Making The Complicated Simple

Posts tagged ‘recipes’

Day 8 HealthMC “Cutting Calories From Your Meals”

It is important to have realistic expectations on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. To say that you will never eat out or eat at a party is not realistic. Have you ever found yourself stressed out if you are invited to a party when you are doing so well with your plan? Do you turn down a friend’s invitation because you are so afraid of falling off the wagon? You don’t have to dread happy time with your friends and family when you practice cutting calories from your meals. Two ways you can use to cut calories in your meals is to

  1. Eliminating some ingredients
  2. Substitute the recipe ingredients with their fat free and lite version.

Eliminating Ingredients

Let’s take for example Wendy’s Apple Pecan full size salad. I went on their website and searched for the nutritional information on this very popular salad and boy was I surprised. The salad has 580 calories, 27g of fat, 50g of carbohydrates, 39g of sugar, and 38 g of protein. Well if you think you are being good and you decide to have this salad 3 times a day, you are looking at 54 g of fat, and 117g of sugar. Not all salads are created equal and we have to agree that this is too much fat and sugar for a salad. So how do you still enjoy eating out when you are on a healthy lifestyle diet?

The Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad would be much lighter without

  • crumbled blue cheese (1 oz contains 8g of fat)
  • dried cranberries (low in fat but loaded with sugar sometimes added in the drying process of the fruit)
  • roasted pecans (110 calories)
  • 2 packets of pomegranate vinaigrette dressing.
    A tip when you are eating your salad is to dip your fork in the dressing then into the salad. You do that for each bite, you will not consume the whole dressing since you really want the taste and not the added empty calories.

As you see most of the fat contained in this salad comes from the crumbled blue cheese, dried cranberries and roasted pecans. It may like like an innocent meal but when you add all the fluff that makes the salad a SENSATION, you are left eating empty too much fat and sugar in a SALAD.

Substitute Ingredients for Their Fat Free or Lite Version

I picked Paula Deen’s spinach, bacon and Swiss quiche. Her version yields 8 servings and 1 serving is a whopping 428 calories. One way to enjoy a quiche without it’s damage to your waistline is to prepare a vegetable quiche yourself. I substituted the ingredients for lighter and guilt-free ingredients using

  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cup steamed broccoli florets mixed with cauliflower (you can buy this frozen already mixed)
  • 1 cup asparagus cut in angle
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 4 oz light feta cheese
  • 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 9-inch frozen gluten free pie crust pre-baked for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.
  • Large skillet

Step 1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees

Step 2. Heat your olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add remaining veggies with garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

Step 3. Mix together in a large bowl: eggs, feta cheese and salt. Add the sauteed veggies and mix well

Step 4. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool-down for 20 minutes and

VOILA ! A quiche you split into 8 servings with less than 190 calories per serving


Guilt Free Spaghetti & Black Pepper Chicken

Spaghetti squash, part of the winter squash family, is an oval fruit with yellowish skin, on the inside the stranded flesh looks like spaghetti. This fruit is

  • low in cholesterol
  • low in fat
  • excellent source of dietary fiber
  • vitamins B6 and C

Spaghetti squash is healthy and its versatility makes it a great substitute for regular pasta.  Comparing spaghetti squash with whole wheat pasta you can save a few calories and carbs eating spaghetti squash.

  • 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has: 41 calories, 0g of fat, and 10 g of carbohydrates,.
  • 1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta has: 174 calories, 0.8 g of fat, and 37.2 g of carbohydrates.

Today SimpleChef brings you  “Spaghetti Squash with Black Pepper Baked Chicken”.

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • Trader Joe’s Black Pepper Sauce
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 (1-gallon) ziplock bag
  • Mrs. Dash original seasoning
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Step 1:  Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Place the chicken breast inside the ziplock bags with 2 tbsp of Trader Joe’s black pepper sauce (you can add more to make it hot and spicy to taste). Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meat Preparation Tip: When I come from the grocery store, I don’t put my meat in the freezer in its original packaging.  I season it and put it in a ziplock freezer bag, then I put it in the freezer.  The longer it stays in the marinade the better it taste.

Step 2: Cut the spaghetti squash in half. Remove the seeds and spray each side with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle a dash of Mrs. dash and cook face down on aluminum and set aside to bake

Step 3: Place chicken on bottom oven rack over aluminum foil (I use those a lot because I do not like cleaning dishes 🙂   ) Place squash on top oven  rack facing down on aluminum foil.  Let everything bake for 45 minutes.

Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash and get rid of the skin

Et  Voila le poulet!

SimpleChef: Turkey Meatloaf with Baked Sweet Potato

I am doing a plate revolution in my house as of this week.  It all started when my husband, who is more than 6 feet tall told me “Web just because I am tall doesn’t mean that my plate should be loaded with food”.  I looked at him all puzzled and asked what he wanted me to do.  He told me that he was now “100% on board with clean eating but the big plates had to go, gone, kaput!”

This was never an issue for me because I mostly eat on the go in small containers.  My husband on the contrary eats at home. So here we are sometimes, him with a big plate and me with a container from my cooler.  He also told me flat out “Whatever you are doing, that’s what I want to do.  I don’t see you eating in a big plate”.

Starting today I am bringing you SimpleChef in smaller plates.  Besides portion size as we know it has gone out of control in the United States.  What use to be a large size drink years ago is now a small.  So I bring you 2 tips this week

  1. use smaller plates because what you see is what you eat. If you don’t have it in front of you, you will not eat it.
  2. When having dinner during the week, put everyone’s serving in a plate and store the rest in the refrigerator right away.  First it gets cold, second you already put it away, and third you don’t see it and you will be less tempted to go for seconds.

Finally getting to SimpleChef’s recipe for this week I bring you a turkey meatloaf paired with classic baked sweet potato.  What you need:

  • Pre-heated oven at 375 degrees
  • As many sweet potatoes you will need washed, sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, and wrapped in aluminum foil (If you don’t plan on eating them in the next 3 days, don’t bake a whole lot of sweet potatoes, it will go bad and the food will be wasted).
  • 1 pound of ground turkey breast (make sure the package says “Turkey Breast” which is leaner, I get mine at Trader Joe”s)
  • 1 cup of onion
  • 1 cup of tri-color peppers
  • 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites.
  • 1  flat cookie pan
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • lettuce leaves and salsa for garnish

Step 1: Mix the turkey and all the other ingredients except the potato  very well in a bowl. Get dirty and use your hands.  Spray the pan with olive oil cooking spray, use an ice scream scoop to separate the turkey  and use 2 scoops for 1 serving.  Place the turkey on the cookie pan, and spray with cooking spray. (Using the ice scream scoop allows you to use leftovers for snacks, salads, a quick sandwich or a wrap.)

Step 2: place the turkey and the potato in the oven and cook the turkey and potato for 45 minutes (or until well cooked).

Step 3: 5.5 ounces of turkey topped with 2 tbsp of salsa, and 4 ounces of sweet potato will satisfy you over 1 lettuce leaf.

Voila! and enjoy

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SimpleChef: Tomato and Canadian Bacon Breakfast

I hope you had a chance to make the Quinoa Shrimp salad and also get very creative in the process. I made this delicious breakfast this morning easy to prepare and also on a budget. It’s SimpleChef’s Tomato & Canadian Bacon Breakfast and these are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 (100%) whole wheat sandwich roll of 100 calories or less
  • 2 slices of uncured canadian bacon
  • 1 tbsp of light sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices of tomato
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp of Chobani plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 grapefruit sliced

Step 1: You can use a toaster oven or a regular oven broiler to toast the sandwich roll for 2 minutes.  Remove it from the oven when slightly browned.

Step 2: Mix the yogurt and dijon mustard together and spread the mixture evenly over each  sandwich roll slice (the dijon mustard with greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayo on any sandwich)

Step 3: Add a slice of Canadian bacon on each roll slice, followed by the tomato.
Sprinkle the tomato with half of the cheese on each roll slices.  Return everything in the oven an broil for 1 minute 1/2 and enjoy with the grapefruit.

Voila! what it looks like

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did and have a lovely weekend.  Spread the love…

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SimpleChef: Quinoa Shrimp Salad

There were a lot of great comments on  the “Best of Clean Eating” book for Valentine’s giveaway . One comment from Leah requested recipes that can be done on a budget. Well you’ve asked, and I have the answer. I was soooo hungry on Monday when I got home from a very busy day and just wanted to eat something light. I had the ingredients in the fridge and quickly put together a veggie shrimp salad. The ingredients are easy to find and do not cost that much. So Leah here it is.

For the Quinoa Shrimp salad you will need:

  • 1 small zucchini cut in half-moon shape
  • 4 ounces of cucumber cut in half-moon shape
  • 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa ( You can also substitute the quinoa with cooked brown rice)
  • 4 ounces of pre-cooked shrimp (you can find in any grocery store in the frozen section)
  • 1 small tomato cut
  • 3 ounces of diced red pepper
  • 2 tbsp of fat-free balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Step 1: Start by boiling 1/4 cup of water and steam the zucchini in there for 3 minutes.

Step 2: Transfer all the veggies into a salad bowl and top it with the shrimp and quinoa.  Add the fat-free dressing of your choice and



Enjoy and spread the love…


Simple Giveaway: The Best of Clean Eating Book



I couldn’t think of a better Valentine’s day giveaway then The Best of Clean Eating book (Value $22.95) by the Editors of the Clean Eating Magazine. A gift of health, a gift that will benefit much more than chocolate.

As one of my mentors, Zig Ziglar, says “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” So this book is my Valentine’s Day present to help one (1) lucky winner, on their journey to a healthy lifestyle.

How do you Win.

All you have to do is post a comment on this post. Wait a minute now, don’t just say “I would like to win” or “Pick me” .  I want you to tell me in your post what you would like to see me blog about.  I want you to tell me how I can better help YOU, the audience, live a healthy lifestyle.

How will the winner be selected and contacted

Only one (1) winner will be selected using and announced on Monday, February 14, 2011 .    I will post a reply to the winner’s comment to have you contact me via email at to provide me with a valid US Address to ship you the book.  The book will be delivered directly from Border’s so PLEASE provide a mailing address that will not be an issue with US Postal Services.



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