Super Foods Salad

Super Salad

This is a sponsored post for Weight Watchers Cheese, but all opinions are my own.

My kids are constantly asking me to purchase snack cheese, and these Weight Watchers Natural Reduced Fat Colby Jack Cheese Sticks have become their favorite. These are so convenient and a healthy on-the-go snack that we can grab on the way to dance, baseball or put in in their lunches for school. They are also perfect for mid morning or afternoon summer snacks after we come in from the pool. I made this Super Foods Salad for lunch with kale, arugula, berries, and of course, cheese. This also makes a great main dish salad topped with grilled chicken, shrimp or steak.

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These cheese sticks from Weight Watchers are full of flavor and fun to peel, this colorful blend of reduced-fat Colby and Monterey Jack cheese are only 60 calories per stick. They are an excellent source of calcium and protein and are 2 PointsPlus® value per serving. They make the perfect healthy snack! What’s your favorite healthy on-the-go snack?

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11 Ways to Use  Weight Watcher’s Snack Cheeses

Use with crackers

Skewer with fruit

Skewer with turkey and tomatoes for gluten free sandwiches

Serve over soups

Put inside omelets

Serve with apples and nuts

Serve on pita chips with a slice of apple

Skewer with strawberries and pineapple

Make your own lunchables

Serve with olives and salamis

Serve with cooked edamame beans or fava beans

Weight Watchers

 

 

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Is The Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest Diet?

The Mediterranean diet has been called the “healthiest” diet of all, and my brother, Craig, a physician, sites research to his patients quite often as the most highly recommended diet. As a Nutritionist, I have studied a lot about it too, but when I was in Italy last month, I became a true believer. I traveled for seven full days in Italy eating six and eight course meals for lunch and dinner served with wine. I also didn’t exercise the entire week (very unlike me). When I came home and realized I actually lost weight, I was stumped. I thought about what ingredients comprised those extravagant meals, and I realized how pure all the food was. This shot was taken on my trip touring the beautiful land of the Le Marche Region of Italy.

Some Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet Include:

1. Plenty of exercise

2. Eating primarily plant based foods

3. Replacing butter with olive and canola oils

4. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods

5. Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. Eat more vegetables.

6. Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.

7. Drinking red wine in moderation.

8. Eat fruit for dessert

9. Eat small portions of high-quality foods.

10. Eat yogurt and cheese as your main dairy products.

11. This diet conveys the importance of enjoying meals with friends and family.

Top Foods on The Mediterranean Diet

-Fish and Seafood

-Olive oil or canola oil

-Fruits and Vegetables

-Nuts

-Beans

-Cereal

-Red wine

Rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish oil and even red wine, this diet is lower in saturated fat and has been said to reduce risks of cancers, heart disease and more.

Other Great Attributes about a Mediterranean diet:

1) A diet rich in fruits, grains, nuts, can reduce risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and alzheimers.

2) This diet is high in fiber which is great for decreased risk of diabetes and stomach issues.

3) This diet is filled with a good supply of mono-unsaturated fats found in fish, avocados, olive and canola oil which can help fight disease from the cellular level.

4) This is a diet people can stick to and actually enjoy.

Turkey Burgers Featuring Belle Chevre Goat Cheese

I am so excited about sharing this favorite Burger recipe: Turkey Burgers with Belle Chevre, a recipe by Chef Marvin Woods, Emmy Award Winner Nominee, Cookbook Author, and one of the first chefs to join the “Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign”. He has teamed up with Belle Chevre Creamery to create a new E-Cookbook filled with fabulous summer recipes. I am honored that Belle Chevre has featured me on their blog this week. These Turkey Burgers are so easy to prepare, and my kids loved them too. Using Vidalia onion and panko breadcrumbs adds wonderful flavor and crunch. Enjoy these this summer on the grill or anytime of the year using a grill pan. Sliced Belle Chevre Artisan Goat Cheese makes these a winner.

Pepper Place Farmers Market This Saturday

Come see me tomorrow, Saturday, at the Pepper Place Farmers Market in downtown Birmingham. I will be there selling my book “400 Best Sandwich Recipes” with Bob Carlton of the Birmingham News as he showcases his new “Soon-to-be-Famous Pimiento Cheese”. We will be there from 7 to noon. Stop by and say hello, and try a Pimiento Cheese Sandwich on Big Sky Bread. Have a super weekend!

Only 1 of my cookbooks is currently available on Amazon this week, so come get a signed copy in person.

25 Minute Appetizer: Buffalo Chicken Dip

When I was thinking of recipe ideas for my upcoming Super Bowl television cooking segment (this Friday on NBC “Daytime Alabama”), I asked a close friend and assistant, Nancy, what she likes to serve for her Super Bowl parties (she is one of the best cooks I know). She told me about her favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip which she says is a must. I was reluctant at first (although my kids are huge fans of buffalo wings) because when I judged a cooking contest last year, I saw over 800 recipes for buffalo wing dips. She later convinced me to let her make it for me, and oh my, was she right! The night after I taped the television segment, I had a party with several couples and their children. Everyone went absolutely nuts over the dip, and they were begging for more. Nancy told me to be sure to use “Franks RedHot Sauce”, but any hot sauce will work. I also used rotisserie chicken to make things a lot easier and reduced-fat cream cheese to lighten it up a bit. Enjoy this for the Super Bowl this year or anytime you need a simple and sure to please appetizer.

New Years Greens-Spinach with Dried Fruit and Goat Cheese

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While black-eyed peas are supposed to bring luck for the New Year, another superstition in the south is to serve greens such as cabbage, collards, greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money or prosperity in the New Year. As a Recipe Developer, I have created hundreds of spinach recipes for magazines and food companies, and I wasn’t sure which one to share with you for the New Year. I made this version two nights ago by just using what I had in my pantry and in the refrigerator, and it was an instant hit at our dinner table. It’s only 5 ingredients and is healthy, colorful and has a sweet and salty crunch along with the creaminess of goat cheese. Feel free to use what you have in your home. and I wish everyone much hope for a happy prosperous New Year!

 

Spinach with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Goat Cheese

Prep and cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach

Kosher salt to taste

2 tablespoons organic fruit and nut trail mix (I used “Good Sense Organic”)

2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh spinach to skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with salt, trail mix and goat cheese. Serve spinach with slotted spoon or tongs.

Thanksgiving Appetizer-Brie with Cranberries and Walnuts

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With only hours left until Thanksgiving, I know everyone is busy trying to complete last minute tasks. To start Thanksgiving off right, I thought I would present one of the easiest appetizers that my family loves. The combination of caramel, walnuts, cranberries and golden raisins adds the perfect sweet, crunch and warm taste of fall. You can prepare this right before the guests arrive as it just takes minutes to prepare with absolutely no mess or cleanup. This appetizer is also a great idea for Christmas, New Years or anytime you entertain. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Autumn Brie

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 7 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

1 (1/2 pound) Brie wedge

1/4 cup caramel Dip (I used T. Marzetti Caramel Dip)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

2 tablespoons golden raisins

Gingersnaps or crackers

Preparation

1. Cut off top part of Brie; spread with caramel dip. Sprinkle walnuts, cranberries and raisins over top. 

2. Bake at 300F for 6 to 10 minutes or until Brie is just slightly warmed and starting to melt. Serve with gingersnaps or crackers.