Posts Tagged by skinny
|March 1, 2016|
Ok, so I realize this is my second Mexican dish in a row but what can I say? I’m Mexican. And I’ve always preached you can’t be on a diet eating food you don’t like. So made something I LOVE. I’ve had it planned in my meal prep for 3 weeks straight. I’m hooked! If a tamale and an enchilada had a baby, this is it.
Mexican Cornbread Casserole
Macros per serving: 12g Fat, 36g Carbs, 26g Protein (Serves 7)*
- 1 (8.5 oz) box of corn muffin mix
- 1 can of cream style corn
- 4 oz can of diced green chilies
- 1/3 cup fat free milk
- 4 tbsp liquid egg whites
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 1/3 pounds (21 oz) of skinless boneless chicken breast – cooked and diced or shredded
- 10 oz can of red enchilada sauce
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- sliced black olives
*Macros were calculated off Jiffy corn muffin mix, Del Monte corn, La Preferida green chilies, Fairlife milk (my favorite!), All Whites 100% egg whites, Las Palmas enchilada sauce, 220g onion, Kraft Mexican Four Cheese blend, and 32 grams of Pearls sliced black olives.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl (muffin mix, corn, green chilies, milk, egg whites, and taco seasoning). Mix until well combined. Pour into a glass casserole dish coated with cooking spray and bake for about 35 minutes. ~ This time will vary based on your casserole dish size, glass depth, oven, etc.
While that’s baking, slice (or dice) your onion and sauté or grill to your liking. If you grill in slices it will be like veggie fajitas. If you dice and sauté, it will act more as flavoring. Once cooked, mix the onion, chicken and red enchilada sauce in a bowl until everything is evenly coated and set aside.
Now your corn bread base may be ready to pull out of the oven. You’ll know it’s ready when the edges are golden. Use a fork and poke into the center of the corn bread base to allow for little pockets of space for the enchilada sauce to seep into.
Note: The mixture is raw if it is runny. If its solid enough that it sticks to the fork, its ready. It should be somewhat sticky and thick.
Pour the chicken mixture evenly over the top of the corn bread base. Top with cheese and olives. Place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.
Meal Prepping tip! Since 7 servings is hard to cut a dish into, I slice it into 8 pieces. Then I weigh 7 slices and add bits and pieces from the last slice into my tupperwares until all 7 tupperwares weigh no more than 0.1 oz from each other so each serving is nearly identical.
- 1 (8.5 oz) box of corn muffin mix
- 1 can of cream style corn
- 4 oz can of diced green chilies
- 1/3 cup fat free milk
- 4 tbsp liquid egg whites
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 1/3 pounds (21 oz) of skinless boneless chicken breast - cooked and diced or shredded
- 10 oz can of red enchilada sauce
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- sliced black olives
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray and bake for about 35 minutes.
- Slice (or dice) your onion and sauté or grill to your liking. Mix the onion, chicken and red enchilada sauce in a bowl until everything is evenly coated and set aside.
- When you're corn bread base is done, using a fork, poke holes into the corn bread base to allow for little pockets of space for the enchilada sauce to seep into.
- Pour the chicken mixture evenly over the top of the corn bread base. Top with cheese and olives. Place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Macros were calculated using Jiffy corn muffin mix, Del Monte corn, La Preferida green chilies, Fairlife milk (my favorite!), All Whites 100% egg whites, Las Palmas enchilada sauce, 220g onion, Kraft Mexican Four Cheese blend, and 32 grams of Pearls sliced black olives.
|March 6, 2014|
Mac & cheese is definitely one of my favorite guilty comfort foods. It’s a funny story though, because generally a lot of comfort foods come from when you grew up with, but when I was little I LOVED the blue box mac & cheese and wasn’t the biggest fan of the home-made stuff.
When I was a kid, my Grandma would pick my sister and I up from school every Friday and we’d all have dinner together. When it first became a weekly thing, she asked my mom what my sister and I liked to eat. My mom said macaroni. My Grandma, being the AMAZING cook she is, made it from scratch. And of course, me being the child I was, I said it wasn’t the same as having the blue box mac and I liked “my mom’s” better. Although we all know “my mom’s” was really my way of saying I liked the boxed kind. To this day, I still feel a little ashamed because the next time my grandma made mac & cheese for us, she made it out of the box. Sure I loved it at the time, but looking back on it … I was young and ignorant … what can you do?
I can confidently say that my palate has gotten a lot better (and I no longer prefer boxed foods, haha). But either mac & cheese recipe, blue box or from scratch, can put a damper on the diet.
Mac & cheese is full of fat and carbs. But I wanted to make a skinny version that didn’t just replace everything with fat-free labels. Can anyone honestly say that fat-free cheese is better than the real thing? No.
I wanted to keep the essence of mac & cheese intact by not touching those two ingredients. I used full fat cheeses and normal pasta (because I’m also not a fan of wheat pasta) but just replaced the heavy cream and butter with cauliflower. With the added fiber, it’s definitely more filling than the heavy buttered up mac. Not to say this is an every day “healthy” meal, but it’s certainly better than the traditional recipe, twice-baked with bread crumbs on top.
The serving size is for a full bowl of mac, so if you want to indulge without using this as a cheat meal, eat it as a side dish with some chicken and spinach. Who says macaroni has to be a main dish?
Side note: This recipe passed the boyfriend test. I gave it to him and didn’t tell him it was cauliflower. About half way through, I asked him what his opinion was and told him it was cauliflower. He didn’t taste it until I told him. #winning 🙂
Skinny Mac & Cheese
Makes 4 Servings ~ Macros per serving: 28g Fat, 68g Carbs, 34g Protein
- 3 cups uncooked pasta of choice
- 1 small/medium head of cauliflower
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to tast
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Pour in your favorite pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Personally, I like to go for the fun kind like fusille (spiral) or farfalle (bow-tie, although it technically means butterfly in Italian). Radiatore pasta is what can be seen in the photos.
While the pasta is cooking, cut cauliflower into florets. Place cauliflower, garlic cloves, and chicken stock into a covered pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let steam build in the pot. Cook until cauliflower is tender (about 5 minutes depending on the size of florets).
Drain pasta and set aside.
Pour cauliflower, garlic cloves, and chicken stock into a high-speed blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot used to cook the cauliflower. At medium heat, slowly stir in the cheese until melted smooth to create a sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Gently stir sauce and pasta together. Depending on your pasta and how well it absorbs the sauce, you might have extra cheese sauce. Add it in slowly and put any extra sauce in a tupperware. (You can use it as a sauce for veggies, chicken, etc.) Serve immediately.
I topped mine with a little cayenne (optional!) for an extra kick, but feel free to add your favorite topping. Some tasty ideas: bacon, green onions, jalapeño, diced ham (probably not all these ingredients at the same time)
Play around with different cheese options. They all have different nutritional value to them so have fun experimenting. For instance, the parmesan was lower in fat and higher in protein than the cheddar. I added it to balance out the fat content so there would be more protein than fat per serving.
|February 11, 2014|
Lately I have been craving cake batter. Maybe it’s my lack of baking cupcakes … I usually bake cupcakes at least once a month so I guess I’m used to spoon-licking and have been missing it. I actually impulsively bought a cake batter protein powder.
But I’m impatient. So this morning I made my own cake batter shake.
I actually got my package in the mail later today and tried the protein powder I purchased for dessert and I like my Strawberry Cake Batter Protein Shake recipe better.
Strawberry Cupcake Batter Protein Shake
Macros: 4g Fat, 6g Carbs, 26g Protein
- 1 cup ice (or about 8 ice cubes)
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 6 medium-sized strawberries
- 1/4 tsp butter extract
- 2 tsp stevia
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- Optional: whipped cream & sprinkles
Blend all the ingredients together. Pour into your favorite jar, mug, cup, or tumbler. This recipe should fill a venti size cup. If you don’t want to add the protein powder, add 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Optional: Top it off with whipped cream and sprinkles.
Note: Macros were calculated with a 25g protein scoop and without whipped cream and sprinkles.
|January 2, 2014|
I know I have been a little MIA the past few months… let me explain. The past few months I have been on a roller coaster. One minute I am super motivated and eating right and the next I am picking up old habits and saying things like “tomorrow I will go to the gym” and “tomorrow I will be more strict on my diet” … but waiting until tomorrow is the oldest cliche in the book.
Yes, every day is a new day and new opportunity to start fresh and make good decisions, but every time you take another bite is a decision. You don’t have to wait until the next day to make a change. Why not start (or re-start) with the next fork full of noms?
I know very very well how temping the gooey artichoke dip can be or happy hour at the local sushi place. Trust me, I will admit that in the past 3 months I have gained 10 pounds. I felt like I couldn’t preach to the blogging world about my weight loss journey when all I was doing was gaining – sitting on my couch while eating Thai take-out. That’s not a positive journey at all – a journey to the dark side. I was feeling so guilty about my new habits but didn’t have the motivation to do anything about it. Even my trainer started to get more on my back about what I ate and my lack of exercise because it was noticeable.
So what happened? I had the right mindset and I was on top of my game…. life happens. No one said it was easy. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be so many people out there struggling with the same things I am. You have to make time for your goals because no one is there to micromanage your every decision.
I was talking to a friend of mine on new years eve who recently lost 50 pounds. There are no miracle diets or workouts any one person can do that works for everyone across the board, but the true secret to her success was and is her mindset. I know it sounds cliche but even I have said that in the past (when I was on my weight loss streak). She told me that every day she took some “me” time to keep her on track, just thinking about the future.
This leads me to my new year’s resolution:
I will wake up every morning and stretch. Side Tangent: I am not a fan of yoga. I’m going old school with traditional stretching because if your muscles are tight, you have a far higher risk of injury when working out. While stretching, I wont think about my scary long to-do list. This time is for reminding myself who I want to be. Where do I see myself next year and how do I get there? I am the only one holding me back from my goals. This year will be a year of change.
Also, from now on I am counting macros (macronutrients). So all my new recipes will have the fat, protein, carbs and fiber listed (throwing in fiber for good measure). My trainer Emily Mraule thought it might be easier for me and my creative cooking to calculate my macros rather than just tell me what to eat. So I am keeping a food journal to keep me on track. Too bad I didn’t get that food scale I wanted from Santa this year, haha.
Did you make a plan-for-sucess to keep you on track for your new year’s resolution?
|September 20, 2013|
While it may still be pushing the upper 80°s at my house, Fall has officially begun. Despite the heat, I LOVE soup and have every intention of enjoying it even if it means I am sweating in the process.
So mixing my love of easy blend-everything-together type recipes and fall, I thought what better than to try out Butternut Squash Soup?
Often times, restaurants will put a ton of butter or cream and a ton of salt in their recipes. But butternut squash already has so much flavor, and like most foods, if you cook it with the right spices you don’t need to add the fat.
Hope you enjoy my recipe. I can literally say I put my love, sweat, and heart into it. (Praying for the heat in CA to chill off.)
Skinny Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 butternut squash (about 3 lbs)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 cups of low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegan)
- 1/2 tbsp nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
Slice or chop the onion into large pieces. Sauté them in the olive oil until they become slightly translucent. – I sautéed them in the same pot I planned to cook the soup in because I am a lazy dishwasher like that.
Peel, scrape out the seeds, and chop your butternut squash into 1 inch cubes. Peel the skin of the garlic cloves. Put the squash, onion and garlic into a pot with the chicken broth and simmer until the squash is soft (approx 20 min).
Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the squash, onion, and garlic cloves. Place in a high speed blender or food processor, adding a few cups of the broth so it will blend easier. Purée the ingredients until smooth. Depending on the size of your blender or food processor, you might need to do this in a few batches.
Pour the puréed ingredients back into the pot and stir, allowing the broth and puree to evenly mix together. Add the spices and seasonings. (I personally didn’t add any salt because the broth had enough for me. Depending on your broth and personal preference, you may want to add salt. The pepper, I added 1 tsp but again, your own personal preference.) Simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered.
For a creamier soup, top it off with a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream.
|July 8, 2013|
A coworker of mine brought in a ton of HUGE white grapefruits for everyone to take home. I didn’t know much about white grapefruits. Most grapefruits I’ve eaten are pink inside. After doing what anyone would do (hello Google!) I discovered white grapefruits are generally a little more tart and bitter than the pink ones, which tend to be a little sweeter.
So I figured I’d try it in recipe like a lime. Less sour so I could make a simple recipe with only a few ingredients, no salt needed to balance out the sour. I’d never experimented with them before but my recipe was a success!
Sneak peek into my next recipe: it also includes white grapefruit and has my best friend’s stamp of addition on it, so you better buy some extra grapefruits. I’ll post that one later this week once I get my new memory card reader in the mail. (I lost mine, fail).
White Grapefruit Cilantro Dressing
- 1/2 white onion
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (I used 4 because my cloves seemed larger than usual)
- 1 bundle of cilantro (about 1.5 cups chopped)
- juice of 1 white grapefruit (no more than 3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (make sure it says for dressing and not for frying)
Put the onion and garlic in the food processor and chop fine. Add the juice and chopped cilantro. (My cilantro comes from the regular market in a bundle and I have seen it like that at multiple stores. But if your store doesn’t sell the cilantro in a bundle, once you chop it up it should equal around 1.5 cups.) Once it’s all chopped, almost like a pesto, add the olive oil and continue to allow the food processor to do it’s work until it’s all mixed and chopped into a pesto (or liquid) form.
Recipe makes about a full bowl full. If you make it, plan to eat it all week or freeze some for later.
Note: A really nice high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec will be able to process the recipe into a liquid. More cost effective products like my food processor (a Cuisinart) will produce more of a pesto texture.
ALSO!!! This recipe tastes amazing cooked as well!!! Sorry, I don’t have any photos but I have been making my scrambled eggs with it, and using it as a sauce for chicken on the BBQ. It’s very versatile. If you prefer a less potent garlicky oniony taste, you can sauté the garlic and onion before adding it to the food processor. I keep mine raw until I add it into my recipes (like my grilled chicken) so I have the option to cook or not to cook. AND, pre warning you – worst garlic breath ever. Definitely not a good date food, haha.
|June 18, 2013|
I’ve never really felt comfortable or confident enough to show a side-by-side before and after photo. I think it’s because I was ashamed of how I looked in addition to not being happy with where I am right now. I am definitely not ready for a before and after photo yet. But I am finally feeling comfortable to show a side-by-side.
I refuse to call it “before and after” because it’s not. After insinuates that I am done and I am where I want to be physically, and that’s not the case. And before insinuates that there is one point or one photo that symbolizes before you began to get into shape and show progress. Well, I have had ups and downs my whole life when it comes to weight loss. Of course there were times that I was at my heaviest, but there were also times where I was almost at my goal weight. Right now, there is still a lot of body fat to lose and a lot more toning to get done. But honestly, I feel great right now and I think I look pretty good too. (Photo below is a year’s progress)
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had to overcome is to let go of the past. It’s hard to see yourself overweight and actually wanting (or willing) to share any of those photos. But the truth is, those photos exist and I can’t change that, nor would I want to. All my photos have some great memories attached to them. It’s only been recently that I can look at those photos and think to myself, “wow, look how big I was“ – versus, “wow, look how big I am.” I don’t think I will ever look at old photos and see only the good memory and not see overweight girl in addition . But the important thing is that I can recognize that it’s past. I see that I’ve changed, both physically and mentally. I’m not the person in those photos. I am much more confident, driven, and overall much happier.
Losing weight is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Our bodies can achieve so much more than we think they can. I gave up alcohol for about 5 months just to prove to myself that I could do it (and I love my happy hour.) You have to test your limits and then try to break them and climb higher and higher every time.
I used to only have my long-term goal for what I hoped to look like after losing all my weight. Now I constantly set new short term and long term goals that really don’t have much purpose or reason other than to test my limits. Currently, my goal is to do 10 pull-ups by July 4th without any resistance bands or help up from my trainer. Why did I set this goal? I just wanted to see if I can do it – and I know I can with hard work.
I won’t ever say losing weight is easy. If it was, I wouldn’t still be trying to get there. But once you learn to embrace the mental game and are willing to challenge everything you thought you could do, it will get easier.
|June 14, 2013|
Let’s talk chili. It’s probably one of the easiest things you will ever make (microwave food excluded) but to me, it was one of those things that seemed tough and a little intimidating. There are so many ingredients and most recipes are made to slow cook, what if I add too much of something and then when it’s time to eat my chili is inedible?
Seriously. I have nightmares about making food for a party and ruining it and everyone at the party goes hungry and starves and it’s all my fault … I am a strange one.
Anyways, back to my point: chili is one of the easiest things you will ever make. Put it in a pot and leave it there all day. Come for dinner and it’s ready!
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili
- 1 cup dry black beans (cooking directions below) OR 2 cans black beans, drained
- 24 oz boneless chicken breast (about 3-4 breasts)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 chopped red onion
- 1 chopped jalapeño
- 1 small can of chopped green chilies
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 can of corn
- 3 chopped roma tomatoes
- 2 cups of chopped Okra (20 oz.)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (about 1 handfull)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbs cumin
- plain greek yogurt to top it off with
Put all the ingredients together in a slow-cooker, excluding the Greek yogurt. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 3 hours. You may need to add extra water to your chili depending on your slow cooker. Temperatures can vary, making the required water amount vary. Once it’s done, pull the chicken breasts out of the slow cooker and shred the meat. Put the shredded meat back in the pot and stir. Serve and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt – it makes a great sour cream substitute!
Also, chili is so easy to play around with and change things up. If you don’t like okra or want things a little more spicy, this is the dish to experiment with. Feel free to substitute things or add more of what you like and less of what you don’t. It really is harder to mess up chili. As long as you have the right seasonings you are good to go!
**if you want to use pre-cooked chicken, instead of doing 2 1/2 cups of water, use 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water. A lot of the flavor is coming from the chicken, and if yours is already cooked, the chicken flavor wont seep into the chili as much as needed for flavor.
How to Make Your Own Beans
Forget the canned stuff. Yea, you can use it – but making your own is SO much cheaper. A couple pounds of beans cost just as much as a couple cans (generally). So I opt to making my own beans. Another plus is that it doesn’t have all the preservatives that canned beans have.
First, measure the beans. My chili recipe calls for one cup, so that’s where you’d start.
Then you sort the beans. Most of the packaging that beans come in have cooking directions. But “sorting” is where most package directions fail to include or explain. Sorting beans is something you have to do by hand. I think the easiest way to do it is by pouring some of the uncooked beans onto a large cutting board or tray making it easy to see all the beans. It’s even easier if the tray or cutting board is the opposite color of the beans. For instance, it was very easy to see the black beans on my white cutting board.
Then section by section, I drag the ‘normal-looking’ beans off the cutting board, into my colander. The beans you don’t want in your colander are the ones that look deformed or misshapen and rock/dirt clumps. Yea, those rock-like clumps are dirt. If you get it wet and then mush it between your fingers, it turns to mud. GROSS! That’s why we sort the beans. You don’t really need to worry about beans that are halved like some of them in my pile above, but I like to get them out just because I figure I am already going through all the work, I might as well. But most people let those be.
Next, rinse the beans in colander. Rinse them well … we did just pull some dirt out of the pile after all.
Then pour the beans in the pot with the 4 cups of water (1 to 4 ratio). The water doesn’t really need to be exact. You generally just need to make sure the beans have plenty of water to soak up. You always want there to be extra water in there so if you don’t want to measure (I don’t normally measure) just be sure to check on the beans every so often to make sure they have plenty of water.
Bring the water to a rolling boil and let it boil for 2-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 – 2 hours until it’s reaches the desired softness or put it in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to use the beans, drain and rinse the beans again.
You might be asking yourself, do I need to drain the beans? Can I cook with that water? (or at least I asked myself that)
Soaking the beans allows some of the indigestible sugars to be released from the beans themselves. You know why people say beans give them gas? If you drain them after soaking, there’s less of those sugars to give you any digestion discomfort. – Also found out, your plants will LOVE this water. So if you don’t like to waste, introducing your new plant food.
|May 4, 2013|
Cinco de Mayo is this weekend! That means margaritas and more Mexican food than you should probably eat. Before the fiesta begins, I want to give you a few pointers…
If you’re planning to go out:
Limit your chip eating or just don’t have any at all. Seriously! Chips at Mexican food restaurants are like crack. You eat one – next thing you know the whole basket is gone. Been there, done that! If you are going to indulge in chips, pre-plan how many chips you will eat before you go.
When you order your food, avoid any fried and cheesy items. Go for the fajitas or grilled chicken and skip the tortillas. Try the taco salad without the shell, hold the sour cream.
For drinks, stay away from beer and sugary cocktail drinks. A good restaurant will make a margarita from scratch using lime, versus the cheaper way – using a syrup. It’s a safer bet if the menu says it’s served on the rocks and tells you what type of tequila. Generally, they don’t like to blend a good tequila. But let’s be honest, if you’re going to have a drink, the option with the least amount of calories is the one without any mix-ins. Get a shot of tequila! OLE!
Easy Shrimp Ceviche
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/2 a cup of lime juice
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 a cucumber
- 1/2 a bundle of cilantro (1.5 cups chopped)
- 1 lb prepped cooked shrimp (small)
- 1 mango
- 2 celery stalks
- sea salt to taste
Using the food processor, chop the garlic clove, jalapeno, roma tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber. You can add the lime juice if you need a little liquid to allow the processor to do it’s job. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Hand chop the cilantro, shrimp, mango, and celery stalks and add it to the mixing bowl. I hand chop this stuff because: 1) the cilantro will only wrap itself around the blade if you try to chop it with the food processor. 2) The shrimp is generally cut in larger pieces which you cant control with a food processor. 3) It would absolutely kill your mango into mush. 4) Celery strings might mess up your food processor.
Mix all the ingredients together (including any of the lime juice you didn’t already add). Add the sea salt to taste. Now you can stuff an avocado with it, serve with chips, or just grab a fork and dig in.
Optional: So I cheated on the shrimp by using pre-cooked cocktail shrimp which I then made sure all the tails and shells were taken off. But if you have the time and aren’t lazy, buy raw shrimp. After removing the shells and tails, place in a bag or tupperware with 1/2 cup of lime juice. Refrigerate until the shrimp turns opaque. Then boil the shrimp and put it in a bowl of ice to stop it from over-cooking. Then use this shrimp in the recipe above instead of the pre-cooked stuff.
- 1 shot of tequila
- 1 shot of lime juice
- 1/4 shot agave
- 1/4 peeled orange
- rimming salt
In a shaker, add all the ingredients together (minus the rimming salt) and mash the orange into the shaker. Add ice shake, shake, and pour in a glass rimmed with salt over fresh ice. If you think it’s too strong, feel free to add a little water to it. But no more than a shot or two of water, otherwise it will just be a watered down drink.
By using agave, it’s a cleaner way to get the sweet flavor without using a margarita sweet syrup. The orange replaces the Triple Sec, a citrus based liquor in most margarita recipes. Is the Triple Sec really necessary when you can use the real thing? Hope you enjoy 🙂