Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wine Down Wednesday

You're halfway there- the weekend is in site, and those who are off work for Good Friday are preparing for a nice long Easter Weekend. What better way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ than with a fabulous meal and fellowship with the ones you love?  Here's a nice healthy brunch recipe for Crab Quiche Florentine to enjoy while sipping a Blood Orange Mimosa.  


  •  Blood Red Oranges derive their rich color from anthocyanin, an important antioxidant that is protective against cancer. They are also a great source of Vitamin C, fiber and potassium an only 70 calories per fruit! One orange can provide 116% the daily value for Vitamin C- the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C is important for disarming free radicals and preventing damage both inside and outside cells (1) . Beyond their nutritive benefits, Blood Red Oranges provide a subtly sweet, slightly tangy flavor that offers a nice twist on the classic mimosa. 

Enjoy a side salad & fresh fruit to add extra vitamins & minerals to your Easter Brunch meal! 

Crab Quiche Florentine


  • 1 (7-ounce) can refrigerated breadstick dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped spinach 
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk 
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute 
  • Cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional) 


  1. Unroll dough, separating into strips. Working on a flat surface, coil one strip of dough around itself in a spiral pattern. Add second strip of dough to the end of the first strip, pinching ends together to seal; continue coiling dough. Repeat procedure with remaining dough strips. Cover dough with a towel; let rest 20 minutes. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Sprinkle cheese over bottom of crust. Top with crabmeat; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add spinach and next 4 ingredients (spinach through pepper); cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Arrange spinach mixture over crabmeat.
  4. Combine milk and egg substitute; stir well with a whisk. Pour over spinach mixture. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean; let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Yield: 6 Servings
  • Calories: 248
  • Fat: 7.7g
  • Protein: 20.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 23.2g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg


Blood Orange Mimosas 


  • 1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice (about 4 oranges)
  • 3 cups Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur)


  1. Strain juice through a sieve into a pitcher; add remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information  
Serving Size: 3/4 cup 
Calories: 103
Carbohydrate: 5g
*Recipes taken from Cooking Light 
1) Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California 1983.    

Monday, April 2, 2012

Meatless Monday

 Meatless Monday goes gourmet- Try this recipe tonight for Carrot Osso Buco served over Soft Polenta!

Carrot Osso Buco 


  • 1/2 pound red pearl onions
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 very large carrots, cut crosswise 1 inch thick at the wide ends and 1 1/2 inches thick toward the narrow ends
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon dried porcini powder (ground porcini mushrooms)
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared mushroom broth
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large, deep ovenproof skillet, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and cook for 1 minute. Drain and trim the onions, then peel them. Wipe out the skillet.
  2. Return the skillet to the heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the carrots in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Add the pearl onions, sprinkle with the curry powder and cook, stirring a few times, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Add the porcini powder and mushroom broth and bring to a boil. Transfer the skillet to the oven and braise the carrots for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning once, until tender.
  3. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon the carrots, onions and sauce into shallow bowls. In a bowl, toss the parsley with the lemon juice and the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the parsley leaves over the carrots and serve. 
*Recipe taken from Food & Wine Magazine 

Soft Polotena 


  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup whole grain yellow cornmeal (such as Arrowhead Mills)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal, stirring with a whisk. Bring cornmeal mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Serve immediately.
*Recipe taken from Cooking Light

Nutrition Information: 
Serving size: 1/2 cup Carrot Osso Buco over 3/4 cup polenta
  • Calories: 321
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrate: 40 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Fiber: 5 g

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fitness Friday

Bikini Season is right around the corner. Time to tone that tummy and get in AB-solutely great shape for summer! Here are a few moves to sculpt that six pack by working all the different muscles in you midsection.  Add these into your daily cardio routine and be you'll be in swimsuit shape come summer!

Ab Anatomy 101

Your abdomen is made up of a variety of different muscles and by isolating each one, you can build a strong core, which is important for stability in addition to good posture and balance.  We'll divide these muscles into 4 main groups- The External Obliques, Internal Obliques, the Rectus abdominis & the Transverse abdominis

  • The Obliques are largest and most superficial group of muscles of the abdomen.  The external obliques are the muscles on the sides of your stomach, that run up and down in a diagonal, or V-shaped configuration.
  • The internal obliques lie just below the external. Together, these muscles help you to rotate around your spine.  
  • The rectus abdominis is comprised of two muscles in that run down the center of your stomach that help with forward flexion.  They are also what give you that oh, so desired "six pack" appearance.  
  • The last, but definitely not least of the abdominal muscle is the transverse abdominis.  This is the deepest of the muscles that wraps all the way around your waist and acts like an internal girdle. Keeping this muscle toned will help you to achieve the appearance of a flatter stomach.  

