Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Decadence & small plates...

In memory of all those we lost.  We will never forget.  9/11/01.

Tuesday Recap:

8:00am:  Coffee with creamer & cocoa powder

10:30am:  Breakfast- Pumpkin Muffin

12:30pm:  Lunch- 4 Mini Pitas with 2 tablespoons hummus

I found these awesome little whole wheat pitas on a Trader Joe's run last week.  I thought they were perfect for a snack...   

But I was TOTALLY surprised when a serving size was SIX PITAS for 120 calories!  That's A LOT!  I actually think 4 is way more than enough for a if it's under 120 calories?  Even better. 

3:00pm:  Snack- Apple with 1 tablespoon Almond Butter 

5:30pm:  Dinner- Farmer's Market Mac & Cheese

Weeeeeeeee!  Fun right?  I thought this was a happy way to use up a bunch of veggies I had on hand. 

Oh yeah...and some baconJ  The first thing I did was add bacon (You only need 2 strips for this recipe.  I crisped up some extra to use today in a recipe) and some cherry tomatoes to a baking sheet to toss in the oven at 350 while I got to working.  In the 30 minutes while I cooked on the stove top, these guys were doin their thing in the oven. 

While the baking was well under way, I took another bunch from the LOAVES & FISHES pile of peppers that just NEVER seems to diminish!  Every time I think I'm going to polish them up, they just seem to MULTIPLY in that bag! 

Anyway, I lopped off the tops, pulled out the seeds, chopped em into chunks and took the easy route and just pulsed em in the food processor until chopped.  
I just could NOT bear the thought of standing around dicing all of these (AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!), so THANK YOU FOOD PROCESSOR!  (and to my in-laws who gave it to us for ChristmasJ

I tossed em into a pan coated with olive oil cooking spray and let them saute for a couple minutes... 

Next, I de-eared 3 ears of fresh corn and added that to the pan and let everything cook for a couple more minutes... 

Next, I got my pasta cooking up, removed the pepper & corn to a plate and got to working on the cheese sauce right in the same pot... 
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan on medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk that together for 2 minutes until toasted.
  2. Add 1 cup chicken broth & 1 cup 1% milk and whisk until combined with the flour.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  3. Add 2 cups cheese and swirl until melted.

Next, add your cooked pasta and the corn & peppers and stir to combine.

By now, the bacon was crisped and the tomatoes were warm and SLIGHTLY caramelized... 

 Top your Mac with some bacon & tomatoes and chow down!
This dish was ULTRA creamy & dreamy studded with lots of fresh taste from the corn & peppers.  And don't even get me started on how much I LOVEDDDD the bites of tomato mixed in.  It just gave it that extra UMPH.

Oh yeah...and the bacon.  I mean, come on?  Do I even need to tell you that was a divine addition?J

And since we're talking about a dish that is fairly decadent (if not lightened up by the veggies & low-fat dairy), I thought I'd show you how far you can stretch a small portion = USE SMALLER PLATES!  

I recently swapped from using my 'in-between smaller plate' to a salad plate and you can see the difference between 1 cup of pasta on a small plate vs. a large plate. 
You eat with your eyes first and if you look to the plate on the right, you might feel deprived if you just stick to an appropriate portion on a huge plate.  But on a small plate?  That portion looks like your plate is brimming.  It's an easy way to keep portion without having to bust out the measuring cups every night.

And serving up your dinner with a side salad, which I try to ALWAYS, ALWAYS do when having something like pasta & salad, helps you feel full & satisfied without a larger portion.  I know I did. 
Not to mention, I LOVE arugula...I wish I had a tree outside to pluck a fresh salad from every night!

Oh...people have gardens for that sorta thing, you say?  Trust my hands: it would be dead in an hourJ  I have ZERO talent in gardeningJ

6:15-6:45pm:  2 mile Walk Away the Pounds with 8 pound weights

99.9% of the time I forget to take a picture of my little dessert every night.  Mainly because it's usually a fairly repetitive scoop of low-fat ice cream.  But I'm gonna try to add them more, even if I just include it with no photo.  But I thought this would be another example of 'portions.'  I try to always use my small ramekins or a juice glass for desserts.  Yes, I did still count out my 10 animal crackers, but if it all fits in the ramekin, I can pretty much guarantee it's still indulging WITHOUT overdoing...which, to me, is a major key to weight loss (even if I'm STILL workin on that lock ALL the timeJ) hahahahahahaha  And as much as I try to skip it now and then, it's almost better for me to have a portioned dessert every night than deny myself and binge later.  It's happened a zillion times in the past.  I'm trying to learn from those mistakes.  But that's just me...if you don't need a sweet bite every night, by all means- YOU ROCK J  

Anyway...I better scoot out.  I have ZERO clue what we're having for dinner tonight since our plan for salad got swapped in exchange for using up the rest of the produce we have since we won't be cooking at home the next couple nights.  And by produce I mean the LAST of the ZILLION peppersJ  I think I have an idea in my head...we'll see what actually works outJ

Have a great Wednesday!


Sara Lancaster said...

Those peppers look beautiful! Good idea to use the food processor. I'll do the same.

dong dong23 said...
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