13 December 2009

Facelift Number Ten - Easy Peasy Mocha Frappe

I guess I owe you all another apology since I did not post the facelift I had done last week until, well... now. So, I'm very sorry for waiting so long to do this!

If you are like me and millions of others around the world, coffee from Starbucks is quite the addiction, especially their frozen concoctions. Here is one of my old favorites, re-done for your enjoyment!


Note: Just for fun, I made this exactly how I'd order it -- Grande with no whipped cream.

1 cup coffee
1/2 cup Edy's Fat Free Yogurt Blends, Vanilla
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 packet Truvia sweetener (optional)
ice cubes


As the subject of this blog post says, this is very very easy!

Put all ingredients in a blender. (My blender is a really amazing single-serving one by Fit-N-Fresh. I own a lot of their products and they're awesome!) I started with 2 ice cubes, as I wasn't sure how the consistency would be with more.

Blend until smooth! If you like you're thicker, add more ice cubes and blend until it's to your liking.

See? I told you it was easy!


137 fewer Calories (-52.7%)
2g less fat (-54.3%)
1g less saturated fat (-55%)
23g less carbs (-43.1%)
no change in protein
5g more fiber (from 0 to 5!)
177mg less sodium (-77.1%)

This was a really delicious and extremely quick treat to make! You can always make it to your own liking. If you want to make it minty, add some peppermint extract. If you want it even more chocolatey, use chocolate frozen yogurt instead of vanilla. The nutrition change will be negligible!

Full recipe is HERE. As usual, shoot me an e-mail or leave me a comment (or two!) with suggestions, comments, ideas, etc.

I will not be posting another facelift until sometime in mid-January 2010 (wow, how time flies!) so I wish you all the happiest of holidays. Be safe and enjoy the time with family and friends!

08 November 2009

Facelift Number Nine - Chili's Southwestern Egg Rolls

Thank you all so much for your patience! As I explained in my last blog post, last weekend was my birthday and Halloween so it was busy!

I've done a previous facelift for a Chili's dish, but until today I haven't attempted my favorite appetizer of theirs: Southwestern Egg Rolls. My boyfriend and I would split this as an appetizer nearly every time we'd go to Chili's in college. It's so yummy, but as you'll soon see, it's so easy to make at home!



For wontons:
16 wonton wrappers
.5 cup canned corn (no salt added variety)
.5 cup black beans (low sodium variety)
1 cup baby spinach
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 haas avocado
1/2 tsp Trader Joe's Chili Pepper Hot Sauce
1 tbsp cilantro

For sauce:
2 tbsp nonfat greek yogurt
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
juice from 1/4 of a lime

Ready? You better be!


Cook the spinach with the garlic until wilted.

Rinse the beans under cold water for 1 minute and dry on a paper towel.

Put spinach, corn, beans, hot sauce, and cilantro in a food processor and...

...blend until combined and beans are broken down a bit.

Dice 1/8 of the avocado.

Put a teaspoon full of the mixture in one wonton and top with a couple of pieces of avocado.

Lightly moisten two edges of the wonton and fold in half, pressing down lightly so it's sealed. (I keep a small bowl of water next to me so I can just dunk my finger in it to use for the wontons.)

Moisten one of the corners of the wonton and pinch it to the other corner.

Arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes at 400 degrees F...

...until golden brown!

For the sauce, mix the yogurt, Mrs. Dash, and lime juice until combined.

Makes 2 servings of 8 wontons each and half of the sauce for each serving. Enjoy!

Remember this is for one 8 wonton serving!

635 fewer Calories (-69.8%)
55g less fat (-96.1%)
14g less saturated fat (-100%)
14g less carbs (-18.8%)
15g less protein (-53.7%)
1g less fiber (-17.1%)
1499mg less sodium (-76.5%)

If you were to eat all 16 of these wontons and all of the sauce, you'd still have consumed less than half of the original's Calories, sodium, fat, and saturated fat!

Similar to other facelifts of mine, protein and fiber decreased, which was not intentional. You could counteract this by adding some kind of meat substitute (just watch out for the sodium!) but you can just pair this with brown rice for some more fiber, or quinoa for fiber and protein.

Full recipe HERE and, as usual, please leave a comment here or on SparkPeople or e-mail me at FastFoodFacelift@gmail.com with your ideas, suggestions, critiques, etc.

03 November 2009

Birthday delay & bento boxes!

I apologize profusely for not posting sooner!

This weekend was Halloween and my birthday, so needless to say I did not do a facelift!

I plan on making my next dish this weekend (11/6-11/8) so keep checking back. :)

In other news, I've been on a hunt to find a better way to pack my lunches to work. In order to keep tabs on my portion control, I have a huge drawer full of a variety of plastic containers in many sizes and shapes. They're great and I enjoy them (along with my awesome thermal lunch bag) but I've always been intrigued by bento lunch boxes.

In essence, bento boxes are like lunch boxes in Japan. They come in a variety of sizes based on gender and age in order to allow for proper portioning of your meals.

One of the most endearing things about bento is how artistic it can get! I joined the flickr bento group to get some inspiration and have read through and am now following BentoLunch.blogspot.com.

I went on Amazon.com and found some really cute and handy bento sets! At one point I had 5 or 6 of them in my shopping cart, but I limited myself to getting the following two:

Zojirushi Mini Stainless Thermal Lunchbox
I like this one because it keeps the taller cylinder's contents hot and separated from the rest of the meal. Also, it comes with that cute bag and chopsticks.

Japanese Style Bento Box Lunchbox w/Chopsticks
This one is more traditional bento and also comes with chopsticks.

To stay with the classic bento style, I also got some veggie cutters and rice molds:

I'm thinking about heading to Michael's crafts to get some other supplies, but these were all really good deals and I'm very excited in anticipation for their arrivals!

So, what do YOU use to pack your lunches? Do you bring your lunch to work, or do you buy?

25 October 2009

Facelft Number Nine - Revisiting Taco Bell

I know my last facelift was a Taco Bell item, but let me explain why I'm revisiting this fast food joint.

My boyfriend loves (LOVES!) the crunchwrap supreme and it's really not that complicated of a dish. I've wanted to do a facelift of this crispy, meaty, spiced meal-on-the-go but I was going to wait for a great moment to do so.

On SparkPeople.com we are having a contest that seems to be right up my alley: come up with a healthier recipe for a fast food item. The winner gets a blender that retails for over $400!

So, I've pulled out the stops and decided that this is the moment to unveil what I believe is my best facelift yet... and I can't wait to make this again for my boyfriend!


Let's do this.


For four servings:
4 Mission "Plus" Heart Healthy Flour Tortillas
4 Old El Paso Corn Tostada Shells
1 pound 96% extra lean ground beef
.5 cup water
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 oz tomato paste, no salt added
4 tbsp fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle blend
.5 teaspoon Goya Sazon seasoning (1/2 packet)
1 tablespoon Trader Jose's Salsa Autentica


In a deep pan, brown the garlic.

Add ground beef, brown, drain fat, and return to the pan.

Add Sazon, Mrs. Dash, tomato paste, and water.

Stir until combined and bubbling, cover, and set aside.

Spread 1 tablespoon of sour cream on a tostada shell.

Put one tortilla in a pan on medium heat and top with 1/4 of the meat mixture and 1 tablespoon of salsa.

Put the tostada on top with the sour cream side facing down.

Fold the edge of the tortilla around the tostada shell.

Flip the whole thing over and let it cook a little longer (about 2 or 3 minutes)...

...and take a big bite! (Hopefully you use the other 3 servings to make one for your friends!)


174 fewer Calories (-32.1%)
9g less fat (-43.8%)
3g less saturated fat (-47.1%)
40mg more cholesterol (+133.3%)
799mg less sodium (-57.1%)
32g less carbs (-45.6%)
2g less fiber (-36.7%)
12g more protein (+75%)

Okay, okay... yes, there's more cholesterol, but it's not too obscene. Also, the decrease in fiber is obviously not intentional.

You can reduce the amount of cholesterol by using ground turkey (which I wanted to do, but the store only had 80/20 and I wanted at least 93/7) or a meatless product (I was thinking of using Gimme Lean but it would have brought up the sodium a lot) instead of the ground beef. Increase the fiber by adding more veggies like onions (which I don't like) or lettuce (which I forgot to buy... whoops!).

Overall, this was REALLY delicious and writing this blog made me want to have another!

Full recipe is HERE. As usual, please leave a comment here or on SparkPeople or e-mail me at FastFoodFacelift@gmail.com with your ideas, suggestions, and critiques.

Wish me luck with the Spark People contest! I hope this delicious recipe is a winner!

18 October 2009

Facelift Number Eight - Nachos Bell Grande

I used to adore Taco Bell. I know, I know, it's notorious for serving some of the poorest excuses for cuisine out there, but I loved it. What can I say?


42 grams of fat?? Yup, this needs a facelift... stat! (Wow, that rhymed. Not deliberate. Sorry.)


1 oz Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips
.25 cup black beans
1 oz light shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle
2 tbsp Trader Jose's Salsa Autentica
1 tbsp fat free sour cream


Rinse the beans. This helps get as much of the added salt off of them as possible.

Put the beans in a food processor until they are a bit broken up.

Put the chips on a foil-lined baking sheet and top with beans, Mrs. Dash, and cheese. Broil until...

...cheese is melted and chips are golden!

Top with sour cream and salsa!


518 fewer Calories (-68%)
35 grams less fat (-83%)
5 grams less saturated fat (-83%)
1 grams less trans fat (-100%)
20 mg less cholesterol (-67%)
443 mg less sodium (-35%)
45 grams less carbs (-58%)
8 grams less fiber (-67%)
8 grams less protein (-42%)

As usual, I didn't mean to decrease fiber or protein. Whoops!

Also, take note that the sodium amount is most likely a little bit off because this does not take into account that I rinsed the beans for a minute before putting them in the food processor. According to an article I read, rinsing beans in cold water for 1 minute decreases the sodium by about 25%. If this is true then the amount of sodium in the beans went from 215mg to 161mg, decreasing the sodium for the whole dish from 808mg to 754mg.

In addition, I recommend making your own tortilla chips. I meant to do this but forgot to buy tortillas at the store; so, I used some of the Trader Joe's Guiltless tortilla chips because they were on hand. The sodium will decrease a little by not using pre-made tortilla chips!

If you want to add some protein, feel free to add any meat or non-meat protein to it!

All-in-all this was a really great light lunch that I paired with a small spinach salad. Yum!

Full recipe can be found HERE. As usual, leave a comment here or on my Spark People page, or shoot me an e-mail with any suggestions, comments, or criticisms! Thanks!

12 October 2009

Facelift Number Seven - Dessert Time!

Firstly, I'm so sorry for being late with this week's facelift. Though I do not have a fever anymore, I'm still working on getting back to 100% health; I'd say I'm at 90% now. I honestly took it easy this week with the dish; it's a really really easy-to-make yet delicious dessert, and although I based it off of a dish at Uno's, I'm pretty sure you can find a Brownie A La Mode at plenty of other restaurants!


Mind you, this is only showing one serving. Each bowl is actually two servings so if you don't share it with someone, double the numbers above! Yikes!

Let's do this...


2 tablespoons No Pudge Brownie Mix (original)
2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Plain
1 packet Truvia
.5 cup Edy's Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt Blends
1 wedge Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate with Ancho & Chipotle Chilis & Cinnamon


Mix Greek Yogurt, No Pudge mix, and Truvia together until...

...completely combined! Microwave according to directions (1 minute, or until done).

Grate one wedge of the chocolate.

Top brownie with frozen yogurt and sprinkle chocolate on top. Enjoy!


Assuming you only eat one serving of the original...
180 fewer Calories (-49%)
18g less fat (-90%)
10.5g less saturated fat (-87.5%)
60mg less cholesterol (-100%)
152.9mg less sodium (-69.5%)
27.8g less carbohydrates (-48.8%)
1.4g less fiber (-70%)
2.4g more protein (+60%)

Okay, so decreasing the fiber is an oops on my part. To counteract this, in hindsight I'd add a tablespoon of ground flax meal, which is one of my favorite things to add to baked goods!

Full recipe HERE.

Thanks again for being so patient with this blog post. This weekend I anticipate being on time!

Don't forget to keep commenting here and on my Spark People page, as well as e-mail, your suggestions and criticisms to me!