Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some product reviews and how I used them for a great breakfast

I was talking to my nutritionist the other day, and since I was having problems with getting hungry too quickly after breakfast she suggested I have more protein in the morning.  She said Egg McMuffins are a great breakfast.  I don't like eating at McDonald's even occasionally, so I'm definitely not going to spend the money to go there every morning.  I decided to make my own version at home, and this is what I used:

1.  Thomas' Hearty Multi Grain English Muffins
Just 100 calories, a big 8g of fiber and 5g of protein per muffin.
2.  My new favorite find...Hormel Natural Choice deli meats in the cold cut section of the grocery store.  They taste like actual ham and turkey and have NO ADDED NITRATES OR NITRITES!
Just a little on the pricey side, but so worth the cost!
3.  1 Egg
4.  1 slice Sargento Ultra Thin Provolone cheese.  Only 40 calories per slice!!!  They are creamy when melted onto the egg muffin, and packed full of flavor for such a thin slice of cheese.
I used Provolone, but it also comes in Swiss, Cheddar and some others.
5.  2 tsp of butter.

I'm sure you can figure out how to cook it, but I like adding pics to my posts. :)  Spray the pan with a little bit of pan spray.  Put the burner on medium heat.  Crack the egg into the pan and break the yolk with a fork (but don't scramble it).
Add a little pepper and salt if you like a pinch of salt.  While that is cooking, split the English muffin with a fork and toast them.  Spread 1 tsp of butter on each side after toasted. 

Add 2 slices of Hormel Natural Choice honey ham into the pan.  Flip the egg.  Flip the ham.

Put 1 slice of Ultra Thin Provolone (or flavor of your choice) onto 1 side of the English muffin.  To make the egg fit nicely onto the muffin I cut it into halves or thirds and stack it a little, just covering the area of the muffin.  Add ham.  Eat and enjoy.
This is my and my kids' new favorite breakfast.  It's got a good amount of protein, fiber, not bad on carbs and good on calories for a small meal.  Here are the stats:

291.2 calories, 14.4g fat, 4.75g sat fat, 2.3g polyunsaturated fat, .99g monounsaturated fat, 208mg cholesterol, 780mg sodium, 70mg potassium, 27.8g carbs, 8g fiber, 18.7g protein.

It keeps my feeling full and satisfied all the way up until lunch time.  I have to admit, they are so tasty that it's tempting to have another one, but I don't allow myself to do that.  That would kind of defeat the purpose of being healthy, wouldn't it? :)

Enjoy your breakfast and have a happy day!
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Crock Pot Beef with Broccoli and a Vegetarian Version

I sure have been using my crock pot a lot lately.  It's a pain in the butt to clean the huge, heavy ceramic pot that goes in it.  So worth the effort though.  Keeps the kitchen much cooler, the house smells wonderful all day long, its almost effortless, and the meat is always perfect.

I'd like to share this recipe with you that I found on dLife.  My husband thought it had a hint of an Asian taste to it, and he would be right because it has a little ginger in it.  It's not overwhelming...just a hint and a nice change up for a standard crock pot roast.

Here's what you need:

1 1/2 - 3 lb beef roast, lean, cut into a couple pieces
3/4 lb carrots, peeled and in pieces
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, finely grated or minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C water
2 Tbsp soy sauce (low sodium is better)
1 packet dry beef gravy mix (I actually used mushroom gravy)
4 C fresh broccoli florets

1.  Place carrots, onions, meat ginger and garlic in a large slow cooker.
2.  In a small bowl combine water, soy sauce and beef gravy mix.  Pour over meat.
3.  Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4 to 5 hours (mine took about 6 hours to get really tender, so just check it.)
4.  Then put the cooker on high, put in broccoli.  Cover and cook for 15 more minutes until broccoli is crisp-tender.

It was really delicious.  The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, the vegetables were perfectly cooked.  My roast today was not very lean, and the crock pot completely filled with fat/juice when it was done cooking.  So I'm thinking that if it was a very lean piece of meat the gravy sauce would be thicker.

I'm a little unsure of the nutritional stats because I think it all depends on your specific cut of meat.  For a 4 oz serving of meat with carrots and broccoli, it will be approximately 300 calories, 700mg potassium, 600mg sodium, 20g carbs and 35g protein.

Also, whenever I made anything like a beef roast before my vegetarian daughter was completely out of luck because I did not have any suitable vegetarian products that I could convert the recipe to.  Until now.  I found a new product that I am totally excited about.  It's been around for a while, but it is really hard to find.  I found just a couple different items at Safeway.  You can go to Gardein's website and look at there store finder, although I will warn you, it was not accurate for me.  They listed several stores that did not carry it.  You'll just have to look around.  I found these "beefless tips":

It was enough to make 2 single serving meals, and it was under $4.  Such a bargain.  Sami is so excited now that she can have pot roast again.  Here's what hers looked like:
I steamed the vegetables, mixed them in with gravy, heated up the "meat" and then stirred it all together.  So easy, and she was in Heaven.

Hope you enjoy your Beef with Broccoli stew!
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