Light n’ Fluffy Egg Casserole #Recipe

Sunday had me on an OCD kick. The fridge needed a spring cleaning, and wouldn’t you know, when things are organized, they sometimes take up more space than they did before. So, we found ourselves in need of making some yummy food to make space. (By the way, if you’ve ever seen our fridge, I am sure you are shaking your head wondering how in the world we could ever run out of space, but it’s very easy.)

Thus commenced the egg casserole experiment! My dad is known among every church he’s ever preached at for his breakfast casserole. Don’t get me wrong, it is ahhh-mazing…but I couldn’t tempt the amount of calories or have the space/patience to wait overnight for the good soak it truly requires. Instead, I attempted one of my own, and I have to say, it was light, fluffly, and nutritious. Can’t go wrong with that!

Here’s our recipe, I wish I had the nutrition information, but I know it was within my 400-500 calories for a lunch, so win.

Light n’ Fluffy Egg Casserole (by ‘lil Burghers)
Ingredients
8 x 8 baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray
6 eggs worth of Egg Beaters
1/4 cup cheddar cheese plus 1/8 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
5 pieces of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 whole wheat dinner rolls, torn into “bits”
Various Veggies (we used broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, celery, and cauliflower), cut into tiny bits

Instructions
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the extra 1/8 cup of cheddar. Stir so everything is well coated.
3. Pour into the baking dish, and top with the rest of the cheddar.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. You really just have to watch and see when it is nice and fluffy and “brownish” on top…you don’t want uncooked eggs!
5. Top with some Tabasco (or ketchup) and enjoy!

Temptations

One of the hardest parts of trying to eat healthy are the temptations of the “old life”, but I am learning to manage them fairly well. My mantra has been, if I don’t allow myself a taste, I am just going to go absolutely crazy on some treats when I do let myself go. I’m talking mostly about sweets, my lifeblood while I was pregnant with ‘lil Miss A (so someone tell me how I lost weight eating sweets while pregnant with her, but now gain 10 pounds when I sniff sugar in the air, now). Sweets like yummy ice cream, brownies, and cookies. Yum.

The tough part is that is is almost my birthday (the one most people consider their “last”), and that means I am going to want a treat. Will it be a cookie from the local bakery? A cupcake from another local baker with a famous baker? Some red velvet cake? Or some home-delivered cheesecake from Cheesecake.com (who also is baking up an idea for (shut the front door) Cheesecake of the Month!)? I think I am going to have to put my finger on one good treat and enjoy the who knows what out of it, then not beat myself up for it.

What do you do to curb temptations? Is there a must have treat, or do you find substitutes through yogurts and popsicles (which 98% of the time works for me)? The problem is, there isn’t a cheesecake popsicle (and even worse, I just remembered how much I love Turtle Cheesecake while writing this post). Ok, time to stop thinking about yummy cheesecake and to start drinking some water, right? ;)

This post was brought to you by your friends at Cheesecake.com–an Epic Cheesecake Experience. I was not provided any cheesecake for this post (but oh, wouldn’t that be great?), and the thoughts are 100% my own.

Standing a bit Taller

My journey to losing weight has been a crazy one my entire life. You know that because I wrote about it in my resolutions. Let’s call this post, on the third of February, a little update on #1 and #2. My typical weight loss fashion has been lose a bit, gain a bit, lose a bit, gain a bit. In reality, I end up losing more than I ever share because I gain and then have to shed that.

This month has been no exception. At the beginning of the month, I was -20.5 pounds since October 17. Last Friday I was at -26.5 thinking what a great way that would be to end January (I still had 4 days to do more). Well, life happened and had other ideas. I didn’t post on my Lose It account because I was 1) busy and 2) embarrassed, but I did share with Mr. Burgher and my cousin who has been working on this with me. You know, I went and gained 4.5 pounds from Friday to Tuesday!

Thank you, Sonic. Your temptation of 10 bites of ice cream…it was so good but so bad.

Thank you, stress and a messed up schedule. When I don’t eat on my schedule, it always messes with me. This weekend I worked from 5-3:30 both days, then spent extra time in the office on Monday. It really made for a mess of my eating.
Thank you, burgers and Chinese. Quick, easy options, and eating with guys does that to you. I am not going to dare blame Olive Garden because I did well there (thanks to the Chinese guilt) and I ate salad then a few bites of my meal (that became leftovers along with half of the Chinese). Or maybe I should.
Thank you, lack of working out. Sitting in a desk chair for many hours will do that.
Thank you, dehydration. I simply didn’t get near enough water.

But, I set a goal. I gave myself ’til today to get it all off and be back at my last Friday weight. And here I am! I did it! Today I can stand a bit taller because I’ve admitted my slip. I’ve overcome my guilt. I’ve done well. I lost 4.5 pounds in 3 days by working out, drinking water, and being back on my normal eating schedule. I have confidence I am going to blow my nutritionist’s -6 pound goal out of the water by 2/20. But I trust you’ll keep me honest. Come be my friend on Lose It or share your successes and fears of weight loss. Sometimes it takes a village, and I need to remember that.

Time to go put on some smaller jeans and get out the door. *smiles*

A New Favorite: Corn Casserole

It’s about time for me to share with you one of my new favorite recipes. For Thanksgiving, I made Skinny Taste’s Make-Over Corn Casserole. It was a hit, and will definitely be part of our Christmas meal. Healthy, yet oh, so good. I can’t help but demand that you give it a try.

‘lil Miss A helping Mama out…the only bad thing about this casserole is that I didn’t make it with dairy free alternatives!

A New Dining Experience

Disclaimer–this post is a personal experience review of a restaurant and is not a paid or prompted advertisement…just my personal thoughts and recommendations!

One of the things I like most about going away on vacation is trying new things. We were tandem driving to Virginia with my parents on a Sunday afternoon and left the dinner choice up to them as to where we would eat dinner. They told us to get off in Woodbridge, Virginia and meet them at a place called Zoes Kitchen. We stepped inside the “fast casual” restaurant and took a peak at the menu board while my parents used the restroom. I wasn’t really sure it was a place they’d love–the dishes didn’t offer our typical “meat and potatoes” options–but we decided to stick around and give it a shot.

The first thing I always do is worry about what ‘lil Miss A and her peanut/milk allergy will allow her to eat. The menu led me straight to a “roll up” which was basically a chicken taco and I’d ask for no cheese. Easy enough!

Next, I worried about my not so exotic palate husband, but he was pretty excited about some of the options on the menu, so I started to decide what I might want. Frankly, I wanted it all. Our eating habits as of late have sort of changed as we are trying to make healthier choices, and I was pretty excited about the “Mediterranean-inspired” vegetable rich dishes. While I was struggling with narrowing down my ideas, my parents had decided what they wanted.

I asked Mr. Burgher about what he would do–I was torn between the Spinach Roll-ups with Chicken and the Veggie Kabobs (following an AMAZING experience with a portobello mushroom at Carraba’s in Denver). He threw a loop in my choices by telling me he was between the Spinach Roll-Ups and the Chicken Pita Pizza (which came with a side Greek salad–yay, veggies!). I read the description and knew I’d love the pizza, too. Our decision ended up being to split the pizza and roll-ups and get Fresh Squeezed Limeade to drink.

Can I just say that this food was amazing? For the fast-casual atmosphere and being an un-ordinary choice for us, I was VERY pleased. Part of me worried that we might be hungry before we went to bed, but that wasn’t a problem. ‘lil Miss A loved her roll-up, especially getting to dip it in her sauce. The spinach in our roll-ups was tasty and perfectly complimented by the chicken and feta. The pizza? Something I am going to make at home (but know for darn sure I won’t be able to completely recreate the amazingness)! My mom also got the roll-ups and my dad’s turkey sandwich with slaw hit the spot, too. As for the limeaide, I really wish I had been able to get a refill (but I don’t like to drink too much while on the road).

The only thing that I regret about this stop is that I didn’t allow myself to indulge in a house-baked chocolate chip cookie (but I felt like it would negate the goodness that I was eating at the time). Oh, and that there isn’t a location closer to us! Definitely will stop back next time I get a chance.

Have a Heart

On October 22, Mr. Burgher, ‘Lil Man, and I walked with my work in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.

We walked for:
* 2 Pop 4 Sure
* Uncle B
* Pappy Jack P
* Cousins M and D
* First Mate G
* And all the others who’ve been impacted by Heart Disease


Cause we really want to be around for this ‘lil guy and his big sister!

How NOT to Cut a Sweet Potato

Ever since I joined the Drop 10 in 10 class, Mr. Burgher has become 100x more on board with healthy eating. One of our favorite go to side dish has been sweet potato fries. Mr. Burgher and I both have had our share of nicking our hands while trying to cut these roots into fries, so it’s a bit frustrating when we decide to make them. But let me tell you, they are worth 100s of sweat beads, let me tell you. But on to the story.

***

A few weeks ago, Mr. Burgher convinced me to tag along on a trip to Harbor Freight, a discount tool store. Because we are crazy couponers, he had plenty of freebies and discounts for us. The catch? We had to buy a few full price items. While browsing the store, I happened upon this incredible little find.

It sure looks like it would be helpful in cutting up some fries, right?

Mr. Burgher got us set up. The first thing you have to do is peel your potatoes (I mean, you can keep the skin on, we just prefer them “naked”).

Then, he did have to take out the knife and make the potatoes a little more manageable. Not as bad to just outright cut them, but still, a job.

Now came the test. He put the tater in the sleeve and pulled the lever.

I wasn’t in the kitchen when he tried to make the magic happen…but the grunts I heard didn’t sound good. I tiptoed out to see what the problem was and found him struggling to get the lever down. This was not good news. I grabbed the lever and tried myself.

Have you ever bent metal? Yeah…if you try to cut a sweet potato with a fry cutter, you too might find out how it feels. Nope, it doesn’t make you feel strong. Can you see the bend here? If not, take my word on it.

This is how NOT to cut a sweet potato. Struggle through the knife to root. Trust me, ok?

Our Sweet Potato Fries:

3 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cut)

Shake in this mixture:
2 TBSP EVOO
1/4 cup Orange Juice
Salt, Pepper

Spread out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle some brown sugar on them.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning at 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Perfect Pesto

Sunday was a perfect day and we spent most of it out by the pool. When it came to dinner, I wanted something quick and easy. I had a huge bag of spinach in the fridge and for some reason, I wanted to eat most of it for dinner. The problem I have with spinach (in a salad, for instance) is that it has a “fuzzy” feel to it. I am a huge texture person, so that’s major for me. If I taste even the littlest bit, I throw the bag out (awful!). So before I got that far, I got an idea to try to make pesto with it.

First, I took 2 tablespoons of EVOO into a pan and added a tablespoon of chopped garlic, letting that brown up.

Next, it was time to add that glorious bag of spinach. It took almost the whole bag, and we honestly could’ve had a lot more added in!

‘Cause see? It cooked down to this.

To make it more sauce like, I added in 2 tablespoons of margarine. It seemed “stringy”, so I felt like I needed to “process” it a little more. Into the small food processor it went, plus some Romano cheese and Italian herbs.

After a few chops, it got creamy and more like sauce.

It was less than I expected, but plenty for Mr. Burgher and I to split for our pasta servings. We took it from the pan and put it on a mix of whole wheat and regular pasta.

It was quite the perfect mixture for us, and really hit the spot. Next time you crave pasta, why don’t you give this one a try?

“Perfect Pesto”

2 Tablespoons EVOO
1 Tablespoon choppped garlic
1 bag of fresh spinach
2 Tablespoons margarine
1 Tablespoon Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
1 Tablespoon Italian herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro)

Be ready to say “yum”!

My Breakfast of Champions

Those of you who follow along at Lil Burghers know that I am participating in a Healthy Living Challenge at work. I have always been one who has to have a breakfast in order to function. Living healthier, I like to control my breakfasts and lunches so that I don’t have to completely give up the things I like for dinners. The past three weeks, I have relied on fat-free vanilla yogurt (store brand from my favorite local grocery store…) and bulk granola (from my favorite local grocery store’s foodie heaven). It has been a delicious and filling sweet treat for the mornings.

There just might be some chocolate chips mixed in there…you decide. :)