First Impressions

First impressions are EVERYTHING.  How often have you heard that expression in life?  Work?  Relationships?  First impressions.  They either make ya or break ya.

When I first got the Betty Crocker 300 calorie cookbook, I was beyond excited


I was SO excited, that I spent my lunch break thumbing through the pages and flagging all the recipes that sounded delicious. 


(Overzealous, much?)

Could it be true?  300 calories of home cooked goodness?  Sounded like it was right up my alley!

Shortly after, I tried out my first recipe in the book:  Chicken and Spinach Skillet.  I picked the recipe because it used two of my favorite ingredients (chicken and spinach, obviously) and it was an extremely simple recipe.  How can you go wrong with that?

It seemed as though the stars were aligning.  Hundreds and hundreds of healthified recipes at my fingertips.  All hinging on this first recipe.  This first recipe that was, well, a big fat flop.  It was blah.  So blah, in fact, that I threw the leftovers away… and that is simply UNHEARD of in the Fervent Foodie household.

And so the book sat.  Poor little Betty Crocker and her 300 calorie recipes sandwiched between a bright green cover with fun yellow letters… dozens of pages flagged with anticipation…

Months passed.  FINALLY, this week I pulled the cookbook down from the bookshelf and my heart churned over the little yellow flags peeking out of the book.  And I decided to give it another go.  I decided to give Better Crocker a second chance.

This time around, I went with the Chicken Enchilada Pie:


Annnnnddddd it was…..  meh. 


Better than the Turkey Spinach Skillet, but not good enough to even bother posting the recipe on the blog.  I mean, I’m not throwing away the leftovers or anything, but let’s just say the tour de Chicken Enchilada Pie won’t be coming round my house again.


Hmmmm… well….  crap.

So, do I give Betty a THIRD shot, or what? 


Hallelujah it’s Friday!

With September here already (where the heck did August go, by the way?), I’ve already got my head in “fall mode”.  My favorite time of the year is BY FAR the last quarter – October, November, and December.  I love the weather, the excessive parties and family activities, and I also love how things just seem to slow down from the fast pace of summer.  Speaking of fast-paced summers, it saddens me that I haven’t been doing much cooking lately.  The good news is I’ll have plenty of time to cook… in two more weeks!

Breakfast #1

Ever since last weekend’s awesome breakfast fit for vacation, I’ve been craving the spinach and tomato breakfast burrito.  (Let’s be honest, I’ve been craving the potatoes and pancakes too) …  So last night instead of doing my usual batch-scrambled eggs, I made a double serving of the spinach and tomato scrambled eggs.

First up, I chopped up:

  • 2 tbsp red onion (I used white onion last time, but didn’t have any on hand)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chiffonade spinach
  • 1/2 a roma tomato, diced


I sprayed a skillet down with some cooking spray, and once it was hot I tossed in the garlic and onions. 


While these guys were cooking I whisked together the following in a bowl:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 egg whites
  • Splash of water

 Once the onions were soft, I poured the egg mixture on top and seasoned everything up with S&P and red pepper flakes.  I let the eggs start to cook up, and when they were about 1/2 way done I added the tomato and spinach:


Look how delicious:


While the eggs were getting their groove on, I also roasted up some broccoli that was seasoned with black pepper and garlic salt:


Is it just me, or does that broccoli look really happy to be here?

2 happy campers:


One of which I brought to work with me today to introduce to my friend Heinz:



Stats on B#1:  205 calories, 15g carbs, 5g fat, 23g protein, 2g fiber

B#2 = OO 😀

OVERNIGHT OATSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!  What a great way to end the workweek!


Doesn’t that just bring a smile to your face???  😀



Stats on B#2:  233 calories, 44g carbs, 5g fat, 6g protein, 7g fiber


What better way to end the Bruegger’s Bagels giveaway, then to have Bruegger’s for lunch, of course!


Today I went with the Spinach & Lentil soup, and a half sandwich with turkey and lots and lots of veggies.  I can’t believe this is the HALF sandwich.  It was HUGE!

The Bruegger’s Giveaway ends tonight at midnight (eastern time), so get your posts in!

A sandwich BUILT for Hummus

It’s Thursday, and I am one happy lady.  Thank you to those of you who commented on yesterday’s tell me something happy post.  Each one of your comments resulted in a big smile on my face, and I thank you again and again for sharing your happy thoughts with me!

Breakfast #1

Today I planned on eating the last of the scrambled eggs I cooked up on Sunday, but I was in the mood for something a little different.  Something with a little kick.  And when I’m in such a mood, I turn to my friend Frank.  Frank’s Red Hot that is :)

Come to think of it, I can’t leave out my good friends George and Mama Lupe either!  Frank, George, and Mama Lupe all contributed to my yummy breakfast wrap.

