Hello and hope you are all staying cool! This is one of the hottest summers we’ve had in awhile! I don’t like to bake or cook much when the weather is this hot–instead, I make a lot of salads, sandwiches, and simple side dishes that require little or no Continue reading
This is such an easy and healthy recipe for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! it’s from a new book called The SirtFood Diet. Before I received my review copy, I had never heart of “Sirtfoods.” In a nutshell, what I read in this book was that polyphenol nutrients from certain plants are good for us. And plants that have “noteworthy amounts” of sirtuin-activating polyphenols are called “Sirtfoods.” I know this sounds pretty technical, but the book gives a good explanation about all this. It also provides information about the top 20 Sirtfoods, along with other foods that are beneficial. I found that I actually like a lot of these foods, which include Arugula, Garlic, Green Tea, and even Cocoa!
This book explains that Sirtfoods, rich in special nutrients that help activate the same “skinny genes” in our bodies that fasting triggers, can help in effective weight loss–and so the Sirtfood Diet was created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. I haven’t tried the diet, so I can’t endorse it, but I’m sharing what the book says about it. The diet includes a plan for losing 7 pounds in seven days, along with keeping the weight off. There’s a recipe section that includes a good variety of healthy dishes–some even include chicken and beef. The authors also recommend having a good juicer to get the most benefits from this diet.
After looking through the recipe section, I decided to try this yogurt recipe because I loved all the ingredients and it was so simple to make. Simple as it is though, I actually made this recipe the wrong way! I put the berries over the yogurt instead of the yogurt over the berries! it does work better to put the yogurt over the berries as the recipe says, so be sure to layer the ingredients right! Even though I made this wrong, it does look pretty, doesn’t it? 🙂
YOGURT WITH MIXED BERRIES, CHOPPED WALNUTS, AND DARK CHOCOLATE from the SirtFood Diet
Makes 1 serving
- 1 1/3 cups mixed berries (I used some organic fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vegan alternative, such as soy or coconut yogurt)
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa solids), grated
Add the mixed berries to a bowl and top with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the walnuts and chocolate.
That’s all there is to it! I’m so glad dark chocolate is good for you, even if it’s the 85% cocoa solid kind; I actually like the really, really dark chocolate better than the sweeter varieties.
Are you a healthy eater and have you heart of Sirtfoods?
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. Unfortunately, my big outdoor rosemary plant did not make it through the winter, so I have a new small one growing inside right now. I’ll put it outside soon, hoping it will grow into another big plant! I used some of the rosemary from this little plant in this Creamy Navy Bean Soup recipe.
I made this soup several weeks ago on a chilly day. Even though the weather has warmed up, this is still a great recipe for any time of year if you are a soup-lover! Creamy soups usually call for heavy cream as an ingredient, but I used plain Greek yogurt in this soup–I thought the tangy yogurt would give the soup a nice flavor, and it really did! The rosemary gives it a great flavor, too. You’ll want to use fresh rosemary if you have it, but dried rosemary also works.
CREAMY NAVY BEAN SOUP by NancyC
Makes about four servings
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- dash of salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Additional fresh or dried rosemary for garnish
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes, then add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and onions; cook until onions start to get tender and a little translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add in the broth and beans, heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let soup cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Place half of the soup mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large bowl, then blend the remaining soup mixture and add to the large bowl.
Stir the plain Greek yogurt into the pureed soup mixture, blending well (if the yogurt is lumpy, use a hand better or immersion blender to smooth the mixture). Pour the soup mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5 additional minutes.
Pour into 4 serving bowls and top with a garnish of fresh or dried rosemary, if desired, and serve.
In addition to rosemary, I also like to grow basil in a pot every summer–that’s another favorite herb of mine. Do you grow your own herbs, too, and what are your favorites?
Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please. Especially when it’s a healthier way to have chocolate. This may not sound very healthy, but don’t let the words “chocolate” or “shake” fool you. There’s lots of good-for-you ingredients in this–banana, peanut butter, honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, Greek yogurt, and low-fat milk (you can sub non-dairy products in this, too). This shake has a super-rich chocolatey taste with a hint of peanut butter and banana and it’s so smooth and creamy!
If you like having chocolate in the morning, make this for breakfast. Or drink it for an afternoon snack…or have it as a dinner dessert–it’s great any time of day! One thing to remember is that you do have to plan ahead a little–you need to cut a banana into chunks and put in the freezer so it’s frozen when you make your shake–I usually do this the night before I’m going to make it.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST SHAKE by NancyC
Makes 1 (10-ounce) serving
- 1 medium banana, cut into chunks and frozen (do this the day before you’re making it, or at least several hours ahead of time)
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt or soy yogurt
- 1/4 cup low fat milk, soy milk, or almond milk
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour in a glass and serve immediately.
This shake is a real treat and while it’s great for breakfast, I really like making it in the afternoon–that’s when I tend to crave chocolate. When would you make this?
Homemade salad dressings are so good–I’ve made a few of them, but have never made one of my favorites–Ranch! I usually use low fat dressings on my salads, so I decided to try making a low fat Ranch. I adapted a recipe from Allrecipes.com, adjusting the amounts of some of the ingredients slightly. Since I didn’t have fresh herbs, I used dried–and the taste still turned out great! But I’m sure it would be even better with fresh herbs, which I plan on using when I make another batch.
This dressing is thick and creamy compared to most dressings–it’s hard to tell it’s made with low fat ingredients! And because it’s on the thicker side, it makes a great dip for fresh veggies, too. The only downside is, it’s best the day it’s made–you can store it in the fridge for several days, but the consistency gets thinner and runny.
I love the way it tastes, but it’s an easy recipe to adjust if you want to add a little more or less of any of the herbs and spices. Enjoy this homemade dressing on your favorite salad or as a dip with your favorite raw veggies!
LOW FAT BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING AND DIP adapted from Allrecipes
Makes 1 3/4 cups
- 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup low fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In medium size bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream or yogurt. Stir in garlic and onion powders, chives, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can store any unused dressing in the refrigerator for several days, but the consistency will get thinner and more runny, so it’s best not stored too long.
I think this homemade salad dressing tastes so much better than bottled dressing. It’s worth making your own if you have a little extra time. Do you make your own homemade salad dressings?
Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.