Tag Archives: Lemon

I finally made a dinner recipe!

Props to me – I finally made a real dinner recipe. I blame procrastination. I have been studying for my Endocrinology midterm like a psychopath and have been desperately finding things to do to avoid starting my lab report. Sooo, I went to Trader Joes and picked up a few essentials and some cool new lemon pasta. And its not whole wheat. [Im actually proud of this.... reduction in whole wheat snobbery.] It inspired to me to make this dinner, which took about twenty minutes and was fabulously tastayyy.

Part of why I avoid dinner recipes is because the pictures turn out terrible. No natural light. :(

Chicken and Broccoli in a Lemon, Garlic Cream Sauce

Recipe: Serves 1

1 raw chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

1 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets

2 ounces (or 3/4 cup cooked) lemon pasta

For the cream sauce:

1/3 cup half half

3-4 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp garlic paste or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tbsp honey

dash lemon pepper

dash salt

Directions – Add the lemon juice and garlic to a pan on the stove on medium heat (mine was at 4.5). Add the chicken and broccoli florets. Once the chicken is half way cooked, reduce the heat a bit (mine was just below “4″) and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir. Let everything cook until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Don’t be alarmed if the half and half curdles. Once it thickens, it will look fine and taste delicious. A few minutes before the sauce looks done, boil the noodles until tender. Drain. Add the noodles to the chicken and cream sauce. Toss. Enjoy!

A creamy, savory garlic sauce with a punch of lemon and a tiny hint of sweetness. 

Benefits:

Garlic * packed with antioxidants that fight aging, cancer, and heart disease! Garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and eliminate free radicals (which cause cellular damage). It is also used to treat asthma and yeast infections.

Lemon * a great source of vitamin C. Lemons are also said to help balance the bodies PH and put it into a more alkaline state.

Chicken * A lean source of protein, B vitamins, and the calming amino acid tryptophan!

[to die for] Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Good afternoon! I am blogging right now from school because we still don’t have interwebz in our new house. I took my Calculus final on Friday, which went really well! Afterwards, I met up with a new friend and went rock climbing for the first time. It was the perfect de-stressor and a surprisingly good workout! Two hours flew by. I didn’t feel exhausted until I tried to climb up the inverted wall. It is tilted towards you so it is much harder than a vertical wall, or a wall that is tilted away. My arms literally gave out as I struggled to cling to the little rocks. And I had only made it up a few feet… You really have to trust whoever you are attached to! I was mildly hesitant to let go of the wall off at 30 or 40 feet high, but I did and I alive to blog about it. Afterwards, I went home and packed for the big move. Saturday morning, Chelsea, her parents, Kristi, and I spent all  day packing up and moving to our new house. It is just down the street, but that doesn’t make it any less work! We cleaned the crap out of our old house. I seriously spent three hours on just my bathroom. I hadn’t cleaned it the entire year. At least, not really. I was down on my hands and knees scrubbing the grout and I practically had to sandblast the soap scum off my shower. Sorry. I now understand why some housewives get off to hardcore cleaning products. Works in 60 seconds never sounded so good.

All the hard work paid off though, and Zabace is forking over the entire deposit! Pretty sure we deserve a medal of some sort.  If you are a hardcore reader, you may remember that I painted my wall 6 months ago a royal blue. Since that is technically really not okay, I scrambled to paint it back to cream earlier in the week. During the final walk through, the landlord walked into my room and got a puzzled look on her face. She said “Oh…. I thought this wall was blue. I apologize. You must have thought I was crazy.” I guess she had heard from a repairman or gardener that I had painted my wall blue and was planning on nailing me for it. Not a trace of evidence remained, suckaz!

Since then, I have celebrated, organized my room, started Genetics, and made dinner with my dear friend Dina. She finally came home from Palestine after being gone for over a month. We had a precious date that included dinner, wine, and a trip to my favorite ice cream shop. Dinner was an Italian stir fry, which I have never done before. We sautéed zucchini, onions, snap peas, and chicken with olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper and added fresh mozzarella balls to the mix at the end so it was just melted. On the side we had basil-tomato-marinated mozzarella salad, Chilean red wine, and a slice of her mothers jam cake!

Okay. Down to the recipe that got me through one hell of a weekend. IT IS THE BEST EGG SALAD I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I have eaten this sandwich for 2 of my 3 meals 2 days in a row and then some. It is that good. Don’t question the ingredients, just make it and love it.

Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Recipe: Makes 2 servings

6  hard-boiled eggs (using 2 or 3 of the 6 yolks)

2 tbsp mayo

fresh basil, shredded

1 tbsp honey

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

dash cinnamon

dash dill

dash salt

whole wheat bread

tomato, sliced

Directions -

To prepare the eggs: Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch (above) of cold water. Bring to boil on the stove. Once at a solid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Immediately transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Peel.

Combine eggs with basil, honey, lemon, mayo, dill, and cinnamon (the two spice are optional but add if you have them!). Toast whole grain bread and top with tomato slices and half of the egg salad. Save leftovers in the fridge!

Make this. Change your life.

the most obnoxious vegetable

Every year, summer rolls around and zucchini and squash take over the town. They are hawked at the farmers market as the vendors desperately try to get rid of their endless supply before it can rot, they are displayed  front and center at every super market with signs screaming sale, and they weezle their way into practically every seasonal recipe.

Thus, I get annoyed with zucchini and especially summer squash.

Like everyone else, I had a massive zucchini that I didn’t want to just waste and throw away, so I set out on a mission to make it taste delicious. I wanted that damn mutantly-huge zucchini to taste so good that I would forget it was 99% water and 1% cellulose. And did I succeed? Why yes. Yes, I did.

zucchini salad with fresh herbs and feta cheese

who are you and why do you taste so good? 

Recipe: Makes 3-4 servings

1 large zucchini

3 sprigs parsley, chopped

1 tsp dill

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

dash cumin

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions – Chop the zucchini into cubes. Finely chop the parsley and dill (or you can use dried dill). Toss the zucchini with the parsley, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Fold in feta cheese and enjoy!

simple and delicious

Benefits

Zucchini * this veggie is high in vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, potassium, and beta caroteen! It is also high in fiber and eerily low in calories

Dill * aids in digestion, is a relaxant, can help ease insomnia, and contains the antioxidants monoterpenes, which protect against cancer!

Lemon * a great source of vitamin C. Lemons are also said to help aid in digestion by stimulating the secretion and activation of certain enzymes!

Fresh recipes for summer!

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! The week really flew by. Between classes, my internship, and being a Yes Woman, I feel like I have hardly sat down in the last 6 or so days. My internship at the fertility center has gotten much more stimulating lately. Even my busy work was fun this week. Instead of filing charts and alphabetizing papers, I got to handle ‘delinquent’ charts, which for whatever reason are lacking key information needed to close the chart. Basically, I got to call patients who completed treatment (in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination) and find out whether or not they gave birth and what the sex, name, and weight was. Luckily, everyone I called had a successful outcome and were now the parents of healthy, beautiful babies. Hearing the joy and pride in their voice as they told me little Alexa or Trevor was born on this or this day and weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces left me smiling for days. It was a good lesson in talking to patients on the phone and both keeping it professional, yet showing emotion and excitement for their new family addition. My other shift was even better: I got to watch 4 ultrasounds! At 8 weeks, you can hear the heartbeat  - and it is usually around 170 beats per minute. Crazy.

I need to research on my own and talk to the endocrinologist at the center more before going into details, but I have been meaning to share something he taught me with y’all for weeks now. As most of you are probably aware, foods have been labeled with a rating system called the Glycemic Index. Basically, a high GI food spikes blood sugar and a low GI food keeps blood sugar stable. The whole point of the glycemic index is to predict the body’s insulin response to a food. When we have high blood sugar, our body secretes insulin to make our cells suck it up from the blood. Insulin spikes cause a MASSIVE chain of events in the body and do many things, including promoting weight gain (and growth), and in the long term can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. So, people have been afraid of high GI foods for years now, but as it turns out the GI rating system is not always a good predictor of insulin response. For the most part, it is, but there are many exceptions. It thoroughly depresses me to report that yogurt (yes, including Greek yogurt) actually spikes insulin quite badly (more so than white bread) despite the fact that it is high protein and low GI. This is because whey and casein protein are insulin promotors. Some other proteins (like beef) appear to be low GI but actually have a higher insulin response than would be predicted. In contrast, some higher GI foods have lower insulin responses, like popcorn and brown rice and pasta.  Im not saying to stop or start eating anything, I just think it is good to be aware that the relationship between glucose response and insulin response is not so clear. Once I learn more and can make a better judgement about actual diet modifications related to insulin response, I will certainly share. For now, you can check out this cool chart comparing GI and insulin index ratings and an interesting blog post from a few years back (I don’t know about the accuracy of either).

I am currently in Tahoe with my girlfren Carlyn and am not cooking a single meal this weekend, but here are a few summer-inspired recipes I have been lovin’ on lately.

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Pops

cool, refreshing & high protein!

Recipe: Makes 3-5 pops depending on mold

1 cup plain greek yogurt

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup blueberries (Rhythm and blueberries are the best, if you’re semi-local!)

NuNaturals liquid stevia, to taste

1/2 tsp lemon zest, very finely grated

3 tbsp heavy cream (optional)

Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Fold in blueberries. Divide mixture into popsicle molds and freeze.

Sesame-Sugar Snap Peas

such a filling, delicious snack

Recipe: Makes 1-2 servings

1 cup sugar snap peas

1/3 cup edamame, shelled

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp sesame seeds

dash salt

Directions – Lightly steam the snap peas and edamame (unless you prefer raw!). To do this the lazy way, simply add 1 tbsp of water to the veggies in a bowl and cover with a plate and microwave for about 10-15 seconds, until bright green. Drink the leftover water and pat dry! Toss with oil, seeds and salt. Enjoy!

