Adaynasmile

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A Healthy Twist on Holiday Favorites: Pumpkin Pie

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I LOVE pumpkin pie.

No, you don’t understand. I really love pumpkin pie.

Last month was my birthday and I knew I wanted a pumpkin pie instead of a traditional cake. I tried a few different low carb, low sugar recipes, but I didn’t like any of them. They just weren’t right. So I set out on an adventure to create my own.

I think this recipe is marvelous. I could eat it for every meal. Seriously. Its just that good.

And I feel good eating it.

Take a look at the nutrition facts in comparison to a popular brand of frozen pumpkin pie.

Mine:

Calories: 335

Fat: 30 grams

Carbs: 6 grams net

Protein: 10 grams

Theirs:

Calories: 350

Fat: 14 grams

Carbs: 43 net grams

Protein: 6 grams

43 net carbs! Its amazing that it went from 43 to just 6. That is a huge difference in the world of carb counters. It is possible to have a delicious dessert on that low carb diet!

You will see that the fat is much higher in mine. However, it is full of healthy fats. Butter and cream are excellent sources of healthy fat. And the crust is made up of almond meal, which is also filled with wonderful, healthy fats. So don’t let that scare you away.

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 cups Almond Meal

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter

1 egg

Dash of stevia powder or one packet of Tuvia

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Pie Filling:

3/4 cup Truvia or Xylitol (I usually use a combination of the two)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

2 eggs

15 oz can of pumpkin (or two cups fresh pureed pumpkin)

8 oz heavy cream

Directions:

1. In a food processor combine the almond flour, salt, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice. Pulse a few times until combined.

2. Add softened butter and egg. Continue to pulse until it starts forming a ball.

3. Spread into a greased 9″ pie pan. Set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

5. In a large bowl, or the food processor, combine sweetener and spices. Add in pumpkin, cream, and eggs. Beat until smooth.  Pour into prepared crust.

6. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 and continue to cook for another 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

7. Cut into 8 delicious slices, serve with fat free whipped cream (or beat your own), and enjoy!

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Let me know what you think! I hope that you give it a try and find it as wonderful as I do.

Blessings,

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*Note: Coconut Oil can be substituted for butter. It will change the nutrition count a bit, but is also chock full of many nutrients.

**Truvia baking mix is NOT recommended. Sugar is a main ingredient in the baking mix, making it not a low carb, low calorie, or healthy substitute.

***Xylitol is a delicious and easy to work with substitute for sugar, however, it is a laxative and can cause digestive issues for some people. It is also dangerous for pets.

****It is possible to make this crust without a food processor. It will not be quite as smooth, but you can still knead it by hand and get a similar crust.

I’m linking up to:

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A Healthy Twist on Holiday Favorites: Green Bean Casserole

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Leaves on the ground, a chill in the air; Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you excited? I know I am.

As time marches forward I am beginning to think of what we are going to eat for Thanksgiving dinner that is low carb, diabetic, and weight loss friendly.

Green bean casserole is one of my absolute favorite dishes. I could eat it at least once a week. Maybe even more. I have been guilty of mixing it up for myself as a late night dinner. But it is filled with unhealthy components. Those crunchy delicious onions, the canned cream soup…makes my mouth water and my waist expand. Sigh. :/

So what’s a girl to do?

I refuse to live in a world in which I have to constantly tell myself no. Thankfully, there are so many great options out there, and ways to tweak my favorite recipes in order to make them more accommodating to my healthier lifestyle.

Before creating this recipe I scoured the internet for an alternative. There are various options out there but none of them were just right. I couldn’t do celery, cheddar cheese, and mayo in my green bean casserole. Sure, it might taste good, but it wouldn’t taste right.

This recipe is not exactly like the original. It does have a slightly different flavor due to the creamy Swiss cheese wedges used instead of the cream of mushroom soup. But I have to admit that I was amazed at how similar, delicious, and easy it is. I hope you give it a try!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Serves 6

Ingredients:

4 oz can of mushrooms (or half a cup of fresh mushrooms), chopped and drained

2 cans (14.5 oz) green beans

6 wedges of Light Laughing Cow Swiss cheese

1 cup sugar-free chicken broth

1 large onion, sliced into thin rings

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp xanthun gum (or other thickener)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a saucepan combine the mushrooms, chicken broth, and cheese wedges. Allow to simmer on medium low heat.  Keep on heat as the cheese wedges melt naturally, but do not worry about them melting completely.

3.  While the sauce is cooking and the cheese is melting, put your onion slices into a greased skillet and sprinkle with salt. Leave to cook until nice and brown.

4. Once the cheese has melted some, sprinkle a tablespoon of xanthun gum into the saucepan and mix well. This is key as it will help the sauce to thicken, but don’t worry if the sauce does not thicken at this point. It will get thicker while baking in the oven.

5. Remove saucepan from the stove and mix in the green beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Pour the green bean mixture into a greased 8 by 8 pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir.

7. Top the casserole with the browned onions and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

 

Enjoy!

Here’s how it stacks up to the original:

Mine:

Calories: 104

Fat: 5 g

Carbs: 6 net

Protein: 4 g

Theirs:

Calories: 148

Fat: 8 g

Carbs: 14 net

Protein: 0 g

As you can see, my recipe has several added benefits. Its not just lower carb, but lower calorie, lower fat, higher protein, and its full of natural, healthy ingredients. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

What are you doing to make your holidays healthier this year?

Blessings!

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I’m linking up:

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*Note: You can substitute 4.5 oz of cream cheese in place of the Laughing Cow. It has a similar texture and flavor. It will change the nutrition information, so please keep that in mind if you do choose to make the substitute.

**If you substitute a different thickener (such as cornstarch or arrowroot) you will come up with a different carb count. It may not make a big difference, but please keep this in mind if you are watching your carbs.


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Trim Healthy Goulosh

E goulosh

I’ll be honest. I never was a big fan of goulosh when growing up. Our version was simply spaghetti, just with elbow noodles instead of spaghetti noodles. It was loaded with cheap, fatty ground beef, overly processed elbow noodles, and tomato sauce.

The other day I was looking for a new option. Something yummy that would fill me up, introduce a few more carbs into my system, and fill my sudden craving for the goulosh of my childhood.

This goulosh can be altered in so many ways. Add veggies of any type. Puree them in the blender to add to the tomato sauce. Leave the curds in the cottage cheese or blend it smooth. Add the pasta or skip it. Its all up to you!

Trim Healthy Goulosh

Serves 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup cooked Quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp Cottage Cheese (2% fat or less)
  • 4 oz Lean Ground Turkey (93% fat free or higher)
  • 2 oz Dreamfields Elbow Macaroni
  • 1/2 Cup Pizza Sauce (sugar-free)
  • 2 tsp Parmesan Cheese
  • Optional, Sprinkle of Low Fat Mozzarella

Directions:

  • Cook ground turkey in a skillet, seasoning as desired. Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper are good, simple options. Italian seasoning is another good option.
  • In a small saucepan, cook the macaroni.
  • Drain as much fat as possible from the turkey.
  • Add the pizza sauce to the skillet and combine.
  • Add the quinoa, noodles, and cottage cheese. Combine and cook until heated through evenly.
  • Sprinkle the parmesan on top and add the mozzarella, if desired.
  • Allow cheese to melt naturally.

As written this meal consists of approximately 8 gram of fat, and 15 grams of carbs.

The noodles I use in this are Dreamfields, which are supposed to be low carb, diabetic friendly, and are allowed on the THM plan. There is a lot of debate about the truth in the “protected carb” claim of Dreamfields, but I have found that we do not have the issues with sugar spikes when we eat Dreamfields pasta in our house, the way we do with the regular pasta. And we like the taste. However, you can feel free to add more pasta if you are not worried about the carbs, or sub for a whole wheat pasta. Or skip it all together. Just be aware that any change you make will also alter your fat and carb count.

THM’ers: The way I wrote this recipe, it is just barely a crossover. I allow myself to have these on occasion because I am losing well and nursing a 5 month old every few hours.

If you want to be more conservative on the fat (to make it an E) wash the lean ground turkey to eliminate the grease, make sure to use fat free cottage cheese, skip the parmesan, and make sure not to add the optional mozzarella. You can also lower the amount of turkey and add some scrambled egg whites which blend wonderfully with the ground turkey. Because it is just barely a crossover, it should be fairly simple to reduce the fat content. Just check your ingredients to make sure it fits within the E parameters.

If you would like to make it an S meal (lower in carbs and higher in fat), use half the quinoa, and increase the turkey. You can also increase the bulk of the turkey inexpensively with some scrambled eggs. Feel free to use a whole egg in this instance as the fat is appropriate in the S category.

I’m linking up to Gwen and Stacy‘s Trim Healthy Mama Tuesday!

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Blessings!

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Vanilla Spice Smoothie

Here is another great FSF recipe for those of you who following THM and are looking for an option other than chocolate. To be honest, this has become my favorite.

