Shari Duncan

Tag: Whole Grain

Chicken Pesto Pizza with Feta
Shari

by on Jan.12, 2013, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, Recipes

Make Friday Night (or any night)  Pizza Night!

Yes, even pizza can be healthy, Without sacrificing taste.  Fresh and flavorful homemade pizza in 30 minutes .  Faster than delivery AND no tip required!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One whole wheat pizza crust (Boboli)
  • 1 large chicken breast (~8 oz) diced

    Fresh Veggies, Chicken and Pesto....PIZZA NIGHT!!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp basil pesto sauce
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • Feta cheese – grated
  • Shredded parmesan/ Romano cheese
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian spice blend (oregano, basil,garlic)

Optional :  mushrooms, red peppers, spinach, artichokes, etc.

Get as creative as you wish.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Heat olive oil and minced garlic in over med high heat.  Add diced chicken breast,season generously with italian spices.  Sauté over medium high heat stirring once or twice for 5 to 8 minutes until  brown and cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Spread thin layer of prepared pesto sauce on base of pizza crust.  Layer sliced tomatoes followed by chicken, olives, and other fresh vegetables as desired.  ( I added mushrooms and sliced red bell peppers).  Top with grated feta, to taste and additional herbs.

Bake on middle rack for 10 minutes. Then tue. Broiler to hi heat and cook an additional 2 minutes .  Remove from oven sprinkle with shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese blend

Allow pie to set and cool on rack 2-5 minutes.

Slice and enjoy!

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Good Morning Power Muffins – With Blueberries, Oats, Flax and Pecans
Shari

by on Jan.29, 2012, under General Nutrition, Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Whey Protein Recipes

Good for you food with wholesome ingredients in  30 minutes.

These muffins use fresh, simple ingredients and pack a huge nutritional punch.   They are high in protein,  and contain a hearty blend of grains, fiber and healthy fats (from flax and nuts). Bake ahead for a terrific on-the-go  weekday breakfast or anytime healthy snack that provides lasting energy and satisfies.  Now you’re baking!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease muffin tins with non-stick spray (or coconut oil).   In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder,

    Power Packed with fresh, hearty ingredients that satisfy.

  • 4 Tbsp Ground FlaxSeed
  • ½ cup chopped Pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tbsp baking soda
  • 4-5 packets of Truvia, or ~1-2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend

In separate bowl combine wet ingredients:

  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or diced up fresh apple)
  • 1 Tbsp Flax seed oil
  • ~ ½ – ¾ cup of Almond or Coconut milk (or lowfat milk)
  • Honey (to taste)

Combine wet with dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.  Fold in 1-1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries and spoon into muffin tins.

Bake for 15-19 minutes or until center is cooked (toothpick comes out clean).  12 muffins.

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Make a Healthier Pasta. Fresh and Natural makes a Difference.
Shari

by on Apr.03, 2011, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, High Protein dishes, Recipes

A Healthy and tasty twist on an Italian classic:  Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken Sausage. Dinner is Served in under 30.

Watching calories and trying to eat healthier?  Think certain foods like raviolis and sausage  are on the “NOT” list?  If you shop smart, and pay attention to food labels you can enjoy almost any favorite recipe.  Here’s a  ultra quick recipe for ravioli with sweet Italian sausage that uses all natural whole wheat pasta and skinless chicken sausage.  No preservatives or artificial ingredients. It is high in protein and lower in fat and “delicioso!”

  • 1 12 oz package Sweet Italian chicken sausage (Al Fresco) – cut in bite size pieces.

    Whole wheat pasta & chicken Sausage, All Natural, No preservatives

  • 1 8 oz (2 serving) package fresh whole wheat pasta (Monterey)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh garlic, minced, (basil, oregano, optional)
  • ½ jar of prepared marinara or pasta sauce.
  • Fresh grated Romano cheese (for topping)

**You may also add sautéed peppers or spinach to this dish, if desired.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat olive oil.  Add garlic, sauté and sausage and cook over med-high heat, stirring often until sausage is nicely browned and cooked through. Reduce heat, add pasta sauce and additional Italian seasonings, if using.  Stir to blend, cover and simmer.  Drain cooked ravioli and gently toss with sausage mixture.

4 servings.

*Note: The nutrition label for 8 oz package of pasta is for 2 servings. By combining with chicken sausage, you increase the protein AND reduce the amount of carbohydrates per serving.

(as prepared: Approx 20grams/per serving)

http://www.alfrescoallnatural.com/FlavorDetails.aspx?ID=9781&nav=mp0

http://www.montereygourmetfoods.com/index.cfm/mpc_products_wheat.htm

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Quinoa (Keen-wa) The Healthy Grain with the Funny Name
Shari

by on Dec.05, 2010, under General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

There aren’t many foods that have such high nutrition that they fall into the complete or nearly complete food categories. However, Quinoa is pretty darn close!

Although not a staple in most kitchens today – those who have discovered quinoa know how delicious it is and how good it is for them.   Quinoa is a nutrient dense,  amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.

I finally decided to give into my curiosity and bought a box of quinoa… and am quickly discovering how really simple, delicious and versatile is.  ..

If you do not know what is so special about quinoa here are six secrets.

Easy to prepare, tasty and versatile. Quinoa is a COMPLETE FOOD!

Quinoa with Black Beans. Easy to prepare, tasty and versatile. Quinoa is a COMPLETE FOOD!

Secret 1 – Quinoa is gluten free

Quinoa is a good source of many vitamins and nutrients. Although technically a seed, quinoa ) is commonly referred to and used most often as a grain
because it is also gluten free and very non allergenic, people with restricted diets can usually eat it wit out any problems.

Secret 2 – It is a complete protein

One cup (cooked) quinoa contains eight grams of protein, nearly twice the amount found in other grains. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it provides the body all nine essential amino acids. For
vegans and vegetarians looking for alternative to tofu and soya it is ideal. It is also far more versatile in the kitchen then other vegan sources of protein.

Secret 3 – Quinoa is REALLY good for your health

It is a vegetable protein which is easy to digest. It also is a complex carbohydrate that slowly releases its goodness into the body. You do not get a rush of carbs followed by a lull. This is great for diabetics and people with kidney problems

Secret 4 – It is available in different types, colors and forms.

The most common is white quinoa. (Also, black quinoa and red quinoa). The different varieties also have different levels of oils in them making some crunchier than others. Quinoa is available in seed (grain form), flour, and flakes. It’s texture is what many love most about this grain (seed).

Secret 5 – Quinoa Can Help You Lose Weight.

Quinoa offers a lot to anyone looking to get healthy. However there are a number of great benefits for those looking to lose weight as well.

  • Because of its protein content and complex carbohydrates quinoa will have you feeling full longer and will also help prevent cravings. You do not need to eat very much to feel satisfied.
  • The amino acids and high quality protein will help you build more muscles. This in turn will have you burning more calories and it will prevent you from losing muscle tone as you lose weight

Secret 6 – It Is Very Easy To Cook

If you can boil pasta or rice then you can cook quinoa. Bring one part quinoa and two parts liquid to boil. Simmer as you would rice for about fifteen minutes or until the grains are translucent.  It has a nutty flavor that complements many other ingredients and adds wonderful texture to soups, stews, stir fry’s and salads

Quinoa is very rich in magnesium,a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines. Increased intake of magnesium has been shown to be related to a reduced frequency of headache episodes reported by migraine sufferers.  Low dietary levels of magnesium are also associated with increased rates of hypertension, ischemic heart disease and heart arrhythmias, and since magnesium helps to relax blood vessels, adding Quinoa to your diet offers your body protection and can improve your cardiovascular health.

————————————————————————-

Quinoa and Black Beans (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup frozen corn kernels

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed

and drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro
Nutrition
Information

Servings Per Recipe: 10

Calories: 142

Amount Per Serving

  • Total Fat: 1.7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 467mg
Amount Per Serving

  • Total Carbs: 25.6g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6.9g
  • Protein: 6.9g

*My customized version:

I substituted olive oil instead of vegetable oil, low sodium chicken for the vegetable broth, used 1 can black beans (instead of 2) and mixed in about ½-3/4  cup of black bean salsa in at the end.

This is satisfying enough as a meal or as a hearty side dish.  I served with Chili and Lime grilled chicken breasts.

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Cran-Almond QUINOA Muffins. These you gotta try.
Shari

by on Jun.27, 2010, under General Nutrition, Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Whey Protein Recipes

These smell amazing while baking and have a sweet, nutty flavor.   Wholesome nutrition that taste too good to be good for you!

Curiosity finally got the better of me.  I keep hearing about how  Quinoa… (pronounced Keen-wa) is so good for you.  But I had no idea what I would do with it once I got it home… So,  I bought a box of “flakes” at the local health food store yesterday and this is what I came up with.  I replaced quinoa flakes for the oats that I normally use in my baked goods. The flax seed and almond milk and almond extract give these a  nutty flavor and the craisins and applesauce add just the right amount of sweetness.   I was pleasantly surprised!  These are great!

Mix together all dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

  • 1c Quinoa Flakes

    Almond milk, extract and craisins give these muffins a sweet nutty flavor

    Almond milk, extract and craisins give these muffins a sweet nutty flavor

  • 1 1/2c Low Carb Flour
  • 2TBS Flax Seed
  • 2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1 ½ TBS Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ TBS Cinnamon
  • 1 TBS Baking Powder

In separate bowl, mix together:

  • 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg
  • 3 TBS Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 3/4c Almond Milk
  • 1 TBS Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract

Add wet to dry ingredients. Mix well.  Stir in 1/3 cup of Craisins.

Bake at 350 degrees in lightly greased muffin pan for approximately 15 minutes.  Cool.  ENJOY!

Makes 12 muffins.

Quinoa flakes contain all of the nutrition of the whole Quinoa grain or seed, but cook much more quickly and are therefore easily adaptable to recipes. Quinoa is technically a “seed” and not a grain that is native to the Andes Mountain region.  It’s low in fat and sugar, no sodium or cholesterol, is iron rich and a good source of slow-burning complex carbohydrates.

What makes quinoa unique nutritionally is that it’s one of a hand-full of plant-sources that has a complete protein profile. This means that a serving of quinoa contains all 8 of the essential amino acids that your body needs. Most grains only contain some of the essential amino acids — requiring you to “mix” your proteins (for example beans with rice) to create a full protein. This is especially good news to vegetarians.  They are also gluten free.

A serving of quinoa flakes adds significant nutrition to your breakfast.  They are a terrific alternative to oats.  Substitute for flour in breads, muffins, pancakes and cookies for heartier and healthier baked recipes.

Organic Quinoa Flakes.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/2 cup (42 g)

Nutrient Amount %DV

Calories 159      Calories from Fat 0      Total Fat 2.5 g 3.8%      Saturated Fat 0.3 g 1.3%

Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g      Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g      Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 9 mg 0.4%      Total Carbohydrate 29.5 g 9.8%      Dietary Fiber 3 g 12.3%

Sugars 1 g      Protein 5.7 g 11.4%      Vitamin A 0%      Vitamin E 6.8%      Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 2.6%      Iron 21.9%      Magnesium 22.4%      Phosphorus 17.5%

Potassium 9%      Zinc 9%

  • Quinoa flakes are best stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. They have a shelf-life of 2 years from processing date
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The WHOLE story on WHOLE GRAINS
Shari

by on Mar.06, 2010, under General Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss

Add more whole grains to your diet…. They are far superior to refined and processed alternatives.

Grains are an essential part of a healthy diet. They can be broken down into 2 distinct types: WHOLE or REFINED.

Whole grains (brown rice and oatmeal) contain the entire grain kernel while refined grains (white rice and white bread) have been processed,. This means the bran and germ have been removed. ….along with much of the nutrients. The refinement process gives these foods a finer texture and prolongs their shelf life – But important nutrients such as B vitamins, fiber, and iron are lost.

Since whole grains haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling, they are good sources of fiber — (the part of plant-based foods that your body doesn’t digest).  Because whole grains are high in fiber, they tend to satisfy and make you feel fuller longer. This in turn can prevent overeating and help you lose weight.

Although vitamins and minerals are added back into refined grains after the milling process, they still don’t have as many nutrients as whole grains do, and they don’t provide as much fiber naturally. Fiber unfortunately is not added back during the “enriching” process.

The best diets are those that are rich in whole foods and contain few processed foods.

Grains are a source of complex carbohydrates.Too often though, people shy away from carbohydrates when they diet, fearing that carbohydrates lead to weight gain; or is what is keeping them from losing weight.  The truth is that grains, in their “whole” form are nutritionally among the most powerful super foods and are a necessary part of any weight management plan.

With so many nutrients in one package, whole grains provide multiple health benefits, including protection from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and some cancers. And they are naturally low in fat and cholesterol free.

Examples of whole grains:

§                                 Barley

§                                 Brown rice

§                                 Buckwheat

§                                 Bulgur (cracked wheat)

§                                 Millet

§                                 Oatmeal

§                                 Popcorn

§                                 Quinoa

§                                 Whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers

§                                 Wild rice

– READ THE INGREDIENT LIST & Read between the lines!-

Look for foods that list a whole grain as the first ingredient.
Just because a product label “sounds” healthy doesn’t mean it is. For example, “multigrain” only means that the product contains more than one grain, not that whole grains were used. And “stone-ground” is a technique for grinding grains. Don’t assume these terms mean that the product was made from a whole grain—it’s still important to read the ingredient list.

Remember that the closer a food is to its natural state, the better for you. So whenever you can, choose whole grains over refined grains.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Barley Soup

Toss some barley into your homemade soup to add flavor, texture and fiber

HEARTY & HEALTHY Vegetable BARLEY Soup

3/4c pearled barley

1 small onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

2-3 red potatoes, diced

Mushrooms, Carrots sliced

1 can stewed or diced tomatoes, any flavor

Beef flavored bouillon / 6 cups water

Salt/Pepper, Thyme, Paprika, Parsley

1-2 TBSP Olive Oil

OPTIONAL:

Beef shank or other soup bone

Beans, (ie: Navy beans)

In large soup pot or dutch oven, season and sear beef (if using) in olive oil. Brown well on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.  Lower heat to med, and sauté onion and celery in olive oil until just tender. Return meat to pan, add water with beef flavored broth. Bring to boil.

Add carrots, potatoes and tomatoes and season generously. Add barley (and beans, if using).

Reduce heat, and finally add the mushrooms last.

Cover and simmer 30 minutes or more, until vegetables and barley are tender and all flavors have a chance to blend.

______________________________________

BARLEY:  Good grain, Great Carb.

Barley’s soluble fiber content, along with its naturally low-fat content and zero cholesterol make this grain a wise choice for heart-smart dining. It is also high in protein and adds texture and a unique flavor to a variety of dishes.

Barley contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Unlike some other grains, barley contains fiber throughout the entire kernel and not just in the outer bran layer. This grain compares well to other grains in total dietary fiber content. For example, a ½-cup serving of cooked pearl barley contains 3 grams of dietary fiber. In comparison, a ½-cup serving of long-grain brown rice contains 1.75 grams dietary fiber and one-half-cup of white long-grain rice contains less than 1 gram of dietary fiber.

Barley contains several vitamins and minerals including niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamine  Vitamin B1), selenium, iron,barley magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper.

Barley also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals (natural plant based chemicals) which studies show may decrease the risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer

Per 1 cup cooked pearl barley

Calories – 193
Protein – 3.5g
Fat – 0.7g
Cholesterol – 0
Carbohydrate – 44g
Total dietary fiber – 6g
Calcium – 17mg
Iron – 2mg
Magnesium – 35 mg
Phosphorus – 85 mg
Potassium -146 mg
Sodium – 5 mg
Zinc – 1.2 mg
Copper – 0.16 mg
Manganese – 0.4 mg
Selenium – 13.5 mcg
Vitamin C – 0
Thiamin – 0.13 mg
Riboflavin – 0.09 mg
Niacin – 3.23 mg
Pantothenic acid – 0.21 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.18 mg
Folate – 25 mg
Vitamin B12 – 0
Vitamin A – 11 IU
Vitamin E – 0.01 mg
Vitamin K – 1.25mcg


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