So you see, all the muscles of the abdomen are important, which is why you often hear that you need to do more than just crunches to get a nice sculpted tummy.  Here are a few different exercise that will work each of the four muscle groups mentioned above.  Happy toning! 

Side Plank

Targets: Rectus and transversus abdominis, obliques
  • Lie on left side on floor with legs stacked, propping torso on left elbow so that left forearm is perpendicular to torso. 
    • Make it easier: Stagger feet so that side of right foot is on floor in front of left foot for a wider base of support
  • Lift hips so that body forms a straight line from head to toe and squeeze towel between thighs. Hold for 1 count, then lower.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.

Balancing Act

Targets: rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis
  • Lie faceup on mat and bend knees into chest to place a single yoga block (or a book) atop soles of flexed feet; place arms on floor slightly out to sides and slowly extend legs straight up.
    MAKE IT EASIER: Do not use block.
  • Without rocking, slowly lift hips a few inches off mat and then lower them.
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps 

Bicycle Crunches

Targets: Internal and External Obliques
  • Lie faceup with knees bent, calves lifted and parallel to ground. Place hands behind head, fingers unclasped
  • Contract abs and bring left knee toward right shoulder as you lift right shoulder blade off ground while extending right leg to 45 degrees without locking knee. Switch sides to complete 1 rep, and continue to alternate in a rhythmic, controlled motion using abs to do the movement. Keep hips on the ground and elbows in line with shoulders so you don't rock from side to side.
  • Complete 12-15 reps.  

Lean Back

Targets: rectus abdominis, obliques, transversus abdominis,
  • Sit on mat with knees bent, and rolled-up towel directly behind butt; place hands behind head, elbows out, and extend right leg diagonally up.
    MAKE IT EASIER: Keep both feet on mat
  • Lean back a few inches; return to start.
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 25 reps; switch legs each set.

(A)                                                                           (B)
Reverse Crunch

Targets: Transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis 
  • Lie faceup with knees bent in toward chest, heels resting above buttocks, arms relaxed at your sides (or hold onto a support behind you, such as a chair leg or weight bench) (A)
  • Keeping neck and shoulders relaxed, and without using your arms or the momentum of your legs for assistance, contract abs to curl your hips a few inches up off the ground (B). Pause, then lower in 2 counts and repeat. 
  • Complete 12-15 reps 

Downward Dog Variation

Targets: back, rectus abdominis, obliques, and transversus abdominis

  • Start on mat on all fours, then tuck toes under and press hips back and up as you step back to form an upside-down V; lift right leg behind you.
    MAKE IT EASIER: Keep both feet on mat.

  • With right leg lifted, shift body forward to come into full push-up position, shoulders over wrists. Hold for one count; return to start. Do 10 to 15 reps; switch sides, repeat. Do 2 to 3 sets.

 *Exercises taken from Fitness Magazine & Shape

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thank God It's Thursday

After a long work week and countless hours of dreaming about patio happy hours, the time has finally come- Thank God it's Thursday! Time to loosen your tie and let down your hair as you take in the fresh springtime air and sip a cocktail as you cheers to the weekend. To add a swanky uptown vibe to your next happy hour, head to Saint Ann. Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar is one of the newer restaurants  and has the largest garden patio in Dallas. Located next to Saint Ann Court, the historic St. Ann’s School was preserved and converted by Harwood International into a restaurant and bar surrounded by gardens and art. It is open every day for lunch, dinner, drinks, and Sunday brunch.

Skinny Sips
  • Red or White Wine
  • Blackboard Bellini- Peach Schnapps, X-Rated Liqueur, Prosecco
  • Saint Ann's Skinny Mojito (under 110 calories)- 10 Cane Rum, Lime, Monin & Mint
  • Skinny Basil Lemonade (Under 100 Calories)- Veev Acai, Lemon Juice, Agave Nectar, Basil + Club Soda
  • Plaid Skirt (under 115 calories)- Cîroc Red Berry, fresh raspberries, fresh lime juice + a splash of lemon lime soda
Light Bites
  • Tuna Rare Salad- seared tuna, lemon miso, edamame, cashews
    • *Order with dressing on the side 
  • Build Your Own Flatbread- grilled chicken, fresh basil, mushrooms, tomato, bell peppers, goat cheese, & sun-dried tomatoes  
  • Market Fish- served with market vegetables
  • Greek Salad- tomatoes, onions, calamata olives, cucumbers, imported feta cheese, olive oil 
    • *Add grilled chicken & get the dressing on the side