Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Take THAT, taste buds!

One of my favorite comfort foods is rice topped with chili and cheese. Mmmmm!

One slight problem: It's basically a massive pile of carbs and fat!!! These two things are the bane of the existence of someone who struggles with high cholesterol and high blood glucose. /sad. Imagine my delight when I discovered a much more healthful version of this treat!

I came across a webpage yesterday that showed all sorts of healthful substitutes for non-so-healthful foods. One thing they suggested was substituting food-processed cauliflower for rice. I decided to try it out.

I prepared the cauliflower by cutting it into food-processor-friendly chunks, then pulsing it until the pieces looked rice-sized. I then cooked it in the microwave for 3 minutes (don't add water!.

Next, it was time for the chili. Alas! My beloved canned chili is LOADED with carbs and fat! I decided to experiment...

I picked up a chili seasoning packet from the store, and a small can of tomato sauce with which to mix it. I made the mix as directed, omitting the ground beef and beans.

I also decided to try mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar, just to see how many calories I could shave off.

You know what? It tastes pretty damned good!!! I mean, I can definitely tell I'm not eating the usual rice, chili, and cheese. However, it retains most of the "yummy" factor while cutting out a HUGE portion of the bad stuff:

1 serving of normal Rice, Chili, and Cheese: 485 calories, 79g ECC (effective carbs), 16g fat

1 serving of the healthful alternative: 122 calories, 8g ECC, 4g fat


(Effective Carbs means subtracting the amount of fiber from the total carbs).

Next time I'm going to try some fat-free cheddar cheese on it to see how it tastes.

One more healthy-yet-seemingly-decadent recipe to add to the arsenal.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

/rant on

As I sit here surfing the web after returning from my morning constitutional, I am reminded of something that I discovered quite a while ago at which I am outraged. Consider this a PSA:

Everyone knows what Splenda is, right (I'm speaking specifically about the powdered, sugar-substitute version)? (Everyone shouts, "Yeah, it's sucralose, and it doesn't have any calories!"). WRONG! Well, partly. I'll explain.

Splenda is, of course, an artificial sweetener. It DOES contain a tiny amount sucralose, which is a non-caloric super-sweetener. However, Splenda is made almost ENTIRELY (95%) of dextrose and maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is found in soooooooo many "sugar free" products. The problem, though, is that maltodextrin has nearly the same blood glucose-raising effect as does real sugar. And, of course, dextrose basically IS real sugar.

Ok, so for those who are just counting calories, this isn't that big a concern. HOWEVER, for those of us who need to watch our blood glucose levels, and who use Splenda as a sugar substitute TO AVOID RAISING BLOOD GLUCOSE, it's a pretty big deal!

So I'm pretty pissed off at the Splenda people. However, I'm even MORE pissed off at the folks who make the off-brand Splenda clones. The stuff in those bags is identical to Splenda, but get this: Those people have the BALLS to label their product "SUCRALOSE." I really don't see how they can get away with calling a product by the name of an ingredient of which it only contains 5%!

/rant off

Have a great day!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Makin' do with nothin' -- The Anniversary Edition

So, today (errr, I guess it's "yesterday," now) is (was) my 15th wedding anniversary. Yep, a girl voluntarily stuck by me for that long. Yeah, I'm amazed, too! Anyway, we're pretty broke right now, as usual. But we still had a pretty friggin' enjoyable day!

Sleeping in late together - $0

Splitting a Subway $5 footlong for lunch - $6 (with tax, rounded up)

X-Large convenience store fountain drink x 2 - $3

Watching tons of streaming stuff together on Netflix - about $.20 (Netflix streaming = $7.99/month divided by 30 days, divided by 2 since we didn't quite watch half a day's worth, plus Xbox Live gold membership divided by the same)

Taking a walk with the dog on a gorgeous, sunny day - $0

Watching a Netflix DVD movie together - about $.34(adding 1 DVD out at a time to Netflix is $2 more/month, and we usually watch about 6 per month)

Little Caesar's large deep dish pizza with our favorite toppings - $11

Carton of our favorite ice cream to share - $3

Total cost of one really nice anniversary - $23.54

Not too shabby!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sleep is for the weak

Sooo, apparently this is gonna be another 48-hour day. I haven't had one of those in a while. I'm wide awake at 4:30 am. It's too late to try to sleep, so I guess I'll just stay up for another day.

FINE BY ME! Sleep is such a waste of time, anyway. I **hate** that my body requires it once in a while!

Now if there were only a practice room available at this time of day...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I thought this was pretty neat

This is a project some kids at my old high school put together. Really cool!

Coolest...assignment...ever!

A walkin' fool

So ever since my student teaching ended a few weeks ago, I've had this irresistible urge to walk (after the requisite post-semester few days of sitting on my ass doing NOTHING, of course!) all over the place. Seriously. I find myself looking for reasons to walk instead of drive to places. Yesterday I actually tried to convince myself that I should walk out to Wal-Mart to buy some zippy bags. I finally decided that a 7-mile round trip was a bit of an extreme walk for the procurement of a few ounces of extruded plastic film.

I guess my addiction to walking is a far better one than the addictions of MOST of the (for lack of a better word) "people" in my neighborhood...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not that anyone is reading this, but ...

I had totally forgotten about this blog. Not that my life is so interesting that I need a place to post about all the amazing things that happen to me, or anything! One good thing did happen recently, though. I finally graduated college. Yep, only about 12 years late. Still, it is nice to be finished. (I must be a sicko -- I'm turning right around and doing a master's degree starting this summer). I even managed to salvage a decent GPA in spite of the mess I made of things when I first started college at Pitt State all those years ago.

Maybe I'll start writing on this page more regularly, just for the heck of it.

See ya!