Thursday, January 12, 2017

80--- Chimichurri Sauce



Have you made some healthy changes in the New Year?  Fantastic!

Occasionally when we start a healthier eating plan, we can find ourselves getting into a rut with our food choices.

What's the solution? Find ways to beat the boredom with some new recipes!

Looking for a tasty way to jazz up that otherwise boring grilled chicken breast or steamed veggies? 

Chimichurri is your answer.  This sauce is a blending of herbs, onion, vinegar, and oil, to form a pureed spread.  It's fantastic on everything.  Check it out in my Chimichurri Butter Bean Salad too!

Chimichurri
Makes ~ 1 cup

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup vegetable oil (olive oil will solidify when refrigerated, which is fine- just FYI)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
Dash ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small food processor.  Chop until a course puree is formed.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.  Will keep in refrigerator for ~ 1 week in a covered container.

Nutriton info per 2 Tbsp: 65 calories, 6 g fat, 0 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 70 mg sodium

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Teeny Tiny Resolution Tip {Repost from 2015}

It's that time again!  Resolution season.  If the first day of 2017 seems like a good time for you to set forth with a new goal, go for it!

My tip for you in setting a resolution?

Think small.

Actually, the smaller the better.

Why?

Because reachable goals will keep your momentum moving forward.

Example?

In 2017 I want to lose 40 lbs
vs.
I would like to lose 4 lbs by February 1st.

Losing 40 lbs is a HUGE goal! You may be tempted to "give up" on your goal if you do not see it approaching soon enough. But 4 lbs? It seems much more do-able, don't you think? And when you reach that goal..... you will set another..... and another.... and before you know it- you will have lost those 40lbs!


Another example?

I want to exercise five times per week in 2017.
vs.
I want to exercise 100 minutes per week by February 1st.

Those 100 minutes per week will turn into 300 minutes per week before you know it- with small, short-term goal setting!


So instead of a New Year's Resolution.... how about a January resolution?  To be followed by a February resolution. So on and so forth.  Each month is a new opportunity to improve.

Monday, December 12, 2016

20--- Pumpkin Russian Cream



I don't know about you but my love for pumpkin desserts doesn't end with Thanksgiving.

This recipe is a new twist on my classic Russian Cream.  With pumpkin spices and creamy goodness, this one's certainly worthy of being a holiday dessert.

Pumpkin Russian Cream
Serves 8

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 packages plain gelatin (Knox brand)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash salt

In a medium saucepan, blend sugar and gelatin. Add water and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stirring constantly, bring to full boil. 

Remove from heat and whisk in whipping cream. In a larger mixing bowl, mix pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla. Slowly add sugar-cream mixture and whisk to mix. 

Place in individual serving dishes and place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until solid (overnight works great).

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Monday, November 28, 2016

80--- Basic Beet Bisque



Either you love 'um, or you don't. If you love 'um you've got to try this.

Beets are loaded with fiber, manganese, folate, potassium, magnesium, and iron, along with other antioxidants found only in beets (betalains).  I've grilled them, roasted them, and made a salsa from them, but this bisque is easily my favorite use for them. 


Basic Beet Bisque
Serves 5

1 Tbsp butter
6 medium beets, cut into 1-2" cubes (wash them well, no need to peel them!)
Olive oil spray
1 medium red onion, chopped
5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Dash salt
Dash ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lay beet cubes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Spray cubes with olive oil spray, then sprinkle with dashes of salt and pepper.

Place baking sheet into the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until a fork can easily puncture a cube.

When beets are done, melt butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until onion is lightly brown and softened, 5-6 minutes.  Pour in broth and add beets.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for ~10 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture (make sure that you keep the blade in the mixture or you will end up with some slightly intensive cleaning on your hands).  Add additional salt and ground black pepper, to taste.  Serve immediately!

Nutrition Info per 1 1/4 cups: 90 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 290 mg sodium

Monday, November 14, 2016

80--- Feta and Chive Mashed Cauliflower

Using cauliflower as a substitute for potatoes is not a new concept.  Cauliflower is more nutrient (vitamin, mineral, and fiber) dense and has fewer carbohydrates and calories.  And the result when mashed is quite similar to it's starchy counterpart. 

If you're trying to make some healthy substitutions to your Thanksgiving dinner, this is a great place to start!

Feta and Chive Mashed Cauliflower
Serves 6

1 large head cauliflower, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
Dash pepper, if desired

Place the chopped cauliflower into a steamer over boiling water or broth and steam until soft, ~ 25 minutes.

In a large food processor, combine yogurt and feta cheese and mix until whipped.  Add cooked cauliflower, salt, and pepper and mix until a smooth puree is formed.  

Transfer puree mixture into a bowl, and fold in fresh chives.  Serve immediately, sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese if desired.

Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup: 82 calories, 4 g fat, 6 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 209 mg sodium

Monday, October 17, 2016

80--- The Fall Chop



Chopped salads are so appealing.  Everything is a uniform size, making any mixture a bit more tantalizing. This chopped salad has all of the healthy fall favorites; a seed, a squash, a fruit, a grain, and a green.

The Fall Chop
Makes 5-6 cups

1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup uncooked pearled barley*
1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth *
1 cup butternut squash cubes **
1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
2 cups chopped kale
1 apple of your choice, cored and chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

DRESSING
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dijon mustard

*In a saucepan bring 1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth and 1/2 cup pearl barley to a boil.  Reduce heat, then cook for 25-30 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and chill in the refrigerator prior to mixing with remaining salad ingredients.

** Preheat oven to 415 degrees.  Place squash cubes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Spray with olive oil spray, then sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden.  Allow to cool prior to mixing with remaining salad ingredients. 

Combine all salad ingredients, except for feta, in a large bowl.  Toss to mix.

Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then pour over salad.  Stir gently to coat.  

Toss salad with feta cheese prior to serving.

Nutrition info per 1 cup: 146 calories, 8 g fat, 5 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 169 mg sodium


Saturday, October 8, 2016

80--- Favorite Fall Breakfasts

Gradually declining temps have you turning towards comfort foods? Start your day with a healthy breakfast and you may be less inclined to choose high calorie choices later in the day.

Here are a few of my favorite fall breakfast recipes: