Skinny Soup Hack!

Skinny Soup Hack

This is one of my weird foods, but it’s delicious.

This is how I make it and it does begin with a canned soup, sometimes I’m in a hurry and just need some quick comfort food in me belly. If you don’t eat canned soup, make my home made broccoli cheese soup here, it will change your life.

But back to my easy soup hack: You start with a can of Progresso Light Chicken & Dumpling soup. The whole can is 160 calories, but it does have a lot of sodium. (This is not a sponsored post.)

I pour off half to three fourths of the broth to reduce the salt. Really! I make a creamy kind of cheesy chicken dumpling stew…

I heat the rest in a pan until it’s warm. One of my odd quirks is that I don’t like the chicken in canned soups. I think it’s tough and I won’t eat it. This soup honestly doesn’t have that much chicken in it, I just take it out with a spoon.

Now, I pour the heated rest in a bowl, add about two tablespoons of shredded cheese, usually reduced fat mild or sharp cheddar. Mozzarella works, too.

Then I add about two tablespoons of Fage nonfat Greek yogurt and stir well. It’s even better if you add a few drops of Tabasco sauce or Cholula hot sauce to it.

I don’t know why this is, but the final move that makes it sing is to now pop the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir again.

Boom. This filling snack or meal is only about 200-230 calories total (depending on how much broth you pour off and if you remove the chicken.)

It’s yummy! Try it and tell me what you think.

XOXO-

~ H

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You Can’t Keep a Good Girl Down

This is the end of the season finale of the HBO TV show Girls. But I’m sharing this for where the video starts at about 2:30.

I am in love with this song that plays over the end credits, You Can’t Keep a Good Girl Down by Micheal Penn! I can’t find it anywhere else so HBO, please release it on iTunes and I will buy it. Thank you. P.S. I love the show. XO~ h

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Magical Flower

Magical Flower

This is one of the most interesting flowers I’ve ever seen. I found it in my backyard yesterday. Actually, I almost missed it.

I was walking on my home treadmill, out in our converted garage/office, and this is what I saw through the window:

tiny flower in shrubs

A lot of times there are great swaths of nature’s beauty right in front of my face and I miss it. I try not to miss it, but sometimes I still do.

I went outside and really looked at this flower, took a photo, appreciated it.

Today I looked outside and it’s gone. It didn’t make it through the night.

R.I.P. little flower.

And thank you for reminding one lady that there is immense beauty and glory all around us, there is magic everywhere.

Sometimes it’s only here for one shining moment.

Look closer.

xo-

~h

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Posted in Fumbling Towards Ecstacy, Nature, Sometimes it's the Little Things | 2 Comments

How To Take The Perfect Selfie

How To Take a Selfie

A selfie is not just about vanity. Well, sometimes it is, but it also says “I’m here. I’m alive. I’m not a ghost or a vampire. I’m human. Today, I exist.”

And sometimes it says “Love me” or “It’s Business Time, let’s put our naughty bits together, stat!”

Here are my 20 Tips on How to Take the Perfect Selfie:

1.) Have your hair and make-up done, or fresh faced is awesome, too.

No make-up selfies are popular, although celebrities who do those are usually wearing “the no make-up make-up look.”

2.) Be confident. Wincing and crying hysterically– “I’m hideous!” — as you cover your face shows up on camera. I’ve learned this from experience.

3.) It’s best if you use a good camera that doesn’t have any scratches on the lens, then again, sometimes that can give it an aged filter look. Totally your call.

4.) Bathrooms selfies can actually be some of the best light. Look in the mirror, does the light look golden, or like it’s attacking your face and you’ve turned into Jeff Goldblum in The Fly?

5.) However, beware of what is accidentally in the background of the picture. Your vibrator? A poop in the toilet? An intruder about to stab you? Please, no.

6.) Take some practice shots. Try to refrain from taking 50. You’ll know in 2 or 3 if it’s working.

7.) Make sure you delete the fugly ones. You never know when you’ll become internationally famous and get hacked by a deranged stalker who might hold them for ransom. Or your ex.

8.) Relax. Worried about age? You’re never gonna look younger than you do now, baby.

If you think you have unusual features, you probably have a unique beauty that lights up a room and the faces of those you love you.

Everyone is beautiful. Except mean people. They were beautiful as babies. Probably.

We don’t have any data on this, because mean babies can’t take selfies. Continue reading

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Weird Yard Decorations

Weird Yard Decorations

This is an interesting yard my six year old boy Bexon and I walked past on our way home from a play date. No, this wasn’t on Halloween, this was last Monday.

This was not the house that Bex had a play date at. I think I might’ve looked into that before dropping him off.

Perhaps I shouldn’t say “weird,” this home owner or renter may be an artist of some kind and find this beautiful. There are a lot of blues, blue is a soothing color, right?

It’s just the…is that barbed wire?

I spy with my little eye…a metal alligator? Or crocodile? Not sure. Hmm.

A um, a wolf’s head? Only the head?

Those things are okay, it’s the scary baby doll that worries me a bit.

Like, what is it supposed to mean? What does that symbolize?

I know art is…subjective…but… Continue reading

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Skinny Stuffed Bell Peppers With Chicken!

Skinny Stuffed Bell Peppers

I made up this recipe and this being my first time making them, I learned a few things…and let me tell you, these babies are scrumptious!

Do you see how big they are? One of those huge stuffed bell pepper halves, the whole thing, is low carb, loaded with nutrition, high protein and about 200 calories or less each.

