Thursday, January 9, 2014

Healthy 2014!

Happy 2014!  May your year be filled love, success and health.  I actually might be able to help you with the “health” part of it…..Part of healthy living, obviously, is healthy eating.  While I am a firm believer in “everything in moderation”, I still know that healthy eating, for myself and my family is key.

For me, 2014 is going to be the year of the vegetable.  And protein.  I can’t forget protein.  I think that these are the two things I skimp on the majority of the time.  My kids do too.  We tend to be pretty carb-centric.  I tend to stay away from veggies.  But no more!  No more, I say!

This year, I want to eat meals that contain more protein and more veggies, but I definitely don’t want to sacrifice taste.  And they have to be relatively easy.  We’re all busy, am I right?  Easy is a must. 

Today I have three recipes to show you, a breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And they are all easy and healthy.  These recipes have the perfect mix of protein, veggies and grains.  Plus, they are all delicious.

My Breakfast Frittata is the perfect start to the day for my family.  I’m up first, usually, so this is something easy for me to make when I get up.  The best part is that frittatas are delicious at room temperature, so my husband and kids can eat when they get to it.  And, this frittata uses up leftovers!

I start by adding precooked turkey sausage crumbles to an oven proof skillet.  This is a must as this cooks in the oven.  Plastic handles will melt!  I’ve learned that the hard way.  And the messy way.

I use Jimmy Dean Fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles.  They are super lean, and they cook quickly.  This frittata is the perfect way to use up leftover veggies, so I usually toss in chopped broccoli, mushrooms, tomato and green onions.  I also add leftover cooked quinoa for an extra protein kick. 

Have you tried quinoa yet?  I slowly got on board with it, but now I am fully on board.  It’s a super food.

Frittatas start on the stove top but finish in the oven.  It starts almost like scrambled eggs.  Once the eggs start to set, I sprinkle on cheese and then let that bad boy go in the oven for about ten minutes.

The resulting product is a crustless quiche essentially.  It slices easily and is super portable too.  It’s like an omelet that you can carry with you.  Yum!

What’s for lunch, you might ask?  How about grilled Chicken Gyros?  I marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a combination of plain non-fat yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and dried herbs.  I like to get that going the night before I want to eat it.  I let it marinate all night, then I grill the chicken in the morning.  It’s a perfect lunch to take to work!

The grilled chicken gets sliced thinly and served in whole wheat pitas with tomato, baby spinach and my homemade tzatziki sauce.  The chicken is tender and moist with so much flavor, and the tzatziki is creamy and delicious.  I think the tzatziki is my kid’s favorite.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, tzatziki sauce is a combination of plain yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic and lemon juice.  I add in some light sour cream so that my sauce isn’t super tangy.  It’s great on sandwiches, but it is also phenomenal as a dip.  My recipe gives you a bit extra for snacking.

These gyros are, again, a great combination of protein, veggies and grains.  And it is all super good for you!

As for dinner….this is a fun one…..Tilapia Roll-ups.  Yep, these are rolled up, pinwheel style, so my kids love them.

I start by making an edamame (lots of protein!) “hummus” out of boiled and shelled edamame, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and olive oil.  I spread this on thin fillets of tilapia (or any other thin white fish) and then top that with diced tomato and green onion.  I roll the fish up, securing the rolls with toothpicks, and bake the fish in a bit of lemon and olive oil.  It is super easy, super fun and super good.

I serve my roll-ups with a side of rice, quinoa, couscous or barley and a vegetable.  This is a great way to get fish into my family, as they are usually fish haters.  The roll-ups are so cute that my kids want to eat them, and the edamame “hummus” is so delicious that my husband can’t help but eat them up.  Win/win, right?

We all know that eating healthy is so important, but it can be hard.  We’re all busy.  We’re all pressed for time.  And we all want to eat something that actually tastes good!  I think these recipes fit the bill.  They taste great, are easy, and they are all healthy.  That is a great start to 2014 in my book.

Breakfast Frittata

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups Fully Cooked Turkey Sausage, Jimmy Dean

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

½ cup broccoli, left-over chopped

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

¼ cup green onions, chopped

1 cup quinoa, leftover

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 cups Egg Beaters, or 8 eggs

½ cup Fontina cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add olive oil to an 8 inch oven proof skillet.  Add turkey sausage and cook over medium heat until browned, about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, broccoli, tomato, green onions, quinoa and salt and pepper.  Continue cooking over medium heat until heated through.

If mixture looks dry, add additional olive oil so eggs will not stick.  Add Egg Beaters and let cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally with rubber spatula.  Push cooked egg into the middle of the pan so edges can cook.  Once eggs have set on the bottom, sprinkle cheese over the top and transfer pan to oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until frittata is set in the middle.

Let cool before slicing.

Serves 4


Chicken “Gyros”

1 pound chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons dried parsley

2 tablespoons dried chives

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

For serving:

Whole-wheat pitas

Sliced tomato

Baby spinach

Tzatziki Sauce (Recipe to follow)

Place chicken, yogurt, olive oil, parsley, chives, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and garlic in a re-sealable plastic bag.  Massage ingredients into chicken.  Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, no more than 8.

Pre-heat indoor grill or broiler.

For indoor grill:

Pace chicken on grill and close lid.  Grill for 6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

For Broiler:

Place chicken on broiler pan.  Broil for about 12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Flip chicken halfway through cook time.

Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, and then slice thinly.  Serve with pitas, tomatoes, baby spinach and tzatziki sauce.

Serves 4.

Tzatziki Sauce

½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup light sour cream

1/3 cup cucumber, grated and squeezed dry

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes about 1 cup.


Tilapia Roll-ups

1 pound tilapia fillets

2 cups edamame, boiled and shelled

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

¼ cup pecans

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tomato, seeded and diced

¼ cup green onions, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add boiled and shelled edamame, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, pecans, and parmesan cheese to bowl of food processor.  Process mixture while slowly drizzling in about 1/3 cup olive oil.  Blend until you have a smooth paste.

Spread each tilapia fillet with about 1 to 2 tablespoons edamame mixture (depending on size).  Top evenly with tomato and green onion.  Roll fillet up into a pinwheel, securing with toothpicks.

Add remaining olive oil to an 8x8 baking dish.  Add rolls, standing the rolls up with about an inch between each.  Drizzle remaining lemon juice over the tops and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Cover baking dish tightly with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until fish is flaky.

Spoon lemon and olive oil “sauce” over fish roll-ups to serve.

Serves 4

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