Wednesday, August 15, 2012

OK who turned up the heat

The last two weeks have been off and on warm with this week heading towards the mid 90's I thought I'd share what I do on hot evenings and yet still eat healthy. I used to just grab something quick (some forzen item and nuke it) and flee to the master bedroom (the only room in the house with an AC in the window) to eat.

I've been stocking my fridge with a variety of vegetables giving me many options for a healthy meal. The most time consuming part chopping, dicing and prep I try and do in the morning for whatever meal I plan for the evening. You just pop your prepped veggies in a bowl, cover and stick them in the fridge waiting for your return. I do this with polenta also, make a day or two before in the morning, set it, then cut into serving portions size, box it up and stick it in the fridge.

On hot nights I'll throw some polenta on a grill while I cook something else for the family and serve that up with a quick pickle of veggies or maybe a modified tzatziki (creamy cucumber side). Sometimes I'll whip up a quick 1/2 sandwhich and some salad, or stuff a pita pocket with my veggies with a little hummus. Basically anything that works and keeps me from slaving in a hot kitchen.

Here is my recipe for Tzatziki:

•1 tbsp. lemon juice
•1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
•2 cloves garlic, minced finely
•1/2 tsp. salt
•1/4 tsp. white pepper
•1 cup low fat Greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%), strained
•1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream (basically 2%)
•2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
•1 tsp. chopped fresh dill

Peel the cucumbers, slice them down the middle (long ways) scoop or cut the seeds out (I use a melon ball tool), slice lengthwise again turning each half into 3 long "spears". Dice these spears and place in a colander over a bowl sprinkle with the salt and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours (this removes all the liquid).

Take the Greek yogurt out of its container, place it in a piece of cheesecloth in a colander over a bowl and leave for at least 3 hours (this drains all of the liquid out).

When ready squeeze the yogurt in the cheesecloth once to remove any lingering moisture. Place in bowl and whisk together with sour cream, pepper, garlic, dill and lemon juice.

Add cucumber, stir and then refrigerate for 20 minutes to let flavors incorporate.

You can fill a pita pocket with this, use it as a dip, or even as a side. The calories for this only add up to 261 so it works perfectly with half a whole grain pita for a meal or part of a meal.

My Menu for today:

Breakfast - Peanut Butter and Banana Toast, 2 slices of Dave Killer Bread (21 Grain), 2 tbs peanut butter and one small banana sliced up. Calories 500, Fiber 14.6g

Snack - Carrot Sticks, 1 medium carrot sliced up (I was going to have hummus with this but ended up to close to lunch to want the extra calories) Calories 35, Fiber 2g

Lunch - Mediterranean Salad with a Pita Pocket, Calories 507, Fiber 17.6g

Snack - Orange, Calories 62, Fiber 3.1g

Dinner - Chicken Tortilla Soup, Calories 355.5, Fiber 8.5g

Calories = 1459.5
Fiber = 45.8