Monday, December 31, 2012

Nutrition Tip: Resolve to not Resolve EVER Again

Cheers to your health!

If your New Year's Resolution includes becoming "healthy" then let this be the last year that you make that resolution.  

Get 'er done.

Let me help you with your resolution in an easy step-wise fashion.  I will provide you with a weekly focus for the next six weeks.  At the end, you will be well on your way to the healthful change that you want for yourself.

Starting tomorrow......

Saturday, December 29, 2012

20--- Eggs Benedict Appetizer-Style

Anyone going out and living it up on New Year's Eve? Do you need an appetizer?

This is a fun appetizer to serve AFTER midnight for those partying well into the morning.  It's Eggs Benedict, Appetizer-Style!  

Eggs Benedict Appetizer-Style
Serves 12

6 thick slices Canadian bacon, cut into quarters
4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into 1/4" slices
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2" slices, toasted lightly
Fresh Ground Pepper or Paprika for garnish
Tabasco (for serving)

4 oz cream  cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup half & half

For cream cheese: mix all ingredients in a small blender until well-mixed and smooth.  Set aside.

For assembly: place toasted baguette slices on a serving tray, then layer each with 2 tsp hollandaise cream cheese, two Canadian bacon quarters, one slice of hard-boiled egg, and one additional 1/4 tsp hollandaise cream cheese.  Sprinkle each with paprika or fresh ground black pepper.  Serve with a side of Tabasco for guests to use if desired.

**For ahead preparation, prepare all ingredients individually, refrigerate cream cheese mixture (will need to come to room temperature prior to assembly), Canadian bacon slices, and hard-boiled egg slices.  Assemble just prior to serving.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

80--- Butternut Squash Mash with Peas

Mashes are such a great way to get in your veggies! This mash is savory and full of flavor.  And it's PRETTY.

Butternut Squash Mash with Peas
Serves 5-6

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
Olive oil spray
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable broth, warmed
1 cup frozen peas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with olive oil.  Place squash chunks onto sheet and spray with additional olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until chunks are soft.  Remove from oven and immediately place into a large bowl with frozen peas.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then add broth and mash with a potato masher.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition info per 3/4 cup: 97 calories, 1 g fat, 3.5 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Sunday, December 23, 2012

80--- Healthful Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn contains trans fats.  Yes, even the LIGHT versions.  Go ahead- read the label. ALL contain partially hydrogenated oil.  

Studies have shown that these evil fats can actually raise your cholesterol more significantly than saturated fats.  The recommendation is to avoid them.  Completely.

One of my patients told me about this trick for microwave popcorn.  SO easy.  I had to try it for myself.  NO fats needed.  And no air popper needed.  Flavor it as you see fit.  Try my version for pumpkin pie popcorn!

Healthful Microwave Popcorn
Serves .... 1 or 2

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 brown paper bag
2 staples (I used my stapleless stapler because I was SCARED, but I have read that others use staples without a problem)

Place kernels in bag and fold top over twice.  Secure with staples.  Place bag in microwave on popcorn setting.



For pumpkin pie popcorn, add 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 1 Tbsp white sugar to bag prior to popping.  Shake well once popped, then serve!

Nutrition Info per 1 bag: 93 calories, 1 g fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber

Thursday, December 20, 2012

80--- Yam Pizza with Caramelized Shallots & Ham

If you're not a fan of yams I apologize for this week.

But you SHOULD love them because they are GOOD for you.  Lots of vitamins A and C, lots of fiber (especially if you eat the peel).

Yam Pizza with Caramelized Shallots and Ham
Serves 4

10-12" pre-made crust (or try my wheat and honey crust)
3 tsp olive oil
2 medium yams, peeled and cubed
2 whole shallots (4 after you take off the peels), finely sliced
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar will work)
1 tsp light brown sugar
Salt and Pepper
3 oz lean ham, sliced into thin strips
3 oz crumbled feta cheese
Dried dill to garnish if desired

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop.  Add cubed yams.  Boil for ~12-15 minutes, or until softened.  Strain and place yams in a large mixing bowl.  Use a potato masher to mash into a puree.  Add 2 tsp olive oil and mix thoroughly, set aside.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add shallots and saute until softened, season with salt and pepper.  Add vinegar and brown sugar and continue to saute until caramelized, ~3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place crust on a baking sheet, then layer with mashed yams, ham strips, caramelized shallots, feta, and dried dill.

Bake for ~10 minutes, until toppings are heated through and crust is cooked to desired consistency.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 pizza: 403 calories, 13 g fat, 17 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

80--- Yam & Apple Breakfast Mash

Who said potatoes were just for mashing? And who said mashes were just for dinner?

Let's break some rules.

This sweet mash is 1) healthful 2) delicious 3) easy.

Yam & Apple Breakfast Mash
Serves 6

2 medium yams, washed and cut into large cubes
2 large apples of your choice, cored and cut into large cubes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Olive oil spray
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl, toss together yams, apples, and cinnamon.  Spray mixture with olive oil spray and toss to coat.

Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheet prepared with olive oil spray.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until cubes are soft.

Place cubes back into bowl.  Use a potato masher to mash cubes, then add in milk and maple syrup.  Mix to combine.

Serve warm, sprinkled with cinnamon if desired.

Nutrition Info per 3/4 cup: 99 calories,  0.5 g fat, 1 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Saturday, December 15, 2012

20(ish)--- Mulled White Sangria

The ethanol in wine and other alcoholic beverages has been shown to decrease inflammation, and therefore in moderation may decrease the risk of heart disease.  Add some fruit for additional antioxidants and voila! It's almost healthy.

This is the perfect holiday party drink. It's warm, it's spiced, it's fruity. And it's easy to make ahead of time.

Mulled White Sangria
Serves 12-14

2 bottles dry white wine (I used a chardonnay)
3 cups pear nectar (use apple juice if you cannot find nectar)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 oz vanilla vodka
3 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp whole cloves
1 orange, sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 cup sliced green grapes

Mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker and heat on low for 6 hours.  Transfer to a air pot or serve from slow cooker with a ladle. Serve warm garnished with fruit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

80--- Top Healthy-ish Recipes of Christmas

Top 12 6 recipes of Christmas..

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...........

I was totally going to go through the entire song and post 12 recipes.

But let's face it.

I'm a new mom. And I'm tired.

So here's 6.

I will post some 20s next week..................

Monday, December 10, 2012

20--- Grandma Gordon's Chewy Ginger Cookies

Just in time for the holidays, here is a recipe that is from my grandmother, the best cookie-baker of all times.

She makes the most amazing sugar cookies.  But I'm holding that recipe in my secret stash. Sorry

Grandma Gordon's Chewy Ginger Cookies
Makes ~ 2 dozen cookies

1 egg, beaten
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup shortening (I used butter)
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups white flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coarse sugar for coating cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a handheld mixer to beat sugar into beaten egg in a large mixing bowl.  Next mix in shortening and molasses and beat until well-mixed.  Mix in flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

Roll ~1 1/2 Tbsp dough into a ball, then roll in coarse sugar.  Place balls onto a greased baking sheet, spaced 2" apart.  Do not flatten balls.

Bake for ~10 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Friday, December 7, 2012

80(ish)--- Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad

There are two camps of people when it comes to Brussels sprouts: those who like them, those who hate them.

I think those two camps exist for Caesar salad also.  I used to be in the "no thank you" camp but pregnancy drove me over to the "yes please" camp.

Brussels sprouts are good for you! And really, they are just mini cabbages.  So cute!  When you tear the leaves off of them it sort of resembles romaine lettuce.  Could help someone convert over from the other side, perhaps?

My Caesar dressing is the real deal. Nothing light or artificial about it. So just use less if you want a true 80.

Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Serves 2

~20 large Brussels sprouts, stems removed and leaved
1/2 cup croutons of your choice (make your own!)
2 Tbsp shredded Romano cheese

1 egg yolk (from a pasteurized egg)
1/2 tsp anchovy paste
Dash salt and pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, grated
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously to mix.  

