Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat Lifestyle Recipes & Lowfat Cooking Tips

Quick, Easy Bagle Sandwich August 31, 2012

Filed under: Main Dishes & Sandwiches — lowfatdiva @ 9:14 am
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      Delicious bagel sandwich that only takes minutes to prepare so you can have a great lunch time meal!

 

Have you been wanting to get off the lunch time roller coaster of choosing bad meals?  This sandwich can be just the trick for you to get started because it literally only takes minutes to prepare and yes, you can make it the night before.

Use a low fat bagel, place some turkey breast or chicken breast on the bottom of the bagel, add some tomato or thinly sliced cucumbers, some aioli, field greens and bam just like that you have an awesome sandwich for you lunch.

I put a few pretzel thins along with my sandwich.  This is filling, taste great and is also quite inexpensive to make (eating out is quite expensive).

 

Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

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Lunch Time Dilemma

Noon is fast approaching, your stomach has been rumbling for hours (yup, you didn’t eat breakfast again) and just then you remember you didn’t bring anything to eat!  So now what?  Do you head over to the vending machine in the attempt to find some items that would stand the test of time in a bomb shelter or skip lunch too and just settle for a soda/coffee to tide you over until you get home?  Oh wait, you remember you left some yogurt in the frig, but what you don’t remember is when you left it. There is always the trip to junk food alley (fast food), where you scarf down something that will make you feel miserable by 3:00 and you experience a grease coma.  Tomorrow, history will repeat itself and this lunch time dilemma will start all over again.  Sure, you have made promises to yourself that you will bring in something for lunch or vow to eat better but here you are still riding the same lunchtime rollercoaster.

Does any of this sound like you?  Don’t panic, obviously you are not alone in this, there are tons of women riding that same lunchtime roller coaster at least five days a week.  But this concept totally baffles me, especially if you have children at home or even a spouse that works.  You pack their lunches, right?  Why not put your lunch in the assembly line and pack something nice for yourself…oh wait, paa-leese don’t tell me you are one of those? You know people who are sack lunch snobs.  The “sack” has come such a long way compared to the typical old brown bag days.

I still have the really cool bag my daughter purchased for me when I was on the radio.  Work for me started at 4:00 am when I was on the road driving to the studio, so breakfast was usually at 3:30am or if I was running late I ate a low fat granola bar on the road with my coffee (lots and lots of coffee).  By the time 10:00 came around I was ready for lunch!  I would put leftover stir fry, the extra hamburger I made, pasta with sauce or a delicious salad in containers while I was cleaning up from that nights dinner and whala a lunch fit for a diva!  I also made sure I had plenty of snacks in my bag (yogurt, fresh fruit, low fat Laughing Cow cheese wedges, pretzel thins, pop corn, oriental snack mix, etc) in case I had to be on the road quickly after my show.  That way I could still eat if I was away from a kitchen to warm my lunch up.  These ten minutes of my time after dinner saved me from making bad decisions on the road or in our break room where there was always a plethora of desserts.

Business lunches can be a downfall if you let them be, don’t fret about it, think about it.  Try not to go to lunch (or any meal that you eat out) like some starved crazed liquid diet person because you will end up eating things you know you shouldn’t including the garnishes on the plate!  Make confident, educated choices when you order your lunch/dinner.  Try not to think people are disgusted by you asking for grilled meat on your sandwich/salad, asking for your dressing/sauce on the side (especially if the restaurant does not have a low fat version), or requesting a baked potato instead of fries (steamed veggies or a side salad are also a good choice).  Your lunch companions may actually follow your lead and order many of your same selections.  We learn by the good examples set by others.  The sandwich pictured with my article this month is one that I made many times for my lunch and could have sold it each time I brought it to work!

Take the time to prepare lunch for yourself, you will be rewarded in the end by feeling better, being healthier and your clothes will be a great deal looser than before.  Be sure to check out my blog, lowfatdivablog.com all month long for some delicious ideas on packing a lunch so you can get off the lunch time roller coaster and you may find that you don’t want to eat out for lunch anymore!

 

 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes August 27, 2012

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 4:35 pm
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I have heard of a lot of different ways.   to make garlic mashed potatoes but this will be my first trying actually grating my garlic into the  potatoes.  I was excited to try this recipe because of all the great garlic I have been getting from Rickertville Farm

One thing that I’ve learned is when you boil the garlic, it really does lose its zest compared to roasting the garlic but grating it is pretty awesome.  I grate it  after the potatoes have cooked and I’m getting ready mash them up.  I also like I can put a bit of zest into the potatoes with some of the German White or the Kilarney Red garlic.  Delish!!       Enjoy!!!!           For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Boiled potatoes

1-2 cloves garlic

no fat sour cream

no fat half & half

The amount of garlic you use will depend on the amount of potatoes you have prepared and how “garlicy” you like your potatoes.  Once your potatoes have boiled and are done to the tenderness you desire, drain them but keep them warm.  Add a bit of the no fat half & half and about 1/4 cup of sour cream.  Mash or use an emulsifier to mix the potatoes up.  Continue to add sour cream or half and half until you get the desired consistency for your mashed potatoes.  With a grater, grate each clove of garlic into the potato mixture.   Stir the garlic in well.  Let sit for a couple of minutes to be sure flavors combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE:  I have a friend who uses popcorn seasoning in your mashed potatoes to achieve the buttery taste, cheese taste or other flavors and it does not add any fat!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash

I was recently told at the farmers markets that we will be seeing fall squash coming to the market a bit earlier than normal because of all the warm weather we had.  So, it was no surprise to me when a friend, Dawn, forwarded me this recipe for roasted butternut squash.  I have not tried it yet, but when I get to the market this week I will be finding some butternut squash to try it out.  I was a bit unsure because of the balsamic vinegar in the recipe but I’m learning to like it as I try it in different recipes.      Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email     ramona@lowfatdivvablog.com

 

Roasted butternut Squash

1 20zo butternut squash that has been peeled and  cut into 1 in chunks

1 Tlb. honey

1 Tlb. olive oil

1 Tlb. balsamic vinegar

1/2  tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Place squash pieces in a large bowl.   In a glass measuring cup add the honey, oil and balsamic vinegar.  Whisk together.  Pour mixture over squash pieces and light toss to coat.

On a baking sheet that has been sprayed with Pam olive oil , pour  coated squash pieces and spread evenly.  Bake in 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until tender and caramelized, about  25 minutes.  Stir at least 2 times while baking.

You can also do this on a grill with a grilling pan.

 

 

Fun Vegetable Called Edamame August 24, 2012

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 3:57 pm
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My granddaughter has loved this vegetable for a long time, however, now she will only eat it in the privacy of her own home.  If you read my article this month in Women’s Lifestyle you will understand that statement and somewhat of a dilemma.  When my granddaughter took the fun little edamame pods to school she was laughed at and made fun of so we were informed they were not a safe vegetable to bring to school anymore!

I find this sad in so many different ways because edamame are a fun and tasty vegetable.  How can edamame be fun? Well if you have not had the chance to eat one from the shell, you snip off the end with your teeth, squeeze from the bottom and squirt the edamame beans into your mouth.  See, fun and tasty right?  I also spray the warm pods with Pam olive oil and sprinkle a bit of sea salt on them……ummmm, makes me hungry for them right now.  There is only 3 grams of fat in 1/2 cup shelled edamame beans.

I also like to use  the edamame with other recipes.  I will put them in salads, stir fry and I make a great aioli with them.  Check out the recipe below and if you have not had the chance to try edamame, you will have to get them at your local grocery not at farmers market.  Just think if we get more kids to bring them to school for lunches, edamame might just become a “safe vegetable” again.  Knowledge is power 🙂     Enjoy!!!!   For comments/questions email  ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Edamame Aioli Spread

1 garlic bulb

1 tsp. olive oil

12 oz shelled edamame

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. cumin

1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped

Slice the top 1/2 inch from a garlic bulb, leaving the rest of the bulb whole. Remove any of the loose outer layers.  In a custard cup, place the garlic cut side up.  Drizzle with the olive oil. Cover with foil and place in a 425 degree oven for about  15 minutes or until soft.

While the garlic is roasting, steam edamame according to directions on package.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Squeeze 3 or more of the bulbs in a small food process.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Start with adding 1/8 – 1/4 cup water  until you get the  thickness that you would like – just be sure not to add to much!  Chill and put on your favorite sandwich instead of  lowfat mayo!

I will use this as a dip with my homemade pita chips.  I even stir in some chopped roma tomatoes – yummmm

 

Lets Talk Lettuce August 23, 2012

Filed under: Salads,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 11:53 am
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In the farmers market you should be seeing a great deal of lettuce, no not your iceberg you can find in the store, but really awesome flavorful lettuce.  Some of the different types might be leaf, butterhead, arugula or even romaine and of course spinach.  These types of lettuce are great for salads and sandwiches, you will probably never go back to the boring iceberg again.  Once lettuce that you might not see is radicchio (it’s purple in color) but one you definitely need to pick up for making great salads.   Colorful lettuce just seems to make a sandwich or salad pop with flavor and appearance.  You actually will feel special…….ok, maybe not special but it will put a smile on your face!

I know that farmers usually wash the lettuce before they bring it to market but you will want to wash it again and then put it through a lettuce spinner to clean it and remove all the water.  I am going to give you a bit of the “taste factor” with the different lettuces that I recommended for you to try in your salad or on your sandwich.  Arugula – has a peppery taste (great for making aioli too), butterhead – has a bit of sweetness in taste, leaf – has just a hint of nuttiness, radicchio – is a bit bitter when eaten alone but blended is wonderful, romaine  – really has no distinct flavor but is awesome on sandwiches and blended in salads and of course spinach – I like to use baby spinach which has just a little bit of bit to it.

Here is a recipe for a salad that you can make and it can be your entire meal because it has so much goodness to it.  The best part is you can use any vegetable that suits you or that you have in your frig and any low/no fat dressing will pare nicely with it.   Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Veggie Nicoise Salad

1 pound small red potatoes halved

1 pound asparagus trimmed

1/2 pound fresh green beans cleaned and trimmed

1 can of kidney or garbanzo or black beans drained and rinsed

1 red onion halved and thinly sliced

Assortment of lettuce (romaine, arugula, baby spinach &  leaf)

3 oz marinated artichoke hearts drained, placed on paper towel and quartered

I do not use eggs in mine but if you want to add 3 hard boiled eggs that have been quartered it will be a nice addition of protein (at 12 grams of fat if you ate them all)

In a  sauce pan put enough water to cover potatoes, bring to a boil.  Turn heat back to med and cook for 9 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp tender. Drain and spray with Pam Olive Oil to cover potatoes.  Set aside.

In a steamer (or in a saucepan) cook the asparagus and beans until they are crisp tender.  Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, drain and set aside.  Spray each with a bit of Pam Olive Oil spray.

On a large platter tear enough mixed greens for 4-5 people.  Arrange the vegetables in sections onto the plate (ie, the potatoes in one area of the lettuce plate, the beans over on one side, the asparagus in a separate area, kidney beans, etc.  This is a good time to let your children be creative as they help make this salad )

Once you are finished, serve!  Some of my friends who make this salad will actually mix the salad greens with a dressing before they place the greens on the large platter and build the salad.  I don’t like to do this for a couple of reasons, one being I think the lettuce gets soggy quickly and I like the crunch of everything and the other reason is not everyone likes the same dressing.  Vinaigrette types of dressings really work best for this salad.

NOTE:  You an easily over do your fat intake when you make this salad or any salad by using certain dressings.  Believe it or not some dressing has over 10 grams of fat in just 1 tablespoon!

 

Ratatouille Bisque August 21, 2012

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 5:09 pm
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No, I”m not talking about the movie that had the rats in it!  This bisque is fantastically delicious.  I ordered a crab bisque at restaurant  in Ludington this past weekend and it was more like a cheese dip, so not good (no I didn’t eat it but my husband did).  After being so disappointed with my menu choice and still being really hungry for a good bisque I decided to check into some old recipes.  This recipe, I know is good.  I like the fact you can use vegetables that are in season right now and since it’s cooling down in the evening, I don’t have to wait to prepare it one night this week – hey I bet it would even taste good along with my Green Tomato BLT!.    Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email me ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Ratatouille Bisque

3 cups egg plant that has been peeled and roughly chopped

1 cup zucchini peeled and roughly chopped

1 cup yellow squash peeled and roughly chopped

1 cup chopped leeks (only chop until light green area)

1 red pepper chopped

1 yellow pepper chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic  minced (any flavor)

2/3 cup uncooked arbito rice

3 large tomatoes cut into quarters (use any color – red, orange or yellow)

3 cans low fat chicken broth (14 0z)

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 Tlb. tomato paste

salt, pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup no fat half & half

1/4 cup chopped basil (regular of Italian)

In a large pot that has been sprayed with Pam olive oil, place all vegetables, garlic and leeks.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add rice and tomatoes.  Cook for 3 more minutes.  Add chicken broth, wine and tomato paste.  You can salt and pepper at this time or wait  until the end but add the basil and cilantro.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

You can either do this next part in a blender (which you should do in small batches) or you can use an emulsifier right in the pan (after you take it off the heat).    Mixture should be smooth.  Return to heat on low and add the cream.  Heat just until warm again.  Do NOT boil.

Pour into bowls and serve with garlic bread, beer bread, beer rolls, beer pretzels or rustic bread!

 

 

 

 
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