Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shepard's Pie

Let me ask you a question, "Would you like some Shepard's pie?" If you are following the P.I.N.K method your answer should be, "Oh gosh, I would love some but I am trying to change my eating habits and I don't think all the mashed potatoes would fit into my eating plan." To which I would reply, "Oh you can have this Shepard's pie, it is 100% P.I.N.K friendly" Then you would come over and give me big hug because I gave you yet another meal that will become a favorite.

Seriously, you can have Shepard's pie both on reset and while in the primary phases. So how will we make this P.I.N.K friendly? First we will replace the potatoes on the top with mashed cauliflower (have you tried mashed cauliflower? It really is good.) Second, instead of making a gravy out using flour, we are just going to leave it out and let the sauce reduce and thicken slightly on it's own. So you do want to know how to make it? Well continue reading and I'll tell you how.

PINK friendly Shepard's Pie
1 1/2 lb. of meat (use what you like, traditionally it is made with ground beef, I used cubed pork tenderloin)
3 cups mixed vegetables (use what you like, I used onions, carrots, zucchini, red bell pepper)
1 small sweet potato (only use this if you are in one of the primary phases, if you1 are on reset leave it out.)
1 1/2 cup low organic low sodium beef broth (really you should make your own but I didn't have the time)
1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. of Mrs. Dash original blend seasoning

Mashed Cauliflower
2 cups mashed cauliflower
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. of Mrs. Dash original blend seasoning

Optional (if you are making an original version for your family)
3 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

How to make

Start by chopping up all your meat and vegetables including the cauliflower.

Then steam your cauliflower, I used about 1/2 head of cauliflower.
While the cauliflower is steaming, brown your meat.
When the meat is brown add the remaining vegetables to the pot and allow to soften.

Add the low sodium beef stock and the tomato paste to the vegetables and meat, let simmer until the liquid is reduced and thickened slightly.

While the sauce is thickening, puree your cooked cauliflower in a blender with the nutritional yeast and Mrs. Dash. If your cauliflower doesn't blend up completely to a mashed potato consistency, add a little bit of the liquid it steamed in but be careful not to add to much, you aren't making soup.

Take out your portion of meat and vegetables from the main pot, at this point since I am on phase 1 I also added some sweet potato to my mixture as my slow carb. If you are on reset, just leave it out. I removed 2 portions so I could have a serving for tomorrow since Friday in our house is pizza night, my dinner will be made and I will be less likely to cheat if I can just pull it out to eat.

Top them with your cauliflower puree, I also sprinkled a little more nutritional yeast on top of my puree before it went into the oven to bake.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Note: You will have a lot of meat and vegetables left once you remove your portion, this will be what your family will eat. Put what is left in a separate pan and top it with mashed potatoes and shredded cheddar cheese, then bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. This is the more traditional way to make a Shepard's pie and I am sure your family will love it. You also could do half mashed cauliflower and half mashed potato, your family will never know that you have hidden more vegetables in their meal plus it will cut the calories way down. .

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Orange Julius Smoothie (Pink Style)

Oh, Orange Julius and their famous Orange Smoothies. They take me back to being a teenager and hanging out at the mall, getting and Orange Julius drink was a must while I was there with my friends. As I was out walking the dog after my workout, I was thinking about making my shake and  had a brilliant idea. Why don't I sub out the strawberries in PINK Drink #1 for and orange? I wasn't sure it would be approved but after looking in the book at the approved list of slow fruits and seeing that the Pina Colada with a Side of Green Smoothie in the back of the book had a half of an orange in it, I was pretty sure it would be okay. I wondered how the calorie count would change and discovered that a cup of strawberries has 53 calories while a small orange has 63, ten more calories was no big deal to me so I decided I had to try it and it was good!

Orange Julius Smoothie Pink Style
1 cup almond or coconut milk
1 scoop protein powder (I use the 365 whey protein powder from Whole Foods, 80 calories a scoop)
1 orange peeled and wedges seperated
1/2 cup ice

Put it all in your blender and blend until smooth. If you want a thicker smoothie, add more ice.

