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
I recently got a new cookbook called the Lazy Low Cal Lifestyle Complete Cookbook (does that say something about me? hah), and I am loving the creative simple recipe ideas – one of which is this recipe for Reuben Quesadillas.
- 1 Whole Wheat Tortilla
- Spicy Mustard (I like light thousand island!!)
- 1/2 c Shredded Swiss Cheese
- 8 oz Can of Sauerkraut, drained
- Four 1-oz slices of pastrami
Spray 1 side of the tortilla with Pam and place sprayed side down on skillet. Squirt the mustard on the tortilla and start layering the ingredients on one half of the tortilla, and fold in half. Heat it on medium and then flip.
For more great low-cal recipes, check out Becky Clark’s book:
Picture of Reuben Quesadillas
When I go to the trouble to cook and dice up all the chicken and ingredients that go into a chicken salad, I want it to last – so that means I make a LOT of it! Here is a MONSTER recipe to cook for the masses (or, in my case, to cook for Steve Pfiester). :) ENJOY!
Low-Calorie Waldorf Chicken Salad
8 Chicken Breasts Diced in Cubes
2 Medium Apples
7 Celery Sticks Diced (one bunch)
1/2 Cup of Diced Onions
1/3 Cup Craisins
1/3 Cup Nuts
1/2 Cup Chobani Yogurt
1/2 Cup Hellman’s Mayo Low Fat
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 TBS Lemon Juice
1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TBS Stevia
Salt to taste
Dice your apples (the smaller the pieces the more apple you get in each bite!) and pour lemon juice over it. Combine the apple, chicken, Craisins, Onions and nuts together in one big bowl. In a separate bowl, blend Mayo, Yogurt, Orange Juice, Stevia, vinegar and salt. Slowly fold into the mix until the mixture is well coated. (NOTE: You don’t necessarily need to use ALL of the dressing if you want to save even more calories).
Today, I scooped 2 cups per tupperware so I could easily track calories throughout the day. That way, when I finish my container I know exactly how many servings I ate, instead of putting it all in one big container. Perfect for meals or snacks on the go!
OR put a cup on top of fresh greens and drizzle some straight balsamic vinegar over the top for a low-calorie salad. It only adds about 50 calories!
It starts at the grocery store, but that’s not where it ends. I know a lot of people who buy healthy food that ends up rotting in bottom of the refrigerator. So, you not only need to shop healthy, you need to buy stuff you know you will actually cook – not stuff you hope you will eat. Good intentions won’t help you lose weight. Follow through will. And once you cook up your food, it still doesn’t stop there. You need to make sure you have all the tupperware you need so it goes where you go. Plastic forks, spoons, lunch bag – you name it, if it helps you stick to your diet, it’s worth being properly stocked.
With that said, cooking is definitely the hardest part of the process. It takes time, but it is SO worth it. This why we set aside time to cook for the week – and Sundays are those days for us. It’s our chance to cook up all our meat for the week, and box up our meals so we stay on track, no matter what craziness comes our way.
Since many people ask me what we make, I thought I’d share our shopping list, as well as what we made for this week.
My Shopping List:
Ground Lean Turkey
Lean Cuisines (for emergency)
Egg Whites/Egg Beaters
Granola (for sprinkling o yogurt)
Light Balsamic Dressing
Kosher Dill Pickles
100 Calorie Popcorn
130 Calorie Packs of Pistachios
Sugar Free Creamer
Greek Yogurt Snack Packs
Low-Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese Sticks
Anderson Pretzel Stix
4 Gallons of Water
Once I get my groceries, then I prepare the meat. My focus is to have a meat and one vegetable for each meal. I save my higher-carb items (like sweet potato) for lunches, and stick to leafy greens with a meat at night.
Meat for the Week
Grilled Filleted Fajita Lime Chicken
Large Grilled Salmon with Ginger and Wasabi
Grilled Tilapia with Lemon & Mojo Mama Blacked Dry MOJO
Roasted Curry Chicken & Vegetables
Breadless Low-Calorie Turkey Meatloaf
Curry Chicken Salad
As always, I played in the kitchen and created meals based on what I was in the mood for. I rarely follow recipes, and I almost never measure anything, unless I am following a recipe. So, bare with me as I try to recall what I did, in hopes it at least gets you on the right track.
Cook Healthy to Eat Healthy
Roasted Curry Chicken
Chicken Breast (I cooked 8-10)
1 Can Lite Coconut Milk
2 Onions Sliced Thick
2 Sweet Potato (peeled and diced in 2″ chunks)
3 Bell Peppers Sliced Thick
2 Cans Water Chestnuts
A Butt-Load of Curry Powder
Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper to add zip
Sprinkle Stevia to sweeten (to taste)
Salt to taste
Put in a roaster or crock pot. After the food is done, I add more stevia, curry and salt until I get the taste I want, which is a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. If it’s too sweet, you may need more salt to balance it.
After the chicken was all done and absorbed the yummy flavors of the curry and vegetables, I took out 3 breasts and chopped them up in cubes for a curry chicken salad. Here is what I put in it.
Curry Chicken Salad
Mix it all up and pop it in the fridge to chill. Cut a cucumber in half, longways, and scoop out the seeds with a tablespoon until it makes a nice boat. Serve the chicken salad on the cucumber boat. Serve with wheat thins if you are serving guests. Dieters skip the chips and just enjoy it as is.
Last night I came home and realized I had no defrosted meat. It was time to get creative so I looked in the pantry and found some canned smoked salmon. First, I should tell you that I do NOT like salmon. I like fish, but I’m not a salmon steak kinda girl. It’s just too fishy to me, however, I like smoked salmon and I like salmon patties. Go figure!
So I decided to make one of my childhood favorites, salmon croquettes. Here is what I whipped together. It’s quick, easy, healthy and yummy!
1 can (16 ounces) smoked atlantic wild salmon
1 small onion, finely grated
1 finely chopped jalapeño
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of fajita seasoning or your favorite seasoning salt
ground black pepper, to taste
4 egg whites (I used egg whites in a carton)
1 – 1 1/2 cups almond flour (paleo) or your favorite bread crumbs
A dash of garlic
Salt (to taste)
Mix all together, form into patties and fry them lightly in olive oil or pam on medium heat until firm and brown. Serve with ketchup if you are a southern girl (or guy) like me, or top with salsa and/or low-fat sour cream! Totally delish!!
Note: you don’t have to use so much egg, I just doubled what it calls for to bump the protein up some more
Tracking calories for prepackaged food is easy, but what about when you combine a whole bunch of ingredients for a family style meal? This is one of the most common questions I get – and I’ve got the answer!
I believe most people just guess their way through the calories, which allows too much room for error. But, the LoseIt app makes tracking calories easy – even when you are following a recipe or, like me, making things up as you go!
Steve and I are always on the go, and yesterday was no exception. We just got back from shooting some movie clips for a halloween flick and we were hungry, so I needed to whip something up fast. I decided to make some quick and easy chicken fajita salads. It had to be quick, because I was STARVING – and it needed to be easy, because I was EXHAUSTED! (It’s hard playing dead you know) ha
Although I always prefer fresh produce and meat, I always keep some Tyson precooked chicken or frozen chicken tenderloins for emergencies to help me make a quick creation.
I opened the LoseIt app on my iPhone and clicked on “More” at the bottom of the screen. Then I chose “Edit Foods & Exercises” to get to “Recipes”. As I added ingredients, I just simply scanned each food item with the LoseIt barcode scanner and it automatically added the nutritients to my recipe.
After I cooked up the fajita topping, I needed to know how many servings it made. I guessed it made 4 or 5 servings, but I wanted to be sure since we are counting every calorie we eat right now in preparation for Steve’s bodybuilding show coming up. I weighed one serving to get an idea of what i was needing for my salad. Then I weighed the entire mixture and divided it by my serving size to see how many servings it made.
After I tallied the servings, I inputed the servings in the app and that was it! I was all done and ready to eat! Here was how how I made this simple delicious salad on the fly.
298-Calorie Quick & Easy Fajita Salad
makes 5 1/2 servings
One Tbsp Olive Oil
Bag of Tison fajita chicken strips
2 Green Peppers
Lime Juice to taste
TOTAL: 990 calories = 180 per serving
for 1 serving
Organic Mixed Greens, 20 calories
1 Tbsp Light Sour Cream, 20 calories
1/2 Tomato, 11 calories
1/4 Avocado, 57 calories
2 Tbsp Salsa, 10 calories
Top with a little Lime Juice
TOTAL: 118 calories per serving
118-calorie salad mix, topped with 5 ounces of fajita topping totaled 298 calories of deliciousness!
Are You Eating Backwards?
People who struggle with their weight often find their evening meal to be the most challenging. When it comes to dieting, most people don’t have much of a problem watching calories throughout the day. Then they come home and BAM! They eat more calories in one sitting than they did all day long.
One reason this happens is we’ve been conditioned to eat big meals for dinner. Normally that means a meat, a couple of sides, and sometimes bread or dessert – but who said a meal has to be a 7-course meal? It must have been the same person who invented the Pop Tart for breakfast – and they have it all backwards.
Let’s look at food as fuel. Do you need a lot of fuel to power you to sleep? No. Do you need fuel to power you to work? Yes. So why would we have a small breakfast and big dinner? It’s completely opposite from what our body needs.
5 Healthy Food Habits for Weight Loss
1. Eat a 300-400 calorie breakfast with a nice balance of fat, protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates. Stock up on breakfast foods like Egg Beaters, oatmeal, bagel thins, low-carb wraps, grits, Chobani greek yogurt, Designer Whey vanilla protein, peanut butter, granola and fruit. Plan ahead and be creative. Cooking breakfast in advance and utilizing leftovers (like spinach, asparagus and meats) can really help create fast fixings.
2. Splurge for lunch. Instead having your biggest meal at dinner, schedule cheat meals at lunch. At least you will have several hours to burn off what you ate, instead of eating at night and hitting the sack on a full stomach. Even if you are eating healthy, try to save your high-carb meals, like sandwiches, pastas and potatoes, for lunchtime.
3. Simplify dinner. Don’t over-think your evening menu. If you are trying to diet, limit meals to one white meat and one green side. Use a little olive oil or natural fats, like avocado, to help the meal stay with you longer. Green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, zucchini, collards, cabbage and salad greens are normally lower in calories. Be very sparing with beans, even the green kind. Peas, black-eyed peas, lima beans, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans and kidney beans are all higher in carbohydrates and calories. One green bean that’s an exception is the soy bean (edamame). Edamame has a excellent balance of carbs, fats and protein. YUM!
4. Just skip it. Sometimes people eat just because they think they are “supposed to”. Just because it’s meal time, you don’t always have to eat a traditional meal. If you come home late at night, or you really aren’t that hungry, sometimes it’s OK to just make a protein shake and call it a night – especially if you just left the gym. Or maybe you decide to just have a few almonds and a piece of fruit, or some yogurt to curb your appetite. Although you do need to keep a steady small amount of calories coming in to keep your metabolism revved, they don’t have to be anything fancy or complicated.
5. Choose only one 100-200 calorie evening snack. If you are like me, you can snack the entire night away if you let yourself. Instead, choose your snack wisely. Do you crave sweets? Then a sugar-free fudge pop, jello pudding or fruit may be the way to go. Do you crave salty snacks? Then you may prefer 100-calorie popcorn as your go-to snack. Whatever you choose, try to limit your calories to only one 100-200 calories, and only choose one item – that includes drinks. Even if you WANT to snack, you won’t die if you go without snacking – and those little after-dinner calories add up quick so be stingy with them.
I am not an egg eater, but sometimes I crave salty meals instead of my traditional fresh fruit and Chobani yogurt breakfast. Here is what I made today and it was YUMMY!
Tablespoon of Wickles Pepper Relish
1/2 Teaspoon of Low-Fat Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread
A Few Slices of Onion
1 Sweet Peppers
1 La Tortilla Low-Carb (High-Protein) Wrap
Top with a Dollop of Chobani Yogurt
Add some jalapenos to spice it up even more!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Spice up your meals for more exciting healthy eating!
If you’re like me, and you like cereal, you are always looking for healthy low-cal ways to get it in without ruining your diet. Unfortunately, cereal and granola can be extremely high in calories – and in fat. On top of that, we use WAY more than the ridiculously small portion sizes posted on the box. As if I’d only eat a 1/2 cup of anything! Really?
I’m all about getting the MOST food for the LEAST calories. Then, my next mission is to make sure the calories aren’t all coming from carbs and/or fat, so that means it needs to have a lot of protein.
What if we didn’t rely on the actual cereal itself to boost our protein, but actually changed the way we ate cereal altogether? This is how I’ve changed America’s #1 breakfast.
If I were to make my favorite Back to Nature Granola, and used the serving sizes as suggested, I’d be less than satisfied. 1/2 cup of granola is a tease – and with one cup of milk, my granola would be so lonely floating around with all that white liquidy room. I’d be more than unsatisfied.
The Ole Switcheroo
This calls for the pFIT pFOOD Switcheroo! When you’re eating cereal, you’re relying on each morsel of crunch to fuel (and entertain) you instead of the milk you put it in. What if we reversed roles and we relied on the white stuff for the fuel and the crunchy stuff for the fun?
Why switch it up? The primary reason is cereal with fat free milk doesn’t stick with me. When I eat a meal, I don’t want to be hungry in 30 minutes, so I strategically plan my meals to have a nice balance of fat, protein and carbs so the meal not only tasty, but it lasts.
Trade 1 cup milk for 1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
Cut granola portions in 1/2, from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup
Making these 2 changes cut calories and doubled the protein! AND I bet it stays with you longer! Check it out:
Regular Granola & Milk:
270 calories & 10 gms of protein
Granola & Chobani:
260 calories & 22gms of protein