Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Healthier Versions of Classic Favorites - Macaroni and Cheese, Vegetable Fried Rice

And thus the last semester of college has begun, and I will be entering the real world in approximately 4 months.  Thankfully for me, I am only taking 2 classes this semester, plus my internship a few days a week.  I am already feeling the senioritis, but I don't actually have that much homework and studying to do.  In fact, I don't think I have any tests - just papers.

Of course, I still need an escape from all of that... My safe haven - the kitchen!

As promised, my weekly dose of roasted vegetables.  This time I tried eggplant... YUMM!! Just looking at this makes me want to go make more... too bad we don't have eggplant in the house, and we are snowed in - again.

I was going through the recipes from that I had saved, and there was one from a really long time ago for "Fried Bananas."  I wanted to try it since it seemed to be a 0 PointsPlus recipe.  It's just a banana sliced lengthwise and topped with cinnamon and Splenda thrown in a skillet.  I'm not sure if I did it wrong, but mine came out tasting terrible.

Maybe I cooked it too long, because it looks burnt.  It didn't taste burnt, but it tasted extremely dry.  Not sure where I went wrong, and unfortunately I couldn't find the recipe online (I had printed it out a LONG time ago) to share with all of you.  It's pretty safe to say I won't be trying this ever again.  I do the same thing with bananas on a plate in the microwave every morning and it comes out fabulous.

One of my boyfriend's favorite meals is macaroni and cheese, and while he likes Easy Mac, I would much rather go through the effort of cooking my own pasta and making a much healthier version of the dish.  I offered him three different recipes to choose from and he chose Hungry Girl's Too-EZ Mac N' Cheese. (Recipe here) I made a few changes to the recipe based on what I had in the house and what I found in the store:
- I used whole wheat penne instead of rotini because that's what we had in the house
- I used Weight Watchers Original Swiss Wedges instead of The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss (that's all the store had)
- I used Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Sauce and Green Giant Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, & Cheese Sauce, since I couldn't find the Green Giant Cauliflower & Cheese Sauce

I did the calculations, and none of these substitutions affect PointsPlus value.  I think my way was better anyway!  My whole family loved it, and one large cup is only 5 PointsPlus!! - Plus, it really was TOO-EZ!

For the past two weeks I've noticed that my pantry has an overload of brown rice, and I wanted to do something about that.  It just so happens I also conveniently had all the other ingredients for Hungry Girl's Veggie-rific Fried Rice. (Recipe here.)  I've made this before, and I remembered it begin easy, fast, and delicious.  The second time around, it was still all of the above.  As you can see I used whatever frozen vegetables I had in the house, including corn and green beans.

Once again, you can have a nice size portion for just a few PointsPlus - 1 cup is only 4 PointsPlus.  And as per usual, my whole family loved it!

I realize this may be hard for some people to look at without hating me for making them want some - but I was determined to fit cheesecake into my daily PointsPlus allowance.  All I had all day were some eggs for breakfast, toast for lunch, salad for dinner - and then just fruit and vegetables for snacks in between.  I awarded myself with this HUGE piece of New York Cheesecake (which I've been craving since before I left for Miami on January 5th) from my favorite local cafe/bakery.  Let me tell you, I ate this piece so slowly and savored every bite - it was worth everything else I gave up that day.

So now that I've made myself want another piece, I'm going to call it a day and go make some oatmeal for lunch.  Luckily for me, I'm in bed nice and warm enjoying my snow day, being lazy jut watching TV.  I'm trying to decide what to make for dinner the next few days, so stay tuned!

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


No comments:

Post a Comment