Category Archives: Healthier Eating

Protein Pancakes: Start your day off right

Who doesn’t like pancakes? Just the word brings back yummy thoughts of breakfast. Seriously the word has CAKE in it! If I can have cake for every meal and not put on weight, sign me up! Unfortunately traditional pancakes act like cake when we eat it. It all goes to our butts, thighs, and bellies. Well here is a recipe to still have the flavorful joy of pancakes, but without the depressing sad side effects of guilt when you slam a short stack!

Anthony's Protein pancakes

Anthony’s Protein Pancakes

Basic Batter:
2 whole eggs
1/3 C. egg whites
1/2 C. 1% cottage cheese
1 C. natural oats
1/2 banana
2 tsp. cinnamon

 

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth (if consistency is not to your liking you can add oats to thicken, or egg whites to thin out). Heat skillet on med-high. Spray skillet with olive oil and cook batter like normal pancakes, flipping once air bubbles begin to form (about 3-4 min. per side). Serve hot and top with natural butter (1 tbsp. tops!), honey, agave nectar, or natural maple syrup. Just don’t over do it on your toppings!

Recipe makes 4 – 8″ pancakes. Each pancake is about 120 cal. 3g Fat, 12g Carbs (3g fiber), 11g Protein

Things to add to batter to change flavor:
*Protein powder (I don’t like this, but to each their own!)
*Apple Cinnamon (add sliced apples in blender to mix w/ batter)
*Blueberry (add blueberries to mixture after blended…duh)
*Chocolate chip pancakes (natural carob chips)
*Cranberry n Nuts (add craisins and chopped pecans to batter after mixed)
*Pumpkin (add 1/4 C. pumpkin and dash of nutmeg to batter and mix)

*Carrot Cake (add 1/4 C. shredded carrots and 3 tbsp. crushed pecans)

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Makes 4 Patties

Submitted by Alecia Patrick (from skinnyms.com)

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta (photo credit: skinnyms.com)

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta (photo credit: skinnyms.com)

Our friend Alecia was kind enough to share some recipes with us before she left.  This recipe for turkey burgers is great because the dried tomatoes will add some rich flavor.  And both the tomatoes and feta will also add moisture (as long as the burgers aren’t overcooked).  A rich garlic aioli would be a good balance as a sauce but it would add LOTS of fat and calories.  But a plain, Greek yogurt, blended with some chopped, roasted garlic would be a much better choice.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes (if using 99% lean turkey breasts, recommend using sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced chives or green onions

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and make into 4 patties. Recommend outdoor grilling or using a George Foreman type grill. Top burgers with your favorite condiments.

Note: Patties can be made ahead of time and frozen.

Serving Size: 1 burger patty & 1 whole wheat bun

Calories: 185 |  Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fats: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 | Cholesterol: 56 mg | Sodium: 134 mg | Total Carbohydrates: 12 g | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 5 g | Protein: 18 g
Read more at http://skinnyms.com/turkey-burger-with-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-feta-cheese/#YS1ESAo2ESo0bCey.99

 

It’s Cinco De Mayo! Celebrate with Margarita Chicken!

Margarita-Chicken-with-Mango-Avocado-Salsa-Labeled

Margarita Chicken with Mango and Avocado Salsa

This Week from the Food Blogosphere: April 14th, 2014

Here are some informative and fun posts from the Huffington Post blog.

Healthy lunch

10 Food Hacks for Workplace Wellness

Chipotle

The 15 Most Allergy-Friendly Restaurant Chains

Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony, Tony Shalhoub and The Timpano from The Big Night

Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony, Tony Shalhoub and The Timpano from The Big Night

Is your food taste similar to celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow’s?  Or are you more of a Stanley Tucci kind of guy?  Definitely not scientific, the quiz is just kinda fun.  I took it and the result is Stanley.  Which makes total sense because The Big Night is one of my favorite movies.  And someday, I’m going to tackle making that Timpano.  If you don’t know what a timpano is, you probably don’t want to.

Quiz: Who Is Your Celebrity Foodie Twin

Hot and Healthy Trends: Cauliflower Is The New Kale

Purple and orange cauliflower2013 was the year of cronuts, popped grains, ramen noodle bowls, sriacha…and kale.  Kale could be found on salad bars, blended into smoothies and baked into crunchy chips.

But in 2014, blogs everywhere are declaring kale is so last year. CAULIFLOWER is the new kale according to Christine Couvelier, executive chef and global culinary trendologist.

Why cauliflower?

  • It’s versatile: it can be grilled, broiled, steamed and mashed.  It can be cooked whole or sliced into steaks.  It can also be sliced into florets.  And…it comes in COLORS!
  • It’s nutritious: it is very high in Vitamin C.
  • It’s healthy: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, heart healthy, digestive aid, etc.

CauliflowerWhen you purchase white cauliflower, it should be perfectly white.  Also, if it is well covered with leaves, it tends to be fresher.  When you get it home, put it in a plastic or paper bag, stem side down.  It should last about a week.

If you are looking for new recipes to try, here’s one with cauliflower steaks.

 

cauliflower steaks

 

This recipe is excellent for several reasons.  It’s relatively quick and easy.  It has great flavor.  And the health benefits cover everything from controlling blood sugar and pressure, aiding in the prevention of cancer, killing bacteria, decreasing cholesterol and increasing iron levels.

Recipe from the Kitchn

Other suggestions for cauliflower:

  • blended into soups such as the potato soup we featured a few months ago.
  • steamed and pureed to be served as a replacement for mashed potatoes
  • pickled and served as a side dish
  • steamed and chopped finely before blending in with macaroni and cheese

One of my favorite ways is using it in kitchen sink soup.  I take whatever leftover vegetables I have in the fridge, saute them in EVOO with some garlic and onions, add a large can of pureed tomatoes (low-sodium) and some chicken or vegetable stock.  Once the vegetables are tender, I add about a handful of pasta noodles.

Start thinking of all the ways you can work cauliflower into your current menu of meals.

Tabbouleh Salad

Mayo Clinic Tabbouleh Salad (Contributed by Tamara Czaplicki)

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup bulgur (cracked wheat), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup diced, seeded tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions or green onions
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 4 black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the bulgur.  Cover and let stand until the bulgur is tender and the liquid is completely absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the bulgur and the remaining ingredients. Toss gently just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve chilled.

Nutritional Analysis

  • Total fat 4 g
  • Calories 101
  • Protein 2 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 16 g
  • Dietary fiber 4 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Saturated fat 0.5 g
  • Sodium 60 mg
Photo credit: Mayo Clinic

Photo credit: Mayo Clinic

 

Recipe Renovation: Chicken Salad Sandwich

Makes 4 Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved or quartered
  • 2 tbsp toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Several grates of freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices multi-grain bread
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes

To cook the chicken, bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and simmer for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from water and cool completely. When cool, cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a bowl with the grapes, walnuts, dill, scallions, yogurt, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.

To assemble the sandwiches, place 4 slices of bread on a work surface. For each sandwich, top with 1/2 cup arugula, 1/2 cup chicken salad, 1/4 cup sliced radishes and another piece of bread.

Carlton’s Suggestions for Substitutions:

  • Chicken – Boiling the chicken is the suggested method.  This is to lower fat and sodium content.  However, boiled chicken can be dry if cooked too long – and flavorless.  An alternate method would be to salt and pepper the chicken & boil in low sodium chicken stock for more flavor.  However, you could just as easily saute the chicken in stock or olive oil.  Or bake the chicken.  But if you need to save time, use rotisserie chicken.
  • Also think about using turkey or shrimp instead of chicken.
  • Despite their health benefits, both the arugula and radish are peppery and pungent.   In place of the radish, some shredded carrots, mixed in with the salad, would provide enough crunch. And a mesclun mix or a red lettuce could replace the arugula.

Chicken Salad Sandwich from Epicruious

Nutritional Analysis:

Per Sandwich:

Calories 260, protein 23 g, total fat 6 g, carbohydrates 28 g, sodium 460 mg, fiber 5 g

Nutritional analysis provided by The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook

Recipe from The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook: Mega-nutritious Meals that are Inspired, Delicious and Fad-free by Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., photography by Bill Bettencourt. Copyright © 2013 Tina Ruggiero. First published in 2013 by Page Street Publishing.

