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Steamed Sweet Potatoes

Steamed Sweet Potatoes | afoodieaffair.com

I love, love, love, Sweet Potatoes. I especially love the Sweet Potatoes from Outback Steakhouse, and have often wondered how they make them.  Until the other day, when I found out they steam them, hence my experiment for these Steamed Sweet Potatoes.

I have baked Sweet Potatoes before but they never came out with the same wet texture that the Outback’s had. Then, today I decided to try the steamed method. They are not only easy to make, they come out just like the Outback’s.

I bought the Sweet Potatoes by the bag, so they were on the smaller side, which is good for two reasons. One, the smaller potatoes are all you need for one serving, (if you make the giant ones, you’ll probably eat the whole thing!), and two, they cook faster. Make sure the potatoes are all about the same size so they cook evenly.

I just put them in a baking dish, pierce each with a fork, add about a cup of water, cover with foil, and bake til soft and tender.

You can make these ahead and keep in the fridge, and heat up when you need to.

Honey Maple Butter | afoodieaffair.com
I also made the fancy butter that they serve with them. I never get it in the restaurant because the potatoes are delicious just as they are, but I did make it for this posting. I am not a huge fan of honey by itself, so I added half honey and half pure maple syrup (not the kind that’s all corn syrup), the REAL stuff. I also added a little shake of cinnamon, and beat it all together.

One word to the wise….If you don’t want to eat the butter, DON’T MAKE IT! Once you taste it…it’s all over. You will be eating it, it’s that good! It put’s the natural deliciousness of these Sweet Potatoes OVER THE TOP!

Whether you eat these deliciously healthy Sweet Potatoes with or without the sweet butter :), I know you will agree…these are the BEST Sweet Potatoes you have ever had!

Steamed Sweet Potatoes | afoodieaffair.com

Steamed Sweet Potatoes
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 6-8 Sweet Potatoes on the smaller side
  • 1 c. water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash your potatoes.
  3. Place potatoes in a 9 x 12 (or equivalent) baking dish.
  4. Add about a cup to a cup and a half of water. Pierce each potato with a fork.
  5. Cover tightly with foil.
  6. Bake for approx 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours. You can also raise the temp to 400 degrees F and cook for a shorter time if you are pinched for time. Just watch to make sure the pan doesn’t run out of water.
  7. These are done when they are soft to the touch, or a fork is inserted with no resistance. They should be nice and soft.

 

Honey Maple Butter
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 stick softened Butter
  • Half of a 1/3 c. Raw Honey
  • 1/2 of a 1/3 c. of pure Maple Syrup
  • Sprinkle of Ground Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix ll ingredients with a hand mixer until blended.
  2. You can keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator for future use.

 

Blog/ Chinese Food/ Front Page/ Healthy Eating/ Home Page/ Main Dishes/ Pork/ Vegetables

Pork Stir Fry

Pork Stir Fry | afoodieaffair.com

I am constantly trying to come up with healthy dinners and keep coming back to my ole stand by, Pork Stir Fry. It’s just a concoction of fresh vegetables, protein, brown rice and a tasty sauce.

The tasty sauce is a very important ingredient, as stir fry tastes like nothing without it. And for me, It has to be tasty, or why eat it?

If you’re trying to eat more brown rice, and hate eating it alone, this recipe is perfect.

It is amazing the different ways you can make this dish. It’s primarily vegetables of your choice, a healthy protein, some brown rice, and sauce. I do admit I sometimes use the precooked brown rice. If I don’t have time to make ahead and keep in the fridge, this rice is a time saver. I don’t cook in the pouch though, I just throw the rice in with the vegetable and protein, and it heats up in no time.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I only use House of Tsang Oyster Sauce. In my opinion, it has the best flavor, and really takes center stage in this recipe. If you can’t find locally, check on Amazon, I’m sure someone carries it there. It’s well worth it, trust me, I’ve tried every brand out there.

I’ve used chicken, pork, lean beef or you can even use shrimp if you like. It’s super easy to make. You just have to remember to use a wok pan, and keep your light on high. I have a pretty high BTU gas range, so it gets pretty hot, but on your basic range, make sure your on high. You want to brown your protein, to really give your dish good flavor. When you add the veggies to the pan to cook, all the delicious browning from the protein will add flavor.

