Category Archives: My Cooking

What I cook at home.

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers!

It is no secret that I HATE bell peppers.  They ruin everything they touch. I don’t care what you say–I will never like them.

However, the idea of stuffed peppers is one that I love.  So, I have been making a few different kinds of stuffed Anaheim peppers instead.  Anaheim peppers are usually the kind of peppers that most chile rellenos are made with.  They have little to no heat, but a flavor that I love: very fresh, crisp, and almost sweet.  And, rather than stuff them with a large amount of cheese and then soak them in batter and deep fry them, I have been trying some more healthy options.

This week I stuffed the peppers with shredded chicken (made in the crockpot), black rice, green chilies, and a small amount of cheese.  Here is how it is done:

First, you have to cook your shredded chicken.  The easiest way to do this is to use about 4 medium/large boneless chicken breasts, put them in the crockpot, and then add a can of your favorite salsa.  Cook on high for at least 4 hours and then shred the chicken with a few forks.  Easy. As. Pie.  Just make sure you allow the chicken to spend a good amount of time in the crockpot.

Once your chicken is done, you can start your rice and preset your oven to about 350.  We like really dark/black rice, but I suppose you could use whatever rice you prefer.  Any kind of brown rice or Mexican rice would also work.  But, you should probably stay away from that white stuff–it just isn’t good for you. 😉

Once your rice is done, mix your shredded chicken (you may want to drain the chicken a bit so it isn’t super wet), your rice, a can of diced green chilies, and some shredded cheese in a big ol’ bowl.  No real measurements here–just go with your gut!  This is your finished stuffing!

Cut the peppers down one side and then slice off the end with the stem.  Run the pepper under cold water and gently remove the seeds.  Once the seeds are removed, start stuffing.  🙂

Then, put your stuffed peppers in a baking dish.  Cover with a can of diced tomatoes and some more cheese.  Then, BAKE!  The peppers will take about 15 – 20 minutes to cook.  Depending on how crisp you like your peppers, you might want to check them once or twice to make sure they are to your liking. I like mine a little softer, and my cheese a little crisp–so these babies baked for 20 minutes or a little more.

Add some homemade guacamole and a dollop of sour cream and you are set!  Delish!  These also heat up wonderfully the next day.

Enjoy!

I hope everyone is planning on having a great week!  5 days until Russ and I are on the beach in Key West–drinking margaritas and doing some serious relaxing!

–Nosh

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SLC Spring & Coconut Flour Pizza

I think that spring is in full swing here in Salt Lake City.  This means, I don’t feel like cooking.  At all.  No oven, no stove.  So, basically I have been eating strawberries, string cheese, and drinking lots of cold beverages. Spring also means, that I am on the lookout for patio dining anywhere I can get it.

We haven’t gotten out and about too much the past few weeks–Russ broke his arm on the last day of the season snowboarding (rough, rough times), but we finally got out to one of or favorite local eateries last week because he was in need of pizza!  Spedelli’s now has their patio open, and honestly, you just can’t beat their prices. We really like this place.  Go there. 🙂

Our love for pizza kind of takes over our lives sometimes.  One thing that we have been cooking–that is nearly carb free–is coconut flour pizza.  The crust is spongy and a bit lighter (while being more filling at the same time), but if you are craving pizza and want a healthier version, this is for you.

Crust:

4 eggs

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp oregano

1 clove garlic

pinch of sea salt

Combine eggs, yogurt, and sea salt then add the coconut flour and beat until smooth.  Blend in spices and parmesan cheese.  Spray a pan with non-stick spray or whatever you like to use to making sticking go away. 🙂  Pour the batter onto the pan and then use a spoon or spatula to spread batter.  You want to make it pretty thin because coconut flour batter puffs up while cooking.

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes then remove and add all of your ingredients of choice! Sauce!  Cheese!  Veggies!  Meats galore!  This is your time to be creative. Then, put back into the oven for about 8 – 10 minutes.  Yay!  Pizza!

Also, spring means getting our yard looking nice and wanting to buy every cute little flower planter, paper lantern, and tea candle light holder out there.  Last night I spent some time potting succulents and sitting on my porch with some lovely candle ambiance.  I hope that everyone’s spring has been as enjoyable as mine has been so far!  Hopefully, I won’t get summer fever too bad and remember to post here once in a while.  I still have to get to Pallet and I want to do a new review of The Copper Onion and see what seasonal changes they have on their spring menu!

Little update on the diet:

While I am not as strict as I was the past three months, I have reached my goal weight and now the key is to keep it off, and if I can knock another 10 lbs off this summer I will be happy.  I have really gotten into Zumba lately, and I think that shaking my bootay 2 – 3 times a week has allowed me to ingest pizza and not have my hips show it! 🙂  I am definitely feeling happy and healthy these days.  Key West in 12 days!!!

Enjoy your noshings!

Easy Mini Lasagnas!

This was one of those Pinterest inspired meals that I have now made several times with multiple variations!  These cut back on the calories of regular lasagna, as well as the carbohydrates.

Set your oven to about 370 while you prep.

You will need:

  • small square wonton wrappers (I like the Nasoya brand)
  • 1 package of low-fat sausage (12 – 16 oz)
  • 1 can of your favorite tomato/spaghetti sauce (I love the Mezzetta Artichoke Marinara more than anything)
  • cheese blend: you can make this with what you like best, but mine usually consists of 1 & 1/2 cups fresh shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, 1/2 cup ricotta and 1/2 cup cottage cheese.  This time, I used greek yogurt in place of cottage cheese, and it was awesome.  Add some dried basil, sea salt, cracked black pepper, and onion powder to taste (I never measure these things).

Process:

  • Use a large muffin tin–this will make about 21 mini lasagnas.
  • Pre-cook the sausage so that it is fully cooked before you add it to your lasagnas.
  • Use whatever you prefer to make sure your pan is non-stick (butter, olive oil, non-stick spray).  Don’t forget the top of the pan as well.
  • Layer with one wonton wrapper on the bottom and press down until the wrapper is tightly layering the bottom and sides of each muffin section.
  • After one wonton is down on each muffin section, begin layering ingredients.
  • Add sausage, a spoonful of spaghetti sauce, and a spoonful of cheese mixture. Then, add another layer of wonton.
  • Make sure to press the second wonton to the first wonton where possible to create a semi-seal between the stuffed layer (it doesn’t have to be totally sealed, just enough to have the two stick together).
  • Repeat layering ingredients: sausage, sauce, cheese mixture.
  • After all the mini lasagnas are layered, place in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes.  You HAVE TO KEEP A CLOSE eye on these!  The wontons cook quickly.  You want the tops of the wonton and the cheese to be slightly browned–a little more crispy is better than underdone, as the wonton noodle not as exposed to the heat can be soggy if you don’t leave them in long enough.

Use different variations!  Try spinach, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce!  Or try ground turkey, olives, sour cream, and cheddar!  These are super fun.  The layering takes a bit of time, but cooking time is so minimal, you can crank these out in about a half hour.  AND, they are a hit at dinner parties–they are SO pretty.

(For 8 wonton wrappers, there are 30  net grams of carbs–so 4 mini lasagnas will hold 30 carbs, not including whatever is in your sauce.)

Enjoy!

-Nosh

Meatloaf and Blueberry Pancakes!

Happy Friday, Everyone!  Let the weekend commence!

I hadn’t jumped on the scale in about a week and a half until this morning–and I am happy to report I am now 17 lbs down total since New Year!  I can almost “taste” my goal!  And, I can start including some wine in my diet again next weekend.  Hooray!

I haven’t changed much with my diet.  I have been eating fruit sparingly (only one serving per day) and been sticking close to the salads and proteins. Today, I decided that I am going to start including some whole grains every few days to feed those brain cells a bit. Not eating carbs at all is not something you can or should keep up for a long time, and two months is about my threshold.  So, this morning, I ate a whole grain toaster waffle (you have to make sure that NO white flour is included in any of your whole grain items) with Smart Balance butter and sugar-free jam.  It was a nice change from hard boiled eggs.

This week I made a great turkey meatloaf, which also includes a small amount of whole grain oats.  This is a great recipe if you want to try it!

Nosh Maven Meatloaf

  • 1 can 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, or cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs dried basil leaves
  • 1 tbs oregano
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 1/2 cup whole grain oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small/med zucchini, shredded or finely chopped

You should set your oven to 350 and preheat while mixing ingredients.  First, you start with your sauce (this is WAY better than using ketchup or marinara sauce).  Combine all the ingredients listed before “turkey” into a small sauce pan and let simmer while you combine the rest of the ingredients for your meatloaf. After the turkey, zucchini, egg, and oats are mixed together, add in half of the tomato sauce mixture.  Shape the loaf and cook for about 40 – 45 minutes.  Then, remove the meatloaf and add the rest of the tomato sauce to the top of the meatloaf and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes.  You can also add some Parmesan cheese at this time, which is a nice addition.

For a side dish, I made an arugula salad with tomatoes, avocado, and parmesan.  I also made the dressing homemade (you avoid a lot of sugar by doing this) with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar with garlic salt and sea salt.  It was a great pop of flavor to the side of the meatloaf.

The other food item that is SAVING MY LIFE right now is that coconut flour I made the peanut butter cookies with in the last post.  This week, I had a mad crazy craving for pancakes.  I don’t even normally make or order pancakes, but I wanted some.  So, we found this great recipe for coconut flour pancakes, where each pancake had about 3 total carbs.  We also added some blueberries.  They were AWESOME.

Here are a few other things from the past few days that have been getting me by.

Almond Milk, much fewer carbs than regular milk!

Salads with pepperoncinis, olives, and cheddar cheese

Deviled Eggs with Dill instead of Paprika

I am hoping that once I start adding some carbohydrates back into my diet, I can kick up the pace with working out.  Everyone who knows me know that I LOATHE working out–well, until I am finished and feel good about it. 😉  However, it is really hard to do intense work outs when your body doesn’t have the extra energy from carbs.  So, we shall see how that progresses…ha!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and that noshing on delicious things is a highlight.  I hope you are all ready for a wine post–because I am!! 8 more days until this little Nosh Maven is THIRTY TWO and toasting with a glass of vino!

 

 

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Quick Update–Almost to the 15 Lb Mark!

Good Afternoon!

Just wanted to give a quick update.  🙂

As of Sunday, I am down a total of 13 pounds…and people are starting to notice.  That is the best part–when other people besides you can tell that you are getting thinner.  Clothes are fitting better–and having to buy new jeans isn’t too far off.  It is a really good feeling.

I have become a bit more flexible with my diet as well.  Including fruit has been great.  Last night I had a few friends over for dinner and we even got a delicious dessert – fat free whip cream, mixed with fresh berries and lemon, and then left in the freezer for about an hour.  It was awesome.  A very low-fat, low-sugar treat.  Who needs ice cream?

Other than adding some berries into my diet, nothing much has changed.  I have incorporated plain Greek yogurt–but for the most part, have kept to the veggies and low fat proteins.  We didn’t eat out as much over the weekend, but managed to get in a great brunch at Market Street Grill.  I ordered the Crab Cake Benedict, minus the english muffin and with sliced tomatoes on the side.  The crab cake had a very mild amount of breading–so I wasn’t too concerned about that.  Everything was amazing and it is such a welcoming realization that you really don’t need that english muffin at all.  🙂

Another new meal for this week?  Some awesome bratwurst, saurkraut and pickles!  Brats are certainly something you don’t want to eat in the first 2 weeks of the diet, as they are higher in fat than you should be eating.  However, they are still carb free and I find that adding meats like sausage and bacon after that intial cleanse are ok in moderation.  Yum.

I am officially 3 weeks and 2 days into the diet.  The thoughts of a glass of wine have subsided immensely.  Even with a small dinner party last night, no alcohol was present–and we all still had a great time.  Whoda thunk?  (And thanks to some awesome girlfriends who were ok with lemon/strawberry water!)  I am really enjoying how amazing I feel, watching the pounds drop, and getting up in the morning with no problem.  I haven’t slept this well or been so ready to wake up early in years.  The change in how my body is functioning is almost surprising.  This is definitely a change in my way of life that I don’t want to give up–and “getting back into the groove” of week day drinking or bad snacking just simply won’t happen.  I feel resolved, and that is a good feeling.

Enjoy the rest of your week!  We have a packed weekend of fireworks at Brighton Resort and dinner with friends ahead of us.  It will be nice to get out of the house–my hermit days are starting to get to me. 😉

-Nosh

Plugging Along

You know what is fun on a Friday morning?  Putting on a pair of jeans that were tight in December, that are now LOOSE!  That is a feeling I would give up sugar and carbs for any day!

This week was also a little frustrating.  On Wednesday I had gained back a few pounds and I wanted to scream.  I am not sure why exactly, as I hadn’t cheated on the diet at all.  I think maybe it was water weight or something like that. But, instead of screaming, I chilled out and ate super well the past few days.  Russ and I celebrated our one year anniversary on Wednesday as well, so we were going to the Copper Onion for dinner.  I really wanted to enjoy myself, but at the same time, didn’t want to add to the 3 lbs I had gained back.  I didn’t drink.  I didn’t eat bread.  I didn’t have dessert.  But, I still had amazing food…which I forgot to take a photo of.  (You know, sometimes I just want to enjoy my food without having to document it all the time.)  We enjoyed some cured meats and cheeses as well as their homemade pickles, which are so amazing. Then, for my meal, I ordered the pan-seared trout, which came with nuts, lemon, and butternut squash.  Perfect.

