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Category Archives: Heart Healthy

My heart healthy lasagna post is still viewed a handful of times a day… In fact, it’s one of the most common searches that brings new readers to my blog. I like that people are interested in making healthier versions of their favorite foods… So when my mom told me about this better version of pie crust I knew I had to share it with my readers.

I like this pie crust because it’s super easy, quick, and cleanup is a breeze. It’s just as flaky as your typical pie crust and it tastes so good you won’t miss all of that hydrogenated oil.

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1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons ice cold water

Seriously, couldn’t be easier. Preheat your oven to 375. Mix all ingredients in a bowl… I use a fork and save the water for last. You may have to use more water, so if your dough doesn’t come together add any additional water a tablespoon (or less) at a time.

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Roll your crust out between two sheets of parchment paper. This really cuts down on the mess and makes it easier to move into your pan. I wouldn’t recommend rolling it on a floured surface because you’ll end up with a tough pie crust.

I made this crust specifically to eat with macerated fresh strawberries, so I simply transferred it (still on the parchment) to a baking sheet, poked some holes in it, and stuck it in the oven. If you’re doing the same, or if you’re blind baking the crust for a pie, bake it for 13 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Otherwise, follow the directions of your pie recipe.

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I got one edge a little thinner than the rest and it got a bit dark. It was still good, though!

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I had strawberries and pie crust for breakfast this morning and it was delicious. I can’t wait to try this crust in a pie!


 

I was going to post this the week before the Super Bowl ’cause I thought it would be a nice, healthy dish to serve at a party…

Obviously I didn’t get to it. Sorry, guys. But you can serve it at your next party!

I love, love black bean salsa. For one thing, it’s super easy to make…And, of course, it’s tasty!

Here’s what you need for the basic recipe:

Canned black beans…I get seasoned but I do rinse them to get the mystery gunk off.

Frozen corn

Red onion

Tomato

Cilantro

Lime

Sea Salt

You’ll notice I didn’t include amounts… And I did it on purpose. This is one of those dishes that you can play with until it suits your tastes. Sometimes, I make it with a little more corn (as I did this time). Other times, it’s more tomato-heavy. Do what you want! You really can’t screw it up!

To make this delicious salsa, dice the onion, chop up the cilantro and tomato, dump it all in a bowl with the beans and corn, add the juice of one lime (or as many as your heart desires) and mix it up!

I like to mix it in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid so I can shake it instead of stirring. It’s more fun that way.

Once you’ve got it all in there, sprinkle in some sea salt to taste. I also like to add in garlic powder and whatever other seasonings happen to be calling my name. Just be careful seasoning at this point because you’ll want to let this sit in the fridge for a couple of hours at minimum. I always make mine the night before I need it…That really gives the flavors a chance to mix together. Taste it before serving and adjust the seasoning if you need to.

Please ignore the remains of my Colts manicure. Concentrate only on the deliciousness that is heaped upon that chip.

These chips, by the way, are the best. Please try them instead of regular ol’ tortilla chips. They add a little extra Zing!

Speaking of extra Zing!… As usual, there are plenty of things you can add to the basic recipe. If you’re making this for a crowd that likes spicy stuff, add some fresh (or canned!) jalapeno. Avocado is good in this, just make sure you wait to add it right before serving. Since I was bringing this to a work pot-luck I didn’t bother with it because who wants to stand in the break room cutting an avocado? Not this girl.

One more thing: Make more than you think you’ll need. This stuff goes fast and you want to make sure you have enough for everyone!

 


Before you start this recipe, please promise that at some point while making it you’ll stop and curse violently. It would make me feel better about myself.

I’m not saying this is hard…It’s pretty easy, actually. I just had to stop and curse at my lasagna noodles for sticking to the pan.

My mom has always used the lasagna recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook she got as a wedding present in 1979, so that’s what this is loosely based off of. I won’t post the original recipe here because…well, because I just don’t feel like it.

Your ingredients:

9 Regular lasagna noodles (use whole wheat if you like), no salt added diced tomatoes, 2 cans no salt added tomato sauce, garlic powder, parsley flakes, basil, salt substitute and onion. Let’s pretend oregano is also in this photo ’cause you’ll need that, too.

16 ounce container of fat free cottage cheese, shredded fat free mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. I used the parmesan and romano blend ’cause it was already in the fridge but you can use whatever variety you want. I give you my permission.

Use the leanest ground beef you can find… We’ve been buying this 96% fat free ground beef. You could also ask your butcher to trim and grind up any lean cut, like sirloin.

Brown your beef and about half of a large onion in a skillet with some garlic powder and salt substitute. I threw in some ground black pepper, too. I couldn’t tell you how much…Probably 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic and a teaspoon each of salt substitute and pepper.

Once it’s good and brown dump it in a strainer for a while… I like to also pour it (in two batches) onto a paper towel lined paper plate and press it with another paper towel to soak up even more grease.

The beef and onions go back into the pan with the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon oregano, and about a teaspoon of salt substitute. You can also add a teaspoon of sugar at this point to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce. Get the mixture boiling, then turn it down to a simmer until it reduces to the consistency of spaghetti sauce. You might want to go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get a pot of water heating on the stove now, too.

Mix up the cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons basil and (optional) some salt substitute to taste. Stick it in the fridge for now.

Once your water’s boiling, cook the noodles according to package directions. I didn’t salt the water, but you could use the salt substitute here, too. Ok, honestly? I just forgot. This, by the way, is the part that made me curse because I didn’t use a big enough pot. Please use a giant pot so your noodles don’t stick, ok?

While your noodles are boiling, taste your meat sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. It should have reduced by now, so you’re safe to add a little more sugar or salt if you need it.

Once your noodles are done and the sauce has reduced to your liking you can start building the layers. I used 3 noodles per layer and I didn’t worry about covering the bottom of the dish or overlapping them. Spread about half of the meat sauce on the first layer.

Put three more noodles on top of the meat sauce, then spread all of the cottage cheese mixture on with a decent handful of the mozzarella cheese. Add the last three noodles, then spread the remainder of the meat sauce on top. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese (and a little more mozzarella if you like), then put it in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Once you get it out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before you serve it.

It’s better for you than regular ol’ lasagna…but without tasting like it should be.

 

Try it out and let me know what you think!

 

Do you know of a way to make this even healthier? Let me know in the comments or send an email to willfullydisobedientblog(at)gmail.com.

 


So I’ve been spending my evenings with my nose buried in the American Heart Association cookbook while The Boyfriend plays Playstation… I’m convinced my Dad shouldn’t have to replace good-tasting food with healthy food. I’d been telling my parents how good Cornflake Fried Chicken is and I thought I could probably come up with a more heart-healthy version.

I made it for dinner tonight and I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

Delicious AND nutritious!

I used fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts*. I wouldn’t recommend frozen chicken simply because it can contain a lot of sodium (1200 mg in some cases…eek!). Also? I said before to rinse your chicken…uh, don’t. I was wrong.

Mark your calendars guys…You probably won’t hear that again anytime soon.

Anyway, rinsing your raw chicken can get salmonella all over your sink and make cross-contamination easier. Don’t want that, do we? So don’t do it anymore. Unless you already didn’t, in that case just carry on.

Set your oven to 350 degrees. While that’s heating up, pour egg substitute* into a shallow dish and dump some Cornflakes into a bag OR another shallow dish. You can add seasoning (I used cayenne pepper, garlic and paprika…no salt!)  to either the egg or the Cornflakes*, though adding it to the egg might make it a little more evenly distributed. Crunch up the Cornflakes a bit, you don’t want any giant flakes.

I’m sure you know the drill by now…Dip chicken pieces into the egg, then into Cornflakes and put them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. Use a meat thermometer if you’re not sure, or do what I do: pick the thickest piece and cut into the middle of it. If the meat is white and the juices are clear, it’s done! When it’s time to serve, give that piece to yourself or just flip it over on the plate so the hole isn’t visible. Sometimes ya gotta be sneaky.

I served the chicken with mashed potatoes (boiled without salt…just garlic and onions, then mashed with skim milk and Smart Balance ‘butter’*) and corn. I would have preferred fresh corn, but we already had a couple of cans in the pantry. Since the sodium was higher than I wanted I just dumped the cans into a strainer and rinsed the corn before I cooked it.

We also had light cottage cheese. I like to mix it with my mashed taters. Yes, I realize that might be weird.

We have some leftovers so tomorrow evening I’m going to attempt heart-healthy gravy.

Yep. I’m gonna attempt to make the least healthy food I can think of better for you. I’ll let you know how it works out.

 

*I linked to the nutrition info for all of these products…I’m in no way an expert, but I checked them all out to make sure they fit the guidelines in the AHA cookbook.



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