Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spicy Ginger Pork Meatballs

If you've been following along with these posts, (however many, or few, of you!) you probably have some questions about me. I imagine they're along the lines of:

Does this girl know the oven can be used for things other than baked goods? Will she ever eat anything other than breakfast? Oh, and is she aware of her strange obsession with peanut butter?

To all three questions: YES! Baking will always be my first love, and I'm really working on the peanut butter thing. Plus, I just really love breakfast.

Typically, I'm the baker and and Kristen is the chef. But don't let the sweet tooth fool you -- when I want to, I can cook up some mouth-watering meals to precede my delicious desserts.

That's where these spicy (but not too kickin') meatballs come in. I had some leftover ground pork from a soup I was making and had no idea what to do with it. Some quick googling led me to this pork meatball recipe from Cooking Light.

I adapted the recipe, replaced eggs with egg whites, and added some much needed heat

You can pair them with noodles like in the original recipe. Or, you can be like me and just eat a pile of them on their own, because they're just that good!

-- Cara

1/4 c dry breadcrumbs
1/4 c chopped white onion
1/3 c chopped cilantro 
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 red pepper flakes
1 tsp cayenne pepper
garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean ground pork

1/4 c egg whites


1. Gently combine all ingredients in a large bowl until blended.
3. Cover the mixture and let it chill in the fridge for about half an hour.
4. The mixture should divide into about 25 small balls. Place them in a single layer on sprayed baking sheet.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees, until browned.

Nutrition: 1 meatball = 56 calories
Carbs: 1g Fat: 4g Protein: 4g

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla

There are literally no words for how good this quesadilla is. Please, just admire it.

Then again, if there's "buffalo chicken" in front of something, there's a 101% chance I'll like it. Franks buffalo sauce is by far my favorite. Not just because it has 0 calories and in my mind that means " pour it on everything," I think it tastes the best too.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Black and White Rice Cakes

Think snacking on rice cakes is extremely lame and only for hungry people? It's not!

Especially with all the amazing flavors out there, like the caramel ones I eat, rice cakes get a bad rap for being boring. Oh, and how about the fact that they're SLATHERED IN PEANUT BUTTER. Do I have your attention now?

I'm a firm believer that behind all crave-worthy junk food, there is a healthy way to re-imagine it. You just have to get creative! 

Before I decide to be more aware of how I was eating, one of my favorite desserts were black and white cookies. Random, I know.

And not those little, tiny ones from the grocery store that taste like the plastic containers they're sold in. I mean the real deal, pastry shop, size of my whole hand black and white cookies.

Even though I didn't have them very often, they aren't something I should have been eating with reckless abandon, and especially in one sitting! It never occurred to me that I was basically pouring a box of sugar down my throat and upwards of 500 calories for one, albeit ginormous, cookie! (And let's not forget the 22g of fat and 39g of sugar...)

That's why I was so excited when I created my own healthy version! They satisfy that sweet craving I usually get after dinner without taking me for a ride on the sugar roller coaster. Even better, it's TWO "cookies" for only 275 calories. This healthy substitute also slashes the sugar by more than half with only 14g and has 10g less fat. And with this dessert, you're getting healthy fats from the peanut butter. Because we always need more reasons to eat peanut butter.  

The best part is that this is a snack or dessert you can customize any way you like! I used Is This Heaven or Is This Caramell for the "black" side and Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter for the "white," but any chocolate and regular peanut butters can simulate the colors.

Next time: Dark Chocolate Dreams and White Chocolate Wonderful!

2 caramel rice cakes
1 Tbs chocolate peanut butter
1 Tbs regular peanut butter

Nutrition: 1 serving = 275 calories
Carbs: 36g Fat: 12.5g Protein: 5g

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Skinny Sesame Chicken & Quinoa

It's not a secret that I'm obsessed with Chinese food. Being able to make Chinese food that not only tastes delicious, but is also good for you is one of the reasons we started this blog in the first place. Eating healthy does not mean you have to give up your favorite foods! You just have to make some changes to make it better for you. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cashew & Coconut Oatmeal

Lot of people like to have breakfast for dinner. Me? I like to have dessert for breakfast.

And boy, this oatmeal delivers. It's like a magic cookie bar in my bowl. It doesn't hurt that I added a gratuitous scoop of homemade coconut cashew  butter to finish it off (try out my recipe here!) It just felt like the right thing to do, you know?

Let's rewind for a second...It's kind of ridiculous how much I love oatmeal. Stovetop, baked, overnight in a jar, or old faithful -- nuked in the microwave.

After lurking for months on Instagram and Pinterest, I realized the true potential oatmeal has. I always thought of it as the bowl of apples and cinnamon goop that came out of a package I found in the back of my cabinet. It was a last resort when we were out of Pop Tarts, cereal, and anything else edible in the house.

But I was wrong. So, gloriously wrong. There is a never-ending list of combinations that can bring me tears of joy.

Today's breakfast was one of those times. Just look at it. Seriously...LOOK AT IT. The chocolate. The cashew butter. The coconut. Stop me anytime. Let's just get into it, shall we?

1/2c quick cooking oatmeal
1/2c unsweetened almond milk
1/4c egg whites
1 tbs stevia
1 tbs cashew butter
1 tbs unsweetened coconut
1/2 tbs chocolate chips

1. Combine oats, milk, egg whites and stevia. Microwave for two minutes. Stir after one minute to keep egg whites from cooking together.
2. Stir in cashew butter, chocolate chips and coconut.

Nutrition 1 serving = 360 calories
Carbs: 39g  Fat: 17g  Protein: 15g