Brownies and Pasta – oh yeah!

*Ahem* err, hello?  Excuse me – over here…sorry to wake you up.  I know you have fallen into a deep coma -like slumber waiting for me to get off my backside and post again.  It seems misfortune makes me type quicker than success! 

Any way now that I have your attention 167lbs light my friends…after several weeks of grinning and bearing it, the scales have admitted defeat and started showing my true weight.   5.5 lbs loss in one week is just as crazy as the 3 lb weight gain last week.  Honestly I think the Greek God of weight control is bored and toying with me for entertainment…or as the consistently positive Chandalyn tells me – last week was a weird salt-retaining blip.  Actually, she said it a lot better than that, but I forget her exact words…sorry Chandalyn, but hey, I got the gist of it!  I have been reading a lot of health and diet blogs this week and I am slowly realizing how damn lucky I am to have Chandalyn pretty much on call for support .  Thank you, thank you. 

OK, so how did I lose the weight?  I ate brownies, spaghetti and meatballs, and straw and hay pasta as well as Lori’s protein waffles mentioned in the previous post….really I did! 

The brownies were horrible, but I guess if you are trying for a healthy version, you can’t expect the really chocolately squidgy taste of the real thing…here is the recipe anyway.  The recipe comes from the Happy Herbivore…don’t judge her by my comments – she is a great cook and I am too impatient and busy to be even a good cook.  

looks yummy anyway..and I did eat them

 

Black Bean Brownies Recipe 

Servings: 9 

Description: 

Dense, fudgey and ultra-healthy, these brownies are a great alternative to traditional brownies! It’s amazing how they taste like chocolate and fudge and not beans! Chef’s Notes: Rolled oats run through the food processor may substituted for the instant oats. Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe. 

Ingredients: 

  • 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole bananas
  • cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raw sugar (optional)
  • ¼ cup instant oats

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approx 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing Chef’s Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudgy, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour. 

Straw and Hay Alfredo with  Roasted Asparagus 

check out the asparagus, they're green beans!

 

The Straw and Hay Alfredo with  Roasted Asparagus was awesome and yes, I did use truffle oil.  I love it, but it is expensive – so if you know who I am, and where I live and want to try this recipe before committing to the expense of the oil, come on over and I will give you some of mine.  But not for free – in exchange I would like a healthy recipe…This recipe is a Cooking Light recipe. 

This dish derives its name from the color contrast of the two types of pasta. Because it mixes the earthiness of whole wheat with the familiarity of regular pasta, it’s a delicious introduction to whole-grain pastas. Truffle oil adds a pleasant, earthy undertone; you can substitute extravirgin olive oil. As with all alfredo dishes, serve immediately. 

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup) 

Ingredients 

  • 2  cups  1% low-fat milk
  • 1/3  cup  (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  teaspoon  butter
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1  pound  asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 8  ounces  uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • 8  ounces  uncooked spaghetti
  • 2  tablespoons  truffle oil
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preparation 

Preheat oven to 425°. 

Combine first four ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. 

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add milk mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until mixture simmers, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Cover. 

Place asparagus on jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° 10 minutes or until browned, stirring once. 

Cook both pastas according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. 

Place pastas and asparagus in a large bowl. Add cheese mixture, tossing well. Add truffle oil and pepper; toss gently. Serve immediately. 

Nutritional Information 

Calories:296 (35% from fat) 

Fat:11.4g (sat 5.2g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.8g) 

Protein:14.5g 

Carbohydrate:34.9g 

Fiber:3.7g 

Cholesterol:21mg 

Iron:2.8mg 

Sodium:602mg 

Calcium:276mg 

Spaghetti and Meatballs 

The meatball’s were made with ground turkey and the whole family loved them – which is an added bonus in this house. 

steaming and bubbling!

 

Spaghetti and meatballs Ingredients for meatballs
2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
3 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of 93% lean ground turkey. This should be combination of white and dark meat. Don’t use ground turkey breast. It makes meatballs that are too dry and grainy.
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Ingredients for sauce and pasta
3 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 onion, minced (about 1 cup)
Salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pound spaghetti
Pepper
3 Tbsp. shredded fresh basil
 

For the meatballs: Combine the bread, buttermilk, and egg yolk in a large bowl, cover, and set aside until the bread softens, about 5 minutes. When soft, mash the mixture to a smooth paste. Add the turkey, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Combine the mixture gently, using your hands, until uniform, then form into 18 meatballs (each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter). Spread the meatballs out on a large plate, cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. This is important because it helps them to remain intact while cooking. 

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add the meatballs and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. (Do not wash the skillet.) 

For the sauce and pasta: Pulse 2 cans of the tomatoes, with their juice, in a food processor until mostly smooth, about 11 pulses. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt to the fat left in the skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the processed tomatoes and the remaining 1 can diced tomatoes with their juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Return the meatballs to the skillet, cover, and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. 

Spoon several large spoonfuls of the tomato sauce (without the meatballs) into the pasta and toss to combine, adjusting the sauce consistency with the reserved cooking water as desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve: Divide the pasta among 6 individual bowls. Top each bowl with the remaining tomato sauce and meatballs, sprinkle with the basil, and serve. 

Servings: 6, about 1 1/2 cups spaghetti with sauce and 3 meatballs. Per serving: 530 calories; 12 grams of fat; 3.5 grams of saturated fat; 35 grams of protein; 72 grams of carbohydrate; 3 grams of fiber; 1,110 milligrams of sodium. 

Jojo wanted me to post this photo - she likes fresh basil...

 

When I want a treat, I eat two pieces of Lindt chocolate – either the chili one or the salt one.  These are SOOO good!  Well worth using Niamhy’s college fund to buy it…  But now I have lost over 5lbs! and that means I get a mani/pedi –woo hoo!  In fact, only 3.5lbs. till the next weight loss reward…

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Filed under food kids like, recipes, Weight

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