Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meals for Week of February 21, 2011

I apologize for  not posting the last few weeks.  But I'm back with some good recipes and some interesting articles.  I also wanted to let you know that I've been working on a seperate blog, e-mealplanning Recipes, where I'll be posting my own recipes or existing recipes I've made and adapted.

First, did you happen to catch the recent episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show about going vegan?  It was really interesting and I liked that it was balanced with Kathy Freston who is considered an expert on vegan food but also included Michael Pollan, talking about being more aware of where your food comes from and Lisa Ling's tour of the Cargill beef operation which showed how beef is slaughtered.  After it aired I had made a mental note to call my good friend Allison with Get Natured, who I look to as a personal healthy eating and vegan resource, as well as being the Food Coach for my favorite Mama Bootcamp.  But low and behold, she wrote about it on her blog!  So I share that with you in hopes that it gets you thinking about being more informed about where your food comes from. 
Get Natured thoughts on Oprah's Vegan Challenge

In keeping with the healthy eating topic, I wanted to share something with you that I recently learned about myself.  And I credit that to forgetting my shopping bags at home one day and having to use paper bags at Whole Foods.  Their bags currently have some interesting information about the ANDI scores printed on them.  What is an ANDI score?  It's the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index and gives a score of 1 to 1000 for the nutrient content of food.  The more dense the food is with nutrients, the higher the score.  I was pleased that there are some foods that I personally like and try to eat frequently in the top 10.  And it's no surprise that those high scoring foods are leafy greens.
I'm not very good at taking vitamins and supplements.  I'm trying to remember to take my prenatals, but that's often hit and miss.  I'd much rather just get what I need from the food I eat.  And even then, I'm not always doing the best job.  But, I'm trying.  I've really grown to love kale and I'm cooking with it more.  I've always loved Brussel sprouts and I'm so happy to see they are high on the list.  So take a look at the list and see if you are consuming these foods and if not, trying working them into your meals more.
Top Ten ANDI Scores

Meals for the Week of February 21, 2011

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili- I know I’ve shared chili recipes here before, but I think this one will appeal to those who really want to keep it simple.  Dried beans are inexpensive, this recipe doesn’t require any pre-soaking or boiling of them and there’s no need to brown the meat first either.

Chicken Tacos- I have three different options for cooking chicken to use in tacos.  Each one is pretty easy, but provide you some options based on your time or how much effort you want to make.

Broccoli Beef- Very quick and authentic broccoli beef recipe.  There are a few “special” Asian ingredients, but I consider them staples in any pantry if you plan to cook any Asian food.

Coconut Chicken Stir Fry- A great change of flavors from the more common soy sauce or teriyaki.  It’s Thai inspired with coconut milk and lime juice.  And if you prefer, skip the fish sauce that is called for in the recipe, it does contribute to the depth of the flavor, but if you don’t have it and don’t like the sound of it, then don’t bother to add it.

Skillet Lasagna- I’m actually not sure why this is called skillet lasagna, although I’ve seen many versions of this recipe over the years.  This one is really quick and easy and you can make changes like adding other veggies or different ground meat if you want.

Chicken Marsala- I would classify this dish as “fancy” and great to serve company, but it’s also very easy and cooks quickly.  I really love the taste of the marsala wine sauce.

Moroccan Spiced Grilled Chicken- Prepare the marinade the night before or in the morning and you will have tender, juicy chicken with wonderful spices.  You can grill it outdoors or use a stove top grill pan.

Thai Shrimp and Carrot Salad- I would do as the recipe recommends and serve over rice noodles.  Its a very light and simple dish. 

Healthy Bean Soup with Kale- I have previously shared a white bean and kale soup with chicken sausage, this is a vegetarian version with just beans, veggies and kale.  It’s sort of Italian style like a minestrone soup, it would be great with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some garlic bread.

Side Dishes/Dessert
Apple and Kale Saute- I love when I can find a great way to use apples in a savory dish.  And to combine it with kale makes it all the better.

Cinnamon Cookies- These are pretty much like a Snickerdoodle.  The recipe is slightly different than most traditional snickerdoodle cookies recipes and it’s a smaller batch.  The dough should be refrigerated for a couple hours before rolling into balls and coating in cinnamon and sugar.  So I like just having it made in advance because then you can just pop some in the oven when you need. 

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