Healthy O’Dinner

I’m half Irish, but man O’man my ancestors ate a lot of starches and fatty meats! And of course, they washed it down with lots O’beer! So, when you’re trying to keep it light on St. Patty’s Day…it can be a little tricky.

Tomorrow, we’re going with a healthier version of Shepherd’s Pie! I’ve made this recipe several times, and we all LOVED it! *Inspired by a recipe from Skinny Taste.

shepherds_pie

 

Turkey & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:

  • apx. 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 10 oz frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbsp flour (leave out to make gluten-free)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary (or a little less dry if you don’t have fresh)
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika

Directions:

Boil sweet potatoes and garlic in a pot of salted water until cooked and soft. Drain and mash with chicken broth, Greek yogurt or sour cream, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large pan cook turkey until evenly browned; season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Add olive oil to the pan, then add the onion and sauté for one minute. Add the celery, parsnip, salt and pepper to taste; cook about 12 minutes, until celery is soft.

Add garlic and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add frozen vegetables, chicken broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, cooked turkey, and mix well. Simmer on low about 5-10 minutes.

Spoon mixture into prepared baking pan, and top with mashed sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika and bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and potatoes turn golden.

Sláinte!

21 Day Fix Containers: 1 Green, 1 yellow, 1 red

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

3-peppersI’m still getting a zillion peppers from our CSA farm and trying to come up with different ways to use them ALL!

Step 1 – Share some with my neighbor!

Step 2 – Search the internet for recipes to start with and then change to match the contents of my fridge and pantry! Which brings us to last week’s creation:

Stuffed Pepper Soup – with lean ground turkey and quinoa (or brown rice)

Ingredients:stuffed_pepper_soup
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 – 1.25 pounds of lean ground turkey
  • 3 bell peppers (any color will do!) – chopped
  • 1 med. onion – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2-3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t. marjoram
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Directions:

In a large pot, over medium heat, add olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Add turkey and cook through. Drain fat, if any. Add peppers and cook about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, 2 cups of chicken broth, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, marjoram, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes, adjusting consistency with reserved 1 C. of broth as needed.  Serve with 1/2 cup of quinoa or brown rice.

Makes about 8 servings

Nutritional Information:
  • WITH quinoa/rice – 241 calories, 17 g. protein, 32 g. carbs
  • without quinoa – 131 calories, 13 g. protein, 12 g. carbs

21 Day Fix containers: 1 red 1 yellow 1 green

 

What’s for Lunch?

tuna_sandI’m packing up a lunch for today. I will not be tempted by the snack bar, or the fast food restaurants on the way to my destination. Even if the kids are whining in the back, “Please Mom”, they’ll say. “Heck no”, I’ll say. I’ve got tuna salad today. I made it and packed it myself.

I haven’t always been a ‘packer’. The last year has changed the way I look at a road trip, or a day away from home. I used to say,”ah, we’ll just stop and eat someplace along the way”. Nothing good ever comes of that! I have not eaten from a drive-thru in almost a year! I work too hard on my health and fitness to sabotage all of that with grease and sodium! Plus, I have a fridge and pantry all stocked with very edible and pack-able foods. It might take an extra 10 minutes before we leave, but it’s worth it. Not to mention, when we DID hit the drive-thrus, I was ALWAYS the car that had to pull ahead and wait for our food. So those 10 minutes would’ve been spent waiting for our pink slime and leftover chicken bits anyway! *I do occasionally give in to the kids pleas…sometimes they just gotta have their hockey pucks and fat sticks. Blech!

So on to the tuna…I’ve made this tuna, and even posted about it on Facebook about a zillion times! It’s a stand-by lunch for me. It’s really simple and a great way to make it without the mayo!

Tuna Salad (makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:tuna-fish-sandwich-funny-someecard

  • 1 can very low sodium albacore tuna
  • 2 T non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 avocado (mashed)
  • 1 t. dijon mustard

Mix-ins:

  • diced onions
  • diced celery
  • diced pickle

*Whatever crunchy bits you like!

I like to eat mine either like an open-faced sandwich. Sometimes I’ll just scoop it into romaine lettuce leaves. Or I like to have it in an Ezekiel tortilla.

Nutitional info: 1 serving (just the tuna salad) is about 150 calories, 3 g. fat, 20 g. protein, 8 g. carbs

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Presto Pesto!

pestoI was just asked to share this recipe here on the blog, so that is just what I’ll do. Funny, because I just thawed out some of these babies yesterday to make dinner (I’ll share that one, too!) I LOVE pesto! My husband and I both do!

When I was in my 20’s, so like a million years ago, I was a waitress at an Italian restaurant. This was my first experience with pesto. My husband initially gagged at the look of it, it’s not the prettiest site! But once he tasted it, he was hooked! He ordered the same pesto dish EVERY single time he came in to see me – which was a LOT of pesto! 😉

So…now I just whip it up myself. Easy peasy!  I get fresh basil and garlic (sometimes the garlic scapes, which work well too!) at the farm where we are CSA members (community-supported agriculture). After I make a big batch (and a little goes a long way!), I like to freeze it and then pop out a few cubes at a time for different dishes I make. You can spread it on pizza, add to soups and sautéed veggies, chicken, fish… lots of stuff! Check out how easy it is to make it!

Pesto
Add to food processor (a blender will work too, might just take some stopping and starting):

  • 2 C. packed basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 C. pine nuts (walnuts work well too)
  • 1/4 C. grated parmesan
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. *Give it a whirl just to blend
  2. Drizzle 1/4 – 1/2 C. Olive oil while spinning until desired consistency.
  3. Yum!

Now bust out your ice-cube trays and fill ’em up! Once they’re frozen, pop them out and put them into a freezer bag and save for a rainy, sunny, or partly cloudy day! 🙂

So then yesterday I says to myself, “Self, let’s make some shrimp for dinner!”.

Pesto Shrimppesto_shrimp

  • 1-1.5 pounds raw shrimp
  • apx. 4 pesto cubes (thawed)
  • 7-10 wooden skewers (soaked in water to prevent burning) or metal skewers if you want to avoid soaking

 

  1. Combine raw shrimp with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl.
  2. Thread shrimp onto the skewers.
  3. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-low heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray or brush lightly with oil.
  4. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook until shrimp turns pink on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Turn and continue cooking until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.

We served these with Zoodles!

There you go Chris! I hope that helps you find what you were looking for!

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Chicken Fried Brown Rice with Veggies!

The key to making fried rice like you get in the restaurant, is using cold rice! So first, you have to ‘accidentally’ make too much rice for dinner some night. THEN, a couple of nights later, you have to remember that you MEANT to do that, so that you could make some fried rice! I used brown rice that I cook in my rice cooker, because that thing RULES! I could NEVER cook brown rice right until I got one of those babies! Now, that’s ALL I make! Go ME!  You can eat this as a main dish, OR as a side dish with some delish Asian-inspired entrée! Either way, it’s a crowd-pleaser. 🙂

Chicken Fried Brown Rice with Veggies!chick_brown_rice

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice, cooled
  • 8 oz. cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (chopped)
  • 8 oz. frozen peas (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots cut into small coins (about 1 cup)
  • *or just add 2 cups frozen mixed veggies (or any veggie combos you like)
  • 2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce, or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 green onion, sliced thin (for garnish – optional)

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Reduce heat to medium.
3. Add egg whites; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs start to set.
4. Add rice, chicken, peas, and soy sauce; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
5. Divide evenly into four serving bowls; garnish evenly with green onion.

享受!(I think/HOPE that means, “Enjoy!”) 🙂

21 Day Fix/Hammer and Chisel containers: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1/2 green, 1/2 blue or orange

*252 calories and 23 grams of protein per serving

The 21 Day Fix meal plan makes it SO easy to plan, prepare and track daily nutrition. Women I work with lose up to 3-5 pounds per week! Combine the nutrition with daily 30 minute workouts and you’ll see results (or your money back!). GUARANTEED!

What is the 21 Day FIX?

Check out my friend Michelle’s results after 2 rounds of the 21 Day Fix. She joined a challenge group (see below) and the daily support and accountability helped her reach her goals!

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And the Hammer & Chisel program uses the same container system (cause it works!) combined with 30-40 minute strength training workouts for AMAZING results!

PS – BOTH of these programs are NOW AVAILABLE with the all new all new Annual ALL ACCESS Beachbody on Demand Membership (like workout Netflix)! Get 12 months ALL Access to every Beachbody Program ever made, including all new releases, for 12 months!

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Do you already have one of these programs? If you need some extra support and accountability, be SURE to join my next support group and I’ll help you stick with it and reach your goals! I’ll share daily tips, recipes and motivation as well as be available to support and encourage you 24/7. 🙂

Pizza Night Done Right!

I LOVE pizza! It’s my absolute, hands down, favorite food! Some might consider that a weakness…but I love it so much, I’m willing to do a little extra work to make it healthy AND delicious! You can make the dough recipe below as stated OR you can throw it all in a bread machine, following your manufacturer’s guidelines for ingredient order, and use the dough cycle. *That’s how I did it until my bread machine died! 🙁 The best thing about this recipe is that it makes 3, 12″ thin crust pizzas, so everyone can make their own, share with a friend/family member and put on own their favorite toppings. It makes me so unbelievably happy to load mine up with all my favorite toppings (that don’t happen to be my family’s favorites), like: pesto, artichokes, olives, peppers, carmelized onions, zucchini, feta cheese, skim mozzarella, tomatoes, and spinach (the more veggies the better!). It makes for a fun family night, or dinner with friends. And everyone’s happy to eat the pizza that THEY designed! 🙂 Enjoy!

1 t. honey pizza_night

1 ½ C. warm water (100°F)

1 T. active dry yeast

1 T. olive oil

1 t. salt

3 ¼ C. whole wheat flour

1 t. Italian seasoning (or substitute garlic powder, oregano, basil, whatever you like!)

Cornmeal

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then slowly work in the whole wheat flour and seasonings. When the dough starts to come together, tip dough out onto a surface, adding in the remaining flour as you go. Knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 3 pieces for 3 thin crusts, approximately 12” pizzas, or leave whole to make 1 or 2 thicker crusts.
  4. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Spray, or oil a pizza pan, stone, or cookie sheet and lightly dust with cornmeal. Roll a ball of dough with a rolling-pin until it will not stretch any further. Transfer to prepared pan and continue to stretch and work the dough to desired size/thickness. Pre-bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Do this with remaining crusts.
  5. Turn oven down to 425°F. Now you can spread the sauce and top your pizza however you like. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges and the cheese is melted on the top.

*If 3, 12″ thin crust pizzas are made, and cut into eighths, each slice of crust is 60 calories. Then figure in your toppings to determine additional calories. For reference, the above pizza,as I described, was around 150 calories per slice. I had 3 slices and LOVED every bite; totally guilt-free!