Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cauliflower Nachos

Jeremy shared a link on Facebook to a video of how to make cauliflower nachos. He thought maybe we should give it a try, so I made some last night.

First, let me tell you, you do not need a video to make these nachos. It is just about the easiest thing ever in the history of ever to make.

So what you need is:

1 head of cauliflower
1 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
3-4 tbsp. salsa
3-4 tbsp. guacamole
Olive oil spray
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Chili powder
Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 425.

Line a baking dish with tinfoil, spray it with the olive oil spray. Chop up your head of cauliflower, try to leave the pieces larger to mimic tortilla chips. Spread the cauliflower on the baking sheet. Spray the cauliflower with the olive oil spray. Now, I seasoned the cauliflower with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. But you can really use whatever you like. Bake for 20 minutes.

Pull the pan out and top with one cup of shredded cheese, put it back in the oven and bake at 400 for another 10 minutes or so (you want your cheese nice and melty, but don't let your cauliflower pieces burn).

Serve up with cauliflower nachos onto your plates and personalize. We used salsa and guacamole to top off our nachos, but again you can get creative (just be sure to add anything extra into your WW tracker).

As the recipe is right here, it was 4 SP for half the pan. Not bad on points, so I could probably add a little chicken or black beans or fat free refried beans OR splurge on regular shredded cheese and it would still be ok on my points. I'm going to be honest and tell you that I don't think there is anything on earth that can really replace regular ol' corn tortilla chips. And I'm not going to tell you this was just like regular nachos, because it wasn't. However, it was still very good and satisfying. I would make it again in a heart beat.

If you make it and change it up any, let me know how it turns out for you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Someone (Stacy, I'm looking at you) tagged me on this Weight Watcher recipe for a frozen chocolate peanut butter pie. She told me I should make it and review it on my blog. Who am I to say no?

What you'll need:

A graham cracker pie crust (the recipe actually had you get crumbs and use some butter and milk to make your own crust...but I am lazy)
12 tbsp. Chocolate peanut butter powder (I found mine in the protein supplement/healthy food section of the grocery store)
6 tbsp. water
1/4 cup Weight Watchers whipped cream cheese, room temp
1 Weight Watchers giant chocolate ice cream bar, melted
3 cups light whipped topping

Combine the chocolate peanut butter powder and the water. It isn't smooth, at this point, but just mix it up the best you can. Whisk together the cream cheese and the melted chocolate bar, add that to the peanut butter mixture. It should start to smooth out at this point, but there might still be some lumps. Fold in the whipped topping and pour the whole mess into the crust.

Put it in your freezer overnight or for several hours. I cut mine right out of the freezer and I had to really work at it, so you could probably let this thaw just slightly before trying to cut it to serve.

The recipe says that it's 5 SP for 1/12 of the pie. I am here to tell y'all that eating only a 1/12 piece of pie is an impossible task. So...I cut mine into eight pieces and said the heck with it.

It was worth every point. So good, so easy, and so delicious during a super hot Texas summer day.

Monday, August 1, 2016

It's August!

People! It is officially my birthday month!

Two months ago, I told everyone want I want for my birthday this year. For my 36th birthday I am raising money for animal rescue. So, for June and July I have badgered and begged all over social media for pledges.

My goal was to raise $496, equal the $ amount for every day of this month. And as of right now, I have collected $703.50 in donations! *que the glitter cannons*

We blew my initial goal out of the water. I am amazed and humbled. But, I don't want to call it good. We still have a whole month. And I'm feeling ambitious. So, I'll still be badgering and begging all over social media for this month. Who knows, maybe we will manage to raise $1000.

If you'd like to donate to my big birthday fundraiser, you can do here:
Every dollar counts and it's all going to a very worthy rescue.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ask, and you shall receive

Black bean and butternut squash enchilada casserole
What you'll need:
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salsa, enough to cover the bottom of your baking dish
6 whole wheat tortillas, small
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup enchilada sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese, fat free
Garlic powder
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 375.
Line a baking sheet with tinfoil, spray down with non-stick spray. Place the butternut squash and bell peppers on baking sheet. Toss veggies with olive oil and season with cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.
On the same baking dish, combine the corn and black beans with the roasted veggies. Salt and pepper to taste.
Put enough salsa to cover the bottom of your baking dish (I used a 2.5 qt. Corningware dish).
Place two tortillas down, add some of the veggie mixture, add some of the sour cream (it doesn't have to totally cover the layer under it), add some of the enchilada sauce, sprinkle on some cheese. Repeat those steps until you have filled your baking dish.
Cover with a lid or tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes.
Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.
This will service 4-6 people, depending on how big you cut the pieces. We just cut ours into four pieces, so one serving was 9 Smart Points.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Stitch Fix #3 and that's a wrap.

Well, this will be my last Stitch Fix box. It was fun and exciting to anticipate the arrival of my Stitch Fix. But the actual products being sent to me were leaving me slightly disappointed.

I did everything I could have done to convey what I needed from Stitch Fix. I kept my Pinterest Style board up to date. I sent feedback on each item. I adjusted my style profile and price point. And after three boxes, I feel like they were only half listening.

First issue...the items were just too expensive. I let them know that when I would checkout. To which I got a generic email from Stitch Fix suggesting that I update my price point in my profile. So I did before I received this last box. But the price point for my items didn't change. So, while I love the gray top and the distressed jeans and the cardigan. I couldn't afford to keep all of them. I can't spend $48 (which was the lowest price in the entire box) for one item. I just can't. Especially when I feel like I could get items similar for far less at a store here in town. I did end up keeping the cardigan from this box, which was $48, but only because I had a $25 credit that I could apply towards it (thank you, Vicki). At this point, I feel like the only way anyone could continue to use the service is if they work hard to get several referrals to offset the cost of the items (or if they have a lot of spare cash sitting around). And, honestly, I'm a sucky sales person on a budget.

Second style. I'm not sure how many times I mentioned that I didn't want items that I couldn't wear a normal bra with. But I know it was more than once. And yet they kept sending me items that have necklines and or straps that would require a strapless or converted bra. Listen, I know there are tons of women out there who do not have a problem with wearing a strapless bra or a bandeau or a cami with a "built in bra"..but I'm not one of them. I asked for statement necklaces, and the above is what they sent me. I'm not trying to say the necklace is ugly, just not what I was thinking of (which reflects in the Pin's I added to my Pinterest board). And again, the cost of that necklace doesn't match the size or quality of the piece. I asked for a kimono, for the last two boxes, but didn't get anything of that nature. I asked for a purse, possibly a crossbody, but didn't get any type of bag. And the two pair of shoes they sent me were really quite ugly compared to the styles I have seen Stitch Fix share on their social media accounts.

So, while it was fun for a minute, and I'm still glad I tried it, I sent my email to officially cancel my Stitch Fix account (you actually have to email them to fully cancel your account, by the way). I'm going to stick with shopping via Instragram boutiques.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Did someone say Taco Tuesday?, I didn't exactly make tacos for Taco Tuesday. But it's in the same vein, so I'm gonna' count it.

Salsa Chicken Chulupas!

Y'all, these are so, so good. And so, so easy.

This is what you need:

~ chicken breast, skinless, boneless. I used two chicken breasts (and we have left overs). You can judge if you need more to feed your family.
~ a jar of salsa, any salsa will do. I've been using a chipotle citrus salsa you can find at HEB. It is out of this world good. Now, keep the amount of chicken you are using in mind here. You want it to be fairly saucy, so if you are using a lot more chicken you might need more salsa.
~ box of tostado shells (we used the Ortega brand, Rhonda....she asked me earlier and I couldn't remember)
~ one can, Fat-free refried beans
~ pico de gallo
~ shredded lettuce
~ tomatoes, chopped
~ shredded cheese, Mexican blend
~ cumin seasoning

So, in the morning, throw your chicken (I put mine in frozen) and salsa in a crockpot, top with some cumin. Turn on low and let it cook all day. Now, if your crockpot runs hot, hot, HOT (bonus points if you read that in the voice of Ruby Rhod.....extra bonus points if you know who Ruby Rhod is), you might have to turn it on later in the day or move it to warm later in the day. Use your judgment based on your equipment.

