Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quick, Easy, and Healthy Week-Night Dinners

I don't know about you, but I'm gone most of the day working hard and earning my pay check. By the time I get home at 7:00 pm I'm tired and hungry and most days am in no mood to start chopping and cooking and messing up the kitchen. So, most of my week-days we have simple to prepare but healthy meals that are cheap but also low in calories. How do I do it???

One way I do it is with Trader Joe's. There are a hand-ful of items I try to keep in the house that, when paired with a salad (also made with Trader Joe's pre-washed greens, baby tomatoes, olives, and other things that don't need a cutting board) make a fantastic meal. Check out the freezer section of Trader Joe's and pick out your own items or try my picks below:

- Gnocci alla Sorrentino (frozen - shown above)
- Flatbread pizzas (frozen)
- Any of the Indian entrees for two (dry goods) paired with frozen naan thrown in the toaster.\

Check out the stir-frys and frozen complete meals for 2 or more. But check the calories per serving and determine what would be realistic for your portion size.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yummy Asian Shrimp Salad

I threw this really simple salad together last weekend and it came out really well. See those dark green things on the top? Those are strips of teriyaki nori and I am really enjoying throwing them on all kinds of stuff lately. They have a ton of nutrients but are pretty salty so watch out for that. This salad consists of:

  • Baby spinach
  • Arugala
  • Shrimp
  • Tomatoes
  • Edamame (cooked)
  • Sliced almonds
  • Dressing of toasted sesame oil and seasoned rice vinegar
  • Topped with teryiaki nori strips
  • YUMM

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Homemade Brown Rice Sushi

I made some delicious brown rice sushi this weekend. It's pretty simple to make, very healthy, and low-calorie. Start with some regular short-grain brown rice and once it's cooked, add seasoned rice vinegar to taste. You don't need to buy special brown sushi rice. You'll also need some sheets of nori seaweed and a bamboo sushi roller. You can get this kind of stuff cheaply at a Japanese market like Mitsuwa. The rest of it is up to you. I made some California rolls and some vegetable rolls. Sea weed like nori is highly nutritious with a lot of calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, protein, and trace minerals (all things that are good for the pre-natal ladies ; )

Saturday, January 9, 2010


We just got our new juicer in the mail and made our first fresh, organic juice with carrots, oranges, and apples. It was delicious!!

We got the Breville JE95XL Two-Speed Juice Fountain Plus It's super-powerful! Here are some photos below.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gingered Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

I'm really enjoying having veggie soups for dinners this week. I hope I can keep this healthy habit up! I found this recipe in the January/February edition of Women's Health Magazine. It's delicious, healthy, and pretty quick easy to make if you have a food processor.


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 medium sweet potato (really yam) peeled and chopped
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • About an inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Greek yogurt, cream or other garnish (optional)
  • Heat oil in a pot or large saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft, a few minutes.
  • Add broth plus 2 cups water, then add sweet potato, carrot, and ginger.
  • Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Strain out veggies and place in food processor. Puree until smooth, adding a bit of broth if needed. Pour puree back into pot and stir until well-blended and smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper, garnish (optional) and enjoy!
4 Servings, 119 calories each

Saturday, January 2, 2010

North Meets South Soup

I just made my first real healthy recipe of the new year (besides those beet greens I made earlier today which were really a throw-together.) It came out great so I am sharing it with you here. I call it "North Meets South" soup because it uses "great northern beans" which seem to be from the north and "collard greens" which we know are from the south. This tastes like a Tuscan soup and I adapted it from the Escarole and Bean Soup recipe here. As an Italian, I love escarole but they didn't have any at the store today but they did have some beautiful organic collard greens. Collard greens are really a super food, especially if you are pregnant, because they are loaded with vitamins K, A, and C as well as calcium and folate. And the beans are great too, also with a lot of folate, fiber, calcium, and protein. It's about 200 calories per serving and super easy to make. Enjoy!


  • 5 cloves minced or crushed garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, rinsed. You can substitute navy bean or another white bean. I used Eden beans because they are organic and BPA free.
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth. You could also use veggie broth to make this vegan. I use Better than Bouillon because I love the taste and it's convenient.
  • 2 cups collard greens, washed, then cut into quarters lengthwise (keeping the stem in). Then, cut that into 1/2 " strips and measure out.
  1. Use a few tablespoons of the broth to cook the onions and garlic together over medium heat in the bottom of a soup pot until they are transparent but not brown.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the greens are tender.
  3. That's it! Serve with fresh ground pepper and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Hey everyone. So, I've pretty much been eating and drinking anything I've wanted over the past 6 weeks. It was the holidays! Now that it's January I am excited to be getting on to a healthier track. It can be a full time job just keeping up with the latest in nutrition and health, but what I have learned in my spare time this year has convinced me to make the following changes. Note that I am NOT giving up my chicken wings and churros and all those other yummies that make life happier. But, when I am cooking at home I resolve to do the following most of the time (this is stuff I have been building up to so it's not as drastic a change as it seems). Now, if this bores you and you're disappointed that you might not be reading about yummy unhealthy foods, no need to worry, as I've mentioned, this is not a full-time thing so there should still be something for everyone on this blog.

  • Buy only organic unless there is no choice. This includes fruit, veggies, grains, dairy, eggs, and meats/poultry.
  • Try to eat poultry or meat only once per day.
  • Make sure I get three servings of fish/seafood per week (that's pretty easy for me).
  • Eat only low mercury fish/seafood (no swordfish, king mackerel, shark, or golden snapper).
  • Supplements: Take my omega 3's and experiment with coconut oil supplements as well. Take 1000mg of folic acid a day or make sure I get it from food.
  • Eat more super foods, especially those for pregnant women (I am NOT pregnant but it's never too soon to start loading up on calcium, iron, and zinc, if anything just to get into the habit.
  • I've gradually replaced my plastic and non-stick utensils and cookware with only metal, wood, and bamboo. This included cutting boards, spatulas, etc.
  • Never microwave in plastic. Try to reduce microwaving as much as possible.
  • Replaced plastic water bottles with metal.
  • No more canned foods unless they are BPA free. This pretty much just leaves Eden beans. This is pretty ridiculous since I grew up eating canned tomatoes but what can I say.
  • Minimal processed foods such as frozen dinners (which pretty much forced me to microwave in plastic).
  • Slowly incorporate more raw foods into my diet.
  • Start juicing! Ordered my juicer yesterday and I can't wait to get it. My goal is to get at least one good veggie juice in me per day.
I'll post stuff as I go along. Wish me luck!!!

A healthy start to the new year

Just picked up some local, organic beet greens at the farmer's market. Sauteed them up with a little onion, soy, and sesame.