Eating Clean Around the World and a Book Giveaway

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What’s your resolution for the New Year? Is it organizing your life? Is it getting rid of household clutter? Is it spending more quality time with the family? Is it getting more exercise? Perhaps it is making better food choices for better health, like eating clean?

So what exactly is eating clean? Eating clean doesn’t always have to mean steamed vegetables and plain proteins. I love to shop along the outside of the grocery store. Take a look at your pantry and your refrigerator. Which of these has more abundance of foods? Which of these has a longer shelf life? We all know, the longer the shelf life, the more processed crud is crammed into the food right? But yet we still buy them! And the foods in our refrigerator are consumed quite quickly-because of their freshness factor!

You can learn more about clean eating in my friend Chris Freytag’s eBook and even WIN a copy from Chris herself! Chris Freytag is a nutritional and fitness expert who has literally helped me find a new and healthier self. I have followed Chris on Facebook for 2 years now, beginning with a motivational fitness group she started with her 10 Pound Slim Down workout series. I’ve used her eBook and love it! Check out my review on her page!

Famished Fish, Finicky Shark has teamed up Chris to give away a copy of her eBook Getting Started with Clean Eating.  Continue reading to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Now the challenge. I challenge you this year to shop more on the outskirts of the grocery aisles and less in the middle. Buy whole wheat pastas and fresh herbs and vegetables and skip the packaged “helper” meals. Buy lowfat milk and natural cheeses and skip “cream sauces”. Stock up on packaged beans and lentils and skip the canned ones packed in sodium.

Orange is the new white! Substitute sweet potatoes for white. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables and avoid the ones sitting on the shelf for months. Eat more fruit! Fresh and frozen are all the rave.

Whole grains are cool! You don’t know how many times I’ve swapped whole grains in my kid’s food, or added oats to their pancakes and they had no clue. Make a cake from scratch and sneak in some whole wheat flour and ground flax seeds. Substitute apple sauce and fat free greek yogurt for the oil and butter in your baking. Look for raw cookie recipes like raw date cookies over butter filled sugar cookies.

Add plenty of healthy fat foods like avocados, olive and canola oil, nuts and seeds to your diet. And don’t forget that ever forgiving and satisfying rich dark chocolate. Consumed in moderation, it is a guilt free treat.

I spent the last month of last year preparing some additional clean eating meals for my family and readers. These meals are so rich and delicious, you will forget they are good for you. And some may be a bit higher in calorie, but added up with the healthy fats, they are still body beneficial.

Here are some of my original recipes, scattered from around the world.

America and Extra Fiber

Pumpkin Sage Quinoa

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Herb and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

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Mini Quinoa Quiches

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Pumpkin Black Bean Chilis

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Greece and Herbal Sauces

Greek Chicken Meatballs

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Baked Falafels in Pita Pockets

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Greek Herb and Citrus Roasted Potatoes (try these with sweet potatoes!)

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Garbanzo Bean Patties with Tzatziki Yogurt Dip

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Cuba and a Juicy Burger

Pineapple Avocado Turkey Burgers

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Italy and Tomatoes

Penne with Sundried Tomatoes with Baby Lima Beans and Crumbled Bacon

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Whole Wheat Stuffed Crust Personal Pizzas (sneaking in whole wheat for the kids)

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Lasagna Cupcakes

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China and Stir Fry

Spicy Shrimp with Cashews

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Mexico and Beans

Lightened Up Charro Beans

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India and Chicken

Baked Indian Chicken Drumsticks

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Thailand and Peanut Sauce

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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And the treats

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

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Banana Key Lime Protein Smoothie

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So do you accept this challenge? A challenge to do good by your body and enrich yourself with good, clean nutrition. And your family’s?

What diet changes have you made this year? Please comment below and let me know if one of these meals is a favorite of yours!

And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Quick Fall Quinoa-Pumpkin Sage Quinoa

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Quinoa is like my “go to” healthy side dish. I can’t feel guilty eating fiber full and protein rich quinoa over a bowl of its starchy cousin rice.

So in my festive fall mood I’ve been in so much lately, I added vitamin A rich pumpkin to the fluffy wonder grain. I used it as a soft bed for my Herb and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops.

This is all you need.

1 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1 Tb chopped fresh sage

I prepared the quinoa by boiling it in a covered saucepan with water and bouillon, on medium low heat for 30 minutes

After letting it rest 5 min, I stirred in the pumpkin and chopped fresh sage.

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I served a small 1/3 cup portion under my pork chops.  And to boot, this recipe is perfect for my autistic son or anyone with food allergies, full of protein and vitamins and GFCF.
Yum!
Serves 6. Even better topped with 1 Tb pepitas.
Enjoy.

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Pumpkin Sage Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 193 calories

Fat 9 g

Carbs 22 g

Protein 9 g

6


Pumpkin Sage Quinoa

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 5

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 Tb chopped fresh sage
  • 6 Tb raw pepitas (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the quinoa by boiling it in a covered saucepan with water and bouillon, on medium low heat for 30 minutes.
  2. After letting it rest 5 min, stir in the pumpkin and chopped fresh sage.
  3. Garnish with raw pepitas if desired.

Notes

If omitting raw pepitas, WW PP changes to 4 Total PP.

An Itty Bitty Quichie

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Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal of the day. I really like that I can choose to make something sugary sweet and belly rich, or something savory and satisfying that could easily be brunch.

Mini Quinoa Quiches are just that savory bit of satisfying. They are full of vitamin rich veggies, fiber and protein full quinoa, tangy and creamy feta cheese, and iron rich eggs and egg whites. Simple as that. These mini quiches take about 5 minutes to put together and within 30 minutes, you have a healthy and filling breakfast, or even snack if you eat just one.

So here’s the basics.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Chop up any veggie you love and make two cups of it. I used onions, bell peppers, zucchinis, and mushrooms. Mix these with some cooked quinoa in a big bowl. (Check out how to make Quinoa here with Chocolate Covered Katie.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg whites and add in the salt and pepper, hot sauce and feta cheese.

Pour the egg mixture over the quinoa and vegetable mixture and stir to combine.

Line a muffin pan with 8 muffin liners. Spray each one with cooking spray and portion the mixture into the liners.

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Put these in the oven and wait for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove them from the oven and

Read More »

Eggplant with Rice Noodles-Super Kid Friendly

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I love fresh garden vegetables. Especially when they are a gift. My daddy has been bringing in an abundance of tomatoes (going to find a use for those soon) to the office everyday. Just recently he brought in two beautiful eggplants. I immediately thought of eggplant parmesan, or the Gluten Free Baked Eggplant Fries I’ve made recently. When I was scavenging the web for a Korean Dipping Sauce to go with the eggplant fries, I came across a few Chinese Stir Fry recipes featuring eggplant. So I decided to put together a new recipe for my family.

Hearty eggplants boasting with garlic, savory oyster sauce and touch of sweetness from sugar, this pairs well with tender rice noodles tossed in a nutty sesame oil. This meal is filling and full of flavor. It was a hit with everyone, including my finicky shark! He said it tasted like mushrooms, and he loves mushrooms! And it’s GFCF, autism friendly.
I set aside the other eggplant for some Baba Ganoush (recipe coming soon), an Indian eggplant dip, to spread on my veggie and goat cheese low carb wrap for this week.
Eggplant in Garlic Sauce with Rice Noodles


Eggplant in Garlic Sauce:
1 large eggplant, cubed
2 Tb peanut oil
dash salt
1 cup chicken broth (or plain water)
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tb soy sauce
2 Tb oyster sauce
2 Tb sugar
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
chili paste, for garnish, if desired

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add eggplant with dash salt. Cook and stir until tender, about 10 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients, except chili paste, in glass bowl and pour over eggplant.

Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve over rice noodles, about 1 cup per serving.

Rice Noodles:
6-8 cups water
8 oz packaged flat rice noodles
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame seeds, black or white

Heat water in large pot to boiling. Add rice noodles. Bring back to boil. Allow to boil, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, about 7 minutes.

Pour noodles into colander and rinse. Drain well. Transfer noodles to large bowl, drizzle with sesame oil and rice vinegar, and add sesame seeds. The sesame oil mixture adds a great nutty flavor, as well as prevents the noodles from sticking to each other.

Toss well. Using tongs, portion onto 4 serving plates, about 1 cup noodles each and top with eggplant mixture. Garnish with chili paste, if desired.

Serves 4. Prep 10. Cook 25.

I hope you all enjoy this dish as much as we did. I wish I had leftovers for lunch this week, but sadly for me, there weren’t any left.

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce with Rice Noodles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 385 calories

Fat 10 g

Carbs 69 g

Protein 6 g

4


Eggplant in Garlic Sauce with Rice Noodles

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 10

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • 2 Tb peanut oil
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or plain water)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tb soy sauce
  • 2 Tb oyster sauce
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tb chili paste, for garnish, if desired
  • For the Rice Noodles

  • 8 oz packaged flat rice noodles
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, black or white

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add eggplant with dash salt. Cook and stir until tender, about 10 minutes. If you are adding tofu, add it in now.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients, except chili paste, in glass bowl and pour over eggplant.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. For Noodles: Heat water in large pot to boiling. Add rice noodles. Bring back to boil. Allow to boil, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, about 7 minutes.
  7. Pour noodles into colander and rinse. Drain well.
  8. Transfer noodles to large bowl, drizzle with sesame oil and rice vinegar, and add sesame seeds.
  9. Serve eggplant mixture over rice noodles, about 1 cup per serving.

Notes

*Finicky shark tip: omit red pepper flakes and add 1 Tb peanut butter to the sauce, for a sweeter, nuttier flavor.*Kick it up a notch tip: add 1 sliced jalapeno, 1 Tb peanut butter, and 4 oz firm tofu. Toss with noodles.**Note, this dish could be made Vegetarian or Vegan, using plain water in lieu of chicken broth, and substituting 2 Tb Hoison Sauce in place of the oyster sauce and sugar. May alter flavor slightly.

*Finicky shark tip: omit red pepper flakes and add 1 Tb peanut butter to the sauce, for a sweeter, nuttier flavor.

*Kick it up a notch tip: add 1 sliced jalapeno, 1 Tb peanut butter, and 4 oz firm tofu. Toss with noodles.

**Note, this dish could be made Vegetarian or Vegan, using plain water in lieu of chicken broth, and substituting 2 Tb Hoison Sauce in place of the oyster sauce and sugar. May alter flavor slightly.

Do you have a favorite Asian stir fry rice noodle dish?

Deceitfully Delicious "Tapioca" Pudding-Quinoa Pudding Parfait

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 I’ve been a cookbook and recipe addict since I could read. So much so that my grandmother used to clip the Kid Kitchen recipes out of the Sunday Morning Funnies for me. I still have a binder full of those recipes, such as banana toast and berry smoothies.  I could sit for hours and read creations and stare in awe at yummy food pictures. I guess I just soaked it all in.  I still do!
Well I’m all for trying new and heathy creations for my family, especially when it comes to new and healthy desserts.  One recipe I recently came across was for a pudding with quinoa added to the mix. I thought, hmm, ‘protein, fiber, and it’s a mock  tapioca’.  Works for me.  I wondered if it would work for my picky family, including my finicky shark who absolutely loves tapioca pudding!
So I headed to the kitchen and this is what I created. I made this version for myself, because as much of a milk addict I was with my third baby, I somehow became lactose intolerant within a year after his birth-boo.  Well, although I made this for myself, I asked my family who was sitting on the couch enjoying their Sunday afternoon to taste it-and I never saw it again after that.  My husband and two of my boys literally fought over it.  (My other boy was playing next door, or he may have been in the mix too!)
Non-Tapioca, Non-Dairy Vanilla Pudding Parfait

2 1/4 cups soy milk (regular skim milk may be used)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 whole eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tb cornstarch
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 small bananas, sliced
1 cup raspberries
Combine sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan.  Gently whisk in soy milk, eggs and vanilla.  Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to bubble, about 10 minutes.  Stir one to two minutes more after bubbling begins to allow mixture to thicken.  Remove from heat.  Stir in quinoa.
Let cool covered in plastic wrap in refrigerator or serve immediately. Tip: lay plastic wrap directly on pudding surface to prevent a “skin” from forming.
Layer each of 4 parfait glasses with 1/2 cup pudding, 1/4 of one banana, 2 Tb raspberries and repeat.
Yield 1 cup pudding, 1/2 banana and 1/4 cup raspberries per serving.
This was all I got out of the remaining pudding-a snack for today’s lunch.  And no one was the wiser that this was full of healthy protein packed quinoa.  😉
Enjoy!