When it comes to eating healthy, I think the main thing Brian and I struggle with … what are we going to cook with our chicken, steak, etc. The sides for meals can cause the most damage to the waistline. You have to be careful on deciding what you will feature with the main course. Here are some side options for you from http://www.whatsgabycooking.com:
Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
2 tbsp butter
1 chipotle pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp adobo sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Place the chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot of water. Place over medium high heat and boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water from the pot, leaving the potatoes in the pot.
Add the butter, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce to the sweet potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add extra adobo sauce or chipotle peppers once seasoned depending on how hot you’d like the sweet potatoes.
Crispy Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 2 lb Brussels Sprouts
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 lemons
- more salt and pepper as needed
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cut off the bottom ends of the Brussels Sprouts and discard. Cut the remaining part in half and place into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Spread this mixture onto a baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Remove the baking sheet every 15 minutes while roasting and give the Brussels Sprouts a good toss to make sure they are evenly roasting and browning. 10 minutes before they are done, squeeze an entire lemon on top of the vegetables and then cut the lemon up and throw it onto the baking sheet and place back into the oven to finish roasted.
- Once the edges are crisp and brown, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve immediately.
Charred Lemon Broccoli
Total time: 40 mins
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets (or 12 oz broccoli florets)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp Asiago cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Spread the florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Using tongs, gently toss the florets in the oil to combine.
- Place into the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and squeeze the lemon juice on top of the broccoli. Place the baking sheet back into the oven for 15 more minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet and season with salt, pepper and grated Asiago cheese and serve.
Asparagus, Basil, and Corn Salad
Recipe Type: Side dish
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
- 4 ears corn, husks removed
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/2 cup mozzarella balls, cut in half
- 10 basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Prepare your grill.
- Rub the ears of corn with butter and place over the flame, rotating every few minutes until the corn is lightly charred. Remove from the grill and let cool. Once cooled, cut off the kernels and place into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Trim the asparagus and then cut it into 1 inch pieces. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and blanch the asparagus for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the asparagus and douse with cold water to stop the cooking. Add the asparagus to the bowl of corn.
- To the bowl of corn and asparagus, add the mozzarella, basil, salt, pepper, balsamic and olive oil. Gently combine with a fork and serve. Can be served at room temperature or chilled.
Disclaimer – I am not a dietician! I cannot recommend what diet is best for you. That is something that you need to work on with your doctor and/or personal trainer. I’m giving you ideas based on what has worked for me. You may notice that I may or may not put the calorie count on the recipe. I don’t count calories, so that is not a factor for me. When eating healthy foods, the calorie count is higher than what you may think. So, some people choose a meal that is lower in calories, but it’s actually less healthy than a meal with all natural ingredients with higher calories. Again, I am posting all recipes that have worked for me and have been approved by my trainer.
Also, don’t automatically turn your nose to a recipe that doesn’t sound good. You may actually enjoy it. AND be open to trying new foods. I have been really good about that. For example, I have never liked sweet potatoes, but I am trying them in new recipes and I am really starting to like them. I’m glad I am introducing them into my diet because there are so many health benefits to eating sweet potatoes. Some include (courtesy of care2.com):
- They are high in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
- They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
- Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
Your daily diet should have healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can incorporate those foods into your main meals or as snacks.
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