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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

One of my resolutions this year is to eat healthier (of course).  It always comes after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s- we eat like the year is going to end (pun intended), and punish ourselves later by limiting everything we like, right?  Well, I’m hoping it’s not a punishment, but more of an unhealthy “flush”, if you will.  So my challenge is to find healthy alternatives that are still great, just less greasy with more overall nutrition.  So yesterday our very loved San Franisisco 49ers played in the NFC Championship Playoffs, and sadly lost to the New York Giants.  My husband is from the Bay area, and this was an extremely somber occasion as we hoped for them to make it to the Super Bowl.  None-the-less, at least our stomachs didn’t suffer a loss from the poor game food that is accustumed.  And seeing as the Super Bowl is not just for football fans, but has become more american culture, I thought perhaps an amazing Super Bowl salsa would be useful for anyone who wants an amazingly flavorful  and fresh snack with the added bonus of it being healthy.

SuperBowl Salsa

Ingredients
4-5 plum tomatoes, small dice
1/2 of a large red onion, small dice
1 avocado (i used a zutano, but hass will work fine as well) diced.
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of corn kernels (i use the “no added salt” kind) drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
 

Directions:

In this recipe technique is the most important from an okay salsa, to a spectacular one.  You want to make sure your onions are evenly diced and small enough to not be pungent. 

Keep most of your vegetables evenly diced and your results will be impeccable.  In a large bowl mix together all of your ingredients except your avocado, adding enough lime juice to wet and dress all your vegetables. 

Add salt and pepper to flavor as you like, and at the very end gently toss your avocado, coating with the lime juice to prevent from browning.  Serve with corn tortilla chips.  You can even spoon this over salads or top grilled meats with it for a tropical twist.   Beware:  I’ve been told this salsa is very addicting–and I have to agree!  Enjoy without the guilt!

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This morning after a nice run in beautiful weather I decided to make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes for my son and me. These pancakes are really great, they are very moist and you may not even want syrup! On a side-note, I thought I lost my camera (this tends to be a trend in my house with a 2-year-old) so I wasn’t able to take many pictures. I did find it after some picking up, however, so I’m extremely happy, as buying cameras tends to get expensive 🙂 You can adjust the ingredients in this recipe to fit your lifestyle. I was thinking of my vegan friends while making this and thought this was the perfect breakfast, I would just replace the buttermilk with almond milk, use an egg substitute and vegetable oil for the butter. I actually used 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour this time, and only 1/2 a cup of unbleached all-purpose flour. They are slightly more dense, but not too noticeable at all. I loved it and my son did as well. So here it is…

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
6 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 2/3 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs – lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon melted butter

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and the spices in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, pumpkin, eggs and melted butter.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.

Dollop the batter in 1/4 cup amounts onto a well-greased skillet or large frying pan set to medium heat. Cook until tops bubble and turn and cook other side – about 2 minutes per side.

It makes about 20 pancakes and each is approximately 100 calories.  I freeze mine into 2 pancake servings to have during the week.  You can add chocolate chips to yours for an indulgent treat!

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Hello after a long weekend!  Tonight was my uncle’s last night with us before returning to Spain.  So of course, we had to have a big dinner to wish him a bon voyage.  But my mom was too tired to cook, and my grandmother had her chemotherapy today and wasn’t feeling up to it, so… Super-Pamela to the rescue!  Haha.. no, I offered mostly because it’s nice to cook when grandma will watch Lucas for me, so I can “just cook”.  I love it, it really is like a therapy to me.  So for tonight, in keeping with our fall theme, we have a Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns.  Well, it’s more like Rigatoni with Squash and Shrimp, since we had regular jumbo shrimp on hand.  This is a recipe I cannot take credit for; it was created by a chef I really love for healthful Italian cuisine, Giada de Laurentiis.  Here is the recipe with a few adjustments:

Rigatoni with Squash and Shrimp

Ingredients:
 
3 tbsp olive oil, plus 3 tbsp
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound large or jumbo shrimp
3/4 to 1 cup 2% or whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Directions

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree. *You can actually add some of your milk at this point, rather than all of it later, if you need some liquid to better puree your squash.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes.

In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened.

Add the cooked shrimp, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.   Top with a little extra parmesan and basil.

Results:  An incredibly healthy and delicious dish!  The sauce is so creamy, and you actually feel like you’re eating something bad for you, but it’s not!  The combination of the sweet butternut squash with the bite of the pepper in the sauce as well as in the shrimp, along with the saltiness of the parmesan cheese is just delightful!  I doubled my recipe to feed my family of seven plus a toddler.  I got great reviews! 

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If this breakfast was any easier, you would open the refrigerator door and be tossed one of these.  I’m talking about Strawberry Yogurt.  And even though there are some amazing cups of yogurt in the dairy aisle of my supermarket, I always enjoy the freshness of ripe strawberries and controlling the ingredients myself.  This is extremely simple and you may ask, “Why did she even post this?” But I wanted you to know that eating good and eating well doesn’t have to mean tons of ingredients and lots of time. 

Ingredients
1/2 cup Fage Total 2% greek yogurt
1.5 tsp of local honey
a handful of strawberries
 

Directions

Mix the yogurt and the honey until combined. Wash and dice your strawberries and place over your yogurt.  Enjoy!

Breakfast of champions for my son and me!

Here are a few things that I love about this breakfast, snack, or dessert.  It is easy, simple, and good for me. 

Did you know that greek yogurt typically almost doubles the amount of protein of regular yogurt?  I actually researched it because I was curious, and 1 cup of Yoplait Light or Dannon Light & Fit has only 5 grams of protein, I also checked out other “greek” yogurts, like Liberte Greek Yogurt and it has 11 grams of protein–Fage Greek Yogurt has 23 grams of protein for 1 cup!  That’s almost 5 times more than the regular yogurts, and more than double than some competitor greek yogurts.  So that’s good to know.. but it is also so tasty.  This is a greek strained yogurt, which means they strain out excess liquid so it is thicker and richer tasting, and it keeps you fuller longer

On the local honey subject, there are some theories out there that suggest local honey may help you fight seasonal allergies.  I like to think it helps me 🙂 It’s also lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar, so it is more gradually absorbed into your bloodstream. 

Hopefully I haven’t bored you to death.  I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to food- and my husband is a medical student so that doesn’t help!  I just believe that when we know what we are eating it helps us to make smarter choices. 

Remember the old cliche, “You are what you eat” ?  Do you believe this is true?  Tell me some of your thoughts!

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