Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Johnny Pumpkin Seed

Pumpkin Seeds Two Ways

The Sweeter Side:

  • 1 Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tbls Vegetable Oil 
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Remove seeds from pumpkin 
-Soak seeds in water for 5 minutes to clean them. The pumpkin residue will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the seeds float
-Toss seeds with spices, sugar and oil
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping them 2-3 times
-Do not let the seed burn, remove them from the oven when they are slightly golden

The Savory Side:

  • 1 Pumpkin
  • Sprinkle of Black Pepper
  • 3 Tbls Dill
  • 2 Tbl Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 Tbls Olive Oil 
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Remove seeds from pumpkin 
-Soak seeds in water for 5 minutes to clean them. The pumpkin residue will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the seeds float
-Toss seeds with oil and spices
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping them 2-3 times


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pumpkin Pie vs Apple Pie: Why not both?!

Pumpkin Baked Apples

  • 4 Apples
  • 1 Can of Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 3 Tbls Melted Butter 
  • 2 Tbls Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 Cup Mixed Nuts

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Cut off apple tops and scoop out centers to create area for pumpkin filling
-Mix pumpkin puree and spice together
-Fill apples with pumpkin mixture
-In bowl, mix oats and butter
-Top apples with oat mixture and mixed nuts
-Bake for 30 minutes until apples soft and topping is golden brown
-Top with great yogurt, mixed nuts, dried fruit, or a drizzle of honey


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Apple of My Eye

Tis the Season! It's Fall, my favorite season. October my favorite month. Halloween, my favorite holiday.  With that said, the past weekend was spent picking apples with Tommy. It was a perfect fall day, and we had so much fun. I now have a bundle of apples, and needed recipes of what to do with them.

Tommy and I picking apples: The apples at the top of the trees are clearly the most delicious!

This is our huge bag of apples! We may have been too excited picking apples and ended up with a very full bag

With such a large bundle of fall delicious goodies, I was on the hunt for what to make with them. Having an apple and peanut butter is only yummy for a few days.  So now onto the recipes: Some of my old favorites include...

Baked Apple Pies. This is a simple healthier version of a classic dessert. Here is the Recipe

Apple Chips:  These little crispy chips are so good and baking them makes the whole house smell like heaven. Here is the recipe.

These two classics are great, but this is my new recipe I created this weekend. Pumpkin baked Apples! This recipe is the best of both worlds, pumpkin and apple all in one healthy treat. Can we say YUM.

This recipe will be posted to the blog this week, and the link will be here.

Hope you all have fun fall activities planned this month. If one of them leaves you with a huge bag of apples, here are some ideas of what to do with them.


Friday, October 2, 2015

SOUP-er Salmon Soup

Salmon Santa Fe Soup

  • 2 packets of pink salmon
  • 1 package of whole grains
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of corn 
  • 1 can of black beans drained
  • 1 can of rotel
  • Avocado
  • Tortilla chips
  • Jalapenos
  • Pepper 

-Add all ingredients to a large soup pot
-Mix over medium heat until warm throughout
-Top with avocado, jalapenos, chips, cheese

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Give Me Some of Your Tots"

Broccoli Tots

  • 1 pound of broccoli, fresh or frozen
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko
  • 2 tbl parsley
  • Sprinkle of pepper
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Microwave or steam broccoli until soft
-Chop broccoli into a fine texture
-Mix all ingredients into a bowl
-Press a small amount of mixture in your hand and form into tot
-Place on non-stick or sprayed baking sheet
-Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through


Monday, September 28, 2015

Raising the Bar

Simple Protein Bars

  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tbls honey
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 cup protein powder
  • 2 cups of oats

-Over medium heat, mix milk, peanut butter, honey and cinnamon
-Fold in oats
-Stir in protein powder
-Spread mixture into a 9x13 baking dish
-Cool and cut into bars

For more information on protein powders, read "Fresh Powder"


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Back to School.... Prep School that Is

Another Week of Meals

It's starting to feel like fall, but I am still hanging on to the last days of warm weather and summer. With the mix between cool crisp nights and sunny afternoons, I prepped a week of meals that combine both summer tastes with warm soups of fall. Since starting residency, time is very limited, so these meals are very simple and quick to prepare. Great for anyone's schedule.

This week's grocery list: 

Breakfasts: This summer, I have exhausted the protein packed smoothies.  With the cool air during my walk to work, I crave something more hearty instead of a cool fruity drink.  My solution, home made protein bars. Here's the Recipe.

Lunches: Noon here still feels like summer, sunny and 70.Since the weather is bipolar, I prepped summer grilled classics for lunch. This week's healthier version of a burger and fries is my old favorite Tuna Burgers, and a new favorite Broccoli Tots.

Dinners: The cool nights again remind me of the lovely fall days ahead. I love coming home, throwing on a sweatshirt and enjoying a warm meal before bed. This week, I made a Salmon Tortilla soup, (Recipe) it combines the flavors of summer with the warmth of fall.

Desserts..... none. To put it simply, I have been eating WAY TOO many sweets these days. Today starts another round of my cutting out sweets, just as I did before in the blog "How Sweet it is." My goal is no sweets until Halloween, my favorite holiday. 

Hope you enjoy this weeks meals as much as I did. Recipes in links above.


Friday, September 4, 2015

That's A Wrap

Artichoke Pesto Wraps

  • 2 cups artichoke hearts
  • 1 1/2 cups parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1/4 cup nuts
  • Pepper

- In a blender add ingredients
- Squeeze in fresh lemon juice
- Grate in lemon zest
-Blend until smooth
- Slice cucumber or zucchini very thin
- Smear pesto onto cucumber or zucchini
-Sprinkle on a few extra nuts
-Roll up

Artichokes: Great source of folate, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also packed with antioxidants. The fiber helps aid digestion. Artichokes are considered heart healthy, since they help lower bad cholesterol and raise healthy cholesterol. They also are rich in potassium, which helps control blood pressure, see blog about blood pressure.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Itty Bitty Pizzas

 Tiny Pizzas

  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Organic Pizza Sauce
  • Fat Free Mozzarella
  • Baby Peppers
  • Dried Oregano

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray
-Cut tortillas with can
-Layer tortilla in muffin tin
-Top with sauce, cheese and peppers
-Sprinkle oregano on top
-Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy

Enjoy these perfectly portioned pizzas!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's Summer, It's a Salad... It's a Summer Salad

Summer Salad

A Fresh Salad for the Dog Days of Summer
  • 1 Cucumber
  • Grape tomatoes
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Fat Free Feta
  • Drizzle of Pomegranate Vinegar 
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil

-Chop vegetables up 
-Mix in large bowl
-Fold in feta cheese
-Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil
-Squeeze 1/2 lemon over salad to prevent avocado from browning

Simple, Easy and Yummy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Under Pressure

Blood Pressure and Your Diet

Lifestyle changes can prevent and lower high blood pressure. With this knowledge and a lot of self control, changes in your daily life can help manage this condition. Low sodium, low fat diet along with maintaining a healthy weight and exercising help control blood pressure. 

Another important aspect in controlling high blood pressure is stress management such as meditation, yoga or engaging in a hobby. This topic is near and dear to my heart, and I will dedicate an entire blog about it in the future, for now lets focus on diet and blood pressure.

DASH: The dietary approach to stop hypertension was a study that showed a diet of fruit and vegetable and low in fat helped prevent and reduce high blood pressure. The study also showed a vegetarian diet is most effective. 

Reducing meat may influence your bloods viscosity, especially red meats. This is likely due to the saturated fats increase blood pressure, while polyunsaturated fats such as tuna, salmon, olive oil and avocados prevent high blood pressure. Replacing animal proteins with soy and plant proteins is another healthy alternative.

Eating vegetables and fruits high in potassium help reduce hypertension and stroke risks. These include: banana, sweet potatoes, pears, tomatoes, raisins, prunes, Brussels sprouts and oranges. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also naturally low in salt.

Eliminating processed and canned foods helps reduce salt in the diet and thus lowering blood pressure. Salt is also hidden in most snack foods and dairy products. Avoiding adding salt during food preparation is also key in lowering blood pressure.

Limiting alcohol intake can also help reduce blood pressure. While alcohol may cause higher blood pressure, dark chocolate (3 ounces a day) has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Vitamins and minerals to consider: Folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and magnesium all help reduce blood pressure.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How to Lay Layers

Layering a Bowl to Enjoy all Week

The key to preventing a soggy salad through the week is  layering by weight!
Putting the heaviest ingredients on the bottom and the lightest on the top prevents sogginess.
Not cutting tomatoes, which are watery, also preserves a salad.
Placing lettuce on top keeps it dry and crunchy.
Adding on dressing, salsa, avocado and Greek yogurt right before eating keeps everything crisp.

Mexican Bowl: 
-Layer in this order:
  • Fat Free Re-fried Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Onion
  • Spicy Chicken
  • Lettuce
-Add right before enjoying
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Salsa

Mediterranean Bowl:                        

-Layer in this order
  • Hummus
  • Couscous
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Olives
  • Lemon Chicken
  • Sauteed Onion
  • Feta
  • Spinach

-Add right before enjoying
  • Greek vinaigrette

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cool Treat for Warm Days

Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

  • 4 Bananas
  • 3 Tbls 100% Dark Coco Powder
  • 2 Tbls Peanut Butter
  • Splash of Soy Milk
  • 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Unsweetened Coconut to Garnish

-Cut and freeze bananas
-In blender or food processor add bananas, peanut butter and coco powder
-Blend on high and add a splash of soy milk (I used Vanilla)
- Blend until smooth
-Transfer ice cream into glass freezer safe bowl
-Fold in chocolate chips
-Enjoy with a sprinkle of coconut, nuts or fruit slices
-Store in freezer covered

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Eat Cake for Breakfast

Caprese Quiche

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 tbls minced garlic
  • 3 tbls dried basil
  • 1 cup fat free mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup soy milk

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Spray cake or pie pan with nonstick spray
-Chop onion and saute over medium heat with garlic
-Chop half of the tomatoes and remove seeds to prevent soggy quiche
-Add tomatoes and basil to onion mixture
-Pat tomato/onion mixture into the bottom of the pan
-Layer mozzarella over tomatoes
-Whisk eggs and milk together
-Pour egg mixture over cheese
-Top egg mixture with remainder of tomatoes and some basil
-Bake for 50 minutes or until set
-Cut and enjoy all week!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Prepping for Residency

Prepping for Residency

I start residency this week.  In a few days I will go to sleep a medical student and wake up as a resident. I can't lie, I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. I will be working long hours.... Really long hours. With that said I want to have a lot of energy and eat as healthy as possible (With the exception of a cookie or two to comfort eat and not panic at times).

Today I meal prep! This is my grocery list:

During orientation, I talked about meal prepping with my co-interns.  A few people said they couldn't think of eating the same thing all week, it doesn't bother me much, but this week I am going to make the effort to have multiple meal prep options for each meal.

Breakfasts: Since I will be rushing in the mornings, I need grab and go breakfasts. This week my options are smoothies and a quiche. One is sweet and the other savory.

Protein smoothie: Making multiple on Sunday, freezing them and thawing one each morning is how I meal prep smoothies

Quiche: This quiche is very simple to make and great to cut up into individual pieces for each morning. (Link to Recipe)

Lunch: I will be packing my lunches for work. The weeks recipes are Mexican and Mediterranean bowls. They are are simple to assemble and tailor to your taste in ingredients. Layering is key to prevent the bowls getting soggy through the week. 

This is how I layer: The bottom layer is heavy items such as beans, rice, hummus. Next is chopped vegetables such as peppers, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes. I keep tomatoes whole instead of cutting them because it decreases the liquids than can make the bowl soggy. On top of the vegetables goes the cheese, eggs and meats. The top layer is the lettuce. I then top the bowls with last minute goodies right before I eat them such as avocados (can turn brown if cut too early), salsa, Greek yogurt and dressings.

Dinner: Quick comfort foods are key for dinner after a long day. This week I am taking two of my favorites and making them healthier. Cesar salad and pizza! My mom introduced me to grilling romaine lettuce for the salad and it makes a Cesar so much better! I also made a skinny version of Cesar dressing.

Dessert: When stressed.... I crave sweets! It's finally summer, and that means I am craving ice cream. This is a new recipe I tried, its a dairy free no sugar added banana chocolate ice cream. It tricked me into thinking I was indulging on rich ice cream without the guilt. (Link to Recipe)

All of this weeks recipes will be posted this week as I find the time. Tonight as I write this, I feel relieved knowing that in the midst of the madness this week, there will be nutritious food waiting for me!

Have a great week