February 26, 2011

Snow Equals Exercise

I think Mother Nature made a plan long ago.
Long before there were winter sports to give us outdoor exercise during this time of the year.
She invented snow to get us out and moving around when it was cold.
After all, you can't just leave it there.
It has to be moved.
Every heavy shovel full of it.
Every heavy foot of it.
Every time she blesses us with it.
Free exercise in the cold air.

February 21, 2011

Kashi Cereal

I don't eat cereal as a rule - the milk doesn't agree with my stomach, even the lactose free ones have an issue.
My family does like it though, and lately, with healthy choices being made, the Kashi brand cereal has been finding its way into the breakfast menu.
This week at the market, they are having it on sale, and they are also supplying a coupon for $1.00 off the box that is priced at $3.49.
That is a really good savings for it, and it gives them a chance to try some different flavors to see what they like best.
I have eaten it as a snack - dry, like a granola.
I think it is really good, and one of the blends give you 46% of your daily fiber in one bowl.
You can't beat that!

February 17, 2011

Love That Granola

For years I have made my own granola.
I find it to be a cheaper alternative to the pre-made commercial ones, and I know what I have in it.
Growing up, my kids have always loved it, and these last couple of weeks I have been making more of it.
Since my son is becoming "health conscious" he is eating more of these types of foods.
My recipe is quite versatile and when it comes to adding the dried fruits after cooking it - just about any kind are good.

This time, instead of putting in the cinnamon that the recipe calls for, I added a teaspoon of real vanilla extract mixed in with the wet ingredients.
What a good flavor it gave this batch of granola.
Sometimes I like to add in a handful of mini chocolate chips, but this time I will use a handful of the dark chocolate M&M's.
Those bright colors make it look really good, and more importantly, my son can see them and avoid adding them to his serving.

He would rather not have the chocolate - but I think it is most necessary.

And since it can't be milk chocolate - the dark will have to do.

February 12, 2011

Disappearing Bread

I noticed it a couple of weeks ago.

I buy whole grain white bread for my husband.

I buy multi-grain whole wheat bread for myself.

For years my husband's bread was always finished first.

Everyone in the house except me ate the "white" bread.

At the end of the week, I usually shared the rest of mine with the birds - they seemed to enjoy it.

Well, lately, my bread seems to be the popular one in the household - it's gone before the week is up.

And the culprit is my son - who finally "gets" why I have been eating it all these years.

He is majoring in Exercise Science in college.

His studies include nutrition, and he is taking it quite seriously which I am delighted to see.

All these years of shunning my wheat bread, and he now tells me that I buy one of the best kind there is for us.

Like I didn't already know that.

Someday he will listen to the other things I try to tell him, but small steps for now are good.

I bet those birds aren't too happy though, they are now stuck with that leftover "white" bread.

February 10, 2011

New Spin on Chicken

We tried a new dish last night that was so easy to make.

We found some chicken breasts on sale this week, so I bought enough for two separate meals.

One dish needed the chicken to be already cooked, so I figured I would cook what I needed with the dish I was making for tonight.

Sounds good in theory, but it didn't work out that way.

The new dish I tried was liked way too much to let the rest of it go into another recipe.

We made Black Pepper Chicken.

After cutting the breasts into thin strips, I let them marinate in soy sauce for about 1/2 an hour.

They were then added to the wok that already contained onions, garlic, and a tad of oil.

The secret to this dish is the freshly ground black pepper - a lot of it.

I just kept adding it in as the chicken cooked - grinding the peppermill right over the pan.

After the chicken finished cooking, we added soy sauce and about a teaspoon of sugar.

I was surprised at how good this chicken was - tender, moist, and oh so tasty!

A new, healthy addition to our "boring" meals.

February 7, 2011

Changing the Fats

In a never ending battle to eradicate those horrible trans fats from our foods, I have been doing some substitutions in my baking.

Most of my recipes are old - some from family members and some are from old cookbooks.

Many of them call for shortening as the choice for the fat.

Now, that is one of the worst hydrogenated fats on the market - it's not "partially hydrogenated" but "fully hydrogenated".

I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies this past week, and this time I substituted 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening for the full cup of shortening that the recipe called for.

The cookies were quite a bit softer than they usually are, and they were flatter also.

Next time I will use the whole cup of butter and no shortening.

It will be interesting to see how they turn out.

Hopefully not too flat, and I also hope they don't fall apart because they are too soft.

February 6, 2011

Walking Outside

Today was the first day in over a month and a half that it got above the freezing mark on the thermometer.

We celebrated with a walk down the road - something we haven't done in a couple of months due to the severe weather we have been having.

The walking we did do during this time was in shopping centers and parking lots, and sometimes downtown along the main streets.

The snow banks on our road are almost above our heads - there isn't a whole lot of viewing the woods as we walk along.

That can be a bit unsettling as we do have a wide variety of wild life around, and I would rather see them long before they are right in front of me.

All of this snow has got to be really hard on them - all their food is buried under several feet of snow and ice.

The walk in the fresh air felt really good, and hopefully the coming days will permit us to do it again.