BYTES of Informationon Motherhood, Food, Fitness & Real Life

White Christmas Sangria

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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas… sangria… one that contains few calories …. Lalala….

White Christmas Sangria

Are you drinking of relaxing over this holiday with a delicious cocktail that won’t pack in the calories and sugar? Me too! That’s why I decided to combine my two favorite adult beverages (wine & rum) into a healthy slimmed down sangria that pairs perfectly with this week’s festivities. On top of it being Christmas Eve, it’s also Joey’s 2nd birthday, so I figured I deserved some celebration time myself- you know to mark my 2 year anniversary of never sleeping thanks to one very fun, but very hyper toddler 😉 So yes, I need a drink!

 

You do have to prep a little to make this drink (it doesn’t take long, I swear) because you want to allow time for the fruit to defuse into the alcohol for a sweet taste. You can still make the drink with the fruit without allowing it time to defuse, but it won’t taste quite as sweet. So if you can, make this overnight tonight and it will be ready for you to enjoy all day tomorrow – of course if you start enjoying it too early it may lead to a very early bedtime for you. Hey, maybe that’s the solution to Joey’s sleep problems- just kidding!

 

I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, a happy holiday, and of course a happy & healthy New Year! Enjoy!

 

Slimmed Down White Christmas Sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio (750 mL bottle)
  • 1/2 cup fruit infused white rum (I used Bacardi Razz)
  • 1 cup 100% white grape juice
  • 2 cups seltzer water
  • 1 cup sliced red apple
  • 1 cup sliced green apple
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

 

Directions

In a large bowl, place sliced fruit, rum, and wine and chill for 2 hours. In a large pitcher, mix together the fruit & alcohol mixture along with the grape juice and seltzer. Add 1 cup of ice to chill. Serve by scooping some fruit into a wine glass and pouring liquid mixture on top. Makes 12 servings.

 

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

95 calories, 8gm carbs

 

*Remember if you have #diabetes, alcohol can increase the chances of hypoglycemia- drink responsibly, test blood sugar often, and never drink on an empty stomach

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Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

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Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

What’s red and green and easier to make than a roll of pre-made sugar cookie dough? My festive Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan of course! This is one of my favorite recipes since it not only tastes great, but it takes less than 5 minutes to prep and make. You can toss it together and run out to finish your last minute shopping while it cooks. And if you make enough, you can have easy leftovers for tomorrow too!

This time of year between trying to juggle end of the year work projects and deadlines, last minute shopping, wrapping (which I loathe!), and Joey’s birthday (I can’t believe he’s turning 2 already!!), it’s just too crazy to even think about what to make for dinner. I really didn’t want to resort to take out since I’d like to eat as healthy as possible before all of the large holiday meals. And that’s where this recipe came in. I love me some chicken parm (who doesn’t?), but it can be very time consuming. When trying to multitask while watching a toddler who loves to climb and jump off furniture, I need to make my recipes as simple as possible. So I thought, why not throw all of the chicken parm ingredients in the slow cooker and see what happens. Luckily, the result was delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Coat the bottom of a slow cooker with olive oil and place the chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle on breadcrumbs and garlic. Pour the tomato sauce on top and then add the Parmesan cheese. Cook on high for 4 hours. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, top with fresh mozzarella and allow to melt. Serve warm with a side of steamed veggies (I chose steamed broccoli for a red/green festive combo) and enjoy!

 

I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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Chocolate Drizzled Holiday Cookies

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Chocolate Drizzled Holiday CookiesTis the season for cookies, right? I am surrounded my holiday cookies everywhere I turn. In fact, my husband came home with chocolate chip cookies the size of my head last night from his office (which of course I started eating). So with all of these cookies around, it’s easy to start eating way too much sugar and of course, too many calories (hello holiday weight gain right?). Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with having a few holiday sweets here and there. It’s the excess that becomes a problem. And eating an excessive amount of cookies sure seems easy right now. So, I decided to set out to create a few healthier holiday cookies that I could indulge in guilt-free knowing that they were actually health(ier) for me.

 

Before I share my latest cookie recipe with you, I have a confession to make. I really set out to attempt to come up with a healthier sugar cookie. That failed pretty miserably. This recipe does not come out like a cookie dough that can be rolled out and formed into shapes, but it does have a sugar-cookie-like-taste. My very sweet dietitian friend Katie (from Mom to Mom Nutrition) is trying to convince me that there is such a thing as a puffed sugar cookie, but I don’t think these really fit the bill 😉 But just because these didn’t come out like I intended, doesn’t mean they don’t taste really good. Hey- a cookie is a cookie, right? And these are some tasty cookies- even if they are not sugar cookies. So I have decided to call the ‘holiday cookies’- still festive, still tasty. And be on the lookout for a healthy sugar cookie recipe when I eventually figure it out!

 

 

Chocolate Drizzled Holiday Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup oat flour
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¾ tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk egg and add in coconut oil. Mix together and add mashed banana, vanilla, and sugar. Blend well. Slowly add liquid mixture into the dry mix, stirring consistently to create batter. Drop batter, one tablespoon at a time, onto parchment paper to create cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are slightly brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

 

While cookies cool, place chocolate chips in a small plastic bag. Heat in microwave, 30 seconds at a time, until the chips melt. Squeeze the liquid chocolate into one corner of the plastic bag. Create a small puncture with a pin or scissor and drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow chocolate to harden. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes 24 servings.

 

 

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 48 Carbs 8gm Fiber 1 gm Protein 1gm Fat 2gm

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Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries for National Chocolate Covered Anything Day!

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Did you know what today is? It’s #NationalChocolateCoveredAnythingDay!  I didn’t even know this holiday existed, but it’s already one of my favorites! Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to cover anything and everything in chocolate? I know I do! 

A dessert recipe from Belly Fat Diet For Dummies

A dessert recipe from Belly Fat Diet For Dummies

So, to celebrate today’s holiday, I wanted to share one of my favorite dessert recipes with you from my book ‘Belly Fat Diet For Dummies.” This recipe is super easy to make and a great way to get your family to eat more fruit. You can substitute any fruit you would like and the recipe still works great. Plus, as an added bonus, the dark chocolate provides an extra boost of heart healthy flavonoids. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup 70% dark chocolate chips

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and dry the strawberries,keeping the leaves and stems intact. Cover a plate with wax paper and arrange the strawberries on top.

2  In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips over low heat until they become liquid, about 3-5 minutes.

3  Carefully pour the liquid chocolate into a small, plastic pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag. If using a resealable bag, make a very small cut at the corner of the bag’s tip with scissors (or use a skewer to poke a small hole).

4  Gently squeeze the bag to lightly drizzle the dark chocolate over the strawberries.

5. Evenly distribute the chocolate over the strawberries, and then allow to cool and harden in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

 

NUTRITION FACTS (makes 7 servings)

Calories 115 Fat 5gm Carbs 20gm Fiber 4gm Protein 1gm

Note: Be sure to use dark chocolate, which is filled with health-boosting flavonoids that help to decrease inflammation and boost heart health.

 

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