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Archive for the ‘Don’t buy that’ Category

The Farmers Market

When my wife and I go to the grocery store, it is a constant struggle. We have no problem grabbing the usual items; organic yogurt, low fat string cheese, lots of fruits and vegetables and pistachios. The problem always seems to arise when it comes down to what we are going to eat for dinner. I’ll just come out and say it; I need meat at dinner to feel like I am actually eating a meal.

To me there is something truly fulfilling about meat that no amount of legumes, nuts or tofu could ever fill. Maybe it is genetic or just because that is how I was raised but some form of meat is the epicenter of dinner and everything else is an add on. The dilemma that my wife and I face is just how horrible store bought meat is for you; from antibiotics to pink slime there seems to be nothing truly nutritious about it. On top of all that the few organic or “healthier” options are so unreasonably priced that we don’t want to buy them.

Luckily we have found a simple and affordable solution.  We finally were able to find a farmers market less than a mile away from our house. They have a wide assortment of items to replace what we usually purchased from a grocery store. The best part of is that instead of trying to read a label and guess what “grass-fed diet” really means, we could ask the grower himself just where and how this animal was raised.

Our farmers market is small, consisting of about 15 tables with the usual items of green beans, spinach, kale, carrots and potatoes, but the 2 items we most excited about were grass fed beef and duck eggs. The farmer who sells the grass fed beef, which I guess would be called a rancher and not a farmer, is there to answer any questions about the diet and living conditions of the animals.  Plus, he is the one who processes the animals, so that way if you have any questions on what cut of meat to buy or how to prepare he is able to answer your questions. He doesn’t just sell beef; you can order whole chickens or pigs or any cut of those 2 animals you would like, as well as honey and milk. The best part is that you can call in an order and drive to his farm to pick up your order and see the animals in open pasture and chicken’s running free.

As my wife and I were walking along we came across a table that was selling eggs of all kinds. All the eggs were free range! As I was inquiring about a dozen chicken eggs my wife noticed that they were selling duck eggs as well. Having always wanted to try duck eggs we purchased a dozen. They are hands down the best eggs I have ever eaten! They seem to be much richer and more fulfilling than chicken eggs.

Do you shop at a farmers market? If so what do you purchase and why?

We finally put up a facebook page, so be sure to friend us on facebook.

Kevin

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Healthy SuperBowl Recipes

So, it’s that time of year again; time for chicken wings, chips and dip, pigs in a blanket and tons of beer! Happy Super Bowl! Unfortunately, this is definitely not the best time to be on a diet. You probably have a great superbowl party to go to this weekend, but you know you’ll be tempted by all the delicious treats. Most of us end up eating hundreds to thousands of extra calories in this setting. When you’re with friends, you’re distracted and continue to eat even after you’re full, especially because the treats will be out all afternoon.

Instead of throwing in the towel and ruining your healthy habits for the week, why not bring some healthier options with you to the party? This way, you still get to eat great food, and no one will give you a hard time. For some additional tips about how to manly on a diet, check out this great post Kevin wrote a few weeks ago.

We looked around and found some recipes that we thought looked delicious and then tried them out ourselves.

First up, oven baken onion rings. We loved this recipe! They don’t taste exactly like onion rings from outback, but they were awesome. The recipe is a little time consuming and a bit messy, but absolutely worth it!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning blend, such as Cajun, jerk or Old Bay
  • Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray

Preparation

  1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Cut off both ends of each onion and peel. Slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices; separate into rings. (Discard the smallest rings or reserve for another use.) Place the rings in a medium bowl; cover with cold water.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Combine breadcrumbs and seasoning in a third shallow dish. Working with one ring at time, remove from the water, letting any excess drip off. Coat in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then coat in the breadcrumb mixture, shaking off any excess. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Generously coat the onion rings with cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each onion ring over and return to the oven, switching the positions of the baking sheets. Continue baking until brown and very crispy, 8 to 10 minutes more.

 1 serving is 6-7 rings. Each serving has 175 calories and 3 grams of fat

Next, we made a healthy 7 layer bean dip. Kevin could not stop eating this one! We highly recommend it!

