Light Side

Pack Your Omelet Full Of Goodness

July 22, 2013

Cooking OmeletPack Your Omelet Full Of Goodness

Omelets are one of those dishes that you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The versatile omelet is low in calories too especially if you start with one egg and two egg whites (about 100 calories).  Add the fillings of your choice and you have a protein packed meal that will satisfy your hunger.

Cheese Choices

Choose 1/4 cup of one of these cheese for your omelet.

Shredded Swiss

Shredded Cheddar

Crumbled Feta

Vegetables

Choose as many vegetables as you want because they are full of fiber and low in calories.

Chopped Broccoli

Sliced Mushrooms

Chopped Tomatoes

Proteins

Choose1/4 cup of these delicious proteins.

Smoked Salmon

Turkey Bacon

Ham

Optional

Choose one of these for a total treat.

Sautéed Potatoes

Avocado

Crème Fraiche

 

Pasta Salad Ideas

June 25, 2013

VegetablesPasta Salad Ideas

Here are some super easy, but versatile Pasta Salad Ideas from Tiny New York Kitchen.  All you need to do is add 3 cups of cooked & chilled pasta (of your choice) and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to one of these inspiring combinations.  Try them all throughout the summer for a whole treasure trove of side salads.  If you want to make any of these a main dish then add 1 pound of protein such as grilled chicken breasts, grilled flank steak, grilled shrimp, grilled tuna (or canned tuna) or tofu.  All recipes below serve 4.

For the Pasta: Cook 3 Cups of Pasta, Toss With 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Then Chill Until Ready To Use.  Add the Pasta to One of the Salad Combinations Below.

Nutty Beans & Greens

1 Cup Trimmed & Steamed Haricot Verts

1 Cup Baby Arugula

3 Tablespoons Toasted & Chopped Walnuts

1 Ounce Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

 

Snow Peas & Carrots

1/2 Cup Grated Carrot

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Snow Peas

1/2 Cup Shredded Red Cabbage

1/4 Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts

 

Cheesy Chickpea & Pesto

1/2 Cup Cooked Chickpeas

1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese

1 Cup Halved Grape Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Prepared Pesto

 

Mediterranean Medley

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Cucumber

1 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes

1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese

1 1/2 Ounces Sliced Kalamata Olives

 

Peppery & Nutty

1 Cup Arugula

2/3 Cup Thinly Sliced Radishes

3 Tablespoons Toasted & Chopped Walnuts

2 Ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese

 

Melon, Mint & Parm

1/2 Cup Fresh Cubed Cantaloupe

2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves

2 Ounces Thinly Sliced Prosciutto

1 1/2 Ounces Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Freshly Ground Pepper

 

Cherry Almond Crunch

3/4 Cup Pitted Halved Fresh Cherries

1/4 Cup Toasted & Thinly Sliced Almonds

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese

 

Picnic Superstar

1/3 Cup Sliced Avocado

1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper Strips

1/4 Cup Fresh Corn Kernels

2 Cooked Crumbled Center Cut Bacon Slices

2 Ounces Quartered Fresh Baby Mozzarella Balls

 

Healthy & Whole Foods

January 6, 2013

Healthy & Whole Foods

Many Americans have been struggling with weight issues for years.  People may lose a few pounds by trying various diets, but only to gain a few extra pounds when resuming old eating patterns.  As we get older we find that losing weight becomes much more difficult with our metabolisms slowing substantially.  Being overweight brings on serious health risks such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  It is important for us to make a real connection between what we eat and our overall health.  Here are some eating tips that typically make a difference in weight loss and, of course, incorporating exercise into your daily routine helps significantly. 

 

Breakfast

Eat a healthy breakfast every day.  A healthy breakfast is one that consists of

Protein, fruit and whole grains.  Avoid processed foods.  Eating breakfast helps

prevent overeating later in the day.  Try eating an egg sandwich with a piece of fruit or whole grain cereal with low fat or skim milk and a banana. 

 

Water

Drink more water.  Most of us don’t drink enough water.  Substitute water for sodas, juices, alcoholic drinks and even diet sodas.  Substitute water for those high calorie drinks and you will begin to see the pounds melt away.  I like to drink sparkling water when I crave a soda.

 

Fish

Fish is great for giving you those good omega-3 fatty acids that we all need and

is lower in calories.  Stay away from eating processed meats like hot dogs and sausages.  Eat fish two to three times per week and eat red meat once a week at most.

 

Whole Grains

Whole grains are chock full of vitamins, minerals and high in fiber.  Eat whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and brown rice.  Stay away from refined grains such as white bread and white pasta.

 

Fruits & Vegetables

We need our fruits and vegetables.  They are antioxidant rich foods that help in weight loss.  Fresh produce contains water so we feel full and satisfied longer.  Berries are great antioxidants. 

 

Dairy

Including low-fat dairy food into our diets is important.  These foods are rich in calcium and vitamin D.  Many of us are deficient in obtaining these bone building vitamins. 

 

“Diet” Foods

Just because the label says “diet” or “low-fat” or “fat-free” doesn’t mean that they are healthy for us or will promote weight loss.  These foods are typically loaded with sugar and are highly processed which means empty calories.  It would be better to eat a hand-full of nuts than to turn to these impostors. 

 

Home Cooking

As you know I am big on cooking at home.  I rarely use processed foods and would rather cook my own meals.  It takes time, money and energy, but in the end it’s worth it.  When we eat out in restaurants we truly don’t know how our food is cooked.  Chefs tend to put butter on “everything” and that’s why the meals taste good.  Also, we tend to eat much larger portions when we go out for dinner.  For certain stay away from fast food restaurants. 

 

Portion Sizes

I am a visual person.  It sounds ridiculous but the serving size for fruits and vegetables should be fist size.  Look at your fist and get a visual of what a fruit/veggie serving size should be.  A serving size of meat should be the size of a deck of cards and a serving size of fish should be the size of a checkbook. Eat smaller meals!

 

Slow Down

Eat slower.  We should spend 30 minutes eating a meal.  Eat at the table sitting down. 

 

Food Labels

Read those food labels for calories and other nutrients.  Scan the food labels for how many grams of sugar an item has.  Just because a food item my say it is low in fat it just may have a high amount of sugar. 

 

Snacking

Snacking twice a day on healthy snacks helps from overeating later in the day.  Healthy snacks are items such as fruit, carrots or a handful of nuts (not sugar coated candy type nuts).  Don’t forget that water! 

 

Gum

Believe it or not chewing gum can help keep that weight off.  I like to nibble so when I get the urge to nibble I will pop a couple pieces of gum in my mouth. 

 

Sleep

Sleep at least 7 hours per night.

 

Exercise

Join a gym and go at least 3 times a week.  If you can’t make it to a gym then walk.  Go for a walk after lunch or after dinner for 45 minutes to an hour.  Incorporate lifting some free weights into your routine. 

 

Foods To Avoid

Butter

Ice Cream

Chips

Crackers

Instant Oatmeal

Fish Sticks

Sugary Cereal

White Pasta

Cereal Bars

Candy Bars

Fried Chicken

Regular Pretzels

Potato Chips

White Bread

White Potatoes

Prepared Salad Dressings

White Rice

Cookies

 

Foods To Eat

Olive Oil

Greek Yogurt

Nuts

Seeds

Steel Cut Oats

Broiled Salmon

High Fiber Cereal

Whole Wheat Pasta

Blueberries

Piece of Dark Chocolate

Grilled/Roasted Chicken

Whole Wheat Pretzels

Unbuttered Popcorn

Whole Wheat Bread

Sweet Potatoes

Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing

Brown Rice

Figs

Building A Healthier Burger

June 19, 2012

Building A Healthier Burger

 

Nothing says grilling season like a hot & juicy burger.  You can enjoy an American favorite that is new and improved by giving your burger a healthy twist without skimping on flavor.  Here are some things that you can do to create a better burger. 

Choose Your Patty:  For a classic burger it is important to choose the leanest ground beef available.  Purists will tell you to use the fattiest ground beef, but if you are trying to cut down on fat and create a healthier burger try using lean meat.  I like to use ground sirloin.  You also might try: Ground Turkey Breast (usually 99% fat free); Ground Buffalo/Bison (naturally sweet & lean); Veggie Burgers (usually has one seventh the saturated fat of traditional burgers); Fish Burgers; Salmon Burgers (rich in omega-3); Mushroom Burgers (made from large grilled Portobello mushrooms). 

 

Jazz Up Your Burgers:  Spices and condiments are key here.  Mix in or season your burgers with salt free or low sodium spices.  You can get creative here to suit your tastes or mood.  I like to use Cajun spices, Italian spices and sometimes a touch of curry spices. You can get a fiber boost and add texture by adding chopped or grated vegetables or herbs. 

 

To Bun Or Not To Bun:  Who says a burger must be served on a traditional white bun?  Feel free to serve your burgers on 100% whole grain buns or pita pockets.  If you are going for a totally bunless burger you might want to try sturdy lettuce or cabbage leaves. 

Accessorize:  The tasty trimming options are endless, but here are a few ideas.  Choose condiments that are low in fat, sodium and sugar.  Read the labels on varieties of ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, relish and salsa.  Choose low-fat or fat-free varieties of cheese.  The white cheeses tend to be lower in fat such as Swiss or provolone.  Top your burger with grilled onions and sliced tomatoes.  Instead of using iceberg lettuce try radicchio, arugula or romaine.  While you’re at it add cucumber slices, radish slices or red pepper rings for some extra crunch.

 

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