You will have to imagine with me, as I don’t have a photo. I will try to insert one in here in the near future. But for now, just imagine a tall glass (or Mason jar as I prefer) filled with a white creamy, icy drink that is full of flavor and packed with protein. Yum! Makes me want to go get out the blender right now!

Even if you aren’t a THM’er, you can also benefit from this delicious beverage. It is an amazing drink to have in the mornings when you are in a rush. And since it is so easy to throw together, it is a great alternative to the premade protein drinks.

Two notes on this and the previous smoothie, Lemon Cream Smoothie. It both cases the cottage cheese can be switched out for Greek yogurt. It will change the taste a bit but it should still provide the right consistency. It is also not necessary to use protein powder. The smoothie will not be as thick and fluffy, and it will not have all the protein benefits as it would with the protein powder, but if you are missing the protein powder it is still possible to make this or the Lemon Cream smoothies. Play around with it and see what works for you.

The secret to this smoothie is the pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have any, try using cinnamon and nutmeg instead, but don’t leave it out completely as the spice makes a big difference!

Vanilla Spice Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese (I love the Daisy 2%)
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (it is important to use vanilla or to increase the vanilla flavoring)
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • Sweetener to taste (I use Stevia Extract or Truvia)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 5-10 Ice Cubes

Directions:

  • Blend together all ingredients except the ice.
  • Taste to make sure you have desired vanilla flavoring and sweetness.
  • Add ice and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Enjoy!

Total fat: 4 grams, Total Carbs: 5 grams

This smoothie is great for filling me up and making me feel like I am having a super treat. I love the vanilla flavor and the hint of spice from the pumpkin pie seasoning. Its not so overpowering that it becomes a pumpkin pie type drink (although those are delicious as well), but still adds a subtle delicious flavor that I search for as I down this nutritious beverage.

Hope that you find this as delicious as I do! Here’s to losing weight and being healthy the delicious way!

Blessings,

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Creamless Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Creamy Creamless Chicken and Pasta

This is to die for! If you don’t think you like Konjac noodles,  or haven’t tried them yet, I highly recommend it. Cooked correctly these noodles are amazing!

First, let me show you what I am talking about.

Konjac noodles

Here are some available on Amazon.

And here is a link for information about the noodles themselves.

They are also called Yam noodles or Shirtaki noodles. Don’t be fooled. They are all the same thing. (Unless you get the tofu ones. I don’t recommend those as soy is hard on the hormones.)

I buy my noodles from the Commissary on base for around $1.50 a bag. They can be found in the Asian section at your supermarket or in a cold section near the tofu and the wonton wraps.

They are kinda cold to the touch and when you open the bag it will have an odd, fishy smell. Try to ignore that smell. It doesn’t hang on when you are done cooking it. I promise.

As you can see, I pour my bag of noodles into a colander, drain it of the nasty water, and run water from the tap over them. I swish them around in the water to clean off the noodles. If desired you can parboil the noodles by putting them either in boiling water for a minute or boil them in water in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

When all the yuckiness (yes, that is a technical term :) ) is off of them, put them in a dry, hot skillet. Keep the heat on high and fry them for a few minutes.

Fry them up!

Once the noodles are fried they will be a little less mushy. They will never really crisp up, so don’t look for them to do so. At this point they are ready to be made into any variety of different noodle dishes. Add a tomato sauce. Turn them into a stir fry. Top them with your favorite cheese sauce. Or make this meal, inspired by THM’s “Creamless Creamy Veggies” (p352).

Creamless Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Adapted from Trim Healthy Mama

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Rinsed and fried Konjac Noodles
  • 1 Cup Frozen Broccoli and/or other favorite veggies
  • 1 Wedge of Light Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Fat Free Chicken Broth
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper

Ingredients to the Creamless Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Directions:

  • In a skillet, or grill, cook the chicken breast either in strips or as a whole breast. Feel free to season it with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan.
  • Pour the chicken broth into a small saucepan. Add your broccoli or other veggies and simmer on low heat.
  • After the veggies have softened, add in your seasonings (to taste) and your cheese wedge. Allow the cheese to melt.
  • Once the cheese has melted, add your noodles into the sauce and mix well. If the chicken is cut into strips, add it into the mixture as well.
  • Once everything is blended well, put onto a plate and sprinkle with some more parmesan.
  • Enjoy!

This delicious meal is cheap, easy, and healthy!

THM’ers: If you make it as listed above and make sure to cut off any fat on the chicken breast, you can easily count this as an FP meal, as the fat and carbs are minimal. It is also very filling because of the Konjac noodles.

Check out Gwen and Stacy‘s blogs for more wonderful recipes that are healthy, and delicious!
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Blessings!

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