Sunday, March 30, 2014

Applesauce Fruit Leather

Why not have some healthy fruit leather hangin' around for a nice little snack, or to feed to the kids instead of store bought fruit snacks !!!  Actually, it would be fun to involve the kiddo's in this exciting science experiment ( I know I had fun at 50 whipping together leather)   :) :)  Very simple project, and not much mess, give a try !

2 cups applesauce
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
cooking spray

     Preheat oven to 150 degrees.  Mix ingredients together, and spray parchment paper with Pam and put on cookie sheet.  Spread several thin layers on parchment paper, put in oven and leave door open a bit and cook for 6-8 hours.  Enjoy  ;)

Papa Bear Blueberry Oatmeal with Walnuts

     A growing oatmeal bowl will keep you full for hours !!!  This breakfast is so hearty that you will want to have it as a "go to" on high energy mornings, or a great healthy post work out snack anytime of day.  Try this once and you will be hooked for sure !!!  All this for 280 calories~ #WINNING

1/2 cup oats, not instant
1 cup water
1 cup 30 cal/cup Almond Milk
1 teaspoon packed Brown Sugar Splenda
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Paige's Handcrafted Vanilla
Dash Almond extract
1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

     Gently boil all ingredients for 12-15 minutes, except blueberries, for 12-15 minutes, stirring constantly.  Let cool slightly and stir in blueberries.  YUM ~ this is a double volume of goodness and health all in one bowl !!!  Enjoy  ;)

Blueberry Protein Mug Muffin

     Berry season is upon us !!!  Yeah us !!!  This is a wonderful little dish that you can whip together lickity splickity !!!  Not to mention super duper delicious !!!  Great Stats too~ 240 calories, 19 gms carbs, 16 gms protein, and great sources of fiber!!!  Whip this up the night before if you have an early morning and take it to go if necessary ;)

1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup egg whites
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar Splenda
Dash cinnamon
Dash Paige's Handcrafted Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Ground Flax Seed
1 Tablespoon Vanilla V-Core Protein Powder found at Complete Nutrition
1/3 cup Almond Milk ( I use the 30 cal/cup), or enough to mix ingredients thoroughly
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chopped strawberries

     Spray Pam in Microwave proof mug, mix all ingredients together except strawberries and microwave for 2 minutes.  Top with chopped strawberries and enjoy   ;)

Spaghetti Squash with Roma Tomoatoes

     I just love my Spaghetti Squash !!!  There are so many things you can do with this super squash !!!  So don't fear the squash !!!  To start off, if you can get your produce guy to cut this horizontally for you before you bring it home, that is a big help.  They are a little cumbersome to cut.  If need be, you can pierce it with a fork several times and microwave it a few minutes to soften it, then cut it in two.  Line a cake pan with aluminum foil, cut in two and scrape the seeds out of the middle and discard.  Place your squash face down and bake at 375 for an hour. Let rest for 30 minutes.

3-4 Roma Tomatoes diced and drained on paper towel thru out the day if possible, or for as much time as you have.
1 Vidalia Onion, chopped
Chopped garlic to taste
1 Tablespoon EVOO
Dash of Cayenne, to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Light Butter
Shaved Parmesan, desired amount.

     Heat EVOO in skillet, add onions, garlic, and cayenne and cook on medium heat til golden brown, Do not rush this step.  When done cooking, scrape the spaghetti strands out of squash into large bowl, top with onion mixture, tomatoes, butter, salt and pepper and mix together.  Top with shaved Parmesan and serve!  I like to serve with Broccoli and Grilled Chicken~ Enjoy  :)

Grilled Ribeye Corn and Edamame Salad with Bluecheese Dressing

      One of the biggest pro's of the warming weather is that I can get The Hubs out there on the grill, ... and he is the GRILL MASTER !!!  Its hard to ever want to go out to eat when I can have the best right here at home !!!  I lucked out with this guy  ;) ... and so did you because I will be sharing a lot more of his recipes as time goes on!  I don't know a thing about the grill ( I'm no fool, you have to be careful in a marriage because once you do something there is risk of it becoming your job)  Anyhoo, what he tells me is that after you make your pyramid of coals and get them to the red and white hot stage, then you spread them out and sear your steaks for 2 minutes on each side, close the lid and check after a few minutes ( The Hubs says you can cut off a piece to sample along the way for another way to check on level of doneness), flip and grill the other side another few minutes and check again. Also, you can test the meat for firmness, we like our beef medium rare and so the meat remains softer to touch, if you want your beef more done then your steak will be more firm to the touch.  And his biggest secret is Lawrys Seasoned Salt, it's the only spice he uses on his meats and it turns out perfectly every single time !!!  There have been times we experiment with other things, but we always return to our tried and true method.  If you have grilling tips you would like to share, I would love to hear them !!!  ;)

Ingredients for Salad~
Make a mixture of Greens of Kale, Spinach Leaves, Romaine, Green Onions, Baby Carrots, Cilantro
3oz  grilled Ribeye pieces
1/3 Cup Corn and Edamame Steamable's Vegetables
1 Tablespoon Brianna's Bluecheese Dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste

     Fill your dinner plate with mixed fresh salad. Top with steak pieces, corn and edamame, salt and pepper, and top with Bluecheese dressing. I didn't count the calories of the greens, but I'm guessing 50-75 calories at the most.  So for the beef, corn, edamame, and dressing the nutritional stats are 331 calories, 11 gms carbs, and 26.5 gms protein.  Beef is higher in calories, but also in protein.  We don't eat red meat that often, but I have no problem with it every once in a while. Again, portion control is where common sense comes in when we eat things that are a touch higher in fat and carbs than our staple diet. This salad was so full of rich flavor, you will want this once a week!!!  Enjoy  ;)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stir Fry Chicken Asparagus Avacado Medley

     I have always loved recipes and cooking, but my real desire got amped up when I submitted this recipe for the Eagle Holiday Cookbook and made it to PRINT ( 20 years ago) !!!  ... I think just honorable mention... not 1st Place, but hey ...  Actually,  this is now my hubby's favorite dish, and his request for birthday dinners !!! It doesn't get much better than this number, check it out !!!  ;)

Ingredients for Dressing~
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons EVOO
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon chopped jarred garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

     Mix thoroughly with fork and set aside.

