Sunday, October 28, 2012

Inside The Box: Thin Slim Bagels

If you're skeptical of a bagel that only has 50 calories, you're not alone. Initially, I couldn't imagine actually enjoying a bagel with such awesome stats, and I certainly didn't think it would be a normal size bagel, but Thin Slim to the rescue, as usual! While I only like the cinnamon bagels (I find the whole wheat ones have a seriously wheat-y, cardboard-like taste), I use the cinnamon ones as my go-to bread for everything- grilled cheese, egg sandwiches, lox and cream cheese, etc. (P.S., Tiny Tummy's Cinnamon Cream Cheese is delicious on these bagels!) And since it is a little hard to see what the bagels look like based on the company's photo, I figured I would show you mine (pictured on my classy paper plate ;))

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Perish Responsibly

Any of you East Coasters must have heard by now about the impending doom we face with the upcoming storm, so I'm sure you're all ready to stock up on the non-perishables. If you're anything like me, and my friend who sent me this questions, you're probably wondering what the healthiest options are to stock up on in terms of non-perishable goods. I figured the best way to approach this was to give a crazy list of everything out there, and let you decide what to stock up on, instead of reviewing a few favorites (better safe than sorry, right?!

So, here goes, Tiny Tummy's list of fridge-free food faves: (P.S. this is assuming you have a gas stove that you can light if the power goes out)

For Meals:

  • Cans/Packets of Tuna packed in WATER (not oil**)-- they actually make chicken, shrimp, crabmeat, etc. in cans also... but I generally stick with tuna
  • Light and Low Sodium canned soups (preferably ones with some protein and fiber, and minimal sugar- think lentil, chicken and veggie, etc.)
    • (If you don't have a can opener, go for soup in the cups or boxes!)
  • High fiber, low sugar cereals such as Hi Lo
  • Canned veggies- (look for no salt added)- often, canned veggies have a lot of preservatives (aka SALT CENTRAL), but in times of desperation, you do what ya gotta do
  • Oatmeal: some oatmeals can be prepared on the stove top!
  • Pasta: High fiber, whole grain pasta with a can of tomatoes or tomato sauce can be a go-to din din
  • High Fiber Tortillas/Breads: A lot of breads/high fiber tortillas don't require refrigeration: Spread a Laughing Cow Wedge or a smear of all-natural PB on it, and you're good to go!
  • Grains: We all know Tiny Tummy loves Freekeh and Spelt, but keeping some brown rice, quinoa, etc. on hand doesn't hurt either!
  • Beans/Lentils: Again, dried beans and lentils can be prepared on the stove top, and make a great healthy, filling meal!-- you can also find these guys in the can!

For Snacks:
  • Nuts/Seeds (lots of protein, just don't over-do it)
  • High protein, high-fiber energy bars (we all know Tiny Tummy loves Quest Bars!)
  • Kay's Protein chips (if you can get your hands on them)
  • Soy chips
  • Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges (yep, they are shelf-stable!)
  • Shelf stable apple sauce (no sugar added) or pudding (sugar-free cups)
  • Whole Grain crackers (I keep GG bran crisps, but Wasa flatbreads are great too)
  • Jerky- while Tiny Tummy isn't the biggest jerky fan, it's got a lot of protein-- just opt for the lower sodium version!
  • Good ole' fruit is great, as most can last for a few days out of the fridge- check out what's in season, but apples and bananas are fairly consistent fall backs
  • At the same time, some veggies can last for a few days out of the fridge, so steaming up a giant pot of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc. is an option
And most importantly, make sure you've stocked up on bottled water!!!
Think I missed something? Comment and let me know!
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Pancake Paradise

When I think pancakes, I automatically think of the "Funny Face" pancakes I used to get from IHOP growing up, and my mind goes into carb-overload. It has been a while since I had pancakes, but I recently read that if you whip up two simple ingredients, you can make healthy pancakes (and no, I'm not talking about pancake mix and oil!). I was a little hesitant, but I decided to try to make my own low carb pancakes, and boy am I glad I did. (And so is mommy Tiny Tummy who LOVES pancakes!) Want to know the not-so-secret ingredients?

To make these super simple low-carb pancakes, you will need:

2oz fat free or low fat cream cheese
2 egg whites
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of stevia
a drop or two of pure vanilla extract
optional: fresh fruit slices or chia seeds for some added fiber

To prepare, simply toss all the ingredients in the blender until smooth. Spray a pan and pour batter in circles and cook as you would normal pancakes! They even cook much faster than traditional pancakes! And the best part? This entire recipe has less than 100 calories, even with the added fruit slices (assuming you don't go CRAZY), and, dipped in Walden Farms Pancake Syrup, they could practically pass for real pancakes! Gotta love a healthy take on a comfort food favorite! Pin It

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Caramel Cancer Culprits

I have to admit, I may just have to break one of my biggest rules for Werther's newest candies.

