Friday, August 28, 2009

Baked Tilapia, Mashed Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Brownies

Last night, I tried not one or two, but three new recipes!


First, I wanted to try some more herbs from my garden so I marinated Tilapia in lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sea salt, and pepper.

I let this marinate for about 30ish minutes and then baked, covered in aluminum foil for about 25ish minutes at 350 degrees. Very light and fresh. Would be great served with a lemon squeezed over top.

I realize it appears to be laking some color :) I think next time I will serve green beans as well OR mashed carrot sweet potatoes (I will have to post the recipe)...yum!

Mashed Cauliflower
I wanted to find an alternative to the oh-so-comforting mashed potatoes...and I did!
I first cleaned and cut into small pieces one head of cauliflower. I threw this all into a Ziploc steam bag and steamed away in the microwave.

I then transferred the cauliflower in a hand blender (or food processor if you have one) and blended until smooth. I added skim milk, tad bit of Smart Balance butter, and sea salt for flavor. You could do olive oil, buttermilk, chives...and the list goes on.

These were very satisfying and a nice alternative to mashed potatoes.

Sweet Potato & Cinnamon Brownies

Jeremy has been bugging me for brownies all week so I finally decided to try out this recipe I got out of my Clean Eating Magazine.

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T cinnamon, ground
1 t baking powder
1/4 t sea salt
1 c peeled and cooked sweet potato
1/2 c agave nectar
1/4 c olive oil
1 t pure vanilla extract (Watkins is the best)
6 egg whites
1/2 c low fat plain cream cheese
3 T agave nectar
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t cinnamon, ground
1 T water (optional)

preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownies: combine first 5 dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl and set aside. In food processor, combine sweet potato, agave nectar, olive oil, and vanilla. Puree till smooth.

Gradually mix wet ingredients into dry, until just combined. Do not over mix.
In separate dry bowl, whisk egg whites until fluffy. Using spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter.
Lightly spray sides of baking pan (9x9x2 in) with spray. Pour batter into pan and place into over. Bake for about 16-18 mins.
While brownies are baking, prepare icing. In small bowl, combine cream cheese ,agave nectar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Whisk until smooth. Add water if needed. Cover and refrigerate.
Now the recipe says to let brownie cool in fridge over night and then ice before serving, we were going to wait till morning to try one. So I frosted them after they had cooled and we each enjoyed one..or two :)
They may not be as sweet as your typical brownie, but they have an amazing texture less caloric, added nutrient value (sweet potato) and hit the spot!

nutrients per brownie: calories 140, fat 5g, sat fat 1.5g, carbs 21g, fiber 2g, sugar 12g, protein 4g, sodium 75mg, chol 5mg

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do goog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chicken Veggie Enchiladas

Jeremy loves Mexican so last night I decided it would be Mexican Night serving Chicken Veggie Enchiladas. I got this recipe from my good friend and roommate in college...Mary Jones.

This is one of the few times I cook with cheese...however it is low-fat and fat-free cheese.
I usually try to replace cheese in dishes with cottage cheese.

Chicken Veggie Enchiladas...oh and I forgot to mention...I don't really measure, but this is pretty hard to mess up.

whole wheat tortillas...I found that the Chi Chis brand has no "partially hydrogenated oils"
if you don't like whole wheat, opt for corn
chicken breasts, boiled and shredded....lots
1 can green chili sauce
1/4 ish evaporate milk...although looking for a substitution because it requires so little would,
would plain milk work?
1 package fat free cheese....I used Mozzarella here
1 package reduced fat cheese...and Mexican here
any veggies you have.....this round I used sweet peppers, red peppers, and J put habaneros on thanks!
1 can black beans

Boil chicken and shred. Preheat oven to 350. Mix enchilada sauce and evaporated milk in shallow dish. Place one tortilla in sauce and coat both side. Move to cooking pan and load with chicken, beans, veggies, and a little cheese.
Continue to do this until there is just a little sauce left and the ingredients are gone. Pour remaining sauce and cheese over top enchiladas. bake until heated through....about 15-20ish minutes.
Serve with cottage cheese over top if desired (replaces sour cream) and of course with a side of veggies.

ziploc steambags work like a charm...just put you clean veggie in and follow the instructions on the bag

It may not look the prettiest but it sure tastes good!

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

8,000 calorie no thanks

Sorry, for such a Debby downer topic, but it has to be said.
I'm not sure whether to laugh, cry, or shake my fist with anger at the clip below. Is it okay that journalism writes stories about this when our nation has an obesity epidemic....heart attacks, diabetes....all related to the poor American diets we lead. There are no light hearted commercials about smoking or drinking alcohol....both knowingly bad for our health, so why this.

This is no joking matter when it has been stated that half our American youth will soon be overweight.

ok...that's it...back to light-hearted, tasty and HEALTHY recipes :)

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Crunchy Napa Cabbage Salad

The weekend was nice, relaxing, and cool! 70s in August...unheard of! This makes for great BBQing and bonfire weather.
Kelli (sister) and Mike (her fiance) came up for the weekend to work on wedding stuff and just "hang out." Friday we entertained Mike's cousin Laura and her bf Tom. The cranberry stuffed chx was a hit!
Saturday we made blueberry MOJITOS, turkey/beef burgers, Napa salad, and s'mores and invited over some biking friends.

Mike mastered the mojitos.....made a simple sugar by just pouring splenda in water, mushed up some blueberries and mint leaves, added 1 part rum, 2 parts club soda and I believe 2 parts simple sugar. YUM YUM!

The burgers I always mix 1 lb. lean ground turkey BREAST (not just ground turkey...which is about the equivalent of 93/7 beef) and 1 lb. lean ground beef together. I add Cookies, worcheshire, and or Chili sauce to the meat and mix up. This make delicious and nutritious burgers. Sandwich that burger with a Sandwich Thin.

Crunchy Napa Cabbage Salad is the simplest salad to make and is always a hit.

1/2 C canola oil
1/3 c Splenda
3 T cider vinegar
1 T reduced sodium soy sauce (I omit this and use the flavor packet...chicken works well)

2 (3.5 oz packages Ramen noodles (I only use one)
3-4 shallots (use onion and some green stem part)
1 T canola oil
1 T sesame seed (optional)
4 cloves garlic (I omit...Jeremy hates garlic)
1 bag of sliced cabbage
1/2 c slivered almonds

In saucepan, combine oil, sugar, vinegar, and flavor packet (or soy sauce).
Simmer for 1 minute; cool. With a rolling pin, crush noodles into small pieces (or just break up while in bag...less mess). In skillet, heat oil over low heat. Add noodles, sesame seeds, and garlic (optional). Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Pour cabbage into large salad bowl. Slice shallots into small rings and add to bowl. Toss noodle mixture and dressing with cabbage. sprinkle with almond slivers.

Sorry, I do not have any pictures!

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Friday, August 21, 2009

Panel approved Pumpkin-CranRaisin whole wheat muffin

phew...that was a name. I had no other choice....for this tasty muffin I combined the best of two recipes and came out with a rock star. After seeking approval from my taste tester panel (Jeremy and his friend Todd) I decided they were blog worthy...Jeremy thinks selling worthy :)
Shoot...I just missed the fair...probably would have received a blue ribbon :)

Here it is:
Pumpkin-CranRaisin Muffins

Makes 16, although I made 6 jumbo muffins
1/3 c canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
1/2c -3/4 c brown sugar, packed (for a "clean" version: agave nectar or honey, for a lower cal verion: splenda brown sugar)
1/4 c fat-free milk
2 large eggs
1 15 oz can pure pumpkin
1/2 tsp Watkins vanilla (mmmm its the best)
2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/4 c raisins
chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Directions: preheat oven to 375F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with oil or paper liners. In large bowl, combine the oil (applesauce), brown sugar (honey), milk. Add eggs, mixing well after each; stir in the pumpkin, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix until just combined. gently fold in dried cranberries and raisins, if desired walnuts or pecans. Spoon batter into muffin tin. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition info (this is a rough estimate as I make changes): 180 calories, 3 g protein (7 g if you add whey), 27 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g fat, .05 sat fat, 180 mg sodium. Remember this is a rough estimate...varies on size and content.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Herbs - I'm thinking mojitos

Today I planted my first herb garden! It was part of Jeremy's B-Day gift to me :) I am so excited. I realize it is a little late in the year, but don't think that will deter me. The heavenly scents of goodness I chose with Salmon, Parsley....not sure yet...ideas? spearmint...mojitos...duh and cut up in fruit salads. I really have a lot to learn about how and when to cook with herbs, but that is why I got I have to. This lovely line up will hopefully make some tastefully, healthy meals (herbs are a great way to make dishes taste good with out the added fat and salt)

look...already have a visitor

Because it is so late in the year I have found some good tips on how to freeze herbs:

Freezing Herbs BRRRR
Several books and articles on herbs recommend freezing as an easy way to preserve herbs.
Recommendations vary on the best way to freeze herbs, how long frozen herbs will maintain a satisfactory flavor and which herbs will freeze well. Be aware that when herbs are frozen, they become limp, lose their color and are best used in cooked foods. The most conservative guidelines for how long herbs will maintain their quality frozen range from two to six months. Here are three possible ways to freeze herbs:
The easiest method and one recommended on the National Center for Home Food Preservation Web site <> states: "Wash, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Wrap a few sprigs or leaves in freezer wrap and place in a freezer bag. Seal and freeze. These can be chopped and used in cooked dishes. These usually are not suitable for garnish, as the frozen product becomes limp when it thaws."

