Sunday, November 28, 2010


I will return with a super long post full of many, many pictures once I am done with my projects for school and once I have figured out this new Weight Watchers program.

Until then... Happy eating, Steph =)

P.S. requests are always welcome... what are you craving?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This Week's Healthy Finds and Preparing for Thanksgiving!!

Since it was my mom's birthday this weekend, she didn't want me to cook, she wanted to eat out instead.  But I HAD to update with a post, lest I leave my readers stranded, so I'm dedicating this post to some healthy and delicious finds I made this week.

Last Thursday (11/11), I had an overwhelming craving for soup that came about in the middle of my Business Development class.  Right when class was over, I went out of my way to stop at Au Bon Pain, and to my disappointment, they didn't have any low-cal vegetarian soups available that day.  Well this week, I had quite some luck with finding several yummy low-cal soups, all available on the run.

Clearly I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture ahead of time, but this WAS Au Bon Pain's Tomato Florentine soup - ("Tender Pasta Shells and Leaf Spinach are simmered in a Tomato laced Beef Broth accented with select Spices, Fresh Garlic, and Pecorino Romano")  Even though I don't eat meat, the beef broth was acceptable.  The 12oz medium was 2 WW Points, and extremely fulfilling.  However, if you wish to indulge a bit more, the 16 oz large is still only 3 WW Points!  I'm definitely going to have to get this again - soon!

The day after that amazing find, I was still craving soup.  I decided to see what some of NYU's dining halls had to offer me.  While the nutrition facts were somewhat ambiguous (i.e. there were two sizes and only one set of nutrition facts), I figured I would go with the smaller size (which is still 12 oz) just to be safe.  I found a Chipotle Sweet Potato soup for 150 calories, and a Carrot Ginger soup for 120 calories.  I don't think I would have ever tried either of these if I weren't craving soup so badly, but I'm glad I did.  I will DEFINITELY be giving NYU soup more thought from now on.

 I saw these cute little Starbucks ornaments the other day, and I just couldn't resist sharing!  Find them here and here.

Unfortunately, my visit that started with holiday cheer ended in confrontation with a barista and speaking to the manager.  I ordered a Skinny Vanilla Latte (made with Sugar Free Vanilla syrup and Fat Free milk).  I caught the barista using whole milk for my drink!!! When I asked him about it, he denied it!  I don't feel it's necessary to waste calories on milk, when a lower calorie substitute is readily available, and I would not have had the drink as he made it.  Since he wouldn't remake my drink, I was forced to speak to the manager who made the drink herself, and assured me she would reprimand him.  Would you have done anything about it?  I promise you I saw him pour the whole milk straight out of the carton, into the steamer, and into my drink.  I'm not sure why I feel bad about this.

Anyway, on to happier things...

 As is the new tradition in my family, birthday cakes are out, and Edible Arrangements are in.  They are sooooooo expensive, but soooooo worth it!  I got my mom a medium-sized Dipped Fruit Bouquet... I'm semi-ashamed to say we devoured the whole thing (just the two of us) in about a half hour.

 The positive side is that we were both really full when we went grocery shopping right after that, so the impulse buying was limited.  And the one impulse purchase we did make was a healthy one...

 The Waldbaums by me happens to have a prepared hot food bar.  I noticed these cooked veggies a while ago, but my mom finally gave me the courage to give them a try - and boy am I glad she did.  These were DELICIOUS!  There was zucchini, carrots, string beans, and asparagus cooked in a balsamic vinaigrette.  This was the first time I've EVER had asparagus, but it certainly won't be the last.

So for my mom's birthday, she wanted to go to Applebee's - not at all a problem since they are dedicated to providing options for those who are counting calories, and some of their meals are even endorsed by Weight Watchers! YAY!

 I know what you're thinking - "That doesn't look like it's endorsed by Weight Watchers."  But I have an answer to that... This is the drink that I was desperately craving on my birthday, but I was unable to have one because I made myself sick from over-indulging at dinner.  Happy belated birthday to me - love, myself.

Anyway, it's Applebee's Mud Slide - "Blended with Kahlúa, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream"  I don't know how many calories, and frankly, I don't really care - It was AMAZING!

 This is the drink my mom got - Applebee's Bahama Mama -  "Malibu Coconut rum, crème de banana liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine."

Her and I both liked my drink better, but her's was about half the calories.  You win some, you lose some.

