Monday, November 19, 2012

Mindful Eating – An Interview with Dr. Michelle May – and Giveaway

Last week I had the chance to sit down and film a phone interview with Dr. Michelle May, author of the book Eat What You Love, LoveWhat You Eat. She’s a former dieter who came to realize how damaging this cycle of "eat, repent, repeat", is to our bodies. She teaches patients, clients and readers how to regain their love of food, while training them to eat mindfully and relearn how to trust their bodies to tell them how much food they really need.



She was so fun to talk to and this interview was exactly what I needed to keep me in the right frame of mind of ther holidays. I’m a firm believer in the kind of eating and living she’s talking about but it's so hard to stay focused and this was the perfect push in the right direction.

She also sent me a copy of her book and an extra copy to give away on the blog. If you’d like to read it so you can use her tips to sail joyfully through the food-laden weeks ahead, leave a comment on this post listing one physical activity you plan to do over the holidays or one favorite healthy snack idea.

Reading Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat has been really eye opening to me. Michelle May, MD is someone who gets what it’s like to not be at peace with food and has been able to transform her life and her relationship with her body and with food. The book can positively change the way you eat and how you feel. I love this book!

I want to be sure and give a big thanks to Coca-Cola for hooking me up with this interview opportunity!

Comments will close Wednesday night at 9pm PST and a winner will be chosen by random number generator. I will only ship within the US. Good luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quinoa Taco Meat




Yes, I'm obsessed with Quinoa. I love it. It delights me. It is my favorite grain.

That said... PLEASE START USING IT IN YOUR TACOS!

Or don't, and there will be more for me. More of the earth's quinoa for me is a good thing. :)

You can use it entirely in place of the ground taco meat, for a vegetarian option. You can cook two cups of quinoa with one packet of taco seasoning added to the mix, and add it as a meat substitute to your tacos...

But being a meat-loving sort of gal, I prefer to do it my way.

My favorite way is to cook up a pound of chicken breast chorizo, (you can substitute one pound ground beef and one packet of taco seasoning) and that way, the spices are already added to the meat. I brown it up with half a finely chopped onion, and then cook my quinoa separately in my pressure cooker. You can just cook it on the stove top the same way you cook rice, with two parts liquid to one part quinoa. I also prefer to cook the quinoa in beef broth, to add to the richness of the flavor.

Anyhoo...
Brown up your meat and seasonings. Drain, if your meat isn't super-lean.

 Add two to three cups of cooked quinoa depending on the ratio you like best.

And mix together. (My eight year old is drooling over my shoulder... raving about her love affair with this meat... and now she's laughing at me. Zut alors, the girl can read!)

 Pile it all up in a tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes, a little shredded cheese, sour cream, and beans of your choosing. (I prefer refrieds, or black).



And enjoy!
Quinoa Taco Meat
Cut and Paste Recipe


2-3 C cooked quinoa (cooked in beef broth)
1 lb ground meat (chicken breast chorizo, or extra lean ground beef)
1 packet taco seasoning (if your meat is not already pre-seasoned)

Cook the quinoa in beef broth. For stovetop cooking, add 2 parts water to one part quinoa. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low, put lid on, and steam for 15 minutes more. 
Lift lid and fluff with a fork. 
Brown meat with seasonings. 
Mix together with quinoa.
Serve in place of regular taco meat. 

Enjoy!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Al’s Heavenly Cornbread


 

 
This recipe is my secret weapon. I’ve never eaten a more moist and delicious cornbread and everyone agrees. I cannot make this without being asked for the recipe, most recently by my parents when they were out for a visit in January.

Full disclosure – when you see the ingredients in this recipe, you will know why it’s so good. Not nearly as healthy as my sister’scornbread recipe, this one reads more like a yellow cake recipe with a bit of cornmeal mixed in. Thanks to my college roommate Alison for the recipe I adapted this from.
Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl. I usually sift them to eliminate clumps.

 
Mix your wet ingredients in another.


Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Bake in a greased 8x8 pan for 35 minutes at 350F.


I usually double this recipe and divide it into two pans. The second pan can be wrapped in plastic wrap and tinfoil and frozen for up to three months.

 
Cut-and-Paste Recipe
Al’s Heavenly Cornbread


½ cup cornmeal

½ cup wheat flour

1 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup oil

3 Tbsp melted butter

2 eggs

1 ¼ cup milk
Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Bake in a greased 8” square pan @ 350F for 35 minutes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta


I love this recipe, adapted from the Our Best Bites cookbook. It's creamy, cheesy and decadent-tasting while remaining diet-friendly. You know we're all watching what we eat leading up to November/December's eight week eat-a-thon. Nearly everything I’ve tried from that book is amazing. It’s definitely worth owning.

Mix milk, cream cheese, flour and salt well in your blender.
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and add onions, chopped as small as possible. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. Then add garlic, sage and thyme. Stir constantly for about thirty seconds.
Pour the milk mixture on top of the garlic and onions. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to medium and let cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, add parmesan and stir to combine.
Cover the sauce with a lid and let stand at least ten minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin and warm over medium-low heat until heated through.
Serve over your favorite pasta. We chose shells and it was a huge hit. I will make this again and again.
Cut-and-Paste Recipe
Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta
12 oz of your favorite pasta
2 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp real butter (divided)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C finely minced onion
1/2 C canned pumpkin (try more if you love pumpkin, this is really mild)
1T chopped fresh sage (1t dried leaves)
1/2 T fresh thyme (1/2 t dried leaves)
Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Mix milk, cream cheese, flour and salt well in your blender.
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and add onions, chopped as small as possible. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. Then add garlic, sage and thyme. Stir constantly for about thirty seconds.

Pour the milk mixture on top of the garlic and onions. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to medium and let cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, add parmesan and stir to combine.
Cover the sauce with a lid and let stand at least ten minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin and warm over medium-low heat until heated through. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Spinach Scramble



This is my default breakfast. When I don’t want to think about what to eat and I’m in a place where I’m eating well, I throw this together and it’s delicious and filling every time and packed with nutrients. It also comes in at under 300 calories. When I’m not in a place where I’m eating well, I eat cheese. Lots of cheese.

Place a skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil, ¼ cup chopped onion, and 3 large sliced mushrooms. Mist veggies with cooking spray as needed to get a good sauté.  Cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are nicely browned.


Add two large handfuls of spinach to the pan. This will look like an insane amount of greens, but don’t worry, it will cook down.
 
Then you can feel good about yourself and your nutritional superiority all day long. Stir the spinach constantly.


When the spinach has wilted, add two beaten eggs. If you’re lazy like me, you’ll just crack two eggs right into the pan and whip them up with your spatula as they cook. Keep the eggs moving until they're cooked and scrambled. There should be just enough egg to give you a shot of protein and sort of stick everything together.
Salt and pepper to taste and serve with your favorite salsa. I like to pour Pace all over the top of my scramble. So good. And your house will have that wonderful sautéed onion smell for a couple of hours.

Cut-and-Paste Recipe

Spinach Scramble


1 tsp olive oil
Cooking spray
¼ cup chopped onion
3 large mushrooms
2 cups baby spinach
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper
Salsa

Place a skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil, chopped onion, and mushrooms. Mist veggies with cooking spray as needed to get a good sauté.  Cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are nicely browned.
Add two large handfuls of spinach to the pan. Toss and stir to cook down the spinach.

When spinach has wilted, add two beaten eggs and stir until egg is cooked. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with your favorite salsa.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Homemade Egg Rolls

Homemade Egg Rolls... Anyone hungry?

My cousin came over the other day and made these with me. They were delicious and delectable... and they had vegetables in them. That makes them healthy... even though we deep fried them, right?

So they were really relatively easy, just time consuming.

First we started by squishing together all the ingredients. The ground meat, veggies, and seasonings.

When we finished, it looked a little something like this:






We placed the filling into wonton wrappers, and rolled them up cigarette style.

Until we had a nice pile...

You want quite a few. Believe me, these babies go fast.

Then we set up outside on the deck, to avoid making the whole house and everything in it smell like frying oil.

We waited for the oil to heat up. My cousin tested the oil by putting a scrap of egg roll in and seeing if it started to bubble and float. When it was ready, we fried the egg rolls.

We had to avoid putting in too many at a time, or the oil cooled down too much from all the filling.
When the egg rolls were golden and bubbly and crispy, we took them out and drained them on plates lined with paper towels.

We served them with sticky rice, steamed cauliflower, and homemade sweet and sour sauce.

Delicious!



Cut-and-Paste Recipe

Homemade Egg Rolls

1 lb raw ground beef (as lean as possible)
1 C shredded cabbage
1/2 C shredded carrots
2 T soy sauce
1 T shredded fresh ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Veggie Enriched Chili - My Husband's All-Time Favorite

Our favorite healthy chili recipe.

Perfect for a fall night. Stuffed full of healthy veggies, and using up some of those zucchinis the size of your arm. From my calculations, a mere 135 calories per 1 C serving, and full of nutrients and low on fat. It also freezes wonderfully. I cook it in my big 8 quart stock pot, because I need lots. I love this chili.

My husband just might marry this chili if he and I ever call it quits.

Soooo... now that I've over-sold it. Enjoy!

Oh... and it's simple to prepare. Especially if you have the right magical kitchen equipment.

Start by browning the meat, and while it's cooking, toss in the finely chopped onion, zucchini, garlic, jalapeno, and bell peppers. 

If you want to simplify your life, buy this food chopper. Only $16.95, and I use it for everything. With its help, I can finely chop all these veggies while the meat is starting to brown, and easily get them all chopped in under 10 minutes. And they are the size of the ground meat bits. Teeny, camouflaged vegetables. See:


Those used to be baby carrots! (P.S. Feel free to substitute finely chopped carrots in place of some of the veggies in this recipe. They are perfect in it, and made it into this particular batch I photographed.)

Anyhoo. Let that meat brown with those veggies until the meat is cooked through and the veggies are getting tender. About 20 minutes.

Then add the beef or chicken broth, tomatoes, and spices, and let simmer for another 20.


Near the end, throw in your beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, and finally, mix in your tomato paste to thicken.

And voila! Your chili is ready to be topped with some shredded cheese, sour cream, and served with a side of whole wheat corn bread or tortilla chips.

Cut and Paste Recipe

Veggie-Enriched Chili

1.25 lb extra lean ground beef or chicken breast chorizo   
1 Cup finely chopped onion
8 Cups finely chopped zucchini
1 finely diced or puréed jalapeno pepper
1 T minced garlic
3 finely chopped green or red bell peppers
2 T granulated sugar
9 tsp beef bouillon and 9 C water (or 9 cups broth)
3 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 T paprika
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
2 cans tomato paste
3 Cups cooked black beans
3 Cups cooked Great Northern Beans
3 Cups canned or frozen corn kernels
1 bunch finely chopped cilantro
1/4 C lime juice

Cook first six ingredients until meat is cooked and veggies are tender. Add spices, broth, and diced tomatoes and cook for about 20 more minutes. Then add beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, and tomato paste, and let stand about 10 minutes before serving.