What I Ate Last Week #7

Sunday- Mediterranean Roasted Red Pepper Pizza with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

We made this pizza using this homemade whole wheat pizza dough. I don’t have a picture because as I was putting it in the oven, I accidentally dropped the pizza stone and half the toppings fell onto the stove door. We were able to salvage most of the pizza, but the results didn’t exactly look great. Still tasted good though!

Monday- Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan with Green Beans

I’ve been making this recipe for years now and still love it. The recipe makes a ton of food, so I baked half and froze the other half.

Tuesday- Crock Pot Apple Cider Pulled Chicken and Apple Slaw over a Baked Sweet Potato

apple-chicken

I still had apple juice leftover from a recipe I made the week before, so I used the rest for this chicken. I liked it, but didn’t love it. I made sandwiches with the leftover chicken and slaw all week.

Wednesday- Beef and Barley Soup

There was some frozen beef and barley soup leftover from a few weeks ago, so since I was working late I brought it to heat up during my break. Cook once, eat twice!

Thursday- Baked Falafel with Hummus, Tzatziki, Veggies, and Pita

mezze

Falafel is typically an unhealthy “healthy” food, meaning people think it’s a nutritious choice but it’s typically high in fat and calories. This falafel is baked instead of fried, making it a much better choice! I decided to make it a sort of “mezze” plate with a bunch of different veggies and dips!

Friday/Saturday- out in New York!

Healthy Eating is about balance, right? We were off in New York for the weekend celebrating our friends’ engagement and had my fair share of pizza, beers, and bagels (whole wheat though!).

Apple Crisp Baked Oatmeal

This baked oatmeal is so good it could pass as apple crisp (hence the name). I had some leftover apple juice in the fridge, so instead of sweetening this oatmeal with honey or sugar I used the apple juice. This recipe is perfect to make ahead of time and eat throughout the week.

apple-crisp-baked-oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 3 apples
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon (divided)
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 ½ cup apple juice
  • 3 eggs, whisked in small bowl
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Core and chop the apples into bite sized pieces and place into a large bowl. Toss with 1 tsp. of cinnamon. Pour apples into the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes until apples are soft.
  3. While apples are cooking, combine oats, walnuts, raisins, and baking powder in the bowl. Stir to combine. Add in milk, apple juice, eggs, and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  4. Pour oat mixture over apples and spread evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until oatmeal has set.

What I Ate Last Week #6

I can’t believe I’ve already done 6 of these posts! I know some of you are getting good recipe ideas from them, so I’ll keep going!

Sunday- Chicken and Dumplings

dumpling

Chicken and dumplings can be high in fat and refined carbs, but this recipe doesn’t include any butter and uses whole wheat flour. I also used my homemade vegetable broth to make it lower in sodium (and to save money and reduce food waste)!

Monday- Indian Spiced Lamb Burgers with Roasted Grapes and Carrots

turkey-burgers

This was a delicious, perfectly spiced meal! Turkey burgers are a staple in our house, so it was nice to mix it up with lamb this week.

Tuesday- Valentine’s Day Cheese Plate!

valentines-day

We decided to go out to dinner on Friday instead of on Valentine’s Day, but still wanted to do something special. I put together a cheese board with cheddar, goat, and blue cheese, prosciutto and soppressata, Nut Thin Crackers, bread, dates, dried apricots, and chocolate covered almonds. I made some apple chia jam to pair with the cheese as well. To finish it off we enjoyed chocolate covered strawberries and clementines.

Wednesday- Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto and Roasted Grape Tomatoes

pesto-pasta

We had a lot of parsley in our fridge, so instead of doing the classic basil pesto I went with parsley. The roasted grape tomatoes give it a bit of sweetness and juiciness.

Thursday- Cajun Red Beans and Rice

red-beans-and-rice

Michael and I took a trip to New Orleans a couple years ago and fell in love with the food and culture there.  A lot of the food there is very rich, but this this recipe is low in fat and filled with vegetables.

Friday- Out to Dinner

Michael and I ate at Bricco in the North End. We shared an arugula salad with burrata with bread and oil to start. I got the brodetto (like a seafood stew) and Michael got the veal valdostana. We ended the night at Café Vittoria with some gelato and cannolis.

Saturday- Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Tacos

chickpea-tacos-rotate

I made the recipe above but without the cabbage or jalapeno. It was a nice twist on your typical meat filled taco.

Have a great week!

Indian Spiced Lamb Burgers

There is a restaurant in South Boston that has the best Greek-style lamb burgers that we go to time and time again. I knew I could never recreate those to perfection, so I decided to make an Indian spiced burger instead. These will not disappoint- very flavorful with just the right amount of spice. I served mine alongside these roasted carrots and grapes. Enjoy!

turkey-burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • Dash pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

For the cilantro- yogurt sauce:

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded cucumber

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into 4 equal sized patties.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan and place on stove over medium-high heat. Place burgers in pan and cook about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  3. For the sauce: add ingredients to bowl and stir.
  4. Serve burgers on whole wheat hamburger buns or English muffins. Top with cilantro-yogurt sauce.

