Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spicy Veal Ordeal

Every now and then, I get a craving for a nice veal cutlet. Naturally, I go for the leanest cut I can find, and while most people think of veal cutlet parm when they hear veal, I'm actually quite a fan of just plain old veal cutlets on the BBQ dipped in some spicy BBQ sauce! (with a nice spice rub of course!)

To make a yummy, lean veal cutlet, I simply combine some garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika (smoked if you're feelin' frisky), rub the veal in the spices, coat it with some dehydrated onion and garlic flakes for a crunchy coating (see, who needs breading?!), and throw them on the BBQ for a few minutes- be careful not to cook them too long, because if they are as thin cut as mine were, they cook up super quick.

P.S.- the veal cutlets in the photo are pictured alongside some Freekeh- which was actually the best I've ever made (thanks to some chopped jalapenos that I added- highly recommended!) Pin It

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Faux-Lonie (Bologna swap!)

When I was younger, and my mom would pack me lunch, I was never a huge fan of deli meats, with the exception of arguably the worst deli meat you could possibly choose- bologna! With all the processed crap in deli meats, at least some of them have a little protein (turkey, chicken, etc.), but not bologna! It's basically a nutritional-nothing!

Anyway, I haven't eaten bologna in years, and yet for whatever reason, the other day, I really wanted some bologna with mustard. I remembered reading about Lightlife's deli "meats" a while ago, but like I said, it never really struck me as something I would want, but when shopping in my local Fairway the other day, I decided to give them a go, and actually, they are quite delicious! They taste just like real bologna, but they are vegan-friendly- and they have 13g of protein per serving! Woohoo! If I am ever craving a bologna sandwich, this will definitely be my go-to! Pin It

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fries in Disguise

The other day, I had a serious craving for french fries. While I could have hit my local Five Guys or Shake Shack and just called it a day, I decided it would be more fun to experiment in the kitchen with one of my favorite faux-tato swaps- turnips!

Turnip fries are about the closest I've come to real potato fries- in texture, taste, and look. If you actually fried them, they could probably totally pass for potatoes, but I baked them on a baking sheet. All you have to do is peel a large turnip and cut it into fry-like shapes (I chose to make shoestring because I didn't have a lot of time to cook them), spray a baking sheet, season your fries as you please (I just did a little garlic and onion powder), and pop them in the oven for a good 40 minutes, flipping halfway. If you want to get them really crispy, you could fry them or coat them with a little olive oil- your choice! Dipped in some ketchup or BBQ sauce, they might as well be real french fries! Yummy! Pin It

Monday, August 27, 2012

Self-Serve Fro-yo Survival Guide

If anything, I'm surprised it has taken me this long to post a fro-yo survival guide, considering I work in a self-serve fro-yo store at home! These places have been popping up everywhere, and as far as dessert is concerned, it can be a fairly healthy option (as long as sugar is not your main concern!) A lot of yogurt bars serve yogurt that is fairly low in calories and contain live probiotic cultures- yay digestion! Anyway, here are a few tips to help you survive the self-serve frozen yogurt store!

Don't go crazy: Just because the cup is gigantic, doesn't mean you need to fill it to the tippy top. The beauty of self-serve is you can put as much or as little as you'd like in the cup, so only take as much as you really need!

Beware the toppings bar: A good majority of the toppings these places offer are not healthy. If you must have toppings, stick to fresh fruit (nothing packed in syrup!) or a small amount of chopped nuts or even some dark chocolate chips.

Ask for nutritional information- most of these places have trained their employees to know which flavors have the fewest calories, the least sugar, etc., so it doesn't hurt to ask, especially if you have a certain dietary restriction. Ask if they have a no-sugar option or a non-dairy option!

Steer clear of sauces: Doesn't matter if they are labeled fat free, sugar free, etc. they are still full of unnecessary calories and questionable ingredients. If it's a chocolate fix you crave, go for a few dark chocolate chips! Pin It

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lean, Mean, Caffeine Machine

Coffee has become a pretty standard way for Americans to start their morning, as there is a coffee shop on just about every street you pass, and while coffee itself is a great, low calorie drink to start your day, it's generally not just straight coffee that people choose- and the calories and sugar in prepared coffee beverages can be astounding! Personally, I drink my coffee black with just a little bit of no-calorie sweetener because I love the taste of coffee itself, but that's because I buy flavored coffees! Instead of getting your flavor from milk or creamer, try buying flavored coffee beans! They make all sorts of fun flavors- think french vanilla, creme brule, mocha java, etc.- I've tried toasted coconut, chocolate raspberry... you name it, they probably make it! And the best part is you'll save tons of money brewing your own coffee instead of spending money to buy coffee at the coffee shop down the block! Pin It

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Inside the Box: ThinSlim Muffins and Brownies

Full disclosure: I basically don't go a single day without eating a product by ThinSlim foods. Their muffins, brownies, and squares are beyond to die for (as I reviewed here). While they aren't massive in size, they satisfy the craving for baked goods, and if I can afford to eat a muffin and a brownie every single day, you better believe I'm going to! A lot of people are reluctant to buy these products because they are relatively expensive for their size and the company doesn't post pictures of the actual product on their site, but take my word for it, they are TOTALLY worth it. Here's an insiders look at their muffins- blueberry, chocolate, and cinnamon!

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Turnip Chips

We all know chips can be sadly addicting, and the calories and carbs in traditional potato chips can add up rather quickly. Ever since I started a low carb diet, I was constantly on the hunt for replacements for chips, and luckily, root vegetables actually make great chips- especially turnips!

To make turnip chips, you will need: a few large turnips, the seasoning of your choice (I usually go for a garlic chip with just garlic and onion powder, but feel free to experiment with curry powder for curry flavored chips, or ranch dressing spices to make a ranch chip, etc.), and a mandolin.

To prepare the chips, prepare your spice blend and slice your turnips super thin using a mandolin (be sure to spear the turnip with a fork to prevent cutting yourself on the mandolin- those suckers are dangerous!), toss the chips in the seasoning, and you're good to go!

Ideally, you would want to use a dehydrator to suck all the moisture out of the turnips to get them super crunchy, but if you're like me and you don't have a dehydrator, just roast them on a sprayed baking sheet on 350 for about 20 minutes- flipping them over 10 minutes in. Pin It

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's a Miracle...Noodle

On a low carb diet, pasta was pretty much an unthinkable option for me (until I found Atkins pasta and Al Dente, etc. of course), but when I really craved pasta, I went for Miracle Noodles. For those of you who have never heard of Miracle Noodles, they are basically the same thing as Tofu Shirataki noodles (all the rage these days)- except these are zero calorie (as opposed to the 40 in Tofu Shirataki- aka basically nothing), pre-cooked noodles that you can find in the vegetarian section of your supermarket. While they are a little slimier than actual pasta, they certainly satisfy the craving for me, and for those times I'm craving a gigantic bowl of pasta, I am the first to reach for the Miracle Noodles! Sometimes, I'll even mix them with some Al Dente noodles to bulk up the dish for minimal calories. I love using them for Asian dishes, as they are more similar in consistency to Asian noodles than pasta. Recently, in making a Thai noodle dish, I used half Al Dente and a pack of Miracle Noodles, and let me tell you, brilliant! Can you say GIANT bowl of noodles?! Yum! Pin It

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tandoori Chicken

Like I've said in the past, since I was little, Indian food has always been one of my all time favorite cuisines. I love all of the spices and the crazy pop of flavor in each dish. Arguably the most "standard" Indian dish that everyone is familiar with would have to be tandoori chicken. While I don't have the tandoori (clay) oven that Indian restaurants traditionally use to prepare this dish with, I decided that the spice blend and yogurt coating couldn't be that hard to replicate on the BBQ, and actually, it was fairly easy to throw together! When prepared on the grill, it has a different sort of char than the traditional clay oven tandoori, but it was equally delicious.

To make your own tandoori chicken at home, you will need:

1 lb chicken breasts (or tenders or legs/thighs if you prefer dark meat)
1/4 cup of greek or plain yogurt (I use Trader Joes added fiber yogurt)
1 t Turmeric
1 t Garam masala
1 t garlic powder
1.5 t paprika
1 t cumin
1-2 t water to thin the yogurt marinade a bit (depending upon how thick the yogurt you use is will determine exactly how much water you need)
optional: a sprinkle of salt and lemon juice to enhance the flavors
also optional: a pinch of cayenne pepper for some added heat

To prepare the marinade, combine all the spices, yogurt and water in a bowl and stir thoroughly. Coat the chicken in the marinade, transfer to a plastic baggie in the fridge, and allow to marinate for a minimum of four hours, though you could let it sit overnight. When you're ready to grill, pop those suckers onto the grill and cook until chicken is cooked through!

Feelin' Frisky? Make tandoori chicken skewers like they serve in the restaurants by cutting your chicken into chunks and marinating some onions and peppers along with the it! Can't go wrong with some extra veggies! Pin It

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Soooooy Crunchy

In trying to help my mother lose weight, I am always on the hunt to find diet-friendly chips to satisfy her "need for crunch." The problem with most chips is it's hard to eat just one (or two, or three, or four...), and most chips are just empty calories, so if you're actually hungry, grabbing a bag of chips is sort of a waste. When I look for chips of any sort, I try to find ones with at least 2 or 3 grams of protein and fiber per serving (usually 1oz is a serving), and Glenny's Soy crisps definitely fit the bill!

Soy crisps in general are a pretty safe pick as far as chips go, as the soy they are made with packs a decent amount of protein. And the best part is these chips can often be found in your local supermarket! While Glenny's BBQ and Caramel soy crisps are my personal fav, Genisoy also makes delicious BBQ soy crisps (among other flavors) which boast decent stats, but for someone like my mom, the 140 calorie pre-portioned bags that Glenny's offers are perfect- this way if she eats the whole bag, it's not a diet disaster! And if you're having trouble locating them, there is always the option to order online!

Feelin' Frisky? Check your local supermarket to see if they make a knock-off soy crisp by their own brand. Stop & Shop's Nature Made brand soy crisps are actually delicious- even better than Genisoy in my opinion! Pin It

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mashed Fauxtatoes (mashed cauliflower!)

Who doesn't love a giant bowl of mashed potatoes?! I'll tell you who- you're tummy! While mashed potatoes make a DELICIOUS side dish to a steak dinner, they are often loaded with butter, starchy carbs, and tons of unnecessary calories. It's not that I ate mashed potatoes incredibly often growing up, but I really enjoyed them when I did have them, so finding a way to recreate a healthy version was a must- and since a low carb diet does not exactly allow potatoes, there had to be another ingredient that would make a yummy mash. If you haven't guessed yet, I use cauliflower!
To make mashed cauliflower you will need:
1 large head of cauliflower cut into teeny tiny florets
2 wedges of laughing cow cheese at room temperature (any flavor you choose- I use 1 french onion and 1 garlic and herb)
2t onion powder
2t garlic powder
About 1/4 cup milk of choice (I use flax milk, though almond milk, skim milk, whole milk, etc. all work)- the amount will depend on how thick/creamy you like your fauxtatoes- if you like them REALLY creamy, you can sub cream, half and half, sour cream, etc., but then they aren't exactly guilt-free (still healthier than real mashed potatoes though obviously!)
optional: 1-2T butter or Brummel & Brown or any other butter replacement for a creamier texture- I find they don't need it with the Laughing Cow wedges!

For Garnish: chopped chives, dehydrated onion and garlic flakes, freshly cracked pepper, etc. and if you're feelin' frisky, feel free to mix them throughout after the mash is prepared!

Speaking of prepared... to make your creamy faux-taters, simply microwave your cauliflower until softened (about 3 minutes). Then, add them to your food processor (the Vitamix does an exceptional job with these suckers!), and puree until smooth. Add your spices and cheese wedges (you might want to break them into pieces, though it's not always necessary), and puree until mixed in followed by as much milk as you see fit. Once you've found the desired consistency, scoop them into a bowl, add your garnish (mix throughout if you'd like), and you're good to go! Pin It

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hi Lo: Breakfast on the go!

When I think of breakfast cereals, my mind automatically goes to the sugar-y, nutritionally useless cereals I ate as a kid. America, on the whole, has a real problem with breakfast cereals- most are laden with sugar and contain little to no nutritional value, so even a large bowl of most of them won't really fill you up. While I'm no longer a big cereal-for-breakfast person, I know there are many people out there who are, so it's all about finding the right cereals that contain as little sugar and as much fiber and protein as possible (without tasting like cardboard, of course!) If you're having trouble, Tiny Tummy to the rescue!

Hi Lo Cereal is low in carbs, sugar, and calories (90 per 1/2 cup woohoo!), and has a great deal of fiber and protein (you don't even need the milk!) And, it comes in a few fun flavors- Vanilla Almond, Maple Pecan (my fav!), Strawberry, and original. If you're a breakfast on-the-go kind of person, just toss a serving or two in a bag and you're good to go! As usual, this stuff may be slightly difficult to find, though I've seen it at Shoprite and a few local bodegas as well. Worse case scenario? Order online (netrition carries it!)

Feelin' Frisky? Use this stuff in place of granola as a topping for yogurt for some added crunch! Pin It

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sriracha Glazed Veal Chop

My dad's favorite condiment would have to be Sriracha. For those of you who have never heard of it, it's an Asian chili sauce that adds an awesome, spicy kick of flavor to many asian dishes. Recently, Sriracha has become a staple foodie ingredient, so I am constantly stumbling upon recipes that use it in sauces, glazes, etc. Tonight, since we were just throwing some veal on the grill, I decided to try glazing my dad's chop with a Sriracha glaze, and let me tell you, for those of you spicy fans out there, prepare to be wowed. Veal, a relatively delicate meat on it's own is given a serious kick with a Sriracha glaze!

To prepare your very own Sriracha glazed veal chop, you will need:

1 Large veal chop
Approx. 2T Sriracha
A touch of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin for a little extra punch of flavor

Simply combine the spices with the Sriracha in a bowl, rub the mixture all over your veal chop, and grill away!

Feelin' Frisky? Or maybe just not a fan of veal? Try a pork chop or lamb chop instead! Or even some chicken breast or tofu for all you vegetarians out there! And if you're feelin' really frisky, try a sweet and spicy glazed chop by adding some maple syrup into your marinade- we all know I'm a big fan of Walden Farms maple syrup! Pin It

Friday, August 17, 2012


While I was following a low carb diet, I sort of stuck to a lifestyle somewhere in between the Atkins diet and the Paleo Diet. Yes, I know- Paleo who? People always asked me what the Paleo diet was, as just about nobody had heard of it! It almost became easier to just say I stuck to my own plan- low carb, high protein type thing and just leave the whole "Paleo" part out. But really, the Paleo diet is a great approach to a healthy lifestyle, as it relies on natural, unprocessed foods- lots of protein, and all real ingredients, so I decided it was important to share! The idea is to eat from nature like our ancestors did (hence 'Paleo!')- and therefore, no refined sugars, complex carbs, etc. It's a lot of veggies and meat, eggs, etc- it's very low in carbs, and relies on fats in nuts, seeds, oils, avocados etc. (healthy fats), as opposed to fat from sugar or processed carbs. I still prepare many Paleo-esque meals because I truly believe the lifestyle is genius, but I've reincorporated some grains back into my lifestyle which wouldn't really fit into the Paleo plan. 

Balanced Bites provides an excellent chart with a bunch of Paleo-friendly foods, and while the plan isn't a cookie-cutter formula, it's fairly standard fruit, veggies, proteins, oils, nuts and seeds, etc. If you're looking for a set dietary plan, as opposed to your own crafted lifestyle, I highly recommend Paleo!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Smokey Grilled Cauli-Tots

Cauliflower didn't become a staple ingredient in my house until I went out on a limb and tried it and realized I loved it! I love its neutral flavor, crunchy texture, and, of course, its impressive nutritional stats. I use it in as many different dishes as you could imagine- to bulk up taco meat or burgers, to act as "rice" in fried rice dishes, but sometimes it is nice to let good ole' cauliflower speak for itself, and preparing it on the grill does just that. And with the right spices, cauliflower has some kickin' flavor.

To make smokey grilled cauli tots simple cut a head of cauliflower into chunks large enough that they won't fall through your grill. Microwave them in a bowl for about a minute just to soften them a bit before they hit the grill (unless you like your caulitots super crunchy). Season them up with a little garlic, onion, pepper, and our smokey friend- smoked paprika (and of course cayenne or chili powder is option for a little added kick). Then, just throw them on the BBQ until they get a nice charred flavor and color. Makes a great side dish!

Feelin' Frisky? (Or you don't have a grill?): You can easily prepare this dish in the oven and just roast the caulitots- just spray a pan, lay them out, and cook away- the pictured tots were actually roasted! Pin It

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Walden Review: Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Eventually, I will have tried every product by Walden Farms, I'm convinced. Recently, I ran across a bunch of their dressings on sale, so I decided to try a new one. As a giant fan of Chipotle-flavored anything, I figured I would LOVE their chipotle ranch dressing, but quite honestly, it was kind of yucky! It had a bit of a chipotle-flavor to it, but I wouldn't say it tasted like ranch at all, and I wouldn't use it as a salad dressing! It might be interested mixed with like an onion soup mix to make a dip for chips perhaps, but that's about the only use I see fit for it. Bottom line, verdict- wouldn't buy this one again! Pin It

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taco Tuesday: Ground Chicken Tacos

Growing up, it wasn't too often that we had home made taco night, but I've always been a pretty big fan of them, so when my mom bought an extra pack of ground chicken, I decided why not try making tacos?! With the right seasoning, tacos can be prepared in the course of about 5 minutes, so another easy dinner!

For Tiny Tummy's Ground Chicken Tacos you will need:

1 batch Tiny Tummy's Taco Seasoning (use however much you find gives your meat enough flavor)
2-3 High Fiber Tortillas (depending upon how many tacos you want to make)
4-6oz ground chicken (or ground turkey or ground beef)
1/4 cup chopped onions
A generous squirt of Franks Hot Sauce (if you like your taco meat spicy- it not, substitute salsa or tomato sauce)
option toppings: lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, salsa, guac, etc.

To prepare, add seasoning mixture to ground chicken. Spray the bottom of a pot with non-stick spray and add your chopped onions until they have cooked down (feel free to use oil or add water if necessary). Add ground chicken and allow to simmer until it starts to brown (I added a little bit of water just to keep it from burning the bottom of the pot. Add your hot sauce/salsa along with some extra seasoning if you feel that it needs it. Serve on your tortillas with whatever toppings you desire and you're good to go!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Need a Sweet Drink? SoBe it...

By late afternoon, I am usually craving a sweet drink, but as we all know, Tiny Tummy doesn't drink sugary drinks, and she tries to stay away from those bad, cancer-causing sweeteners. Luckily, BJ's sells a giant pack of one of my new favorite, naturally sweetened beverages, which happens to be full of vitamins and minerals! Our friends over at SoBe have a whole line of fruity-flavored, naturally sweetened "lifewaters" that taste delicious! My personal favs are the Yumberry Pomegranate, Fuji Apple Pear, and Strawberry Dragonfruit, but rumor has it they have a new kiwi and raspberry flavor that I am beyond eager to try! They are all 0 cal and full of vitamins- how could you go wrong? The company also makes a bunch of lifewaters that are not 0 calorie, some of which are even infused with coconut water (all the rage these days!)- all of which I'm sure are good too. If I can find the new SoBe flavors, I will definitely keep you posted on how they are! Pin It

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Faux-Cream Sauce (thicken your sauce without using cream)

Cream sauce is one of those things I thought I had given up for good, which was a real bummer because I always loved Chicken Tikka Masala and Penne a la vodka- both made with heavy cream, and while, yes, you can use light cream or coconut milk in place of heavy cream, cream in general doesn't really have any redeeming nutritional qualities, which is why I am SO glad I figured out a great replacement for cream (and don't knock it til you've tried it.)

Are you ready? Drumroll, please!

Laughing Cow cheese! I know it sounds crazy, but to thicken a sauce, let a wedge or two come to room temperature (or melt those suckers for a few seconds in the microwave) and stir into a sauce! If you want to add flavor, add some of the more exotic flavors, or for less flavor, stick to the plain swiss. In my mac and cheese tonight, I added a sun-dried tomato basil wedge- you don't even need any other cheese the wedge has so much flavor (but a little melted mozzarella on top never hurt anyone!) At only 35 calories a pop, these wedges are a GREAT replacement for caloric, and fattening cream! Try it, and prepare to be amazed!

Feelin' Frisky? Add a blue cheese wedge to some Franks hot sauce to make a creamy buffalo-wing sauce

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Veggin' Out

Having company? Don't know what to serve that is healthy, yet still crowd-pleasing? One of the easiest ways to satisfy guests without filling out their guts is a simply tray of roasted veggies! Whenever we have company over, we buy an assortment of veggies, and not just the usual carrots and potatoes (though those are fine too if that's what floats your boat), but the more unique ones such as turnip, jicama, etc. This way, when people are in love with your roasted veggies, and ask what they are, they are even impressed by your vast array of fibrous knowledge! And as usual, no sauce necessary- just some spices and herbs go a long way!

