Friday, March 9, 2012

Greek Yogurt Protein Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups of fat-free Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla protein powder (brand of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of chopped almonds

1. Combine all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk together until there are no longer any clumps.

2. Heat a large non-stick griddle pan or skillet to medium heat. Scoop out 1/4 cup of pancake mix onto the pre-heated griddle pan (you can cook 2-3 at a time depending on the size of your pan). Flip the pancake once the top starts to bubble and puff up (about 1 1/2 min-2 min per side).

3. Top your pancakes with your favorite toppings. My toppings included: sliced bananas, a drizzle of sugar free maple syrup, and a sprinkle of homemade granola! Enjoy!!

Note: This recipe was modified from Chobani's greek yogurt pancake recipe.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How Many Calories Do You Need In A Day?

Have you always been wondering how many calories your body needs in a day? Most of us want to know this number in order to lose weight or gain weight. This number is somewhat important, but it really depends on the day. If you are growing, pregnant, breastfeeding, sick, training for a particular sport, or just doing more physical activity in general your body needs more calories on a day-to-day basis. Below are the answers to some common questions asked about calories:

What are calories? Why do we need them?
Calories are what your body uses to produce energy. The body will not function the way it should on a day-to-day basis if you do not give it the proper amount of calories it needs.
How many calories should I eat per day?
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) is an equation used to tell you the amount of calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. This equation is for healthy adults and it factors in sex, age, weight, height, and physical activity. This equation is on the USDA ChooseMyPlate website so you can insert your own information (age, sex, weight, height, and physical activity level) and it will tell you approximately how many calories your body needs per day. Click on the link below to find out how many calories your body needs:
How many calories should I eat to lose weight?
Basic rule of thumb is to subtract 500 calories from the number you received from the ChooseMyPlate website. This allows for a 0.5-1 lb loss per week. If you are planning to subtract greater than 500 calories from your diet ask your doctor before doing so as this can be dangerous.
How do I know how many calories are in my food/drink?
You can look up how many calories your food or drink has on the following websites:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash in Marinara with Turkey Meatballs
This was my first time to make spaghetti squash and it was sooooo...good!! Spaghetti squash has a little bit more of a bite to it than spaghetti noodles, and it is a bit more difficult to make, but it has alot less calories and carbohydrates than spaghetti noodles. The one difficult part about this recipe was cutting the squash in half. I got the knife stuck in the squash a few times and I was afraid if I tugged too hard the knife would come flying out at my face! Afterwards, I read that you can put it in the microwave to soften it a bit before slicing, which I think I will definitely try doing next time. Nevertheless, this recipe was delicious and I will for sure be making it again! Enjoy!

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. of lean ground turkey meat (93/7)
  • 2 Tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup of fresh italian parsely, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 jar of Prego Heart Healthy marinara sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (Note: you will need a sharp knife to do this - please be careful. If it is too hard to slice you can place it in the microwave for 5 minutes to soften it). Place on greased baking sheet cut sides down. Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Let squash cool for about 20 minutes.

2. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. While the squash is cooling, place ground turkey meat, worchestershire sauce, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, dried oregano, italian parsely, garlic powder, and ground black pepper in a large bowl. Mix ingredients together with a large spoon or your hands until well incorporated. Once you are finished mixing, form meatballs by scooping meat out with an ice cream scoop and placing on a large greased baking sheet (you may need to use your hands a little bit to round the balls). Bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes, flipping in between to brown both sides.

3. Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add the spaghetti squash and marinara sauce. Bring to a slight boil and then turn down to simmer (low).

4. Place spaghetti squash and marinara sauce in a bowl and top with 3-4 turkey meatballs. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese. Enjoy!!

P.S. This is what a spaghetti squash looks like if you didn't know:

Spaghetti Squash

Thursday, March 1, 2012

DIY: Homemade Laundry Detergent

We had been hearing about this "Homemade" laundry detergent for months from friends and family members and so we finally decided to give it a try! I first saw this on Pinterest, where a woman said that her homemade laundry detergent lasted her 9 months and only cost her about $20! I said to myself, "If that detergent really works, that would save us alot of money!!" Anyway so we preceded to go and buy the ingredients, little did we know, we could not get all of the ingredients at Target or WalMart. We ended up buying the Baking Soda, Borax, and Oxy Clean at Target and the Super Washing Soda and Fels-Napatha soap at Ace Hardware Store. After we got all of the ingredients this is what we did:
  1. Add the baking soda, borax, oxy clean, and super washing soda to a large trash bag.
  2. Unwrap the fels-napatha soap and cut it up into small rectangles.
  3. Place the cut up soap into the food processor and process until it is broken up into very small pieces. Note: If you do not have a food processor, you can hand grate this with a cheese grater.
  4. Add the soap to the large trash bag with the other ingredients.
  5. Mix all of the ingredients together with a wooden paddle.
  6. Store laundry detergent in a sealed container or jar.
  1. 1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) - Target
  2. 1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) - Target
  3. 1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) - Ace Hardware Store
  4. 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap - Ace Hardware Store
  5. 2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) - Target
Some Tid Bits:

**Use 1-2 Tablespoons of laundry detergent for each load (i.e. use 1 tbsp. if you are doing a small load and 2 tbsp. if you are doing a large load)

**This detergent does not make the water bubbly but it is still doing the job!

**This makes your house smell soooooo...good whenever you make it!