Christmas Wrap Up!

Its 6:30 and Mr. Gaunt and I have finished all our Christmas festivities and are now sitting our couch in our warm house with full bellies. So nice. Our Christmas was actually quite lovely!  Mr. Gaunt is an only child with very little family, so it was just three of us for Christmas, which is nice and low stress for everyone. We got lots of amazing gifts like This and This and This for Mr. Gaunt. And This and This and This for me! And This for us! Oh and lots more good stuff, we were truly spoiled..THANKS Ms. G! We got her some pretty cool stuff too. I even made her something that I forgot to take pictures of so I will have to stop by her house so I can show you.

Sort of a White Christmas

Prezzies!

Ms. G opening gifts

Fashion Show!

Mr. Gaunt loves presents

For Christmas Eve dinner we had Quinoa stuffed Cornish Game Hens, a brocoli Cauliflower casserole and a Sweet Potato and Apple salad…yum! It was also awesome because most of the dishes were super low fat or from the Weight Watchers website! Ill probably post more later on individual recipes. We also went to the 11pm candlelight service at Mr. Gaunt’s church to see the choir sing on the songs, Im not religious, but it was very pretty.

A table set for Three

Hens

Christmas morning she made Weight Watchers Eggs Benedict with spinach…holy cow….sooo good! Then we opened stockings (more cool stuff) and headed out to see a movie (another family tradition). We went a saw The Road with Charlize Theron, it was sad and a little depressing, but pretty good. For dinner we decided we wanted Chinese, but settled on Thai food which is always good.

Eggs Benedict

Yum!

Mr. Gaunt and I Christmas morning

overall it was a great Christmas!

Christmas Soup and Grilled Apple and Cheese!

Two parties down, one to go! I have tons of pics to put up, lots of things have been going on this past week (hence the limited blogging) that I want to share with you. I decided to break up the pictures into a few posts so yah don’t get bored. We are now a week away from Christmas (I know…crazy) and just two weeks left in 2009! My weight loss goal is pretty much NOT going to happen. I mean I’m sooo close, but I just don’t think I’m going to be able to lose 7 pounds in 12 days. I’m kind bummed, but its ok I worked hard and to think that I started this goal with 25 pounds to lose in three months, I’m ok with only losing about 20 of it.

Ok on to the food! YAY! Earlier this week we went to Mr. Gaunt’s mom’s house to help her decorate her tree and have a little family dinner. We really want to start doing a weekly dinner at her house (like on Gilmore Girls…Friday night dinner anyone?) in the new year, we just have to figure what day works best. This week Mr. Gaunt’s mom (we should really give her a nick name…hmm…I think I’m gonna go with Ms. G) so Ms. G recently discovered Clean Eating, one of my favorite food magazines, and decided to make the cover soup. It’s a vegetable soup with Quinoa and Chicken sausage. I tried to find the recipe on their website, but it’s not there. Maybe Ms. G will post it in the comments (wink wink) anyways it was so freaking good! Sometimes vegetable soups are a little bland, but this one was full of flavor, I loved it!

To go with the soup we had the ultimate comfort food Grilled Cheese! Of course we made it healthy with whole wheat bread and fat free cheddar, but the best part was adding thin sliced Macintosh apples into it before grilling! So good and totally changes the flavor. I will never make grilled cheese without apples again. So yeah both of these recipes are in the January/February issue of Clean Eating, go buy it!

And a sneak peek at my tree decorating post tomorrow…

Eggplant Turkey Lasagana

As a kid I HATED lasagna, except the kind from Cascade Pizza (drool) I’ve never been a huge marinara fan, or Ricotta for that matter. Lately though I had kind of been craving it! Especially one with veggies in it! So I bought Whole Wheat Lasagna noodles a few weeks ago and Part Skim Ricotta cheese and finally got around to making it tonight.

I was originally going to go off this recipe from Weight Watchers, but didn’t have all the ingredients, so I made up my own. We had a friend over tonight and both him and Mr. Gaunt LOVED this, and I felt good serving it to them!

INGREDIENTS:

9 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles (mine fell apart, there must be an art to cooking them?)

1 cup part Skim Ricotta Cheese (note: it’s by sour cream not cheese in the store)

1/2 Cup Parmesan

1 Can Stewed tomatoes

1 Can diced tomatoes

1 Can tomato paste (the little can)

1 pound Extra Lean ground beef (I cooked mine a few days in advance)

1 small onion

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 Eggplant (for future plans I would do two eggplants)

1 zucchini (I didn’t have this but I wish I had, so I’m telling you to do it)

DIRECTIONS:

********PREHEAT OVEN TO 400**********

-Boil Noodles (again I am no expert on this)

-Cook Turkey, set aside.

-Dice the onion and saute it with olive oil and the garlic.

-Mix all the tomato cans into a big bowl, add the sauted onions and garlic.

-Peel and cut eggplant into 1/4″  round slices. Do the same to the Zucc (only you dont need to peel it)

-Using the same pan from sauteing the Onions and garlic, add a bit more olive oil and brown the Eggplant and Zucchini on each side. Set aside on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil.

-Drain pasta

-In a large glass casserole dish layer the following:

-one layer of 3 noodles

-thin layer of ricotta

-thick layer of your tomato sauce mixture

-sprinkle half the ground turkey

-1/2 your Eggplant and Zucc slices

REPEAT!

Then place the last three noodles on top, add the last of the sauce, sprinkle top with parmesan.

Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve!

The whole thing was very easy, and can be modified to your liking (less sauce, more cheese, more veggies, etc) I will definitely make this again!

Thanksgiving Veggies – Healthy Style?

So this year Im in charge of the vegetable sides for thanksgiving. I havent decided on what exactly Im going to do but here are a few Ideas. I obviously want low fat and I want something a little interesting, no green bean casserole for this girl.

So here are the ideas Im thinking of. Please note I will probably adjust most of these recipes to make them lower in calories.

 

Salmon, Asparagus, Chick Pea Salad

This Salmon, Asparagus & Chickpea Salad looks amazing! I love asparagus! I think the one thing I would change would be to use smoked salmon instead of fresh salmon, thus eliminating a cooking step and adding a salty Northwest flair.

 

Garlic Kale and Onions

With my new love of Kale I really kind of wanted to make a Kale dish for Thanksgiving. This sautéed Kale with Onion, Garlic and White Kidney Beans looks pretty yummy. Im not completely sold on the Kidney beans, but the rest sounds super good!

 

Broccoli Cauliflower casserole

This one’s not as healthy, although I think I can reduce the cheese and make a lower calorie Cream Cheese. I do think Mr. Gaunt will LOVE this Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese casserole, and a friend of mine suggested using swiss cheese which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Au Gratin

gratin 1

I bought  a big bag of Yukon gold potatoes at Costco last week so Im trying to use them before they grow eyes. While searching FoodGawker for Potato recipes I found this yummy looking Sweet Potato and Yukon Gold Gratin, which is PERFECT because I also had a large sweet potato that I had yet to decide what to do with. Of course this recipe uses heavy cream and major cheese, to things I dont do. To revamp this into a healthier recipe I used Fat Free Half and Half instead of Heavy Cream, and I Low Fat Margarin instead of butter (and I only did about 2 tablespoons). I also used Mozzarella cheese and only about a cup (not packed like they say). Overall yes it is still a cheesey potato concoction, but it’s not too bad for you, especially if you watch your serving size. I also think this will keep pretty well to take for lunches over the week.

gratin soaked

Thin sliced potatoes soak in water

Layer potatoes with cheese and seasoning

Layer Potatoes and cheese

Mix your own salt and seasoning to sprinkle on each layer of potatoes

Sprinkle each layer with salt and seasonings

gratin raw

Pour boiling garlic cream over layers. Bake!

gratin cooked

Let cool and enjoy!

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY RECIPE:

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Snowflake Macaroons

DSC05091

Now according to this website these are only 1 point a piece! Now Im not 100% on that, but they are butter free so they can’t be too bad for you. While making them I was a little worried what they would turn out like, but oh my! Theses are probably he best cookies I have ever made! They are crispy on the outside and warm and buttery tasting on the inside…sigh. Yum. Mr. Gaunt thought they were amazing too. And they were so easy too, here is the recipe:

 

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour cookie sheets. Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool on wire racks.

The only changes I made were that I used Whole Wheat flour and I did half white sugar half brown (because I didnt have enough white) I would do this combo again when making these because why mess with perfection?

Oh and I leave you with a fun little video Mr. Gaunt and I made when I showed him what happens when you squeeze a cattail! Very fun, but very messy. Enjoy!