Friday, April 27, 2007

Thirty in Ninety Judgement Day

Today is the day I go back to visit my doctor in regards to my "Thirty in Ninety" plan. I'm a bit nervous because I just stepped on the scale at home and according to my scale I've lost 30.5lbs in a little over ninety days. But we all know the scales in doctor offices...

Regardless, I'm proud of myself for having stuck with my plan of losing 2.5lbs a week. It hasn't been easy, especially with my Daring Bakers throwing out recipes for things like Toasted Coconut and Banana Ice Cream and Bacon Brittle; not to mention our monthly challenges and then there is everything Mimi over at French Kitchen in America cooks.

I've learned that I can take one bite of my sweet and savory creation and then give the rest away to the folks at my office, my landlady in Connecticut and MBH's work colleagues. I've increased the number of fresh fruits and vegetables I eat daily and I've slowed down my eating pace and linger longer during meal times. All in all, it has been a pretty positive experience. I still prefer full fatted half and half for my morning coffee to the fat free or worse yet skim milk. Same goes for milk but I've compromised; skim milk for my cereal, half and half with a dash of milk for my coffee.

And, just so you don't think this has been all deprivation and no good eating going on; here is one of my favourite recipes for a decadent but light version of chocolate bread pudding.

Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding
From "The Best of Cooking Light"

Makes 2 Servings @ 319 Calories per serving

1 3/4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed Hawaiian sweet bread
2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon KahlĂșa (coffee-flavored liqueur)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350°.Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove bread from oven; decrease oven temperature to 325°.

Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through egg) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add bread, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Divide half of bread mixture evenly between 2 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with half of chocolate. Divide remaining bread mixture between ramekins; top with remaining chocolate.

Place ramekins in an 8-inch square baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes or until set. Serve each pudding warm with 1 tablespoon whipped topping.

I use homemade Portuguese sweet bread for these as as it doesn't contain all the candied fruit and frosting the store bought Hawaiian bread does (thus less calories but not much as Portuguese sweet bread normally calls for 4-6 eggs). I lighten it further with egg substitute and skim milk and I skip the frozen fat free topping as I dislike those types of toppings. Instead, I treat myself to a small dollop of real creme fraiche. If you do that, this recipe will have only 275 calories.