Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super Bowl Snacks

By now, you're either finalizing where you'll be going to watch the Big Game or, if you're hosting, you're scrambling and realizing you're 3 days away and in desperate need of some each yet crowd-pleasing recipes. I've compiled a list of my top 10 favorite party foods for you. I know I've been on a health kick and trying to promote lower calorie eating but there are some events (this being one) that you can't skimp on the fried goodness. These recipes are all great for large crowds or just your few best buds. P.S. GO BRONCOS!

1. Chicken Parm Cupcakes
2. Oven Fried Chicken (wings for the game)
3. Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
4. Roasted Caprese Pops
5. Guac and Chips
6. Baked Chicken Taquitos
7. Turkey Sloppy Joe Sliders
8. Fried Artichoke Hearts
9. Cornmeal Onion Rings
10. Caesar Salad
11. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip (not pictured, but still a must!)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Healthy Start

As you all know, I've been on a major health kick and diet for the past few months. As a result of some very hard work and dedication, I'm proud to say that I've lost about 50 lbs since September 1st. I feel great, I look great, and I can finally wear jeans without wanting to cry. Yes it was a huge physical change but it was equally a mental one. This was not a diet for me, but a lifestyle change. 

A lot of people have been asking me what I did to drop the weight. I followed a variation of the HCG diet with a doctor (click the link and it'll take you to his page). The process was challenging at times but to see how far I've come and looking at pictures side by side I'd do it again 100 times if I knew how great I'd feel in the end. Now, it is very pricy. But I PROMISE you that it is worth it! If you just can't afford it right now (lets be honest, not many of us can) then follow this guide I've made for you below. THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS are to drink enough water (you should be drinking 3-4 liters EVERY DAY), and to NEVER skip a meal! 

I really hope this helps you all; it should give you a good jump start to get that body, AND MIND, you've always wanted.

Your breakfast should consist of 4-5 ounces EACH of protein and fruit.
Lunch should consist of 4-5 ounces EACH of protein, fruit, and vegetables.
Dinner should consist of NO MORE than 4 ounces EACH of protein and vegetables. 
NOT counted in the 4 ounces is the unlimited foods. Those do NOT count in your meals. They're to be eaten freely to hold you over or as a filler at meal time. Don't go TOO overboard, though! 

Lean protein
Fish (all)
Turkey bacon
80/20 ground beef
All berries
All vegetables
Non-fat Greek yogurt (limited)
Vegan aioli
Avocados (1/2 per day)
Hummus (try to limit amount to 2-3 tbs. And only if served with veggies)

Carrots (if possible, none. LOTS of sugar)
Soda (unless diet)
Breadcrumbs (buy PLAIN melba toast and grind in a food processor to make your own)

Peppers (any/all kinds)
Red onion/shallots
Any ZERO calorie dressings (Walden farms)
Sparkling/flavored water (as long as zero calories)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower

First off, I'm admitting that I did not make these. I supervised for about 5 minutes and that's about it. But, nevertheless, they were delicious! As you know by now, we do it big for award shows. We watch about 3 hours of the Red Carpet Fashions, are horribly judgmental about the outfits, then eat yummy appetizers. As per my moms request, we had cocktail meatballs, chicken wings, and vegan buffalo cauliflower. If you're a fan of spicy then you will really enjoy these. They're baked not fried so they're healthy (I guess). I'm not going to bore you with any more anecdotes about how we made them so here is the recipe! Now go make them!

What you'll need:
1 cup non-dairy creamer (or plain almond milk)
1 cup flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup buffalo sauce (or hot sauce)

1. Preheat the oven to 450*. In a large bowl, combine the flour, milk, and garlic powder. Coat the cauliflower and shake off excess.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with non-stick spray) and bake for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and toss with the buffalo sauce. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

enjoy :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cornmeal Onion Rings

I ran in to a small dilemma on New Year's Eve because one of my guests is gluten free. I had already made an amazingly garlic Caesar salad with croutons but I quickly realized he couldn't eat it because do the croutons. So I wanted to come up with something that wouldn't take too much attention away from my guests but would satisfy them all. Ok. Who DOESN'T like onion rings? That's right, nobody. These corneal fried onion rings are very quick to make and they're not covered in batter and "fry." They have a nice crunchy coating but you also taste the sweetness if the onions. I found the original recipe in one of Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks and tweaked it a tiny bit. They're great for a party or with a nice steak dinner. 

What you'll need: 
2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/2 inch rings
2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 quart vegetable oil

1. In a LARGE, deep pan, heat the oil for a few minutes until it starts to ripple. 
2. Coat the sliced onions with the butter milk, salt, and pepper. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking. 
3. In a deep plate, mix together the flour and corn meal. Shake off the excess butter milk and dip the onions in the flour mixture.
4Drop into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes then flip over. Remove to a baking sheet lines with paper towels to from the excess oil. Serve warm (If you have time between cooking and serving, keep them in a 200* oven to stay warm). 

enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you. My resolutions this year are to 1. Keep up with my new healthy lifestyle (let's not mention the cornmeal onion rings and buttery steak I ate last night... Recipe to follow), and 2. To post lots of healthy recipes from my diet, and more often, this year. 
Relax, enjoy, watch the parade and some football today. You deserve it!!!