Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bacon & Gouda Waffles

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I started using a FitBit in January to start helping me to be more accountable for my health.  And so far, it’s my little miracle machine, and I’ve lost 15 lbs so far this year!. I wear it everywhere and check it throughout the day, making sure I’m hitting my goals for steps, miles, calories burned, etc.  I’ve also been *pretty* good about logging my calories, and the Food Journal shows you the ratio of Fat to Carbs to Protein in your summary:

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So this breakdown lead me to wonder:  What’s the ideal ratio for each of these categories?  My research all seemed to point towards the 40/30/30 ratio: 40% Carbs, 30% fat, & 30% protein.  But I’m a carb-fiend, so I’ve been finding it difficult to hit that mark each day. I almost ALWAYS end up high on the carb side. 

Then I thought—if I can find recipes or meal ideas that focus on this 40/30/30 ratio, then it should be a lot easier to hit that target.  I spent a few minutes searching for “40/30/30” on Pinterest (NOTE: this is NOT a helpful search—the search function pulls these numbers individually, so you get results like “40 recipes that cook in under 30 minutes!” and “Bake the 40 shrimp at 350F for 30 minutes”), then went over to Google.  Where I learned that the “40/30/30” ratio is also referred to as The Zone Diet (just goes to show how out of the dieting loop I am).  And fortunately, the Zone Diet people are nice enough to have a full database of recipes on their website—for free!

I pinned a few recipes that sounded tasty, including one for “Bed & Breakfast Waffles” that included Chicken Sausage in the ingredient list.  I thought, “ooh, savory waffles!  That sounds fun!”  I talked up these savory waffles to the Hubs & he was on board.  But then…I actually read the directions, and it just said to make the sausage & serve it on the side.  BORING.

So…I took the base for the waffle batter, and then decided to add some bacon into the waffles (since we didn’t actually HAVE any sausage to try to integrate into it)…and then…I saw the block of smoked gouda. 

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INGREDIENTS: (makes two servings)

1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1.5 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp agave syrup
2 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 cup shredded gouda

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the wet ingredients and blend until smooth(ish).  Then add in the dry ingredients, and finally the bacon & gouda & mix well.

Heat your waffle iron & spray both plates with olive oil.  Then spoon about 1/2 cup of batter into the waffle iron and cook until crisp & golden (on my Cuisinart iron, I use the “4” or “5” setting).

Serve topped with fresh fruit & drizzle with real maple syrup.  These things were SERIOUSLY good, guys.  The salt & savory-ness from the bacon & cheese balanced perfectly with the syrup & slightly sweet cake.  And the use of eggs & cottage cheese in the batter helps boost the protein level in this normally carb-rich dish.

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NUTRIFACTS:
Calories: 335
Fat: 18g
Fiber: 2.6g
Carbs: 21g
Sodium: 400mg
Protein: 20.2g

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bacon & Boudin Wrapped Jalapeno Popper

This is the brain-child of myself & my coworker J.  When J started at our office, it was a few weeks before we realized we shared something in common—LOUISIANA.  His wife’s family was from Abbeville (just south of where I lived in Lafayette, if you’re not familiar with the area). What a coinky-dink!  We quickly became friends as we reminisced over our favorite Louisiana restaurants & watering holes.

We also periodically drift into discussions of our favorite make-at-home Southern favorites, which includes jalapeno poppers.  Which we of course had to take to the next level.  Boudin-filled jalapenos?  No… WRAP the popper in boudin, and THEN wrap it in bacon!

The other day, J stopped at my cubicle, absolutely giddy, and said, “I have something for you.”

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Yup.  Authentic Louisiana boudin from Richard’s (pronounced “Ree-shards, for non-locals).  J definitely won Friend of the Week.

So of course, I had to take it home, and test out our idea.

Our delicious, delicious, overkill of an idea.

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INGREDIENTS: (makes two servings)

1 link smoked boudin, split in two

2 large jalapenos, deseeded & caps removed

2 tbsp fat free cream cheese

4 slices low-sodium bacon

 

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Lightly char the outsides of the jalapenos over a burner (this way the jalapenos aren’t too crunchy in the end product). Place the cream cheese into a baggie, then clip off a corner & pipe the cream cheese into the pepper.

Slice the boudin long-wise and press gently so that there’s a pocket inside.  Leave the casing on to help hold it together.

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Face the open end of the jalapeno toward the closed end of the boudin link—it’ll help keep the cream cheese from leaking out.

Close the boudin around the jalapeno as much as possible, and then use the bacon to bind it together.  It’ll take two slices per roll.

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Bake on a foil-lined parchment for 20-25 minutes (or a grill for the same amount of time), or until the bacon is crisp & browned.  Let cool for about 5-10 minutes, then dig in!

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This ended up being a celebratory meal, as I came home & found out that I PASSED MY ASBOG EXAM—so I get to apply for my license to be a Registered Geologist!!!!

 

NUTRIFACTS:

Calories: 410

Fat: 19.5 g

Fiber: 0.8g

Carbs: 30g

Sodium: 890 mg

Protein: 23.6g

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Arkansas Derby 2014: AKA Horses ‘n Hats

As you may well tell from my absence, The Scoop is open for the season, so we’re crazy busy getting everything ready!  However, I finally spent some time today pulling photos off my camera from the last few weeks.  That includes pics from this year’s Arkansas Derby!  We missed the Derby last year because it was the same weekend as our Grand Opening, but this year we just couldn’t stay away.  My post from 2012 was fairly popular (apparently my readers love people watching as much as I do), so we’re back for round two!

Soo…what should we do first:  Horses?  Hats?  …let’s flip a coin. 

…HATS IT IS!

I’ll just let these gorgeous chapeaus speak for themselves.

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And now… HORSIES!

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I do not remember this horse’s name, but I put money on it because of the jockey’s fleur de lis silks. I don’t think I won.

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Jockey booties & horse patooties.

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“No pictures, please. I’m bashful.”

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And that’s all for now!  I promise—a post of more written content with ACTUAL RECIPES to come soon!