Friday, March 30, 2012

What's the Dietitian Eatin'

 Ah! Sushi! These fabulous rolls always come from Tora and they are great! 
Shrimp Tempura Roll 
Spicy Tuna Roll 
California Roll

And Less Sodium Soy Sauce...more soy flavor, less salt!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Berry Spinach Smoothies

I am not even kidding you with the title of this post...Berry. Spinach. Smoothies. This is yet another recipe that I read and had to try it to believe it! The whole time I was blending the ingredients, I kept thinking about what else I had in the fridge to make a smoothie. I had promised the kids that we would make smoothies to go with dinner and oh heavens, the tears if this didn't turn out!

Not only did they drink this smoothie, but they LOVED it! With that being said, you will just have to try it to believe it won't you?

1 cup pomegranate juice (you could use apple juice or a mixed berry punch)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Stick it all in the blender until smooth (add some extra juice if it's too thick). Enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bean Tacos

Who needs beef with pink slim when you can have beans!! I used garbanzo beans seasoned/cooked with taco seasoning for these soft tacos. This is one of the easiest dinners I have ever made.

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 envelope of taco seasoning
1 package of flour tortillas
2 tomatoes
1 package of shredded lettuce
some shredded cheese
sour cream

I drained the beans and rinsed them really well. In a medium heated pan with a tsp of olive oil, add the beans and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and 1 cup of water, cover with a lid. Let this cook down into soft beans and a taco sauce - about 5 minutes. While these are cooking, chop up your tomatoes and heat your tortillas based on the package directions.

Pile your toppings with 2 to 3 ounces of beans, roll and enjoy! (Two tacos is your serving size)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Granola of the Chocolate Variety

When I buy the granola with the M&Ms in it, I just end up eating all the M&Ms! I needed something filling WITH chocolate. Here is my recipe for chocolate granola...and stay tuned for Peanut Butter Granola :)

3 cups regular oats
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Non-stick spray a cooking sheet.
Stir together the oats, cereal, brown sugar, pecans, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Over medium, heat the honey and oil in a small saucepan. Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and vanilla, stir until smooth.
Pour the chocolate over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Dump onto sprayed cooking sheet and spread into a thin layer.

Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on the pan and then break up into a ziploc bag for storage. Eat it straight from the bag as a snack or pour milk over it as a cereal. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

There are some recipes that you just have to try. Black Bean Brownies - yes, this is totally a recipe that I need to actually bake to understand (1) why it works and (2) what the hype is about. Holy cow! I can't stop eating them!

1 can black beans, drained
3 eggs
3 Tbsp veg oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
3/4 cup sugar (you can use splenda)
1 heaping Tbsp instant coffee (or 3 packets of the instant travel size)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. If you are using a glass pan like me, decrease the oven temp by 25 degrees.

Using a blender, mix the top 9 ingredients together until smooth. Fold in the chocolate and nuts then pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until they look set in the center. Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Green Tea

I love tea! I can't really stand hot tea, but any type of iced tea puts me in my glory! I am going to show my recipe to tea...which I make almost twice a week. Now, many of you will laugh at the fact I use drinking water. where we live, the faucets are just caked with deposits and I can't bring myself to drink it. Totally in my head? Probably...but it gets me drinkin' my tea! So, we start with my Kroger brand (taken from a municipal water source) drinking water. I pour 4 cups of it into a measuring cup and microwave it for 5 minutes.

I have two teas that I really like. Green tea with all of its fabulous antioxidants is great for your heart! More and more studies are showing that it's not just green tea that is good for your body, but all teas. Be sure to remember: it is the TEA that is good for you, not the sugar that you use to sweeten it! Drinking sweetened tea can add as much sugar as a regular soda.

Once the water is done in the microwave, plunk 8 tea bags into the measuring cup. I let mine stand for about 5 minutes. Longer is fine if you like a stronger tea. Squeeze the tea bags out and pour the tea back into the gallon of water. TEA!

Want some tips to get more green tea in your diet? Try using hot green tea to make your oatmeal in the morning or to cook your rice in the evening. Add green tea to smoothies instead of milk. You can freeze green tea into a granita or popsicle for a hot summer day. You can also freeze green tea as ice cubes and add it to your juice or lemonade.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crispy Kale Chips

For those of you that have worked in food service or a restaurant in the last 10 years, you will recognize kale as a salad bar filler/decoration. I remember fluffing it and placing it around crocks filled with salad toppings to make a salad bar more attractive. Eating it? HECK NO! But I have had a craving for a salty, crunchy something or other lately but can not stop at just a handful of chips. I have seen recipes for crunchy kale chips but couldn't really see myself eating them. So, this is yet another recipe that I just needed to try to believe!

Take a head of kale, wash it and cut out the thick stem. I used a curly type leaf but you can use a Lacinato/Tuscan Kale. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray it with non-stick spray.

Once the stem is cut out, chop or tear the kale into 3 inch pieces. Toss these in a drizzle of olive oil and place in a single layer on the baking sheet. I sprinkled half of my sheet with sea salt and the other half with a BBQ rub.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, separate them/turn them over and bake for another 7 minutes. Let them cool and enjoy! Store them in an air tight container.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Smoked Steelhead

I bought this cool little smoker from Target. It's supposed to be a smoker that you use on the stove, but I have been using it outside on the grill (cut down on the smell inside the house!). Tonight I worked with Steelhead in the smoker for a nice, light dinner.

Steelhead a cross between a rainbow trout and a salmon. It looks like salmon. It tastes like salmon (just milder). It is cheaper than salmon! Using a BBQ type rub and some sea salt, I seasoned it up (about 1 tbsp of seasoning and 1 tsp of salt...rubbed in). The BBQ rub does not have any sodium, but the sea salt I added helped bring out the flavor.

I use basic smoker chips that I picked up at the grocery store. With about 2 cups in the bottom of the pan, I center the drip pan right on top. Because I am cooking fish which is more delicate than any other meat, I use a moist heat. Place 1 cup of water or juice in the drip tray for moist heat and leave it empty for dry heat (chicken, pork or beef).

Add the cooking tray and the fish, arranged to fit so the lid doesn't smash it. This will cook on the stove on smoker setting (check your grill dial) for about 20 to 25 minutes. Leave the lid on the smoker and grill closed for maximum heat. When it is done cooking, the meat will flake perfectly. Always check in the thickest part of the fish, this takes the longest to cook.

Serve with some rice and steamed vegetables for a complete dinner. Remember your portion sizes when serving this: 3 to 4 ounces of fish (the palm of your hand), 1/2 cup of rice and 1 cup of vegetables.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lower Fat Scones

I am a big fan of scones. Although I love them, I am also very picky about them: flavor, texture, and icing. If it isn't flaky and filled with fruit and topped with crunchy, sweet icing then it isn't a good scone. My favorite place to buy scones is Tyler's Bakery (used to be know as Bread Basket) but I wondered if I could make them a tad lower in fat. Here is my Lower in Fat Scone Recipe!

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp cold butter, unsalted
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup strawberries, diced
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1 cup fat free cream (if you want the full fat recipe, use 1 cup heavy cream)
1 tbsp water
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Measure all of your dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in your butter until it looks mealy. Zest in your lemon.

Toss in your strawberries and mix them around to coat them. Pour in your cream and mix until all the ingredients are moist. Don't worrying about it looking like batter. It will still look flaky and dry.

Turn out the dough onto a cutting board and pack it into a ball. Knead it to bind the ingredients so that no pieces fall off. Separate the dough into "lumps" and shape them into two rounds. Place the strawberry preserves on top of one of them. You will place the other round on top and cut into 8 wedges.

Bake them on a sheet tray for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. You can use any kind of flavor combinations with this dough: Peaches and Blueberries, Chocolate Chips, Cinnamon Chips, Mixed Berries, or even Apples and Cinnamon. The same goes for the icing! If you want a sweeter icing, use apple juice with the powdered sugar. If you want a tart icing, use lemon juice with the powdered sugar. The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Homemade Hummus

Hummus is such an awesome snack! Personally, I love it with reduced fat Wheat Thins. There are many brands of hummus in the grocery store, but what better way to save money AND create your own flavors than by making it at home. There is no oil added in my recipe - watch for store bought brands that have oil laying on top. Here is a great recipe, especially if you like garlic. You can add roasted red peppers or olives depending on your taste.

4 cloves of garlic (I use the tube of garlic just because I'm lazy and hate smelling it on my hands!)
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained with liquid reserved
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini
5 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp water or liquid from the chickpeas

Basically, I lump it all into the food processor and pulse it until I like the consistency.

Just remember to scrape the sides down so you don't get chunks. 
That's it - enjoy!

 For those of you wondering, what the heck is tahini and what do I do with the rest of the jar - here ya go.
Tahini is ground sesame seeds. This ingredient is used mostly in Mediterranean recipes. It has a rich, nutty flavor with a tad of sweetness.  You can use tahini as a flavoring in homemade salad dressings, sauces for rice or pasta, or mix it with honey for a bagel/toast spread.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy RD Day!

Happy Registered Dietitian Day to all of those who work to make the world a healthier place through great food!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easy Healthy Stir Fry

Between work, kids and after school activities, dinners need to be extra easy some days! When most people think of easy meals, I think that fast food or take out comes to mind. This stir fry recipe is amazingly simple, low in fat and without high levels of sodium. If you don't have the time and need some take-out, here is an great article with information on keeping take-out healthier:

 In addition to some rice, you will only need the three ingredients list above. A package of boneless, skinless chicken breast/tenders, a package of frozen vegetables (stir fry blend) and a packet of Simply Asia sauce. The Simply Asia sauces come in four different flavors - choose your favorite!

 Use cooking spray to coat a pan over medium-high heat. Place your chicken in the pan so they do not overlap. Now - go wash your hands, because raw chicken spreads germs :) Give the chicken a few minutes, until browned and flip. If you are having rice with this dish, now is the time to get that cooking on the stove.

 While your chicken is cooking on the other side, check out the nutrition label above: the sodium is half the amount of a serving of regular soy sauce! Not bad for Asia sauces and good for your blood pressure and heart!

 Okay - back to the chicken. Once the second side is browned, dump in your vegetables and put a lid on the whole dish to cook down. This time will allow the chicken to continue to cook through, and the vegetables to steam. When the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are perfectly hot and crisp (about 5 minutes), take off the lid and add the sauce. While the lid is on, there will be additional water in the pan, which I like because it thins out the Asia sauce. If you want a thicker sauce, drain some of the water out before adding the Simply Asia sauce.

Here is your plate of Easy Stir Fry! Remember your portion sizes when serving this: Meat should be 3 to 4 ounces (the size of the palm of your hand without your fingers), 1/2 cup of rice, and 1 cup of vegetables. No matter how healthy a dish is, moderation is always the key! Enjoy :)