Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Archive for the ‘Asian-Inspired’ Category

Curry Tempeh

Workout

After returning home from a busy weekend and getting a good night’s sleep, I awoke ready to start the week on the right foot- in the gym!  I completed 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 25 minutes on the treadmill doing running intervals.

Breakfast

After my workout, I rewarded myself with a little Starbucks treat!  I stopped by and ordered a Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Soy Latte:

I’m always amused by the different spellings the Starbucks baristas’ come up with for “Carly”.  I kind of wish my name was spelled the way this particular barista dreamed up today!

When I got home, I had a Lemon Chobani Greek Yogurt.

Lunch

During my 20-minute lunch break, I had the exact same salad that I’ve come to love as a quick hunger-fix during the short time I have for lunch Monday through Thursday.

Butter lettuce topped with red and yellow bell pepper slices and Naturally Fresh Ginger Dressing.

Dinner

Corey and I got pretty adventurous with last night’s dinner.  While grocery shopping, we came across Coconut Curry Tempeh- a soy product I’ve been curious about for a while.  I convinced Corey that it would be worth a try, and we threw it in the cart.

I started by cooking the tempeh strips in a skillet with a little olive oil, for about 2 minutes on each side, until browned.

While they cooked, I microwaved a bag of steam-able frozen vegetable medley, which had broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  Next, I microwaved a bag of Uncle Ben’s 90-Second Whole Grain Rice.  I combined the rice and steamed veggies in the skillet off the heat, and mixed with half a jar of Thai Kitchen Yellow Curry.

Although I’m not a vegetarian, I always say that I might as well just be one.  Chicken and steak has the potential to really gross me out- I much prefer eating seafood or just plain old vegetarian dishes.  Corey and I both agreed that tempeh is not something we would necessarily crave, but it was a great meat replacement. I would describe the texture as hardened rice, with more flavor, thanks to the curry spice.  If you aren’t a fan of the texture of tofu, give tempeh a try!

Have you ever tried tempeh? What do you think of it?

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Tofu Trial

Workout

I had plans to go to a spin class yesterday, but then I remembered that the Charlie Brown instructor teaches the Friday class, so I decided against it.  Instead, I opted to go for a nice run.

It wasn’t as nice as I planned.

I don’t know what my problem was, but I just couldn’t run the whole time.  I felt slow, I got a cramp, my legs hurt…it was sad.  I stopped for two 30-second walking breaks.  I think it helps to have someone with me, pushing me along!

Also, I’d like to thank Nike for sponsoring my 2.5 mile run around my neighborhood:

Awkward

🙂

Breakfast

After my run, I made a filling and delicious yogurt bowl.

I topped 1/2 cup 0% Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt sweetened with Splenda with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, a sliced banana, and 1/4 cup Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal.

Lunch

I was really excited about lunch.

I decided to try…drum roll please…

TOFU!!

I tried to use tofu in a dish before, and I didn’t like it at all.  It was crumbly and soft, when I was expecting it to be firm and a little more flavorful.  Well, thanks to Lauren, my 2nd tofu trial was a success!

I saw on her blog a few weeks ago how to prepare tofu.  First, I sliced it into pieces.  Next, I placed 2 paper towels on my cutting board, topped it with 4 slices of tofu, and then topped it with 2 more paper towels.

I continued this layering until all the tofu was in between paper towels.  Then I placed a heavy frying pan on top of it, and left it there for 10 minutes.  The weight helps to press the tofu, which removes the moisture and makes it a little more firm.

I wanted to add some flavor to it, so I made an easy marinade.  I poured 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of Makoto Ginger Dressing, and 2 cloves chopped garlic into a tupperware.  I threw in the tofu, covered it, and let it marinate for a few hours.

When I was ready for lunch, I placed the marinated tofu slices on a cookie sheet and put them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, I flipped them, and put them back in for another 10 minutes, until they had browned.

While the tofu was in the oven, I steamed some fresh broccoli, and then microwaved the rest of a frozen bag of “stir fry” vegetables that I had in the freezer.  I put the cooked veggies in a skillet with some soy sauce and cooked it for a few more minutes.

I sliced four pieces of the tofu into bite-sizes.  I placed a portion of veggies on my plate with the tofu, sprinkled everything with sesame seeds, and then added a drizzle of Kraft Toasted Sesame Dressing on top.

This was so good.  Definitely my new favorite lunch!

When Corey got home from work, our friends Austin and Laura met us at our place, and all four of us went to Happy Hour at Mitchell’s Fish Market.

