Beauty in Simplicity

peppers

In the era of the “foodie” we get caught up in eating the next blog worthy dish, however some of the most simple dishes provide the most nutrition. Take the picture above as an example: mini red and orange bell peppers. One ingredient, no additives, nothing artificial, just peppers. Although the description may sound boring this food is jam packed with excitement. One cup of red and orange bell peppers contains over 115mg of vitamin c; double the amount found in a small orange. When looking for a light, sweet, and crunchy snack or salad topper, add some sliced bell peppers!

Regardless of what you’re choosing to eat remember the ingredient list. Can you read it? Can you pronounce each word? Was the ingredient made in a lab? Today’s fast paced, world is all about eating quickly and on-the-go which makes it challenging to consume 100% fresh, no preservative ingredients. Although it is safe to consume small amounts of preservatives and additives it is important to ask yourself just how much of your diet is truly real food. When you stop and think back on your usual day-to-day, week-to-week diet and realize that more than 50% of what you eat comes in the form of processed foods your health might be in jeopardy. When at least 75% of the diet consists of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts/seeds, and whole grains, your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and cancer goes down significantly.

So the next time you are thinking of going out to eat or grabbing the complete dinner meal that looks and smells so good, stop and ask yourself if this is something you can prepare on your own. If the answer is yes then stop yourself from making that impulse decision and go home instead. When you get there have some fun and make a ton! Whatever you don’t eat place in a tightly sealed container, consume within 3 days or freeze for another week you find yourself with little time to prepare a meal. Cooking at home is a great way to control portion sizes, money spent, and most importantly the ingredient list.

Kiwi & Tomato Salsa

kiwi tomato salsa

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Directions

          Mix all ingredients together, seal tightly and set in refrigerator for 1 hour to let flavors marinate. Serve on top of grilled salmon or place it in your next taco dish!

Healthy Chicken Parmesan

grilled chicken parm

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 8, 4-oz thin, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • basil
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Season chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic powder and onion powder. Place on grill and cook over medium heat on both sides until internal temperature reaches over 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. While chicken is on the grill start making your sauce. In a medium sauce pan add the remaining olive oil and garlic slices; cook over low heat until slightly brown. Then add onion, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Cook on medium-high stirring frequently. When sauce starts to blend into desired consistency reduce heat to low and add basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  4. In a baking dish add chicken, top with sauce and cheese, then bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  5. Pair with a garden salad or steamed broccoli for an even healthier twist!