Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mini Greek Egg White Souffles

Oh happy day!! The sun is shining, the temperature is rising and the sound of our neighbours lawn mower is music to my ears. This is just what I needed to pull myself up out of my funk and get my booty in gear!

This morning I was up bright and early to go to a new spin class at the gym. On my way home, I decided that  I'd take the dogs for a walk in this gorgeous sunshine before I went inside to start tackling my very long list of To-Dos.

By the time I finally came in the house I was torn between checking out all my fave blogs or getting something to munch on. My bloggie buds won out and I took a quick buzz around the Net to see what everyone was up to. I'm so glad I did, because I saw a recent post from Cait at beyond bananas that totally inspired my lunch! This recipe is easy, based on one serving for one lone gal at home and is delicious!! It also helped me get rid of some leftover ingredients lurking around in my fridge from my orzo spinach greek salad last weekend.

Mini Greek Egg White Souffles
Makes 4 mini souffles (perfect for one hungry gal)
Recipe adapted from Cait's Egg White Souffle Dinner Cakes

These little beauts are so delicious. Cait put some spices into hers and I completely forgot. They still tasted amazing! You have to be careful when removing them from the pan because they can easily be squished down. They are light and fresh and would be a perfect addition to a Mother's Day Brunch!

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 egg whites
1 c baby spinach, chopped
3 tbsp onion, chopped
3 tbsp tomato, diced
2 tbsp black olives, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp feta

Note: The original recipe called for a dash of garlic powder, pepper and chili powder. I forgot and mine still tasted great, but you could add any spices that you like!

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 4 muffin cups in a tin muffin pan. Make sure you grease your cups well because these will stick.

Preheat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add your spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted (approximatley 1 - 2 minutes).

Add the tomato, onion and black olives to the skillet and cook an additional 4 - 5 minutes ~ until the onion is softened. Remove from heat.

Place your egg whites into a medium sized mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for 4 - 5 minutes until the they are white and fluffy and are able to form stiff peaks.

In the beginning....

The final result. 

Fold in the veggie mixture and feta cheese.

Scoop the egg mixture into the prepared muffin pan. Makes 4 large muffin cups or you could make 6 smaller ones, if you prefer.

Bake for 14 - 15 minutes. They are done when the tops are golden brown.

Don't they look lovely (minus the old pan I was using)??

 I found that the best way to remove the souffles from the pan was to run a knife around the edges and then use a fork to GENTLY remove them. They squish very easily so be careful!!

Yet another healthy meal that is quick, easy and delish!! I was nervous about just using egg whites, but you can hardly even tell. These were amazing and I loved every single bite! I had some salsa on the side, but they are really good on their own. I didn't use much salsa at all.

I think I've procrastinated enough, so I better be off! My workout is done, the dogs are exercised and my belly is satisfied. Time to go be productive!

Have a wonderful weekend. Soak in some of the sunshiney rays while you can!

How do you tackle a great big to do list?
What ingredients do you like to add to your souffles?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Portobella Sandwich with Vegan Caesar Salad

Guess what? It's raining. Still.

I think I'm in a funk.

I wish I was here...
(Mexico - November 2010)

or with my mom & dad here...
(On a cruise ship in Miami - Today)

Now what can I do to feel better? Any suggestions?!?!  Um, book a trip to Mexico maybe!? How 'bout a cruise ~ I WISH!! We're looking into going to Las Vegas for our friends' wedding in October. I'm thinking a deposit might be made in the very near future :-)

Unfortunately there are no trips to the sunny south in my immediate future, so today I'm going to have to soothe my mood through a light and healthy Spring-like dinner. I made something quick, easy and delicious that put me in the mood for barbecues and backyard shenanigans.

For dinner I made a broiled portobella sandwich with a vegan caesar salad on the side.

For the sandwich, I took a portobella mushroom cap and marinated it for 30 minutes in a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Then I broiled it in the oven for 5 - 7 minutes per side. Do you love portobellas?? I do, especially in the summer when we spark up the BBQ and we grill them like a burger --- delish!

I then put the mushroom onto a piece of whole grain bread that was smothered with basil pesto (yet another fave of mine!). I topped my sandwich off with a slice of tomato and baby spinach leaves and we were good to go! Easy and delicious ~ which seems to be my motto these days!

For the caesar salad, I used a recipe that was recently posted by Kris on her blog. She and I both love avocados and we like to use them in all sorts of dishes. The avocado makes a crazy creamy base for this amazing dressing.

Vegan Avocado Caesar Dressing
Recipe by Kris at i heart wellness

Who said vegetarians and vegans can't enjoy Caesar salad. I'm about to show you that you can!! This is yet another super duper amazing salad dressing you just have to try. I only made half of this recipe because I was dining alone this evening and I think it needs to be used up right away because of the avocado.

1 avocado
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tsp nutritional yeast (plus a little extra for sprinkling on top of your salad)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp water
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tsp garlic powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients into your Magic Bullet or food processor and process until creamy and smooth. 

A full batch would be too much to do at once in your Magic Bullet.
A food processor would probably work best.

This is so creamy and flavourful! It's absolutely heavenly.

Pour onto your greens and toss well. I used a blend of baby arugula, spinach, red and white chard. It was the perfect blend of greens to go with this dressing. I contemplated making up some croutons, but I'm trying to cut back on the amount of carbs I eat in a day, so I decided to go without. These greens were so good on their own, they really didn't need any additions!

So there you have it! Another quick and satisfying dinner idea that's perfect for whipping up during a weeknight when you don't feel like spending hours in the kitchen. The portobella sandwich and light refreshing salad makes me believe that Spring (& the sunshine) really are on their way.

We'll be sitting on our deck eating barbecue and lots of delicious salads in the very near future....right?!

What's your must-have burger topping?
What's your weather like today?

I hope you have a wonderful evening! Stay out of that rain and stay dry!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Can you believe it's Wednesday again already?! I've said it before, but I'll say it again...I just LOVE short work weeks :-)

I've gotten back on track and "Operation Kill the Cream Egg Calories" is going quite well :-)

Check out my good eats.

Of couse, as usual I start with my warm lemon water with cayenne.

And then my plan is to have one of these every morning.

I just love green smoothies, especially now that the weather is starting to warm up. This smoothie has frozen banana, 1 scoop of Vega Vanilla Almondilla, frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches and pineapple), spinach and distilled water. It was awesome!

For lunches this week, I'm sticking to my leftover Southwestern Veggie Soup. I think this soup is getting better with age; the flavour just keeps getting better and better! This is the perfect lunch for a week that calls for rain and storms every day.

If I get the munchies in the afternoon, I've been trying to make wiser snack choices. Lately I've been loving raw veggies with some form of dip. Here I have a light Ranch, but I've been eating massive amounts of hummus  and roasted red pepper dip too! It's amazing how a little dip can jazz up your snacks!


For dinner, I had 20 Minute Roasted Tomato Pasta from Jessica at How Sweet It Is. I used brown rice spaghetti and sprinkled it with nutritional yeast in place of the cheese. Instead of having a huge plate of pasta, which is usually how I roll, I also roasted some butternut squash. One of my all-time favourite vegetable sides - it was sticky and sweet and oh so amazing!

This meal got a great big "thumbs up" from Derek!

Is your mouth watering with all of my delicious meal ideas? All of these are super easy, can be whipped up in a snap and are absolutely delish!!  Did you notice that I used clean, whole foods and that my meals lately have been completely vegan (except the ranch dip of course!). I'm feeling awesome and healthy and proud for getting myself back on track after a few days of indulgence.

For more amazing meal and snack ideas, check out Jenn's website for some inspiration.

What was you favourite meal today?

Happy Hump Day!!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Southwestern Veggie Soup with Crispy Corn Tortilla Strips

Howdy! So are you ready to get back into a normal routine after our fabulous 4 day weekend...or 3 day weekend if the case may be?? I love long weekends and wish they could last forever, but unfortunately I'm back to work and back to reality starting today. Even though yesterday was still part of the long weekend for me, Derek was back to work and our family dinners were done and over with, so I decided no more indulging and no more eating desserts!!

Yesterday was the start of "Operation: Kill the Cream Egg Calories"! Even though I had the day off, I still dragged my booty out of bed at 5:45 a.m. and went to an early morning spin class. I was so glad I went because it totally kicked my butt! I went the furthest (15.7 km) and burned the most calories (over 400!!!) than ever before. I had jelly legs for quite a while afterwards.

When I got home, I had tons of energy and motivation and I decided that a veggie soup would be the perfect meal for lunches this week, but I wanted to do something a little different than the usual soup filled with veggie broth and veggies. Since we love Mexican food, I decided to kick my veggie soup up a notch by adding some chili powder and cumin. In addition to all the fresh veggies, I also added some corn and black beans. It turned out great and is an absolutely perfect soup for a week that is calling for rain every. single. day.  Boo!

Southwestern Veggie Soup with Crispy Corn Tortilla Strips
Makes a large pot

This soup is filled with lots of veggies, as well as black beans and a can of corn. It's got the perfect kick with some chili powder and cumin thrown in and will warm you up on these rainy ol' days from your head to your toes.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 - 5 c chopped  veggies (I used carrots, celery, brocolli, cauliflower & green beans)
3 tbsp cubanello pepper, finely diced (optional - you could use any type of hot pepper)
2 cloves garlic, minced
19 oz can black beans
12 oz can corn (fresh or frozen corn would also work)
19 oz can diced tomatoes
4 c vegetable broth
2 c water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.

Add the rest of the soup ingredients and mix well. Increase heat to high. Bring your soup to a boil and then reduce heat again to medium.

Be careful of the steam! This is about the point when I burned my wrist when I took the lid off my pot.

Let your soup simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.

Remove the soup from your stove and ladle into bowls.

I topped mine with crispy corn tortilla strips. All you do is follow my baked nachos recipe, but instead of cutting the corn tortillas into wedges, you cut them into strips.

This soup would also be amazing topped with sour cream, green onions and cheddar cheese. That will definitely be Derek's version!!

I think this soup is just perfect for my mission. I have a shopping trip with the girls in two weeks, so I need to be in tip top shape, so I can get some new clothes for the warmer weather that I'm sure is just around the corner. No more chocolate, no more cream eggs and no more SUGAR!! I'm going to be fueling up on lots of savoury dishes filled with veggies, beans and whole grains and my mornings are going to be filled with lots and lots of green smoothies!!

Did you over-indulge in cream eggs and all things sweet this weekend? What is your plan for getting back on track?

What is your favourite meal on gray rainy days?

I hope you are rested and relaxed and all revved up to get this short week started. Have a great day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Skor Bar Trifle

Happy Sunday and to those of you who celebrate Easter ~ Happy Easter!!

I don't know what has come over me, but I have yet another sinfully delicious dessert to share with you today. Let's just say I'm going to be hitting the gym extra hard this week to make up for all of my indulgences this weekend. I'm even planning to go to a 6:15 a.m. spin class tomorrow and I have the day off!!

My friend, Judy, brought this dessert to our potluck (it is the one thing that is always in high demand) and I knew I just had to make it for one of our family dinners this weekend.

I know, I know ~ I'm a little late for those of you who have to bring dessert to Sunday dinner, but hopefully you have another meal planned with family and friends in the very near future. Or you could just whip one up to wow your family with, but be warned, it will not last in your refrigerator long. You'll be tempted to sneak itty bitty spoonfuls every time you pass by the refrigerator door. My plan is to give any leftovers away so none comes home with us. That way we can have a small taste today and then it's out of the house!!

This is a super easy recipe. Today I used all packaged/pre-made stuff, but you can definitely tweak it and use your favourite recipes if you prefer.

Skor Bar Trifle
Recipe by my dear friend, Judy (if you love beading and jewellery, check out her blog here)

This recipe is gorgeous to look at and sinfully delicious to eat. It will make all the chocolate lovers in your family go weak in the knees. Really, it's THAT good!

2 boxes of fudgy brownie mix, prepared ~ makes a 9x13 pan 
2 boxes of chocolate mousse
4 c. whipped cream (I used Cool Whip), thawed
4 Skor bars, chopped

Get our your favourite clear trifle bowl. You'll need a fairly large bowl for this or you could do a smaller trifle by cutting the ingredients in half.

Once the brownies are completely cool, break them into chunks.

This pan is as old as the hills, but it is one of those pans that I love. I think it's an old cake pan from my grandma. Nothing sticks, everything bakes evenly and I always have success when using it!

Prepare the chocolate mousse according to the package directions.  

Now you're ready to start building your trifle! I do 3 sets of layers starting in this order (from the bottom up): brownie, topped with chocolate mousse, topped with Cool Whip, topped with Skor ~ repeat two more times.

End by sprinkling the remaining Skor bar on top. I also used some leftover mini eggs I had. They're festive and I really didn't want them in my house tempting me.

I have to admit, Judy's layers look much better than mine, but it still tastes awesome!

Everytime Judy has made this or I have taken this to a dinner or potluck it is a huge success. Everyone loves this dessert. Bring copies of the recipe with you because people are going to ask you for it!! 

I also made some vanilla pudding cookies with chopped up mini eggs (in place of chocolate chips). These are really, really good. Check out Maria's recipe here.

What is your all-time favourite holiday dessert??
What are your plans for this glorious Sunday?

I hope you have a gorgeous day filled with the love and laughter of your family and friends...and maybe a couple of these ;-)


P.S. - Keep an eye out tomorrow because I am planning to share a very healthy recipe to get back on the road to being fit & fab!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oreo Truffle Balls

This recipe is not for the faint of heart. It is sinful, it is delicious and it is one of my all-time favourites. If you are watching what you eat this Easter Weekend or you are trying to refrain from sweets, you might want to skip this post.

However, if you love a little treat and you are looking for something fabulous to bring to your family's Easter celebration, keep reading. I have the easiest recipe that is going to "wow" everyone!

My stretchy pants are still out and it's the beginning of a four day weekend, so I felt it was a day to celebrate. This recipe is Easter Bunny approved and I know you are going to love it! 

This is all you need: 

Uh oh. You're drooling already aren't you?

Oreo Truffle Balls
Makes approximately 16 truffles
Recipe from How Sweet It Is

This recipe is so incredibly easy and these truffle balls are so incredibly delicious! Be careful, a batch could easily be eaten in one sitting :-) Do you have your stretchy pants out?!?

1 box of oreo cookies
1 block of cream cheese at room temperature
Something to coat your truffles in - I used semi sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate and sprinkles

Add the oreo cookies to your food processor and process into a crumb. As you know, my food processor recently bit the dust, so I used my blender. I had to do batches. It worked okay but a food processor works the best for this. Your cookie crumbs should look something like this.

Cut the cream cheese into chunks. Add to the cookie mixture in the food processor and process until well mixed. If you are using a blender, you will have to do it in batches.

The filling was pretty soft and sticky, so I put it into the freezer for 15 minutes. It was much easier to roll into balls after it was chilled.

Roll the dough into one inch balls and place them in the freezer for at least an hour. Now, if you can restrain yourself, DO NOT taste test the truffles at this time. You start out tasting one and end up eating three, uh five. 

By now, I assume you've ignored my advice and had a taste. They're like mini oreo cheesecakes in a ball. Now try not to eat a bunch or you're going to end up having to buy even bigger stretchy pants..gulp.

Once the hour has passed, melt your chocolate chips. I melted mine in the microwave making sure to stir every 30 seconds. I dipped half in semi-sweet chocolate and the other half in white chocolate.

Of course, in keeping with my current obsession, sprinkles were a must.

I think the sprinkles make these look like the perfect treat for Easter!

After dipping the truffles in the chocolate, I put them in a freezer appropriate Tupperware container lined with parchment paper. You can freeze the truffles until you are ready to eat them. Notice how I said YOU? Freezing does nothing to deter me from sneaking a truffle now and again...I'll eat them frozen, thawed or melted ~ it all tastes the same to me! My best advice is taste a couple and then give the rest away.

People love these and they are an awesome treat for any party or family gathering. Everyone will be asking you for the recipe!!

I hope you have a wonderful Good Friday. Maybe you can squeeze in some time to whip up these truffles for your Sunday dinner. We have nothing going on tomorrow, so I am planning to make some food for our family dinners on Saturday and Sunday. We are also hoping to get the house cleaned, take the dogs for a long walk and then enjoy a nice, relaxing evening watching movies and eating homemade nachos ~ sounds heavenly to me!

Do you have any big plans for Good Friday?
What's your favourite cookie/sweet that you love to make for the holidays?



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!! Although today is better than the usual hump day because there's only one more workday left!! Yayyyy!

I am super excited to present another "What I Ate Wednesday" because I've gotta tell you that today was a good food day for me....a REALLY good food day :-)

As usual, I started my day off with a warm lemon water with a pinch of cayenne. I wanted to start off healthy and good because I had a feeling that some over-indulgence was about to happen.

I knew there would be a ton of temptation at my office potluck, so I had a really light breakie. I chopped up an apple and mixed it with a pinch of cinnamon. Then I warmed it in the microwave for 2 minutes and topped it with some of my homemade granola. Very easy and very tasty. Thanks Tina for the idea!

It was like a special little apple crisp!

Now on to lunch....there are no words to describe. Check it out.

Can you see my Orzo Spinach Greek Salad? Here is a close up of the final product from yesterday's post. I think it is one of my all-time favourite salads! I'm planning to make it again this weekend for Easter.

I can't even tell you how happy I am with this ~ delicious!!

Here is my, I mean plates. So yummy, so carb heavy :-) So worth it.

Some of my yummies included glazed carrots, creamy coleslaw, orzo spinach greek salad (of course!), tortellini in a rose sauce, hashbrown casserole, crockpot stuffing, pumpernickel with spinach dip and the best cheesy rice/veggie casserole I have EVER had.

Of course, I couldn't deny myself a taste of dessert. I had some fruit, Skor Trifle & a lemon square.


And finally my dinner. It's amazing that I made it that long. My belly was soooo full and I was soooo sleepy this afternoon. I wanted something super easy for dinner, so I just warmed up some leftover romano bean/veggie pie with cornmeal biscuits. Check out the recipe here. The only changes I made was that I added one yukon gold potato and used romano beans instead of black eye peas. It was a nice comforting meal while we continue to deal with this persistently cold, wet weather. 

It's not the most photogenic meal, but it was pretty darn good!

So there you have it. Another day full of amazing fact too many amazing eats ~ I had to put my stretchy pants on tonight ;-) !!

Make sure you check out Jenn's site to see what she and alot of other amazing bloggers had today. I promise you're going to find lots of inspiration!!

I hope your eats were as good as mine - have a great evening.


PS - Happy Birthday to our sweet boy, Hank. Today he is 2.