A guide to eating naturally while staying classy

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Protein-packed Peach Oatmeal

Protein-packed Peach Oatmeal

This is my latest breakfast craze!! It is quick, filling, and SO delicious! I feel like I'm eating dessert for breakfast. Once you try this, you'll be hooked! Also tastes great with blueberries, strawberries, or dried cranberries!

Serves 2 (Only 4 WW Points+!!)
1/2 c Oatmeal, uncooked, old-fashioned rolled
1 c Yogurt, Greek, (honey or vanilla flavored)
1 Peach, cut into small pieces
1 T Cinnamon
2 T Brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Cook oatmeal according to package instructions 2) Separate oatmeal into two separate bowls 3) Mix yogurt, peaches, and cinnamon (dived) in each bowl with oatmeal
4) Sprinkle 1T brown sugar over each dish
5) Serve immediately

Light Pumpkin Pie Dip

Light Pumpkin Pie Dip

Football season calls for lots of appetizers and heavy dips. Serve this light dip as alternate to all of the calorie-heavy choices to your guests - they'll never realize how healthy it is!
1/2 c pumpkin (canned)
1/2 c whipped cream cheese, reduced fat
1 T pumpkin pie spice
3 tsp brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS: 1) In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients 2) Stir ingredients until well mixed 3) Serve with Stacy's Simply Gingerbread Pita Chips

Southwestern Vegetables

Southwestern Vegetables

This side dish is a great way to get in your daily serving of veggies.  Let's be honest, anything with melted cheese goes over well in my house!  I like this dish with a simple grilled white fish or baked chicken.

1T olive oil
2 zucchini, medium, chopped
2 yellow squash, medium, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
1/3 c Mexican cheddar cheese, shredded

1) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
2) Add zucchini and squash.  Cook covered for about ten minutes until vegetables are soft.
3) Fold tomatoes in to the skillet.   Cook covered until all are heated through, about five minutes.
4) Sprinkle cheese over vegetables.  Allow cheese to melt over the vegetables.
5) Serve immediately while warm.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Greek Chicken


This past New Year's Eve, one of my friends made this chicken as an appetizer.  I tried to recreate this for a bridal shower several weeks later.  I, as I always tend to do, made too much filling.  This is when one of my favorite dinners was born!  Just served the filling with rice and, voila! 

WWPoints+: 10

2 TBSP olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c chopped onion
1 box chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1/2 c roasted red peppers
3/4 c crumbled feta cheese, reduced fat
1/2 c pine nuts
Chicken broth

- Heat a large skillet to medium-high
- Brown oil, garlic, and onions 
- Add chicken, cook through until warm
- Add spinach and simmer until cooked through, adding chicken broth to moisten as needed
Add roasted red peppers, pine nuts and feta
- Serve with brown rice

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sopapilla Cheesecake


This dessert was my husband's request for his birthday.  He says it is the best dessert he has ever had.  I can't disagree.  A woman I work with made this and brought it into the office one day.  It tasted like she had spent hours making it.  When she shared the recipe, I was delighted to find it was so simple!  Enjoy!

2 8 oz packages cream cheese
2 8 oz packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c butter
1/2 c cinnamon sugar

- Preheat oven to 350F degrees
- In a 9x13 baking pan, spray with Pam
- Unroll one package of crescent rolls, flatten to line the bottom
- Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla
- Spread over the crescent rolls
- Unroll the other can of crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture
- Melt butter and pour over top of crescent rolls
- Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown

Garlic - Herb Roasted Pork Loin


I never realized how inexpensive and easy pork tenderloin could be!  This served at about $0.80 per person!  I also liked it because once I got it in the oven, I was free to do other things instead of having to keep checking up on the dish.

3lb Pork Tenderloin (boneless)
3 cloves Garlic, cut into thin slivers
2 Tbsp Rosemary, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.  With a small knife, cut about 25 slits into the pork.  Insert garlic slivers.  Spread olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper over, pushing some mixture into slits.  Line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil.  Place pork in the pan.  Roast, uncovered, until a meat thermometer reads about 160F degrees (about 1 hr).  Serve with unsweetened applesauce.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Turkey Dill Meatballs


This amazing WeightWatchers inspired recipe is the perfectly balanced meal between protien, carbs, and vegetables.  Whenever I make it I end up eating it for lunch and dinner the entire week!  My husband also likes it on a hoagie roll with some provolone cheese!  In addition, this recipe freezes very well.  A quick note:  When shopping for the bread crumbs, make sure you read the ingredients!  Even 100% whole wheat bread crumbs often have chemicals and preservatives added.  I like "Four Sisters and a Brother" Italian Bread Crumbs, found at HEB.

Serves 8 (5 meatballs & 1/2 c sauce per serving), ~6 WW PointsPlus 

2 lbs Ground turkey (93% lean)
6 TBSP Organic, natural bread crumbs
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 TBSP Parsley
2 TBSP Dill weed
2 TBSP Dijon mustard (also read the ingredients!!)
1 TSP lemon zest, grated
Olive oil spray

2 TBSP Olive oil
2 Medium Zucchini, chopped
2 Medium yellow onions, chopped
2 Green bell peppers, chopped
2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (check the ingredients!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the turkey, bread crumbs, egg whites, parsley, dill, mustard, and lemon zest in a large bowl.  
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Spray with olive oil (MISTO!). 
Roll the mixture into 40 meatballs (about golfball size).  Lightly spritz with olive oil.
Bake for XX minutes or until browned and cooked through.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Saute zucchini, onion, and green bell pepper until softened.
Add tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer.
Cook for about 15 minutes or until all vegetables soft and cooked through.

I recommend serving this dish over rice.

Baked Oatmeal


I found this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago and am so glad I finally tested it out!  It is delicious and would be perfect for a brunch any time of year.  I made a few modifications when I baked it today.  The one modification I plan to make in the future and is included below is to use peaches or blueberries instead of bananas.  They get kind of brown and don't last quite as long.

Serves 10 (I calculated this is ~6 WW PointsPlus)

2 C Old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 C Light brown sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
1 TBSP Allspice
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1/2 C Walnut pieces, chopped (separated)
1 C sliced strawberries (separated)
1/3 C dark chocolate chips (separated)
2 C Skim Milk, organic
1 Large egg
3 TBSP butter, melted
2 TSP vanilla extract
1/2 C Peaches, chopped or blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray the inside of a 10.5 x 7 inch baking dish with olive oil (MISTO!).

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, spices, half the walnuts, half the strawberries, half the chocolate chips.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.

Add the oat mixture to the baking dish.  Arrange remaining walnuts, strawberries, and chocolate chips on top.  Sprinkle peaches or blueberries on top.  Pour the milk mixture over everything.  Gently shake the baking dish to help the mixture go through the oats.

Bake for 40 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Roasted Asparagus


This is my absolute favorite vegetable and it is so easy to make!  It tasted delicious with the quinoa & spinach and mustard-herb crusted salmon I made last night.  You'll notice I haven't included specific measurements for this dish.  I usually just eye-ball it and season to taste.

1 lb asparagus
Olive oil spray
3 garlic cloves, minced
Garlic powder
Sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash asparagus and cut or snap off bottoms.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Lay asparagus across tray.
Spritz asparagus with olive oil (MISTO again!).
Sprinkle minced garlic across asparagus.
Season asparagus with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until softened or crisped (depending on preference).

Parmesan Pepper Tilapia


This is a perfect quick and easy weeknight meal.  I like this because I always have the ingredients on hand so it doesn't require an extra trip to the grocery store.

2 Tilapia filets, fresh or defrosted
1 T Olive oil
1 cup Bell peppers & onions (I like Kroger's frozen 3 peppers & onions)
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded

Heat olive oil to medium heat in a large skillet.
Add peppers & onions.  Cook until softened and starting to brown.
Add tilapia.  Cook on one side for about 5-7 minutes, or until starting to brown.
Flip tilapia.  Shake parmesan over tilapia.
Cook until parmesan starts to melt and tilapia is cooked through.
Serve with peppers & onions on top. 
Recommend green beans as a great side dish.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Bread


Nothing smells better when you walk in the door than banana bread!  This WeightWatchers modified recipe is natural and delicious too!  Plus pre-modification is only 5 PointsPlus!

1 1/4 c Flour, whole wheat
1/2 c Sugar, brown
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Baking powder
3 tsp olive oil
2 large eggs, raw, beaten
3 large bananas, ripe
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
Add eggs and oil.  Mix thoroughly.
Mash bananas in a separate bowl and add to batter.  
Add oatmeal.
Spray loaf pan with olive oil.  
Pour batter into pan and bake 45-55 minutes.
Allow to cool on wire rack.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What does eating naturally mean???

What does eating naturally mean?  I know that's the question I've been asked and Lent hasn't even started!  "Is it a fast?" "Is it a cleanse?" "Can you only eat wheat grass, nuts, and beans?" "What kind of crazy diet is this?"  

First, this is not a diet.  Diets are short term and can't be sustained.  Instead, this is an approach to food and food preparation.  Eating naturally has many names "clean eating", "real food diet", etc.  They all follow similar premises - eating food in its most natural state, no preservatives, no artificial flavors or coloring, and on and on.  

I like to keep it simple, so here are the rules of thumb I plan to follow for the next 40 days (and hopefully beyond!)...
  • What to avoid:
    • Processed, refined foods
    • Preservatives
    • Artificial flavors & colors
    • High in saturated and trans fat
    • Fried
    • High in sugar
    • Man-made chemicals
  • What to focus on:
    • Eating food that in its natural state
    • Read labels - natural foods only contain a few ingredients
    • Drink as much water as possible everyday
    • Eat frequent, small meals to keep your body energized
Source: Clean Eating magazine