Archive | June 2012

Avocado Tuna Melts

I went to make this recipe this week and was surprised to see that I didn’t put it up on the blog yet.  It’s really become a staple for me.  These tuna melts have such great flavor and are also so easy. GREAT weekday recipe, it only takes about 15 minutes start to finish… enjoy!

Avocado Tuna Melts– inspired from Cooking Light

Serves: 3-4

2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. thinly sliced shallots

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. salt

2 (5 oz) cans of white tuna in water (not oil!)

1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 avocado

2 large tomatoes, diced (or 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered)

2 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1 (10 oz) French bread baguette, halved lengthwise

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cut bread into 2 oz. portions (see picture above) and scoop bread.  “Scooping” just means pulling out some of the thick part of the bread to lower the calorie content.  Like a “scooped bagel.”
  3. Place bread on aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes until lightly toasted.
  4. Combine first six ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well to coat.
  5. Chop avocado and toss with lemon juice in a small bowl (this really won’t do much because avocado’s start to brown as soon as they are opened but it will at least help preserve it for a little longer)
  6. Add avocado and diced tomatoes to tuna mixture.  Toss well to combine.
  7. Portion the mixture appropriately into each bread “boat.”  Sprinkle the top of each with a little bit of cheddar cheese.
  8. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

 

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BBQ Chicken Pasta

This recipe may be my new favorite on the whole blog.   I had it last week and have been dreaming about it since, I may have to make it again very soon.  I was curious about the flavor combination (bbq sauce and cheese?) but being a huge fan of Gouda I figured I had to like it, and boyy did I.  This is a good weekday recipe because you can pop your chicken in the slow cooker in the morning, and then all you’ll have to do is assemble and bake when you get home.

It’s also pretty budget friendly.  Gouda tends to be an expensive cheese, but did you know that you can ask the grocery store to cut you a block for the exact size you need?  Don’t shy away from it since a solid wedge is over $8.  All you need is the 4 oz. required, which cost me about $3.  Don’t let Greek yogurt scare you either, a 6 oz portion is only one personal cup which runs anywhere from $.80-$.99 depending on brand.

You get the point, I’m convincing you to try this.. so do it!

BBQ Chicken Pasta– slightly adapted from chocolate broccoli

Serves: 6

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons honey barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (14 oz) box whole wheat penne pasta
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey barbecue sauce
6 oz. fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup (4-ounces) aged Gouda cheese, shredded
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker with a little bit of water or chicken broth to cover the bottom.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Shred chicken with fork and knife when done (chicken will shred easily).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Combine shredded chicken and 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

  4. In a large non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions to the pan and saute until softened. Add penne, broth and salt, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes, until liquid is almost absorbed- the pasta should be tender and the mixture slightly thickened. Stir in the yogurt and 1/2 cup barbecue sauce . Once mixed, add in chicken and shredded cheese- stir to combine and continue to heat until cheese is melted.

  5. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with panko and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a small additional amount of barbecue sauce.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until panko/cheese is golden.

Healthy Pizza

A healthy pizza?  Let me guess, you don’t believe me.  Well, there’s a whole wheat crust, spinach, and thinly sliced fresh tomatoes in place of a high sodium sauce.  While it is important to always remember that nutrition is not about the benefits of one isolated nutrient but on the whole picture of the food, I wanted to share with you that tomatoes contain a wonderful phytochemical called lycopene.  In other words, lycopene is a known antioxidant.  When your body undergoes stress (disease, lifestyle stresses, smoking & drinking to name a few) something called oxidative damage is caused.  Substances known as “free radicals” run around and cause all sorts of chaos in our bodies.  Antioxidants help to fix this damage and stop it before it causes much more serious reprocutions (i.e. cancer).  So eat up and enjoy because it is just about the healthiest pizza you can find!

Healthy Pizza

Serves: 8-10 slices

5 plum tomatoes, sliced

1 16″ ready made whole wheat pizza crust

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 oz. fresh spinach

6 oz. feta cheese

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1-2 oz. sliced green olives

3/4 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 tsp. dried basil

Instructions:

  1. Arrange tomato slices on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.  Top with more paper towels.  Let stand for 30 minutes so paper towels soak up some juice from the tomatoes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Heat medium sized non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Saute spinach 3-4 minutes until wilted.
  4. Combine tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. oil, and garlic.  Arrange tomato mixture & spinach on dough.  Sprinkle feta cheese and dried herbs onto pizza.  Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden and cheese is lightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven, top with olives and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs & Girls on the run

The other day I volunteered to be a “running buddy” for a program called Girls on the run.  I wanted to share this in a post because I think it’s a great program that more people should get involved in. Basically it was a program started to boost young girls self esteem and also train them to run a 5k race.  I think it just sends such a great message to get yourself active, but also to be confident in yourself, which can sometimes be hard in those awkward 5th-6th grade years.  Definitely check out the link and see if there is a program in your area, and I would encourage everyone to be a buddy runner!

