Sunday, February 21, 2016

Healthified Mac and Cheese




I always say I never met a mac and cheese I didn't like, and I especially love homemade.  There are a lot of different recipes out there that are super rich and creamy... and heavy.  This one came out great and since it comes from the Fixate cookbook by Autumn Calabrese (as posted on the Team Beachbody Blog) I know that it is fix approved.  The only thing I have to mention, is make sure you use PLAIN unsweetened almond milk LOL.  I didn't realize there was a difference until my husband tasted it, so I'll definitely be trying this one again.

Ingredients:
4 oz. dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (I actually used 1/2 a box)
4 tsp. organic grass-fed butter (or organic coconut oil)
2 Tbsp. unbleached whole wheat flour
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk (NOT VANILLA haha)
1¼ cups freshly grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups cooked chopped chicken breast, boneless, skinless (I used leftovers from my Bruschetta Chicken!)
6 cups chopped broccoli florets, steamed (We were out of broccoli, so I served spinach on the side)
1 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Wyatt LOVED it, even with the vanilla taste.
Preparation:
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. (Do not use salt or oil if suggested in directions.) Set aside.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until brown (don’t let it burn).
4. Slowly whisk in almond milk; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture thickens and there are no lumps.
5. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese; cook, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until melted.
6. Add chicken, broccoli, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until heated through.
7. Serve immediately.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Panko Breaded Bruschetta Chicken


Wow, now that I have used panko bread crumbs, I doubt I'll EVER go back to regular breadcrumbs again!  The breading got so crispy in the oven, NO FRYING at ALL!  This is an easy, healthy meal that adjusts to the whole family.  My boys don't love the bruschetta, but they'll eat the chicken.  And I can add pasta or rice to the meal to make my husband happy, so it's a win-win!  You'll have to forgive my recipes.... I'm not great at measuring or following recipes for that matter (which is why I rarely bake), but you should be able to adjust to your needs easily.

What you'll need:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( I think I had about 2 lbs)
Flour of your choice
Eggs ( I used 3)
Panko Bread crumbs
Tomatoes, probably 2
Red onion, 1 medium
Minced garlic, to taste
Basil, to taste

Optional:
Rice or pasta to serve the chicken on

Dredge the chicken cutlets in flour (I used a Ziploc for easy clean up), then dip in egg, finally coat with Panko.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a chopper or food processor, chop the tomato, onion, garlic and basil until chunky.  Serve on top of the chicken.

If you are following 21 Day Fix, it's easy to measure out 1 red of chicken and one green (or a half) of the bruschetta topping.  I'd figure the panko to be at least a half a yellow to be safe.

I hope you enjoy!  This is one of my favorites.
The bruschetta topping


I love this chopper from Tupperware

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What is Your Ingredient List Hiding?



Ever since I started on my clean eating journey, I've been more conscious of the ingredients on my labels, more so than the nutritional information.  It will usually mean the difference between choosing one product over the other for my family.  You might know that my husband Tom is like a hot sauce connoisseur.  He eats hot wings a couple of times a week that he makes for himself.  Recently I went to the store to pick up a sweet chili variety of sauce for him to try.  There were two brands on the shelf, so I picked them up and turned them over.  One had an ingredient list a mile long and the other had less than ten ingredients.  Now I know that sweet chili hot sauce is obviously not a "clean" food, but sometimes we want to indulge and now I have the knowledge of how to do so smartly.

So here's the thing when you look at ingredient labels.  Remember in Home Economics when you learned that ingredients at the top of the list are greatest by weight, while those at the end of the list are the least?  While companies are required to list the "added sugars" they use, they aren't regulated into HOW they label them.  So they can take break apart those sugars into all their parts so that they appear near the end of the ingredient list and trick you into thinking there aren't as many sugars as there really are.  And with the World Health Organization recommending only 25 grams per day... that's going to add up quick!

Check out this HuffPost article  by Pooja Mottl for more information on how to spot these FIFTY SIX tricky sugar synonyms and check your cabinets too!