I love sharing me recipes!

I love sharing me recipes!


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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Healthy New Year Menu Plan Italian Style ♥

New Year New You Menu Plan

So everyone's resolution for the new year is to stay healthy, eat healthy and promote a healthy  lifestyle  for the new year. I have designed a menu plan that I use all year long. With included recipes with a European Cutie Italian twist! ♥

Breakfast ♥

Include eggs in your daily high-protein, low-carb plan. Eggs are inexpensive, yet high in protein, with about 6 grams of protein per large egg, yet free of carbohydrates. You can add variety to your meal plan by varying your cooking method: make fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs or an omelet. Add any low-carb, non-starchy vegetables that are on sale that week, such as spinach, tomatoes, avocado, Swiss chard or bell peppers. Coconut oil is a good fat to use to cook your eggs and vegetables because its medium-chain triglycerides contribute to a faster metabolism. Buy large containers to save.

Lunch ♥

Canned fish makes a healthy and cheap protein option for your high-protein low-carb lunches. Simply mix salmon, tuna or sardines with lettuce and vegetables. Avoid bags of prewashed salad because they are usually more expensive, unless they are close to the expiration date and on sale. Commercial salad dressings are usually overpriced and contain a lot of added sugars and unhealthy fats. If you want to eat healthier and stay within your budget, make your own. Buy olive oil and balsamic vinegar in bulk and just drizzle a bit of each on your salad. Fresh lemon juice is also an inexpensive flavoring for your salads.

Dinner ♥

The key to sticking to your high-protein, low-carb diet plan for dinner is to combine any protein with non-starchy vegetables. Don't be fussy -- pick whatever protein is on sale that week when building your daily meal plan. Buying large pieces of stew meat or whole chickens is a good way to save. Otherwise, ground meat is usually a budget-friendly option and can be used to make high-protein, low-carb bunless burgers, meatloaves or spaghetti sauce to serve on spaghetti squash. Simply accompany your dinner with any non-starchy vegetables on sale or visit your farmer market to get more affordable seasonal and local vegetables.

Snacks ♥

Many popular high-protein, low-carb snacks, such as nuts, low-carb bars and protein bars, can be expensive. Instead, build your snacking plan around cheaper foods, such as eggs, deli meat or cheese. A couple of hard-boiled eggs with a few slices of deli meat or deviled eggs with a stick or two of cheddar cheese are inexpensive options. Buy large packages of cheese to save and freeze some if you have too much. If you would like to snack on nuts, buy them in bulk to save. You can even make your own nut butter by grinding it yourself to save on overpriced nut butters.

Hope this helps.. I even attached recipes with an italian twist for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks..


 Italian Roasted Nuts

 Ingredients ♥
    1/2 cup almonds
    1/2 tsp olive oil or other fat of choice
    2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
    1/2 tsp minced or pressed garlic (about 2 medium sized cloves of garlic)
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
    1/8 tsp salt

Directions ♥

    Place the almonds in a bowl and mix with the 1/2 tsp oil.
    In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt.
    Coat the almonds with the spice mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes at 250 F.enjoy!♥


Italian Eggs in Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients ♥

     6 large tomatoes
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Coarse salt and ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
    2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    6 large eggs

Directions ♥

    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the top third off tomatoes and use a small spoon to remove core and seeds. Arrange in a baking dish, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme and garlic. Roast until tomatoes are tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes.

    Crack an egg into each tomato and season with salt and pepper. Bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 9 minutes more.enjoy! ♥


Italian Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Ingredients ♥

 10-12 oz. good quality canned tuna
1/4 cup mayo or light mayo
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 T capers, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
8 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 sliced avocado
handful of pine nuts

Directions ♥

Drain tuna into a fine-mesh strainer and press down to drain out the oil (or water if you use water-packed tuna.)  While tuna drains stir together the mayo, Dijon, lemon juice, celery seed, and salt.

Cut lettuce apart and pick out 8 large leaves.    Wash lettuce and spin dry in a salad spinner or dry with paper towels.  Chop the celery and capers and thinly slice the green onions.  Slice the tomatoes

When the tuna has drained, put it in a bowl   Stir in the dressing until it's well-distributed in the tuna, then mix in the celery, capers, and green onions.

Fill lettuce leaves with the tuna mixture, garnish with cherry tomatoes,pine nuts, and sliced avocado and eat with your hands.enjoy!♥


Italian Eggplant Lasagna 

Ingredients ♥

2 Large Eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 28 ounce Can Tomato Sauce (sauce)
1 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence (sauce)
1  Tablespoon Dried Oregano (sauce)
1   Teaspoon red pepper flakes (sauce)
1 Teaspoon kosher salt (sauce)
2  Tablespoons olive oil (sauce)
1  Bunch Spinach, blanched (filling)
1 15 ounce container Ricotta (filling)
1/2 Lemon Juice and zest only (filling)
2 Tablespoons fresh mint (filling)
1   Pound fresh mozzarella
1/3 Cup Olive oil (for roasting eggplant)
1/2 Cup Kosher Salt (for pressing eggplant) 

Directions ♥

Wash your eggplant and slice them long-wise into 1/4 inch slices. Layer the slices in a colander and sprinkle each layer heavily with kosher salt.
Find a bowl that fits nicely in the colander on top of the eggplant and fill it with water to give it some weight. Set the bowl on top of the eggplant to press it down. This will squeeze out some of the bitter eggplant liquid. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
Rinse eggplant slices well with cold water to wash off salt. Dry off the eggplant and line the slices up on two baking sheets. Drizzle both sides of eggplant slices liberally with olive oil.
Bake eggplant at 350 degrees for about 7-8 minutes per side. They should be soft, but not scorched. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
For sauce, mix tomato sauce with spices and taste for salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
For filling, wash spinach well and chop off any large stems. Dunk spinach in heavily salted water for 20-30 seconds until it wilts.
Remove spinach to a colander lined with paper towels to let the spinach drain. Let it cool until you can handle it.
Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the spinach and roughly chop it up. Mix chopped spinach with other filling ingredients.
To build lasagna, add a small amount of sauce to the bottom of you pan. Add a layer of eggplant slices. Add a bit more sauce and half of your ricotta filling.
Add another layer of eggplant slices and the last half of the filling. Add more sauce also. You should use about 1/4 of the sauce for each layer.
Add a final layer of eggplant, a bit more sauce, and the fresh sliced mozzarella.
Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350. Then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving. enjoy!

Well I hope you enjoyed my menu plan and a sample of my Italian recipes, to a new year and a new you! Eat healthy all year long, don't wait until the New Year! ♥

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