Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Faux" Banana Split

One of our favorite once-in-a-blue-moon treats was to go to the local Sonic for a decadent banana split. Looking in my little fact book, we're talking 82 carbs! My favorite shakes are even higher! Yikes! My "Faux Banana Split" which yields a total of 32 carbs, is very delicious and satisfying. I'm sure some of you hard-core low carb counting folks out there are cringing. 32 carbs in a dessert? I look at it as I've reduced 50 of the carbs and I'm adding real fruit to my diet every chance I can. In addition, I've eaten a healthy piece of grilled chicken and either a salad or steamed vegetables as opposed to a rich casserole filled with pasta or rice and bread on the side.

Before you think I've gone off the deep end with desserts...I have never been a big dessert eater to begin with. Andy, on the other hand, has got to have a bite of something sweet. You know from following me, the dessert recipes are few and far between. Denying yourself something sweet, in moderation, is not living. We are working hard to find a sustainable balance.

In our dining room we have a trifle dish. My Momma would replenish that bowl every few weeks on her weekly Wednesday night visits with a bag of Hershey's Miniatures (5 pcs at 25 carbs). No matter how many times we fussed, she still brought it. Let's just say it would disappear pretty quickly. (I fess up to enjoying the dark chocolate)

I felt miserable eating them and there was absolutely no nutritional value in what I was eating. We have really laid down the law. Momma knows to not bring the chocolate over any more and she loves the desserts I have for her on Wednesday night.

INGREDIENTS:
1 small banana
2 servings of Sugar Free Banana Cream Pudding (1/2 cup each)
Sugar Free Chocolate Sauce (Find recipe here)
Blueberries (1/2 cup)
Real cream canned whipped cream

 Slice banana and split between the two dishes.
 Top banana slices with pudding
 Top pudding with blueberries.
Drizzle chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream.

Oven Roasted Veggie Angel Hair Pasta

We are coming up on three months of healthier eating and still going strong. If you follow my posts, you know we are not starving ourselves, denying ourselves or otherwise changing our lifestyle in a manner that cannot be sustained for the long haul. Over this period of time we have controlled our portions to the point we are not overeating and getting full with less. Both of us have changed pant sizes and we're wearing shirts we've had stashed because they got a little snug.

I used to fix this dish many, many years ago. The original recipe called for a lot of molasses and I wondered if I could tweak it a little to make it a meal with a lot less carbs but keep all that delicious taste. This dish is a great way to make use of the bounty you are gathering from your garden during these summer months. I used what I could pick but I have used carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and bell peppers in the past. If you use carrots, but sure to cut them into smaller pieces so the rest of your veggies don't turn into mush before they get done. 

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup Red Wine or Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tbsp. dried Italian Seasoning*
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-2 zucchini
3-4 small yellow squash
Cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Dreamfields Angel Hair Pasta (Cooked per directions on the box, drained)

*We like a lot of flavor. The spices I use from The Spice House are a little stronger than what you buy at a grocery store; so use your own judgement.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice all veggies into hearty pieces. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings. Stir in the cut up veggies and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. With a slotted spoon, spread the veggies evenly in the dish.
 Reserve the marinate and save to dress the cooked veggies and pasta. 
While the veggies cook, fix your pasta.
Stir veggies every 15 minutes. Add shredded Parmesan cheese over the top of the veggies the last time you check them. Cook for a total of 45 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to the texture you prefer.

Place a portion of pasta in the middle of a bowl and spoon a little additional marinade. Gently coat pasta and then top with veggies and additional Parmesan cheese (optional).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Low-Carb Chocolate Milk Shake

When Andy and I were looking for ways to eat well but wise, I found a few great pages to follow on Facebook. One of my favorites feeds to read regularly has turned out to be Low Carbing Among Friends. That's where I found out about DJ Foodie and pre-ordered his new book "Taking Out The Carbage." (Hurry, if you pre-order, you can get an immediate pdf download of the book to tide you over until August delivery.) I was delighted to see he had a low-carb chocolate milk shake and couldn't wait to try it out. All I can say is we busted out Andy's vintage olive green Waring blender the other night, mixed up a batch and will be doing it again really soon. (We made a whole batch of the chocolate sauce and drinks for two). It was delicious and we couldn't believe we could enjoy something this good and not feel guilty about it. Be sure to check out the above links for a great healthy eating resources. The link to DJ Foodie's official recipe includes all the nutrition facts. Below is what we did to enjoy this treat for two (with extra sauce for another night).
In a small saucepan, on medium, whisk the following ingredients together until well blended and thickened. The official recipe states not all whipping cream may be necessary, so add the cream a little at a time. I ended up using the whole amount.
  1. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  2. 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (add just enough to blend ingredients nicely)
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar replacement (I used Truvia)
  4. Dash salt 
In two glasses, drizzle some of that delicious chocolate sauce down the sides and set them to the side.

In a blender mix:
  1. 2 cups ice cubes
  2. 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  3. 1/8 cup sugar replacement
  4. 1/4 cup of chocolate sauce
  5. Dash of salt
Divide between the two glasses and top with a little whip cream and a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa. All you need now is a straw!