Monday, July 30, 2012

80--- Cornmeal Grits with Blueberries

Grits are a cereal made from coarsely ground corn.  They are typically made with savory flavors in mind, but since corn is naturally a sweet grain (high fructose corn syrup come to mind?) I thought it would make a nice substitute for a wheat or rice hot cereal.  

This is a quick breakfast that won't leave you sweating over the stove all morning.  Enjoy!

Cornmeal Grits with Blueberries
Serves 2

1/2 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup water
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (they hold up better than frozen)

Bring almond milk and water to a simmer over medium high heat.  Whisk in cornmeal and continue to stir until well combined.  Reduce heat to medium low and stir every 3 minutes until thickened, or ~15-20 minutes.  Whisk in honey.

Spoon portions into serving bowls, then garnish with 3/4 cup fresh blueberries.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 277 calories, 3 g fat, 6 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Saturday, July 28, 2012

80--- The Anti-Pasta Salad

What's wrong with pasta? Nothing, really (in moderation).  But veggies will give you more fiber, more vitamins and minerals, more antioxidants.  When you take the pasta out of a pasta salad, you're left with more veggies! Perfect for using up the goods from your last farmer's market trip.

The Anti-Pasta Salad
Serves 6

1 zucchini, cubed
1 yellow squash, cubed
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 can small black olives, drained
6 oz mozzarella ciliegine, halved
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all vegetables and mozzarella in a large bowl.  Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, then pour over vegetable mixture and stir to combine.  Refrigerate for one hour prior to serving. 

Nutrition Info per ~1 cup: 149 calories, 10 g fat (5 g monounsaturated, 1 g polyunsaturated), 7.5 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

20--- Pumpkin Pie Popsicles

It seems as though the 2nd trimester was not the end to my Thanksgiving-like cravings.  And it's been 90 degrees here in Montana for what seems like weeks now.  That translates to too hot to cook (especially a Thanksgiving dinner).  Enter popsicles.

The flavor and creaminess of these will not disappoint!

Pumpkin Pie Popsicles
Makes ~8 (depending on the size of your molds)

2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 cup half & half
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 sheets graham crackers
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a blender, making sure the puree is smooth and well-mixed.  Pour mixture into molds and freeze for 4-6 hours prior to inhaling.

You are welcome.

Monday, July 23, 2012

80--- Almond Hummus

Almonds are a fantastic source of fiber and healthful fats.  And they are quite tasty.  This hummus has a unique flavor that is fantastic as a dip or sandwich spread.

Almond Hummus
Serves 8-10

1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water overnight
1/3 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a large food processor and mix until a smooth puree is formed.  For a slightly chunky texture, reserve 2 Tbsp almonds (unsoaked) and add right at the end of pureeing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info per ~2 Tbsp: 133 calories, 11 g fat (6 g monounsaturated, 4 g polyunsaturated), 5 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Saturday, July 21, 2012

80--- Savory French Toast

Why does French toast need to be a sweet meal?  Make it savory and you can add on the veggies.  For any meal of the day- this one's a keeper.

Savory French Toast
Serves 2

4 -1" slices rustic wheat bread
3 egg whites
3 eggs
2 Tbsp skim milk
1/4 tsp salt + additional for sprinkling
Dash black pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
Dash dried thyme
Dash crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
2 cups baby arugula leaves
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
Olive oil spray

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil and onions.  Saute until softened, then reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until caramelized, ~7 minutes.  Place onions into a small bowl, cover and set aside.

Spray skillet with olive oil spray, then add arugula leaves. Saute over medium heat until leaves are wilted.  Sprinkle with salt, remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Whisk together egg whites, 1 egg, milk, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, garlic and red pepper in a shallow bowl.  Heat a nonstick pan to medium high heat.  Soak each side of bread in egg mixture, then place into pan.  Cook for ~4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and heated through thoroughly.

Remove toast from skillet and place onto a plate, cover until ready to serve.

In nonstick skillet, crack two eggs and cook until desired consistency (I like my yolks runny).

Place two slices of toast onto a plate, top with half of arugula, one egg, then a generous portion of caramelized onions.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Info per 2 slices: 424 calories, 13 g fat, 24 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 6.5 g fiber

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

80--- Grilled Open-Faced Turkey Sandwiches with Raspberries

With all these "special" recipes lately I should change the name of my blog to "What Lindsay Can Tolerate During Pregnancy".  This follows that theme and is totally delicious.

As I've said previously, pieces of meat gross me out right now.  However, I've found lunch meat desirable lately.  Problem? Pregnant women can't eat lunch meat unless it is heated to kill the listeria bacteria.  Here's a sandwich that accomplishes that- and so much more.

