Cheddar Steak Quesadilla

One of my guilty pleasures is Taco Bell’s steak quesadilla.

I love it. I don’t care if it’s not real meat and how it has a thousand calories. I just love it.

But since it’s horrible for my diet, I decided to make a lighter version to satisfy my cravings.

There’s 3 reasons why I love their steak quesadillas:

1) Steak. Love it. Can eat it every day and could never be a vegetarian.

2) Cheese. Melted. Gloriuos cheese.

3) Their mild sauce. Perfect in this. Just perfect!

So for my steak quesadillas I used lean beef filet, low-fat cheddar and for the sauce a simple fry sauce (lite mayo+ketchup+a pinch of cayenne) and well it turned out ahhmazing! For the tortillas I found 100 calories whole wheat tortillas in the store and they worked and tasted great!

So if you’re craving some quesadillas but don’t want to ruin your diet, go ahead and make these I promise they’re just as good!

And did I mention they take 20mins to make? Yep, do it.

Cheddar Steak Quesadillas

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean beef filet
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar, shredded
  • 4 whole wheat 100 calorie tortillas
  • 3 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Spray a heavy skillet with cooking spray and heat up over high heat.
  2. Season the steak with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet.
  3. Cook on each side until browned and rare to medium-rare.
  4. Let rest on a cutting board for 10mins. Slice thin.
  5. In a small bowl combine the mayo, ketchup and cayenne.
  6. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.
  7. On half of the tortilla spread 1 tbsp of mayo spread, top with sliced steak and 1/4 cheese. Fold over. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  8. Cook the quesadilla in the preheated skillet until golden brown on both side and the cheese melts.
  9. Slice and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Best Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who said that if you’re trying to lose weight you can’t eat cookies?

Well definitely not this girl! I strongly encourage it :)

There’s a million chocolate chip cookie recipes out there so why choose this one?

Well because it’s super easy to make and it’s swimsuit friendly :)

Each cookie has only 124 calories! So go ahead, indulge and grab 2!

Only 33 days until the sunny beaches of Puerto Vallarta! Can you tell how excited I am! :)

I bought 2 new swimsuits and 5 dresses! And I’ve been working out like a maniac…

And I finally went tanning yesterday! It feels soo good to finally have some color :)

So after a long workout, go ahead reward yourself with a skinny cookie! You earned it :)

Best Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 15 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used regular dark chocolate chips because I was out of minis)
  • a sprinkle of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a bowl with electric or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla and applesauce and beat to combine.
  3. Slowly add the flour and baking soda, beating until combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2hrs or preferably overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Drop the dough by rounded tbsp on a cookie sheet.
  8. Sprinkle each ball of cookie dough with sea salt.
  9. Bake for 9-11mins.
  10. Let cool completely before digging in :)

Jalapeno Cheddar BBQ Chicken Burgers

Today it’s all about burgers.

Chicken Burgers that is!

But not dry and bland chicken burgers, that’s booring!

Moist, delicious, slightly spicy chicken burgers! Add some BBQ sauce and some cheddar and you have probably the yummiest chicken burger there is!

Yum! Now I’m not saying that these burgers are better than beef because well that’s really not possible, but they are wonderful in their own way and definitely a great leaner, healthier alternative :) A great change from the ordinary!

And even my beef-loving husband really enjoyed them! He loves anything BBQ really so I knew it would win him over! ;)

The only thing that was missing for me was bacon because let’s face it bacon makes the world a better place but hey for a hot beach bod sometimes you have to make sacrifices :)

Jalapeno Cheddar BBQ Chicken Burgers

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 4 slices super thin cheddar (45calories)
  • 4 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • burger buns*
  • pickles*
  • light mayo*

Directions:

  1. In a bowl combine the chicken, egg, panko, bread crumbs oregano, jalapeno, salt, pepper and garlic salt.
  2. Mix until everything is incorporated and shape into 4 burger patties. Do not overmix.
  3. Grill until the burgers are cooked through.
  4. Melt the cheese on the burgers.
  5. Top each burger with 1 tbsp BBQ sauce.
  6. Serve on burger buns lightly coated with light mayo and pickles.

*Nutrition Facts do not include this items.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Soup

This has to be one of my favorite soups ever.

I can’t get enough of it!

It’s super simple to make, packed with flavor, a little spice and I just love little meatballs! Especially in soup! Remember my chicken meatball wedding soup? The bomb.

And this one just as fab! Except it’s even easier to make and the ingredient list is as basic and simple as it gets!

And I do realize it’s spring and you are probably over soups by now, but I’m telling you give this one a chance, you won’t be sorry!

Have I mentioned we are going to Mexico in 6 weeks? I am soo excited! 6 days in Puerto Vallarta :) And hopefully if I pass my test it will be a celebration trip too and I can finally relax :)

One thing though, I need to get my booty in shape! Although I’m not all that out of shape right now, I don’t feel my best and I am dreading being in bikini…

So for the next 6 weeks I am going to be hitting the gym hard! I’m going to try to get to spin twice a week and then 3-4 days of regular cardio/weight training and 1-2 rest days. And I should really go tanning…I am as pale as it gets and in Vegas, that’s pretty unacceptable :)

Back to the soup!

My husband doesn’t really care for soup. Not really at all. Whenever I tell him we are having soup for dinner, he is like “That’s it!?” But this soup, he can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner and I won’t hear any complaints. We.love.this.stuff!

And definitely bikini-friendly ;)

Spaghetti and Meatballs Soup

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 tbsp marinara sauce
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz dry spaghetti, broken into pieces
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In a big pot, over medium high heat combine the broth, water, garlic, onion, parsley, marinara and red pepper flakes.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 mins.
  3. In a bowl, combine the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, basil and parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands and shape into meatballs. I had about 36 meatballs.
  4. Transfer the meatballs in the pot and cook for 2 mins.
  5. Add the broken noodles and cook according to package directions.
  6. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt, pepper and red pepper flakes accordingly.
  7. Serve with extra grated parmesan!

Adapted from:

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while… I’ve been MIA for almost a month now…and why you might ask?

Because I’ve been extremely busy studying my butt off for my real estate exam!

That’s right I’m following in my successful husband’s footsteps and going to become a realtor too :)

Well that is if I pass the test first…

To be honest going in, I thought it would take me 2 weeks of studying and I’ll be good to go, but in reality there is soo much to learn! Especially in the beginning, I felt completely overwhelmed and let’s just say for the past 3 and half weeks I haven’t had much of a life.

And have been eating waaay too much junk food…

Like me and Taco Bell have become very close friends…too close…

But now that I’m almost done with all the studying and feel pretty confident about passing one part of the test I can start blogging again :)

Except I’ll be doing things a little different around here…

You know how much I love food right?

I mean just one glance at my Pinterest boards and you get the idea, right!?

Well this blog is starting a new chapter with healthier food! Yes I promise you it’s still going to be super indulgent and well pretty fab but it’s going to be much lighter! And I will include calories with that too :)

Every now and then I might post something a little more indulging after all we all deserve a cheat day, but for the most part I’m trying to be much more cautious about my diet and I have been hitting the gym a lot more often too :)

I even took my first spin class! Little did I know, it was an advanced class and completely kicked my butt! I was pretty sure I was either going to a) die or b) fall off the bike and 3) throw up the entire 1 hour of hell class.

But I loved every second of it! Somehow, I don’t even know how, I was actually able to keep up and made it through without giving up. Not that it didn’t cross my mind once or twice or a million times.

One negative though, my butt hurt for the next 3days. I could barely sit down.

So anyways today I am sharing a brownie recipe. And they are skinny!  And there is absolutely no butter! And did I mention you make them in your blender or food processor? Yes seriously! Less than 5 mins prep time :)

Ahhmazing :)

They are rich, fudgy, like super fudgy! I adore peanut butter/chocolate combo! Can’t get enough of it lately :) I mean it should  really be its own food group right? Because of how rich these brownies are a little goes a long way, but hey if it’s one of those days where you just need all the chocolate you can get your hands on then go ahead and indulge in these, at least you can sleep better at night knowing there’s no butter in them :)

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Serves: 16

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (you can also substitute honey, agave or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (greek yogurt or plain yogurt are also fine!)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil, making an overlap at the edges for easier removal. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients together and blend until smooth and the oats are ground up. Make sure you scrape the sides every now and then!
  4. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 23-26 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out a little moist but the brownies are set.
  5. Let completely cool, then transfer to the fridge and chill for at least an hour before cutting up.
  6. Cut into 16 slices and serve!

Variation: You can also make swirl brownies by blending everything in the blender except the peanut butter. Then once you pour the batter in the baking dish, melt the peanut butter for 30-40 seconds in the microwave and spoon on the batter. Run a knife through the peanut butter to create swirls! Either way it will be deelish!

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Jalapeno Apricot Dipping Sauce

One thing that my husband thinks he absolutely hates is coconut.

So of course, I had to try to change his mind.

I love coconut shrimp but since he is very anti-coconut I have been reluctant to try it at home.

On Pinterest I saw a recipe for coconut shrimp with pineapple sauce and it looks absolutely mouth-watering divine.

Like OMG I need this in my life right this second.

So we went to the grocery store and to his surprise I bought coconut flakes. He was all like “What do you need that for? I hate coconut!”

And so I told him that I want to attempt coconut shrimp. Well he didn’t seem pleased at all and gave me a whole spiel on how he won’t like it, but regardless I had my mind set to it and I was making some. Hey if he doesn’t want any, the more for me!

So that night I whipped a batch of coconut shrimp and my life will never be the same.

It was ridiculously easy, takes 5mins to assemble +15mins to bake and the taste would blow you away.

So I presented them in from of Your Majesty, he took one bite and what do you know? He loved them!

He couldn’t keep his hands away!

Elly and Coconut 1 – Chris 0

If you are hosting a dinner party I totally recommend making these! They are super tasty and you will definitely impress you guests! The shrimp is crunchy and slightly sweet, the sauce is sweet, tangy and slightly spicy. Just fa-bu-lous!

Coconut Shrimp with Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

Makes: 24 shrimp

For Jalapeno Apricot Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp finely chopped jalapenos

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate while preparing the shrimp.

For coconut shrimp:

  • 1 lbs uncooked large shrimp (tails on, deveined)
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch (You might use less)
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment papper
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. (I did this by hand because I thought it might be fun not but you can use hand mixer)
  3. Hold the shrimp by the tail and dip in cornstarch, shaking off any excess, then in the egg whites and then in the coconut.
  4. Bake for 15-17mins flipping halfway through.

Adapted from:

Spicy and Sweet Corn Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas again.

I think this is my third time posting a recipe for enchiladas, but I just can’t help myself.

And these are beyond easy. Like I was ahhmazed at how simple they were.

It took me 10mins to throw them together and the flavors were fab!

The enchilada sauce and the  chilli pepper in the filling gives it a slight heat and then the corn gives it a nice sweetness to balance it all out, then with have plenty of chicken and lots of shredded cheddar to turn it into my favorite yet enchilada recipe :)

Thanks to everyone that has already liked me on facebook but if you haven’t yet please do! :)

Thanks a bunches! :)

Spicy and Sweet Corn Chicken Enchiladas

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 soft taco size tortillas
  • 15 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 tsp red chilli pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream and cilantro for serving

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Spread half of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of 9×13 baking dish.
  3. In a bowl combine the chicken, corn, red chilli pepper and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  4. Distribute the chicken mixture between the tortillas and roll them up.
  5. Transfer to the baking dish and top with remaining enchilada sauce.
  6. Bake for 20mins then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for additional 5 mins or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve with sour cream on top and garnish with cilantro.

Adapted from:

Dinner for 2: Lighter Chicken Alfredo

Alfredo. The language of love.

I absolutely adore alfredo sauce.

I mean what’s not to love? It’s rich and  creamy, super cheesy, slightly garlicky, buttery goodness that just screams Indulgence.

And made light? Without using a ton of butter and oh-so-good-but-oh-so-bad heavy cream? And without sacrificing any flavor?

Is that even possible?

Well yes it is my friends!

Yes, now you can eat as much as you want of this and as often as you wish without all the guilt!

To lighten this classic dish I used only 1 tbsp of light butter, fat-free skim evaporated milk, some plain nonfat yogurt and a teeny bit of cornstarch to thicken it all up. Add up a handful of cheese, some garlic salt and plenty of pepper and there you have Light Alfredo!

The whole meal took 15 mins to make! Seriously!

I was slightly fearful of how this was going to turn out, but at the end it turned out absolutely ahhmazing! Chris even said Perfection :)

So my dears there you have it light alfredo sauce! The sauce itself has only 138 calories per serving :)

Lighter Chicken Alfredo

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1/2 cup fat-free skim evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt (or greek!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tsp water
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 small chicken breasts (about 8oz)
  • to season: dried basil, garlic salt and pepper
  • 4 oz linguine or fettuccine pasta

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Before draining pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel. Season both sides with a sprinkle of basil, garlic salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through. (I used my George Forman Grill for ease!)

