Healthy Eating- Goal #1

I recently realized that I really need to reassess my eating habits. I have fallen to some pretty unhealthy routines that I would like to correct. In order to do this, I am going to set a goal for myself each week. These should be pretty simple changes, that will hopefully add up to a much healthier diet overall. For the first week, my goal is almost embarrassing:

Goal #1:

To stop eating deserts as snacks.

I mean really, if I wasn’t in a terribly unhealthy cycle, that would not be something I needed to explicitly state as a goal… Oh well. It should be pretty easy to change now that I’ve set my mind to it! And hopefully, my body will start feeling better once I stop stuffing my face with sugar more than once a day.

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Chicken-Mozzarella Pizza Crust (with Tomato Basil Toppings)

Believe it or not, I actually made this BEFORE Domino’s came out with their crazy “specialty chicken” pizza (which is basically just cheese melted on top of fried chicken). Basically, what happened is this: A few weeks ago, I was reeeeaally craving pizza, but I’d already had a lot of carbs that day and I was way short on the amount of protein I was supposed to get and dang pizza just really isn’t that good for you, is it? Then I stumbled across this recipe for “Gluten Free Pizza Crust” on yourlighterside.com. The pizza crust is made of chicken and mozzarella cheese. WHAT. Yes.

And guess what?

It is the most delicious pizza I have ever had in my life.

So here’s what you need for the crust: 1 cup cooked minced chicken breast, 1 cup shredded, packed mozzarella cheese, plus some garlic salt, basil and oregano to taste. Hey, that’s pretty simple right!

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You’ll want to start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The next task is to combine the chicken and the cheese. The original recipe called for a food processor, which would probably help but…. I’m a poor college student so all I have is a knife and a cutting board. This is what my chicken looked like chopped to bits:

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Then I did the same thing with the cheese…

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Then I mixed it all together and mashed it onto my greased pizza pan and threw spices on top.

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It looks surprisingly like a pizza crust! I think that if you used a food processor, you would be able to get a thinner, sturdier crust, but my method worked out just fine! Stick it in the oven for 12 minutes (or more if your oven is like mine and hates everything).

Next: Toppings! Of course, you can add whatever toppings you like, so feel free to ignore these directions, but I’m just telling you that it was sooooo good and you should try it. I used pesto as the sauce, about half a serving of cooked chicken, 1/4 cup mozzarella, 1/4 of a tomato and all the fresh basil I had.

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Chop up the tomato and chicken. Tear the basil leaves apart.

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Smear pesto all over the baked crust (which is a little more difficult that a typical pizza crust, but I’m sure you’ll manage) and sprinkle on some delicious mozzarella.

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Finally, add your other wonderful toppings.

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Stick it back in the oven and bake until the cheese melts.

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Oh man it’s so good I want it right now. Actually, I think I’ll make it right now.

Recipe:

Crust:

  • 1 Cup Cooked, Minced Chicken
  • 1 Cup Shredded, Packed Mozzarella Cheese
  • Spices to Taste. Recommended: Basil, Oregano, Garlic Salt

Toppings:

  • 2 oz Cooked Chicken
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Pesto
  • 1/4 Tomato
  • A Bunch of Fresh Basil Leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut up your chicken and mozzarella cheese as finely as you can, combine them in a bowl.
  3. Press them onto a pizza pan into a pizza shape (approx. 12-14 inches).
  4. Sprinkle  with delicious spices.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Add cheese and other toppings, then bake for at least 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  8. Let cool and then serve.
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Easy Pesto Chicken Pasta

So, I got of the Megabus from Chicago last night and I was starving. Unfortunately, I’d just returned from Spring Break so I had NOTHING in my fridge. Seriously look at this fridge.

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I’m having groceries delivered tomorrow, but I needed to eat something tonight! I don’t like spending money going out to get food cooked for me, especially since I can cook for myself. I found this recipe yesterday for Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce from the Pioneer Woman. Of course I don’t have a food processor, basil, heavy cream or… you know, pretty much any of the required ingredients because I cleared my fridge out before break. SO. Time to deal with things in my freezer and pantry! I DO have cooked chicken and pesto in my freezer, a block of parmesan in the fridge, plus pasta in the cupboard and that’s all you’ll need for this recipe! (And theres a bag of frozen veggies because veggies are a good side)

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For the easiest pesto pasta ever, you’ll want to cook your pasta according to the package directions, which probably puts it in a fancy pot of boiling water like this:

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You’ll need to warm up your chicken somehow, if you’re like me, you don’t have a microwave so you’ll want to get it out of the freezer about two hours ago, but most people have microwaves so it will be much easier to thaw. Cube or slice your chicken (it really doesn’t matter it’s just how you want to eat it). Grate about 34 tbsp of parmesan cheese.

