Food Writing & Food Photography from a self-proclaimed Foodie

Archive for the ‘Low Calorie’ Category

The Glory of WRAPS!

So….hey!  It’s been a while since I’ve been around here!  Alot has happened since I was here.  We had a baby girl – October 2011 (so yeah, she is 15 months now).  Since I was the one staying home with her, it didn’t leave me a lot of time for much of anything, particularly food writing/blogging or restaurant reviewing.  But since our little bundle of joy came into our lives, we have been trying to change a lot of things in our lives, especially the way that we eat and relate to food and exercise.  So far we’re doing pretty well!  My wife has gone to a plant-based diet (aka vegan), and I have gone to a part-time plant-based diet.  I still like my eggs, and some meats, but am discovering that the longer we do this, the less that I want red meat.  And this is a good thing!  We are also working out together about three days per week at the gym, and then I try to squeeze in a couple of other days on my own while she will do yoga with another friend of ours.  It’s all good and we love our lives – and we love modeling to our kids about eating healthy and new foods, as well as exercising regularly.  We don’t ever want our baby girl to remember her mommies as being overweight – she’s going to have enough to deal with by having two mommies!  LOL

But I digress.  I am discovering the glory of WRAPS!  Over the past year, in my mind, when I wanted to eat a “healthier” fast food lunch (ie:  not a burger), I would go to Subway and get a sandwich.  Unfortunately, since I have spent almost a year logging my food and counting calories, I have learned that this is not always the “healthier” standard!  I used to get a six inch flatbread sandwich, with chicken and bacon, shredded american mixed cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Southwest Chipotle sauce.  Want to know how many calories that is?  570.  I only allow myself 1200 per day, sometimes more when I work out; so when I look at 570, that doesn’t leave much for my other meals and snacks.  Interestingly enough, the Quarter Pounder w/Cheese that I used to get without cheese is 520 calories (probably around 500 without the cheese).  So see?  My old Subway sandwich was NOT better, except maybe only in that there were some veggies on it.

Well, then one day I was at the store and saw some flatbread and thought I would get some and try a wrap one day for lunch.  I think that the first one I made had ham, cheese, spinach leaves, tomatoes, pickles and mayo.  Not sure what the calories were, but I know it was less than 570.  But then the other day, my wife subscribed to a website that is now providing weekly vegan meal plans/recipes.  One of the recipes was a veggie wrap with hummus and kalamata olives, so we put it on our weekly meal plan rotation, and planned it on a night that we work out so we could have it when we got home from the gym.  Let me just tell ya….last night’s wraps were absolutely amazing, as well as low calorie!  I put a couple of slices of mesquite chicken lunchmeat on mine, along with everything else, so mine was only slightly higher in calories – but WOW.  Here is what I put on them:

  • Whole wheat Flatbread
  • Roasted Garlic Hummus (instead of mayo or mustard)
  • Sliced chicken (on mine)
  • Kalamata olives
  • Lettuce or Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Purple onion slices

Mine, with the chicken was 294 calories; my wife’s wrap, without the chicken, was approximately 234 calories.

Very filling, tasted fantastic, and was WAY less than a “healthy” sandwich at Subway.  I loved it so much, I had the exact same wrap for lunch today….it may be my new go-to instead of sandwiches or turkey hot dogs!


Healthy Potato Latkes

Last year during Hanukkah, we were trying to teach our youngest some of the traditions of the holiday, along with stories, games, and food.  We had been eating a very low-calorie and low-carb diet for a couple of months prior to that, so we were perplexed as to how we could make traditional Hanukkah fare:  Potato latkes.  Well, we found a recipe on Real Simple’s website for latkes that you bake, rather than frying in oil – yay!  Here are the stats (per serving):

  • Calcium:  5 mg.
  • Calories:  50
  • Carbs:  8 g.
  • Cholesterol:  18 mg.
  • Fat:  2 g.
  • Fiber:  1 g.
  • Protein:  1 mg.
  • Sodium:  104 mg.


  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large pkg. shredded hash browns (or you can make your own, using 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes)
  • 1 med. red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Applesauce and sour cream, for serving


  • Heat oven to 450 degrees; spray baking sheets and set aside
  • Place the thawed hash browns in a large bowl with the onion, flour, salt, pepper, eggs, and tbsp. of oil.  Toss to mix well
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets and press lightly to make patties
  • Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom; turn the latkes with a metal spatula and rotate the baking sheets.  Bake another 5 minutes or until golden
  • Transfer to a platter and serve with the applesauce and/or sour cream

Wayne’s Pumpkin Smash

This is a recipe that we found this past Thanksgiving, posted online by Hungry Girl.  We had been fiercely dieting and losing weight, and didn’t want to blow it when confronted with all of the holiday foods from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  So we found a recipe to a crustless pumpkin pie, and then we tweaked it to be able to use Truvia rather than sugar or Splenda.  Here are the stats (per serving):

  • 65 calories
  • <0.5g fat
  • 81 mg. sodium
  • 12g carbs
  • 1g fiber
  • 7g sugars
  • 5g protein
  • Points value:  1


  • 1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk, reduced fat or fat-free
  • 1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
  • 18 packets Truvia sweetener
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Fat-free Cool Whip


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine all ingredients in large bowl or mixer and mix thoroughly
  • Place mixture in a baking dish (8″ x 8″ works well) sprayed lightly with nonstick spray; bake for 45 minutes (it will remain a little soft, like pie filling)
  • Once ready to serve (it’s delicious eaten hot or cold), cut into 9 pieces.
  • Spoon Cool Whip on top and serve.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

I love, love, LOVE barbecue – and living in the South, it’s something that I have always had readily available.  But the sugar in the sauces made the carbs and calories through the roof!  Well, God bless Hungry Girl for creating a recipe for low-calorie and semi-low-carb Pulled Pork!  Here are the stats (per serving):

  • 220 calories
  • 6g fat
  • 540 mg. sodium
  • 16g carbs
  • 1g fiber
  • 12g sugars
  • 24g protein
  • POINTS value – 5


  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (I use Reduced Sugar Ketchup to lower the calories a bit more)
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. brown sugar (I use the Splenda blend of brown sugar, again, to lower calories a bit more)
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups sliced onion, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 3/4 lb. raw lean boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
  • 3/4 lb. raw boneless pork shoulder (the leanest piece you can find), trimmed of excess fat
  • Optional:  crushed red pepper (I didn’t use this)


  • To make the sauce, place all ingredients except onion and pork in the crock pot.  Stir until mixed.  Add onion and pork and coat well with the sauce.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours OR on low for 7-8 hours, until pork is fully cooked.
  • Remove all of the pork and place it in a large bowl or on a large cutting board.  Shred each piece using two forks.
  • Return the shredded pork to the crock pot and mix well with the sauce.
  • Serve on thin, multi-grained buns or with no bread for lower carbs/calories; can also serve with Hungry Girl’s coleslaw