Friday, June 21, 2013

This doesn't taste like a diet..........

This sugar-loving, sweet-toothed mama is thrilled to have found that there are desserts that can taste good and have the ability to satisfy my sweet tooth. 

My cake recipe is adapted from this one.

Chocolate Blackberry Hazelnut Fudge Cake {printable recipe here}

2 small oranges
1 cup xylitol
1/2 tbs pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hazelnuts
¼ cup cocoa butter
2 T. Almond butter
3/4 cup cooked black beans
1 egg
1/2 tbs coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
½ cup blackberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet/cast iron pan and  roast for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Once they are cool, rub with a clean tea towel to remove the skins, and grind  in a food processor/Ninja. Grind just a bit - leave a little “chunk”. Set aside.

Blend together oranges, xylitol, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
In food processor, pulse the cocoa butter into fine pieces. Add black beans, cocoa powder, coconut oil, almond butter. Combine. Add orange mixture and mix to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder and soda, and mix. Stir in hazelnuts.
Place in cake pan and top with blackberries (other berries would be good too!)
Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. The outer edges should look “cooked through” while the middle will be a little “fudgy-gooey”.

This cake is best topped with Sugar-Free Blackberry Syrup
Last night I served this to company so to make my cake a little more "normal" for my guests, I offered toppings for the cake of ice cream, chocolate syrup and blackberry syrup. I'm glad that I have friends that will participate in my experiments (I almost wrote "like my experiments"....but they may just be kind to object :) )
While my son (age 13) ate a piece with no toppings, I fearfully asked, "So? What do you think?"
His response? "Amazing!" I think he was exaggerating......
Progress Report: Down NINE pounds and fitting into clothes that I couldn't wear one month ago. I took a "before" picture yesterday even though it's technically not a before or "beginning of my journey" picture. However this picture will not be revealed until I have an "after" shot. Amazing how a picture can humble a person.
Linking up a little late with Stacy and Gwen at:trim-healthy-tuesdays-banner
To find out more about Trim Healthy Mama visit here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama - Still learning

FIVE POUNDS in 2 weeks. I'm excited about this because I haven't been following the plan 100%. I had posted last week that I'm motivated to lose the 30+ pounds that I've gained in the past five years. A plan developed by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison and shared in their book, Trim Healthy Mama, is what I'm using to help me create a lifelong style of eating which will keep me trim and most of all, healthy!

The week days are good but I tend to slide on the weekend. Graduation parties, meals away from home and the change in my routine throws me.  But I'll get it. Little by little I'm working towards my goal of my "wedding weight" of 150.

Breakfast is usually a smoothie. I've switched milk for almond milk and I've added whey protein. If I add a sweetener I use stevia. I've cut out all sugars - even the "good" ones like honey and maple syrup. Except for the half a piece of graduation cake on Saturday. Oh, and the Mike and Ike's that my son shared with me at the movie theater on Saturday night. Overall those few "cheats" are pretty good for this sweet toothed mama.....

Lunch is usually a salad of some sort or something easy that I can throw together fast (my lunch table during the week is filled with hungry kiddos so I don't have a lot of time in the kitchen for preparing my lunch). My new favorite is to top a bed of lettuce with black beans, cottage cheese and salsa. YUM-O!

Graham crackers or cheese with crackers are a popular, easy snack among the Little Sprouts so before the kids get snack I make myself something that is plan approved. Part of the THM plan is watching carbohydrates so the kid's snack is one I try to avoid. A few new favorite snacks include Greek yogurt with apple slices and cinnamon and a "cheesecake" created by blending together cream cheese, frozen berries and almonds. I do not feel deprived or "dieting" when I eat these yummy treats.

Other than weekends, dinners are usually where I fall off the plan. I've found that I often resort to our old "regulars" for dinner as I'm tired at the end of my work day. I decided to make up a few dinners on Monday morning to help me stay on the plan! Here's a few meals that we'll be eating this week:

Chicken Satay (I divided this into two meals for our family of 4 - one for the freezer and one for dinner this week) I found this recipe a few weeks ago and it is a new family favorite!

6 chicken breasts cut up into "chunks"
marinated in:
2 T. almond butter (make sure this is sugar free)
1/2 c. Braggs Amino Acid
1/2 c. lemon juice
2 T. Curry
2 garlic cloves

Chicken can be put on skewers and grilled but since I often burn kabobs on the grill, I cook my satay in my cast iron. :)
I eat this with a big salad (spring greens topped with yellow/red peppers and tomatoes) but I also make yellow rice for my family.

My husband loves to make ribs on the grill but he often uses marinades that contain HFCS or sugar. A little planning and I had the ribs already marinating in a healthier marinade.

Marinade for Ribs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar (I stumbled across this product at the local food co-op and love  it! It's even good in homemade salad dressings.)
A few shakes of salt and pepper
Big squirt of Dijon mustard

Spaghetti (I always double my spaghetti sauce so that we have enough leftovers for lunch the next day as well as a little extra for a quick, easy weekend meal for 1)

2 lbs of ground beef - browned
Big can of tomatoes
Tomato paste
Wildtree Spaghetti seasonings

I used regular spaghetti noodles for the family and made Dreamfield's low carb spaghetti noodles for me.

I'm still learning the art of pairing foods but I'm taking steps in the right direction. That counts for something, right? Five pounds down, thirty to go!