Friday, January 29, 2010

This Week's Results

...lost 0.8 more lbs! Woohoo! Now I just need to find more time for the gym and keep it coming off. 10 more lbs. *Sigh* More pictures and recipes to follow, time permitting.

Enchiladas on a Diet

I wish I could eat these every day. I didn't want to eat the last one last night, but I needed to clear the fridge for some new leftovers!

Spicy Shrimp and Black Bean Enchiladas from

* 1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
* 12 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp, coarsely chopped
* 1 teaspoon lime juice
* 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
* 1 canned chipotle pepper, seeds removed, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon adobo sauce
* 4 flour tortillas (8" diameter)
* 1 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
* 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
2. STIR together the shrimp, lime juice, and 1/3 cup of the remaining enchilada sauce in a medium bowl.
3. STIR together the cream cheese, chipotle, and adobo sauce in a small bowl. Spread over the tortillas. Top with the shrimp, black beans, and cheese. Roll the tortillas up tightly into a cigar shape and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish.
4. STIR together the remaining enchilada sauce, sour cream, cumin, paprika, and coriander in a medium bowl. Spread over the tortillas to cover completely.
5. COVER and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Nutritional Facts per serving

FAT 14.6 G



SODIUM 1237.3 MG





A Keeper of a Chicken Recipe

Need I say more? Yum-o! Even the Multigrain Pilaf from Trader Joe's was acceptable to Ryan! I bought more already ;)

Chicken Forestiere


* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat (8 ounces)
* 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
* 2 tablespoons minced shallot, or onion
* 2 cups sliced mushrooms
* 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, (see Tips for Two)
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or chives


1. Combine 2 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add shallot (or onion) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Pour in broth and wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to low and stir in parsley (or chives). Return the chicken to the pan, turn to coat with the sauce, and cook until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Tips & Notes

* Tips for Two: Store leftover canned broth for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in your freezer. Leftover broth in aseptic packages keeps for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Add to soups, sauces and stews; use for cooking rice and grains; add a little when reheating leftovers to prevent them drying out.


Per serving: 276 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 65 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 1 g fiber; 261 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (40% daily value).

Soup Night (Last Friday)

This was really last week, but hey... I started school this week so I've been a wee busy. Especially since I've gone to Kaiser every day this week except Monday! Just trying to make sure there's nothing else I can do about my back... plus I'm trying to get my acne issues back under control. Sick of it, I tell you, sick of it! Got my cholesterol checked... before this round of dieting began, it was a little high. The last 2 months have gotten it back down enough. Below the cut-off, anyhow. So.... soup! Last Friday I made this concoction that was supposed to be soup but barely resembled a stew (wtf?!?):

Ryan made a yummy organic heirloom tomato and cucumber salad with some avocado slices and I found this Asiago loaf at Safeway that was SO GOOD. Anyway, I don't know I'll make this one again. I've made this soup the non-healthy way (think: Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana) and it blows this one out of the water. I used Trader Joe's Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage which incidentally was better sliced up into some leftover pesto pasta I had over the weekend. The non-healthy way uses real sausage, has cream added, and also has bacon bits swimming around in it. Here's the recipe I used for the healthy version:

Spicy Potato & Kale Soup


* 1/4 cup halved and sliced chorizo sausage, (see Note)
* 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 1/3 cup water
* 1 small russet potato, peeled and sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
* 4 cups kale, ribs removed, thinly sliced (see Tips for Two)
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste


1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a paper towel-lined plate; wipe out the pot.
2. Heat oil in the pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add broth, water, potato and garlic; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, 6 to 9 minutes. Lightly mash the potato with a wooden spoon. Add kale, a handful at a time, waiting until it has wilted before adding more. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved chorizo and season with pepper.

Tips & Notes

* Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

* Note: Chorizo, a spicy pork sausage seasoned with paprika and chili, is originally from Spain and is often used in Mexican cooking. Chorizo can be made with raw or smoked, ground or chopped pork. Chorizo is available at well-stocked supermarkets, specialty food stores or online at Chorizo can be found in the deli section of most large supermarkets.
* Tips for Two: Refrigerate leftover kale, preferably in a perforated plastic bag, for 5 to 10 days. Substitute kale in Sautéed Swiss Chard with Chile & Garlic; add during the last 4 minutes while cooking pasta; sauté with minced garlic and extra-virgin olive oil for an omelet filling or to stir into scrambled eggs.


