Pizza!

So Way says I make the best Pizza ever ūüôā ¬† Not sure if that’s true but we sure enjoy it. ¬†¬†We are planning on doing a vegan week soon so we are busy eating everything that falls under the meat and dairy umbrella in our home. ¬† What better way of using¬†Mozzarella¬†than Pizza right?

ingredients

Pizza Ingredients

There is no set amounts that I do for this pizza and sometimes I do minor variations depending on what we have in the house and what flavors we are in the mood for.

These are listed as I add them to the pizza:
Pizza crust, I like Boboli but there are plenty out there or make your own!
Pizza sauce, we use very little since it causes heartburn for some.
1 clove finely chopped garlic
Fresh Basil, I use about 12 – 16 large leaves, chopped or torn
Shallots, sliced and broken up into rings, usually I use 2 – 3
Mozzarella cheese, the fresher and fancier the better, this time I used Safeway brand and it’s pretty good and very inexpensive.
Mild Italian Sausage, fried in small pieces until brown
Pepperoni, about 8 – 12 small slices

I sprinkle a little bit more cheese on top along with a few more rounds of shallots and bake at 450 for about 13 – 15 minutes or until cheese on top is getting golden and bubbly.

pizza

Finished Pizza

Sorry I forgot to take the picture after it came out of the oven, I was hungry and it smelled too good ūüôā

Cheers!
Gem

We’re going Vegan for a week!

That’s right, we’ve decided to try a totally vegan diet for at least a week. ¬† We’ve been eating pretty healthy over the past year, no junk food, very little processed food, organic whenever possible, non GMO, grass-fed beef and free range chicken. ¬†We’ve lately tried to be much more¬†conscious¬†of the calories we eat every day and while that’s great, all this has not had enough of a positive effect on how we feel.

So why now? ¬†Well I was visiting one of my favorite blogs (www.raptitude.com) yesterday and read all the latest posts which included one of David’s experiments: ¬† ¬†What I Discovered When I Went Vegan for 30 Days

Reading this was like a big light going off over my head, it made sense, his approach was realistic and easy-going (just my style) and the results so immediate and exactly what we are looking for that I thought why not?  Worth a try certainly!

I pondered this for a little while then told Way about it. ¬†He admitted considering it before but hadn’t for many of the reason’s David put it off for so long. ¬† So he agreed to read the post and when he was done, his exact words were “I’m in baby”!

So basically going Vegan means, no animal foods which for most people means, no meat, no dairy. ¬† Knowing that many foods have animal based ingredients in them, we decided that we best take an inventory of what we had to eat ¬†in our pantry before we could begin. ¬†We were pleasantly surprised to find very few things that we couldn’t eat on a vegan diet. ¬†There are still a few ingredients that I am not sure about but I have a handy app on my android phone that will tell me all that information. ¬† ¬† We don’t plan to be militant about it. ¬†If we eat something we didn’t know was dairy or animal, oops. ¬†We will just do our best and we figure that even if we only manage 90 or 95%, that’s got to have a great benefit and I will be very happy with that.

We will be doing some research and gathering some resources and will post them in the links section and/or in this diary section as we progress to our vegan week. ¬†I won’t waste food so nothing we currently have will be thrown out but used and we will add more vegan products as we go. ¬†I anticipate that we will probably have a week of 50% vegan then another week at 80% before we go full-time. ¬† I know many vegans say it’s all or none but we are not interested in labels or in unrealistic attitudes when faced with the few challenges that we have to work around. ¬† I’ll write more about those in future posts as we deal with them.

Suggestions, links, resources, recipes and anything else that might be helpful to us will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!
Gem

The Best Chicken Enchiladas Suizas Recipe in the World

Not exactly low cal but with some tips and other recipes on the web we managed to cut it down nicely and the low cal version was even better than the richer ones.

I had been craving Chicken Enchiladas Suiza (green sauce) for a while so when we finally decided to do it we started with this:

The Best Chicken Enchiladas Suizas Recipe in the World

Here is my version of it:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
¬Ĺ red or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
8 oz. grated cheddar & jack cheese
1 12-oz. can green chile enchilada sauce
green chile salsa about ¬ľ to ‚Öď cup
3 teaspoons ground cumin

salt and black pepper
12 to 15 white corn tortillas
‚Öď c Monterey Pepper Jack cheese, grated
¬Ĺ cup whipping cream
¬ľ cup chicken broth

Garnish:
chopped avocado or guacamole
chopped tomato
chopped then saute mexican onions, sliced

Place chicken in pan of boiling water to cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, cool, and shred chicken. In skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Cook onion and bell peppers until just soft, 5-8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Add chicken, cheese, green chile sauce, salsa, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Note: you can do this much a day ahead and store in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking pan or 2 smaller pans.

Pour green enchilada sauce into pie pan, coat tortilla on each side then fill with mixture.  Roll up and place, seam side down, in prepared pan.  Repeat process with remaining chicken mixture.  Sprinkle pepper jack and cheddar/jack mix over enchiladas.

Note: I haven’t been heating or softening the¬†tortillas¬†and sometimes they crack when you roll them up. ¬†Next time I will nuke them for a minute before I begin.

Update: Nuking the¬†tortillas¬†before rolling them was solved the cracking problem. ¬†They rolled up very nice. ¬†We took some photos that we’ll be posting in a day or so.

Combine cream and chicken broth and pour over enchiladas.  I lowered the amount by a lot from the original so just trickled a little over each one.  Cover pan with foil and bake 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Garnish individual servings with avocado, tomato and onions, if desired.

And now for my low cal version.

We are not actual counters, we work out the basic numbers so we have a general idea of each meal and how it has added up throughout the day.   I will try harder to record those numbers, especially when we are comparing like this.

Yield: 8 enchiladas
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

1 boneless skinless chicken breast (cooked and shredded approx 1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (optional)
2 cups salsa mix (we used ¬ľ pint of Whole Foods corn and black bean salsa, ¬†green chili salsa, medium, some green sauce and basic Pico de Guayo)
1/2 red or yellow pepper, diced
1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream or low fat sour cream
2 Mexican onions, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoon cumin (to taste)
2 tablespoons canned green chilies (this is optional as it is in some salsa used above)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional, we did not use)
1/2 cup low-fat cheddar & jack cheese mix, 2%
8 Р10  small white corn tortillas

  • Make salsa if you are using home-made.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cook peppers ¬†in 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil until just getting soft
  • Combine cream cheese, ¬†sour cream, ¬†onions, ¬†peppers, cumin, ¬†cilantro, salsa, jalapeno and green chilis.
  • Fold in cooked chicken.
  • Warm the¬†tortillas¬†or wraps in the microwave
  • Pour green enchilada sauce into pie pan, coat tortilla on each side then layer 1/4 to 1/3 cup of chicken mixture on each, wrap and place seam side down in 9 x 6 dish.
  • Cover with a little more salsa or green sauce and bake a half hour until heated through.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and place back in the oven until bubbling.
  • Serve with extra salsa and sour cream if desired.
  • Garnish with¬†chopped avocado and tomatoes

Cheers!
Gem

Android post

It appears that yet again “there is an app for that.”

Cheers!
Gem

Welcome to the GemWay way!

Inspired by our growing love of cooking tasty dishes and the struggle to make said tasty dishes and keep the calories low!

We had long talked about sharing our journey from cooking and eating as most of America does, namely processed food and simple dishes, to really challenging ourselves and cooking basically whatever we wanted to eat. ¬†We haven’t much let complicated steps and techniques hold us back, we just learned as we went and were having so much fun doing it, we thought we should encourage more people to do the same! ¬†We were saving money, eating real, healthy food¬†albeit¬†at times way too high in calories and we realized that we really weren’t spending that much more time in the whole process. ¬†At least some of the time anyway.

The whole process probably wouldn’t have been as easy even 5 years ago. ¬†The amount of information on the web now available is amazing. ¬†Pretty much anything we wanted to learn is available. ¬† We’ll share all that we find and have found, the first of which is¬†http://allrecipes.com/. ¬†We used search terms like “best” and “ultimate” and “fabulous” and boy have some ¬†of them been just that! ¬†We are now starting to post some of our¬†recipes¬†there as well as here and will make the appropriate links when we have done.

On a personal note, I am by no means an expert in anything, let alone writing or blogging or cooking for that matter. ¬†That’s my position and I’m sticking to it …..

Cheers!
Gem