Monday, November 22, 2010

Tangy Pumpkin Seed Salad



Add some kick to your meals with this delicious side salad! The combination of lemon and Worcestershire sauce in the dressing will have your taste buds dancing while the healthy fats in this salad feed your skin to make it glow!


• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ tsp / 2.5 ml sea salt
• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp / 5 ml Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 cup / 120 ml best-quality olive oil
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 10 cups of the lettuce of your choice
• 1/3 cup / 90 ml toasted pumpkin seeds


  1. Rinse lettuce of your choice under cold water and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, add minced garlic and salt.
  3. Whisk lemon and Worcestershire sauce into the garlic.
  4. Continue to whisk the dressing while slowly pouring the olive oil in a steady stream. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  6. Add pumpkin seeds to the lettuce then pour the dressing over top.
  7. Toss the lettuce to coat with dressing and serve.

Tosca's Tip

The dressing for this salad is perfect for a Clean Caesar Salad! Tear two heads of romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces, add the dressing and toss to coat, then serve with fresh parmesan cheese on top. Much healthier than a regular Caesar salad but with all of the flavor!

Nutritional Value for One Serving of Salad:

Calories: 120
Calories from Fat: 98
Total Fat: 10.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
Total Carbs: 4.3 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 3.86 g
Sodium: 56 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken Parmigiana

I got this recipe from which has recipes you can make and freeze to eat later. The first time I made it Christopher remarked that it tasted like something you would eat at a restaurant. It is not healthy but I have to admit it is delicious! Hope you enjoy it!


1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts. I like to use chicken tenders because it means I get to skip the step where you pound the chicken to 1/4 inch thick.

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs. I like to use the Italian bread crumbs and I use much more than called for. I just make sure each chicken piece is evenly coated.

1/2 cup cooking oil

32 ounces canned tomato sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded. I like to use the shredded Italian cheese blend.

One box of thin spaghetti noodles.


Place chicken breasts on cutting board, pound lightly until 1/4 inch thick (skip this step if using chicken tenders).

Combine lightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Dip chicken into egg mixture and then bread crumbs.

Heat oil in skillet until hot. Quickly cook breaded chicken, browning on both sides and then place chicken in a shallow baking dish. I use a 9 x 13 baking pan. You do not need to cook the chicken all the way through, just brown it on the outside. Repeat with all the chicken breasts.

In the same skillet (with remaining oil and loose bread crumbs) stir in tomato sauce and garlic powder, heat to boiling. Simmer 10 minutes until thickened.

Stir butter into tomato sauce, then pour over chicken in baking pan.

Sprinkle chicken with parmesan cheese, cover with mozzarella (or Italian blend) cheese and cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer.

Serve over cooked thin spaghetti noodles.

*One note I want to add about this is that I like having more tomato sauce than this recipe calls for, otherwise there is not enough sauce to coat all of the noodles I serve with the chicken. In the past I have added 1-2 cans of petite diced tomatoes to the spaghetti sauce while it simmers for 10 minutes. Doing this made enough sauce but it also changed the flavor of the sauce and it did not taste as good as it does by following the original directions. I think next time I make this I will follow the directions for the sauce and pour over chicken as directed. While that is baking in the oven I will make additional sauce on the stove that I can put on the noodles if they don't seam coated enough. I'll use the same skillet pan, stir in 32 ounces of tomato sauce and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder then heat to boiling. Then I'll simmer 10 minutes until thickened and stir 2 Tablespoons butter into tomato sauce and serve with noodles.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Iranian (Persian) Rice

My wonderful, patient Father-in-law (Mohamad) taught me how to make Iranian (Persian) Rice when he came to visit a few years ago. I found a copy of the exact recipe HERE. But I've published it on our humble, little blog for all of you anyway. It's not low calorie or 'healthy,' but it is some of the yummiest rice you'll ever taste! (I mean, mo butt'a is bett'a, right?)



