When it comes to losing weight, I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s rarely as easy as knowing what to do and just following through. Our lives get in the way, our emotions get the best of us, and then there are these cravings that seem to come out of no where (you haven’t had pizza in years and all of a sudden that’s all you can think of, now that it’s “off limits.” <– this is of course hypothetical because I eat pizza at least once a month ) So yes, it’s a journey. Sometimes on a long and winding road. We, I, may fall and backtrack but it’s important to get back up and keep moving forward. My favorite way to do that is by preparing something crazy delicious that tastes completely sinful but is actually quite good for you! And of course I believe that no matter your health goals, it’s really important to satisfy cravings! Always and forever. No carrot sticks for dinner in this household (although I am having carrot fries with oven fried chicken tonight)!!
This (chicken) sausage and veggie stuffed manicotti was Italian comfort food at its best without the artery clogging or calorie busting properties (by the way, I’m back to calorie counting to get into tip top summer… or 30th birthday… shape). I started following the above linked recipe from Cooking Light but decided to cut the amount of sausage down by 1/3, and then ramped up the veggies. Italian food is good like that – once you cover it in cheese and sauce, it will all be gobbled up in no time!
So after browning the sausage for a few minutes, in went a whole container of chopped mushrooms, one yellow bell pepper and a few minutes later – 2 cups of baby spinach. The hardest part was not eating this whole mixture before stuffing it into manicotti! I persevered (even though it was a bit time consuming) and eventually dinner was on the table. Man, this was goooood!
My changes created even lighter manicotti (220 cals/pop) full of delicious nutrients. Between the spicy sausage, loads of veggies, tangy tomato sauce, creamy bechamel (made with skim milk!) and cheese, it definitely felt like a treat. Adam said this was the best meal I’ve made in a while (although he says it often ). This dish would be a great contender for my cooking parties because it would be fun to make as a team while chatting away (perhaps with a glass of red wine!). I’m thinking an easier and quicker version may be coming next though for those of us that don’t find an hour+ of hands-on cooking relaxing.
Oh and did I mention this meal is freezer friendly and reheats beautifully? All that time paid off for sure!
How much time do you usually spend making a meal?
PS- There is just one day left of the thinkThin giveaway – make sure you enter it!
Hi friends, how’s life? Did you watch the Boston Marathon? I’m always so proud that this amazing race is in my city. And since I live very close to the finish line, I always get a little emotional seeing all the runners. I know how close they are to this incredible accomplishment and I’m so so excited for them!
Anyways, the marathon was the highlight of my week so far but the rest of the week as always revolved around food. Since I do a lot of recipe testing for my express lunch time lessons, I wanted to share one of my favorite quick and cheap recipes that’s perfect for lunch or a casual dinner – an egg salad BLT. This recipe was originally featured in Best of Cooking Light and it was love at first bite. I adore how light yet creamy the egg salad is, and the addition of lemon zest really brightens it up. Also, I’ve used nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream on many occasions and it works wonderfully.
Side note: Martha Stewart’s method for hard-boiled eggs creates perfect eggs every time.
The best part? The contrast between creamy eggs, juicy tomatoes and crispy, salty, smoky bacon. Oh yes!
What are your favorite quick and cheap recipes? Please share with all of us in the comments!
Most days I go about my business without much thought to my history. The days of bread lines and food stamps are long gone. I’m very comfortable in my home in the center of Boston, with every needed amenity within a few minutes of walking distance. And then something happens that reminds me of how lucky I am – most of us are – to have such simple things as running water, electricity and internet (and plentiful food). We didn’t always take those for granted in Kishinev (I specifically remember filling up buckets of water for showers and cooking – water outages were quite frequent) and I learned to appreciate them once again after the power outages this week. It was rough.
It was a gorgeous day in Boston when a transformer caught fire and contributed to a 15-block power outage in Back Bay. We were just 2 blocks away from the fire and had the largest impact. We had no power at all for 2 days straight and then we had random power outages (of course every time I was about to cook us a meal!) for the next few days after that. It’s crazy how much we rely on electricity these days! Besides the obvious (lack of light in the house so you can’t see anything, especially when even the street lights don’t work), there is no heat, no access to the fridge or stove top (which makes it really hard to stay on your diet!!) and no tv/internet (those were down for almost the whole week). We downloaded the flashlight app on our iphones to help guide us through the house, but after a while our phones died too (since you couldn’t charge them!). Pain in the butt for sure
I lived out of coffee shops, my parents’ and friends’ houses all week and I’m so so happy to be back to normal in my own home right now. Who knew that having power and internet would feel like such a treat?!
[Left: 2 standard pork chops; right: pounded chops]
Anyways, this recipe for Russian “chicken fried” pork has nothing to do with all that (I just wanted to vent ) but it’s a classic and absolutely delicious so you should make it! Otbivnii or betki are both common names for these guys and basically mean that the meat was “beaten” (aka pounded) into thin cutlets. You then dip them into an egg/flour batter and pan fry them. The result is a juicy piece of meat with a delicious eggy crust. It’s definitely a favorite!
Pork is sort of the “original” meat of choice but my mom tells me she recently started buying thin chicken cutlets and doesn’t even pound them. They are ready to go right there! Serve with a simple tomato/cucumber/sour cream salad (and maybe mashed potatoes) and feel like a cool Russian. I did
Which ordinary thing are you thankful for having today?