Monday, November 11, 2013

"Skinny" Shepards Pie

I have a few basic things that I keep in mind when I'm planning meals for my family each week.  Shepards Pie has always been one of them.  It's pretty easy to make and usually a crowd pleaser.  So, when I wanted to lighten it up a little bit, I applied one of my very basic rules, and I bulked it up with veggies.  It may not be recognizable as one of your good old comfort foods, but I can say that the first time my "meat and potatoes" husband ate it, he was pretty happy.  He did say that it didn't have enough meat in it, so I added 50% more, and the calorie count is still pretty impressive.  

"Skinny" Shepards Pie

6 medium sweet potatoes (or 3 cups)
2 cans no salt added cut green beans
1 can no salt added corn 
1 c. canned creamed corn
1.5 lb 90% lean ground beef
1/2 cup 1% milk

Peel and cube sweet potatoes.  Then boil and mash with milk.  Meanwhile, brown and drain the ground beef.  Set your oven at 375.  In a 9"x9" glass or metal baking dish spread the beef on the bottom.  In a seperate bowl mix together corn and creamed corn.  Spread that mixture on top of the beef.  Drain the green beans well and then scatter them on top of the corn.  Lastly, spread the mashed sweet potatoes on top of the green beans.  Put the casserole in the oven for about 30 minutes to heat it through.

This makes 6 servings at 331 calories each.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weight Loss and Portion Control

In my experience, one of the major components to weight loss is portion control.  I've always known this, just seldom choose to care.  Right now I care, big time.  Since I am tracking all of my calories, it's important to pay attention to these things.  I've mentioned that we have always eaten pretty healthy food.  For instance tonight I'm making my family pasta and meatballs.  I am using frozen meatballs, which I would prefer not to do, but it's a big time saver for me, and whole grain pasta.  You might be surprised to know that a serving of whole grain pasta is 2 ounces.  It looks like this:

If you are like me, your heart might have just sank a little.  The first time I actually measured a serving of pasta was within the last 3 months.  It looks pretty sad doesn't it?  So, you might be wondering how to make this work.  Here is how I do it for myself and for my boys also.  

This is a serving of whole grain rotini, a serving and a half of broccoli, 4 mini Italian meatballs, and 1/4 cup of marinara sauce.  Oh, and a little bit of Parmesan cheese too.  I didn't put all of the cheese on so the photo would look better, but you better believe I will be adding some more before digging into my dinner. So total calories for me here is 440.  If you are weary of the broccoli paired with marinara sauce, just try it! 

To be clear I don't measure and weigh my kids food but I sure do for my own, and it's working wonders.  It takes all the guess work out of portion sizes really.  I recently invested in a digital food scale and I'm in love.  


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