Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black Bean Soup

Another recipe from Weight Watchers. My old leader sent this one to me as well. I LOVE Black Bean soup; this recipe is a huge keeper for me. Full of healthy protein and fiber; it's pretty awesome and delicious.


(1 cup = 2 POINTS)

1 Tablespoon OLIVE OIL

1 pkg. (8oz.) Diced Vegetables (Mirepox)


1 large CLOVE GARLIC, minced


3 cans (14.5 oz.) BLACK BEANS

2 cans (14.5 pz.) reduced sodium CHICKEN BROTH

4 tsp. CILANTRO, minced

4 tsp SOUR CREAM (optional)

1. Heat OIL in soup pot on MEDIUM.

2. Add VEGETABLES and CUMIN; saute until VEGETABLES are soft, about 10 min. Add GARLIC. saute 1 more minute

3. Stir in BLaCK BEANS, TOMATOES and BROTH. Bring to simmer. Simmer uncovered about 15 minutes.

4. Remove from heat. Puree small batches in blender (being careful to avoid getting burned) or use hand blender. Garnish with CILANTRO and SOUR CREAM.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Avocado Salad

I found this recipe at Southern Living. It's an interesting way to get some healthy fats and veggies, and carbs all in one dish.

Avocado Salad

Yield: Makes 4 to 5 servings


  • 2 (3/4-inch-thick) French bread slices, cubed
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed Bibb lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup watercress
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • Vinaigrette Dressing


Bake bread cubes at 350° for 10 minutes or until crisp and dry.

Cut 1/4 of 1 avocado lengthwise into thin slices, and chop remaining avocado.

Combine croutons, chopped avocado, lettuce, and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; top with sliced avocado, and toss with Vinaigrette Dressing. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Friday Follower

I forgot to do the random Friday Follower on Friday, so I did it today; @leahchristlanda was randomly chosen.

Kirstie @becomingTHEyou @LeahChristlanda is an awesome person who has a big heart and i hope to meet her one day

Ashley @becomingtheyou @leahchristlanda is one of my closest and best friends-she has a big heart and is so fun to hang out with

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tropical Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

Found this at Ladies Home Journal...It looks like it'd taste awesome-the grilled pineapples sound like such a great complement to the chicken. (Part of the Sear Genius Barbecue Recipes)

Tropical Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

In a zip-top bag or a nonreactive bowl, combine1/2 cup soy sauce, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons canola oil.

Marinate 8 pieces bone-in chicken (breasts, legs, and thighs) in the mixture in the fridge for 3 to 8 hours. Heat grill to medium and discard marinade; grill chicken skin side down over direct heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and cook 6 to 8 minutes more.

Slice 1 peeled pineapple into 1/2-inch rings and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Grill, turning once, until marked and just soft, about 3 minutes; serve alongside chicken. Serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sooth Away Stress Part 7

If you missed the other parts, check them out here

Here are five more tips from Good Housekeeping's Kate Hanley on how to reduce and soothe away your stress.

Tree Time:

That quality of air that emanates from trees...wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. —Robert Louis Stevenson
Spend time this week sitting under a tree. If you can, bring a blanket and settle in. But even if you only have 5 minutes on your next dog walk, do it. Taking a break from the beeps, rings, and honks of modern life to listen to the leaves rustling in the wind is soothing and uplifting (and free).

Belly Breathing:

Dreading another week? Counteract that feeling with deep breathing. Lying on the floor, rest your hands on your belly and feel them rise and fall with your breath. Begin breathing first into the belly, then the rib cage, and finally the chest. Exhale in the reverse order — chest, ribs, stomach. Continue for five minutes. You’re flushing stale air and ushering in fresh oxygen — perfect for letting out old stresses and preparing for the week ahead.

Make a Date for Downtime:

Downtime has become a dirty word, but it’s a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. As world famous yoga teacher Donna Farhi writes: By not doing so much, we create natural pauses to reflect. This week, find 10 minutes in your schedule to do nothing — sit outside and feel the breeze on your cheek, or lie on the floor and listen intently to your favorite song. No reading, no TV, no talking on the phone. Just be.

Eat Seasonally:
Eating foods that are in season is a great way to get more in tune with nature — a connection that helps lower stress levels and promotes feelings of well being. Browse a farmers' market for perfectly ripe tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, peppers, and more. Choose as many different-colored foods as you can (since bright colors indicate high nutrient levels) and treat your family and yourself to a meal that feeds the senses as well as the stomach.

Practice Saying “No”:
Now that summer’s over, life is going to get busy again before you can say “back to school”. Minimize your impending schedule overload by honing your ability to say no to things you just don’t have time to do. The more you practice now, the easier it will be to say no in a few weeks when work, school, and socializing are all back in full swing and clamoring for you to take on more and more.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers

This is from Eating Well. Fried chicken tenders is a comfort food for many people, but it's not the best choice for a meal. Here is another recipe for what I like to call "faux" fried chicken. It's delicious and saves you a lot of calories, not to mention your cholesterol levels.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

: August/September 2005, The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006

Instead of batter-dipped, deep-fried nuggets, we coat chicken tenders in a seasoned almond and whole-wheat flour crust and then oven-fry them to perfection. With half the fat of standard breaded chicken tenders, you can enjoy to your (healthy) heart's content.

"I made this last night for dinner, and love them. Even my 7 year old ate it up! Quick Tip: the batter doesn't need to combine with the oil, it just needs to be like bread crumbs, then the egg whites will make them stick to the chicken....

Makes 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, (see Ingredient Note)


  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
  2. Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely chopped and the paprika is mixed throughout, about 1 minute. With the motor running, drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.
  3. Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the tenders on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray the other side.
  4. Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient note: Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.”


Per serving: 174 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 1 g fiber; 254 mg sodium; 76 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (31% daily value).

Exchanges: 3 very lean meat, 1/2 fat

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fudge Brownies without the Pudge

Found this awesome recipe for brownies at Delish-it uses applesauce instead of oil-an awesome substitute without a flavor sacrifice

EatingWell Fudge Brownies

Dense and chewy — applesauce is the surprise ingredient that keeps these moist.

Serves: 10

Total Time: 1 hr 30 min

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 30 min


  • 4 ounce(s) unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup(s) whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips & Techniques)
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup(s) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup(s) chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water or in the microwave.
  3. Whisk flour, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Beat egg whites, eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or whisk until smooth. Add applesauce, oil and vanilla; beat until blended. Add the chocolate-butter mixture; beat until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.
  5. Bake the brownies until the top springs back when touched lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into bars. Variation: For a mocha flavor, in Step 4 stir in 4 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chicken and Rice-Simple yet Satisfying

Here is a simple, yet tasty recipe for chicken and rice from Dr. Oz in his collection of recipes

Chicken and Rice


2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

1-1/2 cup brown rice

1 15-oz. can of tomato sauce

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

2 tsps olive oil

1 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

1 16-oz package of frozen peas, thawed

2 tbsps fresh cilantro, chopped

Place chicken, rice, tomato sauce, lime juice, oil and water in a large pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Let cook 5 - 10 more minutes or until rice is tender.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pumpkin Muesli-put a twist on breakfast

From Self's November 2008 feature of Eat Healthy All Week, here is a recipe for Pumpkin Muesli.

Pumpkin Muesli

Serves 1


  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 sliced fresh strawberry
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds


  1. Combine pumpkin and oats in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 20 seconds; set aside 10 minutes (so liquid will be absorbed). Mix yogurt, honey and zest in another bowl. Swirl in pumpkin mixture and top with berries and almonds.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cooking for One Part Seven: Spaghetti Carbonara

Check out the past Cooking for One posts if you missed any of them. Marie Claire continues with more great ideas for cooking for one with an easy Spaghetti Carbonara recipe.

Spaghetti Carbonara

1 lb. spaghetti
8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 eggs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pasta water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti until al dente, about 8-9 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Drain grease from pan.

In a bowl, whisk eggs, parmesan, pasta water, and pepper. Place pasta in large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Quickly stir in egg mixture and reserved bacon and toss to coat. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

The Positives

Leah @becomingTHEyou i cleaned out my closet today and was able to get rid of some things that i was holding on to for no reason

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Only 20 Things You'll Ever Need to Know How to Cook part 7

We continue with Glamour's twenty recipes with a recipe for grilled steak and Delicious fried rice. If you missed the first five parts, check them all out here

"No guy required" grilled steak

Sprinkle kosher salt on a good cut of meat (I like rib eye). Toss onto a superhot grill. Avoid pushing down while grilling--it forces juice (and flavor) out. For medium rare, cook a one-inch rib eye about 2 or 3 minutes per side, more if thicker. Let sit 10 minutes before serving so juice redistributes.

Delicious fried rice

Dump that carton of leftover cooked Chinese rice and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil into a hot frying pan. Add 1 cup peas, 1 cup diced scallions, 1 tbsp. each soy sauce and sesame oil, and 1 egg. Fry until egg is scrambled and rice crackly.

Serenity Saturday

Laura @becomingTHEyou I had vacation this week and didn't go anywhere 'vacation' like....just to a few concerts not far..so mostly relaxed :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday Follower

Today's randomly chosen Friday Follower is Steph (@smiley_steph)

Ashley @becomingtheyou...@smiley_steph is a great friend, so understanding and such a great person..she's very down to earth and a lot of fun

Thursday, August 12, 2010

WTF Wednesday

Marama @becomingTHEyou #wtfwednesday Spent 3 hours at hospital only to be told the NEXT day that, Oh, I do have a fracture.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't Compare...

We spend a lot of time looking at others and comparing ourselves. I can assure you that's a "no-win" game to play. You look at others and either feel better about yourself resulting in pride. Or you look at others and become jealous and envious of what they have and you don't have. You may think "she is such a better mom", or "She is such a better wife", "He is a better athlete than me" "Their family is so much better off." You can fill in the blank. And when it comes to matching up beauty always comes into play. And it starts at such a young age. "Beauty and the Beast" - "The Ugly Duckling" - "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". My kids watched them all when they were younger so I am not saying they're bad. Just making the point that it's easy for kids, and adults, to buy into this idea that beauty matters most. We must be careful.


You're greatest sense of peace and happiness will come when you are comfortable with who God made you to be...in every facet of life. And it's such a precious lesson to teach your kids. Help them get this truth at a young age and you can save them a lot of heartache as an adult.

A definition of misery - "trying to be someone you are not."

Source: http://aboveyourcircumstances.nextmeta.com/content.cfm?id=151

The Positives

Ashley @becomingtheyou i went to the gym today and am determined to get back to working out regularly from here on out

Stacy @becomingTHEyou cleaned my room out (again) today

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Best.Advice.Ever. Part 6

If you missed the other parts of this, check them out here. This obviously is to do with my absolute obsession with "Everybody Must Wear Sunscreen" If you haven't seen the video, it is posted on part 1, or you can easily youtube it.


Hygiene is important, and a beautiful smile to someone special might just become the beginning of something awesome.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Better Fast Food Choices

We all know that fast food is not the best decision for a meal on the go, but it's so convenient and right there, that sometimes we just can't help it. This article from Cosmopolitan gives us a guide of different fast food options that won't ruin a whole day or week of eating well.

Fast Food That Won't Make You Fat

With obesity all over the news and fat-bomb food concoctions getting tons of attention (we're looking at you, KFC Double Down), the drive-thru window is taking a pretty big beating these days. But an increasing number of fast food restaurants are actually offering some surprisingly nutritious — and tasty — options to choose from. Next time you're at the food court or dining by dashboard, sink your teeth into one of these guilt-free options.

By Esther Crain

Wendy's Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich

Calories: 340
Fat: 7 grams

The thick piece of lean chicken provides 29 grams of satisfying, metabolism-boosting protein plus 20 percent of your daily iron requirement.

Subway Roast Beef Sub

Calories: 330
Fat: 4.5 grams

Make this low-fat sandwich even healthier by loading it up with grilled veggies, not mayo.

Burger King Whopper Jr.

Calories: 340
Fat: 20 grams

There's nothing small about this junior-labeled burger; it's juicy and satisfying yet has only 5 grams of saturated, aka "bad," fat.

Taco Bell Grilled Steak Soft Tacos

Calories: 320 (2 tacos)
Fat: 4.5 grams

Soft flour tacos have less fat than hard-shell tacos. So feel free to indulge — just skip the extra cheese and sour cream.

KFC Honey BBQ Sandwich

Calories: 310
Fat: 3 grams

The honey BBQ flavor gives the chicken a slightly sweet but tangy kick. And amazingly, it's super low-fat.

