Tag Archives: Cheese

Helpful Article & A Healthy Mac N Cheese Recipe!

So after my bad experience with baking with honey, I found this article pretty helpful. It explains where the “natural” sweeteners come from and the process they go through till they reach the consumer. This article also is a little cheat sheet for when you are baking (adding liquid sugar vs granular WILL change the recipe.. you have to lessen another liquid to equal it out).. So enjoy this article and below it I will write out the recipes of which I made today ( I was on a baking/cooking SPREEEEEEE).. hahaha..

 

Sugarcane Sweeteners

Sugarcane is a tropical grass that has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. Making what we know as table sugar from sugarcane can range from a relatively simple to a multistep process, and the final result varies depending on the specific steps in the process. Light and dark brown, powdered, and granulated white sugars are all highly refined, while others, like those listed below, are made with fewer steps on the processing chain. Fewer steps benefit the environment, because less processing means less environmental impact. It also means that more of the vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in sugarcane remain in the end product. All of these sugarcane sweeteners can be found in the baking aisle and/or bulk bins of natural foods stores.

  • Blackstrap molasses, unlike other sugarcane sweeteners, contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. “First” molasses is left over when sugarcane juice is boiled, cooled, and removed of its crystals. If this product is boiled again, the result is called second molasses. Blackstrap molasses is made from the third boiling of the sugar syrup and is the most nutritious molasses, containing substantial amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. When buying, consider choosing organic blackstrap molasses, as pesticides are more likely to be concentrated due to the production of molasses. Cooking notes: Blackstrap molasses has a very strong flavor, so it is best to just replace a small portion of sugar with molasses.
  • Rapadura is the Portuguese name for unrefined dried sugarcane juice. Probably the least refined of all sugarcane products, rapadura is made simply by cooking juice that has been pressed from sugarcane until it is very concentrated, and then drying and granulating it or, traditionally, pouring it into a mold to dry in brick form, which is then shaved. Because the only thing that has been removed from the original sugarcane juice is the water, rapadura contains all of the vitamins and minerals that are normally found in sugarcane juice, namely iron. A German company called Rapunzel is the main company that markets pure, organic rapadura in the U.S. Cooking notes: Rapadura replaces sugar 1:1 and adds a molasses flavor and dark color, so its great in baked goods like brownies, coffee and black tea, but it may not be desirable in something like lemonade.
  • Sucanat stands for sugar-cane-natural, and is very similar to rapadura. It is made by mechanically extracting sugarcane juice, which is then heated and cooled until tiny brown (thanks to the molasses content) crystals form. It contains less sucrose than table sugar (88 percent and 99 percent, respectively). Cooking notes: Sucanat replaces sugar 1:1 and is also an accepted substitute for traditional brown sugar. Use it as you would rapadura (see above).
  • Turbinado sugar is often confused with sucanat, but the two are different. After the sugarcane is pressed to extract the juice, the juice is then boiled, cooled, and allowed to crystallize into granules (like sucanat, above). Next, these granules are refined to a light tan color by washing them in a centrifuge to remove impurities and surface molasses. Turbinado is lighter in color and contains less molasses than both rapadura and sucanat. A popular brand-name of turbinado sugar is Sugar in the Raw, which can be found in most natural food stores, and even in single-serve packets at coffee shops. Cooking notes: Replaces sugar 1:1. Turbinado is a great substitute for brown sugar, too.
  • Evaporated cane juice is essentially a finer, lighter-colored version of turbinado sugar. Still less refined than table sugar, it also contains some trace nutrients (that regular sugar does not), including vitamin B2. In Europe, it’s known as “unrefined sugar.” Cooking notes: Replaces sugar 1:1. Can be used in a wide variety of foods and recipes without adversely affecting color or flavor.

Non-Sugarcane Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners are flooding the market these days. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ones that are not made from sugarcane.

  • Agave nectar is produced from the juice of the core of the agave, a succulent plant native to Mexico. Far from a whole food, agave juice is extracted, filtered, heated and hydrolyzed into agave syrup. Vegans often use agave as a honey substitute, although its even sweeter and a little thinner than honey. It contains trace amounts of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Agave nectar syrup is available in the baking aisle at most natural foods stores. The fructose content of agave syrup is much higher than that of high fructose corn syrup, which is of concern since some research has linked high fructose intake to weight gain (especially around the abdominal area), high triglycerides, heart disease and insulin resistance. High fructose corn syrup contains 55% fructose while agave nectar syrup contains 90%. Despite this, it has a low glycemic index because of its low glucose content. Cooking notes: To replace 1 cup of sugar, use 2/3 cup of agave nectar, reduce the quantity of liquids slightly, and reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It also makes a good sweetener in cold liquids, such as iced tea.
  • Brown rice syrup is made when cooked rice is cultured with enzymes, which break down the starch in the rice. The resulting liquid is cooked down to a thick syrup, which is about half as sweet as white sugar and has a mild butterscotch flavor. It is composed of about 50% complex carbohydrates, which break down more slowly in the bloodstream than simple carbohydrates, resulting in a less dramatic spike in blood glucose levels. It’s worth noting that the name “brown rice syrup” describes the color of the syrup, not the rice it’s made from, which is white. Cooking notes: To replace one cup of sugar, use 1-1/3 cups brown rice syrup, and for each cup of rice syrup added, reduce liquid by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Brown rice syrup has the tendency to make food harder and crispier, so its great in crisps, granolas, and cookies. You may want to combine it with another sweetener for cakes and sweet breads.
  • Honey, made by bees from the nectar of flowers, is a ready-made sweetener that contains traces of nutrients. Cooking notes: To replace 1 cup sugar in baked goods, use about 3/4 cup of honey and lower the oven temperature 25 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce liquids by about 2 Tablespoons for each cup of honey.
  • Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees, which is collected, filtered, and boiled down to an extremely sweet syrup with a distinctive flavor. It contains fewer calories and a higher concentration of minerals (like manganese and zinc) than honey. You can find it in bulk in some natural foods stores, but don’t be fooled by fake maple syrups, which are cheaper and more readily available at the grocery store. “Maple-flavored syrups” are imitations of real maple syrup. To easily tell the difference, read the ingredients list on the nutrition label. True maple syrup contains nothing but “maple syrup.” Imitation syrups are primarily made of high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and/or artificial sweeteners, and contain 3 percent maple syrup (or less). Cooking notes: To replace 1 cup sugar in baking, use about 3/4 cup of maple syrup and lower the oven temperature 25 degrees Fahrenheit. For each cup of maple syrup, reduce liquids by about 2 tablespoons.

Mac and Cheese Lite

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt
4 ounces whole wheat macaroni
1/2 cup onion-garlic puree (see “Rocco’s Secret Weapon,” below)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mist an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set it aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions, drain.
  3. Meanwhile, bring onion-garlic puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle panko over the top. Top with Parmesan.
  5. Bake until Parmesan is melted and macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes.

Nutrition facts per serving (about 2/3 cup): 237 calories, 17g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 7g fat (4g saturated), 3g fiber

Adapted from http://www.fitnessmagazine.com.. However… I didn’t add their garlic/onion mix, bread crumbs or parmesan. I also didn’t bake it.. I cooked the noodles, drained them, mixed cheese spices and yogurt, added noodles and served. Tasted A M A Z I N G…

.. I also cooked brown rice fettuccine noodles with ground turkey and a tomato sauce (that I swear cost like like $6.50.. lol.. the less ingredients the more expensive? Makes sense).
AAAANNNNDDDDDDDDDD I made coconut whipped cream. Fuck that nasty shit that has God only knows what ingredients in that store bought shit.. This tastes great.. fucking more than great., fucking fantastic and SUPER FUCKING SIMPLE!!!
 
Legit all you need is a can of full fat coconut milk (I also added a sweetener and a few dropped of vanilla). Alright so take the top off the FF c milk and leave (topless) in the fridge for 24 hours. Their should be a film on top that you just scoop off. Whisk with vanilla and sweetener (if you’d like) and ENJOY!!!! I recently got my order for my quest bars and I added a scoop on top of the strawberry cheesecake bar and I fell in love! Shit tasted like a strawberry shortcake. Fuck yes.

SO that is what I have been doing.. cooking/baking/sleeping and working out.. I had a kick ass arm workout tonight.. didn’t do much cardio but did a lot of active rests and plyo work to make up for it. I was sweating like a mad man.. and sort of uncomfortable hence why I didn’t do much cardio. I get like that sometimes, but at least I killed my arms 🙂

Post Work Out 1/2 Meal

&& My Protein Brownie Bars!

This has been my weekend haha.. I am going to finish up emails and PROOFREADING (yes.. you read that right) this entry and put a movie in and hopefully get to bed early so I can get a morning cardio sesh in… less than 4 weeks till my BIRFFFDAY!!!! Super excited.
 
