"Diet" food and the search for my mojo

I hesitate to call what I'm doing a diet, hence the quotes around diet.  I'm not going to stop eating this way once I lose all the weight.  This is my new lifestyle, plain and simple.  I think I may have a slight advantage over other people who do "diet" or are trying to make a similar change.  I'm not an overly picky eater.  There's not many fruits and vegetables that I don't like, so incorporating more into my diet has been relatively pain free!  I will say that it takes a little bit more time and thought to prep but it's well worth it.  Another thing is that I really don't care for egg yolks, especially when it comes to breakfast eggs.  Scrambled, cooked hard or hard boiled I'll stick with just the white!  The thing that has made this even easier for me is getting to try new foods.  I'll try (almost) anything at least once!

Has anyone seen my mojo wandering around lately?  I was feeling all good about the fact that I've actually been wanting to take food pics lately.  I've taken quite a few... and they're pretty much garbage.  A blog post is not really a blog post with pictures.  A blog post about food without pictures is unacceptable (ok, maybe that's a tad dramatic).  I've come across some really good recipes to add to my new healthy arsenal, but most of the pics just aren't doing the food justice.  It is what it is until my mojo returns...

One of my new food philosophies is getting the most bang (flavor) for my buck (calories).  I'm finding myself really reading recipes, paying attention to ingredients and passing on a few that I wouldn't generally pass on!  So, here's a few things I find worthy enough to enter my body!

Before Ranch dressing, a salad for a young April consisted of a bowl of lettuce, some carrots and some cucumbers... Yeah, I know.  I've tried LOADS of times to make my own version of Ranch and it just never comes out right.  I found this recipe and figured one more try couldn't hurt.  Imagine my shock when it actually tasted good... REALLY good!

1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 packet buttermilk Ranch dressing mix

Whiz it all up in a blender until the cottage cheese is broken down.  Pour in into a resealable container (thrifted ball jar are pretty much perfect) and store in the fridge.  You're looking at about 14 calories for 2 tablespoons.

Yeah, that's right COOKIES!  With oats, nuts and nanners you can't go wrong!  This is one of the gems from Gina's Skinny Recipes.  A serving size is 2 cookies and is around 176 calories!  That's pretty great for a cookie, if you ask me!

click for magical transportation to recipe

This is quite possibly the easiest and BEST cornbread ever.  All you need is three ingredients, a pan, a 400 degree oven and about 25 minutes.

1 box of Jiffy
1 can creamed corn
1 egg

Mix together and let it sit for about 4 minutes.  Spread it into a greased pan (I usually use an 11x7, but 8x8 or 9x9 would be fine).  Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes.  This makes 9 pieces at 45 calories each.  If you under bake it just a bit, it's all nice a gooey like a spoon bread.

This recipe caught my eye because I thought the name sounded funny.  Let me tell you something... This is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  It comes together fast and is fully endorsed by a certain 9 year old soux chef!

1 tsp olive oil (I've been using a mister, so this is a guestimate)
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 hatch chili, diced (use some jalapeno if you can't find hatch)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into chunks
1/2 bag broccoli slaw
1 1/2 C bean sprouts
4 tbsp lite soy sauce
1 tsp agave (or splenda)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hot sauce
4 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
4 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 C hot water

Heat a skillet and 1/2 tsp olive oil over med-high heat.  Saute onion and chili for about 4 minutes and remove from pan.  Add the other 1/2 tsp oil and chicken chunks and brown until cooked through then remove from pan.  Add the broccoli slaw, bean sprouts and about 2 tbsp water and saute until crisp tender.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl for the sauce.  Add the onion mix and chicken back into the pan, stir in the sauce and heat through.  This makes 6 servings of about a cup.  The original recipe calculated 255 calories, but with my changes I'm figuring around 240-250, maybe less (I was too lazy to recalculate). 

Eat up everybody!