Recipe: Southwestern Salad

Here’s a tasty recipe to try. It is easy to make, good for you and tasty. Go ahead and give it a try if you like.

Southwestern Salad

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1 bag romaine lettuce, or spinach
2 grilled chicken breasts (sliced)
1 small green pepper (chopped)
1 small red pepper (chopped)
1 small orange pepper (chopped)
1 small package cherry tomatos
1 small can corn
1 small can black olives
1 ripe avocado (cubed)
1 container feta cheese crumbles
Ranch dressing, or try another favorite

Pour lettuce or spinach in a  large bowl. Add chicken, chopped peppers, tomatoes, corn, olives, avocado, and feta cheese. Serve with dressing.

Options: Add a small can of black beans, or chopped red onion.

Enjoy!

Barb

Are You Going Green?

Most people know that going green is good for the environment and can help make the world a better place, but did you know that going green is also good for your health? That’s right! Greens are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E & K, which are good for our bodies.

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They also provide a host of other benefits such as improved circulation, blood purification, improved liver and kidney functioning, a strengthened immune system, and more.  Greens however, are the most common missing food for most people. While many people these days may have a salad for lunch, or add one to their dinner, we should really be including greens into our diets at every meal we eat to get enough of their healthful and beneficial nutrients.

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Although many people do eat greens and other vegetables, most people are definitely not including them at every meal. How about you? Where can you add in more greens? Maybe it is lunch time, or dinner, or perhaps an afternoon snack? How about breakfast? That one hits home and used to be problem for me, but over the last couple years I made some adjustments and now eat greens and vegetables pretty much every morning.

Adding in greens to your diet does not have to be complicated. It can be as easy as adding a little spinach, or kale to a smoothie, making some green juice, or adding some spinach, kale or chopped vegetables to your morning eggs, etc. You can also add greens into a stir fry,  chow mein, spaghetti and more. There are many ways to add more greens to our diets. All it takes is a little brainstorming, thinking ahead a little, and shopping, so you have what you need on hand.

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Here are some Popular greens you can include in a variety of food dishes:

  1. Spinach
  2. Kale
  3. Collards
  4. Swiss Chard
  5. Cabbage
  6. Arugula
  7. Romaine lettuce
  8. Radicchio

When we choose whole foods that contain the nutrients our bodies were made to thrive upon, we naturally feel better, so what is holding you back from making healthier choices? Go ahead and go green! Your body will thank you.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

 

 

 

Recipe: Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe I recently made. It is easy to make and quite tasty and includes some healthy vegetables and spices. Give it a try if you like.

Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

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  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 package fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 8 ounces whole grain fettuccine, or other favorite noodle (You can find one made from chick peas if you can’t eat gluten)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (You can also use almond, or cashew milk.)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (Add in any other spices that appeal to you.)
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a pot of boiling, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chicken, and garlic and saute until the chicken is browned, stirring frequently. Add the broccoli, onion and mushrooms and stir. Add the salt & pepper & crushed red pepper and any other spices that sound good to you. Next gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt and milk. Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer for several minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Serve over prepared noodles. Add butter, or olive oil to the noodles to coat, before serving, if desired. Add additional Parmesan to the top, if desired. Serve with a healthy side salad if you like to add in some additional vegetables and nutrients to your meal.

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Enjoy!

Barb

Recipe: Avocado & Tomato Salad

Here’s a good, recipe to try. It is easy to make, healthy and quite tasty.

Avocado & Tomato Salad

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1-2 medium avocados, diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil or sunflower seed oil
salt to taste
fresh black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables.

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Add the olive oil, or sunflower oil. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve alone, or as a side salad with other items.

avocado tomato salad

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Enjoy!

Barb

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Muffins

It is that time of year again when many people start to crave certain fall foods like pumpkin. I don’t know about you, but I just love pumpkin and love to make a variety of things with it like pumpkin muffins, bread, etc. Here’s a recipe for some pumpkin muffins that I wanted to pass along. It is pretty easy to make, so give it a try if you like. It is such a delicious treat for fall.

