Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breakfast - Healthy, Fast and Tasty

Mornings in my house...well... let's just say I should invite in cameras and start a reality show.  Living with two females in the house adds it's own, shall we say, unique atmosphere.  One, an eight year old happy morning person, is playing and singing with no concept of time to get ready for school.  The other, my beautiful bride, is NOT a morning person and we don't make dare make eye contact until at least the second cup of coffee! These ladies are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to getting ready in the mornings and that's all I have to say about that.

Breakfast is important.  It starts your day off on the right foot. You need a good mix of both protein and carbs for brain function and energy to face the day.  Obviously my household does not allow for much time so here is what I have most mornings.

Start with a small pan, some non-stick spray and a few red pepper flakes.
In a toaster oven/oven a slice of whole wheat bread, low fat ham and ultra thin provolone.
Cook egg to desired level - like easy over.

Remove when toasted to desired level - I like tanned bottoms.

Place eggs on top of toasted items.

Eat up!

This fuel efficient day starter is:
            Egg - 70 cal.
            Bread - 60 cal.
            Cheese - 40 cal.
            Ham - 30 cal.

            Total - 200 calories for a fast easy breakfast.  Ready in just minutes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Roasted Okra - Easy and Healthy

Okra is an interesting veggie.  It is commonly believed that okra came to North America in the 1700's from Africa with slave trade.  The term "gumbo",  a southern stew of which okra is a major ingredient, is Swahili for okra.  This little green wonder is filled with nutrients and fiber, all of which are good for us. 

Unfortunately, the only way I would eat this vegetable most of my life has been fried.  Yes, battered and deep fried was the only way I would even think about putting this in my mouth.  All the nutrients pretty much destroyed and replaced with the things my body did NOT need.  That was in the past, as I am of the mindset that if you have to fry it - you don't really need to eat it.

I first started using okra in recipes, such as soups and stews.  Then one day I received a batch of okra from a friend at school and decided to try something with it.  I love roasted veggies - brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, potatoes..  YUM.  So I decided why not try roasting okra too?  Yes.. I know I didn't invent this, but I did do it on my own. :)

First I topped the okra. (this isn't necessary - just my preference)

I then added a little olive oil, salt and pepper. (Garlic powder sometimes too)

Place the okra on a baking sheet. Spread out to prevent crowding.

Bake in a preheated oven (425) for 20-25 minutes.

The outside is slightly crispy while the inside is soft and it is absolutely wonderful.  Just ask my 8 year old daughter, Natalie!  It's one of her favorites too.  I think next time I will cut it into pieces and try to see....


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Black Bean Tostadas

Ok, let's try just a simple blog post.  This dish was made for the son of a friend for his class at school.  The assignment was to make authentic meals from other cultures.  The assignment came with a recipe. Of course, I cannot follow a recipe to the T, so I had to add my own touch to the dish.

Here is the recipe as I made it.
1 cup rinsed, drained canned black beans, mashed
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup washed, torn romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup plain nonfat yougurt (I think sour cream would be better)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
4 - (8inch) tortillas
nonstick cooking spray
water for sprinkling on tortillas
How to-
Combine beans, chili powder, and cumin in a small saucepan. Cook 5 minutes or so over medium heat until heated through.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray over medium high heat.  Allow to get hot, then sprinkle the tortilla with some water.  Place each in the skillet one at a time.  Cook for 20-30 seconds then flip once and cook another 30 seconds.
Spread bean mixture evenly over the tortillas.  Layer with the lettuce, tomato, onion, yogurt and peppers. 
Serve immediately.
Serves four.