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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

When The Fridge Is Bare


I haven't been to the store for a while now. I've been feeling under the weather, so no menus have been made and dinners lately have been pulled together last second. Today was no different.  It is nice to know that I have a few healthy options on hand in my pantry to feed my family when I'm feeling unwell. Tonight we had whole grain pancakes made from a mix called "Kodiak Cakes" that we really like and you can find at Costco and at most grocery stores.

I also had a bag of steamable edamame in my freezer.  With a cup of milk and a scoop of canned peach slices, I could feed my kids quickly with foods they will eat and that are healthy. We didn't have any butter for the pancakes, but they don't really need it if you're putting syrup on.

In matters of syrup...
I personally like to put my syrup in small dish so that I can control the portion. Then I tear my pancake and dip it. I just love eating with my hands and dipping foods in sauces!  I haven't grown up i guess. I also am a klutz and wear my meals most days. For the syrup, I warmed a quarter cup of real maple syrup over the stove and diluted it with a splash of milk, some vanilla extract, and a tablespoon of coconut oil, and when it began to bubble, I removed it from the heat and added a teaspoon of baking soda for frothiness and saltiness. Yum!  I only needed a tablespoon of it to dip 4 pancakes.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Get Better Chicken Dinner


Delicious slow-cooked garlic rotisserie chicken, broiled yellow squash spears, sour cream and chive potatoes made with olive oil, and warm green beans...
Thanks mom and Tom for bringing my family dinner tonight. I've had a rough go today with chest and neck pain and breathing discomfort and it is a blessing to have such loving family as you to comfort my soul with a delicious meal.  God bless us, everyone... and especially you two!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Dinner


For dinner tonight we had scrambled eggs with seasoned red potatoes and asparagus stir-fry vegetables. Because I cooked everything myself, I could control the fat quality and quantity. I used olive oil and I didn't use heaping amounts of it. If you use a good non- stick skillet you don't really need a lot of oil even for sticky eggs or starchy potatoes. 

Zonya's Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


Every Monday night our family gathers together for family home evening. We always have a good time and we always have some spiritual nourishment and dessert afterward.  Since being more conscious of the fat I've been consuming, I have not bought butter for a couple weeks.  I had to find a dessert that didn't require butter. That's when I remembered Zonia's Health Bites, a PBS television show that I used to watch when my children were babies. I looked up her website and sure enough she had healthy dessert recipes, one of which stood out to me as something my family would be excited to eat.  I set to work making chocolate chip cookie bars . This recipe substituted out all of the fat normally found in cookie bars by using applesauce and chocolate pudding mix. I'm always leery about healthy dessert because they don't usually taste very good, so I only made half a recipe, you know, just in case it didn't turn out.

Although I couldn't have any of this dessert because I'm avoiding chocolate and sugar, my family did try it. The fact that the children were begging for seconds makes this officially a winner healthy dessert. My husband didn't think that they tasted anything like chocolate chip cookies, however that didn't stop him from eating 5 bars. So I guess it is a real win.  I do think that the title is somewhat misleading because these "bars," as you can tell from the picture, are more like cake then a cookie. So rename this if you will, low fat chocolate cake. However if it was named that I probably wouldn't have tried to make it for my family home evening dessert. So whatever! It is impressive that per serving this only has 2 grams of fat.

If you want the recipe or others like it, follow the link below to Zonya's website.

Zonya's Healthy Recipes

Vegetarian Chili with Whole-Grain Drop Biscuits


This was dinner last night. I made vegetarian chili using a green pepper, red onion, a poblano pepper, roma tomatoes, kidney beans, a touch of olive oil, and lots of herbs and spices.  With a spoonful of nonfat Greek yogurt and a few sprigs of cilantro on top, the chili takes on a nice fresh flavor.  I added a few sliced pickled jalapeños for kick.



