Category Archives: Food

YUM!

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Update: Welcome all those from Pinterest! Try out the pizza, and make sure to let me know how it goes! Happy eating!

I had a great week. I was able to follow my meal and workout plans very closely.

Six workouts in seven days, I’m pretty proud of that. Although I didn’t get to do any walking because the weather has been absolutely horrible here, but that’s a minor detail. I have to look at the progress here. I did not workout on Friday night, I split Friday’s workout up between Saturday and Sunday.

Exercising was great and all but the standout of my week had to be the cauliflower pizza. I was excited to try but I had to admit I was a but skeptical about this dish at first. But there was no need to worry, it was really good and I was absolutely surprised when the cauliflower was comparable to actual pizza dough.

I spent my Friday night at a friend’s house making pizza. Well truthfully I watched and snapped pictures as she prepared our meal. I LOVE having a good meal without having to cook.

This recipe was inspired by a few I had seen on Pinterest, including this one. But for those of you who want my personal step by step, here it goes.

The first step was to gather a head of cauliflower, an egg, Italian blend cheeses, olive oil, seasonings for the bread and your desired toppings for your pizza. You will also need a grater, (we used a cheese grater), parchment paper, a pan, and a microwave safe bowl. The original recipe calls for Mozzarella cheese but I always substitute an Italian bled instead because that’s what I keep at my house.

You take the cauliflower and grate it.

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Then we put about a half of cup of cheese in the cauliflower so that it would make a more “durable” crust. And we sprinkled seasonings into the mixture to add some flavor. We used Italian seasoning blend, sea salt, onion powder and garlic powder.

Then you put this in the microwave for 3 minutes so it becomes easy to mold. Then you mix an equal amount of cheese and the egg with the cauliflower. We used one and a half cup of each for our pizzas, but I’m sure you can make it two cups or more so you can have a bigger pizza.

The next step is to place your parchment paper in your pan and mold your “dough” into a pizza shape and sprinkle so olive oil on top of it (so it can brown).

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Place it in the oven on 425 degrees for 15 minutes and it’ll come out looking like this…

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And now take out your pie and load it with your desired toppings and then place it back in the oven for three minutes and then you’re ready to eat!

This pizza is topped with sausage, bell peppers, black olives, and chicken. That night we made two and the other one had bell peppers, grilled chicken, and onions. Just make sure all your meats are precooked before you put them on the pizza. Another time I’ve made a pizza with just broccoli and cheese and it was still delicious. I’m getting hungry y’all!

20130115-100622.jpgThis recipe was much easier than I expected it to be and it tasted better than I thought as well. This is definitely going into the rotation in my kitchen! Have you ever made this dish before? And if so how did you like it or do you have any suggestions to improve it?

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Let’s Make a Plan

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I really enjoy cooking so meal planning is something I can definitely do. I hate blindly going to the grocery story and making $100 of purchases then going home and not knowing what to cook. That makes no sense! And then I end up wasting so much food. So meal planning is not only good for my waistline, but it will also benefit my wallet! I’m all for that.

My meal planner was under $10 and purchased from Target. It’s a simple dry erase board with spaces for lunch, dinner and notes each day. And it also came with a note pad for a grocery list. I really like it and I hope he and I will get to know each other much better!

Meal planner

This week’s meal plan consists of cooking four meals and making tuna for lunch a couple days.

Monday I made a beef stew/stroganoff type of thing. It had a base more like a stew but I can’t call it a stew because I didn’t put other vegetables in the recipe. I know I really should have. But I paired it with a nice sized salad.
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I know you’re looking and this and thinking what’s healthy about this? Well…

It’s not real pasta, it’s tofu noodles! That’s a big fat, carb and calorie cut right there. Two servings of these noodles only contain 40 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat and 30 mg of sodium. So much better than pasta! You can check out my post about Shirataki tofu noodles here. 

My salad including Creamy French dressing and a serving of olives was only 220 calories and my main dish was only 280 calories thanks to my pasta swap. That’s a hearty, filling and tasty meal for 500 calories! Now that’s a nice start to my week.

My other meals planned for this week include baked fish and veggies, pizza with a cauliflower crust and a homemade chili. I’m not sure what I’m most excited about… I’ve always wanted to make a homemade chili, but if I like this cauliflower pizza then that’s a great way to get my pizza fix without the carbs and calories of traditional pizza. I’m excited about this…. I’ll definitely let you all know how it goes.

You also may notice that I have juice at the top of my calendar. I ordered my juicer last year and really enjoyed it. It got packed up and brought to the new house and I haven’t pulled it out since. But that’s about to change! I want to have juice for breakfast at least twice a week and I will share my favorite recipes with you all.

If you stumbled yesterday, guess what? You were blessed with another day to get it right! Let’s all make today a good one and vow to give it our best shot.

Happy Friday eve

Xoxo,

Carnisha

America’s next top Grill Master!

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Hey there! So I had a post all ready for you (in my head) and then I came across some technical difficulties. My laptop charger decided he didn’t want to charge my laptop anymore. So, I thought about completing my post at work on Monday, but due to meetings and a desk piled up with work that had to be done, I was unable to get it up and running yesterday. So here it is, only a day late but not even a word short!

Happy belated Father’s day to all the proud poppas out there in cyber world. I had an enjoyable day, and ended up trying out a new dish on the grill! I’m claiming myself to be a grill master in the making, even though this was only my second time grilling. My first time I put some steaks on the grill. So my first grilling adventure was a t-bone and a few rib-eyes. Please excuse the dark grill picture it was probably 8 or 9 at night when I did this.

 

But yesterday was my mom’s grill day. She did a whole spectrum of meats on the grill, but the adventurous grill master inside me wanted to get a chance on the grill and try something I’ve never done before as well as find something a little healthier to add to our family barbecue. I decided to task myself with throwing some veggies on the grill. I chopped up some squash, zucchini and onions. Then I tossed them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and liquid smoke because I wasn’t sure how much smoky flavor I would get using a gas grill. Here’s what I ended up with…

 

 

They were so yummy! Here’s the lesson I learned though… if I wanted grill marks on my vegetables I needed to make sure they were all large. And it was extremely difficult to keep the onions on the grill without them falling off and/or burning quickly. You notice how some of them pretty much look raw? I gave up on them and just put the whole pan on the grill and evidently that didn’t cook them too well. So I have to come up with another method for my onions. Perhaps next time I will just wrap them in foil and throw them on the grill? I mean who really needs grill marks on onions?

My next grilling conquest will be fish. Does anyone have any good grilling stories or recipes? I know I’m the next great grill master, but I’m open to taking tips from other amateurs! And all this grill talk is making me really hungry so it’s lunch time for me! Have a good day everyone!

Cutting Calories

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This week went well, I focused on cutting my daily calorie consumption. I wanted to avoid making any huge changes to my life, but make small gradual changes that will be easier for me to maintain over a long period of time. What was the plan?

Well I decided to drink only water this week because I was getting too accustomed to drinking lemonade, Gatorade and other sugar-loaded beverages. A 32 oz Gatorade has an astonishing 56 grams of sugar! That’s equivalent to 13 teaspoons of sugar I was drinking daily (and sometimes twice daily). So just eliminating one a day for seven days is saving me 1,400 calories and 392 grams of sugar! That’s almost a pound every three weeks I was drinking in just Gatorade! (3,500 calories is equal to a pound)  No wonder why the pounds were piling on, that’s not even counting the cranberry juice and other drinks.

I’m not trying to eliminate beverages from my diet forever, but if I retrain my body to crave water I’m hoping it’ll curb my cravings for all the sugar loaded crap. There was a time when I mostly had only water, and then I was on better terms with my friend Mr. Scale.

The other simple change I made this week was not eating out. I think it made it harder that I was out-of-town and couldn’t run to a fast food joint on my way back to the hotel in the afternoon. But Monday morning I headed out to the grocery store and picked up a variety of fruit, plenty of water and a few Lean Cuisines. I did have a kitchen in my room but I did not feel like using the stove at all this week. By the way the Lean Cuisine pizza is quite tasty. I didn’t even miss the burger and fries I would have had instead.

My next challenge will be how well I eat when I’m back in the office next week. I work in a part of town that’s filled with many restaurants that I love to frequent as well many tasty fast food restaurants nearby. So next week I’ll try to focus and work out a new game plan so next week will go as good as this one did.

Another small changes I made this week were to make sure I took the stairs instead of the elevator, I’m only on the third floor so that didn’t take too much extra effort- I just had to overcome the lazy girl inside of me that glanced over at the elevator every time I left my room. I looked it up and it seems that didn’t burn many calories (estimates show 15-25), but I felt like I was improving my stamina. Towards the end of the week I wasn’t as winded as I was on Monday. So hopefully no more shortness of breath on Walmart runs?

Everything happens for a reason and I’m glad that I had that wakeup call in Walmart, it made me get serious and open my eyes to what I was doing to myself… I’m glad to be back and thank you for coming back with me. Have a great weekend! And let’s all keep the Gatorade to a minimum!

I care

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Today is a day of rest and relaxation for me. But that didn’t stop me from hopping on the scale this morning. It read a disheartening 243. After last week’s triumphant 241.6 this is a bit disappointing but it’s not too bad. Due to how my week went I guessed that I would be about a pound heavier than last week. But the good thing is I’m not hiding it anymore. Good or bad it’ll be up here EVERY Monday. (Unless some extenuating circumstance prevents me from posting)

I can think about my public weight every time I stay in bed instead of getting up and going to the gym or every time I have bacon and pancakes or doughnuts for breakfast. That’s not a meal for someone who’s trying to change their body for the better. That’s a meal for someone who is either perfectly happy with their body or someone who doesn’t really give a damn about what it’s doing to their body and honestly I’m in neither category.

I’m SUPPOSED to care about my body. And each and every thing I put into it. I see my family members taking tons of medications because they didn’t take care of their bodies in their youth. I don’t want to grow up to a life full of prescription drugs and doctor visits. I want to be healthy as long as I can. I’m in my twenties. I want to look back and say man I was in the best shape of my life. I want to live without the fear of obesity. I think obesity is as much of a mental disease as it is physical and I don’t want to have it anymore.

Each particle of food that goes into my mouth is either making my body function better or worse and it’s time for me to start eating more of the good stuff than the bad. And every workout is sculpting my body into the silhouette I’ve always dreamed of seeing in the mirror. I’m ready to start getting closer to that dream instead of farther and farther away. Let’s hope that the scale tips the other way next week. It’ll be hard but I’ll try my best. Everyday each of us are faced with a million decisions. Let’s take a small step and just try to take more good ones than bad.

H2O

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I used to love drinking water. I normally would want nothing but water at least 75% of the time I reached for a beverage. But since I put the no flavored beverage restriction upon myself every flavored drink has been calling out to me. I’ve craved ice tea, lemonade, ginger ale and every other non-soda drink. The funny thing about that is I love lemonade and ginger ale but I seldom drink tea. But I had some last weekend. Clearly my Lenten sacrifice is really getting the best of me.

But in order to motivate myself to finish out strong I’m going to highlight the benefits of drinking water. While looking up benefits of water I found some interesting facts:

  • Blood is 83% water
  • Muscles are 75% water
  • The brain is 95% water
  • Lungs are 90% water

No wonder why it’s so important to drink plenty of water, because your whole body is made up of it.

  • Get healthy skin- water is said to leave your skin more moisturized and leaves a natural glow. And that’s definitely cheaper than buying a high priced cream.
  • Flush Toxins- water cleanses the toxins of your body. Who needs to buy a cleanse when you can have nature’s cleanse for free?
  • Cushion And Lube Your Joints And Muscles
  • Get Energized and Be Alert- water keeps the body well hydrated which restores energy so that our body can do more work.
  • Reduce Your Risk Of Disease And Infection
  • Regulate Your Body Temperature
  • Aid in weight loss- it can help you feel full if you drink a glass or two before each meal, therefore you will eat less. I’ve also read that water increases your metabolism. It sounds good to me, but I just can’t remember where I got that from.

 Most of these facts came from a blog that I stumbled upon last year, but sadly it looks like they haven’t had an article since December. I’m hoping for a new one soon.

I’m sure there are many more reasons to have an extra glass of water, so lets all get a glass and raise it up to our health! And hey if you ever see me somewhere I’ll treat you to a glass of water because I do care about your health! Have a great weekend. Drink plenty of water, move a lot and eat well.

Eating well on the go

If you’ve reading for a while you may notice I travel a lot. For work I’m out-of-town about every other week for about 9 months out of the year. And traveling is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. A trip around the world is definitely on my bucket list.

But it’s a little difficult to keep up a healthy lifestyle when living out of a suitcase. When I’m driving all day it’s so much easier to stop and get a burger before heading to my hotel room than to load up on healthier options from the grocery store or attempt to find healthier options. So to make better decisions I looked up some of the best food options at popular fast food restaurants. I’ll exclude sandwich places because I think those are pretty much a no brainer. Just load up on veggies and stay away from all the extra cheeses, meats and fattening condiments.

Several of my favorite options are Burger King’s and Chick-fil-A’s  grilled chicken sandwiches, fruit bowl from Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s hamburger and egg mcmuffin, and Wendy’s chili and baked potatoes. But your preferences depend on your specific dietary needs and preferences. Generally I don’t watch sodium or carbs and go the basic route of low-calorie foods. But here is a list of different restaurants and their healthier alternatives.

Another option I have is to load my hotel room with healthy options so that I won’t have to run out to eat every time I get hungry. So I’ll go to the local grocery store and stock up on fruits, spinach, water, bread, and cold cuts. I figure I can make sandwiches or salads most of the time and then I can limit the amount of meals that I have to go out to get. But today I brought some tuna and fruit with me so I only had to go buy water and bread. Sometimes I may get a Lean Cuisine or some kind of frozen dinner to have if I don’t feel like going out for dinner.

Even though I have a go to plan temptations are lurking all around. Some hotels serve a light dinner and most hotels I stay at serve a buffet style breakfast (which includes a lovely selection of muffins, bagels and pastries).I have a pretty easy time avoiding the pastries, but I can’t tell you how tempted I was yesterday by the make your own waffle station. They had strawberries and chocolate chips! But I kept away from them and decided to have a biscuit, sausage and eggs. I know that’s not the absolute healthiest breakfast but it definitely beats chocolate chip waffles and syrup. And I’m glad I was able to stay away. As far as the dinners go they usually have a salad option and I always TRY to have a salad and drink a full glass of water before I begin with the main course. And that’s a good rule for where ever you’re eating.