eat, move, think, feel



Healthy Beef Stroganoff – YUM! A Guest Post by TJ!

me and TJ!
I’m excited that Tracey (aka TJ) is sharing one of her awesome healthy recipes on my blog today! Her blog is full of fantastic, easy recipes that are super WW-friendly. Check out her fantastic progress – inspiring isn’t it?? One of her greatest strategies is coming up with wonderful recipes to keep her satisfied and on track. Take it away, Tracey!
Hi guys! Tracey here from tj’s test kitchen! Special thanks to Foodie McBody for allowing me to post a recipe over here today. 🙂 I made this just this past weekend with my Mom and the whole family loved it. Beef Stroganoff SCREAMS comfort food if you ask me but sometimes with comfort comes calories. My mission along this weight loss journey is to make the foods I love…. HEALTHIER!
Beef Stroganoff
serves 8
*add additional PointsPlus for noodles
1 lb package lean ground beef 90/10
1 can Campbells Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Campbells HR Cream of chicken soup
1 Cup Fat Free Sour Cream
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 1/2 Cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 Cup water
pepper to taste
First brown beef over medium heat until fully cooked; drain any fat after cooked.
In separate pan- even at the same time the beef is cooking saute mushrooms in a small pan sprayed with PAM.
Ingredients all lined up….
These are the noodles I used 1 cup for 5 PointsPlus
1 Cup Sour Cream
After draining any fat, add onion soup mix, sour cream, water, and both soups to the pan. This looks weird, I know, but wait! haha!
Give it a stir….then toss in the cooked mushrooms.
stir again…mmmm nice and creamy! Add in pepper if you like!
Serve on top of cooked noodles. YUM! After I took this picture I tossed in some peas. It was delicious!
Easy and tasty! My two favorite words to hear when I am cooking dinner! Hope you all liked my recipe! Make sure you stop by my blog to let me know if you decided to make it! I would love to hear all about it! 🙂 ENJOY!  tj

Who Wants Rocco’s New Book??

You all know I was lucky enough to win a copy of Rocco DiSpirito’s amazing cookbook Now Eat This! We have been going through the recipes and they have been shockingly EASY, fast and delicious. We’ve already made the tortilla soup half a dozen times and now we’re really into the turkey nachos. YUM. On the heels of the bestselling success of his low-calorie Now Eat This! cookbook, Rocco Dispirito has a new book featuring a weight-loss program “guaranteed to produce maximum results with minimum effort.”

Award-winning celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito changed his life and his health-without giving up the foods he loves or the flavor. He has lost more than 20 pounds, participated in dozens of triathlons, and-after an inspirational role as a guest chef on The Biggest Loser-changed his own diet and the caloric content of classic dishes on a larger scale. In NOW EAT THIS! DIET, complete with a foreword by Dr. Mehmet Oz, DiSpirito offers readers a revolutionary 2-week program for dropping 10 pounds quickly, with little effort, no deprivation, and while still eating 6 meals a day and the dishes they crave, like mac & cheese, meatloaf, BBQ pork chops, and chocolate malted milk shakes. The secret: Rocco’s unique meal plans and his 75 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snack time, all with zero bad carbs, zero bad fats, zero sugar, and maximum flavor. Now readers can eat more and weigh less-it’s never been so easy!

Now Eat This! Diet was published for the first time two days ago on the 22nd (congrats Rocco!) and I am lucky enough to have a free, signed copy for a giveaway! Here’s a little peek into one of the recipes: (click to enlarge) I’ll be giving away a copy of this book ON FRIDAY (April 1st) so if you want to be that lucky recipient, leave a comment here and tell me your favorite comfort food! I bet there’s a healthy version of it in Rocco’s book.

For anybody who really wants this book and either can’t wait or doesn’t win – there are many ways you can get your hands on one.

Barnes & Noble –
Books-A-Million –
Borders –
Hastings –
Powell’s –
Tower Records –

EDITED TO ADD: The giveaway winners will be announced on Friday, April 1st! AND…. I just got the exciting news from “Rocco’s people” that there will be FOUR WINNERS! YAHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

New Comfort Food: Pesto Roasted Cauliflower

One of the great things about leading WW meetings is that I have to pay attention to all these elements of the program that are really, really helpful. This morning I said something along the lines of finding new foods or new ways of enjoying old foods, to keep things “fresh.”

I’m still sort of on the sick side. I’ve got pretty low energy and a sore throat. Yesterday I was surprised at how much I felt like eating. I wanted real comfort food, like mashed potatoes and pudding. Baby food.  I realized that if I keep going too long like this, without exercising, soon I’m going to be in trouble.

So on the way home from the meeting I stopped at the Farmers Market. I spotted a cauliflower. I didn’t really think about it much. But I brought it home, chopped it up and put it in the over (425) for half an hour. When the buzzer went off, it was crispy and browned, crunchy and yet soft on the inside. I mixed it with a little jarred pesto and put it in a big bowl. OH WOW. It was like… the best comfort food ever. I was so happy. And it happened spontaneously. This was one of the few things we discussed in today’s meeting and it felt so good to just implement it in a way that satisfied my need for comfort and yet is still really healthy.

Now, a nap. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Pumpkin Yum and the Dress Rehearsal

IMG_7295-Version-2I thought I’d dodged the bullet of Halloween, since my kids are past trick-or-treating age, and we don’t live in a trick-or-treating neighborhood… but then on Saturday, my daughter was bitten by the Baking Bug and she decided she needed to make some mini pumpkin cheesecakes! With cinnamon cream! Aghhhhhh!!!!  So she went ahead and made them. They were adorable. I decided to check out the points of this item using my handy WW online recipe builder (on the WW eTools site). I figured out that each little cheesecake was 5 points. I cut one down into one-point bites (small bites) and shared with some friends. Mmmmmm, that was yummy.

Then I had a pumpkin craving. So I took the extra canned pumpkin that was leftover. I added a box of fat-free, sugar-free vanilla pudding mix. Then I added some fat-free Cool Whip. And…. yum! It was like a pumpkin mousse. It was goooooooood. And I was able to eat a lot more than a teeny tiny bite.

It was a great experiment, and also a great self-demonstration of the options you can choose when you have some high-calorie treat facing you: you can either eat a little bit of it, or you can find ways to “lighten” it so that you can enjoy more volume. I did both this weekend, and both were satisfying, in different ways. Yay. (delicious photo from

In other news, I did my “dress rehearsal” of my full-on WW meeting today, at a smaller at-work meeting with only my mentor watching. Man, I was nervous. I felt like I was talking a mile a minute, and I was totally overheated (um, sweaty).  After the second page, all my flip chart pages fell on the floor, out of order. Ack. I recovered, but that was not fun. And I had kind of an awkward ending because after I did what I *thought* was my “ending,” someone asked a question, and I answered them, and then I had to end it again, and it just sort of… petered out. Ugh. But OVERALL I think if it was a pass-fail, I would’ve passed, and I guess if it were a letter grade, I’d give myself a… B or B-.

Then tonight, at my regular meeting, my leader did the same topic and I was listening/watching with one ear and eye while working the desk. Wow he’s good. He did touch on the meeting topic, but really he was mixing and matching and really masterfully working with everything the members were saying, and everything just seemed so beautifully orchestrated, and he just is smooooooth. Like he never stumbles. And he’s funny. He’s way funny. His version of the same meeting topic was so very different from what I’d come up with. Which is cool in a way, but also sort of scary. I think I have to think about all the ways that one can address the same issue, and just… breathe, and do my best.

I do think that some of my friends might show up on Thursday to lend some moral support and friendly faces. Which would be so nice.  Again, I know (or I feel pretty confident) that I’m going to PASS, but I want to do more than “pass.” Y’know?

In other OTHER news, I’ve decided to take the month of November off from (gasp) Twitter AND (double gasp) Facebook. Much as I love them both, they are huge time suckers. I’ll still be blogging though, still be emailing and answering the phone and such. So it’s not like I’m going off to some desert island. I will still be HERE and I really hope that people still visit this blog even if I’m not tweeting about it. It will be an interesting experiment.  How many people DO come here through Twitter, and how many come on their own?

GrownUps’ Chicken Pot Pie


WOW have I had a culinary experience tonight. First, let me back up and say that a month or so ago, I was contacted by the authors of a new cookbook, Almost Meatless, to see if I’d like to cook, photo and blog about a recipe from the book for an “Almost Meatless Blogger Potluck.” This sounded like great fun to me, and I really liked the premise of the book (using meat as more of a condiment than a heavy main ingredient) They assigned me (after I’d chosen a few from their table of contents) to “Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie.” This sounded yummy. I LOVE chicken pot pie, and have forever. But it’s generally not been either WW- or-diabetes friendly (mostly due to the pie crust) so I’d been resigned to not eating much of it in my future. I jumped at the chance to get a healthier version.

Well. Let me say. This cooking experience was memorable!

FIRST let me say that for a working mom, this recipe is neither cheap, nor easy nor quick. It is NOT something to whip up on a week night when one does not have all manner of ingredients in one’s pantry.

I left work at 5:15 pm. Went to store. Ended up having to buy almost $70 of ingredients because I didn’t HAVE a lot of this stuff. Whole wheat pastry flour. Wheat bran. Bottle of white wine. Leeks. Parsnips.  Etc. Here are my groceries.


Got home at 6:15pm. Commenced cooking. Luckily, I had already bought several munchies which was a GOOD THING. The kids were not home. This was also a VERY GOOD THING. I had some friends coming over and they ended up being my very patient food-testing guinea pigs. Ditto, good thing.

I decided to follow the recipe as faithfully as possible, which I often don’t. But I wanted to be faithful to the original so I could give an honest assessment of both the process and the product.

It took me exactly TWO HOURS to make, start to finish. I had my mother chopping along as assistant. Without her, it could’ve been two and a half. Let me just say that was almost a deal breaker right there.

This could make a lovely, for-company, WEEKEND meal but no no no no no way could one sanely manage this on a school/work night. It was actually quite entertaining and laughable, and had there been offspring in the house, someone would have ordered pizza hours ago.

Anyway. I found the process not difficult, but VERY long. Very very long. It was an exercise in slow food. I kept thinking, this better be worth it.


At 8:15, the timer went off (so did the smoke alarm, because it had bubbled over the top into the oven floor, causing a lot of smoke). I took pictures. I thought it was strikingly beautiful. We ladled it into bowls. There were 5 grownups in attendance. The comments were:

  • Needs more salt.
  • Delicious.
  • I would order this in a fancy gourmet comfort-food restaurant.
  • Complex.
  • It was okay, but it took so long.
  • The top was like a bran muffin.
  • The flavors and texture remind me of Thanksgiving and stuffing!
  • I couldn’t tell that the parsnips were not potatoes. This is probably a healthy substitution.
  • The broth is fantastic.
  • I would totally eat this. I AM eating this! Yum!

SO. I think the reviews (including my own) were generally VERY enthusiastic, but overall, this was all overshadowed by the insane amount of time and work that went into producing this dish.

When I make Chicken Pot Pie for my family, it’s five minutes of prep and five ingredients: a rotisserie chicken, Pillsbury pie crust, a bag of frozen vegies and two cans of Healthy Choice cream of chicken soup. Voila. My family loves it. (I actually got this recipe from the WW site, I think) I KNOW my kids would not be wild about the Grownup Version. But I would definitely make it for company. I would definitely make a leisurely afternoon of preparing it.

But this cookbook was not advertised to be quick, easy OR cheap. Just healthier, and delicious, which it delivered on in both areas.

Have a few hours to kill and a desire for some yummy healthy food? Recipe below the break!! Continue reading “GrownUps’ Chicken Pot Pie”

Raw Dino Kale Salad… MMMMMMMM.

Here’s my first recipe!!  Some folks on Twitter were discussing kale today, and it reminded me of my friend Ericka Lutz’s awesomely delicous kale salad that she made for us one night. I used to be kind of kale-o-phobic, but this turned me into a true, true believer!

NOTE: It has to be the kind of kale that looks like this.images

Ericka Lutz’s Raw Dino Kale Salad

This is adapted from a recipe I found in the New York Times. We sometimes get a CSA box — this is AMAZING with the Dino Kale (otherwise known as Black Kale, or Lacinto Kale or Tuscan Kale).  Don’t try it with other kinds of kale, it will rip your guts out.  THIS recipe will make you groan — in the GOOD way.


1 head organic Dino Kale
Juice of 1 Lemon (pref. Meyer)
½ clove garlic — crushed and chopped
3 TBS Olive Oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup really good parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
1 slice really good toast made into bread crumbs

Wash kale and cut off bottom two inches of stem, then slice crossways very fine to make little shreds.

Combine finely grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper in a bowl — pour over kale and let sit for 5 minutes.

Toast and grind bread.

Garnish salad with extra cheese and breadcrumbs.

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