This week I don’t have a loss to report but I am still holding steady at -4.6 and I will take it.  Its healthier to lose slowly so the fact that I didn’t gain makes me think I am doing the right things to actually keep it off.  I only got to exercise a couple of times and I watched P90X.  I know I have to actually DO it for it to work.  But those moves are HARD and I wanted to observe before trying.  That’s just how I roll.

Speaking of rolls, I didn’t eat ANY bread, pasta or rice for the last two weeks as a part of my South Beach Diet Phase 1 plan.  So the following recipes are still pretty low carb.  the only carb I fudge on a bit is corn in the form of tortillas.  When I had gestational diabetes I discovered that carb exchanges in terms of a diabetic friendly menu corn tortillas are much better than flour tortillas — even wheat ones!  So I will probably stick to corn tortillas and never even incorporate wheat tortillas because I like the corn ones and often even prefer them.  Also from taking my blood sugar during that time I saw that eating corn tortillas did not spike my blood sugar at all while flour tortillas did.  This is just how my body works, since every body is different this may not work for you.

For breakfast I ate on my frozen egg cupcakes from last week and some muscle milk shakes. For lunch I ate left overs of the great dinners we had!

So without further adieu here are some recipes for you!

Giada’s Roman Style Chicken This is an easy, extremely flavorful recipe and comes highly recommend from FoodNetwork.com readers.  I added onions with the peppers and used about double the wine and the chicken broth for extra sauce.  I only used chicken breasts which were evenly pounded out with a mallet.  You could easily serve this with a side of pasta if you wanted the carbs.  With all the veggies in this dish I didnt serve with a salad or other side.  This is a good time to mention that one of my favorite kitchen tools is a meat thermometer.  I have a digital one I can’t live without, especially in recipes like this.  CHECK them temperature of the chicken and REMOVE it from the sauce if the sauce still needs reducing but the chicken is done.  I always take mine off heat at 160 degrees because I find it cooks more after being removed from heat. Here is a link to the one I use, I got it as a gift but I would absolutely spend the $ on it if I needed a new one.

Honey Lime Pork Tenderloin I did not use chipotle in adobo because it makes it too spicy for my hubby. I did sprinkle some cayenne pepper in the marinade though.  He liked it.  Feel free to adjust the spiciness to your taste.  I did not reserve and make sauce, it was fine without it IMO but if I had a grill and had grilled this I would have used the sauce.  Personal preference.  Served this with a salad that my friend Michelle inspired with her heavenly feta imported from the Holy Land and steamed green beans over baby spinach.  Michelle would not share her to die for salad dressing recipe so I made this one instead, it wasn’t as good but was better than anything I had in my fridge.

Mexican Chicken Casserole My friend Kailea told me about this one.  I did not make it exactly like the recipe says but the recipe was my inspiration.  I used the spice mix from the tortilla soup I made last week, diced chicken and coated in the mix then sautéed for about 6 minutes total. I diced an onion, green and red bell pepper mix and sautéed that. Then I sprayed a 9×13 baking dish with pam and started layering thing starting with 4 soft corn tortillas, then enchilada sauce that I made myself then the chicken, then the peppers, then some drained and rinsed black beans and rotel tomatoes then I dotted with some sour cream and then some low fat shredded cheese (I broke my cheese rule on this one).  This was SO yummy.  The carb count in this is low — only the corn tortillas and some flour in the enchilada sauce, otherwise no carbs here.  This was SO GOOD made alot and we ate on it for days.

Pecan Crusted Chicken in Brown Butter Sauce & South Beach “Surprise” Mashed Potatoes This was also surprisingly delicious. I obviously did not make the full recipe complete with the tortellini. I just made the chicken and the butter sauce.  The trick to this one is making sure you have enough pecans and use your food processor to get them really fine.  Worked better the bread crumbs in my opinion.  Sure, pecans are more expensive than a big can of bread crumbs but its healthier and tasted BETTER I thought.  And those mashed potatoes as you may already know, are actually cauliflower.  They were SO SO good. Again, the food processor is key here.  I think a smooth consistency is mission critical to the success of these “surprise mashed potatoes.”  I thought they tasted like mashed potatoes.  Brian did not.  I will make them again, at least for me!

Individual Lasagnas or “Lasagna Cupcakes”
This recipe is genius! My friend Melissa came up with these little babies. I love this recipe because it helps with portion control, you can make a ton and freeze them for later and they are just so darn cute!

The secret to the success of these little meals is the wanton wrappers. If you have never seen or used wanton wrappers try this recipe and fall in love with them! They are so easy to use and, in this miniature form, can easily replace noodles for significantly fewer calories.

This recipe is also super healthy because I used ground white turkey and packed in the veggies.  As usual, I didn’t skimp on the cheese, I used full fat Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese but I did use Egg Beater instead of real egg.

Lasagne Cupcakes by Melissa
Ingredients:
1 box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and fully drained
1 15oz container of part skim ricotta
1 Jar of very plain Marinara (I like the Wegman’s Grandma’s Pomodoro)
italian herbs
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1lb of raw poultry sausage, hot or mild, depending on your preference
1 package wonton wrappers
1 small package shredded mozzarella
1 egg plus one egg white blended thoroughly

Squeeze raw sausage out of casings and cook ground sausage on stove, making sure the sausage ends up in crumbles, drain any fat.

Preheat oven to 375.

Put drained spinach, ricotta, italian herbs, garlic powder and blended eggs together and mix well.

Cut 24 wonton wrappers into circles, using a large glass top, or biscuit cutter.

Get out muffin tin and lightly grease with butter.

Now it is time for layers: In each muffin tin place one wonton wrapper pressed down, top with teaspoon of marinara spread out, approx on Tbsp ricotta mixture, pressed and flattened, then a small sprinkle of sausage, press that all down and then layer another wonton wrapper. Now put another Tbsp (or more) of ricotta mixture, sprinkle of sausage, 1 Tbsp of mozzarella and then a generous portion of marinara. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake in oven for 20min

This should make approx a dozen Lasagna cupcakes, I normally double the recipe. I end up having some left over sausage, and it is perfect for inside omlettes in the morning.

Each cupcake has approx 170cal, which I think is a high estimate because I rounded everything up.

The layering amounts are estimates, I just eyeball it to evenly fill the muffin tin

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