Skeleton Veggie Tray

Skeleton Veggie Tray - Mimi's Fit Foods

Ok, folks!  The Halloween parties are in full swing for us, so I’m guessing they are for you too!  One of the tips I suggest to my clients when going to parties is to offer to take something healthy that you know you can/should eat.  I mean, let’s be honest.  When we show up to parties there is always a lot of fun food that is loaded with fats and or sugars (admittedly they are usually way yummy, but not good for the belly/hips/thighs . . . ya know!?).  So, I always like to play it safe by taking something healthy that I know I can eat.

A veggie tray is alway a good solution.  However, it can be BORING.  Well, it doesn’t have to be boring for Halloween!  I found this fun way to amp up the fun with a typical veggie tray.  I took this to a family Halloween pot-luck party last weekend and it was eaten up in minutes.  There was another large veggie tray there too, but it had hardly been touched.  I’m still kind of sitting here amazed that the skeleton trick won over the kiddos and got them to eat their veggies.  They seriously ate it up (literally and figuratively).

I made the protein-packed dip from cottage cheese.  If you haven’t made the Fit Ranch Dip/Dressing  yet, you must!  (You will also deceive your little and big people with this dip.)

Hopefully this gives you a fun idea on how to fill up your belly with veggies instead of Halloween candy.  Have fun at all your parties and be safe!

DIY Microwave Popcorn with Coconut Oil

DIY Microwave Popcorn - Mimi's Fit Foods

Popcorn is one of our most favorite low-calorie treats.  We love the flavor and the crunch.  That all being said, I hate to get out the air-popper all the time and sometimes the store-bought microwaved stuff doesn’t really pop all that well (I swear I burn it more than I don’t!).  Besides that, it isn’t all natural . . . just look at your label next time.

I ran across this option to microwave my own popcorn and just had to try it!  It works so well and now we pop our popcorn like this 99% of the time. It’s fast, easy, and all natural.  I opt to use Coconut Oil rather than any other oils because the health benefits of this oil outweigh all the others.  I also find the results are a little better when I use the bigger lunch bag (Approx. 13″ tall by 8″ wide), but have also made it in a traditional lunch bag (Approx. 10″ tall by 5″ wide) with okay results.

Along with my love of popcorn, my little baby also LOVES popcorn and constantly asks for “pop pop” when it’s snack time (she couldn’t even wait 2 seconds for me to take a picture before she stuck her cute, little hand in for a taste).  I am always happy to oblige to her request!  Give it a whirl! You’ll love it too!

DIY Microwave Popcorn With Coconut Oil - Mimi's Fit Foods

DIY Microwave Popcorn with Coconut Oil
Adapted from Mostly Homemade Mom

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn kernels

Melt coconut oil in a small bowl (takes about 1 minute on 1/3 power in the microwave).  Add salt and kernels to the oil and stir to coat kernels.  Drop kernels into a paper lunch bag, fold over twice and microwave for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.  (Cooking time will vary based on your microwave.  I like to cook mine for 1 1/2 minutes.  I still end up with a few extra un-popped kernals, but I never burn my popcorn.)  Add additional salt if desired.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approximately 3 Heaping Cups)
Calories:  106
Protein:  2.7g
Carbs:  16.7g
Fat:  3.3g (1.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.3g
Sugars:  0g

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus - Mimi's Fit Foods

Oh, how I love beautiful side dishes to go with my main meal.  I also love it when the vegetable is one of the best parts of the meal!  Our little family LOVES grilled asparagus.  The grill really helps to bring out the beautiful, unique flavor of the asparagus making it taste so incredibly fresh with LOADS of flavor.  We’ve been having this quite regularly around my house.  It’s tasty, but also SUPER easy and SUPER fast!  We’re talking a total of 6-8 minutes from start to finish.  Usually I just toss it on the grill while our meat is cooking and it’s all ready at the same time.  It’s FABULOUS!

Grilled Asparagus
Slightly Adapted from allrecipes.com

1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon wedges

Preheat grill for high heat.

Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste (I usually do this on a plate or in a shallow pan and I toss the spears all around to ensure they get evenly coated).

Place spears on hot grill and grill over high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, rotate, and then grill for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or to your desired tenderness.  Just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon wedges over asparagus.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 of the Spears)
Calories:  41
Protein:  2.6g
Carbs:  5.1g
Fat:  2g (0.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.4g
Sugars:  0g

Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches - Mimi's Fit Foods

Cucumber Sandwiches!  What an easy snack idea.  It probably goes without saying that these are a breeze to put together.  I mean, it’s hardly a recipe at all, but rather an idea.  I say that because you can be a little versatile with this.  You can use different varieties of cheese and sandwich meats.  I also think these are good dipped in mustard, as well as sprinkled with spices (cracked black pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning, etc.).  There are a variety of options that still help to keep these babies low in calorie count, high in protein, and low in carbs.  Whoohooo!

For calorie counting purposes, I’m giving you the quantities for one serving.  However, you can easily punch out a bunch of these . . . . . say, for after-school snacks or any other purpose you may find a need to sneak these into your household.

