RECIPE: Healthy “Meat and Potatoes” Dinner

Looking for a fairly simple, hardy, healthy meal? This meal plan is a nod to my world’s best mother in law, who loves a good meat and potatoes meal.

Lynne, this one’s for you!

Meat: Local, grass-fed, hormone free beef (grill or bake for 15 minutes and slice),

Potatoes: sweet potato discs, parsnip mashed potatoes, or  stuffed eggplant

and, of course

Greens: (Because you should have them at every meal!) Mixed greens cucumber and celery salad with dressing

Dinner is served.

Now technically eggplant and parsnips are not potatoes, but I think if you give them a try, not only will you pack in more nutrients, decrease the glycemic load (for those of you watching your weight and wanting to prevent diabetes), you’ll discover an easy delicious new dish!

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[Click links for various recipes.  If the eggplant recipe is too complicated, of if eggplants are out of season, just use the sweet potato recipe or Parsnip Mashies instead!]

RECIPE: Apple-licious Smoothie

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If you are trying to ‘go green’ and ‘eat clean’, this is the smoothie for you!

In a blender combine:

1/2 cup green grapes frozen (could add 2-3 cubes of ice if your grapes aren’t frozen) 

1/2 -1 apple (green apple is best for waist line)

1 celery stick

juice from 1/2 lime

BLEND:                                                                                                                                                       
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ENJOY!

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RECIPE: Green Bean and Mushroom Soup (or Casserole)

Looking for a healthy, hardy, tasty, filling soup? Well if you aren’t, you should be! This is a great recipe that you can dress up as a casserole if need be!

Mushrooms are an overlooked ingredient that are incredibly good for us.  They are cancer preventers, they are high in vitamin D, and there are studies that have shown substituting mushrooms for various foods (like red meat) result in significant weight loss.
greenbean casserole saute

11 oz cream of mushroom soup
24 oz green beans (chop into small pieces if you like, or don’t)
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
10 oz chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp pepper
Salt to taste
Parmesan or Swiss cheese

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Sauté chopped onion in butter and oil, then add chopped mushrooms.

Cook until soft then add green beans, water, salt and pepper.  Cook another 2-3 minutes. Pour in mushroom soup (I used Trader Joe’s condensed portabella) and letter simmer for ~ 5 minutes.

cream of portabello soup

You could stop there and enjoy a delicious green bean and mushroom soup.  Or you can take it up a notch…

Pour soup in to casserole dish and cover with the greatest gift to mankind: Cheese.  I used Parmesan, but you use what feels right.

Bake in oven for ~ 20 minutes (until top is golden brown) at 375 degrees.  Let cool. Enjoy.


greenbean casserole with cheese

(recipe adapted from the Trader Joe’s portabella soup box)

RANT: Study Abroad

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Next month I’m headed to Italy for a Wellness Retreat. (By the way, contact me if you are interested in participating in or creating your own Wellness Retreat wellandbalanced@gmail.com)

While in college, I spent my junior Fall semester “studying” abroad in Florence, Italy.  “Study Abroad” was really code for excessive travel, red wine appreciation and the ingestion of copious amounts of gelato, olive oil and pasta.

My parents actually made a bet on how humongous I would be when I returned home.  They were shocked that I was the thinnest I had ever been.  It was bizarre. I didn’t belong to a gym, I literally ate pizza, pasta and gelato EVERY DAY and I was tiny.

I wasn’t even trying to lose weight. I was having a blast with my girlfriends and traveling and meeting new people and having totally new and foreign experiences!  I never got tired or stopped laughing.

So what I’m saying is, to look and feel you best, you need to temporarily move to Italy and should eat gelato, pasta and olive oil daily!

Kidding.  But it is interesting that my diet was so contrary to what we now believe is effective for weight management.

It was carbohydrate laden, low protein, and low vegetable.

But it was real.

The olive oil that drenched our pasta servings (which, BTW, were 1/2 of American portion sizes) was made that week, just a few kilometers away.  The gelato, pizza and pasta were all made onsite and had no artificial dyes or flavorings.

We walked everywhere.  Any time I wanted to eat, I had to walk to get it.

So maybe we should all seek out new experiences, revel in camaraderie, eat real food and smaller portions and be constantly active.  I bet we’ll all end up happier, healthier people.

You don’t have to move to do it!