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce can nonfat refried beans, preferably “spicy”
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño slices, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned sliced black olives, (optional)

 

Preparation

  1. Combine refried beans, black beans, scallions, salsa, cumin, chili powder and jalapeños in a medium bowl. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart microwave-safe dish; sprinkle with cheese.
  2. Microwave on High until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Spread sour cream evenly over the hot bean mixture, then scatter with lettuce, tomato, avocado and olives (if using).

1 serving is 1/2 cup of dip. 146 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving.

Finally we made twice baked sweet potatoes. The recipe is pretty easy and calls for you just to make them in the microwave. If you’re feeling fancy, you could put them in the oven as well.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each)
  • 3 ouncesCanadian bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoonsreduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 teaspoonschopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoonsshredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Preparation

Pierce potatoes with a fork, and arrange on paper towels. Microwave on high 8 minutes; turn potatoes over after 4 minutes. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, and scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Mash pulp with 3 ounces Canadian bacon, 2 tablespoons sour cream, and 2 teaspoons chives in a bowl. Spoon mixture into shells. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over tops of potatoes. Microwave on high 2 minutes, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chives.

Each potato has 340 calories and 6 grams of fat.

These recipes were found on eatingwell.com and health.com

Enjoy! Let us know if you like them!

-Sara

Make This, Don’t Buy That: Breakfast Tacos

In this week’s installment of Make This, Don’t Buy that I have decided to take on south Texas’s favorite morning treat, the breakfast taco. Now, some of you reading this are going to question the validity of having a taco for breakfast, but rest assured this item is everything you want in a breakfast. Fast, delicious, filling and AWSOME! Unfortunately, if you buy it from your local gas station, it also comes with a high fat and calorie count….. not something you want to hear. So I have come up with my own recipe and I actually eat this for breakfast every morning, Enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients:

1 low fat flour tortilla

1 egg and 1 egg white

2oz of low fat queso

1 strip of turkey bacon

I tbl spoon of pico de gallo or hot sauce

 

Directions:

Scramble eggs in pan, place cheese on tortilla and top with the turkey bacon and salsa. ENJOY!!

Make This, Don’t Buy That: Southwest Taco Soup

This week’s installment of Make This, Don’t Buy That is Southwest Taco Soup.  Being that I live in south Texas, Mexican food is everywhere. I love Mexican food, but the only problem is that everything I love happens to be drizzled with queso and served with chips! Not really what I had envisioned for my diet. So I have taken it upon myself to find a recipe that fulfills my craving, but lends a hand to my waist line. So instead of a Nacho Bell Grande (700 Calories, 42 grams of fat) try this soup. Now I will say that there is no meat in this recipe (I am in no way a vegan, and feel free to add low fat ground turkey or chicken if you like), but this recipe is truly excellent. Enjoy!

 Ingredients:

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cans black beans

1 can corn

1 med onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 jalapenos – seeded and chopped

1 can vegetable broth

2 teaspoons cumin

 

Garnish: chopped cilantro, plain yogurt, lime

 Prep:

In vegetable oil brown chopped garlic, chopped jalapeno, chopped onion, corn and cumin for 3-5 min. Add tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth. Cook until soup is heated (about 5-10 min). Add water/broth to adjust.

Let me know how you like it!

-Kevin

Make This, Don’t Buy That: Pizza

Quick update: I, Sara, did finish my 24 hour ultra! I ran 56 miles, which was 6 over my goal! It was an incredible experience, and as soon as I get back home, I’ll give you all the run-down and some photos!

In this next installment of make this not that, I have decided to make a pizza. This is my all time favorite food. If I could, I would it eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With that being said, I don’t for obvious health reasons. This pizza recipe is the healthiest I have found with out sacrificing flavor. Enjoy!

 

 

INGREDIENTS

 1 teaspoon olive oil  

1 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes  

1/8 teaspoon salt  

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough

Cooking spray

2 cups chopped skinned cooked turkey

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese  

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley and basil. Remove from heat. Cool completely.

Roll dough into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a (12-inch) pizza pan or baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.

Spread tomato mixture over crust, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with turkey; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until golden.

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