Healthy Food Staples

Cheese is one of those foods I think I could eat at every meal and still not get remotely sick of it.

There are so many different varieties of cheese and it’s just so darn delicious that I cannot help but crave it all the time!

Today I included a slice of Land O Lakes smoky Provolone cheese in a cheese, arugula, spinach and cucumber sandwich.

Oh Provolone!

On the side I enjoyed cucumber slices and grape tomatoes for some added color and nutrition.

Cucamaters

I am looooving grape tomatoes lately. They’ve been on sale for more than a month at my local grocery store and it’s fantastic!

I also had a cup of Smartfood white cheddar popcorn because it is the JAM.

Chedda Makes it Betta

This was a great lil’ Monday lunch.

The Spread

Healthy Food Staples

Woohoo! Today is the day I begin tackling the first of your reader’s requests from last week. First up: my healthy food staples!

There are certain foods I try to always have on hand. I find that I can create a healthy meal fairly easily as long as I have a few tasty and nutritious staples available to me.

Each week, I make sure I have the following items in my kitchen to make healthy eating throughout the week easier and oh-so-convenient:

  • Greek yogurt: I love the creamy consistency and wonderful protein content of Greek yogurt. A cup of this stuff, paired with berries, nuts, barley or low-fat granola makes breakfast a breeze and keeps me feeling full for hours. It’s also fabulous in Greek yogurt pancakes.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

  • Whole wheat tortillas: These lil’ babies are so versatile. I use them almost every day in my morning snack when I make microwavable quesadillas by microwaving a stick of string cheese on top of a tortilla and folding it over. They’re also great for wraps made with lean meats or peanut butter and banana roll-ups.
  • Nut butter: Though peanut butter is obviously my nut butter of choice, having any nut butter on hand makes it easy to incorporate healthy, filling fats into your diet. Simply stir a scoop of the nut butter into your morning bowl of oatmeal, or spread it over a whole wheat sandwich thin and enjoy with sliced pears for an easy pb & p sandwich.

"Gimme the PB and Nobody Gets Hurt!"

  • Protein Powder: I don’t consume protein powder daily (or even weekly sometimes), but I do like having it available to blend into smoothies or stir into oatmeal to add extra protein to otherwise less-than-filling meals. My favorite protein powder is All the Whey, but everyone’s tastes are different. I had to try a bunch until I found my favorite!
  • Fresh veggies: For me to feel truly satisfied after a meal, I have to eat a lot. I like to fill my plate with lots of vegetables so I can eat a ton without overdoing it in the calorie department. Though I don’t count calories, I am aware of them and find that filling up on vegetables not only provides my body with healthy nutrients, but also makes me feel more energetic and satisfied after a meal.
  • Oatmeal or Barley: Having a go-to whole grain on hand makes it easy to always have a healthy meal available to you. I love incorporating oats or barley into yogurt bowls made with Greek yogurt because they add extra fiber to my meal, which keeps me feeling fuller for longer. Protein pancakes made with oatmeal also have some serious staying power.
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruit: Fruit is so tasty and I’m always in the mood for fresh berries, so having fruit available makes it easier to select something nutritious to snack on. Apples with peanut butter and frozen bananas make great snacks. Tossing a handful of berries into a morning bowl of oatmeal or a cup of yogurt adds volume, vitamins, flavor, texture and fiber! Eat up! Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies.

Smoothies with a Spoon = Extra Thick

  • Eggs: You’ll always have a great source of protein on hand if you keep eggs in your fridge. I’m a big fan of breakfast for dinner and love using eggs to make healthy meals such as a healthified Egg McMuffin, banana almond-stuffed French toast or French toast strips.

Dippy Eggs!

And there you have it. My healthy food staples. I love ’em all!

Question of the Afternoon

  • What are YOUR healthy food staples?

Let’s share some ideas! 😀

Tuna Salad Remix

First things first, I am in the market for a new food processor since my Cuisinart food processor decided to stop working after less than 10 uses. Fun!

Please let me know if you have a food processor that you love because I want to get one with a longer lifespan this time around.

I’ve visited many websites searching for a good one, including the CSN stores site (that literally has everything from twin beds to blenders) because the company has offered to let me pick out a product for $60 or less, and I’m thinking this Hamilton Beach Chef Prep 10 Cup food processor seems right up my alley. Anyone out there have this model? I hope it’s a good one!

Lunch

Onto the food fun!

Today’s lunch included tuna salad that was a bit different from the tuna salad I usually make.

Tuna Salad Remix

I combined a packet of StarKist Tuna Creations sweet & spicy tuna with a large squirt of light Miracle Whip.

StarKist Tuna Creations

I topped a whole wheat Pepperidge Farms deli flat with the tuna salad and a large handful of spinach to complete my tuna sandwich.

On the side I enjoyed fresh cucumber slices that were nice and cool (…as a cucumber 😉 ) and grape tomatoes for some added nutrition.

Tomaters

Sadie was more than a little intrigued…

"That Tuna Smells Deeelightful!"

The Whole She-Bang

Cucumbers + tomatoes = Perfect summer produce

Question of the Afternoon

What kitchen appliance do you use most often?

I use my blender the most, but my griddle is definitely a close second! Let’s hope that once I get a decent food processor, that’ll be high on my list, too!