healthier lifestyle through delicious low-fat food.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicken Fall Salad with Ricotta Basil Vinaigrette

Chicken Fall Salad is what summer harvest time is all about!  I loved when my dad would make this salad for us.  He first tasted a version of it at a restaurant and a week later he made it for us.  That was years ago, and it still remains one of my favorite salads of all time!

I've adapted the original recipe just a touch so that I could use the ingredients that I already had on hand.  This salad features a bed of green leaf lettuce, and is topped with sliced tomatoes, sliced bell pepper, sliced onion, sauteed zucchini, sliced steamed potatoes, shredded basil chicken, and drizzled with a homemade ricotta-basil vinaigrette.  I love this salad!  The warm chicken, potatoes, and zucchini against the crispy cool lettuce, onion, and bell pepper is like a party in your mouth, and the salad dressing makes everything taste delicious- it's sweet, creamy, herbaceous goodness! 

My kids like their salad deconstructed, and they are so proud of their colorful creations that they get to eat!

Make this!  So addictive!
Ricotta-Basil Vinaigrette
  • 1/4-1/3 c. ricotta cheese- part skim
  • 3 Tbsp. - 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. - 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey or sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. dried basil
  • a few dashes of salt, pepper, onion powder
Whisk it all together, add a splash of water to thin it if you desire, and drizzle all over your entire dinner!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer Orzo Garden Salad

Uncle Kirk has done it again with a salad of the week! I've got to try this one.

Tossed with a lemon-parmesan vinegarette, this salad boasts a bed of baby spinach, diced cucumber, diced zucchini, diced bell pepper, diced tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese crumbles, capers, toasted pinenuts, and orzo pasta.  Yum!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dinner Inspiration- Kabobs!

Much thanks to my sister for taking a picture of her delicious low-fat dinner last night!  I'm super inspired to make one just like it!  I've got zucchini growing in my garden and I LOVE kabobs!
So what veggies do you have laying around that you could skewer and throw on the fire?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blend It Up- Homemade Tomato-Vegetable Juice

The tomatoes and veggies that went into this drink all came from my garden! All except the celery. Yay for garden produce!

This homemade tomato vegetable juice has the consistency of a smoothie, and tastes great. I think next time I would use tomato juice instead of water for the thinning agent. And instead of blending the mixture with ice I would leave the ice in the glass. It is my hope that the yummy tomato vegetable flavors would be enhanced, rather than diluted.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Steel-Cut Oats

This morning my dad made me a new version of oatmeal. My family is visiting with him for a few days, and he is always wanting to make us some yummy food. I am pretty new to eating oatmeal, but over the course of two months I learned to eat it and not dread every second of it. My dad is aware that I am trying to eat a low-fat diet and he wanted to introduce me to steel cut oats. Unlike the regular rolled oats that I am used to eating, these oats take the grain and cut them in half. It is very similar to oatmeal, however the look and texture is a little different. My impression after eating a bowlful is... it's good. With a little milk and honey, it is creamy and slightly sweet. My dad added raisins and a dash of cinnamon to the entire pot as it was cooking. Eat it like I did, with a dot of butter and a drizzle of honey and milk.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summertime Smoothie Pops

Fruit and yogurt smoothies make a delicious and healthy breakfast, but they also make a fantastic, healthy, summertime treat!  Just pour any left over smoothie into inexpensive popsicle molds, I found mine at the dollar store, and freeze them!  Voila!  Summertime smoothie pops!
This morning's breakfast smoothie had Nonfat Greek yogurt, low-fat vanilla yogurt, frozen cherries and berries, one super ripe banana, some leftover cantaloupe, old-fashioned oats, and water.  We're talking fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals galore!  Don't you love it when healthy tastes good?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Asian Salad Bar & Potstickers

Homegrown lettuce and cilantro freshly picked from my grandparents garden was the star of tonight's summer meal.
In addition to the garden-fresh lettuce, our Asian salad bar featured Mandarin oranges, sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced carrots, sliced baby yellow peppers, fresh garden cilantro, sunflower seeds, roasted salted almonds, and chow mein noodles, with savory potstickers on the side. Everyone in our family got to assemble their own salads with the amount of toppings they desired. The salad dressing is a low-fat version of our favorite Brianna's poppyseed salad dressing. Her salad dressing is 14 g of fat per serving! We cut that in half by mixing it with nonfat Greek yogurt, a dash of salt and onion powder. It was sweet and tangy and delicious!  

What are your favorite healthy summer meals?

Friday, May 30, 2014

California Sushi Roll Salad

I've got to thank my Uncle Kirk for his latest salad of the week creation. I love salad. I love sushi. I want to try this recipe!

He started with a bed of baby kale and spinach then topped it with chunks of avocado crab and cucumber. Then the genius took it up a notch with the crunch factor using crumbles of sea salt-and-pepper rice cakes. He also made a wasabi-ginger dressing that sounds absolutely killer-good!  How do you make it???  

I inquired for you. You're welcome. His reply is as follows: 
"Super easy.  I bought some wasabi sauce, heavy cream, milk and fresh ginger and just mixed it to taste in my magic bullet blender.  I only made a personal portion for my lunch today so in total I made around a 1/4 to a 1/3 cup of dressing.  Sorry that I don't have specific measurements b/c it all comes down to taste. I personally love wasabi sauce so adding some cream makes it smooth and the ginger adds the perfect sushi touch."  

Are you salivating yet?  

If you are not into making your own salad dressing, I bet a splash of rice wine vinegar would be another tasty dressing option, or perhaps a soy ginger dressing.

Completos and Fresh Sliced Pineapple

Completos are popular street food in Chile. Essentially, they're hotdogs with guacamole and sliced tomato.  There are many variations of the completo, just like the American hotdog.  My healthy version featured a grilled whole wheat bun, grilled turkey hot dogs, organic guacamole, and sliced tomatoes. Simple, but oh so good! If you have a hankering for hot dogs, or need something new to serve at your next BBQ, try these!  Turkey hotdogs are much lower in fat than other hotdogs, and guacamole gives you a good dose of the healthy fat we all need.  

A really refreshing side dish to go along with these is sliced fresh pineapple. If you've never tried it with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, you haven't lived. It also makes a light, yet sweet dessert.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Easy Smothered Burritos

Tonight's dinner used ready made pantry items to make my life simpler. Each smothered burrito is less van 15 grams of fat , which means you can serve it with a full fat sour cream if you choose.

This is how I made them. For the filling, I sauteed peppers, a tomato, and an onion. When that was soft, I added the black beans and one cup of cheese sauce (Ragu ready-made double cheddar sauce). When the filling was warmed through, it was ready to go into the tortillas. To assemble the smothered burritos, I layered about two thirds of a cup of salsa in the bottom of a square baking dish, then filled the tortillas, rolled them up, and added a third cup of salsa on top. Then I put them under the broiler for a minute or so. See? Easy.  Then you can throw some chopped cilantro on top to be fancy. I served these with corn and sliced English cucumbers.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Savory Turkey Dinner With Steamed Artichokes

A savory turkey dinner is hard to resist. I am so glad that I saved some delicious turkey from Thanksgiving in the freezer and stocked up on boxes of stuffing when they were on sale during the holiday season (my husband loves StoveTop).  It was perfect for dinners like tonight's.  In addition to the turkey and stuffing, I made a warm gravy using the broth that I reheated the turkey in, also steamed yams, and steamed artichokes dipped in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.   Mmmm...  Truly mmmm!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Another Easy Winner-Winner-Chicken Dinner

Chicken breast seasoned with salt, garlic salt, onion powder, and oregano, topped off with sautéed spinach and tomatoes. Served with a side of lightly-buttered carrots coins and baked potato.

That's what we had for dinner tonight. I was able to cook it in 15 to 20 minutes, using very little energy, which is just what I needed for tonight.  My six-year-old really loved the chicken. My eight-year-old plugged her nose when I told her she had to eat the spinach too, but hey, at least she ate it. I count that as a win still.  One day she'll thank me, right?

What did you have for dinner tonight?

Whole-Grain Spaghetti Salad

If you've got any leftover spaghetti noodles, you can make this satisfying spaghetti salad for lunch the next day, like I did today.  It's hardly a recipe, like many of the things I make, but it is tasty and could be used as great inspiration for your own healthy spaghetti salad. For this, I used leftover whole grain spaghetti noodles, some diced tomatoes, diced green bell pepper, sliced oven roasted turkey, a bit of shredded cheese, fresh spinach leaves sliced into ribbons, and an olive oil vinaigrette salad dressing drizzled all over it.  It's quite good and has a healthy balance of whole grains, veggies, protein, and good-for-you fat. 

Mmmmm.... Wouldn't this be good with some avocado, or red onion, or broccoli bits, or...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Honey Ham Sammy


Did you know that honey ham deli meat has less fat than oven roasted turkey deli meat?  And more protein!  At least the brand I bought  does. Reading labels comes in handy. This is good news because my favorite breakfast meat is not bacon or sausage, it is ham :)

Hash browns n ham. Mmmmmm...
Biscuits n ham. Mmmmmmm...
Waffles n ham.  Mmmmmmm...
Eggs n ham, or even green eggs n ham.  Yes, I like them, Sam I Am!  Mmmmmmm...

Enough about breakfast though. Everyone I know knows that I have oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal and ham??? Probably not. But ham is great for lunch too! Chopped up in a chef salad, or nestled between sandwich bread , I'm diggin it. Check out my Honey Ham Sammie on soft whole wheat bread with tomatoes, spinach, green leaf lettuce, chopped pepperoncinis, salt, pepper, and touch of vinegar.  Mmmmm...


It was delicious.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Fun Way To Eat Apples


As a kid, I did not like eating apples. I loved applesauce. I loved apple cobbler. But apples in and of themselves were difficult for my mouth to handle. I always had a hard time breaking through the skin, and sometimes the skin made it a little bitter to me. I love apples now, but I do prefer apples with softer skins still.

Red Delicious apples often have a tougher skin, but they are as their names suggest, d-licious. So eating them is worth a bit of creativity for easier munching, plus who doesn't love eating cute food?  All you do is turn the apple on its side and slice it into discs, then using a tiny cookie cutter or melon baller, cut out the core. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to send a little message of love, or use a circle shape to make the rings look like apple donuts.  Simple. Healthy. Delicious!

If you're babysitting, having a picnic with your significant other, it's a rainy day, you need to bring a side dish to the office party or the church luncheon, keep things simple, and make these.

And... especially if you have kids of your own, get them involved in making these. Its fun for the whole family!  For breakfast today, I sliced the apples into the discs, and my 6 year old cut out the middle. Family and food are my favorite!




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Really Good Lentils


I really like the lentil soup I made yesterday. Lentils are pretty new to me. I did not grow up eating them. My husband on the other hand, did grow up eating them, and when we got married, I asked him what his favorite food was, and he said lentil soup. Ever since then, I've tried to make lentil soup from time to time, and of all the recipes that I have followed in the past, I have found that the simpler the recipe, the better the outcome.  Lentils with a hint of spices and a few veggies are really good.

A good basic recipe to follow for lentils is as follows:
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups dry lentils
1 quart chicken broth
1 quart beef broth
1 14-ounce can of diced roasted tomatoes with olive oil and garlic ( or just diced tomatoes)
1 to 2 teaspoons salt

Saute the veggies in the olive oil until the onions are translucent, then add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot, cover, and simmer 35-45 minutes, depending on how much bite you want left in your lentils. Or you can forget about it and leave it on the stove for an hour and a half, like I did. If you do that, you will have to add another 3 cups of water or so, as there will be none left in the pot.

Last night's lentils had the following ingredients also added to the pot:
A sprinkle of garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper
Half a teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon coriander powder

This was wonderful served in bowls with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and warm, soft tortillas for dipping!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Minute Granola


I found this recipe online at and used it as a guideline to make my own microwave granola. It'll do in a pinch for granola, and I'm often in a pinch when I'm hungry for breakfast and I didn't make my own homemade granola the night before.

The recipe is a simple three ingredients-

Half teaspoon maple syrup
Half teaspoon water
3 tablespoons rolled oats

In a bowl stir together the maple syrup and water. Mix in the oats and microwave at 40 power for 2 minutes. Stir the Granola so it doesn't stick and microwave again at 40 percent power for another 2 minutes. Let the granola cool a touch before eating.

I added some freeze dried strawberries and I ate my granola with a low fat vanilla yogurt. It was the bomb diggity. I think I'll have some again tomorrow for breakfast.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Snackin' on Artichokes


When you think of snacking on veggies, what comes to mind? Carrots and ranch? A crudite platter? Celery and peanut butter?

Did steamed artichoke make your list? As much as I love them, I don't often think of artichokes as a snack food. However, these lovely thistle flowers, usually served for fancy meals, were on sale this week at the store and I picked up a few. I decided to steam them all up in the afternoon at the same time in a large steamer basket. 1 hour later, I had tender artichokes and a mostly full belly from lunch. So, I ate some of one with some help from family passerbys and put the remnants in the refrigerator for another time, not knowing if they even reheat very well. Well today I needed a snack, and a leftover artichoke was looking at me from the fridge. I popped it in the microwave for a couple minutes.  To my relief, it heated through wonderfully. In my former life, I would dip each artichoke leaf in a dollop of mayonnaise. Not so much any more considering my low fat diet. In fact, I don't even have any mayo in the house to tempt me right now. Instead, I opted for bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a shallow dish with salt and pepper. I may never go back to mayo, I love this new combination so much, which is a huge YEAH for low fat dieting! 

Happy artichoke snacking!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Recipe Inspiration

I love to read recipes!  I especially love recipes with pictures.  Cookbooks and food blogs are one of my favorite things in this life.  The last little while, with a cleaner way of eating, I have found very few recipes that look appetizing and require no substitutions for healthy eating.  Granted, I didn't look very hard after having little success with the recipes I did find.  Anyhow, yesterday I found a blog with lots of recipes I want to try.  Below is the web address for my future browsing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Banana-Oat Breakfast Bars

Need a quick grab-n-go breakfast that you don't feel guilty about eating?  Sweetened slightly with natural ingredients, containing almost no fat, and overflowing with all the health benefits of oatmeal, you can feel good about eating these bars for breakfast (or packing in a lunch or serving for an after-school or late-night snack).  Say good morning to these Banana-Oat Breakfast Bars! 

I made these when the bananas on my counter were super-speckled and crying to be used in a baked good.  I searched the internet, used lots of different recipes for inspiration, and ended up with a great breakfast bar.   

Banana-Oat Breakfast Bars
Yield: 12 bars

  • 2 c Whole Oat Flour (make your own by blending old-fashioned oats in a blender until they resemble flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 medium-sized, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, except nuts and mix well.
  4. Stir in nuts.
  5. Pour into pan and bake 15-20 minutes until center is done. Let cool before cutting.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Finally! A way to eat oatmeal for breakfast that really jives with me.  Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies. Stop your snickering! Cookies for breakfast? You got it. These, however, are not the sweet oatmeal cookies the way your grandma would make them. They are definitely okay for breakfast, slightly sweet, practically fat-free, more like a chewy English scone that is made with oatmeal. And in the form of a cookie. And so much better tasting than a bowl full of mushy oatmeal that for the life of me I just can't seem to get over. I think it's just that texture thing that gets to me, but I really want to like oatmeal, and now I can.  I warm one of these big breakfast cookies up for 12 seconds in the microwave and serve it with a cup of milk, and it makes a perfect cholesterol-lowering heart-healthy breakfast.
I bet you want the recipe. I happened to find this recipe online at, a website that has a whole bunch of yummy-looking healthy breakfast recipes that I want to try.  This one turned out pretty good, so I know I'll be revisiting that site again for inspiration.

Below is her recipe.  Do what I did and double it.  I didn't have any nuts so I left those out and I used half raisins and half dried unsweetened cranberries for the dried fruit. I also ran out of nutmeg, but in my opinion that spice is optional. The cookies keep well in a zip top bag.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Shoyu Cucumbers


Shoyu is a Japanese word for soy sauce. Or maybe it's a Hawaiian- Japanese word, I'm not exactly linguistically sure on that, but I'm also not that bothered by my lack of expertise enough to look it up on a search engine.  You'll have to wait in suspense, or just go look it up yourself.

Shoyu cucumbers I grew up eating, unlike most of my neighbors and friends who have probably never tried them before. Let me tell you they've been missing out. But they don't have to anymore!  The method of making them is simple. Basically, just peel and slice thinly a cucumber or two.  Then put it in a medium-sized bowl, or reused cool whip container like we did when I was a kid, than sprinkle soy sauce over the top and vinegar in about equal parts and a grind of pepper. If you accidentally poured too much vinegar or soy sauce you can always dilute the mixture with some water. There you have it! Done. I suppose these are like a quick Japanese-inspired pickle.  It's a yummy side dish, and quite refreshing, and the best part is it is fat free!

Comfort Food Lightens Up


I love meatloaf! It has such an undesirable name, but it is definitely on my list of favorite comfort foods. I made meatloaf for Sunday dinner, but mine was a lighter version and a very tasty one at that! I portioned out the meatloaf mixture into several mini loaves for quicker cooking. I also used a pound of lean ground turkey instead of the normal full fat ground beef. I loaded up on whole grains as I used 2 slices of whole wheat bread pulled into crumbs and a half cup of rolled oats as filler. Then I seasoned with McCormick steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, a squirt of ketchup , and dried parsley. I never use a recipe when I'm making meatloaf, or meatballs for that matter. I just kind of throw it all together, let the egg do the binding, and bake. As long as there's enough seasoning on the meat, it always turns out good. I slathered ketchup on top of the little mini meatloaf before I baked it, but I don't always do that. It just sounded good to me this time.

My mom joined our family for our meatloaf dinner. She raved about how the meatloaf was to die for. Also, the next day, both my children were asking for meatloaf leftovers at lunch time. That never happens. Hardly ever does any member of my family besides myself welcome leftovers. So I guess that is a true testament that this one was a winner!

The mini turkey meatloaf was served with a side of broiled asparagus, steamed sweet potato, and sliced shoyu cucumbers. Mmmmmmmmm...  Look for recipes for these side dishes in another blog post.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Super Seafood Suppers

When eating low-fat, you learn to make conscious fat choices, including choosing between good fats and bad fats. It's a no brainer that it is best to choose the good fats as found naturally in seafood, eggs, flax, olives, etc.. To tempt your taste buds into some mouthwatering seafood options, check out what my sister made last week!  She made this simple shrimp scampi over pasta. There are delicious versions of pasta that include whole wheat, whole-grain, multi grain, and even ones made with white whole grains too!

Traditional scampi is made with a lot of butter, oil and wine, all of which can be substituted with broth, either seafood or chicken would be fine. 

My sister also made some delicious lemon pepper salmon served with asparagus. Mmmmmmmm... One of my favorite veggies. Salmon is one of the best ways to get your omega fatty acids, so eat up!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Snack Attack- Toasted Kale


Need a healthy veggie snack?  Toss chopped and stemmed kale with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper on a sheet tray. Broil in the oven until edges look a little toasty (or a lot toasty if you like).