Leftover scrambled eggs + several shakes of Franks atop a Mama Lupe low carb tortilla:


Then I wrapped it up burrito-style and grilled on the George for about 5 minutes, until the eggs were hot and the tortilla was crispy. 


I also heated up the broccoli in the microwave… Unfortunately my microwave doesn’t have a human name…  Frank, George, Mama Lupe, and Emerson (I guess Emerson could be  a last name).


I swear the George Foreman grill is one of the most amazing kitchen gadgets on earth–or at least the most amazing one in my kitchen!

Stats on B#1:  208 Calories, 15 g carbs, 8g fat, 24g protein, 6g fiber


Breakfast #2

Overnight oaty goodness:


It’s getting cold in the mornings now…  I have a feeling pretty soon I’ll be saying farewell to cold oats and heading back to the warmth the traditional hot oats.  *Sigh*


Stats on B#2:  233 calories, 44g carbs, 5g fat, 6g protein, 7g fiber


Ive blabbed my Trader Joe’s sob story on this blog many a time.. Sooooo far to drive (~1 hr away) to the nearest TJ’s… So sad.  Luckily, my mom picked me up some Trader Joe’s Hummus on her last trip to TJ’s!  WOOOOOOT!

The hummus was not an afterthought for today’s sandwich, not a mere condiment to go on the bun.  No.  Today’s sandwich was BUILT specifically for Trader Joe’s Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus.

This sandwich consisted of a Pepperidge Farm 7 grain deli flat & a four ounce grilled chicken breast:


That I topped off with sliced tomato, onion, and the STAR of the show:  Trader Joe’s Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus


Then I added some fresh spinach and some sprouts.  Excessive veggies?  Perhaps.


Check out the height on this sucker:


I also had some leftover roasted cauliflower on the side.  Cauliflower might looking boring, but trust me. It was fab.


Layers of FLAVOR.


Stats on Lunch:  364 calories, 35g carbs, 5g fat, 46g protein, 11g fiber

QUESTION:  What did YOU have for lunch today?  I’m always looking for ways to shake up my lunch routine!

Spinach Caprese Quesadilla

While at work yesterday, my mind kept drifting to dinner–but nothing was sounding good to me.  Since I have an abundance of tomatoes and basil (thank you backyard garden for your fruitfulness :) ) I decided to do something caprese inspired. 

Caprese is one of my all-time favorite Italian dishes, and it typically consists of tomato, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

Before diving into to the caprese, I got to work on some brussel sprouts.  I halved 10 brussel sprouts, trimmed down any rough ends of the stem, and then made a small slit down the core of each sprout half.  I read that making this little slit on the rougher part of the sprout helps to ensure even cooking.  I put the sprouts on a cookie sheet that was liberally sprayed with cooking spray, then seasoned them with S&P, and gave them a good toss before throwing them into a 415 degree oven for 17 minutes.

Brussel sprouts!

Now onto the caprese!  First, I sliced up 1 roma tomato and 1 Sargento light mozzarella string cheese and put them into a bowl:

Then, I drizzled the tomato and mozzarella with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and a 1/2 tsp olive oil and sprinkled with some salt and pepper.  Next I added 3 sliced up fresh basil leaves and tossed everything to coat.

Meanwhile, I topped a Mama Lupe’s Low Carb tortilla with some fresh spinach and topped with the tomato mozzarella mixture:

I topped this off with a second Mama Lupe’s low carb tortilla, then I popped this baby onto the George foreman grill for about 5 minutes (until the tortilla was crisp and the cheese was melty):

None of these pictures do the quesadilla justice!  If you like caprese, you will love this:

I’m hoping I get some tips on taking pictures of food indoors at the Healthy Living Summit!  I can never seem to get indoor pictures quite right!

By the way, if you love caprese too check out the recipe I tried for hot caprese! I also added a “rating” scale to my recipe page :mrgreen:

Stats on dinner:  325 calories, 43g carbs, 12g fat, 20g protein, 14g fiber


A few hours after dinner, it was time for my night time snack.  I was craving a green monster smoothie, so I put the following into the blender:

  • 1/4 cup Stonyfield Farms Fat Free Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh frozen blueberries
  • 1 packet Truvia
  • 1 ice cube

Green Monster:

This guy was so much GREENER in person than in these photos… my camera was being stubborn last night!

Stats on the green monster:  119 calories, 24g carbs, 2g fat, 8g protein, 6g fiber


Question:  what’s your favorite “healthified” Italian dish?

A Truly Green Monster

Maybe it was all the green grass around me, but all I could think about while mowing the lawn this afternoon was making a giant green monster!

Into the blender: 

  • 10 small fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond breeze vanilla almond milk
  • 2 packets Truvia
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ICE
  • 1 tbsp oikos plain yogurt (would have used more, but that’s all that was left in the container)

 Gave it a thorough immulsification:

 That is a seriously green monster smoothie: 

 Stats on the GM:  64 calories, 15g carbs, 2g fat, 4g protein, 3g fiber