Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The First 6 Months Recipes

As you know, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to change not only my eating habits, but my family's as well. Habit will have a huge impact on their health choices as adults. So I have felt the pressure to get away from the temptation of pre-packaged meals. These are the yummy ones that have stuck and have replaced others of my go-to meal choices!

Smashed Sweet Potatoes With Coconut Milk
courtesy jillianmichaels.com
1 1/2 pounds potato(es), sweet, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup(s) coconut milk, light
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch nutmeg, ground
Place the sweet potatoes in a glass microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high until very tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the hot, cooked potatoes to a mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, salt, and nutmeg. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and combine with the other ingredients. Serve.

Shrimpo de Gallo
by The Pioneer Woman
1 pound Cooked Shrimp (tails Removed), Chopped
½ whole Red Onion, Diced Finely
½ cups Green Or Black Olives, Chopped
2 whole Tomatoes, Diced
2 whole Fresh Jalapeno Peppers, Minced
2 whole Avocados, Chopped
2 whole Limes, Juiced
Kosher Salt To Taste
2 cups Cilantro, Chopped
*(I like to add a healthy glug of white vinegar for a little bite!)

Preparation Instructions:
Combine shrimp, red onion, olives, tomatoes, and jalapenos in a large bowl. Add lime juice to taste, then a dash of kosher salt. Add cilantro. Stir gently with a spoon, then taste on a tortilla chip so you’ll have an accurate gauge of the salt content. Add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed.
Chill until serving. Note that the avocado will brown if too much time passes, so if you want to make this ahead of time, leave out the avocado until just before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips!

Rice Bowl
Insanity Nutrition Guide
(single serving recipe, multiply accordingly)
1 cup cooked Brown Rice
2oz Chicken breast cooked (or you can scramble an egg and substitute it in)
1/3cup yellow frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas

Mix. Serve. You can serve it with soy sauce, but it is great all by itself!! My kids beg for this. Even the ones that won't eat the veggies on their own!!

Quinoa Bowl
(variation on a theme from the rice bowl)
(again, single serving recipe, multiply accordingly)
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or white)
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 oz chicken
1 Tbsp Thai peanut satay sauce

Mix. Serve.

Turkey and Avocado Rolls
Slice an avocado longwise, salting it just a tiny bit, and wrap it in some turkey sandwich meat...Mmmm! So good!!

Sandwich Tweaking
Laughing Cow spreads have the same number of calories in it as mayonaise, but it is nutritionally better. AND if I use it on my sandwich instead, I can leave off the cheese without feeling ill used. If I put cheese on with it, it is LUXURIOUS!!

Oatmeal-Flax Pancakes

courtesy of Livestrong
1 1/2 cups Quick Oats
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or whatever whole wheat or all purpose flour you've got)
2 tbsp Sugars, Brown
1 1/2 cups Skim Milk
2 egg
2 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Flax, Ground
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt

Mix and cook in a pan or griddle...Serve with syrup or apple butter or fruit spread...Enjoy!!! (These are SO much more filling and nutritionally wise than Eggos or similar items!!)

Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
(Seriously the best change I've made!! And these are the best of the best!!)

Cook according to directions. Add honey, cinnamon, and bananas. Or brown sugar and cinnamon. Or honey and raisins. Or...the list is endless and it ALL good!!!

Dijon Oven-Fried Chicken

(This is a hodge-podge from several different recipes that I merged off of the cornocopia of Google)

Take chicken breast, roll in Dijon mustard, roll in seasoned bread crumbs, lay in an olive oiled glass cookware. Cook at 350-400 depending on your time available.

Apricot Scallops
Pan sear scallops with a tiny bit of olive oil sprayed on pan so it doesn't stick. Serve with apricot fruit spread. Yummm!! A little of cinnamon is fantastic on it, too. This was my quickie invention based off a delicious appetizer at a Moroccan restaurant Ethan and I went to a few years ago.

Squash and Zucchini Bake
Slice a couple of squash and zucchini
spray with olive oil (THIS is a GREAT purchase!!)
roll in bread crumbs
bake at about 350 degrees (Almost as good as fried!!)

Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Thanks to a BBQ restaurant we went to this last week, generously dice cucumbers and tomatoes, mix with a light Balsamic Vinegarette dressing, and chill. Delicious!!

Red Beans and Rice
I would be lying if I said that I have quit all pre-packaged meals. But I haven't bought a single Hamburger Helper or lasagne since I committed to our health. I have found my kids ALL love scratch corn bread and Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice. So, we keep it on hand for rough nights. It is still a MUCH better option than most pre-packaged meals. Frozen or boxed!!

My very favorite corn bread recipe is Quaker's. It used to be on the box, but now it's hit-or-miss. It can be used with ANY cornmeal, but NOT a cornmeal mix, however, as I learned!!)

Here is the cornbread recipe:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Quaker (or whatever you have) enriched corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites or 1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 F. Grease 8 or 9 inch pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Serve warm.
(Fast and one of my all time favorites!!)

Salad Substitutes? Always use a sweet and light dressing on a fruit and spinach salad. For a little protein or to make into a salad meal, you can add cheese, chicken or ham, and nuts. I am currently in love with Rasberry Vinegarettes and Bolthouse Mango Vinegarette. Seriously wonderful!! Unlimited combinations!!

I also tweaked a Potato Soup tonight that turned out great, but I still have to figure out it's nutritional properties...so while scrumptious, I will wait on the recipe...maybe next week.

And finally, my Less Evil Macaroni. Make up a box (1 Large [Barilla] or 2 Small [Kraft type]) of elbow macaroni, your choice, but I would encourage whole wheat pasta. Add 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of parmesan cheese. Add frozen peas. My kids are all fans. And it isn't quite as processed as the actual box's "cheese" powder, but just as fast and, I think, yummier.

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