Amyella’s Low-Cal Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Here’s the recipe for the pumpkin oatmeal muffins I am enjoying this week. The ingredients have been modified by the brilliant Miss Amyella to allow you to have TWO dense, moist, delicious muffins as one carb serving.


Maggie’s Note: I subbed 1/2 cup of wheat bran for the 1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal and 5 oz. of unsweetened apple sauce for the 5 oz. of baby food prunes in this recipe and still had great results.

As some of you might have noticed, Amyella recently switched her blog to private/invitation only because she was being pestered by some sad, mean-spirited commenters. If anyone is interested in an invitation to view Amyella’s blog (which is full of great recipes for clean eats), please contact me with your email address and handle used to comment on her blog in the past (if applicable), and I will pass on your info to Amyella (aka She Who Issueths The Invitations).

Amyella’s Low-Cal Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cups rolled oats, ground in food processor
1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal
1/4 cup oatmeal, dry
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
5 oz of baby food prunes
6 egg whites
13 packets of Splenda
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin

Macros for one muffin:
59 calories, 13 g carb, 3 g protein, .4 g fat, 1 g fiber

Yield: 12 muffins (6 servings)

Yay for 2 muffins = one serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray two loaf pans, muffin tins, or 9×13 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Combine flour, cereal/bran, baking soda, salt, oats, and spices in bowl and set aside.
4. In large bowl, combine sweetener, applesauce/prunes and egg whites and whisk or mix with an electric mixer until well blended.
5. Combine in dry ingredients until blended.
6. Pour into pans or muffin tins.
7. Bake approximately 25 – 30 minutes (20-25 minutes for cake pan) or until fork inserted in center comes out clean.
8. Allow to cool completely and store in airtight container or cut into pieces to be individually frozen.

Sweet Potato Overload!

Erm, so…

Anyone have about a month’s worth of sweet potato recipes?

The grocery store had them on sale for 25 cents/pound (usually the going rate is an outrageous 89 cents/pound!), and let’s just say that I spent $3.75 on sweet potatoes Tuesday.

You do the math.

And I’ll probably go back for more.

(I’m leaning toward lots of baked fries and chips for this week and a mass bake and puree session for long-term storage in the freezer.)

Thanksgiving Reloaded

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and once again I cannot understand the big hullabaloo that surrounds the traditional foods served on this holiday. In my 32 years of life, I have never had an American style Turkey Day meal that I would consider above mediocre, especially considering how much time, effort, and expense is invested in preparing the dishes. I highly suspect that the happy glow of being with seldom-seen family members sort of transfers over to the very average eats, lending them a patina of yumminess that they do not actually possess.

(T-day eats in my parents’ Taiwanese household, however, kick ass. They toss all Western holiday tradition out the window and go for Korean bulgogi barbecue on the hibachi, Japanese style seafood Shabu-Shabu hotpot with thinly-sliced beef, shrimp, lobster, shitake mushrooms and veggies, sushi, king crab legs, and the occasional filet mignon.)

Frankly, the only American Thanksgiving staple I enjoy is the sweet potato, and this is often not even present. I find everything else on the usual Thanksgiving menu to be pretty uncreative and boring (Ooh, slabs of dry turkey or ham with salty goop made from fat drippings or a mix packet on top! Scoops of potato with the same salty goop on top! Wow! Corn straight from the can with butter on top!) or downright gross (All casseroles: mushy, congealed green bean casserole — which is usually the ONLY non-starchy vegetable option on the table — equally congealed mac-and-cheese casserole, or cheesy scalloped potato casserole. Is there no end to the things that Westerners can find to chuck into a pan with a block of cheese and a can of cream or soup and bake until semi-solid and unrecognizable?).

Now that I have sufficiently panned traditional Thanksgiving dinner food, here’s what I would make instead:

– Pumpkin crab soup
– Pan-fried pork/veggie dumplings with chili garlic dipping sauce
– Moo Shu Turkey crepe wraps with veggies and plum sauce (WW recipe)
Stir-fried salt-and-pepper shrimp with grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, pineapple, and tomatoes on skewers
– Baked seasoned sweet potato fries
– Green beans sauteed in olive oil with garlic
– Broccoli and bok choy in oyster sauce
– Apple, pear, and cranberry oatmeal crisp (WW recipe) with a scoop of Breyers butter pecan ice cream
– Pumpkin/zucchini bread (made with ground oats instead of flour)

(Will put up the rest of the recipes soon.)

What are you all doing for Thanksgiving? Are you cooking for your own family or playing guest? Will it be a traditional Thanksgiving spread for you or something a bit more creative?

