simple & healthy: pesto fish packets

 

I was really glad that one of the outcomes of my little poll was that you are interested in more of the healthy & simple meal ideas.

For many reasons, but partly because it seems that everyone can use more simple meals ideas, and partly because it is challenging for me. I tend to either go overboard and spend hours in the kitchen preparing gourmet meals, or, pop in a frozen dinner from Trader Joe’s. Simple, healthy and quick meals are the inspiration I want to share!

So onto the food.

The packets allow you to cook vegetables and protein in one step and only take a few minutes to put together. I microwaved the sweet potatoes for the sake of time, but you could certainly bake or boil if you prefer.

Pesto Fish Packets with Garlic Butter Sweet Potato Mash

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Keywords: bake entree gluten-free high protein

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

For the Fish

  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 filets of firm white fish
  • 2 Tbsp prepared pesto
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper

For the Sweet Potato Mash

  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

For the Fish

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Tear off two sheets of aluminum foil or parchment paper, so you have 12 inches squares.

Stir together lemon juice and pesto.

Layer zucchini on foil, top with fish and drizzle with pesto.

Season with salt and pepper.

Seal packets and place on baking sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until fish is cooked through.

Carefully open pouch and serve.

For the Sweet Potato Mash

Pierce potatoes with fork.

Microwave until soft, about 7 minutes.

Heat butter in small pan and add garlic to pan.

Season with salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Mash sweet potatoes and stir in butter mixture.

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salmon & avocado omelet

I’ve been majorly spoiled this summer.

In addition to my latest shipment of salmon from Copper River, the California Avocado Commission also sent me a case of avocados. Apparently they got the message that I was really into salmon and avocados as evidenced by Salmon Sandwich with Pesto Avocado Spread and Salmon Tartare. (I didn’t even realize that I was repeatedly posting recipes combining both salmon and avocados!)

So obviously you know what’s coming…

Salmon & Avocado Omelets!

It’d be silly to not combine 3 of my favorite foods in one – very healthy – breakfast, lunch or dinner!

I made an omelet, but you could also scramble them all together if you prefer.

The result is an incredibly filling meal, full of protein and good fats. Serve with toast and greens.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 387 calories, 30 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 22 grams of protein. 

Salmon & Avocado Omelet

by Emily Dingmann

Keywords: saute breakfast entree gluten-free high protein eggs salmon

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 oz flaked, cooked salmon
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

Instructions

Crack eggs into a bowl, whisk and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

Add butter and when melted, swirl to coat the entire pan.

Add egg mixture to pan. Swirl pan and use spatula to loosen around the edges.

Sprinkle salmon and avocados on 1/2 of the omelet.

When almost completely set, fold over in half, tilting pan to help.

Let sit for another 30-60 seconds or so to cook through.

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add this: nuts

(source)

I have to admit something.

I don’t always love nuts.

But then I remember that they are kind of a perfect snack, and can be pretty darn delicious from time to time. Everyone likes peanut butter, right?  I just recently came around to raw almond butter, and now I slather it on toast, celery and apples on a regular basis. I would never turn down pine nuts in pesto either. :)

If you are aren’t yet a fan, try adding some nuts in at snack time or nut butters for breakfast or lunch. Here’s the what, why and how…

What:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • (peanuts are technically a legume but are usually fall into the nut category)

Why:

  • contain fat, protein and fiber
  • full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • can help reduce the risk of diabetes
  • nutrient dense: full of vitamin E, folic acid, niacin, copper, magnesium

How:

  • Raw Nuts are best and then roast at home so they don’t go rancid
  • Add some flavor to roasted nuts (like curried or herbed nuts)
  • As a snack, on salads, or part of trail mix
  • Nut Butter – look for natural varieties – the only ingredients should be nuts and/or salt.
  • Watch portions! Nuts, although good for you, are very calorie-dense. A serving is one ounce.
  • Recipes to Try: Almond-Honey Power Bar, Nut Recipes on Foodily, Nut Recipes on Gojee

Do you have a favorite nut or way to eat them?

daily eats: 6.13.12

On my last daily eats post, I asked if you would rather see a juice fast/cleanse or a day from Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut plan. Making the Cut was the clear winner and is a “30-day diet and fitness plan for the strongest, sexiest you!” It is a book I’ve had for quite some time and I’ve tried a recipe or two, but that was really the extent of it. I thought it would be fun to revisit the book!

The premise is that you take a quiz (At dinner you prefer to eat: a. chicken, b. no preference – choice varies daily, c. heavier, fatty foods – pastas, steak, potatoes) and then you use the answers to determine your “metabolic type.” I am a balanced oxidizer, and so the suggested macro nutrient ratio is 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. I would definitely agree that my body does best on a similar way of eating. I’m not, however, really a fan of the “fake” foods she recommends such as low carb yogurt, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and fat-free dairy products.

It is a pretty strict plan and is for those who are moderately fit and don’t need to lose more than 20 pounds. A few of the rules: no alcohol, stick to your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) caloric amount (mine was at 1400), no skipping meals, no processed foods, write everything down in a food journal, etc.

There are of course, also workouts included – lots of strength training and interval cardio work.

Daily Eats: 6.13.12 – Making the Cut by Jillian Michaels

Coffee: coffee + a mix of 1/2 & 1/2 + coconut creamer

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs + 1 serving kashi go lean + almond milk

This was a great breakfast and something I need to have more often – it was filling, full of protein and quick! 

Workout: 45 minutes spin

Lunch: artichoke, fennel & tomato salad + a chicken breast (x2 on the salad – I was still hungry)

This lunch was great and the salad was delicious, I’ll definitely be making it again. It would be perfect to take to work. 

Snack: 1 slice sprouted bread + 1 Tbsp peanut butter

This is a filling and satisfying snack! Must add to the rotation. 

Dinner: brisket + garlic green beans + (more) artichoke salad

 

Brisket was not technically one of the dinners listed for my oxidizer type, but beef is permitted so I figured it was ok. 

And…a few pieces of chocolate for dessert. Definitely not Jillian approved but definitely necessary. :)

Thoughts on the Day: The meals were filling, but it did kind of feel like something was missing. My macro nutrient ratio was a little off – 49% fat, 28% carbohydrate and 23% protein. I certainly wouldn’t be able to last 30 days on a plan this strict, especially because I went way over the calorie limit that she suggested but I think it is definitely the way to look your best quick – lots of lean protein, smart carbs and nothing processed.