Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake For all my gluten free friends and chocolate lovers alike… enjoy this amazing treat!  If you feel like switching things up a bit, use coffee instead of the water.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 18oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs

Directions:  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).  Grease one 10 inch round cake pan and set aside.  In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the water, salt and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside.  Either in the top half of a double boiler or in a microwave oven melt the bittersweet chocolate. Pour the chocolate into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cut the butter into pieces and beat the butter into the chocolate, 1 piece at a time.  Beat in the hot sugar-water.  Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Have a pan larger than the cake pan ready, put the cake pan in the larger pan and fill the pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the cake pan.  Bake cake in the water bath at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 45 minutes.  The center will still look wet.  Chill cake overnight in the pan.  To unmold, dip the bottom of the cake pan in hot water for 10 seconds and invert onto a serving plate.

Glycemic Index

GI Have you heard of Glycemic Index?  It is a great tool that can help those who are watching their blood sugar levels with diet.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise our blood glucose (blood sugar) level. A food with a low GI will typically prompt a moderate rise in blood glucose, while a food with a high GI may cause our blood glucose level to increase above the optimal level.

There are many websites with lists of foods and their GI score available on the internet.  Some of those include:

A couple of things to keep in mind, portion control is a huge part of any healthy food lifestyle.  Also, these items are listed separately.  It does not take in to consideration the changing factors of preparation and how the items may change their GI when digested together.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

This salad is so easy and absolutely delicious!  It’s a warm weather staple in our household.  Greek salad

Greek Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese and Olives

Serves 6 to 8

For an authentic taste to this classic Greek salad, also called Saláta Horiátiki, use Greek olive oil, Kalamata olives, sheep or goat’s milk feta and fresh oregano.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Method:  In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, feta cheese and olives and toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info:  Per Serving:200 calories (160 from fat), 18g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 480mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 4g protein

Calling all Gardeners

Cool black dirt, baby plants looking for a home, mouth salivating at the possible vegetables that will be enjoyed in just a few short weeks.  Yep, it’s gardening time!  This is only the second time we have done a garden together and I’m hoping this season we have better luck.  gardening

I grew up with a huge garden every year.  It has always been my goal to replicate the bounty that my parents could produce.  Someday, I will succeed!  For now, we have two 4×8 raised beds and a few pots.  This year, we are doing beans, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, spinach, kale and herbs.

Tell me about your gardens!  I want to know your tricks of the trade.  What veggies do better next to others, which do you start by seed and plant?  I realize there are hundreds of books on the subject but I prefer firsthand experience to learn from.

Spring Clean Your Body

spring cleaning Spring is the time of year many people deep clean their houses of the winter grunge.  I think it’s also a great time to do the same for our bodies.  We have been cooped up for months and probably running pretty sluggish as well.

There are many ways we can detox our bodies.  Some prefer the help of medical shakes and supplements while others like to rely on the natural properties in a number of spices and produce to do the work of the medical foods.   As a whole, bitter, pungent foods are in this category.

Here is a list of natural body cleansers:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Lemon
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Arugula
  • Radishes

Foods to avoid during a cleanse would be:  heavy, oily, salty foods, red meat and dairy.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower-Crust-Pizza-2 We went over to a friend’s house a couple weeks back to meet their handsome new baby boy and play a bit with his older brother.  They had us over for dinner and made pizza.

First I have to say, if someone is gracious enough to make a meal, I will eat whatever is put in front of me and be thankful for every bite.  I may be a health coach but I am not a food snob!

My friend had in the past made a gluten free crust and decided to make one pizza with that recipe and one with a regular dough crust.  The gluten free crust was actually made of cauliflower, and was delicious!  It was so good, my husband and I made pizza that very next week and used the recipe again.

There are many renditions of gluten free crust but this just happens to be the one that I am forwarding to you.  Experiment with this recipe and other ingredients such as corn or rice flour and so on.  Find your favorite and fill the top with lots of great veggies!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Cauliflower, 1 cup
  • Egg, 1 large
  • Cheddar Cheese, 1 cup, shredded (The higher quality the better.)
  • Fennel, 1/2 tsp
  • Oregano, ground, 1 tsp
  • Parsley, dried, 2 tsp

Directions:

Rice or finely chop the cauliflower.  (Remove the cauliflower from the main stem, soak it in cool salt water for about 5 minutes before you grate it or chop it.)  Beat egg, add the cauliflower, and shredded cheese.  Mix the ingredients, squeeze out remaining liquid and press into a greased pizza pan then sprinkle with the spices. Bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes. If you double the recipe cook 15 to 20 minutes.  (I also noticed that if you make the outside of the crust thicker than the middle, it bakes more evenly.),

Add desired pizza topping (not included in nutritional info) such as red sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, onions, cheese, etc.  Bake until brown and cheese is bubbly.  (I left mine in about 8 to 10 minutes.)

This makes 6-8 smaller pieces.

Fish en Papillote

En Papillote While on vacation we ate quite a bit of fish.  One of the more memorable meals was a white fish that they baked en Papillote.  I had done this in cooking school years back but hadn’t thought much about it since.  It looks complicated but is actually really simple and the end result it always yummy.

This recipe looks exactly like what we ate on the island and it was delicious. The quality of the fish and herbs is what will make or break this meal.  I also added a link that explains the steps of wrapping the parchment in more detail.  Be a bit adventurous and try it out.  You won’t be disappointed!

How to cook en Papillote

Fish en Papillote

Recipe courtesy Melissa d’Arabian

Prep Time:20 min    Inactive Prep Time:15 min    Cook Time:12 min
Level:Intermediate
Serves:4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) sole fillets, hake, flounder or other white fish
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 pats butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix together the onion, zucchini, carrot and garlic. Adds the oil, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. Put each fish fillet in a large square of parchment paper and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the vegetables on top, dividing evenly. Top the vegetables with 2 lemon slices, 2 sprigs thyme, a pat of butter and 1 tablespoon white wine, layering in order. Fold the parchment paper around the edges tightly in 1/4-inch folds to create a half moon shape. Make sure you press as you crimp and fold to seal the packets well, otherwise the steam will escape. Arrange the packets on a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. To serve, cut open the packets and serve directly in the parchment on a plate or remove the fish to the plate using a spatula, being sure you don’t leave the juices behind.

Vacation Bulge

beach Why is it that we work so hard to look good for vacation, then get there and blow our diet and toned body completely in a week’s time?  How about a play on words and call it in the time frame of a weak!

Honestly, do we really think eating and drinking anything we want on vacation won’t latch on to our tummies and thighs and hitch a ride home with us?  Evidently that’s what was going through my head.

Oh well, what’s done is done.  I had an amazing time spending the week with my husband in the Caribbean.  I might have brought back a few pounds but I also brought back a more relaxed mind and a high level of Vitamin D 😉

Maybe that’s the moral of the story…  It’s called a vacation for a reason.  Enjoy every minute, remember that it’s not forever and when you get back home, don’t even think about putting on your skinny jeans for at least two weeks!

Kale Chips

Did you know Kale is very high in Beta Carotene, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and rich in Calcium?  Although it is very pretty when used in food presentation, it’s also an amazing super food and should be incorporated more into our meal planning.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat Kale.  It is very easy and my husband even loves it.  Bonus!

kale chips Kale Chips

Buy a head of Kale that is not limp or discolored.  Organic is my choice but does not have to be yours.

Tear bite-sized pieces away from the stems of each leaf.  No need for perfection.

Soak in salt water for about 5 minutes.  Rinse the pieces at least twice and spin using a salad spinner until they are as dry as possible.

Place the pieces in a large bowl.

Drizzle

  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • A touch of Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

If you’re feeling adventurous:

  •  1 to 2 teaspoons of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of Cumin
  • A dash of Garlic (either granulated or powdered)

Toss until covered evenly.

If you have a dehydrator, place the leaves in a single layer on the shelves.  Turn it to the vegetable setting and let it go for at least 9 hours.  Take them out when they get to your preference of crispness.

You can also do kale chips in the oven.

Preheat to 375 degrees.

After they are tossed evenly, place them in a single layer on parchment covered sheet pans.  Put them in the oven and turn once at 7 minutes.  They should be done between 13 and 15 minutes depending on your crispness preference.

There are numerous flavor combinations that can be used.  Experiment and find your favorite, then share it with me!  I love trying new things!

The Word Healthy

It’s the time of year that everyone is using the term “HEALTHY”.  What does that word mean to you?  I’ve heard some people say that just hearing the word puts them on the defense.  Why would that be, I wonder?  Could it be because some people register healthy with change?  I could see someone resistant to change not liking the thought of having to change their lifestyle.

healthy heart What are your thoughts?  Do you not like the word healthy?  What word would bring a positive reaction?  How about: energized, choices, fresh, goals, results, motivated. Whatever the word is, say it and say it with enthusiasm!  Don’t let a negative attitude get the best of your goals.

Every year, you say you are going to take back control of your body and make better choices.  Make this the year that you follow through.  At the end of the day, it’s all on your shoulders.  YOU have control!  Have fun with change and challenge and reap the benefits of proving to yourself that you exceeded by your own determination.   You will be pleasantly surprised.  I promise!

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