You can throw this together in approx 15 minutes, and you have a really healthy dish for your family, and for leftovers the next day…if there are any left.  Your family isn’t going to believe you didn’t order take out for this one!

Pork Stir fry | afoodieaffair.com

Pork Stir Fry with Brown Rice
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Deliciously quick for dinner. Perfect for leftovers.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 lb Pork Tenderloin, trimmed of any muscle and fat and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks celery hearts, sliced
  • 10 small mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips then cut in half
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Dry Sherry
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 small Garlic Clove or 1 Cube Frozen Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ginger, minced or 1 Cube Frozen Ginger
  • 1/2 can bean sprouts
  • 1 pkg Uncle Bens Prepared Brown Rice or 2 cups Cooked Brown Rice
Instructions
  1. Place wok pan on high heat and add olive oil until heated.
  2. Add protein of your choice (in this case, pork), and saute on high until pieces are slightly browned. Remove from pan, and set aside.
  3. Add another tablespoon of oil and add carrots, celery, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion. Saute on high until vegetables are tender and starting to brown (do not overcook; vegetables should still be slightly crunchy).
  4. While vegetables are cooking, add five ingredients for sauce together in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  5. Just before the vegetables are done, put a hole in the center of pan, and add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Mix in with vegetables.
  6. Add the pork back to the vegetable mixture, and add bean sprouts and rice. Add sauce mixture and stir thoroughly. Cook until heated through.

 

 

Blog/ Front Page/ Healthy Eating/ Home Page/ Salads

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad | afoodieaffair.com

I would like to start by saying “Thank You” to all the brave men and women who died while defending our freedom and liberty while serving in our military.

Memorial Day | afoodieaffair.com

I thought I’d put a twist on the usual Caprese Salad this Memorial Day, and add some blue to the red and white. I added a few blueberries! It not only looks great and tastes great, but blueberries are super good for you!

This salad is super easy, and super delicious, and very Patriotic!

Next time you want to throw together a great salad in no time at all, this is your go to salad.

I found this great Garlic Balsamic Dressing recipe on Lauren’s Latest blog which I pinned from Pinterest, and it is delicious! Try this, you won’t be disappointed!

 Caprese Salad | afoodieaffair.com

Caprese Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • Salad Ingredients:
  • shredded Romaine or any other salad greens (approx. 6 cups)
  • 1 lb. Baby Mozzarella Balls (cut in half if not the tiny ones)
  • 1 lb. grape tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 12 large basil leaves, chopped
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Measure all ingredients for dressing into small jar with tight fitting lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Assemble salad greens onto serving platter. Top with baby mozzarella balls in the middle and cherry tomatoes on each side.Roll basil leaves like a cigar, and slice into slices. Sprinkle basil on top of mozzarella and sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper.
  3. Drizzle with Garlic Balsamic dressing.

 

Caprese Salad | afoodieaffair.com

Blog/ Front Page/ Healthy Eating/ Home Page/ Salads/ Side Dishes/ Vegetables

Pickled Beet Salad

Pickled Beet Salad | afoodieaffair.com

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. And Pickled Beet Salad is right in that category! They are basically available all times of the year, although my “fresh from the local vegetable farm stand” are my favorites! There’s nothing like knowing these precious gems were just pulled from the ground.

Even as a child, I remember eating those pickled beet from the jar. To this day, I always have some on hand for a quick vegetable for a weeknights supper, or to add to a warm summer’s night meal.

I never really realiazed the health benefits of beets (beyond the obvious), until I Googled it. Here they are….

1.) Beets are nature’s Viagra (Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones).

2.) Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals (Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid)

3.) Beets cleanse the body (They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, works as a purifier for the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer)

4.) Beets help your mental health (Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate)

5.) Beets are used as a stomach acid tester (Nutritionists use beets and beet juice to test stomach acid levels)

6.) Beets are a high source of energy (At the same time they are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, as opposed to chocolate)


Here’s some added benefits:

1.) Lower Your Blood Pressure (The naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure)

2.) Boost Your Stamina (nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise)

3.) Fight Inflammation (Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress)

4.) Anti-Cancer Properties (The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer)


Some added benefits of eating the beet greens:

1.) Help ward off osteoporosis by boosting bone strength

2.) Fight Alzheimer’s disease

3.) Strengthen your immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells

I’ve always wanted to make my own, but just never seemed to get around to it.
Well, I finally got around to it! And am I glad I did!

Pickled Beet Salad
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 very large beets
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup water
Instructions
  1. Boil beets whole in a large pot of water at a rolling boil until cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, slip off skin. Slice in to chunks, slices or julienne slices. Place beets in a non-reactive bowl and set aside.
  2. for the marinade, in a small saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, salt and 2/3 cup water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Pour hot marinade over beets, and cool to room temperature. Cover the beets well and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
  4. Note: Can also add a large red onion, sliced if desired. Add onions to marinade mixture, and prepare marinade as directed.
Notes
Make sure to boil whole. Beets dry out if cut before boiling. This recipe is meant to be eaten within a few weeks of making it.

These pickles beets remind me of those beets in the jar, and if you can’t make these, you can’t make anything. That’s how easy they are! I’m sure you can can these very easily, although mine will not last that long unfortunately.

Pickled Beet Salad | afoodieaffair.com

 

Blog/ Front Page/ Healthy Eating/ Home Page/ Salads/ Sauces, Dressings & Gravy/ Side Dishes

Seven Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing

Seven Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing | afoodieaffair.com


When I saw this great Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing from the Soup Addict blog, I knew I just had to make it. I was especially drawn to it because the creamy dressing looked pretty healthy, as creamy dressings go. I checked it out in the Calorie Count site, it came out to about 26 calories per serving.

I always eat salads with the dressing on the side, especially with creamy dressings. I dip the tip of my fork with salad into the dressing, so you just get a taste of the dressing, but it’s not loaded with it. A dressing is designed to accompany the salad, not the other way around! Although you can’t tell my husband that! And it’s a bonus when the dressing is lower in fat and calories, and high on flavor!

This particular recipe for dressing called for 1/2 tsp. chili powder, but I reduced it to 1/4 tsp and tasted first. I found that was enough for my taste, but you can add another 1/4 teaspoon if you desire. Just add gradually, and taste as you go. I also eliminated the salt, as i thought it was already salty enough for my taste. The dressing was delicious!

Seven Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing | afoodieaffair.com

You can virtually add or delete any ingredient in this salad, you’ll notice no avocado in this salad. I’m not a real fan of them. I filled the center with lettuce, so there would be a good ratio of lettuce for the salad.

You could virtually make this an Italian Salad also by using fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, Italian olives…even some imported Genoa salami sliced in julienne strips. The sky’s the limit!

Make up your ingredients, or use these. Either way, this salad is sure to please and makes a gorgeous presentation!

Seven Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing | afoodieaffair.com

Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans (or any other beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced or chopped, your choice
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels (thawed from frozen or fresh from the cob – no need to cook)
  • 1 avocado, pit removed, peeled and chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (about 2 cups after slicing)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Salsa
  • 2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Instructions
  1. Dressing:
  2. Add all ingredients and blend with a blender or immersion blender, and puree until somewhat smooth. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Set aside (refrigerate if making ahead).
  3. Salad:
  4. If your bowl is wide, ring your ingredients against the glass and fill the center with romaine lettuce as you build the layers. This creates a nice balance of greens to veggies when you spoon down into the bowl.
  5. In a medium glass salad bowl (about 90 ounces), spread a thin layer of romaine lettuce. Spoon black beans over the lettuce. Add red onions over the black beans, followed by a layer of olives, then corn, avocados, bell peppers, and top with cherry tomatoes.
  6. Sprinkle herbs over the cherry tomatoes.
  7. If you’re not using romaine lettuce to fill the center of the bowl, serve lettuce in a separate bowl tossed lightly with extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Serve the creamy salsa vinaigrette dressing on the side.
Notes
Any type of lettuce, or a mixture of different varieties can be used in this recipe.

