Beth Meets Brussels!!

 

brussels4

 

My new favorite in the veggie department of life?

Brussels Sprouts.

I’ll just get to the point: There once was a time when I would have passed on these little guys altogether.

In fact, when I made my  “I-finished-college-and-now-I-am-spreading-my-wings” move to Baltimore over a decade ago, a very dear family invited me to join them for their Thanksgiving dinner.

I was grateful to not be spending it alone….but I was puzzled my some of the foods that they were serving.

One of those foods just so happened to be Brussels sprouts.

brussels3

I remember looking at them and thinking:

{{{Gross!!!}}}.

At the time, it didn’t remind me of my homey-Midwestern roots AT ALL, and simply made me feel even more lonely and out-of-place.

Until now.

Fast forward a good decade and my family served them at Thanksgiving as well…

{We feel no need to rush into these things..haha!!}.

Anyhow, they are amazing.

Easy.

Tasty.

And extremely, extremely healthy.

 

My favorite way to make them so far…is to simply saute them in a mixture of butter and olive oil, with garlic (shocker, I know!), and freshly grated Parmesan.

brussels1

 

Let me just say: there were none leftover.

brussels2

 

Dinner was….very delicious!

(p.s…..I will be posting the recipe for that incredible mushroom cream sauce you see in the very near future!)

 

Beth Meets Brussels!!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Package Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced. (or to your liking...I am a garlic girl, what can I say!)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut ends of Brussels and rinse really well (they seem visibly dirty sometimes).
  2. Melt butter and olive oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add Brussels and saute over medium heat until they turn dark green and are soft, but not soggy.
  4. Taste and add more of whatever seasonings you would like.
  5. Sprinkle with the Parmesan...
  6. Enjoy!

 

Enjoy!!

 

Lox and Lavish

I decided it was time to show you one of my new favorite “anytime” foods…

 

loxandlavish1

 

I’ve always heard about Lox and Bagels, but have honestly never tried them.

I know.

It’s a sad life I do lead.

The few times I have visited NYC (isn’t that somehow the “lox and bagel” capital?), I have been more interested in finding and eating at one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants, standing in line for endless hours at Serendipity’s for a frozen hot chocolate, or discovering a little place called Laduree, (leaving me to have to choose between oodles and oodles of delicious world-famous macarons)…so I was left with little time to worry about much of anything else.

For some unknown reason, “bagels and brined salmon” just never really topped my list of “must-try” foods.

Until now.

loxandlavish2

 

To be fair: I did not buy “true” lox, as this is simply cold-smoked salmon.

(Cold-smoked salmon that I am eternally grateful to Trader Joe’s for deciding to sell, I might add).

I used some of my trusty little whole-wheat Lavish Bread, in place of carb-laden bagels….

And it worked!

As it turns out, this delicate little “appetizer-of-a-meal” needs very little fanfare or dressing up.

The whole thing took me no longer than 5 minutes to make.

I have read that people commonly enjoy their smoked salmon with toppings like lemon juice, red onion, or capers.

Honestly?  I found that it doesn’t need any of that.

It is good.

Really good.

Just the way it comes.

The crispiness of the cracker, combined with the smokiness of the salmon…all sandwiched between a small schmear (see what I did there?!) of reduced-fat cream cheese:

Delicious!!

Lox and Lavish
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 oz of smoked salmon (I find mine at Trader Joe's by the deli meat)
  • 1 TB reduced-fat Cream Cheese
  • ½ piece Lavish Bread, cut into squares and crisped in either the microwave or oven until beginning to brown
  • Small pinch coarse ground sea salt for topping
Instructions
  1. Very simple!
  2. I took ½ of a slice of Lavish, and used a pizza slicer to cut it in squares. Placed it on a paper towel and microwaved it on high for a little over a minute, just until it was crisp and beginning to brown. While that is being microwaved, measure out a TB of reduced-fat cream cheese.
  3. Assemble each as shown in picture, evenly dividing the cream cheese with all slices of Lavish. Top with generous "bite" of the smoked salmon. Sprinkle sea salt.
  4. Enjoy!!

The Best Eggnog I’ve Ever Had

What are you doing right this second?

Because….

image

 

Let me just get right to the point: Stop whatever it is that you are doing…

and go make this AMAZING drink!!

image

I have discovered a fellow Trim Healthy Mama blogger….and her name is Brianna Thomas.

Well, Miss Thomas invented this little glass ‘o goodness.

…and I plan to name my firstborn after her because of it.

:)

No.  It really is that good.

image

I officially just started my very first Fuel Cycle, since beginning THM almost 9 months ago (more on that in a later post).

Anyhow, I was craving desserts.

I was missing the cream in my coffee, and my beloved coconut ice cream.

And then I saw this recipe.

Now…full disclosure: I would not normally say that I am an “eggnog fan”.

Far from it, actually.

I remember enjoying it when I was a little girl, but mostly in recent years I have been bummed to realize that it is just too much for me.

As in…a sip goes a loooong way in my book.  (Interestingly, every Christmas season I dig out my favorite holiday movie, Christmas Vacation, and I watch in jealousy as Clarke and Eddie down the Eggnog, thinking: gosh darn I wish I liked that stuff!!).

Well…..now I do!

In fact…it was my dinner tonight.

{All two heaping glasses of it}.

oops.

:)

image

So, so, sooo creamy!!

So, so, sooo easy!!

Honestly.  You don’t have to know how to bake, be adventurous in the kitchen, or blah, blah, blah…..!!

I am convinced that anybody can make this.

Now, you are gonna read this recipe, and then you will wonder:

“But Beth…what about the raw egg?”

Yes.

Yes I did do it.

Raw egg and all.  (It made me feel like a body-builder, btw…haha!)

Honestly though…when I read the recipe I thought: “Well, if we have to mix it quickly for fear that the egg will scramble due to the heat….then I am probably safe to consume it”.

Probably.

Okay…Maybe not for all I know, but the thought somehow made me feel better.

I guess I just love livin’ on the edge like that.

:)

Anyhow, bottom line: T-R-Y it!!!

(I’d say you can thank me later….but really all of the thanks need to go to Brianna Thomas!)

click below for the recipe!!

The Best Eggnog I’ve Ever Had

Almost Ruined.

 

 

 

almostruined

I reached for some bananas the other day and–without even thinking–I opted to take the ones that were soft, brown, and beginning to go bad.

I wanted them for a recipe I was going to make.

Honestly?  I haven’t been able to put it out of my mind ever since.

I actually passed up the chance to use the perfectly yellow, non-bruised variety….

because I wanted the ones that were almost ruined.

Very simply: I bought those bananas when they were in their prime.

They were delicious-looking, firm, and had a nice yellow color.

They were of the non-bruised variety…

They seemed perfect…

They seemed ready…

But they weren’t useful to me in that state at all.

I wanted the weathered variety, because I wanted to use them for a very specific purpose.

I wanted them bruised and soft, because muffins taste better when ripe bananas form the core of the recipe!

 

Very Simply: I waited until they were almost ruined for any other purpose.

 

{{And then they were perfect}}.

 

When I grabbed them I felt like the Lord impressed this on my heart:

I am very much the same as those bananas.

Many, many times in my life….when I feel like I have it all together, when I feel that I am “ready” or “in my prime”…God seems to wait just a bit longer….

Why?

I could be wrong, but I honestly believe it is because of one simple truth:

Brokenness brings out a flavor in us that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

Brokenness smells differently.

Brokenness tastes differently.

There is a sweetness to us when we are broken that we otherwise would not have.

{And He loves it}.

He loves us.

He loves us so much that He allows weathering, pressing…breaking.

He allows time to pass by.

And then…

In our weakest state…

When everyone else would declare us completely unfit for service of any kind (which by the way is the very definition of condemnation):

He. Chooses. Us.

He says that, not only is there still life in us, but that this was the state that He actually wanted us to be in the entire time.

Broken.

Vulnerable.

Otherwise known as the “My-pockets-are-empty-and-I-am-holding-nothing-else-back-because-I-have-nothing-else-left-to-give” state of being.

{And He loves it}.

Here is the genius of God:

He sees the biggest picture.  

The Ten-Thousand foot view.

So as we walk through this life…He knows just exactly what He is shaping us into.

He knows how we best operate.

He knows what He created us for.

{Just the thought takes my breath away}.

It reminds me of a favorite verse of mine:

“…God has chosen the world’s insignificant and despised things–the things viewed as nothing–so He might bring to nothing the things that are viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence.” (1 Cor 1:28)

The secret?  We are broken, weak vessels, whether or not we go through life acknowledging so or not.

But in Him?

In Him there is redemption.

In Him there is no condemnation.

In Him…I am declared fit….never unfit.

{Broken bruises and all}.

