Making Healthy Quick and Easy: Sheet Pan Suppers

I’ve been making a lot more “sheet pan suppers” lately, as these are quick and easy and involve the three necessary nutrients to fill out the plate: carbohydrate, protein and non-starchy vegetable. These are easy to prep the day before on the sheet. Then when you get home, take the sheet out of the fridge while the oven is preheating and have a meal worthy for all taste buds in about 30 minutes.

Here are some of my best sheet pan supper tips:

  • Use the largest cookie sheet/pan you have, preferably from heavy-gauge aluminum or steel. I find these help foods to brown better.
  • I’m all about easy and quick cleanup, so make sure to line the pan you choose with foil and spray with a nonstick cooking spray.
  • Pick your protein. If you are going to use a protein that is larger than the rest of your food, I like to cook it for about 5-10 minutes before putting the rest of the ingredients on the pan.
  • Place the rest of the ingredients in a single layer, cut about the same size so they will roast properly.
  • Season the ingredients according to the recipe or your discretion.
  • Make sure protein is cooked to the proper temperature.
  • For leftovers, use the foil from the pan to wrap the food up in, and then reheat in oven later.

This pan roasted chicken and vegetable meal is one of my favorites. Like I said, I usually put everything on the pan the night before and leave it in the fridge until the oven is preheated the next day. Try it for yourself!

If you are interested in starting with just roasted vegetables, print off our handy Roasting Vegetables 101 sheet  a guide.

Pan Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Meal
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Ingredients
  1. 6 medium red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  2. 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  5. 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  6. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, divided
  7. 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  8. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  9. 6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  10. 6 cups fresh baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425o F.
  2. Combine potatoes, onion, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Toss the mixture to coat evenly.
  3. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Pour the potato and onion mixture onto the coated baking pan and arrange the chicken on top.
  5. Mix the paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and sprinkle it over the chicken.
  6. Bake about 35-40 minutes, or until the inside of the chicken is 170-175oF and the vegetables are just tender.
  7. Remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.
  8. Top the vegetables with the spinach and put back into the oven to roast until the vegetables are tender and the spinach is wilted, about 8-10 minutes longer.
  9. Stir the vegetables to combine and serve them with the chicken.
Something to Chew http://somethingtochew.com/

Roasting Vegetables 101

Oh, the smell of winter is in the air. The colder temperatures, snow, ice, winter coats, skiing, sledding and root vegetables. Can you tell this is an enjoyable time for me?

No, actually it isn’t. I don’t like cold, I don’t like skiing, and I’m not a big fan of snow. Yeah, yeah I know, I live in Illinois, but I’m still not use to it! However, I do love root vegetables because you can roast these vegetables and they are fabulous to eat. They are like a guilty pleasure, almost too good to be good for you! Plus, it is super, super easy to do.

Click here to print off Roasting Vegetables 101

Optional: Stir/turn the vegetables 1 to 2 times during the baking process.

When roasting vegetables, go easy on the oil, which is high in calories and fat. You may also consider substituting oil for balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, tamari, lemon, lime juice, etc.

When done roasting, serve them as a side dish, pile them on a sandwich, inside a panini, or puree them to make soup. Happy Eating!!

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

Happy National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month has evolved from a one-week celebration in March to a month-long observance. This year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The idea behind this is to enjoy all aspects of food: taste, temperature, smells, texture and color. Many of us are busy and our food choices get put on the “back burner,” whether that means we skip meals entirely or we don’t take the time that we should to make healthy food choices. So many of us eat at our desk or while driving in our car. We do not stop and actually enjoy what we are eating!

So many of us eat at our desk or while driving in our car. We do not stop and actually enjoy what we are eating!

A huge component of the theme this year is “mindful eating.” What exactly does that mean? Mindful eating means eliminating distractions and enjoying the food in front of you! We have so many distractions on a daily basis—TV, phone, computer, etc. It is important to be aware of those distractions and eliminate as many as possible to be able to return to food and focus. Mindful eating can provide the opportunity to make changes in what we are eating and how we are eating. It can also help us change our relationship with food. Are we seeing food as a type of pleasure and comfort, or are we seeing food as fuel—nutrients that the body needs to function? Mindful eating provides us with an opportunity to become more “in tune” with physical hunger versus emotional hunger (stress, boredom, sadness, etc.).

A great goal for Nutrition Month (and every month!) is to make as many meals at home in the company of those in your home! Be mindful of what you are eating—McDonald’s hamburger and fries or shredded Italian Chicken and fresh veggies at home? Choose whole foods, like fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains and proteins. Use olive oil, shallots, green onions, garlic, ground black pepper, and/or red pepper flakes to bring out robust flavors and smells in healthy dishes!

Alana Scopel

3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Shredded Italian Chicken

Hello, my name is Megan Klemm and I’m so glad to be writing this guest blog post, but more so, I’m finally here as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator for Springfield Clinic! I’m also a very busy mom. So how do I manage to put a decently healthy meal on the table with my hands full and working part-time? My secret is a crock-pot! I love to make all sorts of meals in the crock-pot, and many times you can make a complete meal all in one.

How do I manage to put a decently healthy meal on the table between working and being a mom? A crockpot!

In our house we follow the plate method (¼ plate carbohydrate, ¼ plate protein, and ½ plate non-starchy vegetables) to plan our meals and make sure we get in each food group, especially at dinner time. The recipes I use ones where you can throw everything in the night before or the morning of, set the crock-pot and walk out the door. If the recipe takes too much prep time, you can be assured that I will not use that recipe. Additionally, if the recipe says to cook less than 4 hours, I’m not going to use it either. It would be burnt by the time I got home.

I’ve gone so extreme as to have a crock-pot meal almost every night of an entire month. I did allow 1-2 nights a week for leftovers and if the leftovers can be frozen, I will do that to stretch the meals for another time.

My quick clean up secret is CROCK-POT LINERS!!! They are fabulous; the 2 brands I have used are Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners and Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Liners. Don’t use your crock-pot without one!

Try this 3-ingredient shredded Italian chicken recipe. It’s popular because it’s so easy and scrumptious!

PLATE METHOD
Carbohydrate: buns
Protein: chicken
Non-Starchy Vegetable: broccoli, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower mix, brussel sprouts, asparagus, green beans, or lettuce salad with spinach, romaine, and/or kale.

3-ingredient crock-pot shredded Italian chicken
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Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4-6 skinless boneless chicken breasts (to make it easy, I often don’t thaw the chicken beforehand)
  2. 1 packet dry Italian Dressing
  3. 1 jar pepperoncini, juice and all (my family doesn’t like spicy, so I use the whole pepperoncini, so I can take them out after cooking)
  4. Whole wheat buns
Instructions
  1. Line crock-pot with liner. Spray liner with cooking spray.
  2. Place frozen or thawed chicken breasts in crock-pot.
  3. Top with 1 packet dry Italian Dressing and jar of pepperoncini, juice and all.
  4. Cook on LOW approximately 6 hours (I’ll tell you, I’ve let this cook 8-10 hours before, with no problem).
  5. When you get home, take 2 forks and shred the chicken. At this point, I take the pepperoncini’s out, as my family doesn’t like spicy. Use the whole or sliced pepperoncini depending on your preference.
  6. Serve on whole wheat buns.
Something to Chew http://somethingtochew.com/

 Interested in learning more?

Join us for Doctor Is In, a free lecture open to the public  on Wednesday, February 3rd featuring three Springfield Clinic dietitians.

  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Location: Springfield Clinic Main Campus EAST, 2nd Floor ASC waiting area
    1025 S 6th St, Springfield

Register today!

DocIsInAd_Feb2016

Megan Klemm

Healthy Tricks VS. Sugary Treats

Trick or Treat! When we think of Halloween, yummy and sugary treats such as candy bars and caramel apples usually come to mind. Rightfully so, this is definitely a day to indulge! However, the amount of sugar in these delicious snacks can be astronomical!

Whether you are hosting a Halloween party or handing out treats at the door, there are a variety of healthy options that are fun and festive!

Just a few examples of the amount of sugar in some of our favorite treats:
Snicker’s Fun Size: 17 g, Blow Pop: 13 g, Skittles: 42 g, Dots: 21 g, Reese’s (2 cups): 21 g.

For comparison, this is how many sugar cubes are in 2 Reese’ cups:

reeses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you are hosting a Halloween party or handing out treats at the door, there are a variety of healthy options that are fun and festive!

Cheese

Cheese is a good source of protein and does not contain any sugar. Cheese sticks will be ok unrefrigerated for 2-3 hours, so kiddos may eat these later if needed.

Fruithalloween

If you have clementine’s (“Cuties”) and celery, you have a pumpkin! Peel each clementine and leave in its whole, round form. Cut celery into 1 inch pieces and place in the middle of the clementine as a stem. Clementine’s are a good source of vitamin C and can easily fit in a Ziploc baggy.

Photo from Frog Prince Paperie

Veggies

If hosting a party, make a tray of witch’s fingers! Simply take baby carrots or carrot sticks and place ½ of an olive (black or green) on the tip as a nail. This can be served with dip or by itself. Carrots are high in vitamin A and a great, crunchy snack.

Water

To help keep kiddos (and parents of trick-or-treaters) hydrated, buy mini or full-sized bottles of water. Create labels out of construction paper or use Halloween-themed paper to cover original water bottle label. Many drinks such as juice and punch are high in sugar. These spooky bottles will help quench their thirst!

 

DEVILED EYEBALLS
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Ingredients
  1. 12 large eggs
  2. ⅓ cup plus 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  3. 1 small ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  4. 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  5. 1 Tbsp minced scallion or shallot
  6. 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  7. ¼ tsp black olive slices
  8. 24 black olives
  9. red food coloring
Instructions
  1. Place eggs in a large pot with cold water, covering eggs by 1 inch. Bring to a full boil; boil 1 minute. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let sit, covered, for 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the eggs. Crack eggs and let sit in cold water 10 minutes or until cool. Drain, then peel eggs.
  2. Cut eggs in half lengthwise, then carefully remove the yolks, leaving the whites intact. Place yolks in a bowl; mash with 1/3 cup mayonnaise, avocado, mustard, shallot, lemon juice, and salt until blended. Using 2 teaspoons or a small ice-cream scoop, scoop yolk mixture into small balls and position in hollows of whites to resemble eyeballs.
  3. Press an olive slice into center of each yolk eyeball. Stir together 3 tablespoons remaining mayonnaise and a few drops of red food coloring in a small bowl for the "blood."
  4. Transfer colored mayonnaise mixture into a small sealable bag and snip the corner to form a pastry bag. Decorate eyeballs with bloodshot veins. Cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
  5. Make Ahead: Egg yolk mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Fill egg whites, decorate and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
Notes
  1. From kitchendaily.com
Something to Chew http://somethingtochew.com/
Alana Scopel

 

 

 

Cheesy Zucchini Bake

Baby Figge has been so blessed already to be surrounded by so many amazing friends and family members. I was honored to have three baby showers thrown for me and I can’t wait to wrap my little boy in his snuggly blankets and adorable clothes! With all the amazing showers came amazing sweet desserts! While I did enjoy all the treats, my body is telling me it’s on sugar-overload and we need to scale back a bit! This low-sugar side dish was a perfect solution to bring my eating habits back to normal.  

Cheesy Zucchini Bake
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Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. • 3-4 small zucchini or yellow summer squash, sliced ½-1 inch thick
  2. • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  3. • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  4. • ½ tsp dried thyme
  5. • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  6. • ½ cup shredded Italian cheese
  7. • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  8. • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350oF. In an 8x8 pan, combine zucchini, squash, olive oil and spices, and toss to mix.
  2. Add shredded cheeses and gently mix on top of zucchini.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is nicely melted and has a golden brown coloring on top. Zucchini should be crisp tender. Enjoy with your favorite protein and additional vegetable dish or starch.
Something to Chew http://somethingtochew.com/

Photo source here.

Amanda  Figge