Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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I remember loving all of my rotations during my internship to become a Registered Dietitian. While the clinical aspects of nutrition and being in the hospital was a seemingly natural fit for me, I wasn’t challenged or excited about clinical nutrition. I guess my thoughts on clinical nutrition (in the in-patient setting sense) is that I much prefer proactive nutrition rather than reactive nutrition. I like to educate and teach and see my patients over and over again and I lacked that bond and sense of accomplishment when helping people make changes in their life to improve their health.

I enjoyed the elderly population, but quickly realized that they can be one of the most challenging populations to work with. And I didn’t particularly care for 1. death or 2. paperwork and so I knew long-term care wasn’t a likely best fit for me, either.

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While most students hated their “food service management” rotation, I was happy to get down and dirty in the kitchen and this was wellllllllllllll before I could 1. cook, 2. wrote a blog, and most certainly before 3. writing a cookbook. I enjoyed the pace, the people, the food, the work…everything. But in truth, because it wasn’t the most glorious of RD jobs, I brushed it off the top of my list when pursuing jobs.

In my current role, jack-of-all-trades in my little community hospital, I once again, found myself in a hospital kitchen…running the show. I’ll be honest, my kitchen was a well-oiled machine prior to my arrival. I’d like to think I’ve made some positive changes, but since most of those changes have to do with nutrition and healthy food offerings, I’m probably biased.

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Yesterday, I sat in on a webinar focused on “Healthy Retail” in the clinical care setting – hospitals, etc. I sat there and listened for all 60 minutes and could proudly say that my little community hospital is leaps and bounds ahead of many other hospitals, including huge, huge, huge amazing hospitals. As I’m told, the food has always been amazing, but I’ve certainly introduced some new items and people have embraced (and loved) them all. We regularly serve quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and rarely serve anything other than the leanest of proteins. We serve the most stunning specialty salads with homemade vinaigrettes that bring people from the community in each day…just for the food. I swear, I’m going to work on getting our cafe on Yelp to bring in more business!

As I learned in the webinar, ethnic flavors sell well in most hospital cafeterias. Whether those flavors be Mexican, Asian, or even Indian (we make a killer homemade Tikka Masala!), people love them. The recipes I try out on the cafe menu are generally the ones Mr. P and I love most. In other words, this recipe and its Asian flavors will be making an appearance soon!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
A light meal ready in minutes and packed with flavor. Despite the so-so ratings on CookingLight.com, we LOVED this recipe!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dry sherry
  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 7 oz slaw mix (about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz boneless, skinless rotisserie chicken breast, diced (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup sliced green onions, divided
  • 9 Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients (soy sayce through rice vinegar) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic and ginger to pan; sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute. Add slaw, chicken and ¼ cup onions to pan; cook 1 minute or until slaw is slightly warmed but not wilted.
  3. Divide chicken mixture evenly among lettuce leaves; sprinkle evenly with remaining ¼ cup onions and cashews.
Notes
Recipe from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 lettuce wraps Calories: 271 Fat: 11.7 Carbohydrates: 15.7 Sugar: 6.0 Sodium: 558 Fiber: 3.0 Protein: 25.3 Cholesterol: 62

 TGIF!!! I have a happy hour tonight and tennis tomorrow! :-D Looks like a good weekend ahead!

Be well,

sig4

Crab-Stuffed Portobellos

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Trust story: I almost got taken out by a garbage truck yesterday morning.

It is Mr. Prevention’s job to take the trash and recycling to the end of the driveway for pick-up on Tuesday mornings. But, he forgot. I got a call as I was getting ready for work, hair half up, in the process of getting straightened and presentable. At the time, I was totally not presentable.

“Can you take the trash and recycling out? One of the two already came, but if you hurry, you can get the other one out in time…maybe. If you hurry.” he said.

I grumbled, reminded him that this was his chore, and headed out in my boxers, with my hair half-up and half done, and no make-up on my face. I was wearing tank top and flip flops. A tank top and flip flops in winter. In Michigan. Brilliant.

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I grabbed the recycling bin and started towards the street at a quick clip - it was cold! I noticed that it was the recycling that had already been picked up after a glance around to the neighbor’s bins and then, I heard the truck coming. I dropped the recycling mid-driveway and bolted back to the garage to grab the trash toter.

I RAN, dragging the trash toter behind me, flagging down the truck. I hadn’t even let go of the toter before this GIANT MECHANICAL ARM CAME PROJECTING FROM THE SIDE OF THE GARBAGE TRUCK…nearly hitting me (for real). Maybe it’s because it was still, um, pitch black outside that it scared me senseless. Maybe the driver wasn’t sufficiently caffeinated for the day, but it was SCARY! My first up-close-and-personal with a garbage truck was a near-death experience. Never good.

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But the effort was worth-while. Leftover seafood in the trash after a few days is…gnarly. It is perhaps the only thing I don’t like about seafood. Otherwise, I’m a lover of all that comes from the sea – crab taking the gold in my heart, stomach, whatever. I looooove crab.  I watch Deadliest Catch with all of the crab fishermen and I get grumbly wanting to eat all of the crabs. Ahhh…crab. My most favorite food in the whole world. There is no more perfect food than crab…to me.

Quick crab meals that are quick but super chic…and healthy? There’s nothing better than that. These are absolutely divine!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Crab-Stuffed Portobellos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Quick and chic, these crab-stuffed mushrooms are a perfect light entree, or can be made into an appetizer by using button or mini bella mushrooms. Just be sure to decrease the cook time!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb lump crabmeat
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • olive oil spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Arrange mushroom caps, tops down, on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Combine the crabmeat, cream cheese, parsley, green onions, Parmesan, salt, and garlic powder; mix well.
  3. Stuff the mushrooms with the mixture, distributing evenly between all mushrooms. Use your hand to gently "pack" the stuffing, creating a slightly mounded top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and mist with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and mushrooms are softened. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 stuffed mushroom Calories: 299 Fat: 15.5 Carbohydrates: 12.8 Sugar: 4.5 Sodium: 671 Fiber: 2.5 Protein: 29.0 Cholesterol: 135

 Half way through this busy week…woo! :-D

Be well,

sig4

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken + Weekly Menu

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Mr. Prevention is a really great gift-giver. Not only is he thoughtful and generous, but he’s also really creative. I mean, this psychedelic bulldog canvas truly completes my home. Every home needs such a conversation piece occupying real estate on their walls. At least one wall. Really.

He also got me tennis lessons for Christmas (!!). I’ve only been saying I want to play since high school gym class. At a not-so-spry 28, this tennis dream is becoming a reality. You won’t see me at Wimbledon in 2014, but I’m shooting for 2015. It’s good to have goals, realistic or not. As soon as I can serve the ball, return anything on my forehand in decent fashion, keep the ball -in- the court, or quit holding the racquet like a hockey stick, you just never know what greatness could come to be. Just sayin’.

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I was also gifted with new Rachel Ray cookware. My baking sheet, loaf pans, and 8×8 were in dire need of replacement, but I had become very accustomed to just layering everything with parchment paper. No one had to know that my cookware was…used, abused, and turning rusty from my refusal to hand wash anything. With my cookware came a new knife block and set of knives. It’s never good when you can justly refer to every knife in your kitchen as a “butter knife”.

But it didn’t end there. The man who complains on a daily basis about my over-stuffed kitchen, got me new kitchen utensils…just because they were fun colors. Do I need a white, red, purple, and red spatula? This is debatable, but I sure as heck am not complaining. He’s just enabling an addict, but that can be our little secret…

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While a rainbow of colored spatulas isn’t “necessary”, a new crock pot would’ve been, perhaps a bit more…practical? Mine has seen better days, and I don’t know that I can attribute that to the lack of hand-washing (you betcha that thing gets cleaned in the dish washer!). It’s just…old.

Sundays are hockey days and seeing as I leave at 4:45 to make it to hockey by 5:45, play until 6:45 and walk in the door sometime between 7:45 and 8pm, hockey interferes with my beloved dinner time. So, I’ve decided Sundays are going to be crock pot nights. And late dinner nights, but lord knows I’m ready for dinner after hockey. My sister-in-law found this gem of a recipe on Pinterest and after she and the in-laws gave it 2 thumbs up, it was next on my Sunday crock pot rotation. Delicious!

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3.7 from 3 reviews
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup whole cashews
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into large, 1½-inch pieces. Combine flour and pepper in ziplock bag, add chicken, and shake to coat with flour mixture.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side (note: do not cook chicken completely); transfer chicken in slow cooker.
  3. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
  4. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice, if desired.
Notes
Recipe from The Recipe Critic
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ recipe (about 5 ounces chicken) Calories: 291 Fat: 9.2 Carbohydrates: 13.5 Sugar: 5.8 Sodium: 582 Fiber: 1 Protein: 37.8 Cholesterol: 73

 Weekly Menu: January 12th – 16th

 As much fun as tennis was this morning, I’m very much so looking forward to no alarm tomorrow morning :)

Be well,

sig4

Honey Lime Shrimp + Weekly Menu

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You know when you’re off work for awhile and you swear that once you’re back to work, you’ll fall right into your groove again? Maybe that was just me and my plan after a week off for the Christmas holiday where I gallivanted around every Chicago suburb near and far visiting with friends and family.

I think it all began with running on Saturday. It was a great idea – no regrets, except my body is officially in “hockey shape” and not “running shape”. My thighs are killing me! Reason #1 a morning workout did not come to be yesterday morning.