Per serving: 206 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 16 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein; 4 g fiber; 306 mg sodium; 676 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (380% daily value), Vitamin C (120% dv), Potassium (19% dv).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Results for Week #1

I lost a whole pound! Yippee! I'm shooting for roughly 1200-1400 cal/day. Since I can't really exercise fully yet, it's been minimal-Mon and Wed I went to the gym and did 30 min on the elliptical with a small amount of strength training on the parts of my leg that don't make me yelp out in pain. Ok, actually it's only 0.8 lbs, but I say that's a 1!

Wednesday night I was a-lonely, so I just made a grilled (low fat) cheese & avocado sammy on Trader Joe's Fat Free Multigrain bread with a can of Progresso Clam Chowder (380 calories in a can of soup - yowzers!)

Last night I went out to sushi, but mostly ate sashimi (at around 40 calories per ounce)

Tonight is soup night! Hopefully I don't get my normal Friday night snack-attack! I better hit the gym after work today again.

Dinners on a Diet #3

Tuesday was another delicious Eating Well Dinner Serves Two of the red meat variety. Mostly for Ryan's sake, so he doesn't get too burnt out on my low-cal meals. Of course, red meat isn't nearly as lean (but doubly delish). I tried something different this time, and took a "before" pic of all my hard work prepping the yumminess and then the after-plate. Which was really Ryan's plate since it looked way more magical and yummy since he gets the bigger cut of meat. Plus, I piled the mushrooms on top of my steak so you couldn't see it as well anyhow.

And so here's the recipe! I used some left-over fresh herbs from my Thanksgiving-in-January with my friends: thyme, rosemary, sage, and marjoram. We also went the BBQ route instead of the silly broiler. I don't even have a broiler pan! That's what BBQ's are for! I'm just glad we still had charcoal. Nothing better than a BBQ in the rain! That said, we didn't need to rub the meat with oil. Just peppered it up and sent it on it's merry ol' way. The bean recipe was from Food Network, I halved the Neelys' recipe (except the garlic, I doubled that part haha) for Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic and added some mushrooms (which I do to almost every dish I make) and some fresh dill. Recipe below. A little spicy, actually. I maybe let the green beans sit in the red-pepper-oil for too long. I'll use less next time.

Herb-Coated Filet Mignon


* 8 oz filet mignon, about 2 in thick, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 portions
* 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 2 Tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


1. Preheat broiler.
2. Rub steaks with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a rack on a broiler pan.
3. Broil until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the steak registers 140°F for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes total, turning once halfway through cooking. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes.
4. Place herbs on a plate. Coat the edges of the steaks evenly with mustard; then roll the edges in the herbs, pressing gently to adhere.


Per serving: 222 calories; 12 g fat (4 g sat, 6 g mono); 75 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 0 g fiber; 184 mg sodium; 328 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (39% daily value), Zinc (33% dv).

Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic


* 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 2 large garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Blanch green beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop from cooking.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the butter. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans and continue to saute until coated in the butter and heated through, about 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday Night's Dinner on a Diet

I wanted to make chicken, so I let Ryan choose the recipe since he's not the biggest chicken fan. He chose wisely, from the same book. He even cooked it and everything! Total calories on the whole plate: 700. Clearly still more than I'd like, but I only had 300 calories before that (breakfast+lunch+snack) AND I made it to the gym (finally) for some elliptisizing and minor strength training (since my GD nerve is still pinched). Once I can move freely again, I'll pick it up a notch, providing I have the time to do so in between classes and working and everything else.

Curried-Pear Chicken


* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (8 ounces)
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
* 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1 pear, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons “lite” coconut milk
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint


1. Season chicken on both sides with 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until well-browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add pear, shallot and curry. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to 2 plates. Add coconut milk, cilantro and mint to the pan and stir to combine. Season with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper and spoon over the chicken.


Per serving: 305 calories; 14 g fat (3 g sat, 8 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 2 g fiber; 219 mg sodium; 366 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (30% daily value).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Dinner

Here's a yummy dinner from Eating Well Serves Two I made last night. Super-duper easy, low in calories, and extra delish! I highly recommend it. Total plate was 591 calories (plus/minus 10 calories-my salmon was actually 5.25 oz) Next time I won't pile on the rice as much - that was just about half of the total calories for the entire meal!

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze for Two
1 tablespoon miso, preferably white
1 tablespoon mirin
1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
Hot pepper sauce, to taste
8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 portions
1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray.
Whisk miso, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and hot sauce in a small bowl until smooth.
Place salmon fillets, skinned-side down, in the prepared pan. Brush generously with the miso mixture.
Broil the salmon until just cooked through in the center, 6 to 8 minutes.
Garnish the salmon with scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds.

Per serving: 214 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 62 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 1 g fiber; 421 mg sodium; 603 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (60% daily value), high omega-3s.