Also, this week, I made a version of Chicken Parmesan that was pretty good.  Instead of using bread crumbs to bread the chicken, I crushed up sunflower seeds and used that as the crust.  Take the chicken breast, dip in both sides in butter (while on this diet, I use Smart Balance butter) and then cover both sides in the sunflower seed mixture.  Bake the chicken on 350 for about 25 minutes.  Then add marinara sauce and cheese on top and bake for another 15 minutes or so.  Then, for the side dish, I made zucchini noodles and added more marinara sauce and cheese.  Tasty dish–and very filling.

Also, today I added some fruit for the first time in over two weeks!  Blueberries with plain greek low-fat yogurt.  I also added a little bit of spelnda brown sugar on top.  It is amazing how sweet fruit tastes after not having it for so long.  It was a welcome treat!

I want to note how obsessed I have become with sparkling water.  It is a little out of control.  But, it makes me feel like I am ordering something fancy when I am out and about and also, it keeps me full.  There is nothing quite like bubbles!

I am not getting on the scale until Sunday, but I will definitely update you all then!

Happy eating!  –Nosh

A Weeked of Delicious Food

I was a bit worried to get on the scale this morning–not because I had cheated, but I had so many delicious meals this weekend, that I thought for sure I hadn’t lost.  I was wrong.  I lost 2 more pounds, which means in 13 days, I have lost 10 pounds total. 🙂  Happy!

For breakfast, you can pretty much gather by now I have some kind of egg and a sugar-free jello or pudding…so unless I have something special, I am going to start leaving those out.  Today I made a delicious quiche, however–so I wanted to mention that.  Making a quiche on the weekend is great (I had today off work for the holiday) because you can eat it the rest of the week…just pop it in the microwave for a minute or so and you have a great breakfast before work.  My quiche is pretty simple.  6 eggs, 2/3 cup of milk and then any ingredients you want.  Today I used artichokes, sausage, tomatoes and goat cheese.  Cook on 350 for about 30 – 40 minutes or until you can stick a knife in it without anything on it when you remove it.  Quiche, or mini quiches made in muffin tins, can get you through the week.  Also, this weekend I went to brunch at Eggs in the City with a great friend and ate huevos rancheros–minus the tortillas.  YUM!

Lunches consisted mostly of leftovers….boring, but necessary.

Dinner was where the fun was this weekend.  Friday we went to see a movie at Brewvies, which also has pretty great food.  I ordered the Spinach Salad without the cranberries and it was tasty–and left me pretty full.  And even though I was at Brewvies, no beer was had!

On Saturday, we decided to go to the Pizza Factory because they have these amazing zucchini noodles.  I swear, sometimes veggie noodles are better than the real thing.  I have the zucchini noodles with alfredo (probably not the best choice) and artichokes.  Ok, yes, I have an obsession with artichokes.  They are God’s nectar, I tell you!  🙂  Another great meal, out on the town, that stuck to my diet–but maybe with some added fat I could have done without.  But hey, I didn’t see it on the scale and the important thing here was to avoid carbs and sugar.

Sunday night I made chicken tortilla soup.  I made enough to give me lunch 3 times over. 🙂  This is pretty basic, and you can add in a lot of things according to your taste.  I start with one can of fire roasted tomatoes, 1 can of regular diced tomatoes, 2 cans of “tri-bean blend” beans, 1 anaheim pepper, 1 can of mild green chilies, about 1 cup of fresh chopped cilantro, 1 can chicken stock, 2 chopped tomatoes.  You can cook your own chicken breast, but a great short cut is to purchase a rotisserie chicken already cooked from the grocery store and shred the chicken off of that.  It is already moist and tender, and you don’t have to cook anything separate (just don’t get a flavored one–a BBQ chicken might not taste awesome in tortilla soup).  I always remove the skin and only take the best meat–and it takes a lot of time off the soup.  Bring to a boil for at least 20 minutes.  Then add whatever else you like!  We garnished with fat free sour cream, low fat cheese, and some diced avocado.  Yum.

So, if anything, let this post help you to realize that YOU CAN eat tasty food on a diet.  Once you figure out the ingredients that are allowed, you can be creative to make or alter many recipes.  And, seeing that scale steadily decline is quite the motivation.

This week, I can add a little fruit.  So, I purchased some blueberries and also some plain fat free yogurt.  It will be nice to have some sweetness.  Still no carbs or alcohol at this point however!  Let’s hope to see another 10 shed off in the next 3 weeks or so!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

-Nosh