Monday, February 16, 2015

"Modified" Snow Day Comfort Foods

Hey Fit Fam ..

Here in Nashville we were hoping for the biggest snow we've had in over a decade, but we ended up getting a little bit of snow and lots of ice/sleet/freezing rain. Either way ... we are "iced in" and enjoying an extended weekend!

When it is cold, or you are snowed in, people tend to reach for "comfort" type foods. I've seen every bad food you can imagine on my social media feed. Does it make me want to eat it ... YES!! Am I going to ... NO!! I had my cheat meal on Saturday for Valentine's Day, so it's too soon to have another one :-( But I can have a "clean cheat" since I'm not on any kind of official prep anytime soon, so that is what I'm going to post for you guys today!

By the way, my "clean cheats" could very easily be everyday clean meals for others! It's just that for me, anything off the "meal plan" I have given myself IS a (clean) cheat! That said, most of these recipes will totally fit into daily macros for someone not as strict as I am! I just always prefer to have my protein from one source, carb from one source, etc. It's easier to measure this way. So for example if you have a typical "Chili" (even made healthy), that one meal could be 3 different carbs sources in one meal (beans, cornbread, tomato sauce -- all carb sources.)

We can always "find" and excuse to eat bad and cold days at home certainly make us want comfort foods! Sometimes its fun to indulge on these days, other times it may be "tradition" to make something on a "snow day" and THAT IS FINE!! We must live a little, right?! Just another reason you should really try to be CONSISTENT year round! If you never fall off (except for your weekly splurge), you can enjoy a little "extra" when the occasion arises  -- such as bad weather! But it is important that you just have it one time and MOVE ON! Since it looks like we may be iced in for a few days, it could be VERY tempting to "fall off" the entire time you are stuck at home. So here are some great options for "clean cheats" so you can have your comfort foods in a modified way!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty.

Snow Day Chili 
(This would make 4 servings for me and this particular "chili" would actually even be 100% contest prep friendly.)

1 lb Extra Lean Ground Beef or Turkey
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1/2-1 tsp Cayenne (optional .. I like spicy)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (I prefer Garlic Lovers by Flavor God)
1/2 cup Prepared Salsa
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan combine the meat and all spices. When meat is cooked .. add salsa. Simmer for 5 min.

Garnish with -- red onion, cilantro, low fat shredded cheese, etc :) Certainly not you typical soupy chili -- but still delicious!

This Chili recipe is basically NO carb and you know that I am a stickler for having carbs at most your meals. So I would likely add a serving of beans into each bowl (portioned out and added after I'v measured out my chili, otherwise I wouldn't be able to properly measure how many beans I am getting "per bowl) ... or a side of sweet potato rounds ... or in off season  I'm hoping to try some Protein Powder Cornbread!! Here is the recipe for it! I've not tried it yet and would personally omit the honey. This would also mean that I'm adding about 10 grams of protein to my meal. So I would eat less chili to keep my macros where they need to be. Or I could possibly OMIT the protein powder in the recipe below .. just not sure how it would turn out! The cornbread per slice has about 10 grams Protein, 20 carbs and 140 Calories (depending on brand of protein you use, if you omit honey, etc)

In one bowl mix the following -- wet ingredients 1st
1/2 cup milk of choice (skim if you aren't as worried about macros .. unsweetened almond if you are)
1 Large Egg (I am wondering if 2 egg whites would work)
1 tbs honey
10 drops Liquid Stevia (or a couple packs)
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 cup plain ff greek yogurt (i would try to find light since greek yogurt is still high in carbs/sugar usually)
1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (made into flour)
Pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (Phormula 1 or Level 1 by 1st Phorm)
3/4 Cup Cornmeal

Mix Well
Coat baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
Pour mix into pan
Bake at 425 till done (15-20min)

Snow Day Pizza
I actually have SEVERAL pizza recipes on the blog. HERE is one for Meat Crust Pizza. HERE Is one for a Brown Rice Tortilla version. You can also use Corn Tortillas if you don't have any brown rice tortillas .. they just want be as "clean" in my opinion. Those that can have Gluten have MANY more "clean" options for the pizza base. There are tons of whole wheat, whole grain, low carb, etc., pitas or tortillas out there! My husband always uses a couple of low carb italian flat breads! I am envious .. however my brown rice frozen Whole Foods ones will have to do!

If you head to Pinterest you will find tons of healthy pizza recipes... such as Cauliflower Pizza. However, I have found the amounts of cheese and egg many add in make them anything but "healthy." So just be smart and MODIFY even more than what they have listed!

