March 16, 2017

Simple Chicken Caprese

I just love easy weeknight meals.  I'll admit when I'm not feeling as creative and simply feel lazy about it, this is one of those dishes I turn to to add to my family's weeknight menu.  You're going to love it! 

You'll need:

1-2 packages ( 2 if you want leftovers) of boneless chicken breast
1 can of your favorite marinara sauce
fresh mozzarella
2 large tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with marinara sauce.
3. Slice chicken breasts in half and place on top of the sauce. Then add more sauce on the chicken, a slice of tomato, two slices of mozzarella cheese and basil.
* I sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides before placing them in the dish.

4. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

* add Parmesan cheese on top if you'd like.  Serve with a salad and garlic bread.  So delicious!


Greek Yogurt Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes (for kids)

My daughter used to loooove yogurt of pretty much any flavor when she was a baby.  Straight. out. of. the. carton. These days, not so much.  So I sneak it in healthy foods that I make from ( almost) scratch and she eats them up!  She loves a good pancake for breakfast ( who doesn't)? and I'm not exactly sure when she started loving the flavor of pumpkin but she does now and I'm not trying to waste time figuring that out.  I'm so glad she does though, because I love pumpkin flavored ANYTHING.  I hope she'll stick with that flavor for a while or forever!  Pumpkin alone is so healthy for you and has tons of fiber!

 I'm all about homemade recipes from scratch but I'm human and a mom and shortcuts are just necessary sometimes.  I love using Bob's Redmill BUTTERMILK WHOLE GRAIN PANCAKE AND WAFFLE MIX.   I like to add cinnamon to the batter that it calls for and that's it.  Here's the rest of the recipe.

Your house will smell incredible and I hope you'll give these a try!

You'll Need:

Your favorite pancake mix- Bob's red mill says 1 cup but I use 2 cups to make more pancakes.
Add any spice you like.  Nutmeg, I love using cinnamon.

2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract ( optional)
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1/3 cup 2% or skim milk
2 tbsp oil- veggie, canola or coconut works fine.

In a large bowl, mix the pancake mix and any spices added in with whisk
until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well until just combined.

On a hot griddle pan, spray with non stick cooking spray or melt butter.  Scoop pancake mix and cook about 3 minutes on each side.

* These are great for the freezer for convenient breakfasts.  Wrap in plastic wrap and use when needed.  Warm in microwave 1-2 minutes.  I always get about 12 pancakes.


February 3, 2017

Intuitive Eating

Let me start off by saying that intuitive eating is ( for some silly reason) a controversial topic.  I have no clue as to why, so don't ask me.  I personally prefer eating this way and so far, within the last couple of years or so, it has worked well for me.  We all eat what we want, how we want, and when we want, so in my humble opinion, intuitive eating seems like it could be a no brainer. We all know ourselves and how our bodies work the best; therefore, I say eat food however you intend to eat it. Do I eat intuitively all the time?  Heck no.  I'm human!  I don't always stop when I actually feel full and let's call a spade a spade here, no one can eat just one thin mint. If so, I'd truly like to meet that person for coffee and chat about it. I have just found what tends to work for me on most days, and that's being in tune with my body and hunger cues and then eating something that has some filling properties to them.  

Whole foods are the way to go because they offer satiety.  Protein, carbs and fat you can bet your tush that after eating something that contains any of those nutrients, you'll feel full for a couple of hours.  Intuitive eating helps keep me from binging on salty and sweet snacks throughout the day.  Again, this isn't all the time and if I want a sweet snack or a not-so-healthy-breakfast, heck yes I'll eat that donut or indulge in a piece of dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate is healthy anyway. It all depends on the day and to be frank, eating food is so much more enjoyable when you actually feel hungry.  

The older I get, I prefer eating intuitively more.  I am also noticing that I can't eat large portions. If anything, I prefer to make dinner my biggest meal of the day and I feel it's important for everyone to eat at least one solid meal a day. But after a big bowl of pasta the other night, I didn't finish it entirely and I was starving, but even the amount I did eat made me feel very full very quickly.  I also ate three crackers with cheese while the pasta was cooking because again, I was getting hangry.

I highly recommend this book by Geneen Roth.  It's about her journey through weight loss, all of the ups and downs and dives head first into why we eat what we eat and intuitive eating.  This book opened up my eyes a bit and made me look at food differently .  That's not to say I looked at food negatively or deprived myself.  I adore food; good food and for the most part, organic and wholesome foods. I simply agree, for the most part with Geneen and her ideas about trying to simply eat when we feel hungry.  She has great tips as well.  For example, never go to a dinner party or gathering starving.  The time might say 6pm, but dinner won't actually be served until 8pm. Always be sure to have a light bite before hand. 

 How do you like to eat on the daily?  Are you in tune with your body and hunger cues every now and then? 

 I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic!

September 21, 2016

Herbed NO MAYO Potato Salad

Potatoes seem to be the one food that's a hit or miss for me.  I'll have the occasional potato salad at a Summer BBQ and of course mashed potatoes with gravy  or sweet potatoes during Holiday time, but I rarely cook them myself.  If my mom makes a roast chicken or roast beef and serves mashed potatoes with them, of course I'll eat it.  I actually love potatoes, they are just not my go to.

I have been trying to cook different meals more recently and become inspired from different magazines and food blogs.  What's even better, I have been trying to stick to the meal I have written down on the weekly menu and still cook it even if I am tired from a long day and would prefer to order a pizza. That's just too easy sometimes. So one night I wanted it to be burger night because yum. My husband would grill the cheeseburgers and I would make the potato salad.  I was not in the mood to make it at all but it came together so quickly.  I also didn't want a fat-laden potato salad with mayo in it and I was not going to buy a store bought container of potato salad. 

Besides washing the potatoes and chopping them up, they came to a boil rather quickly, were super tender and the herb dressing was a breeze to make and so, so good.

I also love making stuff like this because you can have leftovers of it for lunch! 

You're going to love this recipe!  I think next time I might add chopped, crispy bacon to it.  That might put it over the top!

Recipe from Cookie and Kate

August 18, 2016

Not-so-thrilling Wednesday

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 

Workout:  tried 20 pound dumbbells!  And ran a quick arm up run.  I personally want to see a little more definition in my triceps area and from what I read and hear and with some tips from a fellow lady blogger, go higher with weights!  We shall see.  I try to incorporate weights and different circuit movements 2-3 times a week.

Breakfast: Was a little hungry but just ate a banana and picked up my coffee from dunkin’.

Around 830am my co-worker brought in soft and HOT pretzels from the pretzel factory.  How can I say no?  I ate it with some spicy mustard.  It hit the spot! 

Lunch:   Delicious Brown rice, chicken and veggie bowl with steamed dumplings filled with tasty spinach and water from Wok Works.  It is so crazy fresh and good there- and the workers are such a friendly group!  ( no picture because I ate it at my desk and I'm over the awful lighting in there).

Dinner:  I didn't eat until around 8pm because I swear the lunch I had held me over until around then.  I'm also learning that my body must hate me, because when I eat lighter things, I am never satisfied, but god forbid I eat something more substantial like a rice bowl (i didn't even finish the whole thing) my stomach is filled for hours.  I see that as good and bad.  I had a bowl of peanut butter puffins and about an hour later I binged watched The Real Housewives of New York for an hour and scarfed down the rest of cubed watermelon that I had in the fridge. 

It wasn't a typical day as my husband text me in the later afternoon and told me he felt like absolute piss- chills, sweats, aches, head hurt.  Poor guy.  I decided to still take a half hour yoga core class that I wanted to try at 6:30 because I cannot remember the last time I took an evening class of any kind, let alone a workout class.  It felt great and I;m glad I stuck with it and the most interesting part?  I was the only one in the class!  I have had the yoga teacher a few times before this one but MAN is she pretty tough but sweet at the same time and kicked my arse for sure.  But it was cool because for 30 minutes I had a personal trainer, sort of.

I'd like to stick with that class at least 2x a week, but it also depends on my schedule so we'll see what happens.

It was an interesting day for sure!  

Lunch:  big meal or small?  I have to keep it small and I just try to go with how hungry I am.  I like to feel filled for a while but feeling not so hungry by 9pm is sort of a bummer too.