 Applebee's Cajun Lime Tilapia ("A grilled Cajun-seasoned tilapia fillet topped with lime juice and black bean & corn salsa, served on a bed of rice pilaf with a side of seasonal vegetables") is my go-to dinner that I literally ALWAYS get whenever I go to Applebee's.  Indeed, it is endorsed by Weight Watchers, and it is only 6 WW Points!  Needless to say, after that huge drink, I didn't have room for dinner, and I ended up taking most of it home anyway.

Now for a little previes of what's to come... My Low(er) Calorie Thanksgiving Plan:
(I don't eat meat, so my mom is dealing with the turkey.)

Yes, it's a lot, but my mom is helping, and I'm going to do as much as possible ahead of time.  I have faith that it will all get done, and it will all taste fabulous!  If you can't handle it all yourself, invite a friend or a few friends over and divide up the recipes.  There should never be a situation where you feel forced to eat something you don't want to... plan ahead and figure out how to enjoy the holiday your way!
Until Thanksgiving - Happy Eating!
- Steph =)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mobile Uploads...

I started this blog because I like to take pictures of the things I cook, and I LOVE to share those photos with family and friends.  This week I realized it's not just food that I like to take pictures of... it's basically everything!  So here is my week of food-related photos...

Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte in a Starbucks holiday cup... It ALWAYS tastes better in the holiday cups!! Tall is only 2 WW Points, and grande and venti are only 3 WW Points.  This is my new obsession.

(It says, "Who's to blame? Industry - and mom and dad - fueling kids' fast-food addictions, study finds.")
This was the cover of AMNY one morning... I love that the public is becoming more conscious of what they're eating, but it seems as if nothing is really changing.  It saddens me, and I hope to help change that.

This was kind of a good idea gone wrong... In theory, a Deep Chocolate VitaTop with 1/2 cup of Dole Sliced Strawberries sounds delicious.  However, when you thaw the strawberries in the microwave, you must drain the strawberries before you put them on the plate with your VitaTop or you will have a VitaSoggyMess.  I immediately removed the VitaTop from the plate, and ate the two things separately.  Maybe next time I won't be so lazy!!

For some reason, when I woke up this morning and was browsing recipes, I was feeling rather fruity.  I came across Hungry Girl's Coconut-Glaze Fruit Salad in her 200 Under 200 book, and I felt inspired.  Chopping and slicing fruit is simple and fast, and the finishing product was extremely delicious!! It's basically apple, banana, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and peaches with a glaze made of fat free yogurt, coconut milk, coconut extract, and lime juice. 1 cup = 2 WW Points.  My whole family loved it!

Staying on the fruit theme, I decided to tackle Hungry Girl's Apple iCobbler.  Mine didn't come out looking exactly like hers, but it tasted great!  My brother even said "Thank You," which is a truly rare act.  Needless to say 1 cup = 2 points, and it was a great dessert.

Next weekend is my mother's birthday, and I think she wants to go out for dinner (LAME - I want to cook for her!!).  I know I'm going to order her an Edible Arrangements instead of baking a cake, and even though that lessens my cooking opportunities, the chocolate-dipped fruit is absolutely worth it! Somehow, I will find some way to work in the kitchen next weekend... any ideas? requests? what's everyone craving lately?

Until next time... Happy Eating,
Steph =)



Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Cute Little Rat and Some Apple Pie!

 I bet when you think of "Ratatouille," you think of this little guy here:
Ever since my boyfriend and I watched the film about a year ago, I've been wanting to make ratatouille.  Well, I finally found the time and energy.  I followed Gina's Weight Watchers Ratatouille Recipe - love this blog!

 Since ratatouille is primarily chopped veggies, the Vidalia Chop Wizard saved the day again! This recipe would have easily taken twice as long if I had to chop an eggplant, an onion, and 2 peppers by hand!!  My mandolin also came in pretty handy for slicing the zucchini!

My dad didn't trust the Chop Wizard with fragile tomatoes, so he jumped in and helped speed up the process. (I think he just wanted to play with the over-sized knife though)

Taa-dah!!! The finished product was fabulous, and once again, I will have leftovers for a week!  I had about a cup and it's 0 WW Points! Who could have imagined veggies would have been so fulfilling and satisfying! Good job Gina!

I had a pesky 9 egg roll wrappers left over from the other night's dinner... so I looked up Weight Watchers recipes and Hungry Girl recipes that required egg roll wrappers, and I was surprised to find Hungry Girl's Awesome Apple Pie-lets!  Conveniently enough, I had all the ingredients in the house already.

 The filling in the pot on the stove before it became a filling.

