You had me at goat cheese. Seriously, you could put goat cheese on cardboard and it could make it taste good. So, when I saw a goat cheese and arugula salad on a menu, I just had to try it. The beets (in my mind) were my cardboard I thought, but I just had a feeling that this salad was going to surprise me – and it did. So, over the weekend, I picked up some beets and decided I’d repeat this yummy salad I had on vacation. I searched google for something similar to the menu item and this is what I found.
First, I must confess, I’ve never even bought a beet before, much less cooked one. I don’t even know if I had ever had one (that wasn’t pickled or something). This means I actually had to follow directions, which were simple: Peel, chop, boil. I just had to boil them like I would a potato. It was kind of fun getting my hands “dirty” in this new experience – literally! I never thought about the extreme red juice that would come from this vegetable while cutting it up and boiling it. I swear I think I could have dyed clothes with the water I boiled it in. It reminded me of coloring Easter Eggs. What can I say, I am so easily entertained.
All in all, this recipe was super simple – and SUPER yummy! I added grilled chicken, which I marinaded in Lemon Pepper marinade and topped with seasonings, to complete my meal. Besides my typical substitutions, like trading sugar for stevia and diluting olive oil with water, I pretty much followed this recipe (for once) to the T!
I don’t think Steve was as excited about my beet salad as I was, but judging by his empty plate and full tummy, I’d say it was a success in his eyes too when it was all said and done! The sweetness of the beets paired with the flavor of the goat cheese complimented each other so well! This salad will be a regular treat at the Pfiester Pfit Cafe for sure!
Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese Recipe
- Beets – (boiled until a fork easily goes in it, about an hour), peeled, sliced into strips
- Fresh arugula – rinsed, patted dry with a paper towel
- Goat cheese – chevre (just a little if you are watching calories!)
- Walnuts – chopped (don’t use too much)
- Olive oil (as always, I cut my olive oil with water)
- Dry powdered mustard
- Sugar (I used Stevia)
- Salt and pepper
Get the rest of the directions and measurements at Simply Recipes.com
When I think of all the flavors that go in this salad, I can’t figure out for the life of me what to call it. I don’t feel like it’s truly “Mexican” cuisine. Maybe you can tell me where a dish like this originated.
The curry and mango almost give it a tropical flair. Personally, for me, it reminds me of California – or one of my beach days when I walked across the beach to grab a Diego salad with curry sauce from Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burrito in Satellite Beach. Either way, as soon as this little salad hits my mouth, I guess my mind goes on vacation. No wonder I love this one!
I love the sweet with the spicy, and all the textures. This will definitely be one of those salads I bring to parties because all these yummy flavors are like having a party on your tongue!
Chicken, Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad
1/4 cup olive oil (you can dilute this with water to reduce calories)
4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed (in 2 cups water for 15 minutes). I added a dash of salt and fajita seasoning. Remove from heat and let it to continue to steam (this makes it more fluffy). While cooking your quinoa, also cook your chicken and diced into small cubes. I cooked my chicken in lime juice, cumin and curry. While the hot food cools, start chopping up the cool ingredients. I use the Vidalia Chop Wizard and LOVE it! (Thanks Kristie – that’s a gift that keeps on giving!) In a separate bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Finally, combine the quinoa and chicken with the fresh ingredients and drizzle the dressing over it while mixing it until it is all well coated. Salt to taste. It makes 6 delicious servings.
369 Calories per Serving
- 21 gms Protein
- 12 gms Fat (only 1.7gm saturated fat)
- 45 gms Carbs
- 6.9 gms Fiber
This is a perfect salad for people who don’t have access to a microwave during the day.
Ways to reduce calories and make it even healthier:
- Use Stevia instead of honey
- Use less (or no) oil
- Use more chicken, and less quinoa
CLICK HERE to learn more about Quinoa – including where to get it, great nutritional information and more!
My husband, Steve, LOVES him some meatloaf! It’s his favorite dish I make. And, for people who really don’t like the texture of meat, it’s a great way to get more protein in your diet when you are sick of chewing on chunks of meat. Even people who enjoy meat get sick of eating chicken sometimes you feel like if you have one more piece of dang chicken, you’ll SCREAM. That’s when it’s time to get your baking dishes out!
I would post more recipes, but the truth is, I rarely follow them. I make stuff up as I go. Monday I made Turkey & Quinoa meatballs and shirataki noodles with a sweet basal and spinach sauce. I have no idea what I put in it because I just added a dash of this, a dash of that and just played around until I liked what I tasted.
However, sometimes I like to follow recipes to get ideas. I rarely follow it to the T. Most of the time I double, triple or quadruple it (you would too if you were married to Steve Pfiester – that boy can EAT! haha). So, here’s the recipe I followed from Lazy LowCal Cookbook by Becky Clark to put Quinoa to the test. Result: SUCCESS!
I doubled this recipe, added a little more kick too it with the fresh jalapenos, and personalized the flavor with some of my favorite spices.
Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf (from the Lazy LowCal Cookbook)
- 1lbs Ground Turkey
- 1/2 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
- 1 Onion Diced
- 7 oz Green Chiles
- 2 Diced Jalapenos
- 6 oz Can of Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- Seasonings (I used spices like Chili Pepper, Salt & Stevia to sweeten a little)
Cook your quinoa first, then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all together, put in your bakeware, and bake on 375 for 90 minutes. If you have your own favorite meatloaf recipe, use Quinoa instead of breadcrumbs.
People can normally handle looking up calories for whole foods, but it seems they “Lose It” when they start doing complicated recipes and casseroles. If you use a calorie management app (I like LoseIt) Managing calories from your favorite recipe is easier than you think. Simply add each ingredient (full amount for the whole recipe) into your lose recipe builder (located under More & Edit Foods & Exercises). The total calories will look huge – but remember, you have to set the number of servings for that meal.
So, divide the meatloaf into squares (or simply mark with a knife) when it cools and put the total number of squares in as number of servings to get the number of calories for each piece. It’s better to have smaller squares (and serve more than one piece), than to have large squares. This way you can have “snack-size” pieces that you can easily manage when you count calories. Also try using miniature cupcake pans instead of full baking dishes to make it even easier to serve and manage calories!
10 Servings: 153 calories, 1.4gm fat, 11.7gm carbs, 24.6gm protein, 2gm fiber.
8 Servings: 191 calories, 1.8gm fat, 14.6gm carbs, 30gm protein, 2.5gm fiber.
Turkey Meatloaf Wrap
- 1 Healthy Grain Flat Out Wrap
- Cold Meatloaf
- Romaine lettuce
- Lite Mayo
- Optional Burger style: Add onion, Mustard, Ketchup & pickles and heat the meatloaf
The lettuce adds a nice fresh crunch – and the whole thing stayed with me for several hours. Totally yummy!
I swear, everytime I go to say Quinoa I want to say Kuinoy. Keenwaw is how it is pronounced, and it’s a previously overlooked grain that is gaining popularity, and is a wonderful addition to a healthy meal plan. It was hard to find at the grocery store however. I searched several times before I finally found it. Mine is organic and it came in a bag and it looks like little round seeds. Some people have found it in the grain (rice) section, however, I found it by the flower, corn meal and stuff, in the Greenwise section at our Publix. If you can’t find it, find a grocery employee to help you locate it because I don’t think people really know where it is supposed to go yet. Also check the gluten-free section as a possibility.
Look at the Nutritional comparison between 1/1 cup of cooked quinoa (120 calories) and 1/2 cup of cooked instant long grain rice (180 calories).
In this particular brand of white rice, the protein appears to be the same, but if you are counting calories and compared 120 calories of quinoa to 120 calories of rice, the protein would be less for rice (approximately 2.7gms). Not only do you get to eat fewer calories, quinoa has all the essential amino acids, plus lysine which aids tissue repair (great for helping repair muscles). Quinoa is even more nutritious than brown rice, which is pretty darn nutritious.
CLICK HERE for 20 Ways to Cook Quinoa from CookingLight.com
One of my facebook friends, Vanessa, commented on my omelet yesterday morning and said she’d love to see my shopping list. So I decided to grab my receipt and share what i got.
First, I must confess. My eating has been so off the last 2 weeks since my vacation. I often skipped meals or opted for a can of soup because I was too lazy to cook – and the main reason cooking would be challenging is because we were low on groceries. Betty Crocker I am not. I cook easy, fast, simple meals. If it can’t be simple, I won’t bother cooking it. This girl has very little patience.
We rarely eat out, but this past week I resorted to restaurants simply because I didn’t want to cook and I didn’t want to shop. (I keep telling you how lazy I am. Eventually you will start believing me! If I can do this anyone can!)
THIS, my friend, is how to NOT live! Steve and I both felt horrible, unhealthy and fat. AND we missed the taste of fresh food, healthy food. Our bodies are smart – once it gets the good stuff, it craves it. We couldn’t WAIT to go grocery shopping and get back to normal healthy eating habits. So THIS was my weekend!! My weekend to get back in control, get organized and plan for a week of clean eating and healthy living!
Before I went to the store, I cooked up some brunch (I made an eggbeater omelet with broccoli, grilled onions and goat cheese). I was stuffed! Now I was ready for my day of healthy preparations! But, before I begin, let me share with you a few simple shopping tips to help you on your diet (or just healthy eating) before you even take the groceries home.
7 Healthy Shopping Tips
Tip #1: NEVER go to the store HUNGRY! Eeeeeverything will look amazing if you go in that store hungry! The only way to hink with your brain, and not your tummy is to go to the store nice and full. Your waistline AND bank account will thank you. That’s why I told you I ate that omelet. I promise, nothing makes me more stupid than being hungry.
Tip #2: Be realistic. Don’t buy celery and stuff you know you won’t eat just because it looks healthy. Buy foods you enjoy and WILL eat. You’ll be less wasteful and a more satisfied dieter. Consider your upcoming schedule. If you are busy, shop for stuff that is simple, quick and easy to throw together. Save your complicated fancy recipes for another shopping trip.
Tip #3: Avoid Fat Free items. Normally fat-free items have more sugar. Since fat slows down digestion (which helps us stay fuller longer), going fat free can actually make you feel hungrier. Don’t avoid fat, just eat it sparingly. Beware of healthy appearing titles. Many times they are not as healthy as they want you to believe.
Tip #4: Don’t Rush. Shopping healthy requires time. You need to read labels and use your noggin to make good choices. Following a shopping list can help a lot, but when you are starting a diet plan, it’s imperative you have the time to really study food and make the best choices. If you don’t have the time to shop smart, get the bare necessities only, and go back when you have more time to shop right. The more educated you become, the faster you’ll get in and out.
Tip #5: If You Can’t Control Yourself Around It, Don’t Buy It. Even if it’s pretty healthy, if you can’t control yourself around that food, you don’t need it in your house. For example, Steve loves Peanuts. They are not bad for you (in low quantities). However, if Steve has a handful of nuts, he has the whole container. As a result, this is one item we rarely purchase.
Tip #6: Be prepared for emergencies. While I believe whole food is ALWAYS the best choice, keep a stock in a few low-cal frozen meals like Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones or Healthy Choice, as well as some high-protein bars like Designer Whey, Detour or Zone Bar (which are all around 200 calories and have 10gms or so of protin). So, in the event you are in a mind and rushed for time, you have something to eat that is much healthier than fast food or not eating anything at all.
Tip #7: Shop around the outside of the store 1st. Only venture in the aisles to find specific must-have items – never browse. Most of the stuff on the aisles are processed foods, toppings and extras we don’t need. I listed all my groceries that were in the refrigerated, produce & dairy sections in green and the inside aisles in red. Black is 0-calorie items.
My Grocery Shopping Receipt
Sometimes your shopping list and shopping receipt can be two totally different things. So, I’m sharing with you my grocery receipt.
- Cabbage (to make Roasted Cabbage)
- Green & Red Peppers
- Romaine Lettuce
- Spring Mix
- Cole Slaw Mix (I use it for sides, toppings & salads)
- Orange Juice
- Edamame (I love this as a salty snack with soy sauce)
- Pastrami (for my Low-Cal Rueben Quesadillas)
- Sauerkraut (for the Quesadillas)
- Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
- Coffee Mate Hazelnut & Almond Joy Creamer (my treat)
- Frozen vegetables (only snow peas & spinach. I have plenty at home)
- Steam Veggies (for emergency quick meals)
- 5 Lean Cuisines & Healthy Choices (aiming for 18-25gms of protein and around 300 calories)
- Flat Out Healthy Grain Wrap (for the Quesadillas)
- Fruit & Cream Oatmeal (we also have whole oats at home)
- Bear Naked Granola (toppings for my Greek Yogurt Bowl)
- Pineapple slices (for kabobs, salads & stirfry)
- Low-Sugar Craisins (for salads)
- Honey Roasted Almond Accents (salads)
- Mio Lemonade (to spice up water)
- Dasani Pinacolada/Coconut (never tried it)
- LaCroix Cran-Rasp sparkling water
- Secret Deodorant, paper plates, plastic forks, etc (but you probably don’t want to know that kind of stuff! ha!)
Steve shops for meat and bulk items at Sams. Here was what he brought home:
- Ground Turkey (for my Mexican Meatloaf)
- Mango (I put in my Greek Yogurt)
- Brussel Sprouts (We grill them with curry)
- Pretzel thins
- Almonds & Pistachios
Of course I already had some groceries, so don’t trip if you don’t see eggs, etc – I still have a pretty full pantry and I do have 2 refrigerators that are not even close to empty. I always stay stocked on condiments and, more importantly, seasonings.
- Lemon Juice
- Lime Juice
- Alessi Balsamic Vinegar
- BADIA Complete Seasoning (can’t live without this!)
- Grill Mates Mojito Lime Seasoning (awesome stuff!)
- Hot Sauce (I love them all)
- Olive Oil
Off the top of my head, I will probably cook the following this week:
- Filet Mignon and Quinoa (which we had last night after I shopped)
- Grilled chicken kabobs with green pepper, onion, tomato & pineapple over brown rice quinoa mix
- Chicken & vegetables with PB2 peanut sauce from Diabetic Living magazine this month (no, I’m not diabetic, but they have great ideas for eating low-cal, healthy, low-glycemic meals)
- One or two of my sensational low-cal salads
- Grilled salmon & asparagus (for Steve)
- Mexican Meatloaf (going to try it with cooked Quinoa instead of bread!)
- Pulled BBQ chicken and low-cal cole slaw wrap
- Rueben Quesadillas
- And probably a lot of grilled meat with veggies.
Grocery Shopping is great, but to be super successful with your diet, you have to actually cook. ha! So, once I got home from the grocery store, the cooking began.
Last night we cooked:
- 10 filleted chicken breasts (making 20 filets) with lime and Grill Mates Mojito Lime Seasoning
- Blackened Salmon
- Filet Mignon (we probably have steak once every 3-4 weeks)
- Turkey Quinoa meatloaf
- Low-cal Italian Turkey Meatballs
Now, all I have to do is throw sides with everything and we’ve got plenty of lunches, snacks and dinners ready to rock!
Makes 4 servings
1 small head napa cabbage (about 12-16 leaves)
2 small carrots (I used the pre-schredded mix)
2 green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Visit theKitchn.com for more info and recipes.
I first discovered this originally as a “chicken dip” nearly 20 years ago. It was served with wheat thin crackers at a gathering at one of my old friend’s house. I immediately fell in love with this healthy snack and used to make it all the time – until I ate it so much I got sick of it. ha! (isn’t that what we do? We wear something out that we love!)
Although I try to stay away from crackers, this “chicken dip” is great on top of salad greens or eaten alone. It’s also perfect for eating healthy on the go since you don’t have to heat it up. It has a TON of flavor and is super healthy!
Chicken Peppercorn Salad
3 Chicken Breast, cooked chopped and shredded
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Small Diced Tomatoes
25 Finely Chopped Green Olives
1/2 Cups Green Onion
1 TBS Fresh Minced Garlic (I buy it in a jar for easy cooking)
2 TBS Whole Black Peppercorn (amount is your preference)
Salt to taste
FOR SNACKING: Makes approximately 8 1/2-cup servings. 74 calories per serving, 10gms of protein. Eat with celery sticks, low-cal crackers or alone.