P.S. Be sure to set the pan at least a foot from the heat source or you'll get charred kale.

I love the little crunchy brown edges on the salty kale. My hubby said it reminds him of nori (Japanese toasted seaweed), which is another snack I adore.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shredded Beef Soft Tacos With A Squeeze Of Lime


These soft tacos where exactly what I needed to fill my craving for going out to a Mexican restaurant. Since I made these at home I had complete control over the quality and quantity of the ingredients I used, and these tacos were full of all those Mexican flavors that I was craving!

A few weeks ago, my brother came to visit with his family and they brought with them a huge 15 pound beef roast. We cut that huge chunk of meat into smaller roast portions, seasoned them, put them in my 2 large crockpots for the whole day on low.   What we were left with was succulent shredded beef. We ate that beef for many meals, but there was still so much left over that I decided to portion the meat in approximately 1 pound portions and slide them into my freezer for use in other meals.

When it was time to make this meal of shredded beef soft tacos, all I did was remove the frozen meat from the freezer, put it in a large saucepan with beef broth halfway up the side of the meat, and simmer it on low until it resembled shredded beef again. Then I added a packet of taco seasoning, which I always have on hand, and a small can of diced green chilies, and let it simmer until it thickened up, maybe 10 minutes.
That's it. Served on corn tortillas with a little cilantro, green onion, tomato, and a squeeze of lime, these were divine. I even added some Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, but that's completely optional.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hawaiian Haystacks


When I was in elementary school, I was served a meal in the school cafeteria that was foreign to me, it was referred to as Hawaiian Haystacks.  I'm pretty sure its a Utah thing because I happen to be of Hawaiian descent, and as far as I know, there is no such meal found originating in the islands. I'm assuming because it has pineapple on it is why it is associated with Hawaii. But authentically Hawaiian or not, these haystacks are winners in the land and culture I grew up in, that is to say, the salty desert at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where the closest thing we have to tropical Hawaii is sand and these haystacks. And I'm a fan. And even better, my husband is a fan too.

Now let's get down to the nitty gritty. Hawaiian Haystacks have many variations, but the basics are as follows: a bed of rice, chicken gravy, grated cheese, pineapple tidbits, and other toppings. Speaking of those other toppings, we like to have sweet peas, diced tomatoes, green onions, chopped chicken, crispy chow mein noodles, and shredded coconut.  Sometimes we'll have shredded carrots or diced peppers or steamed veggies. You get the gist, its a haystack of whatever you have on hand.  It's a pretty easy pantry-pull-together/leftovers-use-up kind of meal.

Our heart healthier version we had last night features a cholesterol-friendly foundation of brown rice and full-flavored homemade gravy (shhh...very low fat).  It was so yummy!  My 8 year old daughter even asked if she could have a cup of gravy for soup.

To make your own lowfat full-flavored chicken gravy, use my method.  Dissolve a quarter cup or so of flour into a cup of chicken broth simmering on the stove. Use a whisk to help it along. The mixture should be thick and pasty.  If you need to, add a little more flour because this mixture should be thick.  I used home-ground oat flour, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Cook on medium high heat for 30 seconds or so, then add slowly 1 cup of milk while whisking the paste into the liquid. you just made bechamel sauce without fat. Let it simmer to thicken up to a good gravy consistency. Season your gravy, with salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley, you know, just sprinkle seasonings to your heart's content. That's it. Creamy chicken gravy, perfect for healthier Hawaiian Haystacks.

