Old Fashioned Apple Date Salad

6 medium size crisp tart applesstacked apples 1 Old Fashioned Apple Date Salad

6 dates

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

juice of one lemon

1 Tbsp light olive oil

pinch salt

romaine lettuce leaves

Wash and core the apples, then slice each apple into 12 wedges and put into large glass bowl.

Pit the dates and chop into small pieces, then add to bowl with apples.

Toast the walnuts in a dry (no oil) skillet over medium heat until just fragrant, then add to bowl.

In separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, then immediately drizzle over salad in bowl.

Cover bowl lightly with waxed paper or parchment paper and put in refrigerator to chill for 10 to 20 minutes.

Serve by arranging romaine leaves on chilled salad plates, then spooning apple date mixture over the top.

8 Ways To Ways To Reduce Your Late Night Snacking Habits.

When the late night cravings strike, is it out of hunger or habit?  After awhile, it can be hard to tell.  Are you reaching for the snacks because you didn’t eat enough during the day, didn’t drink enough water or is MP900422354 8  Ways To Ways To Reduce Your Late Night Snacking Habits. there simply a well-worn path to the refrigerator that you continue to follow?  Distinguishing the difference between a need for nutrition and a lapse into an old habit is important to eliminate those extra, and empty, calories at night.  Let’s take a look at some ideas for breaking the late night snacking habit. I’ll also give you some healthy midnight snacks alternatives.

  1. Eat Early and Often — Get your motor, your metabolism, running as soon as you wake up and keep it going all day with healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. I recommend eating every 2-3 hours. If you deny your body fuel all day with a restrictive diet, you’ll receive gentle reminders around bedtime that you’re hungry. Missing meals will just make you hungrier and won’t cause you to lose weight. Just the opposite will happen.
  2. The 60-minute Rule: Try to eat your first meal of the day within an hour of waking. The longer a person waits to eat, the greater their hunger may be and it may be more difficult to feel satisfied. This can lead to overeating and making poor food choices. Instead, feed your body with a balanced breakfast and have control over cravings throughout the day. Do you say you are too “busy” to eat? Give this meal replacement shake a try.
  3. Protein Beats Carbs –Carb craving is one of the most common snack nuisances.  When bedtime rolls around, the soothing call of carbs can be especially haunting.  But the type of carbs we crave causes a spike in blood sugar, making it harder to relax and sleep.  Protein makes you feel full, just like carbs.  But, unlike carbs, there is no spike in blood sugar.  A diet rich in protein has the result of retraining your body, and your brain, to quit relying on carbs to feel full. A good bed time snack would be a whey protein shake, cottage cheese, greek yogurt and/or a good fat.
  4. Schedule a Snack–Just like dieting, snacking healthier requires planning.  Rather than wait for the snack attack to hit just before bedtime, plan to nibble on something light and healthy about an hour before getting ready for bed.  Don’t let a craving lead you to bad snack decisions.  If you have it ready and scheduled, you’re in control. Slim Cakes are another snack choice — toast and add some coconut oil. YUMMMMM!!!
  5. Snack Portion Control–And, speaking of control, quit digging in that big bag of chips or cookies.  If you must have a snack like this before bed, take a measured amount out to serve yourself.  You’ll be surprised how eating mindlessly out of a bag can add up to super-sized portions.  Have a well-portioned bowl of chips, cookies, or whatever you want to eat and put just that portion on your snack plate. Here are some healthy alternatives for your night food cravings. Late-night cravings potato chips? Give cucumbers with humus or balsamic vinegar.  Crave sugar — give this healthy midnight snack a try — IsaDelights have 2 of these and you will be all set. 
  6. Stay Busy–Are you hungry, thirsty or are you bored?  Boredom can create a feeling like hunger.  Boredom can also have you blazing a trail to the refrigerator simply out of habit.  When it comes time to relax before bed, find an activity to keep your attention away from the late night snacks.  Play games, pet the dog, brush the cat, take a walk, give yourself a manicure… anything that takes you away from the old snacking routine. Make sure you are getting as close to 1 gallon of water — thirst sometimes masks itself as hunger.
  7. New Bed Time–If you find yourself sitting up late at night in front of the television with a bowl of ice cream, stop. Turn off the lights and go to bed.  Many people who snack late at night do so because they get bored.  As suggested above, keeping busy can help keep your mind, and your hands, off the night snacks.  However, just getting out of your chair and going to bed can solve the desire to snack, too.  Simply put, if you usually go to bed at 11 o’clock, and routinely get a night snack attack at 10 o’clock, move your bedtime up to 10 o’clock.  It’s worth a try to avoid the munchies and save your healthy diet.
  8. Brush Teeth–This may sound silly, but it works.  Brushing your teeth before your usual snack attack time actually interrupts your taste buds from craving food.  Just think about eating a bowl of ice cream after you brush your teeth.  Not very appetizing, is it?  Brushing your teeth earlier in the evening also works to push bedtime up, another good way to avoid those cravings.

Much of our late night snacking originates from our routines, which can lead to bad eating habits.  Turn those bad habits into good habits to eliminate mindless midnight snacking and eat healthier.

Super Spiced Chick Peas

2 cans (15 oz size) garbanzo beans (chick peas) Super Spiced Chick Peas
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get out a large baking sheet.
Drain garbanzo beans, rinse, and drain well. If you don’t do this, they will be chewy aka not very good.
Put garbanzo beans in bowl and pour olive oil in, tossing to coat the beans well.
Spread garbanzo beans out on baking sheet.
In small bowl, mix together the seasonings.
Sprinkle 1/2 seasoning mixture evenly over garbanzo beans on baking sheet, shake beans to coat, then sprinkle remaining half of seasonings over beans, and shake again to coat.
Put in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, shaking to mix up beans once during baking time.

Garbanzo beans are done baking when they crisp up; adjust your cooking time accordingly. Keep your eye on them so they don’t burn.
Serve warm as a snack or use as a topping for green salads, soups, or casseroles.

 

 

Roasted Garlic Avocado Spread

This is such a yummy addition to any holiday potluck or holiday event.

1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 large (or 2 medium) garlic bulbs, roasted* (you want at least 10 garlic cloves)
1 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
dash dried oregano

 

*Start by roasting the garlic. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut top off bulb, exposing cloves of garlic (no need to remove all the papery stuff from the sides.) Set bulb upright in a square of foil. Drizzle olive oil over the cut top of the garlic. Fold the foil up over the bulb and seal. Set on a baking sheet and put in preheated oven and bake about 25 to 30 minutes, or until garlic bulb is very soft.

When garlic bulb is done, remove and let cool just enough to handle, then unwrap from foil, tip cut side down over a bowl, and squeeze gently to pop out all the garlic cloves in the bowl; let cool then smash with a fork.

In a separate bowl, put the diced avocado and give it a rough smash either with a fork or a pastry cutter.

Add the lemon, smashed roasted garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and oregano, stir together, taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Serve as a spread on a vegetable tray

Amazing Asparagus Guacamole

MP900182716 Amazing Asparagus Guacamole1 lb asparagus, trimmed, chopped, and steamed
2 tsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp chopped sweet onion
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 tsp salt, more or less to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
dash hot sauce, more or less to taste
1/3 cup Greek yogurt

 

In a food processor, put all the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Spoon into a bowl and cover tightly.
Refrigerate overnight for flavors to develop.
Makes 3 cups.
This is a fun alternative for avocado guacamole and it tastes great!

You can pair with veggies.

 

Get To Know The Avocado

The term ‘good fat’ may seem strange, but nutritionists know the facts; our body needs it to function properly. One source of thisavocado 300x199 Get To Know The Avocado ‘good fat’ is avocados.  Avocados are a staple food for many reasons.

What is it?
First of all, the avocado is a fruit, even though it may taste like a vegetable. When you purchase an avocado in the store  it’s often pretty firm, even hard, when you buy it.  Then, in a few days on your countertop, it gets softer. That is because avocados ripen after harvesting, when the fruit begins releasing a chemical similar to that of a banana.

Health Benefits
Avocados provide nearly twenty essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. They also act as a ‘nutrient booster’ by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, like beta-carotene and lutein. The avocado has a higher ‘good fat’ content than most other fruits.  A generous helping of avocado on a regular basis has all sorts of health benefits, including those little things we love like shiny strong hair and nails, and  younger looking and feeling skin. Of course, there are those big things, too, like lowering cholesterol.

How to eat
To tell if an avocado is ripe, hold it in the palm of your hand and squeeze gently. It should yield to a gentle pressure.  A ripe avocado is easy to peel if you cut down lengthwise and twist the avocado slightly to split it in half. The pit can be popped out by inserting the blade of a knife into the pit and giving a nudge. Then, use the knife tip to slice through the flesh of the avocado, but not the outside peel, in sections and turn the nubby peeling inside-out and the ripe flesh will pop out.

The flesh of an avocado is prone to browning, just like an apple once it’s exposed to much air.  To prevent this, lemon juice or lime juice can be sprinkled on the avocado after the peeling is removed. Not only does the citrus juice slow the browning process, but it compliments the flavor of the avocado. In fact, avocado dishes often call for the addition of fresh lime or lemon juice.

Generally, avocado is served raw because many varieties cannot be cooked without turning bitter. However, there are a few dishes that call for brief heating in the oven just until the avocado is warmed through. Some of the more popular uses of avocado is in guacamole or other types of salsas, atop a bright green salad, or even on hamburgers and sandwiches. Avocados are found in many varieties of sushi, too.

One of favorite ways to enjoy an avocado is to put into a smoothie. I’ll mix some

  • protein powder
  • water
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/4 c berries
  • ice cubes

Give avocados a try today and find out how easy it is to incorporate this powerhouse fruit into your diet. Leave me a comment below and let me know your favorite way to enjoy them.

No Boring Salads!!!

If your salads are becoming boring, you need to re-think the basics and sprucesalads 206x300 No Boring Salads!!! up those greens. Check out these fanciful salads that boost your enthusiasm for eating these healthy sides and enjoy the crunch of some good greens for the picnic months ahead.

Robust Salads Are Built On Protein

We all know how much I stress protein at all meals. Add a powerful punch to your salad is to include some protein, namely in the form of seafood, meats, beans, or hard boiled eggs.

Here are some ideas cooked shrimp, canned salmon or white albacore tuna on top of your bed of greens. Perhaps your salad would benefit from black or kidney beans for a Mexican twist. Juicy grilled chicken, thinly sliced into strips, could add a smoky barbecue flavor to a simple salad. If you choose different marinades, you’ll get different flavor influences. Think of marinading beef in Teriyaki before grilling.  Then those delicate, thin strips will blend well with ingredients borrowed from Asian cuisine.

Sweet Salads Are Meant To Surprise

A classic salad that always surprises is the Waldorf salad, made with a variety of fruits, including apples, cherries, dates, grapes, or even fresh pineapple. You’ll substitute the mayo with greek yogurt and some lemon juice.  I like to add in shredded coconut, YUM!!! Ambrosia salad is an explosion of fanciful delights, including bright colors and the sweet flavors of  mandarin oranges, blackberries, strawberries, grapes and coconut, but the name says it all, so don’t limit your choices.

Then there are big fruit salad bowls filled with everything from watermelon to berries, bananas, and grapes, apples, kiwi, mango, pineapple, cantaloupe and a host of other fruits in between.  Add crunch with nuts like walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or almonds.

Using a light vinaigrette dressing may sound odd with all that fruit, but the touch of savory brings out the sweet juices and makes the salad taste all the better. You can also toss the fruit salad with a mixture non-fat yogurt or cottage cheese to give your salad a little protein boost. The options are as varied as your taste buds.

Gourmet Salads Call For Clever Ingredients

For a truly unique salad creation, you have to go deeper into the range of greens you use in your salads. Look at food in a whole new way and choose combinations of flavors and textures that will light up the eyes of guests as they taste your best efforts.

Try mixing eclectic greens like endive, arugula, and watercress with avocado, crab meat, Greek olives, and grapefruit, along with hard-boiled eggs for a fresh take on a classic salad. Sprinkle a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon with golden raisins and chopped tart apples, and toss with shredded cooked chicken or turkey, and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette for a delightful new salad. Go tropical with mango, papaya, figs, or summer melons, adding the right compliment of spice like ginger, curry, or fresh mint. Top with toasted coconut for a truly fanciful salad.

Seeds and Sprouts Add the Finishing Touch

No matter what you put in your salads, you’ll always want to have an eye-catching topping that completes a gourmet creation you can be proud of. The best choices are often seeds and sprouts, since they add texture and depth to all types of salads for all types of meals. Seeds add color and dimension, almost a solid, formidable look, while sprouts are often heaped on in a big fluffy pile, providing a playful and unruly look to the salad.

For seeds, you could choose sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, milk thistle, or alfalfa seeds, just to name a few. With sprouts, you have mung bean sprouts, broccoli sprouts, and alfalfa sprouts. Then there are the lesser known choices like radish sprouts and clover sprouts. These types of ingredients go very well with most salads but especially with dishes that are made with quinoa, tofu, tempeh, and jicama.

With a little imagination, and time to seek out unique ingredients, you can walk away from conventional thinking and create wonderful, fanciful salads to enjoy.

Do you have a favorite salad you want to share, please leave me some comments below.

I have an addiction

It started out really simple, I was looking for a new mid morning snack. I feelP6206376 300x225 I have an addiction into a rut and was looking to branch out.  Then we had a bit of a heat wave and I didn’t feel like cooking anything. It’s one of the few times a year that not having an air conditioner in New England is a bad thing.

Any who.. I started making smoothies and I can’t stop! My smoothies have taken on a life of their own.  My latest creation.

1 T powdered greens
1/2 c greek yogurt
1 kiwi peeled
1 t Udo’s oil
4 oz sweet potato (yes a sweet potato) — previously roasted
1/2 c water
handful ice cubes

Take all of this mix in a blender and blend until smooth.  The shake will be green, but will taste great.  If you feel that you need it, you make add 1/2 t honey to add some sweetness.

Healthy Tropical Smoothie

We all have those mornings where we are running out the door and can’t smoothie 300x300 Healthy Tropical Smoothiequite cook a meal or now that the summer has finally arrived and its too hot and you just don’t want to cook give this smoothie a try.

  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 banana
  • 4 strawberries — frozen
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (any flavor)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 and 1/4 cup cold water

Put all in your blender and blend until desired smoothness and thickness.  Want this to be a little more satiating add in some good fat give 1 t coconut oil, flax or udos.

Got Kids?

strawberry girl use 300x300 Got Kids?I have a number of mom clients, who say they eat junk food because I have to buy it for the kids.  Really your kids have that much control of what you buy and how you eat. Well times have certainly changed since I was a kid.  Our after school snacks weren’t sugar filled. My diabetic grandmother took care of us after school, so sugary treated weren’t an option.  I didn’t realize that yogurt was a health food until the 8th grade, I thought everyone ate it. How naive was I that I also thought raisins, I mean actual non-coated raisins were candy. [Read more...]