Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; Healthy and Fresh BBQ Sauce!

This week's #WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday is a fun spin on your summer BBQ's!

It’s BBQ season! How about trying something new this summer? Instead of slathering your meat  with refined oils, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and unnecessary sugars, make you own healthy, nutrient rich sauce! 

One of my favorite ingredients is blackstrap molasses. I LOVE this stuff and cook with it often. My Mother-in Law called me the other day to ask my opinion of it.  Her workout class instructor recommended that she take a tablespoon a day. Yes, my amazing, 80 year old Mother –in –law has a workout instructor …what’s your excuse for not working out!? Huh!? Ok, sorry…ANYWAYYY… Blackstrap molasses is created when sugar cane is boiled down three times. It is lower in sugar than other types of molasses, because each boiling of the sugar cane removes more sugar. It is one of the few sweeteners containing vitamins and minerals.  White sugar, brown sugar and honey provide almost no vitamin or mineral content, but blackstrap molasses contains iron, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium and B6!! 
Here are 2 great homemade healthy bbq sauce recipes to try. You can always make a couple batches and freeze some-just make sure it’s completely cooled before you freeze it. And don’t defrost, set your container in a bowl of warm water to thaw. A friend of mine puts hers into ice cube trays and then just pops out a few here and there when needed! 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 24 ounces strained tomatoes
  • 7 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (if you want it tangy-make it 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses (if you want it sweet add an additional 1/3 cup of pure honey)
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (you can find this at any grocery store, it’s a healthier substitute for soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (if you want it spicy add 1 or 2 more teaspoons!)
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add all the ingredients and whisk together. Let it simmer on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and use right away, or put it in a jar and use within a week-remember, there are no yucky preservatives! 

I made THIS sauce last night-hubby helped remove the cherry pits-bonus points for him! 
Ten O’clock at night, precious time in the kitchen with your partner, Homemade BBQ Sauce
  • 2 cups dark sweet cherries (fresh or frozen & defrosted, pits removed)
  • 2 tablespoons  apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses 
  • ½ teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (depending on how spicy you want it!) 

Blend ingredients together in a blender or food processor. EASY! DELICIOUS! REAL FOOD!! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; A Slender YOU Summer Slaw!

  • This week I want to challenge you to try something new, if you haven't already! It's a very versatile, low calorie root vegetable called Jicama (the J makes an H sound). They are a great source of dietary fiber, rich in Vitamin C, and contain important minerals like magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. 
    They are imported from Central American countries and you can find them at your grocery store, especially during spring and summer. Jicamas can be stored much like potatoes. They have a good shelf life and keep well in a cool, dry, dark place for about 2-4 weeks.
    Wash in cool running water and dry off. Peel off the thick skin with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Cut into cubes, slice into sticks or grate! 
    My family loves when i cut them into sticks and squeeze fresh lemon juice all over... a great grab and go snack!  
This recipe puts your knife skills to the test-or get out your mandoline! 
1 medium jicama peeled and julienned(cut into even, thin strips) 
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
2 apples, julienned
1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
3/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 medium jalapeƱo pepper, thinly sliced(2 if you like it hotter!)
Juice of 2 whole limes
3 tbsp olive oil
pepper and salt to taste
mix everything in a bowl and refrigerate for at least half an hour to allow all the flavors to integrate.  This makes enough to take to a summer Bbq, or use as a side dish to a delicious piece of salmon or chicken, OR keep in your fridge at work for a great healthy snack during the week! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; Make Food Swaps for a Healthier YOU this Summer!

What's Cookin' Wednesday is all about healthy choices! Not sacrifice.... for eating healthier this summer! 

People ask me all the time,  “what small changes can I start making to get on a path to being healthier?” We all know losing weight and making your health a priority doesn’t just happen overnight. Most people need to make a series of small changes, like cutting back from 5 soda’s a day to only 2, before they make a BIG change like never having (or even wanting)  soda again! 

Think of it like rehab for your taste buds! Reduce the sugar and salt from all that processed, packaged food and you’ll start to remember just how good REAL FOOD tastes!! 

It’s called FOOD SWAPING. Instead of having  your daily Frappuccino, swap it for a good ol’ fashioned cup of coffee (just don’t add a gallon of fake flavored creamer and 2 yellow packets of fake manufactured sugar substitute!!) Try these food swap ideas and start taking those steps to making your health the first thing on your To-Do List!

·         a bowl of cereal for ¼ cup walnuts and a ¼ cup of fresh berries
·         sugar for cinnamon
·         store bought creamy salad dressing for olive oil 
·         mayonnaise for avocado
·         salt for spices like chili powder, basil, turmeric, tarragon- the list is endless!
·         strawberry ice cream for a cup of fresh strawberries with a small dollop of real whipped cream
·         6 inch sub sandwich for sliced turkey breast and crunchy raw bell peppers-make a roll-up!
·         half a bag of potato chips for carrot and celery sticks with almond butter
·         sugary drinks for water with a slice of lemon and fresh mint
·         breaded and fried for fresh and baked
·         6 Oreo cookies for 2 ounces of real 70% dark chocolate(without added hydrogenated oils!)
See, just making little changes like this doesn’t mean you have to feel deprived-you can learn to love REAL food again and know how good it feels to give your body the nutrients it needs and craves!