Friday, June 29, 2012

Margarita Jello Shots

12 to 18 limes and/or lemons
1 large box lime jello ( or 2 small boxes)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups tequila
1/2 cup triple sec or Contreau

Cut limes and lemons in half lengthwise.

Using a spoon or a grape fruit knife, remove pulp from fruit.  (Squeeze juices from pulp and reserve for another use.)   Arrange hollowed out fruit halves on baking sheet or tray.

Bring water to a boil.  Add boiling water to jello in a large measuring cup; stir until jello mix is completely dissolve.  Add tequila and triple sec.

Pour into prepared lemon and and lime halves.

 Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  Slice into wedges and serve.

If you don't want to take the time to hollow out all of the lemons and limes, these taste just as good in traditional jello shot cups :).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Product Spotlight - Smart & Delicious Tortillas by La Tortilla Factory

Explore your supermarket for interesting, new (to you), healthy products.
I found these Smart & Delicious Tortillas by La Tortilla Factory.  They're low carb and high fiber.
Each tortilla has only 50 calories (15 from fat) and has a whopping 7 grams of fiber....oh, and they're delicious!

Product Spotlight - Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings

One of the go-to meals when trying to lose weight is always some type of salad.  Personally I love making salads into a meal by adding hearty ingredients like fruits, nuts, beans and an array of fresh veggies.  You do need to watch out for hidden calories, or that healthy salad that you thought you were having can turn into a calorie laden whopper of a meal.  Dressings are the biggest source of fat and calories, with the creamy varieties packing well over 100 calories per 2 tablespoon serving with most of those calories coming from fat.  You can save calories with reduced fat versions, but they typically make up for the fat with sugars.  Even vinaigrette dressing have about 70 calories per serving.

Plain vinegar or citrus juices are nice lo-cal options, but to satisfy that creamy craving check out Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings.  There are 7 varieties in all.  I've tried the 3 shown above and will never go back to traditional creamy dressings.  Flavor and texture are all quite delicious.  They're great for salads, to serve as dip or to use in recipes.  They have 35 to 45 calories per 2 tablespoon serving with about half of the calories coming from fat.  They definitely turn deprivation into guilt-free indulgence!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sauteed Kale with Butter Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch kale, rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 cups vegetable broth
1 15 ounce can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add kale and salt and cook for about 5 minutes or until kale is wilted.  Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil; cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until kale is wilted.

Stir in butter beans and crushed red  pepper and cook until heated through.

Makes a nice side dish or serve with farro, wheat berries or pasta for a delicious meatless main.

Kale 101

Kale 101

Tired of the same old boring veggies?  Looking for healthy and delicious alternatives?  Why not add kale to your vegetable repertoire...

Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.  This leafy green vegetable belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.

The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around.  One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available.
Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems. The leaves should look fresh, not wilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes. Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a more mild flavor than those with larger leaves.

Store kale in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible, in the refrigerator where it will keep for about 5 days. The longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes. Don't wash until ready to use.

When ready to cook, rinse leaves under cool running water. Chop leaf portion into 1/2" slices and the stems into 1/4" lengths for quick and even cooking.

This leafy vegetable, holds up really well to all cooking methods.  Unlike more fragile greens, like spinach and arugula, it retains bite and texture making it particularly versatile in the kitchen.

Sauteed Kale with Butter Beans