Thursday, February 25, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Soup

I have been buying up cauliflower like a crazy person lately. All Winter long they were so expensive... I saw them as high as $6.95 per head... and now that they are a decent price again, I cannot stop buying them!

But I can only eat so much Low-Carb Flatbread and Cauliflower Rice, so have been trying to come up with some new ways to enjoy all of this glorious cauliflower.  This soup was an experiment for sure, and a happy one as it turned out so well.   We almost always have some roasted chicken breasts in the refrigerator as I tend to do them in batches of 3 or 4 every few days so I have some on hand for salads or for The Captain's favorite fried rice dish at lunch time.

I used a bit of fat free yogurt in this dish to give it a creaminess, but you could leave it out if you are eating Paleo.  This soup is naturally gluten free.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Soup

Roasted  Cauliflower and Chicken Soup
Makes 2 servings.

  • 4 cups cauliflower, washed and broken into florets
  • 1/2 cup onion roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, about 6 to 8 ounces, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with a non-stick spray.
  3. Spread the cauliflower florets and onion pieces on the foil and drizzle or spray with the olive oil.
  4. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. 
  5. Remove from oven and place the veggies in a stockpot or large sauce pan.
  6. Add the chicken broth and garlic to the veggies and bring to a boil.
  7. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chicken and heat through about 5 more minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and then puree with an immersion blender till the chicken is shredded.
  10. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls and then stir 1/2 cup of yogurt into each.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
You can garnish your soup in a variety of ways... I had a few pieces of shaved parmesan cheese on mine and it was delicious. I think crumbled bacon and chopped green onions and a bit of shredded cheddar would be really nice too.

Per serving without garnish.
WW Smart Points = 5.
Calories 243; Saturated Fat 1g; Sugar 10g; Protein 36g.

Roasted Cauliflower and Onions
Roasted cauliflower and onions

Leftover cooked chicken breast, cut into chunks
Leftover cooked chicken breast, cut into chunks

Into the stockpot with broth
Into the stockpot with broth

Garnished and ready to serve
Garnished and ready to serve

Are you a cauliflower fan, too?

What's your favorite way to enjoy it?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Spicy Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

I am finally back on track with regular workouts after our move to a new apartment in January.  And the new building has a fitness room, so we have decided to take advantage of the space... we can spread out our mats and even jump up and down if we want to, without having to worry about making too much noise.  There are lots of machines and equipment that I haven't even had a chance to check out yet!

On days when I am going to do a mid-morning workout, I like to add some carbs to my breakfast to make sure I have enough energy to finish. Usually I would be happy with some fruit blended into a protein shake, but it has been raining monsoons here the past couple of days so something warm seemed much more to my appealing.

I decided to use the last of my North Coast Naturals vanilla Vege Pro-7 protein powder and make some spicy pumpkin pancakes... I had only half a scoop left and I knew just what to do with it.  I am really sad to see the bottom of this container.  I was given this protein powder to try some time ago and have really enjoyed it... it has great body and is really quite filling.  I will need to get more!

North Coast Naturals

I mixed all the ingredients with my immersion blender and then cooked the batter in 3 batches.  It takes a bit longer to do them this way, and the batter really needs to cook completely through, otherwise you have doughy centres in the pancakes, and who likes that?  Not me, for sure.

I did the calculations and the batch of 3 cakes comes out to 6 Smart Points on the new Weight Watchers program... add a bit of sugar-free syrup for another 1 Point or some 0 Point fruit if you like. I chose to have half a navel orange alongside instead...  I really enjoyed them and hope you will too.

Make sure you are using gluten-free oats if that is an issue for you.  And yes, I know that the coconut oil is saturated fat, but I happen to believe it is good for me and I love the taste!

Spicy Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Spicy Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Makes 1 serving of 3 cakes.

  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs egg whites 
  • 5 Tbs water
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  1. Blend all the ingredients together till batter is smooth.
  2. Cook pancakes in 3 batches and keep cakes warm till ready to serve.
  3. Serve with syrup or fruit.
Per serving of 3 cakes without topping.
WW Smart Points = 6.
Calories 200; Saturated Fat 4g; Sugar 3g; Protein 17g.

Pancake Batter
Mix the ingredients till smooth with your blender.

Pancake in pan
Make sure the cakes aren't too thick or they will take much longer to cook through.. and don't forget to flip and cook the second side!

Spicy Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Plated and topped with sugar free syrup. Mmmm!

Do you save your pumpkin for Fall recipes, or are you like me and enjoy it year-round?

What is your favorite vanilla protein powder?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Some of My Newest Food Finds

Yes, I know it is February.  Yes, I know this is my first blog post of 2016... we moved in January and spent most of the month doing it!

It wasn't that I have not been cooking... or even cooking up anything new. It was that I was just too occupied elsewhere to take pictures and post!   I had no idea that moving was so time consuming or so physically demanding.  I don't want to do it again for some time.

But now that the move is done and we are mostly organized in the new place (nope, I haven't hung any pictures yet) I really feel like turning my attention to foodie matters and telling you about them! And since I last posted I have found some new products that I am excited about and want to share with you... you might like them too.

The first product I want to tell you about is this Lite Life Naturally Turkey Bacon that I found at Costco a couple of weeks back.

Several years ago when we lived on the sailboat we spent 3 Winters in Washington State.  I regularly purchased a turkey bacon distributed by Oscar Meyer, I think the brand was Louis Rich.  It is not available in Canada and I never found another one that was nearly as good... till now.  This Lite Life Naturally has a good bacon flavor without all the nitrates and is a good texture, too.  I have tried cooking it in the mike, but find that a saute pan works better.  Less mess and fussing around!

The package is divided into 2 sections... so I put one in the freezer and keep the other in the fridge and used it up within about 8 or 9 days. Was still fresh and good all that time.

The cooked strips are great with eggs in a traditional breakfast, and also really nice in sandwiches and breakfast 'bowls'.  The N.I. and ingredient list are pretty good.  2 slices are only 1 Weight Watchers Smart Point.

The second product I want to share with you is something I am quite excited about!  Yes, I love berries and use them a lot... and I love cherries, too.  So this new Compliments Berry & Cherry Boost is a great way to get in some of both.

It is a lovely frozen mixture of strawberries, pitted dark sweet cherries, black currants, blackberries, cultured blackberries, and pitted sour cherries.  These are the only ingredients. There is no added sugar.  On the Weight Watchers program, these fruits are 0 Smart Points, unless you blend them into smoothies.  See my note below this post for more information about that.

But I will share the N.I. with you anyway.  I am sure you all know that these fruits are a terrific source of Vitamin C... and taste wonderful too!

And yes, that cereal in the picture with the fruit and yogurt above, is the third item I want to share with you.  It is called Nature's Path Sunrise Crunchy Maple.

I first ran into it a few weeks ago when I was attending a Sunday morning Weight Watcher's meeting... it was the first launch day in December of the new program, Beyond the Scale.  One of the members that attended that meeting was eating her breakfast and as I sat and visited with her, I could smell the aroma of maple coming from her bowl.  I had to ask about it. Jamie told me it was this Crunchy Maple cereal... and I tucked that information away till last week, when I spied a box of it on a shelf of a store that I don't normally shop.  I saw that it is Gluten-Free and tossed it into my cart.

Well, when I got it out of the pantry to try it today, I finally read the ingredient list.  I see that it contains corn.  I am not normally a grain eater... every once in a while I do indulge, but honestly, corn is on my never list!  Well, apparently not anymore. I ate 1/3 cup of this cereal with my 0% Greek yogurt and some of the Berry & Cherry Boost and loved it!  I will likely finish the box... a wee bit at a time.   And even though I won't be buying it again, I am telling you about it, because it is very tasty... and you may not have any issues with corn.

The recommended serving size of 2/3 cup contains: 110 calories,  .2g saturated fat, 7g sugar, and 2g protein. That works out to 4 Smart Points on the Weight Watchers program. 

Have you tried any of these products?

Do you have anything new and wonderful products that you would recommend?  I would love to hear about them.