I Must Love Me Too

If you have neglected yourself,
make a sincere apology to thee.
Gather the "love-me-not-petals" of your life
and start counting "I-must-love-me-too".
In no time at all you have
a beautiful flower blossom within you. ~ Dodinsky Writings

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Banana Bites

Slice bananas, top with some natural peanut butter and freeze, melt some dark chocolate pieces ( don't use chips better to use bars, like bakers bittersweet chcocolate because they are made to melt and chips are not) dip frozen slices in dark chocolate and roll in Unsweetened coconut and chopped almonds or both :-) Enjoy !

Monday, March 28, 2011

Curried Butternut Squash Bisque

Curried Butternut Squash Bisque

: November/December 1992

3.7 out of 5 stars based on 11 reviews

8 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time:


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 6 cups) (I use frozen when I can find it for the convenience factor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in curry and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, cider, rice and squash; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the squash is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture through a strainer set over a large bowl. Puree the solids in a food processor or blender until very smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the puree and liquid to the pot. Heat the soup gently and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, stir yogurt and milk in a small bowl. Ladle the soup into bowls and add a dollop of the yogurt mixture. Draw the tip of a knife or a toothpick through the yogurt to make decorative swirls.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Per serving: 153 calories; 2 g fat ( 1 g sat , 1 g mono ); 4 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 4 g fiber; 267 mg sodium; 356 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (204% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv), Folate (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins

: Winter 2004, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

1 dozen muffins

Active Time:

Total Time:



  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional)
  • 1 10-ounce can pineapple slices


  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour (I use oat flour instead)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur all purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, (not drained)
  • 1 cup grated carrot, (1 large)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins, preferably baking raisins (see Ingredient note)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare topping: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar into each muffin cup. Sprinkle nuts, if using, over the sugar. Stack pineapple slices and cut into 6 wedges. Place 2 wedges in each muffin cup.
  3. To prepare muffins: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in oil, juice and vanilla. Stir in crushed pineapple. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in carrot, oats, raisins and nuts, if using. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they'll be quite full).
  5. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch, 15 to 25 minutes. Immediately loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a baking sheet. Restore any stray pineapple pieces and nuts. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve upside-down, either warm or at room temperature.

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient Note: Baking raisins, moister than regular ones, ensure a better texture. To substitute regular raisins, plump them first: soak in boiling water for 10 minutes; drain well.


Per muffin: 211 calories; 6 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 35 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 185 mg sodium; 152 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 fat

Gingerbread Pancakes - Gluten Free

Gingerbread Pancakes - Gluten Free

Gingerbread Pancakes - Gluten Free

Makes 6 medium pancakes

1 1/4 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix or any homemade pancake mix
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze (or milk of choice)
2 tsp molasses
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger (ground, powdered)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cloves, ground
1 tbsp agave

Heat skillet to medium heat. Mix all above ingredients in 1 bowl and whisk until no lumps appear. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop to measure out batter, pour pancakes into pan. Flip after approx 2 minutes.

Nutrition (per pancake)
Cals: 109 Fat: 1.6g Carbs: 22g Fibre: 1.5g Sugars: 3g Protein: 3.7g

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Turkey and Cranberry Wrap

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Per Serving Calories 203

1 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 Tbsp fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
1 8-inch whole grain tortilla (I use gluten free)
2 oz. deli-style roasted turkey breast
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce


1. Place the cranberries in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover them with a small amount of water, and microwave on high for 15 seconds, just the soften the skins. Drain the water off. Mix the cranberries with the cream cheese.

2. Spread the cranberry and cream cheese mixture down the center of the tortilla. Next layer the turkey and lettuce on the tortilla.

3. Beginning with one end of the tortilla, wrap into a tube, folding the ends in towards the middle to keep the turkey and lettuce in place. Slice in half if you wish.

Serves 1

Friday, March 25, 2011

Get the biggest bang for your calorie with nutrient-dense food

In 2005, the government's revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans introduced the term "nutrient density," which sounds complicated but simply refers to how much nutrition a food provides.

Eating foods in a variety of colors will help you achieve a nutrient-dense diet.

For example, a slice of 100 percent whole-grain bread is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while a slice of regular white bread is lower in all three.

Cooking Light asked nutrition consultants Lola O'Rourke, M.S., R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Lona Sandon, M.Ed., R.D., L.D., also with the ADA, as well as Ann Yelmokas McDermott, Ph.D., M.S., L.N., of the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, to talk about nutrient-dense foods and how to add them to meals to boost nutrition and flavor.

Cooking Light (CL): What is nutrient density?

Ann Yelmokas McDermott: It refers to the amount of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber in a given portion of food -- for the fewest number of calories. Nutrient-dense foods generally tend to be lower in calories. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry are all nutrient-dense foods that give you a big bang for your buck: plenty of vitamins and minerals for the calories.

CL: What are ways to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet?

Lola O'Rourke: Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and low in the things you want to minimize, like fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories. Fresh fruit, as a rule, is preferable to dried because it has much more water, so you feel fuller longer. The nutrient profile of dried fruit is similar to that of fresh (though vitamin C is destroyed by the heat used in the drying process) but contains more calories cup per cup because the water has been removed. You should eat dried fruit in moderation.

Fruit combines easily with main-course dishes. Include apples, diced pear, or mango on a salad, for example. Pour a fruit-based salsa over chicken or fish. If you like dried fruit, sliced or diced dried apricots in yogurt or on cereal is also a quick, convenient way to increase nutrient density of those foods.

A study conducted by the USDA and the National Cancer Institute suggests that most Americans aren't consuming the recommended daily amount of vegetables -- 2½ cups a day.

To eat more servings, combine them with the main course rather than eating them separately as side dishes. Grill a flank steak with a medley of peppers, onions, celery, and carrots, and serve it on a bed of brown rice. Add finely diced or shredded carrots to classic tomato sauce -- or broccoli or cauliflower to macaroni and cheese.

While eating a variety of vegetables should be your goal -- each one has its own nutrient profile -- dark green and orange veggies are especially important because of their high antioxidant and vitamin levels.

CL: Are canned fruits and vegetables as nutrient dense as fresh?

Lona Sandon: Both are comparable to fresh and frozen in terms of nutrients, and they come in handy when you don't have time to slice, dice or peel. When you think about it, canned veggies are fresh foods already cooked.

Because of their high levels of sodium, look for low-sodium veggies -- or, with higher sodium varieties, drain the water in the can and rinse off the veggies. I do that with black beans and kidney beans -- and then add them to a green salad, ground beef or brown rice.

The same goes for canned fruits, which have nutrient levels similar to fresh. Look for varieties packed in natural juice or light syrup rather than heavy syrup, which is high in sugar and calories. It's wise to drain off even the natural juice and light syrup to reduce calories.

CL: What role does fat play in nutrient density?

O'Rourke: In general, you want to reduce fats because they have the highest number of calories compared with carbohydrates and protein. Any food with a lot of fat is going to increase the calories and, in essence, make the food less nutrient dense.

We do need some fat -- it transports fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), carries flavors and helps you feel satisfied after eating -- but look for monounsaturated and omega-3 types and avoid saturated and trans fats. Salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds are good sources of omega-3s. Nuts, especially almonds, are rich in monounsaturated fats, as are olive and canola oils. Add nuts in small amounts to salads, main courses, and morning cereal for flavor and crunch.

Fat-free foods don't fit into a nutrient-dense diet unless they're naturally free of fats, like vegetables and fruit. Fat-free baked products -- like cakes or muffins --replace fat with sugar, so you're still consuming lots of calories.

Compare a snack of walnuts and dried fruit to a fat-free processed cookie. The nuts are higher in good fats -- omega-3s in this case -- and you're getting vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants from the fruit. Yes, the cookie is lower in calories, but it doesn't measure up on the nutrient side.

CL: Why are whole grains considered nutrient dense?

Sandon: A whole grain is the entire edible part of any grain -- the bran, endosperm, and germ. Whole grains provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a wealth of antioxidants. There are many whole-grain impostors in the supermarket. Look for "100 percent whole grain" on the package or ingredient list. A food label that says "whole grain" or "made with whole grain" only means that product contains some amount of whole grain, but it may also contain enriched wheat flour, corn meal, or rye flour.

