“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Believe me – I’m not a health nut.

I would love to be but I cannot even pretend to be.

I know lately all I seem to be posting are lighter, healthier meals but let’s be honest, I’m not trying to be health conscious – I still have baby weight to lose!! 🙂

So one of the “healthy” things I now incorporate with my meals is using whole wheat pasta. This is because I need to not because I want to. I still vastly prefer the regular but what can you do?

I will tell you! You make a fabulous sauce that masks any taste you are not particularly found of in the whole wheat pasta.

Here’s an example.

Chicken and Penne Pasta with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stir together lemon juice and minced shallot; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in olive oil, parsley, honey, and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.

For the Pasta:

  • 2 – 3 pan grilled chicken breasts or 2-3 cups rotisserie chicken (can be served whole or chopped, shredded)
  • 1 (16-oz.) package whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 (8-oz.) package thin green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1.5 cup Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding green beans to boiling water during last 6 minutes of cooking time; drain. Rinse pasta mixture under cold running water until cool; drain. Toss together chicken, pasta mixture, tomatoes, and vinaigrette. Just before serving, stir in dill, and add salt/pepper and feta to taste.

20140701-175657-64617698.jpg

-abp

Advertisements

“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” ~ Voltaire

I love Mexican food! Who doesn’t like Mexican food?

If you don’t, seriously, I don’t trust you.

It’s un-American to not like Mexican food. Isn’t it like, right behind hamburgers and hotdogs??

(no offense to my non-mexican food loving friends)

The thing about Mexican food though – is it can kill a diet. All those never ending baskets of chips and salsa. Not to mention if you order cheese dip…….

Because of this, if I’m watching what I eat (aka on a diet), it’s best for me to avoid Mexican restaurants.

I have no will power.

And I know it.

So, the following recipe helps me indulge my cravings without totally blowing my calorie count.

Shrimp Tostadas with Black Bean Salsa

For the shrimp:

  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the black bean salsa:

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon prepared chunky salsa (choose your heat level)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained

For the avocado topping:

  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado
  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Other:

  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 corn tostadas
  • 4 lime wedges

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Arrange tostados on baking sheet.

Combine all shrimp ingredients in a bowl, let sit for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the salsa, cover and refriderate. (this can be done ahead of time)

To prepare avocado topping, combine yogurt, juice, and avocado in a small bowl, mashing with a fork until smooth. Stir in tomato.

Put Tostados on baking dish and place in oven to warm

Heat oil in large pan to medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for around 6-7 minutes or until opaque/done.

Divide each topping (beans, shrimp, avocado) evenly over the 8 warmed tostadas. Serve with cracked pepper and a squeeze of lime.

The length of the ingredient list might throw you for a minute but this is actually a very simple recipe. Extremely tasty too!

Here are a couple things for you to take note:
1. The Black Bean Salsa makes this dish!
2. I prefer regular guacamole as opposed to this avocado spread – so you can make your own favorite guacamole or buy ready made.
3. These shrimp can be grilled on skewers for a little more flavor/color but I did not have any skewers when I made this.

-abp

20140624-195802-71882433.jpg