Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I love salads but in the Fall I prefer....

I love a good salad in the summer but when the weather gets cooler, I prefer a hearty bowl of soup, don't you?
On Monday (before we lost power as a result of Hurricane Sandy) I made a Creamy Broccoli-White Bean Soup from a recipe in Whole Living.  It's so easy and simple and has less than 10 ingredients. 

Click here for the full recipe or click here to re-pin it on your pinterest board for later.

Quick Cooking Prep Tip:  Pull all of the ingredients that you need for the recipe together on a tray before you start prepping and cooking.  I do this for a few reasons:
  1. To make sure that I have all of the necessary ingredients before I start cooking
  2. If I am making more than 1 recipe at a time, it helps keep the ingredients for each recipe separate and organized.
  3. It's easier to transport them from the fridge to the table where I do most of my prep work.

Share your favorite Fall soup recipes in the comments section below!

Health + Happiness,
PS- We did manage to sneak out for a quick walk before the brunt of the storm hit.  Here's what the Hudson River looked liked on Monday morning pre-Sandy...


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Planning is the Key

While planning is the key to healthy eating, it’s always a challenge to find time  to prepare fresh, nutritious meals each day… especially in the morning.  I like to prep and cook many of my meals for the week in advance (Sunday afternoons work best for me) so that they're packed and ready to go when I need them.  It helps ensure that I eat healthy and avoid the temptations that come with ordering in or going out to eat.

These protein packed prebaked omelets are the perfect solution for a grab + go breakfast or snack.  I found a recipe for Broccoli + Cheese Mini Egg Omelets here, but as you know, I have trouble following recipes.  Here is my version of Baked Veggie Omelets. 

4 whole eggs (organic or from your local farmer’s market)
4 egg whites (organic or from your local farmer’s market)
1 ¼ cup spinach, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup goat cheese crumbles
2 TBSP olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
salt + pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil I in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions until translucent (approximately 5-6 minutes). 
  • Beat eggs, egg whites and salt + pepper in a medium bowl. 
  • Add onions, chopped bell pepper and 1 cup chopped spinach to the egg mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Use a paper towel saturated in 1 TBSP of olive oil to coat the bottom and sides of the muffin tin.  Pour the egg + veggie mixture into the greased tins.  Fill each about ¾ full.  Top each mini omelet evenly with remaining chopped spinach, red pepper flakes and goat cheese crumbles.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until eggs are set and cooked through.  Serve immediately or let cool and store in the fridge to reheat + enjoy later in the week.

If you make these omelets in a regular muffin tin, they're perfect for breakfast with a green juice. 

For a lunch or dinner size portion, use an oversized muffin tin. 

A mini muffin tin is great if you want to serve these as bite-size appetizers at a brunch.  

Let me know how you enjoy yours!

Wishing you health + happiness,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The one-sided Love affair that made me sick...

“I could never eat healthy. I just loooove food too much.”  I heard a girl walking by me on the street the other day declare this to her friend.  I wanted to turn around and say to her "I used to think that too!!!  I thought I was in love with pizza, French fries with blue cheese and, if we’re being honest here, cupcakes and raw cookie dough.  But don’t worry… It’s not true!  You CAN eat healthy AND enjoy it!  Isn’t that great news???”  But I decided that she would probably think I was crazy if I, a complete stranger, said that to her so I showed some restraint and kept walking.

When I used to plant myself on the couch with a bag of Tostitos and a jar of salsa after a long day at work, I would tell myself that I deserved it and that I earned it and I was sure that it would make me feel better.  But, in reality I always felt pretty shitty afterwards.  I loved this “food” but it didn’t love me back.  Eating it made my stomach hurt.  It made me feel bloated, tired and full of guilt.  This one-sided love affair was killing me… literally.  It was giving me high cholesterol and making me fat, stressed out, lazy and miserable.  So was this really love?

Slowly, as I started learning more about nutrition and making small changes, I figured out that healthy foods CAN taste good and they make you feel a million times better than eating crap.  If I really could say something to that girl on the street who looooves food soo much that she could never eat healthy, I would say this:  Clinging to your dead-end romance with junk food is not healthy.  It’s time to move on.  To find food that will love you and nurture you back.  So ditch the processed crap, start eating real, healthy, whole foods and then, you’ll discover what true love really is.     

Speaking of, let me introduce all of you to a potential new love interest... Lentil + Sweet Potato loaf. Click here for the recipe. I made it last week and it was really good!  Lentils are packed with iron, calcium, B vitamins and protein.  These legumes are also full of fiber which helps lower cholesterol, makes them a great source of sustainable energy and helps to prevent heart disease If that's not true love, I don't know what is.  I think I have a new crush ♥! For more healthy + tasty recipes, click here.

Love + Lentils,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What's your favorite color?

In general,all fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your health.  They can help reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases, assist your body in detoxifying and help you build strong bones, eyesight and give your skin that beautiful natural glow. But let's have a little fun today... below is a cheat sheet that shows some specific benefits of certain produce based on color.  
Photo Credit: IIN

The key benefit of white foods is increased immunity. Ahem….This does not include white flour or white sugar!  Some beneficial immune boosting white fruits and veggies include:
Garlic, onions, cauliflower, ginger, turnips, potatoes, mushrooms, white peaches and nectarines

The natural plant pigment, chlorophyll, colors green fruits and vegetables.  These green foods induce enzymes in the liver that assist the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds.  Other benefits include a lower risk of some cancers, improved eye health and strong teeth. Examples of green fruits and veggies you should eat to stay healthy are:
Broccoli, spinach, kiwi, asparagus, brussels sprouts, grapes, limes, leafy greens, cucumber, celery, peas, green bell peppers

Want great skin and healthy eyes? Add a glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon juice to your morning ritual or eat anti-inflammatory yellow foods high in Vitamins A and C such as: 
Lemons, pineapple, yellow bell peppers, yellow beets 

Orange foods are high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids. Eating orange foods has been linked to skin and eye health, increased immunity, decreased risk of cancer and a healthy heart.  Load up on these orange foods:
Oranges (of course!), cantaloupe, apricots, sweet potatoes/yams, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin
Lycopene is the predominant pigment in reddish fruits and veggies.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, improved heart and circulatory health and protection against heart attacks.  In addition, red fruits and veggies also contain vitamin C, folate and flavonoids, which reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties.  To reap the benefits, eat these red foods to your heart’s content (pun intended):
Tomatoes, watermelon, beets, red grapefruit, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, red bell peppers, radishes

These colorful foods get their bright hue from anthocyanins which are antioxidants that are heart healthy and provide anti-aging benefits like helping with memory and promoting bone health.  Fill your plate with these blue/purple fruits and veggies:
Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, plums, purple cabbage
What's your favorite color?
Have a healthy day!