Healthy Recipes

Remember to EAT!

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Eat Three or More

The minimum amount of healthy meals you should eat throughout the day is three. Reason being, the body functions 24 hours a day. Eating all your servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and fats for the entire day in one sitting would wreak havoc on your body and organs. The body needs time to digest nutrients and distribute them to the appropriate body part or organ.

It is also appropriate to eat more than three meals; however, these meals are considered “mini meals” or snacks. A mini meal is a smaller portioned meal consisting of the same food groups you would eat in a regular meal. Eating five or six mini meals would be equivalent to three regular meals.

Overall Importance

Eating throughout the day allows nutrients to digest gradually, providing you more energy for longer periods of time. Consuming large amounts of food in one or two sittings takes more time and energy to digest, and can lead to many health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, or excessive weight gain.

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Breakfast

A healthy breakfast is necessary for refueling the body. Your body has just gone 6 or more hours without food and has digested any food taken in the day before. It’s not good to start your car with the gas tank empty, so treat your body the same. You can function on an empty stomach; however, you will not function at 100 percent.  Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day.

Lunch

Lunch is necessary to maintain energy. You use the majority of your energy between breakfast and dinner, making it necessary to consume some sort of lunch. This meal should contain carbohydrates, as well as fiber or protein. The carbohydrates supply the body with energy, while fiber or protein keeps you full until your next meal.

Unhealthy foods such as fast foods are not only packed with fat and grease, but they also wreak havoc on your body. Large meals high in salt, sugar or fat can cause high blood pressure or high cholesterol almost immediately and lead to excessive weight gain.

Putting the wrong kind of gas in your car will damage your engine and lead to other issues. Think of food and your body the same way.

Dinner

A healthy dinner is extremely important as this is your last meal of the day. This meal is responsible for what goes on in your digestive tract, as well as how your body repairs itself. For this meal, load up on dark greens and vegetables so the enzymes contained in these foods can clean out excess waste in your intestines. Protein is equally important during this meal to repair muscles, tissues and organs that have been stressed out through the day.

Too much sugar and fat in your dinner could cause the body to store this fat overnight causing weight gain, blood pressure to rise or insulin resistance.

Not eating dinner at all can cause irritability and problems sleeping. A good nights rest is necessary for the body to fully recuperate for the next day.

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Protein

Muscle-Building

MUSCLE BUILDING TIPS:

Tip-1: Eat Enough Food To Build Muscle

Tip-2: Eat the Right Types of Food So You Increase Muscle…Not Turn Into a Fat Pig!!

Tip-3: Combine The Right Foods

Tip-4: Eat Consistently On a Schedule

Tip-5: Eat The Right Foods At The Right Times

Tip-6: Eat “Power Meals” For Added Energy and To Build Muscle

Tip-7: Eat Foods Your Body Requires For Optimal Growth Hormone Production and Health

Tip-8: Eat Enough Fiber

Tip-9: Eat Enough Protein Per Meal

Tip-10: Choose Your Supplements Wisely.

Eating to build muscle is not as simple as just eating enough calories. You need to eat the right calories!  What are the right calories? Foods that are high in nutritional value to promote building muscle and not fat gain! An example of this would be to eat a lean piece of chicken, fish or meat with green vegetables totaling 600 calories rather than deep fried chicken nuggets for 800 calories.  Another example would be to eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast instead of a bowl of Captain Crunch Cereal.

Once you are eating good food combinations at each food serving it is important to follow the next step:

Eating consistently on a schedule is crucial to provide quality nutrients for building muscle when your body needs them.  A good rule to follow is to eat every two to three hours and never space two meals more than five hours apart. If you are eating the right foods consistently like this then you should always keep your body in an positive muscle building state.

There are two times when we should modify our meals for maximum energy and to build muscle, breakfast time and post workout. At these two times of day, instead of eating our regular meals, you can increase muscle growth by eating what I refer to as a “mini power meal.”  This is basically a meal which comprises of a quick digesting source of protein and particular energy foods which also digest quickly and help to increase blood glycogen levels as fast as possible.

Guys– to naturally produce hormones your body requires for building muscle, specifically testosterone, you need to give it the building blocks it requires. Testosterone is made from cholesterol ( simplified). To build muscle you need testosterone. This is the main difference why males are more muscular than females. It is because men have higher testosterone levels than females. To give your body what it requires for optimal hormone production you require the right fats in your muscle building diet.

Examples of these fats would include:

coconut oil
animal fats
eggs
Essential oils
butter
cheese

***Stay away from trans fats and hydrogenated fats!!

It is crucial you get enough protein per day and spread it out throughout your day. Protein requirements have been exaggerated for many years in the interests to sell more protein.  At least one gram per pound of lean body mass is required to build muscle and up to 1.5 grams per pound of lean muscle mass is optimal for heavy intense weight training.

There are lots of supplements to choose from on the market and 99% of them are inferior to natural food for building muscle. Natural food is higher in many naturally occuring vitamins and minerals benficial for muscle growth.

Stay away from weight gain powders. These are just empty calories not much different than most junk foods on the market.

Note: Building muscle is no fluke! You need to follow the above eating tips to build muscle mass fast and combine your eating with an effective and proven training and recuperation program.

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I have made a basic list of some of the best protein foods to choose from:

Eggs

Turkey, chicken, fish

Nuts, seeds

Brown rice

Beans

Oats

Cottage cheese, low-fat milk

Whey protein

Tomatoes

Potatoes

Green peppers

Corn

Lettuces

Celery

Cucumbers

Carrots

Broccoli

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Remember, vegetables are complete proteins!  Eat lean, clean and green!

P.S.  If you love spicy, like me,  you will enjoy this high-protein meal below.

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Spicy, High Protein Avocado Breakfast Sandwich And Sauce

An amazing sandwich and sauce. You take butter out of the sandwich, adding in a protein base and avocado instead. This makes this sandwich buttery and awesome!
Spicy, High Protein Breakfast Sandwich And Sauce
Nutritional Info
  • Calories:
    326
  • Protein:
    26 g
  • Carbs:
    27.2 g
  • Fat:
    12.8 g

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 5 TBSP Srirachi Hot Sauce
  • 1 Piece Ezekiel Bread, Toasted
  • 1/4 Thinly Sliced Avocado
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Egg Whites
  • Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb Flavor

Cooking Instructions

To make the sauce, combine the Greek yogurt and srirachi hot sauce. If you don’t like your sauce too zippy, then you can cut back on the amount or srirachi you use. The srirachi amount can also be changed if you’re watching your sodium intake.

Next, cook a whole egg, and 1/4 cup egg whites over a medium heat. I like to add Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb Flavor while cooking.

Place the egg on your toasted Ezekiel bread, top with sliced avocado and your srirachi and yogurt sauce, and enjoy!

I love this sandwich and this sauce because you’re taking out butter and using a protein base instead and are then able to add in a healthy fat, avocado which makes this sandwich buttery and awesome!

The Fiercist Breakfast Sandwich of All!

Breakfast is known to be the most skipped meal of the day.  We get up and go, and forget to take the time to fuel our bodies and minds with a healthy meal.  I say, TAKE THE TIME for yourself and I promise you you’ll feel more prone to make healthier choices the rest of the day because you started your day healthy.

News Flash!  Yes, eating breakfast is muy importante amigos!   Why you ask?  Well because your body just fasted for 8+ hours while sleeping and the last meal it had was dinner.

Even while you’re sleeping your body is using fuel for digestion, breathing and all that other stuff the engine inside us does.  It’s miraculous really, and you should be good to it by giving it fuel for the day ahead of it.

So now to SAUCE.  I’m a big sauce girl, I don’t like things dry, never have, never will.  So being healthy, I had to think of an alternative to butter on toast or mayonnaise on a sandwich.

The more you experiment with healthy ingredients, the more of a mad scientist you become, I promise you!  You just, out of the blue, begin concocting new ideas and putting one and one together to create something stellar!

I found it one day while looking in my fridge “concocting” in my head.  I saw the Plain Greek Yogurt and because I LOVE heat in my  food, I saw the Srirachi sauce (found in the Asian section of your grocery store, or substitute any other hot sauce…but Sri is my fave with this).

I mixed the two together and put it on my toast, added thin slices of avocado (another one of my favorite foods. I keep the slices thin because avocados are the “highest calorie fruit in existence.”  No wonder I love them so much) And topped with an egg, bam!   Still, there is so much healthy goodness in an avocado, just eat 1/8-1/4 in one meal and you’re A-ok.

So here’s how you prepare this delectably wonderful breakfast sandwich sauce:

Sriracha and Greek Yogurt

Mix these two together.

Sriracha and Greek yogurt

I put them in a container that I can use for entire week.

Sriracha and Greek Yogurt

What a great color!

Avocado Sandwich

Serving Suggestions

Makes 1 sandwich. (Using 1/3 cup sauce)

Sweet on sweets!

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It seems there are two types of snackers: the sweet tooth-aholic or the salt/carb craver.  Choosing healthy snacks to satisfy either craving does not have to be difficult!  Many times we just need a few fresh ideas.

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It is important to remember those in between meal snacks for our metabolism and strength, especially if you are working out, walking vigorously and exercising daily.  Foods are our fuel and our friends!  Of course, the cleaner, greener and leaner the better.

In case you are fresh out of ideas, here are some simple sweet snacks that are each 50 calories or less!

1. Kellogg’s Bite Size Maple & Brown Sugar Frosted Mini-Wheats  (I love these!)

These super-tasty sweet treats feature a satisfying crunch (it helps that whole grain wheat is the first ingredient). Six Mini-Wheats will cost you just 47 calories–and you’ll get a gram of filling fiber, too.

Nutrition facts for six Mini-Wheats: 47 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

2. Antioxidant-Rich Fruit: Raspberries

Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, raspberries are among the Cleveland Clinic’s list of 40 best foods for heart health. Research suggests they help lower blood pressure and boost good cholesterol, plus they’ll tide you over as a delicious snack.

Nutrition facts for 3/4 cup raspberries: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

3. Light and tasty Popsicle.  You’ll get 15 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in one 50-calorie frozen pop. Pick from yummy cherry, grape, and tropical flavors.

Nutrition facts for one bar: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

4. Low-calorie ice cream treat.  Yes, even a root beer float!

Pour fizzy diet root beer over 1/4 cup of light vanilla ice cream for a treat that will take you back to your youth. Toss your glass in the freezer 10 minutes before dishing for the full frosty effect.

Nutrition facts for one root beer float: 50 calories, 2 g fat (1 g sat fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium

5. Jell-O sugar free cup with cool whip

Single-serving containers of Jell-O make calorie counting oh-so-easy! The gelatin has just 10 calories, the whipped topping adds 25.

Nutrition facts for Jell-O with Cool Whip: 35 calories, 2 g fat (2 g sat fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium

6. A fresh piece of fruit, such as a high-fiber peach.

Increasing your fiber intake (at least 25 grams a day) can significantly lower your heart disease risk, and a peach provides nearly 2 grams. For a special treat, cut one in half and grill both sides to caramelize the natural sugars.

Nutrition facts for one peach: 38 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

7. Tea with Sugar

Calorie-free white, black, red, and green teas have all been shown to contain high levels of antioxidants, which help ward off disease. Add a dash of sugar or tsp of honey to sweeten things!

Nutrition facts for a cup of tea: 0 calories, 0 g fat, mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

8. Mott’s No-Sugar-Added Healthy Harvest Applesauce

This tasty fruit-filled applesauce kicks up your vitamin C quotient: Each 50-calorie snack cup provides 25 percent of your daily needs.  As an extra bonus, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  🙂

Nutrition facts for one snack cup: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

9. Decadent Chocolate Treat!  Dove Dark Chocolate Promise

Sometimes all you need is one decadent bite of really good chocolate. Plus, the dark kind is full of heart-healthy antioxidants. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts for one chocolate: 42 calories, 3 g fat (1 g sat fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

10. Quaker Quakes Caramel Corn Rice Snacks

Pop five of these mini rice snacks in your mouth and you’ll forget you’re dieting. The sweet crunch comes without fat or cholesterol and is delightfully low in sugar, too.

Nutrition facts for five rice cakes: 43 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 107 mg sodium

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Bonus #11:  Swiss Miss Fat-Free Hot Cocoa with Calcium

The antioxidant level in cocoa is even higher than in red wine. Plus, one mug provides as much calcium as a glass of milk. Add a cinnamon stir stick for no additional calories.

Nutrition facts for one mug: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

Bonus #12:  Why not try Shakeology?  Truly, this is my healthiest meal of the day.  Replace one meal with Shakeology to help you lose weight, reduce cravings (I have found it increases my cravings for healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables), feel energized, and improve digestion and regularity.

I think I am going to grab some Mini-Wheats and get back to work now.

Wishing you a sweet day,

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P.S. If you are interested in checking out all the flavors of Shakeology, including Vegan, you can do that here:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/Dbluuendy?bctid=29768318001

No for candy, yes for super food!

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Have you ever heard of a jujube?  I always thought jujubes were only candy.  Not so!

Jujubes-Box-Small

Last week I tasted the most delicious jujube tea at our local farmers market and received a little health-history lesson about this very special super food.  Jujubes are a bit larger than a walnut, a beautiful brownish-reddish color and felt very light and soft in my hands.

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The jujube originated in China where they have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years and where there are over 400 cultivars. The plants traveled beyond Asia centuries ago and today are grown to some extent in Russia, northern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and the southwestern United States.  Some jujube trees grow up to 40 feet tall in Florida, but are smaller in size in California.

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The benefits of jujube the super food

Jujube contains high levels of protein, carbohydrates, fat, carotene, vitamin C, B, P, and minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus. Below you will find some benefits of jujube.

    1. Decrease in seborrheic keratosis

Vitamin C present in jujubes is an antioxidant, that participates in the physiological oxygen reduction of the body and lowers the production of seborrheic keratosis by preventing the chronic melanin sedimentation in the body.

    1. Liver protection is another benefit of jujube

The fat, protein and sugar contained in jujubes protect the liver. These nutrients stimulate liver to synthesize protein, thus increasing the amount of albumin and red protein, controlling the ratio of globulin and albumin, preventing transfusions and reducing the level of serum alanine aminotransferase.

    1. Many will be glad to know that hair loss prevention is among the benefits of jujube

Jujube has the function of nourishing spleen and stomach. There is an old saying in China goes like this “Good spleen, good skin”. With radiant skin, the hair can have a sound shelter. So eat more jujubes can prevent hair loss and help you to grow glossy hair.

    1. Nourish stomach and brain

In fact, jujube is used in Chinese medicine to nourishing spleen and stomach. In case of irritating substances in prescription medications, jujubes are equipped to protect the spleen and stomach. Jujube is rich in protein, carbohydrate, organic acids and fat, which produces the tonic effect for the brain. Jujube cake with flour and jujubes is very delicious and moreover it can improve the functioning of the brain and stomach.

    1. Nourish the blood and provides vital energy

As a matter of fact, rich amount of vitamins in jujube is one of the most important benefits of jujube which is advantageous for capillary. Take 20 jujubes, brown sugar (30 grams) and 1 egg; make it with water stew. You should take this mix every day. It is beneficial for women’s recuperation after childbirth.

  1. Sleep promotion

As it has already been said, jujube nourishes the blood and spleen, but it also has a soothing effect. Take 1000 grams of jujubes, wash them, eliminate the nuclear, then smash and add water to boil on slow fire. After that, filter the juice and mix honey (500 grams). Mix into the paste with heating, reserve in bottles. Take 15 ml for two times a day. The mix continuously served will prevent and cure insomnia.

Additionally, jujube is important in calcium supplement, anti-diarrhea and emission control prevention. But, jujube is not appropriate for people with constipation for the rich content of carbohydrate.

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The jujube tea I sampled was delicious.  It reminded me almost of a cinnamon-raisin type of tea, but satisfyingly rich.

I am sharing this very special recipe with you below.  The making of this tea certainly is a process, but well worth the time involved.

Ginger jujube tea is normally served hot with pine nuts. Ginger has a soothing effect on stomach and sore muscles and jujubes alleviate stress.

This Korean tea is dark in color and has strong flavors of spicy ginger and sweet dried jujubes because it was cooked in simmering water for a long time. A fast way to make ginger tea is to use a pressure cooker.

When it is cold outside, this spicy hot drink will warm your body and even heart.

Korean Ginger Jujube Cinnamon Tea

Yields: about 16 cups
Total time: 50 min

Ingredients

    • 40 dried jujubes, Korean dates
    • 2 oz ginger (55g)
    • 3 oz packed brown sugar (85g)
    • 0.5 oz cinnamon sticks (14g)
    • 3 liters drinking water

Korean ginger jujube tea 생강 대추차

Instructions

Preparation Wash ginger and dried jujubes. Peel off ginger and cut into thin slices.

Brew Put ginger slices, dried jujubes, cinnamon sticks, and 3 liters of water in the pressure cooker. Cover and cook under pressure for 10 minutes over medium high heat. Then reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 10 minutes. Release pressure and add in brown sugar and without cover, simmer for another 5 minutes, or until sufficiently infused.

Serve Drain and serve with a few pine nuts in the tea and honey or brown sugar on the side.

Korean ginger jujube tea 생강 대추차

Serve with pine nuts.

Korean ginger jujube tea 생강 대추차

If you do not own a pressure cooker, this process can be accomplished (as per our local farmers market vendor) by slow-simmering for several hours.  Honey and brown sugar truly is optional, as the jujubes have their own sweet, unique flavor.

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What a neat little super food, don’t you think?

Happy Monday,

Wendy

Love for Lemons

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“When life gives you lemons make grape juice and sit back and watch the world ask how you did it.”  -Tori Truax

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We have a lemon tree in our backyard that produces abundant amounts of lemons it seems year round!  Right now we have more lemons than I know what to do with, so I decided to do some research this morning to find additional uses for all these lemons we have.

Did you know the Ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons and drinking lemon juice was an effective protection against a variety of poisons, and that recent research has confirmed this belief?

There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances-notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene-that promote immunity and fight infection.

These are well-known health facts about lemons. But there’s so much more to this little yellow fruit.  Whether you use them in the form of juice, teas, drinks, dressing, poultices or in the bath, take advantage of lemons’ natural healing power.

NOTE:  If you suffer from heartburn, kidney or gall bladder problems or have a citrus allergy consult your doctor before using these remedies or drinking lemon juice. To protect your teeth enamel, wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after chewing, drinking or rinsing with lemon juice. Rubbing lemon juice or oil and drinking lemon juice is not suitable for children under the age of 10. Lemons are effective home remedies for a variety of health concerns but in the case of serious illness always consult your doctor first.

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Some lemon facts:

1. Lemons are alkalizing for the body: Lemons are acidic to begin with but they are alkaline-forming on body fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH.

2. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work against infections like the flu and colds.

3. Your liver loves lemons: “The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile,” says Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden. Fresh lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.

4. Cleans your bowels: Lemons increase peristalsis in the bowels, helping to create a bowel movement thus eliminating waste and helping with regularity. Add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink first thing in the morning.

5. Scurvy is treated by giving one to two ounces of lemon juice diluted with water every two to four hours. In 1747, a naval surgeon named James Lind cured scurvy with fresh lemons. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor could have one ounce of juice a day. In the past, lemons were replaced with limes; this is where the English got their nickname “limeys.”

6. The citric acid in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.

7. Vitamin C in lemons helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease.

8. The lemon peel contains the potent phytonutrient tangeretin, which has been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

9. In India, Ayurveda medicine values the lemon as a fruit and for its properties. It is sour, warm, promoter of gastric fire, light, good for vision, pungent and astringent.

10. It destroys intestinal worms.

11. When there is insufficient oxygen and difficulty in breathing (such as when mountain climbing) lemons are very helpful. The first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest, Edmund Hillary, said that his success on Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemons.

12. Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties; experiments have found the juice of lemons destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.

13. Blood vessels are strengthened by the vitamin P (bioflavinoids) in lemon thus prevents internal hemorrhage. Also, making it useful in treating high blood pressure.

14. The symptoms of eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy have been shown in research to improve due to the rutin, found in lemons.

15. Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including naturally occurring limonene; oil which slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals and flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells.

16. According to The Reams Biological Ionization Theory (RBTI), the lemon is the ONLY food in the world that is anionic (an ion with a negative charge). All other foods are cationic (the ion has a positive charge.) This makes it extremely useful to health as it is the interaction between anions and cations that ultimately provides all cell energy.

17. Lemons help abolish acne.

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lemons

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There are so many uses for lemons and recipes, I cannot believe it!

History, Trivia and Interesting Lemon Facts:

  • Fashionable ladies used lemon juice as a way to redden their lips during the European Renaissance.
  • The lemon is a small evergreen tree native to Asia (as well as the fruit that grows on the tree).
  • The lemon is thought to have originated in the Indus Valley (a Bronze Age civilization in South Asia) because of a lemon-shaped earring from 2500 BC found by archaeologists in the area.
  • Lemons have been in cultivation around the Mediterranean from as early as the first century AD.
  • Lemon trees produce fruit all year round. One tree can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year.
  • Once upon a time lemons were presented as gifts to kings because they were so rare.
  • California and Arizona produce 95 percent of the entire U.S. lemon crop.

Lemon Nutrition:

  • Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber.
  • Lemons contain more potassium than apples or grapes. Potassium is beneficial to the heart.

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Here is a delicious recipe I will share with you for a dairy-free lemon pudding.  🙂

This dairy-free, low-fat lemon pudding is a thing of dreams! It’s bold in flavor and richness but not in calories and is made with just 6 simple ingredients, including one you would never imagine…

Cauliflower! Crazy? I know!

Dairy-free Lemon Pudding (94)

Many of us are allergic to dairy, sensitive to it, or have developed a love hate relationship with it. We eat, we enjoy, our stomachs hurt, our complexion suffers, but we just can’t imagine a life without the good stuff. Taking the dairy-free lifestyle for a test drive or committing to it because of sensitivities can be a challenge… but it doesn’t have to be this way!

One of my favorite tricks to making a healthy, dairy-free, approved dessert is to use cauliflower in place of thick creams and added starches. I know what you’re thinking, ‘cauliflower in dessert?’ YES! If you flavor it just right with things like vanilla extract, lemon or orange zest, chocolate or citrus juice, you do not taste the cauliflower one little bit. All you have is smooth, creamy, sweet goodness. Skeptical? I have just the recipe that will prove that dairy-free doesn’t mean that you have to be gnawing on cardboard, or giving up your favorite low-fat treats. This pudding is impressively low in fat, rich in flavor, highly creamy, and under 130 calories per serving. Crazy, right? Let’s get right down to business!  

Dairy-free Lemon Pudding (103)

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 2/3 cup • 
Calories: 127.5 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 4 g • Carb: 25 g • Fiber: 5 g • Sugar: 13.5 g
Sodium: 142 mg

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (350 grams) of roughly chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

Dairy-free-Lemon-Pudding2-main

Add cauliflower, almond milk, sugar, extract and zest to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, uncovered. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes, until cauliflower is very soft. Remove from heat.

Add in lemon juice and pour into the bowl of your food processor or blender. Blend on high for 1 minute, or until very smooth. Pour into a clean bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight, for at least 18 hours. Refrigeration helps the bold lemon flavor subside and really transforms this pudding. Do not skip this step!

Substitution notes:

  • Feel free to use any type of non-dairy milk you have on hand. I like using unsweetened almond milk for my dessert recipes because it’s naturally sweeter (and lower in fat and carbs) than other non-dairy milks.
  • Any type of sugar would work here. White, brown, coconut sugar…

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Have a wonderful Monday,

Wendy

Tuesday – Healthy Egg Breakfast

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Why not treat your family to a healthy and filling egg breakfast this week?  Add a mug of green tea sweetened with your favorite honey. Kids would surely enjoy these for dinner too…just add a side salad or your favorite vegetable.  YUM!

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Fresh Healthy English Muffin Breakfast Pizzas with Egg

Ingredients

  • 4 healthy whole grain English muffins
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 medium fresh tomato slices
  • 4 large hard boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded healthy mozzarella cheese
  • Oregano or Italian seasoning mix
  • Kosher salt

Description

These delicious breakfast pizzas are bound to be an instant favorite. After all, whose kids don’t want to eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner? The great thing about these pizzas is that you can make them delicious and nutritious by using whole grain muffins and topping those with fresh-sliced tomatoes and low-fat mozzarella cheese. These are also a great break from the ho-hum routine of bland breakfast foods. Want to try something that POPs?!? These miniature treats are just the ticket.

Cooking Directions

  1. Cut English-muffin into halves and toast in toaster.
  2. Remove from toaster and place them on an un-greased cookie sheet.
  3. Lightly brush or sprinkle them with the olive oil. 4. First layer is fresh tomato slices
  4. Next, slice the hard boiled eggs and add on top of tomatoes (1/2 an egg per muffin).
  5. Top with healthy low-fat mozzarella.
  6. Sprinkle with oregano and/or kosher salt to taste.
  7. Put the cookie sheet on the middle-high rack and broil 3 and 1/2 minutes until the cheese melts (slight browning is OK).

Nutritional Value

Calories:272 Fat:12g Protein:12mg Fiber:4g Cholesterol:217mg Iron:2mg Sodium:380mg Calcium:94mg

Mmmmm…Fishy Friday!

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I love fish, especially white fish and salmon.  Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty layers of cold-water fish and shellfish, plant and nut oils, English walnuts, flaxseed, algae oils, and fortified foods. Hundreds of studies suggest that Omega-3 fatty acids may provide some benefits to a wide range of diseases: cancer, asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

A delicious healthy recipe you will want to try this evening is Flounder Piccata and is pretty simple to prepare.  You can also substitute tilapia for flounder, add a side of quinoa and fresh, steamed spinach or asparagus.  When I make this recipe I also serve it with a small side of salad.  Healthy, filling and scrumptious!

Note: I hate fish that tastes fishy.  Always garnish your fish during and after cooking with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to eliminate any residue of fishiness to your fish.

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Lightly pan fried breaded filet of flounder served in a lemon, wine, butter sauce with capers and parsley. A wonderful way to enjoy flounder, tilapia or any white fish.

(Make this with chicken for those of you who don’t like fish)

Flounder Piccata
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 piece •
Calories: 268.7 • Fat: 7.9 g • Protein: 34.5 g • Carb: 13.6 g • Fiber: 2.9 g • Sugar: 0.1 g
Sodium: 366.5 (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 4 flounder filets  (17 oz total)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth)
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • juice of 1 lemon, lemon halves reserved
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • sliced lemon, for serving
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Directions:

Season fish with salt and pepper.  Heat oven to 200°.
 
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg whites. Place the bread crumbs in another dish. Dip each fish filet in the egg whites, then bread crumbs.

Heat a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Spray a generous amount of olive oil spray on one side of the fish, and lay it in the pan, oil side down. Spray the other side of the fish generously to coat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until fish is opaque and cooked through. Set aside on a platter in a warm oven until you make the sauce.

Over medium heat in the same pan, melt butter, add the lemon juice, wine, chicken broth and the reserved lemon halves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced to half, about 3 – 4 minutes. Discard the lemon halves, add the capers and spoon the sauce over the fish; place a slice of lemon on each filet and top with fresh parsley.

* * * * *

Enjoy!  Wishing you a long, relaxing and lovely three day weekend!  (President’s Day on Monday, remember?)  🙂

Wendy

Sweetness and Strawberries

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Valentines Day is next week!  My sweet tooth has come to life in the past few days, so today I am sharing a recipe with you I plan on making for my husband this year.  It looks a little complicated, challenging, yet the rewards are light!

This mouth-watering dessert comes from Skinny Taste.  Let me know if you try it!  🙂

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Strawberry Kiwi Pavlovas

With Valentine’s day around the corner, these sweet desserts are perfect to enjoy with that special someone in your life, or any time of the year. Pavlovas are elegant yet light, made with whipped egg whites and sugar, then topped with cream and fresh fruit. The perfect light dessert!

Use any combination of fresh fruit on top, mixed berries are a great choice. You can make the shells ahead of time and store them in an air tight container, or even freeze them.

Meringues can be tricky to make, the key to success when making meringues is to start with clean, metal mixing bowls and whisks. They should be free of all traces of grease. Egg whites should be room temperature and they say it’s best to avoid making these on a rainy day. I played around with a few different meringue recipes to get the perfect shell. So many, in fact that I forgot where I found this recipe to give the proper credit. These meringues have a tint of brown due to the dark vanilla extract I used, but if you use white vanilla extract, yours should come out looking like a soft billowy cloud.


Strawberry Kiwi Pavlovas
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 pavlova •
Calories: 221.3 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 3.5 g • Carb: 51.2 g • Fiber: 2.9 g

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3 kiwis, sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups fat free whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 6 (4-inch) circles on paper, I used a plastic lid as my guide. Turn paper over; secure with masking tape.

Beat egg whites, cornstarch, and salt at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until thick and glossy. Add vanilla, beating well.

Divide egg white mixture evenly among the 6 drawn circles.  Shape meringues into nests with 1-inch sides using the back of a spoon. Place meringues in oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 300°; bake 1 hour. Turn oven off; cool meringues in closed oven at least 4 hours or until completely dry. (Meringues are done when the surface is dry and meringues can be removed from paper without sticking to fingers.) Carefully remove meringue nests from paper.

Assemble the pavlovas by topping with 1/4 cup whipped cream in each nest, then arrange fresh fruit on top.

The meringue shells can be kept frozen for up to two months. Remove them from freezer before you assemble the pavlovas, no reheating required.

Enjoy!

Super Bowl 2013- Friday Treat

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So, who is your team?  Ravens or the 49ers?

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Whether you enjoy football or not, there is a good chance you will be hosting or attending a Super Bowl party this weekend.  The fun part of Super Bowl parties is all the delicious (fattening!) variety of foods and beverages.  My mouth is already watering thinking about it!

If you love spinach, artichokes, cheese and hot, here is an amazing low-calorie traditional side dish most people enjoy that you may want to bring or make for your Super Bowl party.

During your Super Bowl party, Keep Choosing Consistency in your healthy eating,

Wendy

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Bring this hot spinach and artichoke dip to your next football party, no one will know it’s light!

This is easy to prepare ahead of time, then throw it in the oven when you are ready to eat. Serve this with Pretzel Crisps or pita chips, but baked chips would also be great.  This dip is also delicious with carrot sticks!

Servings: 15 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup •
Calories: 73.3 • Fat: 4.4 g • Carb: 3.4 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 5.2 g • Sugar: 0.6 g
Sodium: 244.7 g
Ingredients:
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°.In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the garlic and shallots.Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away.

Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking. Makes about 3 3/4 cups.

Today’s Recipe: Cauliflower Power!

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I just snipped some yummy vegetables from my garden.

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I have been amazed with my garden this year!  No bugs, no weeds, no mold, no problems whatsoever…just abundant growth and lots of delicious veggies for our household!

Here is a mouth-watering recipe you are sure to enjoy more than once!  Enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Lemon And Orange

If childhood memories of smelly boiled broccoli have kept you from enjoying cruciferous vegetables, this cooking method may very well change your mind. Baking lightly oiled broccoli and cauliflower until crisp-tender inhibits the release of any unpleasant sulphur aromas. Tossed with sweet citrus just before serving, the vegetable mellows even more.

Ingredients

Serves:  Prep:  10min |Cook: 20min |Total: 30min
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Combine the broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl. Toss with the oil, salt, and pepper. Spread over the prepared baking sheet and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and slightly browned, 20 to 22 minutes. Return to the bowl and toss with the lemon and orange peels.

Nutritional Facts per serving

Calories: 98.3

Fat: 6.2 G

Saturated fat: 0.9 G

Cholesterol: 0 MG

Sodium:  339.9 MG

Carbohydrates:  9.3 G

Total sugars:  2.4 G

Dietary fiber:  4.7 G

Protein:  4.1 G

Skinny Taste

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This morning when I was at the gym working out, another member told me about a site she had seen on Facebook called, “SkinnyTaste.com”.  She had tried a few recipes and loved them.  As soon as I got home I found the SkinnyTaste site and am elated to see so many healthy and delicious-looking recipes to try!

Because I love using my crock pot, I plan on trying quite a few of the recipes on the SkinnyTaste site, including this Crock Pot Picante Chicken and Black Bean Soup.  The pictures and ingredients have made my mouth water, so I am sharing this particular recipe for you crock pot lovers out there and will keep you up on my favorite healthy recipes in the future!

Bon appetit!

Wendy

If you love a slow cooker recipe that requires no pre-cooking, then you’ll love this spicy black bean soup. Spicy black bean and chicken soup with tomatoes, chiles, peppers and spices is delicious served with cool avocado and a touch of sour cream. Top it with cilantro for freshness and your taste buds will want to do a mariachi dance!

This makes a nice amount of soup, perfect for freezing and reheating for a second night, or for lunch on the go. I love this topped with avocado and sour cream to mellow the heat, but it would also be great with a little cheese on top why not!

It’s mildly spicy, not over the top. If you want it milder you can leave the ancho chile powder out. I pureed one of the cans of beans to thicken the soup, and left the second can whole for texture. Next time I may even add some sweet corn! A filling, wholesome, high-fiber meal for only 300 calories, or Weight Watchers 6 points plus. Freezer friendly, and gluten-free.

Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Soup 
Skinnytaste.com 
Servings: 7 • Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Pts: 6 pts • Weight Watchers Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 306 • Fat: 6 g • Protein: 28 g • Carb: 37.5 g • Fiber: 13.5 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 698.4 mg (without the salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (10 oz) cans Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 16 oz (2) skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 2 medium scallions, diced
  • cut limes, for serving
  • 1 medium haas avocado, sliced
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions:

Take one can of beans and place in the blender along with 2 cups of the chicken broth; puree then add to your slow cooker. Add the remainder of the beans and chicken broth into the slow cooker along with tomatoes, diced green chiles, cumin, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chicken breast, and 1/4 cup of the cilantro. Set slow cooker to HIGH 4 hours or LOW 6 to 8 hours.

After it’s done, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Place back into the slow cooker and add fresh scallions, remainder cilantro and adjust salt and cumin, to taste.

Serve hot with lime wedges, avocados, and sour cream if desired. Makes about 10 1/2 cups.