Showing posts with label Healthy Eating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healthy Eating. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Avocado & Bacon Potato Salad


I needed to bring a Vegetarian friendly dish to a lunch with friends and came across this one from Vegan Visitor for an Avocado Potato Salad. It was delicious but being the lover of meats that I am, I couldn't help but think...

THIS WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER WITH BACON!

Yes, bacon inspiration requires all caps.

So I took the basic idea from the link above and made this not so very vegetarian version.

Avocado & Bacon Potato Salad

Ingredients:
3 pounds red potatoes, diced and boiled until soft but not mushy
2 large avocados, diced/mashed
juice from one lemon (a few teaspoons of juice will do)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt (more or less to taste, of course)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder (use less if you're not a fan...I'm a fan of a lot of garlic)
1/2 tsp ground basil (completely optional or use another of your favorite herbs!)
several pieces of cooked bacon, chopped

Once your potatoes are cooled, mix with the avocados. You can either completely mash the avocados or leave some of the pieces diced. Mix in the lemon juice and all of the seasonings. Carefully fold in the bacon pieces. Chill completely before serving. I'd recommend eating this fairly quickly. Even with the lemon juice added the avocados will brown. It still tastes good though!



Enjoy!

Linked To:


Mouthwatering Mondays


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Healthy Flour Substitutions

Source

White flour is bad.  There, I said it. Go have your cry then come back when you're ready.

Good? Ok.

Here's the thing about white flour.  White flour is what's left after stripping virtually all the nutrients and fiber out of a whole grain of wheat.  Then companies "enrich" the flour with synthetic ingredients to make it "healthier".  Your body basically turns those white carbs right into sugar.  Not good, people. Not good at all.

Simply switching to healthier flours when you bake (and in the bread/grain products you buy) will make a huge impact in the healthiness of your food!  Imagine eating carbs and not feeling guilty about it!!  Yay!

Which flours should you use? I'm so glad you asked!  Here are the ones I use the most.

Whole Wheat, for obvious reasons.  When using whole wheat flour in baking though, look for a whole wheat pastry flour.  It is lighter than regular whole wheat flour, but still maintains the goodness of the whole wheat. If I substitute whole wheat flour when baking I usually add more liquid than the recipe calls for so it doesn't turn out too dry.

Half and Half - My husband is not a fan of wheat.  He refuses to eat wheat pasta and I just got him to accept the fact that I'm not buying white bread anymore.  Once in awhile I will make him a loaf of white bread though, just because I love him. So sometimes, as a compromise, I will use half white flour, half whole wheat flour. Or half regular pasta and half whole wheat or multi-grain pasta.  Because I'm nice like that.

-Spelt Flour, an all natural grain that is high in protein.  This flour makes great pie crusts and is an all around good for you multi-grain flour.

Other Multi-Grain Flours - Buckwheat, Oat Flour and Brown Rice Flour. Note: these flours are gluten free, which means that you have to use special recipes to use them in baking. More about non-wheat flours here.

White Flour - If you are going to buy white flour, be sure to buy it unbleached and unenriched.  It's the lesser of two evils as far as white flour goes.

This one small step can increase your family's fiber intake by so much.  You'll feel better and your body will love you for it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Healthy Meal: Broiled Steak and Zucchini

Excuse the bad iPhone picture!

So it's January. The month of healthy eating habits! Here is one of my favorite quick and easy meals that I can feel good about eating! Students earning a nutrition degree online would approve of this quick and healthy meal.

Broiled Steak

Ingredients:
1 boneless sirloin steak
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

Cut steak into cubes. Cut onion and pepper into chunks. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper. Place steak and veggies in a broiler pan. (If you don't have one you could put a metal cooling rack over a rimmed cookie sheet. The point is to let the fat drain off.) Broil a few inches from the oven burner for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully!

Broiled Zucchini

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs diced red pepper (it's good with diced pimentos too!)
2 Tbs chopped black olives
1 Tbs olive oil

Brush both sides of the zucchini with olive oil. Place on a broiler pan and broil for about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese, peppers and olives. Put back under broiler until cheese melts. Watch carefully!

I like to make these together because I can put it all in one pan and it cooks within 10 minutes! So quick and easy!



Enjoy!

Linked To:



Mouthwatering Mondays

Friday, October 7, 2011

Breakfast Idea: A Healthy Way to Eat Waffles!


 A few months ago I bought a Good Housekeeping magazine with Dr. Oz on the front cover boasting a weight loss meal plan. Yes, I bought it. My muffin top told me to. We followed the meal plan for about three weeks and honestly, I did drop weight quite quickly. But it was A LOT of work because every single meal took a decent amount of effort and prep and I had to cook the kids separate meals most days. This breakfast suggestion, however, was quick and easy and very good!

At first I thought it sounded strange but after I tried it I was hooked. I still eat it regularly because I know it's a nice healthy option and I don't feel like I'm starving afterwards. Are you ready to hear it?


Ricotta and Date Waffles:
Two whole grain waffles
2 tbs part-skim ricotta
3 chopped dates
1 tsp honey

OK, don't run away screaming. Try it! I was delightfully surprised with how tasty it was! You can make your own waffles or just go the easy route and buy the frozen ones. I bought dried dates and chop them up as I need them. 

The best part about this breakfast is that it is only about 300 calories! Let me know if you try it and if you like it!


*Not a sponsored post

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hormone Balancing Coffee Concoction

I heard about this wonderful coffee concoction from a local health food store a long time ago and was told my good friend that she drank it as well and loved the results. I enjoy the flavor and the health benefits are amazing!  If you are a coffee drinker and looking for a way to make it more health beneficial and less full of high fructose corn syrup flavored coffee creamer and hip enlarging white sugar (totally talking to myself here) then give this a try!

Here is some info that I found from ehow.com to help explain the why and how of this hormone balancing coffee drink:

"Keeping your hormones balanced is one of the most vital things you can do to keep your health in check. Hormones control many of the body's most important functions, such as blood pressure, metabolism and insulin. A mixture of coffee, cocoa and maple syrup has been shown to help keep your hormones balanced. A study done by Harvard Medical School shows that coffee may have anti-cancer properties and reduce the risk of diabetes. Cocoa beans are a good source of flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Maple syrup is rich in manganese and zinc, which are good for your heart and immune system."
Also, for the women folk, it can help with keeping your monthly rigmarole balanced as well! I've heard of women saying it keeps their periods (sorry men folk) lighter and their moods more balanced during that "I might kill somebody" time of the month. I may or may not have experienced the same results, but just in case my Dad is reading, I shall refrain from the details. (You're welcome, Dad...and the rest of the world.)

This mixture is also shown to aid people with osteoporosis!

So here is the "recipe":
Mix 1 teaspoon of pure cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of grade B organic maple syrup in the bottom of a cup or a mug. Mix until the cocoa powder and maple syrup form a thick paste. (Be sure to use only grade B maple syrup as this is the only syrup that is bottled straight from the tree and goes through no processing.)

Fill up the cup with hot, freshly brewed coffee. With a spoon, mix until the drink is frothy.

Drink the coffee, cocoa and maple syrup mixture to regulate the stress hormone cortisol. Drink this Cobalamin, or vitamin B12, mixture first thing in the morning so your body is relaxed and stress free for the remainder of the day.

Here is the link to the full article from ehow.com that I got all this super duper information from.

Cheers!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eat This Not That: Better By Half

I love the tips and advice I get from the daily Eat This Not That emails I receive. Today's email is tips on how to Improve Food: Better By Half.  The tips included using half a not so healthy cereal that you just can't give up (like Lucky Charms) and mixing it with half of a much healthier option (like All Bran cereal).  Also, mixing half of  a fruit yogurt which are generally really full of sugar with half Greek yogurt.  Love these ideas, check out Improve Food: Better By Half for more!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chewy Granola Bars

My kids like to eat.  Often.  So snack time is a very big deal.  They love granola bars but the boxed ones can be filled with more sugar and preservatives than I care to feed my starving zoo animal boys. The ones that are organic and wholesome can cost you an arm and a leg and sometimes even an eyeball, so I decided a long time ago that homemade granola bars were the way to go!  I've tried a bazillion different recipes and this one is the result of many kitchen experiments and my family's favorite!


Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients:
3 cups oats
2 cups puffed wheat cereal (you can use rice krispies, but they puffed wheat cereal is a way healthier option)
(OR you can use 5 cups of just oats, no cereal)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup honey
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips (or a combination of any of them!)

Mix all dry ingredients together.


Mix all wet ingredients together.


Mix all together. Then add nuts, fruit, etc and fold in.


Pour onto cookie sheet(If you are using a regular cookie sheet, I would advise lining it with wax paper because these puppies are sticky! I use my nicely seasoned Pampered Chef Bar Pan and they come out perfect every time!).  Press down firmly until the entire pan is covered and the granola is packed down.


 Bake at 325 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.  That time is up for debate though because my oven is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get.  So just watch them carefully and remove when they are nice and golden brown, like this:


 Be careful not to overcook or they will not be chewy! And your husband who hates crunchy granola bars be will be severely disappointed and insist you use a timer next time instead of just "smelling for them."

Oh, is that just my husband?  OK, sorry.

Score the bars while warm and then let cool.  These can also be frozen if your family will not eat the whole batch before they go stale.  Which I haven't had to do in a good couple of years.


Check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays for more great recipes!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homemade Waffles

Waffles:  Another great way to start the day!  Be sure to double the recipe so you have extras to freeze!


Homemade Waffles

Ingredients:
2 Cups Homemade Biscuit Mix
1 1/3 cups milk (or more if needed)
1 tbs Milled Flaxseed
2 tbs water
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract (optional)

This will make about 4-5 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron and how thick you make your waffles.  I doubled it and got 9 good sized waffles out of it.

Stir ingredients together until well blended.  Pour onto waffle iron.  (I have this one and it works great.)

Be careful not to pour too much batter or you will have this result:
Whoopsie!

Cook on waffle iron until done (about 4 minutes).  Some waffle irons have indicator lights for when they are done, mine is not fancy like that, but I can tell when it's done because it will steam and when you open it, nothing sticks and it looks nice and brown, like this:


Enjoy!
Love these kid's dishes? 
I reviewed them here at Bellaziza's Favorite Things a super long time ago, but check them out of you like them!

To freeze your extras: Place on a cookie sheet or baking rack and freeze.  Once frozen, store in airtight, freezer safe container.  Stick in the toaster or microwave to warm up just like you would the boxed kind!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Applesauce Muffins

The original recipe for these muffins are from Deceptively Delicious, but I don't do very well with following recipes exactly, so here is my twist on it!

Applesauce Muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
2 tbs milled flax seed
1/4 cup water
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients together.

Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Mix all ingredients together.

(I know, this is hard, please try to follow along!)

Pour into muffin tins, it makes 12.  I usually use a heaping 1/4 cup measuring cup and it fills the muffin tins perfectly!

Crumbly Topping: (you know, the best part!)
2/3 cup oats
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flax seed
2 tbs butter, melted

Mi topping ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over muffin dough.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 18-20 minutes.


Enjoy, knowing this muffin is actually good for you!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cereal FAIL

I love cereal. Give me a bowl of Lucky Charms or The Captain's Peanut Butter Crunch and I will love you forever.  But I restrain myself from buying them.  Oh, the things we do for our children.  Yes, I gave those cereals up for my kids.  Why?  Cereal is the breakfast of champions, right?  Uh, WRONG.  Most cereals are devoid of any kind of nutritional value.  And don't let those "NOW, less sugar and MORE Fiber!" lines fool you.  I mean, really, are we supposed to believe that Fruit Loops are actually good for you?  Add up the dyes and high fructose corn syrup and it's no wonder why our kids can't concentrate in the morning!  Did you know that some food dyes are proven to cause hyperactivity in children?  Oh yes, it's true.  But that's a whole other post.  And don't even get me started on the affects that white sugar and high fructose corn syrup have on us, especially our children.

SO, what cereals are good for you?   I mean, really good for you?  Eat This Not That has a list of the 24 Best and Worst Cereals on their site.  Go ahead and check it out.  You will be shocked at which cereals are healthy and which are, excuse my language, crap.

Before you go read it, which cereals do you think fall into the healthy and unhealthy categories?

-Quaker Natural Granola
-Frosted Shredded Wheat
-EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crisp
-Kellog's Smart Start

You might be surprised!


Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Puree Love

I am a big fan of the recipes in the Deceptively Delicious recipe book.  If I can get more veggies into my kids' food, I'm all for it. I'm not necessarily a fan of "hiding" the veggies from the kids though.  I puree veggies and fruits and mix them into our foods very frequently.  And I do tell my boys about it...after they've tried it!  You know kids, if I say "Here try this, it has spinach in it!"  They are going to instantly hate it.  But if they try it and like it, then I happily announce what it's laced with.  If I ask the boys if they like their dinner, Chandler never fails to ask, "Why what did you put in it?"

If you start early enough your kids should have no problem with being veggie eaters, but not everyone does.  It's so easy to fall into the habit of making a box of mac and cheese for lunch instead of serving raw veggies and real cheese.  I didn't start early enough myself, so my kids are set in some of their ways.  But it's never too late!  Start slowly introducing healthier options to your kids and teaching them about how important healthy eating habits are.  We've made huge progress over the past few years as we assume a healthier eating lifestyle.  And here is one big way we do it!

PUREE BABY!

Mostly, I puree butternut squash, spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes.  It seems like a lot of work, but really, a couple of hours of kitchen work is so minimal when compared to the health benefits!  So here's how I do it:

Squash: Cut in half, scrape out the seeds.  Place flesh down on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until mushy.  (These are technical cooking terms, people, stick with me.)  Let cool and then scrape the skin off.  Puree in food processor until nice and smooth.

Here's what it will look like when roasted with the skin on and off.

Carrots: Cut up into quarters, steam.  Let cool just a bit so you don't burn your hands!  Puree!



Spinach can be steamed until just wilted, then pureed.

Sweet potatoes can be roasted in the oven whole, cool, then scrape out of skin.  Puree!


See? Simple!  I like to do it all in one day.  That way I only have to dirty up the food processor once!  I will then place the purees in one cup portions into the freezer, ready to be added to whatever I wish!  I also will leave out some of the purees to add to some of my freezer meals, like chicken pot pie, chili, etc.  Which I will show you all about soon!



Try it once, just once!  If it's not for you, find another creative way to get those veggies into those kids!

*If you have babies in the house, save the purees for them too! SO much cheaper and healthier than buying the jarred kind!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Food Golden Rule


IF YOU CAN'T READ IT, DON'T EAT IT!!!

Simple, really.

 Disclaimer: 
I can usually ignore this rule 
when it comes to dessert.
*ahem*


 Picture found at this website which is a site that has some great info about what's really in our food!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eat This, Not That


You have probably seen the books called Eat This, Not That. I have never read one but I do sign up for their daily emails and I have to say, YEEEIKES!  It has been very eye opening to read about the hidden calories and chemicals in the foods in restaurants and in the grocery store.  Just today they sent me one called 8 Food Mysteries Revealed where they uncover what is lurking in McDonald's chicken nuggets and the Wendy's Frosty.  I'm not a fan of the golden arches so I wasn't too bothered by that, I know their food is fake, but I was shocked by the Wendy's Frosty!  I love those!  Not sure that I can eat one know that I know that it is basically a laboratory experiment more than it is a recipe!

So head on over there and sign up for the emails too, I highly recommend it!  I will be posting more interesting facts that I have learned from reading Eat This Not That's daily emails that I think everyone needs to know. So stay tuned!

And no, I was not paid to say any of this.  But wouldn't it have been cool if I were? :)