Posts Tagged by healthy
|June 4, 2013|
You all know I’m a Disney nut – and if you’re a Dole Whip fan, you know how long that line is at Disneyland. The last time I went, there was NO LINE! So, I did what any Dole Whip fan would do: run to the counter all giddy and ready for a nice cold cup of whip. But then reality set in when I realized I had just eaten, was not hungry, and should probably not eat the calories and sugar, so I backed away slowly as my impulsive self was starting to calm down.
This inspired me to make a healthier alternative to the iconic Dole Whip. One that might satisfy my craving without the guilt. My recipe may not ever be the real thing, but for a healthier alternative, I think it hits the mark. (But I still made plans to indulge in the real thing sometime soon. Can you blame a girl? – Included a pic of my iphone convo with my best friend. We are definitely planning a day with a morning run so we can spare the calories for some Dole Whip.)
- 20 oz can of sliced pineapple
- 6 oz Chobani pineapple greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk or full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
Drain the pineapple and put in a high speed blender or food processor. Then whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. (Alternative: if you don’t have an ice cream maker, put it in the freezer and stir every so often.) The texture of the Dole Whip will be a little airy (unless you used the freezer to make it) so you should use an ice cream scoop to serve, compressing the air out as you scoop. Also, let it soften a little by letting it sit for a few minutes. Then the consistency will be creamier like ice cream if you let it sit. Recipe makes for about 6 scoops.
**If you are willing to add the fat and calories, for a more true Dole-Whip-like recipe, swap the almond or coconut milk for heavy whipping cream. What can I say? They call it Dole Whip for a reason. It will still be healthier than the sugar loaded version from the park.
|May 4, 2013|
Cinco de Mayo is this weekend! That means margaritas and more Mexican food than you should probably eat. Before the fiesta begins, I want to give you a few pointers…
If you’re planning to go out:
Limit your chip eating or just don’t have any at all. Seriously! Chips at Mexican food restaurants are like crack. You eat one – next thing you know the whole basket is gone. Been there, done that! If you are going to indulge in chips, pre-plan how many chips you will eat before you go.
When you order your food, avoid any fried and cheesy items. Go for the fajitas or grilled chicken and skip the tortillas. Try the taco salad without the shell, hold the sour cream.
For drinks, stay away from beer and sugary cocktail drinks. A good restaurant will make a margarita from scratch using lime, versus the cheaper way – using a syrup. It’s a safer bet if the menu says it’s served on the rocks and tells you what type of tequila. Generally, they don’t like to blend a good tequila. But let’s be honest, if you’re going to have a drink, the option with the least amount of calories is the one without any mix-ins. Get a shot of tequila! OLE!
Easy Shrimp Ceviche
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/2 a cup of lime juice
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 a cucumber
- 1/2 a bundle of cilantro (1.5 cups chopped)
- 1 lb prepped cooked shrimp (small)
- 1 mango
- 2 celery stalks
- sea salt to taste
Using the food processor, chop the garlic clove, jalapeno, roma tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber. You can add the lime juice if you need a little liquid to allow the processor to do it’s job. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Hand chop the cilantro, shrimp, mango, and celery stalks and add it to the mixing bowl. I hand chop this stuff because: 1) the cilantro will only wrap itself around the blade if you try to chop it with the food processor. 2) The shrimp is generally cut in larger pieces which you cant control with a food processor. 3) It would absolutely kill your mango into mush. 4) Celery strings might mess up your food processor.
Mix all the ingredients together (including any of the lime juice you didn’t already add). Add the sea salt to taste. Now you can stuff an avocado with it, serve with chips, or just grab a fork and dig in.
Optional: So I cheated on the shrimp by using pre-cooked cocktail shrimp which I then made sure all the tails and shells were taken off. But if you have the time and aren’t lazy, buy raw shrimp. After removing the shells and tails, place in a bag or tupperware with 1/2 cup of lime juice. Refrigerate until the shrimp turns opaque. Then boil the shrimp and put it in a bowl of ice to stop it from over-cooking. Then use this shrimp in the recipe above instead of the pre-cooked stuff.
- 1 shot of tequila
- 1 shot of lime juice
- 1/4 shot agave
- 1/4 peeled orange
- rimming salt
In a shaker, add all the ingredients together (minus the rimming salt) and mash the orange into the shaker. Add ice shake, shake, and pour in a glass rimmed with salt over fresh ice. If you think it’s too strong, feel free to add a little water to it. But no more than a shot or two of water, otherwise it will just be a watered down drink.
By using agave, it’s a cleaner way to get the sweet flavor without using a margarita sweet syrup. The orange replaces the Triple Sec, a citrus based liquor in most margarita recipes. Is the Triple Sec really necessary when you can use the real thing? Hope you enjoy 🙂
|March 12, 2013|
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my photo a while back of my fatal attempt at making paleo pancakes. Once I tried to make the “just add water” Bisquick pancakes, let’s just say they were inedible. Every time I tried to make pancakes on my own, I failed miserably. But I really wanted to make green pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day so I volunteered the time of my handy dandy boyfriend, let’s call him the Pancake King for now, to help me out with this recipe.
My first attempt was just like any other. My pancakes would never end up on someone’s breakfast plate. The Pancake King told me I had two big problems: 1. my batter was too liquidy 2. my flame was too high. So I modified the recipe and lowered my flame and voila! The magic happened. It’s amazing what a little guidance can do!
Spinach Banana Pancakes for St. Patty’s Day
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 overripe bananas
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
Add the oats to a food processor or high speed blender until the oats are finely chopped – borderline powder. Then add the banana and spinach to the food processor until the banana and spinach have blended evenly into each other and there are no more chunks of anything. Then add all the liquid ingredients and blend. Next, all the dry ingredients. You can easily do this with a stand mixer as well. However, the oats, banana and spinach need a blender or food processor to get the right texture and I prefer to only get one appliance messy. My food processor did the job just fine.
Then use your choice of oil, butter, or non-stick cooking spray to coat your pan. Bring flame to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, pour the batter in the center to make your desired pancake size.
Here’s where the Pancake King comes back in. I had no idea when to flip a normal pancake let alone a green one. A little tip on the flipping green pancakes, you can’t judge it by the golden edges because the green doesn’t really change color the way a normal pancake would. It’s best to watch for bubbles. When you see bubbles form on the top, flip!
If you don’t allow them to cook all the way through, they will be mushy. This was the other hard part to judge. I did it by taste testing the first one. Then I knew for sure the right timing for the right consistency.
This batch made about a dozen pancakes for me. It’s very easy to cut the recipe ingredients in half if you only want to cook enough for 2. You can top it with whatever floats your boat. Photographed, I topped it with fat-free whip cream and sprinkles. The Pancake King chose to top it with peanut butter. The options are endless.
|February 19, 2013|
I was really craving an egg salad sandwich this weekend. Egg salad used to be a staple in my lunchbox. But I am definitely the type that wants is super creamy (aka covered in mayo). I also am not the type to sit there and stomach fat free mayo. Seriously? If you don’t like it, why eat it at all.
So back to this weekend. I decided to try a few things and see where it took me. Firstly, if you try to limit the mayo to only a teaspoon or so, it’s kinda dry. Does not satisfy a craving for egg salad what-so-ever. Secondly, never swap the mayo for cottage cheese. It’s kinda gross and lumpy (unless you’re really into cottage cheese then I guess you could try it). Thirdly, if all you used to add to your egg salad was mayo and S&P, then you will also learn that after swapping the mayo for a healthier alternative, you will need to add a little more than plain salt and pepper.
Finally, I was able to satisfy my craving and I am IN LOVE with my recipe (not to be tooting my own horn). I used Greek yogurt! The texture is thinner than the fatty-mayo version, so if you’re packing it for lunch, you might want to put it in a Tupperware and assemble your sandwich when your ready to eat to prevent the bread from getting soggy. But it’s really good. My boyfriend was skeptical (he’s not a healthy nutty like me), but even he liked it!
Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 1/2 tbs plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbs chopped celery (about a 1/4 of a stock)
- 1/2 tsp chives
- 1/4 tsp (a pinch) of salt and pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 slices, bread of your choice (I used whole grain wheat bread)
Mash the hard boiled eggs in a bowl using a fork. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and spread it on your bread. Easy peasy 🙂
(Next time I’m gonna try toasting the bread and see how that comes out.)
|February 7, 2013|
Ok, many of you have been asking about the perfected smoothie recipe I included on my 2012 recap photo, so here it is! I LOVE this recipe. Bananas are always in the house because I can’t seem to get enough of them.
Bananas are also great if you’re craving something sweet. Only 110 calories each and has about 3 grams of fiber helping you feel full. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, and possesses antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Combine these two ingredients with a little extra whey protein and you got a power smoothie in your hands!
Cinnamon Banana Smoothie
- 2 spotted bananas
- 1/2 cup ice
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Add all the ingredients into the blender and blend till smooth. Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon on top or some chia if you like. For an extra vanilla punch, add the optional 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. When I’m running out the door I usually don’t add it but when I have the time, it really does add some extra vanilla flavor which compliments the drink.
Tip: For thicker smoothies, freeze the fruit and skip the ice. This works with any smoothie recipe. Just be sure that your blender can handle the frozen fruits. Strawberries and a few other fruits are very tough when they’re frozen and could send your blender to it’s death bed if it’s not build for high intensity blending.
|January 29, 2013|
I’m a HUGE True Food Kitchen fan: food made with purpose and with intent that goes beyond flavor. Food that’s rich in nutrients and good for you. A good friend of mine that introduced me to this restaurant invited me to go hear Dr. Andrew Weil (the founder of the restaurant) speak. WHAT? How could I turn that down? Plus, he would be available to sign my copy of his cookbook after the show. Bonus points!
He spoke about so many things at this lecture I don’t even know where to start. It’s almost hard to pick and choose what to write about in this post. So I am going to pin point what had the biggest impact on me or what I personally found most interesting (and of course I will share the secret to his Kale Salad recipe).
Not only is Dr. Weil responsible for True Food Kitchen, he also has written numerous books about health and happiness. Many people in today’s society see happiness as being associated with luck or wealth. He believes “contentment is integral fulfillment.” What I took from this was not that we shouldn’t strive to better ourselves and reach for our goals, but to be able to stop and look our own life and say, “I am happy.” Sure, there are a lot of things I want to do and accomplish that I haven’t done yet, but it doesn’t mean I’m not content. Ultimately, being happy and content with your present state will only help you live a better life physically and mentally helping you to achieve those future goals.
During his seminar, he gave us a breathing technique to help with anxiety and stress. I tried it and it really does have a calming effect. It’s recommended to do no more than 4 sets of the exercise in one sitting.
- Place your feet flat on the floor. Back straight. Your tongue should be touching the roof of your mouth.
- Breath in through the nose for 4 seconds
- Hold for 7 seconds
- Breath out through the mouth (forcefully) for 8 seconds
And finally, I know this last part is random but I can’t help but to point this out. Leaving the lecture, one thing I found funny was the amount of people taking the elevator. After listening to an hour or two of Dr. Weil talk about being healthy and eating and exercising and all this good stuff, you would think that there would be an influx of people opting for the stairs…nope. I know our seats were more than a few flights up the stairs but seriously, such an inspiring speech I would think would make more people consider stairs as an option. Especially because going down is always easier than the climb up.
True Food Kitchen’s Kale Salad (with a few modifications)
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pinch of red pepper chili flakes
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- free range organic eggs (optional)
To prepare the kale, wash very thoroughly in cold water. Seriously, wash it good: One time I got kale from a farmer’s market and you know it was freshly picked when there were these little green bugs in there. Completely safe but still, you don’t want to eat those. Then slice the kale along the stem. The stems can be tough to eat so when eating raw kale, it’s normal to omit the stems from the recipe. Slice the leaves in smaller bites to your preference.
In a salad bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and chili flakes. Add the kale and toss until evenly coated. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10 – 30 minutes. (That’s right! This is the secret. There’s something about the lemon and salt combo that pulls some of the bitterness out of kale according to Dr. Weil.) Then add the grated cheese and toss again. Serve into individual bowls. True Food Kitchen’s recipe calls for 1 tbs of toasted whole wheat bread crumbs which they tossed in with the cheese. I omitted this to be gluten-free friendly and I also try to avoid extra carbs when they can easily be excluded.
Pan fry an egg using some of the leftover salad dressing. I did mine sunny-side-up but you can prepare yours how you choose. Then slide it out of the pan onto your salad. The egg is something I added to the recipe, not served at True Food Kitchen. I personally like salads as a meal and thought it needed some additional protein (and eggs are my favorite). I am sure hard boiled eggs wouldn’t be half bad either if you are taking this as a packed lunch.
1. Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and very low in fat. One cup of kale has only 34 calories, 5% of your daily fiber and 0.5 grams of fat.
2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health. Iron deficiency is a leading cause of anemia, common in the vegan and vegetarian communities.
3. Kale is filled with Vitamin K and other antioxidants. Vitamin K and antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
4. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Adding more kale to your diet can help lower cholesterol levels.
5. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk.
|November 5, 2012|
While it may not seem like fall in SoCal these days (it was 100 degrees today), it doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the wonderful flavors of autumn. My favorite fall flavor, hands-down, is CINNAMON! I have been adding it to everything. And it adds flavor without extra calories. Just wait for all my cinnamon recipes coming up! I’m so excited to share.
But my recipe below does have added sugar, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, as we all should be doing, just take note of the amount of sugar. And I guess you could always not add the sugar and it will still taste pretty good, but I personally like the added sweet. What harm is a dessert every here and there? Maybe you should try replacing the pie at Thanksgiving with this! I promise it’s healthier than most pies out there.
Banana Sweet Potato Souffle
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 3 overripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- optional: 1/2 tbsp ground flax (it’s good for you!)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes, wrap in foil and bake for 50 minutes or until tender. Place sliced (peeled) bananas and baked sweet potatoes (with the skin, we all know that’s where all the nutrients are) in a food processor until the mixture is somewhat smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients starting with the eggs and working your way down the ingredient list until all have been added.
Spray your ramekins (or bowls or mugs, whatever you choose) with non-stick cooking spray. Fill your ramekins 80% of the way. They will rise a little but not like a cake would. Bake 35 minutes or so until bake is heated all the way through and the top of the souffles have a golden color to them (like my picture). Let cool and serve.
Tastes great with ice cream, but that defeats the purpose of it being a healthier dessert 😉
**You might need to cook your’s more or less depending on the size of your containers. This recipe filled 4 of my bowls and 40 minutes seem to do the trick. If this recipe fills 6 of your ramekins, then you might need to decrease your baking time.