Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sauted Spinach and Corn

This is an easy side that will work well with any meal.  Use it as a side at your next BBQ, or even stuff it in a tortilla with some grilled chicken.   Spinach is one of my favorite green vegetables.  It is full of many great nutrients including vitamin K, A, C, manganese, and folate,  It is also contains vitamin E, several B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and copper.  Corn has had a bad name recently due to the fact that it is believed to be one of the causes of the obesity epidemic.  No one food causes obesity.  Any food used in surplus can cause obesity, and out of the carbohydrates corn is less likely then many other processed foods.  Corn is actually a great source of many nutrients. It is a great source of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.  It is also a good source of potassium, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, and A.

Corn, can, frozen, or removed from cob

Heat oil in pan
Add corn and cook until slightly brown.
Add spinach.  Cover pan to allow spinach to wilt, stiring ever so often.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BBQ Chicken and Rice

Summer time means summer vegetables and BBQ.  This delicious meal is full of vegetables and lean protein with the taste of summer.  It is easy to make and is a great way to sneak in some vegetables for the kids to eat.

1 lb of chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped

In a skillet, cook chicken until done.
  Prepare rice according to package.  
Add BBQ  sauce, chicken, and vegetables to the rice. Cover. Simmer for 10  min.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ginger Prune Muffins

Want to start your day with a ton of fiber and yummy goodness.  Try these delicious Ginger Prune Muffins jam packed with nutrients from oats, raisins, carrots, prunes, ginger, pecans,  and cinnamon.  Don't be alarmed by the ingredients.  The  muffins taste sweet and delicious.  I even got the approval from my picky husband, so you know it has to be good.  The recipe was created by Karman Meyer and was in the recent Food and Nutrition magazine.  I modified it to fit my needs, and you can do the same if you desire.   I create a batch and eat them for breakfast over the next few days.   They are much healthier than the store bought muffins that are full of extra fat and calories.  Since these muffins are full of fiber they will satisfy your hunger in the morning.  

1 3/4 cup of flour 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup golden rasins
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chipped prunes
1/2 cup pecans
1 tbsp cinamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar and oats.  
Add the carrots, raisins, prunes, pecans, cinnamon, baking soda, cardomon, and salt. Mix well

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, yogurt, applesauce, ginger and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Scoop the batter in the muffin pan until it is about 3/4 full. 

 Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool and then store in containers to eat for up to 3 days.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Truth About Eggs

For years people believed that eating eggs will increase your cholesterol.  However not all cholesterol is created the same, and eggs may not increase ones risk of cardiovascular disease as previously thought. 

In the past individuals were told to consume no more than two to four eggs a week due to the high cholesterol found in eggs. Recent studies found that cholesterol intake actually does not effect the amount of cholesterol in your blood.  It is also does not increase the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attach, or chest pain as previously thought.  A study found that individuals who consume at least 2 eggs a day for 12 weeks did not have a change in blood lipids.  Some studies actually found that eggs actually increases HDL, the good fats in your body, and showed improvements in triglyceride concentrations in the blood.   Studies also showed that eating eggs fro breakfast rather than a carbohydrate rich breakfast has been associated with decrease in weight.  

Eggs contain main great nutrients including lutein and zeaxanthin which are antioxidants that protect against lipid oxidations.  Eggs also contain carotene which is the precursor of Vitamin A.

Clayton Z, Fusco E.  All cholesterol is not created Equal: A review of egg consumption and heart health.  SCAN's Pulse. 34(2): 6-9.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fenugreek- The Next Health Food Craze

You will probably hear more about this seed soon.  Fenugreek is already used in many Indian dishes, and the market is trying to find ways to incorporate it in many other foods such as bread.    So what is the big deal about fenugreek?  Well it has been used for many conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol,  and high blood sugars.  

Fenugreek has been found to reduce fasting blood glucose.  It works by decreasing the absorption rate of carbohydrates.  Fenugreek is 45.4% fiber, and contains galactose and mannose which are associated with a reduction of cholesterol and a blounted blood glucose response.   Fenugreek has been found to reduce cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides.

Studies still need to be done to determine the safe dosage amounts of this herb and the long term effects of its usage.  It is important to note that there is still not a lot of research available for herbal supplements.  Safety and efficacy is a concern for most supplements and should be taken with care.  Part of the issue is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lack regulatory measures for supplements.  In part because it is not a priority for the organization.  Supplements are neither a food or a medicine, so it doesn't necessarily fit under their criteria.  

Larson A.  Fenugreek:an alternative therapy for the treatment of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia.  Pulse.  34(2):1-5.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Breakfast Vegetable Hash

It is difficult for many of us to consume enough vegetables in the day.  It is recommended that we consume at least 3 servings of vegetables a day, but most Americans don't even get that.  And the vegetables they do consume don't even count as real vegetables, but are really starchy alternatives instead.  Adding vegetables to your breakfast is a great way to help  you get those servings in.  For my breakfast hash I decided to add broccoli and mushrooms.  Both of these vegetables are extremely healthy.  Broccoli is packed with vitamin K, C, and chromium.  It is also a good source of folate, vitamin B5, B6, B2, B1, E, and A.  Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin B5, B12, and a good source of other vitamins B2, niacin, folate, biotin, phosphorus, selenium and copper.

Breakfast Vegetable Hash

2 cups frozen hash brown, thawed
4 eggs
8 oz jar of mushrooms
2 cups frozen broccoli
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375
In a 8 x 8 dish spray with cooking spray.  
Pour hash browns in dish and cover the bottom.
Sprinkle  with 1/2 cup of cheese
Place mushrooms and broccoli on top.
In a bowl mix the eggs, milk, and seasonings.
Pour egg mixture evenly on vegetables.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 35 minutes or until egg is set.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Saucy Chicken Skillet

Want a delicious dish full of vitamin A and B 12.  Try this tasty creation that will leave your mouth watering.  This dish is a great way to sneak in vegetables for your little ones.  I added mushrooms, but you can easily add spinach, zucchini, and squash.  The chicken can be served with pasta, rice, or by itself. 

Saucy Chicken Skillet

1 lb of chicken breast, halved
3 cup of fresh mushrooms, diced
1 med. onion, diced
15oz stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup Italian dressing
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup  shredded mozzarella

Begin by dicing your onion and mushrooms.  In a pan heat oil and saute vegetables until onions are translucent.  

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian dressing and stir.  Add the chicken breast and cover.  Reduce to medium low heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese over the dish.

Serve over rice or pasta.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shrimp Jambalaya

Easy and delicious shrimp jambalaya.  After returning from my New Orleans trip I was inspired to create Jambalaya at home.  Unfortunately I am a not able to handle a lot of spice.  I was craving Jambalaya at every restaurant I went to, however I was told that it was spicy.  So since I didn't get to eat it in New Orleans, right when I got home I made this non-spicy version.  Of course you can turn up the heat if you prefer.  But I like to be able to hold back on the fire.
Shrimp Jambalaya
2 boxes of Jambalaya rice mix
1 lb of frozen pre cooked shrimp
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
Prepare rice according to package.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15-20 minutes until onions look soft and shrimp is cooked.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Protein Packed Beans

This is by far my favorite bean dish ever.  It is so hearty, it can be a meal by itself.  This dish will work well with any BBQ event. Even though the dish had "green" vegetables (bell peppers), my husband still thought it was delicious.   If you want to please your guests at this summers BBQ,  make this dish.  You will receive a round of applause.
Protein Packed Beans
6 slices of turkey bacon
1 lb of ground turkey
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium green bell pepper
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can Great Northern Beans
1/4 cup mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 can Rotel
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. vinegar
Begin by chopping all your ingredients.
In pan place ground meat, onion, bell pepper, and turkey bacon and cook until meat is brown and the onions are soft. Drain the fat. 
Add beans, Rotel, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, and vinegar. Mix well. 
Simmer on low heat for 30-45 min. 

Enjoy as a main dish or as a side.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Father's Day Healthy Gift Basket

Need a great Father's Day gift idea.  Make a gift basket filled with healthy goodies.  If your dad likes to watch what he eats like mine, or if you just want to share some healthy options with him, this gift basket  is a great idea.  For my gift basket I picked out this green one form the Dollar Tree.  I filled it with delicious treats that I found at a local grocery store.  Be sure to pick out a variety of sizes so your gift basket can have a cascading effect.  Some of the items I decided to put in his gift basket included Kale Chips, Snapea Crisps, granola cereal, granola bars, protein bars, dried fruit,  and trail mix.  You can also add raw fruits and vegetables, sports equipment, and a healthy eating book if you chose.  My dad already eats a lot of fruits and vegetables, so I wanted to "advertise" other healthy snacks that he can chose from when he grocery shops.
I hope this inspires you.  Be sure to send me pictures of your gift baskets either on Facebook, or on instragram @Stacie_ellis0627 .  I would love to see your creations!!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie

Start your day with a tangy sweet kick with this delicious strawberry lemonade smoothie.  Raspberries are a delicious fruit that your body will love.  Did you know that there are over 200 species of raspberries that exist.  The most popular are black raspberries, purple raspberries, and red raspberries1 cup of raspberries provides almost half of your total days serving of vitamin C and manganese.  It is also an excellent source of fiber with 8g of fiber per cup.  Other nutrients found in raspberries include pantothenic acid,  vitamin K and E, biotin, magnesium, folate, omega 3s, and potassium.
Raspberries are full of antioxidants that help fight inflammation and has an anti-cancer effect.  It is also one of those fruits that won't spike your blood sugar to high because of all the fiber it contains, which makes it a great food to help with unhealthy weight.
Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup low fat/fat free yogurt
1 cup lemonade
1-2 scoops of protein powder
Blend in blender, and enjoy.