Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sweet, Satisfying & Slimming!

Those aren't 3 words I can usually use together. I have had a sweet tooth ever since my pregnancy and it just won't go away. I still love spicy, savory food, but I now feel like I have to end every meal with something sweet. This NEVER used to happen to me! This is probably why I can't seem to get rid of this extra weight that keeps hanging around.

This recipe gives me the sweetness I crave with hardly any calories compared to the regular dessert! And which dessert would this be, you ask? Banana Pudding! I love it. And I don't want the traditional kind with meringue. I want cool whip on top. Yum...ok enough of that. This is a great alternative to banana pudding. Banana Pudding has about 466 calories in 1/2 a cup. WOW! This Banana Pudding Smoothie has about 180 calories!!!

I got the idea from Rachael Ray. She gave a quick tip on her show about using frozen bananas and whole milk in the food processor to make a quick alternative to banana ice cream. I decided to take it a step further and made it a smoothie, banana pudding style. And let me tell you, it was awesome! Logan loved it too. We've been having these about once a day lately. :)

Banana Pudding Smoothie
Inspired by Racheal Ray

1 medium banana, sliced and frozen
1/4 cup whole milk
2 vanilla wafers

Throw the banana slices and milk in the blender. Crumble in the vanilla wafers. Pulse the blender until it is all nice and smooth. You can also top it with an extra vanilla wafer for a garnish. Just for fun. ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mexican Chorizo Pasta

Saving money is a big deal for our family right now. I guess it is for most people. I used to be obsessed with coupons and playing the grocery game, but found out I was spending more money getting the grocery game's list than I was saving if I didn't religiously get online Sunday nights and make my list for Monday. That worked fine for several months, but then sometimes Monday's just weren't the best for me to go to the store. And sometimes we forgot to stop and get a paper. Plus, her list isn't up until Sunday afternoon and you can only use that list for Monday and Tuesday. I also just don't have the stamina to go to 3 or 4 different stores to get the most savings with a one year old in tow. Don't get me wrong. Her list is awesome and I know it takes a lot of work. I just can't afford to pay for a list and pay for a paper to get coupons and then not have the time to use it effectively.

We still try to get a paper when we remember, and I go ahead and cut out the coupons we might possibly use and file them. I then use free websites to look up sales or I just look at the store circulars myself. I've also been going to Aldi a lot. I've really come to love it. If you can get over the fact that they rarely have anything name brand, unless it is a special buy for the week, you will love it too. Now, there are some things on which I will not compromise, chips for one. I only like Doritos; no off brands please! And my husband will only eat Blue Plate mayonnaise on his sandwiches. I can use an off brand mayo as an ingredient in a dish, but not just on a sandwich. Other than that, we can't tell a big enough difference in the off brand items.

Aldi also has fun and different things in their meat and cheese case. Last week I got some crumbled goat cheese with basil and onions and some crumbled feta that is awesome! I also got some Mexican chorizo which will show up into todays post. I realize you can pay a lot for specialty meats and cheeses, and I'm sure there is some truth in you get what you pay for. But if my option is to not have it at all or get it cheaper, I'll take cheaper.

I used this recipe for something new and different to do with chorizo. It turned out pretty good. I did use white beans instead of chick peas. And I loved the toasted garlic breadcrumbs on top!