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,
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,
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,
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,
Well for a lot of you reading this, they probably aren’t existent. You don’t have any (and if they aren’t written down, posted and reviewed regularly, stop kidding yourself – you don’t have any).
There are really two types of goals: Outcome based goals and Behavior goals.
1) Outcome Based Goals are the objective or objectives that you hope to accomplish. “I want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks” is an outcome based goal, as is “I want to earn $100,000 a year by the age of 30”. You can’t directly control the outcome, rather the outcome will be the result of things you have to do.
2) Behavior Goals represent the steps that need to be taken to accomplish your desired outcome. This is where the rubber hits the road. When you want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks, your behavior goals will likely include “I will reduce my total calorie intake by 500 calories a day for the next 10 weeks”, and/or “I will not miss training at for the next 4 weeks.”
See the difference?
You directly control the behavior goal.
You choose to take action on it…
or you don’t.
Behavior goals for a 10-week fat loss program might include some of the following (which are familiar to many of you):
“I commit to eating breakfast every day for the next 10 weeks”.
“I commit to taking 3 grams of fish oil and a multivitamin every day for the next 10 weeks”.
“I commit to planning my “free meals” and eating junk food only during these 1-2 meals a week”.
“I commit to exercising 4 hours a week, with at least 2 being with my peeps at Cr8 Fitness”.
Building Behavior Goals does not have to be complicated. These are regular daily and weekly action steps that will positively and immediately impact your Outcome Goals.
Following is a real world example from a client that we received just yesterday. It is an outstanding example of behavior goals that are sure to contribute to her desired outcome (fat loss). She has already shared how establishing these goals with a end point (she set them for the month of August) has helped her overcome the feeling that she was somehow depriving herself. She just has to keep them for a month, not the rest of her life. So turning down the blueberry waffles wasn’t that hard, because it’s only for a month. Great lesson there as well!
Here are her behavior goals for the month of August.
1. I will keep my list of guidelines in a spot where I can easily
see them, and I will read them every day.
2. I will exercise 4 times every week.
3. I will write down specifically what I am eating.
4. For the rest of August, I will . . .
a. eat protein and vegetables at every meal.
b. drink a minimum of 80oz. of water each day.
c. eat no more than one whole grain bread serving each
day (and no later than lunch time).
5. For the rest of August, I will not . . .
a. eat any dessert items except for one special
occasion that I have already planned.
b. eat any pasta, rice, white potatoes, or white bread.
c. eat any more than one serving of cheese and one
serving of nuts or nut butter each day.
Now there is a lot on this list, yours doesn’t necessarily have to be this long. In fact here is what I want you to do. Establish one outcome goal for the next 8 weeks. It could be “lose 8 pounds in 8 weeks” or “drop 2 inches off my waist in the next 8 weeks”. Note there is a specific time period involved, don’t skip that part!
Now that you know your desired outcome, establish 3 behavior goals that support that outcome. You have some great examples above, and I can help you if you are stuck.
Once you have your outcome and behavior goal(s), post them to the comments below. Hold yourself accountable to meeting both categories of your goals. I look forward to seeing what you come up with, as well as coaching you to get there. Coach Dean is right "Goals start with Go"!
To Your Best Health,
I've got to tell you that this was a creation by Coach Dean. He is a magnificent chef. He has this sense of ingredients that will work well together. He whipped up a batch of this for an event we hosted and BAM- instant success.
UMP Angel Food Frosting
1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 scoops of Angel food UMP powder
Whip the two together in a mixing bowl. This is key for light fluffy. Enjoy as a dip for strawberries or your other favorite fruit. Make fruit kabobs for a party and serve this dip alongside.
If you have doubters among those you love, that healthy food has to taste horrible- give them just enough of this to sample. They'll come to you begging for more.
To your best health,
You know the feeling that when life just seems to squeeze so hard that you want to either crawl into a little ball and try to hide from it all or you want to walk away in a huff. There are times in a day when I feel just like that. I want to throw in the towel. I don't want to focus on one more thing especially not food. I am declaring my rights. I'm stomping my foot to the floor and screaming at the top of my lungs- "I'm eating this cookie and no one is going to stop me!".
Sometimes I actually eat the cookie and at other times, I catch myself before hand. I bet if I've been there, you have too.
We all have choices though. Even when all else seems to be pressing in from all sides, we can choose to lash out at one thing we can control or we can choose to keep plugging along. Lash out? That usually implies we are cussing out our boss or our spouse, or a friend. In reality it often means lashing out at ourselves. We have negative feelings and they turn right back on me. I overeat, I cram six cupcakes in my mouth in less than 5 minutes, I hide in my bedroom with a pint of ice cream.
My pity party for myself is a tantrum. I'm not perfect and I've done all of those things above. My goal though is to work at stopping before I do it again.
While eating gives me a temporary relief from the situation, when the door opens up again all of that stuff is still there for me to deal with. It is my treatment of myself and my countenance that I need to fix, not the food I eat.
So what does that mean for you? If you've been there, it means you're human and you need to work on making better choices while you are in crisis mode. Here are some ideas for you to take for yourself or let me know of how you are helping your inner toddler grow up.
Give it a try. Remember the inner toddler is strong willed so they might not listen the first time you employ these tactics. Just keep at them.
To Your Best Health,