Sweet Escape: Teal ditches sugar for 21 days - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sweet Escape: Teal ditches sugar for 21 days

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I have a serious sweet tooth -- Butterfingers, butter pecan ice cream, Sour Patch Kids, sugary Starbucks Frappuccinos and Starbursts -- I'll even eat chocolate chips right out of the bag if I don't have any sweets on hand.

But lately, I've been reading just how bad all that sugar is for us. Plus, I'd been noticing no matter how much sleep I got, I was always feeling run down.

So I decided to try something: Quit sugar for 21 days.

It was more difficult than I thought it would be. Planning meals became much more important and much more time consuming and a night out to dinner with friends became a lot less fun, but I was committed to making in 3 weeks without added sugar in my diet.

It was an adventure, and I certainly learned a lot. Watch the video above, which aired Thursday, April 23, on the KWWL News at 10.

Here are a few of the recipes that got me through my Sweet Escape:

Tomato-Basil Quiche with Bacon & Spinach

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40-50 minutes

Serves 4

-8 slices bacon

-8 eggs

-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

-2 tablespoons chopped chives

-1/4 cup chopped basil leaves

-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

-1 teaspoon black pepper

-2 cups chopped spinach

-12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice bacon crosswise into 1/4 inch strips. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until fat is rendered and meat is cooked, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, garlic, chives, basil, salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in the spinach.

Grease a 9x11 inch baking dish then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Top with the bacon pieces and cherry tomato halves.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the quiche puffs up and becomes golden brown on the edges.

Shepherd's Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Serves 4-6

-1 medium head cauliflower

-2 tablespoons unsalted butter

-sea salt and black pepper to taste

-6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

-3/4 cup diced carrots

-2-3 cloves garlic, minced or grated

-2 pounds ground lamb or beef

-1 to 2 fresh sage leaves, minced

-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1 cup peas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop the cauliflower roughly into 2-inch pieces. Set up a pot with 1 inch of water and a steamer basket. Steam the cauliflower until fork-tender, approximately 10 minutes. While its still warm, puree the cauliflower in a food processor with butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. When the bacon is about halfway done, about 5 minutes, add diced carrots with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook another few minutes, then add the garlic and ground meat.

When the meat is brown and the carrots are cooked through, add the sage and cinnamon and stir to combine.

Place the meat mixture in an oven-safe baking dish. Top the meat with a layer of peas, then a layer of cauliflower puree. Bake for 20 minutes.

If you wish to brown the top after baking, place the oven rack in the top position, set the broiler to high, and place the dish as close to the heat as possible for 5 to 10 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning it.

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