" Hawaiians and haystacks were meant to be together."
  -Anonymous. Or was it Confucius? Okay, I just made that one up.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Truth About Greek Yogurt as a Mayonnaise Substitute


So the truth is... They're two different beasts, or maybe I should say too different beasts. Mayonnaise is creamy, smooth, and fatty. Yogurt, and especially Greek yogurt, is creamy,  smooth, and sour. No offense Greek yogurt, but sour is not exactly a good substitute for fatty all the time, like nutritionists and low-fat food eaters try to preach. Simply put, sometimes you want fatty and sour just doesn't satisfy.  Sour things take over other flavors or change the flavor profile completely. Sometimes that's good and welcomed. Other times you just don't feel like sour. That is the conclusion I came to tonight when I made deviled eggs using Greek yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise.  They were, eh.

Now, in the defense of nonfat Greek yogurt, I have enjoyed it as a substitute for sour cream. It was really yummy on my black bean and cheese burrito that you may remember from one of my past posts. In small amounts, the tangy yogurt flavor does not dominate.  I've also added it into some of my baking, to replace some of the fat, and it does a decent job. I made a quick bread using yogurt in the place of oil and I liked the finish product, my hubby noticed that the bread taste differently, but he still liked it too. So, nonfat Greek yogurt, not all is lost, you have your place in the world, and I think I'll hang on to you.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dessert Out


When you go out with your family for dessert, and you have to watch what you eat, there's not always a lot of options for you. This is something I have come to learn over the past little while. A lot of times I just say no and skip out on the goodies. But there are rare occasions when there is something that I can have at a restaurant.
This past weekend my family went to a frozen yogurt bar and had yummy frozen treats of their making.  I, on the other hand, couldn't have any frozen yogurt, but I could have a small portion of some of the toppings that were offered, like fruit, granola, and a touch of whipped cream and sprinkles.
Truthfully I enjoyed every bite and it was lovely to be able to enjoy something sweet along with my family.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Simple Swaps For Health


This was a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. I vamped up the health aspect by swapping out regular pasta noodles for whole grain angel hair, and said goodbye to store bought, full-fat meatballs for my own homemade, lean-ground-beef meatballs.  Served with a large side salad, this made for a well-balanced meal for the whole fam!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Broiled Veggies


I have family in town. Every time they come to town we like to grill! Tonight we grilled marinated chicken tenders. We served it with rice and broiled vegetables. Notice that I did not say boiled vegetables, they were broiled!

Broiled vegetables are d-licious! And the method of making them is quite simple. Just cut up your veggies, put them on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then toss to distribute seasonings on to everything. Put it under the broiler any where from 5 to 10 minutes depending on how thick your veggies are and how close they are to the heat source.

If you haven't tried your veggies broiled, give it a shot! It's my very favorite way to eat asparagus.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Old-Time Salad Bar Favorite


My lunch today was a throw back to my all-time favorite junior high lunch, the salad bar. I used to get the salad bar nearly every day in junior high school and it was the same lovely lettuce topped with the same tasty tidbits every day- cucumbers, diced ham, cottage cheese and pineapple. Every now and then I'd add peas or carrots to the mix. Cottage cheese and pineapple were the important toppings, everything else was optional. The nice thing about this delicious combo is it has no need for salad dressing, thus saving you on fat. And the even better thing about this is it tastes so good that you don't miss the fat or feel deprived in the least.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Appeasing The Kids - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup


Dinner is a family affair, so I try to make meals that my family will enjoy. Tonight my daughter requested grilled cheese and tomato soup. I LOVVVE melty cheese! But on my low fat diet I often choose other options because of the high fat content in most cheeses. However, tonight I was going to make my daughter happy and I had a few tricks up my sleeve to make a healthier version of grilled cheese, one that I could eat with pleasure and guilt-free.

Tip number 1- make it an open face cheese toast and save yourself all that butter you would normally bathe the sandwich bread in.

Tip number 2- substitute half the shredded cheddar for grated Parmesan cheese.  Lots of flavor, less fatty ;). Now you can call it "fancy two-cheese toasts" or something like that.

Tip number 3- use whole wheat bread.

That's it. Assemble cheeses on the bread and broil until the cheese melts and Parmesan is lightly browned. Try it. It's yummy!  And with tomato soup, you've got a heaven-made match.