Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat Lifestyle Recipes & Lowfat Cooking Tips

Delicious Snack Bars For Lunch On The Go! September 26, 2012

I have given you my granola bar recipe in the past and they work great for snacks or for breakfast.  So when  this recipe was recommended I just had to try it and wow, are they yummy!

Now, they bars are low in fat, travel well and hit the spot for a snack or lunch time dessert but they are by no means low in sugar and you will see what I mean when you read the recipe.  There is a fair amount of honey in the bars, which is what binds them together.  Not only will you love these but so will your kids/friends so be prepared to fight off the masses when you bring them in your lunch.    Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened puffed wheat cereal
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  ( I used Beanilla which complimented the bars wonderfully)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips or finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  1. Position a rack in lower third of oven and  pre-heat to 300 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square pan with parchment paper not wax paper, letting it overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Toss cereal, oats and dried cherries/cranberries in a large bowl.
  3. Combine honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the honey is more fluid and the salt is dissolved. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until everything is moistened and sticky. Let cool for 5 minutes. Fold in chips  until evenly distributed (tricky part, don’t put in while mixture is too hot or chocolate chips will melt but don’t wait to long or extremely sticky) . Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a fork or you can do what I did and spray your hands with Pam and press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes, be sure not to burn the honey!  Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the bars. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Use the ends of the parchment to lift the bars from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment. Use a heavy sharp knife to cut into 16 bars or squares.
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Lunches On The Road September 24, 2012

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 12:30 pm
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Last weekend we took a long, long drive to see our son in Washington DC.  As I packed for the trip my husband was giving me grief regarding the small cooler that I was taking.  Some of you may have heard these questions, “why do you need that, why are you packing that, what is that for, really – you’re packing that too”!  Sound familiar?    Well, to not have a “marriage encounter” before we even started on the road (at the butt crack of dawn), I told him it is easier to have some good food in the car instead of trying to find anything at the service stations we stop at on the toll road.  So, this is what I packed;

2 pretzel bun sandwiches

2 nectorines

caramel mini rice cakes

oriental snack mix

baked Lays chips

gram pretzel cookies

water

bagel with Better n’ Peanut Butter (breakfast)

no fat coffee creamer

raspberry chipole snack mix ( for my husband)

granola bar

I know the list seems long but I was hoping for some to make the dreaded trip home too and it did for the most part.  As we traveled, my husband was very happy I brought all the items we had.  We were up at 5:00am to leave by 6am so he ate breakfast quite early, which ment about 9:30am he was getting hungry, so reaching around into the goodie bag or cooler made things pretty nice.

Except for the sandwiches, bagel (that was my breakfast on the way down) and granola bar, we started our drive back with most of the rest.  There is nothing that I hate more while traveling than having  to settle for some high fat, stale food item I  find at the service stations on the toll road or trying to get off on an exit only to find fast food junk.  None of it is easy on the stomach nor does it make me feel alert to drive.  It was so nice to be able to go back to my car knowing I had something really good to eat in my cooler/bag!

So traveling salesperson, commuters, realtors, etc. you can travel  with good items in your car, snack, even eat lunch on the road.  Please don’t say there isn’t enough time, bla,bla,bla.  Those of you that have children, remember when we had to pack tons of stuff for the babies/children, all while they were running amuck as we tried to pack????  Well if you can make it through those times, you can pack up a bag of goodies or a small cooler with healthy items.  Enjoy!!! For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Frozen Lunches?

Some readers have been writing me regarding frozen dinners, which are the best/worst, etc?  Well, I have to say that I don’t eat them, however that doesn’t mean I wont try them!  So off to the grocery I went and decided to try a couple of frozen items.

The readers that asked me about this gave good reasons for their request.  Some had accessibility to microwaves (teachers), were single and didn’t always cook extras doing the week to have left overs, husbands traveled, empty nesters, was not fond of left overs.  All good reasons (didn’t understand the “not fond of left overs)  and made me wonder if I lived alone if I would always cook as I do now or would I eat out more or buy boxed foods…………..no I like to cook so even if it’s just for me so that is not a visual for me 🙂

At the grocery, this is what I discovered about the boxed foods, some may be low in fat but extremely high in sodium so please watch that!

Smart Ones

Orange Sesame Chicken (7 grams)

Sante Fe Rice & Beans (7 grams) – needed some chicken breast

Stouffers

Broccoli Beef  (7 grams)

Garlic Chicken (5 1/2 grams)

Lean Cuisine

Shrimp & Angle Hair (6 grams)

Pizza  (7-9 grams)

Sandwich (9 grams)

Veggie Steamers

Awesome!!!  This company had lots of selections that were low in fat, there was enough food to make it feel like lunch and not a snack, taste good and when you put a bit of chicken breast or pork tenderloin I was a happy woman.

Now these are the only companies that I looked at but there are lots of others to try.  You  do need to be careful on reading the back of the package for not only the sodium content but also if the numbers are for 1 serving or 2!  I know, it’s hard to believe they could get 2 servings out of the little boxes but some do claim you can.

I found Smart Ones to be my favorite of the flavors I tried.  It was also tempting to try the raspberry cheese cake that was only 4 grams but I decided to wait for another day.

Bottom line, yes, you can buy lunches in a box to eat if you really watch the label.  Some I found were more fat than just eating at a restaurant.  Can you save money?  Not unless you find your box lunch on sale because they are quite costly.

I know that you don’t want to eat salads everyday and you think there is not time for anything else.  I really disagree, if you are willing to make some foods up, store in containers in freezer and take out daily for lunch, you really could be a happy camper!  Watch sandwich meats too because they can be extremely high in sodium, could be low in fat but if they are high in sodium that is not good.   Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions contact ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Scarey Ground At A Fast Food Resturant September 18, 2012

Yesterday I went into a sandwich shop to get a quick lunch because I was on the road (and I gave away my awesome bar I was going to have for lunch) and while I was there I noticed a woman behind me in line  reading the napkin from the establishment.  I could swear that I saw the color go right out of her face!  Well, I had to pick up a napkin and check it out why she seemed stunned.  As I read the napkin, I started to smile because it was some facts that I already knew but, I’m guessing this poor woman did not (later learned one of those options was her lunch from yesterday).

You see, she read  the following:  a Big Mac has 540 calories, 29 grams of fat but a Whopper has 670 calories and 40 grams of fat!  

This is a fact you can’t ignore when it is right in front of you, in your hands and you are reading it.  In just a short time according to the news, many of the fast food restaurants are going to start posting some of the nutritional facts about their menus but I don’t know if that will be only calorie or carbs and not fat content.  I guess time will tell.

My lunch that day was a turkey breast sandwich, loaded with veggies, no cheese (who likes plastic cheese anyway especially when it adds 3.5 grams) and naked (no dressing unless it’s a low fat dressing), a bag of baked Lays  and a drink.  Total fat content was about 6.5 grams.  A far cry from 29 grams (which is about my daily total)!

Yesterday was also the first time in my life someone said “I’ll have what she is having” and the person was talking about me!  I spent some time with the woman and her friend before I left (great ladies).  Passed on my card and told them to check out the web site where they could find some taste tempting recipes.  I think my feet were 20 feet off the floor when I left there 🙂      Enjoy!!!!     For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Protein Shakes For Lunch September 14, 2012

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 9:04 pm
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I was at the farmers market today and talking to one of the vendors about some of their squash.  The guy wanted to share his “recipe ” with me on how he prepared  squash when he cooked. As I listened he noticed when I cringed a bit as he sated he poured enough olive oil to cover the bottom of his skillet – sorry  I couldn’t help myself.  He asked me if I didn’t like olive oil and I told him that was not the point it was the amount of olive oil he was using to saute his vegetables.  His comment was  “hey,, I quit using butter”……..oh boy….but he did have a point.  When I explained it was still considered a fat (he was trying to cut down) he claimed what most people do “its a good fat”.  Yes, it is, however folks, you have to still use it sparingly.

The man went on to say that he was on the road a great deal and had a hard time eating healthy.He either ate out of gas stations or he ate fast food all the time but was starting  to worry because his mom died recently of  heart issues at an early age.  The guy was on the right track he was trying to not use butter in his cooking and changing over to olive oil but I explained he needed to cut back on the amount he used.

Next we talked about his lunch time dilemma, sound familiar?. I told him, eating from a gas station can work but you had to make wise choices not the polish dogs 2 for a 1.00 or slices of pizza, etc.  He asked my opinion about protein shakes.  I am not a fan about these for me, but that is because I need something to chew.  I find that drinking my lunch just does not work.  Now that being said, my daughter will drink protein shakes for lunch and find they fill her up better than eating a salad or a sandwich.  I told him to research the  shakes because some cost a great deal and some were still pretty high in fat and sugar. Cost is something else to consider.  Try and find one that you can make up at home, put in a thermos to keep cold and you can have it whenever or where ever you are at.  I also suggested he try some of the snack ideas from my web site to bag up in case he gets he urge to crunch something during the day.

You can be a truck driver, sales person, real estate representative or construction worker and still make a healthy lunch for yourself.  It really boils down to planning.  There are a great deal of satisfying items to eat that are a low fat option.

For comments/questions email  ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

FYI:  If you do have to eat a fast food restaurant because that is the “safest””  thing you can find, try and locate one that has baked potatoes or salads.  You can order one of the smaller burgers and then order a baked potato (minus all the toppings) or a salad with the dressing on the side.

 

 

Eating At Panera September 13, 2012

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 3:46 pm

I had a meeting today at Panera.   My friend looked at me and wondered if there was anything that I would be able to eat ?  I always    laugh when people ask me that because it’s not what I can eat it’s what I choose to eat.

There are some great salads and if you ask for the dressing on the side or if they have a low fat version you will be fine.

So my suggestion, eat at Panera, they do have  quite an assortment of low fat choices and they are also very accommodating

 

Wednesday’s Dinner, Friday’s Lunch September 12, 2012

I don’t mind eating leftovers but I like to wait at least a day in between.  Tonight I’m making some fresh salmon we were given and I have enough that I can use for my lunch on Friday (providing my husband doesn’t find it).  I also making a great salad to go with my dinner tonight and I can easily transport the salmon on top of the salad if  I have any left over.  The dressing for the salad is a carrot-ginger vinaigrette that will pair nicely with the salmon.     Enjoy!!!          For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Salmon

In a hot skillet or over high heat on a grill spray a frying pan with a generous amount of Pam olive oil.  Place 2 – 4oz salmon fillets in the pan or on some foil for the grill (spray well with Pam).  Sprinkle with some salt and pepper to taste.  Start off cooking skin side down and cook for about 6 minutes, turn and cook for about 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest before serving – don’t cut into the salmon fillet or poke to check for doneness

Salad with Carrot, Ginger Vinaigrette

1/4 cup finely grated carrots

3 Tlb. fresh orange juice

2 Tlb finely chopped shallots

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp minced ginger (less or more depending on how strong ginger flavor you like)

1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half

1/2 tsp dark sesame oil

5 cups combined field greens and arugula (great pepper flavor with the arugula)

Combine carrot, orange juice, onion, olive oil rice vinegar, hone, ginger and sesame oil in a mini food processor.  Process until  well combined.

Place  the greens mixture in a bowl.  Add the tomatoes  and mix together.  Take a handful of the salad mixture and put on a plate, either place your salmon piece on top of the greens or along side.  Pour 1-2 Tlb. of the vinaigrette  over the salad and salmon fillet.    YUMMMMM

 

 
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