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Here’s a thing about pesto: For a long time, I would always add pesto and butter to pasta. But that’s actually a terrible idea! Pesto already has PLENTY of oil in it! You definitely do not need to add extra butter. I promise, it will be okay! Drain your pasta afters it’s finished cooking, add the pesto, parmesan, and the chicken and mix it all around!

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And… BAM. Pasta. Delicious. Super easy. Serve with a side of veggies for real dinner!

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Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Pasta
  • 6 oz Cooked Chicken (a medium chicken breast)
  • 3 tbsp Pesto
  • 2 oz Grated Parmesan (about 4 tbsp)
  1. Cook the pasta and vegetables according to the package instructions.
  2. Dice or slice your cooked chicken.
  3. Drain pasta and throw in your pesto and parmesan. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the veggies and chicken and serve!

Makes 3 Servings.

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Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

When I got home for spring break, I found some browning bananas on my Dad’s kitchen counter. I personally think bananas taste best with about 10 little brown spots, but they turn to mush very quickly after that. Soon, it was time to find a use for banana mush! What I found was this recipe for Banana Pancakes for One, over on Chocolate Covered Katie. Looks good, but it didn’t have a good protein:carb ratio so I decided to add some oatmeal! And here is my delicious result:

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Hmm, I really ought to have taken a picture after I poured syrup on top… but I wanted to eat them! Anyway, for your banana oatmeal pancakes, you’ll need 1/3 cup instant oats, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/3 cup milk, half  a brown banana, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and a tiny bit of salt! (If you want them to be vegan, just use almond milk or another substitute)

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First you’ll need to combine your oats, flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl.

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Then mash that banana and add the milk and vanilla in another bowl!

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Mix it all together and you’ll have a great pancake batter.

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Mine was a little dry, I only used 1/4 cup milk at first, so I had to change the recipe to make it pancake consistency. Fry it up in a skillet or on a griddle…

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That was the kinda dry pancake…

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This one turned out much better! Top with butter (or not if you’re trying to keep it vegan), peanut butter or maple syrup and enjoy your pancakes!

Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • half  a brown banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk(almond milk or another dairy free sub should work well)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Combine the dry ingredients (oats, flour, baking powder and salt) in a bowl
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the banana, then add the milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
  4. Cook your pancakes over medium heat and enjoy!

 

P.S. If you just want regular banana pancakes, check out Katie’s recipe, it’s probably good too!

Cooking and Baking Inspiration

You probably wouldn’t believe how much time I spend looking at recipes all day. I probably wouldn’t believe it either if someone actually recorded it and told me. Needless to say, it’s a lot of time. So, I thought I’d start off an share some of my favorite inspirational cooking and baking blogs!

Chocolate-Covered Katie

This is a little funny because Katie loooooves chocolate, and I absolutely hate it. As such, I have to ignore a lot of her recipes, but she is a “healthy desert blog” and man is that great! I basically want to bake something everyday, having healthy suggestions for cookies and quick breads makes things much better for me. Plus! Her “single-lady” options are great so I don’t have to eat an entire batch of cookies myself.

Teach. Eat. Love.

Another great healthy eating site. The only thing I’ve made from here is the Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal which is very likely going to be my first recipe post on here, but we will see if anything happens before then! She also posts a lot of kid-friendly recipes, not something I personally have to worry about, but good for some people probably!

The Pioneer Woman

I swear this was called the Pioneer Woman cooks, but hey! I guess I was wrong. Anyway, Ree is definitely not running a healthy eating website, but her stuff is goood! Mmm… can you go wrong with Cinnamon Bread and Homemade Applesauce? I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the answer is no.

Averie Cooks

Do not go here if you are trying to be healthy. Unless you want to give in to the delicious temptations of Snickerdoodle Bars and the puffiest, softest Sugar Cookies ever, stay away! But seriously, the stuff Averie posts is really sweet and absolutely fantastic, but not with the realm of healthy eating.

First Post

Welcome to Chocolate Free Me! I’m writing up this first post just so I can GET SOMETHING OUT THERE. Setting up my blog with no posts on it is a little bit confusing actually… So I just want to set a starting point I suppose. I’m Gaby, (not Gabby, my name has a long “a” sound) I am 5’6″, 135 lbs and weak as a kitten. I love food, baking, cooking and eating! I try to exercise, but going to the gym terrifies me, so I’m stuck at home with my own body weight and online videos until it finally warms up around here (it’s Spring! Why doesn’t it feel like it!?).

So, I hope you’ll stick around because I’m hoping this turns into something fun. Oh! And regarding the name of the blog, I simply don’t like chocolate. I never have, I don’t suspect I ever will. That being said, I have a mean sweet tooth, so I don’t expect you’ll be disappointed!