That, my friends, is what I am singing about tonight!!

:)

Belts

Losing weight is such a weird journey.

You can go days and not really notice any changes.

Weeks can go by and you keep pulling on the same pair of jeans, thinking that they really don’t fit that differently at all.

Then, suddenly, one day an old belt (one that you haven’t been able to wear in several years, btw) simply….

fits.

And it fits well.

(Woohoo!!)

To me, I would much rather have the “this-belt-didn’t-use-to-fit-but-now-it-does” kinda moments, as opposed to watching the scale every day hoping to see it budge.

I always have to remind myself: inches are better than pounds.  Sometimes my body is busy working on other  wonderful things like: Redistributing my weight, Evening out my hormones, etc…so I may not notice the scale really moving that much.

But…..

One glorious morning as you are getting ready….you decide to take a risk and try something old on….something cRaZy like a belt….and it fits!

Today’s Joyful Something?

Living a life with belts.

 

image

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas (S)

 

 

Every single time I make this for dinner I tell myself: Beth, you really need to put this one up on the blog!!

 

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

 

They are so, soo, sooo good!!

My very dear friend told me about this recipe several months ago, and I have enjoyed making it ever since.

One of my favorite things about it??

It’s made with canned chicken.

Yes….yes it is.

I know, I know!  It sounds…..umm….not-so-declicious…but it is!!  I promise!

greenchilienchiladas2

Growing up, we never really did a whole lot of anything with canned chicken.  Canned tuna, yes.  Chicken?  Gross!

Or so we thought.

It’s only in the last year or so that I have ventured into this unknown, delicate cuisine…. :)

The thing I love most about it, is that I do not ever have to fuss over thawing or defrosting meat.  So often I am thinking about what I want for dinner while I am starving and driving home from work.  I very rarely have everything all lined up and prepared in advance.  And nothing bothers me more then when I come home and think of all of these delicious things I would love to make….only to remember that all of my meat is neatly tucked away in the freezer.  Frozen solid.

Enter: Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas!! 

These, my friends, are an absolute staple!!

I now try to make a  point to have the very few required ingredients on hand to make them, so I always know that I can make them any time I am in a pinch for something delicious to make for dinner!

Also: they make a lot!!

greenchilienchiladas4

They would easily feed a family, and I honestly believe everyone would love them!!

I am posting this now, because I think you could easily substitute left-over turkey in place of the chicken, and have an easy “leftover turkey dinner” recipe to make this upcoming weekend!!

The original recipe did not have green chili’s in them.

However, I have decided that–in my opinion–they make the dish.

Feel free, though, to leave them out if you have little kiddo’s (or picky spouse!) that wouldn’t think they were as great as I do :)

 

Enjoy!!!

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9-12 enchiladas
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Large Cans, Chunk-white chicken breast (feel free to substitute freshly baked chicken too!)
  • ½ medium-sized onion, diced
  • 9-12 Low-Carb, Whole Wheat tortilla's (my favorite are LaTortilla Factory, but Mission has some good ones as well)
  • 3 large cloves Garlic, minced (I love garlic, so feel free to adjust as you want)
  • 2 cans, chopped green chili's
  • 1 small container heavy whipping cream
  • 1½-2 cups Sharp, shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 TB butter
  • I block Cream Cheese (I've used both regular and reduced fat and can't really tell a difference!)
  • **optional variation** 1 can Green chili enchilada sauce
  • Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste
  • Green onions/chives for garnish
Instructions
  1. (Use a larger saute pan, so you can make everything without having to transfer to another dish). Melt Butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and saute 1-2 mins longer. Add Green Chili's. (I don't add them sooner, because they are already soft and cooked and I don't want to ruin them!). Saute only briefly just to mix them all together. Add 3 cans drained chicken (or about 4 cups of leftover turkey!!). Mix thoroughly and continue over medium heat until the meat is heated through. Turn off heat, but leave pan to still keep it warm. Add block of cream cheese and just begin stirring until it is all melted and mixed together.
  2. Remove from heat. Take out a 9x13 dish (you may have more than fill the dish, just adjust or add another 9x9 if needed!). Begin simply filling each tortilla to whatever degree you guys enjoy your enchiladas to be filled :)
  3. Place each one, "seem"-side down in baking dish. At the very end, pour 1 small container of heavy whipping cream over entire batch. (If I am using the enchilada sauce I do that at this time as well). Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake 350 degrees, 30-35 mins. Bake only to heat through and melt cheese, etc.
  4. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

November Weight-Loss Update

 

I know this sounds crazy (probably because it is), but I actually find that entire months go by and I forget to weigh myself.

No….really.

When I first started this incredible journey, I behaved pretty much like every other dieter around.

I weighed myself almost constantly.

I got excited because I dropped a decent amount of weight right away the first few weeks, and so I naively thought that the weight would just keep dropping off at the same pace.

Only it didn’t.

Honestly….after the first few weeks, I stepped on the scale and found that I had actually gained a few pounds!!

{{Yikes!!}}

{{Total Weight-Loss Nightmare!!}}

This of course caused me to do what I would normally do, which is:

 Panic.

Completely.

I immediately had a rush of emotions from all over the place, all boiling down to an incredible fear that this was not working for me.

So what about the success stories I had read?

{{It surely was not working for me!}}

So what about the glimmer of hope that I was feeling?

{{This was surely coming to an end just as quickly as it had begun, only to leave me feeling desperate for change once again.}}

Thankfully, I then had a conversation with a good friend :)

Long story short: I made a deal to not weigh myself for an entire month, while continuing on in this new way of eating.

It was painful and even a little terrifying to me.  I honestly just did not feel that I could afford to have this not work.

I worried with every feeling of fullness, or after every cookie or butter-laiden piece of food that I put into my mouth, that THIS was totally NOT working for ME!

But you know what?

It was :)

And this week I am officially….

Sixty-Three Pounds Down!!!!

Long story short: Life is good….and so is the food :)

I don’t plan to ever eat another way again…!

I don’t have any recent full-body pic updates, but I did just find a fun comparison.  These two pics were taken just exactly a year apart from each other.  The first, last November on Thanksgiving.  The second was just today (okay a week shy of a year!).

facepic4

My conclusion?   Apparently I really like winter hats!

haha!!

Aside from that, though?

Life change is happening…whether or not I feel like it is or see it occurring.

Sometimes I feel like it is slow, only to look back and see how quickly it really is going…

So, my wonderful friends, if any of that resounds within you take my advice:

keep going!!

And STOP weighing!!!

Our lives are worth it.

My Favorite Roast

 

roast5

 

 

There are many things that I love about my sister n’ law, but her love for trying out new and different recipes is one of my favorites.

She works full-time.  She has three small children.  She does photography.

Needless to say: she is busy!

Because of this, she has become an expert at coming up with easy, no-fuss dinners.  I am always excited to see what she is cooking up and trying, and this little gem happened to be one of them.

The funny thing?  This roast was not actually what was on the menu for us to eat the night she made it.  She needed to cook the meat, but we were opting to dine on something else instead.  However, when this was done, we naturally all wanted to taste it….well….one thing led to another…and pretty soon we were hovering over the roast, tearing off pieces and enjoying every. single. bite.

It’s that good!!

 

roast7

Complete and total comfort food!

She makes hers with big chunks of sweet potato cut up into it, but I opted to go without them and instead added several different packages of mushrooms.  I used Shiitake, Crimini, and Button….but feel free to use anything you like!

I also enjoy it in a bowl, with the juices drizzled over the top….yum!!

Try it!!  It’s traditional roast taken to a whole new level….and it was easier than peeling bag-fulls of carrots and potatoes to get it.

:)

My Favorite Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5servings
 
Ingredients
  • #3 pound roast (I used Chuck)
  • 1 Envelope Dry Ranch Dressing mix
  • 1 Envelope Dry Italian Dressing mix
  • 1 Envelope Dry Brown Gravy mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 Packages Mushrooms, any variety
  • 2TB olive oil
  • salt & pepper as desired
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in large saute pan. Add Roast. Brown both sides to sear. Transfer roast and drippings to crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add all other vegetables. In separate bowl, dissolve mix packets into the water. Mix until well combined. Pour over meat and vegetables. Cook on High, 4-5hrs, or Low for 8hrs.

Mushroom Tetrazzini

Dinner’s in my home seem to be getting better and better….and recipes like this one are just one reason why!

Mushroom Tetrazzini

mushroomtetrizzini4

Yet another way I love to eat Spaghetti squash…

One night I was craving mac n’cheese, so I started experimenting around with a few ingredients and came up with this.  As I was eating it, I realized that although it didn’t taste like my old Kraft stand-by, it DID remind me of a family favorite that I have grown up enjoying:

Tetrazzini!

