Thursday, October 9, 2014

{Book Review} The Go Red for Women Cookbook

I adore this book!

Publisher overview:
The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women social initiative has inspired hundreds of thousands of women to eat nutritiously, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight. Now the iconic "red dress" can be your kitchen companion all year long, with 200 recipes to help you take charge of your health.
I was drawn to this book because heart disease runs in my family, I have a heart condition and regularly support the American Heart Association and their outreach. Truth be told, I was expecting healthy, blandish looking recipes not quite suited to my tastes.  Not the case at all. This book is the bomb. (Yes, I still use that phrase). Page after page of some of my favorite dishes and lots of new ones to try - all healthfully made with simple ingredients and bold flavors.  Here are some I've marked to make...soon:

Starters, sauces and breakfast items
White bean and roasted garlic spread with pita wedges 
Tzatziki (The cucumber sauce served on gyros and shawarmas ... this one is made with Greek yogurt.)
Autumn apple fires with creamy cranberry dip (Sure our kids will love this.)
Chocolate peanut butter smoothies
Pinto beans and eggs
Baked oatmeal "pie"

Vegetables and sides
Spanish potato tortilla
Fiery kale with ham (Smoky with some heat, like we like our greens down here.)
Broccoli with caramelized walnuts
Stuffed zucchini
Cool lettuce-wrap tacos
Quinoa-corn toss (Anyone else led to pronounce it as kin-o-ah  instead of keen-wah...)
Skillet potatoes with garlic
Three grain pilaf (Made with wild rice, quinoa and bulgur - 6g fiber per serving.)

Salads, soups and stews
Lemony shrimp and feta salad
Mexican chicken salad
Golden leek-and-potato soup (One of my all time favorites soups.)
Chipotle tomato soup
Cincinnati chili
Beef and hominy chili
Greens and beans soup with pasta and sausage (Sounds amazing!)
Chicken, sweet potato and kale stew
Salmon corn chowder

Penne salad with white beans and Asiago
Portobello ragout with sun-dried tomato polenta (Oh- my!)
Pasta primavera
Beef and broccoli
Chicken and black bean enchiladas
Down south chicken hash and corn cakes
Jerk chicken with mango-avocado salsa
Sauteed salmon with mango salsa
Spicy shrimp and grits
Coffee-rubbed salmon with horseradish sauce
Catfish tacos

For my sweet tooth
Pineapple sweet potatoes (Recipe relies primarily on natural foods for sweetness.)
Applesauce cake
Pumpkin pie souffles

The food photography in the book is minimal but lovely - just a few pictures on the back cover and in the center of the book. A few examples:

Not a calorie counter, I consider the nutrient balance in foods so the complete nutrition profile with dietary exchanges listed for each recipe is appreciated. The book also includes a vegetarian meal section (...Meatless Monday). There are tips for embracing a healthy diet and a chapter contains information to help assess and reduce heart disease risk.

I consider this cookbook an excellent primer for people who want to cook and enjoy a variety of good foods that are good for you.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in our nation. This book equips heart healthy eating. A great gift for a friend, loved one... or yourself.

If you have this book, please share your favorite recipes.  If not, check it out.  You'll be pleased.

As I make my way thru this book, I'll share photos/results on instagram and twitter.

Take care, God bless and be well!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Greater Louisiana Baptist Women’s Conference Oct 17th

Arise GLBC Women's Conference

From the Conference Director: 
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1Our theme is “Arise,” based on Isaiah 60:1-3.  Greater Louisiana Baptists will be challenged to move awakening to action; to live as lights that shine and penetrate a spiritually dark world with the truth of the Savior’s love and mercy.
Women of God are challenged to “arise, shine”, because the Light-Giver has come and given them His glory to shine.  We must get out of our church building and begin penetrating the lostness that is in every city, town and rural community.  It is our desire to see Christian women arise and be active for Christ wherever they are, not shying away from sharing Christ in a culture that often does not believe or follow the truths of Scripture.
“Arise is an action step after awakening.  The next step is to be more hands-on and actually do something about where we are spiritually within our state.  We need not just sit back and see what is going on, but make an effort to do something about it. We want to let people know that awakening is not enough for the task at hand.  We need to arise and start moving, “he said.If we really arise and go out and shine the light, we will make a difference.  We need to be strong, stand up and shine the light of Christ.”
Join us for a powerful weekend of praise, worship, learning and fellowship.
Click here for more information or call New Hope Baptist Church at 225-926-0246.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pumpkin Shakeology Recipe

Fall is here and gorgeous weather has returned to South Louisiana (82 degrees with a feels like temp of 81 - ahhhh.)  The pavement and fall flavors are calling.

Food got answered first with my pumpkin vanilla smoothie recipe.

1/2 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
small splash vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
ice (optional)
Fresh grating of nutmeg

Process:  Simply blend first six ingredients until smooth and finish with a light grating of nutmeg across the top.

What are some of your favorite fall flavors and recipes?

Note: I enjoy the drink as is. For a bit extra sweetness, try monk fruit - a natural, low-calorie alternative to sugar. More at  Monk Fruit in the Raw.  1 packet of Monk Fruit in the Raw has the sweetness of 2 tsps of sugar so 1/2 - 1 packet should more than suffice.

Oh - the day almost got away from me but I answered the pavement as well.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meatless Monday Meals

Cutting back on meat consumption seems to be all the rage these days. After all, meat is a pretty inefficient (not to mention expensive) way of getting our daily calories. By cutting out the middle man (or cow) we can get our nutrition directly from plants, rather than waiting for those plants to be processed through an animal, with all of the emissions, pollution and wasted resources that that process entails. Going vegetarian can reduce your carbon footprint by a ton. But you don't have to become a vegan to make a difference.
Meatless Monday (cutting meat from your diet one day a week) is a very doable and beneficial step in that direction. I've gone meatless on Monday for the past few months and have been asked to share what I eat on those days.

Here are my Meatless Meals for today, Monday, September 22nd:

Breakfast: Looking back over the past few weeks of my meal posts I've noticed that most of my breakfasts occur in the car.  Weekday mornings, (especially Mondays), are busy and grab and go meal ideas are a BIG help. This one is portable, filling, delicious and chocked full of nutrition. The muffin starts with a multi-grain hot cereal (containing oat bran, wheat bran, quinoa flakes, flaxseed, wheat germ and whole wheat). Nutrition, texture and flavor are bolstered with banana, carrot, apples, zucchini, raisins and walnuts. The batter takes only 10 minutes to make and about 20 mins to bake. I make a batch over the weekend, put a few in the fridge, wrap and store the rest in the freezer and pull them out on busy mornings when I want a yummy boost.  We are still playing around with the recipe - when perfected with a few flavor variations - it will be posted.  (Be sure you are subscribed to this blog to catch all our posts).

Snack 1: Another on the road meal.  Sliced Golden Delicious with a bit of peanut butter and a few grapes.

Lunch:  In the car again!  Just that kind of day.  Wanting to usher in fall a bit early, I felt like a bowl of soup. Panera Bread's Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto is wonderful and only 90 calories for the cup serving.  From their site:
A low-fat vegetarian soup with diced tomatoes, sliced zucchini, yellow beans, fresh Swiss chard, cauliflower, bell peppers and pearled barley in a tomato broth garnished with a dollop of nut-free basil pesto. 
This was so good, I'm gonna give the CopyCat recipe for this soup a try. Will let you know how it comes out.

Snack 2: During the afternoon hours until dinner, I picked at a seed/raisin mix, and had a few pretzels and chips (swiped from our daughter).

I seared Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, red onion and broccoli in a cast iron skillet over high heat, finishing it with Himalayan salt, Braggs Liquid Aminos and some dry jerk seasoning. DELISH.
Balanced that warm and spicy with the cool and sweet of a quick kale mix salad with a bit of apple, pecans, shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of sweet onion dressing.  Couldn't eat it all.

Do you do Meatless Mondays?  If so, please share your meal ideas.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meatless Monday Meals

Since its inception in 2003, Meatless Monday has grown in popularity, improving the health of people and the environment all across the world.
According to "The city of San Francisco, Baltimore City Public Schools and Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer have all decided to make Mondays meatless. In the U.S., over 30 college campuses have also embraced the campaign. On top of that, Meatless Monday programs have popped up in Britain, Brazil, Holland, Canada, Finland, Taiwan and Australia. Further, major food personalities, celebrities and leaders such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali are backing the movement."
It's easy to joint the movement.  Check out resources to get started at

I've gone meatless on Monday for the past few months and have been asked to share what I eat on those days.

Here are my Meatless Meals for today, Monday, September 15th:

Breakfast:  I luv me some Shakeology.  This chocolate with frozen banana and unsweetened almond milk hit the spot.

AM Snack:  Black seedless grapes and Fruit and nut mix. Picked this one up at Sams Club.  I can't remember the brand  - it is mostly fruit and sunflower seeds but tasty.  

Post workout Snack:  The plan was to pick up a bean and rice lunch after my workout, but I was pressed and had to hustle for school pickup.  The applesauce pouch was refreshing.

Lunch???  Can't really call it that. Grabbed some peanuts, a few corn chips and a plum to tide me over until dinner.

Dinner:  Roasted root vegetables. Roasted tomatoes and cucumber over kale and spinach with grated Asiago and a lemon Caesar dressing.  Braised white beans. 

I love white beans and kale.  In tonight's dinner, the white beans were leftovers from Zoes Kitchen (one of my new favorite quick and healthy restaurants), and the kale came from a salad mix.  I just dressed it. Easy peasy.

When I have more time, I will definitely try this Italian White Beans with Kale over Polenta recipe from Circle B Kitchen.  
Circle B Kitchen

It looks amazing!  All her recipes look amazing and she has a vegetarian section.  Perfect ideas to boost your Meatless Mondays.  Check her out.