Tested: Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo and Energy Bites

Double post! I was busy the last couple of days :)

First up, the Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo. Now, I am not a fan of alfredo sauce. You’d think I would be since I don’t really like red sauce, but I think it has a weird taste. But when I saw this recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo on Pinterest, I had to give it a shot. Cheese and red peppers with pasta? Yes, please.

I did modify the recipe a little bit… it calls for half and half and goat cheese. I never buy half and half because I never use it. However, due to my super-Googling skills, I discovered that you can substitute evaporated milk for half and half. Done. I also used Boursin (garlic and herb) cheese instead of goat cheese. Reason one for that: they didn’t have garlic and herb goat cheese at my store. Reason two: hubby doesn’t really like goat cheese. Since I was messing with sauce and pasta (you never mess with an Italian’s pasta), I thought I’d use something he would still potentially like and not be mad!

This stuff was freaking delicious. Kinda messy to make between the roasting, sauteeing, boiling and mixing – but so good. I also had to substitute my blender for a food processor. I’m not fancy enough to have a food processor, but hey, the blender worked just fine. I’m also not anywhere NEAR fancy enough to have an immersion blender like Lauren’s Latest used!!

The recipe says to use one half pound of pasta for the sauce – I made a full box and there was more then enough sauce for all of it.

Image from Lauren’s Latest

Once again, I forgot to take a picture while cooking and while it was on my plate. So you get the leftover tupperware version.

My version – our leftovers

On to the Energy Bites…

These are super fast to make and really good. I usually make a batch and store it in the freezer to eat whenever I need a little something sweet. The great thing about these is that you can pretty much use whatever ingredients you have on had and they will taste amazing. There’s a lot of different recipes out there for these, but I really think the one from Food Doodles is the best!

For mine, I used peanut butter, honey, shredded coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts. I use a melon ball scooper to make them – they all come out at a good snack size. Make sure to leave the mix in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling them… they get mushy fast when they’re out too long!

Image from Food Doodles

Another tupperware version. But this is how I store them in the freezer!!

My version all ready for the freezer

Get to cooking people.

Defeat

Today brought on a massive feeling of utter defeat.

Back in January, I completely went off my migraine medicine. In March, I went off my birth control. I stopped taking as many pain relievers as I could. I gave up my allergy pills. I started taking prenatal vitamins. All of this in hopes that I would prepare my body for pregnancy and get rid of any of the crap I had been taking in pill form for multiple years.

Then I had a miscarriage. But I still marched on and figured I would continue with the prenatals and still stay away from everything else.

Then I talked to my doctor today. I posted before that I was going to see my rheumatologist again due to some weird pains I had been having and the fact that she had been keeping an eye on my blood work for possible symptoms of Lupus. And since women with Lupus can have a tendency to miscarry, I wanted to go talk to her now more then ever. Well, she said the blood results came back and there were a host of things that came back negative, but she did say that my thyroid was a bit high and that my ANA levels were still positive. Positive ANA levels are an indication of some sort of auto-immune disease.

She can’t really say for sure right now what exactly is going on. But I felt my heart hit the floor when she told me that I definitely have something and she wants to put me on medicine to try and regulate it. Although she assures me that the medicine is safe to take while I’m pregnant (if that happens anytime in the future), it scares me. The whole point of me not taking any medication was so that my body would be ready for a baby. And now she wants to feed more medicine into me. But who knows? I could take this medicine, regulate my antibodies and go on to be happy, healthy and carry a baby. However, being the pessimist that I am at this point in time, I can only help but think that I’m doomed to a life of medication and no children.

I don’t want to be on medicine forever. I don’t want to be dependent on some drug. I want to go back to five years ago and never have to go to the doctor for any of this in the first place.

Tested: Peanut Butter Granola

Peanut butter. Possibly my favorite condiment. Too bad it doesn’t go with hamburgers or pizza.

So when I saw this on Pinterest, clicked on the link and it proclaimed that it was a healthy peanut butter recipe, I had to give it a shot. Thanks Shape: 10 Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes.

It also seemed pretty easy… mix up some peanut butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and oats. Bake. Eat. I can do that.

Image from Shape

It smelled great while it was in the oven. When I took it out though, it wasn’t a clumped together real pretty like – as their picture shows. It was all pretty much separated into a one-piece-of-an-oat-at-a-time type of deal. But it still tasted good. Although I was hoping it would be crunchier. And more peanut-buttery. I’ll make this again, but I’ll doctor it up a bit.

My version. Not as pretty.

I was going to put it in a container and make it spill out all over some fancy tablecloth like their picture, but who cares? It’s in a bowl and I was eating it.

Sloppy Joes

Does anyone else hear the Adam Sandler song Lunch Lady when they think about having sloppy joes?

I found this recipe on SparkRecipes and they’re called Diet Coke Sloppy Joes. My mom used to make sloppy joes all the time and I remember always thinking they tasted too “tomatoey” – so when I saw this recipe and it only had a little bit of ketchup and then other stuff, I figured it was worth a shot.

I have the SparkRecipes app on my phone so that when I’m bored I can browse through recipes that are supposed to be healthy. Always be prepared for dinner is my motto. This recipe said that one serving was only 162.5 calories and 4.5g of fat. Of course, it didn’t give me a serving size, so I had to estimate. And of course, I always estimate on the larger side…

Everything turned out super tasty. The recipe says you can add onion and peppers if you want – to jazz it up – so of course I did that. I put onions and peppers in everything it seems. I also used apple cider vinegar instead of white. And only half the amount called for. White vinegar does not appeal to me and I don’t think I can put it in my food. Oh, and I added a bunch of montreal steak seasoning as well.

The directions say to simmer on low for about 30 minutes for the sauce to thicken. Yeah, that didn’t happen. You have to give it way more time than a half an hour. I know they’re supposed to be messy, but I don’t want to eat soup on a sandwich. So I think I had it simmering (on a temp more then low) for at least an hour or an hour and 20 minutes. The sauce thickened enough to where it was still considered sloppy, but not soup.

Then I served it all up on a whole wheat sandwich thin… hubby had to eat some the next night because he wasn’t home. But reheated, it was just as good. Verdict? Make again.

The results of Diet Coke Sloppy Joes

Silver and Gold

Love that U2 song.

Anyways. I have spent the last 4 days watching nothing but Olympic coverage. I record everything, so even if I’m watching it, it’s recording. Just in case I miss something and have to go back to see it all over again. Saturday morning started it all – I watched the opening ceremonies (recorded!) from the night before. I seriously think I was on my couch for 8 straight hours.

I have to admit though, I stayed up last night to watch the women’s gymnastics final and… wow. I seriously was in tears by the end of it. Seeing those girls get so happy and excited because USA JUST WON GOLD IN WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS!!! Jordyn Weiber got a bit of redemption for being knocked out of the all-around – she did freaking fantastic on her floor exercise. I was just so happy for them.

My mind is numb, all I see are people swimming, people flipping in the air, people rowing by… I think I need an Olympic break. Hubby is actually enjoying it though, because he doesn’t care in the least about any of this stuff, so he spends all his time playing Xbox now.

I don’t think I’ll be getting my break from Olympics today though – I have my doctor’s appointment this afternoon with my rheumatologist. After getting poked, prodded, stuck with a needle and peeing in a cup, I’m going to be ready to head home and do nothing all afternoon. Looking forward to it actually.

I do have to get dinner started – tonight’s agenda: fish and veggies. It’s Broiled Parmesan Tilapia. Which is really very good. And only 177 calories per piece. Which is necessary seeing as how I have gained 2 pounds since yesterday. TWO POUNDS!! In a day! How is that even possible? Yes, I know I went slightly over my calorie allowance yesterday, but good lord. I didn’t eat that much food!! I was so disappointed when I got on the scale. Here’s the breakdown of what I’ve been losing:

July 23: started back up on the diet (weighed for “starting” weight which was a couple pounds higher then when I started this way back when)

July 24: lost 0.2 pounds (no total since I was above my first starting weight, sigh)

July 25: lost 0.6 pounds (no total since I was above my first starting weight, sigh)

July 26: lost 0.6 pounds (down 0.2 from initial starting weight)

July 27: lost 0.6 pounds (down 0.8 from initial starting weight)

July 28: lost 0.8 pounds (down 1.6 from initial starting weight)

July 29: lost 0.4 pounds (down 2 from initial starting weight)

July 30: lost 0.8 pounds (down 2.8 pounds from initial starting weight)

July 31: stayed the same

August 1: GAINED TWO POUNDS – again, how is this possible?????!!!!!

Tested: Meatloaf Muffins

These were too cute not to try. Found a pin on Pinterest, but the recipe here: Food Network.

They were easy to make (a tad time consuming with all the chopping needed) and they cook fast. I’ve never made regular meatloaf before, but I’ve heard it takes longer. 20 minutes and these babies were done! And they really were super good. I made a dozen and between the two of us, we ate them all. Guess I shouldn’t brag about that. Oh well.

Picture from myrecipes.com

I don’t have a picture of mine, because we ate them all. And then I remembered I needed a picture. Oops. Mine also didn’t look like this when they came out of the pan… they fell apart a little. So we had a pile of hamburger meat, onion, peppers and sauce. But they were still good so I don’t even care. It just made it easier to mix with the mashed potatoes we had on the side.

Tested: Mango Salsa

I cheated on this one. I didn’t see a mango anywhere in our store, so I grabbed some peaches. By the time I found a mango, I already had the peaches in the basket and was prepared to use them.

So I only had peaches, onion and cilantro instead of all the ingredients this mango salsa called for. BUT! It was yummy. We both liked it so much that we used it again a couple nights later. First night = peach salsa on fish (halibut) tacos. Second night = peach salsa on top of turkey taco salad.

I found the recipe here: Simply Gourmet.

Picture from Simply Gourmet

I don’t have a picture of mine, but it’s salsa. They all pretty much look the same!

I made sure to chop/dice everything about the same size and threw it in the fridge for a while before eating it to let the flavors combine.