Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Green Tea (Matcha) Protein Pancakes

I absolutely love the flavor of green tea ice cream and with the potential health benefits of green tea, why not add it to pancakes?  And with their bright green coloring, it would definitely be fun to make them for St. Patty’s Day.

Green Tea Protein Pancakes with Bittersweet Chocolate Morsels

1/3 cup ground oats
1 Tbsp. wheat germ
1-2 tsp. stevia
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 ½ tsp. Japanese Green Tea Matcha
1 scoop vanilla whey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg white
3-4 Tbsp. water
8 Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate morsels
Combine all dry ingredients with the exception of the chocolate morsels.  Add egg whites, vanilla extract and water.  When batter is smooth, stir in chocolate morsels.


Spray a non-stick pan with Pam and heat over medium flame.  Add 2-3 tablespoons per cake.  When batter begins to bubble, flip to cook opposite side.  Makes approximately 3 silver dollars.  Serve with Sugar free syrup.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fit Together

Ru and I are not a big Valentine's Day couple but our daughter felt that we could use a good "childless" night out. It's not everyday that our kids push us out the door. Needless to say we took advantage of the opportunity.

We decided to try a new activity in conjunction with a few old.  Ru signed us up for a couples yoga class being offered at Union Arts Center (in Sparkill) by Shira Turkl-Rubin.  She was an amazing instructor and demonstrated poses with her willing partner and husband, Chad. 

Ru and I have tried yoga a few times but not "together", which was quite different than other classes we've explored. 

Generally speaking yoga is about tuning in to one's self... Becoming aware of your own mind, body and spirit.  Couples yoga was about being and becoming more conscious of your partner's mind, body and soul and making it one with yours. 

This session began with eye contact, fingers intertwined and breathing together. Through a series of stretches, exercise and massage we focused on feeling out each other's physical strengths and weaknesses, trust and making each other feel good. 

In order to achieve this level of clarity we had to be fully aware of our own beings... our own strengths, weaknesses and physical desires. 

It was truly a wonderful and profound growing experience... highly recommended for couples wanting to grow together.  We followed up with a delicious spicy dinner and a relaxing evening at King Sauna reflecting on the experience, our love and lives together. 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chicken Chili Verde

Several weeks ago I made homemade tamales for an intimate dinner party.  (Definitely a "Dirty Girl" Dish... I'll have to share that one another time.)  In preparation I shopped around for all fresh ingredients, but came up empty on the tomatillos.  The market that I usually get them from was completely sold out!  At another local grocer I found canned tomatillos, which I thought was a little risky, but what was a girl to do?  Tamales had to be made.  I bought several cans but only ended up using one for the sauce.

Tonight I decided to put that other can to use.  Watch out!  This chili has so much flavor, you may never make red again.

Chicken Chili Verde

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. 98% fat free ground chicken breast
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 small white onion (chopped)
3 serrano chili peppers (thinly sliced)
2 jalapeno peppers (thinly sliced)
1/2 red pepper (diced)
28 oz. can of tomatillos (La Costena brand) previously processed n blender
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (chopped)

Warm olive oil in a stainless steel skillet over medium flame.  Add garlic and onions and saute for about two minutes.  Then add peppers and saute for another minute or two.  

Add ground chicken and break it up in pan using a wooden spoon.  When chicken is cooked, stir in tomatillos and bring to a boil.  Add corn and cilantro.  Cover and simmer.  

For Clean Girl version:  Serve in a bowl and eat with a spoon.
For Dirty Girl Version:  Serve with multi grain tortilla chips and Fage 0% Fat Greek Yogurt.  Both ways are super yummy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Balancing Act

In October 2013, my whole world changed.  The company I had been working for disclosed a future shift, which meant that I could hang around to see what happens or I could take my life into my own hands and decide which direction I wanted to move in.

I opted for the latter and by the end of November R2M Realty, Inc. was born.  I knew that starting a new business would take a lot of time and energy but I didn’t realize just how much.  With that said, whatever you put your energy to grows.  Since making the decision, I’ve put in unlimited amounts of time and energy to my new business.  Yes, my blog has suffered (for the moment) but a girl can only do what a girl can do. 

Besides getting the business up and running, I have two school age children who need my attention, my husband and our daughter (age 24), who is due to give birth to our first grandchild in June.  If that weren’t enough, I received contracts to author a cookbook, which I will be beginning next week.  When it rains it pours and I’ve grabbed a bucket!

Overwhelmed?  No!  Extremely excited!  Having a full plate has shown me that with determination and the right organizational skills, you can do more than you think.  And though I am not currently prepping for a competition, I have been able to get my workouts in regularly, maintaining a shape that I can live with and building muscle in the meantime.

You can have it all, if you truly want it.  Excuses are the things that stop us from being the most productive and fulfilled individuals that we can be.  I’m not its easy.  Some days I feel as though it’s a balancing act, but if you slow down, take a deep breathe and really feel where you can put the next plate, you can do it! 

So you’ve been thinking about a business idea; there is a class coming up that you’ve been dying to take… Life is too short not to go for it.  Plan your schedule out to see where and how you can make it work. 
Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed by lumping everything into one.  You just have to break it down… like your workouts… one rep at a time.

Here’s wishing you the best of luck at balancing your next venture! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bringing in 2014

After much discussion about potential parties and fireworks, Ru and I decided to bring in the New Year together quietly at home... that is if you can really call any space occupied by two boys (ages 7 and 10) quiet.

It was nice.  We ordered Thai from Thai Garden, our favorite neighborhood spot and sat around the dining table enjoying a nice meal together as a family. A few days before, one of my friends forwarded me an activity to share with the kids.  It was to be a part of a time capsule.  We used it to guide our dinner conversation.  We reviewed the challenges and successes we each had in 2013 and what we would like to accomplish in the year ahead.

It wasn't a resolution as much as it was a year in review and sharing what we look forward to achieving in 2014.  It's amazing how much I learned about each of my family members, including some surprises from my soulmate, who I thought I knew absolutely everything about.

After dinner we watched "Mr. Deeds" to pass the time until the ball dropped.  I used movie time to take a little cat nap curled up in front of the TV.  I think it's funny that I spent so much of my young adult life up until the wee hours of the morning and now I can't make it past 10pm without a "Z".  Must be age ;-)

10 seconds before midnight, we counted down to the New Year, toasted a crystal long stem filled with a little bubbly, (sparkling cider for the kids and our daughter, "Preggers") and kissed as the kids cheered and watched the last entertainers on New Year Rockin' Eve.  Then off to bed we all went.

Whatever you did to bring in the New Year, I hope that it was fabulous!  Wishing You and Yours a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2014!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Move Over Oreo Balls!

The holidays are here!  And when it comes to me and the holidays, there are two things that you can always count on...  One, I am going to be NAUGHTY.  Two, I will be playing with my food.

About 5 years ago, my dear friend Erin (who I have to see before this year is up) dazzled guests at a Christmas party by bringing these fabulous, yet extremely naughty Oreo balls.

I'm not going to beat up on Oreos as we all know the deal, but as with everything else, there is always a less fattening way to get the same thrill and when it comes to those decadent little Oreo balls, by golly! I think I found it!

I replaced the Oreos with Power Crunch gluten free Chocolate Brownie Wonder Crisp bars and I swear you can't tell the difference!  As a matter of fact, try them for yourself and write in and let me know what you thought!  Yes, a lot less sugar and carbs than the Oreo version, but still one you'd want to "share" verses eating the whole tray.

 Power Crunch Crisp Chocolate Balls

8 Power Crunch Crisp bars
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Before you begin, prepare a cookie sheet by covering with parchment or wax paper.
Then using a blender, blend the Crisp bars into a powder and mix with cream cheese.  I started mixing both in the blender but transferred the mixture to a bowl to mix with a wooden spoon.  Once mixture was completely mixed, I used a tablespoon to help form the balls, which I put on cookie sheet.  After balls are formed, place cookie sheet in freezer to cool for about one hour. 
Ground Gluten Free Crisp Bars 

Crisps mixed with reduced fat cream cheese

Crisp and cream cheese balls
After an hour remove the balls from the freezer.  Melt the white chocolate using a double boiler.  I used a pot and a metal bowl.  Fill with water about 1/4 the height of the pot and place over medium hit. Put bowl on top and spray with Pam or put a few tablespoons of milk.  (I used almond milk).  This is to keep the chocolate from getting past  heating point to quickly.  You know when its gone over when it goes from nice liquid to thick and stiff batter.
Prepping to melt chocolate

White chocolate chips

Melted chips

Once chocolate is melted, you can either add balls to the bowl (one at a time) or use a spoon to drizzle over the balls.  Melt dark chocolate in a second bowl and repeat.  Then return the balls to the freezer to let them harden.  

Balls with dark chocolate and white chocolate

No bake, these balls are ready to eat within a half hour!  Recipe makes 24 balls.
Balls are 82 calories each, approximately 4.6 carbs and only 2 sugars not including the drizzled chocolate.  Too tired to figure that one out at the moment but you get the idea.  It's bad but not as bad as it could be.  Oh!  Almost forgot... 5 grams of protein per ball!


I call this one my chocolate Picasso!
Power Crunch Gluten Free Crisp

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Power Crunch Rum Balls

Rum balls are by far one of my favorite Christmas treats!  But this year I wanted to try to add a bit of protein to the mix.  Calorie for calorie, there's not much difference between my traditional rum balls and the Power Crunch Ball but my traditional version is loaded with unnecessary sugar and gives you absolutely nadda in terms of protein!

These are easy to make and only approximately 2 grams of sugar per ball.  This is still a treat (not for everyday), but a lot better for your insulin levels than your usual Christmas goodies!  Yes, they have a healthy amount of fat, but all from palm oil and walnuts, which are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids!  Take them to your next holiday party!  I wonder if they'll know it has protein???

Power Crunch Rum Balls

8 French Vanilla Creme Power Crunch Bars
1 cup of walnuts
2 Tbsp. Barcardi golden rum

In a blender or food processor, blend your Power Crunch bars and walnuts together until condensed to a powder.  Pour in a medium sized bowl.  Add rum and mix with a spoon.  Using a tablespoon, put a spoonful of mix in your hand and form into a ball.  

Mix should make 24 balls.

Approximate Nutrition

Calories 101.66          Fat  7.3 gr.           Sugar   1.66 gr.       Protein 5.5 gr.            Carbs 4 gr.