Monday, July 2, 2012

Simply Healthy Chicken Salad


SIMPLY HEALTHY CHICKEN SALAD

This recipe is very simple and only 7 ingredients. To be honest, the next time I make this recipe, I will be using a fully cooked rotisserie chicken and shred it at home. That would make the prep time on this chicken salad about 5 minutes.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Seriously, just combine and serve!

Yields 4 servings at around 115 calories per serving. Serve with bread, crackers or lettuce just don't forget to include those extra calories.

Pineapple Chicken Salad


PINEAPPLE CHICKEN SALAD


This is my favorite chicken salad recipe....EVER! It is fast, inexpensive and absolutely delicious. Try it for yourself and tell me what you think.


Ingredients:


  • 1 chicken breast quarter, cooked and cubed
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise/ miracle whip
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt
  • dash of  black pepper
  • cup crushed pineapple in juice, drained 
Directions:

This is where is gets easy. Combine all the ingredients, chill for 20 minutes and serve with your favorite bread, crackers or with lettuce.

This yields 4 servings at 129 calories per serving.  Do not forget to include your bread, etc with the calorie total. HINT. Sara Lee has 45 calorie per slice bread. This makes your sandwich a whopping 219 calories.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

FIRECRACKERS



I love this snack, it has very little fat and is simply delicious. We always get the ones from Buccees and I asked my sister in law for the recipe, so here it is. I did a rough estimate on the calories and 15 crackers, which can be used for a snack is around 160 calories. 




1 box saltine crackers
1 1/2c. olive oil
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Remove crackers from the box, and place all crackers in a container or zip lock bag
Mix oil, dry Ranch Dressing, and pepper flakes in measuring cup, blend with whisk
Pour oil mixture into container, or zip lock bag, OVER the crackers
All crackers will EVENTUALLY be coated in the oil
CAREFULLY turn the container every 20 minutes , so that all crackers will absorb the mixture.



Super easy, super yummy and less calories than a candy bar!!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Pasta


SPICY SHRIMP AND CHICKEN PASTA

My husband and I love Olive Garden, but the calories and cost make it nearly impossible to go more than a few times a year. So, last night I decided that I was going to attempt to make something that we would eat there, but cheaper and leaner. 


Makes 4 servings, 493 calories per serving


Ingredients:


3 cups Penne Pasta (3/4 uncooked pasta serving is 210 calories)
1 green pepper ( 1/4 serving is 9 calories)
1 yellow pepper (1/4 serving is 12 calories)
1 red pepper (1/4 serving is 11 calories)
3 cups sliced mushrooms (1 cup serving is 15 calories)
1 chicken breast quarter - thinly sliced (1/4 serving is 76 calories)
40 medium sized shrimp -  (10 shrimp is 70 calories)
1 jar Ragu Classic Alfredo Sauce - (1/4 cup is 90 calories)
1 can spray Olive oil ( 0 calories!!!!)
Cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and sea salt (0 calories!!!)


Now, do the math and you will see that we are at 493 calories! That is one big meal and the great part is if you want to add a cup of steamed or roasted broccoli, you will only be adding 35 calories! So you can have pasta and a side of broccoli, or a veggie you love as long as you calculate the calories and you will have a delicious and filling meal.  Here we go.


DIRECTIONS:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add in the pasta and cook until tender.
  • Spray a skillet with olive oil over medium heat and add in the thinly sliced chicken. Season with red pepper flakes, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Make sure that you are monitoring how much you season, you don't want to over season and it be too spicy. Once the chicken is done, remove from skillet and set aside. Wipe off the skillet with a paper towel and spray with olive oil and add in the shrimp. Cook until pink. Then add chicken back into the skillet.
  • Slice the green, red and yellow peppers. Spray the skillet with olive oil and combine the peppers with the mushrooms in a skillet.
  • While everything is finishing up, empty the jar of sauce into a microwave safe bowl, add a small amount of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper and heat until hot.  Be sure to taste the sauce and add seasoning until it is to YOUR taste. 
  • LETS PLATE! This should all divide into 4 equal portions, so take your time. Put down the pasta first, then the veggies and the chicken and shrimp will go on top. Sauce should be the last thing you put on the plate.
The great thing about this is that this meal costs about $20 to feed all four people. Remember that portion control is key to losing weight and keeping it off.

Enjoy and God Bless!



Monday, January 2, 2012

Potato and Spinach Casserole


Ingredients:

    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 2 small onions, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 3 large baking potatoes, diced
    • 1 bag frozen spinach (canned is not recommended)
    • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
Directions:

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add in the diced potatoes.  Cook until tender, then add in the onions and garlic and cook until the potatoes are nice and browned.  Stir in the spinach and remaining ingredients, reduce heat and cook, covered, without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes.  Uncover and serve!

I use fresh spinach in mine and I cook it on the side in a smaller skillet with about a teaspoon of olive oil.

If you are not doing the Daniel fast, you can add 2 large beaten eggs to it when you add in the remaining ingredients and it becomes a friatta.

This recipe makes 4 servings and runs about 145 calories a serving without the eggs.  With the eggs the calories increase to 163.  Please comment with questions and be sure to follow me so you can get the updates first!

Happy eating and God Bless!
 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

DANIEL FAST LIST

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.  I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” – Daniel 10: 2-3

When determining what you should purchase while on the Daniel Fast, remember two things, all ingredients should be sugar free and chemical free.  Read the labels! Look at the ingredients and not the nutrition facts.  Nutrition facts can be misleading where the ingredients are right there, plain as can be.  If you looked at the nutrition facts on an apple, you would see that it contains around 15 grams of sugar.  Here’s the breakdown on that.  Apples are filled with natural sugars but they don’t contain added sugar, so the ingredients would not say “sugar”. Now for the chemicals, stay away from words that you cannot pronounce.  If you can’t say it, don’t eat it.  Many times, companies use big technical jargon so that you don’t realize what you are really ingesting.  Feel free to search the chemicals on some of the foods in your pantry, odds are you will toss them as soon as you realize what you have been eating. Just remember to keep it simple.

Remember that Daniel ate no pleasant food, sweeteners are considered “pleasant”.  To achieve the full benefits of fasting, try refrain from using any kind of sweetener, pure or otherwise.  it is the concept of “manipulating the list” that will stand between you and the ability of the Holy Spirit to work in your life.  However, that being said, if you have any health issues please consult your physician before beginning the fast or make the necessary modifications to allow you to participate.  Remember that God sees your heart and will see your sacrifice.

Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast

All fruits:  These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned.

All vegetables: These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned.

All whole grains:  Including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

All nuts and seeds: Including nut butters like peanut butter.

All legumes:  These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

All quality oils:  Including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

Beverages: Spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.  Juicing if you have a juicer is highly recommended.

Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast

All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice. This includes all sweeteners, sweeteners are considered a “pleasant food”.

All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Remember, READ THE LABELS!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How we did it!

I cannot count the times in a week that Patrick and I are stopped and asked how we lost all this weight. So many people think that we had some sort of weight loss surgery or took some super diet pills or drops. This transformation has been relatively easy, it really has, and it can be just as easy for you.  It just depends on how much you really WANT to change.  We don't call what we do a "diet" we call it a "lifestyle change".


In January of 2011, the church that we attend, Covenant Life Center started a 21 day Daniel Fast to start our year. For those that are not familiar with this fast, many celebrity fitness trainers use it as a "21 day cleanse" and it is on thousands of websites. It is a 21 day biblical fast from all things that your body doesn't need. 

The fast goes like this:
Eat Vegetables! All veggies are delicious. Especially sauteed in olive oil with herb seasoning.
Eat Fruit! Fruit is a natural energy source they increase your metabolism and burn fat.  An apple a day really can keep the doctor away.
Eat Grains! This includes whole wheat, brown rice, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn. Make sure that your popcorn is butter less!  Kettle corn is delicious!
Nuts and Seeds!  These make great snacks.  Get some mixed nuts without salt and snack away.  All nuts and seeds are allowed!
Legumes! This includes but is not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans and white beans.

