South Beach Wannabe Waffle

There’s one aspect of the South Beach Diet that I don’t like: the 14 days of breakfast hell. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, full of creams, breads and sweet, fluffy doughy things paired with eggs. When I traveled to Italy last summer I was in breakfast heaven:

My blood sugar was all out of whack too, which is probably why I had a complete meltdown on Capri… not a flattering moment. The come-down from the pasta and sugar highs were not pleasant.

Anyhow, back to breakfast!

On Phase 1, breakfast is strictly an egg, meat, cheese and vegetable thing. I don’t know about you, but sipping coffee with a piece of turkey bacon and broccoli for two weeks strait is NOT my idea of enlightening or sustainable.

So, these waffles were a lifesaver half-way through, when I started feeling gaggy at the thought of eggs. Pair it with tomato juice or a small egg white veggie omelette and you’re set!

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C.  lowfat Ricotta
  • 1 Tbsp. Splenda (or Xylitol, my fav. alcohol sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon

Combine everything in a big bowl and beat with an electric mixer. I like to beat it for about 5 minutes. Unlike normal waffle mix, you want to beat in a lot of air to make these a bit fluffier.

Preheat the waffle maker and spray with Pam. Pour in the mix (it will be runny) and cook for a few minutes. The texture will be sort of soggy (I know, sounds delightful…) BUT you won’t feel that all-too-frequent bloat after, and will have eaten a protein-filled waffle.

I topped this with some light cream cheese mixed with Splenda and vanilla, and drizzled some agave syrup on it. Yum.

A little update on my SBD progress

I began Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet yesterday, and though there were some hiccups and moments of cheating during the first 14 days, I am nonetheless 7 pounds lighter this morning. Today I added-in one half of a whole grain tortilla and used a cup of mango for a cardamon-mango lassi for dessert, which was amazing.

It isn’t easy for me to blog in a public forum about my weight loss efforts, BUT I figure a little fear and humility-based motivation couldn’t hurt. And, at least I can share some recipes (and a couple of not-so-good recipes coming soon……)

Stay tuned for Danielle’s Nasty Microwave Quiche Disaster…

Four-Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are SO tasty and versatile, not to mention easy and fast to make. Since bread is off-limits for the first two weeks on the South Beach Diet as well, they work as a nice substitution for bread in pizzas and as an accompaniment to cheese.

Soft or full-fat cheeses are not allowed on the SBD until later or in moderation, so if you are really strict about no cheating whatsoever, you can substitute it with a reduced fat cheese. Dhiren brought home these two cheeses though and they worked out nicely and added lots of flavor. I don’t think 2 tbsp of cheese is going to set me back or rekindle any cravings.

To make these lovelies, you need:

  • 3 stuffing mushrooms (I made one serving)
  • 1/2 c. skim Ricotta
  • 1 tbsp Gouda
  • 1 tbsp Chambozla (you can substitute any type of soft cheese for this)
  • 2 tbsp shallots, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Clean mushrooms and remove the “gills” on the inside with a spoon. Heat a skillet and then cook mushrooms for 4-6 minutes on medium heat. This reduces the time needed in the oven.

2. After 3-4 minutes, toss in the minced shallots, garlic and parsley and sauté in a tsp of olive oil. Scrape into a bowl, add the cheeses and incorporate together with a fork.

3. Place mushrooms in a baking dish with the rest of the olive oil (I just used a cake pan– whatevs!) and fill them with the cheese mixture. Salt & pepper them, and then place in the oven to cook for 5-8 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and the cheeses bubbly. Next time I try this, I’m going to try broiling it, so the cheese gets that nice browned look on top.

4. Decorate with a couple sprigs of parsley or maybe one of these bad boys:

Revision: How to sabotage your diet with a delicious coconut cream pie

Based on a true story. I’ve completed seven days of SBD Phase 1, not counting two days of cheating caused by this recipe (and some other delicious food… more on that later).

This is one of those, oh-my-god-I-never-knew-I-liked-pie kind of pies.

Wish I had taken a better photo of this, but the family was hungry and waiting.

  • 1 can coconut milk/cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cups flaked coconut, toasted
  • 3/4 cups flaked coconut, not toasted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked (or make your own if you’re feeling Martha Stewarty)
  • 2-3 cups whipping cream (depending on how much topping you want)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, half-and-half, eggs, sugar, corn starch and salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly (should take about 15-20 minutes). Mixture should thicken to a pudding. Remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the grated coconut and 1 tsp. of coconut and vanilla extracts. Pour into baked and cooled pie shell and chill 3 to 4 hours, or until firm (leave it in the fridge covered overnight if you really want a flavorful pie).
  2. When ready to serve, beat the whipping cream on medium-high speed with an electric or stand mixer in a large bowl. Beat for 10 minutes until it thickens and holds soft peaks on a spatula. Add 1 tsp. coconut extract and resume beating until stiff peaks form. Top the pie with the whipped cream and toasted coconut.
  3. To toast coconut, spread it in an ungreased pan and bake in the oven on 350 degree until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

This is probably one of my favorite desserts and I’m getting cravings just thinking about this recipe… I’ve been in a coconut mood lately and am thinking of baking some South Beach-friendly coconut macaroons tomorrow, especially since I have a fresh coconut sitting on my counter.

The dinner with the family last weekend was a great success. The ribs came out tender, my first stab at mashed potatoes got the approval of my Dad, and Nana’s macaroni & cheese was delicious, even though I forgot the salt.

I will update tomorrow about the South Beach Diet itself. I’ve had a couple people ask me what it’s all about, and I think it’ll be good to shed some light on what I think is one of the healthiest “diets” out there.


On Fleas & Channeling Paula Deen

Life has been kind of crazy and sleep-deprived these past few days. Abby had fleas; about 40-50 “sand fleas– the nasty kind,” according to the disgusted groomer. I feel like such a negligent pet owner. In my defense, Abby is 95% indoor-only, long-haired and we have brown carpets, so I had no idea this was going on.

We got her shaved with a lion cut, Frontlined and we “fumigated” our place today, so I’m praying we don’t have this problem anymore. She was pretty pissed off about the whole thing:

I’ve also been designing my new photography website and it’s taking me forever. I’m pretty happy with the way it’s turning out though, and now I just need to update the portfolios– I have tons of new pieces waiting to be uploaded.

Cooking has been the last thing on my mind lately, but it has to change since I’m doing the South Beach Diet again. I had success the past few times I’ve done it, but never had the time or motivation to commit to the intense cooking it requires (and creativity.) You have to plan out five meals/snacks a day, include vegetables with every meal (including breakfast…) and forgo starches and sugars for a while, and ultimately limit them. It’s not a crazy fad diet though- more like healthy eating principles and guidelines on how to integrate them in your life.

And as fate would have it, my family is coming over to our apartment tomorrow night to drop off my baby brother who is spending the weekend with us, and I volunteered to cook dinner. I was in a Paula Deen mood when I decided on the menu, and must not have been thinking straight: ribs, mashed potatoes, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, a salad and a cake (still debating what). This is like a diet kamikaze. But I guess it will test out my down-home cooking chops and motivation. It’s too late to change the menu at any rate since I have 2lbs of pulled pork baby back ribs in the fridge…

The mac & cheese is for the vegetarian boyfriend, who can’t have ribs nor exist solely on mashed taters. I’ll grill-up some pieces of frozen chicken with a homemade sugar-free bbq sauce, shrimp cocktail and salad for me (and maybe indulge in a rib or two).

I’m happy to be back on SB now that I’m graduated and have time. It’ll expand my cooking repertoire and force me to learn some new recipes while getting healthier. As a plus, Indian and Thai mesh well into the SB principles, so I’ll use it as an excuse to dig out my light coconut milk and make some curries too.

Now if you have a minute, watch this… it’s probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen: