Sunday, October 31, 2010

80--- Whole Wheat Tortillas

I made my peace with lard today. Lard, really? I know, I know. I am sure that I could have found a substitute for it, but I really wanted these to be authentic. AND, I figured, those tortillas that you purchase at the grocery store may have partially-hydrogenated oil in them. So, these are my Preservative-Free Whole Wheat Tortillas Made with Lard. I would suggest trying to find a lard that is refrigerated. This is less likely to be processed and hydrogenated.


However, it is PARTIALLY-hydrogenated oils that form trans fats. Trans fats have been shown to lower HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), reduce omega-3 fatty acids in our cells, elevate CRP (C-reactive-protein) leading to inflammation in our arteries, and interfere with immune functions and enzyme functions. When you compare saturated fats (in lard) to trans fats, saturated fats appear to be MORE healthful. However, note that saturated fats can negatively affect your cholesterol profile, especially if you are predisposed to heart disease. It is still recommended that you consume less than 7% of your total calories as saturated fat (that's less than 15 g per day if you consume a 2000 calorie diet).
You can substitute ALL white flour in these tortillas if you would like. Corn and wheat tortillas are naturally more fragile. I suggest if you would like to use these tortillas for tacos, put a thin layer of low fat refried beans under your meat to help with stability. The flavor of these homemade tortillas is wonderful--- the wheat flour makes them almost nutty.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
Makes 20 - 8" tortillas

2 cups wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup lard (refrigerated if you can find it-- so it is not processed)

1 cup hot water


In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add lard to dry ingredients in spoonfuls. Use a pastry cutter to cut in lard until coarse crumbs are formed.


Add hot water, a little at a time, to crumbs. Stir to mix. Kneed dough 30-40 times until a ball is formed. Cover with a towel and let sit for one hour.


Roll dough into balls the size of golf balls and place on a tray. Cover tray with a towel and allow to set for 30 minutes.


Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. (Note: temperature needs to be exact for these tortillas-- you will learn as you go. If the heat is up too high, they will get charred spots. If it is too low, they will get crispy before getting brown spots.) Roll out a ball of dough very thin and place on skillet (even if you have a large skillet I would recommend only one at a time). Cook until brown spots are formed (~10-15 seconds each side). Continue rolling and cooking until all are cooked.


Place cooked tortillas on a plate under a towel to keep warm. If needed, wait until cooled to place in airtight container for storage. Tortillas can be warmed in microwave under a wet paper towel if needed.




Nutrition Info per 1 tortilla: 96 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber

Friday, October 29, 2010

80--- Hot German Potato & Roasted Root Salad



This is a potato salad that does not have to be confined to picnic season! You can also add turnips, beets and celery root to this salad if you choose. It would be a lovely side dish to a lean slice of roast or baked chicken breast.


In a German potato salad (from southern Germany, as I understand), the mayonnaise is replaced by vinegar... and bacon, and it is served warm.

.

Hot German Potato & Roasted Root Salad

Serves 6



1 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, washed

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 parsnips, peeled and sliced

1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped

2 tsp vegetable seasoning

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

2 Tbsp flour

4 slices Canadian bacon, sliced thin

3 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp water

Parsley flakes (for garnish)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a baking dish, combine potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onion slices. In a bowl, mix vegetable seasoning mix and olive oil. Add oil mixture to potatoes and toss to coat. Bake for ~45 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through.

Combine vinegar, honey, flour and water in a bowl, whisk to mix. In a skillet over medium-high heat, crisp Canadian bacon strips. Add vinegar mixture to bacon and stir continually until thickened. Remove from heat.

Add vinegar & bacon mixture onto roasted vegetables, toss to coat. Garnish with parsley flakes.



Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup: 178 calories, 4 g fat, 5 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates

80--- Prosciutto Arugula & Fig Pizza

This is my lovely friend Arin's recipe. It has such great flavor combinations, and it feels perfect for fall!

The sauce of this pizza is fig spread. Fresh figs are sometimes difficult to find (especially in Montana), and fig spread may be as equally difficult to find. My advice: KEEP LOOKING. You may have to go to a specialty market, but it is so worth it!


Figs are a great source of potassium and calcium. If you can find fresh figs, you should definitely try them! They are a lovely treat (yes, even out of Newton form).


Prosciutto Arugula & Fig Pizza
Serves 3-4


1 -10 oz pre-made whole wheat Italian style pizza crust OR whole wheat pizza dough, rolled thin and baked until firm (you can even use flatbread if you want to cut out a few more calories!)

5 oz fig spread (I used an all-natural one made by St. Dalfour)

3 oz prosciutto OR Canadian bacon slices, crisped in skillet

1 cup baby arugula leaves

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup artichoke hearts (from a jar or can), blotted dry

4 oz mozzarella fresca ciliegine (small mozzarella balls- about 12, sliced in half)
3 oz cheve (goat cheese)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On prepared crust, spread fig spread and sprinkle with garlic powder. Next layer crisped prosciutto, arugula leaves, mozzarella ball halves, cheve, then artichoke hearts.


Cook for ~15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is done to your liking. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. Slice into 6 slices and serve.


Nutrition Info per 1/6 pizza: 274 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 14 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

80--- Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage cheese pancakes... kind of a funny concept, huh? But, the cottage cheese makes a pancake, especially a wheat one, more light and fluffy. Once they are cooked, you really do not notice the cottage cheese. These flap jacks also have more protein than your regular pancake. Serve these topped with some homemade jam or berries (I only had bananas).


Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Serves 4

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp sugar
6 egg whites
1 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp canola oil
Cooking spray

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine egg whites, cottage cheese, milk, and oil. add flour mixture to egg mixture and whisk until blended.

Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, ~5 minutes. Serve!

Nutrition Info per 2 pancakes: 249 calories, 5 g fat, 18 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

80--- Chicken Satay

This morning I thought "What a perfect fall day for one last summery grilled meal". Then it snowed. Nevertheless, I persevered.

Chicken satay is a great Thai dish. A satay is a dish consisting of marinated, skewered or grilled meats served with a dipping sauce. This sauce is often a peanut sauce. You can purchase some great peanut sauces. But, isn't it more fun to make one from scratch-- just so we know what exactly is going into it? It took me a few tries to get this recipe just right-- and now it is perfect!

I served this with some sauteed spinach and red pepper strips, with a side of my mother-in-laws creamy cucumber salad (coming soon). This sauce will also make a great salad dressing, and it will complement my Thai Chicken Calzones (coming soon) nicely as well.

Chicken Satay
Serves 4

2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into thick strips (enough to get a skewer through)
Marinade
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Sauce
1/2 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup lite coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp hot chili sauce (Thai chili sauce)
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp lime juice

Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes prior to grilling (so they do not catch on fire like mine did)
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Mix marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl and add chicken strips. Marinate in refrigerator for ~2 hours (no more than 3).

Mix sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended (can be made a few days ahead of time). Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Place skewers through chicken strips length-wise. Place 1/2 of sauce mixture into a small bowl. Brush chicken strips with sauce (do not cross-contaminate). Place chicken on medium-hot grill and cook for ~7 minutes on each side (internal temp should reach 160 degrees).


Approximately 3 minutes prior to removing chicken from grill, brush non-contaminated remainder of sauce on chicken.

Serve warm.


Nutrition Info per 3 oz chicken (~2-3 skewers): 348 calories, 10.5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 55 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates

Monday, October 25, 2010

20(ish)--- Chocolate Shorty Souffles

We had ANOTHER birthday dinner for my hubby this weekend, this time with my in-laws. We had a superb Italian feast at their home, and I was in charge of dessert. My husband likes chocolate, but nothing too sweet or too dense and preferably involving berries. So..... individual (hence shorty) chocolate souffles!

I have never made a souffle before. What's the big deal?? Yep, that's what I thought before I read up. After reading the many many many tips on "how to get your souffle to not fall", I got scared. AND-- I'm at high altitude. According to my internet sources, that's a big challenge to overcome. But, I pressed on.

After successfully getting my egg whites and sugar to form stiff peaks, I thought I had this dessert beat.

Then I baked one. Actually, only 1/2 of one. And... I broke the number one rule: I opened the oven door during baking (insert Halloween scream here). AND-- yes, it fell.

THEN as my next six souffles quietly sit in my refrigerator in their own little ramekins, I Google "fallen souffle" to look for even MORE tips. And GUESS what I find? A Fallen Souffle is actually a dessert-- Emeril says so!!

As it turns out, my second attempt was better than my first. Very little falling. But, if they had fallen, and if yours do-- simply present them as a Fallen Souffle and you will be the hit of the party!
This recipe is only 20(ish) because as most chocolate souffles use milk chocolate, this uses unsweetened cocoa powder. Therefore, less milk fat, less butter, same amount of YUM.


Chocolate Shorty Souffles
Makes 6
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Canola oil
3 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground almonds
3 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp honey
3/4 cup 1% low fat milk
4 egg whites
3 Tbsp sugar
Berries of choice to garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder and hot water. Stir until smooth and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add oil and stir to mix. Add flour and ground almonds and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in brown sugar and honey. Add milk gradually and stir constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into the cocoa mixture. Allow to cool.
In a large, thoroughly cleaned bowl, beat egg whites until foamy with an electric mixer on high speed. Add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time and beat until stiff peaks form (note: this may take a while). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites unto the cocoa mixture to lighten it. Fold remaining egg whites into cocoa mixture until no white streaks remain.
Gently scoop mixture into individual ramekins, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until souffle rises above the rim and is set in the center. Cool souffles on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with berries of your choice.

20--- Ham & Cheese Salad

Oh my! Ham and cheese are the perfect combination-- kind of like PB & jelly.
This is my friend Laura's recipe. I first had it camping this summer, and it truly knocked my socks off. Just a few simple ingredients! But, yes, it is a 20.

Ham & Cheese Salad

Serves 8-10


1 lb lean deli ham, sliced thick (~1/4"), diced into cubes

1/2 lb swiss cheese, sliced thick, diced into cubes

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard

3-4 Tbsp dried dill weed, to taste

Salt

Pepper


Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with crackers, flatbread, lettuce...... your choice!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

80--- Beef & Barley Soup

More soup! This brothy dish is great for a chilly fall evening. Better yet-- very little prep is involved.

Beef (the original red meat) often gets a bad rap. However, if lean cuts are chosen, it can be very healthful! It is a great source of protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, iron, zinc, and niacin. Check out the link below to help find lean cuts of beef when you are shopping: http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/CMDocs/BIWFD/29%20lean%20cuts%20wallet%20card.pdf


Beef & Barley Soup
Serves 12

12 cups water
1/4 cup beef bouillon (use low sodium if you are watching your intake)
2 lbs beef stew meat (cubed chuck)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 large onion (red or white), coarsely chopped
1 cup pearl barley
8oz baby portobella mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp garlic powder
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Parsley, chopped, to garnish

In a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, brown stew meat (do not cook through). Add meat to a large soup pot with water and beef bouillon. Bring water to a low boil, then reduce to simmer. In skillet, add onion and carrots. Saute until onion becomes tender, ~5 minutes. Add carrots and onion to soup pot. Stir in garlic powder, salt, and pepper (to taste).

Simmer soup for ~2 hours. Add barley and mushrooms and continue to simmer for 1 hour. Garnish with parsley and serve!


Nutrition Info per 1 cup serving: 172 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 17 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 3.3 g fiber, 950mg sodium

80--- Carrot Cake Muffins

These started out as Carrot Cupcakes.... and then they got health-ified. They are really really tasty-- just little less sugary.

In this recipe I substituted mashed bananas for the majority of the oil. This is a quick fix to make baked goods a little bit leaner. Use bananas, canned pumpkin, or applesauce in place of the MAJORITY of the oil or butter (I would say 3/4 fruit to 1/4 fat) in baked goods such as muffins and breads, where you really do not notice the difference taste-wise. It will save you calories, fat, and cholesterol.


Carrot Cake Muffins
Makes 18 medium muffins

1 1/3 cups shredded carrots
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 c mashed banana
1/4 cup canola oil
5 egg whites (from large eggs)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup canned, crushed pineapple, drained

Frosting
8 oz lowfat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in two muffin tins. In a medium saucepan, add carrots and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain water and set aside carrots to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In a larger bowl, combine oil, banana, egg whites, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the flour mixture and beat until well blended. Fold in carrots, coconut, and pineapple.

Fill muffin cups until 3/4 full. Bake for ~25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool.

For frosting: fold confectioner's sugar into yogurt and mix well. Lightly spread onto cooled muffins.

Nutrition info per 1 muffin: 154 calories, 4 g fat, 3.7 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber


80--- Turkey Meatballs


Remember how I hate to waste food? Well, after making turkey ravioli I had leftover ground turkey, AND I had that wonderful homemade marinara sauce. So..... TURKEY MEATBALLS! I served mine with a side of spaghetti squash. YUM!

Turkey Meatballs
Serves 4

3 tsp olive oil


1/2 red onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)


1 garlic clove, pressed and minced


1 1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped


1 Tbsp breadcrumbs


2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded


8 oz lean ground turkey


1/2 tsp salt


1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper




Heat 1 tsp oil in a skillet and add onion and garlic. Saute until softened and fragrant. Add basil and allow to cool, ~ 15 minutes.




In a medium bowl, mix turkey, breadcrumbs, and cheese. Add in onion mixture, salt, and pepper and mix with hands until well-blended.




Form into 12 balls. Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet (you can use same one as onion mixture). Add meatballs and brown over medium-high heat, turning often, for 4-6 minutes or until cooked through.




Serve with marinara sauce and pasta (or spaghetti squash) of your choice!




Nutrition Info per 3 meatballs: 170 calories, 11 g fat, 14 g protein, 1.7 g saturated fat, 3.7 g carbohydrates, 27.5 g cholesterol


Friday, October 22, 2010

Nutrition Tip--- FIBER

In this blog I always mention FIBER as being a big “bonus” in a food. I am sure that you have heard that fiber is good for you, but do you know why?

Here are my top reasons:

1. Fiber makes you feel full! It takes longer for your body to digest high-fiber foods, thereby increasing satiety, possibly leading to weight loss.
2. High fiber grains have not been “stripped” of nutrients as many processed grains have been. Therefore, they may be more healthful!
3. It can help to regulate your GI system. Less constipation, less bloating, more regular bowel movements.
4. Foods that are high in fiber are also high in vitamins and minerals (ie: fruits and vegetables).
5. It may help to lower cholesterol levels, thereby lowering your risk for coronary artery disease.


Now, there are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and both have healthful benefits!

Soluble (dissolves in water) helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines. Soluble fiber may also to help minimize the rise in blood sugar levels after a meal. This type of fiber can be found in beans (they have both types of fiber), oatmeal and oat bran, fruits such as apples, mangoes, plums, kiwi, pears, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, citrus fruits, dried apricots, prunes, and figs, and some vegetables such as dried peas, beans, and lentils.

Insoluble fiber helps regulate bowel function and may help prevent colon cancer. This kind of fiber also makes us feel full and is found in whole grains and wheat bran, brown rice, seeds, and vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, and tomatoes.

So how much of each kind? Guess what? It doesn’t matter! Just aim for 20-35 grams per day (that’s almost twice of what the average American eats).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

80-- Mio Marinara


Marinara sauce is so versatile. However, what comes in a jar is often laden with corn syrup, salt, and other foreign ingredients. This is the time of year when garden-fresh tomatoes are plentiful! Use them to make your own marinara sauce! It can be frozen or stored for up to 2 months in the refrigerator. And all it takes is a few SIMPLE ingredients.


Tomatoes contain large amounts of lycopenes, carotenoid antioxidants that can aid in cancer and heart disease prevention. It has been found that organic tomatoes and tomato products contain even more lycopene than their non-organic counterparts. Look for deep red tomatoes for the highest concentrations!


Mio Marinara

Serves 6


1 Tbsp olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, pressed and minced

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/8 tsp sugar

2 springs fresh basil

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Salt


In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, stirring approximately 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil sprigs, and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until thick (~30 minutes). At the end of cooking, add chopped basil and salt or additional seasonings to taste.


Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup serving: 52 calories, 2 g fat, 1.5 g protein, 4.5 g carbohydrates

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

80--- Frozen Burritos

Let me explain: Frozen burritos (found in grocer's freezer) are NOT an 80. But, what I discovered is that you can make your OWN that are much more 80, and much tastier! Freezer-section burritos are loaded with calories, fat, and sodium. My husband LOVES them. It's nice to have a zap-and-go meal from time to time, so I can feel good about grabbing these, because I know what is in them!

You can also add onions to these, but I would avoid salsa or any other veggies due to the possibility of having ice crystals form in your burrito!



Frozen Burritos
Serves 8


2 cups Prepared Spanish Rice (stir a drained can of Mexican-style tomatoes into cooked brown rice)
2 cups Lowfat Retried Black Beans
1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef, cooked and drained
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)
8 Flour Tortillas (10") I used raw and cooked them -Bonus if you use whole wheat. Note: Corn
tortillas do not hold up well.
Wax Paper


Top each tortilla with 1/3 cup beans, 1/3 cup Spanish Rice, and 1/4 cup beef. Sprinkle on shredded cheese if desired. Roll tortilla, first folding in ends, then wrapping. Place burrito on wax paper and roll (in same fashion as burrito). Use packaging tape to secure. Place in freezer.


