Sunday, January 17, 2010

A bit of food randomness...

Hi everyone! Over the past several weeks, I've been jotting down different food thoughts that I've wanted to share so I thought I'd throw them all into one random post, so here they are! Enjoy!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

► I'm trying a new recipe this week : *Crispy Fish Fingers. This is another Ellie Krieger recipe.
I will be using halibut instead of flounder since I'm not a flounder lover. I tell ya, I can't get away from her or her recipes. I love how sensible they are and more than that, they're delicious and healthy! You can find her on The Food Network. I really love how the recipes have all the nutritional information included as well as reviews from everyday cooks that have tried her recipes. She also has a website and several cookbooks.
*Recipe is now posted in my sidebar with the other recipes.

► Every Saturday, I make a double batch of marinade from the Teriyaki Chicken Thighs recipe (recipe in sidebar -
FYI: I leave out the sherry since I never have it on hand and since I don't like a lot of heat, I also omit the red pepper flakes) and throw in 10-12 chicken breasts (thawed, trimmed of fat) and let it sit overnight in the fridge (I just use a 1 gallon Ziploc bag). On Sunday, I grill all of them and then keep them in the fridge for the week. I might grab one for lunch, make a sandwich, dice and put on a salad, slice and eat w/whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese or dip in Spicy Peanut Sauce etc. For me, I need to have food ready and accessible when I'm hungry, otherwise I start grazing, lol . Thanks to my nutritionist friend for this tip!

► I just realized a month or so ago that I have not eaten or bought cream cheese since July! This is a big deal to me because I always...and I mean always had cream cheese on hand. I'd have it to make cheese balls, dips, homemade veggie cream cheese for sandwiches etc. I love cream cheese but when I was cleaning out my refrigerator last week, I had a brick of it and realized it expired in September, lol. Goodbye saturated fat! I haven't even missed it!

► I also realized that I haven't bought a single pound of butter since July. I grew up on real butter so it was another staple that I had in my freezer. I'd always have 4 or 5 lbs at all times for baking. It's weird because I really can't stand butter in it's plain form. I've never liked it on bread, bagels, baked potatoes or anything like that. I don't like the greasy texture or taste. If I do use any kind of butter now, I use whipped, unsalted butter and it's very rare.

► When I find myself having a busy day, running errands or sometimes just too lazy to make lunch, I grab a Protein Plus PowerBar. They're packed with protein and are great on the run. I truly haven't come across one that I haven't liked. They all taste really good and none of them have that chalky taste that other brands do. You can find them at Sam's Club in a box of 16 (8 Vanilla Yogurt & 8 Chocolate Peanut Butter) for around $16.00 which is a really good price (and they're both really good). If you buy them individually at Wal-Mart, Kroger, Meijer, Target etc, they run anywhere from $2 - $3+ per bar which is really pricey if you ask me. But...to try new flavors, I've been guilty of paying that, lol. I've tried and liked Dark Chocolate Toffee Nut, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Brownie & Dulce de Leche.

► I love turkey sausage! Have you tried it? When I bring it home, I cut it into 2 oz portions (I use a little 1 lb food scale for weighing) and keep the portions stored in a Ziploc bag. That way it's all ready to go when I want it. I thought I'd share a few brands that I've tried and liked.

- My favorite just happens to also be the lowest in sodium which is Hillshire Farm's Smoked Turkey Sausage.
- I also really like Butterball Smoked Turkey Dinner Sausage.
- Oscar Mayer's Smoked Turkey Sausage is also good.

I will also warn you that Kroger's own brand of turkey sausage is not good. The casing on it is so tough and chewy that I couldn't even cut it. Really icky.

►I love making protein smoothies for breakfast. My nutritionist friend told me to throw in a scoop of whey protein powder and recommended Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein. Not sure if it's available at every typical grocery store, but I have seen it at Kroger although it's less expensive at Wal-Mart ($14.68 for a 2lb container). My favorite flavor is strawberry! Chocolate is a close second. Vanilla is also good but I'm not a huge vanilla fan, so I stick with strawberry now. There's several other flavors that I haven't tried yet.

► My protein smoothie (serves 2 generously!) recipe: (I throw it all in my blender)

2 scoops protein powder
2 c. skim milk
2 c. frozen, unsweetened blueberries or unsweetened strawberries (or 1 c. of each)
1/2 c. non-fat, plain yogurt
1 large handful fresh baby spinach (optional, but I really like it and really can't tell it's there)
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (also optional and a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium etc., and can't tell it's there. Just make sure to use ground and not whole. The nutrients in freshly ground seeds is better absorbed by your body than whole seeds. I use a little spice grinder to grind mine.)

I've made these probably 4 times/week for the last several months!

Until next time, thanks for stickin' with me! :)

7 comments:

Hannah said...

Thank you for all the tips!
This is such a great post!

I've been using flax seed and meal for a while now, and we love it.

I will put the whey protein on my list, I've been wanting to test that too!

Thanks again!

SAR girls said...

Great tips, Nicole! Thanks for sharing!

CoreyW said...

thanks Nicole!!!!!

Marjorie said...

Another great update. Love all the tips too...TFS

Adora Concepcion said...

thanks for sharing all these great tips nicole! and i love reading your previous post too. :)

Maryfrances said...

Hey Nicole...great tips. We do alot of protein shakes also here, Gail loves them in the morning.

Jolene said...

You. Are. A. ROCKSTAR. ♥