Category Archives for "Main Dish"

Homemade Ketchup

“Help I forgot to buy ketchup and dinner is going to be ready in 15 minutes.”

Imagine me watching my hamburgers cooking and going to the fridge to realize I was missing a crucial ingredient – ketchup. My family enjoys ‘Naked Hamburgers’ as a staple at dinner time. (Naked Hamburgers are burgers served without a bun.)  

I thought about using salsa and calling them Mexican burgers or laying a bit of pasta sauce under the burger and laying a slice of avocado and piece of basil on top for Italian burgers. I just wasn’t feeling the love so I did what all of us would do, I made my own ketchup. It was fast and my family loved the fresh taste this ketchup offers.

Homemade Ketchup

4 chopped pitted dates

1 6 -ounce can tomato paste

1 14 - ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup broth or water, add this in little at a time

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Store in mason jars or similar jars in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Tips for Eating Out

Going out to a restaurant can be difficult. Last time I went I found 4 items on the menu, that could easily be adjusted. Each of those I needed to substitute an item or ask the server not to bring out something but I walked away totally satisfied.

It can be done.

My Tips to you:

Be prepared when eating out: Look over the menu before you go. Decide before you go. Foods look and smell tempting so don't let your will power be put to the test.

Ask the server not to leave the bread on the table or not to leave you the appetizer plate.

Soups just like casseroles will have added hidden things like sugars in them.

Look for menu items that have no sauce or glaze. But you can also ask the server not to add that to your dish.

Order meats that are grilled.

Instead of rice or a potato many restaurants will double your portion size of veggies without additional cost.

When ordering a salad ask for the croutons, cheese, or crispy pita strips to be left off as well as the salad dressing. I have found many places that will bring out a bottle of olive oil and vinegar so you can pour your own on. But when all else fails, ask to have a few lemon slices brought out. Squeezed lemon on your salad is fantastic!

If you are not sure of the ingredient list – ask

If available, you can request the special allergy menus, too, which usually include gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, soy-free, etc. options...

Be over - the - top kind when asking for special requests or substitutions, your server will appreciate it and will more than likely help you out even more.

More tips from those who frequent restaurants? Let us know where you eat and what you get.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Kitchen Sink Soup

Its been snowing quite a bit lately and I have been in the mood for soup more than usual this winter. This recipe is a favorite because it makes such a large batch of soup, but also because it uses up just about anything I have in my fridge. Bonus is my kids love it.

Kitchen Sink Soup

3 pounds ground beef

3-4 cups chicken broth

3-4 cups water (or more if needed – less if you want yours more “stew like”)

2 cups diced tomatoes

1 large sweet potato, diced

6 carrots, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

2-3 cups shredded green cabbage

3 small shallots, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 teaspoons ground cumin

1-2 teaspoons coriander

2 teaspoons chili powder

1-2 tablespoons dried basil

About 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a large soup pot add the sweet potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, and water and bring to a boil

In a separate large pot or skillet, brown the 3 pounds of ground beef, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper, and set aside. You can also use ground chicken, turkey, or lamb.

After the soup pot comes to a boil, add the shallots, garlic, diced tomatoes, celery, and bell pepper and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the browned ground beef and shredded cabbage and continue to simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

Season with all of the spices. Taste, and add more seasoning if desired.

Stir in the fresh cilantro and serve.

*Tips: Garnish with more fresh cilantro if desired, diced green onions, minced jalapeños and more shredded green cabbage. With your leftovers, eat a bowl of soup for breakfast topped with fried or poached egg!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Avocado Cauliflower Toast

Eating PPW, protein, produce and water, doesn't mean you're eating broccoli, chicken, and salad at every single meal. This recipe is a great way to enjoy, a healthy protein, a wonderful fat, and a great tasting vegetable for breakfast. 

Avocado Cauliflower Toast

1/2 head cauliflower, or use 2 cups fresh or frozen riced cauliflower

3 eggs, divided

kosher salt

extra-virgin olive oil

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

Juice of 1 lemon

pinch red chili flakes

Grate cauliflower on a box grater. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with 1 egg and a large pinch of salt.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add 2 big scoops of cauliflower mixture to pan and shape into a round patty. Repeat to make a second patty. Let cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then carefully flip. Cook 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate.

In same skillet, fry remaining 2 eggs and set aside.

In a small bowl, mash avocado with lemon juice. Season with salt. Spread on top of cauliflower “toast.” Sprinkle with red chili flakes. Top each with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy



Butternut Squash Breakfast


Serves 5-6

2 cups butternut squash, cubed

2 tablespoons butter or ghee

1 pound breakfast sausage

1 tablespoon minced sage + extra sage leaves for garnish

10 eggs, whisked

salt and pepper. to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss butternut squash in butter and sprinkle with salt. Place in oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, until soft and browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Cook breakfast sausage in medium saute pan over medium heat. Break breakfast sausage into small pieces and cook until no pink remains.

Whisk together eggs then add in breakfast sausage, butternut squash, minced sage along with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into greased baking dish, top with extra sage leaves, then place in an oven for 30-40 minutes, until it is baked through. 

Quick tip: Buy frozen butternut squash that is already cut up into cubes. No need to worry about a sharp knife slipping with such an awkward shaped vegetable. 

Changing Your Child’s Diet


Many moms want to eat healthy and they want their kids to eat healthy too but how do you get a ten year old to choose healthy eating? How do get them to crave foods that will not harm their bodies? How do you go from Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts to Baby Carrots and Fresh Fruit?

There is hope. In the process of changing children’s diets, you must remember that they are probably not as excited about this new way of eating as you are, yet they do respond much more quickly to diet change than adults. Remember you can’t change anyone overnight. Here are a few points to keep in mind if you don’t want to face a food battle each day.

  1. Set an example, the old motto “ children do as I say” does not work well unless they can also “do as you do”. They are aware even if you think they are not watching.
  2. Sit your child down and explain to them on their level what a good diet and bad diet can do. Let them know about diabetes, how TV commercials seldom advertise healthy foods, and what different types of food do once they are in your body.
  3. Make mealtime a positive time for the family. Let them fix part of the meal, talk about fun activities at the table. This is not the time to go over the note sent home from the teacher. Why not let them choose a meal each week?
  4. Try to make your meals as colorful as possible.
  5. Try one new recipe each week. This will gradually give you a large variety of meals to prepare. This can also add to the fun. Monday night could be designated “Mom’s new meal night”. How about letting each child pick a recipe out to try each week?
  6. Encourage your children to eat salad. You can add many different types of veggies into the salads and offer a wide variety of salad dressings.
  7. Most children love bread. Try to replace most of the bread in your children’s diet.  This might be the one area you tackle before making a main dish that is all-natural and healthy. Instead of serving bread try Cauliflower Rice, quinoa, spaghetti squash, or mashed cauliflower.
  8. Variety is the key to a balanced diet. It is more important to have a variety of foods eaten at one meal than quantity.

Change happens little by little and inch by inch. Changing one or two things in your family’s diet each month will evoke less resistance than emptying out the cupboards of everything familiar and replacing them with foods your kids don’t recognize.

To Your Best Health and Your Family's Health,

Coach Nancy


Spaghetti or Orangetti?

Last time I was shopping I went to pick up a few spaghetti squashes. I was not sure where they went. In there place was a familiar shaped squash but not the same color. What, could it be an "Orange" spaghetti squash? Yep. 

I'm not sure what they did or how they did it but they made a spaghetti squash that usually has a yellow hue to orange. I just had to try it. Actually I picked up three of them. 

Here is what I did with one of my Orangetti Squash. 

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta"

You can take the long way to prep it:

Preheat your oven to 325.

Pierce it (the squash, not the oven) with a sharp knife all around the skin.

Roast it on a pan (you don't need any water) for about 1 hour.

Remove from oven, slice in half long ways, remove the seeds and take the flesh out with a fork.


Or the short way:

Just pierce the squash as suggested above, then microwave it for 8 minutes (flipping it over at 4) and it tastes the same.



That’s as quick as you can cook pasta…

It looks just like spaghetti, yet has a ton less calories and carbs, but a lot more nutrients.

Top it with your favorite pasta toppings and you're good to go!

It doesn't quite taste like pasta, but resembles it and has a great taste in and of itself.

Here is the sauce I made today:

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 Tablespoon dried onions

5 cooked Italian sausage cut into bite size chunks 

I heated this on the stove and let it simmer for ½ hour. It was delicious!

To your best Health,

Coach Nancy


Creamy Chicken Skillet

One pan meals are my favorite. While I like doing dishes, I don't like looking at a sink piled high with them. This one dish wonder helps me to keep my sanity in more ways than one. 

If you have one dish dinner meals, pass those along by replying with the recipe in the comment section. 

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Creamy Chicken Skillet

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 slices bacon

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

6 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 14.5-oz. can coconut milk

2 cups fresh kale, stems removed and shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble. Set aside. Discard the bacon fat from the pan except for one tablespoon. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft. Push the onion to one side and add the chicken to the pan. Lightly brown the chicken, and then stir in the bell peppers and mushrooms. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon. Add the white wine vinegar to the pan to deglaze. Add the coconut milk and kale. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted and the sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Hope

"Hope is like the light at the end of a tunnel.

But you have to walk toward the light or it doesn't get brighter and brighter."
- NMC

What are you hoping will happen this year?

What do you hope will be the result at the end of this month?

Where do you hope this week will find you feeling?

How do you hope to experience today?


Don't leave things to chance. Take some actions toward your goal each day. Those little steps you take every day toward your goal will stack up and lead your way. Hope is wonderful because it can move you forward if you let it. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

 


 


Are You A Bubble Gum Brain? or a Brick?

Everyone knows the tangible difference between bubble gum and a clay brick. While bubble gum can be moldable and moveable and brick is solid and strong.

Each one has its purpose. Bubble gum is designed to change shape and be an enjoyment while you chew. A Brick is created to build a firm object.

But which one would you like your brain to look like? Would you like your brain to have the ability to grow, change shape, take on new actions, evolve to what is needed at the time?

Or....

Would you like to have a brick for a brain? A solid object that can not take on new ideas or thoughts. You'd be set in your ways and firm against change.

Many times I have heard that as you age you become set in your thinking. I want to encourage you to age with a bubble gum brain.

When it comes to nutrition allow yourself to think new thoughts, try new concepts, be open to different ideas.
It could be that you will try a new recipe or a food you 'just know you won't like'. What about experimenting with going without a snack, or going to the movies without eating popcorn.

Don't lock yourself into one solid idea. Be open- a little creative, mold, be bendable, moveable and grow. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

I just read "Bubble Gum Brain" by Julia Cook. She took "Mindset" by Carol Dweck and made it easy enough for a child to grasp. 

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