So my dad came to me one night and told me that he had a few thousand points from flying that we could use for magazine subscriptions. Let’s be frank: I don’t read. So, magazines are a stretch. But recently at an airport in Kentucky, I stood in one of those little airport stores with candy and a wall with a vast array of magazines. And mulled over the decisions before me. Decisions. Just too many decisions. The pressure was building up as a scanned row by row, column by column, like I was intently looking at an Excel spreadsheet—an all too familiar aspect of my 9-5 (well, 8-4, technically…but you get me).
Needless to say, I was standing there saying “sorry” every five seconds to the guys who were trying to do the magazine inventory and re-stock the neatly cluttered shelves. Because clearly I was in the way. Ya know, just pulling this magazine down and looking at that one. Not committing to buying any, naturally. Just taking multiple pictures on my iPhone of recipes and things that intrigued me. Oh Lord am I a product of 21st century living, or what?
Ah, yes, my point! So anyway, the idea of finding THE single most perfect magazine to subscribe to has been as my mind as of late. My primary interest—and requirements for the mag—being fitness, exercise, nutrition, healthy living, “clean” eats and recipes, and hey, maybe even some design and crafty type of things too! Is that asking too much? Apparently. At the end of my 20 minute pit-stop in the airport store, sans purchase, I vaguely concluded that Shape magazine was the closest—fit. Ha.
Circling back—and yes, I pulled a Kenny G for being circular, but admittedly I like to add a bit of backstory for my readers’ (hopefully) enjoyment—my dad had a list of magazines I could subscribe to. So I took a look. Of course Shape was not an option. So, being overzealous when it comes to free offers, I subscribed for everything closest to it—and then some. I maxed out and signed up to receive as many free magazines as I could. Because I secretly have this theory that I’m gonna scam them for their money. I mean seriously, how many times do we get scammed into all this crap? So you know what, YES McDonald’s. Whether I do or do not drink every last sip of coffee in my cup, I’m gonna GET my $1 LARGE coffee to spite you. Take advantage of your offer. And mooch the most I possibly can out of your deal.
So that lead me to subscribe to a health/fitness magazine of some sort and stumble upon an incredible, 98 calories per 1 cup serving soup! I love soups. I love low cal. I love veggies. And I love immersion blending.
Sign. Me. Up.
I first followed the “Broccoli Leek Soup” recipe to a “T” (Note: I’m having a really hard time with the spelling of that phrase. So if you know whether it’s “tea,” which would make no sense, “tee,” or the letter “T,” please do tell! I’m going with my gut, per the above). And don’t get me wrong—loved the broccoli. What’s honestly not to love?
But then during a trip to BJ’s and a past cooking experience, and newly learned tip from Ang, I decided to dabble with two clutch substitutes: zucchini for broccoli, and EVOO for Canola oil. Oh em gee. #flawless
So just try this. I promise you won’t regret it. And Murph, it’s totally worth your vegetarian while, assuming you sub the chicken broth (or just use the dang broth because I don’t really agree that chicken broth is “meat”—since the physical chicken is not present in the final packaged product. But some could argue against me). Alright here goes.
Recipe: Zucchini Leek Soup
Makes around 8-10 one-cup servings, 98 calories each. It yielded more than the original recipe because I used more vegetables. Enjoy hot or cold!
I’m posting the original recipe below. I actually never realized it called for vegetable stock but I’m sure it’d be delicious! (I just instinctively reach for chicken).
Original Recipe: Broccoli Leek Soup
Several of you have asked about the recipe I used for the Cauliflower Crust Pizza I made two weeks ago—which was delicious by the way. If my Instagrams didn’t make you drool over this unnaturally healthy, low-carb pizza variant, I’d be quite surprised. :P
I’m so eager to share this find—a shout-out to Brownie for first introducing me to the unique recipe idea, a spawn of Pinterest’s experimentally clean-eaters. (I digress). And another shout-out to Murph and Risa for reminding me to share my version on the blog!
The truth is, I feel like eating this “pizza” is an absolute scam. Like I just expect to (and do!) feel guilty about indulging in something THIS good. So definitely give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! That’s why I have an awesome comments section on this little blog of mine. And I promise to reply!!
I also want to say, that I just so happen to be content with having this perfect pizza as often as I desire—assuming I have home-made sauce in my kitchen, or am fixin’ to put a fresh pot on the stove.