Grilled Open-Faced Turkey Sandwiches with Raspberries
Serves 2

2 slices crusty sourdough bread
4 tsp raspberry preserves (look for an all-fruit preserve)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 fresh large spinach leaves
6 oz thinly sliced turkey breast
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat grill to medium-high heat.  On each piece of bread, spread 2 tsp raspberry preserves, then place 1/4 cup fresh raspberries on top of each slice. Place bread onto the grill (berry side up).  

Layer 3 oz turkey slices, folded in half.  Sprinkle 2 Tbsp cheese onto each stack.  Place turkey stack onto grill.  Grill bread and turkey for ~5 minutes, until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

Onto each raspberry covered bread slice layer 1 spinach leaf and one turkey stack.


Nutrition Info per 1 sandwich: 241 calories, 3 g fat, 26 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber

Monday, July 16, 2012

80--- July Pizza Pie

Here's a grilled pizza for all of those veggies that you are pulling out of your garden this time of year! Or the vegetables that us Montanans are pulling out of OUR gardens.  Not sure what you have going on in your neck of the woods.  Even if you do not have a garden this is worth a go-- so fresh and summery!

July Pizza Pie
Serves 3

1-9x14" whole grain flatbread crust
3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (if canned, drain of oil, if dried, soak in boiling water for 30 minutes)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium zucchini, finely shredded
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1/2 large tomato, sliced thin
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat grill to medium heat.  

Place shredded zucchini between two paper towels and squeeze out excess moisture, set aside.

In a small food processor, combine ricotta and sun dried tomatoes until a puree is formed.
Spread puree evenly onto flatbread crust.

Sprinkle garlic onto ricotta layer, then layer with shredded zucchini, tomato slices, Italian seasoning, red onion, and shredded mozzarella.

Reduce grill heat to medium low and place pizza on grill for 5-8 minutes, until crust is crisp and cheese is melted.

Cut pizza into 6 even slices and serve!

Nutrition Info per 2 slices: 402 calories, 9 g fat, 22 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Friday, July 13, 2012

80--- Ricotta Cantaloupe Toast

Before I give you this recipe let me tell you a few things about me:

1. I am in my final trimester of pregnancy (and I'm sad about it- this is fun!)
2. I typically eat a mainly plant-based diet
3. At the moment I am not loving meat AT ALL.  In fact, chunks of meat make me gag a little.
4.  At this point in time I am STARVING and at the same time not craving anything at all
5.  I have gotten quite lazy.  Ask my hubby.  He can't lie.

All of above should lead you to the conclusion that I'd better buck up and find a suitable protein source.  I've been trying it all: beans, hummus, eggs (tolerable right now), some dairy.  

This is a simple snack that I threw together that gives me a little boost of protein (yay- even though it is dairy) and doesn't gross me out (double yay).  And it's perfect for summer when you don't want to cook!

Ricotta Cantaloupe Toast
Serves 2

2 slices whole grain crusty bread
1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup thin cantaloupe slices or chunks

Toast bread (in a toaster is perfect) and spread 2 Tbsp ricotta on each slice.  Layer each with cantaloupe.

This would also be lovely sprinkled with fresh chopped mint or drizzled with honey!

Nutrition Info per 1 slice: 120 calories, 3 g fat, 7 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

20--- Bacon Pesto Corn Muffins

For breakfast..... or dinner..... or whenever you need some bacon.  The pesto adds a dimension that is so perfect with a corn muffin!

Bacon Pesto Corn Muffins
Makes one dozen

3/4 cup corn meal
1 1/4 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
5 Tbsp basil pesto
10 strips bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line baking cups with paper liners and spray lightly with baking spray.

Mix corn meal, flour and baking powder in a large bowl.  Whisk in butter, egg, milk, honey, and pesto until just moistened.  Fold in 1/2 cup cheese and all but 1/4 cup of bacon.

Spoon batter into cups until each is 3/4 full.  Sprinkle remaining bacon on top of each muffin.  Bake for 12 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven for final 3 minutes of cooking.

Remove from oven and allow to cool prior to transferring to an airtight container.

Monday, July 9, 2012

80--- Avo Grapefruit Smoothie

Where you live is it too hot to eat?  If so then it is certainly too hot to cook.  But you still need to give your bod some fuel!  Smoothie time! This one tastes like California.

Avocadoes are great little fruits.  They pack a punch of nutrients, but also fat and calories.  The fat they contain is mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, both are good for you!  Use in healthy moderation.

Avo Grapefruit Smoothie
Serves 2

1/2 avocado, flesh sliced (leave the seed in the other half and store wrapped in refrigerator)
1 small red grapefruit, rind cut off and fruit sliced (seeds removed also)
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt (for some protein)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

Place all ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth, adding more ice or juice as needed to adjust consistency.  Pour into two small glasses and enjoy!

Nutrition per 1 smoothie: 233 calories, 8.5 g fat, 9 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nutrition Tip: Food Safety Nerd Alert

If you associate picnics and potlucks with foodborne illness as I do....... you should find a new obsession.  This one's taken.

Seriously, though.  Did you know that there is no such thing as the "24 Hour Flu"?  It's food poisoning.  It's not a virus, it's BACTERIA (insert scary horror film music here).

It takes from 24 hours with salmonella bacteria to 72 hours with camphylobacter for you to get sick. Therefore, you often don't associate the illness with the food that you ate the day before. 

If you like reading about this stuff (ie: things that live in your food) here is a link to the Iowa State Food Safety site.

How can you not get sick from food (and not make others sick from food)?  

1. WASH YOUR HANDS  -- constantly and with warm water and soap please

2.  COOK MEATS TO APPROPRIATE TEMPERATURES (see below)-- use a food thermometer, no you can't "just tell" when it is done

"USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures
  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source.
  • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer."

3.  DO NOT KEEP FOODS BETWEEN 40 DEGREES AND 140 DEGREES FOR MORE THAN 4 HOURS.  Ever.  If you suspect that foods that should be cold or hot have been sitting on the picnic table for more than 4 hours, do not eat them and encourage others to follow your lead.  Be especially wary of foods containing mayonnaise, eggs, or milk products (think potato salad).  Check your coolers for temp (and the refrigerator in your RV).

Alrighty.  That's about enough.  Picnic at your own risk. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

80(ish)--- Baked Beer Battered Pickles

Health-ified fair food # 1: beer breaded pickles.  Can you bake them to save on  fat and calories?  I say yes.

Pickles are a high sodium food.  But they are also cool, crunchy and delicious.  Pick your battles.  Pickle vs. potato chips?  Pickle wins every time.

Baked Beer Battered Pickles
Serves 6

6 large pickle spears
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup light beer
2 Tbsp pickle juice
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a baking sheet into the oven.  Whisk together cornmeal, flour, beer, pickle juice, salt and pepper.  Notice if your batter will coat a spoon.  If not, add additional cornmeal until desired thickness is achieved.

Wrap pickle spears in a paper towel and squeeze to remove excess moisture.

When oven is preheated remove baking sheet from oven and spray lightly with baking spray.  Dip each spear into batter, coating evenly, and place directly onto sheet.  

Bake for ~12 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.  Remove from oven when coating is crisp.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Info per 1 spear: 80 calories, 0.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

80--- Firecracker Hot Potatoes

Grilling potatoes can be so easy and so delicious.  But how do you make them special and holiday worthy?  You add some 'bang'! 

These are spicy!  You can adjust the amount of cayenne you use to your tastes.  I also recommend serving with a cool side of plain low fat yogurt for dipping.

Firecracker Hot Potatoes
Serves 4

1 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, washed
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I like Valentina's- it has a nice vinegary base)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Preheat grill to high heat.  Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with hot sauce and olive oil. toss to coat.  Sprinkle with remaining spices, tossing again to coat.

Place potatoes on metal or soaked wooden skewers.  Place potatoes on grill, then reduce heat to medium.  Grill for 10-12 minutes, then flip and grill for additional 8-10 minutes.  Depending on the size of your spuds, they may take more or less time so be your own judge of doneness.  Remove from heat when skins are crisp and insides are tender (but not fall apart mushy).


Nutrition Info per 4-5 potatoes: 137 calories, 1.2 g fat, 4 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Sunday, July 1, 2012

80--- Four Bean (better than three) Salad

More beans equals more fiber which equals improved health.  

I do use canned beans often in cooking.  I know myself in that if I have to use dried beans (soaking overnight, cooking, etc) I am less likely to make/eat them than if I use canned beans.  Most stores now sell no salt added varieties! And if not, the trick is to look for a reduced sodium option, and drain and thoroughly rinse the canned beans.  Do you remove all of the sodium? No. But quite a bit.  Pick your battles with beans.

Four Bean Salad
Serves 8-10

1 can cannellini beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cut fresh green beans (fresh add a nice crunch)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4  cup apple vinegar
3 Tbsp canola oil (olive oil will solidify in refrigerator)
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp sugar

Whisk together vinegar, oil, celery salt, pepper, parsley and sugar.  Add to remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir well to coat all beans in dressing.  Refrigerate for 3-4 hours prior to serving.  Stir once during refrigeration. 

Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup serving: 182 calories, 5 g fat, 7.5 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber