Monday, February 22, 2010

Sweet Potato and Avocado Salad w/ Chicken

So my girl A and I decided we are going to create the best diet and exercise plan to get our bodies into bikini shape for Miami and the summer. Well, we totally are doing it! If there are any chicas that want to give it a try (or guys) lemme know how it works for you.
Here's our plan:
Breakfast- oatmeal with berries, fruit and skim milk
Snack- whole grain toast w/ peanut butter and fruit
Lunch- lean meat and veggies (salads are the easiest way)
Snack- fruit
Dinner- leam meats, tons of veggies, and 1/2 cup grains
Dessert- a little bit of chocolate to fix that sweet tooth

We run three days a week and some time of muscle toning workout another three days

So, today I decided to make a large amount of salad to last me the week so all I have to do is cook the chicken at lunch and be done. I have a Jamie Oliver cookbook where he makes this salad with new potatoes, watercress and avocados. Well I didn't have all the ingredients, but I think my version came out pretty nice.
Sweet Potato and Avocado Salad with Chicken
1 lb sweet potatoes
4 cups of mixed greens
2 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 avocado
1 lb chicken tenders
Clean the potatoes well and boil them until tender. Peel and cut the avocados in however size pieces you prefer and put in a big salad bowl. Take the potatoes and cut them into good bite sized chunks and add to salad bowl. Add the greens. Add the salad greens, the oil and lemon juice. Toss. Season to your liking and toss again. Pound the chicken tenders so they're flat and season with salt and pepper. Lay them on a well oiled pan and cook completely on one side then flip over and cook the other side. Make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked. Slice them and top the salad.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Turkey-Apple-Barley Risotto


So I wanted to make a special dinner for me and my baby (my lil' puppy) so I needed to make something not too spicy and no wheat or corn). Well RICE! I wanted to make risotto because its a dish both he and I could enjoy (normally I do not feed my dog people food). Well, first I googled healthy risotto recipes and I found one by Mario Batali which called for green apples, white wine, and a few other things I don't have so I took the recipe and re-invented it. Plus, I had to had protein in there too.

Turkey Apple-Barley Risotto
3T margarine
1/5 cups pearl barley
1/2 cup thinly slice red onion
1 thinly sliced gala apple
10 oz ground turkey
3-4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
salt and pepper
1/4 cup parmesan reggiano
handful of cilantro
In a deep pan over medium heat  melt 2T of better with the EVOO and sautee the onions. Add the apple and meat next. Cook few more minutes and then add the barley. Once the meat starts look pretty cooked and the barley is nicely coated with the oil (4-5 minutes) add 1 cup water (I used water because I can't give alcohol to my puppy). Once the water has been absorbed, add about 1.5 cups of broth. Stirring occasionally, continue to add the broth when you see its mostly absorbed. The total amount of liquid will depend on your barley (keep adding liquid until its cooked). Add the cheese next and stir. I add salt and pepper next because the parmesan is kinda salty so if I add salt first the dish may turn out too salty. Turn the heat off and stir in cilantro.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Penne with Spinach and Ricotta

So first of all, no this recipe is not vegetarian, nor is it vegan. I, Lulu, have decided to go back to eating meat. Why? Because we humans are designed to eat meat. Our bodies need the amino acids from the breakdown of protein which comes from animal protein. And although yes, I could get sufficient protein from a vegetarian diet, I have to eat way too many soy and bean products. And honestly, there are so many chemicals and preservatives in vegan/veg products, I'd rather eat healthy and NATURAL. More important to me than eating veg is eating natural.

Ok so here's this recipe I adapted from Fitness Magazine. The original recipe calls for broccoli rabe and lean turkey sausage. I had neither and so I used ground lamb (mmm, lamb how I missed thee) and spinach.

Penne With Spinach and Ricotta
1/2 cup frozen spinach
3 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1 tsp olive oil
3 oz ground lamb
1/8 of a red onion sliced thinly
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of fat free ricotta
1 tsp parmesan 
salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Boil a pot of water seasoned with salt. Once the water reaches a boil add the spinach and cook about 4 minutes. Remove the spinach and add the pasta to the pot. Cook the pasta al dente. Save a little bit of the pasta water when draining the pasta.
In a skillet heat oil and cook the onions, garlic, and lamb with the chili flakes ~ 8 minutes. Add the spinach. Lower heat and add the pasta. Toss all the ingredients well. Add the ricotta and parmesan and mix well. Add black pepper to taste. Et voila, a terrific meat dish (just to show that not eating meat for three months doesn't diminish my abilities to cook the yumminess).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tasty travels in Phoenix, AZ

So last week I was in Phoenix, AZ, to visit a hospital where I applied for a job. I decided to spend a couple of days there to get familiar with the city if I get so lucky to move there. Well of course, in those four days I needed to eat. Phoenix just developed a light rail system. Its nothing compared to DC's and NYC's, but its new and still the baby phase. Well, it was good enough to take me to Mill Ave in Tempe, AZ, where there is quite a bit of shopping and some delicious places to eat. And of course, having a weakness for the Middle Eastern meal, I stopped at Med Fresh for a falafel dinner.
For barely nothing, I got a huge plate with five delicious and crispy falafel, salad, two whole pitas, tahini, hummous, and this red chili sauce. I promise I cleared my entire plate (well, of course I only had a bowl of cereal that day so I was famished). Anyway, the food is great there. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for something delicious, yet inexpensive while out shopping at the cute boutiques (and Urban Outfitters). They also have various kebabs and stuffed grape leaves that are worth taking a bite into. 
Med Fresh Turkish Grill
414 S Mill Avenue, Suite 117
Tempe, AZ
(480) 642-9709

The next day I decided to have dinner @ the hotel. I was staying at the Radisson Phoenix City Center. Well, the menu was definitely for meat lovers so I asked if it was possible if they could make me something vegetarian. So this is what they brought out of the kitchen for me:

No its not a veggie burger. Its a beautiful mound of grilled pineapples, red bell peppers, red onions, eggplants, salad greens and avocado on a toasted hamburger bun. Oh, with a side of greens and raspberry dressing. MMMM! So, no I'm not telling you to stop at the Radisson for dinner, but I'm just saying, when you think there's nothing on the menu you can eat, just ask. Lots of kitchens are willing to make some changes to make you happy (because getting your money makes them happy).