Cheeseburger (Pizza) in Paradise

With lean ground beef leftover from last night’s dinner and a boyfriend who is a self-proclaimed “meat man,” I wanted to find a way to incorporate the beef into tonight’s dinner but avoid having burgers again. I am a big pizza fan and with a package of Joseph’s lavash bread sittin’ comfy in my fridge, I figured I could use the bread as crust for a cheeseburger pizza that would satisfy both Ryan’s love for meat and my love for pizza.

I began by gathering all the necessary ingredients.

All the Goods

All the Goods

I rounded up Joseph’s lavash bread, ketchup, pickles, relish, mustard, light Miracle Whip, a plum tomato, light mozzarella cheese, lettuce and lean ground beef and was ready to begin!

First I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and sprayed a cookie sheet with cooking spray before placing the lavash bread on top.

Lavash Pizza Crust

Lavash Pizza Crust

I then mixed a little more than 3 tbsp. of light Miracle Whip (mayo will also work fine) with 2 tbsp. ketchup and a big ol’ squirt of mustard to make the pizza sauce. The mixture kind of reminded me of Thousand Island dressing, but in a less-complicated way.

Mayo, Ketchup and Mustard

Mayo, Ketchup and Mustard

Stir Baby, Stir

Stir Baby, Stir

I added relish to the mix as well.

With a Lil' Relish

With a Lil' Relish

I then popped the lavash crust into the oven to crisp a bit while I tended to the beef.

Lean Ground Beef Burgers

Lean Ground Beef Burgers

We had leftover burgers from last night, so I got to work crumbling them into burger bites!

Meaty!

Meaty!

After the lavash was warmed and slightly crisp, I pulled it out of the oven and smothered it with the sauce before topping it with the beef crumbles and a generous sprinkling of the light mozzarella cheese.

Saucy Pizza

Saucy Pizza

Lots o' Burger

Lots o' Burger

Gotta Love That Cheese

Gotta Love That Cheese

While this was baking, I sliced the plum tomato to place on the cheesy pizza once it was ready.

Lettuce and Tomato

Lettuce and Tomato

The pizza was ready for the toppings once the cheese was ooey-gooey and melted.

Melted Cheese

Melted Cheese

I sprinkled the cheeseburger pizza with lettuce, tomato and pickle slices.

Topped Off

Topped Off

Pizza! Pizza!

Pizza! Pizza!

I cut the pizza in half and split it between me and Ryan. The portions were nice and big.

My Slices

My Slices

 We ate our pizza with a side of steamed green beans, broccoli and cauliflower. The cheeseburger goodness was definitely the highlight of the meal and I think our veggies may have felt a little left out. I didn’t even snap a proper picture of the poor greens. 😦

One More Time

One More Time

This meal managed to satisfy two cravings in a healthy, tasty way! Hooray for cheeseburger pizza.

Snack Time Ain’t Just for Kindergartners

I am a constant snacker. I eat throughout the day mainly because I love food and can’t stand only eating three meals daily. I get too excited about my snacks to eliminate my mid-morning and afternoon snack from my food regimen.

My post-breakfast snack yesterday was one of my favorites to date.

I started with a cup of Oikos organic honey Greek yogurt (first time trying this flavor thanks to the wonderful coupons Stonyfield Farm sent to me – thank you!).

Me and one of my all-time favorites... Greek yogurt!

Me and one of my all-time favorites... Greek yogurt!

In keeping with the honey theme, I packed a small box of Kashi honey sunshine cereal to add on top of the yogurt.

Aw Honey, Honey

Aw Honey, Honey

I didn’t realize the honey was at the bottom of the yogurt cup until I opened it up and began stirring. Those people over at Oikos are generous with their honey!

Lots o' Honey

Lots o' Honey

I couldn’t resist trying a bite before topping the yogurt with the cereal.

I typically enjoy plain Greek yogurt topped with various goodies, but OH WOW this honey yogurt was phenomenal… thick, creamy and sweet… it tasted like an indulgent dessert.

Honey Sunshine Cereal and Honey Greek Yogurt

Honey Sunshine Cereal and Honey Greek Yogurt

This combination was unbelievable. I am a huge honey fan, so this snack hit my honey-lovin’ spot.

There was too much cereal to fit into the cup, so I ate some and stirred the rest in, topping the yogurt again with another sprinkle of the honey sunshine puffs.

Sweet and Creamy

Sweet and Creamy

Mmmm!

Mmmm!

Snack time is one of my favorite times of the day!

Some of my favorite snacks include:

–  Greek yogurt topped with basically anything

– My protein brownie

– Whole wheat tortilla and light cheese melted together (quesadilla-style!)

– Apple with nut butter (or just a simple peanut butter finger will do ;))

– Protein/cereal bar of some sort

– Fresh fruit and a handful of nuts

Question: What are some of your favorite snack foods?

Goat Cheese Puh-Lease!

Goat cheese is just so darn delicious. It is so flavorful and can truly hold its own against other strong ingredients. Today’s lunch centered around this strong cheese.

Goat Cheese and Broccoli Pizza

Goat Cheese and Broccoli Pizza

I made myself a goat cheese and broccoli pizza using freshly steamed broccoli florets and the best-ever crumbled goat cheese: Monchevré!

I used a Joseph’s whole wheat pita as the crust for my pizza and spread a liberal amount of marinara sauce on top for the sauce.

Joseph's Pita Bread

Joseph's Pita Bread

I microwaved the whole pizza for approximately 45 seconds. I would prefer to make it in the oven to crisp the crust, but limited resources are available in the work break room. 😉

Yummy Melted Cheese

Yummy Melted Cheese

I cut the pizza into four mini slices to make it easier to handle. No pizza sauce on this girl!

A Mini Slice

A Mini Slice

For some reason the goat cheese made me feel like I was eating quite the gourmet lunch (prepared by a microwave)!

Question: What’s your favorite kind of cheese? “Any kind” is not an appropriate answer. 🙂

Creamy Chocolate Breakfast Bowl

Bust out the mittens!!! Today was the first hint at chilly weather in Florida. How exciting! It was actually in the 60s, which for me is fleece-wearin’ weather. Sadie was especially nutty on our morning walk and a man sitting on a bench by the lake even said “Hot damn it’s cold out here!” So I’m not the only one who thinks 60-degree weather is cold. 🙂

With fall weather upon us, I took the first opportunity to bust out my boots!

Mah Boots!

Mah Boots!

(Funny story about these boots: My mom ordered them for me for Christmas two years ago and when I went to try them on I had two left feet! I am rather klutzy, so it seemed fitting. Luckily I received the right boot within a month. Phew!)

Since it was slightly chilly outside, I began craving a cup of hot chocolate on my walk with the dog this morning. I am a true chocoholic. I am always in the mood for the creamy, cocoa flavor of anything chocolate. This morning I decided to make myself a chocolate breakfast bowl using Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and cocoa powder to satisfy my chocolate craving.

Chocolate Breakfast Bowl Supplies

Chocolate Breakfast Bowl Supplies

I began by blending a quarter cup of cottage cheese with a plain Oikos organic yogurt cup, a spoonful of cocoa powder and a dash of Splenda for added sweetness.

Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt

Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt

Sadie Loves Greek Yogurt Too!

Sadie Loves Greek Yogurt Too!

Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Cocoa Powder, Splenda

Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Cocoa Powder, Splenda

Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Cocoa Powder & Splenda Blended

Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Cocoa Powder & Splenda Blended

The mixture tasted like chocolate cheesecake! Yum.

I sprinkled the creamy chocolate base with chocolate chips and half of a cocoa chip full bar that I took from my parents’ house this weekend. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Everything's Better with Chocolate Chips

Everything's Better with Chocolate Chips

Can you spot Sadie???

Sadie Wants In
Ready to Eat

Ready to Eat

This chocolate delight hit the spot. Gotta love chocolate for breakfast!

Beefin’ Up the Beef

Sometimes I get annoyed by the food that sits in our freezer. It mocks me everytime I add something new. Tonight’s dinner was a “clean out the freezer” dinner. I pulled out a package of frozen butternut squash and frozen spinach and put my thinking cap on.

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Frozen Spinach

Frozen Spinach

I first unloaded the butternut squash into a pot with a bit of water on the stovetop. I then scoured the fridge for ideas to incorporate the spinach into our meal.

Beef! It’s what’s for dinner. I decided to use the chopped spinach to beef up the lean ground beef we planned to make into burgers this week. I combined the spinach with the meat, a couple squirts of barbeque sauce and some garlic salt and sent Ryan off to grill ’em up!

Spinach and BBQ Burgers

Spinach and BBQ Burgers

The pop of green really made the patties look pretty.

Grilled Burger

Grilled Burger

Ryan’s gettin’ pretty good at creating those wonderful grill marks.

I placed my burger on a whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin with sliced tomato, ketchup and mustard. I wish I had some lettuce…

Spinach Burger

Spinach Burger

Juicy Burger

Juicy Burger

The butternut squash was a great side dish. I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the simmering squash which made it look a lil’ poopy, but it still tasted wonderful. 🙂 I topped mine with some soy nuts for that crunch I just loooove.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Soy Nut Crunchies

Soy Nut Crunchies

This dinner was the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Yummmm.

Off to read more of The Lost Symbol with Ryan… this book is fantastic!

My Number One Tip for Resisting Cravings: Don’t!

This tip may seem counter intuitive to everything you’ve read about weight loss or dieting. I should start by saying that I am not dieting. I am simply trying to live a healthy, active life that balances nutritious foods with rich desserts and other delicacies I crave.

Balance

Balance

I used to feel like I couldn’t buy certain foods. I would never buy that box of cookies because I thought that cookies were bad. Within the past several months I began to realize I can enjoy any food I want to – but in moderation. I know I have certain trigger foods (these foods I really do try not to buy because I know I lose all control around them) but other “bad” foods are fair game.

One day this summer I was standing in line at Target and saw a pack of Raisinets. I realized I could not remember the last time I actually bought candy from the checkout aisle. While this could make me proud, it actually made me sad. I thought back to my younger years when my mom would let me and my sister pick out a candy bar as a treat and I would feel so happy (I’d always pick a Twix or Caramello bar :)).

Caramello - Chocolate & Caramel Yum!

Caramello - Chocolate & Caramel Yum!

I bought the pack of Raisinets, determined to incorporate them into my balanced eating. I savored the candy over the course of three days (shocking, I know) and enjoyed a handful whenever a craving hit. I also topped my morning Greek yogurt with the candies, successfully incorporating them into a wholesome meal.

Though I obviously become a victim to cravings regularly (hence this weekend and the gobs of ice cream *my trigger food* I ate), I am slowly trying to take a balanced approach to enjoying the “bad” foods, while realizing they’re not so bad after all.

I now give into my cravings and realize that one cookie really is enough. The rest of the cookies will still be there tomorrow, and I can enjoy another delicious treat when a craving hits.

I do not completely avoid my trigger foods, but when I buy these items, I know I’m really testing my will power:

1. Cheez-its

2. Ice Cream

3. Peanut Butter M&Ms

4. White Cheddar Popcorn

5. Corn Pops Cereal

Question: What are your trigger foods? How do you satisfy your cravings?

No Shrimpy Lunch

Last night I made a delicious pasta for dinner using frozen shrimp and lots of veggies. I had a good portion of the little crustaceans leftover and decided to make shrimp salad for lunch today.

My mom used liberal amounts of Old Bay seasoning when she prepared various seafood dishes when I was growing up and, after a recommendation from my friend Minda, I began using the spice in my shrimp salad to kick the flavor up a notch.

Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning

I started by adding a large squirt of light Miracle Whip to a large handful of peeled and deveined cold shrimpies.

Shrimp and Miracle Whip - Best Friends

Shrimp and Miracle Whip - Best Friends

I then added several shakes of Old Bay to the mix for that added pizazz!

Shrimp 'n' Spice

Shrimp 'n' Spice

I stirred the mixture until the shrimp was fully coated in the spice and mayo. (Sorry for the oh-so-blurry picture.)

Blurry But Tasty

Blurry But Tasty

I spread the shrimp salad on a warmed Joseph’s pita.

Joseph's Pita Bread

Joseph's Pita Bread

I topped the shrimp salad with Eat Smart broccoli slaw and dug in!

Eat Smart Broccoli Slaw

Eat Smart Broccoli Slaw

Eating shrimp for lunch makes me feel like I’m enjoying something extra special… I don’t know why! Maybe it’s because I usually reserve the lil’ guys for dinner dishes. Despite the use of shrimp in this lunch, it was no shrimpy meal and I am nice and full.