I used to LOVE those delicious caramel-apple lollipops, so when I heard Werther's was coming out with a new sugar free caramel apple flavored candy, I was beyond eager to check it out, but much to my disappointment, Werther's hasn't jumped on board the Stevia wagon yet. They still rely on acesulfame potassium, aka the cancer-causing sweetener, to sweeten their products. Serious bummer because their caramel candies are delicious and only 8 calories each! These would be a great way to kick a sweets craving, but I just can't bring myself to say I'm all for something sweetened with AP. Common, Werther's! Make the switch to Stevia! Pin It

Loco Hot Cocoa

We all know Tiny Tummy is not a fan of drinking your calories, when it comes to a craving for hot chocolate, it's pretty hard to avoid the temptation. While a packet of Diet Swiss Miss may seem like a friendly fix at only 25 calories per packet, it also contains some of our cancer-causing foes: the nasty acseulfame potassium. And I'll tell you a secret: Tiny Tummy's hot cocoa is just as easy to make, has about the same amount of calories, and has no cancer-causing sweeteners. All you need is Flax Milk (or milk of choice), unsweetened cocoa powder, and stevia. Depending upon how big of a mug of hot cocoa you want to make, the amounts of each will vary. You'll want to use a ratio of about 1 cup of milk to 1T cocoa powder to 2T Stevia. Additionally, if you're feelin' frisky, add about 1/4t of pure vanilla extract to really amp up the flavor. And if you're feelin' really frisky, add a pinch of cayenne for a spicy cocoa oblivion- now that's a loco cup o' cocoa!

To make your piping hot cup o' loco cocoa, heat your milk, stir everything in, and sip away!

P.S.: If you don't have flax milk or want to save some calories, you can easily sub water. Just know your loco cocoa won't be as creamy! Pin It

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cheesy Does it

One of my favorite snacks growing up was good ole string cheese. Something about the whole pull and peel aspect of the cheese was thrilling to me. I still don't know how they make the cheese peelable, but I'm forever intrigued. As it turns out, cheese sticks are actually a fairly healthy snack. Aside from their relatively high sodium content, most cheese sticks have a decent amount of protein (usually around 5-8 grams), and only about 50-80 calories per stick. And, a lot of companies, such as Sargento, have began to manufacture a variety of different varieties of cheese sticks.

So, if you're a cheese fan, these are an awesome find for a bring-along snack! Pin It

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taco Tuesday: Simple Spicy Taco Salsa Bowl

I love Top Chef, but if I see or hear one more commercial for Taco Bell's new Cantina Bowl, I may just have to boycott Top Chef. If there is any positive that comes from that annoying commercial, it inspired my next recipe: which is full of protein, fiber, and taco-y goodness.

To make Tiny Tummy's Simple Spicy Taco Salsa Bowl (for 2), you will need:
2oz Freekah (or spelt/brown rice/grain of choice)
2oz lentils or black beans
1T diced jalepeno (red pepper flakes will do if you don't have jalepeno on hand)

6oz chicken breast cut into chunks
1T Tiny Tummy's Taco Seasoning

2T salsa
optional: a drizzle of Frank's Hot Sauce for some added heat

To prepare, Simply cook your grain/legume according to package instructions with the diced jalepeno mixed in the water. (If using Freekah and lentils like Tiny Tummy did, simmer the freekah in water with the diced jalepeno until the water cooks out. Then, add the lentils with the recommended amount of water and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the lentils have softened and the water has cooked out.

While the grain is cooking, coat your chicken in the seasoning blend and cook in the oven on 350 for about 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. I cut my chunks pretty small, so the chicken cooked quickly! Feel free to pop it in the broiler for a minute once it's cooked to get that nice crispy coating on it.

Once everything is cooked, toss it together in a bowl with your salsa an optional hot sauce, an you're good to go!

Feelin' Frisky? You could easily use ground beef, chicken, or turkey instead of chunks of chicken to replicate taco meat. Feel free to experiment!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Candyland: Halloween Survival Guide

Halloween is every dentist and dieter's worst nightmare. The amount of candy given out and consumed should practically be illegal. If you think about it, kids probably eat about 5 Tablespoons of sugar over the course of the night trick-or-treating. I was recently asked if Halloween candy is really that bad... While, yes, it's a once a year thing, I tend to say we should try to focus more on the fun costumes than the sugary candies. However, Tiny Tummy knows that kids will be kids and Halloween is a day of candy, so for those of you who want to relive your childhood glory and indulge in some candy, some options are better than others. First of all, virtually all the candy kids will grab trick-or-treating is bound to be chocked full of sugar, so to compare the grams of sugar is sort of a waste. Instead, Tiny Tummy is here to give you a few simple tips to avoid overdoing it without feeling deprived.

#1- If you're going trick or treating, chances are, you're going to be around candy, so if you're anything like me, your sweet tooth will be kicking in. If you really don't want to be tempted, pop a piece of fruity gum! It will satisfy the need for something sweet! Or, pop a minty piece: that brushed-teeth feeling may relieve the craving for something sweet.

#2- Go bite sized: If it's chocolate you crave, and you absolutely need to go for the Halloween candy, chances are, you're not going to find a piece of 70% dark chocolate in a trick-or-treat basket, so when choosing between the lesser of the evils, go for a bite sized piece! Instead of the giant Reeses, go for the mini cup, or the mini Snickers, Milky Way, etc.

#3- If you aren't a gum person, but really want something sweet and sugary to last you throughout your time trick or treating, try a lollipop! Those things can last a while if you lick them slowly. You won't feel deprived because you're constantly getting that sugary kick, lick after lick!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tip Trick

A question I am commonly asked is, what's a healthy amount of butter or oil to use in a pan when cooking something? (Given that you want to get a serving of fat, not just simply spray the pan to keep things from sticking) A bottle of oil lists the serving of a tablespoon, though chances are, especially if you're cooking for one, you really don't need that much. Serving sizes can get a little tricky, so I like to think of things in simple terms that are easy to remember and follow when cooking. When it comes to a serving of fat, I use the "tip trick."

Give yourself a big thumbs up, and use the tip of your thumb to measure your fat portion. If you have large thumbs like this guy^^, you might not even need a full tip's worth ;) This will provide you with a healthy serving of fat and a powerful pack of flavor without overdoing it. This is not to say that if you're having a full rack of ribs for dinner, you should sautee your veggies using a big ole hunk of butter (ribs have WAY more than enough fat), but if you need a healthy serving of fat, this can be your go-to guide! Pin It

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Massaman Curry Shrimp and Squash Soup

It's been a while since I last made thai food... or soup for that matter, so this new recipe was long overdue! It's perfect for a cold night, super filling, and surprisingly low-cal. Not to mention, it uses some of my favorite ingredients: butternut squash, purple cauliflower, shrimp... it's basically just a giant bowl of goodness... wondering what it is? Massaman curry soup! I made this with a friend one night, so this recipe actually serves 2, so if you're flying solo, feel free to reserve the other half for lunch or just cut the recipe in half.

To make Tiny Tummy's Shrimpy, Squashy Massaman Curry Soup, you will need:

2t massaman curry paste
1.5 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup flax milk (or almond milk or coconut milk etc.)
3/4 cup peeled/cubed butternut squash (I microwaved mine for about 15 minutes to soften the cubes)
3/4 cup cauliflower florets (if you're feeling frisky, you can even use purple cauliflower like I did!)
lime zest to taste
1 scallion chopped
1/2 t chopped lemongrass
1/8 cup peas
8oz shrimp (I used frozen shrimp and it was perfectly fine!)
1 pack miracle noodles
optional: 1t diced jalepeno for some heat, and any other veggies you may want!

To prepare, add vegetable stock and massaman curry paste to a pot on medium-high heat and stir until paste has dissolved. Allow this to heat up and blend together a bit. Then, add the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the noodles, and allow to simmer until the soup is fragrant (I let mine simmer about 20 minutes, but to allow all of the flavors to really blend, you could let it simmer longer). Finally, add the noodles and cook for an additional minute or so, just until the noodles have warmed. Ladle away, and you're good to go!

Feelin' Frisky? If you prefer a thicker soup, try pureeing/mashing some of the butternut squash and mixing the puree into the broth. This will act as a thickener in place of the usual carb-dense flour or cornstarch!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Sip or Skip?

I've been getting a lot of questions lately related to different drinks- the question is always "Should I? or Shouldn't I?" So I figured we oughta play a game of sip it or skip it!

1. Flavored Coffee:
This depends! Are we talking French Vanilla ground beans? Or are we talking a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks? If we're dealing with flavored coffee beans, Tiny Tummy DEFINITELY says Sip it! Tiny Tummy LOVES flavored coffee- everything from the typical french vanilla/hazelnut to the seasonal gingerbread to the more exotic coconut or butter rum! Perhaps I need to dedicate an entire post to some of my favorite manufactures of flavored coffee beans cause there are quite a few! On the other hand though, if we are talking about the sugary drinks from Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, McDonalds, or anywhere else for that matter, the easy answer is skip it. They are often made with way too much full-fat milk, cream, and SUGAR.

2. Juice:
This one is truly difficult for me to say. I mean, if we're talking store-bought "sugar enhanced" apple juice, orange juice, etc., the answer is definitely SKIP IT! You're way better off squeezing an orange into a glass! But onto the more controversial juices. Having worked as a juicer, I can tell you there were no added sugars in the freshly pressed juices we made, but as far as the fruit juices were concerned, each juice required so many of each fruit, that the amount of natural sugars you would be consuming would be too much. As far as the greens juices are concerned, they are mostly made from just that-greens (be it celery, cucumbers, kale, etc.) If you're not a salad person, and need a quick way to get those veggies in, then these juices may be your new pals, but in my opinion, it's hard to think about DRINKING an entire cucumber, 3 stalks of celery and a giant handful on spinach and kale in one tiny bottle, so my final answer is: if you can't bear the thought of eating veggies, SIP IT, but if you don't have any problem getting your veggies in, skip it. (Especially since a lot of the fibrous pulp is lost in the process of juicing!)

3. Soda
The obvious answer here is skip it, but I know that every once in a while, we all crave soda. The important thing here is to choose the right one. Avoid the sugary sodas, and avoid any diet sodas that have Aspartame or Asulfame Potassium -both have been linked to cancer! Tiny Tummy has reviewed tons of acceptable soda options that are naturally sweetened with Stevia, as opposed to the other unacceptable sweeteners! (Such as this one!) (Or this one!) But, your best bet? If it's just the fizz you crave, go for seltzer! There are tons of naturally flavored seltzers too in all sorts of funky flavors (such as this one!) (or this one!)

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mean Green Crunchy Machine

I will be the first to admit that I never really understood the appeal of Kale Chips, regardless of how popular they've become. I mean who wants to eat dried leaves? Well let me tell you, after finally caving and trying them out, this Tiny Tummy does! While I refuse to spend the $7 per package that most Kale Chips in the package run, I was shopping at my local supermarket the other day, and came across a giant (and I mean GIANT) bunch of kale for 99 cents, so it was basically the excuse of the century to try these suckers for myself.

I seriously dare you to try to eat these chips quietly. If it is crunch you crave, fear not- these have a SERIOUS crunch factor to them! And an entire bunch of Kale will yield about the same calories as a single serving of potato chips (probably less if we're being honest here)

To make these crunchy Kale chips, you will need

1 bunch of Kale
spice blend of your choice- for all of you traditionalists out there (is that even a word?!) a little sprinkle of salt, for any of you OMG lovers out there, I sprinkled some onion and garlic powder on mine- you could easily experiment with a little dry onion soup mix for a ranch flavored chip or some chili powder for a spicy chip!

To prepare, simply rinse your kale leaves (I actually left mine a little damp so the spices stick), sprinkle the seasoning on, and bake in the oven at 250 for about 10 minutes. (may be a little longer or shorter based on how strong your oven is) ... Basically, just cook them until they dry out and get crunchy! Pin It

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


In honor of National Pasta Day, I thought I would give a shout out to some of my favorite pasta-swap ingredients. Even though, if eaten in moderation, pasta can be a part of a healthy diet (especially high fiber, whole wheat, low carb, etc. pasta!), there are still many pasta-swaps that exist that can easily kick the craving. Here are Tiny Tummy's top 3 swapsta ingredients:

1. Spaghetti Squash:

Spaghetti squash, if prepared correctly, is extremely spaghetti-like! With a little marinara, veggies, and even some mozzarella cheese, you could easily be delving into a giant bowl of carbalicious spaghetti (but you're not! ;)) (FYI: Click "spaghetti squash" above to learn how to prepare a spaghetti squash!)

2. Miracle Noodles:

Okay, so they are a little less like traditional pasta than your average noodle, but if its a little noodle-slurpin' satisfaction you're looking for, these are the way to go. Miracle noodles is only one brand- you can easily get Shirataki Noodles, Konjac noodles, Yam noodles, or any other version of this low-carb pasta-swap. Some even come in macaroni shapes or lasagna sheets!

3. Zucchini Ribbons:

Don't knock it til you've tried it! Julienned zucchini (or broccoli stems, carrots, or any other veggie you find works) can be a great replacement for pasta. Cook it down with some tomatoes, veggies, and cheese, and you won't even notice that it isn't real spaghetti! Use a mandolin to get really thin slices or a peeler if you want the "ribbon" shape. If you want tiny noodle-like strips, use a julienne peeler!

If it's real pasta you crave, there's no reason you can't indulge a little! Any of Tiny Tummy's top pasta picks are great ways to enjoy pasta guilt-free! Pin It

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Secret to an Overflowing Bowl of Oatmeal

Happy National Oatmeal Day! Oatmeal is a great quick and easy breakfast that packs a lot of fiber to keep you full all morning long, but a single portion of oatmeal may seem a little, well, tiny. But, guess what! Tiny Tummy has a tip to make your oatmeal twice as big without adding a single calorie. What's my trick? Double the water! You may be thinking gross, who wants watery oatmeal?! Well Tiny Tummy doesn't want it either! The trick is to cook the oatmeal for twice as long, stirring halfway through, and then let it sit for a while so the oats really absorb the liquid. (I've even left it in the fridge overnight, and then just given it a quick reheat in the morning!) The result is a GIANT bowl of oatmeal that's thick and delicious! Feel free to flavor it up with some cinnamon or Walden Farms syrup, and add some chia seeds for a little crunch! Yummy! Pin It

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mani Munch-No-More

I'll be the first to admit, when late night munchies hit, it's hard not to give in. Everyone seems to suggest some tips to avoid delving into that carton of ice cream or giant bag of chips, but in the end, it really comes down to a matter of personal choice and willpower, both of which Tiny Tummy can't exactly control for you; but, if you haven't already nailed it, I have a pretty simple tip to help you handle your munchies and hopefully stop you from polishing off that entire bag of chips. Okay, so I may have gone a little overboard with the puns here, but if you haven't already guessed my simple tip, here it is:

Do a manicure! I know, you're wondering how this relates- Not only does it get your mind off of eating, but it makes it pretty darn hard to munch! I don't know about you, but I have an awfully hard time reaching my hand into a bag of chips without ruining my manicure! Hopefully, by the time the polish dries, you won't even be thinking about food any more! P.S.: Sorry boys, this one doesn't really apply to you.

If you're feelin' frisky, like Tiny Tummy often is, you can even go all out and do a crazy funky mani or pedi like any of the ones pictured! Pin It

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Compare and Share: Soy Chips

I've already made it pretty clear that I'm a big fan of Soy Crisps when it comes to a healthier chip/ crunchy snack, but with all of the different companies jumping on board the soy chip train, it may be hard to decide which brand to buy. While they all seem to have about the same stats (somewhere around 120-130 calories per ounce, 7-8g of protein, and 2-3g of fiber), some of the flavors actually taste different from company to company, and while some produce a lighter, fluffier chip, others are thinner and crunchier. Call me crazy, but I sense a difference! For any of you soy chip addicts out there, I thought I'd give the lowdown on Tiny Tummy's top picks for soy chips!

#1 365 Soy Chips (Whole Foods Brand)

These soy chips seem to be the fluffiest, and definitely have the most flavor. I am a huge fan of the Cheddar, BBQ, and Ranch flavors, though I've yet to try the sea salt.

#2 Glenny's

These are not quite as fluffy as the Whole Foods soy chips, though the flavors are just as bold. They also make a few flavors that 365 doesn't, such as the Apple Cinnamon (yum!) and the Caramel (if you're lucky enough to find this; it may have been discontinued).

#3 Genisoy

Genisoy also makes a fluffier soy chip, though I find their flavors are a bit muted in comparison to Glenny's and 365. They do; however, offer a few flavors that the other companies don't, such as Garlic and Onion and Salt and Vinegar. I've only tried the BBQ and Ranch varieties, so I can't say "yay" or "nay."

#4 Nature's Promise (Stop and Shop Brand)

If you have a Stop and Shop in your area, their store brand makes a soy chip fairly comparable in texture to the Genisoy soy crisps. The flavor profile isn't too bad, but they only make the generic flavors as far as I've seen. These are the cheapest crisps I've seen though!

Did Tiny Tummy miss your fav? Submit a comment! Pin It

Saturday, October 13, 2012

OMG: Quick tip to add instant flavor to a grain dish

When it comes to preparing a good majority of my grain dishes, you can bet I am not just tossing a serving of grain into some water and letting it cook. Tiny Tummy is all about big flavors! While you could go all out with a pinch of paprika here, and a snip of saffron there, flavoring your grain doesn't have to be a complex process. Instead, just remember OMG. No, I'm not praying to the higher powers to make my grain less boring. I'm actually referring to my three fav staple ingredients: onions, mushrooms, and garlic!

The nice thing is, all three of these gems add a powerful punch of flavor for minimal calories. And, they come in a variety of different forms, all of which can be used in grain dishes. Think about it: adding just a pinch of onion powder or garlic powder or dehydrated onion flakes or garlic flakes makes a serious difference in the flavor of cooked rice. At the same time, adding a few tablespoons of sauteed onions and mushrooms can amp up some spelt, or adding even a single clove of roasted garlic makes a world of difference. Onions can be used in their raw form, sauteed, onion powder, dehydrated onion flakes, etc. Garlic can be used as raw cloves, roasted cloves, garlic powder, dehydrated garlic flakes, dried garlic slices, etc. And mushrooms can be used raw, cooked, dried, though I've never seen them in powdered form (that'd be a little weird, I guess!) Regardless, to amp up any grain dish, just turn to our friends OMG! Pin It

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Punch of Meaty Crunch

If it's the crunch you crave, sometimes a chip is the only thing that seems to kick the craving; however, nobody ever stops at just one chip. I've given a few different recipes for chip replacement, but this one is unique, as it actually isn't made from a vegetable and can be prepared in about 30 seconds! I know this may seem weird, but our friends at Hormel can actually be turned into chips, and if you stick to the recommended ounce, that's only 70 calories worth of "chips"- not half bad!

To make these pepperoni chips, you will need:
1oz Hormel Turkey Pepperoni
1 sheet parchment paper

To prepare, simply spread the chips over the parchment paper, pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds (you might have to experiment with your microwave), and you're good to go. When you take them out of the microwave, they will be crunchy and chip-like. Pin It

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Japanese Inspired Spelt (or Rice, etc.)

I've always wondered why the brown rice you get at Chinese and Japanese restaurants tastes so good. I'm sure they add something to it other than just water to add flavor during the cooking process, though I still don't know what it is. In making my spelt for my sushi the other day, I decided to experiment and add a little something to my spelt while it was cooking, to give it more of a Japanese/Chinese flair. When I think typical sushi, for some reason my mind goes straight to soy sauce and rice vinegar, so when making this spelt, that's where my mind went. Generally, I don't like to cook with soy sauce since it is so salty, but I use a reduced sodium version (only slightly better), and since I didn't have any rice vinegar, I was feelin' frisky, and decided to use some coconut vinegar instead. I imagine you would have the same results with plum vinegar or rice vinegar, or maybe even apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar as well.

To give your spelt an extra burst of flavor, all you need to do is prepare it as usual, but add about 1T of soy sauce and 1T vinegar (choose one of the ones listed above) to the water you normally use to cook it, (in addition to any spices you normally use), and cook away! I'm not sure it's exactly the same as the rice you get from the restaurants, but it definitely adds a pop of flavor! Pin It

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are spuds your buds?

I was recently asked whether I am yay or neigh when it comes to potatoes, since everything I post tends to use some ingredient that makes it "fauxtato" friendly. Personally, I am not a fan of the potato, nutritionally speaking. In my opinion, the amount of carbs and calories in each of those little suckers far outweighs any aspect of its nutritional benefits, but that's not to say that if you're a spud-lover you have to cut them out completely. The nice thing about dishes that are made from potatoes is that they can often be made with a replacement veggie that boasts more nutritional benefits (generally lower in carbs, calories, may be higher in fiber, etc)- such as cauliflower, turnip, etc. If it's a simple baked potato you crave, there's not much you can do to replicate that, so treat yourself to a small spud, but limit the fatty toppings such as sour cream or butter (opt for fat-free sour cream and light butter if you must!)

But if it's frieschipsmashed potatoes, or potato skins you crave, Tiny Tummy has tons of replacement recipes all of which are linked in this sentence (just click your craving, and prepare to be amazed!)

Are there any faux-tato swaps that Tiny Tummy is missing? Email your suggestions, and you might just see your tip on the blog! Pin It

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

National Dessert Day: DIY Healthy Caramel Popcorn

Happy National Dessert Day! What an awesome excuse to indulge in something sweet! The whole salty-sweet thing has become quite a trend lately, but for whatever it's worth, I've always had a sweet spot (pun intended) for caramel popcorn! Something about that combo of sweet and salty is extremely delicious! Generally, this stuff is beyond chocked full of sugar and pretty high in calories, but Tiny Tummy's version has a whopping 100 calories, and only as much sugar as your popcorn has!

To make Tiny Tummy's Caramel drizzled popcorn, you will need:

1 100 calorie bag of popcorn (or if you can, it is much healthier to pop your own!)
1-2 T (or more) Walden Farms Caramel Dip at room temperature (or the caramel sauce if you prefer it)

To prepare, simply prepare your popcorn according to bag instructions, dump it in a bowl, drizzle with the caramel sauce, shake it up, and dive in! Pin It

Monday, October 8, 2012

Slide Over- Simply Slimming Sliders Coming Through!

One of the few perks of the long line at the Trader Joe's on 14th street is that you get to look at everything that the store sells since the line basically wraps around the entire perimeter of the store! I was always told not to buy meat at Trader Joe's because it is generally very expensive, but as it turns out, certain meats are actually relatively cheap there, and even better, they sell leaner ground beef than any other supermarket I've come across! On this factor alone, (okay, and the fact that Bare Burger and 5 Napkin Burger both smelled SO good on my jog), it was clearly meant to be burger night!

As we all know, I've never been the traditional type. I refuse to just buy some ground beef, make a fatty patty, and chuck it on the grill, so naturally, I went to work to make these burgers into something special! For starters, I've always thought the idea of sliders was incredibly cute (and chic these days I guess!), so sliders it is, and since the beef was so lean, it is important to do something to make them moist and juicy like any other big, bad burger! But enough rant- on with the recipe!

To make one set of Simply Slimming Sliders (2), you will need: (If you want to make a batch for company, simply multiply the recipe)

4oz Lean Ground Beef (T-Joe's sells 96% Fat Free, but if the best you can find is 92 or 93% then use that!)
2-3T BBQ Sauce (I use the Thick and Spicy variety made by Walden Farms which is KILLER!)
A generous pinch of fresh cracked pepper, garlic and onion powder, paprika, red pepper flakes for heat, and my fav dehydrated garlic and onion flakes (In my opinion, the more, the merrier- nothing is worse than a dry, under-seasoned burger!)

Optional for garnish: 2 Large Romaine Leaves (I use them for lettuce buns!), Slices of tomato
AND/OR, though not pictured, High Fiber English Muffins for buns, Sliced Onion, Sauteed onions and mushrooms, jalepeno slices, cheese of choice ... basically anything you could possibly want to top a slide

Feelin' Frisky?: The following is optional, but highly recommended: If you want to moisten your burgers even further and bulk them up a bit, try adding 1/8- 1/4 cup of grated cauliflower. You won't taste it but it does something incredible to the texture! Unfortunately, my cauli had gone rotten, so the pictured sliders are sans-cauli :(

Anyway, to prepare the sliders, simply combine everything in a bowl and form them into patties. (If you're adding the cauliflower, you can just microwave it until it has softened, and then put it through the food processor or rice it with a cheese grater and microwave it to soften it). To cook them, I used my handy little George Forman Grill which cooks them to perfection in about 2 minutes, though if you're using a conventional grill or stove top, cooking time will vary. It also depends on how rare you like your burger. I like mine slightly pink on the inside! After they are done, let them rest for a minute or so, garnish away, and DIG IN! Oh, and P.S., I added a little extra BBQ sauce to mine! (Can't go wrong with 0 calorie BBQ sauce!) Pin It

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mock Maki (Homemade Sushi Roll)

Call me crazy, but when I eat Sashimi, the one part I really miss out on in comparison to his cousin the maki roll is not the rice but the seaweed! I actually really love this leafy, salty, crunchy component of traditional rolls! In grabbing a sashimi platter for dinner, I decided that I actually really wanted that maki feel for dinner, but considering I didn't want to go for all of that rice, I decided to get creative and grabbed a pack of seaweed sheets, (Sea Snax will do as well) and vowed to make my own mock maki!

You will need:

6oz of Sashimi grade fish (my platter was an assortment of tuna and salmon, but pick your fav)
1 pack seaweed sheets (or Sea Snax)
1/4 cup spelt prepared (or brown rice or omit entirely)

Optional: chopped scallions, Tiny Tummy's Spicy Mayo, julienned cucumber, avocado, wasabi, etc.

To make the mock maki (try saying that 5 times fast!), simply lay out the sheets of seaweed with a layer or spelt followed by the sashimi, followed by any of your optional add-ins, and roll away! If using sea snax, eat them open faced! I promise, it's the same effect! The best part of these mock maki rolls is you have complete control of the fish to rice ratio that is often not ideal when it comes to traditional sushi rolls! Yay creative bursts of genius!

P.S. the pictured photo is a mini maki using a sea snax sheet for any of you disbelievers who didn't think it was possible! Pin It

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flavor me Fancy

While we all know I generally support the whole "don't drink your calories" party, the few exceptions I make are basically limited to tea and coffee (which have minimal calories!), but I know some people still associate tea with those bland tea bags, and think of plain coffee (I'm not talking a Starbucks Frapp here!) to a boring, strong, bitter kick of caffeine. For starters, for anyone who has never brewed their own coffee, I highly recommend it. Your tummy and your wallet will thank you. Your wallet because any price they could possibly charge you at your local deli, coffee shop, etc. is bound to be more expensive than if you make your own at home. More importantly, if you brew your own coffee, you get to choose how strong or weak you make it, and better yet, you can brew a flavored coffee!

Flavored coffee beans seriously gave me a whole new appreciation for coffee, though there are so many out there, both flavors and brands, that it's hard to decide which ones to buy. The nice thing is, it eliminated the need for any added creamer or sugar since the coffee is already flavored! I will say, I've experimented with a ton of different flavored coffee manufacturers thanks to HomeGoods which sells these artisan coffees for like $5 a bag (which is remarkably cheaper than anywhere else). So I figured for anyone interested, I would list a few of my favorite flavored coffee makers!

To begin, I took a look at what was currently in my cabinet, so those few bags are listed above, though I will provide a few different companies that I like, links to their sites so you can check it out and look for retailers around you (or ways to order online), and the flavors I would recommend!

1. Green Mountain: Most known these days for their K-cups, I actually like their bagged coffee! While it isn't flavored, their Sumatran reserve blend is really stellar. Also, their french vanilla and hazelnut are both delish!

2. Paramount Coffee: Okay, Paramount is probably one of my favorite companies for flavored coffees! They have a bunch of different lines of coffee (I honestly don't know why they break it up, but I haven't had one of their coffees yet that I haven't liked). I especially like their "Joe" Coffee: Joe's got Hazel, Joy "French Diva-Nilla" and "She's Nuts"(which is coconut flavored!), their "Fall in Love" Caramel Nut Delight and Vanilla Cream, as well as just about any of their flavored blends that don't fall in a special line. (They have everything from Coffee Cake to Fudge Brownie! And added bonus: many of their flavors come in decaf!

3. Grande Kaffee: These guys also have a bunch of super unique flavors (think chocolate peanut butter cup and black forest cake). I have only tried a few of these, and my recommendation with these guys is to brew them on the weaker side in order to taste the subtle flavor. They are strong coffees with a subtle flavor, so for those of you who don't want to be smacked in the face with the flavor of your coffee, this may be your best bet! My fav by these guys is the Hawaiian Macadamia nut FYI

What's your favorite flavored coffee? Tiny Tummy wants to know! Pin It

Friday, October 5, 2012

Artificial Intellegence

A friend recently asked me what my take on Splenda was, so I figured I would share my opinion with the blogosphere, considering this is a pretty heavily debated topic lately. First of all, if you can cut out artificial sweeteners entirely, I would suggest that, but we all know I am anti-sugar above all else, so I completely understand the appeal of artificial sweeteners. I've compiled a list of what I believe are the 5 most common artificial sweeteners out and about and where I stand on the acceptability of each one.

1. Acesulfame Potassium (commonly found in diet sodas, diet syrups, sugar-free candies, etc.)
Tiny Tummy says: Red flag! Big red flag! Studies have linked this sucker to cancer. Avoid at all costs.

2. Aspartame (aka Acesulfame Potassium's evil twin; commonly found in the products mentioned above, as well as Equal)
Tiny Tummy says: Like I said, this guy is AP's evil twin and partner in crime. Companies often use a mix of the two to poison, I mean flavor, their sugar-free "diet" products. Avoid this guy like the plague as well!

3. Sucralose (commonly found in packets of splenda, as well as diet sodas, candies, etc.)
Tiny Tummy says: This one is debatable. There is no direct link between Sucralose and cancer, but there are no studies that prove it doesn't cause cancer either. Since science can't decide, neither can I. While I try to avoid it as much as possible, I am much less put off by Sucralose than the two listed above.

4. Erythritol (commonly found in many sugar-free baked goods, and stocked in market shelves for your own home baking)
Tiny Tummy says: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol which effects some people's GI's quite a bit, so if your Tiny Tummy is sensitive, I might suggest avoiding it; however, if you can tolerate, I actually don't have a problem with erythritol at all. I actually prefer the taste to most of the other sweeteners.

5. Stevia (commonly found in the baking section of supermarkets, and increasingly replacing the evil cancer causing culprits listed above in packaged products)
Tiny Tummy says: If you've read any of my other blog posts, you probably already know that Stevia is my favorite sweetener. This all natural, plant-based extract is sweet, calorie-free, and not linked to cancer. I am always impressed when I see a company switching to Stevia as their SOC (sweetener of choice!) because it is certainly mine! It's available in both powdered and liquid form also! Pin It

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Taco Thursday (WHAA?!): Salsa Smorgasbord

For anyone who doesn't know, it's National Taco Day! Boo on the holiday for falling on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday, but in honor of this joyous food holiday, I thought I would give a guide to a condiment often paired with Tacos: Salsa!

Salsa may seem like a pretty standard ingredient, but there are SO many types! I've tried my fair share of salsas, so I figured I would share my top 5 salsa faves from the supermarket (though if you're feelin frisky, feel free to make your own! It's the healthiest and best way to cater to your own taste buds!)

1. Trader Joe's Peach Salsa
So it's definitely not your average salsa! It has a smokey, fruity kick to it, so it's definitely not for everyone, but Tiny Tummy loves fruit in salsa and guac! Be warned though: it is a bit higher in sugar than other salsas because of the peaches in it! Tostitos

2. Typical Tostitos
Call me crazy but as far as traditional salsa goes, I'm a huge fan of plain ole Salsa! It's the perfect blend of chunky and smooth, and the mild, medium, and spicy are all equally delicious!

3. Trader Joe's Chunky Pineapple Salsa
Along the same lines as the peach salsa, this fruity salsa is equally delicious!

4. Mrs. Renfro's Chipotle Corn Salsa
A little corn in salsa goes a long way, and our friends at Mrs. Renfro's have got it down! And that kick of chipotle doesn't hurt either!

5. Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Black beans + Corn + Tomatoes= enough said. Pin It

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Chip Off the Old Sprout

It seems like Kale chips are all the rage these days, but personally, I don't really like Kale. I'm all for the concept of a green chip, so I decided to experiment, and my first try was a major success. You'll never guess what I used to make the most delicious, crunchy chip you could imagine (seriously, I dare you to try to eat these quietly)

Give up?

I used Brussels Sprouts!

I know, you're grossed out and ready to x out of this window, but seriously, don't knock 'em til you try 'em! For any of you brussie haters, prepare to be amazed!

To make these crunchy munchies, you will need:
A giant handful of brussels sprouts
a generous sprinkle of salt (we all know I am generally anti-salt, but if we're making mock chips, it sort of lends itself to salt; however, the chips are equally delicious without salt, and you could easily sub a little garlic powder or onion powder or make them totally plain!)

Anyway, to prepare, simply separate the sprouts into individual leaves (yes, it's a little tedious, but worth it). Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, spread the leaves evenly throughout the tray, sprinkle on your spices, and bake away at 300 degrees for about 7-10 minutes, or until the chips look crispy! Optional: you can flip them halfway through and sprinkle the other side with spices if you're feelin frisky! Pin It

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Taco Tuesday: DIY Tortilla Chips

Chips and salsa are arguably one of the most addicting snack foods on the planet. At least Tiny Tummy says so! I don't keep tortilla chips around because once I start, I'm generally left wondering what happened to the bag of chips by the end of the day! So instead of going out and buying unhealthy, fried tortilla chips, simply make your own! It's SO easy!

All you need is 2 Low Carb/High Fiber Tortillas
Spices of your choice if you choose to spice it up (typical tortilla chips are salted, but Tiny Tummy prefers chipotle onion tortilla chips!)

To make: Simply spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, cut the tortillas into triangle (chip-like) shapes, spread over the baking sheet, sprinkle your spices on, and bake at 300 degrees until the chips get crispy, and dip and crunch away!

If you use the La Tortilla tortillas like I do, the whole recipe only has 100 calories! Woohoo! Pin It

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hot Cod

One of the many things I look forward to when going home is being able to cook fish dinner. Yes, I can buy fish in the city, but there's something about the white fish on Long Island that is super delicious (and much cheaper!). So, to take full advantage, dinner was good ole' cod fish! I have to say, the cod fish I got actually looked a lot better than it tasted. Next time, I might go for bluefish or tilapia. The cod was a bit tough, but I always enjoy fish, so I'm not complaining!

Anyway, I decided to try an updated take on one of my classic faves. I prepared the cod with lemon, minced garlic, chives, and a mix of oniony, garlicy, and peppery spices, but instead of just squeezing the lemon over the fish and letting it cook, I actually placed fresh slices of lemon on top before putting it in the oven, and if you are fan of tart, you will LOVE this fish.

Feelin' Frisky? Try slicing an orange or a lime instead of a lemon! Or maybe even a grapefruit! Pin It