Friday Food Find: Skinny Summer Margs

Skinny Summer Margs

Hello my fellow foodies! It’s been a while, but I’m back! May/June has been a crazy awesome month for me for so many reasons:

  1. I graduated college! My 16+ years of education are really over (I can’t believe it). Guess it’s time to be a real adult or something…
  2. My boyfriend & I were lucky enough to take a graduation trip to Barcelona, Spain. More details (and recipes) on this to come later
  3. We filled up my Toyota Corolla & roadtripped it halfway across the county. I officially started my new job at an ad agency in Orange County & am living the California life

Needless to say, the past few weeks have been jam packed! So what better way to celebrate than with margaritas & Mexican food??

Skinny Summer Margs

A while back, I came across this Tres Agaves Margarita Mix & gotta say, it’s a keeper. It’s organic, uses REAL lime, REAL agave & is REAL tasty.

Tres Agaves

Just mix 1.5 oz. of tequila (I used El Jimador which was SO SMOOTH) to 3.5 oz. of mixer. The bottle’s recipe is different, but I’ve found that its version is just a little toooo strong.

El Jimador

Just shake the ingredients, salt the drink rims (if you’re feelin’ salty) & garnish with a fresh lime wedge! Deliciousness awaits at around 225 calories – and trust me, for a margarita THIS GOOD, that’s pretty great! This mix is so much better for you than Jose Cuervo…tastebuds & waistline, so try it out!

Skinny Summer Margs

Be sure to comment below if you mix up some margs for yourself & add your email to the mailing list for more recipes & updates if you’re not subscribed already!  Cheers to you & to an awesome weekend!

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Way-Too-Tasty Tomatillo Enchiladas

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This recipe has recently made its way to the top of my all-time-favorites list – congrats Rick Bayless, you are have done it AGAIN. For those of you who haven’t yet salivated to his show, Bayless is an American chef that specializes in Mexican cuisine, traveling through Mexico & making traditional dishes “one plate at a time“. I don’t know if it’s because we are both gringos obsessed with Hispanic culture (and food), but I love this guy. Obviously when I discovered that he was selling sauce packets for enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas at the grocery store I HAD to try them.

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After testing out all of the packets, no doubt the green chile tomatillo enchiladas are my favorite. The tacos are seriously amazing and the fajitas are great too, but the enchiladas were just out of this world — they are seriously better than what you’ll get at most restaurants. The packet comes with a recipe on the back which I am basically following with specific substitutions to lower caloric & fat content, you can cook with other brands than what I recommend but nutritional values will change.

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You’ll Need:

  • 1 packet Frontera Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  • 4 La Tortilla Factory Green Chile Tortillas
  • 1/2 c. Weight Watchers Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded chicken (if making yourself use lime, garlic & olive oil spray)

*MAKES 2 servings (2 enchiladas per person)

A serving of these will only cost you 365 calories & you could make that even lower that by putting less shredded cheese on top! Check out the nutrition facts here.

Start by cooking the chicken if you didn’t buy it pre-shredded. I like to season the chicken with salt, pepper, minced garlic, & lime zest and grill it on the George Forman with a squirt of lime! You can lightly spray the grill with olive oil spray, keeping fat to a minimum. Once the chicken is cooked, shred it into small pieces.

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Next, fill each tortilla with 1/8 c. shredded chicken and 1/8 c. cheese. Roll it up and place the “seam” of the tortilla face down. Continue this process until all four tortillas have been rolled up & try to fit them into a dish tightly.

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Now pour your little packet of deliciousness over the rolled enchiladas and top with 1/4 c. cheese! Pop the dish into the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes – this is gonna be GOOD.

While you whip up some healthy sides (pinto, black beans, or some guacamole) these enchiladas will be baking their way to perfection.