Hope y’all enjoy everything!
 
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Day 74 Finally I found the Black Bean Brownie Recipe :)

Cravings have gone down. Cept I want cheese fries so bad. Cheese ingeneral now.. Isn’t that weird? I use to HATE cheese… and as long as its melted.. I can pretty  much eat it all 🙂 So weird… But anyways cheese fries are a whole nother story. They are awesome. Even better? Hooters Tatertots.. They are the potatoes that you use to get at lunch with that nasty excuse for a hamburger (I’ll show you my kind of hamburger lol), but these tots are loaded with nacho cheese, that green onion shit that’s amazing, sour cream and bacon. Holy fuck. Awesome. Everything about it. So. fucking. good.

Sorry.. I am trying to stop.. really.. lol..

On a better note I COME WITH A BROWNIE RECIPEEEE!!! And I am posting it because its healthy, they are made out of beans, and I need to cut these nasty cravings for this evil thing we call sugar. I still have a little less then 3 weeks so no I won’t be making these any time soon but I lost it and NOW I FOUND IT AGAIN!!!! So here it is.. super stoked.

Vegan Black Bean Brownie Recipe

For the Mix:

black bean brownie ingredients photo 300x200

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups raw sugar
1 1/4 cup cocoa
4 tsp instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups chopped hazelnutsYou also need:
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and filled with new water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of water (eyeball it by filling up half the empty can)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the flour with the salt and baking powder.  For a nice layered presentation in a jar start with half the sugar,  then add half the flour mixture, all the cocoa, the coffee powder, the remaining flour, the remaining sugar, and the nuts on top.  When ready to bake, dump out the jar into a mixing bowl and stir to combine all the dry ingredients.

Drain a can of black beans and rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.  Return the black beans back to the can and fill with water.  Puree the beans and water.  Add the puree to the dry mix along with the vanilla and extra cup of water.  Stir to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through.  When the brownies are finished they should be firm in the center and the edges will be slightly puffy and starting to pull away from the sides.  My batch was finished at 28 minutes.  It’s important not to over bake in the oven because they will keep baking once you take them out.

Let brownies cool completely then use a 2×2 in cookie cutter to cut into 24 squares.

black bean brownies photo 1024x682

The Food Log

730am Protein Shake
1130am Chicken Breast w/ Mustard
230pm Chicken Breast w/ Asparagus and Mustard lol.
545pm My new found love rice cakes w/ Walden Farms Caramel Topping w/ Spinach and Turkey
9pm Eggs and another rice cake and topping. SO FUCKING GOOD I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF!

The Workout

6am 45min Cardio (Stairmaster)
730pm Back and Cardio 🙂

I don’t have much time to fill this in, so I will when I get home I just needed to post it.

Started with Lat Pulldown 5 sets up too 100lbs

then unilateral row, seated row, back ext, planks

+ 30 SOLID (no rest, High intensity) minutes of cardio.

Day 74 in Pictures..

ok fine. no more.

  1. My pickle. Everyone went to Potbelly 😦
  2. My pre workout meal. lol I WAS CRAVING SPINACH WTF?!
  3. Found the new love of my life. Sugar Free Rice cake w/ cinnamon and Walden Farms no calorie Caramel spread. HOLY HELL. It tastes like a pancake, to cinnamon toast crunch cereal, to french toast, back to apple I don’t know, but its awesome.
  4. Post workout- 3 eggs 1 egg white w/ Garlic and another amazingness in my mouth.

Today has been good except all the cravings (no I will NOT binge, or eat any of this. If I did it would be after my show lol).. but I did morning cardio, and did a semi decent back work out, but killed late night cardio. I need to start adding more time and taking away certain things.. I am almost 2 weeks out and at that point I will need to cut most fat ALL sugar and majority carbs. I wont be able to have artificial sweetener either lol. Ugh. SO not happy. lolol My suit should be here within the next week. I also ordered tattoo make up (really just for a large birthmark) and figured out my tan and my makeup. I randomly got a message and she wanted to trade (personal training for hair/ tans) HOW FUCKING AWESOME!!! My tanning last year cost $100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I did my make up and trust me you could tell. haha anyways.. hopefully now all I need to focus is losing fat but keeping my ass.. ahhhhhh YEAH!!! :):) Gotta keep this mentality going!

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