In continuing my quest to incorporate the 30 healthiest foods into the meals I make for my family, I decided to go for a breakfast item. Oatmeal. To make it more interesting, I added another super food, all natural peanut butter. Peanut butter and oatmeal? Oh yes! I wish I could take credit for this brilliant combination, but I got the idea from my Mom. It is a winner!
Here's the recipe:
Oatmeal with Peanut Butter
Oatmeal: Loaded with fiber to keep you full. It is also beneficial in controlling your cholesterol, which will help prevent heart disease.
All Natural Peanut Butter: Nuts have monounsaturated fats that are healthy for your heart. There is also a great amount of protein in peanut butter. It is important to look at the ingredients on the jar. Try to get peanut butter that only contains nuts and salt. You don't need any added sugar!
Old fashioned Oats (cook according to the instructions on the box)
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 teaspoon of Brown sugar
raisins to taste
How many of you rotate the same 8 or 9 meals over and over because that is what you are comfortable cooking? I am very guilty of this, and bless my husband, he doesn't complain. In fact, it bothers me way more than it does him. So I'm always looking for new things to try to spice up my culinary life.
That being said, I was overjoyed when I picked up the February issue of Real Simple Magazine. The cover article was all about the 30 Healthiest Foods. This list of foods was compiled by several food experts, and I did a little of my own research, so I decided that I would try to find a way to incorporate all of these foods in the meals I cook for my family. Luckily the majority of the things on the list are common items for me to have on hand, but there are a few that I will really have to stretch my imagination to get my kiddos to eat. (sardines, for example)
I'm going to keep track of all the new recipes I come up with and share them on this site. If you would like to read the article and get the list here is the link.
Recipe number one:
Whole Grain Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
Whole Grain Pasta: Contains 3 times the amount of fiber as normal pasta. *Note: be sure to use whole grain pasta and not multigrain pasta.
Spinach: Spinach is full of iron, folate, and antioxidants. *note: I love spinach, so I will be using this ingredient alot in the forth-coming recipes.
1/2 lb of whole grain thin spaghetti
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
3 oz baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
2oz goat cheese
Cook pasta according to the package instructions, drain and set aside. In the meantime, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add garlic. cook garlic until it's fragrant and add spinach. As the spinach begins to wilt, add the 2 kinds of tomatoes and the artichoke hearts. When all the vegetables begin to heat through, add wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer until the sauce begins to thicken. About 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the goat cheese until it melts and makes a creamy sauce. Toss with the pasta in the pan and divide into four serving bowls. Enjoy!
I made this last night and LOVED it! ( it was also great for lunch today)
Who likes hot wings??? My husband does. In fact, they are one of his favorites. Unfortunately hot wings are full of calories. Did you know that buffalo sauce is made with butter? Then the wings, covered in butter-based sauce are deep fried. ugh...my arteries are clogging just thinking about it.
Because this is one of my hubby's favorite meals, I decided to find a healthy alternative. Thus the buffalo lettuce wraps. Here is the recipe:
1 lb Ground Turkey
3/4 cup carrots, chopped or grated
1 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
1 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves removed to form cups
blue cheese crumbles
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp hot sauce ( I use Louisiana red hot)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
Brown the ground turkey along with the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. In the mean time combine the ingredients for the sauce. When the turkey is cooked through, add sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until most of the sauce is absorbed by the turkey mixture. This will take around 7 to 10 minutes. To make the lettuce wraps, spoon the turkey mixture into the lettuce cups and sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over the top. Wrap and enjoy!
They really should be called "yummy chock full of goodness healthy muffins!" I made these muffins today and my kiddos are LOVING them! You should give them a try, it's a great way to get good for you nutrients in a yummy package. Here is the recipe:
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 Cups Oat Bran Hot Cereal
1 1/2 Cups Wheat Bran
2 Cups Skim Milk
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Apples, Shredded (about 1 cup)
3 Carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 Bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1 Cup Raisins
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I have dark pans so I set mine at 350 degrees)
-In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
-Beat oil, brown sugar and honey in a large mixing bowl
-Add eggs, milk, apples, carrots and bananas. mix until combined.
-Stir in wheat bran and oat bran. let batter sit for 10 minutes.
-Fold in dry ingredients and raisins.
-Divide into muffin pans, filling each 3/4 full.
-bake small muffins for 18 minutes and large muffins for 27 minutes.
I had to throw in a picture of my little assistant/taste tester. He approved!
I was watching athe Nate Berkus show yesterday, which is not something I normally do, but he was having a segment on having a healthy home with Dr. Oz. This is very interesting to me, as I am trying to give my kids the healthiest life possible. They talked about a few things, but the one that got my attention the most was the garbage we track in on our shoes.
I decided to investigate this further and found an article on the abc news website on this very thing. I am seriously grossed out by this. They tested shoes from 8 different people and found that they were dirtier than a toilet seat. A Toilet Seat!!! I don't know about you, but my kids eat things they drop on the floor. Apparently I could serve their meals in the bathroom. Yuck!
The abc news article refrences a study done by the University of Arizona the found 9 diferent infection-causing bacteria on the bottom of shoes. They also found that bacteria live longer on the bottom of a shoe because as you walk you pick up organisms that feed the bacteria. Again, yuck!
So, the moral of the story is...Take your shoes off when you come in the house! If you have a situation where you don't want to ask a guest to do so, give your floors a good cleaning after they leave.
My Sister-in-Law coined the phrase "accidental exercise" and I love it! It encompasses any extra exertion you put out during your normal day. For example, not finding a parking space right next to the building, or walking from one store to the next instead of driving. Maybe the elevator is broken and you have to take the stairs instead. All of these things are accidental exercise.
The challenge is to make accidental exercise not so accidental. Capitalize on any opportunity to burn a few extra calories and you will be surprised at how fast they add up. Park at the back of the parking lot on purpose. Make extra trips up and down the stairs. Walk your kids to the playground and instead of sitting on the bench and watching them play, join in the fun. If you work at an office make the trip to a coworkers office to give information rather than sending an email.
It sounds simple but the results are fantastic. Even if your goal is not to lose weight, the extra activity will have you feeling great!
Can you think of other ways to get accidental exercise?