Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cozy recipes for when your under the weather

The Food Network is full of wonderful recipes and just when everyone is sick, they come out with these wonderful recipes for us to try.

I must make all of these this weekend. Everyone around our area seems to have the case of the cold/flu bug. I will not welcome it in my house! :)

There are countless supplements that promise to cure the sniffles, but they can be waste of money, or downright dangerous. You can’t go wrong with the real thing: fresh foods. Here are 5 cozy recipes packed with nutrients to help your winter woes.

Mexican Chicken Soup
Soothe a scratchy throat with a warm bowl of soup. The protein-rich broth helps achy muscles, while canned tomatoes and fresh veggies pack in the antioxidants.


* 4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
* Good olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
* 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
* 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
* 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
* 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
* 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
* 2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
* 6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas


For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

3-Bean Chili
When made with the right ingredients, chili is a warm and bubbly superfood! Meat and beans are packed with zinc, a mineral that helps with immune function. Don’t count out a kick from chili powder to help clear out those sinuses.

Favorite 3-Bean Chili

Serves: 8


Spice Mix:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
½ teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound ground turkey breast or extra lean ground beef
½ medium red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional)
½ cup chopped celery
1 clove minced garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 fl oz dark beer (Guinness recommended)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Suggested garnishes: Greek yogurt or sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, chopped scallion, diced avocado, hot sauce

Combine spice mix ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. Heat oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add meat and cook until browned. Add onion, peppers, celery and garlic; season with salt and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Stir in broth, Worcestershire sauce, beer, crushed and diced tomatoes. Add spice mix and stir well to combine. Stir in beans and corn, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories: 310; Total Fat: 3 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Carbohydrate: 43 grams; Protein: 26 grams; Fiber: 15 grams; Sodium: 600 milligrams

Ginger-Spiced Hot Chocolate

Get comfy with a mug of hot chocolate. Ginger and cocoa contain inflammation-fighting antioxidants and ginger can help tame an uneasy stomach.


* 8 ounces 1 percent low-fat milk
* 1/4-inch piece peeled, fresh ginger, sliced into 2 rounds
* 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 2 teaspoons water
* 1/4 teaspoon dark chocolate shavings (about 1/8-ounce)


In a small saucepan heat the milk and ginger over a medium-low heat until scalding, about 4 minutes. While the milk is warming, put cocoa powder and sugar into a mug. Add the water to the mug and stir until the mixture has the consistency of a paste. Remove the ginger from the warmed milk. Add the chocolate mixture to the milk and whisk until slightly frothy. Pour the hot chocolate into the mug and top with chocolate shavings.

Lemon Pasta with Roasted Shrimp
Nothing says comfort like pasta. Toss it with protein-packed shrimp and fresh lemon for a dose of vitamin C.


* 2 pounds (17 to 21 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
* Good olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound angel hair pasta
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
* 2 lemons, zested and juiced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the shrimp on a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss well, spread them in 1 layer, and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until they're pink and cooked through.

Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add the angel hair, and cook al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Quickly toss the angel hair with the melted butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and about 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the shrimp and serve hot.

Quinoa with Garlic Pine Nuts and Raisins
Quinoa and pine nuts are good sources of zinc and dried fruit, like raisins will help you get more iron, another important mineral for your immune system.


* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
* 1/4 cup pine nuts
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water (or use low-sodium chicken broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Per serving (3/4 cup): Calories 300; Fat 15 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 5 mg; Carbohydrate 37 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 8 g

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Healthy Snacks You Will Enjoy

Servings: 12


* 4 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut into thirds crosswise
* 3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
* 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Peel 4 large ripe bananas, cut in thirds and insert a popsicle stick into the cut end of each piece. Melt ¾ cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips. Cover each piece of banana with melted chocolate and sprinkle with coconut. (Reheat chocolate, as needed, to keep it melted.) Place the bananas on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and freeze until frozen, about 2 hours.

Per serving: 100 calories; 4 g fat (3 g sat, 1 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrates; 6 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 7 mg sodium; 207 mg potassium.


4 servings, about 1 cup each


* 4 cups hot air-popped popcorn
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* Cayenne pepper, to taste

Toss popcorn with Parmesan and cayenne to taste.

Per serving: 75 calories; 3 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 1 g fiber; 153 mg sodium; 43 mg potassium.


Makes 2 servings at 1 cup each


* 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
* 1/2 cup chopped peeled papaya
* 1/4 cup guava nectar,
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1 teaspoon grenadine,
* 1/2 cup ice

Place ingredients in the order listed in a blender. Pulse three times to chop the fruit, then blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 81 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 5 mg sodium; 201 mg potassium.

I love, Eating Well, magazine and website. I can find the best healthy recipes there. Please take a moment and head on over to their website to check it out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Healthy Pesto Pasta

I found this Pesto recipe from my favorite website and now cooking show, The Hungry Girl.

Simply the Pesto
PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 2 tbsp.): 68 calories, 5g fat, 228mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0.25g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus™ value 2*

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, or more to taste

Place all ingredients in a small blender or food processor, and blend/process until a smooth paste forms. If you like, add additional salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

I will toss this with a package of Shirataki Noodles. Rinse the noodles, pat completely dry with a paper towel. Heat noodles in a frying pan to dry up any liquid left behind and to heat the noodles. Cut the noodles into smaller pieces, they are very long. Toss with the pest and serve.

Add these to your favorite soups, salads, frozen diet meals such as Lean Cuisine to make it a large portion with out added calories or anywhere else you'd normally use pasta. I cannot possibly begin to explain to you how much we love these noodles. They WILL change your life.

Nutritional Info:

Serving Size: 4 oz.
Calories: 20
Fat: .5g
Carbs: 3g
Protein: 1g
Fiber: 2g

Monday, January 17, 2011

Amazing Sandwich Wraps

I've tried several kinds of wraps to make a healthy sandwich and some of them really do taste like twigs and berries.

I bought this package of La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Soft Wraps. I have to admit, they have been sitting in my fridge for a week because I was afraid to find them.

This afternoon right after work, I had to run down to Ventura to pick up my son from church camp so I had no time to run to the grocery store.

This past weekend I roasted two chickens to make several meals from. I have already finished the chicken soup. It came out great but I'm not a chicken soup fan so I froze it for the days the kids are home sick.

I made a nice chicken salad with some of the meat yesterday for lunch. Here is the recipe.

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1/3 cup dried fruit mix. It comes in a bag all diced up together. Usually has raisins, apricots, apples etc..

4 T lite mayo

1 T mustard

1 tsp. Thyme

1 tsp black pepper

Mixed well and let sit to chill for about 30 minutes. It was a great little lunch.


Tonight as I said above, I didn't have time to get to the store.

I was going to make breakfast for dinner but the husband cooked all the eggs this morning so scratch that idea.

I saw the bacon in there. I fried that up and pressed a paper towel on them to get as much grease off of them as I could.

I placed the tortilla down, didn't have to heat at all. Spread some avocado on the first layer, chicken salad then 1 slice of bacon.

They were so easy to wrap up and were DELICIOUS!!! Just as the package stated.

I would rate this product a 5 star for sure.

Mimic Creme

Mimic Creme is the ultimate BFF of a healthy eater.

You can make all your fatty recipes that call for cream, sour cream etc.. by just replacing the fatty ingredients with Mimic Creme.

You must give it a try.

Check out their website for a retailer near you that sells it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekends are the hardest time for me to eat healthy

I hate to say it but I like it when my husband is not home. I don't over eat, I stay on my healthy eating habit and all things are good in my healthy eating land LOL

Today is Sunday and all my husband and son are doing is eating.. eating and more eating.

They just made some nachos. OH MY GOODNESS they smell so good. It's taking all my power to not get a plate and make my own.

My husband thought I was having a brain fart but I was really just thinking of how I can make a healthy version of nachos.

I have the cheese part down. I'll take 1 low fat string cheese. Place it in my Ninja blender to shred the cheese into small pieces so it melts easily. I saw this on the Hungry Girl show on the Cooking channel.

Now the question is, what do I use as the chip? I'm coming up with blank ideas. Sure I could go and get a bag of the "baked" chips.. but I don't want a processed product.. I want a healthy choice.


I found something that might be nice to try from

I'll just give in and make it.

Vegetable Nachos


* 1/4 cup diced jalapeno pepper
* 2 cups fresh or Canned Pinto Beans
* 1 cup Shredded 2% Cheddar Cheese or 1 cup shredded L/F string cheese
* 1 cup Corn
* 1 cup Salsa
* chopped Cilantro
* Lime Wedges
* 2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
* 2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
* chopped green onion

Corn Tortilla Chips

* 9 6-inch corn tortillas
* cold water


1. Combine all ingredients.

2. Spoon 2 tsp. vegetable mixture on each tortilla chip; divide cheese evenly among chips.

4. Broil 6 inches from heat 1 minute or until cheese melts.

5. Yield: 26 appetizers

To make Corn Tortilla Chips:

Cut 3 (2 1/2 inch) circles from each tortilla using a biscuit cutter.

6. Dip tortillas in water; drain on paper towels.

7. Place rounds in a single layer on an un-greased baking sheet.

8. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes or until chips are crisp and begin to brown.

9. Remove from oven, and let cool.