Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Favorites Finally

It’s back! The triumphant return of Friday Favorites! Are you excited? Can you FEEL the electricity?

OK, maybe not. But maybe I’ll give you some cool ideas, nonetheless. So without further ado, here are a few things I’m loving lately:

Egg roll/wonton wrappers
I love snacks. If I had my way, I’d just snack constantly and never eat a real meal. Also? I’ll choose appetizers over dessert every single time. Give me all the dips and rolls and chips and potato skins and mozzarella sticks and…OK, I need to stop. You get the picture. But life isn’t made on appetizers alone. So I’ve found a solution that marries a meal and a snack—and it makes my heart happy. Enter Nasoya wraps. Low in points (or calories, or whatever you may be counting) and full of endless possibilities, these things are bringing me such joy. They bake up crispy and soft, and I’m having a blast stuffing them with whatever I can imagine. My favorite is a Pizza Log (from a recipe created by the fabulous Emily Bites), but I’ve also made ham and cheese roll-ups and buffalo chicken roll-ups. And because I’m a good Catholic girl who can’t eat meat on Fridays right now, I’m contemplating a healthier version of Crab Rangoon very soon. These wraps are usually found in the produce section of your local grocery store.

Perfectly poached eggs  
I love eggs for breakfast. I find it necessary to start my day with protein. I especially love a good runny egg. But because I’m nothing if not a fan of the snooze button, I don’t usually have the time to make them. However, I’ve learned a trick that is truly life changing. Are you ready? You can cook perfectly poached eggs in a minute in your microwave. Take a regular coffee mug, fill it with water (I don't measure but usually fill it up about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way), break an egg into it, cover it with a plate and cook it for 60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, and voila--a perfect egg. The trick is to make sure you take it out of the water right away, or it will continue to cook (which means a harder yolk, if you prefer it that way. You can call me over for the ones you "undercook."). Naturally, my favorite way to eat said eggs is on a piece of avocado toast.  Delish!
Old-school lunch
When I was a kid--even all throughout high school--my mom made my lunch (maybe I was a little spoiled?). That lunch was basically the same every day: sandwich, chips and some sort of Little Debbie snack cake. What? It was the '80s and '90s (Total side note, apropos of nothing: I recently was watching a YouTube makeup guru who was talking about a product I had just bought. She said she'd tried other similar products, but she felt like it looked really '80s, like middle school Then she said "By the way, I was NOT in middle school in the '80s." I turned her right off, the little brat. For the record, I WAS in middle school in the '80s. And it was glorious. I bet I can still fold a note in a cooler way than you, whippersnapper. Sorry. Tangent.) Anyway, this was perhaps where my love for Swiss Cake Rolls (and binge eating) began. Still, I grew up with a brown paper bag and milk money. So I'm trying to rekindle this, minus the Little Debbies.
I've recently started a new job where I'm in the hospital most days. And those days, I don't have access to a fridge. Brown bags just won't do the trick. So I found a lunchbag that helps. You put the PackIt lunchbag in the freezer overnight, pack your lunch goodies in it and your stuff will stay cold most of the day. I find it so satisfying to bring and eat my lunch. Though I don't do it every day, I'm trying very hard to make it the norm. This cute li'l black and white polka dot bag helps with that a lot.
Babybel cheese
My husband and I recently got a Costco membership. We wanted to try it for a year and see if we use it enough to justify it. But the cost of these glorious little wax-covered rounds of cheese may just be the only thing I need to buy a membership every year. I find that in the grocery store, they're just too expensive for too few. But Costco has a huge bag for less than $12. They make a perfect snack for this cheese-loving girl. Nothing better.
Smartfood Snack Bags
I love popcorn. I love cheese. Therefore, I love Smartfood. But I can't control myself around a big bag. I'll eat the whole freaking thing. Seriously. Enter the Smartfood Go Sack. There are 12 (!) small bags of Smartfood popcorn in this sack. It's perfect for lunches or snacks. And best of all? It's only 3 Smartpoints per bag. Eating my popcorn is one of the highlights of my day. Really.
Full disclosure: I've never been a very good Weight Watcher tracker. Even when I was in my weight-loss prime, I was never that diligent with tracking my food--I tried to keep up with it in my head, but I think I used my WW meetings more for accountability. I'd make smart choices and weigh in, but it was rare that I knew how many points I'd consumed in a day. Hmm. Perhaps this is why my success...stalled. This time it's different. I'm actually enjoying tracking. I love the challenge of fitting healthy foods into my day. I don't always love the disappointment of discovering something is a lot higher than I thought it might be--but now I'm not surprised, because I check ahead of time. And I guess it's working, because I've lost 9.8 pounds (7.8 last week; 2 more this week) in two weeks. You know what they say--the program works if you work the program.
Thanks for your patience with this entry--I saved a few for next time, but will make sure to keep this a weekly thing like it used to be.
As always, I'm curious to know what you're loving! Share in the comments below so others might find some new faves.
Have a great weekend, friends!


Anna said...

Hey E! I'm curious about the egg poaching - how much water are you putting in your coffee cup? I do love a good poached egg :-)

Erika said...

Hey Anna! I'm going to update it to make it more clear, but I don't really measure the water--I just fill it up about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way and that seems to work well!

Jennifer J. said...

Favorite things:
Homemade McMuffin made with egg cooked in microwave in coffe cup (no water), laughing cow cheese wedge, 1 slice sandwich ham and high fiber , toasted muffin. Great breakfast.
Roasted butternut squash. Keeping some in my fridge at all times so I can enjoy in a tortilla with black beans or over rice.
Trader Joe's soy chorizo sausage. Makes a wonderful hash.

Alison said...

Ooh, I'm going to have to try that egg trick. I have these silicone poaching cups that keep the egg nice and neat in a pot of water, but they end up making it take LONGER than a regular poached egg, which is not helpful!

Tiffany said...

I just discovered avocado toast a few months ago which is crazy because I've always loved guacamole. I'mma try the poached egg! Usually to make avocado toast I use a pan to make an egg over easy but your poached egg sounds way simpler and makes less dirty dishes.

Megan said...

2 things:
- You are blowing my mind with this poached egg thing! You know I have a whole machine for poached eggs and you're telling me I can just microwave those bad boys?! I'll have to try!

- Your smartfood face is really cracking me up on a day when I really need it. So smart!