Last weekend I celebrated my grandfathers 80th birthday in Ocean City with my immediate and extended family. It was definitely a blast. The theme of the party was ARRGHHH Matey, Tony’s 80! We had Pirate costumes and everything. I won’t share all the details, but I will share a few pictures.
We rented a bus so we could all be together and no one would have to drive.
It was all a surprise to my grandfather, and he was a good sport and played along with the theme.
We popped open a few bottles of champagne for the bus ride to the restaurant.
We headed to a restaurant called Hooper’s and had a small ’section’ reserved just for us. The cool thing was this ’section’ was a boat on the side of the restaurant!
We all got seated, had some drinks, and then they started bringing out the food. The food was your typical Ocean City cuisine, and it was all you can eat! All you can eat fried clams, fried chicken, hush puppies, steamed shrimp, ribs, corn on the cob, and crabs. I’m not crazy about this food, and to be honest there is nothing healthy about it. But like I always advocate on my blog, moderation is key, and I just enjoyed the meal with my family and took it all in. You can see in the above picture the remnants of the crabs.
And of course there were pics under the big crab!
All the grandkids with their significant others.
Lately I’ve been craving some good ole comfort food. Not the fried chicken and bisquits kind, but things like pizza, pasta, and Mexican food. And for some reason I’ve been craving eggs! So I’ve been experimenting with turning my traditional comfort/fatty food into a healthier version.
The other night I made my version of healthy enchiladas. I started by cooking some lean ground turkey in one pan and some veggies in the other. For the veggies I included carrots, celery, onion, and green pepper.
Once the veggies were soft I start the process of making the enchiladas. For the tortilla I used Ezekial tortillas which are a complete protein, really hearty, and in my opinion taste great. I made two enchiladas for Chris and two for me. The only difference was that I used vegetarian low fat refried beans for one of my enchiladas.
I layered the refried beans on the tortilla, added the veggies, a little cheese, and then rolled each of them up and stuck them in a baking dish. Once I had 4 enchiladas I covered them in salsa and topped with more cheese. Then baked them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 350*.
I plated mine on some spinach to get even more veggies and topped them off with a little plain Greek yogurt. Irresistible!
Using the Ezekial tortillas, low fat turkey, refried beans, veggies, and the greek yogurt instead of sour cream were all great ways to up the nutritional value of this meal and lower the fat and calories.
The good thing about making a big dinner like this is the leftovers! My favorite thing to bring for lunch are leftovers. However, I like to turn my leftovers into something different to keep a little variety. I took the leftover refried beans and veggies and layered them on a whole wheat pita bread with salsa, spinach, and cheese.
I ended up only eating one of these and saved the other for later. But it was just as good as the night before, if not better! It almost reminded me of a Mexican style pizza!
Speaking of pizza, it is another one of my favorite comfort foods. I think it’s all about the dough and the cheese. I was in the mood for pizzas the other day so I used Trader Joe’s dough as the crust and decided to make two different pizzas. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Trader Joe’s dough, but the trick is to bake it on both sides a little bit before adding the toppings. I’ve finally gotten it down to perfection.
One pizza was topped with marinara sauce, cheese, roasted zucchini, roasted peppers, roasted onions, lean turkey meat (for Chris’ half), and fresh basil at the end.
The other pizza was much different. I used Savora mustard as the sauce, then topped it with yellow tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, spinach, a few leftover veggies from the above pizza, and fresh basil at the end. INCREDIBLE if I do say so myself.
I loved the mustard with the herb dough. The tarragon based mustard has a touch of sweetness which goes so well with the cheese and veggies. It was much milder than I expected and so flavorful.
I drank some Terrazzo Esino Rosso with the pizza, which is now becoming my absolute favorite pizza wine. It’s 60% Sangiovese and 40% Montepulciano. It has enough structure to hold up to the cheese and acid in the sauce, but is soft enough to not dry your mouth out at the end. It’s the perfect compliment.
By adding all the veggies to the pizza I increased the nutritional value. I used the herb dough from Trader Joe’s, but you can also use a whole wheat dough to make it even healthier. And as much as I love cheese, I used the real deal, but you could also swap for low-fat cheese. One thing I’ve never experimented with or even tried is eggs on my pizza. I know a lot of gourmet pizza places make pizzas like this, but I have not tried it myself. Is it any good? I can imagine it is with all the yummy yoke and cheese on the dough…right?
While I was thinking about eggs the night before it got me in the mood for them for breakfast. Eggs are another favorite comfort food of mine, and I’ve been eating a ton of them lately. I was inspired by my pizza when making breakfast and made myself an Italian egg sandwich.
2 eggs (that were supposed to be over easy, but broke in the pan) on a whole wheat thin with marinara sauce, a little mozzarella, and lots of spinach.
It was deee-licious. I love how the acid in the marinara breaks up the egg. It was really wonderful.
This past weekend I spent some time in St. Michaels, Maryland with my parents. We worked out, rode bikes, shopped, and made a wonderful steak dinner. But now I’m back at work getting ready for a new and very busy week ahead of me.
What did you do this weekend?
Do you have any recipes for comfort food made healthier? I would love to try some new things!!