January 23, 2018

my kitchen adventures this january

This Monday's post is coming to you on a Tuesday, because . . . well, life. I don't really have an excuse better than that.

As previously mentioned, one of my top three goals this year is to reach a healthier weight. My plan to fulfill that goal (thus far) has been to be more active and to eat better foods in more reasonable portions. (Basically, I'm counting calories, but I'm finding the best ways to use those calories so I can feel full and well.) In an attempt to do that, I'm trying lots of new recipes. Some are ones I found on Pinterest and pinned to a board months (or years) ago. Others are clipped from magazines or found online.

I've been lucky so far not to have any big misses, and today I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes to date. I'll include links to the original recipes and mention any modifications I made for full disclosure.

Wildtree Quick White Pizza

Pizza is one of my greatest loves, but also one of my big trigger foods. This light and yummy pizza was a great alternative. It was as quick as the name suggests and super yummy.

I made this recipe as described. Next time, I'd like to try adding some mushrooms or fresh basil. I bet shrimp would be pretty delicious too.

Wildtree Bang Bang Cauliflower

This might be my most favorite dish from this month. Fact: I ate some of the leftovers last night after two rounds of blizzard shoveling, and it really hit the spot. If you're a fan of the delicious, but not-so-healthy fried and breaded dishes at Chinese restaurants (think sweet and sour shrimp) than I think you'll really like this lighter, but flavorful option. I just ate this and my mouth is watering again. Good thing I have the last of the leftovers to enjoy tonight. Yum.

I used wheat bread crumbs and whole grain rice, because that's what I have in my pantry.

Clean Eating Creamy Cashew Mushroom Stroganoff

I always love an excuse to break out my food processor. This really hit the spot during some of our coldest nights this winter. (And it has been cold in Nebraska.)

I used 4 cups of baby portabella mushrooms to make this dish, because they were what I could find in my local grocery store. (I didn't have the patience to run around, because, like I said, freezing outside.) I don't feel like I lost anything with this super beefy variety. I also skipped the tomato paste, because this was my only recipe at the time that called for it, and I didn't feel like wasting the rest. Again, I don't think this suffered.

I'm definitely adding this to my "cook it again, Laura" list.

Wildtree Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Sauce

By now you've noticed I have used a lot of Wildtree recipes this month. One of my good friends is a sales rep and over the holidays, I decided to stock up on some of the seasonings and other products to give them a try. As you can tell, I'm enjoying them a lot.

I made this dish true to recipe, only I didn't serve with a bun to cut a few calories. Instead, I had some Green Giant broccoli and cheese tots. These tots have become one of my favorite things. Bonus: These salmon burgers freeze and reheat well.

Garlic Cauliflower Mac

I don't have a link to this one, because I created it myself. And, oh boy, it is delicious. Coming in at right about 200 calories and 12 grams of protein, this definitely fit the bill of being a healthy alternative to one of my favorite comfort foods. Luckily, I'm tracking my calories, so I actually wrote down the recipe and can share it with you.

7.5 cups frozen cauliflower
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 cup almond milk
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon Wildtree garlic and herb blend (you could go a smidge lighter)
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Defrost cauliflower. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, stirring to create a roux. Add milk, broth, and all but 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese a bit at a time, stirring until you create a sauce. Add garlic and herb blend. Place cauliflower in a 13 x 9 baking dish and cover with sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs over top. Bake for 30 minutes, broiling for 2 minutes to brown the top layer.

So there you have it--my favorite dishes so far this year. Have you tried any new recipes lately? 

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