Category Archives: General Nutrition

Ring in the New Year with…an Egg Cooker!


Why??? Well, I’m glad you asked! If you’re like me, one of your many New Years resolutions is to budget better. Soooo…you’re asking me to buy something to save money!? You got it! Eggs are CHEAP, people! And, egg salad is GOOD! Eat more eggs and, overtime, you can help that budget. You’ll thank me later. And, don’t worry, if one of your other resolutions is to eat healthier or to lose weight, egg whites can help you with that too–lots of protein, little fat and not too many calories.

So, what exactly is an egg cooker? I had the same question when my roommate introduced me to this great tool a few years ago. I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical at first. I could just picture some cheesy salesperson selling one of these things on a terrible infomercial. And, in my mind, infomercial gadgets should never be bought–even if the products being advertised are ‘good’, I would not want to partake in encouraging such terrible advertising.

Anyway, onto the egg cooker! Hard boiled eggs were one of the many things that seemed so easy to make but that I always called my mom about. I could never remember whether to put the eggs in the water before or after the water was boiling. Those phone calls are long gone. I still talk to my mom…just not about eggs ;).

But, more importantly, when peeling a hard boiled egg, I always got frustrated because I’d end up with and egg yolk surrounded by a thin layer of egg white since the rest would come off with the shell. Now, the shell comes off with NO egg white AT ALL. I’m not exaggerating on this. I promise. It’s amazing!

27ish dollars. Do it. You won’t be disappointed!

Egg salad recipes to come in 2012!

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Potato Broccoli Rabe Soup


My mom made me this delicious soup yesterday!

I know, it looks like a green smoothie in a bowl but I promise, it’s yummy potato broccoli rabe soup. I am supposed to eat cold, soft foods for a couple days [I just got my wisdom teeth extracted]  so I ate this at room temp but, heated up with cheese, this would be very tasty! Being the obsessive ‘make-sure-I-get-all-my-veggies-a-day’ person that I am, this soup was a perfect complement to pudding, chocolate milk, yogurt and every other non-green food I can eat right now ;).

So, if you get some teeth pulled, have your heart broken, or just want some [healthy] comfort on a cold day, give this recipe a try!

Recipe: (4 servings) — Warning: These are ‘guesstimates’ because nothing was measured–So, you’ll have to make everything ‘to taste’!

–1/2 chicken bouillon cube

–water (enough to cover boiling potatoes plus 1/2 cup extra)

–2 large potatoes

–1 garlic clove, minced

–2 green onions (used the white part at the root), chopped

–1 bunch broccoli rabe, rinsed and steamed

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and boil until tender. In a separate pot, steam the broccoli rabe until tender. Once potatoes are ready, add about 1/2 cup more water, bouillon cube, garlic and onions and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend all ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy at room temperature or heat and add cheese! Delish!

Just a few Health Benefits of Broccoli Rabe: It is full of vitamins A, C and K. It also provides some iron and calcium and has cancer-fighting properties. Mmmm…I feel healthier just writing about it!

Lean Beef Quiz!


When you prepare or order beef, do you know what you’re putting into your body? No, this post isn’t about making your diet completely meatless but it might be good to cut back on your meat consumption if you eat red meat more than twice a week ;).

Look at this guy to see what part of the cow you’re eating!

First, the pros–red meat, especially beef, is high in protein and iron–two necessities for our bodies. However, meat also contains cholesterol and fat–plenty of saturated fat (the bad, artery-clogging kind). And, beef contains more saturated fat than poultry.

If you must eat beef (btw, we occasionally do!), here is some helpful info to consider when deciding what to eat.

Look at the LABEL to find out the GRADE of meat–there are three things to consider when reading meat labels–

Select–the leanest cut, ~ 7% fat by weight

Choice– ~ 15-35% fat by weight

Prime– the fattiest cut, ~ 35-45% fat by weight

Also, think about the CUT of meat–here are cuts of select-grade beef from lowest to highest fat content

–top round

–eye of round

–round tip

–bottom round

–shank

–sirloin

–arm (part of chuck)

–top loin

–t bone (short loin)

–tenderloin

–porterhouse (short loin)

–brisket

–rib-eye

–flank

–ribs

–blade (part of chuck)

Now, go enjoy that meaty meal! Remember, all food is great–in moderation ;). Happy eating!

Avocado Cheese Melts


Since we try to stick to a pretty tight monthly budget, often at the end of the month, we wear ourselves out on sandwiches, eggs, beans, rice and anything else that is fairly cheap to eat. I know, I know, avocados are expensive but they are calorie dense so one can go a long way when it comes to filling you up. And, they are full of nutrients. Plus, when combined with all the ingredients to make an avocado cheese melt, this actually makes for a reasonably priced dinner. We don’t eat these as often as sandwiches and eggs so they really seem like a treat when we make them. And, they add good variety! 😉

I made these last week when ‘nothing sounded good’ to eat (from the options we had to choose from at home). I usually like eating one cheese melt with a big side salad. Trey generally eats 3 (well, there goes our budget!)! 🙂

Here are (most of) the ingredients:

Recipe for 4 servings:

–1 large or 2 small avocados, sliced

–2 tomatoes, sliced

–4 slices of cheese (we use cheddar and provolone)

–4 slices of bread (we like using potato bread)

–2Tbsp olive oil (optional–we sometimes use butter instead)

–a few pinches of garlic powder (if desired)

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread olive oil or butter on bread (if desired) and sprinkle with garlic powder (also optional!). Cover bread with one layer of tomato slices. Then, layer with avocado. Top with cheese and toast in oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and add salt and pepper.

With the olive oil (or butter), avocado and cheese, these are fairly high in calories and fat but, when served with a light salad, full of tasty veggies, you can get a perfectly balanced meal! Trey doubted that these would be all that good. After reluctantly trying them once, he now asks if I can make this meal all the time! Try them. You won’t be disappointed!

Also, side note–I wanted to let all of you kind people who have been reading my blog know that I am getting my wisdom teeth pulled today at 9am. In order to avoid a public ‘David after the Dentist‘ experience (I know, that’s so two years ago!), I am going to do my best to keep myself away from the blog for a couple days. Then, maybe I’ll post about all the soft foods I get to experience throughout the week. Or, I’ll probably just let y’all know about random good foods I’ve made in the past! Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Kale Butter


Yea, I went there!

I heard about people making kale butter about a year ago and have been dying to try it ever since (I think I’m meant to be a dietitian!). I finally made it and love it! And, it’s SO easy to make.

Recipe:

–bunch of kale, washed and chopped

–1 cup water

–1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions: Steam the kale, using about 1 cup of water, until it’s tender (took about 8 minutes for me). Blend the kale, 1/2 cup of the water used for steaming and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts in a blender until smooth and enjoy!

I have been spreading this on toasted bread. Let me know if you have other suggestions for how to use it/what foods to try it on!

Just a Few Health Benefits of Kale: Kale has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer nutrients!

Grapefruit the Great Fruit


When I was younger, I actually thought that grapefruit was called ‘great fruit’. Maybe that’s why I’ve always had a thing for grapefruit…if it deserves the name of ‘GREAT fruit’ above all other fruits, why wouldn’t I love it!?

And, it’s so pretty!

Some people like it with sugar, some with salt…i like it either way or plain but no matter what I eat on or with grapefruit, I always eat the whole thing, pith and all! (no, I don’t eat the skin but I do usually eat an entire grapefruit, not just 1/2)

Just a Few Health Benefits: Grapefruit pith has lots of fiber. The rest of it contains Vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant beneficial in fighting against cancer.

Omelet Muffins


And this is how I used our left over taco meat!

When I met Trey, he wasn’t a breakfast eater. I’m proud to say that I’ve converted him! Initially, there was one goal–Eat Breakfast. I [acted like I] didn’t care what he ate, as long as he got in the habit of eating the most important meal of the day.

Then, after many months of letting him take Poptarts (sigh) to work with him almost every day, I decided it was time to slowly introduce healthy foods. For those wondering, Trey is my husband, not my 4 year old child. Oh [some of] the challenges we face in marriage. Ha!

We started out with muffins and bagels (which will definitely stay in the rotation). When these made the cut, I was ready to bring on more nutrients! And, by the way, there is one caveat…he wants to eat breakfast on the WAY to work.

For health purposes and variety, I came up with these delicious omelet muffins.

Here are the ingredients I mixed with eggs:

Recipe:

–5 eggs

–5 egg whites

–1/2 cup left over taco meat (ground turkey made for turkey tacos the night before)

–1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

–1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

–1/2 cup spinach

–1/4 cup 1% milk

–1 Tbsp mayonnaise

–pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Line muffin pan and spoon mix into muffin holders.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a knife cuts through them and comes out clean.

If the meat wasn’t so flavorful already, I would have added more spices to these omelet muffins. So, if you make these without using leftover spicy taco meat, try adding some of your favorite spices.

We refrigerated most of these for eating on the run throughout the week. If you do the same, make sure to heat these babies up before eating them. I enjoyed two this morning with cheese, salsa and a piece of toast!

Finally, just for fun…

A Few Health Benefits of Bell Peppers:

–They contain lots of phytochemicals that have excellent antioxidant activity

–They are full of vitamin C which helps your immune system

–They contain folic acid which has numerous health benefits such as potential to prevent osteoporosis and some cancers as well as protect you from heart disease

–They have beta carotene which your body can convert to vitamin A and help you with vision. Beta carotene also has antioxidant properties and supports immune health.

Trey’s Favorite–Turkey Tacos


I wasn’t planning on writing about turkey tacos when I made them over the weekend but when Trey said, ‘babe! this is my favorite thing you’ve made in a while!’ (after eating 3 HUGE tacos), I figured we better share the recipe. I didn’t do anything crazy with these tacos but, they really were SO good!

Yes, those are multi-grain tortillas. I can’t help it :)!

For the meat, I cooked 16 ounces of lean ground turkey with a small can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies and about a tablespoon of olive oil. When the meat was done cooking, I added about 1/2 a pack of taco seasoning to it.

The meat was very tasty but the best part was all these toppings!

That sour cream-looking topping is actually Greek yogurt! It was a perfect, healthy alternative. We decided against cheese this time and we were happy with that choice but you can’t go wrong with cheese when it comes to Mexican food so we may include it in the mix next time! Avocados are always a treat so I’m pretty sure I have them to thank for getting this recipe to the top of Trey’s favorites list ;).

On that note, here are…

Just a Few Health Benefits of Avocados:

–They are loaded with monounsaturated fat (‘good’ fat) which helps lower blood cholesterol levels

–They’re full of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect healthy cells

–They are a source of potassium which helps regulate blood pressure

–They provide soluble fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

I also found a great way to use our leftover meat! Check back tomorrow for that recipe!

Date Night! {OJ Chicken, Butternut Squash and Salad}


Tuesday nights are dedicated to ‘date night’ in our household. If you are married and don’t have date nights, I highly recommend it! It’s crazy…spending intentional, meaningful time with that adorable person you used to be so giddy over.

Date nights used to have no boundaries for us–we’d go to dinner, grab a drink, maybe even see a movie if we wanted to get really crazy. Now, it is pretty much guaranteed that we will stay in on Tuesday nights. We have a kid, people! And, a pretty tight budget. The funny thing is, we LOVE our new date nights. Yes, your preferences and priorities actually DO change when you have a baby.

I had so much fun throwing this meal together last night!

On the Menu: Chicken, Butternut Squash and Salad

FYI, chicken and butternut squash are great oven buddies because they like to be baked at about the same temp (350ish degrees F)! Make sure to put the butternut squash in first since it takes longer to cook (usually 35-60 minutes, depending on it’s size)

Chicken: I made orange juice chicken with sage, rosemary, salt and pepper. We cooked the chicken for 30 minutes.

Butternut Squash: We had a small butternut squash so it was ready in 35 minutes. I cut it in half and put the halves face down on the baking sheet. When it was ready, I scooped the seeds out with a spoon and threw them away. Then, I scooped out the rest to eat. I added butter and brown sugar last night but I also like to eat it plain with salt and pepper!

Salad Recipe: Spinach, a handful of cherry tomatoes, about 10 cucumber slices, 1/2 an avocado, 1/2 a mango, juice from 1/2 a grapefruit squeezed directly on top, a few splashes of red wine vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mmmm! I must say, I was pretty proud of this dinner. Everything tasted delicious!

Just a Few Health Benefits of Butternut Squash: vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and much more!

How to Cut a Mango


When asked what my favorite fruit is, my response is always MANGO! I’ve always loved mangoes and didn’t realize until recently that although many people like the delicious fruit, a lot of folks have no clue how to cut them. Poor mangoes get less attention than they deserve because people don’t want to deal with cutting into them. If you can identify with this, this post will change your life…or at least your relationship with mangoes!

First things first. In my opinion, mangoes taste best cold so when the mango seems somewhat ripe, put it in the fridge to chill before you eat it.

Mango Cutting Tips:

1. Hold the Mango with the skinny tip of the seed on the plate or cutting board.

2. Cut next to the seed, toward the plate. Rotate the mango around and cut down the other side of the seed. (Don’t throw the seed away yet!)

3. Cut horizontally and then vertically down the mango half but don’t puncture the skin. Your slices should look like a grid.

4. Turn the mango half inside out. This is such a pretty decoration and makes the mango easy to eat! You can eat the squares right off of the skin or cut them off and eat with a fork.

5. Now for the best part! Peel the skin off the seed and eat the mango right off the seed. This is messy. I usually just do this over the sink so I can wash the juice off my hands (and sometimes arms) when I’m done. The part of the mango closest to the seed is usually the most flavorful so don’t miss out on it! Also, It’s fun to be a messy eater every once in a while!

Health Benefits:

Like most fruits, mangoes have a lot of health benefits so I’ll just name a few. Mangoes are high in vitamin A, many of the B vitamins, potassium and have antioxidant properties. Now go get your mango cutting on!

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