kefir sundae

This was my dessert last night:

I told you I bought the “Birthday Cake” flavored Kefir on an impulse last time I went to Wegmans.  I bought Kefir all the time in Ohio; both for Andrew and myself.  His favorite is strawberry and mine, is, well, all of them.  I’m bummed that the bottles are a WHOLE DOLLAR more here ($3.49 vs $2.49 in Ohio) but there is way more selection (hello peach!).

Anyway, I bought this particular flavor thinking it might be a neat “dessert” for those nights I want something sweet but can’t have ice cream.  I’m a HUGE fan of birthday cake-flavored ice cream, so what could it hurt to try?

Well, it’s no rich-and-creamy-swirled-with-buttercream-icing-and-sprinkles scoop, but it’s not half bad!  It definitely has that familiar “tang” of Kefir, so if you don’t already drink it, it would be pretty tart still.  I pretty much survive on plain yogurt with mix-ins (a teaspoon of honey here, a tablespoon of jam there), so compared to that it was pleasantly sweet.  I served it over my leftover fruit from dinner and it was quite yummy.

I’m a sucker for “limited edition” flavors (can anyone say pumpkin spice creamer?), so I’ll probably keep getting the birthday cake flavor while they have it.  Last winter I tried both the pumpkin and cranberry flavors and they were OK.  I have to admit that when it comes to yogurt, the classic fruit flavors are always good.

Here’s to a 120-calorie dessert!

who knew veggies could be so filling?

Here’s my light lunch today:

As I said in this morning’s post, I over-did it last night on our date (ahem, the GIANT milkshake), so I wanted to make sure I had lots of fruits and veggies today to counter balance my calorie-laden date.

I had to use the half red pepper sitting in the fridge, as well as a couple celery stalks and the hummus, as they were all getting a bit old.  I’m loving Patricia Wells’ hummus from her Salad as a Meal cookbook.  I’ve made it twice already.  It has more tahini and less olive oil, so it’s lower in calories.  It doesn’t have cumin, but instead has more lemon juice and cilantro, so it’s more fresh than smoky tasting.

Here’s the recipe:

Patricia Wells’ Chickpea and Sesame Dip (from Salad as a Meal)

Makes 2 cups; 52 calories for 2 tbsp

1 can chickpeas (she calls for cooking from scratch; her recipe is in the book)

2 garlic cloves

4 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp tahini

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp sesame oil

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1/8 tsp paprika

Drain and rinse the beans (since you’re using a can) and throw them, along with the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, 1 tbsp oil and cilantro in a blender or food processor.  Add more water as needed to thin it out, up to 1/4 cup.  Garnish with the remaining 1 tbsp oil and paprika when serving.

The broccoli was a local find from Wegmans and I couldn’t pass it up yesterday.  I find I don’t like hummus on broccoli–I think it’s just too dry or something–so I included a serving (2 tbsp) of my Wegmans Yogurt Ranch Dressing as well.

I added some dried fruit and chocolate to round out the meal.

The photos are pretty horrendous…I was super hungry!

I LOVE Sunsweet’s Cherry Essence Dried Prunes.  Prunes get such a bad rap, but they are so good!  I also grabbed a couple pieces of Trader Joe’s Dried Mango.  WOW.  If you have a TJ’s near you, get them!  If the prunes are good, these are like dessert.  Seriously.  They are almost too sweet.  The only thing you have to watch out for with dried fruit is the calorie count.  It’s easy to snack away and not realize how many you’ve had.  A serving size is usually 4-6 pieces (prunes, dates) or less for bigger, sweeter items, like apricots or mango.  Just remember that dried fruit is exactly that–smaller, dehydrated WHOLE fruit (usually).  You wouldn’t sit and eat 5 or 6 apricots or plums in one sitting, would you?

I also broke up a chocolate bar (on smaller plate) and noted the serving size.  I chose half of a serving, or 1/4 of the bar.

However, I didn’t even eat it because I got too full!  I guess there was quite a bit on my plate.  I’m thinking I’ll have the chocolate this afternoon with a cup of decaf coffee or tea.  Or maybe not if I’m still full!

date night and how i’m going to make up for it today…

Andrew and I went on a date last night.  An actual date.  I don’t even remember the last time we had a “true” date.  Sure, we go out to dinners and movies all the time, but they never feel like a “date.”  It’s just not-eating-at-home, or grabbing something convenient, or going to see the new summer blockbuster with Andrew’s family.  I think because we can go out often, we DO go out often, which takes away some of the “special-ness” of it all.

So, we decided mini-golf would be our date.  It was a typical New York summer night; the temps have dropped again (thank goodness!) and I was in a t-shirt, pants and a jean jacket–can you believe it!  As always, I lost to Andrew, but perhaps played my best 18 holes EVER, so that was fun.  After golf we stopped into Target to explore the new “Fresh” section they just put in.  We shared a cherry ICEE and a bag of popcorn and walked up and down the aisles, which was probably more fun for me than for Andrew, but it was nice to see what they had.

We left with some odds and ends and then made ANOTHER stop…this time to get DESSERT.  (Not that I needed it, but I’d had a crazy craving for chocolate and we’d discussed going to Taffy’s; I needed no more persuasion than that!)

Taffy’s is a 60-year-old hot dog and milkshake stand that is now on the corner of a busy intersection in Orchard Park.  Strip malls filled with Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s, Lowe’s and the like have sprouted up around it, yet it remains a local favorite.  It’s a tiny building surrounded by four-person gliders with canopies–perfect for a summer day or night.

They’re known for their milkshakes; they have a menu with about a hundred (or more!) options, all divided by main ingredient, like fruit or chocolate.  Thank goodness!  I’m indecisive enough!

I got a Raspberry Truffle milkshake (raspberry and chocolate) and Andrew got a vanilla ice cream cone.  We split an order of cajun curly fries.  YUM.  We’ll definitely go back, and I’ll be bringing the camera because Taffy’s deserves a post of its own!

I’m still four pounds away from my goal (grrr), so in order to make up for last night’s overindulgence, I’m going LIGHT today.  Very light.

Breakfast was a banana (I love eating bananas plain when they are yellow with just the tiniest hint of green; once they have the brown dots all over them I tend to mix them into things or slice them on toast with peanut butter) and coffee.  After my workout, I fixed myself a fantastic, Kath-approved snack:

I mixed up plain lowfat yogurt, flaxseed meal, 1 tbsp chocolate chips and the last of my frozen cherries in the blender, then topped with the last of my Great Harvest Groovy Granola.  YUM.  The granola makes it pretty high in calories (220 for 1/2 cup) but it also keeps me full for awhile.

I’m planning on finishing up the last of my hummus and veggies for lunch, with some fruit.  I’m cooking here tonight, finally, and we’re having Trader Joe’s Mango Chicken Sausages (they’ve been living in the freezer since Ohio!) with barbeque chips and fruit for dinner.

I bought Birthday Cake-flavored Kefir at Wegmans yesterday (I know, it sounds weird) in hopes that if I poured it over fruit it would KINDA taste like ice cream.  We’ll see.