Friday, August 27, 2010
I’ve also had a recipe for a meatball banh mi in my torn-out-of-a-magazine binder since January of this year…and haven’t thought about it since. Until last week…
On my way to the studio I notice Tasty Casian, a Vietnamese restaurant in a strip mall on Essen. Immediately I thought of the Vietnamese sandwich from Houston and wondered if they served something similar. And they did…check out their menu on facebook.
That night I called in an order for shrimp spring rolls (which tasted very similar to mine) and a steamed pork banh mi. Both were all that I could have hoped for. The sandwich was on crunchy French bread with steamed pork, pickles carrots, cilantro, cucumbers…and mayo. Yes, I do eat mayo sometimes…here are my thoughts.
So of course this week I had to recreate the sandwich to share with you. I did a combination of these two recipes. The process is a little involved (not hard though) and takes some pre-planning (marinating the meat and pickling the carrots)…so prepare it over the weekend and then just assemble the sandwiches individually all week! Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort!
Pork Tenderloin Banh Mi
adapted from Emeril and Big Girls Small Kitchen and cooksillustrated
Makes 4 – 8 servings…I made 8 “girl-sized” sandwiches
For the meat:
2 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
For the pickled carrots:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/8-inch match sticks or shredded in a food processor…or just buy shredded carrots!
For the sandwiches:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon sriracha…or more/less depending on how spicy you like it…you could just use plain mayo if you don’t want to buy sriracha or maybe use cayenne?
1 baguette…or 8 whole wheat sandwich rolls (or hot dog buns in a pinch)
1 bunch cilantro, woody stems removed
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
3 jalapeno or serrano peppers, seeded and thinly sliced (I didn’t use these…not a big fan of spicy)
In a resealable plastic food storage bag or Tupperware container, combine the scallions, garlic, sugar, black pepper, fish sauce, and lime juice and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the pork, turn to coat evenly, and seal. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
To prepare the carrots, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl (or jar) until dissolved. Add the carrots and toss until combined. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
To cook the tenderloin*, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the pork from the marinade. Pat the pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place tenderloin in skillet; cook until well browned, 3 minutes. Using tongs, rotate tenderloin 1/4 turn; cook until well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat until all sides are browned.
Transfer tenderloin to rimmed baking sheet and place in oven (or if your skillet is oven-proof put the whole skillet in the oven); roast until internal temperature registers 135 to 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 10 to 16 minutes.
Transfer tenderloin to cutting board and tent loosely with foil; let rest until internal temperature registers 145 to 150 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut tenderloin crosswise into thin slices.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the sriracha.
To assemble the sandwiches, you have 2 choices…1) grill the bread halves first or 2) assemble the sandwich and then press like a panini…I went with option number 2!
Spread both sides of the bread with mayonnaise. Divide the pork evenly between the bottoms of each sandwich. Top with cucumber slices, pickled carrot, sliced peppers to taste (if using), and cilantro leaves then place the top of the sandwich over all. Cut each sandwich in half, serve immediately.
*Emeril grilled his!
Per serving (figuring 8 "girl sized" sandwiches per recipe) - 315 calories, 11 g fat (2 saturated), 36 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 21 g protein (exchanges: 2 fat, 2 protein, 2 starch; WW points: 6)
Friday, August 20, 2010
I’m a huge salad lover…but when I order one at a restaurant I get the dressing on the side and sometimes ask for things to be taken off…usually 1 or 2 of the fats (eggs, bacon, cheese, buttery croutons, nuts, tortilla strips, avocado). Not that fat is bad! You just don’t want to add too many fats sources, ruining an otherwise healthy salad.
Here’s proof of why you need to pay attention when ordering salads at restaurants, and why they might not always be the best choice!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Now that I live in an apartment I have access to a treadmill…I refuse to pay for a gym membership when I can run outside for free and do boot camp at the studio. I’m cheap, what can I say? But now, even on rainy days I can get a workout in. And since it has been raining so much lately (and not to mention how HOT it has been), I’ve done more indoor workouts than usual. Which has helped me catch up on my magazine reading.
I can’t run and read, but when I take a break to walk I’ll flip through one of my many food magazines. Last week it was the August issue of Eating Well. One of the 5 ingredient recipes caught my eye. For Five-spice Tilapia, the fish is seasoned with Chinese five-spice powder, cooked on the stove top, and then coated with a soy and brown sugar glaze. The selling points for me were the ease of the recipe and the glaze.
But I wanted to try it with salmon…I haven’t eaten salmon in a while and needed to get my omega-3’s! I also omitted the five-spice powder and just seasoned with salt and pepper (I didn’t feel like buying it for just this recipe). I added freshly grated ginger to the glaze (I’ve mention it before, but I always have ginger in the freezer).
The recipe is for 4 servings…I only cooked 2 salmon fillets, but left the glaze amounts alone…the more glaze the better! I served the fish with roasted broccoli that I tossed in sesame oil.
Soy Glazed Salmon
adapted from Eating Well magazine
makes 2 servings
2 salmon fillets, 4 - 6 ounces each (preferably wild)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger (to taste) in a small bowl.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and cook until the outer edges are opaque, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, turn the fish over, stir the soy mixture and pour into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes more. Add scallions and remove from the heat. Serve the fish drizzled with the pan sauce.
Per serving (based on 4 oz salmon) – 190 calories, 11 g fat (1.4 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 25 g protein (exchanges: 3.5 protein, 2 fat; WW points: 5)
I love most vegetables…except maybe beets. I eat a combination of cooked and raw to get the nutrition from each form. Some nutrients become more active when cooked (lycopene in tomatoes) while others decrease…so I eat both.
Today for example I roasted broccoli florets and then shredded the stems to make broccoli slaw. This week I've had raw tomato on a sandwich and sundried tomatoes in a salad. Roasted eggplant and raw carrots.
Roasting vegetables is one of my FAVORITE ways to prepare them. The flavors get concentrated and the vegetables develop a delicious caramelized flavor. I roast eggplant, green beans, asparagus, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts…
Here is an article from Martha Stewart on how to prepare the veggies for roasting and how long to cook them for. So simple. Roasting means you will cook at a high temperature…425 – 450 degrees, so pay attention to make sure the vegetables don’t burn.
The article says…
1. Use shallow pans (such as baking sheets) and don't overcrowd vegetables. This allows them to brown rather than steam. Use 2 pans if you need to.
2. Toss vegetables as they roast; they'll stay coated with oil and won't dry out. And don’t use too much oil to begin with…start with about 2 tsp and add more if you are cooking more veggies.
- Tomatoes (unless you follow my favorite recipe)
- Bell peppers
- Zucchini and summer squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I make chicken salad just about every other week. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve only shared one of my variations with you. I make so many!
The other day I mentioned that I was having Peach Pecan Chicken Salad that a dancer mom told me about. Well here’s the recipe. Very similar to my Pineapple Almond Chicken Salad…I cut the recipe in half…since I no longer have a roommate to share with.
I also changed up the liquid ingredients. I still used non-fat Greek yogurt and regular mayo (Hellman’s…but I’m really a Blue Plate girl!). But I added 2 types of mustard: Dijon and a honey mustard (its really a pretzel dip…but I don’t buy pretzels, so I use it on sandwiches and in chicken salad and vinaigrettes). Lemon juice too. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Peach Pecan Chicken Salad
created by me
Makes about 9 1-cup servings
3 cooked* boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 celery stalks, diced (I like to use some of the leaves too)
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (toast for about 10 min at 350 degrees...but start checking them at 5 min)
4 – 5 small peaches (or 3 medium), chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbps of mustard (I used a combination of Dijon and honey mustard)
juice (and zest) from 1 lemon
salt and pepper
* This is how I cook my chicken: Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels (I actually use coffee filters because they don't stick to the chicken) and place on baking sheet/dish. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes until until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife.
Once the chicken is cooled, dice and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the celery, carrots, toasted pecans, and peaches and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustards, lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the dressing to the salad ingredients; stir to combine. Re-season with salt and pepper if needed. If not creamy enough, add more yogurt.
Per serving (1 cup or 8 oz) – 240 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 22 g protein (exchanges: 2 1/2 fat, 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fruit, 3 protein; WW points: 5)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I’ve said it before, so you may already know…I don’t buy salad dressing…ever. I always make my own. It’s so easy…even Hilary (sister) does it. And if she makes her own, anyone can (even though she thinks she is domestic and can cook, she rarely takes the time…but when she makes a salad, it’s homemade all the way).
Her go to dressing is a honey-Dijon vinaigrette:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 olive oil (walnut oil is great too)
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.
But she requested a new dressing recipe. I told her to try the Creamy Feta Red Wine Vinegar Dressing…but apparently she already makes it (so does my dad…another example of why anyone can!).
I’ve been wanting to try to make a Lemon Balsamic dressing…I saw it somewhere. Maybe on a menu? or in a magazine? I don’t remember. Regardless, here’s what I came up with…enjoy Hil.
Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
makes 1 cup
zest of 1 lemon (optional but good!)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.
Per serving (2 tbsp; based on 1/3 cup oil) – 91 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 3 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, 74 mg sodium (exchanges: 2 fats; WW points: 3)
To tell you the truth…I don’t measure…I squeezed the lemon into a jar added an equal amount of vinegar and then matched the combined amount of lemon juice and vinegar with oil. It won’t give you 1 cup of dressing, but you won’t have to use more than one lemon either. If I were making this dressing I would use the 1/2 cup of oil (130 calories, 13.5 g fat).
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
You can read all of them here…but these are my favorites.
1. Create a food menu - Like most things in life, having a game plan is vital. And, weight loss is no different. Always start your week by figuring out what meals you’ll have ahead of time, and then prepare a grocery list that will guide you in what to purchase.
When you stock only healthy foods in your home, it’ll be so much easier to stick to your program.
I do this every week!
2. Clean out your cupboards - As much as you hate to part with it, try your best to clean out your cupboards and get rid of any foods that just don’t fit into your plan.
While it can be difficult to say goodbye to your favorite brand of cookies, if you do, the temptation to satisfy your craving will be reduced ten-fold.
3. Educate yourself on calories – If you want to succeed with weight loss, check out the calorie content of the foods you’re eating — I’m not saying examine every morsel you put into your mouth, but it’s good to have some idea of what calories you’re taking in.
So, start reading nutritional labels (particularly for those foods you routinely eat), so that you become more aware of what’s in the foods you’re eating.
4.Try one new recipe each week - One very good way to cure dietary boredom is to try at least one new recipe each week.
By doing this you’ll reduce your chance cheating on foods that aren’t nutritiously sound just because you’re bored with your current eating routine.
This is true for salads too…I eat lots of salads but they’re always different. Try a new salad recipe!
5. Try an early morning cardio session - If you aren’t doing early morning workouts, make it your new mission to get in some early morning cardio training.
By getting it out of the way at the start of the day you’re less likely to put it off, and it’s a great way to begin the day, as you feel fired up to stick with your new healthy habits.
I couldn’t agree with this more! If feel so great after a morning workout!
6. Add more fiber - Eating lots of fiber rich foods helps slow down your digestion, and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer.
Toss some blackberries onto your morning bowl of oatmeal for an easy way to add another 5-10 grams of fiber.
Add REAL fiber from REAL food…not the stuff found in processed food!
7. Cut out all processed foods - If there’s one group of foods you should avoid, it’s processed foods.
When you remove all packaged foods from your diet, you’re sure to see weight loss benefits.
8. Freeze some food portions - If you’re busy and don’t have much time to cook, cut down your meal prep by making a batch of healthy foods on the weekends, and then freeze some in containers for later.
Soups, stews, and stir-fries all work well for this purpose, and will make meal time a breeze later in the week.
I do this too! I always have soup/stew/beans in my freezer ready to eat!
9. Get in some healthy fats - Do you avoid healthy fats because of the calorie content? If you do, it’s time to get over this.
Start taking in more healthy fats such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty sources of fish. These will improve your blood cholesterol profile and stabilize your blood sugar levels, without hindering your weight loss efforts.
This might be my favorite. So many people trying to lose weight cut out WAY too much fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat, unless you eat too much of it…same with carbs and protein – eat to much of those and you will gain too!
10. Don’t shun night-time snacks - If you feel true hunger at night-time, a snack is not going to completely derail your progress.
If you plan for it, choose something healthy, and are sure to include it in your total calorie intake, there’s no reason why you can’t have a healthy snack, without gaining weight as a result.
The key here is the PLANNING part. Know what you are going to have ahead of time if you are up late and get hungry. If you are up studying until 1:00am and your last meal was at 7:00pm, you should be hungry…make a plan for a snack!
Monday, August 09, 2010
I had 2 clients today and hadn’t been able to work on their nutrition analyses all weekend. So when I arrived back at my apartment around 5:30pm I got to work…and continued working until past midnight (I stopped for dinner…had the last of the quinoa with some carrots and edamame hummus). This morning I woke up early to finish. I need more non-tired hours in the day!
After my meeting I needed a nap, but I also needed groceries…so I went to the store first (gotta have food!) and then took a quick nap. Before heading to the studio I made peach-pecan chicken salad (recipe coming tomorrow or Wednesday), had lunch, and worked on a little choreo. Studio from 3:30 – 9:30…and now I’m home! Another busy day tomorrow, and then Wednesday I can finally relax (and sleep). Oh the life of a teacher/choreographer/dietitian.
- breakfast – Wallaby vanilla and a peach; water
- pre-nap snack – fig and piece of French bread
- lunch – grilled cheese, tomato, and pesto sandwich or French; water
- snack – half of the usual latte; water
- dinner – peach-pecan chicken salad (veggies include celery and shredded carrots) over romaine; a fig; chocolate covered cranberries from Nantucket; water
I make a huge batch of pesto each summer and freeze it in mini-muffin tins…and then once the little discs are solid pop them in a zip-top bag. Pesto year round! I can’t stand store bought pesto!
The chicken salad is incredible (thanks to the perfectly summer-sweet peaches). One of my favorite dancer moms told me about this recipe (remember, the one who makes the chicken and feta tabbouleh?), but I couldn’t find it online so I improvised. Once she makes me a copy of the recipe I’ll have to compare. I’ll have the recipe to you ASAP.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Did I promise a few days ago that I would blog everyday? My brother, Adam, called this morning to remind me that I did…and that I have skipped 2 days. What can I say, I’m a busy girl.
Thursday was a long day. Private dance lessons in the morning and afternoon, taught from 5 – 630, drove to Mandeville for Saintsation practice and was back in Baton Rouge by midnight. And in the middle of all this found out Adam was in the hospital with chest pain (he’s fine…nothing to worry about).
I had a normal breakfast (yogurt and fruit…in bed), lunch (salad), and I packed dinner for in the car on the way to practice. Edamame & cucumbers and an English muffin with almond butter and peach jam. And an apple if I was still hungry. Planning ahead is the key to healthy eating!!
After practice I was craving something sweet (we had cuts and that always stresses me out). You will never guess what I got…a McDonald’s McFlurry! With Reeses! Told you I don’t always eat perfectly!
As far as yesterday…I have no excuse for not blogging! Latte and fruit for breakfast. Then headed to the studio. I finally got a workout in, made a peach/yogurt smoothie and then took it with me to the pool to lay out (apartment living does have a few perks…still miss my house though!). Lunch was an almond butter and peach jam sandwich. And then I was just lazy on the couch working on some nutrition stuff (meal plans for people I’m working with). Dinner was a repeat…quinoa over romaine with avocado. And a little granola and milk for dessert!
Today I woke up and headed to the farmers’ market. LOVE. Picked up an apple crostata for breakfast while I was there (plus a peach before at home). Other purchases: peaches, cantaloupe, tomatoes and eggplant. After that, back to the studio for more privates!
Lunch was left over quinoa, turned into cakes! Mixed about a cup of leftover quinoa with 1 egg and 1 tbsp flour and fried them up…served over a salad of course.
I had to run to whole foods to pick up a few veggies for the salad (from the salad bar: shredded carrots, broccoli, and jicama plus a few tomatoes) and a lime for the dressing (equal parts lime & olive oil with a little honey, cumin, salt and pepper).
And I got a banana lassi…couldn’t resist! It’s really sweet and thick (made with whole milk and Greek yogurt) so I thinned it out with a little milk. Perfect treat while I type! I’m only drinking half…the rest is for tomorrow.
Tonight I have an engagement party to attend, so there’s no telling what I’ll eat/drink. I’ll probably eat a piece of fruit before so that' I’m not starving when I get there. I promise it won’t be a late night though. I have to be in New Orleans at 7am for the Junior Saintsation Clinic…am I ready to be with 500+ little girls that early in the morning? Hope so!
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Chicken marsala is my all-time favorite Italian meal. I’m not a huge red sauce fan and I love mushrooms, so it is the perfect dish for me.
I thought it would be brilliant to make a chicken marsala casserole…a creamy, wine flavored mixture of rice, chicken and mushrooms, with a golden brown cheesy crust. Sounds amazing, right? And I was so proud of myself for coming up with an original idea (most of my recipe ideas come from cookbooks, magazines, blogs, and meals I’ve had at restaurants).
But then after a Google search I realized that Rachel Ray had beaten me to it! So much for originality.
I mostly followed her recipe. I swapped half of the butter for oil (not that it makes much of a difference nutritionally). I added more mushrooms and an onion to boost the veggies content. Garlic was a must. I swapped half and half for the heavy cream. I didn’t have any brown rice, so i just used white…but next time around I’m going to give it a try.
The results were delicious…exactly what I was hoping for! Serve it with a side vegetable to round out the meal.
Chicken Marsala Casserole
adapted from RachelRayMag.com
makes 8 servings
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 – 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup marsala wine (or white wine)
1/2 cup half & half
2 cups chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
2 packed cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat until just melted. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in for 1 minute. Stir in the marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of stock.
In a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole, spread the rice in an even layer; top with the chicken. Pour the mushroom gravy on top. Cover tightly with foil and bake until bubbly, about 35 minutes. Discard the foil, sprinkle the parmesan on top and bake for 5 minutes more.
Per serving - 245 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 25 g carbohydrate, 16 g protein, 1 g fiber (exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 fat, 2 protein, 1/2 vegetable; WW points: 5 )
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
- breakfast: overnight oats…1/2 cup Dorset Fruit, Nut, & Fiber Cereal soaked overnight in about 1 cup yogurt (1/2 FAGE 0%, 1/2 Wallaby Vanilla), plus a peach added this morning; a fig; water; iced latte (1/2%1/2, condensed milk, skim, Cool Brew)
- lunch: carrots with edamame hummus; chicken sandwich (Great Harvest Woodstock Bread, roasted chicken, cream cheese, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, black pepper); a fig; water
- snack: 1/2 of another latte…without the condensed milk
- dinner: apple; Mexican quinoa salad over romaine (quinoa, cilantro, corn, black beans, tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil)
I ate breakfast before I left for the studio and brought the latte with me. But when I got home at 1ish, I was starving. Lots of dancing and not enough food! Carrots with edamame hummus held me over while I made my sandwich. I love having food ready to go in the fridge for this reason. The hummus is very similar to the one I make with chickpeas…I just swap boiled edamame for the chickpeas. It was inspired by this recipe.
Notice that I didn’t sweeten my coffee the second time around. I try not to drink very many sweetened beverages and definitely no more than one in a day. But honestly, I like lattes unsweetened…it makes the half and half more prominent…yum!
Lots of veggies today…my oncology RD friend (who emailed me in disapproval of my low intake yesterday) will definitely approve today. Carrots, edamame, cucumber, avocado, romaine, corn, beans, tomatoes! Fruits and veggies are one of the best things you can do to prevent cancer, right Danielle??? I try to have a vegetable based meal everyday…and I succeed on most days too.
I haven’t had dessert yet, but sitting here typing about food is making me want some! Granola with milk maybe? See ya tomorrow!