Friday, February 25, 2011

Homemade Peanut/Flax Butter

Well...I must say that homemade peanut butter is the... 


So if you'd like to see the easy recipe to see for yourself, then here it is:

12-16 oz of shelled roasted peanuts ( I chose to get unsalted/roasted in shell, and shelled them myself)
I wanted an anti-oxidant boost in mine, so I added 3 Tablespoons of toasted organic flax seeds.  It also adds a little texture to the finished product.

After you've shelled the peanuts, you will need to process them in a food processor.  This may take a while.  I processed mine for about 5 minutes.  It may take up to 10.  If you feel that your processed peanuts look way too dry or they are not smoothing out any, you may need to add up to a Tablespoon of either Canola, Safflower, or Peanut Oil.  This will unbind things a bit.  I will say to add sparingly, as it will make the Peanut Butter runny if you add too much.

I do not add salt or sweetener to mine, however I have seen several recipes where people have added honey, sugar, splenda, or even agave nectar.  This is your choice completely. 

I think after we've eaten all the peanut butter, I will be making some almond butter next...YUM YUM!

Oh another variation is to add cacao nibs, carob, or chocolate to it making it similar to Nutella.  I will also be trying that very soon also. 

Anywho.  It's gonna be a great weekend!  Spring is right around the corner!  This also means that baseball is in the air!  Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Put the PEP right back in my STEP Breakfast!

Well, I needed a SUPERCHARGE this morning.  My tank was on EMPTY. 
So in order to have some fuel for my morning workout, I decided to have a boost of protein.  Not to mention it was just plain YUMMY-LICOUS!

I split in half and toasted up 1  Healthy Life - Light Multi-Grain English Muffin
I topped it with 2T Natural and No Sugar PB ( I will share my homemade PB recipe later)
I sliced a small banana and split it amongst the two halves.
Oh my goodness, the warm gooey peanut butter and the banana were heavenly and sinful at the same time!!!!!!
I had a tall glass of WATER, and a mug of hot Cranberry Pomegranate GREEN TEA.

So a recap of the nitty gritty. 
My breakfast yielded 13 g of Protein!
The English Muffin:  80 calories, 17 carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams protein
My Peanut Butter:  160 calories, 4.6 carbohydrates, 2.4 grams fiber, 8 grams protein

Just enough to fuel my workout, without making me go all Hulky, Bulky.  Not that there's anything wrong with Hulky Bulky, but I just wanna sensibly lose and sculpt my whole body at present.   

  I am SO happy, I get to see my parents today. 
They're coming out to my neck of the woods for an event they're attending, and they're gonna stop by and see me!  We've had so much going on lately that we haven't seen each other since D's surgery. 

I hope EVERYONE has a WONDERFUL day!

Valentine's Vittles...

Well...yesterday I figured what the hey, and fixed steak for dinner.  The hopeless foodie, and romantic that I am.  Chock full of "sappy" goodness, I tell ya!

Anywho, I made sirloin with a fat free ginger sesame sauce, pan seared red potatoes with thyme, basil, and parmesean, as well as fresh garlic lemon asparagus. 

I did top off the meal with a valentine brownie/cookie.  Sssssssshhhh, don't tell them that it was made with whole wheat, and I substituted no sugar applesauce for the butter, and 1/2 the sugar.  =)  I plated it with a dollop of fat free whipped topping.  Dinner was a real hit!

Ahhhhhh!  What a day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sweet Delites!

I just tried these tonight for dessert.  I had heard about them a week or so ago. 
Wal-Mart had a 10 count box of them for $1.98, and I figured I'd give 'em a shot. 
For all you Weight Watchers out there...They are ZERO Points Plus(up to 4 bars)!
At 14 Calories, no fat, no sugar, and only 4 carbs...these are a keeper!

When you're looking for a little something sweet and don't wanna feel guilty later, these do the trick!

Here's a link to the company's website.

A Warm Hug for my Tummy! It was snowy, icy, and COLD!

I made cocoa whole wheat waffles, eggs, and turkey bacon for the family this morning. I had 1/2 a waffle w/warm strawberries and fat free cool whip. MMMMmmmmm! Oh I also enjoyed a cup of Hot Roobios Tea!

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Nitty Gritty~~~ 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast...I use Rapid Rise
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar (To activate yeast)  Not 100% necessary if you use Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2- 2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour  ( I personally cut the wheat down by 1/2 cup and add in 1/2 cup of Wheat Bran)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (Garlic Salt or Powder and other spices such as Basil can be substituted nicely here.) 
I preheat my convection oven to 425 degrees.  Use 450 degrees if you are using a non-convection.

Dissolve yeast packet into warm water, then add sugar to verify your yeast is active.  Let it stand for 5-10 minutes.  You should see the telltale bubbles to let you know it's ready for action.  =)

In a mixing bowl, pour in yeast.  Then add flour, oil, and salt(spices).  Using dough hook attachment, Beat/Knead for approximately 5 minutes or until dough pulls completely away from sides of mixing bowl.

Now, because I am trying to cook healthier alternatives for my family, I choose to split the dough in half to make 2 thin, but very ample crusts.  If you prefer a thick crust do not divide.

Divide crust, if desired and let rest 10-15 minutes for rising. 

Spray your baking stone or pizza pans with non stick cooking spray.  I use olive oil. 
Sprinkle a light dusting of cornmeal on the stone or pans, then shape dough into desired shape, or conform to pan.  Pierce the surface of the crust with the tines of a fork to ensure no bubbles or air pockets get trapped in your dough or crust while baking.  Flash bake your crust(s) for approx. 5 minutes to keep your dough from turning mushy once it has toppings on it. 

Now on to the fun part...

Top with your favorite stuff.

Here is just a small list of some of the things I have topped this crust with:

Homemade Pesto, Homemade Alfredo, Homemade Skinny-Fredo, Diced tomatoes/Garlic/Basil, Fat Free Ranch Dressing, Salsa, Nutella or Pudding(for a dessert pizza).  This list continues to grow, as I continue to experiment!

Fresh or Sundried Tomatoes
Garlic, Garlic, and More Garlic
Grilled Chicken
Bacon (Pork or Turkey)
Sausage(Pork, Turkey, and Venison)
Bell Peppers
Potatoes...YES!  cooked, diced, or sliced POTATOES!
Pepperoni (Regular/Turkey)
Ground Beef
Red/Yellow Onion
Fresh Fruit for a dessert pizza!
This list also goes on and on...

Here's a Clucktacular  Favorite of mine:  Chicken Bacon Potato with Fat Free Ranch!

I hope you enjoy!  Please send me your favorite pizza ideas!  I would love to add them to my recipe box!

Yummy, Yummy, EAT Kale? . . . Oh, yeah!!!

Per my SparkFriend FRESHSTART2011's blog a few weeks ago, I decided to try the recipe she posted for Kale Chips. I baked them, but I did omit the salt. In my convection oven they only had to bake about 12-15 minutes total. Very crispy, and I really liked the garlic flavor!
I had a grilled chicken sammy on a multigrain sandwich thin, with 1 oz skim mozzarella melted on, and a tomato.
Added a tall cool glass o' water and a hot mug o' green tea.

I have had them again since I made this meal. 
I have tried a couple of variations: 
1)  I sprinkled on Goya Ham Seasoning ( a zero points plus value)....with TASTY results!
2)  For a spicier version, I used Cayenne Pepper along with the garlic powder.
3)  I am going to also try to substitute another green in place of the Kale.  (i.e. fresh spinach or fresh turnip greens)
This is a nice pairing for most any sammy you can whip up! 
This is even a great option for those who are watching or counting carbs.