The whole grain drop biscuits couldn't be easier to make. Set your oven to 350, use one cup of Kodiak cake waffle mix with a quarter cup applesauce and a quarter cup coconut oil cut into the mix.   Add a splash of milk and stir with a fork into a thick sticky batter. Then you just drop it by the tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or so. I flattened the biscuits a bit and dabbed the tops with some milk, then sprinkled a bit of sea salt and paprika over them before I put them in to bake.  this gives you about 12 biscuits. They come out soft and slightly sweet and salty. They made a great dipper, or in my case, a lovely stage to eat my chili off of.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Turkey Meatballs I Can Eat

I had a hankering for my dads sweet and sour meatballs, but the meatballs at the store are too high in fat to justify eating. I decided I would make my own meatballs using ground turkey which afforded me the opportunity to actually eat the dinner I was craving.
I didn't follow a recipe, just made it up as I went along. It turned out pretty good and my kids liked the meatballs too. Plus, I was tricky and added a filler ingredient- one cup of quick oats. My heart and cholesterol levels should like that!
I'll try to recall how I made these particular meatballs.  Here are the ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey,
2 slices whole wheat bread made into crumbs,
1 cup quick oats,
1 tablespoon dried parsley,
1 teaspoon ground cumin,
1 teaspoon paprika,
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning,
a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce,
2 egg whites,
a shake of liquid smoke
I mixed it all up with my hands just like I was making meatloaf, then I used a golfball-sized cookie scooper to form the meatballs and cooked them for 12 minutes in a 375 degree oven. 
This made about 24 golfball-sized meatballs, equaling just over 1 gram of fat per meatball. Now that's something I can eat!

Gag! Overnight Oatmeal


Holy gross! I do not recommend overnight oatmeal. There are tons of recipes online, making it sound like overnight oatmeal is a miracle meal. If you don't know what that is, it is basically oats soaked overnight in a liquid of your choice, refrigerated, and by morning you have a bowl of cold, soft oatmeal. I'm trying new things and I'm trying to like oatmeal more, so I tried overnight oatmeal soaked in leftover green smoothie- another idea I got from the internet. Not. good. If you look at the picture you can see that it doesn't look appetizing. And one tiny bite confirmed that it tastes how it looks. I don't know about cold oatmeal. It just seems like oatmeal should be warm.


Sorry overnight oatmeal. You didn't make me a believer.

Instead for breakfast I had microwaved quick oats with a banana sliced on top and sprinkle of cinnamon. It was definitely a step up.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Stewed Zucchini and Quinoa


One of my comfort foods is my dad's stewed zucchini. He lovingly would make this side dish as the zucchini from his garden would start producing.  He would often add a quart of his homemade stewed tomatoes from the garden. I remember watching it bubble and stew in his wok on the stove. You see, he cooked this in a wok because it was his biggest pan, and he was cooking for a family of 7. Such warm memories I have of this dish!  Tonight I served it with quinoa on the side. They were good together, so good that I actually ended up mixing the two of them together on my plate.


I don't follow a written recipe for stewed zucchini because my dad never did. However, in case my memory fades I would like to document the method of making this tasty dish. It's really simple.

Ingredients: 2 medium zucchini, sliced. 1 yellow onion, sliced.  1 to 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced. A bit of olive oil. 1 quart stewed tomatoes or 1 to 2 cans of diced tomatoes.  Salt and pepper.

Method: Sweat out the onions in olive oil with the garlic over medium heat. Add the sliced zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute a little longer. Add the stewed tomatoes and stir it all together. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

You can always add more zucchini or onion or tomato or you can even use bacon drippings instead of olive oil, like my dad has done on occasion, if you like. But if you're trying to eat low fat, I'd steer away from the bacon.

Hidden Oats Green Smoothie


For breakfast today I decided to hide my oatmeal in a green smoothie. I like green smoothies. They are simple and you can get a serving or two of veggies in before lunch. Great idea? I think so! The smoothie successfully hid any hint of oatmeal flavor. The only downside was that I should have added double the oatmeal to actually get the serving that I normally eat. You see, I forgot that the smoothie I was making actually makes 2 to 3 servings, so I should have poured in more oatmeal.  I wonder if that will change the texture of the smoothie or add an oatmeal flavor? I guess I'll have to try it again and find out!  If you want a basic green smoothie recipe I've got a good one. You can start with my recipe and add yogurt or juices or other fruits to mix it up a bit. Its very versatile.

