Friday, September 30, 2011

Clean Eating Day 5 of 5

Today is about adventure. Today is about new beginnings! Happy Friday to all. What a great day to breathe.

Clean Eating Day Five...

photo and recipe by

Mushroom & Radicchio Thin Crust Pizzetta


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp rosemary sprigs, finely chopped, divided
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp cornmeal (if pkg specifies a grind, opt for fine, not coarse)
  • 1 1-lb pkg store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 1 tsp plus 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 medium radicchio, thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups baby arugula


  1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  2. Coat a large sauté pan with cooking spray and set over medium-high. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender, light golden brown in color and no liquid remains in pan. Transfer garlic-mushroom mixture to a bowl, season with 1/2 tsp rosemary, salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside at room temperature.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  4. Roll out pizza dough into a rectangular shape, as thin as possible, about 12 inches x 16 inches in size. Transfer dough onto baking sheet and brush with 1 tsp oil. Top pizza with remaining rosemary, tomatoes and cheese and season with salt and pepper. Place pan into oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and slice crust in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 6 pieces.
  5. While pizzetta is baking, prepare dressing: In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1 tbsp oil into vinegar. Drain radicchio well and place into a large bowl. Add arugula and dressing to radicchio and toss well, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Top each pizzetta slice with radicchio salad and garlic-mushroom mixture, dividing evenly. Serve immediately.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Clean Eating Day 4 of 5

To ride or not to ride. Not only is it soggy on the trails, it's extra dark this morning and I have no lights on my bike as I await a battery recall. What to do...what to do...

Today is Day 4 of Clean Eating. I'm beginning to realize just how far fresh ingredients can take a dish. Looking forward to assembling this popular, Greek meal. Serving a tossed green salad on the side.

photo and recipe by

Spanakopita Casserole


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large bags fresh spinach (9 oz each) or 36 cups loosely packed spinach
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 4 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough (13 x 18 inches each; Try: The Fillo Factory)
  • Olive oil cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add pepper and onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add spinach in batches, waiting 2 or 3 minutes between intervals; cover tightly and cook, tossing frequently, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain spinach mixture in a colander, removing any excess liquid, before placing it in a large bowl; set aside. When spinach mixture is cool, mix in dill, mint and egg white. Then fold in feta until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Working quickly, roll phyllo out onto a clean work surface. Carefully cut each sheet lengthwise into approximately 4 3-inch-wide pieces. (TIP: Or cut each sheet in half lengthwise, then half each of the 2 sections again to create 4 equal pieces.) Place 3 or 4 strips across the center of a 1 1/2-qt or 9 x 9-inch casserole dish misted with cooking spray, leaving about 3 to 4 inches of excess hanging over on both ends. The strips should be overlapping slightly. Mist strips with cooking spray. Turn the casserole dish clockwise and place 3 or 4 strips across the original layer, at a 90-degree angle. Mist strips with cooking spray. Continue turning and layering until all strips have been used, about 4 layers in total, misting with cooking spray after each layer.
  4. Spoon spinach mixture into center of phyllo-covered dish. Fold phyllo hanging over edges into the center of spinach mixture, covering the top (no spinach should be visible). Mist with cooking spray.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly brown and crispy. Let casserole sit for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.  TIP: Phyllo can be cut with a knife, kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Clean Eating Day 3 of 5

Last night's supper was such a big hit. So surprised as it looked too healthy and I though for sure I'd be met with scowls from the kids. It turned out more like a low-fat falafel so I ended up being a supper hero in the end.

Day 3: today consists of trying to do some sort of workout since it's pouring rain and I won't be able to make it out on the trails. Perhaps Tennis? I don't know...Anyway, mealtime is all about Sweet and Sour Chicken.
photo and recipe from cleaneatingmagazine

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Brown Rice


  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts), chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 12 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, optional


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Place chicken in a large shallow dish. Pour soy sauce mixture over chicken, tossing gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and marinade and sauté for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add bell peppers and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Add pineapple and cook for 2 more minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately over rice for a complete meal, if desired.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Clean Eating Day 2 of 5

