Those of you who checked out yesterday's blog post about bacon jam may be hard pressed to believe that I am trying to eat healthier this year. My love affair with bacon just reaffirms my belief that for ME to be able to make some real lifestyle changes I have to find a balance between food I love that isn't super healthy, and healthy food that I can learn to love. So it is after years worth of procrastinating and several recipe testings I present to you...
One of the things I love about HG is that she LOVES food. To quote her website: "Lisa is a typical woman battling the same food issues most females struggle with every day. She considers herself a 'foodologist,' not because she has some kind of fancy degree, but because she is obsessed with food –– how wonderful it is, and how much of it she can eat and still fit into her pants." I have been following her for years - for a while I subscribed to her daily email but only read them about once a week, then I bought one of her cookbooks and never opened it, then I started watching her when she was on tv but never tried any of the recipes, you get the idea. I even got two of her newest cookbooks for Christmas - but had already put them on the shelf with the other bajillion cookbooks I own without even taking a peek.
Then I came up with this crazy "Make a Change Monday" idea.
SURELY, I thought, SURELY if I put "find healthy food I enjoy eating" as one of the things on my list I will eventually get around to it. I had already started making some concessions...egg beaters instead of eggs. 2% milk shredded cheese instead of regular. Reduced fat mayonnaise. Still - I wasn't inspired.
Then a few weeks ago, as luck would have it, Don was out of town and I was too lazy to go to the grocery store and the cookbooks were laying around the kitchen so I broke one open and discovered...
Red Hot Chick'n Salad
6 oz cooked skinless lean chicken breast, cubed (I used some canned chicken breast I had in the cupboard)
3 T fat-free mayo (I used reduced fat because it is what I had in the fridge - and I would actually only use 2T next time - I don't like my salads super creamy)
3 T chopped celery (I hate celery - so I doubled the amount of carrots)
3 T chopped carrots
2 t reduced fat parmesan style grated topping (I used 1 tsp of regular)
1 1/2 t Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/2 t dry ranch dip/dressing mix
In a medium bowl, combine mayo, Frank's, and ranch mix, and stir well. Add chicken, celery, and carrots to the sauce and stir. Sprinkle with parm style topping and stir again. Enjoy!
The recipe makes two 3/4 cup servings. If you make the original recipe it is only 142 calories and 2.25g fat, and 3 weight watchers points per serving. Was mine a little higher? Sure. But it was a lot better for me than the frozen pizza I would have plopped in the oven, and this chicken salad was GOOOOOOOD. Like "I could eat this every day for lunch" good. I am not really a sandwich eater - but I got out some Special K multi grain crackers and made a meal out of it, and felt pretty darn proud of myself.
So then I was inspired to try more recipes - and with FEW exceptions, I have been thrilled with the results. Some of my favorites?
The Spinach, Tomato, Feta 'n Egg Wrap Attack (links to recipe) - SUPER filling in the morning and it gives me a break from the monotony of yogurt or oatmeal.
Jalapeno Swappers (links to recipe) - the Kingstons LOVE bar food so I was pretty skeptical that something made with Fiber One cereal would make the cut. Imagine my surprise! They are delicious - and I don't feel guilty afterwards.
Now lest you think I have become some unpaid spokesperson for HG (did I mention she has great desserts too?) - not all of the recipes were a hit. HG uses these tofu noodles in many of her main dish recipes as a substitute for pasta. She gives you specific instructions on how to wash/dry and prepare them and swears they'll taste like the real thing. I have nothing against tofu - I've eaten it in asian recipes for years and actually enjoy it. But I do not love these noodles. I the opposite of love these noodles. So pasta and I still have a little work to do.
So once again - thanks to you guys inspiring me to make some changes, I'm crossing another item off my list. If you are like me and LOVE food but want to make some healthier choices, I really do recommend Hungry Girl. You can find a TON of her recipes online, there is no club to join, you can sign up for her every day emails or just peruse her website when the mood strikes you, it lets you be you with no hidden gimmicks or fees or pressure. Eat and enjoy - and tell me how you are making some healthier choices in 2012!