World’s Best Honey Mustard Dressing

greens, snap peas, grilled parsnip, chicken, sunflower seeds, whole wheat panko

Recipe: Makes 2-3 servings

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp greek yogurt

1/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 egg yolk

1 drop stevia (or pinch sugar)

dash salt, to taste

Directions – Combine all in a dish and mix with a fork until homogenous. For the weird vinegar measurement, I simply used a 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon and filled it half way with apple cider vinegar and filled it to the top with white balsamic vinegar.

Just make sure you re-wash your pre-washed mixed greens!!!!

I came thissss close to eating the little guy. 

Q: How are you celebrating the 4th?

Blueberry-lemon poppyseed pancakes with lemon yogurt creme and maple syrup

Classes started yesterday and they all seem interesting so far! I got into the Biochem lab and it might just kill me. And my GPA. My game plan is to obsessively read the lab manuel before each lab and literally picture myself doing the experiment step by step. It’s the only way to reduce my klutziness. On my About Me page, it says that I am interested in going into researching phytochemicals and antioxidants. While this is true, I am very interested in that, I am not so sure that it is realistic. If my performance in Ochem lab is any indication of my lab skills – I should probably aim for a different profession. Here’s to improvement! But seriously, I have been thinking about med school and becoming an endocrinologist in the last few months. I really loved biochem and systemic physiology and I can see myself incorporating my passion for nutrition into treating patients as an endocrinologist. They deal with metabolic disorders and any health problem related to hormones (aging, reproduction, thyroid, etc). Merh. I don’t know.

On a lighter note, spring quarter has brought floods of people to the gym. I think the realization that swim suit season is fast approaching has got about 1/3 of the student population crammed into the singular weight and cardio room at any given time. It is a zoo. Boo.

LOOK AT MY BOMB BREAKFAST.

Easily my best breakfast of March.

Usually my pancakes don’t have the right texture, so I rarely make or blog them. These, however, came out flawlessly. They are fluffy, lemony and lightly sweet, not too wet, not too dry, with big chunks of blueberries. The lemon creme and maple syrup compliment one another fabulously.

Recipe: Serves 1

1/4 cup whole wheat white flour

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp poppy seeds

pinch salt

1 egg

a bit less than 1/4 cup milk

1/3 of a lemon peel’s zest

handful blueberries

1 tbsp cream cheese

1 tbsp greek yogurt

1 tsp lemon juice

maple syrup

coconut oil

Directions -

1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt in a bowl. Combine the egg, milk, and lemon zest in another and mix well.

2. While stirring, pour the wet into the dry until it has reached the desired consistency (smooth & pourable, not pasty or drippy). I had about 1-2 tablespoons of extra liquid (this is the downside of cooking for one). Fold in the blueberries.

3. Place a pan on the stove at medium low heat and grease with 1-2 tsp of coconut oil. When the oil is hot, pour in the batter.

4. Cook until bubbles have risen all over the pancake. Flip and cook until golden.

5. Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, and yogurt in a dish. Stir well.

6. Layer your pancakes with lemon yogurt creme and top with maple syrup, extra lemon zest, and blueberries. Enjoy!

Make me.

Benefits:

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Lemon * a great source of vitamin C. Lemons also aid in digestion by stimulating and activating certain enzymes!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Whole wheat flour *  when you choose white flour over whole wheat flour, you are losing over half of the B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

OMG, these are better than Starbucks!

Y’all must make these today. They are amazing.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Recipe: Makes 5 muffins

Separate the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients into separate bowls. Combine and mix with as few spatula swipes as possible. Divide into 5 or 6 muffin tins that have been sprayed with canola oil. Bake at 400 for about 15-18 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.

Dry ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

pinch salt

almost 1 tsp baking soda

almost 1 tsp baking powder

Wet ingredients:

1 tsp grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

almost 1/2 cup light sour cream

1 1/2 tbsp canola oil

1 egg

almost 1/4 cup water

These were such a hit with my family. They aren’t exactly health nuts either. Mom and Steve do eat lots of veggies and lean protein, but white flour and vegetable oil and typical southern fare is also very common. I think they were expecting my “health muffins” to taste bland, but I got stellar reviews from everyone!

Loryn (my best friend since 3rd grade): “These are darn good muffins!”

Emily (step sista): “These are better than Starbucks!”

Mama: “Mmmmm yum. I didn’t know I liked poppy seeds until now!”

Steve (step paps): “Omg. Ld. These are amazing.”

Benefits:

Whole wheat flour *  when you choose white flour over whole wheat flour, you are losing over half of the B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Lemon * a great source of vitamin C. Lemons are also said to help balance the bodies PH and put it into a more alkiline state.