Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tater Impersonator?

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned that mashed potatoes are one of my top 3 favorite foods. When I’m out to dinner, I sometimes base my ordering tactic on what dish may or may not feature mashed potatoes on the side. Sometimes, I try to persuade my “unknowing” husband to order a steak (with a side of mashed) in hopes that I can swipe a bite while he’s in the men’s room.

Although white potatoes are full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, they are very high in carbs. If you follow a low-carb style diet like I do, potatoes should be enjoyed sparingly. Every commercial diet plan out there tries to pimp MASHED CAULIFLOWER as being a dead ringer for mashed potatoes. “If you close your eyes, you would never know you’re eating cauliflower!”

You have got to be kidding me. Obviously, healthy eaters are being treated like we have no functional taste buds left. I will dispel this silly myth right now. Yes, it tastes like cauliflower.

Healthy eating should be about smart substitutions and not evil trickery. Imagine going in for a scoop of luscious mashed potatoes and ending up with a mouthful of pureed veggies instead? I happen to love cauliflower, but that type of switcheroo will not be tolerated.

It’s hard to think of snazzy sides to serve with dinner. This one far surpasses a plain old steamed vegetable. If you’re looking for a creamy texture very similar to the experience of eating potatoes, this will absolutely do the trick. For you cauliflower lovers out there, it also happens to be delicious.

* Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.

Cauliflower on Foodista

Saturday, January 22, 2011

That's What She Said

According to this week's episode of The Office (quite a reliable source), most New Years resolutions are broken by February. Pam Beesly has inspired me to take a look at a few of my health and lifestyle goals for 2011.

Post-January New Years Resolutions

Fight becoming a cubicle couch potato. Everyday doesn’t have to be a blow-out gym session. Getting away from my desk and just walking around the block does wonders for my daily cardio and gives my mood a boost.

Decaffeinate. I’m going to start by cutting down to one cup of coffee per day. Caffeine can alter your body’s response to insulin which is a concern for me. Extra stimulants are not welcome here!

Embrace Low GI foods. The Glycemic Index ( is used to determine which foods cause a bigger insulin surge than others. Being aware of smart choices is important. Who knew that beets are lower GI that carrots?

Go Greek: Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about yogurt! I keep some fat free Greek yogurt on hand to substitute for mayo or sour cream. It’s creamy and tangy and almost always does the trick. Clever swap outs can really save in calories.

Appreciate baby steps. Any lifestyle change, no matter how small takes time to adjust to. I’m trying my best to appreciate that a step in the right direction is always better than a step backwards.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pep Up Your Football Party

A few weeks back my brother mentioned he had an easy, football party recipe for me to try. Then he tells me it’s called “White Trash Puff Balls.” Hmmm. Maybe I’m embracing my trashy side a little too often! Pabst Blue Ribbon roasted chicken and a recipe with the descriptive word “white trash” in the same month? Certainly a risk.

But, Big Rob of “Big Rob’s Buffalo Dip” fame and his lovely girlfriend were coming over to watch the playoffs and I certainly couldn’t serve a master of football ceremonies a shoddy appetizer.

I did a quick Google search half expecting that my brother completely made this recipe up as an excuse to refer to his big sister as “white trash” but low and behold, there are about 1,000 hits on the web for such a distinguished snack.

To avoid further tarnishing my previously stellar reputation, I’m calling my healthier version Pepperoni Bites. Anyone who thinks they don’t have time to throw together a quick homemade appetizer for a party should really check this out. It has only three ingredients!

Chop a 6oz. package of turkey pepperoni into tiny pieces (I used a food processor). Mix the pepperoni with an 8oz. block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese. This is now your filling to stuff reduced fat crescent rolls. Open up two packages of crescent rolls and cut each triangle of dough into two. Drop a big spoonful of filling on each and seal it up into a little package. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the bites puff up and turn a beautiful golden brown. (* 2 Weight Watchers Points per bite).

These little pepperoni snacks fill the entire house with the smell of buttery, freshly baked biscuits. When you take a bite, the filling is warm and gooey, but not so runny that you have scolding hot cream cheese running down your hand. The filling stays in the pocket where it belongs; one little perk of using reduced fat cheese and perfect for party snacking.

Turkey pepperoni happens to be one of those products that I prefer over pepperoni made with pork or beef. It isn’t greasy, and it has the exact same flavor profile as the original. Since the meat is so heavily spiced, there’s no need to load up the filling with tons of other ingredients.

White trash or not, these were a crowd pleaser. We polished off the whole tray. To top it off, the Jets brought home the W. Go team!

* Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.

Pepperoni on Foodista

Monday, January 10, 2011

Big Rob's Buffalo Dip

I’m completely obsessed with hot sauce. It’s sour and spicy and basically makes everything taste delicious. To top it off, it’s virtually calorie free. I splash a whole bunch of Texas Pete on my eggs every morning. But the absolute best way to showcase hot sauce in all its glory is the classic buffalo chicken wing.

Not only are buffalo wings completely immersed in butter, but they’re usually fried to boot! Ten cent wing night at the bar will easily max out your calories for the next three days. And that’s not counting the beer. Who in their right mind can have wings without beer?

I have to 100% credit my friend Rob for his buffalo wing dip recipe. It’s amazing. “Rob, come on over and watch football” is secret Trish code for “Rob, come on over and bring dip!” I asked for his recipe years ago but never tried to make it myself.

Nothing can top the original, but I’ve done my best to make a really tasty football snack that’s lighter than the classic buffalo wing or Rob’s ooey, gooey delicious dip. Using leftover chicken from my BLUE RIBBON CHICKEN, this app comes together in no time.

The bubbly, rich BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP tastes exactly like a buffalo wing dunked in blue cheese. It isn’t fried, it’s a great throw-together app to use up extra white meat chicken and you can dunk big hunks of celery instead of having to eat a bowl of tortilla chips. Score!

* Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.

Hot Sauce on Foodista

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blue Ribbon Chicken

If the opportunity is presented to have a fancy meal at a nice restaurant, I’m the first to sign up. But, sometimes you just need to kick back and embrace your trashy side. My trashy side involves a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

This is the easiest dinner in the whole world. Rinse off a whole chicken and remove the bag of assorted nasty bits from inside. Pat him dry. Smear the whole bird, inside and out with a light coating of vegetable oil and sprinkle with your favorite spice rub (salt and pepper would also be fine).

Pop open a can of beer. Take one for the team and drink half of it. Plunk the bird on top of the half-sipped beer can and transfer to a roasting pan. Cook at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Then drop the temp to 325 and cook for about an hour or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees. If it wasn’t the dead of winter, you could also use the grill.

I completely forget how great simple roasted foods are. Sometimes, the less you fuss with something, the better it tastes. This was an INSANELY juicy chicken. The steam from the beer keeps the meat tender and moist. Since I was taking the time to make one, I went ahead and made two. The second bird I shredded for use in other recipes.

I should warn you that I recently re-joined Weight Watchers. I’m intrigued by their new plan and thought I would give it a try. But, I promise my blog won’t become a “points” fest. If I happen to know the points for any of my upcoming recipes, I’ll go ahead and include them. In this case, the entire plate of chicken, including a baked sweet potato and gravy was 10 points.

In the name of starting 2011 off on the right foot, do yourself a favor, stoop down to the PBR level and make a great tasting healthy meal.

* Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.

Whole Chicken on Foodista