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Posts Tagged ‘healthy food’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Recently, I have started a quest to find a healthier diet. I’ve decided to take the popular phrase ‘you are what you eat’ to heart and give my body a dose of food that is truly good for it. If you haven’t noticed, eating sweets and sugary things will make you feel more lethargic. Who wants that? Why not kickstart your health by making a healthy change?

So far, my quest has led me to the organic produce section of the grocery store. I stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. Now, I want to give you one of my favorite soup recipes, but I’ve changed it a bit to give it more of an all natural quality. Meet chicken soup with lentils and barley. This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sliced leeks or chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped organic red or green sweet pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons light butter
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth (I recommend using organic low sodium free range broth, like the brand Imagine makes.)
  • 1.5 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup dry organic lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (all the herbs can be store bought or picked and dried from your herb garden)
  • 1.5 cups chopped cooked free range organic chicken or turkey
  • 1.5 cups sliced organic carrots
  • .5 cup quick cooking barley
  • 1 14.5 ounce can organic tomatoes, cut up

Step one: In a large saucepan, melt butter. Then cook leeks or onions, pepper, and garlic until tender.

Step two: Add broth, water, lentils, basil, oregano, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Step three: Stir in the chicken pieces, carrots and uncooked barley. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes and heat.

This recipe makes about 8 cups of soup. I know you may be thinking that you can’t afford to buy all those organic ingredients, but you can surely substitute whatever you need to fit your lifestyle. This soup is still very healthy even if it isn’t completely organic. However, it’s nice to try to throw at least some organic ingredients into your soup pot. The environment and your body will thank you later. Here’s to healthy eating!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Now that warmer weather is finally starting to show itself, you may be thinking that you might want to spend more time outside. Perhaps the spring season invites you to go for a jog or a walk, all around good exercise techniques.

With your mind on exercising, you should also be thinking about healthier foods to start eating, if you haven’t been doing so already. Chicken can provide an excellent source of healthy vitamins and minerals for your body, as well as vegetables that you may way to cook with it. For my next recipe, I give you spicy mexican skillet chicken.

This recipe is simple and it fills you up without letting your exercise and healthy eating go by the wayside.

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder (depending on your spicy preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn (if you don’t have corn, don’t sweat it. I used bell peppers in mine.)
  • 1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa
  • chopped fresh cilantro, if desired (HIGHLY recommended)
  • red chile slices, if desired (once again, depending on your spicy preference)

Step 1: Remove fat from chicken. Mix chili powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of chicken breast halves.

Step 2: Heat oil in 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Step 3: Stir in beans, corn and salsa. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until veggies are hot. Sprinkle with cilantro and chile slices.

It’s worth it to go the extra step and add the cilantro to the top. This herb really makes the dish. Also, consider using a fruit based salsa for this dish. I used chunky mango peach salsa and the flavors really added a little something extra to the overall taste. This makes 4 servings.

Nutrition info (per serving): 290 calories, 8g fat, 70mg cholesterol, 550mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 32g protein.

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