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Chicken Pot Pie Made Healthy

This recipe adds more carrots and parsley, substitutes low-fat milk, and uses less butter! Easy swaps like this can really transform a classic recipe into something healthier!

 

Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Cover with water. Boil until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  3. Cook and stir onions in butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Place chicken mixture in bottom pie crust; pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until pie is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Let us know how you like this great recipe from allrecipes.com!

KM

Winter Blues

 

It’s easy to be a little more relaxed with your diet and exercise habits during the winter. Even I have noticed lately that I have been lazier because it’s dark when I get home from work or I just don’t want to get all bundled up to venture out into the cold. It seems to be easier to maintain the healthy lifestyle during the summer months with all the fun recipes for fruits and vegetables that are in season, and the outside activities that keep us moving all day long. To keep you on track and ready for Spring, here are some tips on how to stay motivated through this Winter season.

  • Accept that it is COLD and gear up! Go pick up a couple pieces of extra warm clothing (hats, socks, gloves, coats) to make it easier to head outside for a trip to the gym or grocery store.
  • Wear bright colors. (If you’re into that) Wearing a bright coat or hat could help you feel happier and more upbeat. I tend to wear a lot of black and grey during the winter but mixing in a bright green or purple would be great for creating a fun and colorful mood for the day.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. The people around you influence your mood and behavior, especially during the dark winter months.
  • Cook something new. Try out a new recipe with a food you have never tried before, trying new things can be fun and rewarding. The whole point is to make a wholesome meal for yourself and rekindle the flame for making yummy home cooked meals. Some “winter mood” foods include: sweet potatoes, eggplant, and squash.

Here is a Winter Squash Soup recipe!

Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 45 minutes / Servings: 4 / Calories: 346 kcal

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2.5 pounds winter squash peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon honey
5 cups chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley (Fresh) chopped to serve (optional)

 

Directions:

-Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and celery, and gently cook until really soft – about 15 mins.

-Add the squash and cook, stirring for 5 mins.

-Add the honey and chicken stock, bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender.

-Remove from heat and using a hand blender, blitz until smooth (adding a bit more stock or water if the soup is too thick).

-Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat before serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

 

Recipe Notes

For the winter squash – you can buy whole squash and prepare them yourself or buy bags of ready to use.

 

Sourced used for tips and recipe:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/ways-fight-off-winter-blues/

https://www.errenskitchen.com/winter-squash-soup/

 

 

KM

Turkey & Brown Rice Chili

Happy December! Chili is such a popular staple food this season and we found this recipe just in time. While it cooks you have time to throw together a green, veggie salad to complete this hearty winter meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound uncooked ground turkey breast
  • 2½ cups coarsely chopped red and/or green bell peppers (2 large)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
  • ½ cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans 50%-less-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • Grated Cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add turkey, bell peppers, onion, celery and garlic; cook until meat is brown, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain, if needed.
  2. Stir broth, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, chili powder, chile peppers and cumin into meat mixture in large saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 45 minutes. Stir in brown rice. Cook, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes more or until desired consistency. If desired, sprinkle individual servings with Cheddar cheese.

This recipe is from Diabetic Living Magazine* Picture from eatingwell.com*

Nutrition Information – Serving size: 1½ cup – Per serving: 306 calories; 4 g fat(1 g sat); 9 g fiber; 40 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 36 mcg folate; 37 mg cholesterol; 11 g sugars; 2,219 IU vitamin A; 72 mg vitamin C; 56 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 346 mg sodium; 323 mg potassium Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (120% daily value), Vitamin A (44% dv) Carbohydrate Servings: 2½ – Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean protein, 1 vegetable

Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Apples Beef Stew

Hope you enjoy this cozy recipe!

Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Apples Beef Stew
Ingredients:
💛2lbs beef, sliced into 1.5 by 1.5 inch pieces
💛1 can 14.5 oz beef broth + 1 cup water
💛2 red delicious apples, divide by 4 (peeled and cored)
💛1 large sweet potato, 1lb or 27oz peeled and sliced into big chunks, 1.5 inches thick
💛1/4 cup onion, chopped
💛salt to taste

Instructions:
Place beef, apples, onion, sweet potato, and broth in crock pot and cook on low over night (7-8 hrs). When ready to serve, add salt to taste.

*Carol actually made this and doubled the recipe because it is so easy to freeze and great to have ready on a busy night!

Are you eating breakfast?

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, yet many skip this meal due to wanting to sleep in a little later, busy morning schedules, or not having the feeling of hunger due to not getting fuel in the morning for long periods of time. It’s important however to remember that breakfast literally means breaking the fast so giving your mind and body good nutrients first thing in the morning will allow you to set your day up for success. Think of it as getting your metabolism off to a great start.

 

If you struggle with time constraints in the morning and don’t want to sacrifice more sleep or productivity, consider meal prepping overnight oats for breakfast. Overnight oats are very simple to make and a great way to get a variety of nutrients. You can make the same recipe for each day of the week or have different options by changing a few ingredients, and they can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days

 

The key essentials that you will need for overnight oats are:

 

  1. Mason jars with lids (5-7) if you prefer to have this daily, old fashioned oats, liquid of choice (milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc.)
  2. Your favorite toppings: blueberries, raspberries, (any berries really), other fruit like bananas, apples, pears, pumpkin, sliced almonds, raisins, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, nut butters, coconut flakes, Greek yogurt, plain yogurt
  3. Spice it up: add your favorite spices such as cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, pumpkin spice (perfect for the fall) or even ginger bread spice for the winter
  4. Screw the lid on and put your delicious and nutritious creations in the fridge

 

And there you have it! You’ve got breakfast for the week! Just grab one each morning and take with you to work if you can’t have it at home. Feel free to add a little sweetener such as stevia or some local honey if desired.

 

Tips: Add ingredients such as chia seed or flaxseed for omega-3’s and additional fiber. Also, if you want a crunchier texture, add your nuts in the morning as opposed to the night prior.

 

See below for a sample breakdown of serving sizes for each ingredient.

 

  • ½ -3/4 c. of rolled oats
  • ½- 3/4 c. of liquid of your choice
  • 2 tsp. of nuts or seeds
  • 1 tsp of your favorite spice
  • ½ c. berries or 1 smashed banana
  • 1-2 tsp. of sweetener (if desired)

-UC

THYME to TURNIP the BEET

Root vegetables are coming into season with Fall right around the corner. These types of vegetables offer an abundance of nutrition. They are packed full of complex carbs, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants and potassium. Fiber works in the body to improve digestive health, maintain a healthy weight and improve cholesterol for heart health. The potassium found in most root veggies work to maintain heart health by regulating blood pressure, nerve signaling and fluid balance. Beta-carotene helps convert vitamin A in your body to trigger DNA to produce new skin cells to maintain healthy skin and eyes. Vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants benefit the immune system by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress to prevent chronic diseases and cancer.

If you aren’t comfortable or unsure how to prepare these types of vegetables, try the recipe below. Cook this recipe at the beginning of the week and eat on it all week. It is great as a side dish or topped on a leafy green salad. Roasted vegetables are a delicious way to enjoy these Fall treasures.

 

Recipe: Sheet-Pan Roasted Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 large carrots

2 medium parsnips, peeled

2 medium beets, peeled

2 medium turnips, peeled

1 medium red onion

1 medium sweet potato

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary or sage

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425℉.
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Cut carrots, parsnips, beets, red onion, sweet potato and turnips into ½-¾ inch slices or cubes.
  4. Toss the vegetables with oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well coated.
  5. Spread onto the baking sheets in a single layer.
  6. Roast the vegetables, rotating the pans top to bottom halfway through, until fork-tender, 30-40 minutes.

Let us know how it goes!

LN

The Simple Things

This blog is a how-to on the simple things that we are expected to be able to do in the kitchen, but sometimes never actually learn how to do! We will learn how to bake chicken breasts, bake veggies, and cook pasta.

First up is baking chicken breasts-

What you will need…

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of choice. Place chicken on pan. *Tip: Lining the pan with aluminum foil can help cook chicken evenly and make for an easy clean up*
  3. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear (about 15 more minutes).
  4. Remove chicken from pan, let cool, & enjoy!

*Reminder- One serving of chicken is 3-4oz which is about the size of a deck of cards, so make sure to fill half your plate with veggies and a quarter of your plate with whole grains to help you feel full longer.

Next, we are going to cook some pasta-

What you will need…

  • Water (at least 4 quarts)
  • Large pot
  • Whole Grain pasta
  • Salt (at least 1 tbsp)
  • Colander/strainer
  • Tongs

Directions

  1. Boil water in a large pot & salt water. *Tip- to make sure the pasta does not stick together, use at least 4 quarts of water per every pound of pasta*
  2. Pour pasta into boiling water, and do not break the pasta.
  3. Stir the pasta.
  4. Follow the cooking time provided on the package, but always taste pasta before draining. Pasta should be a little chewy.
  5. Drain the pasta; if serving hot, add sauce right away; if serving cold pasta salad, run noodles under cold water to stop the cooking.

Sauce: If you are adding some sort of sauce to your pasta, cook on low-medium heat in saucepan on the stove-top until it begins to bubble, then remove from heat and add to noodles.

Last but definitely not least, baked veggies-

What you will need…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Your choice of vegetables! Here are some examples: broccoli, mushrooms, butternut squash, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and lightly oil baking sheet.
  2. Place vegetables in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Serve immediately.

That’s it! You just learned how to make a simple and healthy meal for yourself and your family. Make sure to have some fruit for dessert to complete your plate. Let us know if you have any questions or would like for us to blog about your favorite meal!

 

KM

It Takes Two to Mango

Did you know that more fresh mangoes are eaten around the world every day than any other fruit? They come in numerous sizes, shapes and colors (yellow, orange, red, and green). In many countries, giving someone a basket of mangoes is considered a gesture of friendship 🙂

Mangoes have a wide range of health benefits due to having high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C. Just 1 cup of mango contains 35% of your daily value for vitamin A and 100% of your vitamin C. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that fights inflammation, and it also aids in brain function, skin, heart, kidney, and lung health. Vitamin C helps protect against cardiovascular disease, immune system deficiencies, eye disease, and even helps the skin. With only 100 calories in 1 cup of mango this can be a great snack and ingredient to add to your fun summer dishes.

If you are wondering how you can incorporate mangoes into your daily life, here are some fun ideas to try before the summer ends! (find recipes at the websites listed in parenthesis)

  • Mango Sorbet (Brit + Co)
  • Grilled Mango with Jalapeño (Food Network)
  • BBQ Chicken and Mango Quesadillas (Jo Cooks)
  • Mango Chia Popsicles (Jelly Toast)
  • Honey Mango Dipping Sauce (The Cozy Apron)
  • Green Mango Salad (Food for My Family)
  • Mango Salsa (Cookie and Kate)

Mangoes are so nutrient dense, they have multiple health benefits. They aid in healthy immune function, normalizing blood pressure, good vision and strong bones. Mangoes also help protect against lung, mouth, colon, breast and prostate cancers. So, next time you’re in the produce isle pick up a few mangoes and try a new recipe!

KM