Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Accountability Partners" Keeping You On Track and A Low Fat Quevos Rancheros Recipe

I hate dieting...

Don't you? Forcing yourself to eat like a bird in the hopes that by summer time you will be frolicking on the beach in a two piece bathing suit looking like Carmen Electra.

You won't. I promise. Brownies are too good. And pizza can be delivered to your door faster than you can remind yourself that you're even on a diet.

So, if you're like me, and find food just too damn good to give'll have to start working out more. Since discovering my fertility issues my doctor has recommended that I try and lose a little weight. Apparently losing just 10% of your body weight can increase your chances of conceiving. Of course I'll try anything so here I am, attempting to make small changes without sacrificing too much on the food front.

 I have an accountability partner encouraging me keep up with work outs and to make better food choices. She sends me text messages in the morning or the afternoon reminding me to walk my dogs. Or to play one of my work out games on the X Box Kinect and we discuss what each of us has eaten so far. Her meals, are decidedly "more healthy" compared to mine, and I hate to admit that it has forced me to take a serious look at how many calories I eat in a day.

We've been doing this for just a few weeks and I have to say it really is working. Especially on the days I get a text in the morning, knowing she is going to check back in later. I won't lie to her if I didn't exercise, and I don't want to look like a lazy kid, so I have no choice but to work out. I get honestly a real kick out of reporting back to her too, like "Yeah, I totally woke up at 5am and ran 17 miles before having half a grapefruit for breakfast, duh". Okay, that hasn't happened...YET.

 Really though,  she has been such a great motivator. I chose this particular friend, Sumi, because she is in stupid great shape and she shares her work out tips with me. She also diets, which as I've said, I hate doing... But I am realizing that I can make smallish adjustments to my favorite recipes to make them a little less naughty. Some small adjustments I've made recently are things like using turkey meat on burger night and eating a large salad with it instead of making oven fries (I missed the hell outta those fries though!) and it was surprisingly satisfying/filling. On my turkey wraps at lunch, I've started smashing up a small amount of avocado and using that as a spread instead of mayo, I've found hummus works well for this too and it's super flavorful!

One of my very favorite things to eat for breakfast is quevos rancheros, a delicious fried egg dish with enchilada sauce, cheese, beans and usually served with delicious golden brown salty greasy fried potatoes. In the version I am about to share with you, I nix most of the cheese, utilize protein rich black beans (less carbs & calories compared to pinto beans) and the egg is poached over the beans and baked in the oven instead of fried. I also got rid of the fried potatoes and tortillas all together. So what we're leaving out is: All the fat from traditionally used yellow melting cheese, oil from frying the eggs & all the carbs and fat from frying the potatoes. What we're getting: all the basic flavor components of your favorite quevos rancheros recipe, smoky, spicy creamy and indulgent!

I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully delicious and so similar in flavor to the naughty version this was. I'd  typically eat 2 eggs with breakfast, but I've found that when I limit myself to one egg and something more nutritious and filling like low fat yogurt and fruit, I have more energy and feel less weighed down after breakfast. Obviously, everyone's appetite is different and I know for my husband one egg would just NOT do the trick, so feel free to throw in another egg or two depending on how many people you're serving and their eyes to stomach ratio. This recipe is for one person and is made in a small sauce pan. You can do like I did and eat it right out of the pan (no I didn't...Yeah, yeah I did) or you can slide everything out of the pan onto your plate/bowl like a real sophisticated grown up. Pre-cooked black beans add to the easy nature of this dish. It comes together nice and easy making it the perfect "healthy" "go to" breakfast.

"Not So Naughty" Quevos Rancheros
(Serves One)

1/2 cup pre cooked black beans
1 large egg
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
juice from half a lemon

thinly sliced avocado
cilantro, chopped
a small sprinkling of feta cheese


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a small sauce pan warm cooked beans with a little of the cooking liquid. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the beans to a gentle simmer. Crack your egg over the beans and reduce heat to low. When the whites of the egg set up slightly, place the sauce pan in the oven and bake until yolk is set. I like a runny yolk, so it took about 5 minutes. If you light a soft yolk continue on a few minutes until the outer membrane of the yolk is no longer clear.

Top with some avocado, cilantro and feta cheese. I served this with some fresh fruit one morning and with baked potato slices on another. I loved it with both (but obviously potatoes on the side was my FAVE)

I put this recipe into this calorie counter I found online and it appears this delicious "Not So Naughty" recipe including cheese and avocado clocks in at under 300 calories! If you add 1 small potato sliced up and baked in the oven (flavored with salt, pepper and lightly greased with cooking spray) And you add about 120 calories. I would stay away from the tortillas if you're really trying to cut the calories. Just one flour tortilla could add over 200 calories to your meal!


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