Keep in mind that you substitute a number of the ingredients if you like. I noted a few in the recipe. You can also skip the frosting, if you want less sugar. 

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour (You can use also use rice flour, or another type of flour.)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (You can also use coconut palm sugar.)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk (You can also use cashew milk, or coconut milk.)
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

FROSTING

  • 1/4 cup Softened Butter
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 pound Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Cut in butter, until it is fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.

Pour into a greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture over the top of each unbaked muffin.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan. Ice with cream cheese frosting.

To make the frosting, mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins. Store in the fridge, as icing will soften at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Barb

Recipe: Spicy Quinoa With Vegetables

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe I put together for some spicy quinoa with vegetables. If you want to incorporate some healthy grains in your diet and like a little spice, you might want to give this recipe a try. It is easy to make, healthy and tastes great!

Spicy Quinoa With Vegetables

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  • 2 cups quinoa (I used 365 Super Grains, a blend of red & white quinoa, millet & buckwheat, which I purchased at Whole Foods)
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen peas, or use fresh sugar snap peas
  • Large handful of fresh kale (chopped)
  • 1 large prepared chicken breast (chopped)
  • 2 strips cooked uncured bacon (chopped)
  • 1 package Old El Paso spicy taco seasoning, or use your favorite spices (See note below.)
  • salt & pepper
  • Follow directions on package to prepare the quinoa mix.

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Set a side when fully cooked. Pour some olive oil in a large skillet, covering the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped onion, kale and peas to saute. Add the prepared chicken & bacon. Stir in the quinoa mix. Add the taco seasoning & salt & pepper.

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Note: You may need to add a little more olive oil to the mix, while stirring. Serve warm as a side dish, or main dish. Garnish with fresh avocado slices, tomato, etc.

Substitutions:

If you don’t like the idea of using Taco Seasoning, use other spices such as cayenne, turmeric, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, etc.  to taste. (This is what I prefer.) You may also add other vegetables such as peppers & mushrooms, which I would have, but was out of them at the time. You may also add another meat, or tofu, or just skip that protein part. Make the dish your own, by adding in your favorite vegetables & spices.

Enjoy!

Barb

Recipe: Chicken & Vegetable Medley Penne

Here’s a recipe I made the other day that I wanted to share with you, since it is easy to make, contains healthful ingredients and is pretty tasty. I know many people lead busy lives, and taking the time to prepare a home cooked meal isn’t always easy. It always helps however, to have quick, easy recipes on hand, especially when they contain plenty of nutritious ingredients. Make sure you plan ahead and have your chicken purchased and thawed, as well as the vegetables on hand.

Recipe: Chicken & Vegetable Medley Penne

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2 chicken breasts (cut and cubed).
Note: I generally try and purchase an organic brand, but use whatever works for you and your budget.
1 head of broccoli separated into pieces, or  1 prepared bag
1/2 package carrots
1/2 package mushrooms (sliced)
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded paremsan cheese
Salt
Pepper
Parsley
Basil
Parsely
Rosemary
1 package penne pasta
Note: I tried this Banza Penne, which I purchased at Target and is made from chick peas in place of regular pasta. This may work for anyone out there that has issue with gluten. I actually chose it for the high protein and iron content and I have to admit it was pretty tasty.

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Banza Penne (Made with chick peas)

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If you are interested in trying this penne, here is another good reason to check it out. Look at the ingredient list. It contains only 4 items, which is great! When selecting processed foods, it is always better to select products that have fewer ingredients. In fact, those that contain 5 ingredients or less, are usually the best options to help us avoid unnecessary preservatives, or additives.

Anyway—here are the directions:

Prepare the penne pasta, following the the directions on the package. When the penne is fully cooked, remove it from the heat and using a strainer, strain off the water and set aside. Coat a large frying pan with olive oil. Add the chicken and saute on medium heat. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, parsely, basil, and rosemary, or add whatever spice or seasoning you like. Add the prepared vegetables and saute until they are just slightly crisp.
Note: Keep in mind, you can add in other vegetables you like, or have on hand. You may as well add in vegetables that you like.

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Add the penne pasta.

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Top with the Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Barb