Tag Archives: low calorie

Its Time To Take Pleasure in Persimmons

8 Oct

I love stocking up on whatever fruits are in season and Autumn is the perfect time of year to discover the magical fruit called Persimmons. This fruit has its origins in China, Japan, throughout Asia and eventually made its way into California.  My favorite Variations has a lightly sweet taste and crisp texture. You can pick out the best Persimmon by choosing one that is hard and firm, but dark orange in color. You can eat them with or without the skin.  Below are some great reasons to stock up and try this delicious exotic fruit!

I like to peel the skin off and eat them in slices. They are also great in salads, bruschettas, grilled, and can be used in many desserts. They pair very well with seafood like shrimp & scallops. I however still prefer mine all natural as snacks.

Here are a few great and healthy benefits of Persimmons in addition to their many Nutrients.

Fiber source: Just one persimmon contains six grams of fiber, which is already about a quarter of your recommended daily value. Fiber digests slowly, so it keeps you fuller longer.

Cravings cure: The fiber in persimmons, called pectin, is responsible for another appetite-controlling feature: pectin helps regulate blood-sugar levels to keep them from spiking, which can help prevent blood-sugar-crash-related cravings.

Flat belly: Persimmons are known for their stomach-soothing properties, so eating the fruit may help you feel less bloated or constipated. Note, however, that in rare cases, eating too many persimmons, especially on an empty stomach, can lead to a bezoar (an intestinal obstruction) because of the fruit’s highly fibrous properties.

http://www.fitsugar.com/Persimmons-Weight-Loss-Health-Benefits-25589039

Home-Made Chicken & Vegetable Curry

7 Feb

Tonight I had left over chicken breast and decided to make a home-made curry that turned out delicious so here is the recipe below.

IMG_20130206_190353

Ingredients:

1 Clove Garlic

1/2 Chopped Onion

1 Tomato Pureed

Shredded chicken

Cauliflower

Mushrooms

Carrots

Almonds

Cilantro

(optional) peas, golden raisins

1 can Coconut Milk

2 tbls Curry

1/4 tsp paprika

dash Cumin

dash Cinnamon

splash Tapatio

Salt & Pepper to taste

IMG_20130206_184138

In a large pan lightly saute garlic, onions, carrots, cauliflower, and mushrooms(add salt/pepper to veggies). Pour in Coconut Milk, add spices and whisk together, add more salt & pepper to taste. Add shredded chicken, almonds, and fresh chopped cilantro ( save some for garnish).

Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes

Serve with wild rice. If you don’t have rice you can also add potatoes or even sweet potatoes to this dish as well as peas and golden raisins.  I also added almonds to mine and it added a nice crunch.

5 Healthy Super Bowl Party Appetizers

2 Feb

Who says a Super Bowl Party has to be all greasy pizza and nachos. Impress your friends with these healthy and delicious appetizers on Game Day

1. Lemon Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Simple and easy to make, find the recipe here http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2000/12/lemon_rosemary_chicken_skewers

2. Bruschetta Skewers

these really cants be any more simple. Add cherry tomatoes, basil, and half a mozzarella ball, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and drizzle with Balsamic reduction (the thick stuff)

3.  Asian Meatballs

I pulled this one straight from my pinterest page http://pinterest.com/sondrabarker/

Now tell me these don’t look tasty, bite size, low carb, no gobbles of melted cheese, 2 thumbs up. You can find the recipe here at: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/saucy-asian-meatballs/

4. Cold Shrimp Scampi Cocktail

Shrimp Scampi (photo)

I made these last year and I must say I probably ate them all. The non traditional shrimp cocktail so good it doesnt even need a sauce and so easy. Simple purchase some cold pre-cooked shrimp and combine in a bowl with fresh lemon juice, chopped garlic & fresh chopped parsley, sea salt, pepper, and a small amount of olive oil.

5. Prosciutto Wrapped Dill Pickles

Another one of my absolute favorites I had at a girlfriends house warming party years ago. I was the awkward one standing at the food table all night! These are so simple to make and addicting.

I like to use baby dill pickles, cut the prosciutto in 3 slices, smear a little cream cheese and wrap the pickles. Its that simple. Now if you really want some brownie points top with a slice of peach or fig. The flavors go amazing together, it will be a sure hit. Looks oh so fancy, but its simple!

 

Enjoy and remember Superbowl doesn’t have to be one cheesy, greasy, carb fest =)

 

Rosemary Lemon Baked Chicken

2 Feb

Here is one of my favorite recipes that is just full of flavor and oh so simple to make.

IMG_20130201_194506

Ingredients:

Chicken Half Breasts with Bone

Rosemary

Lemon slices

Gravy:

Flour 1/2tbls

Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray, make sure to use a baking dish if you want to make a gravy so the chicken creats its own sauce. Season both sides of the chicken breast and place them in the dish. I like to use my Himalayan Pink Salt, Pepper, Onion/Garlic mix and Paprika. Then with your fingers pry open the chickens fat layer and stuff with a thick slice of lemon and a sprig of rosemary.

Bake at 375 for 1 hour

The gravy is very easy to make, your chicken should be sitting in its own juices, simply transfer the juices to a pot, add a small amount of flour and bring to a boil simmering until you get the desired consistency. I like to add the flour a little at a time, start with just 1-2 teaspoons.

Tip: The best way to serve is with the gravy at the bottom of a plate, never pour the gravy on top or you will lose that nice crispy skin.

5 Quick Breakfast Ideas that are Healthy, Low Calorie, & Tasty!

21 Jan

Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. The wrong breakfast can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and making bad food decisions for the rest of the day. Avoid the fast food, stacks of pancakes, and worse absolutely nothing! All of these breakfast ideas are quick, simple and can even be taken on the go. By starting your day off with a great breakfast you”ll feel great throughout the day and studies show that when you start the day off with a healthy nutritious breakfast you’re more likely to make better food choices throughout the day.

1. Try a Smoothie

most of us are in a rush, so try making a quick smoothie instead of your usual cup of joe. I use a magic bullet and it literally takes the same amount of time. Simply add a little OJ or Skim Milk, some fruit ( fresh or save time with frozen), and for extra benefits add a scoop of your favorite protein powder or green veggie powder. I am using a red anti oxidant detox powder from Trader Joes. When I have extra time in the morning I fresh squeeze my oranges and it literally takes me just a few extra minutes. What ever you choose your smoothie will surely be packed with more vitamins and nutrients than your morning cup of coffee. Even better, with the Magic Bullet you can simply screw on a lid and take it with you. If you are really on the go try a pre-made smoothie drink.

2. Breakfast Burrito

I love the idea of a breakfast burrito because they are easy to wrap up and eat as your heading out the door. You can also pack a ton of goodies inside full of your protein, complex carbs and packed with vitamins. Use a whole wheat tortilla and pack with eggs, your favorite veggies, avocado, spinach, you can even add some extra brown or wild rice, skip the potatoes or opt for sweet potatoes instead. Go light on the cheese and use a small amount of sharp cheddar instead. For an extra punch I like to add some chopped chives and go for the salsa instead of the sour cream. Now of course this is my fancy burrito so feel free to simplify it with just some eggs, veggies, dash of cheese, & salsa. This is really one of those breakfast items where you cant go wrong.

3. Fresh Oatmeal

I don’t think many people realize that fresh oatmeal and store bought oatmeal in the packets takes the same amount of time to make. So save yourself some calories and make your own. If you buy just the oatmeal you will often be able to buy a kind that is higher in fiber. It is so easy to make, just pop in the microwave for a few minutes with some diced bananas and skim milk. If you’re on the go put it in a small microwave container and you’re good to go. Most of the time the bananas are sweet enough so you don’t need any extra sugar but you can also add a small amount of raw honey( the thick stuff, not the syrup) which is much better for you and actually contains vitamins and nutrients. I also love adding some chopped walnuts for a nice crunch and adding in some healthy fat and protein. You will feel so much better throughout the day and your energy will actually last!

4. Healthy Elvis Presley Sandwich

That is whole grain bread, all natural low fat peanut butter, and sliced banana’s. A perfect breakfast you can eat while heading out of the door and it only takes minutes to make. Simple, delicious  and packed full of nutrients, complex carbs, fiber, and protein. You really can’t go wrong. Always choose a whole grain brain that has 3+g of fiber per slice and select a peanut butter that is all natural and low in fat. Avoid ones that include hydrogenated oils. You can also sprinkle with cinnamon for some extra deliciousness, and if you can find real cinnamon you will enjoy even more health benefits http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html!

5. Muffins

If you’re short on time in the morning consider making a batch of healthy muffins in the evening or on the weekend when you have more time, they will last for over a week in an air tight container and make the perfect quick breakfast on the go or even a quick healthy snack during the day. Plus if you make it yourself you know its healthy and can even add in goodies like ground flax seed. Here are some great Healthy Low Calorie Muffin Recipes to try. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/low_calorie_muffin_recipes_low_calorie_scone_recipes

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins Recipe

5. Low Fat Cottage Cheese & Fruit

This is a great low calorie choice that will start your day off with protein and a great dose of vitamins and antioxidants  My favorite fruits to add to cottage cheese are strawberries, blueberries, melons, mango, & pineapple.

Great Snacks that are Satisfying & Only 200 Calories

12 Jan

Like most people, I love snacking, especially at night. As most people know eating late at night and heavy snacking can spell disaster for your weight loss efforts. There are however some great snacks that are low calorie and will keep you feeling satisfied before you head to bed and even throughout the day.

1. Soft Pretzel with Mustard

Surprisingly 1 Soft Pretzel is actually quite low in calories, but skip the butter and opt for Mustard. In total this snack will only set you back 200 calories

2. Strawberries & Sugar Free Pudding

In the mood for some chocolate covered strawberries? Try Strawberries and Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding which will totally hit the spot. The best part is at only 200 calories you can still eat a ton of them

3. Portobello Mushroom Bruschetta

Photo of Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Bruschetta and Mozzarella

This is one of my favorites as its very hearty and easy to make. Because mushrooms and tomatoes are mostly water, this dish is surprisingly low calorie and will become a favorite. Simply combine diced tomatoes, chopped basil, and a small amount of diced or shredded mozzarella cheese(1 oz or 1/4 cup), add some salt, pepper, and set aside so the flavors can meld together. Then lightly saute a Portobello Mushroom cap, set on a plate, and scoup the tomato mixture in the center..enjoy!

4. Small Sweet Potato with Yogurt

Satisfying and low calorie, sweet potato’s are a great alternative to baked potatoes and make a delicious snack. Top with a spoon full of plain greek yogurt and sprinkled with cinnamon, they are delish!

5. 4 Devil Eggs

We all love devil eggs, add 1/4cup nonfat greek yogurt, yellow mustard, & add half the yolk for a guilt free pleasure. You can eat 4 as a snack!

Avoid those starchy carbs with these 6 great alternatives!

23 Sep

By now most people understand how eating starchy carbs like corn, potatoes,pasta and white rice spike your insulin levels leading to those carbs turning straight into fat. Eating these types of carbs is actually equivalent to eating sugar! You’re body responds to both in the same way. However that doesn’t mean we have to deprive ourselves and go on the Atkins diet. What it does mean is that we need to rethink the way we plan our meals and choose alternatives that are just as delicious, but much healthier. Luckily you have me to help!

1. Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Fingerling Potatoes, & multi colored small potatoes

These are all great alternatives to baked and mashed potatoes. Yams and sweet potatoes are actually lower on the glycemic index and will not spike your insulin levels. Also if you love potatoes try sticking to small potatoes that retain their skin which means extra fiber. The trick is really in the preparation. All that’s needed is a very small amount of olive oil, salt, pepper  & fresh parsley or rosemary.

2. Smart Taste Pasta, Berillo, Whole Wheat Pasta’s

Ronzoni Smart Taste - White pasta enriched with Calcium and Fiber

Now a days it is very common to find great pasta’s that have exactly the same taste, yet are full of fiber and protein. I;ve even found whole wheat pasta full of fiber at The Dollar Store, so eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive

3. Quinoa

File:Red quinoa.png

This amazing grain alternative is actually a seed that almost pops in your mouth like caviar yumm! It can really be specialized with seasoning, fresh herbs and you can dice up and add just about any vegetable. It’s especially great with carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, & mushrooms. Quinoa is lower in carbs and high in protein and dietary fiber. I especially love this alternative for women since we are more susceptible to anemia.

4. Red Lentels

I recently discovered this great side dish alternative at Trader Joes. The best part? It takes 12 minutes to cook. Like quinoa you can add  a variety vegetables. These sides are awesome if you have children and need to sneak in those veggies. Red Lentels are also a popular and trending ingredient in salads. One serving provides a whopping 5g of fiber and 10g of protein.

5. Wild Rice

6. Squash

This is one of my faves. You can use spaghetti squash as an alternative for Pasta or just as a side dish. I also love butternut, acorn, and even pumpkin. You can cook all of these the same way so its much less intimidating than they look. Simply cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and add a small amount of olive oil or smart balance, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and bake for 30 minutes or until tender at 350 degrees.

Rice can still be a healthy alternative, but you have to read the ingredients and look for that high fiber content. I’ve been using a variety from trader Joes for years and love it. I wish Trader Joes was available in more states! Now with that being said, don’t be fooled by brown rice. Most are also refined, enriched, and contain as little as 2g of fiber per serving. We want at least 5g of fiber per serving when you are choosing a healthy grain. The best thing to look for is a rice blend. This one uses Diakon Radish Seeds which are so delish, who knew!

So this week your challenge is to experiment with different healthy alternative side dishes and enjoy watching the pounds melt off. The saying “you are what you eat” is so very true.  Avoid side dishes like mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, french fries, and potato chips. Eat these in moderation as a treat. Also remember that corn is a starch so when trying to improve your diet, treat corn as a carb and opt for veggies like kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, and carrots. Believe it or not onions and garlic have amazing health benefits so I always add diced onions and garlic with all my vegetables to add more flavor and ad as much nutrients to my meals as possible.

Ham Wrapped Breakfast Quiche

22 Jul

This morning I made some really great breakfast quiches and thought I would share the recipe which I had to change-up quite a bit to get them perfect. These are delicious,  low-calorie, and full of veggies.  I like to add a lot of vegetables, but with this recipe just add whatever you prefer.

 

Ingredients:

Eggs Whole   6

Egg Whites    4

1/2 cup shredded sharp or medium cheddar cheese

1/2 Cup Spinach

5 diced Mushrooms

a few pieces of Broccoli Chopped

1/4 green pepper chopped

1/4 onion chopped

1 garlic clove chopped

salt & pepper

Ham

1/3 cup buttermilk

Use Muffin Pan with 12 or 6 cups

 

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 375. Spray Muffin Pan with nonstick spray and line the sides and bottom of each cup with thinly sliced ham. In a skillet add all diced veggies and a dash of salt & pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes and add spinach ripping into large pieces. Saute another 2 minutes until spinach is wilted. When veggies are done take the pan off heat and let cool.While the veggies are sauteing, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk, add another dash of salt and pepper. Whisk well so eggs become light and fluffy. If you have a magic bullet, whip eggs for a few seconds to add more air. Once eggs are whisked, add cooled veggie mixture and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix and using a ladle scoop eggs mixture into muffin pan.

Bake Quiche at 375 for 20 minutes.

to remove, scrape sides and gently remove.

serve with salsa, sour cream, avacado, or Ketchup