Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lean Libation: Ina's Mulled Wine

From Halloween night until sometime in February, mulled wine is a favorite of wine. This warm libation is perfect for chilly fall and winter nights. Just this past Halloween, I filled a crock pot with this yummy stuff and had coffee to-go cups for my friends to help fight the cold as we took our kids from house to house. It was definitely a great "treat" that night!

Hubby laughed at how Mott's for Tots is in an adult beverage. That is kinda funny!
For inspiration, I used Ina Garten's recipe for mulled wine. I picked up a few tips for sweetening over the years from visiting various vineyards around my area. Those tips, along with a "lean perspective", created this version of mulled wine that every adult in the family is sure to enjoy. Cheers!

MULLED WINE
Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Combine the Mott's for Tots, wine, and spice bags in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

RESULTS

I've had this adult beverage "the real" way with all the sugar and stuff. Not only does this save on calories and carbs, but it actually has a better taste to it (if you like the taste of wine). In my opinion, the sugar can be overwhelming. The light characteristic of Mott's for Tots Apple Juice provides a hint of sweet and allows the true flavors of the wine and the spices to pull through. A simple switch saves around 60 calories per glass! That is something to celebrate.

CHEERS!

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

BEFORE: 167.6 calories / .14g fat / 25.6g carbohydrate / .17g protein / .15g fiber
AFTER: 107.1 calories / 0g fat / 10.4g carbohydrate / .06g protein / 0g fiber
SAVES: 60.5 calories and 15.2g carbohydrate





Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cookin' Lean with Sandra Lee: Gorgonzola-Pear Toasts

It's not the typical appetizer I would serve to a basement full of men watching a football game, but the fans appreciated this new addition to the line up on Sunday.

If you have ever seen Sandra Lee, then you already know why I like her cookin' style. Everything is "semi-homemade", which saves on time and sometimes even on money. She can take just a few store bought ingredients, add a few fresh ingredients and "presto", you have a dish that is dressed to impress. It's so smart!

Here is a great recipe inspired by Sandra Lee. These Gorgonzola-Pear Toasts to throw together for house guests and family over the next week or so. So simple, Kimber and her friend Aubrey did a lot of the work for me!

GORGONZOLA-PEAR TOASTS
Makes 40 (Serves 10)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Whole Grain baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce package Fat Free PHILADELPHIA cream cheese
  • 4 ounces crumbled Reduced-Fat Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 15-ounce cans NO SUGAR ADDED sliced pears, drained
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon SPLENDA
  • 5 sprays "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Additional pinch ground cinnamon for garnish

DIRECTIONS
 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush 1 side of each baguette slice with olive oil. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast 5 to 7 minutes, or just until beginning to brown. Let cool.




Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and Gorgonzola cheese, stirring until well mixed.

Kimber & her friend Aubrey takin' care of the mixing for me.

In a small skillet over low heat, warm chopped pecans with sprays of ICBINB. Sprinkle with cinnamon and Splenda. Toast for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and save for topping.


Spread the toasts with the cheese mixture. Top with the pear slices and chopped sweetened pecans. Sprinkle with the parsley and additional cinnamon.



RESULTS

So good! So simple! I love when you can throw something together in less than 15 minutes that looks a little fancy. That's what a little Gorgonzola and some pear slices will do, I guess.

If your store doesn't have reduced-fat Gorgonzola, don't worry about it. It is a nice little savings, yet when 4 ounces is being shared among 10 servings...you can afford to use the real deal.

Fat free cream cheese and no sugar added pears round out the smart switches. The whole grain baguette is just an added bonus. Again, if you can't find one, not a big deal. The real savings are in the cream cheese & home-made sweetened pecans. Just check out the savings!

NUTRITION FACTS (Per Serving/4 Toasts):

BEFORE: 256.8 calories / 15.4g fat / 23.38g carbohydrate / 6.87g protein / 2.26g fiber
AFTER: 158.8 calories / 5.2g fat / 21.17g carbohydrate / 9.97g protein / 2.4g fiber
SAVES: 98 calories / 10.2g fat / 2.21g carbohydrate



Well, it's not a "Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday" post, but I thought a great recipe for healthy entertaining was a lot more useful right now. I hope you enjoy!! Next on the list...mulled wine!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday: My Christmas Cookin' Wish List

The past month has been a little crazy for me. With my last real semester of classes finishing up, my mind and time has been preoccupied with school and home. Now that the work is behind me, it's time to focus on what I love most...home and cookin'!

When I think of Christmas, most of my memories have been made in the kitchen. I think of making cookies with my Mom and sister growing up. I think of preparing Mom's "Night Before Christmas Breakfast Casserole". I think of making Bloody Mary's just before diggin' into our stockings. The kitchen is a bog part of our Christmas, as I would imagine it is a big part of yours. I am so excited about getting into the kitchen more the Christmas that I decided to tour around www.foodnetwork.com and compile a list of my favorite holiday recipes that I plan on making starting tomorrow! It is my wish to have the time to make all of these and maybe more. Here it is....

My Christmas Cookin' Wish List

How does that look for a list? It's a lot, which is why it is a "wish" list. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start cookin' and really begin getting into this holiday season. 

I'm hoping these cookie recipes turn out to be great little gifts.

I'll have one of these fabulous lookin' recipes up soon! I just don't know where to start. They all look great! Follow the links and check them out so you have an idea about what is coming.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday: Healthy Holiday Gift Lists for Mom & Kids

What better gift to give someone than the gift of good health? Exactly! Like many of you I'm sure, I have been scoping out numerous sites over the past couple of weeks in search of Christmas gifts. I have seen some pretty cool stuff that would make great "fit gifts" for women and children. To make tracking down a fun and fit gift easy for you this holiday season, I have decided to compile a list of my favorites. Show your family and friends some love this year and give a gift that promotes good health!

I present to you....

"Lindsay & Kimber's Twelve Days of Christmas Fit-Gift List"



For Mom...

  1. Nike Free Run +2 Running Shoe
  2. Fresh Fruit Delivery (The Fruit Company)
  3. Spa Package (Pampering is part of good health, try something from Merle Norman Day Spa)
  4. Donut Maker (Baked, not fried with this version sold @Target)
  5. Healthy Cook Book (for the party gal try...Hungry Girl Happy Hour)
  6.  iPod (for entertaining those workouts, add headphones)
  7. Gym Membership (24/7 Convenience at Snap Fitness)
  8. Lunch Bag (for packing nutritious lunches in cute packages try Vera Bradley)
  9. Blender (Have your pick of healthy shake makers at Bed, Bath & Beyond)
  10. Starbuck's Gift Card (for those Skinny Latte treat days).

For Little Ones...
  1. Nikes (just like Mom's!)
  2. Gymnastics or Dance Classes
  3. Hula Hoop (A simple, fun, inexpensive classic...great exercise!)
  4. Outdoor Gear (Hats, gloves...encourage outside activity even if it's cold.)
  5. Kid's Baking Set (Curious Chef 27-piece set)
  6. Snowman Kit (from The Land of Nod)
  7. Garden Kit (teaching kids to grow...indoors @ amazon.com)
  8. Healthy Hot Cocoa (Perfect stocking stuffer!)
  9. Water Bottle (Make drinking water easier on-the-go).
  10. Kid's Bop (Throw on some tunes and dance!)
  11. Wii Sports (Fun for the whole family!)

MERRY SHOPPING!





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