Carbs? Who needs em? ~By: Steph

20160614_094639This is me enjoying my protein iced coffee. Yummy, better than any toast or crackers. Carbs, who needs carbs?  Not me.  I do daycare.  No stress eating there. Easy peasy. See…I didn’t get struck by lightening! Also, remind me not to drink in public.  Does my forehead always wrinkle up like that when I drink??? Why has this never been pointed out to me before.

Okay, I love my job.  I love my kiddos.  They make me laugh, keep me on my toes, drive me crazy and at times exhaust me.  Making meals for mini noise makers and serving up snacks, is tough when you’re trying to eat right and not graze.  Maybe if I fed them seafood, liver, lima beans, and canned peas, I wouldn’t be tempted to sample a bite or two. I totally see the kids responding well to that menu. Anyhow, today, that is my struggle.  I’m not hungry, I’m truly not.  I just want to eat.  Instead here I am blogging during naptime to keep myself from messing up my day!

Have you ever noticed that your kids push your limits right when you are on the brink of snapping?  The second day without carbs is definitely NOT the morning to push your mother!  Kids got up this morning, ran on time, left for their summer program. Then 5 mins. later I get the call. My son is asking me to load the daycare kids up and bring him his glasses that he forgot.  My response was, “I can’t I have kids here and 2 more on the way.  I need to be home for drop offs.” I was calm. I was nice.  I told him that they could walk back and grab them since he was still close to home.  Yeah. Then he did it.  “Thanks Mom, never mind I guess I don’t need them even though I can’t see anything in class without them.”, was his response. Right before he hung up on me.  Whew…deep calming breaths.  Who pays for the phone you just hung up on me with? Who do you think you are being a smart@$$ with me when I am not the one who left their glasses at home?  Where are you going to live when I kick your little butt out?  Let’s hear you say, “never mind I guess I don’t need them”, when I set all your video games on fire with a can of Aqua Net and a bbq lighter! Hmm…I think I was justified in my irritation.  Maybe, maybe not.  However, I also may have been a tad more fired up than I would have been if I’d had a mouthful of crackers.  By the way, he’s grounded from his phone until he learns to be respectful on it. Don’t fear, no bonfires and homeless son. GOOOOO MOM.  Wait, am I the only one cheering for myself?  Oh well.  His sister will think it’s a great plan.  Usually it’s her that’s grounded. My little angels.

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Yesterday went really well.  I ate healthy and made good choices.  Scrambled egg and a small piece (about an ounce) of steak for breakfast. Celery, jalapeno artichoke dip, grape tomatoes, and turkey for lunch. 1/2 cup of watermelon for snack.  Grilled chicken salad for dinner. Frozen PbFit and banana Triple Zero bites for evening snack. 16 cups of water to round out the day.

Still trying to decide on a dinner tonight but, 2 protein coffee shakes, the rest of my salad from last nights dinner, some watermelon and maybe another yogurt later, are on today’s menu.

20160614_075805Day 3 is usually my rough day when I’m kicking the empty carbs.  Wish me luck tomorrow.  If you pray, I’d appreciate a prayer for strength.  I know this sounds awful but, I’m dreading Bible study on Thursday.  They always include a dessert.  I’m usually good and bring my own low carb dessert.  I’m not even in a good spot for a low carb, sugar free, dessert at this point.  I need a couple of weeks without that type of food before I can reintroduce healthier versions of them.

I suppose I should go eat my salad while these kiddos are sleeping.  If I don’t I’ll be holding babies while trying to shove lettuce in my mouth, while they try to snatch it out!

Hugs to you all and here’s to fresh starts and people who understand.

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta-less Pasta salad~By:Steph

I pinned a recipe for Low Carb Pasta Salad, a while back. I meant to make it and just totally forgot.  A few weeks ago a friend posted a similar recipe on Facebook.  I meant to make it and just totally forgot.  Today, I didn’t forget!

I think I’ve mentioned before that unless I’m baking I don’t like recipes.  I will use them as a guideline but, it drives me crazy following “rules”.  (Sorry kids, you get that from me.  We’ll still blame Dad though.)  So I grabbed a bunch of stuff from the fridge and pantry and set off to make my own version of pasta-less pasta salad.  I didn’t really “set off”, my kitchen is really small so it’s more like I stretched out my arms and put stuff on the counter.  In my mind it was a trek.

I grabbed my hand dandy Veggeti (stupid name but, it works well) and 2 medium zucchini.  Spiralized them and then removed all of the parts with seeds.  They tend to get mushy and no one wants mushy pasta-less pasta salad.  I may have eaten the seed part because, I hadn’t had breakfast and it looked tasty.  I put out a double layer of paper towels and spread zoodles out on them.  Lightly salt them, cover with another set of paper towels then, roll it up like a cinnamon roll.  Okay I know! Who talks about cinnamon rolls while they are blogging about zucchini? Anyhow, I leave them on a cutting board for about an hour.  The salt and paper towels draw out the excess moisture and you get slime-less zucchini noodles.  NOW EVERYONE will want some with that description.

I chopped up everything that sounded yummy to me.  Banana peppers, red onion, 1 oz of light salami, 2 oz of light mozzarella, a couple of marinated artichoke hearts, a few heirloom baby tomatoes halved/seeded, and some yellow onion.  Added a  small can of sliced black olives and the wet ingredients to a sieve and waited patiently.  Okay actually I stood there resisting the urge to smash it all down to make the liquids come out faster.  That is sorta patient.

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When the zoodles were ready, I unrolled them from the paper towels, and put them in a serving bowl.  Added all of the now dry and patiently non-smashed goodies to the bowl and mixed it all up.  Made a quick dressing of 1 tsp Dijon, 1 TBL roasted garlic olive oil, 2 TBL white wine vinegar and some seasonings. Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, and a teeny pinch of crushed red peppers.  Shook the mixture up and topped the zoodle mix with it.  Tossed it with the dressing and ta-da…pasta-less pasta salad.  Well as pasta salady as you can get without pasta. You get where I’m going. Don’t act like you can’t follow.

Pasta-less pasta salad is a fun little phrase.

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My salad came out to 7 protein, 6 carbs, and 141 cals per cup.  Yours will depend on what you like and how much of everything you add to the bowl.  My Fitness Pal has a handy online recipe calculator.

Hope you play with your zoodles soon 😉

 

Recipe for Turkey & Beef Meatballs and then a round two recipe :) By:Steph

Hi All, just wanted to share my meatball recipe that is a hit in our house. (We all know I take the term “recipe” quite loosely. I just sorta throw stuff in until it tastes good to me and ta-da it’s my recipe.)Then I took the basic meatball mixture and used it for a second meal that is more something just my husband, oldest daughter and myself will enjoy tonight. The little ones would think I’m trying to poison them with zucchini! Death by veggies..scary stuff!

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I should title these turkey meatballs my husband actually LIKES! But, I will go with the more simple:

Basic Turkey & Beef Meatballs

20 oz. Lean Ground Turkey (I used the Italian Seasoned Jenny-O because, it’s pretty yummy)
16 oz. 9% lean ground beef (I have used 4% but, it’s such a small calorie difference and leaves the mixture more dry)
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 TBL parmesan cheese grated
1 TBL minced garlic fresh (or the jarred kind works too)
1/2 cup grated onion (just use a cheese grater and grate directly into the bowl you will want all that juice it creates)
2 egg whites beaten
salt, pepper, granulated garlic, pizza seasoning (I love this as it is basically Italian seasoning with red pepper already in it) to taste

(A tip to see if it’s well seasoned is to grab a little dab and cook it up so you can taste it.)

2 1/2 cups Marinara sauce (I love Victoria’s White Linen Marinara from Costco it’s really fresh tasting)
Olive oil cooking spray to coat frying pan

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In a large bowl combine all ingredients except Marinara and cooking spray. Mix lightly until everything is combined well. Do not over mix and when you form meatballs don’t pack them down. If you are worried about portions and calorie count then grab your kitchen scale, and a 1/4 cup measuring cup. About 3/4 of that 1/4 cup measurer filled loosely with the meat will equal about 1.2 ounces. This is a nice golf ball sized meatball. Roll out and it should form 34 roughly 1.2 oz. meatballs.

Place meatballs in a frying pan coated with olive oil nonstick cooking spray, heated over medium heat. Lightly brown on all sides and then pour Marinara over the top and cover with lid. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 mins.

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You can serve them alone with sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese, on a toasted French roll, over whole grain pasta, really any way you enjoy them.
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Recipe makes 34 meatballs:
65 calories, 2 carbs, 3 fat, 6 protein, 0 fiber, and 1 sugar

This next recipe isn’t really a recipe either. I keep seeing a picture of different baked zucchini with toppings all over Facebook and thinking it looks delicious. So, this is my take on it.

Italian Style Zucchini Bake

8 uncooked meatballs from above recipe
3 medium to large zucchini
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup Marinara sauce
3 slices reduced fat Provolone

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In a frying pan crumble meat and brown lightly.

While meat is browning, wash and lay zucchini on a cutting board lengthwise. Take your knife and hollow out the center of the entire zucchini. It should look like a canal down the center of it. Dice up the zucchini you removed and add to skillet with 1/4 cup of diced onion. I added a bit of salt, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cooked until onions were translucent.

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Season the zucchini boats with salt, pepper and garlic and then place in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Fill zucchini with meat and veggie mixture, top with marinara sauce and lightly cover with foil. Place in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with provolone and broil just until cheese is melted.

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Serves 3
257 calories, 14 carbs, 12 fat, 24 protein, 3 fiber, and 6 sugar

Ok so we had the Zucchini Bakes for dinner and while very tasty my husband informed me that you can’t cut through the provolone without it all coming off. I guess we will survive 🙂

Enjoy,

~Steph