When cooking: place each frozen burrito wrapped in wax paper in microwave and cook for ~1 minute 45 seconds (cook times vary).













Nutrition Information per 1 burrito: 364 calories, 11 g fat, 28 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates

Sunday, October 17, 2010

20(ish)--- Baked Potato Bites


I threw a surprise 35th birthday party for my hubby last night. I decided that I would make him his favorite foods, party-style, despite them not being the healthiest choices (ahhh, how sweet of me). He LOVES baked potatoes. Not unhealthy, right? But often baked potatoes are more about what you put on them...... he loves to load his with ranch dressing, bacon, and cheese. I, of course, modified these a little bit by using lower-fat ingredients. Note: they are not "healthy", but they are a lovely alternative to many other high fat party foods!


You could do many variations of these bites. They were the perfect size for finger-food.


Baked Potato Bites

Serves 12 (2 quarters each)


6 medium potatoes, baked (oven or microwave)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup lowfat sour cream

1 package ranch dressing mix

4 slices lean bacon, cooked (microwave) and crumbled

Salt


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Allow baked potatoes to cool for approximately 15 minutes. Quarter potatoes (slice length-wise, and then width-wise). Place potato quarters on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and then sprinkle with cheese. Place quarters in oven for ~10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


Mix ranch dressing mix into sour cream.


Remove potatoes from oven and top with ~1 Tbsp sour cream and sprinkle lightly with bacon.




Saturday, October 16, 2010

20--- Cava Sangria


Time for a fall party! This adult beverage is so easy to make and so delicious. You can use fall fruits and the red wine of your choice to really make it "your own".


Although some alcohol (ethanol) may have heart-healthy benefits, it can also add liquid calories to your diet, especially when that alcohol is mixed with sugar, soda, or juice. Moderation, moderation, moderation!!


Cava Sangria

Makes 1/2 gallon (8 glasses)


1 bottle dry red wine of your choice

1 oz Triple Sec

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup orange juice (no pulp)

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups unflavored seltzer water, chilled

1 lemon, sliced

1 orange, sliced

6 strawberries, halved

1 small apple, cored and diced


Combine fruit, wine, Triple Sec, lemon juice, orange juice, and sugar in a large pitcher. Allow to sit overnight. Prior to serving, mix in seltzer water. Pour sangria over ice in glasses and top with a scoop of marinated fruit.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

80--- BBQ Black Beans

Black beans-- nature's magic fruit (yes, from the rhyme). They can take on so many personalities! These have a BBQ sass to them.

Black beans are full of fiber AND antioxidants! They also contain a bunch of protein! If you use canned black beans, rinse them before using! Note: I used BBQ sauce from a jar, which can be not-so-healthy. I will be making my own in the near future and I will post my best recipe. Until then, I like Annie's (organic)-- look at the ingredients of yours and make sure that yours doesn't include high fructose corn syrup in the top 10 ingredients, and look for less than 300mg sodium per serving.


BBQ Black Beans
Serves 6


2 lbs black beans (two 15oz cans)

1 tsp Canola oil
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 white onion, diced
1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice (choose wisely please!)
1 garlic clove, pressed and minced
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 Tbsp canned chipolte chiles in adobo sauce
1/4 tsp liquid smoke


In a sauce pan heat oil and saute onion, pepper and garlic; cook until tender. Mix in all remaining ingredients. Heat until bubbling (~20 to 30 minutes).
Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup serving: 148 calories, 1 g fat, 7 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

80--- Seville Salad


This recipe is a copycat from a wonderful Spanish tapas restaurant in So Cal. The topping is marinated vegetables that give the salad so much flavor that no additional dressing is needed! You can add additional ingredients to your topping such as artichoke hearts, onions, and cilantro.

Seville Salad
Serves 4

3 cups salad greens (mixture of spinach, romaine, radicchio, arugula)
4 oz reduced fat crumbled Feta cheese

Topping in Citrus Vinaigrette
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
10 small black olives, halved

3/4 cup white grapefruit juice
2 Tbsp Canola oil
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Combine grapefruit juice, oil, honey, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add chopped cucumber, olives, and tomatoes. Marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Place ~ 3/4 cup salad greens in a bowl and top with 1 oz crumbled feta cheese.

