Feb 072011
 

Today’s Eat. Live.Be. for a better 2011 is how to get out of a rut.

The only thing that works for me is to change things up and simply keep trying. Think about it, any time we start anything new, we go through a honeymoon phase. If it’s a new diet, we are all gung-ho at first, since it’s new. On top of that, it is really motivating to see results. Then the plateau hits, and the weight stops coming off quite as easily. For me, I’m always trying to lose the last five pounds. I love the new weight watcher program but realize that, to keep things interesting, I still need to try new foods. Having this blog really helps because it keeps me excited about trying new recipes and sharing the results.

Take this North African Chickpea Stew. I was able to use the base recipe from Eating Well and change it up to use some of the calabaza and some of the fresh cilantro in a new way, when I could have simply roasted the squash and used the cilantro in salsa. (Not that I don’t still do that. I’m just saying it is great to change it up.) On the down side, it was a bit labor intensive with prepping the squash. But, in the end, it was so worth it to be able to share it with you as well as my friend Suzanne, who belongs to the same CSA, and my friend Justine; my friend that did the Acro-yoga with me. It makes a LOT.  The serving size is 8 but I am sure I could get 10 servings out of it which is why I’m sharing.  I really liked the sweetness of the squash, the nutty crunch of peanuts and the aromatic cilantro.

Speaking of Acro-yoga, this is an example of how to keep the motivation going with working out as well. I already know I love yoga and try to make a class two to four times per week, but it’s the same teacher (unless they have a sub for some reason which is rare) and a lot of times I can anticipate what they will say next. When Justine invited me to try this workshop, I thought, yes! What a great way to visit a new studio; try a new teacher and a new form of yoga. So, on top of trying new forms of working out, you can even change up the way you already do your workouts. If you run, what about getting a running partner; if you bike, try joining a group, or do what I did….check out a new studio, teacher and method!

North African Chickpea Stew
Slightly altered from Eating Well Squash, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew
Serves 10



Ingredients

3/4 cup dried chickpeas
3 lbs calabaza squash, butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron, 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp PB2 (a powdered peanut butter product), Optional
2 cups water (optional to thin consistency)


Directions


1. Place chickpeas in medium bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.

2.Combine the soaked chickpeas through pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.  Cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
 3.Stir in lime juice, peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Facts according to SparkRecipes

8 Servings
***5 WW Pts Plus (this is using the calabaza, when I switched to butternut the pts plus value went up to 6)Amount Per Serving


Calories 177.6
Total Fat 5.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 494.9 mg
Potassium 395.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.2 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 9.6 g

Vitamin A 58.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.0 %
Vitamin C 14.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 6.3 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 11.5 %
Folate 21.5 %
Iron 12.2 %
Magnesium 10.5 %
Manganese 28.8 %
Niacin 10.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.0 %
Phosphorus 12.2 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 3.7 %
Thiamin 8.3 %
Zinc 7.1 %

Jun 302010
 
Recently I discovered Clean Eating Magazine.  I love the fresh ingredients, colorful photos, easy to read recipes and nutrition information for each.  
I’m in trouble….another food magazine to love.
But you will be proud of me.  Instead of hoarding the magazines until it becomes unbearable and we have to drop them all off at the local home for the elderly (don’t worry we still drop off the National Geographics), I have begun the process of cutting out the recipes I want to try and placing them in a three ring binder.
This was one that made the cut. After making it, I now know why.  The sweet banana really stood out against the spicy jalapeno and chili powder.  It literally took me 15 minutes to make this one from start to finish. 
Their recipe called for six tilapia fillets so two would be left over to go with the extra salsa; however, I’ll had to come up with another round two recipe (which will be posted later) as I only bought four fillets.  I also forgot to put the tsp of chili powder in the salad but it was still so good even Chris ate it and he’s not big on dishes with fruit in them.
This one is a definite keeper and I highly suggest checking out Clean Eating Magazine for yourself!

Chili Rubbed Tilapia with Banana Black Bean Salad
Altered from Clean Eating Magazine’s Grilled Tilapia with Banana Black-Bean Salad

Ingredients

4 tilapia fillets
1 tsp chili powder
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Cooking Spray

Salad (This can be made while fish is cooking or in advance.)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions

1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.

2. Season fish with chili powder, salt and pepper and place in pan.  Cook each side for three to four minutes or until fish is cooked through.

3. Mix salad ingredients.

4. Top each piece of fish with 2/3 cup salad mixture. 

**There will be some salad mixture left over for use in a round two recipe.

May 042010
 
We celebrated Mother’s Day last Sunday as my mom is going on a trip to Sedona, Arizona over the actual date.  We decided to make fish and shrimp tacos and I used the same marinade I had created previously for the fish and shrimp but added a teaspoon of minced garlic (if you need a cood marinade you must try it!) and then also changed up the salsa a bit.  I added a can of black beans and diced some of the grilled onions in addition to left over grilled corn. 
Grilled Corn-Onion Black Bean Salsa
(Use any amount of the below ingredients to your liking.)

Ingredients

Grilled corn
Grilled onions
Cilantro
Campari tomatoes
Black beans
Yellow onion
Jalapeno
Lime juice
Salt and pepper
Feb 042010
 
At the farmers market I got the biggest hunk o’ fresh ginger for one dollar that I have ever seen.  Cilantro sounded like it would pair well. 

So what does one do with a large bunch of cilantro and gigantic hunk of spicy ginger? Marinate tempeh! 

I was  a little nervous grilling this as the marinade was very thick but luckily it turned out perfectly.  The flavor of the lime shows through and the marinade really brings out the nuttiness in the tempeh.

Ginger Cilantro Honey Tempeh Salad
Vegetarian, Gluten Free

Ingredients

2 Tempeh burgers, I used Artie’s Tempeh
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray

Marinade:

4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 Tbsp honey 

lime juice from two limes

1 bunch of cilantro
3 Tbsp canola or extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Sesame seeds (optional)

Fixins: (in any amount you like)

Broccoli slaw
Fresh baby spinach
Sprouts
Carrots
Green onions

Baby Portobello mushrooms

Directions

1. Blend all marinade ingredients except the sesame seeds until smooth.  Stir in the seeds.  Pour half in a zip top bag or bowl. Marinate the tempeh for 24 hours. Reserve the other half as dressing. 

2. Remove the tempeh after marinating and place on a preheated grill that has been prepped with cooking spray.  Grill for 4 minutes per side.  Remove from grill to cool then slice thinly.

3. Place your salad fixings on a plate, top with tempeh and some of the reserved dressing.