Thursday, June 30, 2011

I must be crazy...

I just registered for...

 McDonald's Half-Marathon Logo

I can't believe I'm going for number two! I want to do a time goal for this one, but it's going to be a lot hillier than the absolutely flat VA Beach course of March. We'll see what happens!

Also... McDonalds and running? Hmm... An odd combo, I think.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberry Shortcakes

Adapted from Good Housekeeping, June 2011

I cleaned this recipe up a little bit as I made it, but not entirely. It was really tasty. I think I'll have one for breakfast tomorrow!

Extremely tasty, yet... HEALTHY? Well, healthiER.


3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used 3/4 cup AP and 1/2 cup Whole Wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons sugar, divided (I used both sugar and Florida Crystals Pure Cane Sugar*)
1/2 teaspoon sugar, for shortcake tops ( I used Florida Crystals Pure Cane Sugar*)
2 tablespoons cold margarine or butter, cut up
3/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 large egg whites
2 pounds strawberries, hulled, cut in half (I for some reason only bought a pound, but I doubt we'll make it through all eight servings in the next day or two!)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel (or more...)
1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream (I used fat free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

2.In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse oats until coarsely ground. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 tablespoons sugar (Here is where I used the Florida Crystals). Pulse until combined. Add margarine; pulse until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add buttermilk and 1 egg white; pulse just until dry ingredients are evenly moistened.

3.With 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop mixture and drop onto prepared sheet, 2 inches apart.

4.In small bowl, lightly beat remaining egg white. Brush on top of mounds, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar/Florida Crystals.

5.Bake 16 minutes or until shortcakes are golden brown. Cool completely on sheet on wire rack. Can be kept, tightly wrapped, at room temperature up to overnight. (Refresh before serving in toaster oven or preheated conventional oven at 375 degrees F for 5 minutes.)

6.Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine strawberries, lemon peel, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand. Can be refrigerated, covered, up to overnight.

7.In medium bowl, stir yogurt, sour cream, vanilla, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Can be refrigerated, covered, up to overnight.

8.Split open shortcakes. Divide strawberries and filling among shortcakes.

The Verdict: Mr. Discovery said they were very good and he'd eat them again. I really liked them. They weren't too sweet and they were very filling. I didn't feel guilty eating this at all! :-)

*Florida Crystals states that it is "less processed pure cane sugar with the flavor that nature intended." I was searching for Evaporated Cane Juice all the live-long day and found this at Kroger. Upon just now searching the label, it says that the ingredients are... drumroll please... EVAPORATED CANE JUICE. I guess I bought the right thing without even knowing it! :-)

Steak with Argentine Herb Sauce Recipe

Courtesy of Good Housekeeping Magazine

Yummy! :-)


1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (I used basil... I am out of oregano!)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
4 (2 1/2 pounds total, each 1 inch thick) New York beef strip steaks (I used 1.5 lbs of good, lean steak to make 4 servings)


1.Prepare outdoor (or indoor if you live in a teeny apt like me!) grill for direct grilling on medium-high. Fit wire rack into jelly-roll pan.

2.Prepare herb sauce: In food processor with knife blade attached, combine parsley, cilantro, and garlic; pulse until finely chopped. Add oil, vinegar, oregano, red pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and black pepper; pulse to blend.

3.Pat steaks dry. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper all over steaks. Immediately place on grill; cook 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness, turning over every 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Let stand 5 minutes.

4.Stir any meat juices into herb sauce. Slice steak; serve with sauce.

The Verdict: We liked the bite the sauce had, but it just didn't hit it off with our taste buds. I liked it in a thiiiin layer on top, but I wasn't eating chunks of it on top of the steak. I'm glad I plated it the way I did. I don't think this one will grace our plates again, but it wasn't awful.

I served it with purple cauliflower and Annie's Low Sodium Mac 'n Cheese for a nice, colourful plate. I think that was accomplished, though the cauliflower was a little bitter. Oh well. Another meal bites the dust!

I'm headed to the gym soon for a good working out. Tomorrow we are headed to an amusement park with college friends- I am SO excited!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baked Manicotti Bundles

Courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine March 2011

I already took out my two to eat... so you could see the inside of the manicotti... riiiight...


olive oil or cooking spray
3 to 4 green onions
10 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 carrot peeled
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
12 oz tilapia filets
4 oz light cream cheese (I used light ricotta instead)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp dried dill (I think I used about 2 tbsps!)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 oz. reduced fat mozzarella (I used pepper jack for the sauce... I was out of mozzarella, so I ran to the store while it was in the oven and then sprinkled the top with the mozzarella... that's why it's not browned on top... that and I had to leave sooner than I thought)
fresh dill for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a glass pan with olive oil cooking spray and set aside.

2. Rinse onions well trim off white tops and discard. Carefully score the connected layers so that you have strands, set aside.

3. Prepare lasagna noodles according to instructions, rinse, set aside. During the last 90 seconds of cooking, add strands of onions to soften then set aside.

4. Grade carrot, set aside.

5. In a large non stick pan, over medium heat, add oil, heat and add tilapia. Shake pan so fish does not stick. Cover and cook for 3 minutes then flip and cook for a minute more or until fish is no longer opaque. Remove from heat.

6. Mix cream cheese, together with milk, dill and salt (I forgot! No wonder it felt like it was lacking!) in a medium saucepan. Whisk constantly until mixture is melted and creamy. Add half of mozzarella in. Stir in carrots and tilapia and remove from heat.

7. Lay lasagna noodles out on a cutting board, place 2 tbsp of the mixture at the bottom of the noodle and roll away from you. Make a bundle that stays together without squeezing out the filling. Tie each bundle with an onion layer and place in the pan.

8. Place remaining mozzarella over bundles and top with dill and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Serves: 4

The Verdict: Tasty. It needed salt, but then I realized I didn't put it in. Haha. I would make this again with a few changes. More dill, for sure. :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas

I know! Two posts in one day! CRAZY!

Well, here's another recipe from Clean Eating Magazine, June 2011!

Again, my plating skills stink... haha.

Tomatillo Sauce:

- olive oil cooking spray
- 1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, cleaned and halved
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- juice from 1 lime or lemon
- 1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- pinch salt


- 1 tbdp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 zucchini, washed and sliced into thin rounds
- 1 6 (or 8) oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
- colby jack or mexican blend cheese (or cheddar if you run out of both!)
- Whole wheat tortillas

For the tomatillo sauce:
1. Preheat grill to high and coat with cooking spray.
2. Place tomatillos cut side down and grill 10-12 minutes or until softened. This seemed long... which is evidenced by the color of my tomatillo sauce. I would cut in half almost.
3. Remove from grill and pulse in food processor with cilantro and lime until pureed. Season with salt and garlic powder and set aside.

For the quesadillas...
4. Combine cumin, chili powder, and salt  in a small bowl.
5. Toss in a bowl with prepared vegetables to coat completely.
6. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on the grill and cook until softened, 10-15 minutes.
7. Grill the chickn until cooked through and grill marks appear, 10-15 minutes.
8. Assemble quesadillas by layering cheese, vegetables, and cheese on one half of the tortilla.
9. Place on grill and grill until cheese melts, flip over and grill until browned and cheese melts
10. Cut in quarters and serve with the yummy tomatillo sauce.

Serves 4.

The verdict: Delish! I accidentally burned the bottom of my quesadillas. I thought my panini press would brown the tops, but it didn't. Oh well. I loved the tomatillo sauce, even though mine turned out a different color. Haha. Definitely will make again!
One of my favourite blogs, Branny Boils Over, did this recipe a few days ago, but sans chicken. You can check it out here.

Back in Action!

Well, I have officially begun summer vacation and that means... NEW RECIPES! :-) Last night's winner...

Baked Pecan-Crusted Flounder with Squash Saute
Modified from April/May 2011 Clean Eating Magazine recipe

Not the prettiest plating, but I promise it was DELICIOUS!



- Olive oil cooking spray
- 4 4 oz boneless skinless Pacific flounder fillets, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1 packet stevia
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup unsalted pecan pieces, toasted and finely chopped


- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 medium yellow squash, sliced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425*. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat foil with cooking spray. Place fillets on foil.
2. In a small bowl, combine honey, mustard, stevia, salt, and cayenne. Brush tops of fillets with mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle pecan over top, dividing evenly, and coat tops of fillets with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, prepare squash: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until begins to richly brown, stirring frequently. Add squash and cook for 4 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Add salt and black pepper, stir gently.
4. To serve, place equal amounts of squash mixture on each of 4 dinner plates, then top with 1fillet. Or, serve family-style on a platter.

The verdict: I loved the fish, but flounder was REALLY expensive, so I think I'll use a cheaper fish next time. Also, I think I would have used zucchini instead of squash. The plate was boring-looking with all the same colored food.