Saturday, November 30, 2013

80--- Spicy Minestrone with Spaghetti Squash


Did you stuff yourself silly over the past few days?  Are you ready for a nice, warm healthy meal?

Make extras of the veggie-filled winter soup and freeze it for a quick, easy, and nutrient-packed meal for a busy night this holiday season.  The spaghetti squash replaces the traditional pasta found in a minestrone and provides great texture- and filling fiber!

Spicy Minestrone with Spaghetti Squash
Serves 8-10

1 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded (*see my microwave directions)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
8 cups beef broth (sub vegetarian broth if you desire)
3 cans diced roasted tomatoes, with juice
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, chopped
2 cups fresh kale leaves, chopped
2 cans kidney beans
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute until fragrant, 3-4 minutes.  Add remaining vegetables (including spaghetti squash) and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, red pepper flakes, black pepper, liquid smoke, and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are softened to your desire.  Serve immediately!

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cups: 154 calories, 2 g fat, 7 g protein, 21 g carbohyrates, 7.5 g fiber

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nutrition Tip: Holiday Outlook



The holiday season is here! Thanksgiving through New Year's Day brings many folks lots of anxiety around the food situation.

You know, the abundance of food situation.

The abundance of tasty but not so healthful food situation.

So how do you handle the situation when you are trying your darndest to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

In my opinion, you have two options:

1)  You can make health-ify holiday foods, eat smaller portions, fill up on vegetables, fruits, and healthy salads, skip the desserts, drink sparkling water, etc. etc. so on and so forth.  In other words, try to go 80 as MUCH as possible.

OR

2) You can treat your holiday meals and parties like the celebrations that they are.  Treat them like a 20! Indulge in the pie at Thanksgiving, have a cheeseball or two at the dinner party, celebrate with champagne at New Year's.  AND THEN........then........the very next chance you have to make a healthful choice without feeling like you are missing out, get back on track and make good choices.  No one meal, or one day of unhealthy choices, will ruin your healthy lifestyle.  What will ruin it is going off track day after day, which, in my opinion, is more likely to happen if you skip your favorite foods time and time again, resulting in frustration and anxiety.

The choice is yours!

Keep in mind that the holidays should be a HAPPY time!  

Whatever your choice, stick to it and get in some extra exercise when you can!  Yes- shopping counts as long as you don't stop moving and keep your heart rate up!


Monday, November 25, 2013

80--- Creamy Ranch Hummus




Bringing an appetizer to a holiday meal can be a tough thing to do.

I mean, you don't want to trump the meal.

Or DO you?

It should be light enough so you're not weighed down before your meal, but it should be satisfying enough at the same time.

Many of my patients and clients say that they will bring a veggie tray to the holiday meal, since that is something that many big spreads are missing (but not YOURS of course).

But many people won't just grab a handful of raw veggies and go to town (but not you of course).  So how about something to serve them with?  Something that pleases everyone?  Something LIKE ranch dressing with less fat, more protein and fiber, and all the flavor.

I bring you...........

Creamy Ranch Hummus
Serves 6-8

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 large shallot, sliced
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream (use Greek yogurt as an alternative)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

In a large food processor, combine chickpeas, tahini, salt, pepper, celery salt, celery seed, and garlic powder.  Mix until chopped and combined.  Add shallot, vinegar, and sour cream, and continue to mix until a smooth puree is formed.  Add in chopped herbs and mix until just combined.

Place in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Serve chilled.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup: 78 calories, 3 g fat, 3 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Things That I Know

1.  I'm deep into my half-marathon training and I need some new Hammer Gel flavor suggestions.  I can do vanilla and am really afraid of anything else.  Pretty sure I can't stomach peanut butter.  Or apple cinnamon.  Or banana.  Or coffee or chocolate.  Soooooooo.  I guess I'm stuck with vanilla?

2.  This applesauce is totally on my list of to-do's.

3.  Brussels sprouts with an Asian twist?  Yep. OK. Mmmhmm.

4.  This map on grocery shopping is fantastic.  And funny.  And well worth 5 minutes of your time.

5.  If you're in the market for some fantastic, fun, super soft leggings this winter (or if someone on your Christmas list is), check out this site.  You will NOT be disappointed.

Pastel Winter Leggings

Monday, November 18, 2013

20(ish)--- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake


I swear this is my last pumpkin recipe of the season.

Wee babe approved- minus the chocolate chips.  What???  She spits them out.  I have given birth to a phenom. I know there are a few of you out there.  You being females who do not like chocolate.  But I've never met one in person, let alone shared blood with one.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
Serves 12

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup + 3 Tbsp cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
10 oz dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together butter, sugars, and pumpkin until smooth.  Add in vanilla and eggs, adding one at a time, and beating until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet until well combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a 9 x 13" greased baking dish and spread evenly.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cook before slicing into 12 even slices.

Serve warm.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

80--- Spaghetti Squash with Light Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo


Spaghetti squash is relatively low in carbohydrates, especially when compared to the same amount of pasta (about 1/3).  AND it's naturally gluten-free and high in fiber.  Pair those nutritional bonuses with a light yet flavorful alfredo sauce, and we have a WINNER.

Spaghetti Squash with Light Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo
Serves 4

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups milk
3 Tbsp flour
2/3 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
Dash ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded *see microwave directions
2 Tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley

*To cook spaghetti squash in the microwave, slice off ends, then slice squash in half lengthwise.  Remove seeds and pulp.  Use a sharp knife to piece the outside skin of the squash in several places. Place half of the squash in a microwave-safe baking dish and place 1/2 cup water in the "hole" in the squash.  Place the remaining half of the squash on top, so that the insides are together.  Transfer dish to the microwave and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until flesh is softened.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then use a fork to remove strings of squash.

While squash is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Add sun dried tomatoes and pepper.  Add milk and broth and use a whisk to combine.  Continually whisking, add flour, 1 Tbsp at a time.  Allow flour to be absorbed into the liquid before adding more.  Continue to cook and stir until mixture is thickened, 10-12 minutes (or more).  When sauce will coats the back of a spoon, add Parmesan cheese.  Cook and stir for an additional 3-5 minutes. 

When sauce is desired consistency, add spaghetti squash "noodles" and use tongs to toss and coat.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Nutrition per ~1 cup: 150 calories, 6 g fat, 10 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

80(ish)--- Brussels Sprouts Quesadilla



There should be nothing shameful about making vegetables really really delicious.  If it involves adding a bit of bacon and cheese?  So be it.  

Fats have a great affect on our satiety, and when used in distributed amounts throughout the day, may actually lead you to consume fewer calories, and fewer processed carbohydrates.

My hubbster said that this was an Irish quesadilla.  I guess all that it was missing was potatoes.  And beer.



Brussels Sprouts Quesadilla
Serves 4

4-10" flour tortillas (bonus points for whole grain- I just happened to have raw tortillas on hand)
1 cup shredded strong white cheese (I used Dubliner)
12-15 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced into 1/8"slices
1 large shallot, sliced thin
1/2 cup uncooked chopped bacon
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Drain fat and return bacon to the skillet.  Add shallots and Brussels sprouts and saute over medium heat until softened, 2-3 minutes.  Add chicken broth and white wine, and whisk in Dijon mustard and pepper.  Cook mixture for 6-8 minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are soft.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place a tortilla in another nonstick skillet over medium heat.  On half of the tortilla sprinkle 2 Tbsp shredded cheese, then add 1/4 of the Brussels sprouts mixture.  Top with additional 2 Tbsp cheese and fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned.  Remove from heat.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.  Slice just prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per 1 quesadilla: 289 calories, 15 g fat, 14 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber

Sunday, November 10, 2013

1000 Facebook Follower GIVEAWAY



Thank you thank you thank you for liking Eat8020 on Facebook!

And now, your reward.  As if my yummy food photo posts on your Newsfeed aren't enough.

I am giving away a gift package of some of my favorites, Fred and Friends items.

These sweet little gadgets make life fun!  And they also make great gifts for the holidays!

In your package you will win........


A Food Face Plate (Mr. or Mrs.). Because there is nothing wrong with playing with your food.



