Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Recipe Round-Up

It's been a while since I've done a Recipe Round-Up post for a variety of reasons. Probably the biggest reason is due to the fact that the meals I make tend to last me for weeks or months because I like cooking in bulk, portioning out my recipes for lunches or dinners, and then freezing everything I don't plan to eat in the next week or two. This makes food prep for the week super easy because I'm saving myself from making 2 or 3 additional meals for the week to take to the work. I really only need to worry about making 1 or 2 meals for my lunch/dinner breaks at work because I have a few recipes already made and frozen. All that's required of me is to remember to take my meals for the week out of the freezer ahead of time and add whatever additional ingredient I want or need to add to bulk it up (typically this is rice).

The other reason that it's been a while since I've made a Recipe Round-Up post is because of everything that's happened to me since March. I don't want to bore you with the details since I've already mentioned before how my life got turned upside-down and now I'm living at home. Everything that's happened has left me a bit of an emotional wreck that I just haven't felt like cooking for the past month or two. I hope for this to change by the end of May or early June as I get inspired to make some (literally) cooler recipes for the upcoming warmer temperatures that summer promises to bring.

The good news about being back at home is that I now have access to my mom's fabulous kitchen, including her additional crock-pots and wonderful array of spices. If my memory serves me correctly, then I think at one point I was making two recipes at once during the first week I moved back home. And did I mention my mom randomly gifted me my own, new crock pot? It is seriously the best thing ever, as most crock pots are to any aspiring home-cook like myself.

So without further ado, here are the recipes I've made since March...

  • Skinny Taste's Crock Pot 3 Bean Turkey Chili Here's the thing about the first two I chili recipes I have listed here: I shouldn't have made them both at or around the same time because at this point I'm almost sick of eating chili. Ignoring that fact, I actually really liked this recipe solely because it introduced me to using & eating chick peas in another way apart from hummus (and I'm not a huge fan of humus). Whenever I took recipe to work, I would add ¼-½ cup of brown rice to get in a healthy whole grain.
  • Skinny Taste's Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili This was another great chili recipe that if I hadn't made at the same time as the other chili recipe, I'm sure I would have loved it more. Just like the other chili recipe I would add ¼-½ cup of brown rice but I wish I had learned to add mushrooms to this recipe and the other chili recipe to give it more volume without adding more WW points+ or calories. I do have to admit that I've tried other taco chili recipes that tasted better than this one. However, it was good on its own and I would make it again!
  • Skinny Taste's Chicken Pot Pie Soup I made this recipe almost out of desperation to escape having to eat my two chili recipes two or three times a week. I was getting so sick of eating chili! Unfortunately this Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe didn't hit the spot like I had wanted. When I made the recipe, I had to swap out the ¼ cup of flour to use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch instead in order to make it gluten-free. I'm not sure if the gluten-free swap made it far less creamy than it should have been or something I did while making the recipe but it's much more watery than I hoped. I did make sure to add extra veggies to give it more volume without adding a ton of extra WW points+/calories so it helps to make the recipe delicious. However, I think I might stick to making Hungry Girl's Hungry Chick Chunky Soup until I find a wheat-free alternative for when I'm craving Chicken Pot Pie. This is another recipe that I add ¼ cup of brown rice to get in my healthy whole grain for the day.
  • Hungry Girl's Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo This is not a new recipe to me but I wanted to share it because I make it on a weekly basis for my "lunch" on Mondays. It's a delicious, wheat/gluten-free alternative to typical Chicken Alfredo recipes. When I first started making it, I would add broccoli and Tyson Chicken Breast Strips to the recipe. However, I've been really trying to limit my intake of process foods so now I cook up about 20 ounces of ground turkey every week or every other week and add about 3 ounces to this recipe to get in some protein. I also add ¼ cup of brown rice because I usually eat this meal about an hour before I hit the gym and, after lots of experimenting, I've learned that I feel full longer -- and tend to have more energy while I work out -- when I eat brown rice beforehand.
  • Weight Watcher's Tex-Mex Rice and Bean Casserole The last recipe I plan on sharing is another one I've made several times in the past. I make this casserole that ends up having 6 servings to have for my Saturday lunches while at work. I'm not sure why this has become a habit or routine but it's stuck. I've definitely added different ingredients to this recipe almost every time I've made it. Once I added about 2 cups of meatless veggie crumbles to it (the kind made by Boca) as well as some leftover broccoli I had on hand. The last time I made it though, I took out the meatless veggie crumbles in order to eliminate the process food and added ground turkey as well as mushrooms to the casserole. So far I like it even though the turkey really added points+ to the recipe. Sometimes, but not every time, I add extra brown rice the recipe to get in more whole grains. It really depends on everything else I plan on eating that Saturday though.

So that about covers it as far as the recipes I've tried these past couple of months. I was also on a kick of eating a sweet potato with ½-1 cup of cottage cheese because it was sweet & creamy while tasting delicious together. I think I've actually moved out of that phase though because I haven't felt like having either lately, especially not cottage cheese. Instead I've moved onto making a regular potato and adding fat free sour cream plus shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese on top. It's my own version of a loaded baked potato!

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