Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

On Saturday, Corey went up to Jacksonville to help his brother, Drew, move into a new apartment before his classes started back at UNF.  Since I had two huge final exams on Monday, I decided to stay behind so I could study.

I knew Corey and his parents would be exhausted after moving all day, so I thought it would be nice to make them a good dinner for when they arrived home.

I picked up some big poblano peppers earlier in the week, and since I got four of them, I thought this would be the perfect chance to use them up!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 large poblano peppers (sometimes they’re really small)

4 chicken cutlets, chopped into bite-size pieces

1/2 onion, chopped

4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

8 oz. white mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup 2% shredded cheese (I used Mexican Blend)

3 wedges Laughing Cow Queso Fresco Cheese (if you decide to skip

this ingredient, just add 1/4 cup more of the shredded cheese)

non-stick spray

1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

*You will also need a plastic bag*

Directions:

Pre-heat broiler.

Place washed and dried peppers in a baking dish and put them under the broiler.

Keep them under until they are blackened and blistered.

Use tongs to flip each pepper onto the other side, and put them back under the broiler until that side is also black and blistered.  Note: Don’t be afraid to keep them under “too long”…all of the skin needs to be blackened so that the next steps will work.  It should take 10-15 minutes total.

Remove the dish from the oven and use the tongs to place each pepper inside the plastic bag.  Tie the bag shut tightly.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Allow the peppers to steam in the bag while you do the next steps.

Place a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.  Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms.

Cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken.

Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Add the tomatoes after the chicken is no longer pink.

Let these cook for 2 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Stir in the Laughing Cow wedges, followed by the shredded cheese.

Mix until creamy and well combined and set aside.  Open the plastic bag with the peppers inside.  Use your fingers to peel the blistered skin away from the rest of the pepper (it should come off easily).

This is what they should look like when you finish peeling:

Next, you will need to remove the seeds and ribs of the inside of the pepper (also known as the spicy part!).  To do this, use a knife to gently make a slit down one side of the pepper.

Carefully grab the bunch of seeds at the top and pull downwards- this will loosen the roots that the seeds are attached by.  Use running water to help rid the inside of seeds.

When the peppers are all cleaned out, lay them back in the baking dish going opposite ways, with the slit facing up.

Use a spoon to carefully fill the peppers with your prepared mixture.

After each pepper is stuffed, sprinkle a little more cheese on top of each one, and place in the 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, you will have beautiful, cheesy-yet-healthy, stuffed poblano peppers!

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Taco Night

Workout 

I started off Wednesday morning the best way possible- with BodyPump!  I got to the gym a little earlier than usual, so I had time to hop on the treadmill for 15 minutes for some running intervals before class.  After class was finished, I got back on the treadmill for another 10 minutes of intervals before calling it quits.

Breakfast

I made one of my favorites for breakfast.  A PB+Banana Sammy!

I topped a toasted whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, banana slices, and a drizzle of honey for good measure 🙂 .

Lunch

While watching TV (mainly the Casey Anthony trial) in the morning, I must have seen the same Subway commercial ten times.  It was advertising the new Turkey, Bacon and Avocado sub, and each time I watched, the more tasty it looked. I decided to save my 5 bucks and make my own healthy version at home!

I toasted a whole wheat sandwich thin and topped it with Dijon mustard and deli turkey.  I sliced an avocado and placed the slices on top of my sandwich.  Take that, Subway.

On the side, I had some baby carrots and a dill pickle spear.

Dinner

As I’ve mentioned before, I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to meals.  I know what I like, and I’m OK with that!  I have a feeling when Corey and I have a family one day, we will definitely be the family that has certain nights of the week dedicated to the same meal.  For example, Taco Night!  Who wouldn’t look forward to that each week?  Well, it was taco night for us on Wednesday, and we let one of Old El Paso’s Soft Taco Dinner Kit take care of the details.  I generally like to buy my own taco shells so that I can get whole wheat, but I decided regular shells wouldn’t kill me.

I cooked some ground turkey meat with a packet of taco seasoning, and then got busy chopping up tomatoes, red onion, and lettuce for toppings.

We each had a salad to start, topped with lettuce, onion and diced mango.

I filled up two shells for myself, with all the toppings- tomatoes with red onion, lettuce, a little shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, and a small dollop of sour cream.

I love taco night!

Do you have certain nights of the week that you eat the same meal? 

 

 

 

Healthy Enchilada Casserole + Wedding Dress Shopping

Last week, my mom and sister both drove to Orlando to visit!  We had big plans for Tuesday- it was time to find my wedding dress!

When they both arrived on Monday, we spent some time catching up, and then I got busy on dinner.  I decided to make a recipe that I knew is a crowd pleaser- my Healthy Enchilada Casserole!

Healthy Enchilada Casserole

Servings: 9

Ingredients:

6 whole wheat tortillas, cut into triangles

2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)

1 can reduced-sodium black beans

1 can Vegetarian Refried Beans

1 can Mild Rotel Tomatoes

1 can Diced Tomatoes

1 can Low-Salt Corn

1 can Enchilada Sauce

1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded OR

4 cooked chicken breasts, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of the Enchilada Sauce in the bottom.

After cutting the tortillas into triangles, make a single layer of them on top of the sauce.

Using the back of a spoon, spread each slice with a small amount of refried beans, using 1/3 of the can.  (It does not need to cover each piece completely)

Next, combine the black beans, corn, and both cans of tomatoes in a mixing bowl.  Use a spoon to spread about 1/3 of the mixture on top of the tortillas and refried beans.  Top with 1/3 of the shredded chicken, and then a 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.  Pour 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce over everything, and then repeat these steps (starting with the tortillas) until you have 3 layers.  Sprinkle an extra layer of cheese on top of the last layer.

Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.  For the last 2 minutes, turn on the broiler.  Remove from the oven, and cut into squares using a spatula.  Serve with hot sauce, salsa, or fat-free sour cream!

**************************************************************************************************************************

Later on, my party animal of a sister managed to convince me to go out with her and Corey’s brother, Drew, and his friends, to one of the bars down by UCF.  I agreed, and left my responsible fiance at home in bed, since he had work the next morning.

My friend Daniel came with us, so I wasn’t the oldest person in the place.  Wait…he’s younger than me, so…yes, I was.

We had fun, but Lauren was not a happy camper when I woke her up bright and early for a day of shopping!  Muahahahaaa…

I don’t want to reveal too much about my dress, because I do plan to explain everything about it in full detail after the big reveal, also known as…our wedding!

Let’s just say that the day was a success.  My bridal consultant said I was the fastest bride she’s ever had!

Here’s a little teaser to hold you over for the next 5 months:

🙂

Energy Crash

Yesterday morning started off on a great note.  Corey and I managed to drag our butts out of bed at 6:30AM, and we headed out the door for a 3-mile run.

We cut our new route a little short this time, because a) Corey’s knee was bothering him and b) I was dying.  What can I say- sometimes I can power through the pain, and other times I feel like laying down in traffic would be a better option.

I will say this: I don’t know how runners in Florida can manage to run outside at any other time than early in the morning.  It has been so hot lately!  My car has read “100 degrees” for the last 3 days, and it’s brutal.

Breakfast

A big, creamy yogurt bowl sounded great after a sweaty run.

I filled a small bowl with a cup of Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt, and topped it with sliced strawberries and banana, walnuts and a drizzle of honey.

Lunch

For lunch, I was in the mood for a veggie-filled salad.

I topped chopped Romaine lettuce with a chopped plum tomato, raw broccoli florets, a chopped eggwhite, and half of an avocado.  I also drizzled a little Organicville Sesame Goddess dressing over top.  I’ve decided that a little avocado on a salad makes a world of difference in the flavor/texture department.  Love it!

Energy Crash

As soon as I got to my class, I felt like something was wrong.  Even though I got 8 hours of sleep the night before, and I ate two filling meals before class, I had a sudden energy crash!  I could not keep my eyes open for the life of me.  I know Anatomy and Physiology isn’t the most titillating subject for some people, but it’s never bored me to the point of falling asleep, so that’s why I was confused as to what was going on with me.  I even contemplated leaving during our break so I could go home and sleep!