We were excited to introduce them to our favorite dip, which they loved.

Corey and I also split a wedge salad.

After having some drinks and food, we decided to go to one of our favorite places, Wine Room on Park Ave.

Wine Room is a place where they give you a sort of wine “credit card” that you place money on.  You stick the card into the top of a case of different wines, and you pick which one you want.

You can have a taste, half a glass, or a full glass, and the prices vary for each one.  There are some bottles that cost $20 just for a taste!  They also have a special room called the “Rare Room”, where the bottles cost ridiculous amounts of money.

Corey and Laura in front of the Rare Room, picking out a bottle for me.

Laura and I

It was a fun little double date!

It’s Saturday…go have fun!!

Do you like tofu?

If so, what is your favorite way to eat it? 

Sometimes, You Just Need Noodles

I. am. EXHAUSTED.

Mantra for the day: One more exam until Spring Break, one more exam until Spring Break…

Breakfast

Yesterday, I picked up a “variety pack” of Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal, because the store was out of my usual Maple and Brown Sugar flavor.  I normally hate variety packs, because it seems like they’re always filled with a bunch of weird fruit flavors, which we all know I despise- or, even worse, flavors that include raisins. Sick.  I must’ve hit the jackpot, because this variety pack is on point!  It included Banana Bread flavor (don’t forget, bananas are my fruit friend), Cinnamon, and my favorite, Maple and Brown Sugar.  I decided to try the Banana Bread, and I spiced it up by added slices of fresh banana on top, and mixing in half of a tablespoon of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter:

Extra banana, please.

Amazeballs.  My M&BS flavor better watch out- this might be my new favorite!

Lunch

By the time I got finished with one of my midterms, it was late in the day and I was about to be running late for my next class.  I whipped together a small plate of tuna salad on top of some broccoli slaw, drizzled with balsamic vinegar:

Tuna Salad

Now, let’s get to the star of the show!

Dinner

After a stressful day, sometimes the only thing in the world that can make you feel better is a big bowl full of noodles!  That’s exactly what I made for dinner.

I adapted this recipe for Sesame Noodles, and the result was great!  I will definitely be making this one again.  The use of whole wheat pasta and extra vegetables makes this the perfect healthy comfort food.

Side note: When I first started making this, it appeared that I was going to have to add it to the list of Fails from yesterday when this happened:

Mini-Fail

5 Second Rule :).

Sesame Noodles with Baby Bok Choy


Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 box Whole Wheat Spaghetti

2 Baby Bok Choy, washed, ends removed, and chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1/2 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce, plus one tablespoon, divided

2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

2 tablespoons Canola oil

2 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (you can buy them already toasted)

2 tablespoons water

Directions:

For those who aren’t familiar with my friend, Bok Choy, this is what the “baby” version looks like:

 

Baby Bok Choy

To prepare it, you need to wash it very thoroughly, pat it dry, then chop off the bulky end and trim the tip of the leaves (I always do that part because sometimes the leafy edges are browned).  Then, you just hold the bunch of stalks together and chop all the way down, just like any other vegetable.  The whole thing is edible.

*Note*: This first part needs to be done 2-4 hours ahead of time!

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the spaghetti, and cook for 7-9 minutes, until al dente. Drain, set aside.

In a bowl (or better, the tupperware that you plan to keep this in), add the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, red pepper, and scallion.  Whisk together.

 

Whisk, whisk, whisk!

Add the hot pasta to the mixture and toss everything together.  Place in tupperware and set in the fridge to “marinate” for 2-4 hours.

 

Sauce + Hot Noodles

Just before serving, place a skillet on medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.  Add the bok choy and diced red pepper.  Add 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.

 

Christmas!

Take the pasta out of the fridge, and pour into the skillet.  Toss everything together and remove from heat.

 

Toss!

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve!

After my amazing dinner, I was in the mood for some dessert (as usual).  I created a little dessert yogurt bowl:

I included:

  • 1/2 cup Chobani 0% Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 small banana
  • Sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 tablespoon Skippy All Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

The perfect dessert!  (And maybe a good breakfast idea, too?)

Back to the books.  One more test until Spring Break….

Have a great night!

 



Gotta Love Repeatable Recipes

Well, I did it! I got some motivation and went on a 2.5 mile run.  5PM is the perfect time to run outside- at least, in Florida it is.  The sun is starting to go down, it’s windy, not too hot, not too cool.  It was great!

Dinner

After my run, I relaxed a little and got started on dinner.  I decided to go with a repeat recipe- chicken stir fry.  I followed this recipe, and dinner was on the table in no time.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

 

Cook Chicken + Soy Sauce

 

Add Veggies, Dressing + Cover

 

Ready!

This time, I added the rest of the packet of never-ending “crunchies” from my lunch.  I have no idea why I keep calling them “crunchies” but I smile every time I type it, so it’s staying.

Last night’s failed fro-yo mission ignited a serious craving for it in me, and I was determined to get there nice and early tonight!  I’m not a die-hard frozen yogurt fan, but when I crave it, I gotta have it!

 

Yo!

My cup included:

  • Red Velvet yo
  • Cookies ‘N’ Cream yo
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • Butterfinger crumbles
  • Brownie crumbles
  • Golden Grahams
  • Vanilla wafers

Best mix-in choice to date: Golden Grahams. SO good!

Please note: not a single fruit in sight.  And that’s how it will stay.  I even stepped out of my comfort zone and tried two of the new “fruity” flavors they had- Banana Pudding and Cherry Amaretto.  I was quickly reminded why I hate fruit flavors! Sick!

Apparently, man cannot live on chicken and veggies alone, because Corey was still starving after dinner.  We decided to walk over to Subway and get him a sandwich before we headed home.

 

Eat Fresh!

When we walked out the door of the fro-yo place, we realized we were interrupting someone’s pizza party!

 

"Invite ONLY!"

How funny is that?!  Dogs are so funny.

Well, I’m off to watch some T.V. with my future hubby! Have a great night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in Business! Recipe: Asian Turkey Burgers

If anyone were to look up the term “dumb blonde” in the dictionary, I am almost positive my picture would be next to it.  Remember my “broken” camera I’ve been going on and on about?  Well, as soon as I walked out of Best Buy with this little beauty…:

Canon Powershot SD1400

I got home and inserted my memory card from my old camera.  The screen read “Memory Card Locked”.  Oh, crap.  That’s the message that popped up on my old camera! That wasn’t the issue, though.  I had this problem a long time ago on my old camera, and I Googled it and found out that there is a switch on the memory card that you have to push the opposite direction to unlock it.  When the message popped up the second time on my old camera, I had forgotten that the switch was on the actual memory card, and instead, flipped some tiny switched that was on my camera, which then fell off.  Well, as soon as I saw the message on my new camera, all the previous Google-knowledge I obtained months ago came flooding back, and I remembered what the problem was.  I flipped the switch on the memory card, stuck it back in my old camera…and what do ya know? Back to normal.  So, now, I have two perfectly functioning Canon PowerShots sitting in front of me.  However, one is older and is not a beautiful shade of pink.  I guess I have a decision to make!  Anyways, let’s move on to dinner.

I have never been a big fan of ground turkey meat, but, once I started eating healthier, I developed a taste for it.  Even so, I have still never been a fan of turkey burgers.  Corey and I were out of dinner ideas when we shopped last weekend, so we just picked up a package of pre-formed turkey burgers and decided to save them for later in the week when we were feeling less-than-motivated to cook up a big dinner.  That would be tonight.

Turkey meat is very lean, and pretty bland, as well.  You really have to give it some flavor unless you want to bore your tastebuds to death.  I decided to make a marinade for our burgers.  I don’t think marinating burgers is really a normal thing to do, but I gave it a try anyway.  I went with an Asian-flavored marinade, covered the burgers, and refrigerated them for 30 minutes.  After grilling them on an indoor grill pan, I sliced an onion and caramelized it in a saute pan.  I topped the burgers with the onions and served them on Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds with a side of roasted broccoli.  The burgers turned out perfectly.  Great flavor, and the grill pan gave them a nice crust on the outside.  Crunchy, delicious, and healthy!

Asian Turkey Burgers


Servings: 4

Ingredients:

 

16 oz. ground turkey, formed into 4 burger patties

5 tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

2 tablespoons Stir-Fry Sauce or Teryaki

1 tablespoon Ken’s Herb & Garlic Marinade

1 tablespoon Makoto Ginger Dressing

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Caramelized Onions:

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 white onion, thinly sliced into rounds

2 tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

After forming patties, place in a container that has a lid.  In a bowl, mix together the above ingredients after “ground turkey”.

Pour marinade over the patties, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

After marinating, heat grill or grill pan, spray with nonstick spray (for grill pan), and cook burgers about 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the middle.

 

 

 

In a saute pan, spray with nonstick spray and add the onions.  Cook for about 5 minutes, add soy sauce, and then cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until caramelized.  Top burgers with the onions and serve on whole wheat buns.

