We are all home cooking a little more often these days. We might be serving all 3 meals for more than 1 person more often. This is good time to experiment with cooking. Try a new recipe. Cook that thing that you always wanted to cook but had no time to cook it. I am using food grade essential oils in my cooking to add some bolder flavors to my dishes. No preservatives , chemicals food additives, or old dry spices are just a few the good things about cooking with essential oils. I use Young Living oils. They are the superior product in the big world of Essential Oils.
Who doesn’t love a good mini quiche or a nice mini pig in the blanket? We all do. But…the nutritional value of these foods is not so great. They are all mini balls of fat and salt flavored with sugar, hard to resist for any human. One appetizing snack can pack 250 calories each, and as Mom says ‘ spoil your dinner.’
Healthy eating strategies I use at the appetizing hour.
I choose one splurge food per party or event. One party I will just have dessert, the next party I let my self have the chips. I try not to eat chips,dessert, and wine at any one given event. This can save me from consuming between 500 and 1000 calories per event.
Stick with salsa for a dip
Salsa is low fat, has vitamin C and fiber and feels like a treat! It can have a lot of salt so watch your salt intake with this dip.
Eat the veggies, olives and hummus:
These foods have plenty of nutritional value and fiber to keep you feeling full. Feeling full can keep you from grabbing more food that your body does not need.
Fill up a small plate of snacks: Choose a small plate and fill it up with your snack allowance and don’t eat any more that what is on the plate.
Don’t sit next to the snack table:
Sitting next to the snack table can lead to endless picking at chips and dip. Sit someplace else. Go talk to a friend or relative instead of eating.
6) Drink 3 glasses of water: This can help you feel full and prevent dehydration from alcohol and salt often served at Holiday parties.
7) Cheese Limits: Oh the cheese! So many to choose from, and there is the Almond covered cheese ball that you only get this time of year! Yum. Try and stick with 2 small slices of cheese per party and put it on a whole grain cracker.
Did you have too many snacks any way, despite my wonderful advice? Dance a little! Dancing is fun and will help burn off those snacks.
Party time does not have to mean, ” binge out on unhealthy food time.”
For my 52nd Birthday, I made this fun and colorful pasta salad. This salad is a beautiful addition to any party table and it is gluten-free and vegan!
The ingredients are: Rice pasta, 2 different kinds for looks, and well, I had one of those half a box of pasta left situations. Frozen peas and spinach, handmade pesto, Trader Joes red pepper dip, olive, and avocado oil, salt a small amount of vegan butter garlic butter, topped with canned Trader Joes artichoke hearts and mini heirloom tomatoes.
Easy tip: Cook 5 cups of veggies at the beginning of the week and add them to everything.
Here is this week’s veggies mix:
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
5 cloves of garlic
1 medium red onion
- Chop all to half-inch pieces
- Sauté in a wok with 3 tbsp grapeseed oil and a little salt for about 7-10min.
What to do with them:
* Eat as a side dish.
- Add them to your tomatoes sauce when eating pasta
- Add them instant soup.
- Throw them on top of pasta
- Add them to your grill cheese
- Wrap them in your burrito skins and/or taco shells and dress with salsa. You can add hot sauce to them before enjoying them Mexican style.
- Put them on top of rice cakes with hummus
- Put them on top of a baked potatoes or squash
And last but not least for the college set:
Add them to your Ramen noodles (gasp!) or your Annie’s mac n cheese. When boiling the noodles for the instant mac n cheese just add you veggies in after the noodles are almost cooked boil for 30 sec drain and prepare you mac n cheese as directed.
You can do this with just about any veggie, but keep in mind carrots and root veggies may take a little longer to cook than 10 min in the wok.
You can also do this with roasted veggies. Just keep the seasoning neutral (don’t add anything but salt) so you can season them according to your dish of the day.
For instance: Having pierogies? Add a little dill to the veggies and put them on top of the pierogies.
Use nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and voila — instant complete meal!