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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday!

Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Rating: A+
Okay, maybe I am a bit biased but my all-time favorite "guilty" dessert is banana pudding. Why? I have no idea. Something about the flavor combination. Is this a healthy dessert? No. However, you can improve the recipe in many ways. When using a boxed cake mix the oil can be completely replaced with unsweetened applesauce. I have done it twice now and both times it turned out the most gorgeous boxed cake I have ever made. Secondly, if you whip your own whipping cream you get to control the amount of sugar that goes into it and it won't have a bunch of yucky additives like high fructose corn syrup. I added a layer of freshly sliced bananas between the pudding and whipped topping and it was soooo delicious. Everyone raved about this dessert at my baby boy's birthday party. Yummy!

Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto
Rating: F
No, I am not kidding. This dish was terrible. The lime zest was completely and totally overwhelming - So badly that you couldn't even taste anything else (and there are a lot of other ingredients that should have strong flavors!) This was bad enough that we rinsed off the noodles to try and save dinner and we could STILL taste the lime. Wow. Steer clear of this one. 
Link: The site is down right now so I can't get the link but if you really want to try this one here is the link to my pin on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/206954545347039565/

Zucchini Lasagna
Rating: A+
This meal was so tasty and I thought it tasted a lot like normal lasagna. I didn't miss the noodles at all and, even though the cute hubby wouldn't admit it, I don't think he did either. It came out with the most amazing pops of flavor. I used ground chicken instead of shredded and I ran out of zucchini and so I used part yellow squash. Ironically, we liked the yellow squash best. It takes on an almost cheesy taste to it. We will absolutely be making this dish again.

Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Candy Bars
Rating: A- on flavor and texture
Sound healthy? Surprisingly, they are very respectable for a dessert. All natural ingredients and no added sugars except for honey (which isn't processed nearly as heavily as white sugar) and whatever sugar might be on your dried cranberries. These had a very rich and creamy flavor and texture and a little bit goes a long way. Unfortunately, a long way isn't very long for me when it comes to sweets and even after just a little bit my body went into "sugar shock" and I felt sick to my stomach for the rest of the night. *Sigh* So even though these were delicious I probably won't make them again. I bet you would enjoy them though!

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie
Rating: B
I really like the concept of this "cookie" and it turned out pretty good. I made a blueberry version and did agave instead of maple syrup. I also didn't have vanilla yogurt and so I added a tsp of 100% vanilla whey protein powder and just used plain, nonfat yogurt. It was tasty and I enjoyed it, however it didn't keep me feeling full for very long. That is a deal breaker for me and breakfast so I won't make this one again for me but maybe for my kids?

Oreo Puddin' Poke Cake
Rating: A+ according to my husband
I have to confess... I didn't actually eat this one. My baby sister turned 7 yesterday and specifically requested a "Special Shayla Dessert" and she wanted chocolate cake. I knew that she would love this cake although I don't personally eat Oreos. Once again, you can replace the oil in the cake mix for unsweetened applesauce 1:1. My sister had 2 BIG pieces of this cake and my husband went on and on and on about how good it was. He doesn't normally like cake but he said this one was so perfectly moist and the perfect amount of sweet without being overbearing. I added a layer of whipped topping on top of the pudding after it had completely set (8 ounce container) and I think that that is what balanced the sweetness out. 

Tijuana Tortas
Rating: A+
I cannot possibly say enough to praise this meal. It comes together in no time at all (like 5 minutes) and is incredibly tasty. I think I had it for 4 or 5 meals over the course of 2 days because we loved it so much. The avocado mixture is really what makes it. The limey, oniony creaminess is just a burst of flavor. I didn't want to search for pickled jalapenos so I used chopped banana peppers instead. I am actually planning on making this again tonight. Really. We also didn't hollow out our whole wheat sub rolls - we just ate these like sandwiches. I know that that is cheating and not really a torta but they were fantastic, nonetheless. And meatless too!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Supper-time Sunday!

Chicken Coconut Curry
Rating: B-
We love curry around here and I was excited to try this one out; however, I didn't feel like it lived up to our curry standard as it was written. It was bland and too thin. I added 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and  about 1 1/2 more tsp curry powder and still topped my portion with Sriracha. What can I say? We like things spicy. I think that this dish has potential and my mom is going to try it with curry paste instead of ground curry powder. My husband liked it just fine and we might do it again but it definitely wasn't a favorite. 

Banana Vanilla Protein Pancakes
Rating: C
These ones had an okay flavor but they were really dense. They had a strange texture... it was like a mix between a pancake and a cookie. Too hard. If you are looking for a protein pancake that resembles a normal pancake really closely... this is not the one for you. I won't make them again.

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Pancakes (Vegan)
Rating: B
Her method for adding the bananas is CRAZY!!! They made the pancakes fall apart and they were SOOO unmanageable I was going insane. The texture is really good and very much like a normal pancake despite being vegan and the peanut butter flavor is quite strong but good if you really like peanut butter. We just topped our pancakes with bananas after they were cooked and didn't add them to the uncooked batter. I also didn't have buckwheat flour or vanilla soy milk. Instead we used all wheat flour and regular milk and just added 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder. Not vegan, but it works. :-)

Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Rating: A-
This is a wonderful basic recipe for pancakes. My mom didn't have baking soda on hand so we had to use baking powder and they did NOT fluff up, but we added 1/3 cup blueberries and 1 tsp lemon extract to the batter and they had an AMAZING flavor. They were my dad's favorite. I think you could add a bunch of different flavors or fruits to this one or just top them with it afterwards. We will definitely repeat this one. 

Banana Chips
Rating: B-
This was a link on Pinterest that doesn't link to anything but a picture so here is the "recipe": 

Slice banana into thin chips, dip in lemon juice, and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 2 hours @ 200 degrees and flip. Bake for another 1.5-2 hours or until crisp. (They wont be totally crisp in the oven, but will harden as they cool) IMPORTANT STEP: Spray the cookie sheet with PAM

These were decent but the cooking method caramelizes the bananas and makes them really sweet. I could only eat three before they were too sweet for me. They weren't easy enough or good enough to warrant repeating for us but it is a good healthy treat.

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Banana Bread
Rating: A
Oh  my deliciousness! This one was a great one. The whole family loved it and my husband had 3 pieces after it came out of the oven. I didn't have pastry flour but so I just used normal whole wheat flour. I used agave instead of the brown sugar. And I also didn't have vanilla flavored greek yogurt so I just used my plain, nonfat yogurt and added 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder to my batter. It was just the right amount of sweet without being overly sweet.

You have to be careful about cooking it. Banana bread bakes REALLY fast on the outside and gets very dark. Mine got a little bit too dark for my liking on the outside but I was diligent about checking the inside so that it wouldn't be raw. Mine took about 55 minutes and the outside was BORDERLINE too dark. But it was still yummy and we will definitely repeat it. 

Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal
Rating: A
This was a lovely and easy breakfast to put together for the family. We all enjoyed it and I didn't add any extras to the dish except for a little bit of cinnamon. It really doesn't require any sweetener since the banana sweetens it nicely. I didn't add the coconut oil but wouldn't be against trying it. I made mine in individual ramekins for easy serving to the family and topped with a bit of plain Greek yogurt. We will definitely repeat this one!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Supper-Time Sunday! (lol... ish)

Dump Chicken ~ Teriyaki Chicken
Rating: B-
Now, to be fair to this site... I think that it is a great idea and there are a TON of recipes. I only tried one of them this week. The teriyaki chicken had a good flavor but it wasn't nearly strong enough for us. Unfortunately, that may have been because of changes I had to make: #1: No sherry - substituted for apple juice, #2: No fresh ginger on hand (a CRIME!) - had to use ground. If you also have to make these substitutions make sure you use 1/4 tsp ground ginger for ever 1 Tbsp of fresh that the recipe calls for. I cooked mine in my crockpot for 1.5 hours on high and about 2.5 - 3 hours on low but this will vary with every crockpot. I mixed a bunch of sauteed vegetables in and we served it over pineapple brown rice. The final dish was very tasty and would've earned a rating of B+ but I made a LOT of changes to get it to that point. 

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Rating: B-
This is a great idea for a healthier spaghetti sauce, however we are pretty used to more flavorful sauces. This dish relies completely on the flavors of the onion and peppers until you add a few herbs to your individual dish. We are just too much in love with garlic to fully enjoy a sauce that doesn't call for any. The sauce was really thin too which Skinny Taste addresses but we didn't like it enough to repeat it. If you like Chicken Cacciatore I think that this is a good, solid recipe and it was really easy to make. Try it out!

Perfect Protein Pancakes
Rating: A
I had heard of protein pancakes before this week but had never tried them - I had no idea what I have been missing! I love them and they will be my go-to breakfast for a while, at least. I don't have buckwheat or almond flour on hand so I have tried this recipe once with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and once with heaping 1/2 cup rolled oats. I just throw the ingredients in my blender and blend until smooth. My biggest complaint about this recipe is actually the cooking method. It is HARD to flip such a large pancake. I will probably start doing what is implied in the picture - make a bunch of smaller ones. I add blueberries to my pancakes once I have poured them onto the pan and top with organic, unsweetened applesauce. If you have never tried that method before - do it! It is delicious and saves you countless of needless calories from butter and syrup.