Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Night Off

Mr. PT gave me the night off from the kitchen last week and I must admit, it was nice!  I love spending time in the kitchen, but sometimes it is wonderful to come home from a long day of work and have someone else cook up a hot meal for you.  Wow, I took that for granted as a kid!

We enjoyed some pasta tossed with rosemary seasoned salad shrimp, Parmesan cheese, a touch of olive oil, and freshly steamed broccoli.  Simply made with just a few ingredients, but very tasty.

Combine with some yoga.  The mix of stretching and centering is a great way to end your work day!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hail the Kale!

Okay, if kale chips were not your cup of tea, here is another way to enjoy the big leafy green you are seeing in abundance at your local farmer's markets.  I found this recipe on Ruth Reichl's blog (check it out here).  She is a critically acclaimed food critic, the editor-in-chief of the former magazine "Gourmet," and a best selling author!  If you have not read her series of books about growing up and enjoying food, they are wonderful reads that will make you want to drop everything and go to culinary school.  Or maybe just become a food critic!

I had to alter the recipe just a little.  Mr. PT is not a fan of anchovies (I admit, they are not my favorite either).  So instead, I used a small amount of low-fat sausage to give the dish some extra flavor.  You can use bacon, turkey bacon, prosciutto...whatever you want!  I also cut the recipe in half and it still turned out fine.

You will need:
3 bunches kale (tear the leaves away from the stalk and rinse)
3 tablespoons olive oil
anchovies, sausage...whatever you prefer
3/4 teaspoon red chili/pepper flakes
2 medium onions diced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
 4 garlic cloves
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup toasted breadcrumbs (cook breadcrumbs on a greased baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 350)

Start out with some fresh, leafy kale.

Bring a pot of water and the salt to a boil.  Cook the kale leaves for about one minute, then strain and run cold water over them.

In a skillet heat your olive oil (unless you are using sausage...I did not need any extra oil).  Saute the onion with the red and black pepper and a pinch of salt until soft. Throw in the cooked kale and garlic.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until the ingredients mesh together.  Remove from heat and toss with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

You can eat this as a side, but Mr. PT and I ate it as a main dish.  It was very filling and extremely flavorful.  Just another way to enjoy those leafy greens!

Combine with some fresh air and a rake!  Raking leaves is a great way to strengthen your core, shoulders, and back.  If your yard doesn't have leaves, find a neighbor or friend who could use the help!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Breakfast Ahead

If you are the kind of person that likes the "instant breakfast" routine, then you will want to try this recipe.  I confess, I spend a lot of my mornings in the kitchen pouring a bowl of dry cereal or toasting up some bread.  So this dish is perfect!  It took some prep time on the weekend, but it was definitely worth it.  Thank you Columbus Dispatch recipe page!

You will need:
-2 tbs butter
-3 cups milk
-1/2 cup brown sugar (you could probably get by on 1/4 or 1/3 cup)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-1 medium apple peeled, cored, chopped
-1 1/2 cups oats
-1/3 cup dried cherries
-1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine butter, milk, brown sugar and spices in a heavy medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir in oats, apple, cherries, walnuts, vanilla and salt.  Pour mixture into prepared dish. 

Bake 30 minutes or until thick and bubbly around the edges.

This morning I scooped up two servings of this for Mr. PT and I, zapped it in the microwave with some 1% milk and enjoyed the wee hours of the morning.  I have to tell you, it was SO good.  No more individually wrapped bags of oatmeal for this lady!

Combine with 30 minutes of calisthenics...find an abandoned jungle gym and playground and do 10 minutes of cardio (run, shuffle, high-knees, grapevine, etc), 10 minutes of arms and abs (push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, resistance bands, etc) and 10 minutes of legs (squats, forward, backward, and side lunges, etc).  It will be the quickest 30 minutes you'll ever spend!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Savor Saturday Night

Mr. PT and I enjoyed a quiet Saturday night at home with a wood burning fire, music, a few good books, and of course, a delicious home-cooked meal.  This one looks familiar, but it was too delicious not to repeat.

Acorn Squash Soup...with a little less milk and a few more onions you'll get a thicker, more savory soup.  Dip into it with fresh, cinnamon raisin bread

See the recipe here.

Looking for a change in your workout routine?  Let yourself catch up on sleep on the weekends, but instead of lounging around in your pajamas, get yourself out of bed and on the move.  Hit up an exercise class at your gym.  Go on a morning run or walk.  Visit your favorite Yoga studio.  When I work out in the morning on the weekends, I find myself feeling more energized and productive throughout the day.  Give it a try!

*What do you think of the new look?  New posts are in the top left corner, or, you can sort the posts by clicking on the "date" tab at the top.  Let me know what you think!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Meal of Oats

If breakfast cereals and pop-tarts are getting you down, try a fresher approach to your morning.  Cook up a bowl of oatmeal and top it with brown sugar, bananas, and walnuts.  Make it creamy with some low-fat milk and you will feel ready to tackle your day.

Combine with consistent exercise.  However you decide to move, do it regularly!  If you want to feel better and see a difference you have to commit.  You can do it!

*What do you think of the new look?  New posts are in the top left corner, or, you can sort the posts by clicking on the "date" tab at the top.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Enchiladas...and soup!

Enchiladas...warm, spicy, creamy and delicious.  Who wouldn't want to come home to hot plate of cooked tortillas with chicken and cheese, drowning in a spicy sauce?  This is another recipe from my childhood that is perfect when stockpiling your freezer.  I have gotten 4 meals (not to mention a few packed lunches with leftovers) out of this recipe, and I still have some waiting in the freezer!  This is not the quickest dish to prepare, but you spend most of your time waiting for the chicken to cook.  Trust me, it's worth it.

Start out with some skinless chicken if you prefer.  Throw them in a crockpot with with some low fat, low sodium chicken broth, your favorite salsa, cilantro, green/red pepper, a dash of salt and pepper and more spice if you want it.  All of these flavors cook into the chicken, making it a nice, spicy filling for you tortillas!

I know the chicken is a weird color...but it's because of the salsa!

Shred the chicken.

Place some chicken and cheese inside a corn (or flour, if you out for trans fat!) tortilla.

Roll these up as best you can and place either in your baking container (spray it first) or in a storage container for the freezer.

Now it's time for the sauce.  You will need:
-1 can of low fat cream of mushroom soup
-1 can full of milk
-3/4 cup salsa
-can/jar of enchilada sauce (it's tricky, but try to find a brand that isn't skyrocketing in sodium or contains trans fat/high fructose corn syrup)

Mix these ingredients together in a blender until smooth.  Depending on how saucy you like your enchiladas, pour the appropriate amount on top of the chicken-cheese tortillas.  Sprinkle with some cheese and crumbled tortilla chips if you like.

Cover and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.

Yum!  This is such a tasty dish!  And if you keep your portions in control and hand-pick healthy choices for your ingredients, it's pretty healthy too.

I had quite a bit of enchilada sauce leftover, so a few nights later, I threw that in the crockpot with another can of mushroom soup, the chicken broth left over from cooking the chicken before, tossed some tortilla chips on top and called it tortilla soup!

It's fun to get creative with these recipes and add ingredients that you like.  Enjoy!

Combine with movement breaks. If you find yourself sitting for the majority of your day set yourself a timer for thirty minutes.  When the timer goes off, stand up and walk around for 5 minutes.  Go get a drink, walk a flight of stairs, check your mailbox...something that will get the blood flowing!