Spoon dressing over Brussels sprouts leaves and toss to coat.  Serve garnished with croutons and shredded cheese.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 230 calories, 12 g fat, 12 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

80(ish)--- Grandma Betty's Chicken Noodle Soup

Betty is not my grandma. She is my friend Karalee's mom.  And I understand that Betty is a follower of Eighty Twenty (Hi Betty!).

When my Vonn was brand new Karalee made me this soup and brought it to me for dinner.  If you are ever at a loss for what to get someone for a baby gift, make them soup. No, I am not kidding.

Chicken Noodle Soup really needs no introduction.  It's magnificent.  But what is really special is that it is more effective than a placebo at treating the common cold because of it's ability to reduce inflammation.

I read that in this article from Whole Living magazine called The Nothing Cure.  It speaks to me. I truly believe in the power of the placebo.  

I loved this article so much that I tore it out and I was going to give copies of it to my patients.... until my hubby doodled on it.  He's a doodler. What can I do?

Thank you Grandma Betty for this soup! And thank you Karalee for sending me the recipe that I am copying and pasting into this blog.

Grandma Betty's Chicken Noodle Soup

2 tsp. oil
1 C (plus) carrots, sliced
1 C celery, sliced
1 C onion, chopped
1 (about 3 1/2 lbs) whole chicken, rinsed, giblets removed
8 C water
2 C chicken chicken broth
3/4 C frozen or canned whole kernel corn
3/4 C frozen peas
1/2 tsp thyme
1 T salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 C uncooked egg noodles (plus)
Heat oil in large soup kettle. Add carrots, celery, onion. Cook & stir 5 minutes.
Add chicken, water, broth, salt pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat & simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken, set aside. 

Skim fat from broth. Bring broth to boil again. Add corn, peas, thyme, and noodles. Boil vigorously uncovered 11 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir occasionally.

Remove chicken from bone. Cut into bite sized pieces. Stir chicken into broth.
The Busy Daughter's Chicken Noodle Soup :)

2 tsp evoo
2 C carrots, sliced (kids eat all the carrots)
1 C celery, sliced
1 C onion, chopped
8 C chicken stock, organic
1 C frozen corn
1 C frozen peas
1/2 thyme leaves
salt to taste
1/2 tsp pepper (plus)
2 C rotisserie chicken
3/4 C uncooked Homestyle Egg Noodles (plus)
Heat oil in large soup kettle. Add carrots, celery, onion. Cook & stir 5 minutes. Scrape & set aside. 

Add chicken stock to pot, bring to a boil. Cook noodles according to directions.

Add carrots, celery, onion mixture back into broth along with corn, peas, thyme, salt & pepper. Bring back to a slight boil until corn & peas are just cooked, 3 minutes or so.
Meanwhile remove chicken from bone. Tear with fork & cut into reasonable but hearty pieces. Stir chicken into broth. Heat.
Often I will make the soup earlier in the day.  Just before dinner I will bring it all up to a boil, cook the egg noodles, then drop in my pre-cut chicken to heat.

These are the noodles that you must use. Find them in your grocer's freezer section.

Monday, December 3, 2012

80--- Pumpkin Almond Pancakes

Leftover pumpkin puree? No problem. Canned puree can be kept covered in a container in the refrigerator for one week.

And then you can combine it with some slivered almonds (for protein) and use it in pancakes.

Pumpkin Almond Pancakes
Serves 3 (Makes ~6 -4" pancakes)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cake flour (to balance out the density of the wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup + 2 Tbsp almond milk
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Combine flours, baking powder, spices, and sugar in a medium bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix to just combine.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Spoon ~1/2 cup batter onto skillet and use the back of a spoon to spread evenly.  Cook ~ 2-3 minutes on the first side, until bubbles appear.  Flip and cook additional 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve garnished with additional slivered almonds and maple syrup (the pure stuff).

Nutrition Info per 2 pancakes:385 calories, 12 g fat, 13 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber