Category Archives: Healthy Recipes

Healthy

Lettuce Wraps with Sweet Peanut Sauce

Looking for something easy, light and refreshing in this summer heat?

Well, try my lettuce wraps. They are SO EASY and healthy.

They are versatile, too. You can add any vegetable you’d like. I have swapped soba noodles for rice noodles; added snow peas in my wraps; and love to add shiitake mushrooms!!! A little mint is nice, too. Thinly sliced daikon is great in these.

The more veggies, the merrier. The peanut sauce comes together in minutes. It doesn’t have any ginger, but you can add some if you ‘d like.I’d suggest starting with 1/8 teaspoon and going from there because ginger is potent.

There’s hardly any cooking in this recipe, so it’s perfect for people who don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.

I hope you enjoy these.

Lettuce Wraps with Sweet Peanut Sauce

Serves 2

2 rotisserie chicken breasts, sliced

8-10 Bibb or Butter lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Two handfuls of fresh cilantro

½ cup shredded carrots

1 ounces of rice noodles

Sesame oil or your favorite Asian dressing

1 cucumber, sliced thin

1 green onion, sliced thin

Sliced bell pepper (optional)

Peanut Butter Sauce

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup boiling water

1 tablespoon brown sugar (do not make this heaping or it will be too sweet)

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon soy sauce

DSC_0975 (2)

First: cook your rice noodles according to package directions. They cook fast, usually in about 3 minutes. When they are done, drizzle with sesame oil or your favorite Asian salad dressing like Sesame Ginger. Rice noodles are fairly flavorless and this will add some depth of flavor and prevent them from sticking together.  If you want then to cool quickly, place in a metal bowl and pop it in the fridge.

Slice all the vegetables and place on a large platter or divide them between two plates.

Remove the skin from the chicken and place on a plate.

Make your peanut sauce.

For the sauce: Stir all ingredients together until they are combined. The water must be very hot to dissolve the peanut butter.

You can also make this on a stovetop in a small pot, but then it needs to cool before serving because the peanut butter will separate and become too thin while piping hot.

DSC_0987 (2)

Then make your own wraps by placing desired toppings in the lettuce leaves and then either topping it with peanut sauce or dipping in peanut sauce.

Sprinkle with sliced green onion and eat.

Advertisements

Baby Kale, Strawberry, Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette 

This salad is incredible and comes together so quickly. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner on a hot summer night. It’s a restaurant quality salad on the table in less than 10 minutes.

And it’s healthy.

Kale is packed with vitamins K, A and C, (a serving has more than 800 percent of your daily vitamin K needs);  walnuts have Omega 3 fatty acids, and the nuts and chicken give it protein to keep you full longer.

However, sunflower seeds do add a lot of calories and fat, so if you’re watching your waistline, you may want to omit those and double up on strawberries.

A sprinkle of goat cheese crumbles is great on this salad, too.

If you can’t find baby kale, you can substitute spinach or arugula. I bought baby kale in a plastic tub next to other salad greens.

It’s important to use honey roasted sunflower seeds as it adds sweetness. I used applewood smoked chicken, but that is not available at all stores, so regular is fine. I would stick with traditional and not use a lemon-pepper chicken.

Dress this salad with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette. I used Walmart’s generic brand, Great Value, and it was awesome. Enjoy this healthy, EASY meal.

DSC_0007 (2)

Baby Kale, Strawberry, Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette

3 cups baby kale greens

2 tablespoons honey roasted sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons candied or glazed walnuts

4 strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

1 tablespoon dried cranberries (optional)

Your favorite raspberry vinaigrette

Spread kale on a large plate. Top with all the other ingredients. Toss with vinaigrette and serve.

I like this with a crisp white wine.

Chicken Tostadas with Lime Slaw

I became addicted to lime slaw on a trip to Nicaragua. They serve a lime slaw, like a salad, on top of yucca and topped with pork rinds. Sounds awful, but it’s really good. Anyway, the healthiest part of that dish was the lime slaw and I started using lime to dress cole slaw instead of mayonnaise and just use very little oil.

Tostadas traditionally have a fried shell, but I often just lightly pan fry the shell to make it healthier. I prefer corn tortillas, but if you want a faster assembly, just use premade tostada shells.

For the healthiest option, skip the sour cream and pan fry the corn tortillas instead of using tostada shells.

Chicken Tostadas with Lime Slaw

Serves 2

4 corn tortillas or tostada shells

¾ cup sliced, skinless rotisserie chicken

1 cup cole slaw mix

½ teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon canola oil

1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Refried beans

Sliced avocado

Salsa (red or green is good)

Sour cream

Tomato slices (optional)

Directions:

First, whisk together sugar, cumin, oil, lime juice and cilantro. In another bowl, add this mixture to cole slaw mix, stir to thoroughly coat slaw, and set aside.

Slice your chicken and set aside. Slice avocado and set it aside.

Place desired amount of refried beans, about 1 tablespoon per tortilla, in a bowl, cover and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir and heat more, if necessary.

If using corn tortillas, use a large non-stick skillet and head the pan over medium heat. Add cooking spray or a little canola oil. When hot, add tortillas and cook about 3 minutes per side.

Then assemble tostadas: spread beans on the shell, then chicken, salsa, slaw, sour cream and slice avocado.

I added tomato slices but it was more for the photo. With the salsa, you don’t really need more tomato.

Enjoy. Look how beautiful this is … They say you know you’re eating healthy, when you’ve got a rainbow of colors on your plate and you sure do here.

DSC_0746 (2)

Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup

It’s bleak outside, which puts me in the mood for soup. And I’ve shared a couple of decadent dishes lately, so I thought I’d post a delicious, healthy soup today:  Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup.

I love this soup because it’s packed with vegetables and feels nourishing.

There are a couple ways you can shave a little prep time off. Buy a bag of cole slaw mix instead of chopping your cabbage; buy pre-cut mushrooms; precut carrots; and use dehydrated garlic instead of fresh.

This soup has a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that deter you from trying it. It’s a simple soup that on the table in 30 minutes and it’s healthy so you can feel good about feeding it to your family.  It’s packed with vegetables and we know we all need more vegetables. The barley adds bulk and fiber and helps thicken the soup.  It’s important to use quick cooking variety of barley because it only cook 15 minutes before you serve it.

The Italian seasoning and rosemary season this beautifully.

The chicken goes in at the very end, so again to save yourself prep time, chop the chicken while the soup is boiling. The same apples to the zucchini. While the first four ingredients cook down, then you can chop the zucchini.  Ok,let’s get started.

Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup

1 large yellow onion

2 carrots

1 ½ cups chopped white cabbage

2 stalks celery

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

1 pint sliced baby portobella mushrooms

1 zucchini

2 bay leaves

1 garlic clove, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

7 cups chicken stock

2/3 cup quick cooking barley

2 ½ cups chopped, skinless rotisserie chicken

Directions:

Chop saute onion, cabbage, carrots and celery and set aside. Cut zucchini into fourths horizontally, and then slice those pieces. Slice mushrooms and set aside.

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, cabbage, carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add Italian seasoning and rosemary, mushrooms, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add bay leaves, garlic, stock and barley and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook 12-15 minutes. While the soup cooks, chop your chicken.

Drop in chopped chicken and heat through. Serve.