Some whole-grain products take time to adjust to -- like whole wheat pasta, which has a strong taste and chewy texture. One trick: Mix whole wheat pasta with white to slowly acclimate your palate. Also, rather than topping whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce, mix it up with steamed vegetables, which complement the pasta's firmer texture. Rice is a surprising choice when it comes to nutrient density. Brown basmati rice, for instance, is whole grain, and long-grain varieties are mostly whole grain. To add more nutrients and fiber, add wild rice to long-grain. Plain air-popped popcorn is whole grain, fiber dense, and low in calories, but it isn't great when it comes to nutrients. Still, it's fun to eat on occasion.

CL: How can people identify nutrient-dense foods?

Yelmokas McDermott: Any time you have an option, pick the most natural version of the food. If it's oatmeal, choose the least processed version. If it's oranges, go with the orange rather than juice. If it's a potato, eat the potato with the skin on instead of peeled in a gratin.

Strive to include four colors on your plate each time you eat. When you go to a salad bar, don't just have a big plate of greens; add the yellow and orange (peppers and carrots), the red (dried cranberries, beets, or red cabbage), and the beige and white (cauliflower and sunflower seeds). If you're making a ham and cheese sandwich, add plenty of lettuce and tomatoes -- and have it on whole-grain bread. Instead of eating a plain apple, spread a little peanut butter on your slices. This approach will guarantee that you eat a nutrient-dense diet.

Take two: What's the most nutrient-dense food in each of these pairs?

Diet soda or skim milk? While a diet soda has few, if any, calories, milk has more nutrients. An 80-calorie, 8-ounce cup of fat-free milk contains nearly 30 percent of the RDA for calcium, 8 grams of high-quality protein, almost a third of the daily needs for riboflavin, about one-tenth of the needed potassium, and a bit of magnesium.

One-percent low-fat cottage cheese or canned salmon? While cottage cheese has just 1 gram of fat per half-cup and salmon nearly 7 grams per 4-ounce serving, the fish is more nutrient dense. Salmon contains about three times more calcium (courtesy of its small bones) and four times more potassium, plus omega-3 fats and iron.

Brown rice or bulgur? A half-cup of bulgur (75 calories) outshines the same amount of brown rice (108 calories) with twice the fiber, twice the iron, and a bit more protein. Both have similar amounts of B vitamins and minerals


Nutrient Dense Foods

- avocado, nuts, cheese, peanut butter, eggs (yolks as well as whites), wholegrain bread, brown rice, hommous. You don't need to go for low fat or sugar free versions
- make your jello with evaporated milk and add in some banana or other fruit, or add yoghurt. This was my favourite dessert as a kid :)
- make a smoothie with fruit, yoghurt, peanut butter and full cream milk.
- make sure you start out the day with a healthy breakfast - oatmeal with banana, apple and cinnamon, or poached eggs on wholegrain bread.

Max4pup's Smoothie

1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup peaches
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 strawberry/banana (frozen)

Put ingredients in blender and blend.

Fiber Muffins

2 c. Fiber One Cereal (or All Bran) (I use Perky's flax cereal instead)
1 c. flour, whole grain (I use oat flour)
1 egg white
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 cup of blueberries or any berry you want

Mix together the All Bran, egg, and milk and let sit for a few minutes then add in all the other ingredients.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake in a greased muffin tin for 25 minutes.

Number of Servings: 12

Number of Servings: 12

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lebanese Cream Cheese

Lebanese Cream Cheese (60% Fewer Calories!)

This is how I make cream cheese. It's called Labneh and it is GLORIOUS. This is one of my favorite pre-healthy recipes. Just, turns out, it's actually better for you! :D Tastes like heaven. I am a cream cheese FREAK but I will take Labneh any day over cream cheese. It really is that good.

You may see other spellings like Lebni, Labni, Labna, etc.

Regular cream cheese has 100 calories per ounce. Labneh is only 40 cals/oz.! It's so easy to make overnight in the fridge. Check it out!


  • 32 oz. Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp. salt (I'm going to omit)

Stir 1 tsp. of salt into 32 oz. greek yogurt. Pour yogurt into (brand new) doubled-over pantyhose. You can use tripled-over cheesecloth if you want but pantyhose are perfect! Tie tight. Hang from a wooden spoon over a tall pitcher at least 2-3" off the bottom. Refrigerate overnight so all the whey drips off. Pull out the pantyhose, cut open, roll labeh out onto a dish. Smooth with the back of a spoon.

Garnish with any combination of the following:

  • Your favorite dried herbs. Some good ones I've found are dill, mint, chives and parsley.
  • Za'atar. Make your own or buy it. Usually includes oregano, basil, thyme, savory and other dried herbs.
  • Olive oil
  • Kalamata olives
  • Smoked paprika. My favorite!
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Garlic, chopped and sauteed
  • Honey
  • Berries
  • Whatever sounds yummy!

Serve with pita bread or your favorite veggies.

I like to mix plain labneh in with my pastas for creamy sauce, with my eggs for creamy omelets and spread it on sandwiches and wraps in place of condiments.

Again, only 40 cals/oz.

Bonus: You can use the left over whey to make fresh ricotta. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Souch Beach Mediterranean Veggie Pitas

Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwiches (Phase 2)

The bright colors and flavors of this overstuffed sandwich reflect the sunny region it’s named for. Soaking the onions in ice water tames the bite; try this technique for salads too. If you’re on Phase 1, skip the pita and eat the filling as a salad.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 (1/2-pita) servings

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
3 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (generous 1/3 cup)
1 medium cucumber, halved crosswise and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
2 roasted red peppers (from a jar), rinsed and cut into 1/4" slices
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped ( I omitted to lower the sodium)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 (6") whole-grain pita breads, halved

Place onion in a small bowl and cover with ice water, let sit for 10 minutes.

Drain onion, pat dry, and place in a medium bowl. Add chickpeas, spinach, feta, cucumber, tomato, peppers, olives, oil, vinegar, and cumin; stir gently to combine. Season with cayenne to taste.

Fill pita halves with vegetable mixture and serve.

Nutritional information
Per serving with pita:
290 calories
9 g fat (2.5 g sat)
44 g carbohydrate
13 g protein
8 g fiber
770 mg sodium

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kale Chips

I tried making Kale Chips a couple months ago and they came out tasting like burnt paper. But I tried again last week and tweaked the temp and cooking time. Now I'm addicted to them and look forward to having them as a snack everyday!

Bunch of Kale rinsed and dried
Fat Free Olive Oil cooking spray
Johnny's Seasoning/ Sea Salt

Spray a cookie sheet, tear the kale into bite size pieces, discard the stems. Arrange on the cookie sheet and spray again with the cooking spray, lightly (and I mean lightly, Kale seems to already have a salty flavor, you can always salt more after cooking) salt and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until slightly crispy, they tend to crisp up more as they cool and it's easy to over cook, you have to watch carefully until you know how your oven will cook. They are an awesome savory snack with out the guilt!

1 Cup Serving
Calories 15 Sodium 175 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 3 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 1 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

Spinach and Swiss stuffed Turkey Burgers

Spinach and Swiss stuffed Turkey Burgers


8 oz Lean Ground Turkey
1- 1 1/2 cup Baby Spinach
1 small onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp whatever fat you prefer, I used EVOO
2 slices low-fat swiss.

Chop onion and garlic and saute in evoo until translucent. Rinse and add baby spinach. Saute until spinach is wilted. Doesn't take very long. Remove from pan.

Season meat however you prefer. I actually didn't season it at all. The garlic and onion mixed in with the spinach flavored it pretty good. Separate into four equal portions and shape into patties. Place slice of cheese on two of the portions. Half spinach mixture and place on top of cheese. Add the other portion of turkey to top and seal the edges. Cook in same pan you used for spinach mixture. I didn't need to add extra oil and it didn't stick.

When it was done I ate it on a ww bagel thin. Any bread will do. Honestly it would be good without bread lol.

Hope you enjoy.

Ends up being right around 250 calories for just the burger.
Edited by tmbowman on Fri 03/04/11 05:42 PM