In the brown rice tortilla recipe that I linked ... you will see that I did a "classic" pizza. Since then I have discovered Flavor God Seasonings. He came out with a seasonal one that is PIZZA flavored and it is UNREAL!! He won't have that available for purchase again for a while, but the garlic lovers would work great as well! These are BY FAR my favorite seasonings!

Recently I tried this pizza variation and it was so good! Just think of any healthy toppings you like on pizza and make it your own! Just make sure and measure everything out!

*low sugar/low carb BBQ sauce (not all bbq is equal. most is filled with cals/carbs/sugar)
*low fat mozzarella cheese
*Cooked shredded Baked Ckn (or just cut up baked ckn)
*Red Onion
*Flavor God Pizza Seasoning

All I do is take a little olive oil spray and get my base a little crispy on the stove. Then I just put all ingredients on the "pizza" and put it in the oven until toppings are melted! Oven temps vary .. 375 should do the trick!

Another "Snack" type pizza I have made in the past is a little less "clean", but is easy and requires NO cooking (if your power goes out.) 

Rice Cake Pizzas
Plain Rice Cakes (I prefer low sodium)
Pizza Sauce (low carb/sugar)
Turkey Pepperoni (or whatever you desire)
Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese

Just put the toppings on the rice cakes and enjoy! These are SOOOOOO good!!!!!

Snow Day Sandwich  & Chips 
Ezekiel Bread is the bread of choice for the #FitFam. So if you are going to have bread always go with that one! Celiac keeps me from being able to have it. I've found a couple gluten free breads that are "okay" but nothing I would have on a daily basis as part of a "meal plan" -- which makes this a "clean cheat" for me for sure. I just look for ones that are primarily brown rice if possible.

You can use shredded chicken as your sandwich meat, but if you want to use deli meat ONLY USE natural ones that are free of nitrates, etc. I use AppleGate Herbed Turkey.

1/2 serving of low fat THIN Swiss Cheese (you don't need a full slice. modify, modify, modify)

Spinach (made in the pan with some olive oil spray)

Spicy Brown Mustard

I just make it like a grilled cheese using olive oil spray and a TINY bit of smart balance butter or olive oil on the bread.

I have mine with a side of Quest Chips (because the serving of sandwich meat doesn't have enough protein for me and I've already had my carbs from the bread.) If you can have more carbs, or if maybe you can make your sandwich with only one piece of bread, you can make chips at home! You can find plenty of recipes HERE. In that blog entry I state that I haven't tried the "Microwaved" version. Since then I bought the Microwave Chip trays. THIS IS A MUST! It is SO easy, requires NOTHING but a potato (sweet or red is all I use) and whatever seasoning you want. No oil .. nothing! I have them every single day!! I believe the trays come with instructions, but you just slice the potato, put in a single layer on the tray (I got mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond) add seasonings and microwave! Time varies .. for 2 trays stacked on top of each other it's around 6min in my microwave. But CHECK THEM after at least 5min. Even 10 seconds too long and they WILL burn!

Snow Day Soups
While I LOVE a bowl of Chili or Veggie Beef Stew and would give ANYTHING to have some of my late Granny's "Brown Beans" ... I am not a big soup person. I don't find soup very filling and even most "healthy" soup recipes are FILLED with creamy bases or have numerous carb sources in them. They just aren't balanced at all. Soup is a "comfort food" many crave when it's cold outside, so I found some recipes for you! HERE is a webpage that has a few great soups that are LIGHTER than normal and HERE is another.  However, I would suggest really studying the recipes and seeing how you can modify them even more since some of them really aren't "healthy" at all. For example, one of the Chicken Noodle Soup recipes calls for Chicken Thighs and Egg Noodles.  No way I'd do that. Just shred some baked chicken and maybe use some brown rice noodles or quinoa pasta! A couple others have dumplings in them and use an all purpose flour. I would see if it's possible to substitute a healthier flour (like coconut, almond, etc.) Some call for Tortilla Chips. Trader Joes has a great baked blue corn tortilla with really great macros! You just have to use your brain a little and think outside the box :)

Hot Chocolate
This is an easy one! Just mix in ONE SCOOP of 1st Phorm Level-1 or Phormula11 Chocolate Protein and a little stevia if you want it sweeter .. stir and YUMMMM!!!

If you don't want to do Protein Powder .. you can also use Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Stevia and Unsweetened Cocoa Powder!

Apple Cider 
I just posted an AMAZING recipe for this the other day. It's actually TEA and is my favorite! You can find it HERE.

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