Jeff’s Favorite Asian Sweet & Sour Bean Salad

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Yes, you have to have a vegetable in your lunch. At least whenever I pack your lunch. Which is a lot. This is by far his #1 favorite side-dish vegetable: My award winning Asian Sweet & Sour Four Bean Salad.
Award-winning because years ago I entered it in a Canola Oil contest and won $500! Lucky me! And lucky Jeff because he’s getting fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and lots of phytonutrients. Lucky me, too, because the only thing I have to chop is the red onion. Everything else is open, drain, rinse, stir, whisk, stir again.

Jeff's Favorite Asian Sweet & Sour Bean Salad
 
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Perfect salad for make 'n take pitch-ins, lunches and time-pressed cooks.
Author:
Serves: 6 - 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz.) cut green beans, drained
  • 1 bag (16 oz.) frozen shelled edamame, thawed and microwaved
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup corn, canola or vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Chinese mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, lightly stir all beans and red onion together. In a separate small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add to beans and stir just to combine/blend. Enjoy immediately. Refrigerate salad in a tightly covered container. Makes about 11 ½ cups salad.
  2. Kim’s Healthy in a Hurry Lunch Tip: Enjoy a big serving of this salad with Jeff’s favorite Ham, Apple & Cheese Sandwich (whole wheat pita pocket with deli ham, sliced cheese and thinly sliced apples…a little honey or zesty mustard, too.)

Fall & Football Favorites

Touchdown! All these fall favorites – apples, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, chili, cornbread – score big time at your next celebration or tailgate party.

Intercept ho-hum tailgate sides with a batch of Maple Apple Baked Beans. Pass the apple and pear slices for my Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip. Huddle for more whole grains with my Skillet Cornbread. And tackle that bag of apples you bought by turning them into Homemade Chunky Applesauce.

Forward pass to my Recipe page for all four recipes and get in the game with great taste and good health for your tailgate party!
(Cornbread photo courtesy My Indiana Home magazine/Journal Communications)

 

Kim’s Whole Grain Skillet Cornbread
 
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Serves: 8-10 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter or shortening for 10-inch cast iron skillet plus more for melting over top of cooked cornbread*
  • 2 cups whole grain stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup corn oil
Instructions
Heat oven to 425°F. Add butter to skillet and place in oven to completely melt. In a large bowl, whisk together corn meal, flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and corn oil. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until combined with a wooden spoon. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven and spread cornbread batter evenly in skillet. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean or with just a smidgen of crumb. Immediately after removing from oven, rub top and edges with butter stick, melting it as you rub. Do this several times! Makes 8-10 pieces.

*A 10-inch skillet that is 10-inches across the bottom and 12-inches across the top rim.
Tips & Hints

  1. Find wholegrain cornmeal right near the other cornmeal and flour. Always store it in the fridge to keep it fresher.
  2. Corn oil is exactly the same calories and fat grams as other oils, and it works great for any baking, including corn bread, corn muffins and corn pudding.
  3. Lately I’ve been using full-fat buttermilk in my cornbread, but low-fat works well too.

Homemade Chunky Applesauce
Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce
 
Author:
Serves: 10 servings of ½ cup each
Ingredients
  • 4 ½ pounds apples (combination of any favorite cooking apples)
  • 1 cup 100% apple juice (such as Simply Apple)
  • 2 tablespoons to ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
Instructions
Peel, core and cut apples into 1-inch chunks. In a 4 to 5 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine apple chunks, apple juice, sugar, lemon and orange juices, zests, allspice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining desired cinnamon. Using a fork, wooden spoon or potato masher, mash apples slightly, leaving some chunks. Refrigerate in tightly covered container.

Tips & Hints

  1. Kim likes a less sweet applesauce, Jeff likes it sweeter! I use at least ⅓ cup brown sugar when I’m making a big batch for Jeff’s lunches.
  2. Use more or less spices and zests depending on how you like your applesauce.
  3. Best apples include Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh….just about anything other than red delicious.

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Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Apples & Pears
 
Author:
Serves: 11 servings of ¼-cup each
Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 oz.) ⅓-less fat cream cheese
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon ground Saigon cinnamon
Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Enjoy immediately or chill one hour before serving. Serve with thickly sliced apples and pears.

Tips & Hints

  1. I normally make a double batch for parties or get-togethers. Use 2 cans (15 oz. each) rather than 1 big 29 oz. can.
  2. Use as much or little of the spices as you want!
  3. If you don’t have time to slice pears and apples, just use gingersnaps, vanilla wafers or graham crackers. Even shortbread cookies.

Maple Apple Baked Beans

Maple Apple Baked Beans

Maple Apple Baked Beans
 
Author:
Serves: 15 servings of ⅔ cup each
Ingredients
  • 5 cans (15 oz. each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2¼ cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple (2 very large apples)
  • 1⅔ cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped, cooked bacon
  • 1½ cups hickory barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup stone ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Pour in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated throughout.

Tips & Hints

  1. Kroger’s new Roasted Bacon that only takes 2-4 minutes is an absolute timesaver for this recipe! Just look for boxes of it in near the refrigerated bacon.
  2. Definitely use hickory barbecue sauce to compliment the maple syrup.
  3. Tarter apples, like Granny Smith, really help balance the sweet maple syrup.

 

Red Velvet, Green Apple & Hot Wings on Game Day

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Still haven’t figured out the line-up for your Super Day of Eating menu? Consider these crowd-pleasing ideas.

Dessert: Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing. Simple to make and so much easier to cut into bite-size portions than a huge Red Velvet Cake. You’ll still get rich red velvet flavor with irresistible cream cheese icing, though.

Appetizer: Hot Wings Hummus. Fast, easy and a fantastic substitute for the more calorie-and fat-laden but oh-so-delicious Hot Wings or Buffalo Wings Dip. Nutrient and protein-rich chickpeas are blended with antioxidant-rich spices and seasonings. Serve with fresh celery sticks – a winning way to get more vegetables on the plate!

Side Dish: Maple Apple Baked Beans. Oh sure, you could put out bowls of grapes, Cuties, kiwi, bananas and berries for everyone enjoy. But can you really imagine enjoying your Porter or Stout (my faves) along with fresh fruit? Probably not. Score big-time by adding apples to baked beans, maple syrup and barbecue sauce.

Touchdown: Crock pot on for Pulled Pork with a lean pork loin, skillet on the stove for Hot & Spicy Beef Burrito meat and some whole-wheat buns and corn tortillas….maybe a batch of my Zesty Black Bean & Corn Salsa for extra veggies ……and Touchdown! The perfect menu for blending and balancing great taste with good health. Even on this Super Sunday of Eating.

Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Brownies
1 cup butter
2 ounces bittersweet baking bar, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 (1 ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Frosting
1 (8 ounces) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter or shortening.
Microwave butter and bittersweet chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl on high 1 ½ minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.
Whisk in sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition.
Add red food coloring, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk until thoroughly blended.
With a wooden spoon, gently stir in flour, cocoa powder and salt. Pour and spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan on wire rack before frosting.

While brownies cool, make frosting. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla. Frost cooled brownies and store in refrigerator.
Makes 36 small brownies. Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

Spicy Three Pepper Hot Buffalo Wings Hummus
2 cans (15 to 16 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1 cup chickpea liquid reserved
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
3 (or more!) tablespoons cayenne red pepper hot sauce
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
¼ cup tahini
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor. Add ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons reserved chickpea liquid. Puree until smooth and creamy. Add additional chickpea liquid if you prefer a thinner hummus. Serve with celery sticks, waffle-style pretzels, pretzel crisps and/or whole-grain crackers.
Makes about 14 servings of ¼ cup each (3 ½ cups total hummus). Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

Maple Apple Baked Beans
5 cans (15 oz. each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2¼ cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple (2 very large apples)
1 2/3 cups chopped sweet onion
1 cup coarsely chopped, cooked bacon
1½ cups hickory barbecue sauce
1 cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons dry mustard
½ teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Pour in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated throughout.
Makes about 10 cups (15 servings of 2/3 cup each). Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

 

Eight Almost Effortless Ways to Lose Weight

Weight loss takes work, but the time you dedicate to eating right and exercising doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing proposition or feel overwhelming. These eight low-effort, but highly effective strategies can help you shed those extra pounds.

1. Multi-task while Watching TV – instead of sitting and staring, get moving! Do lunges, jumping jacks or squats against the wall. Move the treadmill into the TV room instead of letting it sit in the back room acting as a  clothing rack.

2. Shorten Your Shopping Trip – the less time you spend in the supermarket, the less likely you’ll overspend and make impulse purchases. Stick to a list. Don’t’ go hungry. And while you’re shopping, move quickly up and down the aisles, because that’s an easy way to…

3. Sneak in More Steps! That’s right – adding more steps burn calories. And that includes supermarket shopping up and down those aisles. Walk fast. Check out 100 Ways to Add 2000 Steps Daily at www.americaonthemove.org 

4. Cook Once, Eat Twice – or even three times.  Make a big pot of soup or chili (my favorite nutrient-rich chili recipe below filled with lean beef and lots of antioxidant-rich canned beans and tomatoes) or a huge oven-baked casserole to enjoy several days in a row. Let LO’s (leftovers) be your ally; they save time and keep you on track with eating right.

5. Dress for Success – if wearing a new, brightly colored top or t-shirt to the gym will help you feel more energetic, motivated, and able to make it through your entire workout, then take hit the sales rack and treat yourself. In fact, if you’re like me, doing your workout is as important as any appointment, which means I always look spiffy (and that includes with make-up if it’s already on that day!)

6. Keep Ready-to-Eat Snacks on Hand – have smart snacks readily accessible like string cheese, small bags of peanuts and nuts, small cups of fruit and tiny baggies of whole-wheat crackers. Quick nutrient-rich snacks with protein and healthy carbs keep you satisfied and help prevent mindless overeating and munching.

7. Chew & Break Between Bites – some studies suggest that eating slower, or chewing your food more times, may help you eat fewer calories.  So try putting your fork down in between bites or at least every now and then. Slow. Down. Enjoy. Savor. 

8. Family Fun with Exercise Videos – from dancing videos to boxing and bowling, take advantage of all the videos and DVD’s for an active family night. 

(Inspiration for ideas from MSN fitbie.)

 Kim’s Spicy Three Bean & Beef Chili

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ½ cups finely chopped onion

1 pound ground sirloin

4 finely minced garlic cloves

1 can (15 oz.) each dark red kidney beans, red beans and pinto beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained

2 cans (14.5 to 15 oz. each) petite diced tomatoes

3 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce

3 to 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper

1¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon salt (optional)

5 to 10 drops hot red pepper sauce

   Heat oil in a large stock-pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and ground sirloin. Cook, crumbling beef, until thoroughly browned. Carefully drain grease.  Add rinsed and drained beans along with all remaining ingredients to onion-meat mixture. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, 35 to 45 minutes, until all flavors are blended.

Makes about 15 cups (9 servings of 1 2/3 cups)

 Recipe Created by Kim Galeaz, RD.

 

Double-Dipping Allowed

Pizza Hummus PinwheelNeed some inspiration on what to take to the next office pitch-in, weekend party or Monday night football get-together? Try a nutrient-rich dip, like White Bean Dip. It’s a great vehicle for eating more whole grains and vegetables!  I love to serve this dip with 100% whole grain crackers – my favorites are Triscuits Reduced Fat and Kroger’s 100% wheat squares – and a slew of fresh veggies, from carrots and celery to sugar snap peas, red, yellow & orange bell pepper strips and zucchini wedges.

Here’s a secret:  Men who either hate hummus or have never tried it will love this white bean dip. Just be sure and call it that instead of hummus! My dip is “practically” hummus – the only difference is traditional hummus uses chickpeas and my version contains white kidney beans and great northern beans. Rinse those beans and cut over 40% of the sodium! I’ve boosted the onions in this recipe to up the antioxidants and I’ve kept tahini – it’s an essential ingredient in dips like this – but I’ve reduced it slightly since it’s a huge calorie and fat source.

Enjoy! And remember… when you’re with really, really good friends, they won’t mind if you accidentally double-dip!

White Bean Dip

1 can (15 oz.) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup chopped green onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves or 1 to 2 teaspoons ready-to-use minced garlic
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in food processor bowl and pulse until smooth and thoroughly blended. Serve immediately and refrigerate leftover dip.  Makes about 2 ½ cups (about 10 servings of ¼ cup each)   Customize your white bean dip by adding: roasted red pepper, Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, black or green olives, fresh dill, and/or chives.

Nutrition facts for ¼ cup:  115 calories, 6 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 300 mg potassium, 1.5 mg iron, 50 mg calcium, 5 g fiber.

Time for a Big Bowl

ChiliIt’s chili time!  Chili is the first thing I think of when fall rolls around.  It has all the right things from a nutrient standpoint: fiber, antioxidants and lots of disease-fighting and immune-boosting nutrients. But best of all, chili is filled with comfort and warmth. Chili isn’t chili in my book unless it’s hot and spicy and packed with far more beans than meat. My husband Jeff tells me it’s the best chili he’s ever had, but I’m not gloating because I know that everyone has different preferences when it comes to chili ingredients and heat level. Enjoy a big bowl tonight!  And let me know your favorite chili combinations.

 Hearty Three Bean Chili

 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ½ cups chopped onions

1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 pound ground lean pork, ground beef round, ground beef sirloin or ground turkey

1 can (15 oz.) light kidney beans

1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans

1 can (15 oz.) red beans

2 cans (14.5 to 15 oz.) diced tomatoes

3 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 to 12 drops hot red pepper sauce

 

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and ground meat. Cook until beef or turkey is crumbled and cooked thoroughly. Carefully drain grease. Drain all canned beans and rinse to remove sodium. Add beans to onion-meat mixture along with all other ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Makes about 16 cups (8 servings of 2-cups each)