Like a lot of moms, working or otherwise, dinner is one of the most complicated parts of my day. I’m a dedicated meal planner, and more times than not it saves me. But there are nights, like this one, where the wheels fall off. It happens to the best of us. My initial reaction was, “there’s nothing in the house.” Somewhat true, I haven’t yet been to the grocery store this week. We all use this excuse, but honestly, we all have so much stuff stockpiled in our pantries and freezers that it’s more likely we’re just not interested in figuring something out with the puzzle pieces of cans and frozen veggies.
Tonight, I challenged myself to make something delicious and satisfying with nothing more than what we had on hand.
I served my family grilled BBQ marinated chicken with a black bean and corn salsa and honey rosemary mashed sweet potatoes. Not entirely complementary by culinary standards, but it received rave reviews by way of spotless plates.
It started with the chicken. Our local Amish butcher shop has wonderful chicken breasts marinated in BBQ spices. I use this chicken to make our BBQ Chicken Tacos with Avocado Coleslaw. My husband had the foresight to pull two pieces out of the freezer this morning. So this was where I started. The unseasonably warm weather meant I got to fire up the grill! (more…)
On the wake of my birthday week, I’m still eating like a queen. Sunday kicked off an all-day meal fest that started with breakfast and ended with an full-on taco bar at our place. The taco theme was my request as I love absolutely adore Mexican food.
The running joke around the office this week has been that, while my taco bar birthday party has come and gone, the leftovers have supplied my lunch all week long. Monday: Taco salad with beef. Tuesday: Taco salad with refried beans. You get the idea. “Tacos for lunch again today! What a surprise!” (more…)
When you lead a busy life, grocery shopping can be a time-consuming chore. If you’re beginning a new diet, you have probably seen a number of resources that offer sample grocery lists and suggested items that deserve a permanent place in your pantry or refrigerator.
While those lists can be helpful, they are sometimes more confusing than useful. Recently, we caught up with Caroline Cederquist, M.D. and founder of BistroMD, a gourmet meal delivery service developed by physicians. Cederquist shared her top ten grocery list items that she recommends patients purchase when they want to eat a healthier diet.
“The shopping list consists of top 10 mainstay items that help you stay on track, lose weight, and add lots of flavor to meals and snacks,” Cederquist said. “A lot of these items can also be used to substitute higher calorie foods for healthier ones.”
Appetizers and finger foods can be the most exciting part of a meal – sometimes they even steal the show from the main dish itself. In the summertime, chips and dips might be convenient but they aren’t always the healthiest pair.
Next time you need a healthier appetizer or hors d’oeuvre, ditch the bag of chips and store-bought salsa and make slimmer versions of your favorite meal starters.
Instead of Ranch or Onion Dip…
Blue Cheese Dip. Most prepackaged dips and mixes have a lot of calories, fat, sodium and even sugar. Making your own, especially one perfect for the Atkins Diet, is a healthier alternative to your store-bought standby.
On picnics and at barbecues, it isn’t often the main dishes that contribute the most calories to the meal. Side dishes, picnic salads and desserts can all be heavy and high-calorie if you aren’t careful to limit the oil, dairy and other indulgent ingredients.
Make a few simple swaps next time you plan a picnic or outdoor dinner party to shave hundreds off calories off your summer meals.
Carrot Hummus: Baby carrots are often used as a dipping vehicle for this chickpea-packed Middle Eastern spread, but this recipe incorporates carrots within. Serve over whole grain crackers or whole wheat pita bread – or even with raw veggie sticks for even more nutrition.
Herbed Dip for Veggies: If you want to up your veggie intake at your next picnic, ditch the chips and whip up a dip for your favorite vegetables that uses light sour cream and silken tofu.