Monday, March 22, 2010

Tricks of the Trade: Enjoy Your Favorite Foods...Wisely!

I'm back in San Antonio after a weekend away from the computer visiting our families back home in Houston. I certainly had ample opportunity to practice what I preach when it comes to moderation! I'm heading into the final week of March and looking forward to a successful monthly weigh-in this Saturday! I actually had a Lean Cuisine from Mom and Dad's freezer for dinner on Saturday to make up for the small serving of cake and ice cream that I had eaten earlier in the afternoon. Balance and moderation, my friends...balance and moderation ;)!

This week's tip is to enjoy your favorite foods like fried chicken, french fries, and hamburgers. Yes indeed...but it's important to do it in a healthy, responsible way. Instead of eating greasy fried chicken nuggets, coat chicken tenders in bread crumbs or crushed crackers and bake in a hot oven until crispy. Make your hamburgers using wheat buns, lowfat cheese, and ground turkey or extra-lean beef. You'll still enjoy the flavors of the foods you love, but for just a fraction of the fat and calories.

It's important to not give in to the diet mentality that says you have to eat celery sticks and plain broiled meat in order to lose weight! That sort of deprivation leads to binges, which ultimately lead to falling off the wagon. To be successful at losing and keeping weight off long term, it's VITAL that you incorporate your favorite flavors and textures. Like chips and dip? Then eat baked tortilla chips and fat-free salsa. Or is something sweet more your thing? Then have some, but in portion-controlled servings. I love 100-calorie packs for sweet treats...allowing myself a small portion of something that I'm craving is key. It's the flavor I'm looking for, not necessarily a huge serving!

Here's a recipe for some very yummy turkey burgers that I made last week. The original recipe came from Cooking Light magazine, but I modified it quite a bit using ingredients that I had on hand that night. Enjoy...

Turkey Feta Burgers
  • 1 pound 93% lean turkey breast
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese 
  • 1 tablespoon Chef Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic seasoning (can sub any Cajun/Creole seasoning)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Four Nature's Own sugar-free wheat hamburger buns
  • Lettuce, tomato, and red onion
  • 2 tablespoons light ranch dressing
  • 4 tablespoons salsa (I used Frontera Grill medium roasted tomato)
Step 1: Combine ground turkey, feta, spices, breadcrumbs, egg white, and green onion in a large bowl.

Step 2: Shape mixture into four patties. Cook the burgers in a large non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cook for approximately 7-8 minutes per side.

Step 3: While the burgers cook, make a sauce by combining the salsa and light ranch dressing in a small bowl.

Step 4: For each burger, spread 1 tablespoon of salsa-ranch sauce on the bottom half of each bun. Add lettuce, tomato, and red onion slices. Top with a burger patty and the top half of the bun.

Each burger = 7 Weight Watchers points...or approximately 350 calories, 8 grams fat, and 6 grams fiber.

Make SURE to come by here tomorrow evening...I have a very special announcement to make concerning a giveaway in connection with an Alexia foods house party that I'm hosting this weekend!!!

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