Maybe it’s just me, but seems to take me forever to get back on track when I decide to throw all caution to the wind and eat whatever I desire. We had “dinner on the ground” at church the Sunday before Valentine’s Day and that was the beginning of my downward spiral. The following week I indulged a lot. Then I topped it off yesterday with a number one combo from Sonic. Time for a get real talk with myself.
I have started this week much better, but my goodness, it’s like starting over again! Healthy living is tough! Sometimes I wish I had never been raised on biscuits, gravy, country ham and fried salmon patties! Life would be so much easier now! It seems that what I have established so far is my downfall last week is due to church and mama, lol.
Flatbreads have quickly become one of my favorite meals while trying to eat healthier. A few of my favorites are Buffalo Chicken Flatbread, Shrimp Verde Flatbread (recipe on NJSD), and this Cucumber Caprese Flatbread. I found this recipe while visiting my mom and looking through her Diabetic Living magazines. I love the recipes in her magazines so much that she recently gave me a gift subscription.
These recipes are packed with flavor, and because I can eat the entire flatbread I do not feel deprived! I typically prefer to make homemade dressing. However, for 1/2 tablespoon of dressing I found that Newman’s Own Light Balsamic is very good. If you still prefer to make your own because of salt content I will include an amazing recipe below.
Cucumber Caprese Flatbread
- 1 light original oval flatbread (I used Flatout brand)
- ½ c. coarsely torn fresh arugula and/or baby spinach
- ¼ c. red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- ¼ c. English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 tbsp. thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tbsp. torn fresh basil
- ½ tbsp. bottled light balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
- 2 tbsp. roasted red pepper hummus
- 1 tbsp. crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 425℉. Place the flatbread on a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned and edges are crisp. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the arugula (and/or baby spinach), cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and basil; toss with vinaigrette.
- Spread hummus on cooled flatbread. Spoon tomato mixture over hummus. Sprinkle with feta cheese and black pepper. Cut into wedges and serve.
- Weight Watchers Smart Points = 3 points
Reduced Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- ½ tsp. salt
- Whisk all ingredients together, pour over salad and toss.
- Weight Watchers Smart Points = 4
I went years without eating canned tuna. For the simple fact that I had eaten so much of it when I would diet that I could no longer stand it. Even now, I’m not so sure I could just pop open a can of tuna and eat it straight from the can as I have in the past.
However, when you put a spin on it with avocado, pickled onions, and green olives, I can totally enjoy some tuna. This recipe came from Cooking Light magazine and has quickly become a new favorite of mine.
Avocados are much higher in fat than most other fruits, but they are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C and contain a lot of fiber. They have been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and may be useful for weight loss. That’s a win-win in my book!
Tuna, Avocado, and Pickled Onion Open Faced Sandwich
- ¾ c. red onion, sliced thin
- ⅔ c. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ c. water
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 4 slices wheat bread
- 4 oz. chunk white albacore tuna in water, drained
- 2 tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 8 bottled green olives, sliced
- 2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced
- Bring onion, vinegar, water, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Drain.
- Divide the avocado slices evenly among bread slices; mash with a fork. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Top evenly with tuna, onions, and olives. Sprinkle top with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.
- Each serving = 8 WW Freestyle Points.
For someone that hates to be late to anything It seems I am always last to jump on the bandwagon when trying new ingredients in the kitchen. For the first time ever I have tried Quinoa! I tried it in this layered Mason jar salad and now I am a huge fan!
Quinoa, pronounced (keen-wah), is considered to be a whole grain but it actually is not. It’s a seed and it’s gluten-free, cholesterol-free, high in protein, and provides 9 essential amino acids. It is thought to help stave off a number of diseases, reduces the frequency of migraines and reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks.
I love to keep these layered jar salads in the fridge for quick and easy lunches or those dinners when you have no time to cook. They generally start with the dressing in the bottom of the jar, followed by the hardier ingredients, keeping the lettuce near the top of the jar to keep the salad crisp. This salad will last 3 to 4 days stored in the refrigerator.
Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad
- 4 quart Mason jars, with lids
- 1 c. Quinoa
- 2 c. vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill
- ¼ c. diced red onion
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ hothouse cucumber, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- ½ c kalamata olives, seeds removed and cut in half
- 5 oz. feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- Combine rinsed Quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes or until Quinoa has absorbed all of the broth.
- Turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot. Let Quinoa steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in chopped dill and red onion. Let cool.
- Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and Dijon until mixed well. Divide evenly between the 4 quart jars. Layer the veggies in the jar starting with the tomatoes, the bell pepper and cucumber.
- Divide the Quinoa among the jars, spooning it in. Top with feta and olives. At this point you can press down the ingredients slightly in the jar.
- Top off each salad with a handful of chopped lettuce. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Pour the contents into a bowl when you are ready to eat!
I have the pleasure of bringing you this recipe from Destin, Florida. Greg and I are on a fall getaway. The last few years of my life, as a parent, has been an adjustment. With both of my kids in college, unless they need money, they don’t need us around anymore. Being able to pick up and travel without worrying about a school schedules or children’s activities is nice. Greg went deep sea fishing a few times, I have been able to do a little Christmas shopping, and we have had excellent seafood!
Because I am at the beach this week, I am sharing a fabulous ceviche recipe. Ceviche (“suh-vee-chey”) is a marinated seafood salad. It is typically made with raw fish or shrimp, cut into bite-size pieces and marinated in acidic fruit juices, such as lime, lemon, grapefruit and/or orange juice. The citric acid in the juice alters the structure of the proteins of the fish or shrimp and “cooks” it. This technique does not kill bacteria and parasites as well as heat, so it is important to start with the freshest cleanest fish or shrimp possible.
This particular ceviche recipe uses cooked shrimp. For convenience, you could even use thawed frozen pre-cooked shrimp. I used fresh shrimp and cooked them for just 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water. Serve with corn chips or saltines for an incredible light lunch or appetizer.
(This recipe appeared in The Courier Herald on October 28, 2015.)
- 1½ lbs. shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed & diced
- 4 limes, squeezed
- 4 lemons, squeeze
- ½ orange, squeezed
- ½ grapefruit, squeezed
- Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain thoroughly and set aside.
- Squeeze juice of fruit into a large bowl. Cut shrimp into ½-inch pieces and add to juice. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Combine diced mango, onion, and pepper in a bowl, add chopped cilantro. Stir into shrimp and juice mixture. Add salt to taste. Cover and marinate for 2 more hours.
- Serve with corn chips or saltine crackers.
Best made the day before serving. However, drain off the citrus juice after the specified marinating time.