Friday, April 27, 2012

Salmon with lentil-black bean-squash skillet

I decided the other day I wanted to try lentils.  For some reason, in my pursuit of healthy living, I had not yet had these.  I picked up some at Wal-Mart yesterday (great value bag of dried lentils is only $.98).  Then I started looking online for how to cook them.... Not necessarily recipes to use them in, but just how to cook them and pretty much everything I came across indicated that they were simple because they do not require soaking (which is a big reason I don't often cook dried beans).  So I rinsed them.... and picked out any shriveled or weird looking lentils.  Then I transferred them to a pot - this is 2 cups of dried lentils. And the ratio I found was 2:1.  I also saw a lot of people saying to cook them in chicken broth.  Well chicken broth has a ton of sodium - even the reduced sodium is ridiculously high - so I did 1 cup of reduced sodium chicken broth, and 3 cups of water.  I also seasoned them with curry powder & cumin.  (Do not season with salt during cooking - season with salt after).  Brought to a boil, let boil for a couple minutes, and then reduced to a simmer for about 25 minutes.  Drained off some of the liquid and threw those bad boys in a tupperware container headed straight for the fridge. 

For lunch I made the dish you see above.  It is a simple salmon filet (wild caught) on top of a bed of lentils, black beans, spinach, yellow squash, mushrooms, & onions.  Turned out to be such a tasty dish, I can't wait to have it again!! 

Here it is....
1/2 cup lentils (cooked)
1/4 cup black beans
1 small yellow squash, cubed
2 mushrooms - chopped
onion - chopped
2 tbsp salsa
1 cup spinach
red pepper
curry powder
garlic powder
s&p (or salt substitute & pepper)
1tbsp shredded cheese (if desired)

Preheat oven to 375.  Place fish on baking sheet (thawed out of course). Season as desired.  Bake for 11-12 minutes.

While fish is baking, heat frying pan over med-high heat.  Add in onions, mushrooms, & squash.  Season with cumin, red pepper, curry powder, & garlic powder (all to taste).  Sautee for a few minutes.  Add in black beans & lentils.  Sautee for another minute or so, until heated through.... Then add in spinach & salsa.  Sautee until spinach is wilted and salsa is mixed through. Remove from heat and plate.  Top with cheese, s&p.  And place fish on top of bed of veggies/lentils. 

DIG IN -- And check out how good this is!!

404 Calories
6g Fat
65g Carbs
30g Fiber
52g Protein
622mg Sodium

 (isn't that like a whole day's worth of fiber in ONE meal?!  Who says it's hard to get fiber in?  And who says it's hard to eat all your veggies?  There's multiple servings in this dish!!)

This would easily heat up if you wanted to make it and take it to lunch at work!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sweet Vidalia Onion Asparagus StirFry with Chicken

So here's another yummy dish I threw together when I couldn't figure out what to have for lunch.  It's a little bit delicious - and a whole lotta healthy!   It's packed with Veggies & Protein -- it's Low in calories, high in fiber, and so tasty!  This makes one portion.   Even those of you counting calories can eat all of this for lunch or dinner!!  It's perfect in just about every way!!  ;)

1 boneless/skinless chicken breast - chopped (Mine weighed 7.5oz)
3 cups asparagus Stir Fry (I used great value - from walmart)
1 mushroom - chopped
1/4 cup black beans - drained/rinsed
1 cup raw spinach
cumin - to taste
jamaican style curry powder - to taste
s&p - to taste (I use salt substitute)
1tbsp Ken's Light Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing

Heat frying pan on med-high heat.  Spray with non stick cooking spray.  Add chicken - season with cumin & curry powder.  I also like to add a little water to the frying pan when I'm cooking chicken -- It seems to help it cook faster, and keeps it super moist.  When chicken is done, remove from heat, set aside.  Spray frying pan with non stick spray.  Add veggies (thaw a bit prior to cooking), mushroom, and black beans.  Add a bit of cumin & curry powder to taste. Sautee for several minutes, until veggies are tender.  Add in spinach and salad dressing.  Continue cooking until spinach is wilted.  Add in chicken - mix well.  Then remove from heat and finish off with some s&p if desired. 

Here's the stats.

365 Calories
3g Fat
28g Carbs
10g Fiber
60g Protein
267mg Sodium

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Egg-Bean-Spinach Scramble

I like to have high protein meals - especially for breakfast! And this super simple scramble really packs a punch!  It is loaded with protein, only has good slow burning carbs, and even has some fiber in there -- and it does not lack in the flavor department!! :) You would make this just like you'd make scrambled eggs, but this comes with lots of extras!

1.5 cups raw spinach
4 servings liquid egg whites (12 tbsp)
1 large egg (I used Eggland's Best)
1/4 cup black beans (drianed, rinsed)
3 small mushrooms (chopped or sliced)
2tbsp Salsa (I used Black Bean & Corn)
s&p (Optional)

Heat frying pan over med-high heat.  Spray with non stick cooking spray. Add in mushrooms.  Add in egg & egg whites.  When eggs are almost cooked through, add in beans & spinach.  Continue to cook until spinach wilts. Remove from heat and plate.  Top with s&p (if desired) and salsa.  I had mine with a cup of Wuyi Oolong Tea.

262 Calories
4g Fat
20g Carbs
5g Fiber
32g Protein
593mg Sodium

Friday, April 20, 2012

Peanut Butter {Pumpkin} Cup Fake-Out!

So on a normal day, I don't eat sweets (including fruit) and I don't eat starchy carbs.  I am following the 4-hour body diet.  I get one cheat day a week.  But sometimes during the week I want something sweet and delicious.... This has become my go to snack, and I have it almost every day.  I recently figured out a way to make it go further - that actually adds lots of nutrients and fiber to the snack for almost no calories!  Add PUMPKIN!! Yep.  Here's the low down -

2tbsp Natural Peanut Butter (I use Smuckers -- Natural Peanut Butter should have no ingredients besides peanuts & salt)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin (I use Libbys)
1 packet Splenda
1tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder

Combine all ingredients in a bowl -- I like to mash the peanut butter down and fold all ingredients together.  The oils from the peanut butter help hold everything together.  Mix thoroughly.  Put in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.  Dig in!!

298 Calories
16g Fat
16g Carbs
7g Fiber
22g Protein
166mg Sodium

Spicy Black Bean Dip

I eat a lot of hummus.  Roasted red pepper is my favorite, but I also love garlic... and pine nut.  But I wanted to try making something a little different.... So I made some black bean dip.  Turned out pretty stinkin good -- similar texture to hummus.... High in fiber, low in calories - I'd consider that a win.  I had mine with some Broccoli this afternoon - and you can see my boyfriend's dog there waiting patiently (she LOVES broccoli!)

2/3 cup black beans (drained & rinsed)
2tbsp salsa - I used black bean & corn
cumin - to taste
red pepper - to taste
kernel season's ranch popcorn seasoning - optional

Combine all ingredients in food processor - until smooth.   Eat with your favorite vegetables, and I'm sure it'd be great with tortilla chips as well!

Makes two servings.

87 Calories
0g Fat
16g Carbs
4g Fiber
5g Protein
153mg Sodium

Tuna Veggie Stir Fry

Tuna Veggie Stir-Fry

I've been really into making these little stir frys - and they are so tasty - yet also simple and easy to make!!  Today's turned out exceptionally delish - so here it is for you to try!!  This would be an easy dinner -- or you could make it tonight and have it for lunch tomorrow.  I'm listing the ingredients/nutrition information for one serving. I had this with a side of cauliflower.  Super low cal, high in fiber, and high in protein --- Enjoy!!

1 Zucchini - Halved (long ways) & sliced
3 medium mushrooms - chopped
2 cups raw spinach
1 pouch tuna (I used brunswick albacore tuna in water)
chopped onions
1/8 cup diced tomatoes - canned (I used Muir Glen Organic)
1/4 cup white kidney/cannellini beans
1/8 cup black beans
red pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
Perfect Pinch Salt Free Savory blend to taste
s&p (optional) - I used salt substitute

Heat frying pan on med-high heat.  Spray with non stick cooking spray.  Add in onions & mushrooms.  Sautee for about a minute.  Add in Zucchini.  Sautee for another minute or two.  Add in tomatoes, black beans, white kidney beans, and spices.  Add in Tuna, and then spinach.  Let spinach wilt.  If you've never cooked with spinach like this, it's easy if you flip some of the vegetables on top of the spinach so it can soak in more heat.   Remove from heat.  Add s&p if desired.  Dig in!!

Nutrition Information - includes my 1.5 cup sauteed Cauliflower side.

245 Calories
2g Fat
31g Carbs
12g Fiber
28g Protein
291mg Sodium

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My day in foood.....

I haven't posted a menu in a while, but I thought I'd go ahead and post a some pictures of my day - in food.  When I tell people what I eat they ask me how in the world I'm following diet, or they just give me an "Ew, that sounds gross"..... It's not gross.  What I tend to believe is that they aren't used to eating healthy foods so it sounds gross because their palette has been ruined by fast food and unhealthy options.  I do make myself have a cheat day (or cheat afternoon) every week.  Even on my cheat days I don't go all out crazy but there is a spike in my calorie intake.  And honestly, while I enjoy the things I treat myself to on my cheat days (sweets, bread, fruit), I can't wait to get back to my normally healthy eating the next morning.  So here's what my average day looks like.....


*Hot Tea
*Chocolate Black Bean Protein Shake (black beans, chocolate protein, cocoa powder, coconut almond milk blend, ice, dry instant coffee)
*Pumpkin Greek Yogurt (Plain Greek Yogurt, cinnamon, splenda packet, canned pumpkin)
*Sauteed Cauliflower

377 Calories
3g Fat
43g Carbs
15g Fiber
49g Protein
342mg Sodium


*Sauteed Cauliflower
*a few nuts (Planters Nutrition South Beach Diet Mix) - not pictured
*Protein Shake (chocolate protein powder, black beans, white kidney beans, canned pumpkin, liquid egg whites, ice, coconut/almond milk blend) - not pictured
*Veggie Tuna Skillet (tuna, spinach, white kidney beans, black beans, mushrooms, onion - sauteed together, and then topped with salsa)

524 Calories
13g Fat
55g Carbs
22g Fiber
53g Protein
548mg Sodium


*Baked Salmon
*Sugar Snap Pea Stir-Fry (this is a pre-packaged frozen blend from WalMart - comes with no sauce/seasoning so very low sodium, I usually season with Mrs. Dash or Perfect Pinch Salt Free varieties)
*Veggie/Bean Skillet (black beans, chickpeas, spinach, mushrooms, onions sauteed together - topped with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese)

300 Calories
6g Fat
29g Carbs
11g Fiber
30g Protein
380mg Sodium


Outside of my regular three meals a day, I also have some snacks..... Some of my typical snacks include.....
*raw broccoli w/roasted red pepper hummus
*peanut butter mixed with chocolate protein powder - and then frozen
*cucumber "chips" with Salsa


I mostly just drink water.  Seriously.  I do drink Hot Tea in the mornings, for my caffeine kick.  Occasionally I'll have a cup of hot tea (decaf) in the evenings.  But throughout the day I drink water.  A lot of water.  I do have soda once or twice a week.  A few times a week I also spruce up my water with Crystal Light.  But on average I'm drinking 15-20 cups of water a day (usually on the higher end when I work out hard, or sweat a lot during my workouts).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chicken-Spinach-Bean Skillet

Ok my mom threw together something like this last night and was telling me about it so I had to try something along these lines -- turned out so delish I had to share!!  It's super healthy - and pretty quick and simple to make! 

8oz raw chicken breast tenderloin - chopped
a couple slices of onions - chopped
5 medium mushrooms - chopped
1 cup baby or flat leaf spinach - torn/rough chopped
1/2 cup black beans - drained/rinsed
1/2 cup white kidney beans - drained/rinsed
cumin (to taste)
red pepper (to taste)
chili powder (to taste)
mrs dash table blend (to taste)

Sautee chicken, mushrooms, & onion - with cumin & mrs dash - until chicken is cooked through.  Add in spinach, and cook until wilted (about a minute).  Remove from heat and place in a bowl.  Add black beans & white kidney beans to frying pan - along with some cumin, red pepper, and chili powder - sautee for a couple minutes until heated through.  Add to spinach/chicken/mushroom/onion mixture in bowl, and mix.  Dig in and enjoy.  This is delish topped with a couple tablespoons salsa!  Makes 2 servings.

226 Calories
1g Fat
38g Carbs
8g Fiber
22g Protein
170mg Sodium
*Nutrition info does not include salsa*