I think the fact that I didn’t have carbs in my breakfast or lunch may have had something to do with it.  I will be testing this theory today!

Dinner

I was pretty hungry when I got home, so Corey and I quickly got to work on dinner.  We marinated some salmon fillets in teriyaki and cilantro and threw them on the grill.  We also grilled some zucchini slices, mushrooms, and sliced bell peppers.

 

How do you cope with a mid-afternoon energy crash?

Workout Funk

If you take a look at my Workout Log, it’s not hard to figure out that I’ve been in a little “workout funk” lately.  Corey and I have both been waking up every morning with this weird feeling…I think they call it “laziness” ?

Before we moved, we used to wake up almost every weekday at the same time, and get in our prospective workouts at the gym before starting the day.  Lately, this has been quite a challenge.  I’ve been taking way too many days off, and I’m not happy about it!

I’ve decided the best way to get out of my funk is to set some small goals.

Here’s what I came up with: 

-Aim to work out every weekday, plus one weekend day.

-Add more outside running to my routine.

-BodyPump twice a week.

-Spinning at least once a week.

Some people set fitness goals based around their weight or appearance, and this is something I used to do all the time- but I’m at the point where that is just not a good idea anymore.  Setting body-related goals just causes me to obsess over numbers, and that’s not very productive!  I think getting my mind and body into a routine is the best way to ensure that I get my workouts in, and the benefits of that will follow.

Onto the food!

Breakfast

I toasted a whole wheat English muffin, and topped it with pear slices and a drizzle of honey.

A large cup of coffee was enjoyed alongside my pear sandwich.

I’ve been slowly trying to ween myself off of my beloved Coffeemate Sugar-Free Hazelnut Creamer in favor of  “raw friendly” almond milk, but I’m not gonna lie…it’s tough!

Lunch

Yesterday’s lunch reminded me of being in pre-school, possibly because of the finger-foods I had on the side, but it was still filling and delicious!

I toasted a whole wheat sandwich thin and topped it with Dijon mustard, a slice of meunster cheese and deli turkey.  On the side, I had some baby carrots and sliced kiwi.

Dinner

In favor of trying to eat more natural foods and stay away from processed crap, I’ve been browsing through the organic brands at the grocery store lately.  It definitely is more expensive, but I think a few substitutions here and there won’t break the bank.

I was craving some comfort food last night, so a bowl of macaroni and cheese sounded perfect!

I picked up a box of Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, made with whole wheat pasta and natural cheese.  I was a little skeptical about how it would taste, but I was pleasantly surprised.  To spruce it up and add some extra nutrition, I added some roasted broccoli and a sprinkle of 2% shredded cheddar cheese.

Alongside, I had a salad made with chopped Romaine lettuce and raw broccoli florets.

I topped my salad with Organicville Sesame Goddess dressing.

I’ll admit that 87% of the reason that I got this flavor was the fact that it had the word “goddess” in it.  I’m a marketer’s dream.

 

Do you have any tricks for getting out of a “workout funk” ? 

Going Raw

So, what the heck have I been up to the last 2 weeks?

Lots!

I’ve done lots of wedding-related things, but I am planning to dedicate a post to each step of the way, so stay tuned for details!

Going Raw

Corey and I got a subscription to Netflix, and we have been in documentary-heaven lately!  (Nerd alert) We came across one called Food Matters, and we decided to give it a whirl.

Basically, the documentary described the problems that exist within our country when it comes to nutrition and people’s health.  There is a clear link between eating organically-grown, natural foods and staying illness-free.  The documentary went on to show case studies where cancer patients were treated with nutrition and vitamin therapy, meaning they were given a diet of raw, whole foods, and also consumed huge amounts of vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Niacin.  The case studies showed patients with giant tumors that disappeared after months of this therapy, without the assistance of prescription drugs or chemotherapy.

If you think about it, the prescription-drug industry creates billions of dollars, because we are told that we “need” medicine to feel better.  The truth is, natural foods and vitamins are medicine, and if we made it a priority to eat the right way, we would feel the right way, too.

I am not one to try and push my views about eating on other people, because I know that eating healthy, no matter to what degree, is a personal choice.  However, this documentary really struck a chord with both Corey and I, and we decided that we really want to make an effort to incorporate more whole foods, as well as a vitamin regimen, into our daily lives.

The reason the raw food movement is called “raw” is because a lot of studies have been done that show that cooking vegetables above a certain temperature kills the important enzymes that are the whole reason you’re supposed to eat vegetables in the first place!

Here are some small changes I have made to better align myself with the raw food movement:

-Every morning, before consuming anything (including coffee), I chug at least 16 oz. of water.  Water is a natural “irrigation” system for your body, and drinking it first thing in the morning helps to immediately flush your body of toxins and waste.

-Every night before bed (after eating something), I take vitamins.  I plan to add more to my regimen, but as of right now, this includes 1000mg of Vitamin C, 1000mg of Niacin, and 1000mg of Flaxseed Oil

-At least 2 meals per day must be 80% raw.  This means the bulk of a meal is in the form of veggies, nuts or grains

I am the first person to admit that “diets” or any type of restricted eating have never worked for me- they actually cause me to sabotage myself!  When I know I “can’t” have something, that means I HAVE to have it!  Therefore, I’m not going to say that this is how I’m definitely going to eat 100% of the time, because I have always felt that life is all about enjoying the indulgences it has to offer.  But, I am a big believer in the science behind this, and I think it does a body good to go “raw” in any way that you can!

Here are some examples of my latest raw meals:

Breakfast

Fage Greek Yogurt with Honey and fresh blueberries.

Lunch

 

Chopped Romaine lettuce, carrots, green pepper, tomato, hardboiled eggwhite, and avocado, topped with organic dressing.

Dinner

Grilled shrimp on a bed of chopped fresh Romaine lettuce, zucchini, broccoli and onions.

 

What do you think about eating “raw”?  

Easy Fish Dinner

Where have I been this week?!

I’ll tell ya. In hell.

I had two HUGE tests back to back in my Anatomy and Physiology 2 class that I’m taking this summer.  Being a 6-week course, I am there Monday-Thursday from 1:30-4:45.  Three weeks left and I cannot WAIT to be done!

On top of that, I’ve added a giant task to my never-ending “To Do” list…are you ready?

I’M PLANNING OUR WEDDING!!!!!!!

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Due to my recent change of plans for school, Corey and I, along with our families, decided that it would be smarter to have our wedding a little sooner than our original plans of November 2012.  OK, a lot sooner.  Like, a whole year sooner!

That’s right! We are getting married on November 26, 2011- 6 months from now.  Ahhhhh!

I have been a busy little wedding bee running around trying to pick out churches and venues and guest lists…it’s crazy, but a lot of fun!  Kind of.

My busy schedule has lead to some very monotonous meals lately.

Breakfasts

I’ve literally eaten a bowl of oats with peanut butter mixed in for almost two-weeks straight.  I think I hate oats.

Lunches

To round out my boring breakfasts, I’ve gotten into a lunch routine this week, as well, consisting of Subway veggie subs!

6-inches of spinach, tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, pickles, provolone and honey mustard. Yum!

Dinner

One meal this week that stuck out as a keeper was as simple as it gets.  I am a big fan of seafood, and if it wasn’t so expensive, I would eat it every day!  Corey picked up a huge piece of grouper at our local fish market.  We marinated it for 30 minutes with lemon juice, a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, cilantro and red pepper flakes.

We heated up the grill, placed the fish on some tinfoil and cooked it until it flaked with a fork.

While it cooked, I came inside and fried some already-prepared shrimp. We bought them thinking they were coconut shrimp, so I was pretty disappointed to discover that they were just plain ol’ breaded shrimp.

I used canola oil to fry them, because, for some reason, that makes me feel slightly less guilty than frying in regular oil.

We served our seafood feast with steamed broccoli and brussel sprouts, and a little Dijon mustard for dipping!

There really is no better meal for your body than fish and vegetables.  I think many people are afraid of cooking fish, but it really is as simple as making chicken!

If you don’t have a grill, you could easily make this same meal by placing the fish in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees, and cooking for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness.  The good thing about fish is that most types flake with a fork when they are fully cooked, so it eliminates the guessing game.  Give it a try!

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