Kitchen Kong Gorilla Whisk. Just because it's cute.



And my new favorite, the Spooled Earbud Storage. Because if you are like me, you toss them aside after a workout/run and then have to spend a good 5 minutes untangling them before you can hit the pavement again. This is so cute that I might actually have the time to store them properly.

Head over to my Facebook page and find the post to enter!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

80--- Slow Cooker Avocado Corn Chowder {Vegan}

Corn chowder is my ultimate comfort food.

And when thickened/creamified (totally a word) with avocados?

Now it's, like, my everyday food. Especially since I can throw it in the crock pot and move on with my day.

Slow Cooker Avocado Corn Chowder
Serves 8-10

8 cups vegetable broth
5 yellow potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 lb frozen yellow corn kernels
1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers of your choice
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
1/4 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 small avocados, chopped

Combine all ingredients, except for avocados  in a slow cooker, and heat on low for 6 hours.

Thirty minutes prior to serving, add 3 of the 4 chopped avocado to a large food processor and puree until smooth.  Add 1/2 cup broth from the soup to the processor and mix until combined.  Add an additional 1/2 cup and mix until smooth.  Add avocado mix back into the slow cooker, and add remaining chopped avocado.  Heat until warm.  Serve.

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cups: 316 calories, 14 g fat, 14 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

80--- Brown Rice Risotto with Tuna and Spinach


Brown rice is a whole grain, in that only it's outermost layer has been removed.  When brown rice has been stripped to white rice, it loses all of its dietary fiber, over half of its iron, two thirds of its vitamin B3 and 90% of vitamin B6!

This risotto feature this brilliant grain in all it's glory.  Short grain brown rice has a slightly shorter cooking time than long grain, and still has all of the nutritional value!

Brown Rice Risotto with Tuna and Spinach
Serves 6

6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed and finely minced
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
1- 6 oz can solid albacore in water, drained
4 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened, 3-4 minutes.  Add white wine and pepper and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in brown rice and cook until all liquid has been absorbed.  Add 3/4 cup broth and continue to cook until all liquid has been absorbed.  Continue adding broth 3/4 cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid prior to adding more. 

When rice is done and all the broth has been absorbed, add in spinach and cook until wilted, 4-5 minutes.  Stir in tuna and Parmesan cheese and cook until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately!

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 297 calories, 6 g protein, 23 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Monday, November 4, 2013

80--- Pistachio Butter Granola Bites


Pistachio nut butter.  Need I say more?

Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, all natural, and delicious.

There.  I've gone and outdid myself.

Pistachio Butter Granola Bites
Makes ~18

1 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup rolled oats
5 dried figs, chopped

Soak shelled pistachios in hot water for 30 minutes.  Transfer nuts and water to a food processor and chop until smooth.  Add coconut oil and honey.  Continue to mix until a thick puree is formed.  Add in coconut, chia seeds and oats.  Mix until combined.  Transfer to a bowl and fold in chopped figs.

Roll ~1 1/2 Tbsp of mixture into a tight ball.  Place in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to eat!

Nutrition Info per 1 ball: 105 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Things That I Know

1. These look fantastic:

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo (a little bit of sausage goes a long way!)

Butternut Squash Hummus (genius)

Dark n' Stormys (ginger beer and rum- there's no way it could be badz)

Cauliflower Alfredo (as in, you make the sauce from cauliflower, NOT as in putting alfredo sauce on cauliflower)

Spaghetti Squash Pho (I've never thought of using spaghetti squash in soup-- but I will now!)

Whipped Coconut Cream (Vegan. Whipped. Cream. nuff said)

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Scones (let's all just be thankful that pumpkin season  --if there is such a thing--isn't over yet)

2.  If you haven't read the 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Child About Food you should.  It's 100% right on. 


3.  I've had a crafty itch lately.....

So far I've made these and these. But I've used spray paint for both.  Because I'm impatient.  And not very good with paint.

Next on my list:

--------These dish towels.  They are in my washing machine as I type this.  But I used this instead.

--------These plates.  So easy, right?

--------This wall hanging.  As soon as I figure out what I want it to say.....