Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Yummy Holiday Breakfast

Our family does a big Christmas Eve and a laid back PJ's and presents Christmas day.  We go from Christmas morning jammies to afternoon nap jammies, it's kind of our thing not to get properly dressed on Christmas day. Anyway, since the day before we spend most of the day cooking and entertaining I try to do all meals as simple as possible on Christmas day, so we had Apple Pie Oats for breakfast and leftover paninis for linnerish. The Oats were super simple and super delicious and the leftover sandwiches were really yummy. The oats I did in the crockpot, it was 1 cup of steel cut oats (I used Bob's Red Mill brand), one can apple pie filling, 1 1/2 cup cherry cider (you could also use apple cider or just plain apple juice) and 2 cups water. Add all in a crockpot for 2 hours on high. I started it when we woke up at 6:30 and it was ready by the time the kids were coming down from their stocking candy sugar high. My guilty conscious got the better of me and I did serve it with turkey sausage to curb the sugar rush...just a bit. What can I say, it is Christmas after all. The oats tasted just like hot apple pie, desert for breakfast and I didn't even hate myself after eating it. Total calories for a cup of oats was 250, 2g of fat, 5g of protein and as a belated Christmas gift I am leaving out how many carbs...your welcome. This recipe would be great on New Years morning after staying up for the ball drop on New Years Eve. I wish all of you a very Happy New Year and as Oprah once said Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” 
Till 2014, 

Here is a picture of our leftover sandwiches, just cause I mentioned them above=)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Super Simple Chili

I have been making this chili for years and it is so simple, healthy and made with whole food ingredients. I usually cut the tomatoes the night before and then in the morning brown the beef and onions then throw all the indigents in the crockpot and by 5pm I have a healthy yummy dinner ready to serve. This meal is great for soccer Saturdays, Sunday football, or crazy Mondays when you are rushing around and don't have time to whip up an Emeril style dinner;) I usually will make a double batch and freeze some for later when I really have no desire to cook but still want to serve a healthy meal. You only need 6 ingredients and about 20 minutes.

1 1/2lbs Ground Beef or Turkey
1 1/2lbs Roma Tomatoes diced
1 medium Onion chopped
2 6oz cans Tomato paste
2 can Red Kidney Beans
4Tbs (or to taste) Chili seasoning

Brown beef in a skillet with onions, drain the juice from the kidney beans into the crockpot or pot you are going to cook the chili in,  rinse the kidney beans in a colander to wash any excess starches off. Add beef, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and beans; mixing them together, then finally adding the seasoning. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. The leftovers are great for chili cheese fries, over a baked potato, or chili dogs. This is a great cold weather recipe that will have your family singing you praises and only you will know how simple it is to make.  For a heaping cup of chili it has only 200 calories, 5g of fat, 21g of carbs and 18g of protein. That leaves a whole lot of room for cheese and sour cream on top. When I make the chili cheese fries, baked potato, or chili dogs I will usually only use half a cup of chili.
Till Next Blog,
Stay Warm my Friends

P.S. For an added kick of Vitamin C during cold and flu season add chopped bell peppers into the mix.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Last Sunday funday, my husband and I decided to take a little break from cooking, it was
a great day to lay around; he watching football and I watching a 'Love it or List it' marathon. Our first meal shall remain nameless because it is, for sure, not on any recommended diet...ever. The second meal I thought better be more healthy, I mean after all our arteries could be on the line here.  We went to the Local El Chicken place and ordered their chicken bowls, super healthy right? Well after finishing up our dinner and patting ourselves on the back for such a diligent dinner decision,  I got to thinking well how many calories do these chicken bowls actually have? I mean it can't be much, after all it is just chicken, rice, beans, some veggies and sauce right? Wrong! One bowl came out to over 900 calories! No you read it correctly 900! Thank goodness I only ate a little over half of it but still, that is more calories than our burg... I mean lunch. It was then and there that I vowed that I was going to show those chicken bowls a thing or two, tonight I made us chicken fajita bowls with just as much flavor and with less than half the guilt. So here we go: 2 chicken breasts marinated in fajita seasoning, 2 bell peppers (one red and one green) cut into strips, 1/2 onion cut into strips, 2 cups jasmine rice cooked with lime juice and cilantro (remember all the health benefits of cilantro;), one can drained and rinsed black beans with a few sautéed  pepper and onion bits, homemade avocado salsa and sour cream. Dunda-dun for 1/4 of this recipe (a hefty bowlful) it is only 435 calories. Less than half of the calories than the other place, although I have to admit their portions are much larger. My kids LOVED it, even though they didn't eat as much of the bell peppers as a mother dreams of, they did eat all the other stuff and all the peppers in the, as I like to call it, confetti beans. Simple and delicious, who could ask for anything more;)
Till Next Blog,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nacho Average Casserole

Even though I live in Southern California, I don't think I can get enough Mexican food. Mexican food combines a ton of super healthy foods and makes them even more heathtastic; Beans and rice = complete protein, avocados and tomatoes = vitamin E+C and cilantro is a nutritional power house and is packed with antioxidants. This recipe is like having nachos without that awkward, if they are all stuck together it is one nachoness or guilt. This being said here is my super simple mexi-melt casserole. It has a quick prep time, especially if you opt for canned corn instead of fresh. I used the last of our tomatoes ripening on the vines and our peppers are turning a brilliant red in the warm October sun, absolutely perfect for this recipe! I used one ear of corn left over form Sunday's BBQ, 2 ripe tomatoes the size of tennis balls, 2 Ortega chilies from our garden, a can of drained and rinsed black beans, a pound and a half of lean ground beef, 1/4 yellow onion a tablespoon of taco seasoning, fresh cilantro and about 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Brown beef with seasoning and onion until the beef is cooked then add the corn, and peppers after cooking for a couple minutes add the black beans and tomatoes. If the skillet is not oven safe, add mix to a baking dish, cover with cheese and bake at 350 for 15 minutes! Serve with tortilla chips on the side. Dinner: done and done.  You don't even have to feel guilty you are serving nachos, this recipe is super healthy! One sixth of the recipe is only 315 calories!
Till Next Blog,

To find out more healthy benefits of cilantro check out what Yahoo! has to say about it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday

Growing up one of my favorite meals was tacos, I am pretty sure it is because I got to choose what went on top of my taco. Kinda like the Subway commercials where the boy chooses his own sandwich toppings. That, my friend, is why my kids love taco night as much as I did as a kid. When kids feel they have control over what they are eating they are more likely to eat it. I never hear 'I hate taco night' or 'this smells disgusting!' only "Mom this is Grant's it has sour cream!" This recipe is super easy and a real crowd-pleaser. I use the stand up taco shells since they are easier to bake and easier to stuff full of toppings. I use meatless taco filling, 1 can fat free refried beans, 3/4 cup marinara sauce and about a tablespoon and a half of shredded cheese. That is 183 calories, 12g protein, 8g of fat and 4g of fiber. Those totals however do not include the toppings. The toppings are just as important for making this a fam fav. On mine I put shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped olives, sour cream and Ortega taco sauce. I think for all the toppings it is about 20 calories. If you like the tacos from Taco Bell or Jack in the Box, stand by because these are at least 100x tastier and approximately 100x better for you, they are not fried in high saturated fats but baked at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the taco shells are golden brown. This is great for a Meatless Monday meal or for Taco Tuesday.
Till Next Blog!

P.S. Click here for reasons why Meatless Mondays are great!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Walnut & Curry Tuna Melt

Tuna melts are by far my favorite greasy diner food, but alas as a person who is deeply vested in health and fitness I cannot indulge my love of this calorie rich food. Fear not health minded friends I have come up with a recipe that is probably 1 billionth of the fat and calories of this diner fabulous food. I use Greek yogurt instead of mayo and add walnuts to give it a nice crunch, this recipe is a good replacement for the not so heart friendly traditional melt. I use chunk light tuna in water (always dolphin friendly, don't want to hurt our cute little ocean buddies), about 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt like Chobani 0%, one stalk celery, green onion (also know as chive or scallion), 2-3Tbsp chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of curry powder (I usually sprinkle and test until I get to the right amount). I think serving a tuna melt on anything but sour dough is a crime against food, punishable by eating bland food forever. I also like thin sliced tomato on mine under 3/4oz melted Tillamook cheddar cheese. This recipe is 475 calories, 36g of protein, and 15g of fat compared to a traditional tuna melt from a well known diner chain of 810 calories, 52g of fat and 43g of protein. You only sacrifice 7g of protein but save yourself a whopping 37g of fat and 365 calories. Yes I know, your welcome!
Till Next Blog,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Salad, It's What's For Dinner

Salads aren't just for dieters anymore, I personally love salads. When done right a salad can be  packed with nutrition, taste and texture. I was once asked by a co-worker if there was something I ate with every dinner, he was from a traditional Hispanic household and said at ever meal his wife served beans and rice. I thought for a couple minutes and said that at most meals we have a salad. Then I thought more and more and realized though it sounded healthy; iceberg, carrots and Ranch dressing, while delicious, probably isn't as healthy as it seems. Over the years I have experimented with many different salads and have a few favorites. When I found out iceberg has almost no nutritional value I decided to change it up, first I started using romaine (a little better) and now I use a baby kale/spinach mix or baby springs mix. First of my favorites is the Steak and Grape Salad; I use about 3oz of left over steak, red grapes, white cheddar or Havarti cheese and of course the usual salad fixings: cucumbers, chives and such. Second is the Creamy Cherry Walnut Salad; I use 3oz chicken breast, 1-2 laughing cow soft cheese triangles, dried cherries and 2Tbs chopped walnuts, on this salad I use Newman's Own Lite Raspberry & Walnut Vinaigrette. Next is the Mango & Avo salad; I use 1/3 of a mango, 1/3 of an avocado with cucumbers, chives and Newman's Own Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette. The Buffalo Chicken salad is definitely one of my favs;  I toss the cooked chicken breast in Frank's Red Hot Sauce,  half an ounce of Blue Cheese crumbles, celery and carrots and Bob's Big Boy Lite Blue Cheese dressing. Last of my favorites is what I call the Not So Basic Salad; chicken breast, hard boiled egg whites, avocado, tomato, carrots, cucumber, chives and my secret ingredient (found by accident when I was out of regular cheese) string cheese.  Salads are great in the summer; they are light and delicious and there is tons of fresh produce out there to experiment with during the summer months. There are so many combos to try, maybe beets with feta and arugula or tomato and mozzarella with basil vinaigrette the options are endless. So here is to summer and all her bounties!
Till Next Blog,

P.S. Did you know dried cherries are an excellent source of Melatonin which is known to promote natural sleep patterns? Well now you do!