Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lowfat Pumpkin Walnut Bread and Health Benefits

Lowfat  delicious quick bread with heart healthy benefits !

Pumpkin Nut Bread
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup low fat milk
1 cup egg substitute
2 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin or canned
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans

Instructions: In mixing bowl combine oil, milk, eggs, and pumpkin. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans or 30 cup muffin tins. For loaf pan bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. If making muffins preheat oven 400 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with heart healthy margarines found in your local grocer, just look for a heart on the container.
Walnuts are highly revered for being a great source of omega-3 essential fatty aids. These fatty acids have been shown to yield numerous health benefits: protecting the heart, improving cognitive function, and reducing inflammatory effects of asthma, eczema, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Walnuts contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that provides cancer-fighting and immune system boosting properties
Almonds are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, vitamin E (an anti-oxidant) and selenium. Unblanched almonds are high in fiber leading to improved colon function and health. Containing high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats, almonds help in reducing cholesterol levels and improving cardiovascular health.
Pecans contain an abundance of nutrients (over 19 minerals and vitamins) including folic acid, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin B and zinc. Like almonds and walnuts, pecans provide heart-healthy properties by reducing total blood cholesterol, reduce LDL cholesterol, and create clearer arterial flow.

This information was found and shared from the American Heart Association.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Healthy Vegetable Soup

A great soup filled with vitamins! Enjoy this healthy bowl of comfort!

Other benefits of soup:

  • Low in fat (specially saturated fat)
  • Great for sickness and those who have trouble chewing, digesting or are recuperating from an illness.
  • Soy can help lower the risk of breast cancer. In fact, a recent Japanese study showed that their level of breast cancer is about 10 times lower than in the West.
  • Great during dieting periods or if you want to lose weight quickly for a special occasion. Do keep in mind that drinking lots of bowls of one specific broth (like cabbage) is unlikely to result in any more weight loss than drinking a variety of soups. I love vegetable, chicken, lentil and white bean among those who are dieting!
  • Thick soups (especially those that contain pureed vegetables) can be used as main dishes and are a great way to get more veggies into your diet.
  • Cold soups such as Gazpacho and Borscht are a great summer meal.
  • Most soups now come in a low-fat, low-sodium  or light options for those who want more control over the nutritional content of their diet. Vegetarian soups are also widely available and can be a great option for those worried about saturated fat.

So here is a great vegetable soup for all those who will make that New Years diet resolution coming up soon!   Happy Holidays ! Thanks for reading Blogsgotheart... Wishing you a safe and healthy Merry Christmas Season.

3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 28 oz.can peeled plum tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock (or substitute same amount of vegetable stock)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped fennel optional
1 bag mixed vegetables or if you have leftovers use corn, cut green beans, carrots, pea's 
1/2 cups chopped carrots
2 1/2 cups chopped potatoes with the skin on
1 large green zucchini, chopped, or substitute or mix with yellow squash
1 can dark kidney beans
1 can white northern or cannellini beans
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon  dried oregano 
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup  ditalini, orzo or other small pasta such as acini pepe boiled seperately
grated Parmesan cheese

In a very large sauce pot,  add chicken broth, tomatoes, paste, bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and herbs. Simmer until all vegetables are soft about an hour Add boiled pasta of choice.Nothing better on a cold day to take the chill out enjoy~!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chicken Eggplant Primivara

Very festive for the holiday season! It's healthy too!

If you choose healthy foods, chances are your body will like that answer.  Here's a healthy vegetable and chicken sauce, you can pour over whole grain pasta, rice or eat this chicken vegetable stew with some whole grain bread. This is one healthy pot of flavor!

2 lbs of plum tomatoes, stems cut off put into the  food processor
1 cut up washed eggplant diced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 yellow, 1 green and 1 red bell pepper sliced in chunks
1 teaspoon each, fresh basil, parsley, chopped garlic, dried oregano, and rosemary
salt, pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
In a large sauce pan add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil saute chicken until none of the pink remains. Add  fresh processed tomatoes, add all herbs and spices, stir. Add all vegetables. Simmer for 1/2 hour on low till vegetables are tender.
Pour over favorite pasta, rice or whole grain bread.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holidays Tips, Oatmeal Cookies and Healthy Eating

Stay Active. Activities helps to burn calories and suppress cravings. Park further away and walk if you can. Make sure you stretch every morning. Get some extra calorie burning going. Remember you will be eating an extra cookie or two!
Watch out for Your Favorites. Your favorite food can lead into over eating. Alot of what you eat may be your favorites, that's ok, don't however waste calories on foods you really don't like and add extra calories to your diet.
Binging.  Simply over eating is not good, you will feel tired and bloated.
Watch Your Portions. Use a smaller bowls and plates. This tricks your brain that you have finish your meal and you are full. Always measure out your food and never eat out of a bag you will eat much more.
Avoid Soda or limit them: Sugar turns into fat. It provides nothing but empty calories. Reduce consumption, if possible.
Avoid or Reduce Alcohol Alcoholic drinks such as beer contains high amount of calories. Avoid or reduce consumption if possible. Did you know that 4 oz of red wine is around 88 calories? Think about how small of an amount that is, it adds up quick!
Indulge in Seasonable Food. Try picking food fresh and natural foods. They will fill you up. Great snacks include carrots, celery, raw broccoli, vegetables and fruits are great alternatives. 
Indulge in Something Other than Food. It is the holiday you will want to eat things you get once a year, it's ok in moderation, just remember you will be dissappointed on the work it will take later on to take it off. Try playing a game, even watch a movie with the family. Take a walk talk about old times and christmas past.
Dining Out : Ask your server to give you dressings on the side, steam vegetables without the butter and cut back on the calories you can eat more of the fun stuff, after all its the holiday and you have to enjoy the things life is worth living for!  Have a great healthy and safe holiday, eat right using portion control.

Healthy Oatmeal Spice Cookies
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup light or dark molasses
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour

Preheat oven to 375 degree ovenLLine a large baking sheet  parchment paper or a nonstick spray.

Grind oats in a food processer until they look like a fine powder, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
Beat butter and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons orange zest and beat another 2 minutes. Add molasses, applesauce, egg yolk, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt mix well then  slowly add the ground oats. Scrape down the bowl; with the mixer on medium, slowly add whole-wheat flour. Roll into balls.  Place cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cookies in batches  around 10 minutes or until the edges are set and the tops are cracked, but the centers are still soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 8 minutes. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Festive Healthy Vegetable Egg White Omelet and Health Benefits

Egg White Omelet

When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food:
  • If you are healthy, it's recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams a day.
  • If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol intake to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 213 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it's important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.
If you like eggs but don't want the extra cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites. If you want to reduce cholesterol in a recipe that calls for eggs, use two egg whites or 1/4 cup cholesterol-free egg substitute in place of one whole egg.

I choose egg whites and still get the taste we love... here's the recipe:

4 eggs whites slightly beaten
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped red peppers or green
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
optional 2 tablespoons diced onion, 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, sliced plum tomatoes or diced eggplant

In a medium size skillet, heat oil. Saute garlic or/and onions for two minutes, add the rest of vegetables using. Cook for four more minutes. Add the tomatoes, pour the egg whites on top. Cook until desired way you like your eggs. We prefer them well done. Serve with salsa or hot sauce.

Plastic Filled Christmas Ornaments

The skies the limit with imagination with these plastic filled Christmas ornaments! Using things I find around the house and outside t...