Spring Rolls NOT FRIED!

Whenever Mr. Gaunt and I go to Pho, we always get the Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce. they are really fresh and yummy. Not that a deep-fried spring roll isnt yummy every now and then, these ones are just so guilt free.

I have been wanting to try to make them for a long time, but could never find the right wrappers. I could always find the kind you fry, but not the fresh ones. Last week I was at Whole Foods looking at the Asian Noodles, and there they were! I guess I assumed they would be in the refrigerator section like the frying kind. They aren’t, they are dried on the shelf in the asian aisle.

A few days later Mr. Gaunt and I walked (yup we walked 3+ miles 3 times this week!) to Whole Foods and got some veggies to make these rolls. I didnt really have a specific recipe, but a number of them said to use the following:

-Cucumber

-Cilantro

-Carrots

-Sprouts (that we got in our Door to Door Organics box)

-Cabage

-Shrimp (optional if you are doing Vegan or Vegetarian version)

Off on our walk

Wearing my new "Habitualize Kale" shirt! So bad ass!

Things are blooming and all the streets smell like cherry blossoms.

My new produce bags that I purchased on Etsy. Awesome!

I definitely wouldn’t say these are easy or fast. Theres a lot of prep work, and a lot of mess because you cut everything into tiny match sticks. You have to thaw shrimp and you dip the rice paper wrap in water to make it soft. I think these are well worth paying for. Still kind of fun to make.

All the veggies prepped and ready to go.

Rice paper ready to soak and get soft.

Ready to Wrap

The wrapping was the hardest part. I imagine its like learning to swaddle a baby, the first time you do it its all messy and not tight. I struggled to not tear or tangle the rice paper. In the end a few were ok looking, but most of them were saggy and wrinkled. Oh well. Also we didn’t do peanut sauce, so we just dipped it in Hoisin Sauce that we already had on hand.

Swiss Chard Lasagna

Ok I added Kale too…lol!

We got Swiss Chard in our Door to Door Organics box last week, so I made the BEST lasagna I have ever made! I havent had Swiss Chard for a long time, but it tasted just like I remembered, although now I like that taste!

Similar to a regular lasagna I made a ground turkey tomato sauce, Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles, and 2% Ricotta and mozzarella Cheese.

For the Veggie layer I sautéed Onions and mushrooms in a little olive oil, then added a whole bunch of chopped Swiss Chard and kale. saute until the kale and chard are dark and limp.

Put it together like a regular lasagna:

-Noodles

-Ricotta

-Veggies

-Meat Sauce

REPEAT.

To with a little mozzarella.

Follow the baking instructions on your lasagna noodle box.

We ate this for days! So yummy and healthy. Loved it.  Now I’m just trying to figure out what to do with all the Beets I have in my fridge. Any Ideas are welcome.

Twice Baked Potatoes, Healthy Style.

I wont lie and say this recipe is quick or easy, but it is absolutely fantastic! I had broccoli in my fridge that I needed to use up, so a search on food gawker brought me to this recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes with broccoli.  With a little revamping I also realized I still had a number of Sweet Potatoes that needed eating. Mr. Gaunt LOVES Sweet Potatoes (especially Sweet Potato Fries) and they are so full of good nutrients, why not add them to my Twice Baked Potatoes?

I’ve never made Twice Baked Potatoes before, but I did know that baking a potato in the oven takes a million years, that’s why man invented the microwave! 2 Large potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes (make sure you poke them with a fork). After they were soft I took them out and rubbed em down with a little olive oil and Kosher Salt, then threw them in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes.

While they are baking in the oven I cut up 4 small Sweet Potatoes and boiled them, drained them, and set them aside. When the potatoes are done (they are freaking HOT!) I used an oven mit to hold them while I sliced the top off and threw it (the top) in with the Sweet Potatoes. Then gently scoop out all the potato and throw that in with the Sweet Potatoes too. Add 2 cups of raw cut up broccoli, a tablespoon of butter, milk, salt, sour cream, cream cheese (really whatever you usually use to make mashed potatoes) and mix A LOT with a hand mixer. Because the broccoli is raw you really have to give it a good mixing.  When it’s all nice and blended (yet chunky with broccoli) I put it in a gallon zip lock bag and cut the corner off so I could pipe it into the shells of the baked potatoes. Sprinkle the top with a little cheddar cheese and throw it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. Serve with a dollop of low-fat Sour Cream…yum!

Mr. Gaunt and I have been practicing Softball a lot lately getting ready for our first game on Wednesday (if it doesn’t snow) today we went to the batting cages which is uber fun! When we first started I couldn’t even make contact with the ball, now two years later I would say I’m an ok hitter.

Curry Meatballs and Garlic Sweet Potato Fries

Tonight’s menu is an array of yummy flavors. All things I have made before, with a twist! I’m trying really hard not to run out and buy ingredients when I find a recipe I like, instead I’m finding recipes that work with what I have. On the table tonight is: Garlic Sweet Potato Fries, Curry Turkey Meatballs, Avocado Dip and Salad. Ok the salad is boring but the rest is fun.

The Meatballs are based off of this recipe, only I got a little carried away and didn’t realize they wanted me to pan fry them, and I do NOT pan fry meatballs. Too much of a pain in the ass getting them evenly cooked, or round for that matter. So I put my oven at 375 and baked them for about 25 minutes (until lightly browned). I used just regular Curry (not sure what Madras is) and I only did about half the cumin they asked for because cumin often overpowers other flavors. I also put the olive oil in the mix because I didn’t read that it was more for the pan frying, there were super moist though so I might do that again…lol! Oh and the Turkey is Jennie Oh Lean Turkey. These are AMAZING! They are a mix between american and indian deliciousness. So good if you like curry, drool I will make these many more times.

The Sweet potatoes are from my Door to Door Organics box. I got a ton of them so I’m trying to use them up in interesting ways. Tonight I made oven fries, sliced up the Sweet potatoes and tossed them in a bowl with Olive Oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and Parmesan. Then lay them flat on a foil lined pan and bake at 425 for 20 ish minutes.

The sauce is a low-fat Avocado Dip (obviously the Avocado is what makes it not Fat Free) the recipe is from here, and is made to dip Sweet potatoes in it. The Sweet Potato recipe that goes with it looks pretty good too. Oh and I made it with Fat Free Cream Cheese and Mayo.

Mr. Gaunt looked adorable doing this while I cooked. Can I just say that despite my AWFUL sleep last night I am THRILLED with Daylight Savings! I mean it is 7:20 and it is still light out! I love it! I even got to take pictures of my dinner by daylight instead of with my light box (oh, did you not know I drag my dinner into the spare room and stick it in a light box? Well I do.) One more sign that Summer is on its way! Now if the pool would just open…76 days!

Oh and on the off-chance that you are still reading this, I am thinking of quitting Weight Watchers. I will be doing a lengthy post on this in the next day or so, but I need advice on this decision, so think about it.

Hoisin Salmon and Pearl Couscous

Mr. Gaunt is back from New Mexico..yay! My weekend without him was actually pretty ok, I went out with friends on Friday and Saturday and did some house work and grocery shopping on Sunday. I also hit up Savers and got some cute dresses that I will share tomorrow. I also made a huge pot of this soup which I ate all weekend, so yummy, and not too bad for yah.

Tonight we are just keeping it low-key, I got a pretty nasty cold this weekend that seems to only be getting worse, boo. This weekend I picked up this Basil and Herb Pearl Couscous. I’ve never made Couscous but it looked pretty yummy, and nutrition wise it’s not too bad, a little high in calories but also high in fiber and protein.

Mr. Gaunt LOVES weird things like Italian Wedding Soup and Gnocchi so I figured he would like the little pearls. He did. I also made Hoisin Salmon which is super easy. I literally rub Hoisin Sauce all over a salmon filet and bake for 20 minutes at 350. We are really trying to do more salmon and less Tilapia. Anyways food was on the table by 5:30!

For desert I had Fat Free Raspberry Sorbet with honey (honey on sorbet is sooo good! It gets chewy!) and a Vanilla Pizzelle cookie. I buy these at Whole Foods and they are the BEST! They taste like a fresh waffle cone, and they are only 23 Calories and 1 gram of fat per cookie. Be careful though, they are addictive.

Eating In. Eating Out.

Well tonight we are eating WAY later than my 6pm rule, but it was pretty much un avoidable. We had couples counseling at 5pm that ran a little late (till 5:30) so we were either eating dinner at 4:00 or now. I chose now. It’s also ok because I wont be going to bed so early tonight because I get a THREE DAY WEEKEND! So I’m ok with pushing things back an hour. I will have to think about counseling for next week and how to fit dinner around it, we will see.

Well tonight we are having a great (AND VEGAN!) dinner!  I am making Skinny Chili Seasoned fries (with my amazing Mandolin I got for Christmas!), the recipe is a video from The WW Chick that you can watch here. They are super easy and pretty much amazing! They also arent fried! Hallelujah! With this we are having Vegan Sloppy Joes (which my BFF Mallory told my are called Sloppy Janes) that we buy in a box from Whole Foods. They are really yummy, even Mr. Gaunt likes them. We have them on Sara Lee 80 Calorie Wheat Buns.

In other news I skipped weigh in this week. I have maintained well and am still sitting 1.5lbs away from my big goal of 75lbs lost. I’m ok with this, I will not dwell. So I missed the meeting, but I do know this weeks topic was on Eating Out. Anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight KNOWS eating out is freaking hard! It just sucks! Mr. Gaunt and I have a few places we feel comfortable eating at (Chilis has a light menu, Water Course has amazing Vegan and vegetarian food, Subway and Chipotle can be safe) (Oh and Eat This, Not That has a website now where you can get all kinds of great restaurant tips!) but it’s still hard. Bitch Cakes, an amazing WW member/blogger who I have raved about before did a great post on her own personal feeling on eating out. I just had to share HER list of reasons for why she doesn’t eat out:

  • I don’t trust the cleanliness of the food/kitchen/preparer(s).
  • I don’t want to be subjected to/distracted by/tempted by food.
  • I don’t like eating while talking (it takes the focus off the food – I feel like dining and socializing should be two separate things).
  • I don’t like having other people watch me eat.
  • I am vegan and health conscious and don’t believe there’s (for example) no oil or MSG, or I worry that they shared a utensil that touched meat or something else I don’t want to ingest.
  • I don’t like using silverware other people have used.
  • I don’t want to see/smell meat that other people are eating.
  • I know I can make a better, healthier, lower point version of whatever I am going to eat. So why stress myself out *and* pay money for a meal that’s not as enjoyable and also higher in calories, fat and points?

I think this is such a good list! Although I’m not a huge germ-a-phobe, I get what she is saying with cleanliness. She also posts about what she does with friends instead of eating out. Read her whole post HERE! I wish I could separate food with entertainment, it would make life easier.

So that’s about it, just something to think about. We had a really great therapy session tonight, brought up lots of old feelings and made me feel a lot better about things I would have called mistakes. I feel really good about this.