Thursday, December 5, 2013

Think Healthy Thursday: Mashed Cauliflower & Ground Turkey Topping

With the semester coming to an end and the final projects piling in, I haven't been able to keep up with my blog. Fortunately today was more of a relaxed day for me. Because I'm such a proactive person, it almost seems wrong for me to just sit around. The term, "lazy," isn't in my vocabulary, so I had to meet myself in the middle. Why not relax with a hobby of mine? Pinterest and cooking!


Due to my new healthy lifestyle, my goal was to find a meal that was nutritious yet fulfilling. That was going to be difficult seeing as I was stuck in Thanksgiving mode. 

Tick Tock Tick Tock...

.... 6:31pm?! I only have AN HOUR to make a meal before heading to the gym and I haven't even found one yet!!


OH, MAN!!!


Substitution for mashed potatoes - Mashed cauliflower!
Substitution for ground beef - Ground turkey!


Think Healthy Thursday:

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe --

1. 1/2 Head of Cauliflower
2. 2 Tsp of Chili Powder
3. 2 Tsp of Garlic Powder
4. 2 Tbsp Light Sour Cream

Ground Turkey Topping Recipe --

1. 1lb. Ground Turkey
2. 2 Tsp of Oregano
3. 2 Tsp of Chili Powder
4. 2 Tbsp of Garlic Powder
5. 1 Tbsp of Chopped Onions
6. 1 Can (10 oz.) of Cream of Mushroom Soup
7. 1 Cup of Skim Milk


Let's start with the Mashed Cauliflower...

1. Carefully cut the head of cauliflower in half. Take one half and cut it into small pieces. (1 1/2 inch cubes) -- Put the other half in the fridge to use in the future. :)

2. Place the cauliflower in a steamer with 2 cups of water. (If you don't have a steamer, you can microwave the cauliflower in a microwave-safe container with a 1/2 cup of water)

3. Let it sit until the timer automatically pops up OR cook it for about 5-10 minutes in the microwave.

4. After the cauliflower is softened. Take a fork or a blender, add  2 Tsp of Chili Powder, 2 Tsp of Garlic Powder, and  2 Tbsp Light Sour Cream and mash away!


Next, the Ground Turkey Topping....

1. Grab a large bowl and place the ground turkey inside.

2. Pour 2 Tsp of Oregano, 2 Tsp of Chili Powder, 2 Tbsp of Garlic Powder,1 Tbsp of Chopped Onions, and 1/2 the Can (10 oz.) of Cream of Mushroom Soup into the bowl. 

3. Use your hands and mix up the mush! (If you're a clean freak - grab a pair of latex gloves :p)

4. On a large skillet, cook your seasoned meat on medium high temperature until browned.

5. When your meat is cooked all the way through, add the rest of the Cream of Mushroom Soup and 1 Cup of Milk and cook for 10 minutes. 



1. Serve the Ground Turkey Topping on top of the Mashed Cauliflower

2. I'm from Wisconsin... So naturally...


(But... only a little for the health of it.)

(Awww, a doggy cheese head!)

Total Calories:

Mashed Cauliflower --
Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
Calories: 60.7
Protein: 3.7 g
Carb: 3.4 g
Fiber: 4.2 g

Ground Turkey Topping -- 

Serving Size: 1
Calories: 344
Fat: 12.1
Protein: 32.4 g
Carb: 22.8
Fiber: 15.2


TOTAL COST: $10.67



This meal was so stinkin' good. My boyfriend liked the mashed cauliflower, even though he was ambivalent to the idea. We converted our health options tonight! Weeee! :)


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thirsty Thursday - Let's Get Chocolate Wasted!

Today is the first day of our Fall break and most of the college students have packed up and headed home for the weekend. Then, there are the rest of us who are sitting around wondering what to do on a Thursday night in a small college town. Typically, "Thirsty Thursday," is practically a holiday for college students, but I don't join in on those festivities - I'm a homebody! Tonight feels like a movie night cuddled up to a wonderful boyfriend and a fulfilling cup of hot cocoa. 

Instead of the, "Swiss Miss," instant pack of hot chocolate mix, I wanted to give homemade hot cocoa a try. After all, I did I sucker my boyfriend, Ryan, into watching the movie, "Chocolat." So naturally, I felt even more inspired to make homemade hot cocoa! (If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend that you do. It's absolutely wonderful!) 

(Dun-Dun-Dun-Dunnnnn!) Pinterest to the rescue!

I came across an interesting take on hot cocoa... 

Spanish Spiced Hot Cocoa!

Here's what you'll need to make this Spanish Spiced Hot Cocoa:

NOTE: These ingredients make 6 cups!

1. 6 Cups of Skim Milk
2. 3 tbsp cocoa powder (I prefer Ghirardelli)
3. 3 tbsp white sugar
4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
5. 2 tsp cinnamon
6. 1/2 tsp chili powder
7. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
8. Fat free cool whip for topping

Pour all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the ingredients are fully combined and the milk is hot.  Pour your cocoa into a crafty mug. Add the cool whip on top to make it cutesy, and a pinch of cinnamon for style!


There's nothing like homemade hot cocoa. It's rich, creamy, and has a nice little kick from the chili powder. I absolutely love it! Give it a try! I promise you'll love it!

It's Thirsty Thursday! Grab a blanket, your favorite movie, and a loved one.... because we're getting chocolate wasted!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Fun with Minions!

It's a beautiful Sunday morning. The Autumn leaves are changing colors, the neighbors are decorating for Halloween, and to top it off, it's my little brother's birthday party! Well to be honest, he's not so "little," anymore. Today, we are celebrating his 17th birthday. 

Sadly as many of you may know, buying a 17-year-old boy a gift can be a challenge. Not to mention the little amount of money I have being a full-time student. 



Personally, I prefer homemade gifts. I believe that homemade gifts are the most favorite of them all because they come from the heart. What better to explore your creativity than to search for "pinteresting" ideas on Pinterest!

Inspired by last year's Halloween costume my roommates and I made, I decided to look for a gift filled with Minions. Why not?! Everyone loves the Minions from "Despicable Me," I don't care what age you are.

Finally, I found a crafty gift: 


Here are the materials you're going to need for your minion project:

1. Yellow Balloons (and purple if you want to create an evil minion) - I got mine at Bart's Party Store. 

2. Scotch Tape

3. Scissors

4. Black and purple ribbon

5. A reasonable sized box for your balloon to fit

6. Minion face cut-outs (optional - you can make your own, of course)
          --> Here's where I got my cut-outs from:


Let's create a Minion!

1. Cut out the minion goggles and mouths 

2. Tape them onto your balloon with your scotch tape

3. Take your pieces of black ribbon, and tape the ribbon on top of the minion's ballon head to create wacky hair

4. Depending on how big your box is, take all of your minions (in my case, one minion balloon) and tape the bottom of the attached string of the balloon, to the INSIDE of the box at the very bottom

5. Tape money on the back of the minion's head, as a gift

6. Close the box and secure it with tape

7. When the birthday boy/girl opens the box, they'll get a minion surprise floating toward them with their gift attached!


Evil Minion - SURPRISE!


My brother LOVED this idea, rather than the typical card and money!


Total Cost of the Project: $6.77 + $10 (Gift Money)




Hahahahahaha... Butt. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Fun(fetti)day!

Sunday is the day of relaxation; An afternoon full of our favorite television shows, football games, hot tea with honey, and a bundle of our favorite snacks to share with loved ones. Inspired by the Autumn weather, I decided to search for tasty treats on Pinterest to enjoy with my cup of tea!

My guinea pigs for this recipe experiment were my boyfriend and his roommate. Because they left for the weekend from our ghost-like college town, I figured I would surprise them with a treat when they arrived back to their apartment.

.....What did I make?



- 2 Cups of Plain/Vanilla Non-Fat Yogurt OR Plain/Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- 1 1/2 Cups of Lite Cool Whip
- 1 Full Box of Funfetti Cake Mix
- Sprinkles for fun!
- 1 Box of Vanilla Wafers for dipping



1. Mix the yogurt, cool whip, and cake batter mix into a large bowl. 

2. Add the Sprinkles. 

3. Let it chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours. 

4. Grab your vanilla wafers... and ENJOY! :)



Total Calories per 1/4 cup serving: 100 Calories
(Wee! Eat yourself skinny!)

Total Cost: $5.77


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Coconut Oil, FOREVER!

Lately, there has been a rave about the benefits of coconut oil. Being as curious and skeptical as I am, I decided to take a look at this using Pinterest (what else?!). Studies have shown that coconut oil and coconut milk is the most hydrating product out there. (See for yourself: When I say, hydrating, I don't just mean orally. There are several different uses to this product, however there was one that stood out more than the others for me and I swear by it now. 


That's right, I said hair. Apparently many have been buying coconut oil and using it as a deep conditioner for their hair. They kept gloating about how soft and long their hair was after using it, so naturally I had to give it a try.

I bought Spectrum's Unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil in a glass jar at Walmart in their baking section the other day for about $10. (If you can't find the UN-refined oil at Walmart, try any other grocery store nearby, such as Trader Jo's. They have their oil for $5.99)

I took 2 quarter sizes of the oil and rubbed it in my hand. The oil melted into a liquid when I rubbed it between my hands. After the oil melted, I applied it directly onto my scalp and massaged it for about 5 minutes and worked my way down to the ends of my hair. After applying the oil, I twisted my hair into a bun and clipped it in.


I kept it in over-night and washed my hair out the next day. Even while showering, I noticed how soft my hair was, and how much healthier it had felt. I didn't even need to use conditioner! Ever since my first use of it, about 3 weeks ago, my hair has gotten shinier, thicker, stronger, less frizzy, and grew half an inch. That's right, my thin, ugly, split-endy hair, GREW!

I deep condition my hair about 3 times a week and use a dime size everyday to help with frizzies or when I curl or straighten my hair. 

What I used BEFORE Coconut Oil:

Moroccan Oil used to be my daily regime for my hair, but then I found out that it contains silicone polymers. Silicone polymers are very popular for hair smoothing, however it's actually terrible for your hair... Charles Barkley terrible. TRBL.

According to Kevin James Bennet,
"The silicone builds up and becomes increasingly harder to remove with just standard shampooing. This buildup eventually repels the moisture and nutrients your conditioner is trying to deliver to the hair shaft, leaving the hair severely dehydrate."

Essentially, don't use products with silicone in it. Coconut oil is your best choice.

Coconut oil is my holy grail.