It’s Always Great to Have a Colorful Plate! Asian-Marinated Salmon with Zesty Roasted Vegetables

There are so many salmon-haters in the world, but I’m confident this recipe could change their minds!  I got the inspiration for this one from Corey’s parents- they bought a HUGE piece of a salmon and gave us a portion, along with a variety of fresh vegetables.  They told us that they made an asian-flavored marinade for the salmon, put it on the grill with the vegetables, and had a delicious feast!  I decided to try a similar approach with our dinner tonight.  On a side note, we had a special addition to our meal, thanks to Corey’s trip to Costco today.  He brought home two huge portobella mushrooms filled with cheese, crabmeat stuffing and topped with 2 shrimp!  It was seriously awesome.  My dad is gonna have to give this one a try for my salmon-loathing mom this week!

Asian-Marinated Salmon


Servings: 2

Ingredients:


1/4 cup Ken’s Herb and Garlic Marinade (or any kind of prepared marinade you have on hand-

you can even skip this ingredient if you want)

5 tablespoons Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Makoto Ginger Dressing (the BEST dressing in the world! If you don’t have it or don’t want to buy some, just substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger)

1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Enough salmon for 2 people- we used a portion that was about 3/4 pound, and then cut it in half (if the skin isn’t removed, don’t worry, it will come off after baking)

Tinfoil

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, then place the salmon filets in a small baking dish or loaf pan and pour marinade over top.  Cover will tinfoil and place in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (to roast the vegetables first, see below).  When the veggies are roasted, turn heat down to 375 degrees.

Take the salmon out of the fridge and place the filet in the middle of a large piece of tinfoil.  Make a little “salmon purse”, folding the sides together in the middle, and creating two handles at the top.  Be sure it is completely sealed.  Place in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness.  You will know it is done when it turns a light pink color and flakes with a fork.  Remove from pouch.

Zesty Roasted Vegetables


Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

2 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 small yellow squash, sliced into rounds

1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds

4 tablespoons Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon Ken’s Herb and Garlic Marinade

2 tablespoons EVOO

salt, pepper and garlic powder

Directions:

After slicing vegetables, lay them in an even layer on a cookie sheet.  Pour the EVOO, soy sauce and marinade over the veggies.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over top.  Use your hands to mix everything together, coating the veggies in the mixture.  Roast in the oven at 425 for 25 minutes, using a spatula halfway through roasting to flip them.

 


Swordfish with Sauteed Eggplant and Baby Bok Choy

I never buy fish at our grocery store because it is just too expensive.  That’s why we love the fish market! Much better selection at practically half the cost.  Swordfish steaks are one of my favorite fish to cook.  I think swordfish is a great option for someone who is not sure if they really like fish.  It is much thicker and hardier than, for example, tilapia.  Anyways, the fish market didn’t have swordfish steaks, but they had swordfish “pieces” available- basically, it was just large chunks of swordfish sold by the pound.  We got a pound of the pieces, and then headed over to the produce market for some veggies for a side dish.  One of our new favorite veggies is one that I think scares a lot of people- bok choy!  There are two types of this green, leafy veggie- the regular size, and then there is baby bok choy.  We got the babies this time.  It turned out great, although, I think I will stick to swordfish steaks from now on.  The pieces weren’t quite as good, so I’m going to suggest using the steaks for this recipe.  The great thing about preparing a swordfish steak is that it is one of the easiest things in the world- hardly any ingredients are necessary to make the flavor stand out.  My kinda fish!

Seared Swordfish


Servings: 2

Ingredients:

2 swordfish steaks, about 5 oz. each

salt, pepper and garlic powder, enough to sprinkle on both sides

1 lemon

1 tablespoon EVOO

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat an oven-proof skillet with the EVOO over medium-high heat.  Place steak in the hot pan and sear on one side.  When slightly browned, flip to sear the other side.  Place skillet in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the fish is no longer opaque in the middle.  Squeeze lemon over top before serving.

Sauteed Eggplant and Bok Choy


Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into chunks

2 heads baby bok choy, cleaned and chopped into chunks (trim off the ends and throw away)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste

2 tablespoons EVOO

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Directions:

Heat a skillet with the EVOO over medium eat.  Throw the bok choy and eggplant into the skillet and saute for about 4 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, ginger and soy sauce.  Pour in the chicken broth, and cover skillet with lid for 5 minutes.  Eggplant should be soft and bok choy should be wilted and tender.

 

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