Thursday, August 23, 2012

Almond Mocha Mocktail 120-Calories

I love a foo foo coffee drink in the morning, and I am always looking for ways to make it low-calorie without sacrificing taste.  I came up with this drink on the fly, and it was delicious. 


2 tsp. Instant Espresso
8 oz. Light Chocolate Soy Milk or Chocolate Almond Milk
2 Emerald Dark Chocolate Cocoa Roasted Almonds, Crushed, to rim the glass
1 tsp. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, to rim the glass


Blend the instant espresso and chocolate milk in a blender or Magic Bullet. You may add ice cubes if you wish.

Crush the two almonds in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. Or blend in a spice blender.

Use the chocolate syrup to coat the rim of the glass.

Then dip the rim in the crushed almonds to garnish.

Serving Size: 1 Mocktail

Nutrition Info

  • Calories: 121.5
  • Fat: 2.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.6g
  • Protein: 3.7g  

    Calories per Ingredient per Serving of Almond Mocha Mocktail 


    90 calories of Light Silk Chocolate soy milk, (1 serving)
    16 calories of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, (0.33 tbsp)
    15 calories of Emerald dark chocolate almond, (0.10 oz)
    0 calories of Medaglia D'oro Instant Espresso Coffee, (2 tsp)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bacon Avocado Egg Salad Recipe

Yesterday I had my friend, Kelli over for lunch.  We both love bacon and avocados so I decided to make a lightened up version of Bacon Avocado Egg Salad.  I served it on a Sara Lee 80-calorie wheat bun with mixed greens and a slice of tomato.  It was delicious!  


4 Large Hard-Boiled Eggs, chopped (I like Eggland's Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs!)
2 Slices Center Cut Bacon, Cooked and Crumbled
1/2 Ripe Avocado, cubed or mashed
1 Tbsp. Reduced Fat Olive Oil Mayo
2 Tbsp. Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (optional)



Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve on low-calorie bun or a bed of mixed greens.

Serving Size: 1/2 recipe

Nutrition Info

  • Calories: 243.7
  • Fat: 17.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.5g
  • Protein: 14.0g

With the bun, greens, and tomato the sandwich is under 350 calories.

Monday, August 20, 2012

150-Calorie Morning Mocha Smoothie

Yesterday I was inspired by a recipe on Pinterest to come up with my own variation of a mocha smoothie.  The recipe that inspired me called for Starbucks Instant Iced Coffee, but I discovered that it is 50 calories per serving (from sugar) and also about twice the price of a jar of instant espresso.  For a mere $3.99 I picked up a jar of Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso Coffee.

The smoothie was just what I needed for a morning pick me up to get up and start writing.  I'm excited to tell you that I am getting very close to being finished with my guide book about low calorie eating.  It mostly covers what you can eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Plus it will include low-cal meals to prepare at home.  My intention is for the book to take the guess work out of calorie counting and enable readers to create easy meal plans.  I will be sure to let you know when it is finally available on Amazon so keep checking back.



1.5 Tsp. Instant Espresso Powder, dissolved in 1.5 oz. boiling water
6 Ice Cubes
8 oz. Chocolate Soy Milk Light
2 Tbsp. EAS AdvantEdge Protein Powder (Optional)



Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until frothy.

Serving Size: 1 Smoothie

Nutritional Info

  • Servings Per Recipe: 1
  • Calories: 146.7
  • Total Fat: 1.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 143.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 21.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
  • Protein: 9.7 g 

Calories per Ingredient

Here are the foods that were used for the nutrition calculations of this recipe. Skipping the optional protein powder shaves off 57 calories.

Calories per serving of 150-Calorie Morning Mocha Smoothie

90 calories of Chocolate Milk (SILK Light - SOY MILK), (1 serving)

57 calories of EAS Advant Edge Protein Powder, (2 tbsp)

0 calories of Medaglia D'oro Instant Espresso Coffee, (1.50 tsp)



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Low-Calorie at Olive Garden Plus Recipes!

Cheese Ravioli with Fresh Vegetables

I much prefer eating at local mom & pop restaurants when it comes to Italian.  In the Kansas City area there are some great, local Italian restaurants.  My favorites are Carmen's in Brookside and Garozzo's in Columbus Park.  I have to confess that when I eat at either restaurant my diet is at the bottom of my priority list.  My favorite dish is pesto ravioli with gorgonzola cream sauce.  I also love the house salad.  With that said, I realize a lot of people eat at Olive Garden since it's a national chain.  Fortunately they list their nutrition facts on the company website. 

Olive Garden Nutrition Facts

The key at Olive Garden is to either order an appetizer/soup, salad, and a breadstick or simply order the entrĂ©e without all the accoutrements.  Many of the entrees at Olive Garden break the 650-calorie budget that I generally allot for dinner.  I have listed the few entrees that actually hit the range.

Mussels di Napoli 180
Breadstick (with garlic-butter spread) 150
Stuffed Mushrooms 280

Soups & Salads
Chicken & Gnocchi (one serving) 250
Pasta e Fagioli (one serving) 130
Minestrone (one serving) 100
Zuppa Toscana (one serving) 170
Garden-Fresh Salad (one serving with dressing) 290
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad 610

Dinner Entrees
Linguine alla Marinara 430
Steak Toscano 590
Ravioli di Portobello 670
Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce 660
Venetian Apricot Chicken 400
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken 670
Shrimp Mezzaluna 630
Capellini di Mare 650
Herb-Grilled Salmon 510
Seafood Brodetto 480
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia 590

Interestingly enough, the Olive Garden website also has numerous recipes that you can make at home.  I love that!  They don't list the calories per serving, but it's easier to lighten up a recipe at home.  Here are a few recipes that sparked my interest.  Yum!

Portobello Mushrooms with Mozzarella

Beef Filets in Balsamic Sauce

Cheese Ravioli with Fresh Vegetables

Creamy Polenta

White Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Crispy Pancetta

Green Beans with Tomato and Garlic

Asparagus with Lemon and Minced Onions

Angel Hair and Three Onion Soup