FOR MEALS: Makes 4 1-cup Servings. 148 calories and 20gms of protein. Serve cold over greens with a freshly squeezed lemon or greek style vinaigrette (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper).
Please forgive me Diane Kawar if I butchered the original recipe. I never wrote it down, so I’m just going by memory here! ha! ….but it’s still a Pfiester Pfav!
If you’ve ever done the Paleo diet, you probably had that moment where you were wondering how in the world you would be getting your carbs from. Since there is no rice, pasta, bread, oatmeal, quinoa, beans or cereal – it’s easy to go into a full-on panic attack! I know I did.
Although there are TON of green veggies, I was craving something that would stick to my ribs more. Here are just a few healthy Paleo carbs you can add to your meal plan and stay fit and trim:
Lucky for me I LOOOOVE plantains so I opted to cook the following yummy Cuban recipe!
Easy Shredded Pork over Caramelized Mashed Plantains by http://www.paleOMG.com
- 1-2lb pork loin
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cups beef broth (no sugar added) – add 3 cups if you go with a 2lb pork loin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 brown plantains, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk
CLICK HERE for the entire recipe
Have a Sweet Tooth?
It’s time to go beyond the protein shake straw and trade the blender for a mixer so we can cook up some protein treats!
As a sequel to my last protein supplement blog “Behind the Straw“, my blog on protein smoothies, I am calling all fit chefs to fess up and share your favorite and unique protein treats including protein waffles, muffins, bars and other creative treats made with protein powder.
After tweeting out a request to see what kind of response I would get, I realized there are many of you eating some really good high-protein grub so I am making it my mission to spread the love! Here’s a sneak peak of a couple of my favorite recipes so far.
Protein Waffles by Julianne Talley
Protein Muffins by Ozzie Elyashiv
“Proud dad! Into fitness, nutrition, technology & TV. I sell fitness supplements & develop mobile games & apps for iOS. Love the gym!”
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain flour or buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup ground flax seed
- 3/4 cup oat bran
- 1/2 cup stevia
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup vanilla or plain almond milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (can also use coconut oil)
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 apples, peeled, shredded
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped mixed nuts
- 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
SHOW & TELL
To share your recipe, please give us your name, blog or website, twitter username, facebook URL and tell us what you do. Are you a mom, trainer, marathon runner or health nut. I will feature some of the best entries in a follow up blog.
If you are counting calories, making a casserole can be a pain. Last night I was craving a tuna casserole so I threw this quick creation together. I was in a hurry so I used packaged items, so feel free to replace some of the ingredients with fresh veggies. After I was all done, I cut it into 3″ squares and put it in tupperware for controlled portions for lunch & snacks. I ate one for lunch and will eat another piece before my workout tonight.
Box of Healthy Harvest Thin Whole Grain Spaghetti
12oz (Large) Can of White Albacore Tuna
1 14.5oz can of Del Monte Tomatoes with Garlic, Oregano and Basil
1 12oz Jar of Cento Artichoke Hearts
1 16oz jar of Ragu Light Alfredo Sauce
Squeeze one lemon (or use 1oz or so of lemon juice)
1/8 cup water
Garlic Powder, Salt & Cracked Pepper (I use a lot) to taste
Cook noodles and drain. Combine all above ingredients and place in large rectangular casserole dish and set the oven on 350. Top with 1 cup of light mozzarella cheese and sprinkle a panko bread crumbs (optional). Cook to melt cheese and brown crumbs. Serve with Parmesan Cheese (not included in calories)
Makes 8-12 servings depending on serving size. I cooked my casserole in my Longaberger Woven Traditions® 9″ x 13″ Baking Dish and cut 3″ squares (making 12 servings).
241 calories per serving for 12 servings
361 calories per serving for 8 servings (approximately a 3″ square)
2,892 calories for the entire dish (approximately a 4″ square)
NOTE: Whole grain pasta has a lower glycemic index than white pasta. This means it doesn’t turn to glucose (sugar) and get stored as fat as fast as regular pasta. It will keep you fuller longer and give you more energy for a longer period of time because it converts to glucose slower. White pasta, rice, potatoes and bread all typically have a higher glycemic index, which can cause us to have a short burst of energy (due to the spike in glucose) followed by a crash.