31 Healthy Recipes – Pork Tenderloin, Kale Chips, and Vegetable Slaw with Peanut Dressing

I am on a roll! Two evenings in a row I have stepped up and fixed myself a healthy, balanced meal! Mark off three more on my quest to make 31 healthy recipes during National Nutrition Month.

Pork Tenderloin

Tenderloin_SingleAt lunchtime, I asked my wife to begin marinating the pork. She gladly accepted the task, as she knew I would be cooking the remainder of the meal!

Once marinated, I placed the pork on the grill at 350 degrees. I know, I strayed from the directions, but this created less mess and removed the step of searing the tenderloin.

Once grilled up, the pork turned out great! As the tenderloin is a lean cut, it required the hour long cooking period to make it tender. As I mentioned in my post about pot roast, slow cooking is a great was to prepare a lean protein.

In addition to being a lean protein, pork tenderloin is a great source of B vitamins and zinc. Being tasty and nutritious, I will be cooking pork tenderloin much more often. And, with the many healthy marinades out there, I will be able to mix it up and try new flavors!

Kale Chips

Baked Kale ChipsI will admit, I was quite hungry while waiting for the pork to cook. And with a bunch of kale in the fridge waiting to be used in the vegetable slaw, I decided to make kale chips.

I removed the stems, seasoned the kale lightly with olive oil and salt, and placed them in the oven. While they were cooking, I began prepping the veggies for the slaw. I was cutting away, making great progress on the slaw, then remembered the kale chips. I immediately stopped cutting, and opened the oven. It was too late. The now brown kale chips lost all flavor, except for the salt. My first failure of the month. I would have tried again, but I was now committed to not screwing up the slaw.

Vegetable Slaw with Peanut Dressing

Vegetable Slaw with Peanut Dressing-singleLuck for me, the kale in this slaw does not need to be cooked. I cut the veggies, blended the dressing, and waited for the pork to finish.

After only a few minutes (I am a slow cutter), the pork was ready to go, and I was dressing the salad. Typically, when making a salad, I go to the fridge and pull out a bottle of pre-made dressing. Not this time! And, that is what makes this recipe amazing. The dressing perfectly flavors the fresh veggies, especially the jicama. The salad was light, fresh, nutritious, and a great pairing to the pork.

Although, I failed to bake kale chips, this was a successful meal. I was full, my wife was happy, and our compost enjoyed a good serving of burnt kale chips!

My big take away from this meal (excluding not burning the kale chips); making my own dressing! I will save money by not having to buy it, and will always have a fresh dressing, when I need it! How many of you make your own dressing?

31 Healthy Recipes – Curry Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Simple Salmon

Yesterday, I made myself a great dinner, using two healthy recipes on my way to 31 healthy recipes during National Nutrition Month. Here is my thoughts on both:

Simple Salmon

Protein_SimpleSalmonSo good! Though, you can’t go wrong with fresh fish. And, like many recipes I have featured this month, this recipe relies heavily on freshness (which I will blog about in the near future: tips on picking fresh fruit and veggie).

Along with being delicious, this protein has fantastic nutritional content. Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus, and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. Also, as Laura recently mentioned, fish contains healthy fats that reduce bad cholesterol.

Curry Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Curry Spiced Sweet PotatoesI was really looking forward to this recipe. I love curry spices, but have never cooked with them. I was hoping this was a gateway recipe, opening me up to cooking more with curry (it is looking positive that it will).

Either way, the recipe has great flavor. Much different that a typical sweet potato recipe, especially with the additions of feta cheese and pickled onions. I will definitely make this recipe again.

Do you cook with curry? If so, please send me some ideas, especially if it is healthy!

Fuel Your Body for Energy – Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

I hope you have been enjoying our series on nutrition! Today, our registered dietitian, and guest blogger, Laura Dudley helps us find the energy to accomplish our daily tasks, and feel good doing them!

NNM_Logo_2015_hires_lg_r1A fun-filled healthy life requires the energy to enjoy it all! What you eat can increase or decrease energy levels. Here are a few strategies to increase your daily energy funds:

Eat breakfast. Expecting your body to shift into full gear without stopping to refuel is like assuming your car will run on empty. Breakfast restocks nutrients that are running low and stimulates metabolism. When you skip breakfast, you set yourself up to overeat later in the day. Fueling your body in the morning rather than the evening makes sense, since your body uses much more energy during waking hours. Be sure to include a fruit, whole grain, and protein.

Eat regular meals. To help maintain a steady blood sugar and energy level, eat regular meals. Irregular eating habits can cause wide fluctuations in blood-sugar and insulin levels, which affect your energy level and hunger cues

Limit sugar. Do you grab a doughnut or soda when you feel tired? It’s a common mistake to reach for a sugary food or drink when your energy dips. Sugar leads to a temporary high and then sends you on a blood-sugar roller coaster. Sugar dumps rapidly into the bloodstream, causing a sharp rise in blood sugar. To counteract this rise, the body quickly releases insulin, which carries excess sugar from the blood into the cells. As a result, blood sugar drops, often to levels lower than before the snack, but insulin levels remain high, leaving you hungry and tired.

Rather than a sugary snack, choose nutrient-packed, time-released carbs, such as whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, or low-fat granola. Combine it with a small serving of protein, such as low-fat cheese, nuts, Greek style yogurt, or cottage cheese to optimize energy.

Get the right amount of protein. Protein serves a couple of important purposes at each meal. First, it slows digestion, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Also, protein is important for tissue repair and muscle mass—which in turn keeps your metabolism revved up. But studies show that protein in smaller amounts (about a 3-4 ounce serving of meat or 20-30 grams of protein) is all the body can use at a given time, so anything beyond that is either used for energy or converted to fat and stored.

Eat Smaller Portions. To avoid the sluggish feelings after overeating, learn to eat just the right amount. When you overeat, your body is working overtime to digest the meal.

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast or snack to propel you through the day? Share with us!

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