Monday, July 30, 2007

Sirloin Burger with Tomato-Corn Salsa

Go Bunless!

I have made history with this post. This is the first time I have ever posted a hamburger! I know, crazy isn't it? Well it is a lot healthier than your average burger. It is 93% lean naturally raised beef sirloin. Plus, I broiled mine instead of frying. (I don't own a grill.)

Since it was kind of heafty for me (it was a little over a quarter pound), I decided to skip the bun and top it with salsa instead. I altered a recipe that I found on the food network website from Sara Moulton for Turkey Burgers with Tomato-Corn Salsa. The salsa was pretty good. My sirloin burger was too!

By the way I served it with the Baked Sweet Potato Fries that I posted a while back.

Sirloin Burgers with Tomato Corn Salsa

12 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped (I used 1 large organic field tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
1/2 cup cooked fresh corn or thawed frozen corn kernels
(I used fresh)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
(I used my own grown Italian parsley)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 - 1/4 pound 93% lean sirloin burgers
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon grill seasoning
Dash of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the salsa: Toss the tomatoes with the salt and drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Combine the tomatoes, corn, lime juice, garlic, cilantro/parsley, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.

To make the burgers: Preheat the oven broiler. Season the burgers with the the grill seasoning and salt and pepper. Spray a foil lined baking sheet with the cooking spray and place the burgers on it. Cook for about 3 minutes per side for medium well or to your liking.

Top with salsa and serve immediately.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Baked Chicken Parmesan

A New Spin On Chicken Parm!

First I have to say that this chicken was so fantastic that you don't even notice that it is baked and not fried. Honest.

My inspiration came from Giada DeLaurentiis' Crunchy Parmesan Chicken which I love. She uses buttermilk as a marinade/first coating before dipping the chicken into a parmesan-breadcrumb mixture. It tenderizes and also keeps
the chicken moist while it bakes at a very high temperature of 500 degrees.

My spin on this dish is to use chicken cutlets in place of the tenders and swap out the buttermilk for fat-free plain yogurt. The result: Oh my. So Good!

Baked Chicken Parmesan

4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt (If it is too thick add 1 tablespoon milk or water)
4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups plus 1/8 cup divided, freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy large lined baking sheets. Place the yogurt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

Stir the 1 1/4 cups of Parmesan and bread crumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken from the yogurt (shaking to remove excess) and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.(Flip them half way through cooking for even browning).

Add about 1 tablespoon sauce and about 1 tablespoon of mozzarella on top of each cutlet. Sprinkle each cutlet evenly with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with pasta if desired.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Product Review...the good, the bad and the ugly!

Go Ahead, Eat it....

I found a new frozen yogurt that I love- Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt. I love it because it tastes good and it's FAT FREE!! Plus it's organic- produced without the use of antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones or toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Yeah!!

It will definately meet your chocolate craving needs without the post chocolate guilt. The cone was even good for me too. It is a natural brand without any preservatives or artificial junk. I can't remember the name right now but I'll post it in the comments if you want to know.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Turkey Waldorf Salad

A Healthy and Light Summer Salad...So Yummy!

I love light dishes like this in the summer. They are not too filling on a warm day, but satisfying and healthy. It's a great way to incorporate more fruits into your diet. And we all know how important it is too eat our fruits and vegetables, especially organic. The vitamins are at their peak when the fruit is raw and the fiber is highest when eaten with the peel. This salad has both.

The lightness of the salad comes from the fat-free yogurt dressing. Not only does it give a delicious creamy texture, but it also provides calcium, protein and most importantly: pro-biotics which are so important for digestion and health in general.

The classic waldorf salad does not include turkey, but I like the added protein it provides. Plus it gives the salad more substance and can be eaten as your main course. Of course, you could substitute chicken for the turkey, both work well.

Waldorf Turkey/Chicken Salad
adapted from

6 0z. container of plain low fat yogurt (I used stonyfield organic)
1 tbsp. mayonaise
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (I used organic raw unfiltered)
1/8 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
2 c. cubed cooked turkey or chicken (I used naturally raised turkey which I roasted the day before)
1 c. chopped apple (I used one organic fuji apple and squeezed fresh lemon juice on top to prevent browning before adding to salad)
1 c. halved red grapes (I used organic)
1/2 c. thinly sliced celery (I used organic)
1/2 c. raisins (I plumped them in water, then squeezed out water in paper towels)
lettuce leaves (I used organic romaine)
Handful of walnuts, whole or pieces

In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well. In large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except lettuce and walnuts. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently. Cover. Refrigerate 1-2 hours to blend flavors. Stir salad before serving. Serve on 4 lettuce lined plates. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chocolate Crispy Rice Treats

I finally used up my box of cereal!! And these treats are really yummy. Instead of butter or margarine, I used virgin coconut oil. (YUM.) It is really tasty in baked goods too! I know, it is very high in saturated fat, but the it's the kind of saturated fat that is more easily burned off. Plus it has many other health benefits. For more information and to see if it is right for you visit Earth Clinic.

Chocolate Crispy Rice Treats

5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup dutch cocoa
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
7 cups crispy rice cereal
2/3 cup Coconut, dried, shredded & unsweetened
9 x 11 baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking spray

1. Sift cocoa powder in a large bowl. Stir in cereal and dried coconut.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a low flame. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
3. Stir dry ingredients into coconut oil/marshmallow until well mixed.
4. Press mixture into prepared 9 x 11 baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper.
5. Cut into squares once completely cooled.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Blueberries

I love light fruit desserts in the summer. They are so refreshing and delicious.

The perfect compliment to fresh fruit, especially berries is angel food cake. It is fat free and so light and tasty. I just used a box mix for this but I am sort of curious about making one from scratch. Maybe next time!

If you remember in one of my previous posts I said I was going to look for a healthy alternative to Cool Whip. Well I found it. It's Soyatoo soy whip. It is made from soybeans and coconut oil and is fairly low in fat. I was excited when I found it because I've been using more soy milk lately and like it. So I figured this would be good as well.

I wasn't exactly swept off my feet when I tasted it. It wasn't aweful but it did sort of leave an odd after taste in my mouth. My niece said it reminded her of some kind of baby food, her daughter agreed.

Oh well, I guess I'll stick to light whipped cream for now unless anyone has any other ideas for me!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Simple and Healthy...

Another no cook day!

A fresh salad is perfect for a hot day. It was really refreshing and surprisingly filling!

This was a combination of organic green leaf lettuce, organic ugly tomatoes, black and green olives, avocado, chic peas, cooked chicken, a sprinkle of parmigiano cheese, extra virgin olive oil and organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

The organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is an addition that I've using a lot lately. I've heard and read about the health benefits many times and decided to finally give it a try.

In my case, I mainly wanted to try it for acid reflux. I started taking 1 tablespoon mixed with some water before every meal (3x a day). I would just douse it down quickly. It is extremely strong! I think it did stop a lot of my acid reflux. However, lately I've been feeling a burning sensation in my chest and esophagus area. I think the tablespoon was too strong with the little bit of water that I was mixing it with. The bottle of Bragg brand suggests 1 to 2 teaspoons mixed with a full glass of water. So I've been following this suggestion for the last couple of days. We'll see what happens. Let me know if you have tried it and and if you have had any success with it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Keeping It Simple...

And Trying To Keep It Healthy!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been enjoying some much needed time off and I haven't been cooking much.

I've been sort of on a health quest as of late. Eating more fruits and veggies, mostly organic.

I topped this delicious bagel with some fresh avocado. It was a tasty change from my usual cream cheese or butter. Plus the avocado is so healthy. It is high in fat, but it's the healthy monounsaturated fat-a fat that may help to lower cholesterol.

According to the World's Healthiest Foods Website... "Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Association has authorized a health claim that states: "Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke." One cup of avocado has 23% of the Daily Value for folate, a nutrient important for heart health."

So eat up...I'll post a salad soon with avocado in it. Check back!