Category: Healthy Eats

Start a Better Breakfast Routine… BistroMD

September, Better Breakfast Month, is nearly at a close– but it is never too late to improve the way you start your day. Breakfast truly is the most important meal. A good breakfast can give you more energy and help you to make better choices throughout the day. I have a horrible habit of skipping breakfast usually because I don’t leave myself enough time to make something great, but I notice a difference when I make time for myself.

Don’t let the fact that September is almost over deter you from beginning a better breakfast routine. Fall is really good time to jumpstart your health and fitness regimen– it is so much easier to roll into the new year with good habits when you do.

BistroMD shared a few simple recipes with me that I’d like to share with you! Trust me– they are pretty yummy. Have fun!

bistroMD’s Sweet Potato Pancakes:

Courtesy of BistroMD
Courtesy of BistroMD

Serves 2

Calories: 330

Protein: 24 g

NET Carbohydrate: 19 g

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cooked sweet potato
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Directions: Mix all ingredients in bowl. Mixture will be lumpy. Cook on a skillet or griddle and enjoy!

Serve topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a side of turkey sausage.

 

bistroMD’s Black Bean Omelet

Courtesy of BistroMD
Courtesy of BistroMD

Yield’s one serving

Calories: 330

Protein: 21 g

NET Carbohydrate: 44 g

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of cage free 100% egg white liquid
  • 1/8 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Directions: In a nonstick 8-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour the egg whites into a small bowl and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Whisk for 10 seconds, add in the egg mixture to the skillet to cover the bottom and cook the eggs for two minutes. Using a rubber spatula, flip the egg over and cook for another two minutes. Transfer to a plate and leave the omelet open.

More ingredients that you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of canned organic black beans
  • 1/8 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of diced green pepper (1/4″ x 1/4 “)
  • 1 tablespoon of diced red pepper (1/4″ x 1/4″)
  • 1 teaspoon of dice onions (1/4″ x1/4”)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon of fresh chopped cilantro
  • A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of Mexican shredded cheese

Directions: Drain black beans and rinse with cold water. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add in the onions. Cook until the onions are clear, add in the peppers and cook for another two minutes. Add in the black beans. Continue to cook for another minute and add in the cumin, cilantro and salt and pepper. (The cheese is for the stuffing).

This delicious breakfast staple gets kicked up a notch with a black bean filling and fresh salsa on top.

Check out BistroMD.com for more healthy recipes and information about eating to live.

Pasta Chips… Italian-style Snacks on-the-go

past chips

If you’ve been following Dine With Dani over the years– you’re probably aware that I love Italian food. Its something about those specific combinations of flavors that gets my inner glutton completely giddy.
When I heard about the NEW snack food Pasta Chips, I was really excited. I got a box in the mail with four different flavors to try. Marinara, Alfredo, Garlic Olive Oil and Mediterranean Sea Salt. I put tasting them on hold for travel to Orlando (more videos to come), but when I finally opened them– I was pleasantly surprised. I wished I had taken them on the road trip with family.

 

For me, Pasta Chips are more like crackers. The texture is thick and they crunch more than crisp– if that makes sense. Each bag makes a suggestion for how to serve them. Suggestions include eating with cheese, with sliced veggies, with mini meatballs, etc. But truthfully, its pretty much everything I can do to NOT eat them directly from the bag!

 

PastaChips-NewRenders-GOOI think these may be my new go-to for parties and platters. My favorite flavors are the Marinara and the Garlic Olive Oil. I’m looking forward to trying the spicy tomato. They really do taste like pasta with sauce! And when served with charcuterie, they become magical. See for yourself! They are now available at all major grocers.

 

QUICK FACTS:

  • Made with All Natural ingredients – Premium Semolina Flour and Farro
  • Oven Baked – Thin and Crispy
  • 120 Calories and 20% less fat then leading pita chip brands
  • No Cholesterol
  • Kosher Certified

 

Super Food Kale… 10 Ways to Prepare

Heralded as a “super food,” (and featured on a sweatshirt worn by Beyonce) Kale has rich nutritional value and its role as an antioxidant make it a perfect addition to your diet. There are many different types of kale, so find the one(s) that you like best and get creative.

PS– I prefer dinosaur kale.

And in case you need thought starters, below are 10 things that you can do with Kale courtesy of my friends over at Chef Works:

from Popsugar.com
from Popsugar.com

1 Make Smoothies

Green smoothies are becoming a popular breakfast choice for the health conscious, but the green of choice is usually spinach. Kale makes a good option, as it is just as nutritious (if not more so) and it has a mild flavor that you can’t detect when blended with fruit. It goes well with just about anything from apples to pineapple, to berries, so experiment until you find your favorite. You may want to leave out thick stems, as they may not blend as well and also add a somewhat bitter flavor.

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How to Make an Yummy Salad… My 5 Rules

Salads get a bad wrap for being boring, bland rabbit food. But its a good rule of thumb for cooking that if you use good ingredients– you’ll likely end up with a good product. And I made this particular video when I got a craving for something healthy. I started thinking about what makes a good one. Watch this 30 second video for some of my favorite ingredients and below I’ve shared some tips making your own yummy salad.