 

 

 

Blog/ Front Page/ Healthy Eating/ Home Page/ Salads

Italian Farro Salad

Farro Salad | afoodieaffair.com


I noticed this great recipe for Farro Salad on the  My Italian Grandmother blog.

I’ve been looking for a salad to make with Farro, and this sounded right up my alley. Loads of sweet cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and veggies.

Farro is a minimally processed grain that looks similar to barley. I’ve heard that some soak overnight before cooking. It’s got a great nutty flavor, has a chewy bite, and is super in salads and soups. It’s high in protein and low in gluten.

This grain is a great alternative to rice in many things including risotto.

Farro Salad | afoodieaffair.com

This recipe was delicious. Although I ran out of my favorite Olive Salad, I just put some green olives in that I chopped up. You may I adjusted this recipe from the original to put just a small piece of a clove of garlic in. It was a little strong for my taste. Or, you can saute it a little to get rid of the strong garlic taste that raw garlic has. If you’re not eating right away, I’d leave the cherry tomatoes whole, so they don’t get mushy.

Boscoli Italian Olive Salad | afoodieaffair.com

Either way, this salad is delicious and really good for you, too.

Italian Farro Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Farro, rinsed (or soaked overnight)
  • 12 or so grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons muffaletta salad, olive tapenade or chopped olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small piece of a clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, fresh if possible
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine Farro, salt and 3 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15- 20 mins. The Farro should have a bit of a bite to it. Drain and add to a large bowl to cool. To the bowl add olives, tomato, scallion, celery, garlic and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil and vinegar to taste. Toss and taste to adjust seasonings. Serve room temperature.
Notes
Make sure to serve at room temperature.

 

Blog/ Front Page/ Healthy Eating/ Home Page/ Main Dishes/ Poultry

Grilled Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives

Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives | afoodieaffair.com

I’m on a new path in life. To eat healthier, exercise vigorous, and hopefully shed a few pounds and feel more energetic in the process. I found a new gym, Integrity Health Coaching for Woman in Londonderry, NH, that not only guides and supervises your own personal exercise regimen, but teaches you how, when and what to eat, to help make your goal a success. It certainly worked for my sister-in-law Tammi, who lost 70 pounds in 1 year!!! Not to mention the many clients that have lost loads of pounds, and still go to this day! She exercises religiously, but insists, that what you put in your mouth, has a LOT to do with your success. The woman there are not only welcoming and friendly, but help you every step of the way, due to their own experiences. I never would have dreamed that I would actually look forward to going to the gym 6 days a week!

Integrity Health Coaching for Woman | afoodieaffair.com

Being on a pretty selective diet, it is challenging to eat what you are suppose to, and find ways to make it interesting and tasty.

I eat chicken pretty regularly, and am fortunate to have a BBQ grille on my kitchen range, so grilled chicken is a snap, not to mention on the menu quite often. I use Bell & Evans Organic Boneless Chicken Breasts. I can usually find them at Whole Foods. If I can’t find the organic, I get the regular chicken breasts by Bell & Evans. They come in a Cryovac packaging that makes freezing and thawing a breeze.

Bell and Evans Chicken | afoodieaffair.com

I wanted to find an accompaniment for the chicken, and remembered a tomato, caper, lemon chutney that a haddock dish was topped with at a local restaurant. So, I decided to search out recipes for something similar.

This recipe has Kalamata olives in it, along with capers, lemon, and cherry tomatoes. Kalamata olives are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats which help lower cholesterol. They are also rich in Vitamin E which help your heart and joints.

Boscoli Italian Olive Salad | afoodieaffair.com
I will tell you, if you like olives, this was delicious. It changed otherwise plain “ol grilled chicken into an entrée you would get in a restaurant. It’s simple and made with fresh, healthy ingredients! For this recipe, I used an Italian Olive Salad which I purchased recently at a specialty store. It’s basically olives, olive oil, carrots and spices. It’s so good I could eat it all by itself. The original recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, but I only had the larger ones, so diced them to use in this recipe. This chutney would also be excellent with fish, which I have a couple of times a week.

Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives | afoodieaffair.com

Grilled Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives
Author: A Foodie Affair
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Chutney:
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix together all chutney ingredients. Cover and refrigerate and hour or two, until ready for use.