Belly Happiness

If you cannot find me in the house, you obviously didn’t look in the kitchen. One day I shall have a huge gourmet chef’s kitchen. And that will be my favorite room within the house. I am always in the kitchen, it seems. So, it is only natural that I love finding recipes and tweaking them to MY definition of perfection. Most of the time, they are healthy…sometimes, they are diet diabolical.

PDmeme

& most likely type 2 diabetes. Actually, living in Savannah, we have her famous restaurant near by. We tried it just to say we did. Yeah, that food is for non-Southern people to think they are having authentic Southern food. The husband and I agreed that our grandmothers cooked better. Since his is from South Alabama and mine is from Central Alabama, both have very different cooking styles.

Most of the time, I take a semi-healthy recipe and make it even healthier by switching out with more nutritious foods. For instance, my White Cheese Spinach Pizza. I take a Toufayan Wheat Flatbread, lightly moisten it with olive oil (or melted Ghee), spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese…I like them mixed), sprinkle some sautéed spinach and minced garlic on it, cover with some mozzarella cheese, and bake at 400 degrees F until cheese has melted. Then broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese has browned some. Voilà! A much healthier version of pizza. The original recipe called for a homemade white wheat crust, lots of olive oil, and a ton more cheese than I used.

I made a healthier chicken enchilada casserole last week. It isn’t something I would eat while training unless I wanted a “cheat meal” without a huge setback like Mexican takeout would cause. But, I felt it was sufficient for a growing pregnant body. I used 8 taco sized wheat tortillas (cut them in half), 2 Frontera red enchilada sauces (I wish I could find something less processed, but then taste becomes an issue), a 15oz can of unsalted black beans, 3 boiled chicken breasts (I boil mine in water, a tsp of ghee, and FlavorGod’s Taco Tuesday seasoning), 4 chopped green onions, and a large bag of monterey-jack cheese blend. Just layer it into a rectangular pan: Sauce, 4 tortilla halves, chicken, beans, onions, cheese, sauce, tortillas, chicken, beans, onions, tortillas, sauce, and cheese. (No, that isn’t a typo.) Stick that casserole into the oven at 375 F for 35-45 minutes and you have a good meal. I topped mine with chopped black olives and sour cream. (If you prepare ahead and the chicken is cold, of course you will need to cook it longer.)

Lastly, I made a banana nut bread. I always use walnuts, so it is more of a banana walnut bread for me. This isn’t that healthy…at all. I use it as a breakfast treat. The recipe came from Starbucks, years ago. I was in college, someone gifted me a Starbucks giftcard, and it was an awesome gift for me. I never ordered “fancy” drinks from Starbucks in college, well, because I’m cheap and couldn’t fathom spending money on it. I would buy regular coffee though. So, this giftcard opened a whole new door for me. Haha! So, I was standing in line and noticed their banana walnut bread recipe for the taking…FOR FREE! It was during their “we make wholesome foods” campaign. The recipe goes: 2C flour (I use 1C all purpose white & 1C all purpose wheat), 1tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 egg, 1 1/8C sugar, 1/2C vegetable oil, 2tbsp buttermilk (whole works too), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 3-4 ripe medium to large bananas, and 3/4C toasted walnuts. Bake at 325 F in a 9x5x3 loaf pan (I divide batter into 2 loaves.) for 45-60 minutes. (If I do 1 loaf, it takes nearly 1.5 hours, but if I bake 2 loaves, it takes 40 minutes.) I mix all the wet ingredients, except for the bananas. Then slowly add the dry ingredients, then add the bananas; mix well. Fold walnuts into batter. That’s it! The banana bread is heavenly!!

I hope you try out these recipes and make them your own!

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