I adapted my version of the crust after reading many online recipes and blogs—so rest assured, perfection is to follow. But the pictures and suggestions in the comments sections on Stick a Fork in it and One Good Thing, coupled with my own culinary instinct, ultimately led me to my even lower calorie version below. Bon appetit!
Yields 2 Servings—though you could almost shamelessly eat the whole thing too!
*Next time, I might try shaping the crust into two “personal pan” pizzas to help portion this scrumptious pie for two.
Today I stumbled upon Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog in search of one healthy dessert recipe that would trump the three to four (obviously dissatisfying because I have so many) snacks I typically indulge in after my workout, dinner and shower. So routine. So…habit.
I justify healthy binge snacking late at night by my long runs, but know it needs to end here and now if I want to lose 10 more pounds. I was talking to my friend Katie (this one I actually do know—and coincidentally, I often refer to her in the form of chocolate, i.e., Brownie) about it today and came to a simple conclusion. I put it quite nicely, if I do say so myself:
"My problem is habit over hunger. If I write a book, [edit: which I really want to do] I’ll call it, ‘Hunger Over Habit: Conquering Your Late-Night Snacking.’”
You heard it here first. Unfortunately, at this time, I haven’t come up with any effective solutions to the problem. Ah, the pains of writer’s block. But I digress.
I go to the pantry at night for a range of different things, but it all adds up to extra calories that I really don’t need. One thing is fine—meet, tablespoon of JIF.
I literally have to use a tablespoon for portion control because my spoonfuls became too heaping. I also have to deal with my mom yelling at me for constantly losing and misplacing tablespoons. I leave them everywhere. Typically on the living room table by the TV, on my nightstand, in the sink, etc. I joke about wanting an actual tablespoon on my car keys so I can always have one on hand—but then I realized, that would be unsanitary, and I don’t always have my keys on me. But seriously if you find a to-size tablespoon car keychain…
But two (rice cake), three (piece of dark chocolate), four (air popped popcorn). Problem. I eat habitually. I eat because it’s habit, not because I’m hungry. Another problem. Especially at night while it may be yummy, the truth is that it’ll all just sit in my tummy.
And so it all started with a simple Google search today for what I thought would be impossible to find: “Healthy Cookie Dough Recipe.”
In fact, quite the contrary. The winner was the number one hit. No surprise there. Thank you Google for your tried and true reliability. I’d be lost without your search engine-uity.
So tonight, with subdued skepticism about the ingredient list, I decided to dabble with my mom’s trusty Cuisinart food processor. Not to mention, I had a few sources of encouragement: Chocolate Katie’s extensive blog following, #1 Google hit recipe, and her comment thread’s enticingly positive feedback. And my Katie Brownie’s previous experimentation with similar ingredients—and confirmed “yup” to me asking if the recipe was “worth a try.”
Boy was I pleasantly surprised with the results. I believe I’ve now found what may just be…my single, sweet and satisfying late-night snack. All thanks to Google, a great healthy dessert blog, and an incredibly powerful kitchen appliance.
I almost feel like it’s a secret I don’t want to share.
Because if you never knew the base ingredient, you’d never expect it.
But fine. I’ll tell you.
Not because I want to. (I actually want to trick all of my friends into eating something healthier than they think, in an “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” type of way).
But because I have to.
I’m literally, really and truly, morally obligated to share my find with you.
It’s that good.
Oh the anticipation of the line by line, “breaking” text layout. But for real…
Here’s the recipe you’ll find on Katie’s blog. I’ve modified it slightly in an attempt to cut some of the calories and sugars, exploit my Splenda obsession, and tone down the level of sweetness. However, I recommend—as Katie first did!—that you enjoy this dip with graham crackers. I had original (honey) in the pantry and was SET with those. But cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers would also be a wild and crazy flavor fest too. Something I’d definitely like to be a part of. So here goes. Enjoy. I know you will.
Healthy Cookie Dough Dip Recipe: (Krystina’s variation)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor—except the chocolate chips—until smooth. Also, test it periodically (sayonara salmonella!) as you’re mixing it, and adjust the level of sweetness to your liking.
When you’re set with the sweet, fold in the chopped chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy by the tablespoon, or as a spread on graham crackers. #flawless
Picture above courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog.