Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Smart snacking


I have a sweet tooth. Ok, actually, I think I may have a whole mouthful of them. That makes trying to eat healthy and low fat difficult to say the least. I came up with this recipe and when I want a little indulgence without a lot of (dare I say it?)...crap in it, I make this.

1 8oz container of fat free cream cheese-organic if you can find it =)
4 oz of non fat strained greek yogurt- I love fage! pronounce fah-yea
8 oz pure pumpkin-not pumpkin pie filling
2 tablespoons of Erythritol-I use Organic Zero
6 packets of Stevia
1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
juice of 1 tangerine
zest of 1 tangerine

mix all the ingredients together (it helps if you heat the cream cheese and pumpkin and then add the stevia so it doesn't clump)and chill -serve with apple slices, ginger snaps, toasted bagel chips or graham crackers.
the sip is 55 calories per serving- (8 servings) and averaged about 125 when you add the cookies or apples.

enjoy =)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Grown Up Mac N Cheese


It's good-however, it's better to look at it as a pasta dish and not your Mama's homemade macaroni and cheese. Deal?




Ingredients:

1/2 cup soybeans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash
2 tablespoons organic Neufchatel cream cheese
3/4 cup plus 2Tbsp organic milk divided plus more if necessary
2 Tbsp+2tsp EVOO or walnut oil
1/2 onion-chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
sea salt-to taste
freshly cracked pepper-to taste
1 Tbsp white whole wheat four
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese ( side note- cheese is either white, green or blue, so you don't mind all the artificial dyes,then go ahead and buy yellow cheese =)
3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta ( another side note- a lot of companies will pull the wool over your eyes with false advertising- unless it says 100% whole wheat, it's just a marketing gimmick!)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Puree' soybeans, butternut squash, cream cheese and 1/4 cup+ 2 tbsp of milk until smooth

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet and saute onions and garlic until soft then remove and set aside
Add remaining oil to skillet and heat over medium high and whisk in flour and stir until thick but not browned. Add in remaining 1/2 cup of milk and stir until thickened

Blend in soybean/squash mixture
Add Shredded cheese and blend until melted
Add in salt and pepper
Add cheese mixture to cooked pasta and pour into oven proof dish
Sprinkle with wheat germ,flax and Parmesan cheese

Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes and let stand for 10

I served mine with Grilled BBQ chicken breast and fresh mixed greens salad with a balsamic vinaigrette

This dish is LOADED with awesome things for your body
Enjoy!

Flexitarian


Flexitarian- an omnivore who maintains a predominantly plant based diet but still eats moderate size servings of land and sea animals occasionally.

So I bought this cookbook called "The Whole Foods Diet" which sounded really awesome and I ordered it off Amazon and was super excited when it arrived. I didn't realize that in the beginning of the book it basically had the authors ( an MD and his wife) food philosophy in it. It was really good, it talked about a lot of things I already knew. Processed foods are bad, eating whole foods in their natural or closest to natural state is the best way. Anyway one of the chapters was titled Flexitarian.
Basically it was talking about how we as a society eat waaaaay to much meat and our bodies aren't meant to. I thought it made a lot of sense and decided I would try and become a flexitarian. I have always enjoyed cooking and baking. I LOVE food, but fruits and veggies were rarely on our plates, after I went on a cleanse where I was forces to eat only raw fruit and veggies I realize how little I ate in my everyday life. Being a flexitarian or vegetarian forces you to think outside of the typical meat and potatoes dinner and be creative. I am having so much fun coming up with nutrient pack, low fat, low sugar meals for my family.
Here are a few reasons why this lifestyle is so beneficial-
1. Plant- based diets help keep saturated fat intake low- sure organic free range chickens and lean cut of grass fed beef are pretty low in saturated fat, but the majority of Americans also throw in bacon,sausage, pepperoni and luncheon meats which a practically zero nutrients and are loaded with saturated fats.

2. Plant-based sources of saturated fat are healthier than animal sources-things like, Avacados, coconut oil, EVOO, nuts and nut butters are loaded with healthy fats that our bodies need.

3. Plant-based whole foods are rich on phytochemicals-pytochemicals are basically like antioxidants but they can only be found in plan based foods- they protect your cells from free radicals and can help prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease to name a few.


Lastly-
4. Let's be reasonable, if you have spent your entire life eating and enjoying meat, going to a straight vegetarian or vegan lifestyle would be pretty difficult. This give you the playing room you need went you want it.

So anyway, those are some of the reasons why I am trying out more vegetarian meals and am now a self proclaimed FLEXIATARIAN.

Catch up or ketchup?

Ok-It's practically been a month since I last posted and I have so many new recipes to share it's overwhelming! I have some major catch up to do. I'm going to hopefully just crank out several in the next few days. It's crazy how busy life can get with two little ones. Anyway- here's the latest on my foodie and exercise adventures. We'll start with exercise.
I took a week off 2 weeks ago.
It was nice in some ways and stressful in others. For those of you who are active you know what I mean. Exercising is really difficult to do sometimes when you're lacking motivation but once you get going it's awesome. It relieves so much stress and your body just loves it. So while it was nice to be lazy, I really missed that satisfying feeling that comes from working my body hard. So to punish myself I decided to start P90X lol. Not really, I am actually really excited about the program. I'm only two days into and I am so sore it's ridiculous. I think it's going to take my climbing to a whole new level, so I'm excited about that. Anyway I'll keep you posted on my thoughts and opinions about the very hyped program.

Now, on to food! I have come across some really healthy and wholesome recipes that I would like to share in the next few post. They are: Grown up Mac n Cheese, Black Bean Burgers, ChiliMac, Southwestern tofu Triangles and Portobello wraps. Everything except the ChiliMac is Vegetarian. Oh-I didn't tell you? I'm now a flexiatrian. What? you say....I'll explain in my next post.

Ciao for now!


P.S since my title was Catch up orKetchup, here's a recipe....

Homemade ketchup without all the HFC (high fructose corn syrup)that come with Heinz or Hunts!
  • 1 can organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1Tblsp Organic Dijon mustard or 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats


I'm going to be honest, I had some serious doubts that these were going to be good. I typically can look at a recipe and determine what it's going to taste like before I ever make it, and the majority of the time it's a home run, the problem comes when the ingredients used I have never had- that is why is was so skeptical of this "healthy" alternative. I'd never had brown rice cereal or brown rice syrup. Anyway- seriously I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were! So try them, you'll like them! They are dairy free and gluten free-bonus!
You'll have to go to a little trouble to find some of the ingredients because places like Walmart don't carry these specialized ingredients which is a real shame but that's a whole different blog right there! I found all of ingredients at Earth Fare.

Ingredients

1 box brown rice cereal
1 & 3/4 cups brown rice syrup
3/4 cup all natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup Vegan chocolate chips
pinch of Sea Salt

Directions

Pour rice cereal into a large bowl. Heat the syrup with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat. When the rice syrup liquefies, add the peanut butter and stir until well combined. Pour over the rice cereal. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Once thoroughly mixed and cooled to room temperature, stir in the chocolate chips. Make sure the mixture is cool, or you will end up with melted chocolate instead of chocolate chips in your treats. However (I didn't wait long enough and the whole mixture got a nice chocolate coating-darn I just hate it when that happens =) I just waited a few minutes and added a little more chips to give it some texture.)

Turn the mixture out into an 9x13 or jellyroll baking dish. Wet your wooden spoon lightly and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool for 1 hour -- if you can -- before cutting into squares or bars.


Enjoy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

fruit and veggie muffins



Sounds interesting right? Not exactly the most delectable sounding muffin, but if I were to have called them Apple, Raisin, Banana, Pineapple, Carrot muffins you might have turned and headed for the door.
I was looking for a healthy muffin recipe that was low in fat but high in nutrition, the good kind of nutrition, not like those 100 calorie snacks that are still loaded with JUNK! Anyway I came across several recipes and decided to just pick and choose what ingredients I wanted and whala- a tasty, moist healthy muffin at my beckoning call. I'm pretty proud of this recipe because it's sort of like my own original recipe =) enjoy!



Directions
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla, carrots and pineapple in bowl and mix until well blended. Add raisins and walnuts to bowl and mix well by hand. Pour wet mixture into flour mixture and stir until just blended . Spoon batter into greased muffin pans (18 muffins total); or pour into greased bundt pan. Bake for 30 minutes (40 minutes for bundt), or until done.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nutritious AND Delicious?

Can these two words possibly go together? YES! Absolutely. It has become a passion of mine to feed my family precisley that way. About a year ago we gave our pantry an "extreme makeover" and got rid of so much junk. I'm not talking about Doritos and Twinkies, oh no I'm talking foods that are typically considered ok by the general public. Examples would be Bisquick, cheerios, ketchup, pop tarts, peanut butter, waffles, pasta, flour, rice etc. Basically everything that had any of the following ingredients: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated oils, Enriched flour, bleached anything or anything with artificial dyes. WOW that stuff is in everything! We pretty much had to just start over. Now if I got into all of the changes we've made in the past year your eyes would start to glaze over and you'd have drool on your key board because you fell asleep-not a pretty picture. So for now I just want to say that I have learned so much about food and ways to eat healthy and still have it taste great. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat the bad stuff, I can throw back a soda and some Cheetos with the best of them but I only do very occasionally, I think the last time I had potato chips was last Summer when I was pregnant with Kylie. Anyway my whole point to this post is just to say I plan on continuing to learn and share recipes that are both nutritious and delicious...