Posts tagged ‘Healthy Meals’

January 26, 2014

Healthy Beginnings

I don’t know about you, but for us 2014 has come in like a wave; it seems like we are busy all the time the last few weeks! That can make a healthy beginning to the year a challenge. BF is on a new meal plan where he has to eat clean but huge volume. The only way I know how to make that happen is to prep ahead. We got ourselves a food scale and I spend a few hours on Sundays making rice, chicken, veggies and lean meat and measuring for the week. I know I have talked before about our menu planning and our favorite easy lunch food, chicken muffins, as well as my own fitness tracking. We try our best to plan ahead and it is the only thing that keeps me on track in the middle of a busy week! Bonus, planning ahead really helps us to manage our budget as well. When I know we can use the same ingredients for multiple things, we waste less and really maximize our dollars. In the next few weeks, I will share with you a few of our staple meals and how we handle long work weeks while trying to be healthy.

To kick off the series: Healthy Egg Muffins. I am not a huge egg fan, so I spend a lot of time trying to make eggs that don’t taste like, well, eggs. I am fairly accomplished at this task, especially when it comes to scrambles. I subscribe to Jacques Pepin’s scrambled egg method which makes for perfect and fluffy eggs every time. The single biggest purchase we have made to help us in healthy eating quest is our VitaMix. WE LOVE IT…seriously, we use it at least once a day. (More on that to come.) It is such a quick easy way to make a quick green smoothie, or soup for dinner (it comes out steaming hot!), or mix some eggs for scrambles. We use it for so many things! In this case, I have been making egg muffins to have for an easy protein-filled breakfast during the week. It is an easy and healthy thing to grab and go. BF seems to like them anyway! Look out for more ideas to come!

Healthy Egg Muffins

12 eggs

3 egg whites

½ bell pepper chopped

2 cups spinach chopped

4 T finely chopped leeks

1 T your favorite seasoning (I mix it up between Adobo or fresh herbs, whatever is on hand)

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place on top of a cookie sheet to prevent spills. Crack 12 eggs into blender. Add egg whites, milk and seasonings to taste and blend until combined.

In each muffin cup, add chopped veggies.

Pour eggs into each cup until completely divided. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through and puffy. Allow to cool and place in an airtight container in the fridge and use as needed.

You can certainly put whatever fillings you like into these and it is a great way to clean out the fridge! I do highly recommend a good nonstick muffin pan for this, they pop right out of mine, but I can see it being a big mess in the wrong pan!

June 30, 2013

Cedar Plank Salmon

Looking for an easy way to update your salmon recipe? Cooking on a salmon plank on the grill adds a whole new dimension. You end up with a slightly smoky flavor with a nearly candied finish. This is a great way to fancy things up a bit with very little work. BF brought this idea home one night and it was a huge hit!

Soak the cedar plank in water for 1-3 hours. (I will admit we cut it close at about 30 minutes and it should have been a bit longer, but we were hungry!) Season 1-1 ½ Pounds Salmon Filets with salt and pepper. Preheat grill. Remove the planks from water and place on the grill until hot. Brush smooth side of boards with olive oil. Place fillets on the smooth surface part of the plank. Brush teriyaki sauce (we like Soy Vey) over salmon. Cook over a medium to high flame for approximately 10 minutes or until done.

Serve with a great salad of CSA mixed greens and strawberries tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and finished with salt and pepper for a healthy meal!

Kelly

October 17, 2012

Chicken Tinga Tacos

I love Mexican food. Tacos every day? Yes please! The one thing about Mexican food, especially Tex-Mex, is the health factor. Finding ways to make it healthy and tasty can be tough! I think the best of the best at getting that right is Rick Bayless. Everything I have every made of his is fantastic (and I have heard from a good source that his restaurant is to die for). This recipe is the short-cut version using his Frontera Chipotle Salsa. As someone who likes to cook from scratch, sometimes it feels a bit like cheating to cook semi-homemade. However, if on a weeknight you can turn out something this good very quickly, you have me convinced! I actually poach the chicken and shred it, but you could use rotisserie or other cooked chicken to cut down on the time. I have used this chicken as tacos, on salad, and as an appetizer on tortilla chips, each one as good as the one before. This is definitely a standby in my life!

Kelly

 

Chicken Tinga Tacos

From Rick Bayless’ Frontera

4 to 6 servings

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

1 jar (16 ounces) Frontera Chipotle Salsa

1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon vinegar, preferably cider vinegar

4 cups (loosely packed) coarsely shredded, cooked chicken

Salt, about 1 teaspoon

8 to 12 warm tortillas

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1 Handful Arugula, dressed with lemon or lime

3 to 4 tablespoons finely grated Mexican queso añejo, Parmesan or Romano

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

 

If desired, poach 2-4 chicken breasts in flavored water. I like to place the raw chicken in the bottom of a pot. Just cover with cold water. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and a splash of white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until tender and cooked through. Use two forks to shred the chicken.

In a large skillet, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until crisp-tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salsa, tomatoes with their juice and the vinegar. Simmer, stirring regularly until quite thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, cool, then taste and season with salt.

Serve the mixture in warm tortillas. Let guests add avocado, arugula dressed with lemon or lime, cheese and cilantro to taste.

**For tostadita appetizers, arrange 24 thick tortilla chips on one or more serving platters. Top each with a heaping tablespoon of the chicken tinga, a few pieces of avocado, a sprinkling of cheese and cilantro. We sent these to a potluck and got rave reviews. I swear, this is even better on day 2!

January 23, 2012

Shrimp Cocktail

It had never occurred to me to make shrimp cocktail at home. It is one of those things that you buy prepared for a quick and easy appetizer or meal that requires little to no prep. A sale on some shell-on shrimp and a request by Ali changed my mind. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was and the result was pretty great. This is really just like making one of my favorite things to make: stock. The shrimp ended up very tender and flavorful. This is one I may have to play with a little more and try out making cocktail sauce as well. We used the 365 brand sauce from Whole Foods. It was fine, I would give it a solid C, but there are better jarred options out there. One of the surprising parts of this recipe for me was the lovely stock created by draining the boiling liquid. That will be in the freezer ready for something fun soon! We served these with a lovely salad and some garlic toast. Overall, a satisfying and healthy meal!

Kelly

 

Shrimp Cocktail

10 cups cold water

1 large onion, halved

2 carrots, quartered

2 stalks of celery

1 head garlic, halved

1 lemon, halved

1/2 bunch parsley

5 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 pound medium or large shrimp, in the shell, split & deveined, rinsed

Cocktail Sauce

Lemon wedges

 

Put the water, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, lemon, parsley, thyme, salt and bay leaves in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

(Ok, so we were missing a few veggies, so I spiced things up a bit with some dried herbs.) Lower the heat to a simmer, set a cover on top slightly ajar, and cook for 10 to 30 minutes until fragrant. Drop the shrimp into the liquid and turn off the heat after 10 seconds.

Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until they curl and turn pink, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp, 3 minutes for large ones. Drain and cool to room temperature. Peel the shrimp leaving the tails on. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

To serve put the cocktail sauce in a medium bowl and surround with the shrimp, or loop the shrimp over the edge of an individual cocktail glass and top with the sauce. Garnish with the lemon and serve.

P.S. Those are my grandmother’s shrimp cocktail glasses, yep just for this dish. I love that the vintage glassware still gets used in the family!

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