Category Archives: Weight Loss

Tex Mex Pasta

Tex Mex Pasta

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 25 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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This recipe serves 1, however it can easily be multiplied or split into multiple portions if you are using it as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz whole wheat penne
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 oz shallots, chopped
  • 3 oz chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 oz frozen (or fresh) kale
  • 1/2 cup black beans (canned), rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup “cheese” sauce (I am a fan of the Happy Herbivore version, vegan or diary based (1oz of shredded cheese of choice if using dairy based)
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chile flakes (optional)
  • 100 calorie pack of guacamole (optional), served on the side

Directions

  1. Cook penne according to package directions.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable broth in a separate pot until boiling.
  3. Add shallots, mushrooms and kale and simmer for 5 minutes until mushrooms soften and kale is cooked through.
  4. Add beans, corn, cheese sauce, and chipotle chile flakes. Stir until completely combined.
  5. Add cooked pasta.
  6. Stir and serve immediately.

The International Year of Pulses 

The United Nations has declared 2016 the “International Year of Pulses” to raise the awareness of their nutritional prowess and sustainability in food production. Pulses refers to the edible seeds in certain plants. This is their way of saying “eat more beans, peas and lentils” my friends. They are good for your body and good for your planet.  Most recipes and meal/snack ideas I post will incorporate pulses of some sort.  Below is a total treat for me from Taco Bell. Soft bean al fresco tacos (I added some vegan “cheese” I made last night, but they are great without them too), topped with, you guesses it, more beans with red sauce (no cheese), plain potatoes and pico de gallo. Oh and a side of guacamole, of course. A gut buster in more ways than you can imagine. Beans: They really are magical.

Top 5 Secrets to Optimal Health

healthy_back Black SHIRT

Some of the best tools in your kit for reclaiming your health, involve more than just changes in what you select to eat and what you choose to avoid.

5 things to keep in mind when making a plan to “Bringing Healthy Back” include:

  1. Always eat with hunger and not out of habit.
  2. Be present at every meal.
  3. Know your trigger foods.
  4. Get plenty of quality sleep.
  5. Find ways to alleviate stress.

Whole Wheat Orzo with Kale, Chickpeas and Tomato “Cream” Soup

Whole Wheat Orzo with Kale, Chickpeas and Tomato Cream Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The vegetables don't need to be chopped finely or perfectly, most will go in the blender anyway. Feel free to pass this along


Optional: My family enjoys this meal with sausage instead of the chickpeas. I just prepare the sausage in the toaster oven to bake while I make the soup and orzo. You could also opt to use any leftover over protein you may have in the refrigerator like tofu, beef, or chicken. I serve all the ingredients separately and let everyone make their own bowls with as much or as little as they would like.

Ingredients

  • 16oz package of whole wheat orzo (I use Delallo Organic but feel free to use any other small shaped whole wheat pasta)
  • 4 tbsp of Earth Balance Butter (however feel free to use regular butter or other butter substitute, ah, heck olive oil will do)
  • 2 Celery Stalks, scrubbed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2-4 tbsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil (depends on how much basil you like, I go all in)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth (chicken broth will do)
  • 2 cans of whole or crushed tomatoes (28 oz each can)
  • 8 oz of vegan cream cheese (feel free to use regular cream cheese)
  • 1-2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the whole wheat orzo according to package directions while you make the tomato cream.
  2. Melt the Earth Balance Butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the celery, onions and garlic and saute for approximately 5-6 minutes (add the salt and pepper here).
  4. Add the basil and broth.
  5. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the canned tomatoes and cream cheese.
  6. Puree the mixture with a food processor or blender (in batches) until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender, however remember it may have a chunkier consistency.
  7. Return to the stove and reheat on medium setting. Once the soup boils, add the kale and continue to heat until the kale wilts.
  8. To serve, plate approximately 3/4 cup of the cooked whole wheat orzo, 1/2 cup chickpeas and top with 1-2 cups of the tomato cream (add as much or as little as you would like).

Making Fitness a Family Affair.

The Color Run: Finish Line (Photo Copyright Nutrition Map 2012)
The Color Run: Finish Line (Photo Copyright Nutrition Map 2012)

Over the weekend my family and I walked The Color Run in Englishtown, NJ. I would have loved to run the 5K instead of walking, however my husband and I joined a group of friends and our children to walk together as a team.  I am so glad we did.  Eventually we will run some races without them, however this particular event was fantastic for families and I was amazed at the amount of children excited to exercise (and get pelted with color).  How do you implement physical fitness as a family?

Recovery Meal

Recovery Beverage. Copyright Nutrition Map 2012
Recovery Beverage. Copyright Nutrition Map 2012

My favorite recovery meal after any workout even before I started running?

Homemade Smoothie

  • Frozen mixed berries (heavy on the blueberries): 140 grams
  • Frozen mango chunks: 140 grams
  • Ground flax seeds (24 grams)
  • Unsweetened or vanilla flavored almond (1 cup or 240ml)
  • Water to submerge ingredients (amount will vary

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Let My Running Journey Finally Begin.

Running Shoes Thanks to Runner’s Haven in Randolph, NJ
Picture Copyright NutritionMap 2012

After a few bumps, hiccups and small tantrums, my running journey can commence.  Thank you runner’s havenin Randolph, New Jersey for helping me out with the right shoe. Pictured is the Brooks’ Women’s Adrenaline GTS 12.  Wish me luck and helpful advice greatly appreciated!

When the Food Scale Dies.

My new scale on the kitchen counter. The bowl is also the cover. Picture copyright NutritionMap 2012

A digital food scale is the best tool in your kitchen for portion control.  A friend of mine recently told me his story of his predicament when his scale died while measuring his meal.  I should not have laughed, because that following week my 10 year old scale kicked the bucket.  Now you may be thinking “what’s the big deal?”  however my digital food scale keeps me in line when it comes to measuring my portions, especially snack foods.

I ran out and purchased a new one, returned it the same day because the buttons had to be punched to work and picked up a new one to try.  My scale had a great run however I am in love with my new scale.  I keep it on my kitchen counter at all times instead of putting it away after each use.

For more information on how a digital food scale can help you lose weight and keep you in line check out my book Nutrition Map: Your Guide to Eating Healthy in the Real World available in print and digital copies.

Happy Earth Day!

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Copyright NutritionMap 2012

Happy Earth Day! Do you know the best way to protect the planet? Eat more plants!

Today is a cold and rainy day in New Jersey, however yesterday we spent the bulk of the afternoon clearing the yard of leaves for the compost pile. This will be the year my garden is bountiful!

How are you spending Earth Day?

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