What I Ate This Week #5

Hi friends, another round of what I ate this week! I hope you are getting some good dinner ideas through these posts. Let me know- and leave a comment!

Sunday (SUPERBOWL)- Spinach Artichoke Dip and Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I still can’t get over the Patriots’ amazing win last week! I knew there would be beers and buffalo chicken dip around, so I wanted to balance out the selection by bringing my healthy spinach artichoke dip and these low-fat buffalo chicken meatballs. The meatballs didn’t have too much buffalo flavor, but were still good.

Monday- Cider Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Plum Chutney and Roasted Balsamic and Maple Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

pork

This was SO GOOD! We don’t have pork very often, but I saw this recipe in Cooking for Jeffery, Ina Garten’s cookbook that my in-laws gave me for Christmas and knew I had to try it. The pork was so tender and juicy and the plum chutney was sweet and a perfect complement to the pork. I was planning on just roasting some plain Brussels sprouts on the side but remembered that we had cranberries in the freezer so I jazzed it up a bit.

Tuesday- Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

I had some quick cooking barley from Trader Joe’s in the pantry, so I used this recipe but made some changes. Instead of adding barley in at the beginning, I cooked it separately and added it in at the end. I also used homemade vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

Wednesday- Burrito Bowls

I needed something portable to bring to work, so in the bowls I added Trader Joe’s Frozen Rice Medley, black beans, tomatoes, pepper, red onion, salsa, Greek yogurt, and Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Guacamole.

Thursday- Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Roasted Asparagus

Michael stayed at a hotel near his work Thursday night because of the snow storm we had here, so I actually made this for lunch and stretched it into lunch for me and dinner for Michael the next day.

Friday- Mediterranean Barley Bowls

I worked Friday night, so this was another portable recipe. I’ve made this with farro, but I had barley left over so I used that instead. I also left out the roasted red peppers because I was home alone when I made this and couldn’t open the jar 😛

Trader Joe’s Staples

Trader Joe’s is my absolute favorite grocery store! It’s full of healthy and time saving products for inexpensive prices, and always has free samples! I don’t have a Trader Joe’s near my house, so when I do get the chance to shop there I always stock up on some staples. Here are my top picks from Trader Joe’s that make my life healthier and easier!

tj

Creamy Unsalted Peanut Butter

Peanut butter can be a healthy, high-protein addition to your diet, but choosing a natural peanut butter is essential. Brands like Jif and Skippy have hydrogenated vegetable oils (aka trans fat) and sugar added, while natural varieties are made with only peanuts and salt. Not to mention, the price for a jar is only $2.29!

pb

Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole

Guacamole in and of itself is a healthy snack full of unsaturated fat and plenty of vitamins and minerals. It can be relatively high in calories though, so to make this guacamole less energy dense, Greek yogurt is added to the mix. It’s a perfect mix of spicy and creamy and perfect as a dip, sandwich spread, or compliment to tacos and burrito bowls!

guac

Go Raw Trek Mix

A lot of trail mixes are loaded with added salt and sugar, but the Go Raw Trek Mix at Trader Joe’s has only unsweetened raisins mixed with raw cashews, walnuts, almonds, and filberts. It comes in 1 lb. bags but I prefer to buy the pre-packed bags. Each bag has 210 calories and 7g of protein, making it a perfect, pre-portioned snack!

Frozen Fruit

The frozen fruit at Trader Joe’s is the cheapest I’ve found anywhere! They have the typical fruits like mango, pineapple, and strawberries, but also have not-so-common fruits like figs and acai packets.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin British Muffins

I love cinnamon raisin English muffins, but haven’t been able to find a whole wheat version anywhere but Trader Joe’s! I love having a little bit of sweetness in my English muffin when making egg sandwiches, but also find the rains go well with peanut butter or other sweet spreads.

englush-muffins

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

You can get almond milk anywhere, but the vanilla almond milk at Trader Joe’s is SO GOOD! It tastes like the leftover milk you get in a bowl of really sugary cereal, but without the sugar!

Shredded Hash Browns

The shredded hash browns at Trader Joe’s are made without added salt or oil. They can be sautéed with veggies and an egg on top for a quick breakfast or dinner!

hash-browns

Lightly Salted Edamame

I love having this edamame on hand because it just needs to be microwaved for an easy side with any Asian dish.

edamame

Frozen French Green Beans (Hericot Vert)

I usually buy fresh vegetables, but love to have these green beans on hand for days where I don’t have much food in the house.

Frozen Riced Cauliflower

As I said in my last post, I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower pizza crust. I do love cauliflower rice when it’s prepared well though! I’ve made burrito bowls with cauliflower rice and served it as a side with fish and chicken. Yes, you can rice the cauliflower yourself in the food processor, but sometimes the convenience is worth a little extra cost, ya know?

Walnut/Almonds/Cashews/Pecans

I love the large variety of nuts at Trader Joe’s, and love that they are less expensive than at other stores. They sell “pieces” of nuts, which are cashews, almonds, etc. that have been broken at some point in processing. Because they aren’t the full, intact nuts, they are sold at a lower price. An 8 oz. bag of pecans is only $3.99!

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

This coffee concentrate saved me so many times when I was a grad student, opening the gym at 5:30am to earn a few bucks. You mix an equal ratio of coffee concentrate and milk or water (I usually did 1% milk), add some ice, and et voilà, you have delicious iced coffee! Mix equal parts coffee and Bailey’s for an even more delicious St. Patrick’s Day treat 😉 

coffee

Ginger People Ginger Chews

These ginger chews are great to calm an upset stomach, and satisfy an after dinner sweet tooth (for me at least). They definitely have  a bite to them, but are also slightly sweet.

ginger-chews

Inner Peas

Inner Peas are simply dried green peas with a bit of salt added. Each serving has 5g of protein and 4g of fiber, making it a great snack choice especially if you crave salty foods. Just be careful of portion sizes; I could eat a whole bag in one sitting.

Frozen Rice Medley

The frozen rice medley is a blend of brown rice, red rice and black barley that simply needs to be microwaved for 3 minutes in the package! It comes in handy when you don’t want to dirty anther pot, or when you want a super quick side dish or base for your meal. Get your whole grains in people!

rice

Frozen Shrimp/Seafood

The frozen seafood at Trader Joe’s is by far less expensive than most grocery stores. One pound of frozen shrimp is only $9.99! I like to keep some on hand for days where we’re short is food and I need to throw a quick meal together, like a stir fry or pasta dish.

shrimp

Quick Cooking Barley/Farro

Barley and farro are great whole grain options, but in their natural form that take 30 minutes + to cook. The quick cooking variety at Trader Joe’s take only 10 minutes!

All the Cheese!!

Trader Joe’s sells a huge selection of cheeses for incredibly inexpensive prices! Whenever I stop a Trader Joe’s a wine and cheese night is sure to follow.

 

*Sorry I don’t have picture for everything- I may have eaten them before I snapped a pic.

What I Ate This Week #4

Hi everyone! In usual fashion, here are the meals we ate last week. It was a mix of old favorites and new recipes that are definitely keepers!

Saturday- Buffalo Chicken and Bean Chili

After a FitCamp participant (a program I run at the Weymouth Club) posted this recipe to Facebook, I knew I wanted to try it. I love chili and thought this might be a good addition to my long list of football recipes. It’s definitely one I’ll keep.

Sunday- Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti and a Side Salad

chicken-parm

This chicken parm recipe is one I’ve been making for a long time. It’s much lower in fat than normal chicken parm since it’s baked instead of sautéed/fried. I used whole wheat spaghetti and had it with a side salad for extra veggies!

Monday- Cauliflower Pizza Crust with Pepperoni

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the cauliflower pizza crust. It tastes great, but falls apart easily. If you don’t mind eating pizza with a fork, than it’s a fine lower calorie alternative. I’ll stick with whole wheat pizza dough though.

Tuesday- BBQ Chickpea and Crispy Polenta Bowls

polenta-bowl

Remember BBQ chicken chilaquiles? I froze the leftover BBQ sauce and used it to make these bowls. This bowl took a good amount of prep to make, but it was worth it.

Wednesday- Steak Tip Greek Salad

I made this Greek salad the night before and took it to work for dinner. Nothing fancy here, just lettuce, tomato, shallots, cucumber, pepper, and feta cheese with grilled steak tips. I used this recipe for creamy Greek dressing.

Thursday- Staff Retreat

Friday- Tofu Stir Fry

We used this recipe form Minimalist Baker but with different vegetables. Not everyone like tofu, but preparing it properly makes a world of difference!

BBQ Chicken Chilaquiles

When you think of healthy food, BBQ chicken chilaquiles probably don’t come to mind. This recipe uses homemade BBQ sauce, baked tortilla chips, and fresh vegetables to turn a typically high-fat, high-sugar meal into a healthy breakfast or dinner option.

chilaquiles

BBQ Chicken Chilaquiles

Ingredients

  • 4 large tortillas ( I use Joseph’s brand)
  • 1 Tbls. Oil
  • 1 ½ cups homemade BBQ sauce
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Slice tortillas into triangles and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Arrange tortillas on a greased cooking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until crispy, turning half way.
  3. Spread half of the BBQ sauce in a cast iron skillet, or other oven safe skillet. Spread half of the tortilla chips over the sauce. Add half the shredded chicken and half the cheddar cheese on top.
  4. Spread remaining chips over the chicken and cheese layer. Top with remaining sauce, chicken, and cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. While the chilaquiles are baking, spray a pan with cooking spray and prepare eggs sunny side up. Chop vegetables.
  6. Remove the chilaquiles from the oven. Top with eggs, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado. Serve warm.