Magnificent Mango Kale Smoothie

By Jodee Weiland

Summer time is the best time of the year to enjoy a nice cold smoothie! My new smoothie is both healthy and delicious. If you drink all fourteen ounces on your own, you will find it quite filling as well. Nonetheless, you can also choose to share this awesome smoothie with someone else. Either way, my Magnificent Mango Kale Smoothie will help you maintain your health goals while adding a great tasting smoothie to your day!

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Putting together a healthy smoothie isn’t rocket science, but you should have a way of tracking the calories and the nutritional elements of your recipe, so you will find the best option for meeting your individual dietary goals. I use the food diary in the app, MyFitnessPal, to do this for myself.

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As I add on each ingredient to my food diary, it tells me the calories and more. For example, my Magnificent Mango Kale Smoothie is 416 calories for all fourteen ounces or 208 calories for half the recipe when made with the blue agave, which adds 60 calories to the recipe. Various programs have features that will count the calories and more, so if this interests you, look for the one that is best for you. In the mean time, check out the awesome recipe for my Magnificent Mango Kale Smoothie!

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Magnificent Mango Kale Smoothie

  • 2 cups fresh kale (torn away from center stem)
  • 1 cup fresh mango sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 cup raw organic pumpkin seeds shelled
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic blue agave nectar (optional)

Prepare and place all of the above ingredients into a blender. Blend the ingredients together until smooth. Pour the smoothie into a glass and serve. This recipe will be enough for about two seven ounce servings or one fourteen ounce serving.

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As I said earlier, my Magnificent Mango Kale Smoothie is both delicious and healthy. It has all the nutrients of kale and mango both, plus those found in almond milk and pumpkin seeds. Kale, often referred to as a super food with staying power has protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and so much more. Mango is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more, as well as being a good source of potassium. Pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and numerous health promoting antioxidants. All in all, the health benefits of my Magnificent Mango Kale Smoothie make this one awesome smoothie to use as a meal or just enjoy before or after a workout. Give it a try, and enjoy!

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Delicious Jambalaya with Chicken Sausage and Shrimp

By Jodee Weiland

When I first starting making jambalaya years ago, I used a recipe from a cookbook called Celebrate Chicago: A Taste of Our Town and  put together by the Junior League of Chicago (1996 edition). Since then I have adapted the recipe for jambalaya in this cookbook, especially after visiting New Orleans several times over the years. I wanted a healthier version of the original jambalaya, so I made some changes like using Italian chicken sausage instead of Italian sausage. With a few other changes, my version of the original recipe evolved, and my Delicious Jambalaya with Italian Chicken Sausage and Shrimp became one of our favorite dishes!

http://learnfromyesterday.comThere were more healthy choices made over time with this recipe. One change I made to this recipe was using extra-virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil. I, also, chose to use two orange and red bell peppers instead of one green bell pepper. I added  twenty-eight ounces of crushed tomatoes instead of sixteen ounces of tomato sauce. My crushed tomatoes or puree are all tomato with no salt added. In addition to this, I use sea salt very lightly in this recipe rather than regular salt. With all the rich flavor, not much is needed really. In the end, jambalaya usually has the rice mixed in, but I serve the jambalaya over the rice, so you can decide how much rice you want. The basics of the original recipe are all there, but just slightly altered for a healthier jambalaya, and it’s delicious!

http://learnfromyesterday.comDelicious Jambalaya with Chicken Sausage and Shrimp (adapted from Celebrate Chicago: A Taste of Our Town, Edition 1996)

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes unsalted
  • 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes unsalted
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or more to taste
  • 1 pound Italian chicken sausage cut up into bite size pieces
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled
  • 4 to 5 cups rice, cooked

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Sauté the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic in the olive oil until tender. When ready, add the diced tomatoes with juice (not drained), crushed tomatoes, sea salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne to this. Cover and simmer for about one hour.

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Since the chicken sausage is usually cooked, there is no need to brown it. Just cut the sausage up into bite size pieces and peel your shrimp. After one hour of simmering, add the sausage into the hot mixture and stir it. Once the sausage is heated for about ten to fifteen minutes, add the shrimp and continue to heat until the shrimp warmed. Serve over rice or stir the rice into the mixture, if you prefer.

http://learnfromyesterday.comMy adapted version of Delicious Jambalaya with Chicken Sausage and Shrimp is so good, it has become a family favorite! We love to serve it over the rice, instead of mixing the rice into the mixture, but you can do it either way. Whichever way you choose to do it, you are going to love it. Serve it with a nice glass of red wine and savor all the rich flavors blended together. This dish is absolutely wonderful, so enjoy!

http://learnfromyesterday.comJunior League of Chicago. Celebrate Chicago: A Taste of Our Town. Chicago: the Junior League of Chicago, Inc., 1996. Print.

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Zesty Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

By Jodee Weiland

When preparing a Grilled Flank Steak Salad, I decided on a vinaigrette that would be full of the zesty flavor of lemons and honey. Ever since I have started making my own vinaigrette salad dressings, I love the rich flavors so much, I rarely use a bottled dressing any longer. The taste of a homemade vinaigrette salad dressing is so robust and full of fresh flavor, anything less has to take second place. That’s why I decided my Grilled Flank Steak Salad needed a special vinaigrette, so I came up with my Zesty Lemon Honey Vinaigrette!

http://learnfromyesterday.comMy Zesty Lemon Honey Vinaigrette starts with apple cider vinegar blended with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and seasonings. The overall result is flavor that is rich and delicious. This vinaigrette will go well with so many different types of salads, but it definitely went well with my Grilled Flank Steak Salad and all of its tasty ingredients!

http://learnfromyesterday.comZesty Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

For the vinaigrette, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or handheld blender or in a bottle designed for mixing dressings. Then put it in a container for dressing that will make it easier to drizzle on to your food or spoon it on carefully.

http://learnfromyesterday.comMy Zesty Lemon Honey Vinaigrette is full of delicious rich flavor! This vinaigrette salad dressing is awesome with my Grilled Flank Steak Salad, but it would be equally delicious if sliced chicken breast were substituted for flank steak. You could even use this vinaigrette on a tortilla wrap and so many other choices. Whatever meat choice or meal choice you make, this salad is great with a glass of wine and a crusty loaf of bread. Not only is this meal healthy, it will leave you wanting more, so enjoy!

Chicken in White Wine Mushroom Sauce

By Jodee Weiland

During the winter months when we have chicken, we still grill it more often than not because it’s so healthy. Even if there is snow on the ground, we love grilling chicken and other foods in the winter. But I wanted to cook a chicken dish with a little more flair today because it was my husband’s birthday this week. I decided chicken with a white wine sauce and mushrooms would be delicious. That’s how I came up with my version of Chicken in White Wine Mushroom Sauce!

http://learnfromyesterday.comOf course, a white wine mushroom sauce has wine and mushrooms. First, sauté onions, garlic, and a pound of slice mushrooms in extra-virgin olive oil. Next, brown your seasoned chicken breasts, and then add white wine, butter, and a few other ingredients to create a richly delicious sauce for your chicken breasts. Although this meal is not grilled, when you sauté chicken in a rich wine sauce blended with fresh mushrooms correctly, the result is both delicious and can still be healthy!

http://learnfromyesterday.comChicken in White Wine Mushroom Sauce

  •  4 boneless chicken breasts without skin
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves sliced thinly
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cups nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon unbleached flour

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Sauté the onions, garlic, and mushrooms in the extra-virgin olive oil over a low to medium heat in a covered pan, stirring occasionally. When the onions become translucent, push the mixture to the outside edges of the pan. In the center of the covered pan, brown the chicken breasts seasoned with sea salt and black pepper to taste. When browned and partially cooked, remove the chicken breasts to a plate.

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Then add the yogurt, white wine, butter, and flour to the mushrooms, onions, and garlic, stirring and blending them together. Season to taste, if needed. Then put the browned chicken breasts back in the pan, spooning the mixture over the chicken. Simmer all of this over a low heat for another 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked.

http://learnfromyesterday.comMy Chicken in White Wine Mushroom Sauce is not only a delicious dish full of rich flavors, but it is healthy as well. Serve this dish with a Parmesan risotto or garlic mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. We chose a Parmesan risotto and fresh green beans steamed. Then pair this meal with a glass of Riesling to add to the already delicious flavor of the meal. This meal not only tastes great, but it also feels like an elegant meal you might have in a fine restaurant. Give it a try, and enjoy!

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Savory Chicken with Tomato, Artichokes, and Beans All in One Pot

By Jodee Weiland

When I started my chicken dinner tonight, I wasn’t really sure where I would end up. I like to think my father was standing by my side encouraging me to try something new with chicken or challenging me like he used to do to make something better than him. Our little competitions often inspired me to try things in the kitchen I had never tried before. Dad was famous for throwing together a meal that was more than gourmet, just using whatever he had on hand. That’s what I did tonight and the result was my delicious Savory Chicken with Tomato, Artichokes, and Beans All in One Pot!

http://learnfromyesterday.comThis hearty dish is made all in one pot, which makes it easier to prepare for a weekday meal when things get hectic in most households. It has the hearty white beans of a cassoulet, but most of its rich flavor comes from the onions, garlic, artichokes, and seasonings blended together in simmering tomatoes with a dry white wine. The chicken breasts add their own flavor to the mix, and the result is absolutely delicious!

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  • 2 boneless chicken breasts without skin
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced thin
  • 2 large garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 1 small jar marinated artichokes drained (usually 4 to 6 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • One 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • One 15 ounce can Great Northern Beans (reduced sodium)

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In a large pan, sauté the onions, garlic, and artichokes. Add thyme, sea salt, and black pepper to this mixture. When onions become translucent, push the vegetables to the sides and brown your chicken breasts on all sides after seasoning lightly with black pepper. Then add the crushed tomatoes, white wine, and sugar. Stir this into your vegetables and spoon over the browned chicken breasts.

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Bring this to a low boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add in the white beans, blending them together with the sauce. Cover once more and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes longer or until the chicken is cooked. To thicken the sauce, remove the cover the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. When done, serve.

http://learnfromyesterday.comMy Savory Chicken with Tomato, Artichokes, and Beans All in One Pot is absolutely delicious! Your family will love the rich flavors blended together in this wonderful dish. Serve this dish with a crusty loaf of multigrain bread and a glass of your favorite Chianti. On these cold winter nights, there is nothing better than a hearty meal that not only tastes great, but is healthy as well. You won’t be disappointed if you try this dish, so enjoy!