Ingredients for Salad~
2-3 avocados, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced ( I don't peel mine, keep the nutrients)
2-3 Roma Tomato's diced and drained on a paper towel thru out the day
1 small purple onion, diced
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 yellow onion, chopped
Dash cayenne pepper
16oz sliced mushrooms
2-4 teaspoons chopped jarred garlic
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
1 pound trimmed and cut asparagus pieces
Grated Parmesan Cheese, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste

     Put diced avocado, zucchini, tomato and purple onion in large salad or pasta bowl.  In large skillet, saute' onion, garlic and dash of cayenne til golden brown.  Add chicken and cook thoroughly, then add mushrooms and asparagus til cooked thru and asparagus is crisp tender, breaking up chicken with spatula into bite size pieces.  When finished cooking, dump on top of avacado mixture in pasta bowl, add dressing and mix thoroughly. Top with parmesan, salt and pepper and serve over bow tie pasta if desired for a heartier meal.  Enjoy  ;)

Chicken Broth Buttered Bowtie Pasta

     You don't have to have a heavy cream to make a wonderfully rich pasta.  Pasta does not get any better than this !!!  This is one of those recipes that I have on special occasions and not as a everyday staple,( Luckily it was my hubby's birthday)  ... even though I would be HAPPY to eat it every day, ... and once I get to Heaven that's exactly what I will be doing !!! ( I have already decided that there are no "carb concerns" in heaven) the meantime, pray for a Holiday to pop up soon !!!  ;)

1 yellow onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons butter
12oz Bowtie Pasta
1/4 Cup Vermouth
4 Cups Chicken Broth

     Saute' chopped onion in butter til golden brown.  Add pasta ( use a good brand) and stir for a minute.  Add Vermouth and stir until it is absorbed.  Add chicken broth and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  The secret is to success is the slow cooking.  Enjoy  ;)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Roasted Strawberry Protein Shake~ YUM

     With Spring in full swing, I love having all our wonderful fruit and produce.  What better way to celebrate our warming temperatures than to play with roasting our fruit to bring out there natural sweetness !!!  Roasting Strawberries with a hint of stevia was a perfect start to a wonderfully healthy shake !!!  Try roasting with your favorite fruit and see what it "produces"  ;) 

3/4 cup strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1 cup Almond Milk ( 30 cal/cup)
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
1/2 scoop Vanilla V Core protein powder from Complete Nutrition
dash cinnamon
dash Paige's Handcrafted Vanilla
1 packet Stevia

     Roast diced strawberries in 425 oven for 12-15 minutes on parchment lined pan after tossing with 1 packet of stevia.  When cooled, blend in Magic Bullet with cottage cheese, milk, flax seed, cinnamon and vanilla.  Enjoy all this flavor and nutrition for 290 calories, 16 gms carbs, 30 gms protein, and 9 gms fiber~ this is a nutritional powerhouse folks  ;)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gluten Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

     Soooo, I just ground my own Quinoa Flour...yep, you read that right...  With this recipe, the big secret is to chill the dough before cooking, otherwise it had a tendency to melt and be VERY flat. But the taste was still pretty darn good~ I made these for my hubby's birthday... I am sure he will be thrilled with Gluten Free Quinoa Ground Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies... I mean, who wouldn't want that for their birthday, ... right !?  ;)  ( PS If you want to know a little more about the great benefits of Coconut Oil, check out this article from Nutri Inspector, an online health magazine. )

2 cups Quinoa Flour ( I made my own and have a recipe on my blog, otherwise use Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Dash Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon light Salt
2/3 cup Coconut Oil, melted
1 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Chocolate Chips
coarse Sea Salt, for sprinkling

     Preheat oven to 350.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside.  Then mix together coconut oil and brown sugar til smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.  Add in flour and mix just until combined, then fold in chocolate chips.  Chill dough for 20 minutes, then roll into small balls and bake 2 inches apart for 8-11 minutes.  Mine turned out very flat but still tasted good.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt when cooked.  Let rest on cookie sheet til cooled as these can be crumbly and delicate.  Then remove to wire rack to rest til completely cooled.  Enjoy  ;)

Blueberry Greek Protein Cheesecake

     What goes together better than Blueberries and Cheesecake !?  Nothin', that's what !!!  ;)  Throw this together and you can have a fun delight to start every day or have as exciting snack any time of day !!! Great nutritionals to boot~250 calories, 17 gms carbs, 27 gms protein and 5 gms fiber.

5.3oz Dannon Greek Light&Fit Blueberry Yogurt
1/4 Cup Fresh Bluberries
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
Dash of Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese

     Mix together and enjoy ;)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brussel Barley Pecan Feta Cranberry Agave Salad

     I can't get enough of Summer Blend Salads !!!  Love the crunchy sweet accents with fresh produce and a hint of grain, ... who wouldn't!?  :0   So when I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest I knew it had my name written all over it !!!  I literally couldn't look away !!!! I made a few changes and decided MUST. TRY. SOON. !!!  I was not sorry I did either, this turned out great and I would highly recommend it at your next get together or holiday!  It can take on a fancy air, or stand alone as an everyday sturdy side dish.  Which ever the case it really doesn't matter, cause this is just darn good !!!  ;)

1-2 pounds Brussel Sprouts , de-stemed and quartered
2/3 Cup fresh Cranberries or dried Cranberries ( reduced sugar if available)
1/3 Cup reduced fat Feta crumbles
1/3 Cup Pecans Roasted ( Roast in Pam sprayed foil lined pan at 315 degrees for 7 minutes, then turn over and continue roasting for another 7 minutes til golden and producing a nutty smell.  I like roasting versus pan toasting as I find it more reliable and less likely to burn.  Also, roasting your pecan brings out a much richer flavor of the nut)
1/2 Cup Barley
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

     Prepare barley according to package directions.  Heat sprouts, cranberries and EVOO in skillet over medium heat til sprouts are browned and cooked crisp tender, about 30 minutes.  If you are using dried cranberries, then add after the sprouts are thoroughly cooked.  Season with salt and pepper, add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup or agave nectar, stir to coat and remove from heat.  Toss barley, sprouts, cranberries and pecans in large bowl and top with reduced fat Feta !!!  Enjoy  ;)

Italian Tilapia

     Tilapia may be one of my favorite white fish !!!  It's my "go to" for white fish during the week, its great solo or in a fish taco!  I love the mild fish flavor of Tilapia, and also love that it is only 110 calories and 21 gms protein ( no carbs) per 4oz.  This is a nutritional powerhouse !!!  I can whip this dish together so fast it will make your head spin, not to mention the outta the park great flavor !!!  I don't even bother marinating this fish, I simply throw the fish in a nonstick heated skillet and pour a few Tablespoons of Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian Dressing ( 30 cal/2 TBLSP) on top and cook til flaky, turning over half way thru cooking.  This method works GREAT with boneless skinless chicken tenders as well.  Keep this recipe in your back pocket when you need to put together a meal last minute or just want something easy. This works great with a simple side salad or serve with a fancy Brussel Sprout salad like I did tonight !!!  Enjoy  :)

Pan Charred Sweet Potatoes

     I don't know about you, but I LOVE Sweet Potatoes !!!  I love them every way they can be fixed !!!  Mostly, I love them plain, baked, chilled and eaten straight from the frig as a dessert fill in snack !!!  Did I mention how much I LOVE them !!!???  Anyhoo, I had a few left over baked sweet potatoes and I decided to give a whirl to pan charring them and see what the sugars do during this high heat cooking process.  And, as expected it worked out great !!!  The charring really brought out the delicious sweetness of the starches in the potato.  I will definitely try this again soon  :)

    Pierce potato and wrap in foil, bake in foil lined pan at 400 for an hour and a half.  Cool and chill.  When ready to char, slice potato in several rings, and heat a nonstick skillet on high heat for 2 minutes then spray with Pam Olive Oil.  Immediately lay slices in hot skillet and let it char for 2 minutes with out moving, after that turn over and let the other side start to char.  Keep a close eye on the potatoes and turn every so often til desired charring occurs.  Enjoy  ;)

Make your own Quinoa Flour !!! ;)

     Why bother paying high dollar for a Gluten Free alternative when you can do it yourself so simply !? This is not hard at all, and the beauty of it is that you can make the exact amount you need with out any waste or storage concern. This is also a great way to experiment with quinoa flour without buying an entire package, and is less expensive than buying from the grocery.  #WINNING  You can store quinoa flour in an airtight container in the frig for up to 6 months or freezer for 1 year.  Ok, lets get started ~ Rinse 2 cups quinoa through a mesh sieve for at least 1 minute to remove any remaining saponins.  The rinsing and toasting do the same thing: removing the outer saponins on the shell of the seed.  The saponins are what give quinoa the bitter taste, when they aren't removed.  Shake off as much water as possible, then spread on foil lined cake pan and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until dry, slightly golden and fragment.  Cool completely.  Place 1/4-1/2 cup in your Magic Bullet and blend to fine powder ( this will only take about 10-15 seconds).  Word on the street is that the small batches in the Magic Bullet makes finer powder than your food processor, and it worked GREAT for me !!!  A 1/4 cup roasted quinoa will yield about 1/3 cup of fine quinoa flour.  Repeat til you have the desired amount of flour you need.  Poof,  you are now the proud owner of DIY Quinoa Flour !!!  Congratulations !!!  Volume wise, you can substitute 1:1 , but this doesn't work with all recipes since the gluten is not there to absorb water and form a network. In many pre-mixed gluten free baking flours, there is added xanthum gum.  You will probably have to do a google search for what recipes you are wanting to experiment with !!!  Happy Baking~ Enjoy  ;)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Orange Chicken with Purple Cabbage

      Don't ya just love Chinese food!?  But how do you like it when your rings wont fit the next morning!?  eeekkkk  This is a lighter version of Orange Chicken with the addition of cabbage to up the roughage factor, increase the volume, add a little vegetable and still enjoy all the flavor!  This has a little kick to it as well if you like that zippidty doo dah zing !!!  You can enjoy a fourth of this recipe for 325 calories, 9 g carbs, 20 g carbs, 33 g protein~ such a deal !!! This recipe was inspired by the talented, check out her blog, you will simply fall in love with it just like I did !!! I served this with Pan Charred Green Beans with Tarragon, check out my recipe for that on my blog, I knocked it outta the park with that one !!!  Now go WOK away the night ...  ;)

Ingredients for Orange Sauce~
1/3 Cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup chicken broth ( reduced sodium if available)
2 Tablespoons light sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine or White Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sriracha, or more to taste if you really like it hot
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons corn starch
     Mix all together and set to the side for later.

Ingredients for Chicken~
20oz  boneless skinless chicken tenders cut into bite size pieces
1/2 Head of Purple Cabbage sliced and diced and cooked til crisp tender in 1 teaspoon EVOO in skillet~ set aside ( feel free to add a lid to the skillet to speed up the process and steam while cooking)
Light salt to taste
1 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
3 teaspoons sesame oil
2 heaping teaspoons jarred chopped garlic ( feel free to use fresh and mince your own if desired)
1 inch grated ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 Tablespoon chopped green onion

     I mixed the chicken and corn starch in a zip lock baggie and cook half the batch in one teaspoon sesame oil til cooked thru, set aside and repeat with other half of chicken and another teaspoon sesame oil, and set aside again.  Heat last teaspoon sesame oil and stir fry ginger and garlic for a couple minutes, then add the orange zest, the chicken, the cabbage and the orange sauce~ simmer down til thickened for about 2-3 minutes.  Divide into four servings and top with green onion slices and light salt to taste.  This dish was quickly gobbled up this evening with only a few traces left in the pan !!!  I also would like to try this dish with Shrimp next time, that sounds YUMMY !!!  Enjoy ;)

High Protein Cherry Cheesecake Filling

     The perfect start to any day includes a healthy dose of Cherry Cheesecake!!!  Why not!?  If you could have all this for 255 calories, 18 gms carbs, 27 gms protein, and 5 gms fiber then I suggest you give it a filling try  :)

5.3oz Dannon Greek Light&Fit Cherry Yogurt
1/2 Cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese
Dash Cinnamon
6 Dark Sweet Cherries, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed

     Blend together and start your day right !!!  Enjoy  :)

Pan Charred Green Beans with Tarragon

     If you remotely like green beans, you will LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe !!!!  Green beans were one of my favorites before and now I have the perfect recipe to have every couple weeks. It also gave me a great appreciation of Tarragon, and a new commitment to try more recipes with Tarragon !!!  The whole family liked it as well !!!  #WINNING   Be looking for a Tuna Tarragon recipe very soon ...  ;)

8oz washed and trimmed fresh green beans
1 1/2 teaspoon butter
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons dried Tarragon
Light Salt to taste

     Heat medium , heavy skillet ( do not use a nonstick skillet for this) over high heat for 2 minutes.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Immediately add green beans to pan, shaking them into a single layer; cook, without stirring, 2 minutes or until beans are very lightly charred.  Cook beans 5 more minutes or until crisp-tender and evenly charred, tossing occasionally.  Remove pan from heat.  Let beans rest for 1 minute.  Add butter; toss until butter melts and coats beans.  Add vinegar; toss.  Turn on heat if necessary to evaporate most of liquid.  Sprinkle beans with tarragon and salt; toss.  Serve immediately. This is a quick way to have high pitched flavored green beans, nutritional stats are for a fourth of the recipe~ 33 calories, 4gms carbs, 1 gm protein, and 2gms fiber.   Enjoy  ;)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Greek Strawberry Protein Cheesecake Filling

     This is definitely delicious and nutritious!!!  This is so simple and filled with flavor AND PROTEIN !!!  This don't miss dish is sure to please at 283 calories, 6 gms fiber, 17.5 gms carbs, and a WHOPPING 32.5 gms protein !!! I would put these super stats in my regular regime during the week, perfect way to start any day of the week !!!  ;)

1/2 Cup chopped Strawberries
2 Tablespoons GROUND Flaxseed
1 Dannon Greek Light&Fit Strawberry Yogurt (5.3oz)
1/2 Cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Protein Powder ( I use Vanilla Bean V-Core from Complete Nutrition)
Dash Cinnamon

     Blend together and serve!!!  Enjoy  ;)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

     Remember when you were a kid and wanted ice cream for breakfast !!!???  Wwwweeeellll, now you can !!!!  ... and no one will yell at you !!!  #SCORE  In fact, this is so good for you that you could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner !!!  HA  But, probably shouldn't ...  This is a great concoction for only 240 calories, 26 gms carbs, and 12 gms protein. So the next time you have a hankering for ice cream for breakfast, scoop away !!!  ;)

1 medium banana ( about 5.5 oz), sliced into thin wheels and put into the freezer til solid ( I wrap mine in Saran Wrap before putting in the freezer and lay them out in a single layer so they don't clump)
1 packet of stevia
1/4 cup Almond Milk ( I use the 30 cal/cup)
1/2 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
1/2 Tablespoon PB2
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Paige's Handcrafted Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Protein Powder ( I use the V-Core Fudge Carmel from Complete Nutrition)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

     Blend all together in the Magic Bullet and let the flavors literally melt in your mouth !!!  This is one delicious combination and I'm so glad I thought of it !!!  The next time you have a late night craving, keep banana disc's frozen and on hand and whip up some ice cream for a late night treat !!!  Enjoy  ;)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Clams Linguine~whats the "Dish on Pasta" !?

     So, what's the dish on pasta!?  Is it good or is it bad !?  ....Yes and Yes ...  As in all things, moderation is the key !!!  Next to portion control and frequency, choice of pasta is the biggest key factor here !!!  Not all pasta is created equal !!!  Tonight's dinner is a perfect example, the Linguine I served was a lower carb higher fiber pasta, and cooked al dente ( and tasted fantastic).  The upside to this type of carbohydrate is that it helps you feel full longer and has only a mild effect on your Blood Sugar Level, and would be considered lower on the Glycemic Index.  The goal would be to avoid the over processed stuff and shop for 100% Whole Wheat, Low Carb, High Fiber,Spinach or Black Bean Pasta ( yes, I said Spinach and Black Bean~ found mostly at Health Food Stores). There are several options on the market today to skim in the pasta aisle, just read the labels and make the best choice for your family, always remembering to cook al dente.  Once you cook to the mush stage you have increased the Glycemic Index tremendously. The next goal is portion control, a single serving is about the diameter of a dime ( yes, I said dime), or 1/2 cup of the short pasta pre cooked.  Forget those Italian visions of an over flowing dinner plate of  spaghetti and meatballs with loads of Parmesan ( that just ain't happenin' ) ... unless that's for a family of five ... The last goal is to top with a lean protein and fresh vegetables, forget the high salt, high fat, high cheese toppings.  If you will stick to these simple guidelines, there is no reason you cant incorporate pasta once or twice a month into a healthy regime.  So get out your fork and prepare to twirl the night away !!!

8oz High Fiber High Protein Linguine Pasta ( I bought the Dreamfields Brand~Healthy Carb Living)
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 large Yellow Onion
1/2-1 Tablespoon Chopped jarred Garlic ( or knock yourself out and press your own garlic, I'm too lazy for that stuff)
Cayenne Pepper, desired amount
1 Tablespoon dried Parsley
20oz Whole Baby Clams, 1/2 cup juice reserved
Chopped Roma Tomato
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

     Cook pasta in boiling water per directions to al dente stage, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat EVOO in skillet and add chopped onion, garlic and dash cayenne til golden brown. Add clams and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes. Add reserved juice, lemon juice, and parsley and cook juice down another 3-4 minutes.  Divide pasta into FOUR servings and top with clams, fresh chopped tomato, and a Tablespoon of Parmesan. This is a fast dinner to make and could not taste any better than it does~ thoroughly divine !!!  ENJOY  ;)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Four Easy Steps to "Planking" ... on the grill that is, .. not in the gym ...

Step 1: Choose a grilling plank
Cedar lends the most intense, aromatic flavor to salmon, but other woods are excellent for plank-grilling, too.  Here are some examples:
Alder: Adds a mild, mellow flavor
Cherry: Imparts a rich, bright flavor
Hickory: Gives food a strong, smoky flavor
Maple: Adds a mild and sweet flavor
Tip: Look for grilling planks at specialty cookware stores, hardware stores, and grilling supply outlets.

Step 2: Prepare the Plank
Plank-grilling gives Salmon the flavor imparted by a smoker with the convenience of a grill.  Be sure to prepare your wood properly to increase moisture for cooking and prevent burning.  Take these steps to prepare your wooden grilling plank:
~Rinse the plank with water to remove any dust.
~Fill a sink or other large container with water.
~Submerge the plank in the water, placing a weight on top of it.  Soak the plank for 1 to 4 hours.
~Enhance the plank's flavor by adding 1 Tablespoon salt to the water. If desired, you may also stir in 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, citrus or berry juice, or flavored liqueur to add more flavor.

Step 3: Leave the Salmon Filet whole, cut it into serving-size portions, or use individual salmon steaks.  You can add a dry rub, marinade, or herb mixture to flavor the salmon.  Apply rubs to the salmon up to 24 hours in advance.  Add marinades or herb mixtures to the salmon 2 hours or less before cooking.

Step 4: Prepare the grill for direct grilling

For a Charcoal grill:
     Light coals using lighter fluid, an electric starter, or a chimney starter.  ( If using lighter fluid, wait 1 minute before igniting the fire.)  Let the fire burn until the coals are covered with a light coating of gray ash.
     Arrange coals evenly across the bottom of the grill, covering an area 3 inches larger on all sides than the plank.

For a gas grill:
     To light a gas grill, open the lid.  Turn the gas valve to "on" and ignite the grill as directed by the manufacturer.  Turn the burners on high.  Close the lid and preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes.
     Reduce the heat to medium.

Tip:  To test the level of heat, carefully place the palm of your hand at the level of the grill rack and count the number of seconds you can hold it in that position.  If the heat is low, you should be able to hold your hand in the position for 6 seconds.  If the heat is medium, you should be able to hold your hand in the position for about 4 seconds.  If the heat is high, you should be able to hold your hand in the position for 2 seconds.

To adjust the heat on a charcoal grill:
     If the coals are too hot, raise the grill rack, spread the coals apart, close the vents halfway, or remove some briquettes.
     If the coals are too cool, use the long-handled tongs to tap ashes off the burning coals, move coals together, add briquettes, lower the rack, or open the vents.
     To adjust the heat on a gas grill, turn the burners to higher or lower heat settings as needed.

Step 4:  Time to grill
     Place the plank on the grill rack and allow it to preheat for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to crackle and smoke.
     Lay the salmon onto the plank, cover the grill, and allow the salmon to cook for 18 to 22 minutes, depending on its thickness.
     To test for doneness, insert a fork into the thickest part of the salmon.  If it flakes easily, it's finished cooking.

Tip:  The plank should be approximately 8 inches from the heat.  If you do not have control over the plank height, closely monitor the salmon while on the grill to make sure it doesn't overcook.

Gluten Free Brownies

     Brownies have to be one of Americas favorite dessert !!!  How much better if we could have them flour free and little to no sugar and still be moist and delicious !!!  This recipe comes pretty darn close to being perfect in all areas!  Simple to whip together and sure to please, add these to your next Sunday dinner and you will be everyone's favorite person  ;)

1/2 Cup Oats blended into powder ( make sure to buy the Gluten Free Oatmeal~like Bob's Red Mill or McCanns~ otherwise there is a chance of traces of Gluten in the Oatmeal, so it depends on your intolerance level to Gluten)
1/2 Cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Stevia or Coconut Sugar
3/4 Cup Greek Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 Cup Almond Milk or Skim Milk
1 egg
1/3 Cup Applesauce
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash Light Salt
Dash Paige's Handcrafted Vanilla
Dash Cinnamon
Sugar Free Chocolate Chips, desired amount

    Stir all together till just blended, add desired amount of Sugar Free Chocolate Chips ( I added about a 1/3 Cup).  Pour into Pam coated 8X8 pan, sprinkle a few chips on top and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Cool and Enjoy ;)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shimp and Lobster Ravioli

     One of my all time favorite dishes is the Ravioli with the stir fried veggies !!!  Its nice to do this on a Saturday night with the Football or Basketball game in the background to keep me company while I chop !!! HA  Its definitely a comfort dish for me, and I don't eat Pasta that often, but when I do I try to focus on portion control and savor every bite !!!  There is lots to love in this dish, especially the colorful bounty !!!  Next time you have a leisurely evening to enjoy with your Sweetheart, spend some time in the kitchen cooking away some memories ;)

Large Yellow Onion
Tablespoon EVOO
2 heaping teaspoons chopped garlic ( I use jarred)
Dash Cayenne pepper
Sliced Mushrooms, your desired amount
Sliced Red Bell Pepper
Sliced Yellow Bell Pepper
Sliced Orange Bell Pepper
Diced Asparagus, your desired amount
Shredded Parmesan
Light Salt and Pepper, to taste
Pre Packaged Bertoili Ravioli, your choice of flavors

     Sautee Diced Onion and garlic in EVOO in large skillet, sprinkle with a dash of cayenne to taste.  After a golden brown, add mushrooms and cook down, after mushrooms are cooked, add peppers and asparagus til crisp tender.  You may need to add skillet lid to lock in the heat and steam cook a bit.  Meanwhile, cook Bertoili Ravioli as per package directions, I find Ravioli in my Dillons Refrigerated section with the other pastas.  After veggies and pasta has cooked,  add the pasta to the veggies and top with desired amount of shredded Parmesan.  Enjoy  ;)

Protein Peanut Butter Rich Chocolate Brownies

     If you could have a rich chocolate peanut butter brownie for about 100 calories, wouldn't that just make your day !!!???  This 9X9 pan will give you 12 of those opportunities ... you're welcome  ;)

1/4 Cup Oats ground in the Magic Bullet
1/2 Cup  Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Chocolate Protein Powder
1/2 Cup unsweetened applesauce or 1 small banana ( I used the banana and blended it smooth in the Magic Bullet)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon Honey or Maple Syrup ( If you're looking for the perfect honey, I use P's Bees Honey, contact Amy at 316-200-0314 to experience their home made Honey from Prohaska Farms, its to die for !!!  )
Dash Vanilla
Dash Cinnamon
2/3 Cup Almond Milk ( I use the unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk 45 cal/cup)
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips, plus 2 Tablespoons for topping (  I used Grain Sweetened Vegan Carob Chips)
3 Tablespoons PB2 combined with 3 Tablespoons Almond Milk, and set to the side for topping

     Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 X 9 pan with Pam. Blend Oats in Magic Bullet til flour like, Transfer to bowl and add protein powder, dash cinnamon and cocoa.  Whisk together banana, egg, honey, vanilla and almond milk til smooth and well combined.  Add dry ingredients until just combined. Heat Coconut Oil and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips in small saucepan on low stirring continually til just melted and remove from heat, gently stir into batter and pour into prepared pan. Drizzle PB2 mixture in zig zag pattern across batter and use knife to slice thru batter to add some swirls.  Top with the 2 Tablespoons chips and bake for 18-22 minutes or just until cooked thru and top is set. Cut into 12 squares and cover with a lid and store in refrigerator.  These taste much better chilled !!!  Enjoy  ;)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Carmel Macchiato Crepe with Bananas and Chocolate Chips

     Have I mentioned how much in love I am with the new Dannon Greek Light & Fit Yogurts !!!???  They knock my socks off !!!!  Just when I thought life couldn't get any better I discovered a new flavor, CARMEL MACCHIATO !!!!  WWWWHHHHAAAA .....!!!!????
Its true and its just as wonderful as it sounds, maybe even better !!! Not to mention these have only 80 calories and about 12-13 grams of protein.  The wheels started turning of all the creation possibilities, I just knew Mr Macchiato and I were going to make beautiful music together! My first experiment was with a Crepe that my husband was willing to sample for me after dinner, what a guy ... he's always thinking of others !!!  ( actually that's quite true about my hubby, he does always think of others first and I'm a very lucky girl ). I got the two thumbs up sign after consumption, and this is one I will remember and make often, ... and I hope you will too  ;)

1 Greek Dannon Light&Fit Carmel Macchiato Yogurt
1/4 Cup Instant Oats
1/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
Dash Cinnamon
Dash of Paige's Handcrafted Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon decaf coffee granules
2-3 Tablespoons diced Banana
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Chips ( I use either Sugar Free Chocolate Chips or Grain Sweetened Vegan Carob Chips, but feel free to use what you prefer)
Strawberry for garnish, optional
Spray Cool Whip for garnish, optional

     In your Magic Bullet, grind Oats, Eggs, Yogurt, Flax, Vanilla, De-Caf Coffee, and Cinnamon. Divide Batter in two, and cook first batch in Pam Sprayed Skillet. Flip after golden brown and add half of Banana and half of Chocolate Chips.  Fold in half and serve, repeat with remaining batter. Since this makes two, one can be for you and one can be for your Sweetheart! Top with Strawberry and Spray Whip if desired.  Enjoy the heck outta this, guilt free  ;)

Turkey Pepperoni Chips

     Aren't we all in the ever quest of the perfect chip to go with our favorite Sandwich!? First World Probs ...Anyhoo, as I was discussing this deep issue with my friend Laura, she informed me that you can microwave Turkey Pepperoni for 30 seconds at a time til desired crispiness and substitute for chips !!!  aaaaahhhhhh..... hmmmmm.... did not know that, but glad I do now !!!  So of course, I had no choice but to try that theory out, and you know what ... she was right !!!  Not a bad deal for 80 calories for 15 chips, a lot better than your average Lays Potato Chips, and a lot higher in Protein !!!  The only draw back is the Sodium, so I would proceed with caution if you are watching your sodium intake !!!  I'm more of a salad girl than a Sandwich girl, so I decided to crumble these after 3~ 30 second sessions in the microwave and top them on my salad!  That was a wonderful treat and what I used for my protein today !!!  Yum Yum  I will remember this trick for future reference, I really enjoyed the robust Italian flavors the pepperoni brought out. Well worth your time of trying this one out !!!  Enjoy  ;)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hand Crafted Vanilla for Gift Giving !!! ;)

     Do you realize that Christmas is only 9 months away !!!???  IT's time to get crackin' my friends !!!  :0  Just Kidding, ... kinda ...  One of the recipes I have shared earlier is Homemade Vanilla !!!  This stuff is worth its weight in GOLD !!!  I mean I LOVE this stuff !!! I will never go back to store bought Vanilla again !!!  So that being said, why wouldn't I want to share this with others, especially at the Holidays !?  I don't know about you, but receiving large trays of high calorie goodies is not my idea of a gift !!!  It's TORTURE !!!!  I used to be one of those gift givers, but I have realized over the years not to spend others calories, and especially at the Holidays when so many goodies are every where you turn.  Last year, I gave out a High Quality Unsweetened Dutch Processed Baking Cocoa ( and I didn't receive any complaints).  When I was at Michaels the other day I stumbled on these cute little bottles, AND they were on sale, so I bought all they had in stock !!!  So when you are out shopping around, keep an eye out on great deals on bottles with lids. The longer the Vanilla has to cure the better it will be. So why not get a jump start on Gift Giving so your gifts will be ready and waiting when the Holidays come around !!!  You wont be sorry  ;)

Glass Bottle with Topper
Bourbon Whiskey ( I have used W.L. Weller and been happy with the results)
Fresh Mexican Vanilla Beans ( I HIGHLY recommend using Spice Merchant in Wichita, KS.  They have the best beans in town for the best price.  When I bought mine they were 1.25/bean~ other places have "bean" as much as 2.99/bean and dried out.  These are fresh and wonderful.  They carry two kinds of beans, make sure to ask for the MEXICAN Vanilla Bean)
Kitchen Shears
Stickers to Decorate if desired

     The equation for making Vanilla is one bean per 2 oz of Bourbon.  I used a cup bottle in this process and so I used 4 beans per bottle.  Before putting the beans in the bottle, cut the bean length wise then cut in half , so they will be opened but short enough to be covered by the liquid.  Cure for a minimum of 1 month, preferably 3 months is recommended.  But the longer the better.  I finished mine off with labels purchased from Michaels, and wrote on them with my Calligraphy  Pen and topped it off with a gold star sticker.  Feel free to add any embellishments you desire!  Just have fun and let the creativity flow !!!  Enjoy  ;)

     IF you don't want to go to the bother of making your own, I will be happy to sell my 8oz bottles for 20 dollars.  Contact me if you are interested ;)

Protein Greek Oat Apple Zucinni Carrot Flax Muffin... say that 3 times :0

    ( Note:  This is WONDERFUL with a little Almond Butter on top, perfect way to start my day :)

    If I haven't told Jaki I love her lately, I need to do it again !!! My world has opened up to endless possibilities !!! She so kindly gave me her food processor and I can't stop PROCESSING !!!  I've signed up for Processing Anonymous ... classes start next week !!!  Hi, my name is Paige, and I'm a Processor ....  Anyhoo, lucky for me I came across this wonderful High Protein Muffin recipe that works great in the processor, its so easy to just start throwing things in there, and in minutes your batter is perfectly blended and ready to go !!!  YEAH ME !!!  I'm not sure you could have anything more healthy or delicious to stuff in your face, these certainly have the highest nutritional value possible.  The texture of these are a little softer and less cake like than a standard muffin, but the overall value rocks this muffin to the top of the charts !!!  Go ahead, make my morning !!!  ;)

1 Zucchini cut into chunks
1 Medium Apple cut into chunks
1/2 Cup Baby Carrots
1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seed
5.3 oz Greek Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites
2 Tablespoons Honey ( I use P's Bees Honey~ Contact Amy at Prohaska Farms at 316-200-0314 to purchase, this is the best home made Honey you will ever try !!!  )
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Heaping teaspoon Cinnamon
Heavy Dash Vanilla
1/2 Cup Vanilla Protein Powder
2 Cups Instant Oats
Garnish with Sliced Almonds or Regular Oats

     With this recipe, I pretty much just start at the top of the list and work my way down by adding it to my food processor. After all ingredients are thoroughly blended, then scoop batter out by heaping 1/8 cup into Pam sprayed silicone muffin cups. Top with Oats or sliced Almonds. This batch will make 2-3 dozen of small muffins.  Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until appropriately done. Since these have no flour or oil, they are a different consistency.  So they take a little longer to cook and seem to do better if the muffin cups aren't as full as a regular muffin.  Feel free to experiment with what you think on baking times!!! Also, since there are no muffin wrappers on these, I store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer and just pull a couple out as needed. Enjoy ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cheeseburgers with Spinach Chips and Homemade Hummus ;)

     Our youngest daughter, Chelsea, is in Russia right now for two weeks on Spring Break.  I received a text from her after a week of being there saying she was "dying for a Cheeseburger..." !!!  Well, she only has another week to go before she's back in the land of the free and home of the McDonalds !!!  So in celebration of her, we decided to eat Cheeseburgers in her behalf !!!  These turned out great, and I LOVED the Spinach Chips as well as the Hummus and Carrots.  Check out my recipes on the Blog for these, you won't regret it !!!  Grateful to be an American and love our traditional foods ;)

1 pound ground Bison/Buffalo ~ 190 calories for 4oz, and 23 gms protein
90 calorie Whole Wheat Slim Buns
Kale Leaves
Tomato Slices ( I use Roma Tomato's)
1/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites
Dash Salt
Dash Pepper
Sprinkle of Dried Onions
Dash Garlic Powder
4 Slice Fat Free Cheese
Sliced Purple Onion
Hamburger or Sandwich Dill Pickles

     Combine Beef, Egg Whites, Salt, Pepper, Dried Onion, Garlic Powder in mixing bowl til combines.  Pat into 4 patties.  Cook in skillet to desired level. Serve on Slim Bun with Fat Free Cheese, Kale Leaves, Pickles, Onion and Vegenaise.  Enjoy  ;)

Homemade Hummus

    Who couldn't make themselves sick on Hummus and Pita Bread!!!???  I know its a guilty pleasure of mine !!!  But, as I've gotten more health conscience, I try to make my own Hummus and have it with carrots !!!  And you know what, its just as good !!!  Love me some Hummus !!!  Don't bother buying it at the Grocery Store, it is so darn simple to make at home and you wont believe how much better it tastes !!!  I'm not in love with Tahini, and so I leave it out !!!  I don't miss the flavor or the calories, so why bother! This is great to have on hand for snacking with any veggies, or would be super to bring to a party !!! You will be the most popular person in the room if you show up with this dish !!!  Give it a try and see what a difference homemade can make  ;)

2 can Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
3 Tablespoons EVOO
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Cumin
2 Tablespoons Water
2 heaping teaspoons chopped garlic
Dash Pepper
Dash Light Salt

     Throw everything in your food processor and blend to desired consistency !!!  Enjoy  ;)

Grilled Peanut Butter and Berries !!!

     The other day I tried my hand at grilling PB&J and it turned out great !!!  So I was thinking, why not replace the "J" with fresh sliced strawberries!?  The worst thing that could happen is that I would just eat it without taking any pictures .. I could deal with that !!!  Luckily it worked out so well that I got to take the pictures AND eat the Sandwich !!!  WINNING   So if you are ever shy on Jelly, just throw some sliced berries in the skillet and you will have an even healthier version of the ever American PB&J !!!  ;)

2 Slices 45 calorie Wheat Bread
2 Tablespoons PB2
1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
Sliced fresh Strawberries
Spray Butter
Pam for skillet

    Spray one side of each of the slices of bread with spray butter.  Mix 2 Tablespoons PB2 with 1 Tablespoon Almond Milk and stir til combined. Lay one slice of butter side down bread in Pam sprayed skillet and top with Peanut Butter ( you may have to pat into a square with your fingers depending on how stiff you made it). Top with sliced berries and other slice of buttered bread.  Toast til each side is Golden Brown!!!  Enjoy ;)

Spinach Chips

     In the Spirit of all things Shamrock Green with St Paddys day upon us, I decided to give these Spinach Chips a try after seeing so much of them on the internet !!!  Why not, what have I got to lose !?  I added a little twist to mine, ( no big surprise there ) and I think they turned out pretty darn good !!!  So the next time you need a salty little bite to go with your Pastrami Sandwich, throw these suckers in the oven and you will have healthy chips in no time flat !!!  ;)

Spinach Leaves
1/2-1 Tablespoon EVOO depending on how many leaves you are roasting
Dash Chili Powder
Dash Garlic Powder
Dash Celery Salt
Dash Cumin
Dash Pepper

     In large mixing bowl, toss spinach with EVOO, and all the spices and lay flat on Silpat sheet on baking pan.  Roast at 350 for 12 minutes or til desired crispiness.  Enjoy  ;)

Grilled Vegenaise Turkey Cheese Sandwich with Spinach Chips and Homemade Hummus

     After the discovery of Vegenaise, it has opened up a whole new world for Paige !!!  :)  I was thinking about how the addition of Mayo to Grilled Cheese is so scrumptious, so why not try it with the Vegenaise, and add a little Turkey to make it even better !!!  And I was RIGHT !!!  It ROCKED !!!  This was so good I could eat it for lunch everyday !!!  ( I actually had it for breakfast today when trying out this new recipe, ... it was awesome for breakfast too!!!  HA  )  Give this a try the next time noon rolls around, ... or 8 am ...  !!!  Enjoy  ;)

2 Teaspoons Vegenaise
2 Slices 45 Calorie Wheat Bread
Spray Butter
1 Slice Fat Free Cheese
2 oz Turkey Meat
Pam for Skillet

     Spray one side of each slice of bread with Spray Butter, as well as spread a teaspoon each of Vegenaise on each slice. Put one slice of bread butter side down in Pam sprayed skillet and add cheese and Turkey and top with the other slice of bread and toast til Golden Brown on each side !!!  You will love this sandwich, I served it with roasted Spinach leaves and homemade hummus and carrots !!!  Perfect little lunch  ;)


Monday, March 10, 2014

Lemon Greek Protein Pancake

     Are you ever just in the mood for Lemon!?  I have learned to love Lemon more in adulthood!  Funny how our taste buds change over time!  This little lemony treat is a fun way to start the day with a smidge of a pucker on your face !!!  You will be primed to kiss your Sweetheart good bye as they are leaving for work in the morning !!!  Win/Win  ;)

1 Lemon Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup Instant Oats
1/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites
2 Tablespoon Ground Flax Seed
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Vanilla
Packet of Stevia
Lemon Juice to taste

     Blend Oats, Yogurt, Egg Whites, Cinnamon and Vanilla, and Flax Seed in Magic Bullet til well blended.  Cook in Pam coated skillet til Golden Brown on each side.  If you want your pancakes thin, then divide this batch into two pancakes ... or just use a large skillet!!!  :/  After done cooking, sprinkle with Stevia packet and drizzle with Lemon Juice.  Or if you prefer you can combine the Stevia and Juice and pour over pancake, what ever your little heart desires !!!  Enjoy  ;)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Beef Tenderloin to die for !!!

     How lucky am I to have a Hubby that is a Master when it comes to preparing meats !!!  His usual go to is always on the grill, the smoker, or THE BIG GREEN EGG !!!  He first bought that EXPENSIVE EGG when our youngest daughter, Chelsea, was about 8 years old ( shes now 22).  The "incident", as we refer to it,  occurred when I left him in charge of babysitting while she had a friend over.  Not sure how your husband does when he's in charge of babysitting, but before my Sweetheart knew what was happening, he heard a VERY LOUD crash coming from the driveway.  Upon inspection, he witnessed about one MILLION little porcelin green egg shreds and two little girls frozen in fear!!!  Chelsea and her friend decided it would be a good idea to push the BIG GREEN EGG from the garage to the Basket ball hoop in the driveway so they could climb up it and dunk the ball just like her older brothers...... So long thousand bucks ... and no more baby sitting gigs for Dad ... Luckily, all this dish requires is a Cast Iron Skillet ... and we are grateful Chelsea happens to be in Russia for Spring Break right now !!!  ;)

1 pound Beef Tenderloin
Juice of one Lemon
1 Cup Italian Dressing
1.5 oz of Scotch

      Combine all ingredients in ziplock bag to marinate for 24 hours.  Cover bottom of cast iron skillet with EVOO and bring to simmer, then remove meat from bag and sear on each side til light brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Finish by roasting in the cast iron skillet in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes for medium rare.  Enjoy the heck outta this!!! It's the best tasting meat I have ever had!!!  Cheers ;)

From Couch to running a Mile, then a 5K!!! :0

     With Spring quickly approaching, there is no better time to get outside and enjoy all the benefits of the great out doors !!!  When the weather is nice, it literally calls my name and I bet it does yours as well !!!  I started running about age 22 and ran solidly 6 days a week til age 40.  We were on a 10 day trip in Italy, and every morning I would get up and run 5 miles before we went touring for the day.  The problem started on the Cobblestone streets I was pounding each morning thru the Villages and then spending the next 12 hours on my legs eating Gelato!  By the time our plane landed back in America I could barely hobble down the runway, my knees were "SHOT" !!!  It didn't help I had my 40th birthday that year and had heard all the horror stories of how everything spirals rapidly downward after this milestone!!!  All the Glucosamine Chondrotin in the universe was not able to allow a stroll down the stairs with out a whence spreading across my mug!  Sadly, I had to leave running in my dust for a few years mourning the loss of what I thought was forever!!!  .... UNTIL, I had a friend and personal trainer, Kim Bessac, encourage me to try again with a plan she knew would work!  I hesitantly took her advice and knew I had nothing to loose, .. well, maybe my pride, ... but that was a risk I was willing to take!  So here's how I got my first mile back at age 45~ ( first of all it must be understood that you need to seek a doctors approval before starting any exercise program and invest in a decent pair of running shoes)~ start out with a good 5-10 walking warm up ( I actually walk a mile for a warm up to this day out of paranoia), from this point you simply run a minute and walk a minute til you have covered a mile. And when I say run, I'm not encouraging a full dead heat sprint, a mild jog will suffice followed by a very brisk paced walk. Now, I only want you running THREE times a week !!!  This is where I differ a little than most runners dolling out advice.  After having knee stopping injuries, I think 3 times a week of running is plenty! Even when I'm training for my Half Marathons, I only run 3 times a week.  While I would love to run everyday, I know its not the best for my body and cross training on the other days is the only way to go and stay healthy and injury free. I'm also a strong proponent of stretching and weight lifting to keep injury at bay. Cross training could be an elliptical training session, bike, swimming, tennis,  stair mill, bleachers, or just walking ( preferably at an incline).  Your cross training days should be anywhere from 20-45 minutes depending on where you are in your fitness level.  After week one, I suggest you up your running to a minute and a half and cut your walk back to 30 seconds if you can.  If that's too much, then try to do that at least once or twice, but try to work up to that by your third session of the week. Week three, run two minutes, walk 30 seconds til you complete your mile. Week Four, run three minutes walk a minute. Week Five, run four minutes, walk thirty seconds.  Week Six, run five minutes, walk a minute.  Week Seven, run six minutes, walk thirty seconds.  Week Eight, run a light jog for 10 minutes, have your headphones on to the latest Hip Hop Station and get lost in the beat while you get your groove on !!!  MUSIC HELPS TREMENDOUSLY   At this point you should be pretty close to your mile if you haven't gotten there yet.  If you aren't there, then run 11 minutes the next week, and 12 the following week and you should be to your mile by then !!!  This is not the fastest way to train for a mile, but slow and steady wins the race in my book!  This mild training program will get you where you need to be injury free. After you feel the pride of running a mile, you will have the fever to go on to bigger and better things !!!  Make running a 5K your next goal, and join the crowd at the next fund raiser and see how much joy running can bring to your life!!!  If you are ready to start training for a 5K, then add a minute or two each week to you distance.  Never work on speed and distance in the same session, you will likely pull something you don't want pulled, ... and I don't mean your ponytail !!!  :0  Running is a great way to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and gain muscular endurance.  Though a 5K may seem impossible now, once you begin running, your body will quickly adapt and progress.  Virtually no one starts running as a distance runner, it takes years of dedication and discipline.  But, with some fortitude and a good foundation, you can safely lose weight and gain more confidence as a distance runner.  Everyone has to start at the beginning, and simply learning to run one mile will give you the fundamentals you will need to move on to greater distances. Don't worry about speed, that will come later, just enjoy the ride of movement and feeling your body swaying with the wind !!!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!!! And, I hope to see you at the next running event !!! Nothing is more fun than being in a group of runners, you can travel the country doing races and feeling the empowerment that comes from the crowds!  Its a rush that can't be explained, you have to experience it for yourself and I hope you do just that !!!  In good health, paige  :)

Veganaise~ once you try it you will never go back to Mayo

    Lets be clear, I ain't no Vegan ... BUT, I am intelligent enough when suggestions come my way to give them a try!  Such is the case with Vegenaise!  I was introduced to this delicious eggless substitute, and while hesitant, my curiosity got the best of me!  Not to mention, it has less saturated fat and cholesterol than the regular stuff, as well as no additives or preservatives!  Its tag line is "It's Better than Mayo" and I couldn't agree more !!!  I made a delightful Sandwich that I split with the Hubs and we both agreed you couldn't tell the difference and I even felt it tasted better!  Think of all the things we put Mayo in that you could substitute with Veganaise for a healthier outcome. My lunch was with a 90 calorie Slim Bun, Romaine Leaf, Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese, Lean Turkey Meat, and finished off with the Vegenaise~ a true delight! My friend, Dr. Christy, who introduced me to this wonderful product had this to say~"All of my experiements-er-friends look at my purple topped jar with suspicion and mistrust.  Some walk out of the kitchen when I tell them, throw away your mayo!  But I have yet to have anyone not eat the sandwich when presented to them! Basically, it has less saturated fat.  And its not made with scary chemicals!  And no animal products.  On the grapeseed variety, it mentions raising one's good cholesterol level via the grapeseed oil.  But the big picture is that it is a healthier choice, and no matter how small the change, any healthy change you make will start to add up"  I couldn't agree with her more and am grateful to have this new addition in my repertoire.  I hope you will feel the urge to make the change as well!!!  In good health~paige  ;)

High Protein Rich Thick Hot Choclate

     As much as I love my morning Protein Shake, every once in a while I am in the mood for change... well, sorta!  This morning a nice warm cup of rich thick Hot Chocolate sounded inviting, so why not turn my shake into a toasty warm drink !? And just as I suspected, it was super terrific !!!  SCORE

1 scoop chocolate protein powder
dash salt
dash cinnamon
dash vanilla
2 Tablespoon unsweetened powdered cocoa
1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar
1 1/2 -2 cups Almond Milk ( 30 cal/cup)

     Mix in saucepan, cocoa, sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, protein powder and 4 Tablespoon Almond Milk til all dissolved over low heat.  Continue to whisk in the rest of milk to desired consistency and serve warm in a mug! Great taste for a High Protein start to your day !!! Enjoy  ;)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Blueberry Greek Pancakes

     Have you ever found a line of products that you just love and can't live with out !!!???  That's how I feel about the Dannon Greek Light&Fit Yogurts !!!  They are GREAT in Protein Shakes, and also the perfect addition to a Protein Pancake!  Win/Win  I thought I would give this idea a whirl with the flavored yogurts and see what the experiment produced!  My husband was quite pleased with the end result and gave me two thumbs up, ... after he sat the fork down ...  ;)  Take a walk on the wild side and do some experimenting of your own with the other Greek Yogurt Flavors and see what you come up with ! I want to try out a Lemon, Strawberry and Banana~ the possibilities are endless !!!  If you try a great combo, please let me know, I would love to hear about it !!! 

1 Greek Dannon Light& Fit Blueberry Yogurt ( 5.3 oz)
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
1/4 Cup Instant Oatmeal
1/4 Liquid Egg Whites
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Vanilla

     Blend all Ingredients in Magic Bullet til well blended, and fry in Pam coated Skillet til lightly browned on each side.

     I decided to try two different toppings with Blueberries, so I split the batter in half and made two pancakes to do a taste test.  One pancake I sprayed with Spray Butter and one packet of Stevia and top with fresh Blueberries.  The other pancake I topped with a half tablespoon peanut butter and sprinkled with fresh blueberries.  Both were great, so its just a personal preference.  I would love to hear your feedback on what toppings you like best !!!  Enjoy  ;)

PB&J Greek Yogurt Pancake Sandwich

     Whats a better combination than PB&J, Greek Yogurt and Pancakes!?  Nothin', that's what !!!  :0  I thought this up this morning when I realized I was out of Strawberries and on my way to the gym and wanted a little something more to stick to my ribs than a nude pancake! Thus the PB&J Greek Yogurt Pancake Sandwich was born ... ( the Sandwich part was a necessary evil of running late and my husband patiently waiting on me and I needed to eat breakfast in the car).  This turned out great and got me thru a 45 minute Interval Training Cardio session followed by an hour of weights ending with an hour of Gentle Yoga !!!  ( Yes that truly is my Saturday morning routine and I LOVE it !!!)  This little ditty has great nutritional stats to boot~ 358 calories, 28 gms carbs, 29 gms protein~ this is a nutritional goldmine !!!

2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
1/4 Cup Instant Oats
1/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites
1 5.3oz 80 calorie Dannon Light&Fit Vanilla Greek Yogurt ( this stuff ROCKS )
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Maranath Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Reduced Sugar Jelly

    Grind in Magic Bullet til Blended smoothly all ingredients except PB & J. Fry in Pam coated Skillet till Golden on both sides.  After cooked, spread with one Tablespoon PB and one Tablespoon Jelly.  Fold in half if you are in a hurry and eat like a Sandwich, otherwise, sit down and enjoy like a civilized person with a knife and fork !!!  Enjoy the heck outta this, it was a great find ;)