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe
Blend the following in a high-powered blender:

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2-4 cups fresh spinach leaves- depending on how "green" you want it
  • A splash of water

Monday, February 17, 2014

Enjoying Eating Out On A Low-Fat Budget

One of our favorite places to eat out is at Pelican Cafe in Roosevelt, Utah. The food is tasty, the prices are reasonable and the portions are giant. It's a good value, but definitely not the place you would think of for low fat options. Fried chicken strips dipped in ranch? Not for me, partner. How about some mac and cheese bites, breaded, and deep fried? *sigh* No can do. A towering stack of fries with creamy fry sauce for dipping? YUM, but sorry it doesn't fit in with my low-fat budget.
Lucky for me, there was salad on the menu!  I ordered their grilled chicken salad, hold the shredded cheese and croutons, dressing on the side. When the salad came, it was all-fancied up with sliced mushrooms, diced onions, diced bell pepper, diced tomato, diced ham bits, and a juicy grilled chicken breast sliced into strips, all this laid atop a giant bed of crispy iceberg lettuce with a bit of carrot for color and crunch. It came with probably a quarter cup of ranch on the side.  I tossed the salad with about 2 tablespoons of ranch. Then I sprinkled it liberally with salt and pepper. I ate it until I was filled, and happily, half of the salad still remained.  Looks like I have dinner for tonight too! 
Like I said before, the portions at Pelican Cafe are quite large. They have this famous cinnamon roll.  Yeah, it's bigger than your head. I believe it is baked in at 9 inch cake pan. Then it is smeared with sweet frosting and drizzled with melted butter!  I had to say no to that one too... Except 1 small bite :-)

Toasted Oatmeal- Take Two

This morning I attempted to make toasted oatmeal once again, but this time I implemented some of the changes I thought might make it more appealing to my children. I didn't toast the oats as long and I removed the pan from the heat after stirring in the oats.
I must say that I preferred the first attempt to this one. My children didn't have any of it, but I'm sure they would prefer this method. The first one had a more nutty taste and more chewy texture. My attempt today made more of a hybrid between regular oatmeal and toasted oatmeal. Still better then 1-minute microwaved oatmeal, but not as good as toasted oatmeal.
And the oatmeal saga continues...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Try Toasted Oatmeal


I've said it before here, and things haven't changed much, oatmeal is not my favorite. I've had oatmeal for breakfast the past week. I'm starting to get a little tired of the blueberry oatmeal I've been making, so I turned to my good friend, the Internet, to find other ways to eat oatmeal. I found a recipe that claims to be the best toasted oatmeal.  Follow the link below to find the recipe. I cut the fat in half by only using a bit of butter and a bit of olive oil equaling about a half tablespoon.

The original recipe for the best toasted oat meal


I had no problem finishing this oatmeal. The texture and the flavor are not so pasty. Next time I make this, and there will be a next time, I will toast my oats a little less. I thought it tasted good, almost like popcorn, but my children thought it tasted a little burned. And after they said that, I could tell what they were talking about, although the oats didn't burn, they didn't need to toast as long. I waited until I could smell them. Next time I'll just look for a  color change.

I served the toasted oatmeal with a splash of milk and a drizzle of organic maple syrup.  YUM! the only downside to this recipe is it takes about 15 minutes to make and I'm used to spending 2 minutes or less preparing breakfast. Oh well. I guess sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good... food.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day Inspiration


Happy Valentines Day everyone! It's fun to celebrate but sometimes its hard when you can't have all the  fat and sweets that you desire.

Today I am posting what my Uncle Kirk made for his family's lunch and dinner. I thought his choices we're extremely creative and celebratory while being nutritious and delicious.
He made a salad for lunch. Look at the way the strawberries create their own little hearts as a salad topper.
For dinner he made a side salad, asparagus, chicken cordon bleu, and brown rice. It looks delicious and I'm totally proud of him. Take a look at his pictures and get inspired to make your own creative and healthy Valentines meal.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lemon Kale Chicken Soup


This soup was the result of creativity and the need to use the kale I bought. It's a winner and I must make it again soon !


Here's how it's made:
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add 2 stalks celery and 3 large carrots (cut on a bias) to the oil as well as 1/2 yellow onion cut into bite sized chunks. Add a bay leaf, salt and pepper the veggies and stir. Strip the kale from the stems, chop it into shreds, then add them to the pot. Cut 1 large red potato into 1/2 moon shapes about 1/4" thick and add to the pot. Add 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups beef broth. Lay 3 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts in the pot and season with garlic salt, then cover the pot. Let it simmer 1/2 hour.  Then remove the chicken and shred into chunks using 2 forks, then add it back into the pot. Turn off the heat. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon (don't forget to catch the seeds) into the soup and stir. Remove the bay leaf and enjoy!  Serves 4 large bowls.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Eat Oatmeal For Breakfast. Repeat.


My breakfast the past 3 days has been oatmeal made with milk and frozen blueberries and a spoonful of low fat vanilla yogurt and a tiny drizzle of organic maple syrup. I'm not an oatmeal fan, but I think this recipe is pretty good as long as each bite has a blueberry.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Black Bean and Cheddar Smothered Burritos

My family loved this recipe that I created.  So, let the recipe be written!  Behold! The healthy black bean and cheddar smothered burrito with a side of salty corn and sautéed spinach with a hint of garlic.

Black Bean and Cheddar Smothered Burritos
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 c. water
  • dash of cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, and a teensy bit of cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 c. shredded medium cheddar cheese and another 1/3 c for topping
  • 6 10-inch, fiber-rich, whole wheat tortillas

Preheat oven to 375.  In a medium skillet over medium-hi heat, combine the onion, beans, water, and spices.  Cook until onion is tender, then add 1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese and a little more water if you need so that it makes a bit of sauce.  Put a little filling into each tortilla and roll up, then line them up in a 9x9 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Spread any remaining filling over the top of the burritos and top with the rest of the 1/3 c. cheese.  Bake in the oven until cheese is melted.  Serve with a spoonful of greek yogurt, a squirt of fresh lime juice, and sliced pickled jalapenos, if you like.  Makes 6 burritos.

I believe the secret to making these healthy burritos taste good is in the cheese.  I used full fat medium cheddar cheese because low-fat cheddar tastes like wet cardboard.  And it's okay to have some cheese as long as you budget for it.  For each burrito, there is approximately 6 grams of fat (the fat coming from the cheese and tortillas).  For dinner, I budget 10-15 grams of fat, so this burrito fits right in!  Use a drizzle of good quality olive oil to saute a side of spinach in, and you'll be getting your "good fats" in too.

A note on the tortillas...
I used fiber-rich whole wheat tortillas which I thought might taste "healthy" and make my family want to excuse themselves from the table early, but I was pleasantly surprised that the "healthy tortillas" actually tasted good.  It's a plus to have whole grains in your diet if you have high cholesterol, so mark up a win for these tortillas.  My hubby and older daughter even wanted seconds. Seconds of healthy food?  Heck to the yes!  Dinner tonight was officially a successful, tasty, and healthy meal.  

P.S. That sour cream is not sour cream, it's nonfat Greek yogurt and although I don't like the stuff on its own, used in small portions it has served as a nice substitute for sour cream and adding a creamy element to salad dressing. It's thick and has 20 grams of protein per cup!

No Fat Options For Salad Dressing Lovers


Notice that creamy dressing on my salad yesterday?  I made that!  And it's healthy at 0 fat grams per serving and the best part is it's not gross!  So many no fat creamy dressings are loaded with chemicals and additives you and I can't pronounce and they usually taste awful. That's why I don't buy them.
That said, I am a salad dressing diva. Salads are mere vehicles for the tasty dressing in my mind, but dressings are often high in fat... shed a tear for me. Okay, enough crying. I'm not giving up dressing and I'm not going to have oil and vinegar every night either because that gets boring.  So, necessity is the mother of invention, and it is what drove me to create... Drumroll please...
Creamy Maple Mustard Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp organic real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Pinch of salt and grind of pepper
  • Tiny pinch of chili powder

Whisk it up and you have a single serving of creamy, flavorful, nonfat salad dressing. My daughter liked it so much she used it to dip her roasted potato wedges in, so apparently it's a good substitute for fry sauce too.
(Disclaimer: measurements are a close-ish guesstimation since I just whipped it up)

Speaking of salad dressings, we had a delicious dinner salad last night inspired by this one-


Here's a link to that mouthwatering recipe

I made my own yummy dressing to drench this beauty in. It's also a low fat wonder, actually it's a no fat mind- blower!  I'm on a roll!  Try this simple dressing on your next Thai-inspired salad and see what I mean. Here is the method: pour some Thai sweet chili sauce in a bowl. Thin it out with equal parts rice wine vinegar and water until you can pour it like a salad dressing. That's it!

In case you're not familiar with the chili sauce, it looks like this-


Our dinner was yummy!


My sister even got on the Thai noodle salad bandwagon and sent me this picture of her dinner last night that she whipped up with what she had on hand. Looks yummy sis!


One more no fat salad dressing for you- equal parts of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar with a grind of pepper. It's the best on thinly sliced cucumbers!

Okay I'm done.

Monday, February 10, 2014

3 Flavor Tips For Low-Fat Eating


"Remember, fat is an essential nutrient for your body, so be sure to include it in your daily diet choices."
  -my nutritionist from my diabetes days

Including fat in my diet has never been my problem. I love fat. And when you pair it with sugar you have found taste bud heaven.  However while your taste buds are basking in their heaven, your health suffers in hellish ways. This is a fact I have chosen to ignore long enough that my body isn't handling it too well. My latest blood screen I had them check my cholesterol and it proved to be high. The doctor advised me to eat oatmeal for breakfast and eat low fat. In 3 months we'll evaluate my cholesterol again. Well, if I can avoid medication and poor health by eating better, I'm going to give it a go!

For the past 2 years I've had to say goodbye to desserts and other highly sweetened foods whether they be sweetened naturally or artificially, as per my cardiologist's orders (darn that POTS and ventricular tachycardia!).  My past pregnancies I had gestational diabetes and I had to count my carbs and proteins and fats, keep a food diary and prick my fingers before and after meals.  I'm no newbie when it comes to dieting for my health.  The good news is I know how to do a low fat diet. It's all about sticking to a realistic fat budget each day. The bad news is I hate oatmeal (unless it's in a cookie).

So, we all know fat is flavor, whether it be butter, extra virgin olive oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, chips, deep fried foods, cheese, avocados or olives (just to name some of my favorites). When you have to limit the fat, you risk losing flavor.  And a flavorless meal is a sad meal. makes you wanna cry doesn't it?  So, I've learned some tricks to lower fat, yet retain flavor. Here's a few tips I used for dinner last night that you must try sometime...

  • When making mashed potatoes, replace the butter and milk with chicken or beef broth to smooth out the potatoes, then SEASON, SEASON, SEASON! I used a good portion of McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning in my potatoes last night and they were divine. If you're watching your salt, use a lot of herbs or a salt free seasoning blend.
  • For roasted chicken, use chicken thighs instead of breasts. I know you're skeptical about this one, but hear me out. Chicken breasts are huge these days and actually pack more calories because of their size than do their brothers, the thighs. Chicken breasts also tend to dry out when cooking, thus making you want some sort of gravy or fatty sauce to plunge them into. Thighs are actually the perfect portion for meat and they retain their moisture when cooked.
  • Another tip for roasted chicken, remove the skin but keep the bones in. Bones equal flavor! Also don't forget to season your meat.