Zucchini "Noodles" with Sesame Peanut Sauce

Friday, December 2, 2016

I was craving a quick and easy noodle salad and this recipe fit the bill! Nowadays... I do not eat pasta so my noodle salad wasn't made up of noodles at all, but it was still incredibly delicious! I used spiralized zucchini in this dish. I have used spiralized yellow squash, spaghetti squash or even cabbage as my pasta. All of them would have worked for this dish, but zucchini is what I had on hand. 


Trust me when I say this... I did not miss the pasta at all. I loved the crunchiness and freshness of the veggies and there was tons of spicy Asian flavor coming from the sesame peanut sauce that complimented the veggies.


The easiest way to spiralize your veggies is with a spiralizer of course :) I have mentioned the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Slicer being my favorite one numerous times in a variety of posts. You can get it HERE on Amazon, but I think they have a five blade spiralizer which is the same price as the tri blade one. Go check them out!


The Paderno Spiral Slicer makes the zucchini into beautiful spirals in no time at all. Measure out 2 1/2 cups.


Chop up 1/2 cup of red bell pepper. I love the red, orange, and yellow bell peppers the most because they are sweeter and have an almost fruity flavor compared to green bell peppers which have a slightly bitter taste.


Toss the spiralized zucchini and red peppers together in a medium sized bowl.


Some of the ingredients used to make the Sesame Peanut Sauce.


Along with powdered peanut butter, also known as PB2. It is less fat, calories and carbs than regular peanut butter.


You do not need to add this, but I added a very small amount to the sauce because I wanted to sweeten it up just a bit. When I mean a little bit, I mean a very light sprinkle.


Combine the sauce ingredients and mix it well.


Pour the sauce over the veggies.


Stir until the veggies are evenly coated.


I added some shrimp for my Lean that was already peeled and cooked. I just take them from the freezer and run them under warm water for a few minutes to defrost them or leave them out on the counter for about an hour. This shrimp is so convenient on busy weekdays. Love them!

A wonderful healthy meal that is so easy to make. There is absolutely no excuse for not making healthy choices when we are busy. Enjoy!



Zucchini "Noodles" 
with Sesame Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups spiralized zucchini (5 Greens)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (1 Green)
4 tbsp powdered peanut butter (2 Snacks)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (1/4 Condiment)
1 tbsp soy sauce (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (1 Condiment)
2 tsp sriracha sauce (2 Condiments)
2 tsp sesame oil (2 Healthy Fats)
2 tsp water
Light sprinkle of a NuStevia packet (Optional)

Directions:

Combine spiralized zucchini and diced red pepper in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the powdered peanut butter, water, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, ground ginger, sriracha sauce and sesame oil together until mixed thoroughly.

Add the sesame peanut sauce to the zucchini and red pepper. You can also add a light sprinkle of NuStevia. Stir until the vegetables are coated evenly.

You can also add your favorite Leaner Lean or Leanest Lean. I chose shrimp! Because shrimp is a Leaner Lean, you would still need to add another healthy fat per serving.


2 Servings with 3 Greens, 2.6 Condiments, 1 Healthy Fat and 1 Snack per Serving




Coupon Code:

Get $15 off Medifast orders of $150 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy15, OR Get $25 off Medifast orders of $250 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy25. Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


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Crock Pot Pineapple Salsa Chicken

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I love Trader Joes! I especially love their grated raw cauliflower. It is about time someone created already grated cauliflower for us to purchase! It is so convenient and I don't have to worry about cleaning up my food processor and the mess surrounding my food processor :) For some reason, I always tend to get bits and pieces of cauliflower on the counter, the floor, and in my hair (don't know how that happens). Already grated cauliflower just makes my life so much easier! Not only do I love using it in place of rice, but I also use it to make my cauliflower pizza crusts. If you haven't tried the cauliflower pizza crusts yet, then you don't know what you are missing! You can get that recipe HERE.

How do I cook the raw cauliflower? I just throw it in the microwave. It is the easiest and fastest way to cook cauliflower. Add 1 tsp of water to help steam the cauliflower and make sure you cover the microwave safe container with a pieces of clear film or lid. I usually cook it for about 1 1/2 minutes but it depends on how much cauliflower you have in the container. A whole head of cauliflower could take about 3 minutes.You could also saute the cauliflower with a tsp of oil (1 Healthy Fat) if you have an extra Healthy Fat to spare on the stove top. When sauteing cauliflower, I love using the flavored oils such as Luscious Lemon, Valencia Orange or Roasted Garlic from Stacey Hawkins. This is a great way to add some flavor to plain cauliflower rice. You can purchase her products HERE.  She has a great collection of seasonings, oils, etc on her site! If you use the code BASS at checkout, you get Free Shipping! 


Another product I love from Trader Joes is their pineapple salsa. It is delicious! The addition of pineapple in the zesty salsa adds a little bit of sweetness and medium heat. It works perfectly with this Pineapple Salsa Chicken! I absolutely love crock pot meals since some days I just don't have time to cook. You just throw everything together in the crock pot and dinner is ready a few hours later. Gotta love it!


Measure out 27 oz of raw chicken breasts and place it in the crock pot.


Add 1/2 cup of pineapple salsa, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1/4 cup of chicken broth to a small bowl. Mix it all up.


Pour the mixture over the raw chicken breasts. Cook on LOW for about 4 to 6 hours. I cooked it for 5 hours. Shred the chicken and serve it our cauliflower rice. Easy and delicious! Enjoy!



Crock Pot Pineapple Salsa Chicken


Ingredients:
27 oz raw chicken breasts (3 Leaner Leans)
1/2 cup Trader Joes Pineapple Salsa (8 Condiments)
1 tbsp soy sauce (1 Condiment)
1/4 cup chicken broth (1/4 Condiment)

Directions:
Add chicken breasts, salsa, soy sauce and chicken broth to a crock pot.
Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours. Shred chicken when cooked. 
Divide into 3 portions.
Serve each portion over 1 1/2 cups cooked riced cauliflower 
or any approved Greens of your choice.


3 Servings with 1 Leaner Protein and 3 Condiments per Serving


1 Healthy Fat is still needed. 
Some great options are 1 1/2 oz of avocado, 2 tbsp of guacamole, or 2 tbsp of sour cream.





Coupon Code:

Get $15 off Medifast orders of $150 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy15, OR Get $25 off Medifast orders of $250 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy25. Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

Thursday, November 3, 2016

When I was barely a teenager, I came across a recipe in one of the many cookbooks that my Dad owned. I guess you can say my love for cooking came from my father:) He was in the Air Force so he really didn't have much time to cook during the weekdays, but the weekends were his time to unwind and well... cook. Don't get me wrong... my mother was and still is a good cook, but I always remembered the weekends belonging to Dad. I have lots of great memories of weekend family shenanigans.

The recipe I had found in one of his cookbooks was an easy one made with only a few ingredients. It was called Barbecue Cups. They were absolutely delicious, yet so simple. It consisted of ground beef mixed with barbecue sauce and then stuffed into a muffin cup. Each muffin cup was lined with refrigerated biscuits. They were topped with shredded cheese and placed in the oven. That's it! I told you they were easy. 


Well... being on Medifast, I can not have biscuits, but I found they were not necessary for this recipe. Yeah... biscuits are mighty tasty, but peppers work just as well. I just needed to find something that could hold the meat mixture, yet still taste great. I personally like the taste of sweet red peppers. I love them raw, roasted, grilled, etc... Either way, they taste delicious! You don't even have to use red peppers. Use and color you like. I don't discriminate! They are all yummy to me!


This recipe makes two Lean and Green meals, but feel free to double or triple the recipe if you have a large family or if you want more left overs!


Start off by cutting the tops off the peppers and getting rid of the seeds and membranes.


Then boil the peppers in a large pot of water for only 5 minutes. It helps soften the peppers so you don't have to spend so much time baking.


Measure out 7.5 ounces of cooked lean ground beef. Use a food scale! It is one of those gadgets you should own for portion control. You don't want to cheat yourself of any food you may be missing or vice versa... getting too much of a certain food. It just makes measuring simpler. Set aside the ground beef.


Next, measure out 1/2 a cup of riced cauliflower. Riced cauliflower is a great alternative to rice so it works great in this recipe. You can always grate your own cauliflower, but purchasing it already done is so much easier and saves some time! I purchased this at Trader Joes, but I have also seen it at Target and Costco.

Cover the bowl of riced cauliflower with clear plastic wrap or place a plate over the bowl. Microwave a few minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Microwaving is the quickest and easiest way to cook riced cauliflower. No need to add anything, but I have seen some people add a little bit of oil to the cauliflower. It really doesn't need it, but if you ever need that extra healthy fat, then adding it would be a great way to get it in.


Add the cooked cauliflower to the ground beef.


Then add the drained Italian diced tomatoes. I like to use Italian flavor because the additional Italian seasonings help add more flavor to the meat mixture.


I added Stacey Hawkin's Honey BBQ Seasoning. It is delicious and it enhances the flavor of the meat mixture. If you don't already have it, you can purchase it HERE. It has quickly become a favorite of mine. Use code BASS at checkout and you score Free Shipping! 


If you do not have the Honey BBQ Seasoning, don't fret! You can use any combination of your favorite seasonings. Just make sure you do not exceed two condiments total.


Now you are going to add the barbecue sauce! I found this sugar free barbecue sauce at Wal-mart. I have to say... considering it is sugar free... it is pretty darn good! My husband who hates sugar free anything actually likes this one. It comes in a variety of flavors too!


Mix all of the ingredients together until everything is combined.


Stuff the meat mixture in the cooked peppers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.


Uncover and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese on each pepper.


Bake for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.


Look at all that melted cheese! Don't they look heavenly? Enjoy!


BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

2 Green Peppers (4 Greens)
7.50 ounces cooked 93% Lean Ground Beef (1 1/2 Leans)
1/2 cup 2% Cheddar Cheese (1/2 Lean)
1/2 cup raw grated Cauliflower (1 Green)
1/2 cup Italian diced Tomatoes, drained (1 Green)
1/4 cup G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (4 Condiments)
*1 tsp Stacey Hawkins Honey BBQ Seasoning (2 Condiments)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the tops off both peppers. Discard the seeds and membranes.
Boil a large pot of water over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Remove the peppers from the water and place the peppers upside down on a plate to drain the water. Set aside.

Put the grated cauliflower in a small bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or you can place a plate over the top of the bowl. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Set aside.

Combine cooked ground beef, cooked cauliflower, diced tomatoes, BBQ sauce and seasonings of choice in a large bowl. 

Evenly divide meat mixture between the two cooked peppers.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on each pepper. Bake uncovered for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. One stuffed pepper is one full Lean and Green Meal.

*If you do not have Stacey Hawkin's Honey BBQ Seasoning, you can use any combination of seasonings of your choice. Just make sure the total number of condiments does not exceed a total amount of 2 Condiments.


2 Servings with 1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments per serving




Coupon Code:

Get $15 off Medifast orders of $150 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy15, OR Get $25 off Medifast orders of $250 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy25. Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


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Chicken "Noodle" Soup

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I had been feeling slightly under the weather this past week. Getting over a cold is no fun! No fun at all! Who has time for a cold? I know I don't. They are just horrible inconveniences that I NEED to get rid of quickly!

Luckily, no one else in my family has caught this yucky cold. I absolutely hate seeing my 4 year old and 3 month old boys get sick. It just breaks my heart. As for my husband? Well... if he gets sick, he can fend for himself. Just kidding :) He definitely can act like a big kid when he gets sick, but I guess he would say the same about me. We all like to be pampered, spoiled and taken care of when we aren't feeling so well.  Thankfully, my family hasn't gotten sick too often (knock on wood!).


So what is the best thing to help a cold? Mama always said chicken noodle soup and I agree! It helps clear nasal congestion and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect that can ease some cold symptoms. It also provides hydration from the broth. I love chicken noodle soup even when I am not sick. It is just one of those soups that will always remain a classic.


Because I am on the Medifast plan, I can not have pasta during the weight loss phase. But... I can have "noodles" made from zucchini and/or yellow squash, aka zoodles. They are both wonderful low-carb alternatives to pasta and they taste wonderful in this soup! Plus they are good sources of potassium, manganese, vitamin A and C.


The easiest way to make noodles from zucchini or yellow squash is by using a spiralizer. This is the spiralizer I have. It is the Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade, but I think they have a 5 blade one for almost the same price which is under $30! If you don't have one already, I highly recommend them! Making "noodles" is so much easier with this gadget and I use mine often. Click HERE, if you are interested in purchasing one. 


Once you have your "noodles" set aside, dice up your cooked chicken breasts. You could even use a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if you are short on time or you just don't feel like cooking because you are sick like me :) Just remember to get rid of the bones and skin from the chicken. Also, remember that you can have 6 ounces of white meat or 5 ounces of dark meat when using a whole chicken. I used only 4 ounces of white meat as 2/3 of my Lean because I don't prefer to have a lot of chicken in my soup, at least not when I am sick. I wanted more liquid. I just had one hard boiled egg later in the day which completed my Lean since the egg was 1/3 Lean.


When making the soup, add the chicken and spices to the chicken broth. Then bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add your squash "noodles". Simmer for about 5 more minutes or until the squash is soft or to desired tenderness. That's it! Quick and easy chicken "noodle" soup! You can always add celery if you like, but you will need to reduce the amount of squash "noodles" to accommodate the extra Green. I just kept it simple with a few ingredients. Enjoy this soup! Hopefully, not when you are fighting a cold like me!



Chicken "Noodle" Soup

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups spiralized Zucchini or Yellow Squash (3 Green)
4 ounces cooked Chicken Breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces (2/3 Lean)
2 cups Chicken Broth (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp Dried Whole Leaf Basil (1/4 Condiment)
1/4 tsp Dried Whole Leaf Oregano (1/4 Condiment)
1/8 tsp Black Pepper (1/4 Condiment)

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, add chicken broth, basil, oregano, black pepper and cut up cooked chicken. Place the saucepan over medium high-heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add squash and simmer for 5 more minutes or until squash is soft or to desired tenderness.

1 Serving with 2/3 Lean, 3 Greens, and 2.75 Condiments

*You will need to add 1/3 Lean to your day to complete your Lean and Green or you could add the full amount of chicken, which is 6 ounces of cooked chicken breasts if you desire.




Coupon Code:

Get $15 off Medifast orders of $150 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy15, OR Get $25 off Medifast orders of $250 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy25. Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


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Slow Cooker Beef and Kabocha Stew

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nothing is better on a very cold day than a hot, comforting, homemade bowl of soup or stew! It isn't quite cold here in Vegas yet, but trust me... it does get cold here! Maybe not as cold as the Northern states, but coming from a girl who has only lived in the South most of her life (well... except for the few years I lived in Colorado), it gets pretty darn cold in my opinion. Now... you don't have to have soup only on cold days, but it sure does help keep your body warm and toasty all the way down to your toesies!


One of my favorite soups is a rich, hearty beef stew that is full of flavor. I love making my beef stew with lots of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Those ingredients have a lot of carbs in large quantities so I decided to try kabocha squash instead of the starchier white and sweet potatoes.


Kabocha squash is a winter squash, also commonly known as Japanese pumpkin. It has a deep, rich, sweet flavor with a fluffy chestnut texture . It is a cross between a pumpkin and sweet potato but it can also be compared to an acorn or butternut squash.


I will not lie. Cutting into one of these suckers is not easy. It has hard thick skin that can be difficult to cut. I actually dread cutting these up because yes... I would like to keep my fingers. All 10 of them!

Cut the kabocha squash in half with a large sharp knife. I stick the knife in the middle of the squash and work my way around until I have two parts.


Once I have them cut in half, I scoop out the goop and seeds.


I cut each half into 4 or 5 wedges. It really depends on how big your squash is and how big you want the wedges. Then laying each piece flat, I cut the skin off with a knife.


Cut the peeled wedges into chunks.


Add the beef stew meat and kabocha squash to a slow cooker.


Then add marinara sauce. My favorite sauce to use is Rao's and it is Medifast friendly! I found it at Target and at my local military commissary, but I am sure you can find it at other places. This sauce is delicious and only 4 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup! Although approved, this does provide more calories and sodium than other vegetable servings (lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, etc.), so it may be beneficial to use this pasta sauce occasionally.


Add your beef broth to the mixture. I chose to use 3 cups of broth and it was plenty of liquid for me. Some like more liquid in their stews. If that is the case, add 4 cups instead of 3 cups of beef broth.


Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper if desired. As you can tell, the marinara sauce and Italian seasoning will give this stew an Italian spin. 


Another great spice to use in place of  the Italian seasoning is Stacey Hawkins Viva Italiano Blend. It tastes delicious in tomato based soups such as this one! You can purchase this spice on Stacey's website, www.StaceyHawkinsShop.com. I need to order more because I am all out! 


Give it a good stir!


Cook 7 hours on Low or 4 to 5 hours on High. That's it!


When you serve this beef stew to your family, they will think you slaved all day in the kitchen! That is why I love slow cooker recipes! You can have delicious meals without spending all day cooking! Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Beef and Kabocha Stew

Ingredients:
29 oz raw Beef Stew Meat (4 Leans)
4 cups Kabocha Squash (8 Greens)
3 cups low sodium Beef Broth (3 Condiments)
1 cup Rao's Marinara Sauce (4 Greens)
1 tsp Garlic Powder (2 Condiments)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (2 Condiments)
Salt and Pepper to taste, but don't forget to count them as Condiments!

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
Cook on Low for 7 hours or High for 4 to 5 hours.

4 Servings with 1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 1.75 Condiments per Serving




Coupon Code:

Get $15 off Medifast orders of $150 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy15, OR Get $25 off Medifast orders of $250 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: Sandy25. Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


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