Monday, March 31, 2014

20--- Double Chocolate Double Coconut Cookies

I admit, I'm still a bit sketchy on coconut oil.  I know that it contains more medium-chain triglycerides and is plant-based, so therefore the saturated fat content may actually be somewhat healthful (in moderation).  But after decades of information telling us that it has harmful effects, I'm slow to fully pull the trigger.........I will, however, begin to incorporate it in small doses.

I feel that fats are very similar to fruits and veggies: For the most benefit, you should consume a variety.  Coconut oil will bring a bit of coconut flavor to what you cook in it.  It's delicious in Thai food!  

Here's my first attempt at using it to bake with.  Make note- you can't treat it like butter! It melts faster (hence refrigeration of this dough) and is more crumbly and slightly more difficult to work with.  But the end result is delicious!

Double Chocolate Double Coconut Cookies
Makes 20 cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil (yes, it's solid at room temp)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut, pulsed in a food processor to chop finely
1 1/2- 2 Tbsp water

Use a mixer to combine coconut oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla until creamy.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add the dry ingredients with the wet, adding a small amount at a time.  When well-mixed, add in chocolate chips and coconut.  With mixer running, add in 1 1/2 Tbsp water until combined.  Test dough to see if a ball can be formed (but not super wet).  If dough does not stick together, add remaining 1/2 Tbsp water and mix.

Form dough into 20 even balls and place on a plate.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place dough balls on a baking sheet 2" apart.  Bake on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes.  The center of the cookies should be slightly uncooked.  Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow cookies to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container.

Friday, March 28, 2014

GUEST POST in Celebration of National Nutrition Month- from the mouth of a Dietetics student!!

Nutrition is a growing academic field and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share some words with you from a dietetic student on the Future of Nutrition.

Please welcome Natalie to Eighty Twenty!

Hi everyone! My name is Natalie and I am a second year dietetics student. I am honored to be guest posting on Lindsay’s wonderful blog: eat8020. To celebrate the end of National Nutrition Month, today I am going to talk to you about a challenge and a goal for dietitians in the future. 

A challenge future dietitians face is keeping up with all of the new nutrition information emerging. From studies on saturated fats, gluten, plant oils, and many more, there is so much learning to do.  Nutrition is a field that is constantly changing due to new research coming out.  As a dietitian, and even now as a student, it is very important to keep up and focus on the information that is evidence-based. Since dietitians are the “food experts”, we have to be able to determine which facts are valid and which facts lack supporting research. All of the contradicting information out there can make it hard to figure out what to believe and where to start. 

This leads me to a goal many future dietitians face: making nutrition information easier to understand. It can be confusing trying to figure out what to eat. Many people don’t understand how a certain nutrient can affect so many processes in the body. A goal for many dietitians is to explain nutrition concepts to clients/patients without overwhelming them. Dietitians are there to help you and want to make information simpler so that it is easier to comprehend and use in everyday life!

 Dietetics is a growing, exciting field and I can’t wait to learn even more! Thank you for reading my blog post and I hope you enjoyed National Nutrition Month!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Things That I Know

Wondering where your WOW Workouts of the Week have gone?  They will be back.....but I've got some recipes for you to try this week............

1.  This lemon & thyme flavored water! You know me and flavored water- sign me up! 

2. Three words.....Spaghetti... squash... enchiladas.  Check out my spaghetti squash tacos too while you're at it! 

3.  A new flavor of overnight oats? Bring it! This Fabulous Fig version looks amazing.

4.  Homemade V8? Genius! Naturally tasty and lower in sodium (lower than even the low sodium version).

5.  These lentil and kale burritos with roasted red pepper ranch sauce were pretty much made for me.  Maybe they should be called Lindsay Burritos.  You know, just to simplify it. Yummo.

6.   This looks dangerously good.  Shrimp in a pot pie? Yes 'um.

Monday, March 24, 2014

80--- Asparagus, Caramelized Onion, and Egg Tortilla Pizzas

Tortilla pizzas are a go-to in my house weekly.

Sometimes I am boring and top them with roasted vegetables and marinara.

But then there's other times.............

Asparagus, Caramelized Onion, and Egg Tortilla Pizzas
Serves 3

3- 10" flour tortillas 
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and steamed
1/2 tsp salt, divided
Dash ground black pepper
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1 clove garlic, pressed and minced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp olive oil, divided
3 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut steamed asparagus spears in half crosswise.  Set the tips aside and place the stems into a food processor along with 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, pine nuts, and garlic.  Mix until a puree is formed, adding a bit of water if necessary to form a thick saucy consistency.  Set aside.

In a skillet, heat remaining 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until golden brown, reducing heat if necessary to prevent burning (~10 minutes). 

Place tortillas onto a baking sheet. On each tortilla, spread 1/3 of the asparagus pesto, 1/3 shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/3 of the asparagus tips, and 1/3 of the caramelized onions.  Crack one egg onto each pizza, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until tortilla is rigid enough to transfer directly to the baking rack.  Transfer each pizza and cook for additional 3-5 minutes, watching closely, until each pizza is golden brown and egg is cooked through.

Remove pizzas from the oven, slice, and serve.

Nutrition Info per 1 pizza: 344 calories, 16 g fat, 21 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber

Thursday, March 20, 2014

80--- Ham & Bean Pot Pies

How do you make a dinner extra special? You prepare it in individual servings and cover it in phyllo dough.  Works every time.

Split peas provide filling fiber and creamy texture without the addition of extra fat and calories.  Add additional vegetables as you see fit!  This is a great way to use up your Easter ham leftovers!

Ham and Bean Pot Pies
Serves 4

1 lb dried split peas
1 1/2 cups dried mixed beans, soaked in water in the refrigerator overnight
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped raw spinach
2 tsp minced garlic
8 oz lean ham, cubed
6 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground pepper
8 sheets phyllo dough, cut into 6" squares (cut just ahead of using and keep covered to prevent drying out)
Olive oil spray

Place split peas, dried beans, carrots, onion, spinach, broth and garlic into a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop soup into 1 1/2 cup ramekins or oven-safe soup bowls.  Cover each with four squares of phyllo dough, spraying each with olive oil spray prior to placing an additional one on top.  Roll up the edges and pinch.  

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 391 calories, 4.5 g fat, 31 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber

Monday, March 17, 2014

80--- Saucy Shrimp Tostadas with Roasted Tomatillo Guacamole

I was going to wait until Cinco de Mayo to post this recipe.  But that's just not fair to you.  You don't want to wait 6 weeks for this one.  The guacamole is to die for!!

Saucy Shrimp Tostadas with Roasted Tomatillo Guacamole
Serves 6

1 tsp olive oil
5 tomatillos, chopped
1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 medium avocado, skinned, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp light sour cream
Dash ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

Heat oven to 420 degrees.  Toss tomatillos, jalapeno and onion with olive oil and place onto a baking sheet.  Roast for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Transfer contents to a large food processor with remaining ingredients.  Puree until smooth. Place into a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

1 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder, divided
1 tsp chili powder, divided
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 lb small raw shrimp without shells or tails
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp cornstarch

In a ziploc bag, combine 1 tsp chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder, cumin, garlic, lime juice, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper, shrimp, and 2 tsp olive oil.  Shake to mix and allow to marinate sealed in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

For shrimp, heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp, remaining salt and chili powders, and 2 Tbsp of marinade and saute until shrimp are opaque.  Add in cornstarch and mix well until sauce is thickened.

6 corn tortillas (6")
Olive oil spray
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup low fat refried black beans, heated through
2 cups spring mix lettuce
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 oz cojita cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray tortillas lightly with olive oil on each side, then place on baking sheets and dust each with chili powder.  Bake for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until crispy and lightly browned (watch closely).  Remove from oven and cover with a towel while you prepare shrimp.

To serve: spread 2 Tbsp black beans onto a tostada, then top with 5-6 shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos (if desired).  Add a dollop of guacamole and sprinkle with cojita and enjoy.

Nutrition Info per 1 tostada: 360 calories, 14.5 g fat, 30 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber

Friday, March 14, 2014

Go Green-- for St. Patrick's Day

Growing up in a town highly populated by descendants of the Irish, I am plenty familiar with the typical fares served on St. Patrick's Day.  Most are delicious, but not that healthy.  So here are a few options that will still make you feel celebratory, but without the starchy vegetables and high sodium meats.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WOW Workout Of the Week--- Spin Spin Spin

Cycling classes are my favorite.  But have you ever gotten to the gym and your spin class is full?  So there you are in your spin shorts.  What do you do?  Well, you spin.  You can do this workout on any stationary or spin bike.

Spin Spin Spin 

4 min--  Find a "flat ground" resistance level and find a steady pace.

5 min-- Increase your pace by 2-3 RPM every 30 seconds until you are in a full sprint, then maintain.

6 min-- Rolling hills: increase resistance from flat ground to a 7 (on your own personal scale of 1-10), climb in the seat for 30 seconds, then decrease resistance back to flat ground for 30 seconds.  Increase your resistance slightly for each "hill", coming out of your seat to climb if necessary. Repeat for 5 minutes.

7 min-- Find resistance of a 6 or 7 (personal scale again), find a steady pace (moving quickly, however).  For 15 seconds, come out of your seat and sprint.  Settle back into your seat for 45 seconds. Repeat for 7 minutes.

8 min-- Big hill: from "flat ground" increase your resistance every 30 seconds by one "level", coming out of the seat to climb if necessary as resistance increases.  After four minutes, start decreasing your resistance every 30 seconds and continue to add speed until you reach a full sprint on flat ground again.

3 min-- Back on flat ground, cool down.

Friday, March 7, 2014

20--- Toasted Sesame Snickerdoodles

I know, I know.  The combo sounds strangely wonderful doesn't it?  Well it is.  Trust me.

These cookies turn out so soft with a little bit of crispy on the outside thanks to the toasted sesame seeds.  You've got to try them to believe it.

Toasted Sesame Snickerdoodles
Makes 2 dozen

1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 egg
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted (in a nonstick skillet over medium heat), divided
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, cream of tarter, and baking soda.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix.  Add in 3 Tbsp sesame seeds and mix until well distributed.

Cover bowl and refrigerate dough for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix cinnamon and remaining 1 Tbsp sugar with remaining 3 Tbsp sesame seeds.   Add 1/2 cup water to a small bowl.  Shape dough into 1" balls.  Add a small amount of water to your hand and roll each ball to lightly wet it.  Then roll each ball in cinnamon/ sugar/ seed mixture and place on ungreased baking sheets, 2" apart.  Bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Remove cookies from oven, allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, and transfer to wire racks to cool completely prior to storing in an airtight container.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WOW Workout Of the Week--- Cardio Partio

For those times when you just need to sweat:

Cardio Partio

Perform each exercise in each set for 30 seconds before moving to the second exercise, and performing that exercise for 30 seconds.  Switch between the two exercises for 6 rounds, then move on to the next set.

1.  Burpee jacks (yup- burpee followed by a jumping jack, then back to burpee)................High knee runs

2.  Squat jumps...........................Butt kickers

3.  Switch leap............................Plank jacks

4.  Power jacks...........................Skater leaps

5.  Clapping push-ups..................Switch lunge

Have fun!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Things That I Know

1.  We have a lot of snow.  And cold.  With more on the way. If it starts getting warmer and melting now....................we may be able to see the lawn by July. But I guess it could be worse. We still have our health, and heat, and LOVE.

2.  I love matcha.  And this green tea cake roll is gorgeous.

3.  Raw brownies? It's not what you think it is.  Or maybe it is. Depends on where you're coming from.  Either way I think we should try them!

4.  A Sprinkles cupcake copycat? Now that's worth a shot! I had Sprinkles cupcakes at my wedding-- so they are dear to my heart.  I got married in Cali- and my hubby and his bestie drove two hours into Beverly Hills to pick them up on the morning of our wedding.  That's what solidified my decision to marry him.

5.  Wow.  I didn't expect this post to be so sugar-loaded.  So how about a BLT with cheese and spicy mayo to round everything out? Huh? Not sure what's wrong with me.  Must be the weather.  It's OK. We all have those days where all we can think about is 20s.  The sun will come out, TOMORROW!!