Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's For Dinner Tonight? 30 Day Challenge Day 9

When we start eating healthier we have to learn how to cook our favorite foods in healthier ways. Yeah, no more ham hocks in the beans and bacon in the greens. Don't kill the messenger! Sometimes we miss the gravy and sauces that were staples in our diets and we can get bored with grilled, sauteed, pan-seared. We want something hearty. So many times, it is NOT what we are eating it is how it is prepared. Can We Talk?! 

On this journey to discovering the healthy you that has been screaming to get out, we have to change the way we think about food. I told you this before. This is not a diet, it is a way of life. So, the question is how do I incorporate the foods I like into my new way of thinking and living? Well, only you can really answer that question, because you know what you like. I will give you some observations that I discovered over the past 2 years and you can tweak them and build on them based on your lifestyle.

You don't have to use pork fat to season your food. I know that is a tough one for some of us. But trust me, you can give this up. You can start with using smoked turkey and then gradually work your way to nothing, if that is what you desire. For the 30 Day Challenge I have been eating vegetarian and adding new fruits and veggies to my diet. I did not use any meat to season my food this time.

I like to cook, but I don't like spending all day in the kitchen. I like meals that can be cooked quickly and easily with little effort, but at the same time I want something filling, hearty, and delicious. I discovered that the crockpot is a healthy girls' best friend! Check out these two recipes. I'm a kitchen sink or kitchen pantry sort of cook. I throw everything in pray something good comes from it. Most of time I get it right. I like trying different combinations of seasonings. Don't be afraid to experiment!

 Believer’s Braised Kale

• ½ cup chopped peppers (Tricolor)
• ½ cup chopped onions
• ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or 2 dashes of cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 2 bunches of kale (cleaned and torn into pieces)
• 2 cups low sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
• Capful of apple cider vinegar
• ½ cup of red wine
• 2 bay leaves
                                 • 3 sprigs of thyme

Wash Kale in a sink of cold water, filling the sink several times until the bottom of the sink is clean. Place all ingredients in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Greens should be tender.

Switch It Up: If you don't like Kale you can substitute any greens you like. The cooking time will decrease for greens like Swiss Chard. Mustard greens and collard greens will be about the same time.

Spirited Spicy Navy Beans

• 2 cups of Navy beans rinsed and drained
• ½ cup chopped peppers (Tricolor)
• ½ cup chopped onions and celery
• ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 dashes each of ground coriander, ginger, oregano, cumin, chili powder
• 4 gloves of chopped garlic
• 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 sprigs of thyme
• 1 – 8 ounce can of chopped chipotle tomatoes
Place all ingredients in the crock pot on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 7-8 hours. Beans should be tender and broth should start to thicken. Serve with brown rice.

Switch It Up: Don't like navy beans, try pinto beans or your favorite type of beans. Add some ground turkey, chicken, or beef to the beans. Use a smoked turkey leg to season the beans. Use tomatoes with no flavor for less heat. Add 1 cup chopped (large chunks) carrots.

Some other observations:

Swiss Chard reminds me of spinach in both taste and texture.

Kale doesn't remind me of anything I've ever eaten before. Except for when I was a kid eating grass. Haha! It's good though. I promise.

Eating vegetarian and getting in the proper amount of daily protein is challenging.

The first time I had vegetable stir I really missed meat. Not so much the meat  itself, but the fat from the meat marrying with the veggies when cooked together.

Drinking 90 ounces of water a day is VERY challenging. (We'll talk about H20 consumption later)

Think you're eating healthy? Before that first bite "google" what you are eating to find out how many calories and calories from fat you will be consuming. For example...How many calories in a cup of brocolli and cheese soup from Jason's deli? or How many calories in a subway meatball sub or How many calories in a piece of fried chicken? You just might make other choices.

You have recipes or observations that you would like to share? Love to share them with the community.

Ask me how to make these dishes.

Heavenly Oven Roasted Veggies

Before Roasting
After Roasting

Praise-Worthy Pepper-Crusted Tuna Salad

 Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4


Anonymous said...

I tasted and ate some of that roasted veggies. It was heavenly indeed... care to share how to do that?


Aqua said...

Hey Lizzy

Thanks for stopping by and yes, I will post. The Cuney's cooked the Heavenly Veggies and Carla said they turned out perfectly. Delish!

Anonymous said...

Interested in how to cook the tuna...please share

Aqua said...

Thank you for inquiring. I will get the Veggie and Tuna recipes up ASAP.

Anonymous said...

I tried the veggies too n loved it!!!! €> Givens

Aqua said...

Awesome Shawnnie! Also I'm excited about your trip! Enjoy yourself. You have the tools to have a healthy vacation! Bon voyage!