Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yummy Mexican Treat

Oh my goodness, its been forever since we last posted!! What with the holidays, and Annie and I each going to our respective homes in the middle of no where (hello Montana, hello Indiana), we've taken a little bit of a break. But dont you worry, during our time off from blogging we have been trying out some new recipes and are ready to share them with all of you!

Annie and I are big fans of the Mexican food. This recipe was shared to me by one of my co-workers who is Mexican, so you cant get much more authentic! The main ingredient is cactus, which in spanish is nopales. I think when you tell people they are eating nopales instead of cactus it goes over better, just because people get weird about ingredients sometimes, however I made this for an appetizer for Christmas dinner and all of my family members (we had 18 people in the house!) really enjoyed it.

This recipe creates a sort of chunky salsa type thing. You can eat it with chips, put it in a taco/burrito, or eat it on top of tostadas (thats what my co-worker does). The chips are really the worst part of the whole thing!

So... to make your yummy mexican treat, this is what you need to do:
1) Buy a jar of cactus (it will be in the mexican section of the store, or you might have to go to a special store. they are long green things in a jar of liquid). You want to rinse off the nopales really well before preparing them, or else they have this slimey residue on them, which is sort of gross. so put them in a collinder and wash them really well in cold water.
2) chop up the nopales into bite size length pieces. mix them with the lime juice of one lime, a chopped up jalapeno (i use the ones in the jar since i always have them in my house.. but you can use fresh... you could also use a serrano pepper instead, just be careful not to make it too hot!), and chopped up cilantro. There are no exact measurments for this, but i would say about 1/3 of a cup of chopped cilantro.
3) Leave the nopales, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno mixture in the refridgerator for a little while (a few hours... at least 30 minutes for best results).
4) Chop up tomatoes (about 2 mid sized tomatoes). I like to deseed the tomatoes before hand, just so as to not add any more liquid into the mixture.
5) Add one small yellow onion all chopped up into mixture.
6) Right before serving you add a chopped up avacado. Mix everthing all together and enjoy!!

If you leave out the avacado the whole mixture is compelty guilt free! Annie has yet to try this fun recipe, but has some nopales in her cupboard so after she attempts it, she'll let us know how it went!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fabulous Food Find!

Even though Annie and I are on different sides of the country we still like to find fun and exciting foods at the grocery store and then tell each other about them. And, since we are trying to spread our plethora of knowledge to the world, we will have occasional posts about a fabulous food find (annie sort of spoiled my intro by posting one already, but im keeping it up nonetheless. so there.)

For our first installment (second), we are going to focus on a seasonal treat from Trader Joe's. I was at the Trader Joe's the other week buying some sushi before going to bowling and this little treat caught my eye. It is Cranberry Apple Butter!! I am a big fan of their pumpkin butter, so i knew i had to give this one a try.

The Cranberry Apple Butter has about 40 calories per tablespoon (and no red dye 40, which is important for Annie!). It has a tangy/tart taste and goes great on toast.

Other ways Annie and I have used the apple butter is on the stuffed french toast (which Annie said was awesome) and i've just made regular peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches uses the butter instead of jelly and really enjoyed it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

josh's adventures in the kitchen

my boyfriend, josh, likes to be helpful.  he is the first to say that cooking is not his greatest skill, but tonight he wowed me with some winter-time smores that were quite a treat... and also, not too terrible for us.  we used low-fat cinnamon graham crackers, mini marshmallows, and some good old fashioned hershey's chocolate.  all in all, i would say that these are 2-3 pts, give or take a few... and they were very tasty.

josh was quite pleased , as one can tell from his pre-chewing picture.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Annie and I have been blogging for some time now (or maybe its just been a week...) but I think its time to start combining some of our blogs. So.. if we take 1part diet coke bread recipe and 1 part trader joe feta and combine them (along with some other stuff) we get DIET COKE BREAD PIZZA!! Pizza is amazing, I think we can all agree on that. But sadly, it can be really high in calories and fat and all that stuff. So by using the diet coke bread as the pizza dough, you save a lot of calories! And, its super yummy. So... here is what you do...

1) Make diet coke bread up until the point of letting it rise in the oven. Once you take it out of the oven you want to spread some flour on it (so as to keep it from being super sticky) and spread it out on a baking sheet. Spray the sheet first!! You want to spread out the dough so it touches all the corners of the sheet. (see picture)
2) Put in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. (There is nothing on the pizza yet)
3) While the dough is precooking you want to chop up all your favorite toppings. I'm a fan of basil, tomato, mozzarella, and feta. Annie makes a super good one with olive oil and pine nuts and some other yummy things I cant remember (but maybe she can comment on this post and let us know? :D)
4) After the 10 minutes take the dough out and put on some pizza sauce. I use regular tomato sauce and I like to add a little bit of Splenda (a trick Annie taught me, shes so smart), Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and a little bit of chili powder (I like a little kick with my food), after sauce put on your toppings. For my recipe its 1 cup part skim mozzarella, a bunch of chopped up tomatoes, and chopped up basil, and then about 1/3-1/2 cup feta (yay trader joes!).
5) Plop it back in the oven (still at 350) for another 10 minutes. And there you have it!! Awesome pizza that if you cut into 6 BIG pieces its about 6-7 points a piece. Not too shabby :) And no one can tell it comes from diet coke :D

If others have great topping ideas, leave some messages so we can try them out too!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

amazing food find

i kind of forget what salad tastes like without this wonderful treat.  trader joe's light feta packs in only 40 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, making it one measly point for a HUGE piece of cheese.  i love crumbling this up over my salad (along with some almond slices and craisins).  it makes spinach and lettuce taste a little less lettucey.  also, this is great on homemade pizzas, wraps, you name it.  this is a real winner.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

say cheese!!!

