Tag Archives: healthy

Coconut Curry Thai Chicken

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Once upon a time, 6 months ago, when we were living in Hawaii we would regularly eat at this really YUMMY Thai restaurant that was literally around the corner from our house. I had never had Thai food before living in Hawaii, and I quickly learned that I loved it. Well fast forward a little bit, we moved to the middle of nowhere southwestern Kentucky. We love it here in our little Mayberry like town, but there is no Thai food to be found. In fact, the nearest Thai restaurant is an hour and a half away in Nashville.

With that being said, I recently set out on a quest to find a recipe for Thai Chicken Curry that I could handle making and adapt it a bit to my liking. I found one, and changed it taking out some ingredients and adding some others.

Coconut Curry Thai ChickenIngredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, grilled and sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 bell peppers of varying colors
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 scallions, or more
  • 2 Tbsp green curry paste, or more to taste
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Serve with brown rice

How to Make it:

  1. Slice up the peppers into long strips. Coconut Curry Thai Chicken
  2. In a large pan, saute the peppers in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers into a mixing bowl, and use the same pan for the rest of your cooking.
  3. Heat the coconut milk over medium heat, stirring.
  4. Add in the curry paste and scallions. Continue to stir frequently until smooth.Coconut Curry Thai Chicken
  5. Stir in the chicken broth.
  6. Turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add in the soy sauce and brown sugar. Coconut Curry Thai Chicken
  8. Add the chicken and peppers, let simmer about 10 minutes to let all the flavors have a party.
  9. Stir in the cilantro.Coconut Curry Thai ChickenWe added more than 2 Tbsp of curry into ours, and ate it with brown rice. It makes about 4 servings. It tasted pretty close to the green curry we used to order at our favorite Thai place. The best part was this entire dish, with the rice, the Weight Watcher’s points was only 8PP!Coconut Curry Thai Chicken

 

Healthy Italian Style Salad

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Healthy Italian Style SaladYesterday, I stopped at the store on my way home to pick up a couple of things. A huge smile spread across my face when, for the first time ever, I finally saw canned artichokes in water…not oil! My brain started cranking out ideas of what I could make with this.

When I was little and we would go visit my Grandma out of town she would always take us out to eat. One of her favorite restaurants was a place called Antonio’s. The pizza there was good, but the salad was AMAZING! And it was so simple, lettuce, toasted pepperonis, cheese and a really tasty house dressing. That salad sure would taste good with some artichokes! I had everything I needed at home already, so I decided to make this.

It tasted great, and brought back memories of my Grandma.

Healthy Italian Style Salad

Ingredients

  • lettuce (any type or spinach)
  • 12 slices of turkey pepperioni
  • 8 medium sized black olives, sliced
  • 5 or more artichoke quarters (packed in water)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat Italian Cheese
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • dried basil (to taste)

Steps

  1. Toast the turkey pepperoni in the toaster oven. If you do not have a toaster oven you can just use your oven, set on broil.
  2. Put the lettuce in the bowl. Top with olives, artichokes, pepperoni and cheese.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar on top. Add ground black pepper and dried basil to taste.

I just realized I could have also added tomato!

If you are on Weight Watchers this recipe prepared as is has a PP value of 7. Looking to save a few points? Omit the cheese and then it would only be 4 PP.

 

 

The Cost of Healthy Eating

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With the start of a new year, many have made promises to themselves to begin a healthier lifestyle. Many also get concerned that eating healthy also means that you will be spending more at the grocery store. But, friends, this is not always true. This post is going to be about my weekly shopping this week. I like many of you had to re-promise and commit to a healthy lifestyle again.

For my husband, 2 kitties, 1 puppy, and myself our typical weekly grocery bill is between $80-$120. Had to include the animals because their food can be pricey too and is included in our costs. This week, back to eating healthy our bill was $77. Imagine that, a cart filled with healthy proteins, fruits, and veggies was cheaper than cart filled with junk! On top of that the only coupon I used was for 50 cents off some tea.

Here are some tips to help keep your grocery bill low while eating healthy:

1. Know what you already have. Before going shopping make an inventory of what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. This is also a great opportunity to clean out, or toss things that you know you will be tempted to eat that you should not. You may be surprised about what you already have that you can turn into a meal or use within a meal during the week.

2. Plan ahead. This one is oh so important! Create a menu for the week, or the next time you will be able to go grocery shopping. Write down exactly what you will eat each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. This menu will then help you make your list. You will know exactly how many bananas, green peppers, chicken breasts, etc. that you need.

