Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I can’t say that I’ve ever been a fan of brussel sprouts, but these are good!  Before you turn your nose up on me, go read all the rave reviews of the recipe here.  That’s what tempted me to try these bad boys, and I’m glad I did.

I love the way these end up crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.  Of course this cooking method doesn’t create the most beautiful picture, but who cares as long as those brussel sprouts are edible, right!?  I can no longer say that I don’t like brussel sprouts.  Give ’em a try, you might be surprised by the end result too!  Good quality brussel sprouts are being sold at Costco right now so pick some up the next time you’re there!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  93.8
Protein:  6.7g
Carbs:  6.8g
Fat:  4.7g
Fiber:  6.7g
Sugars:  0g

Bangin’ Good Shrimp

I found the title of this recipe quite clever and I totally approve of the title now that I’ve made it and eaten it.  It doesn’t lie!  It is seriously Bangin’ Good!

I pulled this recipe off of Gina’s website and I learned that it is a remake of a popular dish found at one of her local restaurants.  After eating this, I can attest that it is restaurant worthy.  The shrimp is completely engrossed in a tangy, yet subtly spicy flavor. . . thanks to the dressing.  The dressing that coats the shrimp is creamy, heavenly, and powered with flavor.  You place the cooked shrimp on a bed of lettuce and cabbage (you can use green or purple cabbage here) and it creates a delicious low-carb dinner.

Sweet Chili Sauce and Siracha can be found in most grocery stores . . . usually in the Asian isle.  And, they are both delicious and can be used in other recipes like Asian Lettuce Wraps, Fresh Thai Slaw, and many more!

We ate this for a low-carb dinner and enjoyed every bite!  I hope you do too!

Bangin Good Shrimp
Adapted from Skinny Taste

For the Dressing/Sauce:
5 tbsp light mayonnaise
3 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha (to taste)

For the Shrimp:
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined (weight after peeled)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp canola oil
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 cup shredded cabbage
4 tbsp scallions, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha. Set aside.
Combine lettuce and cabbage and divide between four plates (about 1 cup per plate). Set aside.

Coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands.

Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, when hot add oil. When oil is hot add the shrimp to hot pan and cook tossing a few times until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and combine with the sauce coating well.

Divide shrimp into four equal servings an place shrimp on lettuce and top with scallions.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  215.7
Protein:  23.8g
Carbs:  11.9g
Fiber:  1.0g
Sugars:  6.3g

Baked Oatmeal with Apples and Cranberries

Oh my word!  This is my most favorite breakfast right now!  When I made this for the first time I decided that I might want to eat it every day through fall and winter.  You think I’m exaggerating?  Well, I’m not.  I’m pretty sure we’re eating it tomorrow for breakfast (and hopefully several days afterwards).  It tastes like fall and brings all the comfort of a warm and seasonal breakfast without a gazillion calories.  It’s seriously SO good, that I didn’t even eat mine with milk.  It’s good all on its own (however, warm milk would just add to the comfort of this yummy breakfast).

I used fresh cranberries when I made this because they are in season (you can usually find them in bags in the produce section of your grocery store).  I’m sure you could substitute dried ones here, but you wouldn’t want to get more than 50 calories worth.  However, I must tell you that the fresh cranberries are SO worth using.  The tartness they bring to the oatmeal, combined with the slight burst of flavor you get when you bite into them is fabulous!  I also love the way they compliment the sweetness of the apples.

You’ll also see that I made the serving size quite generous.  (Yeah . . . I like to eat a lot!)  However, this can easily be changed to match three serving sizes (which would equal a 1/3 cup dry oats per serving) making the calorie count only 194 calories per serving.  Pretty awesome!

It’s a cinch to throw together and then the oven does all the magic.  All you have to do is get it in the oven in time to eat your breakfast.  What works for me?  Before hopping in the shower to get ready for the day, I take five minutes to prep the oatmeal, throw it in the oven, and 40-ish minutes later I get to indulge.  Try it, it’s amazing!

Baked Oatmeal with Apples and Cranberries
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
1 cup skim milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 apple, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.  In a medium bowl, combine the rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir with a fork to combine.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the maple syrup, milk, egg, and vanilla.  Spread the chopped apples in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish.  Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer.  Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats (I like to take the back of a fork and lightly press any of the dry oats into the liquid mixture to ensure every oat is wet).  Sprinkle the cranberries over the top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  291.7
Protein:  12.2g
Carbs:  51.3g
Fat:  5.1g (1.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  8g
Sugars:  14.5g

Fresh Thai Slaw

Cabbage, Zucchini, Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Carrot, Cilantro, Green Onions, Radishes, Jalapeno Pepper

I L.O.V.E. this salad.  It tastes incredibly fresh and I love that, even though my garden has stopped producing most of these veggies, I can still find them all at the grocery store and have a summer-ish type salad during the cold months.  Besides the fact that it tastes so darn good, it’s only 20 calories a serving!  That’s right, folks!  I said TWENTY!

You’ll see that several of the ingredients are supposed to be julienne-cut . . . that just means you cut them into little match sticks.  (If you need further explanation on how to do that, you can go to this post and click on the video link.)  It really doesn’t take forever, but it really makes the texture of the salad so pleasing (and it looks pretty too).

You can certainly slice your own cabbage, but I usually take the easy road on this one and buy the pre-shredded stuff (which is located among the the bagged salads . . . usually in the produce section of your grocery store).  You’ll also see that the dressing has sweet chili sauce.  This is SO yummy, and can usually be found in the Asian isle of your grocery store.  I put links to both of these ingredients so you can see what I typically buy and perhaps it might make your hunt for these ingredients in the grocery store a little easier.

You’ll want to take note that once you put the dressing on the salad you are supposed to serve it immediately.  But, you can totally prepare slaw and dressing up to one day ahead, and store separately in the refrigerator (that’s what I did when I made this and I was SO happy when all I had to do was pull it out and pour dressing on it before we ate it).

I served this alongside Asian Lettuce Wraps and we couldn’t have enjoyed our dinner any more!  I can see that adding chicken or shrimp to the salad could make this a main meal too.  However you decide to eat it, I hope you love it as much as we did!

Fresh Thai Slaw
Adapted from  Cooking Light

3 cups thinly sliced cabbage (I buy the pre-shredded package)
1 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut zucchini
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated radishes
1 minced seeded jalapeno pepper

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon water
1teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce

To prepare slaw, combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl.

To prepare dressing, combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until sugar dissolves.  Drizzle over slaw; toss well to coat.  Serve immediately.

Serves 10.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/2 Cup)
Calories:  20
Protein:  0.9g
Carbs:  4.5g
Fat:  0.1g
Fiber:  1.1g

Roasted Butternut Squash

This is my new side dish of choice.  I am currently in LOVE with Butternut Squash!  It takes all the self control I have to only eat my correct portion size.  I have even considered eating it for breakfast . . . I seriously love it that much.  If you are a squash hater, well . . . it might be hard for us to be friends right now.  Ha, ha!

This is one of my most favorite ways to cook it.  It cooks up in 30 minutes, is easy to prep, and easy to divide into correct portion sizes once it’s cooked.  Besides that, the leftovers can be used in a some very yummy ways.  I will be sharing some of those ways with you in future posts!  Can you hardly wait?  I can’t!

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds) peeled,
seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a Silpat liner if you have one).  Toss the squash with oil, salt, and pepper and spread out over the prepared baking sheet.  Roast the squash until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serves 3 (about a total of 3 cups of butternut cubes).

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Cup of Cubes)
Calories:  112
Protein:  1.8g
Carbs:  21.5g
Fat:  3.7g
Fiber:  6g
Sugars:  0g

Friday Feature: Success Story of Malinda

I’m soooo excited to share a success story with you!  This woman is an inspiration to me, and I know she can be for others too.  I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with her and I am so stinkin’ proud of her efforts and her overall results!

With Malinda’s consent she has graciously allowed me to “brag” about her by telling a little about her transformation.  Malinda is a beautiful mom.  She had been overweight for some time, but with the help of her sisters, decided to do something about it.  She lost a little bit on her own and then decided to team up with me to help her get to her final goal a little bit faster.  Boy, am I glad she did!

I started counting her calories and writing her exercise plans each week.  She worked hard and followed her program so well!  She’s allowed me to share her pictures with you.  And, as if the pictures don’t show enough of her success, here are her overall stats:

  • She dropped 59.3 fat pounds (how awesome is that?)
  • She dropped 16.4% in body fat (her body fat is now 20.4% – which is better than average; she is one fit girl!)
  • She melted a total of 35.75 inches off her body (whoa!)

How can you not love that?  She is one skinny babe, and a fit one to boot!  Check her out in these before and after pictures!


When she reached her goal I was incredibly happy for her, but sad for me because I wouldn’t get to see her on a weekly basis.  We became great friends.  I love going through this journey with others because I get to watch a beautiful transformation . . . inside and out!  It was fun to watch Malinda’s inner beauty and confidence grow throughout the process.  She is awesome.  She shared the following with me:

“I have to tell you this – if it was not for you I would not have made it to my goal as soon as I did.  You have been an inspiration to me and taught me a lot of good things about my meals, cardio and exercise routines. You are the best nutrition and fitness coach ever.  This is a life changing event, not just a one time deal, it is forever.”

GREAT JOB Malinda!  Keep up the great work!

What do you think?  Isn’t she inspiring?

Macaroni & Tomato Soup

This post is completely dedicated to my dad!  This has always been his go-to meal . . . ever since I was a kid.  If my mom wasn’t around to cook us kids dinner, this is what my dad would fix for us nine times out of ten.  You would think that I would have grown tired of it now that I am an adult, but that is not the case.  In fact, I even can/bottle my own tomato juice every year to make sure that I have the tastiest juice . . . just for when I make this soup!

My dad’s version is very basic.  Cook up some seasoned ground beef with chopped onion and then add it to tomato juice and cooked macaroni – elbow noodles.  Once it’s all warmed through, it’s time to eat.  This version is delicious, but I’m not going to lie and tell you that I don’t sneak veggies in my soup on occasion.  But, because this post is completely dedicated to my papa – this is the version that I will proudly display.

This is a 15-minute meal . . . the only time intense part of this meal is waiting for the hamburger to brown and the macaroni to cook.  Pretty darn easy, and tasty too.  Give it a try!

Macaroni and Tomato Soup
Recipe Source:  Mimi’s Dad

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup dry wheat macaroni elbow noodles
1 quart tomato juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Fill a medium pot with water and 1 tablespoon salt.  Cook elbow noodles according to package directions.  Drain noodles and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add lean ground beef and chopped onion.  Season ground beef with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook until brown (stirring and crumbling the ground beef as it cooks).  Drain skillet of all fat, and rinse ground beef (I do this through a small strainer).  Add beef and onions to noodles and pour tomato juice into pot.  Gently stir to combine and then heat through.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approximately 1 1/2 Cups)
Calories:  342
Protein:  26.2g
Carbs:  36.3g
Fat:  12.6g (4.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4g
Sugars:  12.9g