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!