 

Recipe Renovation: Carlton’s Shrimp and Grits

General Tso's Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken

If you love a certain type of food or have a favorite dish, it’s always fun to find out which restaurant makes the best.  For awhile, I was in search of the best General Tso’s Chicken (it was New Peking in Westport) Then, I was in search of the best crab cakes (it was Avenues Bistro) .

Lobster and Crab Cakes

Lobster and Crab Cakes (photo credit: Carlton Logan)

Then, it was the best fried calamari (Ingredient).

Calamari

Fried Calamari from Ingredient (photo credit: Carlton Logan)

Lately, it’s shrimp and grits.  I recently tried this dish at Louie’s Wine Dive in Brookside – it was GOOD.  But even better? Rye takes it to a whole new level…creamy, cheesy, almost-smooth grits… perfectly cooked shrimp… and flavorful pulled pork!

But I wanted to create my own  (lighter) version.  Traditionally, this Southern dish has lots of fat and sodium.  One recipe I found has 574 calories, 37 grams of fat and almost 1,600 mg of sodium.  So the challenge was to create my own recipe, keeping the richness and flavor and decreasing all the bad stuff.

C's shrimp and cheese grits

My lighter version of shrimp and grits

Carlton’s Lighter Shrimp and Grits

Serves 6 people

Grits:

  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 ½ cups of low sodium, low-fat chicken stock (I use Trader Joe’s Organic)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup of uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Shrimp

  • 2 slices of low sodium bacon
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped or minced garlic
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 pound raw, deveined  shrimp (26/30 or 30/35 count)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1/3 cup of sliced scallions

1. Bring water, stock and butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Whisk in grits; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cover. Keep warm.

2. Cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Add white onion, garlic, and tomatoes to pan; cook 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown , stirring frequently. Add shrimp and red pepper; cook 3 minutes. Combine stock and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add broth/flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve shrimp mixture with grits.  Top with green onions and crumbled bacon.

Nutritional Analysis

  • Calories: 237.4
  • Total Fat: 8.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: .7g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 129.1mg
  • Sodium: 343.9
  • Potassium: 204.1mg
  • Total Carbs: 19.8g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.8g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 22.7g
  • Vitamin A: 8.4%
  • Vitamin B-12: 16.6%
  • Vitamin B-6: 5.6%
  • Vitamin C: 7.0%
  • Vitamin D: 28.7%
  • Calcium: 15.8%
  • Etc.

Variations:

  • Omitting the bacon will reduce the fat and sodium.  Or if you don’t want to omit the bacon, turkey bacon might be a healthier alternative.  Just cook it long enough to crisp it.  Bacon in this recipe adds flavor and texture.  But also keep in mind, if you use bacon, it renders very little fat.  You may want to consider a tablespoon of olive oil to saute the onions.
  • Substituting 2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese in the grits results will lose 20 calories, 2 grams of fat and about 75 mg of sodium
  • Substituting 1 cup of low sodium shredded Cheddar cheese for the Parmesan will increase calories by about 30, increase fat by 2 grams and increase the sodium by 100 mg

Tips for A Healthier 2014!

800px-Washing_bell_peppers

Thanks to Diana, Rod, Stephanie and Shari Spaet for all of the great tips for a healthier lifestyle!

  • Use a children’s plate.  Smaller plate = smaller portions.
  • When eating out, ask the waiter or waitress for a takeout box right away and place half of the food in the container immediately. This will prevent you from eating too much. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Don’t bring tempting foods into your house!  If you do, you will seek them out for cravings.  Or you’ll talk yourself into eating so it won’t go to waste.
  • It’s about changing habits, so it takes time.  It’s so important to remain calm in knowing this.
  • Set a goal and share it with others.  Keeps you going!
  • Make small changes at a time.  Start with eliminating one item you consume on a regular basis.  It all started with eliminating soda pop for me.  After that, switched out the white bread for whole grain, grilled foods for fried foods, increased intake of fruits and vegetables and decreased intake of breads and red meats.
  • Drink lots of water.  Lots.
  • Drink green tea to help boost your metabolism.
  • Count calories.  I know it’s a pain in the rear, but it has helped me tremendously!  It’s so hard in the beginning, but it becomes second nature after a while and a true eye opener!  I love My Fitness Pal.
  • Exercise at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes each day.  It wasn’t until I starting exercising that I literally saw the pounds fade away.  The more you exercise the better for your body and the quicker the results.
  • Fad diets work, but once you stop eating that way, the pounds come right back on.  Develop your own plan.  Eats lots of healthy foods.  Don’t deprive yourself of a treat from time to time.  Make conscientious choices.  If you know that at that family gathering there is going to be cake and you are gonna have a piece, know that the rest of your day should include lots of healthy choices and possibly a few extra minutes of exercise.
  • Find what works for you.
  • Stay positive.  Practice positive affirmations on a daily basis and surround yourself with inspiring people.  Read motivational articles, books, Facebook posts….anything.
  • Check out the MyFitnessPal blog for recipes and tips!
  • Check out the book Eat for Life by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  He advocates a nutrient based lifestyle for not only losing weight but improving your health and eliminating disease.

Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving plate

My Thanksgiving dinner plate circa 2012. Clockwise from the top: light mac and cheese, green beans with bacon, homemade cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing with turkey sausage, chunks of turkey and ham, and candied yams.

Thanksgiving is a week away.  If you have not completed your menu, here are some recipes to consider.  Also, if you want to “lighten up” some of your favorite recipes, check out some of the suggestions below.

Dressing

  • Use whole wheat or multi-grain bread cubes
  • Use low sodium chicken broth
  • Substitute pork sausage with turkey sausage
  • Add diced apples for moisture and flavor
  • Saute diced onions, celery, garlic, cumin and sage to add flavor

Sweet Potatoes

  • Cut back on sugar or use brown sugar
  • Omit the marshmallows
  • Add pecans or walnuts

Green Bean Casserole

  • The traditional green bean casserole is coated in cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onion rings, both of which are high in sodium and fat.  Instead, saute green beans in olive oil and about a tablespoon or two of bacon fat with herbs.  Top with crumbled bacon.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Substitute low fat milk or buttermilk for whole milk.  Or use half low-sodium chicken broth and half low fat milk.
  • Substitute half cauliflower and half potatoes.

Cranberry Sauce

  • Instead of using canned sauces, make your own.  Here’s the recipe I make at Thanksgiving.  Any leftover sauce is used to make cranberry mustard for sandwiches.
  • Make cranberry relish by chopping whole cranberries, oranges, apples and 1/2 cup sugar in your food processor.

Gravy

  • Drain fat from turkey drippings or simply use butter to create the roux for your gravy.

Desserts

  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Low fat pumpkin cheesecake (see below)

RECIPES

roast-turkey-su-600467-l

Roasted Turkey with Balsamic Brown Sugar Sauce

brussel sprouts

Apple – Bacon Brussel Sprouts

From RecipeGirl and Cooking Light

From RecipeGirl and Cooking Light

Low-fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

Fae's Twist & Tango

Magazine of a Storyteller... articles about world cultures, travel, and recipes with a twist and tango ♪ ♪ ♪ ...

romanmyko

Healthy Life Style

Nourished Intuition

Health - Business - Success

ice cream magazine

................... for lovers of ice cream. Your free on line magazine for sweet frozen treats. Recipes, inspiration, artisanal ideas for your delectation.

Vegetarian In Vegas

A new life one bite at a time.

My Favourite Pastime

Food, Travel and Eating Out

Chocolate Spoon & The Camera

A clumsy newbie in the kitchen

Olive Sundays

Melbourne Food Blog

The Odd Spot

Your Health. Your Way

Jesse-b PT

Healthy Happy & Active

gf and me

Gluten Free Recipes & Tips

power group foodies

A Healthy/Yummy Food Sharing Site