Saturday, July 24, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust with Spinach Salad

This was Stacie’s request for her birthday dinner; unfortunately it came a day late since I forgot this was what she wanted and made something else instead.

If you’re on WW and counting points, the crust recipe is enough for two pizzas, 1/8 of the pizza crust is 3 points. The topping points will vary depending on what you use, but the BBQ recipe below is one point.

We have the dairy allergy to deal with and I found a fake cheese at 99 cent store that we can tolerate so that's what I use. To cut the calories use a low-fat mozzarella and as little as possible.

For the spinach salad dressing I combined balsamic vinegar (about 3T) olive oil (maybe 1 T or less), water (1 T) and honey (1 T or less). Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and mix thoroughly. If you dress the salad in a large bowl you can use less dressing and yet still flavor all the spinach. Use as little dressing as possible to save on calories and remember to salt and pepper because it adds tons of flavor.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust – makes two pizzas when using a large pizza pan or a large cookie sheet

4 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 pkg dry yeast
1 t salt
1 T sugar or honey
1 c milk (I use water)
1 c water
¼ c oil

Mix the dry ingredients together. Heat the liquids till hot enough to activate the yeast and then mix into the dry mixture and knead for 10 minutes. If you have time you can let the dough double and knock it back down before you make the pizzas. I’m usually too impatient so I just make my pizzas right away. You could also let the dough rise a bit to make a thicker crust pizza. I make one pizza at a time and freeze half the dough for a later dinner.

BBQ Chicken Toppings
1/3 c favorite BBQ sauce – spread it over the dough
1 c cooked chicken – grilled is best and be sure to s&p
1 thinly sliced red onion
Mozzarella cheese

Top with fresh cilantro – after the pizza comes out of the oven.

Cook the pizza at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grilled Peaches and Potatoes with Spinach and Chicken Salad
Grilled fruit is delicious and with the fresh crop of peaches you should give them a try this summer, plus it's an easy side dish.
This was another easy dinner - I grilled chicken, golden yams and peaches to have with a spinach salad that I topped with cranberries. Here's the dressing for the spinach -
1/2 cup fat free mayo
1 t lemon zest
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 T water
1 clover of crushed garlic
with salt and pepper to taste
Blueberry Muffins for Breakfast or Snacking

This muffin recipe is from Christine Avanti; I'm going to substitute zucchini for the blueberries and taste what happens. I am also going to make these on a regular basis for an easy morning breakfast or a quick snack.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sweetener
1 t baking power
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup milk (I use soy milk or water)
1 egg
1 T lemon zest

Fold the liquids into the dry mixture and then fold in 1 cup fresh blueberries. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. These are really good with Better Than Peanut Butter and fresh fruit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peanut Butter and Bagels

We discovered Better Than Peanut Butter (Trader Joe's, $3.99 and Target $4.99)and Alternative Bagels (Costco, about $5 for a dozen). Both are delicious and great alternatives to the not so healthy versions. BTPB is a little sweeter than regular PB and when I'm craving dessert I'll put BTPB on 1/2 of an Oroweat whole wheat bun and sprinkle on a little Splenda brown sugar blend to create a Danish. BTPB on the Alternative Bagel is a breakfast staple at our house. Be sure to read the label on the BTPB and take note of the reduced fat and calories. Skippy has 190 calories, 140 from fat, for 2T and BTPB has 100 calories, 20 from fat, for 2T.

Fast Food

Last night we all decided to go different directions and I had less than 30 minutes to fix dinner. I grabbed my cast iron skillet, upped the heat, threw in frozen chicken tenderloins and let them cook; when the chicken was almost done we seasoned with salt and pepper. I pulled out a big bag of fresh spinach, purchased from Costco, and dressed it with Litehouse Pomegranate Blueberry dressing (25 calories per 2T serving) then I topped the spinach with fresh peaches and blueberries. The meal needed a little something more so I grabbed a 100 calorie Oroweat whole wheat sandwich bun, toasted it, topped it with hummus and put 1/4 of a bun on each plate. The meal was super healthy, delicious and FAST!! We're eating like kings and queens with all the fresh food. Give it a try, commit to healthy food in proper portions.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Amazing Fruit Salsa with Blackened Mahi Mahi - I love it!!

I was thinking about the mahi mahi today and decided I needed to make it again; the youngest doesn't care for fish so when I make the mahi mahi I make her chicken with the same seasonings. Mahi mahi is a bit expensive so chicken is a good alternative. I went on the Internet and found two sites that I used recipes from - and Of course I altered them a little so here's what I did:

Grilled yams - sliced in discs with no seasonings
Grilled asparagus - drizzled with the smallest amount of olive oil and s&p
Fruit Salsa - recipe to follow
Blackened mahi mahi - recipe to follow

Fruit Salsa - This sounds a bit strange but is so incredibly delicious.
Cut up and combine in a bowl fresh strawberries, mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, s&p and a little lime juice. Toss and marvel at the wonderful gifts from God. He is so good to give us such

Blackened Mahi Mahi - in a shallow pan I combined ground cumin, cayenne pepper and s&p, I shook the pan around a bit and to combine the spices. Pat the fish dry and then coat the fish by gently pressing it the pan to coat it with the spices.

Make the fruit salsa first since the grilling goes quickly. Start the potatoes on the grill first, add the fish and/or chicken next and then the asparagus last.

I felt like I was being spoiled when I ate this dinner and I had to thank God for the beautiful bounty of good things that He gives to us. The different colors and flavors are amazing. Stacie said that the grilled yams were the most amazing thing she had ever ate off the grill. Don't assume that the produce is always expensive, I buy a lot of my produce from the 99cent store and a local independent market.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mahi-Mahi Tacos

The pool was broke at the Y so we had fish tacos for dinner. You see, I was going to go to Zumba but Stacie ended up not working because the pool at the Y was broken. I skipped Zumba to spend time with her - shopping and lunch. We ended up at Rubio's and I ordered a Mahi-Mahi Grilled Taco. It was good and I decided to copy it for dinner; I am really bad at cooking fish but this was very simple and successful. Fish is supposedly full of good for you components and I feel obligated to promote fish in a post - obligation completed. I bought the fish frozen at Costco and it comes in individual sealed packets.

Grilled 3 pieces of mahi-mahi for 3 of us and topped with the following items:
Mango salsa from Costco - this is a staple in our house
Red cabbage
Sweet Onions
Guacamole - homemade
We put the toppings on fresh white corn tortillas.

The tacos were really good and worth repeating. What do you guys do with fish?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Feed My Family

Feeding my family is a BIG responsibility. I purchase and prepare what they consume; I determine what nutrients they fuel their bodies with and that's a little scary. If I place processed pre-fab food in front of them then that's what they'll be fueled and energized with and fattened up with.

Or, I can purchase lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables. I'd like to challenge you to consider what you put before your family. Fill your Costco basket with veggies and by-pass the frozen isle. I'd be lying if I told you I never bought pre-fab, I do occasionally. But let's make it the exception.

The Costco Connection recently ran an article highlighting their Kirkland frozen chicken. Did you know that you don't need to defrost before cooking? I tried it out and the chicken was delicious from freezer, to BBQ, to the plate. My son is cooking for himself and he recently tried chicken in a pan seasoned with only salt and pepper - he loved it. I buy the chicken tenderloins, they are a little more expensive but worth it. Just don't add too much salt;)

Easy Chicken

BBQ or pan sear frozen chicken tenderloins and season with Costco's Kirkland brand sea salt and pepper in the grinders. The chicken is done when the juices run clear, be careful not to overcook the chicken and dry it out. Serve this with a big salad or put it in the Fresh Straberry and Blueberry salad that I listed in my previous post.

Barrel Torso Banned

The time in life has finally arrived when barrel torso is an issue. As women age do they have to develop barrel torso? You've all seen it and you know what I'm talking about; let's ban barrel torso. The thought of visceral fat surrounding my internal organs has me rethinking what I eat and how much I eat. I've been blessed with pretty good genes and the women in my family are trim, but even too much healthy food can take a toll. I also enjoy cooking and eating, very much so. And I love dessert. And bread. And butter. And.......well the list goes on:) I also like my blue jeans and being fit.

So the question became what do I like more? Being fit and fitting into my blue jeans, or eating? I want both; so this blog is about sharing healthy recipes, creating new recipes, and getting others involved in the same journey. If I burn more calories than I eat I'll be trim, feel better, have more energy and able to do the other things in life that I love such as spending time with family and friends. Speaking of my family, I am the family cook and I'll talk about that in my next post. Meanwhile try out the following recipe; it's a copy cat of Panera's strawberry salad and I found the dressing recipe on the Internet. The dressing is non-fat and a real winner.

Fresh Strawberry and Blueberry Salad

Romaine lettuce
Fresh strawberries
Fresh blueberries
Pineapple (fresh is so much better than canned)
Mandarin oranges
Walnuts - if you're a nut lover, we leave out the walnuts since they are so high in calories

Add a little chicken or turkey for the savory taste; I like to pepper the turkey before I add it to the salad.

Here's the killer dressing:
1/2 cup fat free mayo
1/4 cup milk - we use soy milk
1/4 cup Splenda
1/8 cup vinegar
Poppy seeds - you decide how many