Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fancy Ketchup and Friends

You know what makes me snicker? 

Seeing pics on Instagram from competitors or "clean-eaters" of their so-called delicious meals, showcasing some plain ol' grilled chicken and boring broccoli, probably nuked in the microwave ... or worse, steamed in a pot ... with no flavor and no taste.

They often come with captions like, "Meal prep done and dinner is served. Check out my awesome plate full of clean eats."

Uh, that may be clean and all, but according to my taste buds, that's a pile of crap. Truly, I don't mean to make fun of you. I'm saddened for you. I, too, have suffered from the trending epidemic of food mania and obsession with calories, measuring and such, and I can recall a few embarrassing photos on IG where I have posted something like that. Mine were probably worse than others because I would post it in my washed and reused cool whip tub or something like that. Thank the good Lord, I have been set free.

(Side note: There should be posting requirements on Instagram for food, to encourage the IG-neubs like ... 1. It should be healthy, and 2. It should at least be sort've pretty.)

Any way, being that I am a former fancy ketchup-aholic, I have a TON of secrets on how to make your boring, contest-prep-style food taste and look freaking fabulous. These are some of my latest finds.

Franks' Hot Sauce

I put that sh** on everything! Literally, I do. Ask my husband. My current obsession is the Buffalo Wing flavor. I use it to marinate my chicken and/or turkey, as well as toss it in salads with fat-free feta cheese. If you don't like vinegar, then you may not like it, but if you don't like vinegar (cough, cough, my husband), then you have no soul. Just kidding, babe! ;)


Paula Dean's Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce

I  can only find this guy at Sam's Club. I took a leap of faith when I first bought the double pack of mega bottles from the wholesale store, but geez, am I glad I did! It's made with mostly clean ingredients, with the exception of sucralose (Splenda), but it's the last ingredient listed, which is better because the ingredients are listed in order from the highest quantity used to lowest. I would compare this BBQ sauce to Sweet Baby Ray's original brand. I use it on meats, in salads, on my veggies and even plain rice cakes mixed with mustard. Weird? Ya, but so what.

Assorted Flavor Extracts

These little bottles of magic have completely changed my life. So far, I have found vanilla, butter and nut, almond, coconut, maple, red velvet, peppermint and raspberry. There are others like banana and rootbeer, but I haven't tried those yet. They are awesome for baking and post-workout shakes, but you can also use them in your oats or cream of wheat/rice. You could even mix a squirt in with a cup of tea, coffee or almond milk for a quick sweet-tooth-fix.

Xantham Gum

Behold! I have found the key to making the perfect protein shake. A little dash out of the red paper packet atop your protein powder, ice and water, and BOOM, you have made creaminess. This one adds no flavor, but it has totally transformed my chocolate-flavored ice (previous attempts at making healthy shakes) into a thick and frothy blend of yummy-goodness.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Aside from being one of nature's strongest antibacterials and detox agents, ACV can be used in marinades, dressings and even mixed with Emergen-C packets. (I like mine in a shot glass, only slightly diluted with water, so I can feel it burning all the toxins away in my gut.) Besides that, the best way I've used ACV is shaken with stevia and extra-virgin olive oil for a perfect anytime salad dressing. You can add herbs and other crap like garlic, lime juice, lemon juice, chili powder, or anything from Mrs. Dash.

That's all I have up my sleeve (or shall I say, on my sleeve) for now, folks. Hope you get some new ideas to turn your boring healthy food into something scrumptious. Please leave your ideas and questions in the comments below!

Find more recipes of mine by following me on Instagram @AmberMichelleFit or on Twitter @AmberDobecka

2 comments:

  1. "You can add herbs and other crap like garlic..." haha omg this is what I love about you. I need to try that Franks hot sauce stuff, pretty sure I'd start putting it on everything too. Where can I find it?

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Yes, I have found the normal Frank's hot sauce everywhere from Walmart to any normal grocery chain, but the buffalo flavor may be a lil tougher to find. I'm not sure where y'all go to shop, but try something like Tom Thumb or Kroger or HEB. :) Let me know what you think, chica!

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