Right now, I'm up earlier than usual. Have to drive four girls to the train station so they can participate in WE Day. So excited for them to have this experience! A full schedule of positivity and engaging speakers for youth. Before I head out, here is day two of clean eating:

recipe and photo by

Greek Salad with Whole Wheat Pita


  • 2 6-inch whole-wheat pitas
  • 1 English cucumber, unpeeled and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 oz low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • Paprika for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each pita into 4 strips and cut each strip into 1-inch triangles, splitting apart the 2 “sides” of the pita as you cut. Spread on a baking sheet and toast in oven until pita is crispy, about 10 minutes, tossing once.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion, chickpeas and parsley. Add oil, lemon juice and pepper; toss well. Add feta and toasted pita and toss again. Garnish with a dash of paprika and serve immediately.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Clean Eating Day 1 of 5

photo by floater yaya on flickr

Good Monday Morning to you all! I woke up this morning with a mission in mind: to do 'clean eating' for the next five days. I just feel this ole' bag 'o' bones needs a good kick-start (I can call myself that now since I'm leaving the thirty-somethings on Friday). Looking forward to living life with a finely tuned engine this week!

Yes, this ole' gal is going to need some extra help in keeping up with the young ones on the trails. Even my bike is feeling its age and I've started to shop around for another one. So change for the better is in the air.

And it starts in my kitchen. I invite you to join me on this mission.

photo by

Meal #1: Ricotta and Spinach Frittata    

8 egg whites
1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 white onion, thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2/3 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, large egg and skim milk until frothy.

Heat oil in cast iron skillet (or other ovenproof frying pan) on medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for a couple minutes until softened. Add spinach to pan and cook, stirring frequently until wilted. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Pour egg mixture into pan and drop ricotta by the tablespoonful over top. Cook three minutes until eggs begin to set on the bottom. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 8 minutes or until eggs are firm. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Serve with sliced tomatoes on the side.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September Mayhem

I guess the frigid weather of January is to blame for all September birthdays. Including my own. On top of all the celebrations, I find this time of year so crazy. The kids start up their activities, race season is ramping up, then will quickly crash. So many fun things, but busy nonetheless.

Dinners this week have consisted of whatever is on sale and whatever comes easy. So far, it's been tacos, chili and meatloaf (as you probably guessed, there was a special on ground beef). I figure I better raise the bar a bit and put some effort into a nice BBQ dinner while the weather is still being kind. Still has to prove quick and easy though. This one looks yummy:

photo by bon appetit

Grilled Chicken and Peaches with Chipotle Peach Dressing

1/3 cup peach jam
1/3 cup peach juice
4 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles (usually in the Mexican section by the taco stuff)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3 large peaches cut into 8 wedges (skin on)
4 chicken breasts

Heat up the grill. Meanwhile, stir jam with juice, vinegar and adobo sauce. Then add 2 tsp oil, cilantro. Transfer 1/4 cup of this dressing into a small bowl and use to brush on peaches and chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill chicken until cooked through (about 7 minutes per side). Grill peaches until slightly charred (about 2 minutes)

Place chicken and peaches on plate and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve with salad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roasted Almonds

photo by 'visit colorado' on flickr

Last night, I went for a ride in the forest with the DMBA and I rode my first trail covered in leaves. I'm not ready for what's to come quite yet. Need to spin my tires a while longer before I retire for the season.

Despite the sadness that sets in with the image of a motionless bike in the garage, I look forward to fall for many reasons. The crisp, cool air on a sunny day is my favourite kind of weather. The kids are back in school enjoying their new routine and catching up with friends. And this creates a domino effect. My house is clean and seems to stay that way for a bit longer. I have time for myself a little more. Looking forward to tackling some projects that have been shelved during the busy, summer months.

Also, friends are back in town from their vacations. Lots of catching up to do with good people.

I will leave you with this fantastic recipe that may not seem very exciting, but be warned. It's highly addictive. Handed over to us from my cousin Sandy, this is a perfect snack food. I also use it in salad instead of croutons.

Enjoy, my friends! Hope to catch up on all your news in the upcoming months.

photo by a2naphish on flickr

Roasted Almonds with Rosemary

1 lb. Raw Almonds
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Coarse Salt
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast until lightly brown and fragrant, around 12-15 miniutes. Empty into bowl right away so they don't keep cooking while sitting on the cookie sheet.

In small saucepan, heat the butter until it sizzles. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the almonds and lightly toss to coat completely. Cool to room temperature. IMPORTANT: when you toss the almonds with the topping, only toss briefly until everything is coated. Do not stir or disturb the almonds too much or the rosemary falls off and will not harden onto the almonds.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 month, but serve at room temperature.

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