Food4ThoughtWellness

Nutrition for Body and Soul

Hello to Fall Foods!

With Fall upon us… we hunker down to a different way of cooking!  This Balsamic Glazed Chicken looks yummy!  I love one-pot meals.  Less clean-up! ;))

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 c. baby red potatoes, halved (quartered if large)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs, for skillet

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine balsamic, honey, mustard, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Add chicken thighs and toss until fully coated, then transfer to the fridge to marinate, at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prep potatoes: In a medium bowl, add potatoes and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon oil. Add chicken and marinade and sear, skin side down, 2 minutes, then flip and sear 2 minutes more. Add potatoes to skillet, nestling them between chicken, and top with rosemary sprigs.
  4. Transfer to the oven and bake until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, 20 minutes. (If potatoes need longer to cook, transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest and continue cooking until tender.)
  5. Serve chicken and potatoes with pan drippings.

Enjoy!

Thank you Delish for this yummy recipe!

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What does your Reset Button look like?

I don’t know about you , but I certainly need to hit the reset button on a weekly basis!  What is your way of releasing stress and giving your body the Reset it needs?!  One of my fav’s is to get out into the outdoors…out into nature.  Look at the beauty that surrounds us, and take deep breaths.  Hiking is at the top of my list!  Great exercise too.  It was a beautiful day yesterday, so spur of the moment, we packed a lunch and set out on this hike.  We are very blessed to have these wonderful spots to explore right in our backyard!

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;)

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

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Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice blend)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup basmati or some other long-grain white rice (brown rice or quinoa maybe good choices too)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (substitute as needed)
Step 1

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, cover, and cook until the chicken is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).

Step 2

In a small bowl, toss the cucumber and cilantro with the lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Step 3

Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.

Step 4

Just before serving, stir the cream into the chicken tikka masala. Serve over the rice with the cucumber relish.

Chef’s Notes

* Total Time ranges from 4 hours, 10 minutes to 8 hours, 10 minutes

Thank you Real Simple for this recipe.

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What Does Your Sleep Pattern Look Like?

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It’s amazing these days with all of our technology…such as the FitBit, Apple Watch, etc… how we can tune into our bodies!  What does your sleep pattern look like?!

Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep, REMS) is a unique phase of sleepin mammals and birds, characterized by random/rapid movement of the eyes, accompanied with low muscle tone throughout the body, and the propensity of the sleeper to dream vividly.

The REM phase is also known as paradoxical sleep (PS) and sometimes desynchronized sleep because of physiological similarities to waking states, including rapid, low-voltage desynchronized brain waves. Electrical and chemical activity regulating this phase seems to originate in the brain stem and is characterized most notably by an abundance of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, combined with a nearly complete absence of monoamine neurotransmitters histamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

REM sleep is physiologically different from the other phases of sleep, which are collectively referred to as non-REM sleep (NREM sleep, NREMS, synchronized sleep). REM and non-REM sleep alternate within one sleep cycle, which lasts about 90 minutes in adult humans. As sleep cycles continue, they shift towards a higher proportion of REM sleep. The transition to REM sleep brings marked physical changes, beginning with electrical bursts called PGO waves originating in the brain stem. Organisms in REM sleep suspend central homeostasis, allowing large fluctuations in respiration, thermoregulation, and circulation which do not occur in any other modes of sleeping or waking. The body abruptly loses muscle tone, a state known as REM atonia.

Professor Nathaniel Kleitman and his student Eugene Aserinsky defined rapid eye movement and linked it to dreams in 1953 and further described by researchers including William Dement and Michel Jouvet. Many experiments have involved waking up test subjects whenever they begin to enter the REM phase, thereby producing a state known as REM deprivation. Subjects allowed to sleep normally again usually experience a modest REM rebound. Techniques of neurosurgery, chemical injection, electroencephalography, positron emission tomography, and reports of dreamers upon waking, have all been used to study this phase of sleep.

Read more….

The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

Sleep isn’t merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on “service” and you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between health and productivity. By addressing any sleep problems and making time to get the sleep you need each night, your energy, efficiency, and overall health will go up. In fact, you’ll likely get much more done during the day than if you were skimping on shuteye and trying to work longer.

Read more…

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Mushroom Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash

I love to swap traditional pasta for gluten-free, low carb spaghetti squash (what’s even better…..my husband likes it too!) Roasted until tender and scraped with a fork, the squash comes apart in noodle-like strands that hold sauce well. Roast an extra squash, scrape out the flesh, and store in ziplock plastic bags for a quick side during the week. In this meaty dish you’ll find a blend of mushrooms—dried porcini and fresh cremini and button—mimic the texture of ground beef while adding plenty of savory depth. You could substitute 1/4 cup of the canned tomato liquid for a dry red wine to add even more body to the sauce.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 (3-lb.) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Step 1

Combine 1/2 cup hot water and porcini mushrooms in a bowl; let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms in a colander over a bowl; reserve soaking liquid. Finely chop porcini mushrooms.

