Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Friday, July 13, 2012

Breakfast of champions: awesome greek yogurt parfait

Breakfast of champions: awesome greek yogurt parfait

Breakfast really is an important part of having a healthy day and the name comes from the original intention; breaking the fast from your night of slumber. It is important to jump start your metabolism so that your body is ready to use the nutrients and calories provided rather than trying to store them (ie build fat). 

Yogurt is a great choice as it is a rich source of protein and if you choose one with live and active cultures, you're also getting a nice dose of healthy bacteria, also known as probiotics, to keep your immune system strong and your gut happy. Greek yogurt is also a great choice because it is strained and therefore has a higher amount of protein per serving. 

The trouble is, most fruit flavored yogurts are LOADED with sugar. While some sugar is naturally occurring from both the milk and the fruit, labeling doesn't differentiate between that and what is added. Plain yougurt is lower in sugar, but in my opinion, a bit dull (and I'm a dietitian!).

Enter the parfait!

This is a great option because you can prepare your breakfast the night before; in a bowl if you're going to eat at home or in a glass jar if you're going to hit the road and take breakfast with you.

Greek yogurt parfait:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup berries, fresh or frozen (raspberries are the highest in fiber)
  • flavorings such as cinnamon, vanilla extract or nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons slivered almonds

  1. Scoop your yogurt into desired bowl or jar. Add seasonings to taste and mix it up!
  2. Pour fresh or frozen fruit on top
  3. Top with almonds
  4. In the morning, the fruit will have gotten juicy and when you stir up the parfait, the ruby red color is lovely (although perhaps defeating the purpose of layering the parfait...)

Plain yogurt spiced up with cinnamon and vanilla

Frozen fruit is often less expensive than fresh (but is just as nutritious)

Ready for the fridge!

Breakfast of champions!

In terms of minding your wallet, I also love getting the large containers of yogurt as they're usually less expensive per serving. This is also lighter on the planet because I reuse those containers. Other than starting seeds, I don't have much use for those individual yogurt cups and you can't always recycle them either.

Added bonus of the spices? Beyond excellent flavor, they're also loaded with antioxidants! You can also add them to your coffee grounds before brewing your morning Joe. Double dose of antioxidants in the morning? Double win!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breakfast of Champions: Super Oatmeal

Oatmeal has a well deserved reputation of being a healthy breakfast. With the soluble fiber contributing to heart health and the whole grains keeping you satisfied, it is no wonder that people feel like they've gotten off to a good start when their breakfast bowl has oatmeal.

Since I like to tweak recipes to make them healthier and better, I have created a "super oatmeal" that is healthy and satisfying. 1/4 cup of oats may not seem like a lot, but when it is bulked up with fruit and nut butter, it is plenty!

Super Oatmeal

1/4 cup quick oats (cooks in 5 minutes)
1/2 cup water
1 medium apple, chopped
1 Tablespoon nut butter (almond, peanut, per your preference)
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
1 cup low-fat milk or soy milk
Cinnamon powder and vanilla extract to flavor

1. Chop the apples and add to 1/2 cup of water in a small sauce pan. Cover, and bring to a boil.
2. Stir in the oats, cinnamon and vanilla and lower the heat to a simmer. Set the timer for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.
3. At the end of cooking, stir in the spoonful of nut butter and the flax seeds. Plop the thick cereal into a bowl and surround with your favorite milk. I like my oatmeal pretty thick, so I like this "island" approach with the cereal surrounded by the milk. If you prefer thinner oatmeal, you can either make with more water or stir in the milk. You choose!

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled to feed more hungry folks.

Interestingly, this oatmeal is actually good reheated. You can make enough for several breakfasts, reheat the single portion in the microwave and pour your milk in afterwards.

The flax seeds offer many benefits beyond their delicious nutty flavor. When ground up, the seeds offer fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet is pretty low in omega-3 fatty acids and so we should embrace any opportunity to have more in our daily lives. Just make sure to grind the seeds before eating to have access to these benefits; our body cannot brake through the seed coat. Sprinkle on our foods and your body will thank you!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lunch in a flash: Tahini lemon chicken salad with broccoli

What's for lunch today? A variation on yesterday's theme of broccoli chicken salad. Today I made lunch using a healthy combination of chicken, barley and broccoli coated with a delicous dressing of tahini, yogurt and lemon. Yummy!

Tahini lemon chicken salad with broccoli

  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced

  • 1/2 cup cooked barley

  • 1 cup blanched broccoli, diced

  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon tahini

  • juice from 1/4 of a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Blanch the broccoli: this means to cook until bright green and softened, but still with some crunch. See yesterday's posting for details!

  2. While the broccoli is cooking, dice the bell pepper. Toss the chicken, bell pepper, yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper in your lunch container.

  3. When the broccoli is cooled, add to your salad and toss to coat. Enjoy!

This recipe is easy to double or triple!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Delicious and easy lunch for one: Pesto broccoli chicken salad

Need a fresh idea for lunch? Check out this easy chicken salad that you can make for yourself, or make several servings to enjoy throughout the week! Try making it the night before so that it is ready to go in the morning!
Pesto Broccoli Chicken Salad
  • 1/2 cup corn (frozen works well, and you don't need to thaw it if making the salad the night before)
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup blanched broccoli, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced or shredded
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon pesto  
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • dash of garlic powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Blanch the broccoli: this means to cook lightly, but not long enough to loose the crunchy texture. Either steam the broccoli with a splash of water on the stove in a covered pot or pop in the microwave for a few minutes until the broccoli has softened (poke it with a fork to check) and turned bright green. When the broccoli is done, run it under cool water to stop the cooking process.
2. While the broccoli is cooking, dice the carrot, bell pepper and chicken and place in your portable container. Add the corn and dressing ingredients; the pesto, yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper.
3. Once the broccoli is cooked and cooled, add to your salad. Toss to coat everything evenly with the dressing and you're all set! Enjoy your healthy and beautiful lunch!
Cooking for more than one? This recipe is easy to double or triple!
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