Mustard Crusted Turkey Breast

Another emeals success!  This one definitely takes a little longer – thankful that I have a hubby that works earlier hours and could get this in the oven for me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5-to 6-lb) whole bone-in turkey breast
  • ⅓ cup whole-grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • Grated rind and juice from 1 orange

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Place turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan; loosen skin from turkey.
  • Combine mustard, thyme, salt and pepper; rub underneath and over skin of turkey.
  • Pour broth in bottom of pan.
  • Bake 1½ hours or until a thermometer registers 165°F when inserted in thickest part; shield with foil, if necessary.
  • Meanwhile, combine cranberries, orange rind and juice and 1 cup water in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency.
  • Chill cranberry relish, if desired.
  • Serve with sliced turkey.
  • Note: Let turkey rest on a platter, covered with foil, up to 45 minutes after baking.

My notes:  Our turkey breast took longer to get to 165 degrees than 90 minutes – at least 2 hours…maybe even a little more.  So make sure you check with a thermometer.  Also – I made my cranberry relish with fresh cranberries (bought them by mistake!).  I combined 1 bag of cranberries and 1 orange in a food processor.  Then added 2/3C sugar and pulsed to combine.

Scallops with Fennel-Orange Salad

I got a subscription to http://emeals.com/ for Christmas.  I got the “clean eating plan”.  In a nutshell, each week they give you access to a menu of 7 dinners and a shopping list.  Tonight I made my first dish and it was a total hit (well, for me and hubby….kids don’t really like scallops – so they had lasagna leftovers.

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Ingredients:

  • 1½ lb wild-caught scallops
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Steps:

Rub scallops with 1 Tbsp oil; sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes per side or until done. Combine fennel, oranges, remaining 3 Tbsp oil, remaining salt and pepper, vinegar and parsley in a medium bowl. Serve with scallops.

I did things a little differently…my scallops were HUGE!!  I love Wegman’s – they have such gorgeous wild caught scallops.  I cut them all in half so they would cook evenly.  I also put a little butter in the pan because I think it helps give the scallops a nice crust.

This was the side dish:  Crostini with Tapenade

  • 1 (16-oz) whole-wheat baguette, sliced
  • 1 (7-oz) jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Steps:

Preheat broiler; place bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted. Meanwhile, pulse olives, garlic, basil and olive oil in a food processor until finely chopped; spoon onto bread slices.

This was delicious!!  But it’s really a strong flavor, so a little goes a long way.

 

Beef & Broccoli

I love Chinese take-out…but never trust that there won’t be MSG or all sorts of oil…in general, I like to cook because I know what’s in what I’m eating.  But damn if take-out isn’t fast, easy and tasty…well this beef and broccoli is all that and more!  I’ve tried so many recipes that claim to be “just like the restaurant” version, but then sadly disappoint.  Trust me – this is awesome.

Here’s the original recipe.

I always use flank steak.  The trick is to slice the meat against the grain thin.  Really thin.  It takes forever to slice an entire flank steak and your hand will hurt – but it will be worth it.

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When making the marinade, it doesn’t seem like much…but trust me – it will work for an entire flank steak.  However, I do double the sauce recipe because my family likes it saucy.  Usually I only make it with broccoli.  Tonight however I was a little short on broccoli – so instead of running to the store, I improvised and threw in some shredded carrots and sliced water chestnuts.

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The original recipe says to cook the beef until there is no pink left.  I don’t cook it that long.  I wouldn’t eat a steak cooked all the way through, so why would I eat my stir fry that way?  Besides, it tends to continue cooking, and it’s also more tender the less it’s cooked.  I’m sure this would be delicious with chicken as well – but I always use flank steak.

Enjoy your healthy version of take-out!

 

Chicken Kale Pasta

My mom made this as part of a Christmas party buffet item.  It was so good!  Don’t be afraid to put lots of kale in – it shrinks to almost nothing.

dsc_21231  Recipe here.

I’m not always a fan of the Pioneer Woman – she makes tasty stuff, but not always all that healthy.  This one she scores a home run with me with all the good ingredients and lack of bad ones.

Grown up Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Ok, so maybe grilled cheese sandwiches aren’t exactly healthy, but using great ingredients and making it at home is certainly better than the alternative of eating out.  Let’s start with the soup:

This was the inspiration for my soup:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/quick-creamy-tomato-soup-recipe.html.

tm1a33_tomato_soup.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

It looked good, sounded promising – but after reading a bunch of reviews, I realized it would take some doctoring.  So this is what I did:

  1.  Saute 1 small onion chopped and 2 cloves of garlic chopped in a saucepan with some olive oil.
  2. Add 1 carton of chicken broth (my soup was a little thin – if you like it thicker, add less)
  3. Add 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes.
  4. Add 1 can tomato paste.
  5. Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
  6. Add some chopped basil (I’m not sure how much I used – I keep it chopped in my freezer – I grabbed a small handful).
  7. Simmer 15 minutes.
  8. Turn off heat and add 1 Cup half & half.
  9. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (I wound up leaving a few chunks of tomato).
  10. Taste check – add some fresh ground pepper and more basil to taste.

Delish!!

Ok…on to the grilled cheese.  This was my inspiration – and exactly what I did:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/creamy-roasted-tomato-soup-with-grilled-fontina-mushroom-sandwiches-recipe.html

Ok – not exactly, because I didn’t make Bobby Flay’s soup.  But the fontina grilled cheese with sage mushrooms is so good.  Go the extra mile and get sourdough bread.  Grown up grilled cheese sandwiches deserve it.

Healthy Grilled Chicken Parm

I made a delicious grilled chicken parm tonight!  And that is saying a lot – because I’m practically known for my traditional chicken parm.  It is fantastic.  But it’s breaded and fried…and not what I wanted to eat after being so good for 21 days.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts (I used thin cut)
  • Olive Oil
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Sliced Mozzarella cheese
  • Pesto (optional)
  • Tomato sauce (I love Victoria – all good ingredients)

Directions:

  • Drizzle a little olive oil on the chicken – rub it around.
  • Sprinkle with a little Italian Seasoning (to taste).
  • Grill chicken until just about done.
  • Before taking off the grill, top with sliced mozzarella cheese.  Close grill lid and let cheese get melty.
  • Before serving, spread a little pesto on top (if desired) and spoon tomato sauce on top.

I served the above with garlicky broccolini (recipe here).

The kids missed my traditional guilt-ridden parm, but all agreed this was an acceptable alternative.  Hubby and I thought it was more than acceptable – it was super quick and DELISH!.

 

21 DFX – Day 21

Well I made it!!  Today is the last day of this round!

One last round of Yoga Extreme.  I still don’t like yoga, but I will turn to it if I have stiff muscles.  It does help.

Food today…today was odd.  I really wasn’t that hungry.  Or when I was hungry, I didn’t seem to mind being hungry.  I think I’ve gotten comfortable eating less.  I started the day with my yogurt, apples and cinnamon.  Since it’s Sunday, there was less time between breakfast and lunch, I didn’t have my shakeology in the morning.  For lunch, I broiled some chicken sausage and had a salad.  No yellow at this meal.  After running some errands, I had my Shakeo as a mid-day snack.  For dinner I had one of my favorite fix meals:  Asian chicken skewers.

asian skewers

I didn’t make the slaw side dish…instead I made steamed green beans (ok, reheated the beans from last night).  I still hadn’t had my blue container or either of my yellow containers.  So I decided to splurge…hey – it’s day 21!  My husband went to a pie auction and came home with a homemade apple pie.  I indulged in a reasonable size piece and toasted to my success and willpower.

So even though I’m done, with Thanksgiving approaching in just a few days, I figured I’d try to follow the plan for a few more days…at least the work outs and my breakfasts and lunches.  I may be a little more lax for dinner.  But I have to say – I love this program.  Yes, I have my days of frustration and cravings, but it works and makes you feel great not only physically, but mentally as well.

21 DFX – Day 20

Man, that Dirty 30 Extreme is a tough workout.  I will say that this is the best that I’ve done with it so far – but those shoulder exercises are a killer in the beginning.  For the curtsy lunges, I must admit that I had to drop back to my baby weights.  I did get a bonus work out in – I took my son to his Tae Kwon Do class – so I did 30 minutes on the elliptical while waiting for him.

Breakfast and lunch were basically the usual.  Yogurt, apples and cinnamon and then a ham and cheese sandwich on a flatout with some baby carrots and cucumber slices.  I had my Shakeo in the afternoon – just because it worked out that way.

For dinner, my son actually requested salmon (it makes me so happy when they ask for real food instead of usual kid-fare…).  I made it his favorite way – with a miso glaze.

miso_salmon  Recipe here.

I make it slightly differently.  I do the whole thing under the broiler.  I don’t bother with the oil since I foil line a pan – and I don’t care if the skin sticks because we peel the salmon off of it anyway.  The sauce is a little runny – so I combat this 2 ways.  I sort of press the foil up against the fish so that the sauce can’t run down onto the pan too much.  I also put about half the sauce on, broil it, then put the other half on.  I like it to get more caramelized than it looks in the pic above.  It’s delicious!!   I severed it with some rice and steamed green beans.

Oh – and please try to buy wild caught fish instead of farm raised.  I won’t bore you with all the details on why its better, but go look for yourself.  With just a little research, you will never want to eat farm raised fish again.  And don’t get me started on that GMO salmon…gross.

21 DFX – Day 19

Today is Friday and I took a mental health day from work.  I have some extra vacation days and sometimes you need a mental break as much as you need a work out and nutrition.  So I slept in a bit and then did Dirty 30 from 21DF instead of Cardio Extreme (like I did last week).  I love this work out – and after legs day, I didn’t think my knees could handle Cardio Extreme.  After my workout, I was rewarded by seeing on the scale that I’ve lost 5 pounds!  Now I say this a bit tongue in cheek because I don’t really trust the scale.  This is a great article on this subject:  http://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/beachbody-programs/weight-loss/scale-big-fat-liar?code=sf13516437.  So in addition to that, I’d like to note that my skinny jeans are roomy again and that muffin top is all but gone.  Yay me!  🙂

Food today…I started with Shakeo after my workout.  Then had my yogurt with chopped apples and cinnamon late in the morning.  Because I was on a bit of a later schedule, I didn’t get lunch until about 2:30 (well that and I treated myself to some shopping).  I didn’t have a lot of choices at home, so I had a flat out with some ham and cheese, along with a green container of baby carrots.  Dinner was a bit of a cheat – but I think I managed to minimize the damage.  Both of the kids were out so hubby suggested date night.  I couldn’t resist – so we wound up at one of our favorite seafood places.  I wound up getting some flounder served with asparagus and mashed cauliflower.  I’m sure there was some butter in there, but it was a lovely evening and I didn’t feel like I ate anything too bad.  It’s all about balance and still enjoying life.  And following up with a good workout the next day. 🙂

21 DFX – Days 17 & 18

Ok…so I forgot to blog yesterday…so I will combine both days here.

Day 17:  For the most part, killed the Pilates Extreme workout.  It’s tough – and I swear the people on TV have MUCH stretchier bands than I do.  I just can’t do the part on my hands and knees without killing my wrists.  Food-wise..nothing too exciting…Shakeo, yogurt & berries, salad with chicken and black beans…dinner was a yummy burger on a flat out (most of these low carb bread alternatives are gross – but the “flat outs” are pretty tasty).  I even got to make it a cheeseburger because I still had a blue container…yay me!!  I ended with some grapes.

Day 18:  I did the entire Lower Fix extreme with my heavy weights (another yay me!!).  Ok – so I don’t really jump much because my knees suck…but I was working it the whole time.  #strongereveryday.

Morning:  Shakeo after workout (I’m telling you…a few drops of almond extract is the bees knees).  Yogurt this morning was mixed with apples and cinnamon.  As much as I love my berries, this is soooo good!!

Lunch:  Salad.  I’m getting REALLY tired of salads…even if they are tasty.  Spinach, grilled chicken, some tomatoes and a few olives.

PM Snack:  Awesomeness.  I used a blue of shredded cheese, sprinkled it on my flat out and microwaved it for a few seconds to make it melty.  21 DF approved grilled cheese!  It was seriously the best snack ever.

Dinner:  Grilled flank steak (recipe here), sweet potatoes (plain) and yet another damn salad (I was going to have green beans, but my hubby made me a salad and I couldn’t say no *smile*).  The flank steak was delish!  First of all – I only made half the marinade – which was plenty for 1 flank steak.  To make it even more fix friendly, I used liquid aminos instead of soy sauce and I cut back the oil a bit.  But let’s face it – most of the marinade gets thrown away anyway.  I should’ve grilled more – there isn’t a single piece of meat leftover.  I ended the day with a few more apples.