Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Thursday Treat

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Last week, we delved into the healthy benefits of Salmon and its Omega-3 goodness. This week, I want to talk about another member of the food fad we see nowadays being touted from the skyscrapers. We all hear that “whole grain does this” and “whole grain does that”, but how much do you have to eat to reap the benefits? The Whole Grains Council (http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/) suggests eating 3-6 servings of whole grain at 16g of whole grain per serving for everyone 9 years and up. Who’s got the time or appetite to eat 3-6 bowls of Cheerios every day? Variety anyone?

Enter Quinoa. Quinoa is a tiny, ancient Peruvian seed, which has a mild, nutty flavor, is related to leafy green vegetables and is often used like a grain. Quinoa is as versatile as rice but it has a protein content that is superior to that of most grains, because it contains all the essential amino acids. In particular, quinoa is high in lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair. It’s also a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and it has a high iron content. Let’s not forget that quinoa also contains many varieties of Vitamin E, which neutralizes the oxidant effect of free radicals, which are molecules that damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. Also, quinoa keeps you fuller vs rice because of the fiber content, which means you would eat less quinoa than rice. Less eating = less calories and coupled wit the high protein content, eating quinoa is a surefire combination for losing weight.

There are 3 common colors of quinoa, white, red and black. White quinoa has a mild flavor and is a great substitute for rice, and also great for breakfast. Red quinoa has a little nuttier flavor and is crunchier, which means it can be put in salads without getting all mushy. Black quinoa has an earthy flavor and is as crunchy as red quinoa. You can also get a tricolor mix at some stores, which combines all of these great flavors.

Here are some of my favorite quinoa dishes for you to try and knock the rice habit!

Cinnamon-Scented Breakfast Quinoa

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Cinnamon-Scented-Breakfast-Quinoa-366130#ixzz253RWwoNl

Quinoa Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken

 

Nutrition data from the Whole Grains Council,  Recipes courtesy of epicurious.com, photo:peanutbutterandjulie.typepad.com

 

 

 

Thursday Treat

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Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

Today’s treat is about breakfast smoothies that are fast, delicious and healthy. If you are not an egg person, you can still have a quick and healthy breakfast while getting your daily dosage of fruits, yay! But let’s talk about fruits first.

Fruits are made of water, fiber, vitamins, minerals and sugar. Most of the fiber in fruits is actually on their skin and seed, so increase your intake of these types of fruits, like apples, peaches, pears (skin) or strawberries, kiwis & raspberries (seed). Citrus fruits like, oranges, grapefruits and clementines are also high in fiber (though, they don’t have edible skin or seed) and are loaded with Vitamin C. These are great fruits to snack on or put in smoothies because fiber helps you stay full and keeps your blood sugar in check. You won’t feel hungry in between meals and these will also satisfy your sweet tooth. Then there are some fruits that you should reduce eating; they are not bad for you (because there are no bad fruits), but they are high in calories and sugar, and low in fiber, like bananas, pineapples and mangoes. Not surprisingly, these are my three most favorite fruits =(.

Below are four delicious smoothies for breakfast or anytime you feel like having something sweet.

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

What you need:

  • 4 oz fat-free strawberry yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (partially thawed)
  • 1 peeled kiwi
  • 1 cup crushed ice (or 5 to 8 ice cubes).

Make it:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Girl – redbookmag.com

 

Oatmeal smoothie

What you need:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup coconut water (or other liquid, such as juice)

Make it:

Place ice and raspberries in the bottom of blender, and all other ingredients on top. Whir until completely smooth. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of marthastewart.com

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Glowing Green Smoothie

This recipe is super simple. All you need is a blender and the following ingredients:

  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • a couple handfuls of spinach
  • water

Add just enough water to blend and enjoy, that’s it! Try any combo you like, all you need is a base of bananas, fruit of your choice and a couple handfuls of your favorite green. You may think it tastes gross because of the spinach, but you won’t even taste it. Spinach has a really mild flavor and blends well. This smoothie is great for the digestive and immune systems. Also, spinach is high in Vitamin A, which helps skin retain moisture and prevents acne and wrinkles.

Recipe courtesy of lindawagner.net

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Peach Lassi Smoothie

What you need:

  • Peaches (frozen slices or chunks)
  • Nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Fresh raspberries

Make it:

Pulse first four ingredients in a blender. Stir in berries and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of people.com

Nutrition info courtesy of people.com & healthdiaries.com

 

Nutrition source: people.com & healthdiaries.com

Thursday Treat

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Thursday Treat will be all about something we all love – FOOD, yay!  I will put recipes for food that I like to eat or think you should try.  Most of the recipes will be healthy but occasionally there will be recipes for desserts; you gotta treat yourself sometimes.  All veggies and no cake, makes me a dull gal (guy)!   Say it out loud and remember this mantra :-P .

Full disclosure, I am a dessert girl and I don’t really like to cook.  If I had my way, I would eat pies for breakfast, cake for lunch, cookies for in between snack, and finish the day off with ice cream.  But my body isn’t a “wonderland” so I can’t follow my preferred diet.  That means I have to find healthy alternatives that I can make and enjoy.

So, with that in mind, I am starting the “treat” with the most important meal of the day, breakfast!!  Below are three recipes for fast, easy, and delicious eggs that I found from August ’12 issue of Redbook Magazine from Healthy Girl.  Benefits of eggs are endless but the most important ones are that it’s high in protein so it keeps you fuller longer, no need for snack in between breakfast and lunch, hello shrinking waistline!  It has choline and lutein which are important for collagen production and prevent free radical damage to skin cells that means smoother, firmer, younger looking skin.  Eat up some eggs to look fabulous so you can rock those amazing duds in your closet.

Basic scramble w/cheese
A great alternative to plain hard boiled eggs

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What you need:

  • 1 egg & 2 egg whites (or ½ cup of fat-free liquid egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters Original)
  • 2 tbsp shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Make it:

  1. Spray a large mug (or a microwave-safe bowl) with nonstick spray; add egg and egg whites and beat with fork. Microwave for 11/2 minutes.
  2. Stir in cheese, then nuke for 1 additional minute, or until set.
  3. Stir again, and add salt and pepper or any seasonings you like.

Nutritionals: PER SERVING (entire mug): 95 calories, 2g fat, 490mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g sugars, 14.5g protein — PointsPlus® value 2*

For the next two, I suggest preparing all the required ingredients the night before to save time.

Greek Omelet
Love this omelet and will never get tired of eating it. It tasted light but kept me full until lunch, I loved the light smell of basil in the morning

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What you need:

  • ½ cup chopped fresh spinach,
  • ¼ cup of chopped red onion,
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites (or ½ cup of liquid eggs),
  • 2 tbsp diced tomatoes,
  • 2 tbsp crumbled reduced-fat Feta cheese,
  • ½ tbsp chopped fresh basil

Make it:

  1. Spray a large mug or bowl with nonstick spray. Add spinach and onion and microwave for 11/2 minutes, or until softened. Blot away excess moisture with a paper towel.
  2. Beat egg and egg whites with a fork, then stir them into the mug.  Microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients and nuke for 1 more minute, or until set.

Nutritionals: 117 calories, 2g fat, 459mg sodium, 8g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g sugars, 16g protein — PointsPlus® value 3*

Chicken Fajita Scramble
like having Mexican fiesta in the morning, delicious!!  Great option for starting off your Cinco De Mayo celebration or if you are doing a Mexican meal day.

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What you need:

  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper,
  • ¼ cup chopped onion,
  • 1 oz chopped cooked skinless chicken breast,
  • 1 tsp fajita seasoning mix,
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites (or ½ cup liquid eggs),
  • 1 tbsp shredded fat-free cheddar cheese,
  • 1 tbsp fat-free sour cream

Make it:

  1. Spray a large mug or bowl with nonstick spray. Add bell pepper, onion, and chicken, sprinkle with fajita seasoning, and stir. Microwave for 11/2 minutes, or until veggies have softened.  Blot away excess moisture.
  2. Beat egg and egg whites with a fork, then stir them into the mug.  Microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in cheese, and microwave for 1 more minute, or until set.  Stir and top with sour cream.

Nutritionals: 163 calories, 0.75g fat, 583mg sodium, 12g carbs, 1.25g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 26g protein — PointsPlus® value 4*

 

*nutrition info from realage.com & hungry-girl.com

Next week’s treat will be for delicious and healthy breakfast smoothies.

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