The Light Liam

Years ago, when I worked for Corel, this was my favorite breakfast at our in-house cafeteria.  The Liam sandwich was named after a fellow employee who ordered this special nearly every day. 

The original Liam is made with a toasted bagel, cream cheese, a thick slice of tomato and loads of crispy bacon.  This morning, I felt the urge for my old favorite and made a light version instead.  If you are counting calories, this one checks in at around 200 calories.  Serve this with some fruit on the side and it makes an excellent light and yummy start to your day.

The Light Liam

1 Bagel thin (choose something with a decent fiber content to counteract the sugar from the processed grain - mine has 4 gr of fiber per bagel)
2 T cream cheese
1 slice ripe tomato
S & P to taste

Toast bagel thin in oven or toaster.  Spread with cream cheese.  Top with tomato and salt and pepper to taste.

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Crockpot "refried" beans

Today I decided to give a nod to Meatless Monday. I know today is Tuesday, but it is the first day back from the Christmas holidays so in my mind it is Monday. You are just going to have to go with me on this one.

If you have ever read my blog, you know of my love for the humble black bean. I cook with them a lot. Black beans are chock full of vitamins, fiber, have a low GI value (around 35, even when mashed) and are an inexpensive source of easily digested protein. Last night I was riffling through the cupboards and found a long lost bag of dried black beans. I had been reading a new favorite blog - 100 Days of Real Food - and had read an article about crock pot refried beans. I figured that black beans would work so today I gave it a try. I am happy to report that the beans worked out really well. I will be making these again with pinto beans soon.

Tonight I served the beans on toasted low carb flour tortillas (to toast, place tortilla on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 until crisp, about 8 minutes), sprinkled with cheese and topped with sauteed orange and red peppers.  Everyone, including the kids, raved about them.

Crock Pot "Refried" Beans (adapted from this recipe at 100 Days of Real Food)

1 lb. dry black beans (pinto will obviously work well too)
Water to cover
1/2 medium onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t chili powder
S & P to taste

Empty beans into a large bowl. Rinse well and remove any rocks, seeds, funky beans, etc. Cover with cool water and let soak overnight.

In the morning, drain the beans. Place the beans in a slow cooker and add enough water to completely cover the beans by one inch. Add onion and garlic. Turn cooker on high and cook 8 hours or until tender.

Drain remaining liquid from beans (trust me, there is lots of juice under those beans!) and set aside. Remove large pieces of onion and discard.  Mash beans with potato masher, adding reserved liquid as you go, until they reach your desired consistency. Season with cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

P.S.  These come out at 309 calories a piece as I served them (also to note that they are low in sugar, very high in fiber and vitamin C and high in vitamin A.)

Cal: 309
Fat: 12.1 g (19%)
Carbs: 35g (12%)
Fiber: 16.5g (66%)
Sugars: 2.2 g
Protein: 13.8g

Nutritional analysis from Calorie Count.