We all know that planning meals and eating less processed food is the way for us to attain our newly minted health goals for 2011.  I love taking classic comfort foods and making them healthier.  One of my favorite makeovers was macaroni and cheese.  I actually had the best macaroni and cheese at a work pot luck several years ago.  I probably had the equivalent of three cups I just couldn’t stay away from it.

I asked the woman who brought it for the recipe and was shocked that her recipe called for a dozen eggs, and four cups of cheese! No wonder it tasted so good! 😀

I’ve made Clean Eating’s Mac N Cheese and its as close to the real deal as you can get.  And look at the difference in the stats!

So I was thrilled when the publishers of Rocco DiSpirito’s new cookbook, Now Eat This! offered me the opportunity for two of my readers to win this cookbook – and I know most of you are cookbook whores like me – but get this – they are giving me two autographed copies of the cook book to give away!

One of Hannah’s favorite dishes is coconut shrimp – I had no idea that a typical serving is over 1000 calories!  Rocco revamps this dish for a mere 178 calories.  And every recipe in the book is under 350 calories:

  • gooey jalapeno poppers (um, yes please!)
  • crab cakes with red pepper sauce
  • buffalo and blue chicken tenders
  • crispy mozzarella sticks fra diavolo (um, spicy cheese – that screams me!)
  • lobster bisque
  • spaghetti carbonara
  • deep dish pizza
  • loaded nachos
  • and for the rest of the world that loves onions: leek and sweet onion quiche! 😀

So by now you are wondering how you are going to get your pretty little hands on the two autographed cookbooks that are up for grabs?  It’s easy.  Give me your best lightened up recipe.  It doesn’t even have to be your recipe, you can leave a link from recipezaar, or maybe its a Cooking Light recipe that’s in your stack of recipes to make and you just haven’t done it yet.

Clarification:  Your can type in a recipe in the comment section, or leave the link in the comments below.  You can submit more than one recipe, but it has to be a separate comment – you can better your chances with more recipe submissions!  This contest will run for 1 week, and two winners will be randomly picked on Friday, January 14.  (Unfortunately, its for U.S. Residents only) The best part?  I plan on making a healthy eCookbook with all the recipes and you’ll get a copy if you leave a comment.

Rocco’s cookbook is a great way to enjoy the foods we love without the guilt.  And as an added bonus, the cookbook also includes healthy tips and ingredients substitutions that can help keep you on track to your healthy living goals.

And if you aren’t lucky enough to win a cookbook, you can still follow Rocco on Twitter @RoccoDiSpirito and on his Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/roccodispirito).  Do you remember all the cool things he cooked on previous episodes of Biggest Loser?  I seriously can’t wait to make the spicy mozzarella sticks! 😀

Now on with my day from yesterday 😀  I got up early and got to the gym.  Two swim lanes were open – sweet!  I picked the middle one, and about 15 minutes into the swim, a woman stands at the end of my lane and as I get closer she asks “can I share your lane?”  I look over to the last lane on the right, its still empty, I look at her and say “I am kind of slow” to which she replied “then you should be in the slow lane” and pointed to that last lane.  I’ve never heard of such a thing!  So I asked her if she could move my stuff to the end of that lane and she did.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  It’s not like its the expressway!  I swam 35 minutes without stopping 😀

I was hangry when I got to work.  When I was at Whole Foods I got these multi-grain pita breads – 3 points each.  I made a pita pizza – 1 pita, 1/4 cup pizza sauce, baby spinach, red pepper and an ounce of goat cheese.  I put it in my office’s toaster oven – 15 minutes baked at 350, then a few minutes under the broiler.

only 7 PointsPlus and so filling 😀

At lunch I did 30 minutes of strength training, and then ran a mile.  Sadly though my blood sugar was falling and I couldn’t push myself that hard – I ran the mile in 13:25.  When I got back to work, my blood sugar was 38 🙁  So I had two clementines and a banana – still loving that fruit is free!

Lunch was tomato soup and grilled cheese.  I love Campbell’s tomato soup, but its so high in sodium.  This tomato soup could not be simpler to make – and I love how the fire roasted tomatoes give the soup some smokiness.

Simple Tomato Soup 

Course: main meals
PointsPlus™ Value:    4
Servings:  4 Preparation Time:  5 min
Cooking Time:  15 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy


  28 oz canned tomatoes, one diced tomato, one fire roasted tomato
  1 Tbsp olive oil
  3 cup(s) chicken stock
  1/3 cup(s) heavy whipping cream
  1 Tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
  1 serving(s) Hot Sauce, Tabasco
  1 clove(s) garlic clove(s) (medium)


Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, taking care not to brown the garlic.
Stir in the canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
Remove from stove, let cool slightly. Using a stick blender puree soup. Add in cream and hot pepper sauce, and adding salt and pepper to taste.


4 points for two cups of soup - I sprinkled about a tablespoon of goat cheese on top

 And I had a pepper jack cheese and deli ham sandwich on pumpkin seed bread.

Here is a picture of the bread I’ve been using:

If I hadn’t opened this package, it’s good until November 2011!

When I was at Whole Foods I wanted to pick up some tuna steaks – Tony loves them and I always say we’ll eat more fish/seafood dishes, but I am kinda picky about it.  They didn’t have any fresh, so I picked up this package for $8.99 for two steaks.

They defrosted in our refrigerator all day.  I just rolled the sides in sesame seeds.  Tony likes his really rare, I like mine more medium (although I did end up over cooking mine a tad).  I made a brown rice fried rice on the side, however Tony didn’t approve of my lack of butter and skimpy 1 tsp. of oil.

Dinner is 13 PointsPlus

Stats for Thursday:

  • 36 Points (7 Flex Remaining, 42 Activity points not used)
  • 35 minute swim
  • 30 minutes strength training
  • 13:35 mile
  • average blood sugar 91

Can’t wait to see all the healthy recipes!   Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday. 😀