3. Make a list. Using your menu and your inventory, make a list of exactly what you need. You can write this list on paper, or use an app on your smartphone. I use the app called list ease. Keep your list organized. Divide it into sections similar to how the grocery store is organized. My go to categories are, produce, aisles, frozen and dairy.

4. Buy what you know you will eat. If you are on a budget, don’t try weird stuff that you aren’t sure if you like. If you don’t enjoy eating salads, don’t buy 4 heads of lettuce your first week eating healthy, buy 1.

5. Go shopping when it is crowded. I had to add this one after my last shopping trip. I HATE SHOPPING WHEN IT IS PACKED. But, it keeps me from browsing and adding unneeded stuff into my cart. When it is crowded, you go in, get what you need, and get out.

6. Buy in larger quantities when it makes sense. Example: apples are $1.29 per pound at our grocery store. I can buy a 3 pound bag of apples for $2.89. I know I will eat those apples anyway, so it makes sense to buy the 3 pound bag. We also buy our onions this way. The same exact chicken, same exact company, is cheaper per pound when you buy it in a larger quantity. Buy more chicken one week, and freeze it for the next. Frozen chicken works great in a crockpot!

 

So for an entire week of meals I would say $77 isn’t bad. That’s $11 per day for 2 people.This also saves money because we are not going out to eat!

Here is some insight to what we will be eating this week. Our breakfasts and lunches are not always the same. My husband usually has a v8 or eggs for breakfast, and tuna or leftovers for lunch.

Saturday: Breakfast, homemade bread with OJ. Lunch, Greek yogurt with fruit. Dinner, Thai chicken w/ peppers w/ brown rice. Snacks, Lara bar, carrots and hummus.

Sunday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/ fruit. Lunch, no mayo chicken salad, which can be found here https://tastefullyhealthy.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/no-mayo-chicken-salad/ with pita crackers and fruit. Dinner, vegetable soup and grilled cheese with tomatoes. Snacks, pineapple and cheese stick.

Monday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/ fruit. Lunch egg salad w/ pita crackers and grapes. Dinner, vegetable soup and baked potato. Snacks, Lara bar, fruit, beef jerky.

Tuesday: Breakfast, Greek yogurt w/fruit. Lunch, tossed salad. Dinner, whole wheat pasta with meat sauce and a salad. Snacks, carrots, fruit, beef jerky.

Wednesday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/ banana. Lunch, Cobb salad. Dinner, Hamburgers and homemade fries. Snacks, fruit & cheese stick, carrots.

Thursday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/banana. Lunch, hamburger salad. Dinner, Tyson light breaded chicken, broccoli. Snacks, beef jerky, fruit & cheese stick.

Friday: Breakfast, Steel cut oats w/banana. Lunch, leftovers or salad. Dinner, brown rice and black beans w/ salsa. Snacks, carrots, fruit & cheese stick.

 

Needless to say, eating healthy doesn’t need to be expensive. You just need to be smart about it. Your body will thank you!

Pecan Crusted Chicken

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Let me start by saying eating clean is going better than I thought it would. I feel healthier and have lost about 6 pounds over the last 2 weeks. Besides that, I nearly went into shock at dinner last night. We had hamburgers, wrapped in lettuce, and I just assumed that my in-laws were going to have theirs on buns. But, my mother-in-law (who is super sweet by the way) ate hers wrapped in lettuce just like us! We are making progress and helping the whole family to make healthier choices!

The P.E. teacher at the school I work at is leading a wellness initiative for our staff at school. She had sent out a bunch of recipes, but I have no idea where they came from exactly. This is one of those recipes just tweaked a little.

It was really yummy and even received the husband saying of approval of, “I think we should make this again sometime!”

 

Ingredients:

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast (organic if you prefer, thin sliced and tenders would work well too just adjust cooking time)

1/2 cup of spicy brown mustard

2 tablespoons of organic honey

1 cup of crushed pecans (The ones I used were crushed when I bought them)

Sea Salt (optional)

 

What You Need to Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line and lightly spray a casserole dish with a healthy oil.

2. Combine mustard and honey in a medium mixing bowl.

Pecan Crusted Chicken

3. Put your pecans in a separate bowl or shallow dish.

Pecan Crusted Chicken4. Set up a cute little assembly line in your kitchen starting with chicken, then mustard mixture, pecans and finally the baking dish

Pecan Crusted Chicken5. Dip both sides of each chicken breast into the mustard mixture. Then dip both sides of each chicken breast into the pecans. Place them into the baking dish and top with a little sea salt if you would like.