Have two and it’s still a diet meal.

I will say that they are slightly more labor intensive then many of my recipes, prep time is about 30 minutes, but I have an idea on how to bake them faster.

My family enjoyed these for three days, so it was well worth the time, plus you can freeze them and re-heat them.

I did bake them for an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and a half, but I have two short cuts up my sleeve.

Are any of you southern, because girl, this contains cream cheese! It sounds weird, but trust me on this one. It just acts as a creamy binding agent with the meat and veggies.

baked bell peppers with chicken

Ingredients: (Serves 10, feel free to cut the recipe in half)

1.) One pound lean ground chicken or turkey. I used organic ground chicken at 480 calories per pound.

2.) 5 medium to large bell peppers, any color. I prefer red, they have more vitamin C than an orange!

Mine were organic and I think that’s best if you can find them. I’m not a huge fan of green peppers, most of the time, but they would work.

3.) One bag baby spinach leaves, I used organic, (or 6 cups or 6 ounces, raw.) 60 calories.

4.) One bag sliced white or brown mushrooms, or 10 ounces of mushrooms. 70 calories.

5.) One half of a medium to large onion, skin removed, finely chopped. I used a yellow onion, but white or brown would be good, too. 25 calories.

6.) 8 ounces light whipped cream cheese. I used a whole container, it was 560 calories, but don’t forget, it makes 10.

7.) One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 120 calories.

8.) Olive oil spray, maybe 60 calories, but a lot of it stays in the dish.

9.) One clove minced garlic or one teaspoon garlic powder. 10 calories.

10.) One half cup shredded mozzarella cheese. I buy the kind made without hormones or antibiotics, but regular, not low fat on this cheese. About 160 calories.

11.) One fourth cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs (pretty much any kind will do, Panko, etc…I used 4C Italian this time.) About 80 calories.

12.) A few splashes of water or chicken broth for the bottom of the dish- I used organic chicken broth. Maybe 5 calories.

13.) Garlic salt or salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

If you do 10 halves, you may need two baking safe dishes like I did, these suckers are big.

Wash the veggies and pat dry, peel and dice your onion, chop up the baby spinach as finely as you can, and chop up the mushrooms finely, too.

Put the tablespoon of EVOO in a large non stick skillet or a large pot. Turn heat to medium and add the onions first, stir a bit and add in the other chopped veggies.

The way I did it was to add the cream cheese to this large pot after the veggies cooked down a bit and melt it all in.

You have two choices: Shortcut #1: Brown the chicken or other ground meat in a separate pan and add that fully cooked into the veggie mix, OR just add the raw meat into the pot directly.

Since I baked mine for a full hour and a half, the meat was fully cooked through inside, even thought I didn’t brown it first.

Add in minced garlic or garlic powder now, about a teaspoon of garlic salt or salt and pepper and mix it all in well.

Meanwhile, I cut my peppers in half from top to bottom and washed them, scooping out the seeds and stem.

Spray your baking dish well with olive oil spray and again, you have two choices:

Shortcut #2 pop your washed peppers in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes to pre-soften them if ya like. Drain well and pat dry.

(I didn’t boil them, because I baked them so long.)

Simply lay the cleaned peppers boat side up on the baking dish and scoop a large amount of the meat mixture into each one, all the way to the top.

Splash a tiny bit of chicken broth or water in the bottom of the pan and give the tops of the stuffed peppers a light spray with the olive oil.

Cover with foil and bake about an hour at 400.

Remove foil carefully and sprinkle the tops with a mixture of the bread crumbs and one fourth cup of the mozzarella cheese, I like to finish with the fourth cup of remaining cheese on top.

You can shake on some garlic salt or add dried parsley and/or hot seasoning- hot sauce is great on these!

I give the tops one last light spray of olive oil and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.

Calories: My estimations have these at approximately 200 calories each or less!

These are very hot, so let them cool before you burn your mouth. Serve alone or with rice, etc.

Note: If your meat is fully cooked going into the peppers and you pre-soften them, this might take only 30 minutes to bake- use your judgement, and I’ll report back from my test oven on my next round.

Update: I like the peppers better without boiling them first, just bake them longer if you have the time.

These were a huge hit and I’m dying to try them in other new, delectable ways, soon!

Enjoy and thank you for “Liking” Skinny Mama Meals on Facebook.

XOXO-

~ Heidi

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My Child is Student of the Month! And What’s Been Going On…

Heidi Ferrer

Bex got Student of the Month at his school today! I’m so proud. He said he’s been trying to get it all year. Awww.

(That pic is from School Come as a Farmer Day last week.) My lil’ Hee-haw.

To Bexon: “But there you are standing there, loving me…whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must’ve done something good.”

(From The Sound of Music, natch.)

I’m sure his amazing teacher Ms. S had something to do with this, and I must say, there have been a lot of wonderful teachers in Bexon’s life so far, but she is the best.

It’s not just hyperbole. Every parent I’ve spoken to just raves about how we wish we could have her every year. We’re all stalking her, with love.

I’ve been a little MIA from Girl to Mom. I’m about 70 pages into a new screenplay I’m writing. Also, we’ve had a lot going on.

I’m honored that I’ve been officially asked to speak on a panel at BlogHer ’14! It’s on screen and TV writing and publishing. It’s good timing in that Nick and I also just optioned an original TV pilot we co-wrote to very cool and excellent producers. Continue reading

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Posted in Fumbling Towards Ecstacy | 2 Comments