Sunday, August 28, 2011

sneaking in fruit

It's my oldest boy's birthday. Twenty two years ago today, he came into this world, on his due date, changing my world forever. One thing he loves is strawberry cake. It started when he was little and every so often he tells me he wants a strawberry cake for his birthday. This year that worked for me too. I took a basic lemon cake mix and diced up a pint of strawberries to mix into the batter and baked it. For the frosting, I boiled down half a pint of strawberries, half a pint of raspberries and a handful or two of blueberries with the juice of a lemon and strained it through a tight mesh sieve. I then beat the fruit sauce into a can of overly sweet vanilla frosting to thin it out and take the sweetness down a few notches.

The result was nice. But it was a great way to sneak some fruit into something I knew I was going to be eating.

A slice of cake isn't a bad thing. A whole bundt cake... well, that's another story. But it was nice easing some of the guilt that could normally plague me in a situation like that. Also, it was nice to have things balance a bit better. It was a big hit too, my son loved it and I suspect someone may be raiding the fridge tonight for more after I go to bed.

So let that be a lesson, if you're thinking you need to get some fruit or veggies in your diet but don't know how, try sneaking them into other foods to sort of fool yourself. Even if you don't need to fool yourself, it's a nice way to add some extras in your life. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lentil Tacos

My niece made these one night and I knew I needed to make them as well. So I asked for the recipe, then I tweaked it. :)

finely chopped 1/2 a large vidalia onion
finely chopped red, yellow and green pepper
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package of Trader Joes prepared lentils
1 package chili seasoning mix
2-1/2 cups veggie broth (I used Nature's Promise 17 oz box)
1 small jar of salsa (about a cup or so)
12 hard taco shells

Sautee the veggies until soft. Add lentils and chili seasoning and stir, adding the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, stir in the salsa and you're good. Yep, it's that easy.

For those keeping score, the filling is 28 points plus and you can easily get 10-12 tacos out of that. Your final count will depend on your toppings and the tacos you use. Me, I like cheese and sour cream on my tacos so I need to account for that and, again depending on whether you go for low/no fat or substitutes, the final totals will vary. On average, each taco tends to be around 4 points plus... again, your mileage may vary.

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