Nutrition Info per 1 cup serving salad with 1/4 cup topping: 209 calories, 12 g fat, 6 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

80--- Pepitas Shrimp Skewers

Pepitas are pumpkin seeds without the shell! You can roast and shell your own (maybe after a pumpkin carving?) or purchase them pre-roasted without shells (look in the bulk section of your grocery store). As with any seed or nut, they have lots of healthy fats and fiber! Pepitas are really popular in Mexican cooking, but can be used on salads, in soups, etc. This is actually a recipe for salad dressing, and it would be a good one!

Shrimp are a great protein source and are low in fat. They have a higher cholesterol content when compared to other low fat protein sources, but should not be avoided because of that! They have omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart healthy and can help decrease inflammation in the body.


Pepitas Shrimp Skewers

Serves 6

~50 shrimp, peeled, de-veined, tail-on
1 medium Anaheim chile, roasted, peeled and seeded (see below)
1/4 cup roasted pepitas
1 large garlic clove, pressed and minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup Canola oil
2 Tbsp cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons grated cotija cheese (or shredded Parmesan)
1 small bunch cilantro, stemmed
1 1/2 cups lowfat yogurt

Place Anaheim chile on a grill and cook until charred on all sides (rotate throughout cooking), ~ 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Peel off skin and cut off top of chile. Remove seeds with fingers and slice flesh.

Place all ingredients except cilantro, yogurt and shrimp in a blender or food processor. Blend about 10 seconds, then add cilantro little by little until blended smooth (reserve some cilantro for garnish if desired). Place yogurt in a medium stainless steel bowl and mix with a wire whip until smooth. Add the blended ingredients and mix thoroughly.


Add shrimp to mixture. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.


20 minutes prior to cooking, soak bamboo skewers in water (to prevent burning).


Preheat grill. Skewer 5-6 shrimp on each stick. Cook over medium heat until done (~10-15 minutes).

Nutrition Info per 2 Tbsp pepitas dressing/ marinade: 101 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates

Nutrition Info per 8-9 shrimp: 55 calories, 1 g fat, 11.5 g protein, 0 g carbohydrate, 107mg cholesterol

80--- Roasted Asparagus and Carrots

This is such a tasty way to get your veggies! This dish can be so colorful-- look for the "new" varieties of carrots that are white and purple to add variation.

In Roman times, carrots were purple and white. Although most of the nutrient content does not vary much, an orange carrot does have slightly more beta-carotene than these historical varieties. Carotenoids and other antioxidants known as falcarinols are found in all varieties of carrots. These antioxidants may help prevent cancers and aid in preventing heart disease also!

Roasted Asparagus and Carrots
Serves 4

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3" pieces

3 carrots, halved or quartered (depending on how "chunky" your carrot is)-- aim for 1/2" thick

2 Tbsp pine nuts

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp Vegetable Seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place asparagus, carrot slices, and pine nuts in a baking dish. Add olive oil and seasonings, toss to coat. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly brown and carrots soften.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 recipe: 88 calories, 6.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 6.7 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g fiber


Monday, October 11, 2010

20--- Bananas Foster Bread Pudding


Bananas foster is a dessert that is typically served to you on fire. What fun!


This version is a little bit more tame. The angelfood cake makes this lighter than a typical bread pudding, with the flavor of bananas foster.


Dessert CAN be eaten in moderation! Stick with the suggested servings size (1 cup)!


Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Serves 8


10oz angelfood cake (homemade or store-bought), cut into cubes

3 medium bananas, sliced into 1/2" slices

2 1/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3 eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

4oz spiced rum


Powdered sugar (optional as garnish)


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spread out angel cake cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, tossing three times, until lightly toasted and dry.


2. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, rum and vanilla in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Gently stir in cake cubes and banana slices; pour into an 8-in. square baking dish. Cover dish with foil. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature for cake cubes to absorb most of the milk mixture.


3. Bake, covered, 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil; continue to bake 25 minutes.


4. Let stand 15 minutes. Dust top with confectioners’ sugar (as desired)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

20--- Mexican Wedding Cookies




Today-- in honor of my friend Rachelle's wedding. She is not Latino-- I believe she is Filipino. But, you get the point.

These sweet little cookies are perfect for bridal showers and baby showers (yes, you can shape them to look like babies). They are so simple to make!



Mexican Wedding Cookies
Makes ~3 dozen small cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp water
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and water. Add the flour and almonds, mix until blended.


Shape dough into balls. Place on an unprepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from pan to cool on wire racks. Combine confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. When cookies are cool, roll in confectioners' sugar mixture. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Friday, October 8, 2010

80--- Green Chile Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

There are a million different ways to make stuffed mushrooms! Most recipes call for sausage, cream cheese, cheese, cheese, you get the picture. These are made with cottage cheese!

