New, healthy recipes to start 2017

Each day is a new beginning and an opportunity to write your own happy ending.

When we moved into our home, the first thing that I placed in the kitchen was a mug with this saying.

Seeing it each morning through sleepy eyes gives me a reminder to make each day a refreshing new start.

This year I resolved not to make resolutions. I do not need a certain time of year to make changes, but rather I need commitment to making healthy choices. Since it seems that I am in charge of the kitchen at our house, I thought that I would focus on that.

First I started with giving the place a good cleaning. Clear off the counter tops, clean out the refrigerator and freezer and empty the pantry of dated dry goods or items that are unhealthy or that you are never going to use.

When we renovated our kitchen, I packed everything up and lived out of storage containers for a few months. I only used about one-half of the kitchen contents that I was keeping in cupboards and drawers.

I turned to reducing and recycling until the kitchen was clutter free, efficient and filled with only things that I love to look at, use and eat.

I decided to store food in glass containers when possible and got rid of any plastic that was not labelled BPA free.

I believe you are not as inspired to cook nutritious meals and take pride in them if you walk into a kitchen that is crowded, disorganized, unclean and unsightly.

Cooking, for me, must be simple with ingredients that are easy to find and to clean up. One dish entrees are a staple as we settle into the winter schedule.

They are easy to keep warm when everyone cannot eat at the same time and tasty even when reheated.

Be sure to add fresh fruits and vegetables to your menus, either incorporated or as sides. Consume protein such as lean meat, eggs, nuts or Greek yogurt at each meal or snack and aim for as many colours as possible.

Consume healthy fats such as flax seed, avocados, hemp seeds and healthy oils with your menus for aiding in digestion and skin and hair health.

Use produce that is in season or that can be stored such as purple cabbage or apples.

Finely chopped cabbage in a green salad also offers an interesting twist to your usual greens.

Stir Fry Green Salad

  • 1 c. converted brown or white rice, uncooked 250 mL
  • 1 tbsp. oil 15 mL
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 3 c. assorted chopped vegetables (broccoli, red pepper, carrots and snow peas) 750 mL
  • 4 c. loose salad greens 1 L
  • 1/2 c. zesty Italian dressing 125 mL
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce 30 mL

Cook rice as directed on package.
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet. Add chicken, cook and stir five minutes or until cooked through. Add vegetables, cook an additional two minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Place rice in large bowl. Add chicken mixture, salad greens, dressing and soy sauce. Toss to coat. Serves four.
>Source: Kraft Canada

One Dish Chicken

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup 284 mL
  • 1 1/4 c. water 300 mL
  • 1 c. uncooked white rice (I use converted) 250 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika 1 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1 mL
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • seasoning salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 c. peppers cut into strips 375 mL
  • 1/2 c. diced onion 125 mL
  • 6 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Mix soup, water, rice, paprika, pepper and seasoning in two-quart shallow baking dish. Top with pepper strips and diced onion. Place the chicken, then season with additional paprika and ground peppers. Cover.
Bake the chicken for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is lightly browned.
Note: You could also prepare this dish in the slow cooker on high for about four hours or on low for seven hours. Serve with a green salad and avocado slices.

Source: www.allrecipes.com.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

The oats and peanut butter give these gluten-free cookies some staying power since they offer protein and fibre.

  • 3/4 c. butter, softened 175 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5 mL
  • 1 c. peanut butter 250 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar 375 mL
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 c. rolled oats 1.12 L
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 5 ml
  • 1 c. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips 250 mL
  • dash of salt for taste

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter, vanilla, peanut butter and brown sugar together. Add eggs and beat.
Add oats, soda, chocolate chips and a dash of salt. Mix. Roll dough into balls (1 inch) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, then flatten slightly with a fork. Bake 300 F (150 C) for 12 minutes. The cookies look moist when coming out but flatten and dry as they cool.

Berry Topped Hot Fudge Cake

Aside from a warm apple crisp, this chocolate indulgence is frequently requested at our house. It’s so delicious and the preparation is so easy that it’s often a special Sunday dessert. You can mix the ingredients in the baking dish.
Enjoy this dessert topped with berries to add vitamin C and fibre. Serve warm and top with a dollop of whipped or ice cream.

  • 1 c. flour 250 mL
  • 3/4 c. sugar 175 mL
  • 6 tbsp. cocoa, divided 90 mL
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 10 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • 1/2 c. milk 125 mL
  • 2 tbsp. oil 30 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 1 c. brown sugar 250 mL
  • 1 3/4 c. hot water 425 mL

Mix the flour, sugar, two tablespoons (30 mL) cocoa, baking powder and salt together in an ungreased nine x nine inch (22 cm) square baking dish or casserole of approximately the same size. Stir in the milk, oil and vanilla until smooth (it will be quite thick). Spread out onto the bottom of the baking pan.
Combine the brown sugar and remaining cocoa, then sprinkle on top of the batter. Pour the hot water over the top, but do not mix. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 40 minutes.
Serves up to nine depending on serving size. Source: My Mom’s Best Meal from Taste of Home.

Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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