Posts Tagged ‘Healthy cooking’

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So I have had a handful of people ask me how we eat. I typed this up for a friend but figured why not share it. Maybe it will be helpful for someone maybe not. But it doesn’t hurt to share right? 🙂 So this is basically how our day’s go.

We don’t do paleo or any other diet that you have to eat specific things. We like cheese, beer, wine, ice cream too much to do those. lol We try to stick to low to med glycemic foods (Mostly low but mediums are def. in the mix) and pretty much stay away from any high. There is a lot of information out there on glycemic index and I think it’s key to eating right. Here is a couple pages I found kinda fast but def look into the information. Its not a fad, or a diet its just basically eating healthy food that will help your body sustain energy. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/glycemic-index-diet/art-20048478http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=32

I eat egg whites scrambled with spinach almost every morning. I have nothing against the whole egg we just so many eggs I don’t want to overdo it b/c they are high in cholesterol. Sometimes I throw in some feta to. (I was eating cereal but I haven’t in 3 months now at all and I think that has made a difference plus I don’t even crave it anymore) That’s been my staple breakfast oh with toast. We buy Rudi’s Bread and its great full of what you need and none of what you don’t want. And its tasty! And so far we love all of it. We have tried the English muffins, wraps and most of the breads. http://foodbabe.com/2014/02/24/healthiest-bread-on-the-market/

We also started the whole butter in coffee thing also. One cup a day of it and nothing other than butter added. (Then I drink I’m sure way to much Black coffee after that. lol) http://nextshark.com/5-reasons-why-everyone-is-putting-butter-in-their-coffee/3a25003162b3c6d3ac03b72f775c7d01

I also just started making steal cut oats. They are one of the least processed oats and you can make a batch in the slow cooker and have them all week! I’m on my second week of doing it my son and husband love them. I did apple and cinnamon last week and blueberry and banana this week. I added more spices to both then it called for. It makes mornings easy and they have something healthy and yummy. http://www.hungryhealthygirl.com/2013/02/19/steel-cut-oatmeal-slow-cooker/http://thealmostvegan.com/slow-cooker-apple-cinnamon-steel-cut-oats/

I eat tuna fish alot for lunch and normally with a veggie or cottage cheese (I always get 2 percent I don’t like to get lower I want that extra fat from it. Same with milk or yogurts we never have less than 2 percent) I’m still trying to come up with new lunch ideas. Anyone has any good ideas let me know! I’m always open to new ideas!!

ee3cd37b0e314c3c71e0889ae6fa4f30A Chobani Greek Yogurt (We did alot of Ingredients reading b4 going with that one) A banana and some Kind granola (It’s the best for granola again we did alot of ingredients reading plus its yummy its also at the commissary for a better price but I’ve found more flavors in Super Target) is pretty much bri and I’s regular snack. We also always keep humus in the fridge and I always have pretzels, celery, or red peppers to dip in it. Raw carrots, grapes, apples to munch on to. We get LÄRABAR bars and buddy fruits for when we are on the go.

Dinner is alot of chicken, ground chicken burgers, turkey burgers (We def do more with ground chicken then turkey) Pork and sometimes beef. That’s more of a treat if we have steaks and sometimes burgers but really not too often. We eat alot of sweet potatoes we use them like we use to use regular potato’s butter sometimes some scream or a little cheese. We really use them in a lot of ways I can’t even remember the last time we got regular potatoes. We try to always do a veggie with dinner. Doesn’t always happen but we try. OH squash we cook a lot with it! I love spaghetti squash! You can sub it for spaghetti and it turns out so yummy! Oh and cauliflower Mash! I take head cut it up boil it till its soft drain it mash it (I use hand held blender) and add one small thing of cottage cheese salt and pepper and you have mash potatoes! 😀 I Love them!!!

I do a lot of searching for recipes that will not be super difficult, cost a ton of money but still yummy and healthy. Sometimes I get really frustrated with it. Lol But here’s a few that we have tried and liked. If you have any good ones send them this way please!

http://www.willcookforsmiles.com/2013/07/buffalo-chicken-burger.html
http://pinchofyum.com/healthy-jalapeno-sweet-potato-chicken-chili
http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/06/cheddar-jalapeno-chicken-burgers-with-guacamole/
http://boxgrl81.com/recipes/quinoa-jambalaya/
http://boxgrl81.com/recipes/paleo-pork-chops-with-caramelized-onion-and-apple-sauce/
http://boxgrl81.com/recipes/paleo-kinda-stuffed-peppers/
http://www.smokedngrilled.com/grilled-cheesy-apple-pie-chicken-burger/
http://greenlitebites.com/2010/07/05/spinach-feta-turkey-burgers/

Okay snacks- We are like kids Bri and I both need a treat at the end of the day! We have ice cream, Or Pudding cups, or some sorta small yummy treat. It’s always small and portion controlled. With fall around the corner there will all sortsa pumpkin goodness in our house! When I do bake I try to always make lighter versions or Paleo treats. So far all the ones I have made have turned out pretty yummy!