Mushrooms contain large amounts of selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that can aid in the regeneration of Vitamins E and C so that they can continue to fight free radicals. In turn, this nutrient may help prevent cancer, especially prostate cancer. Some studies have shown that individuals with low selenium status had higher incidences of arthritis.


We are all getting older, except for my husband, who seems to be getting younger (bugger). So bring on the mushrooms!


Green Chile Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

Serves 8


16 medium baby portabella mushrooms, washed (just before using) and stems removed

1/2 cup canned diced green chiles

8 artichoke heart quarters (canned)

1/4 cup 2% lowfat cottage cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

4 roma tomatoes, diced

2 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine 4 artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup diced green chiles, cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, and cumin. Blend until smooth. Slice remaining artichoke hearts into thin strips. Mix artichoke and remaining green chiles into cheese mixture.


Spray a baking dish (I used a round one) with cooking spray. Add diced tomatoes and drizzle olive oil over pieces. Stuff each mushroom with cheese mixture and place in baking dish, in between tomatoes. Sprinkle entire dish with garlic salt and remaining Parmesan cheese.


Bake for 20-25 minutes, until mushrooms are hot and bubbling!



Nutrition Info per 2 mushrooms (and some tomatoes): 81 calories, 4.4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3.6 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Thursday, October 7, 2010

80--- Split Pea Soup

This is a recipe that I have wanted to make for a long time! If you are vegetarian or vegan, omit the ham from this recipe and you have a great 80 meal! This version does not use a ham bone, so no need to wait until Easter!

Dried peas are a great source of FIBER and molybdenum. You can add any extra vegetables to this soup that you want! You can also use a few toppings including oyster crackers, feta cheese, shredded cheddar, chopped green onion, or bacon bits (shhhh- more 20).


Split Pea Soup
Serves 8

1 lb dried split peas
1 lb fully cooked lean ham, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, pressed and minced
3 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 cup skim milk
2 cups water
1 tsp Canola oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. In skillet, saute ham, garlic, and onion in oil until onion becomes translucent.

2. Combine all items in a large stock pot. Bring to boil.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Peas will transform into a lovely green broth.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Nutrition Info per 1 cup serving: 193 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 21 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

80-- Asian Bison Lettuce Wraps


















Bison do not live in Asia (unless you count water buffalo). But, if they did I am sure they would be used in their cuisine. Since I live in Montana, I like to use them in mine.


Bison is low in fat and cholesterol. These animals are raised grass-fed, and not in a feed lot. Therefore, you can feel good about eating them! Here is a breakdown comparison to other meat choices (per 3 oz serving, keep in mind method of preparation will affect nutrition content).






Bison: 93 calories, 1.8 grams fat, 43 mg cholesterol
Turkey: 125 calories, 3.0 grams fat, 59 mg cholesterol
Fish: 125 calories, 3.0 grams fat, 59 mg cholesterol
Chicken: 140 calories, 3.0 grams fat, 73 mg cholesterol
Beef: 183 calories, 8.7 grams fat, 55 mg cholesterol



These lettuce wraps are delicious with a side of brown rice. You can also include dipping sauces such as sweet & sour or peanut sauce!



Asian Bison Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4


8 large lettuce leaves- Butter, Bib, or Leaf lettuce
1 lb ground bison
3/4 cup white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed and minced
1 Tbsp lite soy sauce
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 cup mushroom, diced
1 cup canned bean sprouts
2 Tbsp sesame oil



Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)



Rinse lettuce leaves and pat dry. Set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown bison. Drain, if necessary, and set aside to cool. Cook onion in skillet, stirring frequently. Add garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, mushrooms, and chile pepper sauce (if desired). Stir in bean sprouts, green onions, and sesame oil. Continue cooking, about 2 minutes.



Place lettuce leaves on a platter, and bison mixture into a large bowl. Allow each person to portion mixture into lettuce leaves, adding dipping sauce if desired. Wrap lettuce around meat mixture and enjoy!



Nutrition Info per 3 oz serving (~2 lettuce leaves): 328 calories, 16 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 29 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber.









Monday, October 4, 2010

80- - - Barley Salad


Barley is one of those often forgotten about grains. It is full of fiber and has a great, nutty flavor. It is very versatile! Barley is often used as a cereal grain or in a soup, but it can also be a great addition to casseroles or used as a side dish.

