Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back from a long hiatus- Healthy eating

It's been awhile since I posted and I'm back now after a 2 year hiatus. Between my last post and now a few things have changed. 

I got married in June of 2012 and with a honeymoon and taking classes somehow I gained 25lbs before the school year started. When none of my clothes other than dresses and skirts fit at the beginning of the year I knew it was time to make a change in my eating. Through a program at work I did Weight Watchers and found it REALLY changed my outlook on eating, what I was eating, how much I was eating and cooking in general. My husband and I changed our eating habits so much when I was on Weight Watchers I ended up dropping the 25lbs which meant going down a pant size and 2 dress sizes. I felt so good about myself. I also made exercise an important part of my life and integrated a lot more fruit and vegetables into my diet and cooking. Pinterest became one of my go to's for Weight Watcher Recipes.

So for my first post back I'm going to give you a round up of 15 of my favorite recipes from the last 2 years. Most of them are Weight Watcher friendly. I'll post the links and pictures as well.  Some of the recipes I just whipped up myself so I'll give you the details in this post.

I'm back to focusing on healthy cooking too, as it seemed to be a trend I got out of at the end of the school year and into summer (and my clothes have said so)

#1 Creamy Dill Lemon Salad Dressing (making your own salad dressing is so much healthier than the store bought ones.

2 cups of Fage 0 fat yogurt
One lemon squeezed
2 Tb of Garlic or 2 cloves of garlic
Handful or more of Dill
2 TB of White balsamic vinegar
Fresh ground pepper

Blend in blender, refrigerate

#2 Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps and homemade won tons.
These are great to use up extra large lettuce leaves you have.
I used the recipe for the Lettuce Wraps here  and the Won Tons I whipped up myself.

Won Ton Recipe
Ingredients- Won ton wrappers, cream cheese (I use reduced fat or Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese found at Kroger) and green onions.
Mix green onions with Cream Cheese. Fill Won Ton wrappers with filling and fry in a Wok.

#3 Cold Chickpea Salad- I saw a picture of this on Pinterest and whipped it up without a recipe and made a home made basil vinegrette to go with it.
1 can of chickpeas (drained)
1 can of corn or 2 ears of cooked fresh corn
1 Cucumber chopped
1 Green/Red bell pepper
1 Red Onion

Mix together.

#4 Gazpacho. I made this on a hot summer day in which was great for a cold soup. Plus it's full of vegetables. I recently tried a Gazpacho recipe from a Weight Watchers Cookbook too.  

#5 Southwest Stuffed Peppers with sauteed Zucchini. 
Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite and varied recipes. I love to mix them up with different ingredients. I've posted a basic stuffed pepper recipe on here. 
2 Red or green bell peppers
1/2 cup of orzo
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 red onion diced
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of corn or 2 ears of cooked fresh corn
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato soup

Cook the orzo in the chicken broth.
Mix the orzo, onion, beans, corn, tomatoes and 1/2 can of soup.
Boil a pot of water and blanch the peppers for 1-2 minutes
Fill the peppers with the orzo mixture; mix the other 1/2 can of soup with water and pour over peppers. Bake in a baking dish at 350 for 45 minutes.
#6 Gnocci- I came across Gnocci one day while at Trader Joe's and decided to buy it and whip up something tasty. The gnocci itself is easy to make just boil water and cook them for 2-3 minutes. My husband and I have started eating kale which is said to be the super food so I decided to use some kale in here too.

1 pack of cooked gnocci
2 kale leaves de stemmed
1 onion chopped
1 container of garlic stuffed olives
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 pack of pancetta (also can be found at Trader Joe's for a reasonable price)
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Saute the onion in the olive oil; Add the kale, pancetta and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the Olives and gnocci. Cook until heated.

#7 Spinach Stuffed Ravioli- I also came across this Ravioli at Trader Joe's which is nice to have on hand for a quick meal. I tossed this with some produce and we had a great meal.

1 package of refrigerated ravioli
1 can of diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes diced
2 stems of kale de stemmed
1 chunk of feta cheese
Fresh ground pepper
Grated parmesan

Cook the ravioli. Saute the kale in olive oil. Add the tomatoes, pepper and ravioli. Top with feta and Parmesan.

#8 Balsamic Glazed Porkchops, Asparagus and rice. I can't seem to locate the recipe for this one on Pinterest but they were pretty easy to whip up.

#9 Stuffed Pepper Soup- I love stuffed peppers and this was great in a soup especially on a cold day. The recipe is from Skinnytaste.

#10 Cheery Cherry Chip Cupcakes and Skinny Cream Cheese Frosting- We had a lot of Snow Days this year in the Midwest which led to some mid day baking. I came across these on Pinterest and decided to make them more healthy with Skinnytaste Skinny cream cheese frosting. 
#11 Chicken and artichoke pasta- The flavors in this dish are absolutely delicious and if you use whole wheat pasta it makes it even more healthy.

#12 Pastrami Paninis- My mom bought my husband and I a Panini maker for Christmas so we decided to create some tasty ones.
Horse radish
Pepper Jack Cheese
Pumpernickle bread

#13 Pumpkin Waffles and Apple Cider Syrup- My husband got a lot of apple cider in the fall when he went to visit his parents so for breakfast one Sunday we had these delicious pumpkin waffles that we made with our waffle maker. The recipe can be found here.

#14 Lemon Dill Chicken, Basmati Rice and Sauteed Asparagus- This is one of my own creations. I just came up with it and it was really tasty.
2-3 chicken breast
3-4 lemons
Fresh Dill
1 cup of Basmati Rice

Saute the chicken and cook through and make a light sauce of lemon and dill. 

Asparagus-cook the asparagus in olive oil, add 2 T of crushed garlic, red pepper flakes and squeeze 2 fresh lemons; let simmer on low.
#15 Banana Nutella Bread- I LOVE NUTELLA and when I saw this on Pinterest I had to try it. Super delicious.

  I hope you enjoy these recipes. Let me know in the comments if you try them out. Stay tuned for more Healthy Eating blogging!