Wine/Beer we limit to once a week sometimes depending on what’s going on 2 times a week but thats not very often. It was hard at first because I like my nightly glass of wine. But now its not a issue. It’s really weird. Even beer now I never really feel like it. I guess it was just getting over that hurdle. Sometimes its hard when other ppl don’t understand why you don’t want to drink but I’ve stuck to it and I know it was a good change. Plus I get more excited now about my wine! LOL I savor it!

I’m sure you know this but be careful of anything that says fat free or low fat. Read the ingredients because most of the time they sub the fat with something and its normally more sugar and stuff you do not want to put in your body.

We try to buy a very small amount of processed foods if possible. For tomato sauce we make our own. No Jar. Chicken Broth we make our own no box. (Both taste way better also) Seasoning for example taco seasoning we make our own that way we know what is in it. Pinterest is great for that kind of stuff also. Most of my shopping now is done in the produce area of the store or at a farmers market (Buying local is a great way to go! Support your local farms!)

We stopped drinking soda and drink a ton of water But I do crave the carbonated part and found that Dasani’s new sparkling water is really good and way cheaper than Perrier. So that’s pretty much always stocked in our fridge. Oh and chocolate milk.88499183ca69ab17b00035f1a66fdf23

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Okay what is the dish on these? To me? They looked like bird seed! I used them for the first time this morning making homemade popsicals. (Recipe coming soon as long as they turn out yummy!) Now I had no idea what health benefits that you got from them so I had to do some research and figure it out. It was pretty surprising how good these bird seed like seeds are for you! So here the information I found on them. If you haven’t used them I think it wouldn’t hurt to give them a try and if you have what are your favorite ways to use them?

Chia Seeds

Ch-ch-ch-chia! The fuzzy green novelty items may be the first thing you think of when you hear the word chia, but these tiny superfood seeds are the reason Chia Pets get their lush coating. Nowadays, chia is becoming better known as a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fibre, and fortunately it’s an easy food to add to your diet.

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala, and history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs. It’s remained in regular use in its native countries, but was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying chia as an alternative crop for farmers in northern Argentina about 29 years ago.

Coates started his work on chia in 1991, and since then has become an advocate of the tiny seed’s health benefits. The human trials are limited —as is often the case with food research— but the anecdotal evidence of chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterol.

The little seed — which comes in either white or a dark brown and black color — also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption in order to access their health benefits for example.

When you’re buying chia, both the white and black seeds are good choices, but Coates warns to make sure you’re getting a good quality product by avoiding either red seeds (immature chia seeds), or black seeds that are smaller than regular chia seeds (weed seeds). Coates sells the seeds himself, but they are available from many different health food stores and supermarkets.

So once you’ve got your seeds, how to you add them to your diet? “The easiest way is to add it to everything and anything,” Coates says. The seeds are tasteless so they won’t affect the flavour profile of your food, which makes them easy to integrate into your meals. They can be sprinkled whole on top of salads or toast or added milled to smoothies, and Coates says that some of his customers even add them to ice cream. (And yes, you can even sprout it and eat it that way too!)

10 reasons to add chia seeds to your diet:

Combat Diabetes
Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.

Get More Fibre
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fibre — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fibre, which is important for digestive health.

Stock Up On Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving. These fats are important for brain health. “There’s better conversion of omega 3s into the plasma or into the food than with flax seed,” said researcher Wayne Coates.

Stronger Teeth And Bones
A serving of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.

Don’t Forget Manganese
Manganese isn’t a well-known nutrient, but it’s important for our health: it’s good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. One serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams, has 30 per cent of your recommended intake of this mineral.

Plenty Of Phosphorus
With 27 per cent of your daily value for phosphorus, chia seeds also helps you maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.

Pack In The Protein
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don’t have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 per cent of the daily value.

Fight Belly Fat
Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat, according to Live Strong. This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health.

Get Full. Faster
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

Improve Heart Health
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. All good news for your ticker!

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This information was found at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/03/chia-seed-benefits-_n_3379831.html

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So my husband and I had leeks last night in our dinner. It was a Paleo stir fry basically with leeks, carrots, sausage and eggs on top and of course seasonings. When the leeks started cooking I did not like the smell at all. I’m not a fan of strong smells in the kitchen also it made me worry about the taste. Well when it was all said and done you really could not taste anything out of the ordinary so it really made my husband and I question the point of them being in the stir fry. If not for flavor did they have a really good health benefit? Well I had to look it up today and it just so happens that they do! They are really really healthy! I wish I would have known about them earlier. They are not to expensive and really easy to add to dishes without compromising flavor but adding health perks.

Health Benefits

Leeks, like garlic and onions, belong to a vegetable family called the Allium vegetables. Since leeks are related to garlic and onions, they contain many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables.

Cardiovascular Support

Leeks contain important amounts of the flavonoid kaempferol, which has repeatedly been shown to help protect our blood vessel linings from damage, including damage by overly reactive oxygen molecules. Interestingly, one of the mechanisms involved in this blood vessel protection may involve increased production of nitric oxide (NO), a naturally occurring gas that helps to dilate and relax the blood vessels, as well as decreased production of that asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), a substance that blocks production of NO.

Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb). While it’s true that we still get about 50% more 5MTHF from the bulb than the leaves, this distribution of folate throughout the plant makes leeks a cardioprotective food from top to bottom. (Folate is a key B complex vitamin for supporting our cardiovascular system, because it helps keep our levels of homocysteine in proper balance. Excessively high levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases.)

Also present in leeks are impressive concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols. These polyphenols play a direct role in protecting our blood vessels and blood cells from oxidative damage. The total polyphenol content (TPC) of leeks averages about 33 milligrams of gallic acid equivalents (GAE) per 100 grams of fresh edible portion (FEP). By contrast, the TPC of red bell peppers averages 27 milligrams; cherry tomatoes, 24 milligrams; and carrots, 10 milligrams. So even though leeks are less concentrated than some of their fellow allium vegetables in terms of total polyphenols (garlic provides about 59 milligrams GAE/100g FEP, and onions provide about 76 milligrams), they are still a highly valuable food in terms of these phytonutrient antioxidants and provide us with important cardiovascular benefits for this reason.

Other Health Benefits

Unfortunately, leeks have received less research attention than their fellow allium vegetables (especially garlic and onions), and for this reason, there is less documentation of their likely health benefits. Given their substantial polyphenol content, including their notable amounts of kaempferol, we would expect to see overlap with garlic and onions in terms of support for many health problems related to oxidative stress and chronic low-level inflammation. These health problems would include atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergic airway inflammation. We would also expect to see leeks providing measurable amounts of protection against several different types of cancer, mostly likely including colorectal cancer. It’s important to remember that even in the absence of research studies to confirm health benefits, leeks still belong to the same allium vegetable family as onions and garlic and contain many health-supportive substances that are similar to (or identical with) the substances in their fellow allium vegetables.

With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.

How to Select and Store

Leeks should be firm and straight with dark green leaves and white necks. Good quality leeks will not be yellowed or wilted, nor have bulbs that have cracks or bruises. Since overly large leeks are generally more fibrous in texture, only purchase those that have a diameter of one and one-half inches or less. Try to purchase leeks that are of similar size so as to ensure more consistent cooking if you are planning on cooking the leeks whole. Leeks are available throughout the year, although they are in greater supply from the fall through the early part of spring.

Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture. Cooked leeks are highly perishable, and even when kept in the refrigerator, will only stay fresh for about two days. Leeks may be frozen after being blanched for two to three minutes, although they will lose some of their desirable taste and texture qualities. Leeks will keep in the freezer for about three months.

Tips for Preparing Leeks

Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.

Healthiest Way of Cooking Leeks

Heat 3 tablespoons of broth in 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet until it begins to steam. Add 1 pound of cut leeks. Cover and Healthy Sauté for 4 minutes. Add 2 more tablespoons of broth, reduce heat to medium low, and Healthy Sauté for 3 more minutes uncovered while stirring frequently. Toss with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

To read more about leeks check out http://www.whfoods.com/ This is where I found all the information in this post.

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These are hands down the best paleo brownies that I have made! I have to give a shout out to http://paleogrubs.com/ that’s where I found them! I could eat the whole pan easy by myself in one sitting. My husband has yet to try them so they are not husband approved yet but I’m 99.9% sure that he will love them also! They are also so easy to make and call for pretty normal ingredients. I didn’t have to make and special run to the store I had everything I needed already. I love that because I hate going to the store. lol I highly recommend trying these and if you do let me know how they turn out and if you love them just as much!!

Ingredients
1 cup chunky almond butter
1/3 cup pure 100% maple syrup
1 organic egg
2 tbsp butter, melted (or you can sub coconut oil melted)
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, syrup, egg, butter, and vanilla. Stir in the cocoa powder and baking soda.

3. Pour the batter into a 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the brownie is done, but still soft in the middle.

4. Attempt to not eat them all as soon as they come out of the oven! 😉

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Happy Fall everyone!!! The weather has been so perfect here! (Hopefully it stays this time!) I just got home from the store and went kind of crazy buying Pumpkins && Squash! This is by far my favorite time of year! I love all our different squash recipes we get to make this time of year! I’m sure y’all know how good squash is for you but do you know the health benefits?

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Like all members of the gourd family (which includes pumpkin, melon, and cucumber), butternut squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds. Cut into its pale, yellow-beige hard skin, though, and you’ll discover a vibrant flesh that’s much denser than that of its relatives.

Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants — and succulent enough to warrant the moniker “butternut” — this graceful, hourglass-like gourd is the perfect addition to an autumn meal.

Health Benefits
Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.

Squash’s tangerine hue, however, indicates butternut’s most noteworthy health perk. The color signals an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, the gourd boasts very high levels of beta-carotene (which your body automatically converts to vitamin A), identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns. What’s more, with only a 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

As if this weren’t enough, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content. Incorporating more of this hearty winter staple into your diet could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Cooking Tips
Butternut squash presents the home cook with incredibly easy culinary possibilities. You can just place it on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about an hour, or until you can pierce it with a sharp knife. Or remove the skin using a vegetable peeler and cut the flesh into chunks for steaming or sauteing. Once cooked, mash it, puree it for soup, fold it into a pasta or risotto dish, or simply savor your butternut squash as is.

How to Buy
Choose an unblemished fruit that feels heavy for its size with a matte, rather than glossy, skin. A shiny exterior indicates that the fruit was picked too early, and it won’t be as sweet as a fully grown squash. Most winter squash is available late into the fall. Store whole butternut squash in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) with plenty of ventilation; it should keep for up to three months. Cut squash will stay fresh for up to a week, wrapped, in the fridge.

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My husband and I made this last night and it was sooooo delicious! Spices and lime used in the marinade will take your taste buds on a little holiday to the Caribbean! Hey we have to get ready for next week right?!?! I’m having so much fun trying out all these new recipes!

*I used chicken tenderloins but you could use the breast and cut it into strips just adjust your cooking time to the size of the strips.

Ingredients

1 Package of chicken tenderloins
5 tsps paprika (You could also use sweet if you can find it, I could not but it came out great with regular)
1 tsp cayenne pepper or chill powder (I used cayenne my husband and I have a slight obsession with Spice!)
1 1/2 tsp Celtic salt or sea salt
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp coriander seeds powder (you can grind coriander seeds with mortar & pestle)
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsps olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsps tomato paste
2 limes (zest + juice from one lime for the marinade and juice from the second when serving)
Coconut oil for frying (I just eye balled the amount)

Instructions

1. Mix all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Rinse chicken meat and cut larger pieces in half keeping long slices. Using your hands, cover and rub the pieces with the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for at least one hour before grilling.

2. If using a grill plate or a frying pan on your stove, heat one teaspoon of coconut oil until sizzling hot. Fry chicken pieces for 3 minutes on each side and then remove to a plate to rest. Make sure not to overcrowd the frying pan or you will end up with too much meat juice and your dish will become stewed rather than grilled chicken. If using a BBQ, heat the plate to sizzling hot and either spray with olive oil or brush with coconut oil. Place chicken pieces on the plate with a little space in between and cook for 3 minutes on each side on medium/high heat with the lid on.

3. Remove cooked chicken to a serving plate and drizzle with more lime juice before serving.

Preparation time: 10 minutes + at least 1 hour marinating time
Cooking time: 15 minutes depending on the size of frying pan

ENJOY!!!!! Let me know how it come’s out if you make it or if you tweak it! I love new ideas!