In addition to FIBER, barley is also a great source if niacin, which is a B-vitamin.
Niacin can reduce platelet aggregation and can also help to reduce cholesterol levels.

This salad can be served warm or cold!

Barley Salad
Serves 6

1 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup quick barley (you can also use raw-- follow soaking prep instructions on label)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp white wine (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add quick barley and reduce heat to simmer, 10-12 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain excess broth if needed. Transfer barley to a medium bowl.

In small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, white wine, garlic powder, and salt. Add dressing to barley and stir in tomatoes, onion, cucumber, mint, and feta cheese.

Chill or serve warm!



Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup serving: 184 calories, 6.5 g fat, 7 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Sunday, October 3, 2010

80--- Muffin Frittatas

A frittata is an egg dish, basically a crust-less quiche. They cook quickly and you can add just about anything to them! This recipe is for cute little colorful individual-serving vegetable frittatas, made in a muffin pan.

Just in case you missed my last egg recipe: Eggs are a complete protein source-- yes including the yolk. Each lovely egg contains only 70 calories and is a wonderful source of choline-- an essential nutrient for pregnancy.


Muffin Frittatas
Serves 4

4 large eggs
4 egg whites
1/4 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup fresh red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed and minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and saute until soft. Add red pepper and saute additional 2 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool ~5 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, egg whites, and milk. Whip until frothy. Stir in cooled spinach mixture.

Spray muffin tin cups with cooking spray. Add ~1/4 cup egg mixture to each cup. On top of each cup sprinkle 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese.

Bake for ~20 minutes. Garnish with green onions and/or hot sauce of your choice.


Nutrition Info per 2 frittatas: 178 calories, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Friday, October 1, 2010

20--- Gorilla French Toast

NO WAY! You mean I REALLY get to eat all of my favorite foods combined into one breakfast (except for Thanksgiving stuffing- let's not be gross)??





Nutella........... check
Bananas............check
Croissant..........check

Yep. That's all I need (no joke- that's about all the calories I need for a full day).

If you make this, please don't tell your family that you got the recipe from a dietitian-- it will completely discredit my profession.

Gorilla French Toast
Serves 4

4 medium croissants, sliced
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup light cream cheese
2 medium bananas, sliced into 1/4" slices
2 eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Confectioner's sugar (optional as garnish)



In a small bowl, whip cream cheese and Nutella with an electric mixer. Spread 3 Tbsp mixture onto croissant halves (1 1/2 Tbsp each half). Add banana slices on top of Nutella spread and place halves back together.



In a medium dish, mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Dip each side of croissant into egg mixture and then place croissant into a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Flip croissant after ~2-3 minutes or until cooked side is golden brown. When second side is golden brown, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar (if desired) and serve warm!

20--- Russian Cream


AHHHHHH. 20! We meet again! This is one of my hubby's favorite desserts (no, he's not into chocolate-- not sure why). It is such a light dessert and so easy to make! But, yes, combining sugar, sour cream, and whipping cream does equal a 20% dessert!


Russian Cream

Serves 8


1 1/2 cups sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups whipping cream
3 cups sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 cups raspberries (or berry of choice)


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 sour cream and vanilla. Slowly add sugar-cream mixture and whisk to mix.

Place in individual serving dishes (martini glasses are pretty) and place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until solid.

Add fresh seasonal berries of your choice on top.

Nutrition Tip: What to do about cheese??

We ALL love cheese, right? It is a wonderful food with so many variations and flavors, and good nutrition to boot! Cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. It is also a source of vitamin B12, which is especially good news for vegetarians.

However, cheese contains 600 percent more saturated fat than sirloin steak (pound for pound)! One 1 ounce piece of cheddar cheese (visualize dice) contains approximately 119 calories, 9 g fat, and 6 g saturated fat. How many times do you only eat a dice-worth of cheese?

Now, I'm not saying DON'T EAT CHEESE! Cheese has it's place. But, does cheese need to top your burgers, tacos, and sandwiches? Maybe not.

If cheese is really truly special to you-- don't read this. How many times have you taken a bite of your patty melt or taco and said "Wow, that cheese really makes it"? Not likely (argue with me as you wish). AND, by cutting out the cheese out of cheese-laden foods, you could be cutting out 150-200 calories from foods that may already be heavy on the calorie side.

Would you enjoy your cheese slightly more if you had a piece with a nice apple for a snack?

This is NOT A RULE. Just a thought................................................