Another method recommends washing herbs, cutting them into tiny pieces and then filling the sections of an ice cube tray about half full with herbs. Cover herbs with cold water and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen cubes to a freezer bag and squish out as much air as possible. Drop them into soups, stews and sauces as needed. Be aware herbs may stain plastic ice cube trays.

To save time chopping herbs into tiny pieces, you might try making a "slurry." Simply puree your washed herbs in a blender with a small amount of water. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and add to foods, as desired.
Regardless of how you freeze herbs, label them as to type (they tend to look the same frozen) and the date frozen. If you freeze quite a few herbs, it may be easier to find them in your freezer if you store the individual packages together in one large container.

Simple uses of herbs:

Herb/Food Combinations
Here are some ideas to help you start combining fresh herbs with your foods.
BASIL - a natural snipped in with tomatoes; terrific in fresh pesto; other possibilities include pasta sauce, peas, zucchini
CHIVES - dips, potatoes, tomatoes
CILANTRO - Mexican, Asian and Caribbean cooking; salsas, tomatoes
DILL - carrots, cottage cheese, fish, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes
MINT - carrots, fruit salads, parsley, peas, tabouli, tea
OREGANO - peppers, tomatoes
PARSLEY - The curly leaf is the most common, but the flat-leaf or Italian parsley is more strongly flavored and often preferred for cooking. Naturals for parsley include potato salad, tabouli
ROSEMARY - chicken, fish, lamb, pork, roasted potatoes, soups, stews, tomatoes
SAGE - poultry seasoning, stuffings
TARRAGON - chicken, eggs, fish
THYME - eggs, lima beans, potatoes, poultry, summer squash, tomatoes
WINTER SAVORY - dried bean dishes, stews


of course I had to find a "healthier" option. I plan to try these this weekend for a BBQ at our place. Have not decided on which recipe yet. Maybe you can help me decide?

Mojito #1


1⁄2 lime, cut into 6 wedges,1 1⁄2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons torn mint leaves,1⁄2 teaspoon honey, warmed, 2 ounces rum4 ounces club soda, Fresh mint sprig (optional)Lime wedge (optional)

1. Fill a martini shaker with 1 cup ice. Add lime wedges, lime juice, and mint. Muddle lime and mint with a pestle or a long spoon until well-bruised and fragrant.
2. Combine honey, rum, and club soda; stir gently to dissolve honey. Add to muddled mixture; stir until mixture is well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice; garnish with mint and lime, if desired. (Serving size: 1 mojito)
Nutrition:Calories 153; Fat 0g (Sat 0g, Mono 0g, Poly 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 0g; Carbohydrate 7g; Sugars 4g; Fiber 0g; Iron 0mg; Sodium 25mg; Calcium 12mg


Weight Watcher Mojito Recipe aka M0jito #2

1.5 oz Bacardi Rum- 12 fresh spearmint leaves- 1/2 lime- 7 oz sprite zero or club soda- 2 tbsp. Splenda -I WOULD USE STEVIA

In a cool tall glass, muddle the mint, Splenda and lime juice. Add crushed ice. Add rum, soda and stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint. Serve and enjoy!

I usually do not like to post a recipe before I have tried it, but I was looking for ways to use parsley and found this simple one from that has parsley, rosemary and thyme!

Grilled Fish Dish

INGREDIENTS 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
4 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
1 lemon, juiced

Preheat grill for medium heat.
In a shallow glass dish, mix the olive oil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Place the salmon in the dish, turning coat. Squeeze lemon juice over each fillet. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Lightly oil grill grate. Transfer salmon to the grill, and discard any remaining marinade. Cook salmon on preheated grill over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Grilled Fish Dish
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 406
Total Fat: 30.1g
Cholesterol: 83mg
Sodium: 84mg
Total Carbs: 5.2g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5g
Protein: 29.7g

Until next time

look good, feel good, do good

Delicious Dinner, Dirty Husband

Last nights dinner was scrumptious and pleasing to the eye. While Jeremy slaved away power washing our stone walls, I whipped up a Fig & Cranberry Stuffed Chicken Breast recipe I cut out of Clean Eating Magazine. Let's just say it was fine dining with not so fine looking folks :) Jeremy was head to toe covered in mud when I brought out the colorful plate of stuffed chicken, sweet potatoes, and spinach salad. We dined in lawn chairs in the driveway...yes, we really know how to "do it up." The atmosphere was actually quite nice though...a cool summer evening with the sunsetting in front of us.

Fig & Cranberry Stuffed Chicken
serves 4
2 tsp olive oil, divided
4 medium shallots, minced
1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/3 dried figs (although I left these out...didn't know how J would handle them)
4 cups baby spinach, packed
4 T toasted pine nuts
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
sea salt, to taste
1/4 t ground pepper, divided
4 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
juice 1/2 lemon
preheat oven to 400F
heat 1 t oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. add shallots and saute until softened, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add cranberries and figs and continue to cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Add spinach to pan, stir well and cook until wilted, about 1 min. stir in pine nuts and sage, season with salt and pepper, and pour stuffing into a mixing bowl lined with a paper towel to drain excess liquid. set aside and allow to cool at room temperature.
Lay 1 chicken breast horizontally on a cutting board. starting at the thickest side of the breast, hold a sharp knife parallel to the work surface and slice breast horizontally about 3/4 of the way through, then open up breast like a book.
Place sliced breast opened-faced and flat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound to 1/2 inch thickness with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin. remove plastic wrap and repeat process with remaining 3 breasts. Divide stuffing evenly among 4 breasts, placing stuffing lengthwise along bottom edge of each breast. Carefully roll up the chicken breast tightly (like making a sandwich wrap) May need to secure with toothpicks.
Place stuffed chicken, seam side down, onto parchment lined or greased pan. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Brush over chicken.
place pan in oven and roast for about 12 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and stuffing is heated throughout.
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wedding Bells and Sushi!

Sorry for my absence! I have been a bit busy...I am now Mrs. Sara Schwertfeger :) it is pronounced...Schwert...feger. Yes a little harder and more syllables than Boisen, but am very happy to have it.

The day was beautiful and perfect. Being July we expected the hottest day of the's low 80's, bright blue skies, and big puffy white clouds....amazing. The ceremony was very personal and I don't believe there was as dry eye. The reception...unique, urban, and edgy...with great food!

Being a food lover. I have to highlight the food for all of you.
We had two sushi chefs from Iowa City...Andy (who owns Konomi) and his friend Bryan.

They served up a ton of delicious sushi...this was a huge hit! Many people tried sushi for the first time and loved it. We also had Catering by Charlotte...another friend of Jeremy's from Iowa City. She made wonderful, Asian influenced food..spring rolls, salmon kabobs...and some not so Asian food for others...pulled pork sliders, chicken salad sandwiches, chicken kabobs with dipping sauces, glazed berries. Of course her description of the menu is far more appealing and mouth watering.

check out the beautiful spread!

Untill next time...

look good, feel good, do good

Monday, August 10, 2009

Unfortunate Media - GMA and nutritionist

GMA Weekend had an irresponsible and outrageous segment featuring Kimberly
Snyder as a "nutritionist".

She gave misinformation about eating fruit at night, sugar and mood,
artificial sweeteners, soy protein isolate and even watermelon.

This is why society has the wrong idea and misleading information about nutrition. This is why people are so confused on what is perceived to be "good" and what is perceived to be "bad."

The term or title "nutritionist" is vague and can be used by anyone...meaning a PhD or a personal trainer. Why would you not to go to someone who has had the extensive education, proper instruction, and is regulated.

On my website I describe the difference between an RD and a "nutritionist."

The following is from a fellow RD, who put it nicely regarding some of the issues with this "nutritionist" and the statements she has made.

I have read some of your comments regarding registered dietitians. Although I appreciate your enthusiasm for health and nutrition your comments are a gross misrepresentation of the RD. I am a RD in private practice, I individualize my counseling for each patient and I am very aware of all new nutrition topics and trends. I am also a fit competitive athlete and skiing coach, and daily trail run, do yoga, mountain bike climb, ski, etc. My training includes a BS and I am currently finishing a MS in nutrition, I have taken graduate level courses that have explored sustainability issues and alternative medicines. My training also included a 1200 hour, year long residency at one of the top hospitals in the world, the Mayo Clinic, obviously very well respected for their work. My training actually is based on long tern nutrition and health. My training is not unlike that of many registered dietitians and a vast majority have much more experience than I have! I also personally do not know any RD that give out a blanket recommendation for 12 servings of grains a day. I would hope that you would explore a bit more about what RD’s do and their education and training. If you have not had an intensive science background I find it hard to believe that you can understand how nutrients work in the body. I would also hope that you will refrain from discouraging anyone from receiving an actual education in nutrition or public health from an accredited university. Please feel free to email me back with any questions that I can answer for you about RD’s. There are RD’s that are experts in organics, vegetarianism, eating disorders, chronic disease management, sports nutrition, public policy, pediatrics, weight management and the list goes on. There are RD’s that are chefs and yoga instructors and personal trainers with degrees in exercise sports science on top of being experts in human nutrition. Who do top athletes use for nutrition? RD’s. They are the nutrition experts at the olympic training center and most every college and professional program out there. I would ask that you do some further research on the RD, as there are some very intelligent and progressive RD’s right there in your city.
Thank you for reading

Thanks for reading! I just wanted you to be informed!

Until next time...
Look good, feel good, do good