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My body was also on CST, which on a Sunday night when you’re trying to force yourself to bed 3-4 hours earlier than the previous week, makes a big difference. I tossed and turned for hours. Around 2am I set my alarm back a glorious 70 minutes (reason #2 a morning workout didn’t come to be) and still managed to make it to work before 8am. Extremely exhausted and in serious need of coffee and lots of it. I think a New Years resolution should be training myself to drink my coffee black because I’d easily save 100 calories/day in coffee fixins’…

Of course I didn’t leave work when I had planned and didn’t get started on dinner until nearly 7pm. So of course an evening workout didn’t happen, either. However, in my defense, I’m still sore…

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I glanced at my Weekly Menu (which yes, is late, I’m sorry!!) and quickly decided that a speedy meal was a must. I know I’m not alone in the need for quick meals that punch LOTS of flavor. Citrus comes to mind, as does spice. This recipe…it has both.

For an even faster meal, you could make this marinade ahead of time or use it with beef or chicken which could handle an all-day marinade. Shrimp, however, tend to get rubbery and tough with too much time in a harsh citrus like lime juice. But the flavor of this marinade is heavenly and makes for a fast, simple, flavorful meal that is low in calories and carbs!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Honey Lime Shrimp
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Lots of flavor in this simple shrimp recipe...perfect for a weeknight!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine olive oil through red pepper flakes in a large ziplock bag; zip and mix well. Add shrimp and gently roll the shrimp in the marinade; refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the marinade from the shrimp and transfer the shrimp to the hot skillet. Saute the shrimp for 3-4 minutes or until no longer opaque. Serve with brown rice and vegetable, as desired.
Notes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz shrimp Calories: 169 Fat: 5.5 Carbohydrates: 6.3 Sugar: 4.5 Sodium: 245 Fiber: 0 Protein: 23.0 Cholesterol: 150

Weekly Menu: December 29th – January 2nd

It doesn’t feel like NYE considering it’s a work day – boo.

Who has a New Year’s Resolution of getting healthier and happier? Me, me, me!

Be well,

sig4

4th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #9 – Harvest Festival Chili

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Is there anything better suited for the day after Christmas than your most favorite pair of sweatpants? I agree. Comfy sweatpants are an absolute post-holiday must-have. With just a few days before the quickly approaching 2014 and all of the resolutions that come with that first day, first few weeks, and perhaps even the first few months of the year…most people are postponing all things healthy…for just a few more days. Never wise!

Some studies report that over 90% of Americans make new year’s resolutions having to do with health, weight, or getting fit. This probably comes as a surprise to…no one.

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In the past week, Mr. Prevention and I have slacked on the workouts and indulged in oh-so-good-but-not-good-for-you foods. But it’s not a time to have all healthy habits fall by the wayside. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been on Pinterest and other blogs saving recipes for when the real world resumes and everyone is back in the swing of things.

I doubled up on salad at today’s Christmas meal #3…green vegetables. Amen. Fiber – oh yes! Water, uh huh! I fully anticipate my father-in-law to stride over here, offering me a rare IPA brew before I’m able to hit “publish” on this post…

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The holiday season has The Prevention’s feeling very blessed. We’re thankful for great family and friends, health and happiness, enjoyable employment that provides, and the memories made in December to last a lifetime — family photos, YouTube videos not appropriate for all ages, white elephant shenanigans, signing cookbooks, endless games of Uno, psychedelic photos of Lily, and Yahtzee games that bring out the competitive side in all.

I’m also thankful for this little pieces of me — my blog. Thank you for reading and following along with our journey of (mostly) healthy eating. Mwwwah!

This Harvest Festival Chili is the 9th and next-to-last recipe in this year’s chili contest. Yes, I’m running a bit behind…but this year’s chili contest has been filled with winning recipes, including this submission from a long-time reader, Athena. Filled with fiber, lean protein, and moderately low in both calories and sodium, this chili recipe is sure to please.

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Harvest Festival Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Traditional flavors and bumped up nutrition thanks to fiber and vitamin-rich winter squash.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
  • ½ medium acorn or butternut squash (about 1 lb), peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 (15 oz) can reduced sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 (15 oz) can low-sodium beef broth
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper. Stir frequently until vegetables soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, breaking up the meat up until finely crumbled, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, squash, beans, corn, and beef broth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Notes
Recipe developed and submitted by Athena Russell
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 284 Fat: 7.4 Carbohydrates: 37.3 Sugar: 6.6 Sodium: 495 Fiber: 9.5 Protein: 21.8 Cholesterol: 30

 One last holiday brunch and set of family photos and I do believe this holiday season will be a wrap. Happy holidays to you & yours!

Be well,

sig4