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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Garlic cream Ezekiel pasta ingredients.

This is seriously delicious and my husband actually said "I think this is the best thing you have ever cooked for me."  Now, this is no super healthy low calorie meal, but at the same time it's so worth the yumminess.  I love taking something like Ezekiel pasta which is incredibly healthy (tons of fiber and protein per oz serving) and putting it in a cream sauce to make it super tasty.  A side note on Ezekiel brands, they are wonderful, but sometimes hard to swallow without the right mix of things.   I've also discovered the Ezekiel english muffins.  These are to die for with some butter on top toasted.  Ok, back to how I made the garlic cream sauce.  I just googled garlic cream sauces and found a simple one to get the ratio of garlic: butter: heavy cream.  Have you ever wondered why restaurant pasta sauces taste so good?  Well, it's because they use heavy cream in them!  When I worked at California Pizza Kitchen, I saw this first hand.  So even though cream is super fatty, used in moderation, it's just fine.  Plus, it has zero sugar and very low salt.  I used two tablespoons of heavy cream in my single serving of garlic cream sauce.  This along with a half tablespoon of butter and 1/4 tsp of minced garlic simmered in olive oil in a pan, and there you have it.  Instant garlic cream sauce! Plus, you know I used all organic ingredients that made me feel so lovely on the inside.  Oh, and I chopped up a tomato and threw it into the simmering sauce for a few minutes just to heat it up too. One last note, add the cooked pasta into the dish after the sauce is simmering.  Stir it around in the simmering sauce, then add the tomatoes.  I'm really just not into cutting calories these days.  Honestly, I'm mostly thinking how can I cook something that will actually fill me up for more than a few hours.  Maybe this is partly because I eat healthy choices to begin with that are low in calories.  Then again, it could be because I'm breast feeding which burns a lot too.  Either way, I'm breaking out my butter and heavy cream and enjoying it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cooking up some veggies for my soup!

Lentils!! So good for you!

My first real chef knife and cutting board.

Thank you hubby for a perfect Valentine!  Now that I have opened this knife and used it on my cutting board, I feel like a real chef.  Well, at least a wanna be one.  I'm also thinking, how could I have lived this long without knowing how awesome a great knife can be.  It's like when people tell you about something great, and you think, well yeah, but then you try it for yourself and it blows you away.  That is what happened when I used this knife to cut my first tomato.  It cut through it like it was nothing.  I was in my happy fun place.  Now when I watch the food network cooking shows, I really look at each vegetable and how they cut it.  Cooking is an art and I want to learn every detail.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mexican pie

Easy to make mexican pie: a great vegetarian option.

I'm so into making vegetarian dishes, but sometimes it's hard to think of quick easy meals with lots of protein and fiber.  Well, this is an easy one for sure.  Just buy some black beans (I bought Bush's Black bean fiesta because it already has spices, peppers, and corn), tortillas (I'm just trying these Ezekiel ones today), and a little cheese.  I used a pie pan, layered the tortillas, beans, and cheese for a total of two layers of beans. Then cook it in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes.  I came up with this easy alternative from a recipe in a vegan cookbook.  I think it tastes better when you buy the veggies and cut them up fresh for this dish, but if you are strapped for time, then try the Bush's black bean fiesta.   I'm not ready for the vegan's cheese alternative, soy cheese, so I just modify the original recipe with sharp cheddar cheese (organic is best).  Maybe one day I'll give up the very addicting cheese habit, but not yet.  Did you know that scientists have found morphine in cheese, no wonder it's addicting.   So for now, I'll give up having meat everyday.  It was interesting to see how much lower our food bill for the week was when my husband and I gave up meat for a week.  Plus, I feel like my stomach feels better when I eat beans and veggies versus meat and a starch.  So my challenge to you is to explore some veggie night options.  Skip that chicken breast and try a bean dish.  There are so many and you might just find yourselves a lot more full and satisfied.

Mexican pie main ingredients


Friday, February 4, 2011


I just made this delicious pasta that at first bite tasted like a veggie lovers pizza.  Probably because I used onions, garlic, tomatoes, and kale sautéed in extra virgin olive oil over pasta with parmesan sprinkled on top.  I discovered this high protein pasta when Tom and I were on our meat fast for a week.  It seriously has almost as much protein as a chicken breast!  Plus, the huge benefit is the fiber that keeps you full and not craving sweets!
I was recently reading a health book advocating eating pasta and I thought, I must check this out.  Well, it's true, pasta is good for you!  I used to think it contained way too many carbohydrates, but it also contains so much fiber and protein that we need.  Now watch what you put on it all you mac and cheese lovers.  I'm talking about a good quality pasta with veggies on top!
So have a pasta night, but skip the tomato sauce or cream sauce, use extra virgin olive oil instead to saute your pasta in for a few minutes after you boil it.  It gives it that restaurant like flavor. Then add some veggies with a parmesan sprinkle, and there you have a complete healthful meal.

Pasta that tastes like pizza!

10 grams of protien in only 2 oz!

My new favorite pasta!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Savory pancakes!

Do you ever make something delicious and healthy and get stuck on eating it? I do!  So this is my current so healthy and easy to make addiction: kale pancakes.  Oh, and yes, they are YUMMY!

I want to challenge you all to think outside the usual pancake box which means we have to eat them with lots of maple syrup dumped on top.  I like to think of them like a chameleon.  According to webster's dictionary a chameleon is "one that is subject to quick or frequent change in appearance".  So think of your pancakes like this and have fun adding anything in your fridge.  You could cut up an apple in little bits, chop a banana,  add nuts, a vegetable leftover, or anything else really!

Pancakes do not have to be sweet!

Kale pancakes again!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beef or Bison : Meat Follow Up.

A friend asked me about the difference between using 90% lean ground beef versus "regular" ground beef.  The 90% is a great ground beef choice, but I want to challenge you who buy beef to think about switching to bison.  You might have to take a trip to whole foods or a special meat market to find it, but it would be so worth it to stock up and maybe even freeze some.  I have bought bison at Kroger next to the organic packaged ground beef, but it was pre-packaged.  There is something about the meat at whole foods that seems so much fresher!  Plus I kind of love supporting the movement!  Another point for bison that I made on my last blog entry is the more humane treatment of the animals.  So far, I know of no bison factories, like the cow factories that produce beef.  This means, the bison are free to roam and eat grass which is so much better for them and our environment.

I also want to challenge you all to decrease your meat consumption in general.  My new goal is to eat meat about 2-3 times per week.  This is so hard if you are married to a meat loving man, but so possible.  Just think bean soups, mexican bean pies, and lentils!  Did you know that lentils have 13 g of protein in 1/4 cup dry beans.  That is almost as much as a chicken breast.  Plus you get the benefits of all the fiber that fills you up!  Meat has zero fiber.  So you are left hungry and in need of that side of carbohydrate.  So cook up some beans or lentils for dinner instead of meat.  Save the meat for weekends and special times.

Also a quick thought on beans.  First, please look for the lowered sodium if you buy canned.  We get way too much sodium in our diets, it dehydrates us, then we feel even more hungry when we are really just thirsty.  Did you know that your body only needs 300mg of sodium/day to function!  However, we get around 2,000-5,000mg per day.  Dry beans do take a while to cook, but what I've started doing is cooking an entire bag at once.  Then I make a delicious beans and rice, carrots, celery soup, and have leftovers for a long time.  My husband loves this with a side of oven fresh cornbread!  I freeze the soup in tupper ware containers for later consumption.  For a quick and easy alternative, try lentils or split pea soup.  Throw some veggies in with whatever you are cooking.  They even have organic lentils and split peas in bags at Whole Foods. Buy some parsley and cook them in chicken broth for added flavor.

Take time to think about your food, where it comes from, who is profiting from it, and you will usually be better off health wise if you do.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cincinnati Chili

When I met my husband, he bought cases of this Cincinnati chili.  He told me it was a childhood favorite, and I could tell he had fond memories associated with it.  When I looked at the opened can, well, it scared me a bit.  Mainly because there was a lovely reddish oil that sat at the top of the can when you opened it.  Also, the sodium content was out of control.  So in my quest to give his chili a health make-over, I came up with an alternative to the canned favorite.  First, I figured out it was the spices in the chili that he loved.  So I looked online and ordered the spice package.  This way I could buy the meat fresh, then just add the beloved flavor.  Then I thought, I don't just want any ground meat.  I want the most healthy, eco-friendly meat.  That is when I discovered grass fed bison meat at Whole foods.  Bison is usually leaner compared to beef.  Also, bison are not kept in cow factories, therefore they eat grass and roam freely.  Cows are usually fed a corn based diet which is not what they normally eat.  The corn is not digested well and causes them to get fat, make which makes more $$ for the owners.  Seems really sad to me.  If you have seen the movie Food Inc, then you know what I'm talking about.  If not, then you must watch it.

Now, my hubby wants his chili about once a month, and I feel so much better about him eating it with my health makeover.  I usually enjoy a chili hot dog too.  My chili hot dog is about as wonderful as a trip to the southern favorite, the Varsity, but with so much less fat, sodium, and calories.  I buy organic turkey dogs, organic hot dog buns, and use a little organic mustard with a sprinkle of sharp cheese.  I have this theory that if enough of my ingredients for my chili dog are organic, then I feel a lot better about eating it.  I would advise people to NEVER consume regular hot dogs.  Why? Well, because the meat is so highly processed, no one really knows what is inside.  Talk about taxing your body.   However, if once a year or so you go to a baseball game, then I realize a hot dog is called for.  Please, just wash it down with some whole food based vitamins and lots of fruits and veggies the rest of the day.


A tribute to my husband's favorite chili