Thursday, June 30, 2011

Best.Advice.Ever Part 19

If you missed the other parts of this, check them out here. This obviously is to do with my absolute obsession with "Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen" If you haven't seen the video, it is posted on part 1, or you can easily youtube it.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

It's true...even when I read some parts of Glamour or Cosmo (which i LOVE) sometimes I feel inadequate...maybe it's best to take these magazines with a grain of salt...I've tried to read them just for fashion and other advice, but some days I sink back into old habits.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Amazing Two Ingredient Dipping Sauce

I really love all the interesting tips, tricks, and recipes on Glamour's Vitamin G blog. The one that I'd like to share today is for a dipping sauce that can go with several different foods.

The Amazing, Two-Ingredient Dipping Sauce That Makes Everything Tastes Better!

Carrots, spring rolls, sushi, grilled chicken, broccoli, tofu--I can think of a million things that taste infinitely better with a drizzle of my new favorite homemade dipping sauce on top. It's the perfect combo of sweet and spicy and low-cal (and oil free). Bonus: It couldn't be easier to make (and you're boyfriend will think you're a goddess if you do!).

Here's what you do:

*Take two tablespoons of apricot jam or jelly (low-sugar is even better--my fave is the kind from Trader Joe's) and mix in a squeeze of sriracha sauce (it's a hot and spicy Asian condiment that you can find at most grocery stores), about a teaspoon or less.
*Mix in about 1 tablespoon of water to thin out and stir until well combined.
*Dip in your favorite foods and enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Energy Boosters to Get You Through the Day [part 1]

Life can be draining. Living life, going to work, and getting things done can be even more draining. It's hard to be productive when you feel like there are weights dragging you down on every move you're trying to make. From O Magazine, here is (in parts) a list of things that we can do to boost our energy and keep it flowing throughout the day.

Rev-ups and Rechargers

1. Make a list of everything you plan to do today: In Column A, include the activities that drain you; in column B, those that replenish you. Now figure out how to remove one item from A and add one to B.

2. Don't even think about having a bagel or doughnut (refined carbs) for breakfast. Complex carbs, especially uncooked ones (like muesli), and a bit of protein will give you slow, sustained energy.

3. Take an extra step—and 499 more. "Exercise gets your heart pumping more blood to the muscles," says internist Marianne Legato, MD. "It's one of the best antidotes to fatigue."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chili-Lime Tilapia with Black Bean Corn Salsa

Here is another great fish recipe find. I found this one from Hippie Mom at Great Contradictions. It uses tilapia and fresh homemade salsa to create a zesty and flavorful, healthy meal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pork Chop Suey

Chinese Take Out used to be a Sunday night thing with my family. We still go out for Chinese often, but I usually cook for myself now. I don't know how long it's been since I've had take out, but I know that it'd be fun to have some Chinese food without all of the oil and calories. From Eating Well, here are some "Better than Chinese Take Out" recipes for you to try out. I'm excited to do the same.

Pork Chop Suey

: March/April 2010

Chop suey is often made with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts—add them to this recipe if you wish. Serve with: Udon noodles.

4 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses, preferably blackstrap
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 medium onion, slivered
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 cups mung bean sprouts (see Note)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

Combine broth, soy sauce, molasses and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl; stir in cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the pink is gone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, sprouts and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add the reserved cornstarch mixture and pork (and any accumulated juice) and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Note: Mung bean sprouts (germinated mung beans), often simply labeled “bean sprouts,” are white with a light yellow tip and are thicker than more common alfalfa sprouts.

Per serving: 280 calories; 10 g fat ( 1 g sat , 5 g mono ); 74 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 7 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 3 g fiber; 504 mg sodium; 957 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (87% daily value), Potassium (27% dv), Iron (20% dv), Vitamin A (19% dv), Zinc (17% dv), Folate (16% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Friday, June 17, 2011

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables

I could eat pasta every night and not complain. It's so comforting and there are so many ways to create a delicious meal. From Eating Well, here is a collection of pasta recipes to satisfy your carb cravings and entice your taste buds.

Toss a garlicky, Middle Eastern-inspired yogurt sauce with pasta, shrimp, asparagus, peas and red bell pepper for a fresh, satisfying summer meal. Serve with: Slices of cucumber and tomato tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.

4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
12 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp (see Note), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (see Tip; optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas and cook until the pasta is tender and the shrimp are cooked, 2 to 4 minutes more. Drain well.
Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, oil and pepper. Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts (if using).

Ingredient Note: Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Look for shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as Wild American Shrimp or Marine Stewardship Council. If you can’t find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it’s more likely to be sustainably caught.
Tip: To toast pine nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

Per serving: 385 calories; 6 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 168 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 34 g protein; 10 g fiber; 658 mg sodium; 887 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (130% daily value), Vitamin A (71% dv), Folate (60% dv), Iron & Magnesium (35% dv), Calcium & Zinc (28% dv), Potassium (25% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 low-fat milk, 3 lean meat

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Black Bean Soup

Being a vegetarian or keeping kosher is difficult when most recipes call for chicken or beef based broth. Here is a collection of vegetarian friendly and delicious soups from Eating Well.

This is a zippy Southwestern-flavored black bean soup. We make it with canned beans so it comes together in minutes. If you have leftovers, pack them up in individual serving containers for lunch the next day.

4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
3 cups water
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add beans, water, salsa and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.
Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree (use caution when pureeing hot liquids). Stir the puree back into the saucepan. Serve garnished with sour cream and cilantro, if desired.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro, if desired, just before serving.

Per serving: 191 calories; 4 g fat ( 0 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 9 g fiber; 408 mg sodium; 535 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (22% daily value), Iron, Potassium & Vitamin C (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

One of the best ways to keep your body healthy is to eat plenty of fiber. I am a huge carboholic but I know that only certain carbs hold the fiber that helps filter the body and keep the body full for longer. From Eating Well, here is a collection of Quick High Fiber Meals. Check out this recipe for Chicken and Sundried Tomato Orzo.


Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

: March/April 2008

Sun-dried tomatoes and Romano cheese pack a flavorful punch along with the tantalizing aroma of fresh marjoram in this rustic Italian-inspired dish. Serve with sautéed fresh spinach or steamed broccolini.

4 servings

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

8 ounces orzo, preferably whole-wheat
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), divided
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1-1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided

Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.
Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.
Per serving: 457 calories; 12 g fat ( 3 g sat , 6 g mono ); 68 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 36 g protein; 10 g fiber; 372 mg sodium; 546 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (34% daily value), Iron (25% dv), Potassium (16% dv), Calcium & Vitamin C (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vegetable Lover's Chicken Soup

How about a boost of vegetables with feel good-ness of chicken soup. From Eating Well, here is a recipe for Vegetable Lover's Chicken Soup.

Classic comfort food is yours, in just slightly more than half an hour. Serve with some crusty whole-grain bread and top with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

2 servings, 2 cups each

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons orzo, or other tiny pasta, such as farfelline
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add zucchini, shallot, Italian seasoning and salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, wine and orzo (or other tiny pasta); increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the pasta is tender, about 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach, the cooked chicken and any accumulated juices from the chicken; cook, stirring, until the chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Per serving: 261 calories; 8 g fat ( 1 g sat , 5 g mono ); 72 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 31 g protein; 2 g fiber; 335 mg sodium; 483 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (70% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Folate (22% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 1/2 very lean meat, 1/2 fat

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables

From Eating Well, here is an enticing recipe for Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken and Vegetables. It's a neat way to make your own asian inspired meal at home with less calories.

Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables

: June/July 2005, The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006)

If you can't find a bagged vegetable medley for this easy noodle bowl, choose 12 ounces of cut vegetables from your market's salad bar and create your own mix.


"This was amazing! I used rotisserie chicken and as most people recommended, crunchy peanut butter. I added some scallions to the veggie mix and made 1 1/2 x the sauce since we tend to like a little more. Served with extra chili sauce on...

6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce, or to taste (see Ingredient note)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1 12-ounce bag fresh vegetable medley, such as carrots, broccoli, snow peas

Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
Meanwhile, place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size strips.
Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until not quite tender, about 1 minute less than specified in the package directions. Add vegetables and cook until the pasta and vegetables are just tender, 1 minute more. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse the pasta and vegetables with cool water to refresh. Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the peanut sauce; add the pasta, vegetables and chicken; toss well to coat. Serve warm or chilled.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, stir in 2 tablespoons warm water per portion; serve cold or reheat in microwave.
Ingredient Note: Chile-garlic sauce (or chili-garlic sauce, or paste) is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar and is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.

Per serving: 363 calories; 12 g fat ( 2 g sat , 0 g mono ); 44 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 29 g protein; 7 g fiber; 348 mg sodium; 287 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (58% daily value), Fiber (27% dv), Vitamin C (25% dv), Magnesium (19% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pasta & Bean Soup

Soups with a good balance of carbs, proteins, and veggies make me very happy. Soups like that that are easy to make pretty much make my day. From Eating Well, here is a simple, homestyle recipe for Pasta and Bean Soup.

Using basic canned goods and a few other staples, you can make this comforting soup in just minutes. The trick to achieving a full-bodied homemade flavor from canned chicken broth is to freshen it up with a handful of herbs, some garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. For a meatier flavor, add a little crumbled cooked Italian turkey sausage to the soup.

8 servings, 1 cup each

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

4 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 15-1/2-ounce or 19-ounce can cannellini, (white kidney) beans, rinsed, divided
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup medium pasta shells, or orecchiette
2 cups individually quick-frozen spinach, (6 ounces) (see Ingredient note)
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, (optional)
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot; bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to intensify flavor. Meanwhile, mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl.
Scoop garlic cloves and rosemary from the broth with a slotted spoon (or pass the soup through a strainer and return to the pot). Add mashed and whole beans to the broth, along with tomatoes; return to a simmer. Stir in pasta, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in spinach, cover and cook just until the spinach has thawed, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of oil, if desired, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Variation: Substitute chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for the cannellini beans; use a food processor to puree them.

Ingredient Note: Individually quick-frozen (IQF) spinach is sold in convenient plastic bags. If you have a 10-ounce box of spinach on hand, use just over half of it and cook according to package directions before adding to the soup in Step 3.

Per serving: 133 calories; 2 g fat ( 1 g sat , 0 g mono ); 6 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 4 g fiber; 356 mg sodium; 29 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (35% daily value), Fiber (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 1/ 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mediterranean Picnic Snack

Spending more time on making a snack than it takes to eat it pretty much sucks. Here are some quick and healthy snacks from Eating Well that should take almost no time to prepare and will taste great.

Sweet tomatoes, salty olives and tangy cheese are a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

1 serving

Active Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

1 slice crusty whole-wheat bread, cut into bite-size pieces
10 cherry tomatoes
1/4 ounce sliced aged cheese
6 oil-cured olives

Combine bread pieces, tomatoes, cheese and olives in a portable container.

Per serving: 201 calories; 10 g fat ( 3 g sat , 1 g mono ); 9 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 693 mg sodium; 474 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Protein, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, calcium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat