Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting Healthy

It's so hard, isn't it? I feel like I've been at a particular disadvantage recently. I've always been interested in nutrition and I usually eat well and make healthy meals but  - here's the thing: I eat too much and I haven't been able to exercise as much as I'd like to. I lost a lot of muscle being in the hospital and after surgery and resting. My knee has been acting up to the point where it became too painful to walk  far and so I went to the Dr and had that taken care of yesterday. Now I need to do some strengthening exercises and take the getting-back-into-shape ordeal a little more slowly. Otherwise, if I overdo it, I am just going back to square one. Big sigh. I just can't seem to get it all together but I'm trying.

I've also been trying to eat a little lighter. It helps that it's warm outside. My husband and I both try to limit our red meat consumption but he likes fish as a replacement and I don't. I prefer chicken or vegetarian meals but that often means pasta or rice which I  should probably avoid more. Which is worse - red meat or too much pasta?? You know what I mean.  I am always cooking vegetarian meals for my daughter anyway so it isn't too hard to make more for me. But two nights ago I made Turkey burgers and created a great recipe you will love. My daughter had a veggie burger instead but I am not fond of those. I've actually never been fond of frozen turkey burgers either  - they always seemed really blah to me. But, using fresh ground turkey instead of frozen turkey patties, and with a couple of small additions and a little work, these were great. Try it!

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers with Vegetables

     1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
dash of salt and/or pepper
1/2 zucchini, grated
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup bread crumbs (or oat bran!)
2  T olive oil
4  T milk
2 T  Teriyaki sauce for mix
2 MORE T of Teriyaki sauce for glaze

1.   Saute zucchini, onion and carrot in oil until soft.
2.   Mix turkey, egg, seasonings, bread crumbs and milk.
3.   Add sauteed vegetables to the turkey mixture.
4.   Add the 2 T of teriyaki sauce and mix well. Form into patties.

Dab a little of the extra teriyaki sauce on top of the patties before cooking. You can bake these on a baking tray in the oven (at 400 degrees I'd guess?), cook in a non-stick skillet or grill them. Grilling is my favorite. Remember to flip them so they get browned on both sides. If you bake in oven, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, it's poultry so be careful. My son also likes these made with barbeque sauce substituted for the teriyaki sauce.

What's that side you see here that goes along so well with turkey burgers on the grill in summer? My special healthy Spinach and Orzo salad, of course! (Everybody needs some carbs . . . ) Add some fresh strawberries and you've got a complete light healthy meal. You have to admit the burgers and salad look so nice on my new dishes too.

I'm still working on portion control, even if this plate looks pretty full, LOL. I have a wonderful appetite, especially if the food is good and I am a good cook if I say so myself. I now try to drink a full glass of water before I eat, while I'm cooking, and I also started adding a cup of decaf coffee after my dinner for an extra fill-me-up in case I'm still hungry. I'm always hungry lately.

Here's the Spinach Orzo salad recipe:

Spinach Orzo Salad

1/2  pkg of Orzo pasta, cooked
3/4  bag of fresh baby spinach leaves
baby tomatoes, sliced
3 T Olive oil
2 T Balsamic vinegar (or Red wine vinegar
or even Light vinagrette salad dressing)
A dash of garlic powder
salt, pepper to taste

1.   Cook the pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
2.   Chop the spinach into small pieces, removing stems.
3.   Slice the baby tomatoes.
4.   Place the spinach, pasta and tomatoes into a salad serving bowl. Mix the oil, vinegar (or dressing) and other spices in a separate bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

You can also add black olives or Parmesan cheese on top (only one person in my family will eat it that way so I leave it plain). All we had in the house was this Sweet Light Raspberry vinagrette dressing so I added more vingear for a zing.  Lately, my favorite dressing is Paul Newman's Light Balsamic Vinagrette and this is what I usually use if I do not have any good vinegar. I've also been known to substitute chopped red pepper if I do not have tomatoes, which works well too. I love red peppers.

This is a good start for me and hopefully soon I'll be walking a little more now that my knee is slowly healing. If I can learn to push myself away from the table, that is. Sigh. I think I need a personal trainer.


By Hoki Quilts said...

I so understand your dilemma. three months ago I had ankle surgery, mmmm. Physio is still happening now and walking is limited and I'm fighting to lose the 6kg I've gained. It's not easy as it's Winter here and DH can eat anything he likes without weight gain - not fair I say.
Good luck I hope your knee recovers soon.
hugs - Miche'le

ann hermes said...

Yum yum. I am going to have to try both recipes

Monique said...

Thanks for the recipes! They both sound yummy! I was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago and suddenly found I had to change my life! I eat low carb now, lost 80 pounds, and exercise every day. I know I'm lucky I haven't had any injuries and so I'm able to exercise.

It's worked too! My blood sugar numbers are now that of someone without diabetes and my last lipid numbers were so good the doctor called to congratulate me. Hard work, though.

Sending good thoughts your way that your knee heals quickly. Take care.

marian said...

Kathy, those turkey burgers certainly look delish as does your side salad, i'm going to have to give them a try! I know what you're saying about portion sizes too..the cold weather makes it hard, i just want to keep eating lol! We've recently started to eat more vegetarian & fish meals..and our fave meal is a simple tofu stir fry, you should try it, it's light yet filling!
take it nice & easy with your exercise're making great progress, we're just impatient aren't we lol!! :)) cheers, Marian

Beth said...

That plate really looks yummy. I will have to give them a try. My daughter is a vegetarian too and so I try to find things we can all enjoy.
Take it easy with your knee, you don't want to go backwards.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, unfortunately those don't look appetizing to me LOL - I'm a red meat/chicken and potatoes gal, though I don't mind a salad now and then. What helped us with portion control, is only making enough for the two of us - no leftovers, or just a tiny bit that can be frozen for next time. And I try not to bake too often anymore, especially cookies - I eat too many!
I'm glad your knee can be helped - exercise can be hard when it hurts. Like the others said, take it slow and easy.
Gerda in Alberta

Mary Marcotte said...

Here's hoping that you feel much better very soon. Thanks for the recipes. That Spinach Orzo Salad looks delicious! I will give it a try as soon as I can get to the grocery store.

Heartsdesire said...

Wouldn't a personal trainer be wonderful. I've been trying to eat more healthy foods for a while now, but it's not easy. My intentions are good, but if I'm tired at the end of the day, I revert back to some old unhealthy standbys. I have found a blog, Kalyn's Kitchen, that has wonderful recipes that follow the South Beach diet. So, very low carb. You might find something interesting there. Also, Dr. Oz has a good website and most of his recipe's are from "Eating Well" magazine, which also has wonderful recipes. Especially if you are trying to ease off meat. The nutritional information in this mag is also very good.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I saw one of your books at a quilt store today and thought of you. I don't usually look at the books.

solicitors scotland said...

We have recently started to eat more fresh vegetable and fish meals. Soup is very easy to cook in short time. Your shared recipe is best for breakfast or side dish of lunch.

mimi'sdarlins said...

I hope you can get your activity level back to where it belongs. Eating healthy is priority for everyone...thanks so much for the tasty looking recipes, looks like perfect summer fare!

Merilyn said...

Your meal looks very healthy, and on your new plates too! very nice! I love Orzo as well, and mainly eat vegetarian, although I try and eat meat at least once a week as a medicinal extra (I tend toward anaemia, so I have to be careful!)

Deb said...

Thanks for those recipes!! They look yummy! Turkey burgers, even made from scratch can be dry--but with the addition of the veggies, I bet that add the extra moisture to make them tasty! I am always looking for healthy side dishes.