Diet Food

Pumpkin Seeds at Home

After Halloween we’re left with pumpkins of all sizes here and there. Here’s a simple pumpkin seed recipe. Everyone at home loves this pumpkin seeds recipe.

Ingredients:

– Pumpkin seeds

– 1 tsp of butter

– 1 pinch of salt

Directions:

– Heat up oven at 345 F.

– Take the pumpkin seeds out of a pumpkin. Wash them throughly and place on a round baking pan or big plate where you can spread them out well. Let them air dry for about 4-6 hours or overnight.

Heat the butter until it melts and add the salt. Mix well. Add the seeds to the butter mixture. Cover a baking pan with a baking sheet. Place the seeds on the pan making sure they are well spread appart.

– Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until seeds are brown.

– Enjoy! 🙂

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Lentils and Quinoa

Served Lentils and Quinoa

Lentils and Quinoa

Quinoa has been recently been given a boost in popularity due to its many benefits! What I like the most is that it is extremely low in  carbohydrate and it fills me up much more than pasta, rice or bread, without the calories! 🙂 It is very low in cholesterol and sodium and it has magnesium and phosphorus. It’s a great source of manganese, all great nutrients so important for me and my family.
In terms of flavor I  must say I had to try several recipes to start to enjoy and learn how to prepare it well. My husband and kids followed my footsteps and now I have to prepare double portions since they all want some.
Here is my favorite recipe. It is perfect as comfort food and great for any time of the year. That said, I can also see this recipe making a great cold weather crock pot or potluck meal.
  1. Prepare lentils per package directions. Prepare 2 cups of lentils. When seasoning, only add salt, pepper to taste and one basil leave. It’s best if you prepare the lentils from scratch. I recommend that you avoid the temptation to use canned lentils. The flavors will be better if you do not use canned lentils.
  2. Prepare quinoa per package directions. Prepare 1 cup of quinoa. When seasoning the quinoa, add:
    1. 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. If you don’t enjoy spicy foods then change the red pepper flakes part to 1/4 tsp.
  3. Mix the two preparations in one saucer or pot when both of them are ready. Let them cook for at least 10 minutes together. Add peas and carrots to the mix and allow the mixture to continue to cook for another 10 minutes, mixing well.
  4. Optional: Sprinkle dry parsley on top of each serving.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Some pics to illustrate the process.. and to explain why I love this dish so much. 🙂
Quinoa

Quinoa in the Bag

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Fully cooked Lentils

Mix of Lentils and Quinoa

Fully Cooked Lentils and Quinoa Cooking with Peas and Carrots.

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Yum! It’s ready to enjoy!

Salad Recipe Collection – Chef Salad – 1 of 5

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Starting with a Chef Salad, health awareness comes under the spotlight. Without remorse, I will take a liberal, indulgent approach to traditional recipes. After all, I want a personal mark on the food I share with loved ones. Salads are usually my preference for pot luck events and entertaining family and friends. The five salad recipes chosen in my collection are budget friendly, easy to make, fresh and definitely fit for a light lunch option as well.

My Chef Salad Recipe

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1. Assemble the ingredients: Ham, turkey, hard-boiled egg, mozzarella cheese, tomato, sweet peppers and lettuce.

Chefsalad3_copyright2. Cut the lettuce in bite-size chunks.

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3. Coat the lettuce with your favorite dressing (I used store-bought Ranch – nothing wrong with that.)

Chefsalad5_copyright4. Assemble the ingredients around the plate on top of the salad and cover with french bread small pieces.

5. Notes on omissions and other toppings:

  • I did not add avocado to this recipe. Instead I added Gorgonzola cheese. When entertaining, have an avocado handy and ready to slice if your conservative guest can’t live without it.
  • No cucumbers either.. Instead, I added sweet peppers; I love their fragrant, sugary crunch.
  • Salt and pepper can be added at the end, or after coating the lettuce with dressing.

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Chef Salad – 1 of 5 healthy posts.. 🙂

Enjoy the holidays without the extra pounds?

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Every time Christmas comes around, worries about the extra pounds threaten the joy of the season. Some tips follow..

1. Entertaining at home. Shop wisely. Keep nuts, veggies and fruit snacks (carrots, celery, grapes, strawberries, etc) handy.  

2. Eating out. Eat a healthy snack before leaving home. Once there, look for healthy menu options. Most restaurants include calories and nutrition information or light options in the menu. (Chefs all over the country are working hard to make those light meals taste delicious anyway, so why not?)

3. Plan your event or outing ahead of time. Once on the road, avoid fast food stops. Pack containers with healthy snacks for kids and adults.

4. Catching up over coffee. Avoid whip cream additions; Choose non-fat milk and smallest size servings. Try to go for healthy snacks and avoid pastry options.

5. Taking the kids out for a treat. Choose frozen yogurt over ice cream. The frozen yogurt toppings bar will win any argument.  

6. Exercise. If your daily exercise routine is threatened, take 5 minutes out of your busy schedule to do some jumping jacks at home before heading out to greet friends and family.

IMG_4824Look forward to that unique and special [diet-breaking worthy] treat we only have this time of year! 

 

Healthy Snacks (Part 3 of 3)

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Nuts and dried fruits.

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Low fat yogurt topped with granola, nuts and raisins.

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Low fat yogurt topped with granola, nuts, raisins and fresh kiwi.

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Celery with peanut butter.

Combine nuts, dried fruits, veggies, [low-fat] dairy several ways. Indeed, a clean, easy, low-cost way to go when it comes to healthy snacks. This is not breaking news; rather a reminder. Healthy options abound in local and [even] convenience stores everywhere. Yet, sometimes what matters most are the choices we make.