Sweetener Conversion Tips!

December 11th, 2013 - Announcements, Food News, How-To

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When it comes to sweeteners, I personally like to use baking stevia and stevia packets. However, all of these recipes call for a sweetener that measures like sugar, which includes any sweetener that can be measured the same as sugar, or you could use sugar if you prefer.

If you prefer to use stevia or another sweetener, you will have to alter the amount based on the conversion table below, or according to your desired taste. This can take some experimenting, but once you get a feel for baking with different sweeteners, it is very simple to know how much to use. To get you started, I have provided a simple conversion table that works with stevia.

Please also note, that the amounts listed below may vary based on the brand of stevia you are using. The following chart pertains to NuNaturals stevia, which is the brand I personally recommend. If you are using baking stevia, simply use 1/2 of the sugar the recipe calls for. 

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Seasons Eatings ~ Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

November 14th, 2013 - Announcements, Articles, How-To, Inspiration

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The holidays are a special time of year filled with family, friends, and seasonal treats. Here are a few tips on enjoying the holidays in a balanced way!

1. Choose a Healthy Alternative- Eating healthy  year round, (yes even during the holidays) can be done! It doesn’t mean giving up the foods you enjoy most, but simply swapping them with a healthier alternative!  In fact, once you do so, you will notice how good you feel, and I can promise you will wonder why you ever even enjoyed those sugary treats to begin with!

2. Pick and Choose your Treats- The holidays are filled with special treats that only come around this season.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying one or two of your grandma’s favorite cookies, or a piece of your mom’s famous pie…But the problem comes when people enjoy every holiday treat that is put in front of them. If you simply think ahead of time about what you REALLY want to enjoy this holiday season, it will keep you from having to work extra hard to take off those holiday treats in January! Plus, the added bonus is that you will truly savor and enjoy every bite of those holiday treats you do have much more when you only have a few of them!

3. Be Prepared- One way to prevent overeating is by eating small frequent meals throughout the day, and always having a protein rich snack before heading off to parties or holiday dinners. That way, when you finally sit down to eat a meal, you will be able to properly pay attention to your body’s hunger cues because you won’t be overly famished to begin with.

4. The party is about MORE than what is on your PLATE- Food is an element of a celebration, but not the defining factor, or the most important thing. If you keep this in mind when you’re on your way to a party, you can remind yourself that spending time with family and friends is the highlight of the event.  This helps take the focus off the food and puts it back on the things that matter most.

5. It’s OK to say NO- During the holidays, many people are offering foods left and right as a gesture of love.  I have learned that If I’m truly full, it is ok to be  honest and politely say, “No thank you”. Most people will respect you when you politely say no. The great thing about this is, it allows you to say yes to the things you truly do enjoy this time of year!

6. BRING your OWN dish to pass- If you bring your own dish to pass, you can bring something that is tasty and healthy! The best part is, Dashing Dish offers tons of seasonal eats that are just as rich and delicious as the traditional dish, so no one will even know its healthy until you tell them!

7. Learn to Bounce Back- I find that one of the greatest downfalls when it comes to overeating is that it sets most people on a dangerous slippery slope. If you do overeat- don’t make that mistake! Remember, it is not one meal that will make you unhealthy so don’t let it get you in a defeated mindset! Just make the simple choice to bounce back. Start the next day by being active and make the choice to get right back on track with a healthy lifestyle! That is what balance is all about after all!

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Back to School Lunch Ideas!

August 20th, 2013 - Fitness News, How-To, Inspiration

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I can’t believe it’s already about that time of year again…Back to School!!! Where did the summer go!?!

My sister is a 3rd grade teacher, which always reminds me how ‘quickly’ the summers seem to go by! To kick the school year off right, there is no better time than now to start thinking about healthy lunches! I hope this video provides some quick and easy healthy lunch ideas that your kids will actually enjoy!

 

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The Daily Dish~ Meal Prepping 101!

April 17th, 2013 - Daily Dish, How-To, Inspiration

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Does the thought of preparing food for your family during the week overwhelm you, or seem like it is just one more thing that you ‘have to do‘, but barely have time for?!?

I remember feeling this way when I was in nursing school, (and that was when I was only cooking for myself!) It wasn’t long after I got married that I realized that cooking every meal on the spot was not easy, especially if I was going to stay on track with healthy eating.  (Let’s face it… sometimes when you  are overly hungry or busy it’s easy to grab anything in sight, regardless of how healthy it is!) If that sounds familiar in any way, don’t worry… there is a solution!

I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.

There are so many benefits to having one (or two) meal prep days during the week, but some of the best things about it is that it saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.

Sound intriguing?!? Well… Let me show you how it’s done in just a few simple steps!

STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP 

I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes on my “Favorites Board”. (This can be found under the membership section of Dashing Dish.) I create a ‘favorites’ list each week based on what I want to have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.  

From there I write down the ingredient list for each recipe. (I generally divide the ingredient list by 2 if I plan to prepare it for my husband and I and it is a recipe that calls for four servings or more). After writing out my grocery list I double check that I don’t already have something in my fridge or pantry. Then… I’m off to the grocery store!

If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my meal plans come in! I have done all the work for you! They are broken down into the recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need!

STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD

When I get home from the grocery store I generally don’t put any of the groceries away, (unless of course they are frozen and will melt quickly)…I simply take everything out of the grocery bag and set it out on the counter, putting things in organized piles according to each recipe. I then pull up my favorites list and get to cooking! I generally start with the breakfasts and move on from there.

Throughout the week I typically have a protein shake for breakfast, but I find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go. If I don’t end up eating them I simply freeze them for a time that I am in need of a quick and healthy snack!

This week I made my PB & J Protein Pancakes.

Some hard boiled eggs, (my husband loves these as a breakfast side and snack!)

Strawberry Baked Protein Oatmeal, (recipe to come!)

And for a snack I made my Protein Blueberry Muffins (recipe to come!)

For lunches and dinners I generally prepare big batches of veggies and lean meats to use in my recipes.

I like to cook my veggies in big batches either in a sauté pan or on a big roasting pan. That way they are ready as sides, snacks, or to add to a recipe.  I use this method of cooking in my Zucchini Chip recipe and Parmesan Green Bean recipe, but you can do this with any veggie.

One of my favorite ways to prepare chicken is in the crockpot! I make big batches and use the shredded chicken in my recipes for the week! If I am making Crockpot Shredded Chicken to prepare my recipes, I generally pop some frozen chicken in the crockpot and set it to high heat the morning of my meal prepping day. (That way it is all ready when I am ready to start meal prepping!)

If the recipes call for sautéed chicken or lean ground meat, I will cook it in big batches in my biggest pan! That way I am only prepping chicken and/or lean ground meat once for all the recipes!

STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES

For lunches I typically make something really simple such as a couple big salads and wrap sandwiches and put them in Tupperware containers or wrap them in foil individually. (Leftovers from dinner are also a great option!)

For dinners I typically make a few different main dishes and a couple of side dishes. 

This week I made my Three Cheese Stuffed Peppers

My Baked Mac & Cheese

and my BBQ Chicken Sweet Potatoes!

STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY! 

After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in Tupperware containers and place it in the fridge! That way I have something to throw in a cooler if I am heading out for the day or to pop in the microwave and/or oven to heat up and have a delicious dinner on the table in minutes!

This whole process from start to finish takes anywhere from 2-3 hours. I typically pick a block of time on the weekend to get it done. I hope this post helps show you how easy it can be to prepare meals for the week in just one day. If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you!!! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things. And if that’s you, a great place to start may be my meal plans…But before you know it, it will become a part of your routine and you may even find yourself loving it!!!

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How-to Put Together a Healthy Lunch Box For Back To School

August 28th, 2012 - Food News, How-To, Inspiration

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A Well-Rounded Lunch Box Includes:

  • Whole Grains (Examples: High fiber wrap, pita, or sliced bread with at least 3 g fiber per serving, (I like LaTortilla wraps, Brownberry protein and health-full bread, and Ezekiel brand wraps and bread. Other ideas include whole grain cereal in a ziplock, high fiber pasta, or a Dashing Dish muffin!)
  • Lean Protein (Examples: Low sugar Greek yogurt, lean deli meat, cheese sticks, thinly sliced cheese slices, hard boiled egg, or chicken or tuna salad.)
  • Veggie/Fruit (Examples: apple slices, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, sliced red peppers, cucumbers, baby carrots, etc.)
  • Healthy Fat (Examples: Small portion of nuts, hummus, or even olive oil based mayo or avocado on their sandwich. You don’t have to focus too much on incorporating a healthy fat, as many foods have at least some fat in them, like cheese or the yolk of a hardboiled egg for example! )

Other Tips for Preparing a Lunch Box:

  • It’s great to get kids involved in making their lunches! It gives them a sense of independence as well as sparking an interest in learning healthy habits at a young age! These habits will most likely carry them through life, so any time you can get kids in the kitchen to cook with you is truly a wise investment!
  • I have found in my own life that it is best to prepare lunches on the weekend, (I sometimes will prepare as many as a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday night!) or the night before. This prevents any feelings of being overwhelmed in the morning!
  • Leftovers often make great lunches as well and prevent any unnecessary wasting of food!

Need Inspiration? Check out the ‘Kid Friendly Recipes’ section of Dashing Dish!

 

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