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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Making a Healthier Trial Mix

Over the years, trail mix has developed into a snack enjoyed by hikers and non-hikers alike. Not surprisingly, the ingredients you put into your trail mix determines its impact on your health and diet. If you plan on taking a hike through the great outdoors in the near future, or are just looking to make a nice midday snack, here are some tips that should boost the nutritional value of your homemade trail mix.

Lay Off the Candy – Sure, we all have a sweet tooth, but putting candy in your trail mix only serves to fill it up with empty calories. In lieu of candy, try putting some mini mochi rice cakes in your mix. Dried cranberries might also fit the bill.

More Almonds, Less Peanuts – Peanuts are certainly tasty, but almonds have them beat when it comes to protein, calories and overall nutrients. This doesn’t mean you should cut out peanuts from your mix – just try and find room for both kinds of nuts.

Give Dark Chocolate a Chance – If you just have to have chocolate, opt for dark chocolate chips, which contain less sugar and are a good source of antioxidants.

Find Out How Your Trail Mix Was Made – Unfortunately, a number of trail mix producers salt their nuts and roast them in oil, thereby adding sodium and saturated fat to their product. Take a close look the trail mix’s nutrition labels to find mixes that are made with raw and unsalted nuts.

Balance Your Mix – It’s a good idea to mix the sweet dried fruit in your trail mix with crunchy nuts. Not only does this improve the texture and taste of your mix, but it also helps ensure that your snack provides a balanced helping of various nutrients.

Get Creative – If you really want to boost the nutritional value of your trail mix, try adding some exotic fruits into the equation, such as red goji berries, mulberries and goldenberries. Goji berries provide similar benefits to carrots, in that they can improve your eyesight. Mulberries have a sweet taste and are high in vitamins A and C. Goldenberries are also a good source of vitamins A and C, and contain a hearty amount of protein.

Pack Some Pistachios – Feeling stressed out? You may want to consider eating some pistachios, as research has found that this nut can lower stress levels. They are also chocked full of potassium and fiber. In fact, a one ounce serving of pistachios contains as much fiber as a half-cup of cooked broccoli and as much potassium as an orange.

Petite Turkey Meatloaves

 

Petite Turkey Meatloaves

 

Servings:

 

Makes 4 mini loaves

 

Calories:

 

221.3 calories per serving

 

Ingredients:

 

  • ½ small onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1.3 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ¼ cup ketchup + 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • Salt

 

Preparation:

 

1)      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sauté olive oil and onion on low until translucent.

2)       In a medium bowl mix turkey, onion, oatmeal, egg, ketchup, salt and marjoram. Divide into four equal loafs and place each loaf into a non stick mini loaf pan or shape into small loafs on an un-greased non-stick baking pan.

3)      In a small cup mix remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup with Worcestershire sauce and brush onto each loaf to give it a nice glaze.

4)      Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. After baking let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

 

Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

 

Servings:

 

6 servings

 

Calories:

 

268.9 calories per serving

 

Ingredients:

 

Marinade

 

  • 1 ½ lbs beef top sirloin, fat trimmed and cut into 1” cubes
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon agave or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon thick soy sauce

 

Vinaigrette

 

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar (or agave)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

 

Dipping Sauce

 

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

 

Salad

 

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups watercress leaves or mixed baby greens
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

 

Preparation:

 

1)      Marinate steak at least 1 hour before cooking, or overnight for best results. Combine garlic, oyster sauce, agave or sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil with the beef.

2)      For the vinaigrette combine rice vinegar with salt and sugar. It should be a balance of sour, salty and sweet.

3)      Thinly slice the red onion and use about ¼ cup of the vinaigrette to pickle and set aside covered in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Prepare bed of greens and tomatoes in a serving platter and set aside.

4)      Make dipping sauce by squeezing lime juice over salt and pepper in a small ramekin.

5)      Heat a large wok or pan over high heat. When very hot add ½ tablespoon oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef (half) and allow to sear for about 2 minutes, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minutes more to brown all the sides. Repeat this with the second batch of meat using the remainder of the oil.

6)      Transfer beef to bed of watercress and tomatoes. Drizzle remainder of the vinaigrette over the beef and greens and top with pickled red onions. Serve with lime dipping sauce.

 

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

 

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

 

Servings:

 

4 servings

 

Calories:

 

219 calories per serving

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 6 ounces dried farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced Portobello or other fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

 

Preparation:

 

1)      Cook farfalle according to package directions. Drain well.

2)      Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until mushrooms are nearly tender. Stir in spinach, thyme, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until heated through and spinach is slightly wilted. Stir in cooked pasta; toss gently to mix. Sprinkle with cheese.

 

 

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pineapple-Jalapeno Relish

 

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pineapple-Jalapeno Relish

 

Servings:

 

4 servings

 

Calories:

 

308 calories per serving

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 cups chopped pineapple
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juisce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

 

Preparation:

 

1)      Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in ¼ teaspoon salt.

2)      Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Combing remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, chilli powder, and black pepper, stirring well; sprinkle evenly over fish. Add fish to pan, skin side up; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with mixture.

 

 

Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast with Pomegranate-Thyme Glaze

 

Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast with Pomegranate-Thyme Glaze

 

Servings:

 

8 servings

 

Calories:

 

349 calories per serving

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 cups cherry or apple wood chips.
  • 1 (6-pound) whole bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Cooking spray

 

Preparation:

 

1)      Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain well.

2)      Trim excess fat from turkey. Loosen skin from breast by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine 2 teaspoons thyme, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, pepper, and garlic, stirring well. Rub thyme mixture under loosened skin.

3)      Heat oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and shallot, sauté for 2 minutes. Add juice and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until syrupy and reduced to about ½ cup. Remove from heat.

4)      To prepare turkey for indirect grilling, remove grill rack. Preheat the grill to medium high using both burners. After preheating, turn the left burner off (leave the right burner on). Place 1 cup wood chips on heat element on right side. Place a disposable aluminum foil pan on heat element on left (unheated) side. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Coat grill rack with cooking spray, and place on grill. Place the turkey on grill rack covering left burner. Cover and grill for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees, turning halfway during cooking time. Add the remaining 1 cup wood chips halfway during cooking time, and brush turkey with half of pomegranate mixture during last 5 minutes of cooking. Place the turkey on a platter. Let stand 30 minutes. Discard skin. Serve with remaining pomegranate mixture.

 

Cedar-Planked Salmon

Servings

6

Ingredients

  • 1 untreated cedar or alder plank
  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) salmon fillet
  • 3 tablespoons Sweet-and-Salty Salmon Rub (see below for recipe)
  • Lemon slices
  • Garnish: chopped green onion

Preparation

  1. 1. Soak cedar plank in water at least 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Remove pin bones from salmon, if necessary, and coat fish evenly with rub. Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and chill until ready to grill.
  3. 3. Drain plank, and grill over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) for 3 minutes or until grill marks appear. Remove from grill. Place salmon, skin side down, on heated side of plank. Top with lemon slices.
  4. 4. Place planked salmon on grill, cover, and grill 20 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. (Check occasionally to make sure edges of plank don’t ignite.) Garnish, if desired.

Sweet-and-Salty Salmon Rub

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Preparation

Combine all ingredients, and store in an airtight container.

 

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