ImageI just ate and looking at this is making me hungry all over again – you’ve GOT to try it! This recipe is SUPER easy, fast, healthy and most of all DE-LISH! In the oven the tortillas soak up the flavor of the sauce, creating a gooey, warm, cheesy enchilada that melts in your mouth. This is a meal that could impress anyone (and it requires basically NO cooking skill!).

If you’re looking a recipe with a little more veggies, try out my Stacked Spinach Enchiladas & be sure to subscribe for more recipes! Happy cooking!

-SkinnyGirl

 

A Treat for the Weekend: Clean-Eating Milkshake

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If there’s anything that people who TRY to eat healthy know, it’s that sometimes, you just gotta treat yo self (as they say on Parks & Rec). Right now I’m obsessed with this healthy dupe for a creamy, frothy and utterly delicious milkshake – I know you’ve been dreaming about it too. It’s made with all clean-eating ingredients, ranks in around 320 calories, and takes about 30 seconds to make. It seriously tricks your taste buds into believing you’re drinking a milkshake. You should be getting really excited right about now.

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Ingredients:

MAKES 1 serving

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All you need to do is put all your ingredients into the blender and pulse! Deliciousness has arrived!

Enjoy this guilt-free weekend treat and be sure to subscribe for more free recipes & updates if you aren’t already! Thanks for checking in & have a wonderful, food-filled weekend 🙂

-SkinnyGirl

Easy Peasy Paella

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Paella is basically food of the gods…or the beautiful people of Spain, so basically the same thing. Lindsey (one of my best friends) and I are totally obsessed with all things Spanish. She spent about 9 months in the gorgeous city of Granada & since we’re both International Studies majors with focuses in Spanish our ideal Friday night involves us watching La Reina del Sur, drinking Spanish or Argentinean red wine, and cooking paella. Nothing is better.

Now I’m sure true Spaniards would cringe at my recipe. Although authentic is pretty much always the way to go, we have no patience when it comes to paella. When something tastes this good it’s really tough to wait the full 6-7 hours that a traditional paella would take to make. So, our recipe is a much faster, much easier version of this beloved Spanish dish. TexMex paella for the win!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 1/4 c brown rice
  • 3/4 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz. shrimp
  • 1 tsp EVOO + spray
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • handful of chopped parsley (about 1/3 c.)
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 c. quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1 1/2 chicken breasts (12 oz), cut into chunks
  • 1/2 c. frozen peas

MAKES 4 servings

Start by cooking your rice (ideally in a rice cooker so you can ignore the rice while cooking everything else). Season the chicken and shrimp with salt & pepper and sauté the chicken in a large skillet with 1 tsp. olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic. Add in the shrimp after the chicken has turned white. If you need more oil, feel free to add olive oil spray.

Begin chopping up the veggies. Remove the chicken & shrimp from the skillet after fully cooked, and add in the veggies. Spray with olive oil and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is caramelized.

Next add the rice, paprika, saffron, chicken & shrimp to the skillet. The anticipation should be building – it’s practically paella. Let all the flavors sit together (for at least 5 minutes, I know patience is a virtue) and squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Stir it up and serve each plate with a lemon wedge and top it off with chopped parsley. QUE RICO.

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Paella is definitely one of my all-time favorite foods. That said, it’s not the most diet-friendly meal, but I’ve made it much healthier than most traditional recipes. This paella ranks in at about 576 calories a serving which may seem like a lot, but the good thing about paella is that not an ingredient in it is bad for you! If you’re hoping for something a little lighter, you could replace the chicken with more veggies (asparagus & bell peppers are great in this) and use only olive oil spray. This just happens to be the way we like to make it and let me tell you, it’s seriously addictive.

Enjoy! Be sure to comment if you have a favorite way to make paella or if you try out the recipe and become an addict like us. Salud!

-SkinnyGirl

Click here for nutrition facts 

Friday Food Find: StayFit Salad Kit

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Happy Friday everyone – congrats on making it through another week! Today I wanted to share a recent purchase I made from Amazon. I decided a couple of months ago that I really needed more salads in my life. I had been buying the pre-packaged kind you get from the grocery store until I realized how much money (and calories) I could save by making the salads myself. So, I did what any reasonable person would do and searched the internet for the best salad bowls I could find. That’s when I came across the StayFit Deluxe Salad Kit.

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What I love about this product is that it comes with 3 compartments: one for the lettuce, one for toppings and another for dressing. Gone are the days of wilted lettuce or making huge messes by attempting to put dressing in a Ziploc (which I’ve definitely done before). On top of that, the toppings compartment doubles as a freezer tray keeping everything cool! Basically there’s not enough good things I can say about this salad kit. It’s BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and makes eating salads so much easier, especially since it’s perfect to bring to work!

On a side note: I’ve finally seen the light on how much better salad tastes when you shake it as opposed to just pouring the dressing on top. Since the lid snaps on, you can shake up all the ingredients together, allowing you to use less dressing while coating all of the salad evenly, and what’s better than that?

So that you too can bask in all the glory of a tasty salad, I decided to share the salad I had for lunch today.

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Ingredients

  • 2 large handfuls of romaine hearts
  • 1 serving (about a cup) of roasted veggies
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar (use Organic if possible – it tastes so much better!)
  • 1/4 lemon

If you didn’t see my last post, I made some delicious oven-roasted veggies which I’ve thrown into this salad. Once you’ve roasted your veggies, mix them in with your romaine lettuce, top with 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar and squirt with the juice from 1/4 lemon. Shake up your salad and it’s ready to eat!

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I love using balsamic vinegar and lemon as a salad dressing because its so light, low in calories, and adds a fresh, tangy flavor to everything! Wishing you all a happy weekend and happy eating!

-SkinnyGirl

Roast the Rainbow – Veggie Delight

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Having just returned to school after a diet-busting spring break filled with fried shrimp, whipped cream, carrot cake and of course piña coladas (I was in Destin after all!) I felt like making myself something lean, clean and green. I’ll credit my mom as my source of inspiration for this recipe – one of my favorite dishes as a kid was her olive oil roasted veggies (yes, maybe I am a little strange). But seriously, I love roasted veggies – they’re SO healthy for you and easy to make. Now you can eat and taste the rainbow…while actually having something that’s good for you and your waistline! (sorry Skittles)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 TBSP EVOO (or extra virgin olive oil spray to cut out extra fat)
  • 4 TBSP red wine (I used Malbec)
  • 1 TBSP dried rosemary (or fresh)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • veggies to your liking!

MAKES 5 servings

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This recipe is great because you can make it so many different ways. Choose the veggies that you prefer and start by chopping them up. Just to give you an idea, I used 6 large carrots, 1/2 carton of mushrooms, 5 stalks of asparagus, 1/2 sweet onion, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 red onion and 1 small zucchini. A recommendation I have if you use onions is to cut them in semi-circles as opposed to dicing, I just think it tastes better. Baby carrots would also be great in this, I just happened to have large ones!

Now comes the fork in the road. You can choose to make a beautiful rainbow array of veggies (like I did) or the faster route.

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If you’re pressed for time, mix all of the ingredients (olive oil, wine, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper) in a large bowl and add in all of your veggies, coating them with the mixture. Then pop them into the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, switching your oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to add a bit of crispiness.

However, if you need more color coding in your life, start by mixing the olive oil, wine, rosemary, salt & pepper in a large liquid measuring cup. Start by pouring out a little of the mixture (about 1/8th of the total) at a time into a separate bowl. Add the first “layer” of veggies and coat them in the dressing. Then line them up on a baking sheet and repeat until the sheet is covered!

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Voilá! The perfect roasted veggies – I love eating these as a light lunch, a side with dinner, in a salad, or even with pasta and a little extra olive oil. If you’re looking to cut down on fat content, instead of using regular olive oil, you could use olive oil spray (no mixing bowl required – just drizzle the wine on top of the baking sheet and spray!) Enjoy!

-SkinnyGirl

Little Bites of Heaven: Valentine’s Day Truffles

Valentine's Truffles

Truffles are just one of those things that nobody should live without. These have been a Valentine’s Day tradition of mine for the past few years because they are the epitome of the perfect dessert: easy, simple, and full of chocolate! They definitely aren’t the healthiest treat around so I’ve subbed some of the unhealthier ingredients, making these truffles perfect for those on eat-clean diets, vegans, those with lactose-intolerance & people who are gluten-free! EVERYONE can enjoy these 😉 So make some for your sweetheart, friends or just to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day! (because even if you hate Valentine’s Day nobody hates chocolate)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can use all dark if you want to)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For topping: cocoa powder, PB2, cinnamon sugar, or cayenne pepper & dried chilis

*MAKES 32 small truffles

Stir all of the ingredients together in a pan over medium. Be sure not to burn the chocolate – continuously whisk the ingredients until all the chocolate is melted and the consistency is equal throughout.

chocolate

Once all of the chocolate is melted, cover the pan in foil and place it in the fridge for a couple hours (preferably overnight) until the chocolate has hardened.

Once the chocolate is hardened, here comes the fun part – the toppings! Scoop the chocolate out with a spoon & get ready to get your hands a little messy! Form the chocolate into 1″ balls and then roll them to cover the outside with your favorite topping! I’ve got toppings for every kind of food-lover out there…

  • For the sweet tooth: roll the balls in a 1:1 ratio of cinnamon to sugar
  • For the spice fiend: roll the balls in a mix of cayenne pepper & dried chilis (I used McCormick’s Mexican blend which has no MSG! Tahín would also work great if you can find it at your store)
  • For the peanut butter lover: roll the balls in PB2 (for those who don’t know, it’s powdered chocolate peanut butter with WAY less calories than the normal kind)
  • For the classic truffle: roll the balls in cocoa powder

valentine's truffles

Other ideas I had were truffles rolled in dried coconut as well as your favorite ground nut, turbinado sugar or even sprinkles! All of these are truly delicious but I’d probably have to say my favorites were the spicy & the classic…my tummy’s rumbling already.

Once you’ve covered the truffles in a topping they are ready to eat! I recommend putting the topping on right before you serve because if you stick these back in the fridge, the toppings tend to get absorbed by the chocolate and they just won’t look as pretty – they’ll definitely still taste great though. You can serve them on a plate like I did with a little bit of extra topping to add to your liking! If you have leftovers refrigerate these and they will stay good for a few days although I have a feeling that they will disappear quickly 🙂

Enjoy & have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

xo SkinnyGirl

Superbowl Super Salsa

So I’ll admit, I’m just not that into football. If I had it my way soccer would be the sport that we would all obsess over in America but alas…I’m out of luck. That being said there’s 2 things that get me through the Superbowl every year (because my boyfriend and I always host a party). Those two things are the fantastic advertisements and of course food.

You absolutely must must must make this salsa for your Superbowl party. It’s so fresh, full-of-flavor, and healthy to boot! On top of that you can make it in under 2 minutes. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. A family friend of my boyfriend’s named Paula made this salsa as a Christmas present to his family and let me tell you he was obsessed. He would have eaten the whole jar by himself if he could have. Luckily Paula was kind enough to share her recipe so we can all become obsessed too.

Ingredients:

  • 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 3 deseeded serrano peppers (use jalapeño if the word serrano scares you)
  • 1/4 white onion
  • handful of cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • pinch of salt & pepper

Start by deseeding the serrano and ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES. These little peppers have some serious power. If you don’t have any gloves just be extremely careful not to touch the insides of the pepper with your hands – its spice will stay with you. Peel the garlic cloves and throw all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse. Add salt & pepper to your liking. Now right before you dip your chip in there to taste PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE. I’m serious about this. Do not eat the salsa until its chilled for at least a few hours. You will be sorely disappointed. There’s something about the flavors in here that just taste SO MUCH BETTER once they’ve marinated together in the fridge. I recommend chilling this overnight so you could make this tomorrow night for the game & have it done early!