At dinner time, shred up the cooked chicken and return it to the crockpot. Warm up the refried beans on the stove. Once they are warm, slather a thin layer of the beans on the tostado shells. Top with some of the chicken.

After that, you can get creative with your toppings. We used pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, and fresh chopped tomatoes. You could also add some avocado and black olives. Whatever you like.

Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top and dinner is served.

*Two chulupas is 10 Smart Points

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Let's get cooking!

I joined Weight Watchers about a month ago. Since then I've been sharing my dinner plates on my Instagram account (find me: justjinny) with the Smart Points value. I asked on my Facebook page if anyone would be interested in the recipes I try out. I got enough YES responses back to decide that I'd start sharing my recipes here.

I want to pre-face this by advising I am not a real cook...I just play one in my kitchen. Some of these recipes are made up, altered, and eye balled so my measurements and timing might not be exact. You'll have to use your own judgment and cook at your own risk.

Let me start with last nights dinner.

I'm calling it Lemon-garlic spaghetti with broccoli, chickpeas, tomatoes, and sweet bell peppers.

A mouthful, I know.

I wanted to make spaghetti but without the red pasta sauce and with more vegetables (that is really key with WW...more vegetables and fruit for everything). So I did a quick google search for "spaghetti, broccoli, and chickpeas" and browsed around for a template recipe. The recipe I decided to work off of called for 3/4 cups of olive oil..for a recipe that serves 4-6 people. 3/4 cups of olive oil is 50 Smart Points people. It also called for 1 pound of rigatoni pasta (48 Smart Points), a cup of parmesan cheese (14 Smart Points), and 19 ounces worth of chickpeas (12 Smart Points). Obviously I was going to have to modify this a bit.

So here is what I used:

3 servings of 100% Whole Wheat spaghetti (a serving is about 2 oz. You might have a handy way ot measuring out spaghetti...I eyeballed it)
1/2 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
2 lemons (for the zest and the juice)
Two heads of broccoli, chopped up into florets (or you can buy the pre-packaged kind)
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1-2 mini-sweet bell peppers, cut into strips
1/4 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese, fat free
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning blend
Garlic seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Start a pot of water to boil, be sure to salt it.

After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, throw those in a small bowl with half of the olive oil and about half of one lemon's juice. Zest a little of the lemon on it too. Add salt and pepper and set the bowl aside.

Once the water is boiling, throw in the broccoli and let them soak in there for a couple of minutes. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a colander and rinse under cold water. Add your pasta to the same boiling water and let it cook until it's however tender you like it.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet heat up the remaining olive oil (I know it doesn't look like much, but it's enough) and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic is golden. Add the broccoli, tomatoes, and bell peppers to the skillet and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the bowl of chickpeas and cook until heated through. This is a good time to add more lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. It's all to taste, so do it up however you like.

Drain the pasta, but keep about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and the water to the skillet with everything else. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until everything is coated with the "sauce". Now, I'll tell ya'll...there really isn't a sauce, really. It's just not thick enough to be called that. But the liquid does have flavor, so that's what you want to try and get all over everything.

Again, take a taste and see if it needs any more seasoning. Add what you need, you'll notice I didn't really tell you where to add all the lemon juice. It's really up to you and what you like. I like a lot of lemon zest and juice, so that's what I used.

Top with the shredded cheese and serve while warm.
It was very flavorful but light...probably because of the fake "sauce". I like all the different textures with the broccoli and the chickpeas. The recipe I started from didn't call for tomatoes and bell pepper, I just decided to add those in there. For a pasta dish, it wasn't too bad on the points. 10 Smart Points per serving of pasta. The original recipe would have been at least double that. Overall, for a "let's just add this and put a little less of that" type of dinner, it ended up being a pretty tasty meal.