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…)
If you’re like us, you start craving hearty comfort foods when the weather takes a chilly turn. The warm, filling satisfaction of a bowl of chili, pot roast or steamy apple crisp is enough to cure even the harshest cases of winter blues. One of our favorite comfort food recipes is this chicken pot pie, which features a whole wheat crust and milk instead of cream for a healthy-yet-delicious twist on a classic.
You won’t find any condensed soup in this recipe as it’s made completely from scratch yet remains surprisingly simple to throw together. From start to finish it requires just one hour and yields four generous servings to feed even the hungriest of eaters in your home.
Recently, on a time-crunched work day, inspiration struck when a craving for tacos found a lone breast of BBQ-rubbed chicken in the freezer. I wasn’t quite sure how to make the barbecue spice meld with a classic taco, but I was hungry enough to make it work. I let the chicken thaw during the day and by the time I came home from work I had a plan.
The usual tomatoes, black beans, and peppers were not going to make this bird fly; I had to use the traditional barbecue as my muse. That’s when I decided a coleslaw topping would bring these little tacos together perfectly.
So there I was, on a random Tuesday night, throwing together a simple dinner (less than 30 minutes) that was not only super healthy, but about to be pretty darn good. It was so good my family has requested it weekly all summer, and each time I oblige I’m able to fine tune the recipe to the point that I’m ready to share it with all of you. (more…)
By Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, the lead food and nutrition expert for Retrofit.
People always ask me how to start eating better and I say just start right where you are. Don’t wait another minute, start making choices that are improved over yesterday or even this morning. Making healthy choices doesn’t take more time than unhealthy ones, and eating well can be palate-pleasing to even the pickiest of taste-buds. I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes as an example…
The recipe below is 15 minutes start to finish – so it’s perfect for even your busiest days. I used pre-cut, rinsed, fresh veggies to get the nutrition in without the time, swapped out regular pasta for whole grain pasta, and used high-flavor, low-calorie foods (in this case lime, garlic and onion) to pump up the taste without adding fat.
Simple changes can add up to a great plate, enjoy!
Thai Chicken Noodle Bowl
- 2 ounces uncooked whole grain fettuccini
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 lime juiced (more…)
There are many reasons to be a vegetarian. Some do it purely for health, others maintain a meat-free diet because they feel that it protects animals from suffering. Regardless of the reasons, most vegetarians catch a lot of flak for their choices. A recent look into the world of poultry production and the options in a plant-based diet, may have even the most cynical among us ordering up faux chicken for our next meal.
New York Times, Op-Ed columnist Mark Bittman recently took an objective look into the world of fake meat, and poultry production in the U.S. He first looked at the facts about the chicken industry. The stats are a little unsettling. The U.S. raises and kills almost eight billion chickens a year. The growth is so rapid among industry chickens that the Veterinary Record has said that most of the chickens have bone disease and are in chronic pain. For a reflection, the University of Arkansas did a study and reported that if humans grew as fast as industry chickens, they would weigh nearly 350 pounds by age 2.
In addition to the animals being roughly manipulated, Bittman was clear to point out the other effects of raising meat in this manner. Not all are impacted by what some would call cruelty to animals, but the other factors effect many humans. When chickens are raised so quickly, producers are having difficulty dealing with the waste. Manure, waste water, and post-slaughter residue are all in excess and aren’t being disposed of efficiently at all facilities.
March marks the start of nutrition labels for raw meat and poultry. The new USDA rule states that nutrition information must be made available for most ground meat and ground poultry and for popular cuts of the two.
Previously, the USDA only required nutrition labels on meat that had added ingredients like stuffing or a marinade sauce. Now, all ground meat and poultry must carry a label. Along with ground meat 40 popular cuts will also be required to post a label either on the product or on a nearby chart. Some of those cuts include beef porterhouse steaks, chicken breasts, and pork chops.
The labels will provide the calorie and fat content of the meat. If the product shows a percentage of lean meat, it must also include the percentage of fat.
The labels do not have to include amount of trans fat though. This is not a requirement as the USDA estimated that nearly 80 percent of all nutrition labels list trans fat voluntarily.
There is an exception to the new labeling rule. Small meat grinding businesses are exempt. As long as the business provides lean and fat content information and makes no other nutrition claims on the package, they do not have to provide the other content in a label.
We’re just two days out from Super Bowl Sunday and the anticipation is building! There’s not much to do between now and kick-off except plan Super Bowl recipes and watch Super Bowl commercials. A staple of any proper football tailgate (whether at an actual tailgate or on your sofa) is buffalo chicken. The popular buffalo flavor has many iterations, and this morning, the web wants to know all about buffalo chicken dip.
Yesterday, Mike Valenti published his buffalo chicken dip recipe on CBS Detroit. It looks tasty, no one wonder people are scrambling to find it. However, it also doesn’t look very good for you at all. His original recipe includes regular cream cheese, ranch dressing, an entire rotisserie chicken, and regular cheddar cheese. We estimate a serving of his has at least 487 calories per 3.2-ounce serving. So, we did what we do best, we gave his dip a makeover!
We trimmed a lot of calories, fat, and saturated fat off of his recipe. You’ll get the exact same results, just as much flavor, and feel way better about eating it. With the adjustments we’ve made, the recipe now has about 206 calories per 3.2 oz. serving (this does not include the chips).
DIR’s Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 2 8-oz. packages of reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 16 oz. 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ranch dip seasoning packet
- 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 24 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast shredded and skin removed (bake, grill, or stew in the slow cooker with some of the hot sauce)
- 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese (more…)
Grilled chicken is a food that’s often recommended as part of weight-loss plans, because it’s low in fat and high in protein, which helps promote satiety. However, that seemingly innocent chicken breast you ordered at Subway or Burger King is not really the healthy item it masquerades as, despite the grill marks on the meat.
That’s because few fast food restaurants are willing to actually grill. Instead, these chicken breasts are cooked with an industrial process and branded with char marks to make it appear as if the meat might have once touched a grill. The only major fast food chains we know of to actually grill its chicken are Chick-fil-A and Chipotle, while McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell all opt for fake char marks.
The demand for chicken in the US is down, and we can only speculate as to why. Many argue that tough economic conditions have caused Americans to decrease their meat consumption and opt for lower-cost foods. Chicken inventories are 13.1 percent higher than they were a year ago, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
In response to the gap between product and demand, the U.S. government is making a special purchase of 40 million dollars worth of chicken products, which will be distributed to school lunch programs and soup kitchens.
“Thanks to prevailing price trends, the government is getting a bargain on high-quality food to help meet the nutritional needs of the clients of these programs, while the industry is getting some relief from excessive inventories,” said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack also praised the deal, saying “it will also provide support to the broiler industry and the many small independent poultry growers that depend on the industry for their livelihood.”