Menu Plan Monday – Jan 26

I actually have a few minutes to meal plan this morning! Yay!

Monday – Crockpot Sesame Chicken (recipe)

Tuesday – Chicken Enchiladas (recipe)

Wednesday – Creamy Spinach & Tomato Pasta (recipe)

Thursday – Hungarian Chicken Paprikash (recipe)

Friday – Pizza Pull Apart Bread (recipe)

Saturday

Sunday

 

Why and When You Should Eat Breakfast

Bowl of hot oatmeal breakfast cereal with fresh berries

[ via eMeals ]

Breakfast can often be the forgotten meal.  About 10 to 30 percent of Americans skip breakfast, and those of us that do eat breakfast often rely on grabbing a granola bar, doughnut, or the typical sugar based cereal. It is no wonder that we lack the energy to get through our busy days or our kids struggle to perform in the classroom.

4 Reasons to Eat a Healthy Breakfast

  1. Be More Alert – Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast are more alert and kid’s have shown to perform better on tests compared to those who skip breakfast.
  2. Weight Gain Prevention – Supplying your body with loads of sugar in the morning can cause your blood sugar to drop a few hours later. This puts us in the cycle of needing a pick me up every few hours.
  3. Stay Motivated – When was the last time you ate a doughnut then went for a workout? Exactly. Fueling your body with a healthy breakfast can give you the right motivation to stick to your healthy, weight loss goals.
  4. Healthy Habits – Getting your day started with the right mix of hearty and healthy sets you up to make healthy decisions throughout the day.

The Perfect Time to Eat Breakfast
The general rule of thumb is to eat within one hour of waking up. The earlier you eat breakfast the better it can be for kick-starting your metabolism. Just for reference, breakfast is defined as a meal eaten before 10 am.

For the Fitness Goers
Ideally, you should try to eat breakfast before your early morning workout. Without fueling your body, your body can struggle to perform at it’s best. If you can’t eat one to two hours before working out, try eating a light carbohydrate.

Looking for a little breakfast inspiration? Take a look at the Breakfast Plan from eMeals!

Keep Safe and Healthy This Thanksgiving

Article via Lt. Cmdr. Amit Sood

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy many social events with your family and friends, and of course, some great cooking! During this time of year, it isn’t uncommon to gain a few extra pounds. in fact; Americans gain an average of one to two pounds throughout the holidays. With the abundance of high-calorie foods available at social events, weight gain can happen fast. Just one pound of fat gain is equal to 3,500 calories in excess of what you need to maintain your weight. Fortunately, you have the ability to make a conscious effort to take care of your body and celebrate health with strategic and mindful eating.

Skipping meals throughout the day in preparation for a party meal will often lead to overeating. Instead, eat a hearty breakfast filled with whole grains, fruits and protein, such as eggs or peanut butter. The fiber and protein will help you feel full, maintain your energy level and prevent excess calorie intake later on. Also, snack on high fiber foods throughout the rest of the day to keep your hunger under control. Then when it comes time for that big meal, be sure to savor each bite in smaller portions.

Don’t be fooled, though. all foods contain calories (yes, even vegetable side dishes!). No matter what you choose, the trick is to eat in moderation.

Here are some additional tips to help keep the calories down while still enjoying your holiday favorites:

  1. Use smaller plates during meal times as it will help you eat less.
  2. Substitute two egg whites for one whole egg whenever possible – this reduces cholesterol and calories.
  3. Scale back on butter and margarine and try low-sodium, fat-free broths to flavor your sides.
  4. Look up recipes that use applesauce or pumpkin in place of butter or oil in baked items like breads, muffins, cakes or pies.
  5. Try infusing your favorite spices in fat-free plain yogurt to replace cream-based sauces and cake toppings.
  6. Try “slow-motion” eating. Research shows eating slowly helps to eat less. Take at least 20 minutes to savor your food while focusing on family and friends during mealtimes.

Remember, you have a conscious choice to enjoy this time of celebration, festivities, family and food.

Lt. Cmdr. Amit Sood, the OPNAV N17 Nutrition Programs Manager, is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. He has nearly 10 years of experience in counseling thousands of service members and their families on nutrition and health-related issues, having delivered close to 600 nutrition-related lectures to more than 20 commands and institutions across the DoD. With a passion for promoting nutritional awareness to enhance health and quality of life for individuals and populations, Lt. Cmdr. Sood hopes to offer simple and practical ways to maintain healthy eating practices 365 days a year. He is a firm believer in the phrase “Food is Medicine,” and that every individual should embrace this idea to help them think about food as a therapeutic agent, thus leading to food choices that are beneficial rather than detrimental to overall health.

Pinterest: Easy Cheeseburger Sliders

So, I’m thinking that if I make a recipe that I found on Pinterest more than twice in a one-month time period it’s a keeper, right?

I found a recipe for Easy Cheeseburger Sliders a few months ago and finally (finally!) made it a couple weeks ago. I then made it AGAIN last week. If you want the “photo” step-by-step then you want to click here and check out the one created by Kristina over at Better Recipes (a great site you should bookmark!)

Otherwise, here is the busy no-time-for-photos version! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix TWO POUNDS of ground beef (or mix it up with ground chicken, sirloin, etc.) along with your favorite mix-ins. I use some salt, pepper, garlic, chopped onion and an egg.

Lob that meat up into a 9 x 13 pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. Put slices of cheese on top and bake for another couple minutes to melt that cheese.

Grab at least 12 of those yummy Hawaiian Bread rolls (the Kings brand) and slide them in half so you have a top and a bottom.

Put that giant cheeseburger up on top of the bread – top with the other half of the bread. Cut into “sliders” and dole them out!

So freaking easy and SOOOOOO yummy!

Ps. No I don’t have a photo. I don’t take photos of food – I just EAT IT!

Greek Chicken Pasta Feast

This is a recipe from eMeals that sounds so amazingly DELISH that I just had to share! I plan on making it this week! Serve this yummy meal with a Caesar salad to round it off!

Greek Chicken Pasta Feast
Recipe Type: Chicken
Cuisine: Greek
Author: eMeals
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • 1½ teaspoons Greek seasoning
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • Sauce: 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian
  • dressing
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz crumbled feta, use desired amount
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle chicken with Greek seasoning then
  2. lightly brown in oil in skillet over medium heat
  3. until chicken is done. Cook penne pasta by
  4. package directions then rinse in cold water and
  5. drain well. For sauce: Combine Italian dressing
  6. mix with vinegar and 3 tablespoons water in a
  7. jar, addsugar and shake well then stir in
  8. mustard until blended. Toss drained pasta with
  9. sauce. Top saucy pasta with cooked chicken,
  10. diced tomatoes, feta and fresh basil.

I love eMeals! Talk about not having to THINK – makes weekly meal planning (as well as saving money!) a snap!

Amazing Spinach and Artichoke Dip

So, I went to Pinterest this morning to snag a recipe for my favorite Spinach and Artichoke dip and it was GONE! I had to do some searching and piece together the recipe again, so I’m going to share it HERE so (hopefully) it doesn’t go anywhere!

Amazing Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Atomic-Mama
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
A yummy and super simple to make dip!
Ingredients
  • 1 box (10 oz.) frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (unmarinated)
  • 2 – 8 oz boxes cream cheese (I use Neufchâtel cheese)
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or 2 diced Roma tomatoes)
  • 1/4 diced red pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Place in an oven proof baking dish.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with chips, crackers, etc. for dipping.