Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Here is a great recipe for Pumpkin Soup! This would be a great pre trick-or-treat meal for tonight!

Hints:
1. This soup freezes well and won’t change consistency when thawed! (gotta love that)
2. For a lighter you can always substitute Half and Half for the heavy cream. (but the nutritional information below is calculated using heavy cream.)
3. Remember to use pure canned pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling!

PUMPKIN SOUP
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups pumpkin puree (I used canned pumpkin)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
5 whole black peppercorns
Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
Puree the soup in small batches in a food processor or blender. (about 1 cup at a time)
Return to pan and bring to boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.
Serves 9
NI: 93.2 Calories; 5.4g Fat (3.2g saturated fat); 18.1mg Cholesterol; 725.9mg Sodium; 11.0g Carbohydrates; 3.5g Fiber; 3.7g Sugar; 2.1g Protein

I WANT PIZZA!!

This is mine and Keith’s version of healthy pizza. We enjoyed this with a side salad for dinner last night. A gluten-free pizza crust from Whole Foods, Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce, Organic Valley Italian Blend Cheese, and Boar’s Head Deli Roast Beef.

Ready to go into the oven…

BAKE FASTER!!!

AH….GOODNESS!!!

Great New Find

I am in love with Zico Coconut Water! It is called “Nature’s Sports Drink!” It contains more potassium than a banana and has only 60 calories, beating artificial sports drinks for healthy replenishment and hydration. Great for athletes!!! It also has 0g fat and no added sugar. It is ALL NATURAL with 5 essential electrolytes and low acidity. You gotta try this!! I have seen it at Whole Foods, HEB, and the Natural Grocer! It is SO yum!

What is Trans Fat?

Everyone is always talking about Trans fat (also known as the bad fat), but do you really know what it is?

Trans fat is, in fact, the worst kind of fat for your health because it both raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. Trans fat is formed when oil is hydrogenated, or processed to become solid.

When hydrogenated fats like margarine and shortening were first invented, they became the ingredient of choice because they were cheaper, more shelf-stable, and thought to be healthier than butter. It was only recently confirmed that this fat is especially unhealthy.

Trans, or hydrogenated, fat is found in stick margarine, vegetable shortening, and fried foods. Until recently, it was also found in most commercially packaged baked goods, crackers, pastries, cookies, and many other products. However, in 2006, when it became mandatory for companies to list trans fat on food labels, many manufacturers changed their formulas to reduce the amount of trans fat their products contain.

Therefore, ALWAYS check the ingredients list on a product for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil of any type. If such an ingredient is present, there is still some trans fat in the food. And if the trans fat ingredients are near the top of the list, drop the box and run the other way!

Gluten-Free Goodness

Keith and I were talking the other day about Halloween and treats our parents used to make for us as kids and we both agreed that rice crispy treats were always a winner. Ever since then we have both been craving them! So I made gluten free crispy treats for us today!

First, I used Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps (found at HEB) and I know you can’t see but at the bottom it says, “made with gluten-free ingredients”. And the Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows are gluten-free too….WHAT A DEAL!

Marshmallows, butter, and rice crispies…is there really anything better?

Ta-Dah!! I wonder if I can wait for them to cool??

Muffin Make-Over!

I will admit that I am a muffin LOVER! I could not live a life that didn’t include these tasty little treats. But traditionally muffins are TERRIBLE for you because they are made with lots of oil, sugar and butter!!! Most store-bought and bakery muffins are actually worse for you than donuts! YES! They just hide behind the name “muffin” making you think they are healthy. But really they are just glorified pieces of cake! But WAIT don’t give up hope! I love to re-create the muffin so they can be enjoyed on a regular basis in any diet! Today is the perfect baking day…rainy and cold! So here you go…your breakfast never had it so good!!

STRAWBERRY OAT MUFFINS

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a muffin pan or use paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine oats and buttermilk, and let stand 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the egg, applesauce, brown sugar and vanilla. Blend in the oat-buttermilk mixture. Stir in the flour mixture, just until moistened. Fold in the strawberries.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serves: 12

133 Calories; 1.2g Fat (0.4g saturated fat); 18mg Cholesterol; 310mg Sodium; 27.8g Carbohydrate; 2.2g Fiber; 15g Sugar; 3.7g Protein

Spinach Filled Fish Rolls

This was Sunday night dinner…so yummy! Enjoy everyone!

SPINACH FILLED FISH ROLLS

1 lb sole, orange roughy or flounder fillets (I used orange roughy)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup garlic-flavored croutons, crushed (I didn’t use these)
Lemon wedges, if desired

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. If fish fillets are large, cut into 4 serving pieces.

Place spinach on fish; sprinkle with garlic salt. Roll up each fillet, beginning at narrow end. Place rolls, with points underneath, in baking dish. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise and mustard; spoon onto each roll. Sprinkle with croutons.

Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

1 Serving: Calories 120; Total Fat 2.5g (1g saturated fat);Cholesterol 55mg; Sodium 360mg; Total Carbohydrate 5g; Dietary Fiber 0g; Sugars 2g; Protein 20g

Got 30 Minutes??

The biggest excuse (YES EXCUSE) people give me for not eating healthy is, “I don’t have time!” And I always say YES YOU DO!! This was mine and Keith’s 30 minute goodness from last night. Steak, vegetables and Au gratin potatoes…it tasted a heck of lot better than fast food and it was a lot nicer on our bodies!

So, I know you are thinking…30 minutes? Yeah Right! But seriously…the steak took 10 minutes on the George Foreman Grill. It takes about 5 minutes to steam vegetables and the potatoes were an organic, all natural mix from The Natural Grocer…took 20 minutes in the oven!

Really people…you can do this!!

THE L AST LONG RUN!

I want to send a “shout out” to all the awesome people competing in the San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll Marathon and 1/2 Marathon on November 15th! TODAY WAS THE LAST LONG RUN!! Woo Hoo! Kudos to everyone! Now we can taper before the awesome race!! GO RUNNERS GO!

15 WORST Desserts in America!

We all need an occasional blowout but the problem is most people omit the word “occasional” and indulge in over the top desserts more than they should. With today’s obesity and diabetes rates, in adults and children, rising at an alarming rate we need to take control! Below, from Eat This Not That, is a list of the top 15 worst dessert choices in America.

15. Worst “Healthy” Packaged Dessert: Tofutti Vanilla (1/2 cup): 210 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated); 15g sugars! The label touts the fact that Tofutti has no butterfat and no cholesterol. While these claims are technically true (Tofutti is not made from dairy, so by definition it can’t have butterfat or cholesterol), they might as well advertise “no razor blades inside!” Because touting what’s not in this product simply obscures the truth about what is: Tofutti is as loaded with fat and sugar as most full-fledged ice creams. (It also has about 10 ingredients too many, including a big helping of corn oil.)

14. Worst Supermarket Ice Cream: HäagenDazs Chocolate Peanut Butter (1/2 cup):360 calories, 24 g fat (11 g saturated), 24 g sugars! HäagenDazs produces their ice creams using only a few simple ingredients; problem is, those ingredients are heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar, making their ice creams consistently the most calorie-dense in the freezer section. This peanut-butter blast to your gut takes the cake—literally—packing an astounding 1,440 calories into every pint-size carton.

13. Worst Desert For Your Cholesterol: Bob Evans NSA Apple Pie: 491 calories, 30 g fat (5 g saturated, 13 g trans)19 g sugars! It feels like just looking at Bob Evans’s dessert menu will raise your LDL. More than 75 percent of the sweet stuff contains trans fat, with a full 7 desserts containing 7 grams or more of the troublesome lipid. Clearly Bob’s bakers haven’t found a way to make piecrust without shortening, despite the fact that the rest of the world figured it out long ago (here’s a tip, guys: good old-fashioned butter). Until they get a grip on their penchant for partially hydrogenated fats, your only viable option for a meal capper is a simple, unadorned scoop of vanilla ice cream­—the à la mode minus the pie.

12. Worst Frozen Treat: Toll House Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich: 520 calories, 23 g fat (9 g saturated)44 g sugars! Considering so few frozen ice cream treats creep above the 300-calorie threshold, we’re astounded that Nestlé stuffs this sandwich with nearly as many calories as a Big Mac. You can have 2 Toll House Chocolate Chunk cookies and a scoop of Breyers All Natural Vanilla ice cream and still save 110 calories. Or you could just switch to the Oreo option and use the 340 calories you save on something better.

11. Worst Pastry: Hostess Chocolate Pudding Pie: 520 calories, 24 g fat (14 g saturated, 1.5 g trans), 45 g sugars! This is the type of snack you pick up at a gas station in a pinch and feel vaguely guilty about, not knowing that you just managed to ingest nearly three-quarters of a day’s worth of saturated fat before your tank finished filling up. And considering these little packages of doom cost a buck or less across the country, the pudding pie qualifies as one of the cheapest sources of empty calories in America.

10. Worst Hot Chocolate: Starbucks Venti 2% Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate (20 ounces): 760 calories, 37 g fat (22 g saturated), 85 g sugars, 380 mg sodium! Since when did hot chocolate require salt and caramel to meet the expectations of consumers? Seems a bit gratuitous, no? Thanks to Starbucks’ monstrous creation, the classic winter comfort beverage is now sullied with more than a full day’s worth of saturated fat and as much sugar as nearly 4 Hershey’s chocolate bars.

9. Worst Kid’s Dessert: Uno Grill Kids’ Sundae: 860 calories, 38 g fat (20 g saturated),94 g sugars! Consider the repercussions of slapping three Baby Ruth bars’ worth of fat and sugar onto the end of your child’s meal. Weighing in at an astounding 3/4 pound, this abominable sundae is twice as big as the Kid’s Pasta, and twice as caloric as his entire meal should be.