As you can see there are little black seeds in my smoothie, those are chia seeds. I add them mostly as a way to add in some Omega 3's and to help with my fiber intake, the absorb 8-10 times their weight in water and help me to feel fuller longer. I also used them to make this strawberry chia seed jam awhile ago. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Indian Spiced Chicken

Food on a diet doesn't have to be boring...not when you spice it up! I love, love, love Indian food. While this may not officially qualify as something that would officially be eaten in India, it uses those wonderful spices used in Indian cuisine and hit the spot for dinner last night. It is a little spicy so beware, you may need to adjust if spicy dishes aren't your thing. The texture is like a really thick stew/goulash but as I was making it, I thought I could just add some more water and it would make an excellent soup, especially if added some more vegetables. I am currently in phase 1 of the PINK method so I served this 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa but if you are in reset, don't have the quinoa and it is completely reset friendly. So on the recipe.

Indian Spiced Chicken

1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast (or whatever amount you want, this made enough for the whole family)

1 small onion cut into chunks
2 small zucchinis (or whatever vegetables you like)
2 cloves of garlic

1 can diced tomatoes (the rule with canned tomatoes is to look at the sodium content and make sure that the sodium is equal to or less that the number of calories per serving.)
1 can tomato sauce
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp garam masala spice mix (garam masala is a mixture of lots of spices, corriander, cumin, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, etc. you can make your own, I just happen to have some that a friend gave me. Here is a recipe to make your own)

1/4 cup Greek yogurt (this is optional and should be omitted if on reset, I think, I could be wrong but I don't think Greek yogurt is allowed until the primary phases. The yogurt helps to cool down the heat of the sauce a little bit and gives a creamy consistency to the dish.)


This is easy, you simply dump all of your ingredients except your yogurt into a pan and let is simmer for about 40 minutes or so. You could easily make this in a crock pot if you remember to do that ahead of time, I always forget.

Once it has cooked and the sauce thickened and reduced, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes just to cool.

After it has cooled a bit and you are ready to eat, add in your 1/4 greek yogurt and stir to combine (if you are in reset, omit this step). If you add the yogurt while it is still cooking or super hot, the yogurt will curdle slightly, not a big deal, it doesn't change the flavor or the texture really, I just don't like how it looks.

Serve along side a grain, brown rice, quinoa, etc. if you are in the primary phase. If you are in reset, you can eat as is or make some roasted cauliflower and serve over that. I added some curry to my cauliflower before roasting it just to carry the "Indian" flavor through out the meal. Enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

40 Calorie Chocolate Mint "Ice Cream"

Do you ever have days when you just need something sweet? I had one of those days yesterday. It was a gorgeous day where I live, we did a bunch of yard work in the morning and then the boys in my family headed out to a friends house to watch the Superbowl while my daughter and I watched the puppy bowl at home. While watching it, I got a hankering for something sweet. I could have a cup of almond milk hot chocolate which usually does the trick but I wanted something with a little more substance so I decided to make the almond milk hot chocolate, add a dash of mint extract and freeze it all so that in the end I could blend it up into and "ice" cream for dessert. Now I say "ice" cream because that is really what it is, pulverized flavored ice, but it did the trick for my sweet tooth for only 40 calories so I can't complain. Well to be honest about 20 calories because I only ate half of the batch, the rest is waiting in the freezer for another day when the sweet tooth needs to be fed.

This is pretty easy, the hardest part is waiting for it to freeze.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 tsp cacao powder
few drops of mint extract
few drops of stevia

How to

Measure out 1 cup of almond milk and warm in the microwave for about a minute, warming the milk is optional, I just find that the cacao powder dissolves into the milk easier if it is warm.

Add in your cacao powder, mint extract, and stevia and stir until it is all combined.

When combined pour into ice trays and freeze.

When the cubes are frozen remove from the freezer and put into the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds just to soften a bit.

Add the cubes into your blender and pulverize the heck out of them. If your cubes were soft enough, you should see something like ice cream in your blender. If it looks more like ice crystals, add just a smidgen of almond milk and blend again. If by accident you put in to much milk, you can simply put it into the freezer to harden a bit.

Top with a sprinkling of cacao powder and enjoy! 

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