LINGUINI PRIMAVERA

THIS DISH IS SO EASY IN THE CROCK POT!

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1 red pepper, julienned
1 small onion, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 pound chicken breasts
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dill seed
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 oz. onion and chive cream cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp cold water
8 oz whole grain linguini
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Place vegetables in the bottom of the Crock Pot with chicken breasts on top. Combine broth, lemon juice and dill seed and pour over the chicken. Cook on LOW 4-6 hours. In the last hour of cooking, remove chicken and cube, add cream cheese and sour cream to Crock Pot and stir until melted and combined. Return chicken to Crock Pot. Mix corn starch and water until smooth and stir into Crock Pot. Cook and drain linguini according to directions and keep warm.

SERVE THE CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE MIXTURE OVER THE LINGUINI AND TOP WITH SHREDDED PARMESAN. I ALSO HAVE A FRESH SALAD WITH EVERY MEAL AS WELL.  AND SOME CANDLELIGHT!

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THAI PEANUT QUINOA SALAD

thai-peanut-quinoa-salad_654

Ingredients

Dressing

1/4 cup  soy sauce
1/4 cup  peanut butter
1/8 cup vinegar
1/8 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp hot sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp ground ginger

Salad

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups cole slaw or broccoli slaw mix
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cucumber,diced
2 green onions chopped
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped (unsalted or lightly salted)Optional add-ins: cooked chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu

Directions

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small microwavable mixing bowl with lid.  Cover and cook on high 1 minute.  Stir or whisk until well blended.  Microwave another 30 -60 seconds if needed to blend well. Set aside.Prepare quinoa according to directions listed on package. To assemble salad layer cooked quinoa, cabbage,  bean sprouts, cucumber, green onions and peanuts. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley if desired. Drizzle with dressing to taste and serve.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

I ADJUSTED THIS RECIPE TAKING OUT A FEW INGREDIENTS I JUST WOULD NEVER HAVE IN THE CUPBOARD!

PIEROGIE LASAGNA

Pierogie Lasagna

INGREDIENTS:

9 -12 oven ready lasagne noodles
4 cups hot mashed potatoes, a little liquidy
1 (16oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed but no need to drain
1/2 cup (1/2 of 250g tub) Philadelphia Herb & Garlic cream cheese spread, softened
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 pkg. (80 g) Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Recipe Pieces, divided
2 cups Kraft Cheddar shredded cheese, divided

DIRECTIONS:
Combine mashed potatoes, spinach, cream cheese spread, onions, 1/2 cup bacon and 1 cup Cheddar. Place 3-4 noodles in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with 1/3 of the potato mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining bacon and Cheddar; cover. Bake in 350 degree oven 30 min. or until heated through. Uncover; bake 3 to 5 min. or until Cheddar is lightly browned. Let stand 10 min. before cutting to serve.

THIS MEAL WILL STICK TO YOUR BONES:  PACKED WITH CARBS AND A GOOD AMOUNT OF FAT.  MIGHT TRY USING LOW FAT SOUR CREAM  MIXED WITH GARLIC AND MY FAVORITE HERBS (BASIL, PARSLEY) INSTEAD OF THE CREAM CHEESE

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

LOVE THIS RECIPE THAT USES YOUR FALL HARVEST AND WARMS YOU ON A COOL DAY!

 

roasted butternut squash soup

 
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash (I bought it already cubed in the produce department – you can also buy frozen to avoid the hassle of peeling and cubing)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used 1% Milk)
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels as garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
Place vegetables and broth in Crock Pot and cook on  LOW 4-6 hours (HIGH 2-3 hours).  Add salt, pepper and cream and mash with a potato masher until somewhat smooth.  Serve with sunflower kernels on top.
VERY EASY VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE DISH!
Adapted from a very cumbersome recipe at http://www.chow.com

PORK AND SAUSAGE CAZUELA

pork and sausage cazuela

HOT AND HEARTY CROCK POT MEAL FOR THOSE COOL FALL DAYS

2 potatoes, quartered
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large hot pepper (I used poblano), chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 center cut boneless pork chops
2 hot Italian sausage patties
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tsp Cajun spice
salt and pepper if needed
2 cups fresh green beans, sliced

Place first four ingredients in the bottom of the crock pot with meat on top.  In small mixing bowl combine tomato paste, broth, wine and spices.  Pour over top.  Cook on LOW setting 6-8 hours adding the green beans in the last hour of cooking so they stay a little crisp.  In the last hour of cooking also remove the meats and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Return to pot and stir well.

THIS IS A GREAT STEW BUT I THINK I WOULD THICKEN IT A BIT WITH SOME FLOUR AND WATER OR CORN STARCH AND WATER JUST BEFORE SERVING WHILE IT IS BUBBLY HOT.  SOMETIMES I USE MASHED POTATO FLAKES TO THICKEN A STEW TOO!

SOME TIPS TO ADD MORE NUTRITION AND CUT FAT:

USE SWEET POTATOES IN PLACE OF WHITE POTATOES

I ALSO THINK SOME BABY CARROTS OR RED PEPPER SLICES MIGHT ADD SOME NICE COLOR

USE TURKEY OR CHICKEN SAUSAGE IN PLACE OF ITALIAN SAUSAGE

WINE ADDS SOME NICE FLAVOR BUT I DIDN’T HAVE ANY AND THE STEW WAS FINE WITHOUT IT

 

 

5 TIPS TO STAY ON TOP OF YOUR HEALTH GOALS

1. DON’T TRY TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE – LIFESTYLE CHANGES TAKE TIME

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 2

 

  •  SET TWO OR THREE GOALS TO START.
  • EACH WEEK REVIEW HOW YOU HAVE DONE AND EVALUATE THE AREAS THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT.
  • AFTER TWO TO THREE WEEKS OF A CONSISTENT CHANGE, YOU HAVE MADE IT A HABIT AND YOU CAN BEGIN TO ADD ON TO YOUR GOALS.

2. SET “SMART” GOALS

SMART-Goals

Instead of I’m going to lose weight try:  In the next three weeks I will lose 2 pounds

3. MAKE EXERCISE PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

  • ACTIVITY SHOULD BE FUN AND THINGS YOU ENJOY
  • YOU DON’T NEED TO GO TO A GYM OR HAVE SPECIAL EQUIPMENT – WALKING IS GREAT
  • EVEN HOUSEHOLD CHORES COUNT AS ACTIVITY – VACUUMING, DUSTING, RAKING LEAVES, WASHING THE CAR, SHOVELING SNOW
  • SHOOT FOR AN HOUR OF EXERCISE A DAY (YOU MAY NEED TO BUILD UP TO IT)

4. WHEN GROCERY SHOPPING STICK TO THE OUTSIDE AISLES OF THE STORE

  • MY STORE HAS FRESH PRODUCE FIRST – TRY TO BUY LOCAL
  • NEXT IS THE BAKERY – STICK TO WHOLE GRAINS
  • THEN MEATS, FISH, POULTRY
  • EGGS AND DAIRY

That covers all the food groups avoiding all the processed, packaged foods as well as the candy aisle!  Of course you will need some things occasionally from the inside aisles but keep it to a minimum.

5. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

  • IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN
  • START WRITING DOWN AT LEAST ONE THING YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR EACH DAY
  • START WRITING DOWN AT LEAST ONE THING  THAT BROUGHT YOU JOY EACH DAY
  • ASSOCIATE WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE AND PUT THE DRAMA QUEENS AND POT STIRRERS ON THE BACK BURNER
  • EXPERIENCE SOMETHING NEW OFTEN – NEW FOOD, NEW RECIPE, NEW ROUTE TO WORK
  • LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES

 NOW LET’S GET HEALTHY!!

POST INSPIRED BY OSCAR HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDING PROACTIVE HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AREAS

 

MEXICAN QUINOA SALAD

mexican-quinoa-salad

Ingredients

1 cup of white quinoa
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 pepper (green or yellow), chopped
1 can of black beans, drained/rinsed*
2 avocados, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup of hot or mild Salsa*

Optional: 1 cup of chopped cilantro and cheddar cheese (or vegan alternative)

A little bit of squeezed lime

Preparation

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
When quinoa is cooked, set aside and let cool.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the quinoa, add the seasoning and mix well.

Note: This recipe can be served hot or cold.

*Both the black beans and the salsa may contain gluten.  If you rinse the beans very well most people can tolerate them.  If you prepare your own salsa  that can also be gluten free.

Recommendations: Can we be served in (corn) taco shells or with tortilla chips.

CollageMexQSalad

Adapted from http://www.gogoquinoa.com/recipes

SWEET POTATO WITH FETA

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Ingredients

4 smallish sweet potatoes
Olive oil or Greek salad dressing (Kraft Greek Feta and Oregano)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
2 Tbsp cilantro (optional)
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 red chili pepper chopped or to your taste
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp minced garlic

Method
Cut the sweet potatoes in half and place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Prick them a couple of times. Lightly oil them and season well. Roast in a 375 degree F oven till tender – about 40 mins.  Meanwhile combine olives and cilantro in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine feta, red chili pepper, cumin and garlic. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked spoon in a portion of feta mix and top with olive and cilantro.  Drizzle a little oil or salad dressing on top.

I usually cook my potatoes in the microwave to save time – a little water in the bottom of a microwave casserole dish; place sweet potato halves cut side down and microwave on HIGH 7-10 minutes.

Revised from devikaskitchen.com

 

WHAT’S TRENDING IN FOOD AND NUTRITION

As a Registered Dietitian I like to keep abreast of what is trending in the field.  I love to experience new foods and try out new ideas.  My husband often needs some coaxing in trying new things though as is true with much of the public – it’s kind of like a toddler who is going through the stages of “picky eating” and “food jags”.  I use the same principles – offer a new food with other favorite foods, ask for a “no thank you” bite and don’t make an issue of food choices – just offer a variety of healthy foods to choose from!

Ancient grains are “in” again. They’re back and nutritionally superior than many modern-day, refined grains. Some to check out this year include quinoa, kaniwa, wheat berries, and millet

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Kale and chia seeds are the craze. Kale and chia seeds are unarguably two of the hottest superfoods as of late.  Just look at these health benefits of chia seeds!

Belief in the “wheat belly”Regardless of the conflicting evidence to support wheat-free and gluten-free diets for weight loss, Paleo and gluten-free diets will remain the most popular among those looking to control their weight. Gluten-free diets also help those suffering from inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

We’re using MyPlate to fill your plate. Thank goodness the Food Pyramid finally crumbled because quite honestly it was confusing even for us dietitians. This year we’re all about using the USDA’s MyPlate to help teach you how to fill your plate with more nutritious foods.

my plate 1

Local & sustainable foods are favorable. These were the two most trendy terms among consumers shopping for groceries.

Being more comfortable the weigh you are. The number of consumers who are comfortable with being an “unhealthy” weight seems to be on the rise this year.  Many people remain healthy even while carrying extra body weight – maybe the “big bone” theory has some credence!

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The low-fat trend is finally fading. Consumers are adding more fat back to their diets since recent studies have shown that “low fat” doesn’t necessarily lead to less body fat.

Breastfeeding is on the rise – YES!!  Women are overcoming the mass media of huge formula companies pushing their product and going with the natural and best way to feed their babies.

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Fruits and veggies first. Eating more servings of fruits and veggies was ranked the most important diet tweak to improve overall health this year.

Using low carbohydrate squash in place of pasta.  Spaghetti squash and zucchini make wonderful “noodles”.

Adapted from 14 Food & Nutrition Trends for 2014 at http://blog.myfitnesspal.com

STUFFED TOMATOES WITH QUINOA AND CILANTRO PESTO

stuffed-tomatoes

For the cilantro pesto:

2 cups cilantro, large stems removed

1/2 cup walnuts*

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.

In a food processor, process the cilantro and onion.  Add walnuts and jalapeno pepper.  Add salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Process until smooth.

For the tomatoes:

Two large round red tomatoes.  Tops removed and cored. With a small spoon hollow out the tomato leaving 1/4 inch rim.

1 cup cooked quinoa(OR KANIWA)

1 ear of corn, kernels removed(FROZEN CORN COULD BE SUBSTITUTED)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix quinoa with pesto mixture.  Add corn salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Scoop mixture into each tomato.  Bake in  the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!

*RAW WALNUTS ARE GLUTEN FREE BUT READ THE PACKAGE – THERE MAY BE SOME CROSS CONTAMINATION OR WHEAT USED IN PROCESSING

MANY PEOPLE DON’T CARE FOR CILANTRO SO WHY NOT TRY IT WITH BASIL OR PARSLEY INSTEAD!

Recipe by: dishing up the dirt