Monday, February 28, 2011

Spinach-Artichoke Flatbread

Since discovering Cauliflower Pizza Crust, I've been experimenting with all sort of different toppings. I came across this recipe and it originally called for a store bought pizza crust. Pfft! We don't buy those anymore, its cauliflower all the way at my house. I did some tweaking, to make this more points friendly and I was shocked at how delicious the final product was.

This is a mixture that you could use as a dip if you wanted, or you could just eat it with a spoon. You should just eat it with a spoon. My husband, who is always very candid about his feelings for my cooking (which I appreciate!) told me that this tasted just like spinach dip from a place like Outback. He gets to stay! So whether you try this as a flatbread or just as a dip, you won't be disappointed either way!

Spinach-Artichoke Flatbread
(8 servings @ 3pts a piece if you use the cauliflower pizza crust)

  • 1 cauliflower pizza crust, prebaked (or store bought pizza crust if you prefer)
  • 1T chopped garlic
  • 10oz frozen, chopped spinach - thawed and drained/squeezed dry
  • 14oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 4oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 8oz fat free sour cream
  • 1/2C parmesan cheese

Prepare pizza crust and prebake.
Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
Saute garlic for 3-4 minutes, then add spinach and artichokes, cook for another 5 minutes.
Add in parmesan cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and salt/pepper to taste.
Allow mixture to come together for about 10 minutes.
Spread the mixture evenly over the crust and bake for 8-10 minutes. You can add extra shredded cheese on top if you wish, but I personally don't think it needs it!

Linked: Monday Mania

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Finds: Capella Flavor Drops

These things are amazing! I ordered a sampler of flavors from their website a few weeks ago:
Vanilla Custard
French Toast
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Cinnamon Danish Swirl
Pomegranite-Blueberry Water Flavoring

These drops are highly concentrated and contain none of the bad stuff! Sugar free, fat free, gluten free, calorie free, artifical sweetner free, sodium free....I'll be honest, I don't know if I want to know what the drops are made of, but I do know that they are wonderful for a dieter!

A few of the ways I've used them thus far include French Toast flavoring in baked oatmeal (which will be posted soon!). I added the coconut flavoring to fat free cottage cheese and mixed in some pineapple for an awesome Hawaiian treat. I also love adding the Blueberry-Pomegranite flavoring to my sparkling water, it tastes so fancy!

The possibilities are endless with these drops, and so are the flavor choices. They have tons and tons to choose from. I feel like they should totally be throwing me a few free samples with all the free advertising I'm giving them right now!

Go to Capella Flavor Drops for more info.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bacon and Blue Cheese Pizza

Let me start out by saying I hate blue cheese. I want to like it, I really do, but every time I order anything containing blue cheese I am sorely disappointed, and kicking myself because I knew better Alas, I never seem to learn my lesson and I keep ordering the stuff figuring one day I'll force myself to like it. Don't ask why I feel the need to like something I don't really like, just keep reading.

While on our honeymoon in the Bahamas last month, there was a little outdoor pizzeria (I know, pizza in the Bahamas?) where you could sit on comfy sofas and look out at the ocean while eating. Aside from the killer view, the pizza was amazing! We were shocked! Every day they had a new special, or you could just order whatever toppings you normally like. It became one of our favorite lunch spots for the week we were there. Who couldn't get used to this? Sigh...

On our last day there, about thirty minutes before we had to catch the bus back to the airport I decided we should get one last pizza to go. It was right around lunch time and airport food is crazy expensive, so I stepped up to place my order and was told that bacon and blue cheese was the special of the day. Awesome, I hate blue cheese, sign me up! So we got our pizzas, headed to the airport and after checking in we sat there eating our pizzas waiting for our flight. I was reluctant and positive that after one bite I'd have to find a second, more palatable lunch, but it was honestly one of the best pizzas I'd ever had! I was so bummed that I could have been eating those all week long! So of course I had to come home and recreate the masterpiece.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Pizza
Your points will be determined by what size crust you use and how much of the toppings/sauce you put on the pizza. Get your calculator and measuring cups out!
  • personal pizza crust (you could use cauliflower pizza crust, store bought, or Naan which is what I used here. Its higher in points, but one of my most favorite pizza canvases. Calculate points accordingly!)
  • blue cheese
  • bacon bits
  • fat free sour cream
  • mozzarella cheese
  • marinara sauce

Spread marinara sauce over pizza crust.
To soften the strong flavor of the cream cheese, I mix a little sour cream in with the crumbled blue cheese, mash it together with the back of a fork, and drop small spoonfuls onto the pizza crust. Spread around.
Top with bacon bits and mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stuffed Potatoes

Carbs are often thought to be an extreme no-no when you're trying to lose weight. I have found that by eliminating carbs from my diet that I do drop weight more rapidly, but that I'm also a cranky witch. In addition the minute I eat another carb, I gain back all the weight lost by skipping the carbs in the first place.

The one thing I love the most about Weight Watchers is that nothing is off limits. Absolutely nothing. I ate a piece of 22 point cheesecake the other day and still lost weight for the week! It's all about planning, planning, planning. Since carbs happen to be one of my favorite food groups, I love that I can still lose weight and eat them to my heart's content!

Stuffed Potatoes
Points for this recipe will depend on the weight of your potatoes, weigh them after cooking for accurate ounces!
  • 2 potatoes (points for this recipe will depend on the weight of your potato!)
  • 2T fat free sour cream
  • 2T Brummel and Brown Butter Spread (Or you can use fat free spray butter)
  • 1/2 reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2t bacon bits
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in the microwave until fork tender.
Slice in half and scoop out the insides of the potato, leaving some around the edges.

Mix together potato, sour cream, butter, cheese and salt/pepper using the back of a fork to smash everything together.
Divide the mixture between the potato halves.
Top with bacon bits.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Skinny Big Mac

Oh yeah. We're going there. Now, to be honest, I'm not a huge Big Mac fan but I do love burgers. This is super quick and easy and satisfies my burger craving without costing me a day's worth of points. The trick to this one is a really low point veggie burger and Montreal steak seasoning. The seasoning really makes the veggie burger taste beefy and flavorful. Now, don't laugh at me, but when I made this I didn't have any hamburger buns, but I did have hot dog buns. So, I used that instead and just cut the burger in half! It worked perfectly and the buns I use (Whitewheat) are actually one less point for a hot dog bun than a hamburger bun. Score! (Since writing this I've since learned that Sara Lee Delightful Buns are the best bargain out there, two points for hamburger or hot dog!)

I also really love the sauce that goes on this burger. I got the idea from my friend Sheree who passed on a Hungry Girl newsletter outlining how to make your own Mac Snack Wrap. I loved the idea of the sauce using ranch dressing and mayo. I also added a little ketchup in the mix and it was fabulous! I'm going to start mixing it up to go on everything. This is definitely going to be one of my new go-to lunches/dinners (hell, why not breakfast?) when I need something low point and fast. As in, a quick FIX. (P.S.that was a hint to the points value of this meal, if you use the brands I've listed, but as always, double check for yourself!)

Skinny Big Mac
  • 1 Orginial Vegan Boca Burger
  • 1 slice of FF american cheese
  • 1 Whitewheat hot dog bun OR 1 Sara Lee Delightful Hamburger Bun
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1t light mayo
  • 1t light ranch (I like Litehouse Lite Ranch - found in the refrigerated section with the salads)
  • 1t ketchup
Preheat a skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray.
Place veggie burger in skillet and sprinkle both sides with Montreal steak seasoning.
Cook on both sides until done, melt cheese on top.
Spoon sauce onto bun and add burger. (If you're using a hot dog but, cut the burger in half)
Wipe out the skillet and spray once more with cooking spray.
Place the entire sandwich in the skillet for about 1-2 mins per side to lightly toast the bun.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Finds: Spring Rolls

With the start of Weight Watchers, Friday's are going to be slightly different around here. Every Friday I'll be sharing a low-point food find that I'm really excited about! If you have recommendations, please feel free to share them!

Without further adieu, today I bring you Lean Cuisine Spring Rolls. They come in three different flavors, as shown. I've tried the Thai style and the Fajita variety. Both were a-m-a-z-i-n-g! They come with a little crisper sleeve to use when you microwave them and I swear they taste just like spring rolls from an authentic Chinese restaurant! They are even the same size. The only downside is that there are two servings per box, you get three spring rolls per serving (I hate it when something is seemingly packaged as one item, but you can't eat the whole thing). They are packaged in three's though, so that makes it somewhat easier not to eat the whole box! They also advertise right on the front that the box contains two servings, which I appreciate. On Lean Cuisine's website as well as on the box they are listed as four points, but I've found that most of them are five points plus, the packaging just hasn't changed over yet. I highly recommend them!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ladies and Gentleman, I'm about to blow your mind. I know you probably think I've totally lost my marbles at this point after reading the post title today. When I first heard about this recipe from my friend Jamie (go say thanks to Jamie on her blog!) I thought it was impossible. No way will that be good. Well, it is. Really really good. Like, the week I first tried it, I ate pizza every night for dinner. Don't judge.

Now, I'm not going to lie. You're going to have to want this one. It takes a tiny bit of effort, and a food processor. I know, you're very confused. This blog is supposed to be filled with recipes you can make in your sleep. The bonus is that if you rice a whole of head cauliflower (I had a huge one), you could potentially get six to eight cups of "dough" to work with. That means you could potentially get four or five pizzas out of this recipe! You could even freeze it for future use.

Sometimes (okay, fine, most of the time) when I make this, I eat the entire pizza by myself. The points are phenomenal, the crust by itself is a mere 1+2, if you know what I mean, and topped with zero point veggies its a huge bargain. Although at those points you can afford to put just about anything on it! I am just over the moon with excitement about this recipe and I really hope that even though it sounds weird, you guys will give it a chance. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
  • 2C riced cauliflower
  • 1t garlic salt
  • 1/2t italian seasoning
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2C reduced fat mozzarella cheese
  • toppings of your choice, also remember if you add more cheese on top to count it!

Preheat oven to 425.
Cut cauliflower into small chunks and pulse in food processor until rice like consistency is met. It should look almost identical to rice.
Place in microwave safe bowl (after ricing) with plastic wrap on top and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Mix cauliflower with remaining ingredients.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and form mixture into desired shape (spray it WELL, it has a tendency to stick).
Make sure its not too thin, somewhere around 1/4 an inch thick.
Bake for 15 minutes until slightly browned.
Remove and add your sauce and toppings.
Bake for another 5-10 minutes to melt cheese and cook toppings. You can also broil it at this stage if the edges of the pizza are looking too dark.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Portabello Pizza

Do you like eating a lot of food and still having little pants? Then today is for you! I made these one night for myself when the rest of the family was having pizza. Homemade pizza, but still more points than I wanted to spend on dinner, so I made these pizzas instead. I really love portabello mushrooms, they are so versatile and delicious! Be on the lookout for more points friendly portabello recipes soon.

This meal is so filling and delicious and I think you will be pleased with its points value. Make sure you only use zero point veggies as a topping unless you want to count the extra points. I can't tell you the exact points or the WW police will come after me, but I can tell you that by my calculations (and with the specific brands I used) for the recipe as written (BOTH pizzas!), the points value rhymes with hive. And dive. Wink.

Portabello Pizzas
  • 1/2C reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup marinara or pizza sauce (I used Prego Traditional)
  • 2 portabellos
  • toppings (unless you are using 0 point vegetables, make sure you count any additional points added by your toppings!)
Preheat oven to 400.
Scoop out stem and gills from the inside of the mushroom cap.
Spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place mushrooms top side down on the sheet and divide marinara sauce between the two caps.
Finish with cheese and toppings.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Monday, February 14, 2011

White Chocolate Cheesecake (And an annoucement! And...)

Happy Valentine's Day! I just couldn't fit all that in the post title. Whew.

Okay, announcement first. The Pie Hole is going on a little diet in hopes to drop some of that honeymoon weight, plus a few extra pounds. We have a family beach trip planned in July and by then I hope to lose at least 20 pounds, who's with me? Don't all raise your hands at once. What if I promise you can still eat stuff like this:

Does that convince you to stick around?
All this really means is that there will be more figure friendly recipes posted around here in the coming months, but not to worry, I'll still indulge you too, especially since I have many, many recipes waiting in the queue that were there long before this whole diet (blah) thing took effect. Most of these recipes will be centered around the Weight Watchers program, my go-to plan when I am serious about dropping some pounds. But, even if you aren't following the plan (or looking to lose weight) I can promise that these meals will still be delicious!

Getting on with your regularly scheduled program. You're probably asking yourself, "Self, did she just say she's going to post healthy recipes and the post of the day is White Chocolate Cheesecake???" You are correct! This recipe makes two servings, perfect for you and your Valentine this evening. The other exciting thing about this recipe is that its really more of a method. I recently learned of mixing yogurt and sugar free, fat free pudding mix together to make a delicious breakfast, snack or dessert. Its divine! I don't really even like yogurt, but I'm addicted to this. The flavor combinations are endless and it tastes more like a mousse than a yogurt. I made this one out of pistachio pudding!

