Friday, February 12, 2010

Benefits of Flax Seed

Flax seed is very beneficial to a healthy lifestyle and easy to incorporate into meals. The seeds are smaller than sunflower seeds and have a similar taste. Here are a couple of the benefits:
1. Good source of omega fatty acids which are great cancer fighters. Also has an excellent source of protein and fiber.
2. Weight management. Flax seed stabilizes your sugar level and expands five times when ingested. Studies suggest taking flax seed a half hour before a meal can help with weight management and strengthen the immune system.
3. Improved immune function. Flax seed contains linolenic acid and lignans which decrease inflammation and promotes healthy immune functions. Flax seed may be helpful in managing autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus.
4. Affect on hormone levels. The high levels of lignans help normalize the menstrual cycle, manage menopause, lower the risk for osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease.

So the next question is, What are lignans. Lignans are a group of chemical compounds found in plants. They are estrogen-like chemicals and act as anitoxidants.

And how do you incorporate flax seed into your diet? I add about a tablespoon to my smoothies in the morning to get a little crunch. It's also great on peanut butter toast or english muffins. Flax seed can also easily be added to baked items such as breads or cookies. If you use the seed whole, it needs to be chewed in order to get all the nutritional benefits. You can also buy the seeds and grind them into meal. Flax seed does contain a lot of oil so when using in baking, just use a little or cut other fat out.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Turkey (or chicken) Waldorf Salad

Eat-Clean Cookbook

1/2 Turkey breast, cooked and cubed (approx 1 1/2 pounds)
4 ribs of celery chopped
1 cup chopped red apple
1 bunch green onions chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup yogurt cheese
lemon juice from one lemon (or a good squirt of bottled juice)
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine turkey, celery, apple, onion, walnuts and cilantro. In a small bowl combine yogurt cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk. Pour dressing over the turkey mixture and stir until coated.

I have also added raisins in the past.

Makes 6 servings:

240 calories
3 grams fat
11 grams protein
42 grams carbs
13 grams fiber
164 mg sodium

Yogurt Cheese

So just some info on yogurt cheese. Some of the recipes I use call for yogurt cheese. I've never made yogurt cheese but it sounds very easy. Take about 4 layers of cheese cloth and lay it in a fine mesh strainer. Place plain non-fat yogurt in the strainer with a bowl underneath. Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning you will have a nice "cheese" similar to a cream cheese texture. Because I have never used the yogurt cheese, I just use a lesser amount of regular yogurt in my recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for 3/4 cup of yogurt cheese, I'll just use a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brown Rice Meatloaf

This is super easy and tasted a lot better than I expected. The recipe comes from the Eat-Clean Cookbook.

1 lb. Lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 egg
3/4 cup low-fat yogurt cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (red, yellow, or green)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
black pepper

I bought microwavable brown rice. I got that going in the micorwave (7 minutes) first then started on the rest of the steps.

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine all ingredients. Place in a loaf pan that has been prepared with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray.
3. Cook for about an hour
4. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

This makes 6 servings:
149 calories
1 gram of fat
20 grams protein
1 gram fiber
12 grams of carbs
3 grams of sugar
285 mg sodium

My husband really dislikes brown rice but he really liked this meatloaf.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

First Time Blogger

Ok, this is my first blog ever. I figure if my mom can do it, so can I. This blog is meant to be an informal place for people to get healthy recipes, tips on healthy eating, and just some motivation to get through the day. I can't promise it will be updated daily, but I'll try my best.