Friday, February 3, 2012

Frugal Feasting Friday

About a year and a half ago, I realized that I had put on a few more pounds than I was comfortable with.  Being a major foodie,  I know that cravings for full flavored and exceptional textures are my downfall.  I also know that many of the popular diets and programs out there may have helped me loose weight initially but, once the weight was lost I'd return to my old eating habits and begin the yo-yo dieting cycle of so many others.  So, how did I loose weight and still eat all the foods I love to cook?  The secret for me was counting calories.  The concept was simple, I had to expel more calories per day than I consumed.  I began by taking a serious look at my caloric intake.  I discovered that while I cooked, served and ate fairly healthy meals, my portion sizes were very over sized.  Portion control and being conscience of pairing lower calorie dishes with the higher calorie ones was the system that worked for me AND it was far more cost effective than any other dieting plan I've ever come across.  In only 3 months I lost 40 pounds AND I've kept the weight off for an entire year. 

Today's Frugal Feasting recipe is great for breakfast on-the-go.  It contains highly nutritional spinach, is less than 300 calories and cost only $0.74 per serving.

 Florentine Egg McMuffin
(8 servings)

8 English muffins, toasted
8  1oz. slices of cheese
6 eggs
1 tbsp. milk
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped

Place a slice of cheese on one half of a toasted English muffin.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Whisk until lemon colored.  Set aside.  Over medium low heat, melt butter in skillet; add onion and saute' until translucent.  Add chopped spinach and stir until it begins to wilt.  Pour egg mixture over spinach mixture and cook over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until eggs are set.  Spoon egg mixture onto English muffins to make a Florentine Egg McMuffin sandwich.
281 calories per sandwich

Make it to-go:  Cool sandwiches to room temperature.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container or plastic bag in freezer until ready to use.  Remove from plastic wrap and re-heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Want to reduce the calorie count to only 178 calories per sandwich?:  serve the sandwich open faced with only 1/2 an English muffin, substitute egg whites for whole eggs and replace the cheese with a reduced fat variety.

Cost breakdown per serving:
English muffin $0.15
spinach & onion $0.11
cheese $0.25
egg $0.13
milk & butter $0.10

TOTAL:  $0.74 each

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