Shari Duncan

Egg and Main Course Ideas

Tracy’s Incredible Veggie Crust-less Quiche

by on Jan.12, 2011, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, Fruits and Veggies, High Protein dishes, Recipes, Weight Loss

Simple, versatile and ohh soo good for you….

This is the time of year when people have maxed out on candy, sugar and rich holiday foods and the body screams out: “Feed Me Something Healthy!” Fortunately, Eggs, cottage cheese, spinach all top the “super foods” list!

This protein packed and low carbohydrate, low fat quiche is incredibly healthy and very easy to throw together. It makes for a great tasting party appetizer*, brunch or  meatless supper. Experiment with just about any base you want for this dish. You can use practically any vegetables that are in season or whatever is on hand in your refrigerator which means  a lot of variety with just this one basic recipe.

The base is practically carbohydrate free and very low fat and packs an impressive 25 grams of lean quality protein per serving!  That makes this pie a good meal choice for even the strictest dieters or during contest prep. You can choose to mix in some  low fat cheeses for added flavor.. but this does add to the total calories/fat per serving so be sure to add this in if you are counting your fat grams.

Eggs, Egg Whites and Low Fat Cottage Cheese.. the Protein base for a very healthy meal.

This is how I “tossed” mine together… in less than 15 minutes of prep time:

  • 6 whole eggs plus
    8 egg whites (I used 1 cup of egg beater egg whites)
  • 10 oz  low fat/fat free cottage cheese
  • Herbs – I chose McCormick Mediterranean blend (Oregano, red pepper, Rosemary, Thyme and Paprika)
  • Sea Salt-pepper
  • Vegetable(s) and/or lean meat (s) of choice

Optional:  ¼-1/3 cup fresh shredded cheese – (I used Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan blend) but you can use low fat swiss, chedder, jack, or Feta

  1. Blend eggs, egg whites and cottage cheese, (shredded cheese, if using) with wire whisk until well combined. Add salt, pepper and other spices.
  2. Fill bottom of 9” pie pan with vegetables of your choice.  I used fresh baby spinach, sliced mushrooms,  2 green onions, and 1 diced tomato.

    Use ANY fresh veggies and herbs and bake! EASY !

  3. Pour egg mixture over vegetables.  Bake 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees until center is set and outside edge is golden brown. . Let cool.
  4. Slice “pie” into 4-5 servings:

Can be stored 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

Approximate Per portion. (Without added cheeses): Calories 183, 25 g of protein, 7g fat, and 4g of carbs

*Use muffin tins in place of pie pan if preparing as a party appetizers.

For Meat Eaters… try it with diced Canadian or turkey bacon, ham or diced chicken.

This was my first attempt at making a quiche and I cannot believe how simple and how GOOD this was.  This will definitely become a new staple in my kitchen.  Cannot wait to try it with zucchini!   THANKS TRACY!

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So Simple Spinach & Chicken Saute

by on Dec.14, 2010, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

Fresh spinach paired with tender chicken is the perfect quick-fix meal.

Known in the nutrition world as a “power” food, spinach is packed to the brim with essential nutrients.  Unfortunately, spinach does not top a lot of peoples list as a favorite food. Is it worth the effort to try to get your kids, or yourself for that matter to eat spinach? ABSOLUTELY! Eating spinach will help you meet your daily need for a number of nutrients, including calcium, iron, folate and vitamin A. Spinach is an excellent bone-builder, and contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the brain, thereby preventing the effects of aging on mental activity. It’s also high in flavonoids, plant molecules that act as antioxidants, which have been shown to prevent breast, stomach, skin, and ovarian cancer.

Whether you’re choosing a prepackaged bag of spinach or a fresh bundle, look for spinach that is bright green in color with thin stems and leaves that are not wilted or spotted with yellow. If you prefer tender spinach, choose baby spinach, which is smaller and much more tender. The larger the leaves, the more mature they are and more likely to be tough or stringy.

So Simple Spinach & Chicken Saute


ü  1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips

ü  1 10 oz bag baby spinach

ü  2TBSP Olive Oil

Fresh spinach paired with tender chicken is the perfect quick-fix meal

ü  Minced garlic to taste,

½ onion chopped

ü  Salt and Pepper

ü  Red Pepper Flakes to taste

ü  1TBSP Dijon Mustard

ü  ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

ü  ~1/2 c chicken broth + 1/3 c fat free/low fat milk

In measuring cup, mix together chicken broth, milk, and mustard. Set aside.

In large heavy skillet, heat olive oil. Saute minced garlic over med –high heat briefly to coat pan. When pan is hot, add chicken strips and chopped onions; season with salt and peppers to taste. Sear and brown on each side, turning only once (approx. 3-4 minutes each side).

Reduce heat to med-low.  Gradually stir in milk mixture and cook until bubbly, turning chicken occasionally.  Simmer about 4-5 minutes to blend flavors and juice of chicken is no longer pink when center of thickest part is cut.  Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

Increase heat to medium and stir in spinach. Sprinkle with nutmeg and additional salt/pepper.  Cook aproximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and some of liquid has been absorbed. Return chicken to pan.

Can be served alone as a low carb, low fat entrée or over couscous, quinoa, or rice if desired as there will be extra sauce. (If desired, you can add a little cornstarch to thicken).

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The Incredible Egg… EGGS-actly what your body needs to build muscle!

by on Aug.22, 2010, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Weight Loss

” My boy says he can eat fifty eggs, he can eat fifty eggs” – Cool Hand Luke 1967

Scientists have shown that those who start their day with poached, boiled or scrambled eggs can lose up to two-thirds more weight than others. The secret of the egg’s success lies in its ability to make us feel full for longer than many other foods.

Eggs make a valuable contribution to a healthy, balanced diet. And they are one of the most complete and versatile, not to mention abundant and inexpensive foods available.  Nutritionists recommend that an egg a day be incorporated into your daily meal planning for maximum health benefits. We all know the importance of protein in the muscle building process; without it, your muscles will simply not grow.  One egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein: so high that it is used as the standard by which other foods are measured. The whites are fat free; it is in the yolk where you find the fat and cholesterol.

..... EGGS-Actly what your Diet needs to build Muscle!

..... EGGS-Actly what your Diet needs to build Muscle!

Eggs are also a rich source of vitamins, including A, E, and K and a range of B vitamins such as B12 (energy), riboflavin and folic acid. Eggs also contain all eight essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and building valuable minerals like  calcium, zinc, and iron.    It is no wonder that eggs are included among the “superfoods” because of the way they both boost health and tackle obesity.

Eggs are far less expensive than most other animal-protein foods. Although eggs contain a significant amount of cholesterol, they need not be excluded from the diet. Most people need not be concerned about eating eggs in moderation.

As you can see, eggs contain a lot of good nutrition. One egg has about 80 calories but one egg also contains approximately five grams of fat, which is important if you are watching your fat and calorie intake. The white part of the egg contains no fat what so ever, and although all of the fat is contained in the yolk of an egg (yellow) – only a small proportion of this is saturated fat (Bad Fat) – about 1.6 grams. One egg each day is good, but eating three or four eggs every day may add too much fat.

In order to get the high quality protein and nutrients while reducing your fat intake, try using one whole egg and adding extra egg whites per serving. (I generally use one whole egg to two addition egg whites). You should also poach, hard boil or scramble your eggs, don’t fry them in butter. If you want your eggs sunny side up or over-easy, use a non-stick skillet without the extra butter or oil.

With recent egg recalls, people are concerned about safety and contamination. Always thoroughly cook your eggs to eliminate the risk of getting sick from salmonella.


Spinach, mushrooms and cheese, crabmeat add additional nutrients and flavor to this “not just for breakfast” egg dish.

A few of my favorite things... for an amazingly healthy and tasty omelet.

A few of my favorite things... for an amazingly healthy and tasty omelet.

Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook Time: 10 Minutes   Yield: 1 Omelette

You will need:

ü  1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites (beaten)

ü  2-3 mushrooms, diced

ü  ~1 cup fresh baby spinach, cut in pieces

ü  1 slice low fat Swiss cheese

ü  ~ 3oz imitation crab meat, flaked or chunked

ü  Salt and pepper.

ü  Cooking spray, butter flavor

  1. Spray bottom of small pan with cooking spray.  Heat on med until hot.
  2. Sauté crab meat until warmed, add mushrooms and spinach. Continue to saute just until spinach begins to wilt.
  3. Add beaten eggs, salt and pepper and sliced cheese.  Cook until eggs begin to set.  Reduce heat, (so you don’t burn your eggs). Continue to cook until eggs are firm and cheese begins to melt.
  4. Fold omelet to seal.
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Lighten Up ! – Chicken Cutlet Parmesan

by on Aug.12, 2010, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

No deep frying, No heavy sauces or unhealthy saturated fats.  Tons of flavor and guaranteed satisfaction.

YES! You CAN eat fresh tasting Italian Chicken Parmesan even when you’re cutting calories and carbohydrates.

This recipe is quick and extremely healthy. It is made with skinless chicken breasts and garden tomatoes, Italian herbs and low fat cheese.  Amazing fresh and light flavor. Serve with a side of Italian squash or over salad greens to complete this low carb meal.

  • 4 chicken cutlets or breasts (pounded thin) About 1 ½ lbs

    Swiftly grilled tomatoes make perfect topping for Italian cutlets

    Swiftly grilled tomatoes make perfect topping for Italian cutlets

  • 1 large (or 2 med) tomato sliced (~3/4” or thicker)
  • ~½ cup 2% less fat Italian shredded cheese
  • Salt/pepper; oregano, garlic, basil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over med high heat. Season sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper and Italian seasonings.  Arrange in single layer in heated pan and cook until just tender (2-3minutes); flip & season and sprinkle shredded cheese over tomatoes.  Cook just until cheese begins to melt. Remove from pan to paper towel.  Do not overcook tomatoes.

Add additional oil or spray to pan.  Add cutlets, season well with salt/pepper, garlic and Italian seasonings.  Brown well on one side. Flip and season and cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Transfer chicken to serving dish.  Arrange tomatoes evenly on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

*This is delicious served over fresh pasta as well, if not on carb restricted meal plan.

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TILAPIA Fish Tacos

by on Feb.28, 2010, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, Fish and Seafood, High Protein dishes, Recipes

I make this recipe year round – even during contest prep!

Tilapia is a very lean protein source, low in calories and contains NO carbohydrates.  Add Southwest spices and pan sear in olive oil.  Serve in a low carb, whole grain tortilla, & add desired toppings.

Dinner is served in less than 15 minutes!

Complete High Protein/low carb meal in 15 Minutes.!

Complete High Protein/low carb meal in 15 Minutes.!

Fresh or Frozen Tilapia Filets

1 TBSP olive oil or Non-stick spray

1 TBSP Lime Juice

Southwest Seasonings



Salt/Pepper (to taste)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1)      Heat Olive oil over med-high heat in non-stick pan.

2)      Add fresh or thawed tilapia filets.  Season generously with Southwest seasonings, cumin, cilantro and squeeze of lime.

3)      Cook approx 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Flip filets when golden browned and season other side until browned on both sides.  Remove from Heat.

4)      Warm tortillas

Pan Sear 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness of Fillets

Pan Sear 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness of Fillets

5)      Fill Tortillas with 3-4 oz of tilapia and add desired toppings.



Fresh Veggies (I use Red/Green Peppers)

Sliced Avocado

Low fat, shredded cheese


Tilapia (cooked, dry heat), 3.5 oz (100g)

Calories:                                128 kcal
Protein:                                 26 g
Carbohydrate:                       0 g
Total Fat:                              3 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Unsaturated fat: 2 g
Transfat: 0 g
Cholesterol:                          57 mg
Fiber:                                    0 g

Tilapia is an excellent lean protein, is low in calories and contains no carbohydrates.

Tilapia (cooked, dry heat), 3.5 oz (100g)

Selenium:                              54.40 mcg   (78% DV)
Vitamin B12:                        1.86 mcg     (31% DV)
Niacin:                                  4.74 mg       (24% DV)
Phosphorus:                          204.00 mg   (20% DV)

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Chicken, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

by on Feb.06, 2010, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

Chicken and low fat cottage cheese are used in place of higher fat beef and ricotta cheese. Spinach and mushrooms provide flavor, texture and added vitamins & nutrients.

1lb chicken, seasoned, cooked in olive oil and garlic; and diced

Chicken Lasagna

Lower in fat; healthier than traditional lasagna

1 10oz package chopped spinach, thawed

Fresh baby Bella mushrooms

1-package oven ready lasagna noodles **

14 oz low fat cottage cheese

Low Fat Provolone / Mozzarella

1 jar prepared Marinara or Spaghetti Sauce

Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare chicken –season GENEROUSLY with garlic, salt and pepper, and Italian seasonings.

Place a few spoonfuls of sauce in bottom of baking dish to coat bottom. Begin layering noodles (uncooked), sauce, cottage cheese, spinach, mushrooms, chicken and shredded cheeses to create the lasagna. Take care to distribute ingredients evenly, including corners.

Top with sauce (cover pasta noodles completely) – and garnish with shredded Parmesan Cheese.

Cover loosely with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until lasagna is thoroughly heated and bubbly.

Allow lasagna to stand at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to slicing. This helps keep lasagna layers intact when serving.

Use Whole Wheat or Pre-cooked. Only Use partial package to Cut Carbs

Use partial package to Cut Carbs

**Substitute  whole wheat lasagna noodles for pre-cooked. Use only partial package of noodles to cut the total carbohydrates per serving.  I make 3 layers of 3 noodles per layer for a total of 9 lasagna noodles.


Why Eat Spinach?

Spinach nutrition is amazing. The calcium content in spinach and other dark leafy greens strengthens bones.

The A and C vitamins in spinach plus the fiber, folic acid, magnesium and other nutrients help control cancer, especially colon, lung and breast cancers. Folate also lowers the blood levels of something called homocysteine,protein that damages arteries. So spinach also helps protect against heart disease.spinach_popeye

The flavonoids in spinach help protect against age related memory loss.

Spinach’s secret weapon, lutein, makes it one of the best foods in the world to prevent cataracts, as well as age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly. Foods rich in lutein are also thought to help prevent cancer.

The health benefits of spinach are numerous. The vitamins and calcium in spinach, combined with the overall nutritional value of spinach, make this vegetable and its dark leafy green cousins top picks for healthy food choices.

Fresh or frozen, add these greens to your food menu as often as you can.

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