Posted on Leave a comment

Easy Horseradish Sauce

As the weather is starting to get colder and drearier here in West Michigan, I find myself wanting to make more and more warm, comfort foods. My fiancé also recently purchased a smoker and has been making some really delicious smoked meat; it sure is yummy and incredibly low maintenance. He makes the proteins and I make the sides. It’s a nice little duo we have going on over here 🙂

My fiancé recently bought a ginormous piece of beef loin from Costco and it has been taking up the majority of our freezer space for a couple weeks. We decided this week was the week to smoke this baby, mainly so we can regain some of our freezer space back. And when I say this thing was ginormous, I am not kidding. Let me give you a visual…

With it only being the two of us (and our zoo including a great dane, border collie pitbull mix, and dumpster kitty), we were both aware we were not going to be able to finish this alone. Therefore, we invited a couple friends over to help make a dent in this meat. Side note, the meat turned out amazing! Check out those smoke rings!

Despite having friends help us consume this, we still had quite a bit of meat leftover. Meaning, I had to start getting creative to discover new ways to use up the rest of this meat. Lucky enough, trying to use up leftovers without wasting food is probably one of my favorite pastimes.

One of our friends recommended an open-faced sandwich that sounded amazing…sourdough bread, dijon mustard, pickles, swiss cheese, leftover smoked beef loin topped with a horseradish sauce. SOLD. A couple days later, I took a stab at it, but not without my own personal twist (I can’t resist). I love when I rhyme unintentionally. Here is a look at how the sandwich turned out.

This sauce though. On point. It really took the sandwich to the next level flavor-wise. I highly recommend trying it. It is super easy and can be served with just the meat alone if you prefer. The non-fat Greek yogurt substitute for sour cream quickly eliminates extra calories from fat that truly, between the meat and the swiss cheese, the sandwich just did not need in my opinion. But if you do find yourself needing a little more fat for flavor or thickness, feel free to add a dollop of low-fat sour cream. Enjoy!

Easy Horseradish Sauce

Total prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6 (1 Tbsp)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 Horseradish, prepared white
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash of Tabasco sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Stir together the mustard, vinegar, yogurt, horseradish, salt, pepper, worcestershire, and tabasco sauce together in a medium bowl until evenly dispersed.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight container and I recommend refrigerating for at least 3 hours or overnight if possible.

Recipe adapted from The Washington Post.

-EAW

Posted on Leave a comment

The Heart of the Matter

Happy Friday eve friends! Heart Month is always a great month to reflect on your lifestyle choices and heart health. This February, I had a great time discussing simple swaps for a healthier heart with both Fox 17 (see the video link below) and the Walker Chamber of Commerce.

http://fox17online.com/2017/02/13/simple-swaps-heart-healthier-meals/

fullsizerender_5

One of my main focuses with heart health is knowing your numbers (blood sugar, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight). Many people overestimate how healthy they are. In particular, a recent survey from Consumer Reports revealed that 90% of Americans think their diets are healthy, while in reality, 68% of Americans are overweight or obese. The resolution to this problem? Know your numbers! The numbers never lie.

With 1 of every 3 deaths caused by cardiovascular disease, it is essential that you take these simple swaps seriously because it affects so many Americans. If that statistic doesn’t scare you, think about this. When discussing heart health with the Chamber of Commerce, I asked the audience to raise their hands if they have known anyone with a cardiovascular condition, such as stroke, coronary heart disease, heart arrhythmias, heart attack, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Not surprisingly but sadly, almost everyone in the audience raised their hands. Heart health affects EVERYONE, not just those with a genetic history.

The great news?

Diet and lifestyle choices play a major role in heart health, making heart health within your control! By watching the amount of added sugar, salt, omega 3 fatty acid intake, and dietary fiber in your diet, you can avoid those scary statistics listed above. Here’s how…

Simple Swaps to a Healthier Heart:

Choose whole grains over refined grains.

fullsizerender

  • Whole grains are a great source of dietary fiber.
  • Getting adequate amounts of dietary fiber can help improve blood cholesterol, and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Whole grains are also excellent sources of B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium.
  • Shoot for making half of your grains whole grains or dietary fiber goal of at least 25 grams daily.
  • Types of whole grains: whole wheat or whole grain bread, oatmeal, brown rice, popcorn, barley, farro, and bulgur.
  • Not a big whole grain person? Consider adding or sneaking in other types of whole grains, such as chia seeds or ground flax seed to cereal (hot or cold), yogurt, smoothies, etc.

Choose fatty fish over other types of fish.

fullsizerender_1

  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna are examples of fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease risk of abnormal heartbeats, decrease triglyceride levels, reduce growth of heart plaque build-up, and lower blood pressure.
  • The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week.
  • Not a big fish person? You can get other healthy fats (i.e. mono and poly-unsaturated fatty acids) into your diet from other foods, such as:
    • Avocadoes
    • Canola or olive oil
    • Soybeans
    • Walnuts
    • Flaxseed
    • Chia seeds
    • Omega-3 fortified foods, such as eggs, milk, or yogurt.

fullsizerender_7

Opt for low or zero calorie drinks over sugary beverages to help reduce added sugar intake.

fullsizerender_2

  • Too much added sugar intake from sugary beverages, desserts (ice cream, sweetened yogurt, sweetened milk), candy, cookies, and refined grains can increase your risk of obesity and diabetes.
  • The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons (24 grams) for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) to men.
  • Instead, hydrate yourself with low calorie beverages, such as water, unsweetened tea, or water infused with lemon, lime, cucumber, basil, or fresh mint.

Choose canned vegetables labeled “no salt added” or frozen vegetables without added sauces.

fullsizerender_3

  1. Excess salt intake, especially from pre-packaged and processed foods, can put you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, kidney disease, headaches, and kidney stones.
  2. The American Heart Association recommends a daily salt intake of less than 2000mg with a ultimate goal of less than 1500mg per day.
  3. Be sure to drain and rinse your canned beans or vegetables. This can cut the sodium back by 40%!

Participate in meatless Monday!

fullsizerender_4

  • Enjoy a meatless day once a week to help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Substitute a Portobello mushroom for a beef patty when making a burger or replace ground beef with extra or different beans in chili to help reduce your saturated fat intake.

-EAW

For more information on heart health, be sure to check out www.heart.org.

Posted on Leave a comment

Top 5 Healthy Superbowl Sunday Swaps

With Superbowl Sunday approaching quickly, I know many of us are starting to think about the food. Dips on dips on dips plus WINGS. But then you may also be thinking about calories or diet debunking. Yeah, my Whole 30-er’s I’m talking to you 🙂

Some sources say Americans consume up to 2,400 calories on Superbowl Sunday, while others report numbers up to 6,000 calories by the end of Superbowl Sunday. Either way, these numbers are astronomical! And the key to remember is it doesn’t have to be like this. You can have an enjoyable Superbowl Sunday by just making a few easy and healthy swaps. Trust me, these swaps are undetectable! What people don’t know won’t hurt them. Hey, it may even help them in this case.

Old Bay Hot Wings
http://www.foodandwine.com

The video link below is the Fox 17 healthy appetizer swap segment that I did right before Christmas this past December, but many of these swaps still apply so be sure to check it out! Otherwise, skip down to these healthy and simple swaps 🙂

 

fox17-healthy-appetizer-simple-swaps

http://fox17online.com/2016/12/12/west-michigan-moves-simple-swaps-for-holiday-appetizers/

Dip into a healthy new year

  • Healthy spinach and artichoke dip:
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Use a combination of low fat and fat-free cream cheese, as well as non-fat, plain, Greek yogurt for ~60% lower calories and ~80% less fat.
      • Double the artichoke amount for higher veggie and fiber content. Use frozen spinach for a time/convenience factor.
      • For your chicken wing dip, use the Hidden Valley Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip mix with non-fat Greek yogurt for less calories and fat.

Avoid getting nutty this Sunday…

  • Serve air-popped popcorn instead of nuts.
    • Simple swap(s):
      • This Superbowl Sunday, try serving air-popped popcorn instead of nuts. One half cup of nuts is almost 9x more calories than a half cup of popcorn.
      • Popcorn is a great whole grain snack and great source of dietary fiber.
      • Try fun, new variations of popcorn flavors, such as ginger and wasabi, chili-garlic, parmesan and truffle oil with parsley, and paprika and chili powder.

Indulge the right way—

  • Don’t let baked goods debunk your diet!
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Use unsweetened applesauce to replace half or more of your margarine, shortening, or oil in your baked goods for ~50% less calories and fat.

Don’t drink your diet away

superbowl-beer-pic-2

  • Calories can add up from beverages, not just food alone. Keep an eye on your added calories from alcohol and high-calorie drinks.
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Ok people, I know you are going to drink and who are we kidding, there isn’t a healthy substitute for beer (unless you enjoy light beer aka water), but let’s keep count at the very least. If you won’t limit yourself to one or two drinks for health, at least do it for safety purposes. Drive safely!
      • Make a wine spritzer using 3 oz white wine and 2 oz club soda or carbonated water to keep your head clear during a Superbowl Sunday party and to cut back on ~40% or ~50 calories.

Get creative with your balls (meatballs of course)—

  • When making meatballs, mix half of your ground beef with cooked lentils to lower calories and fat content.
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Reduce the amount of ground beef by half and add cooked lentils in your meatball recipe to provide up to 20% fewer calories and ~40% less fat.
      • If convenience or time is a factor, check to see if there are pre-cooked lentils available in the produce section at the grocery store.

Spiced Beef and Lentil Meatballs:

Prep time: 20 mins, Total time: 50 mins, Servings: 12-14 meatballs

  • Ingredients:
    • ¾ lb (341 g) lean ground beef
    • 1 cup (250 ml) cooked green lentils
    • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ½ cup (125 ml) bread crumbs
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    • ½ tsp (2 ml) ground black pepper
    • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) canola oil
  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
    2. Combine all of the ingredients (except oil) in a large bowl and gently mix until combined.
    3. Form into golf ball sized meatballs, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Arrange on a tray. Should make about 12-14 meatballs.
    4. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Let it warm for 30 seconds. Add half of the meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
    5. Arrange meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until thermometer reads an internal temperature of 160F.

Enjoy!

-EAW