Hello, Happy Tuesday! The farm is blazing hot because, Oklahoma in July. I am not complaining, though, not one bit. I adore the heat and the abundant sunshine, even the glorious humidity. It feels like Florida or New Orleans this year. My mind and body are equal parts stimulated and at rest in this exact kind of weather.
I love the seductive pace of summer, too. In the afternoon and evening hours, we do as much swimming and deck lounging as possible, and for me this means so many books and naps and near misses with sunburns. By about 3 pm, the time we reach a thousand and a half degrees, all the day’s important work is done and we can relax a little. Or a lot. So basically, heaven.
By “we” of course, I mean Klaussen and me. : ) But yes, Handsome joins us as soon as his office work allows. haha…xoxo
It’s Tuesday, so the kitchen is on my mind. Today how about we chat over healthy eating? If you checked in here yesterday then you know I am happily refocused on weight loss and well being, and of course food has a lot to do with that. Like, a whole lot.
My friend Katie blogs at Dishin and Dishes, and back in January she provided the most perfect recipe for roasted garbanzo beans (aka chick peas). I LOVE it! And I have been making these periodically ever since. Click here to see the instructions for yourself. Bottom line: she suggests some flavorful heat, and she gives us good technique advice to keep the little treasures from burning. Try it. Here is one of my batches. Makes my mouth water just looking at the photo:
I’ve been looking for higher-protein and higher-fiber alternatives for side dishes, and lentils came to mind. I don’t know why but in my mind a veil of mystery has always surrounded this particular food, so it took me all these years to finally try it. Realizing how quickly and easily lentils cook was a huge, silly relief. One day recently I cooked them in some rich, flavorful chicken stock instead of water then to the lentils added chopped mushrooms, some steamed broccoli, and about a cup of slow cooked, shredded chicken. All of this made a hugely satisfying meal. Really good. Quite healthy. So yummy. And lentils are so inexpensive! I will be doing this a lot more often. So good and versatile. This link was helpful. Last night I used cooked lentils as an alternative to both a starchy side dish and salad dressing, and I wasn’t sorry. It was filling, salty, yummy, and just moist enough to make the lemony kale really really good. Try it!
As a delicious main dish idea, perhaps an occasional sub for red meat? I want to encourage you to try making chicken-zucchini poppers. They are basically just baked meatballs made with ground chicken and bound together with nothing more than shredded zucchini. Talk about a lot of protein for very little calories or fat! And super flavorful. Different. Refreshing. I have made a hundred variations of this recipe since first trying it back in June, and in fact this was my dinner again tonight. (I make these for myself when steak is on the menu for Handsome. Tonight he got a nice ribeye.) Chicken-zucchini poppers are just so versatile. One Lovely Life provided the inspiration, so thank you Emily! Here is her recipe. Below is one of my first attempts. This particular incarnation had chopped mushrooms in it, too, and I ate just a few of the poppers on top of a big green salad with a hard boiled egg. VERY filling.
So, trying to eat healthfully does not mean we never have a sweet tooth, but thankfully the internet is full of smart chefs who are more than willing to share their recipe modifications with us. Below are a few “cookie” ideas that were big hits with me for different reasons. Sorry I don’t have any photos of these experiments. Just take that as evidence for how devour-able they all are.
- Healthy Oatmeal Apple Raisin Cookies Really good. Moist, chunky if that’s your jam, and made with whole ingredients, most notably diced raw apples. The only downside is that they do not really “firm up” much, you know? They absorb humidity like mushy little beasts, so you might want to plan to serve them all at once. I don’t know. But they taste a lot like apple pie and are crazy nutritious, so I’ll keep this in my pocket for those kinds of cravings.
- Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies SO GOOD. On the complexity scale, this recipe is exactly the middle of these three. Visit her website for a few fun seasonal variations.
- Two-Ingredient Cookie For real you guys. Two ingredients is all you need, bananas and oats, which are not risky for your diet! Add stuff if you must, then enjoy. Please try these. Kids and adults all love them. I am about to hit publish then go make a batch of these with pecans and craisins. This recipe actually does keep really well, so I like having a batch of them available throughout the week. Excellent afternoon snack or dessert with some ice cold almond milk.
Soon I will share a post all about healthy food basics I keep on hand every week to prevent or cope with those inevitable hunger emergencies. Spoiler alert: hard boiled eggs, salad, and fresh fruit.
Okay, that’s it for tonight! I would be so happy if you shared a link to some healthy recipes you’ve tried recently. Or tell me something you like to serve yourself or your family that is really nourishing. Something satisfying and good for you. Something genius,okay?
Happy summering, Oklahoma. You’re gorgeous and steamy. Happy eating everyone. Thanks for checking in, friends.
“Healthy is not an accident, a gift, or a rabbit’s foot. It is a HABIT.
It is a habit that will shape the bodies that we were born with,
a habit that will support the genetic makeup we got from our parents.”
~Cameron Diaz, The Body Book