Posts Tagged ‘low carb’



baby spinach + grilled chicken + grilled red onion & yellow peppers + pears + pumpkin seeds + goat yogurt & herb dressing….this was super yummy, fresh, juicy, crunchy, sweet, salty, mmmmm!!! 



Too busy today to make anything overly ambitious or requiring effort tonight, so it’s baby greens…(again!) +diced tomatoes + diced cukes + avocado + red onion + chipotle salsa straight outa the jar, lol (it’s actually good, promise!) + brown rice “chips”….passed up protein in favour of having a delicious chocolate banana protein smoothie for dessert



classic coleslaw + bbq honey thyme chicken thighs + greek tomatoes (chopped tomatoes tossed in evoo, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, salt & pepper)….I LOVE coleslaw!   I make my own dressing subbing out honey for sugar and almond milk for the milk and ya know what??  My family has no idea, it tastes just as good 🙂  Win!



greek salad (red, orange, yellow & green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, goat feta, kalamata olives & homemade greek dressing with fresh oregano) on romaine with grilled pork tenderloin souvlaki


Another “leftover” or “remixed” salad, atop a bed of iceberg (I know!  but it’s so good sometimes!  I don’t hate on any lettuce 🙂  even the nutritionally-void ones :), chopped avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms and green onion….and then instead of a dressing, I used the leftover salad from last night, the shrimp, crab, corn, peas, peppers & dill salad.  Very fresh and crunchy and light, really nice after this hot summery day.

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Even though you can find every recipe you could ever dream of or wish for online, I still love cookbooks.  Real, paper, food stained, dog-eared cook books that you can sit and flip through and be inspired by. I love to pull our a big stack and leaf through, planning out my week of cooking or just reading and learning or dreaming up things to make one day…Richard bought me this particular book for Christmas a few years ago, Easy Mediterranean, Simple Recipes from Sunny Shores, by Ryland, Peters & Small….this book has so many wonderful recipes, and I find myself reaching for this cookbook a lot.  Delicious, simple, rustic….and this particular recipe that I’m sharing today is one of my favorites…it’s flavours are really bold, the contrast between the salty anchovies and capers and sweet roasted peppers is absolutely delicious….this is a perfect dish to serve at a party because it’s best at room temperature.


bell peppers stuffed with capers

“Bell peppers are ubiquitous ingredients in Italian antipasti and respond well to broiling and roasting which develops the natural sugars.  With salty anchovies and sharp pickled capers, they really come into their own in this elegant dish from southern Italy.”


4 colored peppers, quartered lengthwise and seeded

16 canned anchovies

16 capers

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground pepper


Arrange the pepper quarters on a large roasting pan or cookie sheet.

Cut the anchovies in half.  Divide the anchovies and capers onto the peppers.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano and pepper.

Roast, uncovered, 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or so (cooking times may vary), until wrinkled, aromatic, and beginning to blacken a little at the edges.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, sprinkled with black pepper.

So everyone you know took part in the 365 Day Project a while back, chronicling  their lives on facebook or instagram with a daily picture of their kids or their pet or themselves….well, here is my take on that idea….

Enter the 365 Day Salad Project!

How this came about was, my husband always jokes that I can take any meal and make it into a salad….and, well, it’s kind of true.  I am the a person who likes to eat, a lot, so at dinner time, when I like to really fill up, I have taken to putting whatever it is we are eating as a family, on a bed of spinach or greens.  It satisfies my need to eat what my family is having, to get my daily fill of healthy fresh veggies, avoid eating a boat load of starchy carbs late in the day and most importantly, lol, to feel like I’m eating a large volume of food!  Here they are, not always fancy, sometimes a little odd, sometimes AMAZING, my 365 Day Salad Project!

I’ve been at it for a few weeks on my facebook page, Iron Heart Personal Training, so here is a few weeks in review for you!


…So I’m not usually a big bean fan, but my little Mr Westin wanted “beans from a can” lol, so I cracked one open…and so it was up to him and I to eat them (because the rest of the family would rather eat eyeballs than beans), so while the rest of the family had coleslaw and pork on a bun, I had mine on a bed of spinach, layered on some coleslaw,  topped with roast pork slices and finished with the baked beans.  pretty good!



classic spinach, mushroom, strawberry salad topped with avocado, red onion, roasted chicken breast and my homemade basalmic dressing.  simple but so good!



“Buffalo chicken wing night” salad!  well, kinda…sliced chicken breast (skin on/bone in chicken that had been roasted with sage/tumeric/garlic powder/salt/pepper) drizzled with none other than the uber classy red hot, celery, carrots, tomato, blue cheese, roasted garlic dressing on top of romaine.  Recommend, lol!  yeah, it was YUMMY…



Taco Salad!  I love taco night around here.  It’s one of the very few meals that I prepare that will make all five of us happy, in our own way, without having to really modify anything while cooking/prepping it.  So while the boys enjoyed their taco creations, I like to make mine into, you guessed it, a salad 🙂  On a bed of iceberg lettuce (gasp!  I know I know no nutritional value, better choic…es available, but ya know, you can’t beat that cool crunch that goes so well with taco toppings!), mangos, avocados, red onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, cukes, orange peppers, jalapenos, then finished with ground taco meat (this was beef but obviously turkey or.chicken would be even better).  The dressing I usually like with this is a cilantro lime but when I took the cilantro bag out of the crisper….it dripped!  Bleh!  :/  So, I immersion blender-ed some salsa, lime juice, salt and evoo…ole!   The perfect dressing was born 🙂  Or just salsa will do as a dressing too!
Well, I am ‘off duty’ in the dinner making dep’t tonight, both big guys aren’t here for dinner, little guys wanted pizza, soooo (fist pump!!!!!) I’m on my own!  Yeah!  Okay so , let me first off say, it is really important to eat what you really love, even if it doesn’t make sense….So I am having my fav, roasted green beans (French fries!), a simple salad of that great mix of baby chard, spinach… and baby Bok Choy that I have tossed some chopped tomatoes and avocado onto.  Drizzled with my balsamic dressing.  And, at press time, lol, I have not yet decided on my protein, hmmmmm, spicy seafood snack or smoked oysters?!  Decisions decisions, so classy, hey?!  So that’s it for tonight, sometimes it’s impressive, sometimes, it’s not! 😉
Lemon garlic roast chicken + roasted portobellos, peppers, onions & garlic + asparagus + diced fresh tomatoes + goat feta + creamy red wine vinegar dressing on a bed of baby spinach & chard = yum 🙂
The Antipasto Salad!   We had a dinner party tonight, appies, cold cuts & cheeses to make sandwiches, etc, so I had a salad of baby greens topped with tomato avocado salad (which you will see again very soon as it’s in heavy rotation around here!), prawns, roasted red peppers, mixed olives, ham and a few slices of peppercorn salami.  I also had a few coconut prawns & tortilla chips with fresh salsa that didn’t make it to the plate!  🙂
Pan roasted eggplant, garlic, onions & shrimp on baby spinach….I made it super spicy, extra extra chili flakes then drizzled with my balsamic dressing. Fast, easy, good. 🙂
We’re in full on cold battle mode around here, so I made some homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight.  I made the stock from the roasted chicken we had the other night, so the broth was really rich with roasted garlic, turmeric and sage..  To make the meal both kid/man/and me friendly, I cook the noodles separate and the boys add the noodles to their own bowl at serving time.  For salad,  kept things really simple, and just roasted a head of cauliflower and some beautiful little rosebud beets which I piled onto that baby spinach &chard mix and topped with a creamy red wine dressing & tonnes of hot chili flakes!

Rib eye steak & shrimp on baby kale, baby spinach, carrots, cucumber & red pepper, drizzled with a ginger tamari apple cider dressing…(and then post-photo-op, I tossed the forgotten but crucial shredded fresh thai basil, mint & cilantro! ;)…felt very…substantial.
Welllll….sometimes you have a SALAD…sometimes you drop the L and just have a SAAD, lol!  Richard was in charge of dinner tonight so yes, the pesto chicken with salami (yes, salami! man version of prosciutto?! so classy!) was tasty, but since he was having it on pasta with sauce, my salad was a serious afterthought, haha, soooo I plunked that chicken on top of the leftover spinach/kale/carrot/cuke/pepper salad from yesterday, dug to the far reaches of the fridge and found some creamy dressing, and called it dinner 🙂  It was good, but I like my salad to have a distinct theme, so it wasn’t great 😉
Blackened Cajun Pork Tenderloin on last summer’s homemade salsa (with fresh pineapple chunks & cilantro & red onion mixed in), Braised Apple Fennel Red Cabbage, and just a lil salad (haha! oh so full!) of asparagus, mushrooms, tomato and avocado on romaine, with that same old creamy red wine dressing!
Bean Sprout Egg Foo Young, red bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, avocado, tomato and sea weed on romaine with a ginger garlic tamari vinaigrette 🙂  Yeah!


Tomato avocado salad (tomatoes, avocados, green onion & my homemade balsamic dressing) on top of a bed of romaine with some garlic roasted chicken breast….


Kind of a spring-y fresh salad, iceberg (I know! I know! but sometimes it’s all about the cool crunch, right?!) lettuce, asparagus, roasted peppers, mangoes, creamy vinaigrette….



Noooo, not officially a salad….well, not a salad at all, lol, but some days are just like that….nursing a sick belly today, all I can manage is this, comfort food for me, some roasted green bean french fries and yam fries…with lots of red hot to dip in….and since the thought of any other food, especially meat or fish, makes me ill at even the thought,  lol, I plan to whip up my other fav, a gingerbread smoothie and hope to goodness I feel better tomorrow!


Cauliflower Tabbouleh ~ food processer-ed until couscous size cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cukes, green onion, mint & parsley with a garlic, lemon, evoo dressing + marinated fast fry steak topped with cilantro & basil.  All these delicious fresh herbs have me really looking forward to warm enough weather to get my deck herb garden going!


Roasted Turkey + Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Coleslaw + Candied Spiced Carrot Fries…..Thanksgiving…in May?!  Well, I certainly have a lot to be thankful for, so it felt like the right thing to do 🙂   But no, really, no special occasion here today, turkey dinner actually is no biggie, it’s just like doing a roast chicken, but takes a little longer and you wind up having turkey meat ready to be recreated into another meal or two…or three!   It feels so efficient, which makes me very happy 🙂


Turkey Caesar Salad + Pan Roasted Mushrooms….and yes, on green leaf lettuce not romaine…’cause nothing was worth attempting even the quickest trip into the grocery store tonight with these two little fellas!!!! :/


The Leftover Salad, Cauliflower Tabbouleh + Roasted Chicken Breast + Caesar Salad Dressing….a little random, yes, but some days you just want to keep it simple and not let good things in the fridge go to waste!  It worked 😉


Lunchtime turkey salsa guacamole salad!  The guys had turkey wraps, but I would rather eat my wrap fried in coconut oil ’till crispy like a chip!  lol!  So that’s what I did 🙂


Shrimp, Crab, Cuke, Colored Peppers, Corn, Pea and Avocado Salad with a Dill Apple Cider Vinegar/EVOO dressing on a bed of baby spinach 🙂  Ohhhh it was GOOD!  Very fresh and perfect end to this hot summery day!


And there it is!  The past 22 days of salads ~ keep checking in for the latest, greatest, and maybe sometimes, not so great, salad of the day!

There are a few dishes that are in heavy rotation in my kitchen. And they oddly all seem to involve the same magic trilogy :


salt/pepper/garlic powder


I swear you could roast just about anything, and it would be absolutely delicious!  We’ve all given kale a go, roasted broccoli (with toasted walnuts, shredded fresh basil and a squeeze of fresh lemon??! yum!), roasted cauliflower (with parm and lemon!), roasted brussels sprouts, roasted carrots (thyme and butter), mmmm, they are all so good.  But my fav??!!  Well, it has to go to the lowly green bean!  One night while making homemade hamburgers and french fries for my family, I decided I wanted some fries too!  Checked the crisper, nothing really called to me, rifled through the deep freeze until I came across a bag of frozen beans.  (A $1.50 bag of beans, I have to add, because I’m nothing if not budget-conscious!  I love economical goodness!)  So I didn’t even thaw them, just dumped the bag out onto my beloved Pampered Chef baking sheet, tossed with evoo, sprinkled with garlic powder, salt and pepper and then let ’em get to work, and OH my goodness, my newest go-to veggie treat was born!  And wouldn’t you know, little Westin forgo his “real” french fries and chose to steal as many of mine as he could, they were that good!


Roasted Green Bean Fries


1 lb-ish Green Beans (fresh or frozen, thawed or not)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
Chili Flakes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss fresh, frozen, or thawed beans with olive oil on a good baking sheet (I love love love my Pampered Chef Stoneware Pan, it is wonderful) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper and chili flakes if you like some heat.  Roast in oven at 400 degrees for about 25-35 minutes, depending on your beans – if they are still frozen, they’ll take a little longer, if they are thawed, they’ll be quicker, so watch them carefully after that 25 minute point.  Give them a toss about half way through.  Roast until browned and slightly shriveled and a little bit crunchy in some parts….I love a lot of texture, and these do the trick for me.  Kind of crisp, kind of chewy, salty, oily goodness 🙂 ….that also happens to be low carb, low cal, good for you AND satisfying.  Win!  Dip in Red Hot or  a homemade ketchup or even a vinaigrette, I bet you will not miss “real” potato fries one teeny bit!

This recipe is a good size portion for two people….unless you’re like me…and eat all of them yourself 🙂  That’s cool too 🙂  If you’re going to have to share with your family, perhaps double up the amount of beans!



Health benefits of Green beans

green-bean-nutritionCheck out the nutrition stats!  These little guys are powerhouses of goodness! Super high in fiber, lots of vitamins and nutrients but really low in calories and carbohydrates.

  • Fresh green beans are very low in calories (31 kcal per 100 g of raw beans) and contain no saturated fat. Nevertheless, the lean vegetables are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant derived micronutrients.
  • They are very rich source of dietary fiber (9% per100g RDA)which acts as a bulk laxative that helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Adequate amount of fiber has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing reabsorption of cholesterol-binding bile acids in the colon.
  • Green beans contain excellent levels of vitamin A, and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and ß-carotene in good amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid in the beans, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light filtering functions. It is, therefore, green beans offer some protection in preventing age-related macular disease (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • Snap beans are a good source of folates. 100 g fresh beans provide 37 µg or 9% of folates. Folate along with vitamin B-12 is one of the essential components of DNA synthesis and cell division. Good folate diet when given during preconception periods and during pregnancy helps prevent neural-tube defects among the offspring.
  • They also contain good amounts of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), and vitamin-C. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • In addition, beans contain healthy amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism. Manganese is a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.