Tuesday, February 26, 2013

EASY Chicken Recipe

I should  have taken a picture but hopefully this will put you in the mood.

I think that we have established that the recipes have to be easy for me to make them, right?  Here is a new easy recipe.

I will have to tell you that not only do I think that this recipe tastes good but it really looks good.  It is very appealing.  I know that a lot of you make chicken frequently and so this one fits the bill!  The recipe is from the October/November 2012 issue of Healthy Cooking Magazine.  Healthy Cooking Magazine is part of the Taste of Home magazine family.  If you are interested in checking it out, the web site is Taste of Home.  They have several magazines and I have found that Healthy Cooking the best for our house.

Grilled Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tsp. canola oil
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz each)

In a large resealable bag, combine everything but the chicken.  Once mixed, add the chicken breasts, seal the bag and move the chicken around in the bag to coat each piece.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

After 2 hours, discard the marinade.  Grill the chicken over medium heat or broil 4 inches from heat for 6-8 minutes each side until a thermometer reads 170 degrees.

I did not play with the ingredients on this recipe.  I made it as the recipe suggests EXCEPT I cooked the chicken on the stove top in a pan that I have that has ridges in the bottom of it.  The chicken browns beautifully!  I guess I was worried that broiling it would dry it out too much.  It is winter here in the Mid-west and Silent Sam was not going to grill outside on that particular evening.  It would probably be great on the grill.  I will also give a nod to Market Day Chick-n-steaks.  They are great - portion control is not a problem with them.

It also made great leftover chicken sandwiches.

Nutritional Facts:  1 chicken breast half = 187 calories, 4 s fat (1 g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol  102 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 34 g protein.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Just as a note - I am still keeping my resolution for a new recipe every other week!  I am surprised.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chair Yoga - Let's Try It!

I ran across the concept of chair yoga when I was writing a blog post for another blog (We Care for Your Feet) about exercising when injured.  I think this is an exercise whose time has come.

Chair yoga is was introduced as an exercise for senior citizens and those with impaired balance or mobility.    Chair yoga looks like it could help many people.  It seems that it is also called office yoga because it can relieve stress in people who sit at a desk all day.

Yoga is supposed to be excellent at relieving tension.  It consists of stretching exercise and controlled breathing that lead to relaxation.

Does doing yoga affect type 2 diabetes?  In a study, scientists had 123 diabetics broken into two groups.  Both groups were given medical treatment for three months. One group was also given yoga classes.  The group that had the yoga classes had better control of their blood sugar and reduced their body mass index more than the group without yoga.  The yoga did not affect the patient's blood pressure.

So it may be that yoga is a benefit to diabetics because it helps control blood sugar and weight.  Both are important to keep in control for long life.  The sample size of the study was very small but I don't think that there is a downside to trying chair yoga.

As I am writing this, it is about 10 degrees outside and the wind chill has the temperature below 0.  There is some light blowing snow and really noisy wind gusts.  I somehow do not feel like going to the gym today.  The idea makes me cold.  So what better time to try some chair yoga?

Also, I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk.  Somehow, when I go to get up, I do not spring up the way I might have 20 years ago.  I get a bit stiff just sitting here.  I think that the chair yoga stretches would help limber me up to get going.  Plus it would be a welcome break in the day to help shift gears between projects.
So, today, I will try chair yoga.

Will you join me?  I will let you know what I think but I would appreciate your feedback also.  If you would like to know more about chair yoga, there are numerous sites on line and also YouTube videos.  There is a video on YouTube that is about 54 minutes long that explains yoga and chair yoga. You can find it at Yoga For Everyone: Intro to Gentle Chair Yoga.  I am including a shorter video if you would like to take a quick look.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I was in the kitchen again.....

I recently received a copy of a cookbook from the American Diabetes Association.  It is The Healthy Carb Diabetes Cookbook.   The cookbook is by Chef Jennifer Bucko, MCFE and Lara Rondinelli, DS, LDN,CDE.
As you may be able to see, I have found many recipes that I am willing to try from this cookbook.  See all the red flags post it thingies sticking out of the top?  Each of those mark a recipe that I would like to try and make.

This is NOT a fancy cookbook.  There are no pictures of the food on the inside.  In fact, the inside of this cookbook is all in black and white.  See how the cover picture looks blurry?  For once, it is not my lack of ability in taking the picture.  That is the way the cover looks.

So we will not judge this cookbook by its cover.

I have made two recipes from this cook book so far.  I was much more successful with them than I was with the kale chips!

Spinach Tortellini with Salad
Serves 4
Serving size: 1 cup
Prep time: 30 minutes

1  9-oz. pkg whole-wheat cheese tortellini, uncooked
Cooking spray
9 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tbsp trans fat free margarine
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped 
1/2 cup pasta water.  

1.  Cook tortellini according to package directions, omitting salt.  drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
2.  Coat a medium saute pan with cooking spray.  Add spinach to pan and heat over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes.  remove spinach from pan.
3.  Combine margarine, Parmesan cheese, basil and oregano, and add to pan over low heat.  Melt slowly and stir.
4.  Place tortellini in the saute pan with the melted butter and herbs add the spinach and the reserved pasta water; toss to combine.  Cook for about 30 seconds.

They suggest a small side salad of mixed greens, tomato slices, cucumber, and fat free Italian dressing.  

Calories: 285, Total fat: 11g. Saturate fat: 3.4 g, Trans fat 0 g., Cholestrol 40 mg, Sodium 575 mg., Total Carbohydrat 35 g., Dietry Fiber 8 g., Sugars 6 g., Protein 14 g.

NOW, how I would change this recipe.

Vegetarians need to not read this
To me, the most surprising thing was that Silent Sam and I completely agreed on what was missing from this recipe.  We agreed that adding some turkey kielbasa or turkey Italian sausage would go GREAT with this recipe.  This is rather unusual that we would come up with the same solution. I have not tried it yet but I will.  Oh, and if you are turning up your nose at the turkey sausage part, I suggest that you try it before you mock it.  I was SURPRISED by it.  While you will never ever get me to try turkey bacon again. (can you feel me shuddering?) I like turkey in various sausage products.  

Vegetarians come back to reading

Also, being the not very good cook that I am, I used dried spices instead of fresh.  I am sure that the fresh spices would improve the flavor.  

All in all though, a good addition to the recipe box.  It is easy to make - a pretty necessary ingredient for me!  

This week we are going to try a "hearty" vegetable beef ragout.  We'll see how I can do with this....

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think.  I am interested to see how it turns out for you.

Thanks for reading!