Making and preparing a dinner meal for your own family can be time consuming and taxing. The thought of feeding 15- 20 people can feel like an overwhelming event. I've found two recipes that make a crowd happily fed but its easy on the time budget as well.
These two dinner meals go in a crockpot and can cook while you're doing other things. Glance over the recipes now, you'll see the time to put them together doesn't take long.
Cilantro Lime Chicken
2 pounds skinless chicken breasts
1 cup chopped bell pepper (or 1/2 bag of frozen peppers)
¼ cup of lime juice
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 TBSP cilantro
3 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
I cup chopped onion (or ½ bag frozen chopped onion)
Everything goes in the crockpot and you cook it on low for 5-6 hours (or on high 2-3 hours).
This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook about 2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low. Shred the chicken with two forks before serving.
Green Chili Pepper Stew
(This recipe came from Hall of Fame peep- Judie who modified the original recipe from the Green Chili Bible Cookbook)
2 pounds of beef stew meat
1 1/2 onions chopped (or a bag of frozen chopped onion)
1 garlic clove minced
2 - 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
3 4.5 ounce cans of diced green chilis
2 squares of beef bouillon
Place all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook 7-8 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, and then 5-6 hours on low.
To Your Best Health,
Five Very Good Reasons for Keeping a Food Journal
Starting a food journal is as easy as an empty sheet of paper and a pen. Use those two tools to write down everything you eat and drink for 3 days. You'll want to add details to your paper as well. Things like how much of each food did you eat, when, were you hungry? How was your food prepared? Did you eat at home? at the table, in the car, or inside a restaurant.
Those questions work for me. But let me know what helps you best.
To your best health,
Vegetables and Your Health
"Eating higher levels of veggies and fruits are associated with a lower incidence of:
Colon, prostate, cervical, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, thyroid, and breast cancer
High blood cholesterol
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
and a lot more that aren’t on this list…” – Dr. John Berardi
There is no magic pill, potion, or lotion that is going to do all that. Now if that list doesn’t speak to you, do vitamins, minerals and fiber? PLUS you get to try an amazing variety of incredible tastes from all over the world – right from your very own kitchen!
Did You Know? Vegetables (and fruits) provide an alkaline load to the blood. Both proteins and grains present acid loads. Too much acid can cause loss of bone strength and muscle mass – not cool. Osteoporosis is not just about calcium. Stay balanced by getting enough veggies.
Here's what you can do:
Our goal is to get at least 2 servings of vegetables every time we eat. 1 counts, but at least 2 is way gooder!
What’s a serving?
1/2 cup raw chopped veggies
1 cup raw leafy vegetables
Here’s are some other (non-measuring cup) examples:
5 broccoli florets
10 baby carrots
4 slices of onion
1 cup of leafy greens (spring mix)
15 cherry tomatoes
0.5 bell pepper
1 cup of spinach
“But” you whine “I don’t like any of those!”Lucky for you there are hundreds of vegetables in this great big wide world. Check out this alphabetical list to get you started.
And there is even more good news.Filling up on those cancer fighting, free radical busting, vitamin and fiber packed veggies help you stay full longer
I fell in love with Pomegranates. They are just a fun little fruit right from the start. I love opening them up, I love the smell of the fruit, and those little seeds are delightful. This is one of my favorite salads in the Fall. It brings thoughts of summer back to me.
FOR THE SALAD
4 cups any leafy greens (I like mixed greens)
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted
1/4 cup pecans
FOR THE DRESSING
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Juice from 3 mandarin segments
1/8 tsp garlic powder
To taste sea salt and pepper
Prepare all salad ingredients and toss several times to mix. In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients and pour lightly over the salad.
To Your Best Health,
Ever met someone who says "I hate sugar"?
Sugar just tastes good. It makes food taste good. You can put sugar on just about anything and it's going to taste better.
And that's kinda that problem, right? It's not like you have to trick us into eating more sugar, like my mom did when she was trying to get me to eat my lima beans.
True Story. When I was a kid, before the advent of stores like Sam's and Costco, my parents used to but food in bulk from Rich Plan, in Pittsfield. They bought cereal that way. I remember one time getting a case of Wheaties, a case of Cheerios, and a case 100% Bran. The rule was we had to eat ALL of those before they would buy anymore. A good strategy would have been to alternate the boxes of sawdust (100% Bran) with the other two. But, kids being kids, we would eat the Wheaties and Cheerios first, and be left with 11 3/4 boxes of the Bran.
The ONLY way to eat that stuff was to drown it in milk and add sugar in about a 1:1 ratio. It was almost tolerable that way. It was kind of like eating milkshake syrup mixed with the leftovers from the sawmill down the road.
In other words, sugar made it better, much better.
So let's get that off the table. Nobody is denying that sugar tastes good.
Remember those lima beans I mentioned before? What if I told you that eating lima beans was linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and dementia, as well as all cause mortality? And on top of that increased your likelihood of getting type II diabetes? What if I told you they contributed to systemic inflammation, higher cholesterol and triglycerides, and excess body fat?
Could you force yourself to stop eating lima beans?
I thought so. 🙂
In fact it would be, dare I say it, kind of dumb not to at least work on reducing the amount of lima beans you were eating, right?
Well as I know you have guessed, all those diseases and conditions I mentioned above HAVE been linked with high blood glucose. And without going into all the complicated mechanisms involved with our metabolic pathways, a chronically high carbohydrate load (eating more carbs than our body can efficiently process) leads to problems.
I am a pretty healthy guy. My normal bodyweight and lower than average levels of body fat would indicate all systems go, right?
Not so fast.
You see a fasting glucose level of 100mg/dl or above is an indicator of pre-diabetes. About 84.1 million Americans fit that profile, and I was one of them. If you are one of them and don't do something about it, your likelihood of developing type II diabetes soars.
Even though I ate pretty "clean", my level were consistently over 100, and sometimes much higher. Even though I had lost 100 pounds and looked pretty good on the outside, my insides were not healthy. My pancreas just doesn't function optimally anymore, and there are millions in the same boat as I was.
It took me almost two years to get my blood sugar where my levels are now consistently in the 80's. And part of that intervention was, you guessed it, reducing my overall carbohydrate intake, and especially the sugar. Those once a week "FREE" meals had expanded well beyond that scope, and my body was working overtime to try to keep up.
Maybe that's you right now. You did great with Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown, but you could use a little tune-up on the diet. That's where I am at.
Or maybe you need a little deeper dive into getting your eating habits on track, and a simple but focused plan is right up your alley.
Either way, Sugar Free Me is for you, and me and really just about everyone I know. (why oh why couldn't it be "Lima Bean Free Me?")
Sugar Free Me is a 28-day step-by-step education, accountability, and strategy course that helps you understand the root causes of sugar addiction, how to address them to create your plan of action, and help you kick the cycle of eating excess sugar.
And if you read my earlier post with all the details, you know that this course is being offered as our "Fall Freebie" this year. But "no charge" does not mean it is not valuable. In fact kicking your sugar habit to the curb could be one of the best things you ever do for yourself.
The "Sugar Free Me" Challenge Officially Starts Monday, September 17, but we are absolutely cutting registrations off on Wednesday September 12, so get in today!
Let's do this thing together!
Eating the food we need and not overindulging is challenging. The more consistent we are with portion control the better we maintain the body we want or the faster we get to the body we want. There are three things I want you to start doing.
1. Use a smaller plate size. Simple but effective way to see a plate full of food and yet the portions are smaller because the plate can only hold so much.
2. Don't go back for seconds. Enjoy the first serving but don't reach for a second spoonful (helping) of foods.
3. Put a reminder on the table to eat slowly. By eating slowly you will your body the chance to naturally signal it is satisfied or 'full'. You can do this in a variety of different ways. Moving the kitchen clock so it is directly across from where you sit will remind you to eat slowly during your meals. Put out different placemats or place a vase of flower on the table. Use that cue of something different on the table to trigger you to act differently. Using a smaller forks and spoons will naturally slow you down as well.
Take one of these ideas or all three and use them to help you.
To Your Best Health,
As we age, we tend to just fall into Old Age. We don't really know what to expect, we just judge what happens as part of aging and accept our new selves and our new life as OLD people.
Here are ten things you can do to ensure you will be miserable while you enjoy OLD age
So Did you get ALL that?
How many of the rules are you following right now?
Be honest with yourself. You see, even just a couple of the steps above are enough to guarantee yourself a less than ideal circumstances to age gracefully. The trouble is most of the rules above work as a vicious circle and one bad habit leads into another.
Change yourself by no longer following one of those rules and break that cycle.
To Your Best Health no matter the age,
Thank-you to superstar Becky for sharing her take on this tasty recipe with us. Make sure you check out her notes at the bottom!
1 rotisserie chicken, pull off the meat and get rid of the rest OR (1 lb. cold cooked chicken, shredded or diced)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/3 seedless cucumber, chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 cup Greek yogurt
Small handful dill, parsley, and chives; finely chopped
Three dashes hot sauce or to taste
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the yogurt, herbs, and hot sauce. Add the chicken, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, and celery; season with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the tomatoes. Serve on a bed of lettuce.
Notes from Becky: This meal is super quick and easy to put together.
I used white vinegar (instead of the white wine vinegar) as that is what I had.
I used Vidalia onion instead of the red onion.
I mixed the tomatoes in to the salad rather than putting them on the top.
This makes a large amount. We got at least 6 servings—I guess it depends on
how large of a chicken you start out with!
And just to give credit where credit is due–she got the original recipe from the magazine “Every Day with Rachel Ray” August 2010 issue, pg. 103.
Enjoy this recipe.
To your best health,
If we maintain the status quo, we really aren’t growing, are we?
But growing and changing doesn’t have to be (and probably shouldn’t be!) a super-serious and boring business.
It should be fun!
How can I make healthy eating more fun?
What else can I do to keep things lively, interesting, fun?
To your best health,
Chicory arrived in my CSA box recently and I just wasn't familiar enough with it to be excited. After trying this recipe, I can't wait for my next delivery of vegetables to see if Chicory is inside.
My mom was right when she told me; "You just never know until you give it a try."
1 head chicory, You'll want to cut off the stalky end and remove the outer leaves.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes if you desire. (if you know me, its not an option)
First wash the chicory. In a large pot boil water with 1 Tablespoon of salt, add the chicory and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain very well. In a different pot or the same one washed and dried heat the olive oil until medium high heat. Cook the garlic and the pepper flakes for about 30 seconds. Add the chicory, stir to coat. Cook until the water is evaporated. Salt to taste.
To Your Best Health,