Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fitness Friday

Hmmm, today's topic (well yesterday, sorry I'm late with this), is how to stay cool in your kitchen. Yikes! Julie Mom is hosting this week as well, so make sure to go by her blog to get more ideas! Not use the oven, which is a very good idea in those hot months. Especially when we try to use the air conditioning as much as possible to save. Sitting here racking my brain, as the thought of salads all the time isn't an option. Hee hee, J/K.
Granted no one wants to eat salads and sandwiches all the time. So I do have all kinds of ideas, but am trying to think of the best recipe.
First I'll throw out some ideas though.
1. Grill instead of cooking indoors. Grilling is much healthier when cooking meats anyhow, as the fat runs off of the meat. Of course, use low fat meets, such as skinless chicken. Speaking of chicken, did you know if you boil the chicken for about 5 minutes before grilling it boils off most the fat and saves on those darned pesky grease fires on the grill.
2. If you have a rice cooker, use it. There are so many things you can do with rice. Add chopped meats, black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans, top with some salsa. Sounds yuck, but it's actually very tasty.
3. Get yourself, if you do not already own them, a grilling cookbook, an American Heart Low Fat, Low Calorie Cook Book, or any Low fat cook books. The American Heart Associations Cook book that I recently purchased is awesome.
4. On those cooler days, make up some meals ahead of time that consists of having to use the oven and freeze them (if you have freezer space of course). Purchasing a small freezer is well worth it to be able to freeze things ahead of time. I like to make up zucchini and banana bread ahead of time and freeze. Speaking of, did you know that using brown sugar instead of regular and using applesauce in place of oil, or doing half and half saves on a lot of unwanted fat and calories. And of course using wheat flour instead of white.
Okay, here's my favorite thing to do to keep from using the oven or cooking for that manner, well most the time. ;) And yes, it's salads, but with many variations.

Garden Salad with so many variations
Romaine Lettuce, broken up Green lettuce, broken up
Red Lettuce, broken up Baby Spinach
Spring Mix
Just toss all those together and use any of the following options. I like to vary them to keep it a fresh idea to keep from getting burned out on them.
chopped tomatoes or tomato wedges
chopped red onion
hard boiled eggs sliced or smashed
chopped celery
chopped green, red, or yellow peppers
shredded carrot
shredded red cabbage
sliced mushrooms
black olives
shredded Monterrey jack cheese
chopped or sliced cucumbers
chopped or sliced zucchini
chopped broccoli
chopped cauliflower
kidney beans

Now for more variations, I will top with chopped low fat ham, turkey, chicken, or beef strips. Also the chicken or beef strips that come packaged to use for fajitas, I heat up in the microwave or toss them in a pan and place on the salads. The lettuce's tomatoes, black olives and cheese can be used with taco meat to make a taco salad.

Then I add a fruit salad with it.
Watermelon cubed
Cantaloupe cubed
Honey Dew cubed
green grapes
red seedless grapes
Mix them all together and serve.

A favorite dip we use on occasion consists of Whipped cream cheese light, strawberry or raspberry (you can use any flavor) low fat yogurt, and a container of cool whip free. Just mix them all together and it comes out yummy!
Now of course there are many other types of fruits that can be added to make it different. This is the fams favorite. I like to be creative and cut the watermelon into a basket.
Oh one more, take a half of a cantaloupe or honey dew. After getting its contents out, turn upside down. Use skewers and put cubes of fruit and cubes of cheese alternated on the sticks with a strawberry to top it and stick into the melon. Makes a cute decor and looks inviting.

With all the ideas above, you are getting all you need nutritionally minus your whole grains. But those can be reached through snacks and breakfast. Keeping cool, I'll take the easy and healthy way out any day!


Denise said...

Yummy ideas.

RCUBEs said...

I'm hungry now as I read your post :) Great tips to become healthier. Thank you for sharing! Have a great weekend and God bless. Blessings and love to you.

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Great tips.

I live in an apartment, so I don't have a grill, but I do cook and freeze a lot when the weather is not so hot, and then I can just take meals out of the freezer and reheat on those scorchy days when I'm tired of salad and sandwiches.

Hi! I'm Grace said...

I love healthy foods, but I have to admit that I sin against my body a lot of times by not taking myself the way that I should. That is the area in my life that I prayed a lot to improve.
You inspired me to do something for our body, Tammy, as we know that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and we should take care of it.
Have a blessed Sunday, Tammy.

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Thanks Denise

:)Blessings and love to you too RCUBEs

Freezing ahead of time really does help out a lot Great Granny. And handy for those days when your tired, hot, or rushed for time. There are so many ways to get around it. Have a great weekend!

I hear you Grace. I'm guilty of that as well. I have not choice now. I believe it was God's way of saying, "hey, would you take care of my temple down there please! I've been pretty lenient with you, but hey, let's not take it too far. ;) Have a great Sunday as well. God Bless