Keep the chicken warm while preparing the sauce.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the evaporated milk and bring to a low boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and whisk in the water cornstarch. Let it slightly thicken then turn the heat off. Stir in the yogurt. Add the parmesan and let it melt. Season to taste with garlic salt and pepper.

In a large bowl mix the pasta and sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a little pasta water until reached desired consistency (I used about 1/4 cup of pasta water). Slice the chicken, plate and serve immediately! :)

Lighter Taco Pizza

Taco pizza.

In less than 20mins.

With basic, affordable ingredients.

And sort of light.

What’s not to love!?

So you’ve probably noticed that lately I’ve been trying to lighten up everything I’ve been eating?! And well I have.

I few weeks ago I blogged a post about trying to eat healthier and that’s precisely what I’ve been doing! I’m still indulging in my dessert but I try to balance it out by eating a lot of healthy stuff during the day. So when I sawon Pinterest I had to make it right away.

And try to make it lighter without sacrificing flavor.

So I swapped out the ground beef for lean ground turkey, for the crust I used light crescent rolls, I also used no fat refried beans, part skim cheddar cheese…

The end result was fa-bu-lous!

The crust it light, yet crispy, the ground turkey is packed with flavor, yet not too spicy and the tomatoes add a nice sweetness to balance it all. Just a great, easy, weeknight dinner that will delight your family! :)

Lighter Taco Pizza

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz lean ground turkey
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 2 cans light crescent rolls
  • 1 16oz can no fat refried beans
  • 2 cups park skim cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives, more of less to taste
  • chopped cilantro and sour cream for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 375F.

Unroll the crescent rolls into triangles. In a jelly roll pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray, press the crescent dough to cover the bottom of the pan. With your fingers go around the edge to form a thin crust. Bake for 11-13 mins or until golden brown.

In a saute pan over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of EVOO. Add the ground turkey and brown the meat, breaking it up as you go. Add the taco seasoning.

Place the refried beans in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1min. Stir.

Once the crust is done baking, spread the refried beans all over it. Add the seasoned ground turkey on top, the shredded cheese, tomatoes and black olives. Bake for another 3-5mins or until the cheese is melted. Serve with chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Adapted from:

Bailey’s Chocolate Snickers Parfaits (sort of light!)

Oh and pumpkin.

This is an easy and delicious dessert that will satisfy even the biggest chocolate craving.

And chocolate – I crave a lot!

I pretty much have to have something sweet after every meal.

It’s like a drug. If I don’t get it I feel deprived and moody and slightly bitchy and nothing can change that until I get my fix.

And this parfait is definitely very satisfying! It’s very rich and indulgent and yet sort of light. As light as any dessert can get, really…

I made the cake with chocolate mix and pumpkin!!! No oil, no eggs! Sugar-free pudding, fat-free whipped topping. The only thing that makes it naughty is the Snickers.

But you really don’t want to leave it out! Snickers makes the world a better place. Or at least I’d like to think so ;)

The hardest part is that you need to refrigerate it overnight and let all the flavors to get to know each other and marry…But all the waiting is definitely worth it!

So here’s how I made it!

Bailey’s Chocolate Snickers Parfaits

Makes 6-8 parfaits or 1 giant parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 small can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp instant espresso, combined
  • 1 box sugar-free chocolate pudding mix (and all the ingredients required by the box)
  • 4 full-size Snickers Bars, refrigerated
  • about 1/2 cup Bailey’s (i used coffee flavor)
  • 2 tubs fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl with electric mixer, combine cake mix, pumpkin puree, water and instant espresso vanilla. Bake in a cooking spray sprayed 9×13 baking dish until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean ( this will vary by oven but start checking at the minimum time said on box – mine took about 45mins to bake). Let cake cool completely. Once cooled crumble the cake.

Prepare the pudding mix according to package directions.

Roughly chop the snickers bars.

To assemble: In wine glasses or parfaits glasses, place a layer of chocolate cake on the bottom. Top it with a capful of Bailey’s, then a layer of whip topping and a layer of chopped Snickers. Repeat the layers. Repeat the process until all the ingredients have been exhausted. Make the layers as thick or thin as you’d like :)