Summer Break Slimdown – 3 Simple Recipes!

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Let’s face it — sometimes we don’t make the best of decisions when we’re faced with a buffet of choices at the cafeteria. Addressing any damage you might have done eating on your meal plan takes dedication and energy. A lot of people thinks it begins and ends at the gym. However, the real place to get healthy is right in your kitchen. These three simple summer break “slimdown” recipes will give you a day’s worth of ideas on how to get your eating habits back on track.

 

BREAKFAST

People call breakfast the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eating right at breakfast means keeping hunger at bay later, giving you energy for any workout you may have planned, and setting your day up for healthy choices.

This fast food restaurant makeover is significantly lower in fat and packs in the protein. You can tweak it to match the nutrients your body needs or skip the English Muffin to reduce the carbs. Get creative!

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Super Fast Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Sandwich

  • Ingredients:
    • Light, whole wheat English muffin
    • 3 tbsp. egg whites
    • 1/8 cup of shredded, reduced fat or nonfat cheese of your choice
    • 1-2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • Directions:
    • Toast the English muffin
    • While it toasts, pour egg whites into a coffee mug. Mix in cheese and cooked bacon
    • Microwave mug in 30-second intervals until there is no more liquid, stirring in between to make sure cheese and bacon are distributed.
    • Place cooked eggs on muffin and enjoy!

 

LUNCH

The simplest meal of the day should be the easiest too. While you could do last night’s leftovers, there are plenty of healthy sandwich ideas you can experiment with.

This classic sandwich is our favorite. Both great for your body and an awesome recipe perfect for warm days, you’ll be eating this on repeat.

Garden-In-Your-Mouth Sandwich

  • Ingredients:
    • 100% whole wheat bread
    • 1 tbsp. hummus
    • Sliced cucumber
    • 1-2 oz. shredded carrots
    • 1 sliced pepper (or slices of assorted peppers)
    • ½ cup of uncooked spinach leaves
    • Lowfat cheese (optional)
  • Directions:
    • Spread hummus on bread and then add ingredients to taste!
    • Enjoy with the rest of the veggies as a side, or indulge with some veggie-based chips or freeze dried fruits for a crunch.

 

DINNER

After a long day of working outside, relaxing poolside, or getting in a workout with your friends, it’s time to really feast. Indulge with your meal by picking one that is low in bad fats and carbs and instead focuses on proteins that will keep you full the rest of the night.

 

We especially love this plate because it is so easy that anyone can recreate it. You can also take it to the grill or change out the meat source to your seafood of choice! Yum!

Lemon Salmon With Summer Berry Kale Salad

  • Salmon Ingredients:
    • 1-2 planks salmon (roughly ¼ lb. to ½ lb. per person)
    • Sliced lemon
    • Salt to taste
  • Salad Ingredients:
    • 1 bunch washed kale
    • 1 bunch washed spinach
    • 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup mixed berries
    • ½ cup pecans or walnuts
    • Light raspberry vinaigrette, to taste
  • Directions:
    • Preheat oven (or grill) to 400°F
    • Salt salmon and place 2-3 lemon slices on top
    • Wrap in tin foil and cook in oven for 12-15 minutes, and discard baked lemon after cooking
    • Prepare salad by mixing ingredients evenly together and drizzling with the vinaigrette as the dressing

 

Add any of these recipes to your regular weekly meals to get back on track. At that rate, you’ll enter fall semester in a much better place, ready to make smart food decisions at your college cafeteria!

Homemade Tomato Sauce (& Dishes You Can Use it in!)

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Tomato sauce

Eating and cooking healthy foods means starting with whole-food recipes. However, making everything from scratch can be time consuming and even difficult. Luckily, one must-have pantry item is both simple and customizable. Knowing how to make your own tomato sauce can help you cut down on carbs and keep your meals truly organic. Here’s how to make your own homemade tomato sauce and a few dishes you can use it in.

How to Make Tomato Sauce

Just like so many favorite foods, you probably like your tomato sauce a certain way. Some like it super spicy, and others love it with a little meat in it. You may like cheesy versions while a friend is all about mushrooms and onion. There is no wrong way to make tomato sauce!

To get you started, here’s how to make a base recipe good for about 4-5 total cups worth. Add on your favorite flavors, spices, meats, veggies, and more to create a sauce where you’ll love each and every taste.

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What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • 10 large, ripe tomatoes (tomatoes on the vine preferred)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1½ tbsp. butter, unmelted
  • ⅓ cup basil, chopped
  • ½ tsp. of Italian seasoning mix
  • 2-5 cloves garlic, to taste, minced
  • ¼ cup red cooking wine
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 whole bay leaf

Supplies

  • 1-2 large jars (recycle old tomato sauce jars to save money)
  • 2 medium cooking pots
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Ice water
  • Blender or food processor

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Instructions

  1. Boil water in medium pan. Keep pan full of ice water nearby.
  2. When water boils, add all tomatoes and stew for 1-2 minutes, until the skin starts to fall off of the tomatoes or look as if it is peeling. Remove tomatoes immediately and place in ice water.
  3. When cool, remove the tomatoes. Peel the skin off and remove the seeds. Place in blender or food processor and mince. Sauce should be chunky and not too runny.
  4. In second pot, heat oil and/or butter. When melted, add tomatoes, basil, seasoning, garlic, red wine, and any other seasonings you desire.
  5. Let boil. Reduce heat and mix in tomato paste and bay leaf.
  6. Cover and cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaf and either serve fresh in your recipe or let cool and store in your jar.

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Dishes Perfect for Tomato Sauce

Now that you’ve successfully made your perfect tomato sauce, it’s time to serve it up! Our first best bet for tomato sauce pairing is always a great pasta. Whatever your pasta recipe, highly recommended is cooking your pasta directly in the sauce. Cook the noodles al dente, and add a touch of oil to the sauce to keep the pasta from sticking, and cook altogether in a large pat. It warms up the sauce and helps it to stick directly to the noodles.

But it’s not just Italian dishes that require tomato sauce! We love fresh sauce in our favorite Mexican dishes as well! Add chiles, red onion, and peppers to your recipe for a sauce that can be used in oven baked bean burritos. Mix in cooked black beans with the sauce, add cream cheese and shredded cheese to the mix, and then spread in a burrito. Roll, cover with more sauce and cheese, and bake in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is cooked.

Finally, don’t be afraid to use your homemade tomato sauce in on-the-go recipes. Sure, we all love a good meatball sandwich, but that’s not all tomato sauce goes with! Vegetarians will love adding it to grilled cheese sandwiches and organic meat lovers will become addicted when it’s added to fresh hard salami, swiss cheese, and extra basil on french bread. Buon appetito!