NEW ON MY PLATE: A WEBSITE!

Five years of blogging has produced over 200 recipes and many nutrition, culinary and health tips on MyPlate2Yours.  About a year ago, I envisioned a website to make it super easy to find what you are looking for on my site.  So as promised earlier this summer, the website I have dreamed of is finally finished!  HOORAY!  What this means for you is:

  • Easy-to-find recipes: organized by category and catalogued with photos
  • MyTips4You page filled with nutrition, culinary and health tips
  • Updated cooking class & event calendar
  • A brand new video launching a new series of Myplate2yours cooking videos
  • And so much more… so PLEASE check it out at  www.myplate2yours.com
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This screenshot is the recipe page from the new MyPlate2Yours website

Attention wordpress followers:  I will no longer be using my wordpress blog for updates, it will come from my new website.  So, please subscribe to my website (on the ‘About’ page) so you won’t miss the latest information from MyPlate2Yours!

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I have many people to thank for making this new website a reality!  First, my incredible summer intern and rising nutritionist, Hailey; Jen & Joie (a.k.a. the Dynamic Duo) at Sunset6 Web Design; and Kelly at Kelly Swartz Photography for the beautiful food photos!  And thank you to my friends, family and followers who have encouraged and inspired me over these past five years.  It’s been a fun journey and I am excited for what’s ahead!

 

 

Exciting news!

yogurt parfait

One of the featured photos on my new website coming soon!

Dear Friends and Followers,

I have not posted on my blog since the beginning of this month, but I have been cooking and writing all of June.  It’s because I am getting ready to launch a website in the next two months.  You are really going to love it!!  In the last 5 years of blogging, I’ve written almost 200 recipes, and posted over 50 nutrition and health tips on MyPlate2yours. The website will make it super easy to find what you are looking for!   So, please keep on cooking, use the search button on this blog if you need help, and get ready for a really cool new site coming soon!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup with Chips, fresh lime and spoon on Rustic Wood Ba

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I first posted a recipe with the same name five years ago.  This new version boasts bigger flavor with a few additional ingredients and new sauté procedure.  Slow cooking is perfect for this busy spring season. Simply start this in the morning to cook on low for 7-8 hours or at lunchtime, to cook on high for 5-6 hours.  If your slow cooker does not have a sauté function, simply prepare the first part of this recipe in  a skillet on the stove top and transfer to the slow cooker when ready.

If you are not familiar with Chihuahua cheese, please try it.  It is wonderfully creamy and is often used in quesadillas, too.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (serves 6)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoon chili powder

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 onion, cut into eighths

1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

1-1/2 cups corn from cob (or 1 can sweet corn)

1 can fire roasted (15 ounce) canned tomatoes

4 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon oregano

2 corn tortillas, torn into 1-inch pieces

1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed

Salt to taste

Garnishes: non fat plain Greek yogurt (or light sour cream), shredded Chihuahua cheese, sliced avocado, fresh lime.

Heat oil in slow cooker set at 400 degrees on ‘Sauté’. Add pepper, onions, garlic and corn, sauté for a few minutes. Add chili powder and stir to coat vegetables and heat until chili powder is fragrant. Place chicken on top of veggie. Add tomatoes, broth, oregano and tortillas. Adjust slow cooker setting to low,  cover and cook for 7-8 hours. (Or set on high for 5-6 hours). At the end of cooking, remove chicken breast to a plate. Add black beans to the slow cooker to heat while shredding the chicken with two forks. Add shredded chicken back to pan. Serve soup in bowls topped with garnishes. Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is upon us!  Time with family, a break from work and school, and great food all mean that there is so much to look forward to!  Here are two new sides you may want to try for Thanksgiving:  Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad and Oven Baked Butternut Squash Risotto.  What’s unique about both of these is that they can meet the special dietary needs- gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and nut free- of anyone coming to dinner. If you are looking for something easy, yummy and good for everyone, try these!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Lemon Zest (serves 6)IMG_3114

1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup yellow raisins

2 peeled hard boiled eggs, diced (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Prepare Brussels sprouts by trimming bottoms and removing discolored or tough outer leaves. In a food processor with a grating attachment (or with a box grater), grate sprouts. Collect into a medium bowl (about 10 ounces total). Toss with sunflower seeds, raisins, and eggs (if using). In a separate small bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking to combine. Add zest and shallots. Toss salad with dressing.

This salad can be served immediately or place in fridge for up to an hour. Toss again before serving and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Adapted from www.chow.com

Oven Baked Butternut Squash Risotto (serves 6)IMG_3115

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1-1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and diced (4 cups)

4 cups vegetable stock

1 bunch curly kale (or Lacinato/Tuscan kale), tough stems removed and cut into ½ inch strips (about 4 cups loosely packed)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium Dutch oven or oven proof pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until edges of rice are translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add wine. Stir and cook until wine is absorbed. Add squash and stock, bring mixture to a boil. Stir in kale. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Serve hot and garnish with parmesan. Enjoy!

Adapted from Meatless by Martha Stewart

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

Recipes for Thanksgiving

Ideas for your holiday table! Happy Thanksgiving!

myplate2yours

Cousin Kerry’s Veggie & Cheese Appetizer Turkey

It’s only the beginning of the week, but in 4 short days, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving.  I just love the tastes of this season:  root vegetables, savory seasonings, and roasted goodness!  As I was finalizing my Thanksgiving menu today, I thought you might be doing the same.  So, here’s a list of some easy, great-tasting recipes from Myplate2yours:

Appetizers

Roasted Chickpeas

Spinach Dip

Antipasto Skewers

Greek Style Hummus

Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables with Eggplant

Sweet & Savory Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Balsamic Cauliflower with Parmesan

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms and Bacon

Grains

Festive Moroccan Couscous

Barley Fiesta Salad

Quinoa with Cherries and Pine Nuts

And, if you want to make Cousin Kerry’s ADORABLE Veggie & Cheese Appetizer Turkey, you’ll need:

1 Russet potato

1 small melon

1 head brocolli, cleaned and cut into small florets

1 head cauliflower, cleaned and cut into florets

1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, cut into…

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Happy Heart Month!

February is Heart Month sponsored by the American Heart Association.  This month is meant to educate all of us on what we can do to live heart-healthy lives.  Here is the bad news:  heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.   But the good news is this: there are steps we can take to prevent heart disease.  Here is the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 for keeping your heart healthy:

PLEASE READ ON…THIS LIST CAN BE LIFE-SAVING!

1.  Get Active~ 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week can reduce your risk of heart disease.  Aerobic exercise for your heart includes walking, jogging, swimming and biking.  Pick something you like and do it regularly.

2.  Control Cholesterol~ Your first step is to know your number.  It’s best to keep total blood cholesterol levels less than 200 (mg/dl).

3.  Eat Better~  Heart healthy eating starts with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products.  (this list echoes Myplate2yours and since you are already following this blog, you are well on your way!).  Eating fish twice a week and choosing and preparing foods with little or no salt are your next steps to heart-smart eating. You will find lots of flavor in the heart healthy recipes on this site…here are a few of my favorites: Baked Salmon with Sweet Lemon Relish,  Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Black Beans and CornThree Grain Granola and Savory Chicken, Vegetable and Navy Bean Stew.

4.  Manage Blood Pressure~ About one in three adults have high blood pressure.  If high blood pressure is left uncontrolled, it can injure and kill.  It’s important to know your blood pressure and to control it if it’s high.  (Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg).

5.  Lose Weight~ Unfortunately, about two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight.  It’s important for all of us to balance healthy eating (caloric intake) with our energy expenditure and physical activity.

6.  Reduce Blood Sugar~ Diabetes is a major controllable risk factor for heart disease.  If you have diabetes, it is essential to manage your blood sugar with good eating habits, weight control, exercise and, if needed, medication.

7.  Stop Smoking~ Smoking has extensive adverse effects on your entire cardiovascular system.  And when smoking is combined with other risk factors (obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes), it further increases your risk from these factors, as well.  If you need support to help you quit smoking, please look for progams offered at local hospitals.

Visit American Heart Association’s My Life Check  to see where you stand with Life’s Simple 7.  You will get a personal heart score and a custom plan to help you live better.  It’s simple and will make your heart happy!

Happy Heart Month!

Fall Cooking Classes

Calendar

Now that the kids have settled into a school routine and the fall activities have started, are you ready for a healthy cooking class?  I hope so!!

This season you’ll find a great line up of classes I’m teaching at Marcel’s in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.  In all of these, there are easy, delicious dishes with many gluten-free and vegetarian options, too!  The classes are listed below with links to register.  I hope you can join me!

October 2013

16- Harvest Lunch: Endive Bites with Goat Cheese, Figs & Honey, Warm Sweet Potato Lentil Salad, Baked Pumpkin Pudding. Demo, 12:20-2pm, Marcel’s, Glen Ellyn.  (vegetarian) Register here. $35

29- Easy Vegetarian Soups and Gluten-Free Quick Bread: Pear & Pumpkin Soup, Cajun Red Beans and Rice Soup, Apple Oatmeal Mini Loaves. Demo, 6:30-8pm, Marcel’s, Glen Ellyn. Register here. $45

November 2013

12- De-Stress Thanksgiving Menu (gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian): Lentil Artichoke Salad, Savory Wild Rice, Shallot-Cremini Accordion Potatoes, Sautéed Kale Lemon & Pine Nuts. Demo, 6:30-8pm, Marcel’s, Glen Ellyn. Register here.  $45

20- Lean & Luscious Lunch- Ready for the Holidays: Slivered Carrot & Apple Micro green Salad, Mixed Mushroom Compote on Cauliflower Puree, Mocha Meringue Bites. (vegetarian/gluten free) Demo, 12:30-2pm, Marcel’s, Glen Ellyn. Register here. $35

December 2013

4- No Fuss Holiday Appetizers: Stuffed Baby Peppers, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Caprese Skewers, Baked Asparagus & Prosciutto Spirals, Garlic Mushrooms in Mini Parmesan Baskets.  Demo, 12:30-2pm, Marcel’s, Glen Ellyn.  Register here. $35

 

Fuel Up to Play 60!!

Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages young people to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.  You may be familiar with this program in your schools or when watching NFL football games on TV since the NFL is a sponsor with the National Dairy Council.  More than 73,000 schools across the United States participate in Fuel Up to Play 60, including the four Glenbard High Schools in our District 87 here in Illinois.

As a member of the Glenbard District 87 Wellness Committee, I’m thrilled to share that District 87 is the recipient of a grant awarded by the Midwest Dairy Council to fund healthy inititatives in our four high schools:  Glenbard North, South, East and West.  Thanks to this vital funding, for a second consecutive year we can continue and advance programs that our students enjoy such as the Healthy Cooking Challenge, health and fitness fairs, and the purchase of  heart rate monitors for physical education classes. These programs will have the opportunity to reach every student in all schools.  Here is a link of a recent article describing this grant.

I have previously written about the Healthy Cooking Challenge since choosing healthy foods and daily exercise is what Myplate2yours is all about!  I encourage you to get involved with Fuel Up to Play 60 at your schools, too.  I’d be glad to answer any questions you have about the program. We can all benefit by enhancing wellness in our schools!