While there is no real method to my madness, here is a mock recipe for your roasted veggie tray, though feel free to make whatever adjustments you may feel fit,

You will need:
An assortment of veggies (choices include but are not limited to chopped squash, turnips, jicama, carrots, pearl onions, mushrooms of any variety, asparagus, zucchini, brussels sprouts, okra, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.)
An assortment of spices and herbs (options include but are not limited to the simple salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder, paprika (regular or smoked), thyme, rosemary, etc.)
optional: a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, or any other subtle flavor-enhancer you'd like

To prepare, spray a baking tray with some non-stick spray, season your veggies, spread them on the tray, and bake at 375 until the veggies have softened to your liking. Simple as that!

Feelin' Frisky?: Make a few different trays- make one Indian-inspired and spice it up with some tumeric, cumin, coriander, etc.; make a Mexican-esque tray with some cumin, chili powder, garlic, and onion; make a simple herby-tray with just some fresh sprigs of rosemary and a squirt of lemon juice. There is no right or wrong! Pin It

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Buzz on Boba

For anyone who lives in New York or California, Bubble Tea and Boba Beads are all the rage- there are even boba bars dedicated specifically to the different varieties of Boba beads. For anyone who doesn't know what these little guys are, Tiny Tummy is here to explain! Bubble Tea actually got its name from the Boba beads that are inside because they give off a "bubble" like appearance, but unlike harmless bubbles, Boba are not a dieters friend. The recent trend in Boba beads, since added to tea, would make you think that they are healthy, especially since the original Boba beads from Taiwan were described as "Tapioca Pearls," but really, they are imitation Boba, and basically straight sugar! The real Boba Beads themselves are made from cassava root, brown sugar, and sweet potatoes, but the toppings served at Boba bars and Yogurt Bars are "popping boba" which contain a sugary liquid that "explode in your mouth." Don't be fooled by their fruity flavors (think strawberry, Lychee, etc.)- They are really just straight sugar, and it has been estimated that each tiny pearl can contain somewhere around 5-14 calories a 'pop' (literally speaking!)

Bottom line, Boba and Bubble Tea= BAD- Stick with regular tea and real fruit toppings on your yogurt! Pin It

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Surf and Turf

It's not often that supermarkets run specials on lobsters, and it's an even rarer occasion that a supermarket has both steak and lobsters on sale at the same time, so when I took a peak at Shoprite's weekly circular to find both lobsters and steak, it basically made my decision to prepare surf and turf for dinner for me. I can't say we do this often, but how could you turn down a lobster and steak dinner for three for about $22?! With a side of spelt and cucumber salad, you basically couldn't ask for a better dinner! To prepare the lobsters is easy enough- just steam them in a giant pot with some water in the bottom (I will admit the guy looked at me like I was crazy when I said I would take the lobsters live- some places will steam the lobsters for you, free of charge, but I like to eat mine hot and fresh!) And I actually prepared the steaks on my trusty mini George Forman Grill- makes a juicy steak every time! I seasoned my dad's with a nice dry rub of cumin, paprika, garlic and onion powder, and some freshly ground pepper and marinated mine and my mom's a garlic-y, onion-y BBQ sauce, threw our soaked spelt in a pot, and we were good to go! Needless to say, a delicious dinner! Gotta love supermarket specials!! Pin It

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thaied Down (Thai Restaurant Survival Guide!)

Thai Food is right up there with Indian food in my favorite cuisines, though many Thai dishes are not exactly healthy. A lot of the dishes are reliant on rice, noodles, or full-fat coconut milk, and of which can pack on the calories and fat fast, but amongst that confusing menu full of these bad options, there are actually quite a few healthy choices on the menu! While Massamun Curry and Pad Thai are among my faves, they aren't exactly healthy, but these next few choices are sure to show up on most Thai menus and won't completely kill your diet!


Oh Hey, Satay: Chicken Satay is a staple appetizer in Tiny Tummy's Thai visits! The chicken itself is packed with flavor (and sometimes quite a bit of oil, so ask them to go light if possible), and packs a great source of protein. Just don't overdo the peanut sauce- that stuff is a diet-disaster!
Feelin' Frisky? Why not make this your entree?! Can you say cheap dinner?

Thai Salad: Thai restaurants often have a great selection of salads- some with mango, papaya, and lots of veggies. Again, just go very light on the peanut dressing, which is where a good bulk of the calories lie, and you're good to go!

Summer Rolls: Wrapped in rice paper, these are often just a mix of veggies (with the occasional pork, shrimp, etc.) in a cute little pocket. As long as you don't overdo the sauce, these can be a great option. Just be warned- don't confuse them with their similarly named evil twin the Spring Roll which is deep fried and a definite diet no-no.

Entrees: The choices on Thai restaurant menus tend to differ, so as usual, I would say stick to the usual grilled protein with a side of steamed veggies and brown rice. And it doesn't hurt to ask if they have any water-based curries as opposed to coconut milk based curries- these rely on the spices for their main source of flavor!

Dessert: As tempting as that sticky rice or fried banana might be, they just aren't worth it. If you must have dessert, see if they offer fresh fruit- some thai restaurants will serve fresh mango! If not, your best bet is to skip it!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Taco Tuesday: DIY Taco Shells from Tortillas

It's no secret that I am a giant fan of La Tortilla Factory's High Fiber Tortillas, and I capitalize on any opportunity I could possibly make use of them. Recently, I had a serious craving for a hard taco shell, and had a brilliant idea to try to make my own using these tortillas and it worked! Want to know how to do it?! Keep reading!

It couldn't be easier! Simply place your tortillas on your oven rack as shown above, cook on 350 for about 15 minutes (or until the shells crisp up and stay the shape of a taco shell, and you're good to go!

How's that for crafty tacos?! Pin It

Monday, August 6, 2012

Inside the Box

This post is a little sneak peak at what's to come based on a thought that I had coming from my most recent frustrations. Often, companies make their packaging look a hell of a lot better than their food actually does- extremely annoying in my opinion- especially when you open the packaging to find something completely different than what's pictured, hence I've decided to dedicate a new section of the blog to a category entitled inside the box, in which I will actually photograph some of the products I try to show you what they look like inside the packaging because nobody appreciates deceitful advertising! Pin It

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Say Hello to Jello!

Jell-o was something I grew up with as a kid, and honestly, most people think of it as a kid's snack, but it really doesn't have to be! If you're craving something for dessert but don't want to splurge on the calories, why not whip up a batch of sugar free jello?! Or, buy the individually portioned cups which have 10 calories each! And the best part is Jell-o makes a bunch of fun flavors of sugar free jello (strawberry, raspberry, lime, black cherry, etc.) I do wish they made a sugar free blue raspberry, but my mouth can deal without the color change!

Feelin' Frisky? Jell-o now makes chocolate mousse cups which have 60 calories each and are great to kick a chocolate craving! Add a little fat free whipped cream and you're good to go! Pin It

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In Order to Thrive, Don't Deprive!

People often ask me how I stick to such a rigid lifestyle, and the truth is, I don't find it to be that rigid because I never feel deprived! People who stick to strict diets often cheat themselves out of their favorite foods, and when they allow themselves to indulge, end up overdoing it because they felt so deprived! If I felt deprived, I wouldn't be able to do it, but if I'm really craving something, I allow myself to indulge- it's all about balance! When that pizza craving comes a-kickin', I make myself a pizza, when I crave chocolate, I go for a piece of chocolate- and if my homemade pizza didn't satisfy my craving, I would go for the real thing, but honestly, I don't miss it! There's nothing worse than that downer who complains about what they can't eat, when in reality, the only one stopping you is yourself! Just learn how to indulge in moderation. If that means eating a lighter lunch so you can pig out on dinner, then make the necessary adjustments! If you live your whole life feeling deprived, you'll be more likely to fall off the wagon- and sometimes it's fun to try to find healthier ways to satisfy your junk food cravings. Don't think of it as 'cheating,' think of it as balance! Pin It

Friday, August 3, 2012

Foul Foul: vegetarian product review

It's a rare case that I actually purchase a store-bought product that I don't like. I'm pretty good at gauging what will be good and what will be gross, but let me tell you, for once, I got it wrong! In a recent craving for buffalo wings, I decided to try Gardein's classic style buffalo wings. While they are packaged to look like they are slathered in sauce, they actually come naked with a little side package of frozen sauce; however, their impressive nutritional stats do not account for this mystery sauce. So, since I have no idea what's in it, I decided to cover these meatless fritters in Frank's Hot Sauce- at which point they were delicious, but I could have easily made my own with some chicken breast; however, for all of you vegetarians out there, this could easily be the answer to your buffalo wing craving, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try their pre-packaged sauce. In case you were wondering, a 4 wing serving contains 90 calories and 15g of protein, which, in my opinion, is pretty darn good, especially compared to traditional buffalo wings! Bottom line, the fritters themselves weren't bad, but not exactly what they claim to be.


I actually did a little research, and went to the company's website to read up on the mystery sauce. On the site, they list the ingredients and nutritional info for the sauce. Per 15g serving (1T), it has 10 calories and 1g of sugar. Not quite as good as Frank's stats, but not half bad either. Still, I'll stick to Frank's! Pin It

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Give it Your Heart and Sole

Fish are your friends when it comes to protein picks- most are a lean source of protein and pack a ton of flavor before you add any seasoning or sauce. While I have my favorite fishy friends (bluefish, flounder, salmon to name a few), I am always willing to try to new kinds, and let me tell you, I think I found a new favorite- Blue Sole! It is somewhat of a cross between Flounder and bluefish actually- less fishy than bluefish, but still has that creamy, flaky texture.

I prepared it in a marinade using Walden Farms Sesame Ginger dressing (yes, new Walden find!) and then topped it with some chopped scallions and chives, and dehydrated garlic and onion flakes, baked it in a foil pack with some brussels sprouts in the oven on 350 for about 20 minutes followed by the broiler for about 5 minutes to get that crispy crust and dug in! Love the broiler- it creates a breading-esque crust with the onion and garlic flakes without any real breading needed- and makes the brussel sprouts really crispy too! No complaints from the parents either- both really enjoyed our new flaky friend! And the best part? He was on sale for 4.99 per pound- gotta love cheap dinners! Pin It

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Surviving the Salad Bar

Generally, it is fairly easy to get a healthy meal at a salad bar, but at the same time, it can be difficult to know what to take and what to avoid to keep your salad guilt free, yet still satisfying. Here are a few quick tips to help you craft the perfect, healthy salad.

1. Let there be Lettuce: Just about any lettuce you choose is a great bet- even iceberg, which is mostly water is acceptable; however, the greener the leaf, the more nutritious it is (as a general rule- not entirely true). Feel free to mix and match the mesculin, spinach, romaine, etc!

2. Veggies? Load 'em on!: Just about any raw veggie is a great option-carrots, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, sprouts, mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc.- as long as they are raw and sauceless, you are good to go? Some veggies to approach with caution are avocado, corn, or any other starchy, fatty, or caloric choice that may add the calories on more than you'd like. If you're feelin' frisky, some salad bars even have fresh fruit to put on your salad! I've always been a huge fan of strawberries in salad, or maybe even some sliced oranges! Just a disclaimer, watch out for the dried fruit options. These often have added sugars, and those calories can add up fast!

3. Pick the right protein: My personal favorite protein option is egg whites- they are usually hard boiled, so it is safe to assume they weren't cooked in any oil or butter. If egg whites aren't an option, ask how the grilled chicken or grilled shrimp was prepared. Avoid anything that looks very greasy or is sitting in a sauce- chances are, the sauce is not healthy. Another great option for protein is plain tuna (not the tuna spread mixed with mayo) or some fresh kidney/black beans or chick peas- just don't overdo it! Another great source of protein is nuts and seeds, but use very sparingly because those calories add up fast. If you want the flavor of nuts without all the calories, see if they have slivered almonds or something along those lines! Generally, I would avoid the cheese choices, as they are often full fat, but if you can afford the extra calories, then let there be cheese!

4. Avoid at all costs: Any pasta salads, macaroni salads, tuna salad,  or any pre-prepared add-on that is clearly made with oil, mayo, or a fattening dressing. Also, any fried wontons or crunchy, carby topper that is bound to pack the unnecessary calories onto your salad. Skip them. If it's the crunch you crave, add some extra celery!

5. Dress to impress: No, not your clothing- your salad dressing! As a general rule, dressing is a calorie catastrophe. Stick to plain balsamic vinegar (or any other vinegar they may have) or squeeze some lemon on top. If you must indulge on the dressing (we all have those cravings!) use sparingly and don't just dump the whole container on there. You can dip as you go, or use my favorite fork trick- dip the tip of your fork into the dressing before taking a bite of salad. This way, you still get the flavor of the dressing without all the unnecessary calories. If you're feelin' frisky, you can even pack your own dressing. My besties at Walden Farms make single serve packets of some of their dressings that you can take on the go! If you're one to do things unconventionally, some fresh salsa is also a great pick- or if you've loaded up your salad enough, who even needs the dressing?!

Hopefully, these quick tips will help you form a healthy salad, but if you feel I've missed something, let me know!

P.S.- If you have a Charlie Brown's near you, they often have a pretty rockin' salad bar! You can even get the salad bar as your entree, or split a dish with a friend and have the other order the salad bar and share! Pin It