What’s In My Fridge?

What’s In My Fridge?

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Kidney beans

What I Like About It

High fiber and high protein; I love adding beans to as many dishes as I can during the week. Studies show that eating a serving of beans at least 4 times per week, can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. I’m actually just learning to be a better bean cooker. So for many years I just opened cans. I still use a canned bean in a pinch. I have a least a dozen different types of canned beans in my pantry at all times.

How I Use It

Canned beans: If I use canned beans, I just dump them into a colander and rinse the canned beans to reduce sodium. Rinse them for about 20-30 seconds.

I add garbanzo beans to salads. I add black beans to my ground beef or ground bison and then use it for taco salads.

Cooking Kidney Beans

Instructions

Sort the kidney beans the night or morning before cooking. Rocks and small pieces of debris are often mixed in with the beans, and it is essential to remove these to avoid complications while eating.

Dump the beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Although cooking the beans will destroy germs, they may hold an earthy taste if they are not cleaned. Place the beans in a pot and cover with water. Allow them to soak overnight or for several hours.

Drain the water from the soaked kidney beans and replace with clean water. The USDA recommends using 1.75 quarts for each pound of beans that you prepare. Add salt or oil to taste and bring to a light boil.

Add hot water as needed. According to the California Dry Bean Board, the kidney beans should always be covered with water. Allow beans to cook for at least 1 to 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. Verify that the beans are tender before removing from heat.

Easy Low Fat Chili Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 can (15-½ ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-½ ounces) reduced-salt diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) salt-free tomato paste
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Directions
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the onion and green pepper in ½ cup water until tender
  2. Add beans, tomatoes and tomato paste
  3. Stir in chili powder, salt if desired, pepper and remaining water
  4. Bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Yield: 7 servings. One 1-cup serving (prepared without added salt) 198 calories, 295 mg sodium, 0 cholesterol, 38 gm carbohydrate, 11 gm. protein, 1 gm. fat.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home recipe November 1993

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Ground beef (lean)

What I Like About It

So easy to cook up and then use in a variety of recipes from taco salads to spaghetti sauce. I also cook it and then freeze it in ziplocs or Snapware for use during the busy work week.

How I Use It

Easy Open Face Tacos

Ingredients
  • 1 pound of Organic beef
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed to remove excess sodium
  • ½ container of salsa
  • Beef broth
  • 1 lime
  • Green salad
  • Cheese, grated
  • Baked Chips (Pop Chips: cheese or salt and pepper flavor work well here)
Directions
  1. Sauté beef in one tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes
  2. Add the can of refried beans and the strained black beans
  3. Simmer for 3-4 minutes
  4. Add one cup of beef broth and ½ small container of salsa and let simmer for 3-5 minutes
  5. Add the juice of one lime to the mixture
  6. Get a plate and cover it with baked chips
  7. Put the taco mixture onto the chips and then add green salad, salsa, and grated cheese.

Leftover Meal Options

  1. Breakfast/lunch burrito can be made with the leftover taco mixture and scrambled eggs placed in a warm tortilla.
  2. Turn into a taco salad at work the next day. Bring the salad and chips separately, put together with the leftover taco meat. Add salsa as your dressing and some sliced avocado. This is an excellent high protein and high energy afternoon meal.
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Laughing Cow Cheese

What I Like About It

It is a great cheese choice when you’re looking for more great taste with fewer calories. With only 35 calories in each individually wrapped wedge, you can add a lot of cheesy goodness to your active lifestyle without adding to your waistline.

How I Use It

I like to add a wedge in with my scrambles eggs to add extra protein and flavor.

Omega-3 & Protein–Packed Fresh Herb Breakfast Eggs

Ingredients
  • 6 whole Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 3 wedges The Laughing Cow Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread Classic Cream 1/3 Less Fat
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 slices Cooked Bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Tarragon
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Dill
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Roasted Red Pepper
Preparation
  1. Peel, then slice eggs in half lengthwise
  2. Place the yolks in a mixing bowl
  3. Set the whites on a plate (If they slide around, line the plate with lettuce leaves for serving.)
  4. To the egg yolks, add the remaining ingredients except the sea salt. Mix with a fork until evenly combined, breaking up the egg yolks as you mix
  5. Spoon the filling into the hole in the egg whites. Sprinkle with crunchy sea salt to season

Not Your Mama’s Tuna Salad

Ingredients
  • 2 whole Wedges of The Laughing Cow® Light Swiss Original Cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Prepared Red Wine Vinaigrette (or Your Favorite Variety)
  • 2 whole Scallions, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Roasted Red Pepper, Diced Small
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Olives, Diced Small
  • 1 teaspoon Capers
  • ½ teaspoons Lemon Zest
  • 1 can Albacore Tuna (water Packed), Drained
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Dill
  • ¼ teaspoons Each Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Preparation
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine cheese with vinaigrette until smooth.
  2. Fold in scallions, roasted red pepper, black olives, capers, lemon zest, tuna, parsley & dill. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. Serve as desired (sandwich, salad, dip, etc.)

*Recipe courtesy of www.thelaughingcow.com/recipes.

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Low Fat Sour Cream

What I Like About It

Low fat sour cream is a simple way to add low fat creamy flavor and texture to soup and stews. The good news is that a little goes a long way, so use sparingly!

How I Use It

I add it to my favorite chili recipe and I stir into soups.

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Spinach

What I Like About It

Spinach is low in in calories and high in vitamins. One cup of the leafy green vegetable contains vitamin K, and vitamin A, manganese and folate. Popeye was onto something, it contains iron to build up your muscles.

How I Use It

Spinach is great to add to a wrap or salad instead of a romaine or iceberg lettuce.

Spinach can be added to many dishes, pizza, an omelet, soups, or just cooked up with a little olive oil and chopped garlic.

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Butternut Squash

What I Like About It

Low in fat, butternut squash is a great source of dietary fiber. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. It’s a heart healthy fruit (yes, it contains seeds, so therefore it’s a fruit) because it adds a daily dose of folate.

How I Use It

I love to slice it and bake it in the oven to prep it to add to salads, risotto, and other pasta dishes.

My favorite part of Fall is this yummy fruit. Butternut Squash is my favorite.

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients
  • 4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 (½-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 ½ cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons (1-inch) slices fresh chives
  • Cracked black pepper (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 375°
Directions
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan or jelly-roll pan; toss well. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Cool 10 minutes.
  2. Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with chives and pepper, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light, Nov. 2008

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Almonds

What I Like About It

Including a small handful of almonds (a little less than an ounce, shot-glass size) throughout your weekly diet has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. I’ve read some additional studies that show almonds may protect you from heart disease and diabetes.

How I Use It

Almonds are a quick, healthy snack. My favorite almonds are the lightly roast almonds from Costco. It’s a large container so make sure you store it in your fridge so they don’t spoil. I also keep a shot-glass inside the container. This makes it easier to measure the appropriate serving size.

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Pumpkin seeds

What I like About It

Ounce for ounce, they contain more protein than any other nut or seed. A quarter cup has about 8.5 protein grams and is a rich source of many other vitamins and minerals. Studies show that the phytosterols they contain reduce cholesterol levels, enhance the immune response and may even decrease the risk of certain cancers.

How I Use It

Pumpkin seeds are an easy on the go snack. I carry a bag of them with me or in my car. I also love to sprinkle them on my salads.

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Apples

What I Like About Them

They are high in fiber and water. They are very filling and studies have shown they can wake you up as much as a cup of coffee.

How I Use Them

Slice and dip in Greek yogurt for a tangy snack.

Core or slice an apple in half and then bake it at 350° F for about 20 minutes. Add 1 Tbs. of chopped nuts, 1 tsp. of coconut oil (or butter), a drizzle of honey or some dried cranberries or cherries & a little cinnamon, nutmeg, or (a smidge) of brown sugar is also a nice touch.

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Pears

What I Like About Them

Studies have shown that the skin of pears contains at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh. These phytonutrients include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids. The skin of the pear has also been show to contain about half of the pear’s total dietary fiber. Of course, the meat of the pear is also great fiber and contains Vitamins C and K.

How I Use Them

I love to add pears to salads; mix spring greens with walnuts and pears, a delicious salad.

Pears are also a good paring, no pun intended, with different cheeses.

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Dates

What I Like About Them

American Cancer Society recommends an intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day; Dates are a good source of fiber. Including 2-3 Dates/day can help to increase you daily fiber intake. I also find that since Dates are so sweet, if I eat one or two at the end of the meal it can help to kill my sweet tooth.

How I Use Them

Dates are yummy just eating them alone or chopping them up and putting them in a salad or healthy cookie recipe.

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Couscous

What I Like About It

One cup of couscous provides 6g of protein, and 2 g of fiber, and the anti-oxidant selenium, and, BONUS: it’s lower in calories than a cup of white rice or quinoa. I love Wild Roots Pure Harvest Couscous.

How I Use It

I keep it on hand to use as a tasty side dish, in which you could add chopped peppers, spinach and a little onion to the mix to make it look colorful.

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Talking Rain

What I Like About It

It’s a refreshing and no calorie treat at the end of the day.

How I Use It

I make a healthy after work mock tail.

The Brazilian Babe

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of Zola acai juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can of Talking Rain
  • 1 orange, sliced in rounds
Directions
  1. In a pitcher combine the Zola Acai & pineapple juice
  2. Just before serving, slowly add Talking Rain; stir to blend
  3. Serve over ice in cups or glasses
  4. Garnish with orange slices
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