These clearly came out much better than the egg rolls. Although as you can see, the filling started seeping out the sides of the wrappers onto the baking sheet.

MMM!! So much better than McDonalds, for probably half the calories - only 2 WW Points!

While we're on the subject of apples... Did you know - Apples are more efficient at waking you up in the morning than caffeine or coffee!! Does this mean apple pies for breakfast? Perhaps.

Until next time... Happy Eating!
- Steph =)

P.S. Any suggestions, requests, or ideas for next weekend?


Saturday, November 6, 2010

4-Point Asian-Inspired Dinner and What to do With the Leftovers!

I have been craving Chinese food for THE LONGEST TIME!  I decided this weekend I was going to take care of that.  I knew I wanted Hungry Girl's Veggie-rific Fried Rice, and I thought I'd pair it with some Hungry Girl Sassy Veggie Egg Rolls.

Unfortunately, my egg rolls came out looking more like blobs, but at least I gave it a shot.

This is the third or fourth time I've made homemade fried rice, and I must say, I'm pretty darn good at it. This time, I added some extra veggies and left out the bean sprouts since I couldn't find them anywhere!

 All together, 1 cup of the fried rice is 3 WW Points, and 1 egg roll is 1 WW Point, which comes to 4 WW Points for the whole meal.  The fried rice was absolutely delicious!! The egg roll on the other hand left something to be desired.  I've attempted to make egg rolls and dumplings in the past, and I'm just not very good at it.  There's obviously some skill that I'm missing.  Needless to say - CRAVING = SATISFIED!

Now what to do with the leftover ingredients...

I like to pair my VitaLicious products with fruit, as previously seen with my Banana Nut/Peach combination and my Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich.  The egg rolls required 1/2 cup of canned pineapple so I had the majority of the can leftover.  I had a 1/2 cup of the leftover pineapple with my Deep Chocolate VitaMuffin for a well-rounded nighttime snack. (I apologize for the terrible photo quality - I was in such a haste to enjoy the food!)

The fried rice required 3/4 cup of fat-free egg substitute and 1 cup of chopped mushroom, and the egg rolls had 1 cup of chopped onion.  It's hard to judge how much you're going to get out of an onion when you're in the store, so I always buy larger amounts and use any leftovers the next day.

So for breakfast this morning, I had and omelet with mushroom and onion (1 WW Point if you use 1/2 cup of egg substitute).  I paired it with a Thomas' Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Thin with some Sugar Free Smuckers Apricot Preserves (1 WW Point) and about a cup of strawberries (I counted it as .5 WW Point). It was an extremely satisfying breakfast, with plenty of vitamins and nutrients to get the day started off right!

Now I'm stuck writing a 20-page final paper, and I continually find myself in the kitchen trying to use food to procrastinate.  Thankfully, I've been able to procrastinate in a low-cal way: broccoli, FiberOne Yogurt (0 WW Point), Orville Redenbacher's 100 Calorie Popcorn (1 WW Point), Kashi GOLEAN Truly Vanilla Hot Cereal (2 WW Points), 1 cup of Progresso Light Vegetable Soup to keep me warm (0 WW Point), some fresh brewed hot tea, and some diet soda.  I need to save my points because Saturday nights are pizza nights!!!

Enough procrastinating, back to the paper!

Happy Eating,
Steph =)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

What to do When You're All Out of Fruit? and Happy Meals Banned!!

Last night when I went to go make my bedtime snack, I scoured the kitchen for ideas and was disappointed to learn that my family had eaten all of the fresh fruit!! (looks like it's time to go grocery shopping!!) - I noticed we had some frozen sliced strawberries, but I didn't have time to wait for them to thaw, and I don't like microwaving them.  Then in the back corner of a cabinet, I found a can of Del Monte Lite Sliced Peaches.  I took a gamble and paired a 1/2 cup of these peaches with a Banana Nut VitaTop, and it was actually pretty good.  Just make sure you drain the peaches well or else you'll have one soggy VitaTop!  This delicious combination is only 2 WW Points!

Today while I was sitting in class clearly not paying attention, I came across an article saying Happy Meals Banned in San Francisco.  I think this is great!  Children need to learn healthy eating habits from a young age because those habits will stick with them forever.  If we're constantly feeding them greasy, fatty garbage, how will they know it's not good for them?  What are your thoughts?

Happy Eating,
Steph =)

P.S. - Tomorrow I'm making vegetable fried rice and veggie egg rolls. Check back to see how those turn out. I also see Ratatouille sometime in the near future!