HERE ARE MY RULES FOR MAKING A GREAT SALAD ↓ (more…)

Dadgum That’s Good! And Healthy… Cookbook Review

I was sent a copy of John McLemore’s latest cookbook “Dadgum That’s Good! And Healthy” for review. It took me a while to review it because I like to try more than one recipe to make sure that I’m giving you the real. This cookbook offers recipes, tips and suggestions for ways to grill, smoke and fry your way to healthier you!  

dadgum FINALFRONTCOVER (2)When this book came my way, I had no idea how things would go. With no grill, zero experience with a smoker and minimal comfort deep frying foods—I was convinced that I would either ruin the food or severely injure myself (and maybe both). To my surprise and delight—neither horror occurred. In fact, I was lauded for my” mad skillz on the grillz”…. (yes, that’s a direct quote).

John McLemore has written more than a couple of cookbooks. But this time he decided to take some of his family’s signature dishes to a new level with healthy eating as the main focus. He proves that you can have an amazingly flavorful meal and still maintain your figure!

In flipping through the book you may not immediately notice, but majority of the recipes require a smoker. A VAST majority. So unless you own or intend to own a smoker—this ain’t the book for you. However, there are some good recipes for grilling and frying—and that was the direction I chose.  You may also want to make sure your kitchen is stocked with a few other tools as well. A food processor is not listed as a necessity, but I noticed that this was needed for more than one recipe. So just take your time looking through to make sure you can actually make the dishes.

Flipping through you may also appreciate the ground that the book covers. From details about smoking temps and times to the nutrition. In addition to calorie count for each recipe, he also includes tips for how to make some of the recipes even healthier. I can dig that!

My homie DJ Bigg H threw a Fall Shindig and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to try a few of the recipes I was set to review. He has a slow-cook grill as well as very cool family and friends. I chose three recipes; one vegan, one vegetarian and of course, MEAT.  I won’t pretend there are many vegan options but I was pleased to see grilled brussel sprouts alongside salsa verde skirt steak. I decided to go with grilled balsamic portabella mushrooms, grilled zucchini and jerk chicken. Not exactly cheap eats, but more affordable than the brisket I considered.

I almost never follow recipes exactly, giving everything I prepare a little DineWithDani flavor. But for this, I wanted to remain true to John McLemore’s vision. So instead of settling for the dried rosemary in my cabinet or the frozen chicken thighs in my freezer, I bought fresh everything at the market on the morning of the barbecue.

The prep wasn’t hard or lengthy really. The marinades were almost too easy. Authentic Jamaican jerk has a reputation for being laborious. While preparing the marinades, I’ll admit that I was underwhelmed with what I tasted. But I let the jerk chicken and balsamic mushrooms marinate while I got dressed. Shortly thereafter, I packed my icy cooler and got on the road. The whole way driving I was thinking, ‘please God let this be good. I don’t want these people to think I can’t cook.’

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Where I Shop in Atlanta… Markets, Grocers, Vendors and more!

groceryI’ve always loved grocery shopping. It could be because it combines two things I love– picking out new things AND food.

And as a child I remember my mom (the consumate educator) would test my math skills by making me add up totals in my head while we shopped– a habit I’ve lately abandoned. And if i was on point I’d get a treat! ANY. THING. I WANTED. AT THE STORE! Usually tomatoes or swiss cake rolls. I know those are random options, but I would eat all of the tomatoes before my mom had a chance to cook with them– so she started buying me my own. I still love them today.

Outside of that, I had loads of other opportunities to earn sweets because my older cousins hated going to the store with their mom. So I would volunteer to go with my aunt when I was little. She would test my memory by verbally giving me a list in the car and pretending to need my help remembering. No matter what, I came home with a treat from the Kroger bakery when I went with her. #spoiled. So it was always good times!

Anyway, there is no one rewarding me for randoms tasks while grocery shopping these days, BUT i still enjoy going up and down the aisles, considering meal options and comparing prices. Over time I’ve learned where to go for certain things. And I want to share that with you guys!!! If you live in Atlanta– these are the places that I like to shop.

BEST PRODUCE: Any Metro-Atlanta Farmers Market!

I’m not going to say one farmers market is better than another for produce. It kinda depends on the produce you’re looking for, but I’ll say that farmers markets generally have better options than traditional grocery stores! I love checking out small pop up markets too. They usually feature locally grown organic items. I’ll splurge for that!

Side note: Dekalb and the Sandy Springs pop-up have great greens, but Buford Hwy has great potatoes and tomatoes.

BEST SPICES: Your Dekalb Famers Market!

HANDS DOWN. They have a wall of spices packaged in a variety of weights for the lowest prices you can imagine. I buy big tubs of coarse salt and peppercorns for less than $1.00 every time I go. And if you’ve ever tried to buy nutmeg at a traditional grocery store, you know that it’ll cost you a smooth $5 for nearly none. And at Dekalb, you can get an eff load it for under $2.00. That’s just an example. But think of a natural herb– and they have it for the low!

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Ugly Fruits and Veggies Find Love in France

I am guilty of skipping over the ugly fruits and veggies at my local grocer and farmers market. But I never thought about the amount of food waste that creates. French super markets have found a solution for this problem! It eliminates waste AND save families money in the process. Check out the video below! Maybe the U.S. should take a queue from the French on this one!

 

Make a Reservation… For Thanksgiving Dinner!

I recognize how lucky I am to have my family in Atlanta. Every holiday is an opportunity to gather with them and eat my favorite dishes like dressing (not stuffing), deep fried turkey, collard greens, etc. But if you aren’t as fortunate as i am to have a large family full of good cooks, you and your loved ones can dine out! That’s right! Can’t cook? You can still have a Thanksgiving feast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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