RECIPE: Easy Healthy Quick Dinners

If you’re like me, you want a healthy rotation of dinners that don’t get boring, don’t take a fortnight to prepare, are easy on the wallet and tempt the ole’ taste buds. For those of us without a personal chef and lacking culinary genius, the list below will help guide your grocery shopping on Sunday for a healthy weekly rotation.  Select your sauce, your meats/proteins, your vegetables and your grain. Mix it up or use the meal plan I’ve provided below.

Shop at your local whole foods or health food store for great already made sauces or make your own! Keep these sauces in stock and swap out whatever veggies are in season at your local Farmers Market.

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Sauces:

Lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper

Curry

Asian fusion (easy healthy recipe)

Pesto (easy healthy recipe)

Tomato sauce (easy healthy recipe)

Salsa

Protein (you choose! meat, pork, chicken, or vegetarian options!)

Tempeh (dont be afraid to try this if you haven’t, pronounced “temp-hay”)

Tofu

Fish

Chicken

Beans

Meat

Vegetables:

spinach

broccoli

onion

peppers

asparagus

cabbage

edamame

mushrooms

Grain:

Whole Wheat Linguine

Quinoa

Soba noodles

Cous Cous

Wild rice

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dinners

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN

MON: Lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper, Fish, Asparagus, Wild rice (could also put salsa atop fish)

TUE: Tomato sauce, chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, served atop spinach and/OR whole wheat linguine

WED: Curry, tempeh, onion, broccoli, peppers, quinoa

THUR: Pesto, chicken, asparagus, onion, linguine

FRI: Asian, Tofu, onion, peppers, edemame, mushrooms, Soba noodles

SAT: Salsa, Black Beans, Spinach, onion, chopped/shredded cabbage, quinoa or add cheese and serve over ~10 all-natural blue corn chips as nachos

SUN: Mix tomato sauce, beans, quinoa, onions and peppers with chili powder or cayenne pepper, garlic salt and pepper to make chili

Each of these should be served with a salad made from spinach and any/all of the veggies you have on hand.

You’re welcome!

RECIPE: Red Pepper Humus

My mother is often whipping up various Cuisinart creations.  This is her Red Pepper Hummus recipe. Easy and delicious!
red pepper humus
1 can chick peas drained and rinsed (to remove salt)
1/3 cup tahini (or grind your own sesame seeds)
1/4 cup lemon joice
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic or garlic powder
1/2-3/4 cup roasted red  bell peppers  I used a whole jar including liquid
I put it into small Cuisinart

RULE: Eat Clean Protein

For some reason, growing up I thought every meal had to include meat.  While meat is essential for some, I’ve found for me there are tons of other options out there that are leaner, cleaner and make me feel mo’ better than a big greasy burger (though every now and then, I’ll throw a burger in—if it’s from a local farm, grass-fed, hormone free and is actual meat, not bleached, ground up garbage that they sell in most grocery stores)

But most of us are getting plenty of protein (100-130lb person needs about 45 grams, 135-170lbs about 50 grams and 175-200lbs needs about 65 grams)protein clean

Your protein serving should be about the size of a deck or cards. (Not the ole’ 96-er!)

Keep in mind a handful of sunflower seeds or almonds has about as much protein as a chicken breast (~7-10 grams).   And a cup of greek yogurt has twice as much(~12-20grams)! While a 3 ounce steak packs in about 21 grams.  Whatever your choice of protein may be, make sure it’s clean.  If it’s meat, aim for grass-fed, hormone free (unless you like cancer).  And when you can, Buy Local!

RANT: Do I need Vitamins?

We Americans have a pill for everything: feel stressed? take a Xanax. Cant sleep? take an Ambien? Can’t get it up? take a Viagra.

vitamins

We even take our vitamins, which should come from our diet, in a pill form.  We don’t even think of vitamins as being a part of food anymore. We think of vitamins as, well, vitamins.  Those hard to swallow pills.

Now, I’ve got nothing against vitamins; I even take about 10 of them each day myself. But A) we should be getting them from vegetables and B) most store bought vitamins have all kinds of additives and corn derivatives; many are made in China and have petroleum products in them. Yikes!

So I recommend buying them from a health food store or buying brands that you trust.  I take the USANA  Vitamins and USANA BioOmega fish oil as well as their Vitamin D

Try the online True Health Assessment at this link to determine which vitamins are essential to your health.

I still believe vegetables (and fruits) are the BEST way to get your vitamins; deep green veggies and red/purple/blue fruits are best ‘bang for your buck’.  They are packed with thousands of phytochemicals, minerals and nutrients, almost impossible to create in a lab. But if you aren’t getting 5 servings a day, and even if you are, to optimize your nutrition, I highly recommend supplementation.

Good sleep, low stress and a healthy libido, however should not come from a pill.

RANT: Why Buy Local?

K guys, I’ve got some good news and some bad news….the food industry is doing a great job of selling their products (that’s the good news), but they don’t give a rip about your health!  There are things in the food on the grocery store shelves that are there to keep food from going bad, and to make us eat more of it, but ultimately it is terrible for us (that’s the bad news).

Have you heard of DDT? you know, the stuff we used to spray on our crops, until we realized it was toxic, because all the birds were dying?  Well it was outlawed in the US. WHEW! But guess who the worlds large producer of DDT is?  THE U FRIGGIN S A!

We sell this banned substance to other countries so they can spray it on their crops (to keep the bugs from eating them). Then we import those crops back it to the USA.  So if you’re buying produce from any grocery store, you are likely getting a hefty dose of DDT and numerous other chemicals and pesticides (bad news).  But the good news is you don’t have to pay as much for it.  Thank goodness for that.buy local

So, if you are not in to eating noxious chemicals, and if you think buying organic is too expensive, then Buy Local.  Most smaller farms don’t treat their plants with toxic chemicals and still grow quality produce.  Plus you’ll be helping out your local community.

So put your $dollars$ in the pockets of people that need it and work hard for it! Your neighborly farmers!  Not towards a factory churning out junk that is ultimately bad for our health….

RECIPE: Homemade Healthy “Ice Cream” Smoothie

ice cream smoothie

I’m keen on Ice Cream.  Thankfully for me (and the seams of my jeans), I’ve created this healthy alternative.

Create your own versions by adding 1/2 banana or a Tbsp of cacao powder or 1 Tbsp of coffee beans.

In a Blender combine:

1 cup almond or hemp milk

1 cup ice (or 2 cups SNOW!)

1/4 cup chia seeds* (optional super food, addition thickens)

2 dashes cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

~ 1 Tbsp sweetener of choice (honey or agave)

Enjoy your Cream and your lean looking jeans!