8. Worst Mall Dessert: Cinnabon Regular Caramel Pecanbun: 1,110 calories, 56 g fat (10 g saturated, 5 g trans), 47 g sugars, 141 g carbohydrates! This isn’t breakfast, this is dessert. And an atrocious one at that. There are dozens of ways to curb a sweets craving at the mall, but your sugar fix should never climb above 400 calories. The only speck of nutrition to be found in the bun comes from the nuts. Too bad they’re coated in a river of sugar. Go with the Auntie Anne’s pretzel and save 730 calories, 55 g fat and 10 bacon strips’ worth of saturated fat.

7. Worst Drive-Thru Dessert: Dairy Queen Raspberry Truffle Blizzard (large): 1,140 calories, 44 g fat (31 g saturated, 1 g trans), 141 g sugars! The decadent offerings at DQ span the nutritional spectrum, ranging from smart indulgences to caloric catastrophes and everything in between. So choose wisely or you’ll end up wolfing down two-thirds of your daily caloric allotment without ever leaving the driver’s seat. Being smart at DQ means skipping over the malts and Blizzards entirely and opting instead for a relatively restrained sundae. Stick to a small and you can have any flavor your hungry heart desires.

6. Worst Shake: Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d (Power): 1,170 calories, 30 g fat (7 g saturated),169 g sugars! The scary thing about this 30-ounce shake is that you can consume more than half a day’s worth of calories in 3 minutes of spirited sipping, all under the pseudohealthy banner of the sacred smoothie. What’s even scarier is you’ll be slurping up the sugar equivalent of 8 packs of peanut M&M’s, all while thinking you’re doing your body a favor. Though no mall food packs more calories, the Moo’d at least offers a touch of nutrition (unlike the dreaded Pecanbun) in the form of peanut butter’s protein and healthy fat. Still, don’t mistake it for anything other than a serious threat to your waistline. When at Jamba, stick to their impressive list of smoothies in the All Fruit and Light categories.

5. Worst Pie: Red Robin Mountain High Mudd Pie: 1,390 calories, 69 g fat, 205 g carbohydrates! Red Robin’s Jackson Pollock imitation suffers from the disease afflicting all too many restaurant desserts in this country: gigantism. Split among 4 forks, it would still ruin even the healthiest meal eaten before it. You’d be better off eating 9 scoops of Breyers All Natural Rocky Road ice cream. But choose the Chili’s Sweet Shot and save 57 g of fat! In fact, you could knock back 5 shots of key lime pie and still cut calories and fat.

4. Worst Cake: Red Lobster Chocolate Wave: 1,490 calories, 81 g fat (25 g saturated), 172 g carbohydrates! Chocolate Tidal Wave is more like it: This fat-packed mega-cake accounts for three-quarters of your daily calories and as many carbohydrates as you’ll find in 14 slices of white bread. (Just sit and digest that statistic for a second.) The dessert menu at Red Lobster isn’t great—2 out of 5 options break the 1,000-calorie mark, and the “lightest” choice is a little over half that—but if you split the cheesecake with a friend, you could eat a delicious dessert without bursting from your pants when you’re done.

3. Worst Chocolate Dessert: Chili’s Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie: 1,590 calories, 76 g fat (37 g saturated), 220 g carbohydrates! This hulking slice packs as many calories as 3 Big Macs. That’s right: Nobody would ever consider capping a meal with 3 Macs, so why would they order a slice of this stuff? When choosing dessert at Chili’s, the only safe options are the Sweet Shots, drinkable treats with built-in portion control. Avoid the chocolate one, which rings in at 420 calories; any of the others should be fine.

2. Worst Sundae: Baskin-Robbins York Peppermint Pattie Brownie Sundae: 1,610 calories, 80 g fat (32 g saturated, 1 g trans), 183 g sugars, 222 g carbohydrates! Warning: Not a single sundae from Baskin-Robbins contains less than 500 calories. Furthermore, anything with chocolate that can be sucked through a straw should be avoided at all costs. That means the only real viable route at the popular dessert parlor is to stick with a single scoop of ice cream. (At least you’ll have 31 flavors to choose from.)

1. WORST DESSERT IN AMERICA: Romano’s Macaroni Grill New York Cheesecake with Caramel Fudge Sauce: 1,660 calories, 97 g fat (57 g saturated), 950 mg sodium, 165 g carbohydrates! Considering the fact that Macaroni Grill’s savory menu is already cluttered with one of the country’s most potent arrays of calorie, fat, and sodium bombs, its lineup of destructive desserts only adds insult to injury. There’s the Dessert Ravioli (1,630 calories), the Lemon Passion (1,360 calories), and the always classic and catastrophic caramel-smothered cheesecake, which, with more calories than 3 Big Macs and as much saturated fat as 57 strips of bacon, is the worst dessert in America. Seek solace in a scoop of sorbetto—one of the country’s best sit-down sweets.