Archive | Healthy RSS feed for this section

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

20 Dec

Quick post today! First off, I will not be doing my usual #FollowFriday post tomorrow. Instead, I’ll be participating in Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook. Crazy for Crust has organized a way for the blogging community to show support and give tribute to those effected by the shootings last week. (I’ve copied and pasted part of her post from her blog below.)

On Friday, December 21, 2012, we are going to honor the victims, families, and community of Newtown by doing a post in their honor. Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook will be one way we can show support in the aftermath of this unimaginable event.

cookies-and-crafts-for-sandy-hook

On Friday, December 21, write a post sharing a cookie or a craft and a tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There is no specific requirement…just do or make something to show your support. Maybe something you would make for, or with, your children.

Please spread the word about this united effort wherever you can. You can use the hashtag #BloggersforSandyHook.

Don’t have a blog? That’s okay. You can still share something for Sandy Hook. Take a picture and post it on your Facebook wall, your Twitter feed. Share on Instagram or your Google+ or wherever you can to unite us in our tribute.

So please come back tomorrow to see what treat I’ve made. I still have no idea what to do. I tried making cookies yesterday and it was a total epic disaster. I used to think it was my oven’s fault, but now that I see a pattern, it’s probably just me. 🙂

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich The Tasty Fork

Do you love turkey? How about turkey sandwiches? I sure do but doing the typical turkey, mustard and cheese thing gets pretty boring for me. I came up with a Mediterranean sandwich spread, almost like a tapenade, to switch up the everyday turkey sandwich. The spread consists of artichokes, roasted red peppers, onions, banana peppers, balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil. Add to a blender or food processor, and then you have a low-calorie and flavorful sandwich spread. You won’t miss the mayo or mustard with this sandwich!

If you’re having guests in town for the holidays, this sandwich is great for everyone and it’s a little different from what you can get anywhere else. Pair it with some sweet potato fries and you’ve got a filling meal.

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

  • 10 oz can artichoke hearts, drained 
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/2 banana peppers, mild
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 8 sandwich rolls
  • 1 lb deli turkey
  • reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
  • lettuce
  • shredded carrots

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, add artichokes and the next 6 items. Blend until is a paste consistency.
  2. Warm sandwich rolls in the oven. Split and spread both sides of bread with the artichoke mixture.
  3. Top with turkey, feta cheese crumbles, lettuce and shredded carrots.
Advertisements

Recipe Makeover — Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

19 Dec

Christmas is less than a week away!!! I finished my holiday shopping on Monday. (Thank you, Amazon!) I had everything shipped to my in-laws houses, so fingers crossed all of the gifts will be there when I arrive this weekend.

I really do try to eat healthy during the week and get to the gym 5-6 days/week. It’s an active effort everyday and trust me, there are days when I think to myself, “It would just be easier to pick something up to eat.” Or, “Gosh, I have so much work to do. I should just skip the gym.” But I know that’s just my lazy inner self just getting the best of me. There are a few strategies I use to keep me on track.

  1. Packing a gym bag in my car prevents me from coming home and keeping me there.
  2. Find others who can be support you and help you to be accountable — Find a gym buddy. Sign up for classes. Write down in your planner when you’ll be going to the gym each day.
  3. Plan meals ahead of time and look for healthy substitutes.

I can’t help you with making sure to pack a gym bag everyday, but I can help you with a getting involved with a community and healthy meal planning. Emily from Sweet Bella Roos has started an online community called Counting Cupcakes. (How cute!!) This group is for anyone who wants to start (or continue) to live a healthy lifestyle. There will be a weekly newsletter which will feature a healthy recipe, a sweet treat recipe and a weekly meal plan. Click on the cute lil cupcake to sign up!

aqua150

When you look at your favorite recipes, try to find new ways to make it better for you. Add more vegetables so you get fiber and stay full longer, skip butter & cream and use olive oil & skim milk instead, use fresh herbs and seasonings instead of salt or fat. It takes some practice, but I know you can do it.

There is a local restaurant in town and they have the best chicken & rice soup I’ve ever had. It’s creamy and delicious. I really wanted to recreate it at home and make it a lighter option. I added vegetables & brown wild rice. Instead of cream, I used skim milk and reduced fat cream cheese to give it a creamy texture. It totally worked! And since I made it at home, it wasn’t loaded with salt and I wasn’t tempted to dunk a huge loaf of bread into the soup. (this restaurant gives you huge portions and a loaf of bread which every order. It’s a total calorie bomb.)

Recipe Makeover Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup the Tasty Fork

I know with Christmas & New Years right around the corner, you might not be in the mood for a soup makeover recipe, but pin it and come back when you’ve started your new years resolution to get healthy. It doesn’t taste like a “diet” meal, which is important to me! 🙂

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice (I used Uncle Ben’s and included the spice packet.)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 to 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. When cooked, set aside. 
  2. In a large dutch oven, bring the heat to medium and add oil. When the oil is warm, add onion & thyme. Stir & cook for 2 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and stock; bring to boil. Cover pot; reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are tender.
  3. Combine milk and flour; stir with a wisk and make sure there are no clump. Pour milk mixture into soup and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream cheese. When all of the cream cheese has dissolved, add in rice & chicken. Let all of the ingredients fold into the soup and warm up. Taste and season with salt & pepper if needed. Garnish soup with parsley.

Copy Cat Recipe – Taco Bell’s Meximelt (healthy option!)

6 Dec

Healthy Meximelt - The Tasty Fork

I have a secret…About once a month, usually on a Sunday night, I get a craving for Taco Bell. Yes, I know that stuff is just terrible for you but why does terrible taste so darn good?!! And why is terrible so cheap??!

I always order the same items. One of those items being a Meximelt. It has ground beef, pico de gallo and cheese all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. The cheese is melted and the pico de gallo has a lot of cilantro. There really isn’t much to it… which got me to thinking, “Why can’t I make meximelts at home?”

Healthy TB Meximelt --The Tasty Fork

You totally can. I made a few changes to make my at home Meximelt a healthy option. It was just as delicious! I’m not going to say I’ll never order a Meximelt again from Taco Bell, but knowing I can get my fix at home is pretty satisfying.

Do you have a favorite copy cat recipe? I’d love to know all about it! Head over to my facebook page and post your copy cat recipes. I’ll highlight the ones I want to try!

Taco Bell Inspired Meximelt

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced (no seeds)
  • 1 jalepeno, diced (remove white ribs and seeds)
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas, taco size
  • Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded
  • Hot sauce, optional

Directions:

  1. In a warm skillet, add oil and ground turkey. Cook until browned, 8-10  minutes. Drain excess liquid. Add taco seasoning to the meat mixture. (I followed the directions on the packet by adding 2/3 cup of water along with the taco seasoning.) Cook with meat for 5 minutes.
  2. Make pico de gallo – combine tomatoes, jalepeno, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. When the taco meat is cooked, take 1/4 cup of meat and add it to the middle of a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cook in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until the cheese has melted. Top with pico de gallo.  Add hot sauce, if needed.

Whole Wheat Penne with Triple Tomato Sauce

29 Nov

Every morning I ask my husband, “What do you want for dinner?” (Yes, I’m thinking about dinner at 7am. It’s a problem.) His response is always the same, “Something healthy.” I usually give him a face that says, “Gee, thanks for the imput,” as I rack my brain for meal options. Luckily, I have 11 hours to come up with something.

Yesterday’s recipe post was all about time-saving and short cuts. If a product tastes good and can save me sometime (meaning I get to drink wine and watch TV sooner), I’ll buy it. However, there is one item in a grocery I’ll never buy. Store Bought Pasta Sauce. It never tastes good. I’ve tried different brands but there isn’t one that can trick my taste buds. Making my own pasta sauce is the only way to go.

When I get a craving for pasta, I just go with it. I always buy whole wheat pasta but the sauce creations are endless. Taking into consideration my hubby’s healthy request, I thought a marina sauce would be our best bet. But instead of just using some tomatoes, garlic and basil as a sauce — I wanted to kick it up a bit. I knew we had some sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste in our pantry. 3 different tomato flavors in one sauce. This was gonna be good.

Just because I’m making my own pasta sauce doesn’t mean I’m going to spend a lot of time in my kitchen. This meal was ready in 20 minutes. Honestly, the pasta sauce was ready by the time the pot of water for the pasta started to boil.

So if you’re like me and not a fan of store-bought pasta sauce, give this recipe a try. I think you’ll love all of the rich tomato flavor and you’ll be impressed by how easy it comes together!

Triple Tomato Pasta Sauce with Whole Wheat Penne

  • 1lb whole wheat penne 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 6 basil leaves, torn
  • Basil for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook penne until al dente. Save 1/2 cup of pasta water when draining cooked pasta. You may need it to thin out the sauce.
  2. In a sauce pan with olive oil, add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste. Continue stirring to incorporate paste. Add Salt & Pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes.
  3. In a blender, add canned tomatoes, basil and onion mixture. Blend until smooth. Wipe/wash clean the sauce pan if there is a lot of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. You don’t want a oily sauce. Add sauce back to the pan and keep warm until pasta is cooked. (If you have a Vitamix, just keep the sauce in the blender. The blades will warm it, so you can skip this step.) If the sauce is too thick, add a some of the pasta water to thin it out.
  4. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add sauce and garnish with basil.

Inspired by Food & Wine