Step 2

Place 1 squash half, cut side down, in an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Add water to a depth of 1 inch. Cover and microwave at HIGH 8 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove squash half; cool. Repeat procedure with remaining squash half.

Step 3

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion and next 7 ingredients (through button mushrooms); cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes. Stir in reserved porcini mushrooms, reserved soaking liquid, soy sauce, and next 4 ingredients (through tomatoes); reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Step 4

Scrape inside of squash halves with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands. Divide squash among 4 plates; top evenly with mushroom mixture and cheese.

Enjoy!

Thank you Cooking Light for this recipe!

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Moringa oleifera: The Miracle Tree

Moringa oleifera, native to India, grows in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is commonly known as ‘drumstick tree’ or ‘horseradish tree’. Moringa can withstand both severe drought and mild frost conditions and hence widely cultivated across the world. With its high nutritive values, every part of the tree is suitable for either nutritional or commercial purposes. The leaves are rich in minerals, vitamins and other essential phytochemicals. Extracts from the leaves are used to treat malnutrition, augment breast milk in lactating mothers. It is used as potential antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and antimicrobial agent. M. oleifera seed, a natural coagulant is extensively used in water treatment. The scientific effort of this research provides insights on the use of moringa as a cure for diabetes and cancer and fortification of moringa in commercial products. This review explores the use of moringa across disciplines for its medicinal value and deals with cultivation, nutrition, commercial and prominent pharmacological properties of this “Miracle Tree”.

Read more……

Not all Moringa is created equal!  Contact me for more info, and what I use!

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HAHAHAHA!

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The Big Omega Sandwich

OH YUMMMMM!

This supercharged salmon sandwich gives delicious incentive to ditch its fast-food counterparts. Wild-caught salmon is infused with a wealth of smoky, spicy, and deliciously tangy ingredients before being pan-seared to crisp, golden perfection. We found that broiling the salmon results in the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth, buttery tenderness. In place of standard tartar sauce, we top each patty with a generous dollop of spicy, yogurt-blended aioli. Peppery arugula and nippy red onion add refreshing crunch and welcomed vibrancy, though you can add any toppings you like. Satiating protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats abound in these flavor-forward handheld stars.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound (1-in.-thick) boneless, skin-on wild-caught salmon fillets
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped drained capers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 8 thin red onion slices
  • 1 cup firmly packed arugula

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place salmon, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Step 2

Place panko, egg, shallot, capers, parsley, garlic, dill, lemon juice, smoked paprika, red pepper, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Mix to combine.

Step 3

Remove and discard salmon skin; place salmon in a bowl, and mash with a fork. Add to panko mixture. Using your hands, mix until well combined. Shape mixture into 4 (3/4-inch-thick) patties (5 ounces each). Place patties on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Step 4

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, Sriracha, vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Step 5

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Place salmon patties in skillet; reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until browned.

Step 6

Spread aioli evenly on cut sides of toasted buns. Top each bottom bun with 1 salmon patty. Top patties evenly with onion slices and arugula; cover with top halves of buns.

ENJOY!

 

Thank you Cooking Light for this yummy recipe!

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Yellow Squash Pasta with Caramelized Lemon

This gorgeous side goes well with simply grilled meat or poultry. Yellow squash has a high water content, which means that cooking the squash noodles would release a lot of liquid. We opt instead to air-dry them and keep them raw for more freshness and plenty of crunch. Look for lemons with thinner skins (smoother, shinier skins are often thinner); you’ll get a nice citrus hit with each bite, but charring the slices softens the flavor so it’s not overpowering. Serve right after tossing everything together, as the squash will start to wilt.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow squash (about 3 large squash)
  • 3 medium lemons, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped celery leaves
  • 3/4 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

How to Make It

Step 1

Trim squash ends, and halve squash crosswise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out inner seeds from each squash, removing as little flesh as possible. Cut squash into large noodles using a spiralizer. Place squash noodles between 2 layers of paper towels. Let stand at room temperature until dry, about 3 hours.

Step 2

Transfer noodles to a medium bowl. Grate rind from 1 lemon to equal 1/2 teaspoon. Cut same lemon in half; squeeze juice to equal 1 tablespoon. Set aside rind and juice. Trim tops and bottoms of remaining 2 lemons, and slice into half-moons.

Step 3

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add lemon slices; sprinkle evenly with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle sugar over lemons. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lemons are browned on the edges and caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 4

Add caramelized lemon slices to squash noodles. Add celery leaves, cheese, lemon rind, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss gently to combine. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve immediately.

**Add shrimp to make it a main course!

Enjoy!

Thank you Cooking Light for this yummy light dish!

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