“Smoothie” Sailing!

Spinach Smoothie

Does the food blogosphere need yet another smoothie recipe? Probably not, but bear with me, please. There is method to my madness.

The smoothie story begins on the July 1 weekend when we were celebrating Canada Day on our boat with 3 grandchildren (all early teens) and one daughter.

We were having a grand time until a stomach flu swept through the boat in the middle of the night. I’ll spare you the grim details but it involved throwing up and fevers.

The only positive note was that I lost 5½ lbs.!

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Protein-Packed Chocolate Quinoa Cookies

So far, on this blog, I’ve avoided cookies. I have some good excuses—no children at home anymore and, well, fear of the Cookie Monster.

You know this ogre.

She has tentacles that go straight into your sweet tooth and carb cravings. You will try to quit after one or two cookies while the monster manipulates your taste buds so that the first cookie—nay, the first bite—creates a powerful urge to keep right on going.

For those of you who can eat a whole bag in one sitting—YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

So I’ve avoided cookies for good reasons. Then I spotted a recipe that had good health and diet potential because of the quinoa which is high in protein and, therefore, stomach-filling. I did some adjusting to give it even more protein and reduce calories, and I kept the sweetness at a low ebb so it wouldn’t arouse the sleeping, but ever vigilant, monster.

My spouse was the first sampler. “It’s good,” he said, “but I thought it would be sweeter. Cookies are usually sweeter.”

See how the food manufacturers have trained our palates?

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Low-Calorie Snacks

Snacks and dieting…dieting and snacks. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, these are two things that don’t go well together.

In my pre-diet days, I loved the oh-so-easy snacks. I’d just grab something from the fridge or cupboard that would quickly satisfy my carb or salt cravings.

Snacks on a diet don’t have that happy-go-lucky quality. For me, snacks now require careful planning from the grocery store right up to the finished product. Even a simple nosh like an apple requires making sure I always have apples in the house.

But this post isn’t about the simple snacks. I don’t know about you, but sometimes an apple, a handful of carrots, or a bowl of popcorn (how to make your own in the microwave, oil-free) just won’t cut it. I want a snack more interesting in taste and texture that is also

  • Low in calories, i.e., has little or no fat. (Sugar isn’t a problem for me; I use artificial sweetener.)
  • Healthful because it has nutritious ingredients.
  • Filling so that I don’t get hungry again so quickly.
  • 2 Weight Watcher (WW) points or less so it doesn’t overwhelm my daily count. (Roughly 100 calories.)

To that end, I am now experimenting with snack recipes, mine and others’, with the express purpose of keeping the calorie count down. As part of this effort, I decided to compile a list of all my low-calorie recipes to better understand how to replace empty calories with good ones. I thought you’d find this list helpful.

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Introducing The Bean Bake Blog

As promised, I will no longer be deluging you with bean bake recipes. However, my fascination with them continues. So many foods; so many bean-bake possibilities.

Hence The Bean Bake Blog now is happily ensconced in its own little corner of the blogosphere, and I’m in the process of copying all the recipes from here to there.

And I’ll let you know when I post something new there since this dish fits the criteria of this blog as a gluten-free, dairy-free, diet food.

And, if you’re interested, I’m abandoning ship on the kiwi bean bakes. I recently learned that kiwi and pineapple can’t be used in jello because they contain an enzyme that breaks down the protein in gelatin (thanks to friend Becky, daughter Lisa, and ever-helpful Google for this cooking tip).

I think this is also happening with the protein in the eggs, and that’s why the bakes don’t set properly even when I add foods such as avocado, banana, and cauliflower which usually help stabilize the bakes.

Yes, you read that correctly. My last kiwi try was with cauliflower! Lovely taste actually.

The spouse and I are off to the Caribbean for two weeks. There he can engage in his favourite pastime—scuba-diving, while I engage in mine—sloth. If I meet any interesting foods, I’ll let you know.