Cucumber Sandwiches

8 slices of peeled cucumber, 1/4-inch thick
1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced into 4 slices
1 ounce deli roast beef (at least 96% lean)

Take one slice of cucumber and top with a slice of cheese and 1/4 ounce of roast beef.  Top with another cucumber slice.
Repeat with remaining cucumber slices, cheese, and roast beef.

Serves 1.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  123.7
Protein:  14.7g
Carbs:  2.5g
Fat:  5.1g (3.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  0.8g

Roasted Pizza Broccoli

Roasted Pizza Broccoli - Mimi's Fit Foods

This is such a great way to cook broccoli.  I love the addition of the spices and the Parmesan cheese.  I love broccoli anyways, but this was fabulous.  It totally resembled a pizza flavor.  I imagine kids would love it too (but you may want to add less of the chile flakes).  And, just so you know, the chile flakes weren’t super spicy/hot, but they added lots of flavor!

Here’s to another twist on your regular vegetable side dishes.  Enjoy!

Roasted “Pizza” Broccoli
Adapted from Relish by Daphne Oz

1 large head of broccoli
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

Break or cut broccoli into bite-sized florets. Steam the broccoli until you can easily insert a knife into the center of the broccoli (about 5 to 6 minutes).

Preheat the broiler. Drain the broccoli (and lightly pat dry with a paper towel) and place it on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with the oil, and sprinkle it with chile flakes and oregano. Toss to coat.  Sprinkle with cheese and broil the broccoli until the cheese is golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice onto the broccoli, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  89
Protein:  5.8g
Carbs:  6.3g
Fat:  5.7g (1.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.2g
Sugars:  0.1g

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls - Mimi's Fit Foods

What a fabulous idea, right?  I saw these on Annie’s website quite a while ago and have had them on my list to try.  I’m kind of mad I waited so long to make them because they are goooooood!  Oh, and super duper easy!

I love the nutritional benefit from these egg rolls.  They are packed with all sorts of nutrients and fiber (thank you spinach and black beans).  And, I must admit that I wondered if two egg rolls would be enough for my tummy and I found that two was just right.  They are filling.

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken.  So, plan ahead for that.  (I usually just throw chicken in my slow cooker earlier in the day and then it’s ready to go at dinner time.  I also pop the cooked chicken into my food processor to shred it if I am short on time, pulsing until it’s just right.)

I’m telling you, these come together in a breeze, the spices offer just enough flavor, and the texture of the egg roll is perfect.  I’m pretty sure these are going to make a regular appearance in my home from now on!

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls - Mimi's Fit Foods2

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
20 egg roll wrappers (1 package)

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers.  Mix well to blend.  Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and place 1/3 cup of the filling in the center.  Fold the top closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center.  Continue rolling into an egg roll shape until a small part of the remaining point is still free.  Dip a finger in water and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner.  Finish rolling and press to seal closed.  Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place the sealed egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning the egg rolls over halfway through baking.  Serve warm with salsa.

Serves 10.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Egg Rolls)
Calories:   230
Protein:  20.2g
Carbs:  32.8g
Fat:  3.4g (1.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.7g
Sugars:  1g

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This is definitely one of my most favorite salsas.  Now that the tomatillos in our garden are finally starting to come on, I’m making this like crazy!  I’ve tried several variations of tomatillo salsa and this has become my favorite.  I usually prefer a green salsa over a red salsa.  Perhaps it’s the extra tang that comes from a tomatillo.  And, a roasted tomatillo . . . don’t even get me started.  I love how this recipe instructs us to roast all the veggies.  It definitely gives it a nice, roasted flavor and the roasting helps to bring out the sweetness of the tomatillos, garlic, and onion!  SO GOOD!

Another great thing about the salsa (as with most salsas), it’s pretty darn low in calories and it’s made primarily of veggies.  So, in my book . . . this stuff is “free” and we can eat as much as we want.  Unfortunately the baked 9-grain chips (Tostito Brand) are another story!  So, let’s focus on putting this delicious salsa on our eggs, potatoes, over chicken, alongside these Taquitos, or eating it by the spoonfuls out of it’s container.  It’s really that yummy!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Adapted from Our Best Bites

1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed (about 6 medium)
3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeño pepper, cut in half lengthwise (remove seeds & membranes for less heat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1-2 limes (depending on how “juicy” you want your salsa)
1/4-1/3 cup chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

After husking the tomatillos, rinse them well in cool water (they can be sticky). Cut the stems and hard portions (if any) off the tomatillos and cut any very large ones in half.

Combine the tomatillos, unpeeled garlic, onion, and the jalapeno on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss the ingredients with your hands to make sure they are all well-coated.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. If the vegetables have not charred, turn the broiler on to high and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the skins of the peppers and tomatillos begin to turn black. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

When the vegetables have cooled, carefully squeeze the skin of the roasted garlic, releasing the soft, roasted garlic clove, into the jar of a blender or workbowl of a food processor. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and then add the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Process until the desired consistency is reached and then transfer to a serving dish. Stir in the chopped cilantro and green onions and serve with chips.

Makes Approximately 2 Cups.

Nutritional Information (Per Tablespoon)
Calories:  10
Protein:  0.2g
Carbs:  1.4g
Fat:  0.6g (0.1g – Sat.)
Fiber:  0.3g
Sugars:  0.7g