Pecan Crusted Chicken

6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, serve with a vegetable.

Someone came over to the house, and I have focusing issues and forgot to take a picture of the finished product.

 

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Zucchini

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The P.E. teacher at work had shown me a picture of a similar recipe Friday after school, and I thought “OH, I could totally get my family to eat that!” And so, here is this recipe.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with ZucchiniIngredients:

1-1.5 lbs thin sliced chicken breasts

1 small zucchini

1 package of bacon (you won’t use it all)

Salt free spice (like Mrs. Dash)

Ground Black Pepper

What you do:

1. Preheat oven to 425. Cut zucchini into thin french fry like sticks. For me the easiest way to do this was cut the zucchini in half the “short way”, then cut each of those halves in quarters, so you have 8 pieces. Then cut them like fries!

zucchini sticks2. Spread out one piece of chicken. Season the side that will be on the inside of the roll-up with salt-free seasoning. Lay 5-6 zucchini sticks on one end of the chicken and roll it on up.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Zucchini3. Then, wrap a piece of bacon around that, and place on a baking sheet.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Zucchini4. Grind pepper on top of roll-ups.

paleo bacon wrapped chicken with zucchini5. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your rolls (hahaha). Remove and enjoy! We cut into one of ours to be sure that it was cooked all the way.

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Zucchini

 

We served it with fresh green beans. Oh and everyone loved it! My father-in-law only ate the ones without the zucchini though.

Eating Clean

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Counting points has become quite boring and inconvenient for me. I know that Weight Watcher’s works, but the monthly cost as well as my struggle to keep the weight off that I had initially lost has proven to me that I need to try something different.

 

Although this is likely one of the worst times for my husband and I to start focusing our attention on eating healthy, it is also one of the best times. Wait a second, is there ever a bad time to start eating healthy? Well here is why I say it is probably not the BEST thing we could be doing right now.

 

– We are in the process of buying a house. There are lots of transitions going on. We don’t have any of our stuff, including cooking supplies.

– We are on a tight budget.

-We are living with my in-laws. Love them dearly, but enough said!

 

Now, at the same time it is also the best time for us to start something like this!

-We just moved, we are starting fresh

-We are both bigger than we would like to be and willing to make changes

-My new job is awesome, super supportive and even has a wellness challenge that we started

– We would like to start a family sometime in the near future.

 

Our game plan is simple. Eat healthy, eat clean, no processed foods. What it is seemingly like to me, is a gluten-free, dairy-free, diet, very similar to Paleo. We are striving to eat 5-6 small meals each day. Each meal should consist of a lean protein, a healthy fat, and a healthy carb, which is usually a fruit or veggie. We will use the myfitnesspal app. on occasion to track our progress. Wish us luck!

Chipotle’s Barbacoa Beef

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Recently, my husband and I traveled to Arizona for the holidays. One of the big things for us when we travel is eating at places that we don’t have in Hawaii. Typically, In and Out Burger and Chipotle are at the top of the list. But, this time we just didn’t make it to Chipotle. Both of us are big fans of their Barbacoa Beef, so we decided to do some research online and make our own.

The original recipe I use can be found here. I used the same ingredients, just mixed up how we used them a little bit, and also how we cooked it. It makes 9 servings and is 7 Points Plus per serving if you are on Weight Watchers.

Ingredients:

About 3 pounds eye of round roast, all fat trimmed

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 medium onion

1/2 lime juice

4 chipotles canned in adobo sauce

1 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs oregano

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup of water

salt & pepper

1 tsp olive oil

3 Bay leaves

Procedures:

1. Trim fat off of roast, cut into 4 inch chunks.

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2. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a large pan. Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper and brown it on high heat.

barbacoa beef browning the meat

3. Meanwhile, put garlic, onion, chipotles (with a little of the sauce too), lime juice, cumin, oregano, cloves into the blender.

Barbacoa Beef Ingredients

4. You can attempt to blend it just like that, but for me that didn’t work. I improvised by adding 1/2 cup of water into the blender. It then blended up great.

Barbacoa Beef Sauce

5. Add browned beef, 3 bay leaves and sauce and the other 1/2 cup of water into your Crock Pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Finally, use two forks to shred the beef and let it cook a little longer to gain the full flavor of the sauce.  I also left the lid off of the crock pot toward the end to allow the sauce to thicken.

6. Serve with rice, on quesadillas, tacos, burritos or all by itself.

Barbacoa Beef

Just to warn you, this really smells amazing. Just the sauce by itself before cooking smelled amazing. Since it was so delicious we will be making quesadillas with the leftovers tomorrow.