McDonald's Egg McMuffin

Calories: 300
Fat: 12 grams

This egg-and-cheese combo on an English muffin is a decent way to power your mornings. It offers protein, whole grain, and only 5 grams of saturated fat.

Wendy's Chili (large)

Calories: 330
Fat: 10 grams (4 sat)

A filling protein powerhouse, it also provides bone-building calcium and fiber from the beans.

Pizza Hut Two Slices Pepperoni Thin 'N Crispy Pizza

Calories: 400 (two slices)
Fat: 18 grams

"Thin and crispy" means it has less white-flour crust than other types of pizza. That shaves off calories so you can make room for flavorful pepperoni.

Meanwhile, steer clear of these top fat mongers:

1. KFC Double Down
Caloiries: 540
Fat: 32 grams

The calorie count in this cheese-fried chicken-bacon concoction isn't crazy-outrageous, but 32 grams of fat — yikes. And there's not even a piece of lettuce to give it some fiber to help you digest it!

2. McDonald's Angus Bacon and Cheese
Calories: 790
Fat: 39 grams

With a 1/3 pound slab of beef, cheese, bacon, and a thick bun, this heavyweight burger is like a grease bomb to the gut.

3. Pizza Hut Meat Lovers Stuffed Crust
Calories: 960 (2 slices)
Fat: 52 grams

Come on, do you really need oozing mozzarella cheese outside and inside each slice of your pizza?

Serenity Saturday

Laura @becomingTHEyou I'm gonna try to get a massage while I'm on vacation #serenitysaturday

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Griled Pork with Glazed Apples and Yam Mash

Another great recipe from RedBook's 6 meals under 500 calories. Here is another recipe for the other white meat.

Grilled Pork with Glazed Apples and Yam Mash

From Redbook

Grilled pork chops make a healthy and satisfying meal when paired with sweet glazed apples and mashed yams.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 26 min


  • 3 medium garnet yams or sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup(s) skim milk
  • 1/4 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tablespoon(s) grated onion or shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) apple pie spice
  • 3 large Golden Delicious apples, cut crosswise into 4 thick slices
  • 8 (2-oz each) thin-cut boneless loin pork chops, about 1/2-inch thick
  • Olive oil cooking spray


  1. Combine yams and milk in a 2-quart glass measure or bowl; cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high 10 minutes; let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, butter, and 1/4-tsp each of the salt and pepper; mash until smooth. Keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a double stovetop grill pan over medium heat. Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler source; heat broiler.
  3. In a 2-cup glass measure, whisk juice concentrate, mustard, onion, cumin, and spice; microwave on high 3 minutes or until glaze boils and begins to thicken. Arrange apple slices on broiler pan rack; brush apples with glaze. Broil 3 minutes, turn slices, then brush with more glaze. Broil second side 3 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.
  4. Meanwhile, season pork chops on both sides with remaining salt and pepper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Grill pork chops 7 minutes, turning once and brushing with remaining glaze, until just barely pink in thickest part when cut with a knife. Serve with apple slices and mashed yams.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Total Fat10g
Saturated Fat--
Total Carbohydrate78g
Dietary Fiber--

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Make Over Your Fridge

I found this as I was reading the Weight Watchers Weekly issue for the week of February 21, 2010. Sometimes the way that we store things in our refrigerator can really hinder our goals of weight loss and being healthy.

Make Over Your Fridge

Portion Control

  • instead of storing things in a huge bowl or just as they come from the store, store individual serving packs or divide into individual servings
High Fat Items
  • buy reduced fat versions of dairy products that you eat often. Reduced fat versions still have all the taste but a lot less calories.
Fruits and Vegetables
  • store cut, peeled, and ready to eat produce in easy open clear containers so that they catch your eye and your hands
  • Be sure to close left over take out/restaurant food and move it to the back for meal time so that you don't randomly snack during the day

Full Fat dressings and mayos
  • add flavor for free wtih salsa, fat free dressing and more
  • put in more seltzers, diet sodas, waters, and unsweetened iced teas where you can see them and grab them
Main Dish Ingredients
  • swap your meats for leaner cuts and ingredients. you can buy ground beef that is 97% lean and still make an awesome burger easily. make extra and store the portions for healthy leftovers