Ok, so the word "cheese" may be a little misleading. So far Annie and I have posted fairly safe recipes. This one, however, is groundbreaking. YES groundbreaking. Well... maybe not quite that dramatic. But, it is really good, if you're willing to be a little adventureous and give it a try. I learned about this recipe during my Veggie Cooking class i took this past fall. They call it cheese, but you cant go into the recipe thinking of it that way. Instead just think of it as something yummy that you can put on crackers/chips. And its super good for you (compared to real cheese) and its vegan for all those veggie people out there :) So, heres what you do:

1) Mix 1 1/2 cups water with 5 tablespoons of agar flakes (they are usually in a blue package, i found mine at New Seasons--its a whole foods type store). Put that on the stove and bring to a boil. Once its boiling, simmer until the agar is all dissolved (the liquid should become almost clear). Keep stirring during this whole process.

2) Put all of the following ingredients into the blender: 1 cup white beans (i used garbanzo.. you can use almost any type you want though), 2 tablespoons thaini paste, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

3) Once the agar/water mixture is good to go, slowly pour it into the blender through the little whole in the top. The blender should be going while you do this. Keep blending until its all mixed together and smooth.

4) Pour the mixture into a slightly greased glass bowl and put in the refridgerator for half an hour. Afterwards, you can put a lid on the container (we just didnt want condensation to build up). Leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours to firm up.

5) Slice like cheese and eat on top of crackers, rice cakes or any sort of fun things like that! The liquid smoke gives it a smoky flavor and the consistency is just like sliced cheese. It stays good for about 1-2 weeks in the refriderator. And its about 150 calories per 4 oz (whole recipe makes 16 ounces).

Go on, be adventureous and give it a try!!!

stuffed full o' goodness french toast

yummmm... french toast.  lexy found this recipe in a book, but we have tweaked it to make it even yummier.
1) spread 1 T of low fat peanut butter (i use better 'n peanut butter from trader joes and 1 T of jelly on two slices of light bread. put these together like a sandwich.
2) pour about 1/2 cup of eggbeaters in bowl, add a little cinnamon and a packet of splenda.
3) dunk the sandwich in the eggs, let it soak it up so the whole thing is wet and eggy.
4) spray a frying pan and put on medium heat.  cook the sandwich on the stove until both sides are browned and the egg is cooked through.
5) pour on some low calorie syrup... i use walden farms, which is zero calories.
6) enjoy!  this is around 3ish pts, depending on what pb and what syrup you use.  yum, yum, yum!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Second Installment of the Wonders of Diet Soda!

Annie's excellent discussion of the how to's of making wonderful magical guilt free cupcakes inspired me to share another super fabulous item that also uses diet soda! One would be amazed at all the things we can do with diet soda. Today we are going to focus on our friend the diet coke and make diet coke bread!...which may sound strange, but its amazing and a great way to impress people, which is something Annie and I are always trying to do :)

first, turn your oven on for around 150-200 degrees.

then, mix 3 cups of ordinary flour with 1 1/4 cups diet coke (which leaves you a little to sip on while you cook!) and one package of yeast. Mix this all together. its will be a little gooey at first, but should be able to get mixed to a dough consistency.

once you have a nice ball of bread dough, get a damp towel and place it over the bowl and put it in the oven, but turn the oven off at this point!!

Now you just wait (which, for me, is the hardest part) let the dough rise for about 30-45 minutes. Afterward, you might have to add a little bit of flour to make it not super sticky to your hands, and kneed it a few times before putting in a bread dish. Then plop it back in the oven for 20-30 minutes (Oven should be preheated to 350 for this part)!

Some fun additions to this bread is adding some salt and garlic powder. Or, i've tried it with mixing some honey in with it after it has risen. You want to make sure that its all mixed together though, or else you get hard baked honey spots, which is no good. try this fun recipe and you'll amaze people that its just a little diet coke with flour!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

if there is one thing i love in life, it's a good cupcake.  quality cupcakes are hard to find, but what's even harder to find are good guilt free cupcakes.  lexy and i are here to tell you to look no further.  here's what you do:

*pick a box of cake mix, any ol' box will do.  i, personally enjoy vanilla, and lexy enjoys confetti cake.

*mix the cake mix with one can of diet soda-- take your pick...  lexy enjoys diet cherry coke with her confetti cake, and i am partial to diet root beer or pepsi max with my vanilla.

*mix thoroughly, try to get out all the lumps of powder, although it's not always possible.

*pour into cupcake holders and bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean.

what a magical treat!  

for those of you counting, this is around 2 ww points without frosting.  yummmmm........