Tuna Boats

I admit it, I’m a mayonnaise fiend. When I typically made tuna salad in the past, I used LOTS of mayo. I love tuna salad, so I thought about how to incorporate it into my lean and green program. In addition to being a favorite food, it’s super easy to prepare ahead for a grab-and-go meal solution when taking off for work or any other busy day. Continue reading

Brisket & Pureed Cauliflower

Slow-cooked Brisket & Pureed CauliflowerBrisket? What’s brisket doing on HealthyNoms? True, red meat is not the healthiest of choices and brisket is certainly not the leanest of cuts, but occasionally, the tummy wants what it wants! Such was the case when we found a recipe for brisket in one of our “lean and green” cookbooks: suddenly, our tummies wanted brisket — especially after our seven-day meat free challenge! Continue reading

Grilled Salmon & Salad

Grilled Salmon & Salad
Salmon is a favorite fish of ours. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it is classified as an oily fish, which puts it on the “lean” list, meaning we get a 5-ounce portion and we add no additional fats in its prep or cooking. Leftover salmon lends itself beautifully to a cold salad — lovely on a hot summer day!

This photo shows some salmon we had grilled the night before flaked over a bed of spinach with some tomatoes and cucumbers. We tossed the salad with some balsamic vinegar (not vinaigrette) before plating it and flaking the salmon on top. No cooking, just assembly!

Grilled Pork Chop Salad

Grilled Pork Chop Salad
The hogs at South Texas Heritage Pork are raised roaming the pasture and grazing naturally. They are never confined nor fed like factory-farmed hogs and this results in extremely lean cuts of pork. We are lucky to have them nearby and to know the fabulous folks who own and run the place! They sell their products through many local restaurants and at the Pearl Farmers Market near our house every Sunday.

This meal featured five ounces of grilled pork chop served over mixed greens and tomatoes. We did use just a little bit of low-fat dressing on the greens, which typically wouldn’t be allowed with meat from the “lean” category, but since this pork is so much leaner than supermarket pork, we figured we had a little leeway.

Grilled Garam Masala Lamb London Broil

Grilled Lamb London Broil
We love lamb and the London broil cut has become a favorite of ours. Lamb is on the “lean” list, so we’re only permitted five ounces cooked, but it’s so tasty it’s worth it! The London broil cut is great for grilling. We rubbed this one with garam masala spice blend before tossing it on a hot grill. We also sprinkled some onto the zucchini before grilling that, which tied the two together nicely. The cinnamon and clove notes from the garam masala really highlight the lamb’s flavor and add a lovely fragrance to the experience.

Veggie Frittata

Veggie Frittata
Eggs are a great meatless protein source. Three whole eggs constitute a serving of lean protein and 14 egg whites — which is a lot of food! — are a serving of leanest protein. (Need a refresher on the lean, leaner, leanest concept?)

For this meal for two, we used a half-and-half approach. The recipe used one full serving of whole eggs and one of egg whites. This yielded two generous servings that were half lean/half leanest — which we treated as leaner, and therefore used a bit of healthy fat in the prep. (The egg whites really bulked up the meal, hence our use of them to achieve a greater volume of food.) Continue reading

Lean, Leaner, Leanest?

Healthy Noms recipes involving proteins are tagged lean, leaner or leanest. What’s up with that? Simple: portion control.

The guidelines we’re following sort proteins into those three categories. Basically, there’s little or no protein out there that you “can’t” have when eating healthy. (Well, OK, sausage isn’t a great choice, neither is bacon. But neither of those actually offers much protein either, just mostly fat. You get my drift.)

Lean, Leaner, LeanestInstead of saying we “can’t have” something, we’re saying go ahead and have what you want, but adjust portion sizes and added fat accordingly.

For example, for the proteins that fall in the “leanest” category we can have seven ounces (cooked!) and we can add two servings of a healthy fat to the meal. This category includes many fishes, most shellfish, game meats, and very lean ground meats (>97% lean).

For the proteins that fall into the “leaner” category we can have six ounce portions (cooked) with one healthy fat serving permissible. This includes chicken breast, light meat turkey and ground meats (>94% lean), as well as some fishes.

Finally, for the “lean” category of proteins we can have five ounces (cooked) with no additional fat servings. This includes some fishes, lean beef, lamb, pork, ground meats (>84% lean).

This exercise in portion control has been a real eye-opener. Shrimp falls into the leanest category. Seven ounces of cooked shrimp is a LOT of food! No feeling hungry after gettin’ that down!

By the way, the program does account for meatless options in all three categories, but they often carry their own measures. For example, three whole eggs is a serving of lean, while 14 egg whites are a serving of leanest. Tofu, veggie burgers, EggBeaters and other meatless options can all be worked into the program.