  1. Start the 2 quarts water and salt boiling in large stock pot or dutch oven.
  2. Rinse rice until water runs clear (or as close to clear as you can get it)
  3. Add rice to boiling water, boil about 10 minutes or until rice is about half cooked.
  4. Drain rice in colander, reserve.
  5. In stock pot or dutch oven, pour about 1/4 cup melted butter on bottom, tilt to cover 2 inches up sides.
  6. Pour the half-cooked rice into the pot, try to make a nice mound in the middle, and avoid the sides as much as possible.
  7. With the end of a wooden spoon, make holes in the mound of rice (5 or 6 places) evenly around.
  8. Pour the remaining melted butter onto the rice, and drizzle 1/4 Cup of the extra water into the holes you made. Cover pot with kitchen towel to absorb the steam, place pot lid on towel.
  9. Cook on very low heat, checking after about 15 minutes. If the rice is browning too fast, add the remaining extra water a little bit at a time.
  10. Cook rice until it's done, about 30 minutes.
  11. Try not to check it too often, as it needs to steam.

Brown Rice (its SOOOO yummy!)

My husband (Deland) grew up eating rice EVERY DAY. (He is Iranian after all.) And let me tell you I LOVE Iranian Style Rice. It is so yummy, buttery, and the crispy rice on the bottom of the pot is amazing! The problem is that I'm allergic to large amounts of butter. (It makes my butt bigger.) Plus I know brown rice is much healthier. So I did some research and came up with an amazing brown rice "recipe" that tastes different from the Iranian rice my husband and I love, but is equally yummy. (Deland eats it by itself.)

Enjoy! (And let me know what you think!)

  • Brown Rice
  • Beef Broth - Low Sodium
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Garlic - 3 or 4 cloves
  • Dried, Whole Bay Leaves - 3 or 4
  • Sea Salt - a dash
  • Pepper - a dash
  1. Read the instructions on the bag.
  2. Substitute beef broth for the water.
  3. Substitute olive oil for the butter.
  4. Add bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper to the broth.
  5. When it comes to a boil, add the rice.
  6. Just follow the directions on the bag from here.

Simple Salsa

I got this recipe from the book, "Your Best Body Now," By Tosca Reno. It really is yummy. I used it over Mexican Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin (from the same book) and served it with Brown Rice. But I can't wait to try it with pita chips!

Servings: 8

  • 1 can (19 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Serve with Mexican Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin, or over chicken with baked whole-grain tortilla or pita chips and a salad.

Mexican Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

I got this recipe from the book, "Your Best Body Now," By Tosca Reno. My 4-year-old even thought it was delicious! (She kept asking for more and cried the next day when I told her I had eaten the last bite. Not.Even.Kidding.) WARNING: It is pretty spicy. But served with the Simple Salsa and Brown Rice, it was just right. (See below for tips on how to make it not quite SO hot.)

Servings: 4

  • 1 can chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or just a single chili if you want more mild heat)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (I used balsamic)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin

  • NOTE: If you don't like hot/spicy food, you could use a single chili from the Chipotle Chili Sauce. It takes some of the 'bite' out of the spice but leaves that rich flavor.
  1. Process chili, garlic, onion, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Add olive oil and blend until smooth.
  2. Place marinade and pork in a zippered plastic bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Sear pork on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, until brown. Transfer pan to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. (I don't have a pan that goes in the oven, so I just transferred my meat to a baking dish.)
  5. Allow pork to rest before slicing, 5-10 minutes. This pork is beautiful by itself or topped with Simple Salsa. (I also served it with Brown Rice.)
Ok, I don't think I had my heat up high enough on the stove top and didn't sear the meat well enough. At the end of my 25 minutes in the oven, my meat was not cooked all the way through. I ended up turning the heat to 390 degrees and set the timer for another 15 minutes. It was still a little pink, but after letting the meat rest, it was PERFECT. Take that information for what it's worth. Try the recipe as it calls for, but if your meat is not done when it *should be* then follow what I did. You should be fine.

Oh, and we fed our family of 4 and 2 missionaries with this meal. PLUS, I made an additional tenderloin (plus rice and salsa) for a family who just had a baby. It was simple to just make two, and I was proud to present such a nice meal to another family!