Archive for October, 2017

TACO TOMATOES

If you love tacos but want to cut down on the carbs this is a really fun way to go!! Easy recipe and yummy!

ingredientsgallery-1508344977-taco-tomatoes-delish-1

4 tomatoes

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey

1 packet taco seasoning

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ c. shredded Mexican cheese

½ c. shredded iceberg lettuce

½ c. low fat Greek yogurt or sour cream

directions

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add lean ground beef or ground turkey and taco seasoning, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the beef/turkey is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

Flip tomatoes so they are stem-side down. Cut the tomatoes into six wedges, being careful to not cut completely through the tomato. Carefully spread open the wedges.

Divide taco meat evenly among the tomatoes, then top each with cheese, lettuce, and low fat Greek yogurt/sour cream if desired. Serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.delish.com)

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DITCH THE PIE, BRING THE CHICKEN

A client of mine is going through a stressful time—her husband recently had a serious fall, needed surgery, and is home recovering. In an effort to be supportive, friends and neighbors have been bringing, pies, cookies and other goodies to their house.

While bringing sweets is a lovely gesture, it benefits no one. A person recovering from surgery needs healthy food—especially a lot of protein, not sugar. The newly appointed caregiver does not need to be surrounded by these temptations given his/her highly stressed state.download-2.jpg

My suggestion? Skip the pie and bring some wholesome food that is loaded with download-3beneficial nutrients: A platter of baked chicken, rice and beans, chicken or vegetable soup, roasted vegetables, vegetarian chili, a fruit platter. Even home-made healthy meals prepared by a reputable supermarket would work.

I know a coffee cake, apple pie, muffins and chocolate chip cookies seem like a fun pick-me-up. However,  meals that can be eaten immediately or frozen for a later time would truly be a welcome and beneficial gift!

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AND SO ON AND SO ON AND SO ON……

As many of you know, I’m all about feeling good and striving to be the very best version of yourself. A healthy diet and lots of exercise are great components, but other behaviors will also contribute to a sense of well-being. Simple things like being kind, feeling connected to a community, going out of your way for someone else, or having patience and tolerance to understand a different point of view.

Just as a tangent, how many of you remember the Faberge Organics Shampoo faberge-organicscommercial back in the 80’s? (Yes, I know I’m dating myself.) If you’ve never seen it, the premise of the commercial is spreading the word about a good product. If you tell your friends about this amazing shampoo, they’ll tell their friends and their friends will tell their friends, “and so on and so on and so on”. (Here’s a link if you want to take a trip down memory lane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcskckuosxQ)

This commercial came to mind this past weekend when I was traveling. I was on the plane when one of the flight attendants came up to me and told me that she loved my glasses and that they looked really good on me. How nice! Later, during the flight, I was standing next to woman waiting for the bathroom. She had extremely curly, short hair and half of her ringlets were colored a deep pink. I looked at her and said,  “Wow…….I love your hair!”.  Her face lit up and she thanked me. I then thought (and hoped) that  she would pass this along a compliment to another woman, and “so on and so on and so on”.   (Faberge commercial!)

With all of the woman bashing that exists, we need to unite and start telling each other how terrific we are and how wonderful we look. Getting a compliment feels great but I learned this weekend, that giving one, feels even better.

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SPICY CAJUN CHICKEN & RICE

Here is another one pot wonder!!! If you like spicy, this is for you!

ingredientsone-pot-dinners-cajun-chicken-rice

olive oil

6-8  small skinless chicken parts (legs, thighs, quartered breasts) with bones

4-5 teaspoons cajun seasoning, divided (store-bought OR see homemade seasoning below)

1 cup rice (uncooked)

2¼ cups low sodium chicken broth

1 whole bell pepper (any color, OR ½ of two kinds), chopped

roughly chopped cilantro or parsley

homemade cajun seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon onion salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

heaping ½ teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

directions

Season chicken both sides with about 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning. Drizzle a large pan or skillet (one that has a lid) with olive oil and cook chicken for about 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add onions and peppers. Sauté for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent and peppers begin to soften. Add the remaining 2-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (control the spiciness by adding more or less seasoning) and stir to combine. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice in the vegetable and spice mixture. Place chicken on top of rice, add chicken broth, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed and chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley and serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com)

 

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ONE SKILLET TUSCAN CHICKEN

I know this recipe has a long list of ingredients but it all works! The sun-dried tomatoes and olives make this a real Tuscan tasting dish!! I chopped everything in advance so cooking this was a snap. It’s a skillet full of great nutrition!

ingredientsOne-Skillet-Tuscan-Chicken-2

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts and or thighs, cubed

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 yellow onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup black olives

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped for garnish

Salt & pepper to taste

directions

In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the cubed chicken pieces and cook for about 8 minutes on both sides, until cooked through. Remove chicken and transfer to a plate.

Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and sauté the sliced mushrooms 5 – 7 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the juices have evaporated. Set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet and the diced onion. Sauté the onions 5 – 7 minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic to the onions and sauté together one more minute. Add salt and pepper to taste while cooking.

Add diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, cannellini beans, and black olives. Season again with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle in the oregano, thyme and drizzle the balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir a few minutes.

Add back the cooked chicken and mushrooms to the skillet – stir and cook 1-2 minutes, or until chicken is heated through. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot, garnished with the fresh basil.

(Adapted from a recipe found   deliciousmeetshealthy.com)

 

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FORGET THE DUMBBELLS, LIFT THE GROCERIES

There are so many blogs and articles everywhere about the importance and benefits of strength training. I love each and every one! However, we can’t SEE our bones getting 471977680stronger or FEEL our risk of diabetes decreasing. The one thing that we can focus on, however, is our strength gains. And these gains will gloriously spill over into our lives when it comes to doing regular activities.

The other day I was at my local supermarket checking out and bagging my groceries. There was a woman at a checkout very close to me and at her station, there was an employee bagging her groceries. I kept hearing her say, “Not too heavy please”. Of course, I wanted to go over to her and say, “Wanna workout with me and get stronger?”, but I controlled myself.

Strong arms, legs and all of those core muscles will allow you to bend, squat, lift and  carry heavier objects than you normally could. Things like the laundry basket, the water cooler bottle, the wheelbarrow, a suitcase, or a heavy serving platter. It is thrilling to be strong!

So, if you’re debating whether or not to start a strength training program, it is time to start! It will improve your quality of life, since regular daily activities will become easier.

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EASY PEASY CHICKPEAS

I know this sounds silly but I marvel at dishes like this–recipes that have just a few IMG_3949ingredients and are unbelievably delicious. (Not to mention incredibly healthy!) This chickpea dish is a great side dish or can be eaten with a salad. LOVE IT!

ingredients

extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 ripe vine tomatoes, chopped

handful of fresh basil, chopped

directions

Drizzle olive oil in a skillet to heat. Add onion and sauté on low flame for about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chickpeas and stir to combine. Cook for another 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover, and cook covered until the tomatoes start to break apart for about 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Add basil and serve.

Note: you can add whatever spices you want to to make this dish your own. I added some cayenne pepper and some cumin to the onions while they were sautéing .

(This recipe came from my friend, Sharon’s daughter, Rachael)

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