Upping the Veggie Factor

So sometimes I just crave veggies. I like to have more in my diet but I don’t always just want a plain steamed or boiled veggie. So my sweet boys aren’t always fond of veggies like me and they do consider French fries as a vegetable choice on a menu. We made a pork butt this past week. And we needed some sides if you will! 

I found this special recipe on my favorite website AllRecipes.com. 

Fauxtato Salad 

The result was very tasty. I wouldn’t consider it a true trick taste. I would say a reasonable substitute but not something that is going to fool anyone. The boys liked it but I think they would like my regular potato salad better. And the ice bath thing for easy shelling of the hard boiled eggs did not work. 

Overall this was a great recipe and I definitely would recommend that you try it. 

Love 

Becky  

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Random Food MusingsĀ 

So sometimes you have to make random food items work for you. Especially when you have to live a gluten free Lifestyle. So today I’m sharing with you some random inventions of mine. 

The first is these nachos: 

 
So  these are buffalo pork nachos. Yes you heard that right. We made a pork loin in the crock pot and then smothered it with buffalo sauce. Of course at home we had that as a regular meal. But I wanted to take left overs for lunch the next day. So I came up with this! 

Heat the buffalo pork with half a can of drained and rinsed black beans. Put chips on a microwave safe dish. Top chips with the pork and bean mixture and then top with shredded cheese. Put back in the microwave for 1-2 min or until cheese is melted. And then what goes with buffalo well ranch of course. Drizzle a little ranch on top and you are good to go! So yummy and definitely a wake up from a boring work lunch. Ps it didn’t cost as much as going out either! Lol! 

Next up is this salad 

So for this salad I just started with a bag of salad. They are so easy to just keep in the fridge. I topped the salad with some canned chicken. Again super easy to have around and add some protein to your meal. Next I topped that with half a can of black beans drained and rinsed of course. And then a can of Rotel and finally some cheese. I wanted to kinda melt my cheese a little so I put the plate in the microwave for like 30 seconds. Topped with some ranch and there you go. A very filling and so satisfying lunch. Not just your regular chicken salad! šŸ™‚ 

See even random cans in your cabinet (or maybe a drawer at work) can be combined to create something really good and fresh. What is your last lunch creation? 

Until next time mangia! 

Love 

Becky 

 

Try-it Tuesday Restaurant ReviewĀ 

I love food. Obviously. But we do not attend fancy places very often. I was very lucky to be invited to a lunch at Etch. 

Our appetizer was Roasted Cauliflower with truffled pea pesto, salted almonds, feta dip. 

  
The feta dip was a surprise quite tasty and the cauliflower is something I need to try and do at home. I think that my men who only eat asparagus would even like this dish and of course gluten free.

They did not offer any particular type of side salad. However they did offer a small version of their signature Etch Salad consisting of fennel, green apple, arugula, radicchio, blue cheese, walnuts, and a champaign vinaigrette. 

  
I have to be honest and say that I don’t normally like fennel or blue cheese. Or maybe I just never had them prepared well but my oh my this salad was bite after bite of joy. The dressing was that of dreams. 

For the main course Catfish with walnut red bell pomegranate sauce, fiery strawberry preserve, lime crema, pickled onion, pumpkin seeds and greens. 

  Every bite and every sauce was unbelievably tasty. The number of sauces on the plate may have been a bit much for some and I will tell you that the strawberry preserve was by far my favorite. Having the greens on top was interesting and I think one of those things they do to make it look good rather than for flavor. But I will say that every bite was delish. 

And finally the dessert. Peanut Butter panna cotta. There are no more words needed! 

  
Oh the honey cream and the apples. Every bite was amazing. What a fun and wonderful lunch. 

I hope that if you find yourself in Nashville please stop by Etch and check it out. Here is a Link for their website. I do hope that you will enjoy! 

Mangia

Becky 

 

Better than BoringĀ 

Salads can be boring; chicken can be boring. Together if done right they can be AWESOME! Caprese salad is one of my favorites. I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes but mixed with some spice and some mozzarella cheese. What’s not to love? So I started this special dish with some tomatoes. 

  
Next I cubed up some mozzarella!

   
 Already looking yummy! Next I took some chicken thighs that I baked a few days before. I will share that super simple yummy recipe with you soon! But if you want to duplicate take your favorite leftover chicken or a sliced up rotisserie. 

  
I added the chicken to the cheese and tomatoes. Totally forgot to take a pic sorry! Then I put it in the microwave for two minutes. And this awesomeness came out! 

  
Oh my creamy cheese! Mozzarella is my favorite favorite cheese and it always will be! 

I added this incredible smelling mixture to some regular salad. No dressing yet! What dressing should I use to compliment these flavors? Well balsamic vinagrette of course! Except instead of regular olive oil I used Tuscan herb infused olive oil. And let me tell you when you forgot the fresh basil for your caprese salad at home. This definitely makes up for the mixing herb. And as you will see below photographing oil is hard and it doesn’t look pretty but well that’s what vinagrette is, so it’s honesty if not beauty! Lol! 

  
For a final healthy addition I added a side of fruit. So yummy and fairly healthy probably more cheese then I should have but I’ll admit I’m slightly addicted and don’t feel bad about that! 

  
Until next time familia, 

Mangia 

Yes even I can actually follow a recipe!

ID-100282398One of my favorite things about cooking is changing recipes. I love to taste something and think of how I can make it better or change it. I make happy noises when I eat good food, and I have perfected a full face that my boyfriend and my family find amusing. But yes food and cooking are by far on my list of great loves. It is very rare for me to actually try a recipe without changing it, but in the spirit of this blog and sharing a journey, I also thought a recipe review of a recipe I found at weightwatchers.com might be welcomed.

I love chicken salad. If it’s made right. I love their to be chunks of chicken. I don’t like it too creamy. I love for it to have a subtle burst of sweet and some crunch. So when I saw the Tex Mex Chicken Salad recipe on the website, I knew that I had to try it.

IMG_0675Tex-Mex Chicken Salad Courtesy of Weightwatchers.com

1 1/4 pound of cooked chicken (I used chicken breasts)

1/2 cup mayo

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1 small red pepper

1 small green pepper

15 1/4 oz. canned yellow corn drained

1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed

In a medium bowl combine mayo, sour cream, cumin, and chili powder. Next stir in chicken, peppers, and corn. Mix Well. Fold in beans.

Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Serves 6 with 1 cup per serving.

Weight Watchers Points Plus – 6 Points

We chose to have ours with wheat buns and made it a sandwich. This ended up making more like 12 servings because you couldn’t fit an entire cup on one bun. It was so good and so worth it. The corn adds the perfect burst of sweetness and the spice was actually just right for me. The beans were good, I could have left them out and been ok with it, but I know they added some good nutrients and I need and they made it to be a really filling dish. The peppers added that little bit of crunch I really desire in my chicken salad. This is definitely another way to liven up that boring old chicken! Chicken is such a versatile staple and if you are being health conscious and not a vegetarian, you are more than likely eating a lot of chicken, if you aren’t please tell me your secret.Ā  But I do hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we did! It has definitely made it onto the regular rotation of meals to prepare. My teenager who doesn’t like chicken salad said he really liked it. That’s always a win in my book!

PS the plate with two sandwiches was for the teenage boy, not for me! I promise!

IMG_0676

Until next time Familia,

Mangia!

Top Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear Salad

Dear Salad,

I want to love you. I really do. It’s not you, it’s me. I have a desire for something creamy, crunchy, or cheesy, and have I mentioned I ā¤ bacon? All of the things about you that make you so good for me, I insist on covering up with things that are so bad for me. I am truly on a mission to find a happy balance so that we might co-exist in peace and allow you to provide me with the nutrients I so desperately need but allow me to actually enjoy you, one fabulous forkful at a time.

Love,

Me!

IMG_0609

How many of you have written the same sad letter regarding salads or other healthy foods? It’s so hard because there may be things about these foods that you really do love. I know that I really do actually like the fresh taste of lettuce and the crunch. And let me tell you cucumbers are my jam!!! But when it comes time to eat this wonderful healthy and filling food, something in my mind snaps and I add ranch dressing and cheese and bacon bits and crutons. All of those things take this healthy start I had and turn into something that is going ot clog my arteries and before it’s all said and done, I should have just had a Big Mac and Coke. SO I am onĀ a mission to make some fun and interesting salads that satisfy the taste buds but remain healthy. Here’s my first attempt:

Strawberries and Champagne for Lunch

Pre-made salad mix – Lettuce and carrots (or make your own base salad from your favorite greens and veggies)

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 can of chicken (or 1 boneless, skinless grilled chicken breast cut to your preference slice or dice)

2 Tablespoons Light Champagne Salad Dressing (you should be able to find in your local grocery store in the dressing aisle).

Put the amount of base salad into the bowl that you desire, I usually put one to two cups depending on how hungry I am. Add the strawberries next. I chose to heat my chicken because I wanted a warm aspect to the salad. You can also leave the chicken cold if you prefer. Next cover the whole dish with the light champagne dressing. Super simple and Super yummy! I’m looking forward to trying some different combinations. The first time I had strawberries in my salad was at my boyfriend’s parent’s house. I had never really understood fruit in salad but man you are missing out if you don’t give it a try! I will update this post with nutritional information ASAP but in the meantime I hope you will try it and enjoy it. How do you make your salads interesting?

Until Next Time…Mangia!

Weight Watchers Points Plus – 4 Points