Tag Archives: parsley

Roasted Pepper Hummus~ WIAW

Today is another beautiful sun shiney day, with temps reaching close to 80 degrees! This is well above normal temps for March so I’m enjoying it while I can with my boys. I woke up and ran 4.5 miles in 45 minutes and followed it up with some abs before work this morning.

Since the weather is warm, I like to eat light. I roasted peppers for dinner last night, with the extra’s I decided to add it to my hummus to make a roasted red pepper hummus. I added some fresh herbs, such as basil and parsley to get some greens in there. I’m linking this recipe over at Peas and Crayons for What I ate Wednesday (WIAW).

What do you guys have planned today?

What did you eat today?

Lisa’s Roasted Pepper Hummus
Servings: 10/ Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Weight Watcher pts plus: 2
Calories: 98/ Protein: 4 g/ Fat: 4.5 g/Carbs: 10 g/ Fiber: 3 g
1, 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans rinsed well
1/2 cup of roasted peppers~ I roasted my own and used 2 red bell pepers
1/4 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/3 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic ~ use more or less
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh Italian leaf parsley
2 basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor or blender, combine garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon juice; process until the mixture is smooth.
2.  Add roasted peppers, parsley and basil; process until the peppers are finely chopped.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to small bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.
Nutritional Analysis: Calories: 98/Protein: 4 g/ Total Carbs: 10 g/ Fiber: 3 g/ Total Fat: 4 g/ Saturated fat: 0.6 g/ Monounsaturated fat: 0.7 g/ Polyunsaturated fat: 1.7 g/ cholesterol: 0 mg/ sodium: 120 mg
% Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet for adults for 4 Tbsp (1/4cup serving) : vitamin C: 21%/manganese: 18%/ folate: 16%; phosphorus: 11%/ copper: 11%/ vitamin K: 9%/ B1: 9%/ iron: 7%/ magnesium: 6%/ zinc: 5%/ selenium: 5% vitamin A: 5%/potassium: 4%/ calcium: 3%/ B2: 2%/ pantothenic acid: 2%

Zucca in Argodolce {Sweet and Sour Pumpkin Salad}

I have to say that I’m lovin’ grilled pumpkin, not only for its nutritional benefits but for it’s versatility in so many dishes. I ended up going back to the grocery store to buy more sugar pie pumpkins to grill for during the week! This particular dish was inspired by Molto Mario, he used yellow acorn squash but said that pumpkin works well too. I played around with his dressing and added my own twist . It works well with acorn squash, butternut squash or pumpkin.

I also made a wonderful vegetarian salad with the grilled pumpkin. I threw some mixed greens, with red onions, cucumbers, raw pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds into a large bowl, had some extra dressing on the side and made myself a quick healthy lunch.

Not to change the subject but here’s a picture of my little guy trying to tell me that my salad is his. Yep, he loves walking around the house saying,  “mine”! Well, he is at that toddler age, as a matter of fact he turned TWO today!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my baby boy! Omg, I can’t believe how time flies! I’ll have to share with you tomorrow(most likely later in the week)  the cute little desserts I made for my little pumpkin on his special day!

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin inspired by Molto Mario
Servings: 4/ Serving size: 1/2 c. pumpkin & 1/4 c. dressing 
see nutritional analysis breakdown below.
Ingredients for grilled pumpkin:
weight watcher points plus: 0 /old ww pts: 0
Ingredients for the salad greens (serves 1):
weight watcher points plus: 3/ old ww pts: 2
  • 2 cups of mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 cup of diced English cucumber
  • 2 Tbsp red onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • not pictured because I added later, some fresh orange segments about 4 segments
Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Citrus dressing (serves 4):
weight watcher points plus: 6/ old ww pts: 6
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey, your favorite sweetener – 1  pckt of stevia works too
  • 3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • a handfull of fresh herbs finely chopped – I used half Italian parsley and fresh basil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • optional: red pepper seeds
1. Place the grilled pumpkin wedges on a platter.
2. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing, mix and serve with the pumpkin wedges. Serve the pumpkin hot or cold.
3. Add the salad ingredients, top it off with grilled pumpkin, and 1/4 cup of dressing.
Nutritional Analysis for about 1/2 cup grilled pumpkin: calories: 25/ protein: 1 g/ carbs: 6 g/ sugars: 1 g/fiber: 1.3 g/ total fat: 0 g/ saturated fat: 1 g/ monounsaturated fat: 0g/ polyunsaturated fat: 0 g/ cholesterol: 0 mg/ sodium: 35 mg
Nutritional Analysis for 1/4 c. dressing (4 Tbsp dressing) with honey: calories: 225/ protein: 0 g/ carbs: 12 g/ sugars: 11 g/fiber: 0 g/ total fat: 20 g/ saturated fat: 2 g/ monounsaturated fat: 15 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 2 g
Nutritional Analysis for mixed green salads with 1/2 c. grilled pumpkin without dressing: calories: 112/protein: 7.5 g /carbs: 18 g/ fiber: 6.6 g/ sugars: 3 g/ total fat: 2.4 g/ saturated fat: 0 g/ monounsaturated fat: 0.5 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 1.0 g/cholesterol: 0 mg/ sodium: 20 mg

Tabouli Salad {Grain Free and Low Carb}


I wanted to make some healthy low carb recipes to stick with my eating plan for great grandma Mary’s birthday party. I thought I’d add some finely choopped carrots in place of the bulgar wheat. We ended up ordering some tabouli salad from the middle eastern restaurant for the other guests. I have to say this toubli salad is not only colorful but it’s  also packed with many phytonutriens, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene, and lycopene.     
Tabouli Salad {Grain Free & Low Carb}- Lisa’s Smart Recipes
Serving: 8 / Serving Size: 1 cup without chickpeas
Weight Watcher Pts: 2/ Points Plus: 3
Calories: 105/ Protein:  2g/Total Fat:  7g /Carbs: 10 g/ Fiber: 3 g
Print this Tabouli Salad {Grain Free and Low Carb}
1 ½ cup cooked red quinoa
1 cup green onions w/ greens
3 cup of diced tomatoes
1 ½ cup of cucumber seeded and diced
3 ½ cups of chopped flat leaf parsley
½ cup fresh mint, chopped
¾ c fresh lemon juice
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 sea salt or more to taste
pepper to taste
 1.  Chop the following ingredients: green onions, tomatoes, cucumber,  parsley, and mint leaves.  Add all the chopped ingredients into a large bowl; set aside.
2.  In a food processor, add carrots, about 2 cups of baby carrots will get you about 1.5 cups of finely chopped carrots
3. Add carrots to the chopped ingredients. Next, add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; mix well.
4. Transfer the tabouli salad into a nice serving dish, season with more salt and pepper to taste, garnish with lemon wedges and lettuce leaves.
Option: top it off with your favorite protein, such as chick peas, grilled chicken breast or fish.
Nutritional Analysis 1 cup without chickpeas:
calories:105 / protein: 2 g/ carbohydrates:  10 g/ fiber: 3 g/ sugars: 4 g/ total fat: 7 g/ saturated fat:1  g/ cholesterol: 0 mg/ sodium: 85 mg
% Daily Values:
vitamin K: 597%/vitamin C: 99%/ vitamin A: 128%/folate: 18%/iron: 18%/  manganese: 13%/  magnesium: 8%/ B6: 8%/ calcium: 7%/
thiamin: 7%/ niacin: 7%/ riboflavin: 6%/ zinc: 6%/ niacin: 5%/ chromium: 4%/ vitamin: E: 1%/ biotin: 1%

Ab Challenge & Kefta Kabob recipe

I came across “Life As I See It fitness blog by Jill Conyers today and decided to join her in a virtual challenge. This is my first virtual challenge and I’m so excited. It’s  5-week ab challenge. From July 1 – August 5, 2011. I’ll try to complete 3000 abdominal exercises without a single crunch. Participants will average 100 ab exercises a day! 

Okay, I’m a bit late with the AB challenge but I did do a crazy Ab routine by my favorite BodyRockin’ fitness coach, Zuzana. On Thursday, I did her Ab Torture Workout routines (1-5). My abs are still a bit sore today and it’s Saturday! This is the workout, or click here for a video by Zuzana on how to perform this routine.

  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • standing paddle on right (I used a 10lb medicine ball) – 20 repetitions
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • standing paddle on left with medicine ball – 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • lying oblique abs on right side: 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • lying oblique abs on left side: 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • kneeling paddle on right side (I used 10 lbs medicine ball): 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • kneeling paddle on left side: 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • lying oblique crunch to the right with medicine ball: 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • lying oblique crunch to the left with medicine ball: 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • a different variation of oblique crunch by Zuzana (she used a club-bell, I used a medicine ball): 20 reps on right
  • 100 skips with jump rope
  • variation of oblique crunch on the left: 20 reps
  • 100 skips with jump rope

Wow, I did 1100 skips! No wonder my abs got a good workout! Jump roping is an awesome workout. I’m going to have my kids skip rope more often with me!

Beef Kefta Kabobs

On another note, I couldn’t stop laughing at my terrible photo of my beef kefta kabob the other day. Kefta or kofta is a middle-eastern meatball or meatloaf, it can be served on a stick shaped oblong or shaped like round meatballs. You can bake, broil, or grill them, your choice. This dish is usually made with ground lamb but I used lean ground beef. Personally I don’t like lamb, the smell of it makes me sick!

Anyhow, I wanted to post this recipe today but my husband begged me not to post  it because of this picture. I’m going to post it anyway, but I’ll just post  a thumbnail shot of the picture.


See it looks like turd on a stick! I’m sure you are either grossed out by this post or laughing with me.  They tasted awesome, I swear they did! But honestly this photo doesn’t do justice. I guess I really need to work on my food photography skills.

Okay, here’s the recipe:

Beef Kefta Kababs~Lisa’s recipe
servings: 4/serving size: 3 ounce / weight watcher  pts: 5/ points plus: 5
calories: 225/protein: 32 g/fat:7 g/ carbs:6 g /fiber: 1.5 g
2  pounds 95% lean ground meat, I used Piedmontese ground beef or you could do half beef and half lamb)
1 cup finely chopped white onion (about one medium sized onion)
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley more or less to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves more or less to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon or all spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste


1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, let it sit in the fridge for about an hour or so for the flavors to blend.

2. Next, shape the kefta into oblong sausage shape on a skewer by using your hand to mold it into shape or you can just shape them into perfectly round meat balls.

3. I cooked min in the oven (pre-heat oven to 400 ° F but you can cook them on a grill. I put the kabobs in a glass pyrex baking dish with a bit of water and overed with foil to create steam. I let it cook for about 8 minutes on each side, then took off the foil to let it brown for another 3 minutes or so. I used a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reached 165°F. NOTE: watch the meat often to make sure you don’t over cook and dry them out.

4. Serve immediately. I served this with my quinoa tabbouleh salad pictured below, pita bread and garlic dip from the Mid-Eastern restaurant.

 Quinoa Tabouli Salad

Nutritional Analysis for one 3 ounce serving of kefta meat:
calories: 225/ protein: 32 g/ carbohydrates: 6 g/ fiber: 1.5 g/ sugars: 2 g/ total fat: 7 g/ saturated fat: 3 g/ monounsaturated fat: 3 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 0 g/cholesterol: 82 mg/ sodium: 177 mg
% Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet for adults: vitamin K: 314 %/ zinc: 54%/ B12: 47%/ vitamin C: 40%/ selenium: 37%/ niacin: 35%/ iron: 28%/ vitamin A: 27%/ B6: 24%/ phosphorus: 24%/ potassium: 13%/ B2: 13%/manganese: 12%/ magnesium: 10%/ pantothenic acid: 9%/ copper: 7%/ chromium: 6%/ calcium: 6%/ B1: 5%

Healthy Chicken Nuggets {Italian Style}

My kids love chicken nuggets. When my second child was a toddler, I was guilty of feeding my kids chicken nuggets on a regular basis along with other quick convenient meals. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with feeding your kids chicken nuggets and other processed foods, as long as it’s in moderation. Unfortunately, I fed my boys chicken nuggets, boxed macaroni n’ cheese, and frozen pizza almost daily for lunch! I was contributing to the pitfalls of a “picky eater”!
At that time in my life I was finishing up my nutrition degree at Madonna University, and the last thing I wanted to do was to make lunch or dinner.  I was extremely busy going to school, working, and raising a family. Even though I went to school for nutrition, I was falling into that trap of feeding my kids processed convenient foods too often. They acquired a taste for salty, fatty, yellow light-browned colored foods . You know typical kids food that would be served at a restaurant, like macaroni n’cheese, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, chips, and cheese pizza.
Now that I know better,  I make my own “healthier’ version of my kids favorite processed foods. I even take it a step further and make extra to freeze  for future meals. There are times when I’ll buy cleaner wholesome version of my kids favorite convenient or processed foods, to save on time. But one thing I have noticed they still tend to be high in sodium and high in cost. (check out my post Annie’s Macaroni n’ Cheese for sodium comparison to Kraft macaroni n’ cheese). Today, I’ll be sharing with you one of my many chicken nugget recipes, I’ll post others in the near future.
Below is a comparison of the nutrition facts label of my chicken nuggets compared to store bought nuggets from Costco. (I’ll occasionally buy this brand at Costco but only feed it to my kids like once a month. It took me like 6 months to wean my kids off of the store bought chicken nuggets and now they don’t miss it.)

My Italian style chicken nugget recipe:

  • 3 pieces weighs about 100 grams per serving:
  • calories: 152
  • total fat: 4 g
  • fiber: 2 g
  • sodium: 213 mg
  • %Daily Values: iron: 6%/ calcium 2%/vitamin A: 0%/ vitamin C: 3%

Yummy Brand by Maxi Canada Inc (sold at Costco):

  • 4 pieces weighs about 84 grams per serving:
  • 180 calories
  • total fat: 7 g
  • fiber: >1 g
  • sodium: 380 mg
  • %Daily values: iron: 4%/calcium: 2%/vitamin A: 0%/vitamin C: 0%
As you can see, my servings weighs about 16 grams more per serving but my version offers a bit more fiber per serving as well as less calories per serving too. Also my version is lower in sodium, higher in iron and vitamin C. But to make this comparison fair, I actually should have compared the two ingredients gram per gram but I didn’t feel like doing extra math, but you get the point! :)
Italian Style Chicken Nuggets~Lisa’s SMART recipe
Servings: 6/Serving size: ~3 pieces/Wt Watcher pts: 3/Pts Plus:3
Calories: 140/Protein: 19 g/ Fat: 3 g/ Carbs: 7 g/ Fiber: 2 g
I’ll also use this breading mix on chicken breast halves for me and my husband, it’s our adult version of chicken nuggets. :)
  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast (cut into chunks)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (ground old fashioned oats certified GF) or whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup corn flakes (crushed) or corn meal
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax meal
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian herb blend – sodium-free
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • vegetable spray
1. Preheat the oven 375 F. Line baking pan with parchment paper, spray parchment paper with vegetable spray; set baking pan aside.
2. Cut chicken breast into 1 inch pieces; set aside covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
3. In a food processor or blender, add oatmeal, corn flakes, flax, Parmesan cheese and spices; blend until fine. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
4. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites.
5. Dip chicken pieces into the egg, then dip into the oat flour seasoning mixture; be sure to cover all of the chicken pieces. Place the chicken on the parchment paper. Spray each chicken nugget with vegetable spray (quick and fast)
6. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken nuggets are golden and cooked through on the inside.
7. Serve and enjoy with your favorite sauce.

Nutritional Analysis: calories: calories: 140/protein: 19 g/ carbs: 7 g/fiber: 2 g/ sugars: 0 g/ total fat: 3 g/ saturated fat: 0 g/cholesterol: 45 mg/ sodium: 207 mg

% Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet: niacin: 40%/ selenium: 39%/ B6: 30%/ phosphorus: 22%/ vitamin K: 14%/ pantothenic acid: 13%/ magnesium: 12%/ potassium: 10%/ riboflavin: 7%/ iron: 6%/ thiamin: 6%/molybdenum: 5%/ B12: 4%/ copper: 4%/ folate: 3%/ vitamin C: 3%/ calcium: 2%/ vitamin D: 2%/ biotin: 1%/ manganese:1%