Thursday, June 9, 2011

Episode Four: Guilt-Free Guilty Pleasures

Guilt. A most disgusting, disgruntling, discouraging-- and insert additional dis-worthy words here-- feeling.  I especially hate this emotion when combined with food. Compounded more so when accompanying things I truly enjoy eating. One of the number one reasons for my foray into the domain of baked goods and homemade meals is summed up in one simple word: CONTROL. I'm notorious for going out to restaurants, seeing something that I know to be a no-no food, then going straight home and turning it into a yes-yes-YES delight. This is my ideal way of spiting those guilty feelings without spiting my waist line in the process. Aside from being monumentally more pocketbook and bank account friendly, eating and cooking at home is a sure fire way to gain more control over what and how you eat.

The prompt for today's post comes out of that ever un-disconnected social interface, Facebook. I posted a little status update about enjoying a margarita in the middle of the day along with a buffalo style vegetarian pizza. Now, for most "dieters" these two words most assuredly do not belong in the same sentence. Well, for me I can have these two things all in the same day without ruining my weight loss progress. PLUS, I can even enjoy more guilty pleasures than this, without my waistline experiencing the slightest increase. So, in honor of my guilt free lifestyle, I'm providing a guiltless menu for an entire day that neither breaks your weight loss goals or causes your taste buds to scream in agony for something more flavorful. Even better, all of the recipes I'm going to give you are inspired by restaurant fare I've experienced and chosen to enjoy, but in a healthier way.

To Kim, Briley, & Lil Sis Alex, thanks for the inspiration. NOW EAT UP!

**MENU IS BASED ON STANDARD 29 POINTS PLUS VALUE DAILY ALLOWANCE (This is the amount of Points Plus most members consume when in the losing phase of the Program)

Sandy's Super Strength Breakfast Roll Up
As inspired by the First Watch Power Wrap

3 egg whites
1 tomato basil Ole Tortilla Wrap
1 handful fresh spinach
1/4 cup diced fresh mushrooms
1 Laughing Cow Light wedge, Swiss 
1/4 cup fat free Salsa
1 cup fruit of your choice
*If you want the turkey called for in the First Watch recipe, add 1 oz 99% fat free ground or canned turkey (cook as directed) for additional Points Plus of 1.

Mix egg whites, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms (and cooked turkey, if desired) in small bowl. Place in greased skillet and scramble on medium-high heat. Warm Ole Wrap in microwave for 1 minute. Spread Swiss wedge on warmed tortilla. Place scrambled egg whites in wrap and roll up. Top with salsa and serve with a cup of fruit.


Sandy's Strawberry Fields Salad
As inspired by the Broadway Palm Theatre's Strawberry Pecan Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 cups fresh Spinach
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 TBSP chopped pecans
2 TBSP Goat Cheese
1 tsp canola oil
2/3 tsp balsalmic vinegar
1/4 tsp Splenda
pinch each: Tarragon, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, & dry mustard

In a cup, stir together oil, balsalmic vinegar, Splenda, and spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss spinach, sliced strawberries, pecans and cheese to mix. Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.

Sandy's Savory Buffalo-Style Veggie Pizza
As inspired by BJ's Brewhouse's Buffalo Chicken Pizza
POINTS PLUS: approx. 18-20

1 Flat Out Light Original Pita Wrap
4 grape tomatoes, quartered
1 green onion, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
6 baby carrots, chopped
1 handful fresh spinach
1/4 cup reduced fat blue cheese crumbles or 3 TBSP fat free blue cheese dressing
3 TBSP fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP wing sauce, hotness as desired!
*If you want chicken, add 1 oz chicken (cooked as directed) for additional Points Plus of 1.
4 TBSP fat free ricotta cheese
1 TBSP fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp + dash of salt
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Crisp Flat Out Wrap while oven preheats, 3-5 minutes. In small bowl, combine white sauce ingredients. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted. Stir to combine. Spread over Wrap. Layer on spinach and all vegetables (and chicken, if desired). Top with 3 TBSP mozarella cheese. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing (or crumbles) and wing sauce. Bake for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper if needed.

The Magical Hungry-Girl Margarita
As inspired by Margaritas and Cinco de Mayo parties everywhere
POINTS PLUS: approx. 12+
3/4 cup diet Sierra Mist
2 TBSP lime juice
1 instant lemonade packet (like Crystal Light)
1.5 oz Tequila

Combine all ingredients. Serve over ice, or mix with ice in a blender to serve frozen. Garnish with salt rim and lime, if desired.

Sandy's Sensational Smoco
As inspired by the Choco Taco

1 High Fiber Low Carb Ole Tortilla
2 tsp Peter Pan whipped 1/3 less sugar Peanut Butter
2 tsp mini chocolate chips
2 TBSP marshmallow creme
*If you want the ice creamy version of this treat, add 1/4 cup fat free vanilla ice cream for additional Points Plus of 1.

Grease a skillet with non stick spray. Spread peanut butter and marshmallow creme on tortilla. Top with chocolate chips. Place in skillet and grill until tortilla starts to crisp. Add in ice cream if desired or simply serve warm.

If you'll look closely at all the points for the day, there are still 5 Points Plus available. This is if you skip on the meat and ice cream. If you opt to put those things in to each meal, you still have 2 Points Plus left over. This is a pretty savory day and you'd still be losing weight if you were participating in the Weight Watchers Program. Diet doesn't have to mean deprive. With a little brain power and a will to still enjoy food while "sticking to a budget" anything is possible.

1 comment:

  1. So I was super excited to try this margarita recipe. I told all the ladies at work (which is a gym) about it and we finally got a chance to try it. I will say it did not turn out so well. Now, I will say, it was entirely my fault (well partly Wal-marts). When I went to buy the crystal light lemonade, all the store had was 2QT packets. I assumed that the packets were for a water bottle size and therefore made a horrid mistake. After diluding it quite a bit, it was alright. I do think it would be great if I could read.