Saturday Splurge – Au Gratin Potatoes

Wants au gratin.
Asks for au gratin
Gets au gratin.

YUM 😍

This is part of a balanced lifestyle, ladies and gentlemen. You DO NOT have to skip your fave dishes, you just have to incorporate them in a sensible way (and control your portions!)

Food Swap Friday – Starches

Next week is Thanksgiving, and even with healthier options, it’s easy to intake way too many calories and grams of carbohydrates. If you aren’t someone who has to pay attention to that, cool, enjoy your meal!

Unfortunately, not everyone has that ability, and so it’s nice to have a healthier option, too. Oh, but how could one take away the mashed potatoes?! BLASPHEMY – you can’t!

But honestly, either of today’s options are better for you, with the same (if not more!) flavor and texture – so why not give it a try?

Food Swap Friday – Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream

I am a member of the “Sour Cream Junkies” club… I LOVE the stuff. I know, not good, or good for me… today’s swap has actually become one of my favorites, because it really does offer the same taste and effect, while offering MORE protein and LESS fat than it’s counterpart of Sour cream.

Note: occasionally, I still enjoy sour cream… it’s become the exception, not the rule, and that’s okay — life IS about balance, after all!

Have you tried this swap?

This or That Thursday – Pizza or Pasta

It’s time for another reiteration of This or That Thursday!

Imagine you have to give up one — which would you rather give up, pizza, or pasta?

I can imagine your horrified expression, and I know you are thinking WHY WOULD YOU ASK SUCH A THING?!

I’m just curious… it’s fun to see which food has more fans (yes, I know they both have a lot. but one of them has to be more popular)

Where does YOUR vote fall?

Tasty Tuesday – Shrimp, Leek and Spinach Pasta

Husband and I recently tried a new recipe, it was pretty simple, but very tasty!

finished-product

Recipe is as follows:

  • ž lb Pasta (we used gemelli;  fusilli or any other short pasta will also work)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks – halved lengthwise (white and light green parts only!)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • Heavy cream (to substitute heavy cream, melt 1/3 Cup unsalted butter and add to 3/4 Cup milk. If you use low fat milk, add 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken it.)

shrimp

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and then return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Add the shrimp and lemon zest and cook, tossing frequently, until the shrimp is opaque throughout, about 4-5 minutes more.
  4. Add the cream )or substituted milk mixture!), and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pasta in the pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp mixture and the spinach and toss to combine. Place lid over skillet to “steam” the spinach.

leeks

sauteed-leeks

The recipe calls for heavy cream, however we used the substitute milk/butter mixture.

I grated some Parmesan cheese over mine because I like it with my pasta, but you don’t have to.

How’s it sound? Let me know if you try it! 🙂

Food Swap Friday – Balsamic Vinegar for Creamy Salad Dressings

What do you like on your salad? Do you opt for the cleaner vinaigrettes, or balsamic vinegar? Or do you prefer those creamy salad dressings? I know they taste good, but they are loaded with all sorts of stuff you don’t need!

A healthy food swap you can make is to substitute balsamic for creamy dressings, cutting your fat, carbs and calories way down.

I used to go nuts for the creamy stuff but I now find I prefer balsamic, or my all time favorite, raspberry walnut vinaigrette. So tasty.

Balsamic for Creamy Salad Dressing

Sugar Shock Saturday – Shamrock Shake

If you know me or this blog at all, you know I rarely call things out, instead focusing on healthy alternatives, etc.

I have heard for years of this monstrosity called a Shamrock Shake, but have never (and WILL NEVER) tried it. My coworker and I were talking about how excited he is to get his, and I just kinda stared in disbelief.

I knew they were bad for you but I truly and really DID NOT know just HOW bad they are. The only words I can think of to associate with this are obnoxious, and dangerous.

Dangerous for anyone. Diabetics, or non-Diabetics. Children, or adults. NO ONE needs this thing. Do you know why? It’s absolutely SHOCKING sugar counts.

A small (12oz) Shamrock Shake has 86g of Carbs, and 73g of Sugar. A medium (16oz) has 109g of Carbs and 93g of Sugar. And the large, at 22oz, has a WHOPPING 135g of Carbs and 115g of Sugar.

I mean that’s insane! Those are almost my daily carb counts set by my nutritionist (around 30-45g per meal). In one drink! If you averaged it out, per ounce, there are 7.16g of Carbs and 6.08g of Sugar. Those numbers are astounding (and yes, I would totally think so as a non-Diabetic as well!). There is no one on Earth who needs that much sugar, no one.

Again, I am not really one to clutch my pearls because I am no stranger to how messed up the world can be, but that is just atrocious!

And just in case anyone thinks I am exxagerating or reporting falseties, nope, this information is straight from the McDonald’s website http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.mccafe.3779.shamrock-mccafe-shake-small.html

Just awful. Tomorrow I will be posting a MUCH healthier, much less sugary version of the Shamrock Shake, so stay tuned and get your fix in a healthy way!

Wednesday Wisdom – Carbs

Did you know that reducing your carb intake slightly can actually help quiet your grumbling tummy? A study presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting showed that people who got 55 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates felt less satisfied than those whose diets were 43 percent carbs.

Consuming fewer carbs staves off hunger by keeping blood sugars stable and as a result, keeping munchies at bay.

CARBS