Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Drinks of Christmas Past

Because I rarely prepare anything other than beverages on Christmas.....

Because my family and I are too busy having fun.....

And because I have great in-laws who enjoy doing the rest.....

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

20--- Citrus Sangria

Bloody Marys are my family's Christmas morning go-to after the gifts have been opened.

But after making this sangria, I may have to veer this year.....

Citrus Sangria
Serves 10

2 bottles white wine of your choice
3/4 cup white grapefruit juice
3/4 cup orange juice
1 red grapefruit, washed well and sliced
1 orange, washed well and sliced
1/2 pomelo, washed well and sliced
1/2 cup Triple Sec
24 oz Pompelmo San Pellegrino sparkling fruit beverage (you may use any other flavor if you wish)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight prior to serving.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Healthy(ish) Last Minute Gift Guide

Do you still have people on your list to buy for who would benefit from a healthy nudge?

There's still time to engage in some online shopping AND have it shipped to your door, in many cases FREE of charge.

Here are a few picks:

1. Athleta is having a sale.  I just tried out their activewear for the first time and I really truly love it.  Says the diehard Lululemon follower.  Right now if you spend $50 you can still have it shipped in time for Christmas- for FREE (last day is the 20th).

2.  If you are an Amazon PRIME member, you still have four days to get your hands on these gems:

--A survival seed vault.  You know, just in case our overly abundant food supply comes to an end.  No, but really, it contains non GMO seeds of your favorite plant varieties.

--For the young ones on your list, these activity cones will keep them moving for days!  Set up obstacle courses around the house (inside and/or out) and spur some of those gross motor skills!

--And of course, we can't forget about the FitBit!  The ever-popular gift from last year is still a great fitness inspiration tool!

--How about a healthy cooking prezzie? Chopping fruits and veggies will be much more fun with these knives!

--Hydration will be easy with this glass water bottle.

3.  Two of my favorite GIFT selections of 2014 come from Anthropologie and Nordstroms.  Not all are health-inspiring, but all are still fantastic.

4.  If you absolutely positively run out of time to have items shipped, these ideas can come to the rescue in a flash!

Gift cards:
-- To a local gym for a personal training session
-- For a massage (better yet, schedule it for them)
-- For a new workout shoes
-- To a local health food store

Happy Last Minute Shopping!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

80(ish)--- Buffalo Bean Dip

Do you need a yummy app for that holiday party coming up?And maybe have it not blow your entire calorie budget for the day?

How about a simple bean dip..... with a kick?  Reminiscent of this, but vegetarian and higher in fiber!

Buffalo Bean Dip
Serves 8

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese
2/3 cup hot wing sauce
1/3 cup chopped white onion
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 oz blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large food processor, combine white beans, ricotta, and hot sauce.  Mix until a puree is formed.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in celery, onion, and blue cheese.  Prepare a shallow baking dish with baking spray, then transfer mixture into the dish.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until hot.

Serve warm with tortilla chips, or crudite for dipping.

Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup: 174 calories, 4 g fat, 11 g protein,19 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Thursday, December 11, 2014

80--- Holiday Water

Water does not have to be boring.  It shouldn't be sweetened (artificially or otherwise), but that doesn't mean it has to be taste-less. 

Enter homemade flavored water.

In your refrigerator, chilled.  Ready for hydrating.  And entertaining.  And bathing (just kidding- unless you really want to).

Holiday Water
Makes 2 liters

2 liters filtered water
1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
1 tangerine, seeded and sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Combine all ingredients into a pitcher and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours prior to serving.  Drink within three days for freshest tasting water!

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 0 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, BUNCHES of antioxidants

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

20--- Lazy Girl's Chocolate Truffles {Easy}

When I hear the word "truffle" the first word that comes to my mind is "trouble".

With a two year old running around, all of my holiday preparations are on fast forward.  These sweet little truffles take the pain-staking step of rolling completely out of the picture.  And the result is equally as beautiful, and equally as delicious as their more troublesome counterpart.

Sprinkle yours with whatever topping you see fit!

Lazy Girl's Chocolate Truffles
Makes 18

7 oz 60% cacao chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar (I used finely ground candy canes)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder or powdered sugar (optional)

Prepare mini muffin tins with liners.  If desired, sprinkle the bottom of each liner with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

Heat butter until melted over medium heat in a nonstick saucepan.  Add in cream and gradually bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and add in chocolate chips, stirring until melted and smooth.  Stir in sugar.

Transfer mixture to a spouted measuring cup or bowl.  Pour the mixture into each lined muffin cup until 2/3 full.

Sprinkle each cup with topping of choice (I again used finely ground candy canes- but you could also use cocoa powder, sprinkles, etc).

Transfer muffin tins into the refrigerator and refrigerate overnight prior to serving.  Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Unique Christmas Cookie Roundup

There was a study recently published analyzing the amount of calories that were eaten by women when they were offered either (a) lower calorie cookies with a "healthier" brand or (b) higher calorie cookies with a "less healthy" brand name.  The results?  The women ate significantly more calories when offered lower calorie cookies.  What is my conclusion? 

1.  Food labels should be read carefully
2. Sticking with the higher calorie option could be more satisfying

Keep that in mind during this holiday season.  If you REALLY want a Christmas cookie, have one. Don't try to "eat around it" by consuming anything OTHER than the cookie (fruit, chocolate chips, anything sweet in the cupboard).  That behavior will likely cause you to consume more calories AND still not be satisfied.

Here is a roundup of some of my ultimate favorite cookie recipes that I have posted on Eighty Twenty.  I will have a new recipe for an amazing cookie coming to you next week!

(Ok I guess I really have a thing for shortbread)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

80--- New Mexican Turkey Hominy Stew

Do you still have some turkey leftovers to use up from the big holiday?  How about a deliciously spicy twist....

Don't let the simple ingredients in this stew fool you- it has a TON of flavor!  I admit, I was a little hesitant about using hominy (alkali-soaked corn kernels).  But it was a fantastic edition that added great texture (fiber) and flavor.

New Mexican Turkey Hominy Stew
Serves 6

2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 yellow onions, chopped coarsely
1 oz dried ancho chiles (about two large)
8 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cans hominy (white or yellow), drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped cooked turkey breast
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Heat 2 cups of broth to a boil in a bowl in the microwave.  Submerge dried (stemmed) chiles into the broth, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to soften for 30 minutes.  Once softened, remove seeds and chop coarsely.  Reserve broth.

In a soup pot, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic and onions and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until soft.  Transfer onion mixture to a food processor, along with chopped chiles and reserved broth.  Puree until smooth, set aside.

Heat remaining oil in the soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the hominy and saute until coated and slightly softened, ~5 minutes.  Add chile puree, turkey, remaining broth, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 1 hour.

Serve with chopped avocado if desired.

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cups: 193 calories, 2 g fat, 25 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber