Archive | January 2013

Vanilla Blueberry “Ice Cream”

As promised, here is another spin on my banana ice cream obsession.  This was good and completely nutritious.  I can’t say one bad thing about the ingredients in this “ice cream.”  I encourage you to use this on picky eaters that don’t like eating whole fruit, because unlike juice, it will give you the benefits of the antioxidants and fiber even though it’s not in its whole fruit form.

I also used blueberries that I had frozen from the 5 lbs of blueberries we picked back in July.  I would highly recommend doing so because it’s such a refreshing bite of summer in the middle of a dreary, cold winter!  If not, frozen from your local grocery store or fresh will work just fine.

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Vanilla Blueberry “Ice Cream”

Serves: 1 pint (or four 1/2 cup servings)

4 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Slice bananas into 1/2 inch slices and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place in freezer for about an hour until bananas are frozen.
  2. Put sliced, frozen bananas into a food processor and blend until it becomes creamy.  This will take a few minutes, and you’ll have to wipe the sides down with a spatula a few times.  Be patient, it will get there!
  3. Once bananas are creamy, add vanilla extract and frozen blueberries to food processor.  Mix another few minutes until blueberries are mostly broken up and well blended.
  4. Remove “ice cream” from the food processor and serve as soft serve or freeze for a later time.

Nutrition Facts (per 1/2 cup serving): 130 calories, 1g fat, 33g carbohydrate, 1g protein.

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Chicken Waldorf Salad

Traditionally I don’t incorporate fruit into dinner.  You may disagree, but for me fruit is more of a breakfast, lunch, or snack food.  While this recipe works best as a lunch, I think it made for a delicious and filling dinner as well.  The best part of this is that it’s loaded with lean protein, fiber, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Another major plus, if you slow cook the chicken while you’re at work, this will take 10-15 minutes to prep when you get home, with very limited dishes.  Healthy AND quick, that is a huge win for me!

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Chicken Waldorf Salad adapted from EatingWell

Serves: 4

3 cups [about 1 lb] chicken breast, cooked & shredded (*see step 1)

1 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 medium gala apple, diced

1 cup red grapes, halved

1 cup celery, diced

2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, unsalted

2 tbsp. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

6 oz fresh mixed greens

salt and pepper to taste

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Ingredients:

  1. Slow cook chicken on LOW for 8 hours.  Like I said, set this up while you’re working and you’ll be ready to go when you get home!  Don’t have a slow cooker? Simply bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.  Once cooked, shred chicken.
  2. Combine yogurt, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.  Mix until combined.
  3. Add chicken, apple, grapes, celery, walnuts and cheese to bowl.  Mix until combined and add a little salt and pepper to taste. Divide into 4 equal portions and serve over equal portions of mixed greens.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 349 calories, 10g fat, 17g carbohydrate (3g fiber), 48g protein

Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry Honey Spread

Last week was rough on the cooking front. I had a LOT of flops. One was so bad that we threw it out and ordered a pizza. A really greasy, cheesy pizza. I think Dan was ecstatic. That’s only happened one other time that I can remember since living in this apartment. That’s not saying I haven’t chosen a bad recipe or screwed one up more then twice, but usually we can choke it down. My problem is truly crockpot recipes. I have SUCH a hard time finding good crock pot recipes! They always turn out looking and tasting and smelling like something excreted from a zoo animal. If anyone has a good source, please comment below. I would love some help.

With that being said, I didn’t have a recipe to give you on Thursday. Sometimes that’s going to happen, but I think it’s better then giving you one that will drive you to greasy pizza. I think know this recipe will fully make up for it. It was absolutely delicious, and I’m super excited that it was completely an applebutterharmony invention!

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Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry- Honey Spread

Serves: 3

8 oz bone-in skinless turkey breast (I bought 1lb of the split turkey breast which worked great and I still had 8 oz leftover for sandwiches for the week), thinly sliced

1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

2 oz baby spinach leaves

3 tbsp. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

9 oz ciabatta bread

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Spread:

1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries [I used frozen], thawed

2 tbsp. 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. honey

Instructions:

  1. Trim turkey of visible fat, rub with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper on all sides. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and cook turkey in 325 degree oven for 55-65 minutes or until the turkey has reached a safe internal temperature of 165 F. Use a meat thermometer! [please note, this cooking time was for the entire 1 lb of turkey breast that I mentioned above so if you actually use 8 oz it may cook faster].
  2. While the turkey is cooking, chop the onion and prepare the cranberry spread (see below).
  3. Cranberry spread: Making sure cranberries are fully thawed, combine with 2 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese, honey, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Blend with an electric mixer until well combined. You may still have some chunks of cranberries, that is ok.
  4. Cut bread into 3 oz pieces and slice lengthwise to form 3 open sandwiches. Top about 1 tbsp. of cranberry spread onto each of the 3 sandwich “bottoms.” Then top each bottom with equal proportions of sliced onion, fresh spinach & crumbled feta cheese.
  5. Once turkey is done, slice into 1/2″ slices and add 4-5 slices to each sandwich bottom. Add the tops and cook in a panini press (or george foreman) until pressed to your liking, about 4-5 minutes depending on your bread.
  6. Eat with fresh veggies or a salad for a well balanced meal

Hint: If you have an hour to bake the turkey on a weeknight, it’s definitely easy enough because all of the prep can be done by the time the turkey is done. If not, save it for a Saturday and use the hour of baking time to snuggle up with a good book.

Nutrition Facts (per sandwich): 448 calories, 11g fat, 52g carbohydrate, 23g protein.

BBQ Southwest Chicken Burritos

These are GREAT for a weeknight.  There is hardly any prep involved at all, and they are done within 10 minutes.  I dislike that summer is the only time of year people think of having BBQ, so I like to throw it into my menu in the winter too.  Barbeque sauce is traditionally very sodium heavy, but by using small amounts to get the flavor, and choosing low-sodium versions, you can still get the taste you love.  These burritos have beans for added fiber, Greek yogurt for added protein, and fresh mixed greens for added veggies.  I think the warming and cooling tastes make for a great match.  Let me know what you think!

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BBQ Southwest Chicken Burritos- adapted from eatingwell

Serves: 6

1 lb BBQ rotisserie chicken breast, diced (Wegmans sells a 2lb whole bbq chicken that I removed the breast meat from.  If you only have a plain rotisserie chicken available that will work fine,  or if you prefer cooked chicken breast done in the oven or slow cooker, that will work too!)

1/2 cup low-sodium bbq sauce

1/2 large red onion, diced

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 (14.5 oz) can reduced-sodium black beans

6 8-inch flour (or whole wheat) tortillas [I used flour because I had leftover from another recipe but whole wheat is best!]

Cooking spray

2 oz. mixed greens

1/2 avocado, pitted and diced

6 Tbsp. 0% fat plain Greek yogurt

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Instructions:

  1. Heat large non-stick pan with cooking spray over medium heat.  Add red onion and saute 2-3 minutes until softened.  Add chicken, black beans, corn & bbq sauce.  Cook 5-6 minutes until warmed through.
  2. Assemble burritos by dividing the mixed greens, avocado and Greek yogurt evenly between the 6 tortillas.  Once chicken mixture is warmed, divide evenly between the 6 tortillas (about 1/2-3/4 cup each).
  3. Roll up like a burrito and serve with a mixed greens salad of your choice.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving): 379 calories, 9g fat, 46g carbohydrate (7g fiber- more if whole wheat tortillas), 30g protein

Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Lately I’ve noticed I’ve been giving you a lot of pasta dishes, so I will have to work on my variety.  I guess I’ve just been craving it lately.  This one is very similar to Ellie’s Skillet Mac & Cheese with cauliflower that I posted a few weeks ago.  I get excited for any way that I can make a traditionally terribly fatty dish a little bit healthier.  I don’t have kids yet but I would hope that if you chop the broccoli up smaller then I did, you might be able to fool them.  Follow the link over to skinny taste’s blog as I only made a few changes to the recipe (see below).  Good luck fooling the kiddies (or husbands)!

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Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Changes-

2 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar & 1 cup reduced fat aged gouda cheese

1 tbsp butter & 1 tbsp. light butter 1 tbsp. light butter & 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white onion, diced 1/2 cup white onion, diced

Added-

1/4 tsp. ground mustard (this is key!)

High Fiber Veggie Pasta

I wasn’t all that creative with meals this week.  I’ve become addicted to searching “wedding” and all things related on pinterest, and I’ve been neglecting my recipe searching.  This coming week I buckled down and 5 out of the 7 meals are new, so I’m very hopeful that more then one will be successful.  For now I bring you a delicious recipe, but I can’t claim it as my own.  I think the red wine in the sauce really makes the dish.  I re-wrote the recipe for you because I slightly changed it, but be sure to pop over to chocolate broccoli’s blog for some great pictures.

P.s.  Notice the new bowl?  It’s one of several new dishes from mom to spice up the pictures.  I think it worked, thanks mom!

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High Fiber Veggie Pasta- slightly adapted from chocolatebroccoli

Serves: 6

Pasta:
1 pound whole wheat spiral pasta
1 cup shredded reduced fat Italian blend cheese
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Veggie Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, sliced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 small yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 (26-ounce) jar reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine (don’t omit this!)
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
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Instructions:
  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, squash, and bell pepper; sauté for 8 minutes. Stir in the pasta sauce, red wine, Italian seasoning and basil.  Simmer for 18 minutes until sauce is bubbly and vegetables are soft.

  2. With about 10 minutes left to simmer, cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to cooking pot. Stir in Italian blend cheese until well incorporated and cheese starts to melt. Keep warm.
  3. Pour pasta cheese mixture into sauce, stirring to coat evenly. Top with dried parsley, serve hot.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 422 calories, 9g fat (3g sat fat), 61g carbohydrate (11g fiber), 19g protein

Apple-Cran Salad

I have to admit, I didn’t even remember that Monday was Monday with the holiday! Please excuse the missed post.  I hope you all had a happy and healthy New Year.

Since winter is finally here, I mostly buy apples and bananas for fruit since a) they’re usually the cheapest and b) berries aren’t tasting so good at this time of year.  This salad is simple for lunch or a night you just don’t feel like cooking dinner.  It’s also refreshing and light tasting after two weeks of intense holiday eating.  Don’t be alarmed by the higher fat content of the dish.  It’s all coming from the olive oil and is mostly all good-for-you, unsaturated fats.   Enjoy!

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Apple-Cran Salad

Serves: 1 (as main course), 2 (as side)

3 cups fresh mixed greens

1/2 medium Gala apple, diced

1/8 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or apricots)

 

For the dressing:

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

dash of salt and pepper

1 tsp. honey dijon mustard

 

Instructions:

  1. Mix all salad ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.  Once well combined, pour over salad and toss.

 

Nutrition Facts (as main course): 352 calories, 27g carbohydrate (5g fiber), 3g protein, 27g fat (20g unsaturated)