NO bread.  Bread is like glue in your body, it makes you slow, bloated and sleepy.  Therefore, bread is bad.  However, not all "bread" is bad for you.  During the fast you can have whole wheat tortillas (I recommend the fresh ones from HEB), pita bread and flat bread.  It is the "stuff" that is added into bread that makes it so bad for you.  After the fast stick to whole grain or whole wheat bread, find the brands low in calories and carbs.

NO sugar.  It is a scientific fact that cancer feeds off of sugar! Sugar makes you gain weight at a rapid speed, leads to diabetes and a slew of other health issues. Therefore, sugar is bad.  However, natural foods have sugar.  Apples are very high in sugar, but it is a natural sugar.  Not the bag of white crystals that we load into our tea to get our sweet on.  The human body needs sugar, natural sugar, found in natural foods.  During the fast, no sugar....period! You can use Agave Nectar, but nothing else.  Splenda, Stevia, Sweet and Low, Equal and all the other "sugar substitutes" have very dangerous ingredients that actually do more harm to your body that sugar.  After the fast, get your sweet from honey, raw sugar or learn to live without it.



NO meat.  Yes meat is somewhat good for you, but it also slows your digestive system down and makes you sluggish.  Red meat, not great for you in many studies it has actually been linked to cancer.  Pork, is not a healthy meat, it tends to carry lots of problems with it and the fact that pigs are just nasty critters should tell you something.  Poultry, if your going to eat meat this is the way to go, white....lean....and clean.  Fish is ultimately the best "meat" to eat.  During the fast you are abstaining from meat to give your body a rest from the wear and tear that meat causes to your digestive tract.  After the fast, eat lean meat!  I totally recommend fish a couple of times a week and only lean meats after that.


No dairy.  The fact that milk is good or bad for you seems to be a huge debate with nutritionists, doctors and trainers.  I was taught that when I was training that milk was fatty and not all that great for you, many nutritionists agree.  However, on the flip side, many doctors say that its great for you.  During the fast you can have Almond milk, Soy milk or Coconut milk.  In my house we are totally addicted to Vanilla Almond Milk, it is the best and it has the sweetest flavor.  After the fast, stick to skim milk, one of the before mentioned milks or just try some until you find whats right for you. 

No processed foods. If you cant read it, you cant eat it.  Beans are beans to me.  My papa was the king of pinto beans and they tasted terrific.  But here's the key, he bought whole packaged beans, placed them in water and seasoned them with herbs and spices.  All things I can spell and pronounce.  Yet, standing in HEB, I read the back of a Bush's Baked Beans can and see ten ingredients I cant pronounce and when I look them up its man made fillers that keep the food from rotting in the can.  That is gross to me.  Here's the deal!!!!!! Make your food, your great grandparents didn't have a Super Wal-mart, they made their food and probably lived to be 90 plus years old. Any trainer, nutritionist or physician will tell you the same.  Read the labels. I found a brand of pinto beans that contained.....pinto beans, water, garlic, salt and pepper.  I have to say, those beans were yummy. During the fast, no processed foods at all.  After the fast, I hope that you have made it a habit not to eat the processed foods and don't revert!

No Deep Fried Foods.  Deep fried food is linked to obesity, heart disease and a slew of other issues.  Stay way from drenching your food in vegetable oil.  Instead, lightly coat your skillet with extra vigin olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil or sesame oil.  There is no need to use oil to kill your food.

Beverages.  No soda, period.  Many studies have shown that drinking soda on a regular basis leads to bone weakening and tooth decay. There are many other health problems that are associated with drinking soda, and changing to diet soda is not any better.  It is clinically proven that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda are linked to cancer, depression, and actually increase hunger.  Bottom line.  Water is the best thing you can drink.  I drink tea, either lightly sweetened or unsweet.  I also drink black coffee, occasionally rewarding myself with flavored creamer. 

No fats.  This includes butter, margarine, lard and foods that are high in fat.

I know that all of this sounds insane, but it is easy.  Just live by this rule of thumb.....if what you are eating is man made then odds are it is not good for you....if what you are eating was created by God and man has little to do with it then it is great for you.

We don't want you to take our word for anything, research it yourself.  Look into what your eating.  Google the ingredients on the packages of food in your pantry, I guarantee you that your eyes will open to what your feeding your family.

I encourage you to change your lifestyle, to take the 21 fast as a challenge....be open to how a healthy lifestyle can change your need for a diet for the rest of your life.  Please email me with any questions regarding the fast and I will gladly answer them.

God Bless!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

CHICKEN POT PIE

This is a Pillsbury recipe that I tweeked a little to get the calories down.  But I must say that this dish is beyond delicious and Pillsbury rocks!

INGREDIENTS

Crust
1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
Filling
1/3    cup chopped onion
1/3    cup flour (I used wheat flour)
1/2    teaspoon salt (I used McCormicks Herb seasoning)
1/4    teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (I used a low sodium/no fat broth)
1/2    cup milk  ( I used Almond Milk)
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey (I used chicken breasts)
2       cups Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables,thawed (HEB brand is cheaper)

DIRECTIONS

1 Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan. 2 In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened. 3 Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust. 4 Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
If you use the substitutions that I used you will end up with calories coming in at around 250 to 300 per servings! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SPICY CHICKEN PARMESAN


Today, I was hungry for something and had no idea what to make.  So with Bekah as my sidekick, off the store we went.  Thinking pasta, chicken, spinach, peppers, zucchini....only to realize that all those things are not going to go well together.  Then we decided on this, it ended up very yummy and once I finished calculating the calories I was very excited!

Coming in at 260 calories for one very large helping, this dish has to be a top contender for one of my favs! 

This recipe serves 4!

INGREDIENTS:  14 to 16 ounces of chicken breast (roughly 3 chicken breasts), 4 or 5 zucchini, 1 container of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cooking Creme, 1 bag of pepper stir fry (sliced red, green & yellow bell peppers and white onions),  red pepper flakes,  McCormick Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning and 3 fresh garlic cloves.

DIRECTIONS:

Take your chicken and slice off the fatty tissue, cube the chicken into small cubes as uniform as possible.  Place into a skillet with about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese creme sauce and about 2 teaspoons of the McCormick seasoning, the bag of pepper stir fry and garlic.  If you like it with a little extra kick, add some red pepper flakes into the mix while its cooking.  You will most likely need to strain it during the cooking process to get rid the extra moisture. 

While the chicken mixture is cooking, in a separate skillet cube the zucchini and toss in just a dash of olive oil to get it going.  Don't cook for more than 5 to 7 minutes, you want it to be cooked but with a crunch.  Soggy zucchini is not the way to go. 

Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly, add in the zucchini and the remaining cream cheese creme.  Finish off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and enjoy.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.  God Bless!

Monday, June 27, 2011

TURKEY BURGERS


This recipe is simple, good and 365 calories for the entire dish! 

INGREDIENTS:  1 1/2 pounds of extra lean ground turkey, 1 green bell pepper, 1 red onion, salt, pepper, 1 cup of A-1 sauce (optional), Natures Own Whole Wheat Buns (110 calories a bun), Kraft Fat Free sliced Sharp Cheddar (45 calories a slice), 3 Smart Baking Potatoes (70 calories per potato), Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray. 

POTATO WEDGE DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees, slice each potato into eight equal wedges, spray with Pam olive oil cooking spray and season with garlic salt, pepper, onion salt and dash of chili powder.  You can season the potato wedges however you like, there are even potato seasoning packages in the veggie section of most grocery stores.  Place the seasoned wedges into the oven for 30 minutes or until browned and tender.

PATTY DIRECTIONS:  Finely chop the onion and bell pepper (use a food processor if you can).  Mix the onions, bell peppers, A-1 sauce, salt and pepper with the ground turkey into a medium sized mixing bowl.  Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total. Place a skillet on medium high OR grill on a pit, spray the top of the patties with Pam olive oil cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.  

To serve, place on a bun with a slice of cheese.  Remember to add the calories of your condiments to your meal.

ENJOY AND GOD BLESS!