 


mushroomtetrizzini2

 

My family usually makes this dish with leftover Turkey, but the night I came up with this, I found myself with no leftover meat of any kind….so I was thrilled to find mushrooms in my fridge!

L-o-v-e me some mushrooms :)

So I felt that they made this dish amazing!!

 

mushroomtetrizzini1

It made a full 9×13, and in my opinion the leftover’s just kept getting better and better.

{{One note about the recipe: Nutritional yeast flakes were new to me until fairly recently.  I see recipes that often use it as a sort of “powdered cheese”-like substitution, because it is much healthier than the traditional version.  So I have started experimenting a bit with it….and the jury is still out about it in my book.  Not sure it is entirely worth the purchase if you don’t already have some, in all honesty!  So if this finds your fridge sans the nutritional yeast….feel free to just add a bit more regular cheese and I am sure it will taste more than wonderful!}}

Mushroom Tetrazzini
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash, sliced in half and laid face-side down in microwave safe dish...microwave on high for approx 14 mins, or until squash fork tender
  • 1- ½ TB Butter
  • 3 Large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • Sea Salt to taste, (liberal amount!)
  • Pepper
  • *scant* amount Cayenne Pepper (I literally just turned the bottle upside down one time!)
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg (Thank you Rachel Rae for the white cream-sauce "secret ingredient" tip! It is worth it!)
  • 3-4 stalks Green Onion, chopped
  • 1 large handful mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 TB Almond Flour
  • 1 TB Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1½ cup Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup Fresh Parmesan, shredded
  • 3 TB Half n' Half
Instructions
  1. Once squash has been cooked (see above), use a fork to flake the squash free. Transfer to mixing bowl and set aside. In Large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add Sea Salt, pepper, chopped onions, garlic. Allow these to cook until onions seem tender and translucent. In small dish, combine Almond Milk, Almond Flour, and Nutritional Yeast...whisk until combined. When onion/garlic mixture seems tender, add Almond Milk mixture and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes....*I turned the heat down to low-medium at this point, so nothing burned!*. Add Cayenne Pepper and Nutmeg. Simmer a bit more while stirring in these ingredients. Add 1¼ cups of the Shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Now start tasting!!...see if you need any more of the above seasonings...I ended up adding more salt, etc...Add chopped Green onions. Stir. (I add these later because I don't want them to get wilty! Last of all: Add the Half & Half. I loved this because it made it seem just a bit creamier, you may not need to add it at all...just see what you think! Add Spaghetti Squash to saute pan...mix thoroughly. Transfer to 9x13 Baking Dish. Add remaining cheddar and Parmesan cheese to the top. Bake 350 for about 25-30mins, or until cheese is bubbly and it seems done!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

whoopiepies2

 

My friends, let me just start by saying…..these babies are worth making!  I am going to a get-together tonight and wanted to find a treat to take that would ensure that there would be dessert on the table that I could have.

Enter: Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies!!

whoopiepies3

I love blogging and I love trying out new foods and experimenting in the kitchen.  However, what I love even more is letting someone else do all of that for me, finding a recipe that looks cute and tastes delicious—that I didn’t have to try and re-try again in order to come up with!

How can that not be a total win-win??!

 

With that in mind, one of my all-time, favorite “go-to sites” for some awesome recipes of all kinds:

All Day I Dream About Food

I love this blog, I love her photography, and I love her recipes!

These little gems were found embedded within her site.

whoopiepies4

 

I have said before that it can be tricky to bake with alternative flours, sugars, etc.  I am always trying out new recipes.

For myself, I have a few favorite cookie recipes that I make on a regular basis that I honestly love and enjoy.  However….and it is a big however, not everyone finds them as good as I do!

haha!

Is that terrible of me to admit?

It may sound like I am self-bashing, but I am honestly not!

The truth is: my taste-buds seem to be changing a little bit more with every passing month of eating this way.

(I once made a single-serving cake, ate and enjoyed it, and later realized that I had completely forgotten to add sweetener at all.)

{{That is huge!!}}

With this in mind, my goal is to accumulate a book full of recipes that I know I can make for a group of people and be proud of what it is, regardless of how it is made.

In my opinion, this is that type of recipe, and I plan to make these again and again.

whoopiepies

 

Try them!!

Recipe:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

  • Meet Beth

    Originally from Northern Iowa, I now work and reside in the Greater Kansas City area. Having struggled with my weight for over 16 years, I am finally “sick and tired of being sick and tired”. (read more)
  • Like Us on Facebook