A Well-Balanced Dinner!

In this week’s bin, we received some tasty red potatoes and a bunch of broccoli and cauliflower.  Since I prefer the simpler recipes, I just sliced the potatoes into cubes, cut up the vegetables and spread them out on a cookie sheet.  I put a dash of olive oil and pepper on the potatoes and put them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350.  To add some protein to the meal, I decided to throw in a boneless pork chop – also on a cookie sheet.  I removed the sheets from the oven after 30 minutes, added some BBQ sauce to the pork and a bit of shredded cheddar to the veggies and potatoes and put them all back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese was melted.  This was a quick and simple dinner – and very tasty!

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Breakfast Burrito!

Sometimes it’s hard to find a recipe that calls for a lot of the veggies in our bin, so you have to be creative and come up with your own combinations.  I took a bunch of the veggies (broccoli, bell peppers, onion, spinach, mushrooms…) and threw them in a skillet with some olive oil.  After sautéing for a short time, I added egg whites and let them cook.  I topped it with cumin and pepper to taste, threw it in a whole wheat tortilla and had a delicious meal to start the day!  I added a little ketchup because I can’t eat eggs without ketchup, but you might try adding some different salsas to give it a Mexican flavor, or just allow all of the veggies to do the job and leave it plain.  To add some fat to the meal, sprinkle shredded cheese on top or slice some avocado to put in after it cooks.  Enjoy!

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Artichoke!

So it was time to tackle the artichoke.  I did this before going on my trip to California over the last few days. I was really excited to get an artichoke in the bin because around here they can be quite pricey.  When I got to Whole Foods in Costa Mesa I walked in to see a giant display stacked almost as tall as me of artichokes 2 for $3.00; yes, it made me want to live in California just for a brief moment.  Then, I came back to my senses.

bin1-artichoke-mixtureI decided to prepare this artichoke the way I’ve always made them, stuffed with breadcrumbs, garlic and herbs. For the breadcrumb mixture I used a “Healthy Alternative”to bread crumbs made with whole grain stone ground wheat instead of bread; I highly recommend this and use it often.  It is by a company in Houston, TX called Four Sisters and a Brother.  I picked it up at Central Market. They also make a gluten free version for those of you that are sensitive to gluten.

So, after stuffing and steaming in a nice white wine and chicken broth mixture, we shared a delicious artichoke. I do wish they were cheaper in the area, but I am happy that we got a couple in our bin the last time around.  Looking forward to the new bin in just two days! 🙂

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Healthier Pear and Apple Crisp

I can’t call this “healthy” pear and apple crisp because I used Splenda, and some people don’t consider artificial sweeteners to be healthy. However, it does have a relatively low glycemic index when compared to the traditional recipe made with sugar.  This whole recipe has only two tablespoons of brown sugar.  This is great for people who’ve had gastric bypass and have to steer away from foods containing added sugar.

I got the crumble topping recipe from Eating Well, and used Splenda brown sugar blend instead of brown sugar, almonds and whole wheat flour.  It was tough to find a crumble topping recipe that didn’t use butter.

For the filling I basically followed Ina Garten’s Apple and Pear Crisp recipe, substituting Splenda for sugar and whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. After making the filling i sprinkled the crumble topping on the apples and pears and baked the dish at 350F for 55 minutes.  The end result was delicious!!  I actually packed some up in a little Tupperware and brought it with me on my [work] trip to Anaheim.  Glad I brought it!!

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Sea Bass on a Bed of Mustard Greens

So, I needed to use up the rest of the mustard greens, and I had a piece of sea bass.  I sauteed the bass in olive oil and got the skin nice and crispy.  Meanwhile, I caramelized some yellow onion with some brown sugar.  The greens I prepared very simply by sauteing some shallots in 1/2 a tbps of butter and some olive oil.  Then I deglazed the pan  with white wine and added the mustard greens.  When they got bright green and vibrant, I added a tablespoon of honey and tossed everything together.

Problem:  The first mustard green preparation came out great!  These were bitter 😦  The bitterness actually went well with the fish, but there were far too many greens on the plate for the amount of fish.  So, I wonder if I just didn’t cook them long enough and that’s why they were bitter. If you have experience with these greens, leave me a comment and tell me what went wrong here.

Thanks!  🙂

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Baked Salmon with Veggies

There is nothing better than a good fillet of fish with cooked vegetables!  This recipe is super simple and really flavorful.  There is no right way to do it – you can choose any combination of vegetables you’d like and even switch up your choice of fish.  From my bin, I chose:

 

  • Onion
  • Baby carrots
  • Red pepper

 

 


Preparation is easy – all you have to do is cut out a heart-shaped piece of parchment paper, place a variety of vegetables on one half and sprinkle on some seasoning.  I simply used pepper, a pinch of salt and a bit of thyme.  Next, lay your choice of protein on top of the vegetables and top it with citrus slices – I used oranges.  Sprinkle the fish with a little more of your seasonings and away you go!  Fold and secure the edges of the parchment paper as shown in the photo and place the packet in the oven for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the size and type of your fish).  If you need a quicker option, you can put it in the microwave for about 4 minutes.

 

To complete this meal, I made a side salad with the spinach and additional vegetables from the bin.  For my starch, I sliced the russet potato from the bin and cooked it in a skillet with olive oil and onions.  The fish provided protein and the potatoes balanced my meal with some carbohydrates and fat from the olive oil.  Have fun!

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Colorful Salad!

One thing I’ve always struggled with is salads.  It’s rare that I ever eat a salad as a meal or even as a side-dish. A couple of years ago I was discussing nutrition with one of my doctors on the topic of salads.  He told me that when I look at my salad bowl I should subtract all the lettuce (little mroe than water and fiber) and then see what’s left.  Those things left are the actual nutritious items in the salad, and he said I should focus on those things.  With bin #1 I set out to create a salad that would make my doctor proud…It was much better tasting than the boring salads I have prepared in the past.  Sure, it took me a bit more time to put it together in the morning, but the time was well spent.

From the bin:

  • raddishes
  • broccolli
  • baby carrots
  • spinach to supplement the baby spinach I already had
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