Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Low Cal French Toast

Part of this whole "live a healthier life" trip I've chosen to embark on means I have to reevaluate food. 
Which is very difficult for me because:
  1. I've had a terrible diet my entire life.
  2. As you know, I'm a picky eater who hates pretty much every vegetable/healthy food out there.
  3. 90% of my high school meals involved peanut butter sandwiches and chips (in fact, my meals at work now consist of peanut butter sandwiches on a fairly regular basis).
  4. I don't do diets, I fail them quite easily - when I'm told I can't eat something, it just makes me want it more. 
My solution? Figure out ways to make my favorite foods healthier. 

I recently read an interview with Paula Deen who said, "deprivation isn't the key - moderation is." Coming from a woman whose mantra was "MORE BUTTER," I feel like I can relate to her (my mantra being "MORE SWEETS"). So while I'll be attempting to eat healthier, I'm not going to completely cut back on the sweets. Let's be real - I'd go crazy.

Ok, so let's kick this thing off then shall we?

First up: Low Cal French Toast - 327 calories

I really enjoy breakfast food. A lot. Tom thinks it's weird when I eat cereal for dinner, but what can I say? Until we have kids, I think cereal is a perfectly acceptable meal option (and even then we'll probably still have cereal dinners!). But I digress... pancakes, waffles, bacon, cereal, muffins, cinnamon rolls, scones, bagels, doughnuts, eggs (one of our friends makes the B.E.S.T. omelets EVER), the list goes on and on.
 I. Love. Breakfast. Food.
One of my favorites has to be french toast. In fact, aside from my mom's version of sloppy joes (a combination of ketchup and hamburger - we'll get into that another time), it's one of the very first "meals" I ever learned to cook. Below is a healthier option that's lower in calories, but high on flavor. This recipe actually makes enough batter for 4-5 slices (the calories above, however, are for 3 slices)

  • Village Hearth Light 12 Grain Bread - I've never eaten multigrain bread by choice. Ever. However, things change, and I've become hooked on this delicious bread (thanks to Tom). At only 40 calories per slice, you can't go wrong. (3 slices = 120 calories)
  • 1 large egg (= 70 calories)
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract (= 12 calories)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon (= 5 calories)
  • 1/8 cup (or 2 tbsp.) Aunt Jemima Syrup - This is where you can easily get into trouble. I had no idea how many calories - or what the appropriate serving size - is for syrup. Can you believe that a mere 1/4 of a cup is 210 calories? Jeepers! Since we didn't have any fresh fruit on hand, I halved the syrup amount. However, I would definitely suggest using fresh strawberries and whipped cream vs. syrup. Not only is it lower in calories, but it's a little more nutritious with the yummy berries. (1/8 cup syrup = 105 calories)

  • In a small bowl combine the egg, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon
  • Spray a frying pan with Pam and heat on the stove-top
  • Depending on how big your frying pan is, make one slice of bread at a time - dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture one side at a time, and place on the frying pan
  • Cook on both sides until brown

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