Archive for the ‘diet recipes’ Category

Quick & Easy Steak Salad Recipe — Perfect for Sweltering Summer Days

July 15, 2007

Oh man, fire up the grill and get ready for your taste buds to start singing.  🙂

If you’re looking for a quick and tasty recipe to feed yourself and your family on these summer days when it’s too hot to cook in the kitchen, here’s one you’re going to want to try.  Not only is this dish tasty, it’s perfect for your weight loss goals; a portion of it is less than 300 calories!

Steak Salad with Tomatoes, Peppers, Sweet Onions and Balsamic Vinaigrette

This recipe serves: 4

Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Ingredients

For the balsamic vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

For the grilled steak:
2 top sirloin steaks, about 8 ounces each

For the green salad:
8 cups romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, rinsed
1 green bell pepper stemmed, seeded and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onion
4 small crusty rolls

Cooking Instructions
For the balsamic vinaigrette:
1. Place the shallots and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Continue whisking and slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
(This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

For the grilled steak:
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

2. Season the steaks with salt and pepper.

3. Grill the steaks on both sides until it is cooked through, about 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board to rest.
(The steak can be grilled in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

For the green salad:
1. Slice the steaks into strips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper and onion slices and half of the balsamic vinaigrette.

2. Place the romaine lettuce in a separate salad bowl and toss it with the remaining vinaigrette. Arrange the steak, tomato, bell pepper and onion mixture on top. Serve with a roll.


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size about 3 ounces of cooked steak with 2 cups of salad

Amount Per Serving


Calories 283

Protein 29 g

Total Carbohydrate 19 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Soluble Fiber 1 g

Insoluble Fiber 2 g

Sugar 4 g

Total Fat 11 g

Saturated Fat 3 g


Recipe courtesy of the American Council on Exercise.

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Straight From the Mouth of Some Big Losers

June 25, 2007

Let me say this right up front: I am a not a fan of “The Biggest Loser” television series.

Why? Because I think it sets unrealistic expectations as far as weight loss goes. First of all, it’s WAY too scale-oriented. It’s nothing for the participants to have a 7, 8, even a 10 pound weight loss in a week. And we watch them get upset if they only lose 3 pounds or so. Most of us would kill for a 3 pound weight loss every week. I’ve also read (and don’t know if it’s true) that the participants work out 4 hours a day, every day they’re in the house.

This is just not the real world of weight loss. And I’m always afraid that there’s people watching it and finally getting motivated to get started eating right and exercising. And then I’m afraid that they’ll be crushed the first time they “only” lose 2 or 3 pounds.

I do have to admit, though, that I get very excited about the success the contestants experience and the fact that these folks are learning, many of them for the first time, how to eat right and exercise. And I get thrilled along side them as the see the benefits of getting fit and thin.

I read an article today with weight loss advice from some of the Biggest Loser contestants, and I have to recommend it to you. You can find it here. The advice in it is AWESOME; it’s very apparent that they have truly been taught how to lose weight. Here’s 10 tips from the article:

10 More Tips From The Biggest Loser

To help keep you moving toward your weight loss goals, Lyons, Alexander and several of the “Biggest Losers” offer these additional tips and tricks:

  1. “Eat often — snack often,” says Alexander. While this may seem contrary to traditional dieting advice, the chef says that as long as you keep an eye on calories and portions, eating often will stave off hunger attacks that ultimately sabotage your diet. “When you’re starving, you grab whatever is available — and that’s the quickest way to get off your eating plan,” says Alexander.

2. “Eat your carbs in the morning,” says Biggest Loser contestant Brian Starkey. “It gets your day off to an energetic start.” Lyons adds that carbs are quickly burned with activity, so eating them may help motivate you for that morning walk or bike ride.

3. “Post a picture of yourself on the refrigerator — at your worst,” says Biggest Loser contestant Dana Desilvio. “The next time you’re thinking of grabbing something you shouldn’t from the fridge, you’ll be reminded of what you don’t want to look like!”

4. “Instead of watching the clock during workouts, listen to music,” to make the time go faster,says Erik Chopin, TheBiggest Loser‘s season-three winner. Lyons reminds us that everyday activities, like bike riding, tossing a Frisbee, or walking your dog, count as physical activity, too.

5. “When eating out, always ask for a ‘to-go’ box — at the start of your meal,” says Biggest Loser contestant Bobby Moore. Then, when your food arrives, immediately put half of it in the box, he suggests. This way, you’ll not only get used to eating smaller portions, but you’ll have a snack for later.

6. Learn to cook healthfully. “Cooking healthy doesn’t have to be hard — or take more time,” says Alexander. While many “Biggest Loser” contestants said they thought cooking healthy would be complicated or time-consuming, Alexander says, most found that cooking healthy is actually easier, less expensive, and faster.

7. “Never overlook the power of seasoning,” says Alexander. One way she made even the blandest diet foods grab the contestants’ attention was by using low-sodium seasonings.

“People never realize what a major difference spices can make on even simple dishes like grilled chicken or salmon,” she says.

8. “When it comes to cooking in flavor, it’s never about the oil,” says Alexander. Many dieters believe that unless food is fried in oil, you don’t get much flavor. But, she says, the real secret is pan-browning, which can happen without oil. The trick to getting restaurant-quality taste, she says, is to never overload your pan with food. “If you put too much in the pan, the moisture content causes the foods to steam and not pan-fry,” she says. “By reducing the amount of food in the pan you get that tasty pan-seared browning, without the use of any oils.”

9. Don’t try to do too much exercise, too soon. You not only run the risk of injury, but you’ll also get quickly discouraged. “Don’t try to stare down 45 minutes of exercise,” says Lyons. “Tell yourself it will be OK to quit after 10 minutes, because most of the time once you get going, you’ll keep going.”

10. Remember: Self-esteem feeds on self-esteem. Accomplishing a little something toward your weight loss goal every day will not only get you on the road to success, but help keep you there. “You are not just losing weight, you are changing your life and your lifestyle,” says Alexander. “If you keep that in mind, you come to see that every change, no matter how small, comes together to make a huge difference in not only your weight, but your life,” says Alexander.

See what I mean?

There is some profound wisdom in this article. There’s even a couple of recipes from the Biggest Loser Cookbook that I’m going to try. So do go spend a little time with this article.

You may not lose 10 pounds in a week, but if you take this advice to heart, you can lose weight EVERY week and keep it off. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Gotta Eat-a Pita

June 20, 2007

I’ve been on a pita kick lately, and with good reason.

You can use them to wrap meat and veggies at lunch, you can scramble some eggs, cheese and turkey in the morning and eat a breakfast pita, you can even use pitas as a crust for mini-pizzas.

All in all, a handy, nutritious, tasty food.  Especially the whole wheat version.  🙂

I’ve got a recipe I want to share with you for a Grilled Veggie & Yogurt Sauce Pita that is awesome…I urge to give this a try.  It’s kind of tangy and has a Mediterranean taste to it.  It’s great by it self or with a salad.

Man, when I eat things like this it’s hard to believe that I’m eating healthy!

GRILLED VEGGIE PITA WITH YOGURT SAUCE

Ingredients:
Yogurt Sauce
1/4 cucumber
1/4 cup low-fat yogurt
1/2 clove garlic

Sandwich
1 whole grain pita (7-inch)
1 1/2 ounces feta cheese
1/3 bell pepper
1/3 carrot
1/4 medium onion
Olive oil
Seasoning of your choice

Chop the cucumber into small pieces, mince the garlic, and combine both with the yogurt to make the yogurt sauce.  Let that marinate for awhile, somewhere between an hour and overnight.  And yes, it makes a difference — the longer it marinates, the better is tastes.  Slice the pepper, carrot, and onion in thin strips and place them on the grill. Spray lightly with olive oil and the seasoning. Grill for 5 – 10 minutes,  to your taste. During the last minute or so of grilling, warm up your pita. Spread the sauce on the pita, then pile on the grilled veggies, and top with crumbled feta.

The Truth (About Breakfast) Shall Set You Free

June 15, 2007

I was sitting in the dining room of the hotel I’m staying at in New York eating breakfast this morning, minding my own business, when a couple came in and sat at the table next to mine.

Now, I’m not one to eavesdrop, but their conversation was loud enough that I couldn’t help but overhear it.

Husband: “Honey, you ought to try the shittake omelets, they’re excellent”. (BTW, I have trouble writing ‘shittake’ without giggling)

Wife: “You know I can’t eat breakfast, I’m trying to lose weight.”

Sure enough, I glanced over at their table out of the corner of my eye, and saw the wife sitting there with a cup of tea and nothing else.

If I was the kind of guy who jumped into other people’s business, I would have  pointed out to her that the shittake omelet (hee hee) is actually a GREAT breakfast to help her lose weight: eggs are incredibly healthy, as are mushrooms.

I would have went on to point out to her that research has shown that eating a healthy breakfast is ESSENTIAL to weight loss. It helps prime your metabolism to burn fat all day,it gives you energy to meet demands at work and at home, and has even been proven to help limit overeating at night!

I would have reminded her that breakfast is the best meal to get a wide variety of nutrients at, because you can eat dairy, fruits, cereals, eggs and meat all at once.

Heck, if she was receptive to what I was telling her, I may even have shared this awesome breakfast pita recipe I swiped from webmd.com with her:

Pita-Licious Breakfast

Ingredients

2 small whole wheat pitas
2 whole eggs (or 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites)
2 Tbsp. low-fat buttermilk
1 medium baking potato, scrubbed and diced into small ½-inch cubes
1 green or red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray, cook onion and peppers on medium heat until softened. In small bowl, lightly beat eggs; add buttermilk. Add to pan and cook together with vegetables until done. Serve with toasted pita. About 330 calories, 15 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat (no trans fat).

But, I’m not the kind of person to stick my nose into other’s people business.  So I made a note to come home tonight and write this post to share the importance of breakfast with you who may be interested.

Mom was right; breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day.

So, What Do You Want?

June 9, 2007

Good morning, all —

Well, my wife is here in New York for a visit this weekend, so I don’t have a whole of time to post.  We’re pretty busy enjoying the big Apple.

So…I’m going to ask you guys for posts instead. 🙂

Specifically, what I’d like is to hear  is exactly what kind of information you would like me to post in order to help you lose weight and get fit.  More exercise related information, nutrition info, diet recipes, supplements, motivation…what ever you need to help you, please let me know.

What I will do then is to use the information you provide to plan out future posts and info.

So please either leave a comment to this post, or feel free to email me at loseweightwithbrian @ gmail dot com.  There’s a link over on the right hand side to email me.

Please, the more specific  you are about what kind of information you need, the better I will be able to use it to provide good information to you.

Thanks a bunch, guys…I appreciate it.

For Pizza Lovers

June 7, 2007

Man, I LOVE pizza.

Honestly, I could eat it a couple of times a week.  I don’t of course, instead choosing to eat it every week or two.  And when I do eat pizza, I prefer to make my own.  That way, I can control the type and amount of ingredients.

If you’re a pizza lover like me, I’ve got another recipe for you to try.  This is for a whole wheat pizza crust.  Pretty simple to make, just add toppings and you have a delicious, home-made, not-quite-as-bad-for-you, pizza!

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
Other spices (basil, oregano); minced garlic and garlic salt are optional

Combine dry ingredients. Mix well, then add milk, oil, and (optional) spices. Mix well again. Press onto a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick olive oil. The crust should be about approximately 14 inches in diameter. Snip edges by “hash marking” half an inch into the rim of the crust all the way around. Cuts should be about a half-inch apart.

Bake at 425 F for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and add toppings. Put back into oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.

Enjoy!

A Delicious, Healthy, Vegetarian Recipe

May 27, 2007

Every now and then, maybe every two weeks or so, I’ll plan a day where I eat no meat. For that day, I’ll get my protein from sources other than meat.

To be honest, I don’t remember what motivated me to begin this habit. What I do know, though, is that I usually feel pretty good physically when I skip the meat.

Now, I’m not saying that you should have meatless days every now and then, nor am I commenting on what some see as an ethical decision to eat meat or not. All I’m saying is this is something I do every so often.

If you’re interested in trying a meatless day, or if you’re just looking for a delicious new recipe to try, let me suggest the one below; it’s tasty, healthy, and relatively low cal.

Vegetable and Black Bean Tostadas

4 large flour tortillas (at least 8 inches in diameter)
Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil in mister
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
4 cups finely shredded leaf lettuce
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 medium ripe avocado

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray both sides of tortillas with cooking spray or oil. Place tortillas in single layer on two large baking sheets. Bake until golden and lightly colored, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until needed.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet. Add garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add beans and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add broth and cilantro. Use potato masher to work beans into thick, chunky purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove skillet from heat, cover, and set aside.

3. Place lettuce and tomatoes in small bowl. Drizzle lime juice and remaining 1 tablespoon oil over salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss gently. Set salad aside.

4. With a sharp knife, cut avocado in half lengthwise. Twist halves apart, remove and discard pit, then use rubber spatula to scoop flesh from skins. Cut peeled avocado into long, thin strips.

5. To serve, place one tortilla on each serving plate. Spread some warm mashed beans over each tortilla. Layer several slices of avocado over each tortilla and then spoon some salad on top.

I don’t remember where we grabbed this recipe from, but I promise that it’s tasty.  And don’t be afraid of the avocado…that’s all healthy fat!

Enjoy.

🙂

 

Healthy, Tasty, Low-Cal Dish

May 19, 2007

Oh, man…my wife and I tried this recipe last night, and it is awesome. And it has less than 200 calories per serving!

Give this a try, everyone…if you like shrimp, you’ll love it.

🙂

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Serves: 4

Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2″ lengths
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

Cooking Instructions
1. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet or wok (large enough to accommodate all the ingredients) over medium-high heat.

2. Add the garlic and ginger and stir quickly for 30 seconds.

3. Increase the heat to high. Add the asparagus, then the mushrooms, then the shrimp, stirring quickly after each addition.

4. Season with pepper.

5. Add the soy sauce and cook until the shrimp are fully cooked and opaque, about 2 minutes.

Serve with Steamed Rice or noodles.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size about 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 190
Protein 27 g
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Soluble Fiber 0 g
Insoluble Fiber 2 g
Sugar 3 g
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g

Recipe courtesy of A.C.E. Fitness newsletter

3 Quick and Healthy Meals When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

May 15, 2007

Ever have one of those days when you come home from work or school and you’re just plain wiped out?

I’m betting that you do; I know I have 2 or 3 days every month like this.  Those are the kind of days that I’ve learned to be watchful for.  Those are the days when it’s too easy to say, “Man, I’m sooo tired; I just want to get home and plop my butt on the couch.  I sure the heck don’t feel like cooking.  I think I’ll order a pizza.”

The key to managing this scenario is the same key that will help you through most every scenario: have a strategy ready.

Knowing that there will be times when life gets so busy that you’re not going to want to cook, I suggest having at least 3 quick, easy and healthy meals ready to go.  Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  1. Grab 4 eggs, throw out 2 of the yolks, and scramble them.  Cut up 2 ounces of cooked turkey breast, and mix it into the eggs.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of fat free cheese on the eggs, pop some asparagus or other veggies in the microwave, and toast 1 piece of whole wheat bread.
  2. Here’s one of my favorite quick meals – Nuke some frozen precooked chicken strips (by the way, you should keep at least one bag of these in your freezer at all times…they are handy!), then nuke some frozen California mix vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots).  Mix the chicken and veggies in a bowl, the top with some Parmesan cheese.
  3. If you don’t have anything in the fridge, get a 6 inch veggie sandwich without mayo from Subway.  Do try to stay away from white bread, and opt for whole wheat.

Like I said earlier, the whole key to successfully dealing with a “I’m-dead-dog-tired-and-don’t-want-to-cook” day is to be prepared for it.

These 3 meals will have you ready…now let’s hear some of your ideas for quick and healthy meals!

One of My Favorite Healthy Breakfasts

March 26, 2007

I wanted to share one of my favorite breakfasts with you.  This is fast, filling and healthy.  I usually eat this at least 3 times a week.

Brian’s Breakfast Burrito

  • 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites
  • 10 inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 oz of sliced turkey, torn into bite size pieces (can use ham as well)
  • 2 tablespoons of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon low fat sour cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of salsa.

Warm the tortilla in the microwave according to the package instructions.  Put the eggs in a microwaveable bowl, then, using a fork, whisk the eggs, 1 tablespoon of cheese and turkey together until well blended.  Pop them in the microwave and nuke them for 3 1/2 minutes on high.  Spread the sour cream on the inside of the tortilla.  Place the cooked eggs in, then sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cheese and the salsa on top.  Roll it up and have at it!