Tomato & Butter Bean Florentine Dinner

 

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This recipe is perfect for Meatless Monday and packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. The main source of protein are provided by the butter beans.

Butter Beans are large flat yellowish variety of a lima bean.  They are a great source of dietary fiber, folate, magnesium,  and a fat free source of protein. In fact they contain both soluble fiber, which helps regulate blood sugars and lower cholesterol levels, and insoluble fiber which aids in the prevention of constipation.

This recipe also uses fresh spinach which is an excellent source of Vit K, Vit A, Vit C, Vit E, Vit B2, B6 and folic acid.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) buttered beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, parsley)
  • 8 oz. spaghetti
  • Grated parmesan cheese, optional

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sautee. Next add tomatoes and seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; add beans and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package direction; drain and rinse. You can mix pasta with bean mixture or serve over pasta.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size:  1  cup (160g Or ml)
Servings Per Container: 8
Amount Per Serving

Calories: 194

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 4.2g 6%
  Saturated Fat 0.59g 3%
  Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0.0mg 0%
Sodium 311.3mg 13%
Calcium 48.1mg 5%
Potassium 338.4mg 10%
Phosphorus 113mg 0%
Total Carb 35g 12%
  Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
  Sugars 2g
Protein 5.7g 11%
Vitamin A 30% Vitamin C 24%
Calcium 5% Iron 12%

Chick Pea & Red Pepper Soup with Quinoa

February is Heart Month!  This soup is heart healthy full of nutrients and fiber.  It is super simple to make and tastes great!!

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WHAT YOU NEED:

1/2 cup quinoa
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 large red peppers, chopped
2 cup vegetable broth
1 16-oz can drained Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
DIRECTIONS:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the garlic, carrot, and celery and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes.

Add the garlic, paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, broth, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Serve topped with parsley, if desired.

NUTRITION INFO:

1 Serving = 1 Cup

  • 258 Calories
  • 10g Fat
  • 0 Cholesterol
  • 440mg Sodium
  • 34g Carbohydrate
  • 8g Fiber
  • 8g Protein

September is Fruit & Veggies More Matter Month

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Celebrate Fruit & Veggies More Matter Month by consuming more!  Here are the top 5 reasons you should eat more fruits & veggies:

  1. They are very low in calories.  A cup of green beans or broccoli is only 30 calories.
  2. They are fat-free and high in fiber.
  3. They are also high in Vitamin C, B vitamins and antioxidants which help support your immune system.
  4. They make you fill full longer which will help reduce cravings.
  5. They will help you lose weight and feel better.

Meatless Stuffed Peppers

If you are looking for a vegetarian stuffed pepper, this recipe is absolutely amazing.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2-4 large green peppers
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning, low sodium

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Wash peppers, slice in half, remove seeds, and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove and let drain.

In a large bowl combine rice, beans, seasoning, 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1/2 cup cheese.

Stuff peppers and place them in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

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Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

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Bake for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender.  Makes 4 servings.

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NUTRITION INFO:

280 Calories; 3 gm Fat; 3 mg Chol; 578 mg Sodium; 54 g Carb; 7 g Fiber; 12 g Protein

Quinoa Banana Muffins

These muffins are filled with healthy ingredients and very satisfying.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1-1/2 cup oats, dry
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup egg beater
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 medium bananas, smashed
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Cook quinoa (boil with 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes).  Mix all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, well and let sit.  Meanwhile, line muffin tin or spray with Pam.  Stir the chips into batter.  Fill muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Yields 12 muffins.

NUTRITION INFO: per muffin

120 Calories; 2.5 g fat; 3.5 g protein; 21 g cho; 4 g fiber; 27 mg sodium 

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Day 15 Healthy Holiday Habits

Eat high fiber snacks!  Fiber fills you up and reduces cravings.  My favorite high fiber snacks are from Fiber One.  I really like their 90 calorie options.

brownies-new-90-calorie-lemon-bar 

Get The Skinny On Oatmeal

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One of my very weird food cravings is old-fashioned oatmeal.  Who else but a dietitian would have such a healthy food craving.  Oatmeal is actually a comfort food for me; especially, on cold winter days.  It reminds me of childhood when my mother would make a bowl of oatmeal before school.  I would sit in front of the television watching Captain Kangaroo while eating my bowl of oatmeal.

In addition, I love the feel of the warm texture and flavor of oatmeal.  Again, I love, love, love the texture of oatmeal.  Furthermore, oatmeal is so easy and fast to prepare.  Place 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1 cup water in a large mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes.  Then, I usually stir in skim milk and a touch of brown sugar  or honey.  Now, it is ready to eat.

What is oatmeal?  Oatmeal is ground oat groats.

What are the health benefits?  Oatmeal has a high soluble fiber content which helps lower cholesterol.  Oatmeal is also sodium free.

What is the difference between rolled oats and steel-cut oats?  

  • Rolled oats are oats that have been steamed and rolled flat.
  • Steel-cut oats are oats that have been sliced into small pieces.  They take much longer to cook and have a nutty robust flavor.
  • Instant oatmeal has added sugars and is high in sodium.

Read more on preparing a perfect bowl of oatmeal BestBowlofOatmealoatmeal in mug

Skinny Crockpot Italian Chicken

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(Picture taken from google images)

Here’s another crockpot favorite recipe of mine!

What you need:

4-6 Chicken Breast
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder)
1 can white beans
What to do:

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix all ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours.  Serve over pasta if desired and add a salad to complete your meal.  Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Analysis:  250 calories, 2 gm fat, 34 gm pro, 24 gm carb, 5 gm fiber per serving.

Skinny Crockpot Mexican Chicken

crock pot

(Picture taken from google images)

Crockpot cooking is great for putting together a great home cooked meal in a hurry.  I take full advantage of using the crockpot when I am crunched for time.  It’s easy and convenient.  Just throw all the ingredients in and and turn on the crockpot in the morning.  The meal  is ready when you return home for dinner.

This Mexican Chicken is one of my favorites.  You can serve with rice and a salad or some tortilla chips.

What you need:

4 Chicken Breast
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small jar salsa
1 package taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
What to do:
Place chicken in crock pot. Mix all ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cook on high for 6 hours, take lid off last 2 hours to thicken the sauce.  Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Analysis: 304 calories, 2g fat, 35g pro, 9g fiber per serving

Lose Weight By Eating Breakfast

September is National Breakfast Month 

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and the most important meal.  Did  you know, “The word Breakfast came about because it means breaking the fast after one has not eaten (fasted) since the night before”?  Moreover, multiple studies have shown that breakfast skippers have a higher body mass index (BMI) than non-skippers and breakfast consumption is associated with a lower body weight.  

Here are two of my favorite breakfast meals.

Egg McMuffin

  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 whole grain lite english muffin
  • tomato slices

Pour egg substitute in a bowl coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Cook on high for 1 minute.  Meanwhile, toast english muffin.  Place cooked egg topped with tomato slices on english muffin.  Voila!  Only 135 calories and zero fat.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup skim milk

Cook oatmeal and milk in a large mug on high for 1-1/2 minutes and stir.  Voila!  You may flavor with splenda and cinnamon.  Only 240 calories and 3 grams fat.

GRAB & GO BREAKFAST 

No time to spare in the a.m.  Here are some healthy breakfast choices you can eat on the run.

  • High fiber poptart.
  • Low-fat yogurt drink.
  • Banana or apple.
  • Instant breakfast drink.
  • Handful of nuts and raisins.
  • Cereal bar.