My little girl, Lucy, was no beginner.  This was her 4th Girls on the run race, but crossing the finish line still made her smile and feel proud of herself, which was a great thing to be a part of :)  I had fun chatting with her along the way and keeping her moving when I thought she needed some encouragement!

Now for the tasty part of the post…

These meatballs were really good, and such a great alternative to chicken wings.  Did you know that only three Wegmans frozen chicken wings contain 880 mg sodium?? Just, THREE!  To put this in perspective, you want your daily sodium intake less then 2,300 mg, but most people actually fall into the category (due to age, gender, disease, etc.) of less then 1,500 mg per day.  That means, if you are in the 1,500 mg category.. just 6 chicken wings will put you well over the edge for the day.  So please, sub this recipe for the frozen wings.  It’s literally almost as easy as throwing them into the oven, but you’re doing your heart a HUGE favor.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I didn’t alter the recipe so as always I will link you right over to the blog I got the recipe from.  Her recipes are really good, so definitely poke around on her site.

I unfortunately realized too late that I am definitely not a fan of Gorgonzola cheese which is a large part of the side dish you see on my plate, but feel free to make it if you enjoy it!

 

Chocolate Chip Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

I’m really excited about these because they were a baking experiment that worked…well!  They have a few touches to “health-ify” them, including walnuts.  Did you know that walnuts are a good source of linolenic acid?  Now, what the heck is linolenic acid?  It is a omega 3, or “healthy fat.”  More specifically, it is an essential fatty acid.  That means you must consume it because your body needs it for good health and can not produce it.

Now keep in mind, these are cookies.  Just because I’m a dietetics student that doesn’t mean this recipe gives you a free pass to eat 15 cookies, please! They still have sugar and they still have butter, but I’m happy that my applesauce trick worked on them because it could at least significantly cut back on the butter.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Makes: 25-30 cookies (depending on size)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 tbsp. butter, unsalted

2.5 tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce

1.5 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flours with next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk.
  3. Place sugars, butter and apple sauce in a large bowl.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add vanilla and egg, beat until blended.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until combined.
  4. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drop dough by tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes (part whole-wheat)

Now that I’m almost 25, different things are exciting to me then what I might have said 5 years ago.   One of those things is a nice breakfast on the weekend, compared to the normal oatmeal or cereal weekly breakfasts.  This one is a special weekend treat that you can’t feel too badly about because of the whole wheat flour, canola oil, and egg white incorporated into the mix.  Yum!

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakesadapted from Cooking Light

Serves: 12-14 pancakes

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1.5 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1.5 cups low-fat buttermilk

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 large egg

1 large egg white

Approx. 1/3 cup chocolate chips, divided

Maple syrup to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine flours and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto a hot nonstick skillet. Sprinkle desired amount of chocolate chips on top of each pancake.  Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes, then carefully turn pancakes over and cook another 2 minutes until slightly browned.
  5. Serve with syrup

Baked Falafels with Yogurt Sauce & Pita

Love falafels? Never heard of them?  Well, the concept of falafels is great.  The primary ingredient in them are garbanzo beans (chick peas) which are legumes that are high in fiber and protein.  The perfect combination to fill your belly fast and not leave you feeling hungry an hour after the meal (yes, this means all the easier for you to lose the weight!).  The problem is that 99% of the time you’re choosing them as a “healthy” choice at a restaurant, they have been fried.  The frying unfortunately negates the “healthy” concept of them.  When I saw this recipe I was SO excited, and with some slight tweaking to fit my preferences I really enjoyed the result.  I would pair it with a side salad of some sort to round out the meal.  Definitely be sure to check out the blog I got it from, her pictures are way more beautiful.  Mine turned out a little bit more like falafel pancakes than balls.  Enjoy!

Baked Falafels with Yogurt Sauce & Pitaslightly adapted from Carlene’s Figments

Serves: 2-3

15 oz can of low sodium chickpeas
1 large clove garlic
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 large white onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 T flour
few sprinkles of dried parsley
olive oil
4 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt & 4 tbsp. reduced fat sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients except the sour cream, yogurt and olive oil to a food processor.
  2. Pulse until chickpeas are mashed and ingredients are thoroughly distributed. The mixture should be close to a paste consistency. Let the mixture rest for 30 mins.
  3. Lightly spread olive oil onto a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
  4. Roll the chickpea mixture into small, slightly flattened balls (they should be ping pong ball sized). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the falafel are browned and crisp on the outside.
  5. While they bake, mix the Greek yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Serve baked falafels with pita and yogurt sauce.