If you’re looking for a healthy chip to go with this dip I love the Beanito’s brand – their chips are high in protein and lightly dusted with sea salt! Yum! Also, I’m still trying out canned tomato brands on this recipe in search of the perfect one. If you crack the code please leave a comment below, you’d save me from buying out the tomato aisle at the grocery store so that would be much appreciated 🙂

Wishing you all a happy Superbowl – enjoy the food! (and maybe the football)

-SkinnyGirl

Metabolism-Boosting Morning Smoothie

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If you ask me what the most important meal of the day is – I’m going to tell you breakfast. No matter how much you hate eating in the mornings, waking up early, or breakfast food in general, you still need to eat! So many people don’t realize that skipping breakfast actually makes you gain weight instead of losing it. Feed yourself something that will boost your metabolism & energize you all day long! With this goal in mind, I came up with this tasty smoothie that will kick your morning metabolism into gear! Plus, since all you need is a blender, even the sleepiest of morning zombies can’t mess this recipe up 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 grapefruit, skin removed
  • 1 banana (preferably ripened & frozen)
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 packet perfect fit protein (optional)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • stevia or honey to taste

MAKES 1 large smoothie or 2 small ones

Click to view nutrition facts (protein powder & sweeteners not included)

Blend together all the ingredients & you’re done! I sprinkle the cinnamon on top, but you can also blend it along with everything else. If you’re not adding protein powder, I would recommend adding stevia or honey to sweeten it up.

Here’s why this smoothie is a lean, clean, metabolism-burning machine:

perfect fit

I’ve never really been into the idea of protein powder because I always associated it with lots of unnatural chemicals that were being used to bulk up the body. However, perfect fit is made with USDA organic brown rice protein & stevia. There’s nothing unnatural about it and it tastes pretty darn good as far as protein powders go. Protein is so important because it doesn’t just aid in muscle repair, but lean protein has been shown to help with weight loss – so don’t shy away from it!

Try out this metabolism booster for yourself & let me know what you think! Thanks for visiting & be sure to subscribe for more healthy lifestyle tips if you haven’t already!

-SkinnyGirl

skinnygirlwithabigappetite

Friday Food Find: Flour With Power

This Friday I’m introducing you to an awesome new whole grain flour that I recently came across at the grocery store. I’m constantly looking for substitutions to make baked goods a little healthier & this is THE PERFECT way to do so.

Ultragrain Flour

Meet Ultragrain. Here’s why it’s got the power:

  • it’s a blend of white & ultragrain flours, meaning it has the taste of a white flour with the health benefits of a whole wheat blend
  • 9 g of whole grain per serving
  • 2x the fiber of other all-purpose flour
  • lower starch content
  • increased essential minerals + vitamins
  • increased antioxidants
  • it’s NOT expensive!!

I was amazed by the taste of this stuff. You really cannot tell a difference between this & white flour in baking – I will never go back! Also, unlike other health-friendly flours, Ultragrain isn’t ridiculously expensive. When I tried some brown rice whole wheat flour for a recipe it was about $8 for a little tiny bag! I’m pretty sure that I only paid around $2.50 for this one.

In my opinion, this is the kind of health-conscience change that EVERYONE can & should make. There’s no difference in taste & a very minimal difference in price. Now you can feel a little less guilty about baking those cupcakes you’ve been craving 😉

As always, the nutrition facts – if interested you can also take a peek at the nutrition facts for another all-purpose flour to compare. Put Ultragrain to the test in your own kitchen & let me know what you think in the comments below! If you have another go-to flour I’d love to hear about it! Thanks for stopping by & be sure to subscribe for more tips if you haven’t already! Happy baking!

-SkinnyGirl

SkinnyGirl