Thursday, January 31, 2013

Twice-Baked Tex-Mex Potato

Here's a healthy twist on those darned baked potatoes that everyone loves to load with sour cream, butter, and bacon.  This will still fill that craving with something healthier and you won't actually feel like you are "on a diet."  Try it out!

Twice-Baked Tex-Mex Sweet Potato

Serves 1

All of your favorite Tex-Mex flavors are here: cumin, fresh salsa and refried beans. Make this versatile recipe for one, or for a crowd. It's big on flavor, yet easy on the budget. 


Per serving: roughly 350- 400 cals depending on the size of your potato


1 medium sized Sweet potato
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
1/2 cup canned refried black beans, warm
Salt to taste (easy on the salt though!)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons feta
Fresh salsa
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Ground Turkey (optional for added lean protein)


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick potato all over with a fork and arrange on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with EVOO and sprinkle with black pepper.  Bake until just tender, about 1 hour; set aside until cool enough to handle. 

2. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Cut open potato and scoop about 1/2 cup of the cooked flesh into a medium bowl. Add greek yogurt, beans, salt and cumin and mash with a fork to combine. Also, if you chose to add ground turkey (as I did) this is when you would mix in the cooked ground turkey! 

3. Use bean mixture to refill potato, then top with cheese and return to baking sheet or place in a small baking dish. 

4. Broil until golden brown and skin is crispy looking, about 2 minutes. Top with salsa and green onions and serve.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sweet Italian Sausage with Zucchini and Tomatoes

This recipe is so dang easy, total prep and cook time was about 15- 20 minutes!!

Garnish this delicious combination of vegetables and Italian sausage with sprigs of fresh basil and lemon wedges to squeeze over the top, it tops it off just right!

Serves 6


Per serving: 310 calories, 24g total fat, 8g total carbohydrate, 16g protein


6 links Whole Ranch Sweet Italian sausage (Found at WholeFoods)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 to 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano)
1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 pound mixed red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper


1. Prepare sausages according to package directions, either in a sauté pan or on the grill. Suggestion: chop the sausage into bite size pieces to saute.

2. While they are cooking, heat olive oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and oregano, stir for a few seconds, then add zucchini and cook 3 to 5 minutes. 

3.  When sausages are cooked, add to pan along with tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until tomatoes are just softened, about 1 minute more. 

4. Transfer to a large platter and serve.

**Serve with a fresh spinach salad topped with feta, cucumber, red onion, and light balsamic dressing!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Prepare for Success... Weekly Menu

One of the secrets of getting to where you want to go in life is making a simple TO DO list every day, keeping it visible, and using it as a guide to action as you go through your day. That is the most important tool highly productive people use.  Do you have a TO-DO list?  What is on it?  

I hope we have drilled it into your mind enough that Planning Your Weekly Menu should be on your TO-DO list.  It's on my list EVERY Sunday. I avoid headache, annoyance, unhealthy eating, and spending too much money when I just take 20 minutes during the week to plan a simple weekly dinner menu for the family.  If you haven't already, here's is ours... With the shopping list. 


Monday:  Sweet Italian Sausage with Zucchini and Tomatoes
Tuesday: Mexican Taco Soup
Wednesday: Twice-Baked Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes
Thursday: Tequila Lime Salmon
Friday: Dinner with the Parents!


 4 (3-ounce) fillets skin-on, farm-raised salmon

 Extra-virgin olive oil

 Sea salt 

1/2 cup Tequila Lime Salsa
 or 1 shot of tequila and a lime for juice!
1 grapefruit, peel and pith removed, cut into segments

1 orange, peel and pith removed, cut into segments

1/2 pound 85% lean ground turkey 

2 red onions, chopped

Minced Garlic
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (gluten-free)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth*

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans* 

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes* 

1 cup frozen corn kernels*

1 cup medium salsa*

Sweet Potatoes- desired amount
1/2 cup canned refried pinto beans*, warm

Ground cumin

1 green onion, thinly sliced

6 links Whole Ranch® Sweet Italian sausage*
 (found at Wholefoods)
Fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano) 

3 zucchinis 
3/4 pound mixed red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 

Fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mexican Chicken Flatbread

This is great for hosting a party and serving as an appy. You do know Super Bowl is on its way, right?!  Well, as host of this year's Super Bowl Party, I just might serve this to the boys. I hope you enjoy this tasty little something.  Yes, this is a little carb overload but remember what we always say? In moderation you deserve a little of the things this fabulous world has to offer!

You can't go wrong with the best of family favorites, pizza and Mexican food, in one meal! For a vegetarian version, simply substitute sauteed zucchini or bell peppers and onions for the chicken. 


1 whole wheat pizza crust, thawed (WholeFoods brand preferred)
1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
1/4 pound part-skim mozzarella, shredded, divided
1 cup no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed
1 boneless, skinless grilled chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Crushed red pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange crust on a pizza stone or large baking sheet. 

Spray EVOO over crust (just a thin layer) and sprinkle garlic powder and crushed red pepper to your desire over the crust.

Top with cheese, beans, corn, chicken, chopped cilantro and bake until crust is crisp and golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle with cilantro, cut into 8 pieces and serve with salsa (or your choice of hot sauce) over top or on the side.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chicken with Sage Roasted Vegetables

As simple as it gets, Folks... Everyone has time for this.

Chicken with Sage-Roasted Vegetables

Serves 3- 4

Here you make extra roasted veggies, giving you enough to use in a second delicious meal. 


3 packages (12 cups) pre-cut broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and red onion
3 tablespoons 365 Everyday Value™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
3 chicken breasts


Heat oven to 450°F. Place vegetables on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast until vegetables are just beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. 

Stir in sage and cook 2 more minutes. 

Serve with chicken. I marinated my chicken breasts in chicken broth, hot sauce, cayenne, and baja chicken seasoning. Then threw it on the grill. It had just the right amount of spices and juiciness. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Waldorf-ish Chicken Salad

This was Jessie's serving (on a small salad plate)
This was Jeff's serving (on a dinner plate) 

Notice the difference between what is acceptable between a guy and a girl. 

 Make note of the size you are making or your calorie, carb, and fat content gets much higher! Just because it's a salad, doesn't mean it's an "all you can eat" kind of meal. :)

Serves 2

The addition of crisp fennel, refreshing mint, sweet honey and tangy yogurt puts a delightful spin on the classic Waldorf salad. Serve as a side dish, dessert or even breakfast.


12 oz cooked chicken breast
3 cups Fresh Organic Spinach
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 to 1 Honey Crisp Apple
1/2 cup strawberries (cut into cubes)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup feta
1/4 cup chopped red onion


You know how to make a Salad. I don't need to give you directions but I do want to let you know that the recipe DOES NOT call for Ranch.  If you need dressing, please use a light vinaigrette or a balsamic vinaigrette.  It only needs a touch of dressing. 

If you have a salad and douse it in dressing that defeats the purpose of having a healthy salad. That adds unnecessary carbs, fat, and calories to the meal.  Just be good if you're wanting to be good... don't be fake good! Enjoy this refreshing, light-on-the-thighs kind of meal :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Quinoa Primavera with Chicken, Spring Peas and Asparagus

Quinoa Primavera with Chicken, Spring Peas and Asparagus

Serves 4 - 5

Serving Size = about 11 oz


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 pound (about 1/2 bunch) asparagus, woody ends snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup fresh peas or frozen petite peas, thawed
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 cup thinly sliced baby spinach leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Step 1: Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is tender and all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and asparagus. Cook, stirring often, until asparagus is tender and bright green, 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 3: Add garlic and peas and continue cooking for another minute. Stir in your cooked chicken and cooked quinoa. 

Step 4: Add the spinach and stir until it wilts, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
*** For some extra kick, add some Siracha!  Its way better if you like your dishes on the spicy side!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mexican Taco Stew

Serves 4

Only 310 calories per serving with 20 grams of Protein!

1/2 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (gluten-free)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 large zucchini or summer squash, cut into small cubes
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup medium salsa


Step 1: Brown meat in a large pot over medium high heat. Drain, remove and set aside.

Step 2: In the same pot, sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. 

Step 3: Add meat back to pot and sprinkle mixture with taco seasoning to blend. 

Step 4: Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Honey Lime Habenero Chicken

OUCH>>>>If you like HOT, then try this spicy piece of work!  I couldn't eat it but Jeff polished it off of course. He lives for the spicy... He always says... "Why not burn the calories why I eat them?"

Ingredients for Habenero Chicken:  Feeds 2

1 lb Chicken breast
1 Habenero (chopped)
1/8 cup lime juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons Honey


1. In a small Blender (I used my small ninja), blend together the lime juice, honey, chicken broth, and honey.
2. Pour over your chicken in a covered bowl to set in the fridge to marinate for a couple hours.
3. Bake chicken at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken) in a glass, oven-safe dish.  Right before chicken is done, preheat the grill.
4. Throw chicken on the grill for about 4 minutes each side to get the grill marks.

Ingredients for Chicken Spread
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 finely diced habenero
black pepper, to taste
dash of paprika
dash of cayenne pepper

Directions for Chicken topping:

Stir all ingredients together thoroughly and refrigerate until the chicken is ready. Spread over top chicken and serve with your favorite healthy sides. We had half of a sweet potato and peppered asparagus!