Sunday, September 30, 2012

Give Into Food Cravings or Substitute

Vegetables and black eyed peas in soy sauce and breadless veggie pizza

Cravings, they come and go but we are stronger than that. Just because we want something does not mean that we have to have it. There is something known as restraint. If we know that we are dieting and trying to keep the momentum going, perhaps it is better to not go for the thing that our stomachs crave and instead, stick to the plan.

Like yesterday,  I was on my way home from a long, producive day and felt the hunger pangs coming on.  I started craving almost everything you could think of from barbecue chicken patties to popeyes and pizza. I guess that was my own fault being that the only thing I had for the day was a luna bar and a kiwi.  By the evening time, I  had to have something.

There is nothing wrong with pizza which I got tempted to have but I feel at this moment in my journey which after two months of not eating meat, rice, pasta or bread has lead to me to losing 15 pounds, that I had to keep doing what I've been doing to maintain. No bread.  Pizza has bread in it.

When I got home, I decided to get into the kitchen and cook.  Of course I piled up on my usual veggies adding some black beans to it, but still my craving for pizza lasted.  So I made my own version of breadless pizza using baby carrots, diced red peppers, mozzarella cheese, homemade hot sauce and tomatoes, garlic and basil sauce and that was my substitute for pizza and you know what; it satisfied the craving. 

We do not have to always go for the things that are not going to help us in our fitness goals if we are trying to accomplish something.  I say, if you want to truly do something positive to keep yourself grounded, don't give into temptation for bad foods; subsititute and make it better and more geared to your lifestyle. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mais Moulen avec Pois Noire and Baked Salmon Over Vegetables


Mais Moulen avec Pois Noire and Baked Salmon Over Vegetables
 
I decided I wanted to get into the kitchen today and make some of my favorite foods because I deserve it after all my working out and abstaining from the foods I used to eat. 

Meat and rice are two of the foods that I have been abstaining from.  I eat them only on special occasions. Since today was not one of those days, I decided to take foods from the things that I do eat and make them interesting. My diet nowadays consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, fish or seafood and nuts. One of my favorite things I always loved to have is a Haitian dish known as Mais Moulen.  It can be translated to corn meal in English. I also love salmon. So I decided to make a meal that included the two and the finished product was excellent.

Corn meal has always been my favorite food.  My nutritionist told me that it is not a bad grain to have which is helpful for this crazy diet I am on.  Haitian folks cook cornmeal like rice.  I could just eat it plain with a little butter on it but sometimes I like it with bean sauce, djon djon which is also known as dried black mushrooms in English or mixed with beans. I decided to make it mixed with black beans. It is easy to make and does not require much ingredients to complete the meal. I can have it anytime; even for breakfast. Whatever time you do have it though, mais moulen is always delicious.

Since I am not eating meat, I have to improvise with beans, nuts and fish to get the necessary protein my body needs. And since I love salmon, what a great way to have the foods I love and on a day when I am home and able to cook whatever I want with the time I want or need to cook. I decided to bake the salmon over vegetables. What is great about this meal is that it is baked in its entirety so the vegetables don't come out soggy and the juices from the salmon drip upon it to give the legumes an incredible flavor. Also, the salmon comes out almost as if it were fried with the garlic, onions and salt it is coated with.  Pretty good meal for a Saturday evening.  Both the salmon and the corn meal can be prepared and eaten separately but I made it as a meal and here is the recipe.


Mais Moulen avec Pois Noire

 

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Calories: 361 calories per serving

4 Calories from fat

Serving Size: 4

 

Ingredients

1 bag of fine yellow Corn meal

1 can of goya black beans
canned stewed tomatoes

1 tspn garlic powder
1 tspn onion powder

1 packet of sazon con azafran
 
1 tspn salt
1 tbsp butter

 
Instructions

First you take a medium sized pot and fill 3/4 of it with water and place it over a medium fire. Add a bit of oil to the water  so that the corn meal will not stick to the bottom.  Add a tspn salt, one packet of sazon, a tspn of garlic powder and a tspn of onion powder. Add the canned black beans. Take four stewed tomatoes from the can, cut them in half and add them to the water.  Bring the water to a boil and add corn meal.

Corn meal must be stirred constantly so that it will not stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring it and add a little butter to it to help bring it to an even softer texture.  Let the contents of the pan sit on a low fire for another 15 minutes and you can serve it. Can also be served as a vegetarian dish.
 

Baked Salmon over Vegetables
 

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Calories: 300 calories per serving

53 calories from fat

Serving Size:  4

 
Ingredients
 
4 salmon cutlets

1/3 bag of frozen collard greens

8 artichoke hearts

1/3 bag of frozen green beans

1 large whole tomato

1 cup of raw radishes

1/2 can of sliced black olives

a handful of mushrooms

3/4 of a medium red onion

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp butter

Instructions
Set the oven at 425.  Get a medium baking pan and layer the bottom of it with collard greens. Top it with green beans.  Add a few artichoke hearts to each corner of the pan.  Slice the radishes and layer the contents with it.  Add mushrooms and olives.  Slice the tomato and add a layer above the vegetables. 

In a dish add salt, garlic powder and onion powder.  Take the Salmon, sit it in the plate and coat both sides of the salmon with the spices. Place the spiced salmon above the vegetable content. 

Slice the red onion and add a ringlet above each salmon cutlet.  Add a piece of the tbsp of butter above each piece of salmon.

Place the content of the baking pan into the oven and let it cook for one hour. 

Optional:  Grab some hot peppers and place them in a jar.  Add a little bit of oil and place it into the refrigerator.  Let it cool and set into the flavoring for about a day or so prior to using it to cook.  Use that as a spice for the vegetables. 
Both recipes can be served individually as a meal on its own.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Taste of Homegrown and True Organic Foods


Je m’ennuie beaucoup de
legumes organique?

That is French for, did I miss
much of organic vegetables?
Pardon my French though, I
am Haitian but have not

mastered the official language of my family's

country that well yet. But hopefully one day.
 
I got a chance to taste fresh peppers taken from my
friend’s garden in Queens, NY and what a difference. I won’t
downplay what  we find in the supermarkets because I do
love vegetables period.  But the taste coming straight from
the garden is so agreeable to my taste buds.  I am so 
thankful that she allowed me to have some to take home. I
am even more grateful that my
mother was able to use those
peppers to make homemade hot
sauce.

Nothing like true organic style
homegrown peppers!!! I think next
spring, I will get out there into the
garden and do some planting of my
own because the outcome is so
worth it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baked Mahi Mahi and Vegetables

It has been a month since I started my new lifestyle.

I have had one cup of coffee this entire month. For me, that's big considering I used to drink about two to three cups a day. I still have yet to have bread, but I did have meat, rice and pasta. Summer is full of barbecues so, I did indulge because it is not an everyday thing; just a sometimes thing.  On an ordinary day though, my diet is mainly fruits, vegetables, beans and maybe fish.

A few years back, my sisters and I went on a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico.  That was where I discovered my favorite fish. Mahi Mahi just has that pleasing taste that I haven’t found in no other. They call it dolphin-like meat. The fish is very meaty and I absolutely love it. I was so happy to find it on sale last week. Made me want to buy it and since I cook every day,  I decided to create a dish using it.
 

Baked Mahi Mahi and Vegetables
 

 
10 oz Mahi Mahi steak

Tomatoes

Garlic

Collard greens

mushrooms

Red and green peppers

Carrots

Onions

Radishes

Lemon juice

Butter

 
In a Medium Oven Tray, Cover the bottom of the tray with collard greens , radishes, carrots and mushrooms.  Cut the Mahi Mahi steak in half and season it with garlic, a teaspoon of butter and sprinkle it with lemon juice.  Place over vegetables. Cover the Mahi Mahi with green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Set the oven at 425 and let cook in the oven for about 45 minutes.  Serves two.
 
A nutritionist once told me that the more colorful the variety of vegetables in a dish the better. So hence the different vegetables in this dish. Comes out very flavorful with the juices from the Mahi Mahi seeping into the collard greens. Goes well with a glass of Pinot Grigio or even a nice tall cup of hot tea.

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