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Fast & Furious Guacamole

26 Jul

It’s movie night at our house and that means snacks.  I’ll admit I can be a true couch potato so I try to chose healthy snacks.  This “fast and furious” guacamole is simple, super tasty, and healthy!

Fast & Furious Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 1 60z. container plain non-fat Greek yogurt (I like FAGE)
  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe avocados (I’ve used both hass and Florida)
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mrs. dash table blend

Directions

  1. Drop ingredients into a large bowl
  2. Using a fork, mash/blend/mix to combine
  3. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash (or other salt seasoning) to taste

Tip: Celery and carrot sticks work as a great alternative to chips with this guacamole.

The Secret To My (Summer) Success: Iced Skinny Starbucks drinks on the cheap

20 Jul

I’m a bit of a Starbucks junkie.  Not such a great thing for the wallet (or the belly).  I decided long ago that if my Starbucks addiction was to continue, then I would need to figure out how to build my own lower-fat drinks that didn’t cost $5 a pop.  Since it’s summer and my drink list is forever evolving, I’ll share some of my current iced drink favorites.

Iced Coffee, Nonfat milk, shot of Toffee Nut syrup, and a Splenda

I wont take all the credit for this coffee drink. My sister is in her second year of college and sometimes her college budget inspires creativity. This drink has become one of my favorites. I would consider the Toffee Nut syrup a small splurge (being that it isn’t sugar free) but it really makes this drink something special.  If you are looking to be extra “good,” switch out toffee nut for sugar free vanilla or caramel.  Also, sometimes the coffee comes out too dark for my taste.  If this is the case, head over to the do-it-yourself bar and add in some more skim milk, 2%, or creamer.  This is truly a poor man’s latte!

Nonfat Iced Tazo Chai Latte

I love the Iced Chai for its spicy, yet refreshing flavor.  How do they concoct this magic?  The last time I ordered this drink, I became extra nosy so I could find out how they make it.  Apparently the Chai flavoring comes from a concentrated syrup.  Being the stickler I am for knowing exactly what I’m putting in my mouth, I headed over to the Starbucks website to verify I wasn’t inhaling a million calories.  I wasn’t (thank goodness).  In fact, a tall Iced Chai Latte contains 150 calories and 0 grams of fat.  Not too bad!

What are some of your favorite caffeinated summer iced drinks (Starbucks or otherwise)?

Tip: I was in a Starbucks today and sampled the new Starbucks Iced Via Ready Brew. I was REALLY  surprised how great it was!  If you don’t have time (or extra cash) to stop into Starbucks daily but still need your fix, I think this might be your answer.  Simply pour the packets into cold water, shake, fix to your liking and enjoy! Be your own Barista 🙂

Yelp! I’m going to NYC and don’t have a food plan…

19 Jul

My husband and I are making a trip up to NYC very soon to visit his 95 year old grandmother (I will be asking what’s her #1 health secret).  One of our many topics of conversations around our NYC trip is where to eat.  We will only be visiting a couple of days and since there are only 3 meals (well sorta) in a day, we need to chose where we will eat wisely.  With so many amazing places to chose from in NYC, I would hate to be starving on a street corner settling for street meat.  I’m a firm believer that if you have a food plan, you will most likely make better choices about your meals. There have been a number of times when traveling that I was willing to settle for anything because I didn’t have a plan and as a result, either spent too much money, ate something that tasted terrible, or ate something terrible for me!  On this trip, I’ve turned to yelp.com for, well, Help! I’ve listed a couple of places that have caught my attention.

In Vino – Just the photos of the Italian restaurant remind me of my last visit to Italy!  I love how cozy and rustic it looks and the menu looks simple and well priced.

witchcraft – ok ok. You might think, “If she read the yelp reviews she would know better!”  I have to admit my food crush on Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio is the only reason I would consider going here.  If I decide to skip this, are there any recommendations out there for other “famous chef” cheaper (perhaps lunch) eats?

Grom Gelatto – I know you can pick up gelato on any block in NYC, but this place looks TOPS!  They use all natural organic ingredients fresh from their own farm!

Caracas Arepas Bar – I grew up eating arepas as a child so when someone says arepas, I say YUM!  Apparently, this place can get crazy busy because word on the street is it’s crazy good.

Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar – Yelp reviews already warn that the line will be out the door for this wonderful cheap Mediterranean lunch spot.  Even though I’m not going to enjoy the wait, it’s usually a good sign.  I keep debating between this and Mamoun’s Falafel (both get great reviews).

Any other good recommendations? (Asian, Indian, & French food recommendations come highly appreciated!)

Blueberries… so fresh and so cheap cheap!

16 Jul

Blueberries are at the height of their season and are basically being given away in stores right now. I’ve recently seen them for as cheap as $1.50 a pint. Also, keep your eye out for local blueberries (since they are extra yummy). With so many blueberries and so little time, I think this calls for a couple of posts dedicated to this healthy fruit!

Since I’m on a frozen dessert kick, I started my blueberry adventure with these super simple blueberry freezer pops.

Blueberry Banana Freezer Pops

Ingredients

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • 3/4 cup skim organic milk
  • raw honey

Directions

  1. slice banana into 4 large chunks
  2. combine blueberries, banana, and milk in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth
  3. drizzle with honey and then pulse just to combine
  4. pour into freezer pop molds and freeze 4 hours
  5. enjoy!

More blueberry fun to come…

Green Tea Mango Frozen Yogurt Pops

14 Jul

Watch out Pinkberry! These Green Tea Mango Frozen Pops are delish, healthy and best of all SUPER EASY! They are perfect for hot Summer days when you crave a cold, skinny treat.

Green Tea Mango Frozen Yogurt Pops

Ingredients

  • 2 5.3 ounce containers of Greek Yogurt with Honey (try Stonyfield Organic Oikos)
  • 2/3 cup Frozen Mango chunks
  • 2 teaspoons Green Tea Powder

Directions

  1. Add Frozen Mango chunks to food processor and pulse until mango is in small bits, set aside
  2. Add containers of yogurt to bowl and mix to combine honey with yogurt until smooth
  3. Add green tea powder and stir to combine
  4. Fold in reserved mango chunks
  5. Pour into Popsicle molds (or paper cups with wooden sticks), tap on counter to eliminate bubbles and freeze at least 4 hours

Makes 4 pops

Tip: I purchased a small tin of powdered green tea for $6 from my local Japanese market. Also, I think these pops would be great with other fruit flavors such as strawberry, blueberry or pineapple.

Skinny101 Cocktail: Slimmed Down Vodka Mojito

12 Jul

Summers are awesome for kicking back, relaxing by the pool and drinking awesome refreshing (skinny) cocktails. Being half Cuban, I’ve become a HUGE fan of Mojitos.

Tip: If you chose to grow fresh herbs, mint is a great one. It’s really great to have on hand when your feeling like mixing up a quick drink (and it’s a nice money saver too).

Summer Slimmed Down Vodka Mojito

  • Fresh Mint ( 3 – 4 sprigs)
  • 2 packets of Splenda (or your fav sugar substitute)
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice (Fresh is best)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice (Fresh is best)
  • 1 shot of Vodka (or more if you prefer… wink wink)
  • Diet Sprite
  1. Muddle Splenda packets, Fresh Mint leaves, Lime and Lemon juice  into a tall glass
  2. Add shot of Vodka to glass
  3. Fill glass with Ice
  4. Fill to top with Diet Sprite and stir to combine
  5. ENJOY!

What are some of your favorite slimmed down cocktails?