Microwave Apple and Pear Crisp

Apples are one of the cheapest fruits available, but I get sick of eating them in their natural state pretty quickly. This recipe from the Weight Watcher’s Simply the Best cookbook is YUMMY. I usually break it down into 6-8 servings instead of four. Perfectly suitable as a carb portion, and the “normals” in your life won’t even realize it’s healthy food.

Microwave Apple and Pear Crisp
(4 servings)

– 2 Empire or other firm apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
– 2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
– 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
– 3 T. all-purpose flour or ground oatmeal
– 1 t. cinnamon
– 1/4 t. grated nutmeg
– 4 t. cold reduced-calorie margarine, diced

1. Spray a 9″ square microwavable baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Place the apples and pears in the pan; with a vented cover, microwave on High, stirring once, until the fruit is tender-crisp, around 6 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oatmeal, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit mixture.

4. Microwave on High, uncovered, until the fruit is tender and the topping is cooked, about 6 minutes.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:
206 Calories
3 g Total Fat (0 g Sat Fat)
0 mg Cholesterol
51 mg Sodium
44 g Total Carbohydrate (4 g Dietary Fiber)
3 g Protein
36 mg Calcium

10/18/07 Log: You can call me Ms. Spartan, thank you.

139.4 lbs this morning pre-workout. 138 is just around the corner as long as I stick with my workouts and meals. It’s good to be consistently under 140 again after 6 weeks fluctuating between 141-144. (I have a whole calendar month of weigh-ins to prove it, too!) It’s taken a while, but I am definitely in fat-burning mode now.

I am also back in the saddle with my AM workouts today. This morning I did a combo run and pt workout from

Spartan Run
1. Run 1 mile
2. 100 pushups in as few sets as possible
3. 100 crunches
4. Run 1 mile
5. 75 pushups in as few sets as possible
6. 75 crunches
7. Run 1 mile
8. 50 pushups in as few sets as possible
9. 50 crunches

It took me 40:18 minutes, including about two minutes of stretching after the first circuit. No breaks otherwise. I averaged 9:30 for the 1-mile runs, so that was where most of the time went.

Last night I used my cheat item slot on M6 at work. I had 4 chicken wings from the Wing Stop take out order at the office as a protein/fat portion with two potato wedges and 2 celery sticks.

Was it worth it?

Hells yeah!

All other meals were as planned.

Speaking of planned meals, I built and printed out a eDiets 1400-1500 Calorie Eating for Life Menu which I aim to try next week. I chose entrees that appealed to me from a taste standpoint and which used seasonings and ingredients that I already have on hand at home. My eDiets plan is set for 1400-1500 calories per day, and the recipes are automatically calibrated to fit into that range. I originally joined eDiets a few years ago when there was a great annual membership deal going on because I wanted access to the recipe generator, but I confess that I haven’t actually used that feature very much. I primarily hang out on the site’s Ultimate Challenge forum where about two dozen teams compete in 3 week long challenges to meet their stated exercise minute and weight loss goals.

I tend to default to my own collection of recipes from about five different healthy cookbooks, but I’m going to give the eDiets meal plan a fair try starting Sunday. You can download the full menu with recipes and a shopping list if you want to play along.

– Spartan Run (40:18 min)
– Walk (15 min)

10/16/07 Log: Nuked Pumpkin Protein Muffins

I was running late this morning so my planned 30 minute run and 15 minute incline walk will happen this afternoon (if they haven’t changed the gym lock code at my former apartment complex near work) or tonight. I am almost looking forward to it now that my endurance is back up and I have a few less pounds to cart around. Besides, evening runs are so much easier than fasted AM ones. The energizing effect of 5 clean meals is very noticeable when you are doing strength workouts or harder cardio like running.

I just wish my gym was open 24 hours!

Breakfast was on plan and the rest of my food is packed. I miss my protein pops though and need to get more SF pudding mix soon to make more of them. As a temporary fix, I am trying my old microwave protein muffin recipe with canned pumpkin and butter toffee whey, which seems promising–veggie, oats and protein all rolled into one. I also have a big shaker bottle loaded up with two servings of light soy milk, vanilla protein powder, and some cocoa powder; this is a GREAT chocolate milk substitute that can be chugged down quickly as a snack when combined with either 1/2 oz. of nuts or a serving of fruit.

It’s still shorts and t-shirt weather down here, but I’m looking forward to some cooler days when I’ll be able to do a 30-minute walk (2 loops around the office complex) during lunch without arriving back at my desk in a pool of sweat.

This is still a work in progress, but here is an approximate recipe for a microwaveable pumpkin protein muffin:

Microwave Pumpkin Protein Muffin

– 4 T. ground oatmeal (I grind mine up in a regular blender)
– 4 T. vanilla protein powder
– 1/4 t. baking soda
– ~ 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
– pinch of cinnamon to taste
– 2-4 T. water

Optional ingredients: nuts, raisins, ground flax seeds, etc.

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a 2-3 cup glass
or ceramic container (I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.) Plastic
causes the mix to heat up too quickly and overflow.

2. Microwave the mix for 2 minutes on high. The “muffin” will climb
the sides of the container like a souffle’, so you might want to put a plate
underneath it.

3. Wait for the muffin to cool and deflate to normal size.
Ignore the lopsided look of the muffin and dig in. Enjoy!

Nutrition stats for the basic muffins (without pumpkin) are: 166 calories, 17g carb,
18.5g protein, 2.9g fat (1.1g sat fat), 2g fiber

– Run (30 min)
– Incline Walk (15 min)
– Walk (30 min)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I made this recipe from Cooking Light for my company Pie Day today. It’s not exactly clean eats, but you can use it as one of your cheat/splurge/90% meals without causing too much damage.

It is quite spectacularly yummy and not too difficult to make as long as your ingredients are already softened, in case you were wondering.

– 1 cup Naturally More peanut butter (or other all-natural brand)
– 8 oz. Cream cheese, fat-free
– 1 can (14 fluid oz) Milk, condensed fat-free sweetened
– 1 tub (12 oz / 226 grams) Topping, whipped, fat-free
– 2 Pie crust, Keebler chocolate Ready Crust
– 4 T. Syrup, chocolate, sugar-free (ex: Great Value brand from Wal-Mart)

Combine the first 2 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add the condensed milk, and beat until combined. Stir in the whipped topping. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pie shells; chill 8 hours or until set (pies will have a soft, fluffy texture). Cut into wedges, and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Note: We loved this pie frozen–its texture is more like that of an ice cream pie.

Yield: 20 servings (serving size is 1 wedge)

259 calories
8g fat (1.6g sat fat, 1.64g polyunsat fat, 0.48g mono unsat fat, 1.6g trans fat)
1.6g cholesterol
270mg sodium
37.4g carbohydrate
2.4g dietary fiber
25.7g sugars
8.6g protein

Chinese Barbequed Pork

This recipe is from Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight cookbook. If you are into ethnic restaurant cuisine like I am–sorry, but the only “American” entrees I really like are BBQ and burgers–but you want to stick to healthy foods, GET THIS BOOK NOW. It features over 150 recipes divided into the following categories:
  • Chinese Classics
  • Viva Mexico!
  • Deli Specials
  • Totally Thai
  • Now, That’s Italian!
  • Beyond Sushi
  • Treasures of India
  • Greek Diner Delights
I haven’t had an unsuccessful meal from this cookbook yet, and it lets me try lots of different types of cuisine without leaving my home, spending a pile of cash, or going off my healthy eating plan. Each recipe includes full nutritional stats and the photos are inspirational to say the least. Best of all, your non-fitness geek friends and family won’t have a clue that they are being served healthy eats.


(4 servings)

Reminiscent of the flavor of spare ribs, this glazed pork tenderloin is great served with boy choy stir-fried with a little dark sesame oil, and a hearty bowl of steamed brown rice. Or thinly slice it and serve as an appetizer with some duck sauce. You can find bottled oyster sauce in Asian groceries and large supermarkets.


1 (1-pound) boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat
2 T. honey
2 T. hoisin sauce
2 T. sake or dry white wine
2 t. oyster sauce
2 t. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 t. Asian (dark) sesame oil

1. Prick the tenderloin all over with the tip of a knife or tines of a fork. Combine the honey, hoisin sauce, sake or white wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a large zip-close plastic bag; add the pork. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag; turn to coat the pork. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray the rack of a roasting pan with nonstick spray and place in the pan. Remove the tenderloin from the marinade and place on the roasting rack; discard the marinade. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 160 degrees F for medium, around 25-27 minutes. Transfer the tenderloin to a carving board and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

(Alternately, you can place the tenderloin in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. You won’t get the glazed outer bits this way, but it’s easy to do in the morning, and you come home to a perfectly cooked, tender hunk o’ seasoned meat.)

1 serving = 1/4 tenderloin

157 calories
4 g fat
2 g sat fat
67 mg cholesterol
110 mg sodium
3 g carbohydrate
0 g fiber
24 g protein
6 mg calcium

3 WW Points