Friday, May 22, 2015

Hello everyone!

Long time no blog.  I'm posting today to let you know that I've moved the Who's got the thyme blog over to my new website.  I've been really focused on getting my Health Coaching affairs in order and I'm now back in action and ready to post and share and cook and eat and so on and so forth.  In fact, I've already posted twice on the new page so if you haven't seen this through Facebook posts, please join me here.  While you're there, sign up to receive the posts when they're published in the subscription form right at the end of the blog post.  I hope to see you there!

By the way, yesterday's post has a really easy and delicious recipe you won't want to miss....
Who's got the thyme?

Be well,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Breakfast of Champions

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?  I have no idea.  Depends on which fitness or nutrition blog or magazine article you happen to be reading.  I've seen the argument go both ways. Whether or not it is THE most important, or even important all is not for me to decide.  I think it makes perfect sense that eating breakfast, especially when trying to lose weight, will keep you fueled up and less likely to snack or dig into junk food because you're suddenly starving.  I think if you're going to eat breakfast it should be a good, healthy, not super sugary one with a decent amount of protein to keep you satisfied for a longer period of time.  Personally, I don't like to eat right away in the morning so I bring my breakfast to work.  I either bring my beloved Greek yogurt with berries and granola (which I now make homemade instead of store bought) or instant oatmeal (which I'm now making myself as well because of all the sugar in the store bought stuff) with almonds and flax seed.  On the weekends however, I'm up for an occasional pancake (I would never make for myself but if Nels is whipping up a batch, why not) or sometimes eggs.  Eggs are a super healthy food.  Gone are the days when it was believed that they increased your cholesterol (if you still thought that was the case, fear not, that's old news).  Why (or really "how") people eat egg whites only is a mystery to me.  I've never been a fan of the way they taste and the bulk of the nutrients are in the yolk anyway so you might as well go all the way.  So with all that said, I want to share my new favorite way to eat eggs on the weekend (especially if you're heading out for a while after breakfast or planning to get a good workout in!).  Poached eggs on avocado toast is where it's at my friends, and I invite you to try it out for yourselves.
Get yourself a couple of good eggs (no one likes a bad egg!) and half of an avocado (healthy fats are your friend).
Get a couple (or maybe just one if you're not that hungry) of slices of bread.  Try to be selective with bread.  I'm loving the Ezekiel bread, which is probably the best stuff out there (in the store) as far as ingredients and whole grains go.  Sometimes we buy Heidelberg bread which is made from real ingredients, no preservatives, no sugar (why do most store bought breads have sugar anyway?) and it's based in Herkimer, NY.  Whatever you do, don't be fooled by the names, like the Pepperidge Farms  Whole Grain bread which contains sugar, sugarcane, honey AND molasses (not to mention a few other questionables)! Why? Read your labels.
Ok, done with my bread rant (for today).  Get yourself a pot of water and heat the water until gently bubbling and try to keep it at that temp (not a full boil).  Give the water a swirl with a spoon...
and gently ease your egg into the water using a small bowl or measuring cup to keep it in tact. Set your timer for 3 min for medium (2 for runny, 4 for hard) and scoop out with a slotted spoon when the time is up.
Meanwhile, smash that avocado onto your toast (no butter needed) and season with a little salt and pepper.
Plop that egg right on top and add a touch more salt and pepper.
Oh man.....that is good.  Another variation we like is to add a little baby spinach under that egg. Yum.
Give it a try! It is really tasty and will have you ready to go to take on the gym or whatever else you have going on.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cozy In A Pot

In our house, we eat whole, real foods at least 85% of the time.  Sometimes, OK, maybe twice a year I include something a little less favorable in the form of kielbasa.  Unfortunately I have not found (because it probably doesn't exist) a healthy version of kielbasa.  It's high in sodium and contains nitrates (like most lunch meat) but like most things, I think once or twice a year is probably not going to be the end of us.  So, with that said, I'd like to share this delicious cassoulet recipe which is perfect on a cold winter's night.  (If anyone has a substitution for the kielbasa, please share! Unfortunately I think its hard to get that fabulous smoky meat flavor without the evils of nitrates and nitrites.)  This recipe is a mix of a couple of recipes that sounded good to me and here's where I ended up...
OK, so I started with a cup and a half of sliced carrots.
About a cup, or one whole chopped onion comes next.
And of course, a giant parsnip.  I didn't measure it because I was going to use the whole thing no matter what.  I have a surplus of giant parsnips at the moment so I'm going to have to start fishing around for some more ways to use them.    
 This was probably about two cups chopped (the carrots and onions are in the bowl as well!).
We must not forget the garlic!  Never forget the garlic.  I used two cloves but one is huge so I'd call it three, minced.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan.  Add the chopped veg along with 1 teaspoon or dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Cook over medium heat for five minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain two cans of great northern beans.
Add half of the beans to a large bowl and smash (I used the bottom of a glass to get the job done).
Trim and cut a 1 pound pork tenderloin into 1 inch pieces.  Chop 1/2 pound of smoked sausage into 1/2 inch pieces.
Add the meat and the rest of the beans to the bowl and mix well.
Once the veggies have softened add two cans of diced tomatoes to the pan.
Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Add half of the meat and bean mix to the slow cooker, top with half of the veg mix and repeat.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
Don't forget to build a nice salad to eat with the cassoulet!
Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and some fresh parsley.  Enjoy, and stay warm!

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2- 2 cups sliced parsnips
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 cups great northern beans drained and rinsed
1 lb pork tenderloin cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 lb smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add chopped veg and seasonings, cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse two cans of great northern beans.  Add half of the beans to a large bowl and smash until creamy but with some chunks remaining.  Add the meats and rest of the beans to the bowl and mix well.

Add canned tomatoes to the pan and bring to a boil, remove from heat.  Place half of the bean and meat mixture to the slow cooker, top with half of the tomato veg mixture and repeat.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Scoop into bowls and top with grated Parmesan and fresh parsley.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Little Somethin' To Warm Your Bones

I'm not sure what kind of weather you're experiencing today but outside of my house it is pure yuck.  Its about 46 degrees, raining like crazy, windy, dark, yucky.  It's the kind of day that leaves a chill in your bones that's tough to shake off making it the perfect day for a hot bowl of soup that requires little effort (so you can maximize your time spent being cozy with your favorite people or pets watching football or movies or whatever strikes your fancy).  This recipe for Salmon Chowder with Dill is from Food Network Magazine.  It's a Crock Pot meal that doesn't involve a can of soup or an envelope of seasonings or any of those things that drive me nuts.  This is real food made super easy.
It all begins with some clam juice. The recipe calls for 3 cups of clam juice or chicken broth.  I used a combo of the two, more clam than chicken.  You put it in a bowl in the microwave and get it good and hot.
Get a pound of red skinned potatoes and dice them up.
Place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Chop two stalks of celery, I recommend chopping the leaves up too, they really add a nice flavor to any chowder, if you you ask me...
Toss the celery and and two sliced carrots in with the potatoes.
Next comes half of a white onion chopped and two cloves of garlic, minced.  Right into the crock it goes.
Now you gather up your fresh herbs.  This is dill, parsley, thyme and a couple of bay leaves.
Peel off a wide strip of lemon zest from a lemon...
find some twine...
and tie it together in a nice little bundle.
Place your bundle (of joy) on top of the veggies.
Pour in the hot clam juice, cover and cook on high for 3.5 hours.
After the 3.5 hours you'll get your fish ready.
Season one pound of wild caught salmon with salt and pepper.
Stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream into the Crock Pot...
and partially submerge the salmon.  Cover and cook for 30 more minutes.
Chop a little more dill and some green onion for garnish.
This is the perfect time to throw a salad together.
Now you go enjoy that nice soup and salad on a bone chilling fall day! Click here for the full recipe.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

No Crust Required

I'm sticking with my mission to provide easy and relatively quick weeknight recipes to help take the pressure off all you busy people.  I go about my menu planning for the week in a variety of ways but sometimes it's all about using up what we have an abundance of.  We belong to a CSA for our beef and pork (and occasional chicken).  Each month we pick up our insulated bag of goods and see what we got.  Since we aren't eating beef and pork everyday (as no one should) sometimes we have a little stockpile going.  At the moment I have three roasts in my freezer!  Anyway, last week I dug around to see what meat and veggies we had stored up in the freezer and decided to make a fritatta for dinner.  A fritatta is basically a quiche without the pastry crust.  This makes it easier and healthier right there.  What I love about this dinner is that you can use anything you like, whatever is on hand. Change up the veg, change up the meat, or skip the meat all together.  If you like a little cheese, use whatever strikes your fancy.  Here's what I came up with...
I started with a medium onion and half of a red bell pepper chopped.  I cooked them in a tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet until softened.
While those were cooking I thawed and chopped some kale, about 2 1/2 to 3 cups worth.  Until recently (last week) none of us were crazy about eating kale.  We love it in our smoothies but couldn't get a taste for it otherwise.  After this dinner, I served it up again in....something....I can't even remember what right now but I do remember being shocked that we ate kale twice in one week and we all liked it!
 I also chopped a couple of tablespoons of parsley and grated a little sharp cheddar.
Next I beat 8 eggs with a splash of milk (1/4 cup) and salt and pepper.
Then I added the kale and about a cup of chopped ham steak (from the CSA) and continued cooking until the kale softened a bit. Then pour the eggs in and give it a stir.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of that part but just let it cook it until the eggs start to set but are still runny on top.  Top with a little cheese and put it under a broiler on high for about 13-15 min (keep an eye on it).
Now doesn't that look good?
You just slice it up and serve.  We usually have this with a side salad but since we were in "use stuff up before it goes bad" mode, I made some potatoes instead.  Salad would've been better.  Just so you know.  This served the four of us and we had a couple of slices left over for an awesome week day breakfast.