I chose to mix part cheesecake pudding and part white chocolate pudding into my yogurt for my "cheesecake" to make it White Chocolate Cheesecake. But you could do chocolate + cheesecake, strawberry + cheesecake, banana + cheesecake. Go crazy!

White Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 2T graham cracker crumbs
  • 1tsp I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light
  • 1tsp splenda
  • 1.5C non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1tsp (heaping) sf/ff cheesecake flavored pudding mix, dry
  • 1tsp (heaping) sf/ff white chocolate flavored pudding mix, dry
  • 2 muffin cup liners 
Preheat oven to 350.
Melt butter in a small bowl.
Mix in splenda and graham cracker crumbs. (If you find that you need more butter, spray a couple squirts of fat free butter spray in there!)
Divide graham cracker crumbs between the two muffin cup liners and gently press.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Whisk together yogurt and pudding mixes and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minute to an hour.
Once crusts are cooled, divide the cheesecake mixture into each cup. (This crust is not a dense crust, so it will likely be easier to just eat it right out of the cup with a spoon instead of trying to take it out of the paper, but see what works for you!)
Top with cool whip or a strawberry!

Note: If you use Fiber One yogurt, it might be possible to take this down one more point, but I'm not sure. Let me know if anyone tries it!

Nutrition Info: Fat 1.3, Carb 8.0, Fiber 0, Protein 5.6

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wedding Photos Are Here!

I interrupt your regularly scheduled blog for an important post containing my wedding photos!!!

I'm so excited about getting them back, I just can't contain myself. I had to share some of my favorites from my special day with you guys!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and I'll see you on Monday which will mark the start of our new Weight Watchers recipe adventure!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Colorburst Birthday Cupcakes!

Happy Birthday to my baby girl who is two today! It's so hard to believe how fast the time flies for us mommies, but it sure does go quickly. Sniff.

In honor of my big girl, I made these special cupcakes, a recipe I've been eying for a while now from one of my favorite blogs, Our Best Bites. They turned out wonderful and I'm told they didn't taste too bad either.

I'm not going to lie to you though, these cupcakes require serious commitment. It took a lot of time, and unless its someones dying wish, I'm not sure I'll make them again. Almost as challenging as Christmas Sugar Cookies. Not challenging in the way of the recipe itself, they were just very tedious and time consuming. But, whatever makes my little ones happy, I'll do (once)!

Just a couple tips if you do plan to make these. The instructions given on the website are really well written and explained. I followed them exactly and got perfect results. The cupcake part is just a doctored up cake mix, with some yogurt added to make them nice and moist.

If you want to do a more striped look (shown on the website) you'll have to work harder for it. You have to spread each layer of color out evenly. I attempted to do one pan of striped and one pan of what you see above. Kind of a tye-dye effect, which is achieved by simply plopping colors in the muffin cup randomly. This method was more my style and didn't take as long.

The frosting for these cupcakes is the real kicker. Its unlike any frosting you've probably ever made or tasted. It starts with a flour and milk mixture heated until thickened on the stove, and then cooled and whipped with butter and sugar. A word of warning, if you don't have a stand mixer, don't even attempt this. You have to beat the icing for 7-9 whole minutes. Crazy! But, I figured if someone was willing to go through this much trouble for frosting it has to be good, and it is!

So, there you have it! Colorburst cupcakes. I haven't shown them to the birthday girl yet because she'd never be able to hold off on devouring them until tonight, but I just know she's going to love them!

Recipe found here:  Colorburst Cupcakes

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Corn Salad

As promised, here is your side dish to go with the enchiladas from yesterday! This really is the perfect side to almost any Mexican inspired meal, and it would be really great for summer cookouts as a cold side dish. Let's face it, any of Paula Deen's recipes are going to be good.

I have a general rule that I'm allowed to drool over Paula's recipes, but under no circumstances am I allowed to try any of her recipes that contain butter. Luckily this one doesn't, but it does contain an obscene amount of mayonnaise. (I used light to help redeem myself.) Hey, its Paula Deen, what do you want? The only thing I tweaked with the recipe was leaving out the pepper and onion. I didn't have any on hand so I used a can of Rotel and it was fabulous. Next time I think I'll do the same thing, it really gave it more of a Mexican flare!

Corn Salad
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained 
  • 2 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 c. red onion, chopped (I substituted a can of Rotel in place of the onion/pepper)
  • 1 10 1/2 oz. bag coarsely crushed Chili Cheese Frito's (I just used regular)
Combine first 5 ingredients and chill.
Right before serving add the crushed Frito's.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cheese Enchiladas

Anything that contains large amounts of cheese is pretty much guaranteed to be a winner in my book. And just to warn you, this recipe has LOTS of cheese. Way more than your daily (weekly?) quota. So it probably shouldn't become a weekly regular on your menu, but its oh so worth all those calories as a once-in-a-while meal!

Now sure, these might sound a little boring once you see the ingredient list. If you want to add chicken, beans, corn, rice...feel free. It certainly wouldn't hurt! However, when I made these I was in the mood for some straight up cheese enchiladas, and these really hit the spot for such an easily prepared dinner. This is one of those meals that I've shyed away from trying because I thought it would be difficult. Seriously, it couldn't have been easier, and I swear you'll give your favorite Mexican restaurant a run for their money with these! Tomorrow I'll be posting the perfect side dish to serve with your enchiladas, stay tuned!

Cheese Enchiladas
8 small tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce
5 cups mexican blend shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Spoon a little of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
Add 1/2C cheese to each tortilla and roll up, placing seam side down in the pan.
Top with remaining enchilada sauce, spread it around to evenly coat all enchiladas.
Then top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes until all cheese is melted.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pizza Chicken

Do you ever look around your kitchen, wondering what's for dinner and then decide to just start throwing things together and see how it turns out? That's how today's recipe was born! I love it when I take random things I have on hand and combine them to make what ends up to be a really delicious meal. It totally validates the domestic goddess in me. Like...I got this, I don't even need a recipe. Who needs recipes?

Well, I guess you guys do actually so you can recreate this dinner! Just an FYI, if you are watching your carbs this would be the perfect recipe for you. I actually whipped this together the week before my wedding when I was trying (and failing miserably) to cut carbs out of my diet for the week. One last ditch effort to be skinny and stunning on my wedding day. Not like I didn't have a year to work on that, nah, I'll just put all my faith into that last week and see if I can drop ten pounds! (By the way, that doesn't work.) This would be excellent topped with mushrooms, sausage, or any other pizza toppings you might have laying around!

Pizza Chicken

chicken breasts
mozzarella cheese, shredded
pepperoni (I used the mini ones, because they're cute.)
garlic salt

Season chicken with garlic salt and cook. (I used my Foreman grill but you can do it in the oven, skillet, outdoor grill, whatever you prefer!)
Top with 2-3T shredded cheese and top with pepperoni.
Microwave for 30-45 seconds until cheese is melted.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Best of...Appetizers!

I've shared several new snack recipes with you this week, but today I wanted to compile a list of some of my Pie Hole favorites, all of which would be great for your Super Bowl party!

Pizza Rolls

   Ham and Swiss Party Rolls

   Cheddar Beer Dip

   Sausage Cocktail Squares

                     Mozzarella Sticks

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Artichoke Dip Egg Rolls

I promised more egg rolls this week, and more egg rolls you shall have! Today's recipe is really exciting because you're going to basically be able to get two appetizers out of one. I know, I know, I'm awesome and this is your favorite food blog and you're going to tell all your friends and family about it. If you insist.

For this recipe you'll first need to make a batch of Artichoke Dip. I know, you're sitting there saying...well if I must. Trust me, its completely easy and its absolutely delicious. On the recipe I indicate that you can make it in the oven or in a crock pot. To use this dip in conjunction with today's recipe, and especially if these two snacks will be for your Super Bowl party, I'd highly recommend going the crock pot route.

For me, egg rolls require dipping. They just do. I chose to dip these in sour cream and it was actually quite tasty. If you come up with another inventive dip for these babies, please let me know, I love suggestions. Come back for more Super Bowl snacks tomorrow!

Artichoke Dip Egg Rolls
  • artichoke dip
  • egg rolls
  • shredded monterey jack cheese (provolone or mozzarella would work too)
  • sour cream for dipping
You guessed it.
Scoop some dip into the egg roll wrapper, top with a couple tablespoons of cheese, and roll up.
Spray them with cooking spray and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, turning once to brown both sides.