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Favorite Recipes, for the kid in all of us

I am often asked by clients “What do YOU eat when you’re in a hurry?” Below are five of my favorite quick recipes, though I, like everyone else, go through phases and have had a number of favorite “comfort foods” at different seasons and stages over the past ten years. Those of you who have climbed with us also know I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, and if you’re interested in knowing how I make those delicious cookie bars, I’ve included our modified (read: healthier) recipe here.

Just a word of caution: we at Body Results happen to be omnivores who enjoy poultry, cheese, and somewhat odd food combinations. The following dishes are NOT vegetarian nor are they for lactose-intolerant readers. However, vegetarians might find useful suggestions that they’d feel comfortable modifying to suit their own tastes, and those who choose not to indulge in dairy products can substitute soy products or whatever you like to use in place of cheese. These recipes are very quick, tasty, easy to prepare, and perhaps a little bit unconventional. If you have other unique suggestions you’d like to share with our readership, or you feel you can top our “odd combinations” please feel free to send them to us!

Bean Tubes

My husband and I were discussing unusual word pairs used to name foods – “Wheat thins,” “tortilla chips,” “cheese puffs,” “ice cream cones,” “turkey jerky,” and “carrot sticks” all came to mind – and we jokingly started calling this next recipe “bean tubes” from the base food, a can of green beans in the shapes of little tubes. Who says food names have to make sense?

Ingredients: (for 1-2 people)
1 can green beans (we use one can each; heck, a can is only 70 calories)
1 chicken breast diced (you can use canned chicken, turkey, pre-packaged spicy chicken, though the more prepared it is, the higher the sodium and price, usually)
1 oz. shredded cheese of choice (non or low-fat is fine, or just go for the real thing) salsa to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and nuke it in the microwave for a minute. The alternative (it takes more time) is to heat the can of green beans in a sauce pan, brown the chicken breast in a skillet and then dice; place cubes in a large bowl, add beans and mix. Top with cheese and salsa. Delicious comfort food low in fat and high in flavor, at about 300 calories a serving.

Tuna Tortellini

One of our post-workout favorites besides a protein shake is a high-carbohydrate meal with only three ingredients. When I first heard about the suggestion of mixing tuna in spaghetti sauce, I cringed – seafood and noodles? Are you joking? Believe it or not, the acidity of the tomato sauce masks the fishy flavor of the tuna and results in a very tasty comforting food that reminds me of childhood.

Ingredients: (for 1-2 people)
1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cans (3.5 oz. each) water-packed chunk white tuna (canned chicken or turkey works just as well)
1 c. tortellini (frozen cheese-stuffed is fine; if you prefer raw, boil well)
Oregano and pepper to taste

Boil tortellini in 2 c. water in a saucepan and once softened, drain off the water. Add can of tomato sauce with spices, and simmer until sauce starts to bubble. Add tuna and let it heat for a few minutes until sauce resumes bubbling. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Yum! Yields 2 servings of about 425 calories each. Beware, ½ c. of noodles will NOT look like a very big portion, but the protein from the tuna and the texture of the tortellini will be quite satisfying. Add a tossed salad for a complete meal.

Egg Dish

Our very favorite treat meal, used for end-of-week dinners or Sunday brunch. Individual ingredient quantities are up to you; you can make this to serve anywhere from 1-6 people, or make a big batch and have leftovers for several meals. Serve piping hot. This recipe reminds me of another “comfort food” we had as kids growing up in Milwaukee, WI. Our parents would sometimes take us to a local deli that served the absolute best “Hoppel Poppel” in the world. This dish would make them proud – both my folks AND the deli owners!

Ingredients: sample weekend recipe for 2 hungry people Eggs (4-6 whites per person, or 2 whole eggs/2 whites per person)
Baby Red Potatoes (200 g/person, equivalent to one medium-sized potato)
6 oz. nuked, diced chicken breasts or sliced low-fat turkey sausage
Green peppers (one whole, sliced and diced) or other favorite omelet vegetables
Low-fat shredded cheese of choice (1-2 oz. per person)
Salsa to taste
Ground black pepper
2 T. oil
Pam cooking spray

Heat the baby red potatoes in the microwave until they just start to get soft; dice and set aside. Heat large skillet on medium and add 2 Tsp. vegetable oil; heat for about a minute. Add potatoes and cook until lightly browned and crispy. Microwave the chicken breasts until done (6-8 min. per 4 oz. breast) and dice. Chop green peppers. Add peppers and chicken to potatoes. Pre-heat a separate non-stick skillet, coat with a few sprays of Pam cooking spray and pour egg whites into skillet until it evenly coats bottom. Add pepper to taste to both eggs and potatoes. Scramble eggs until they are of a crumbly texture (no runny remains) and add to potato mix. Once thoroughly combined, add cheese and blend until cheese has melted. Serve piping hot with salsa served over the top.

Home Made Trail Mix

This one is easy and is highly variable according to your own individual preferences. I use this as snack food on the trail, rather than energy food in the city, but if you’re careful about how much you eat, it can serve dual purpose. It also depends on the sorts of “munch-ems” you have around your house. My favorite combination is given below, but you can choose to mix ¼-1/2 cup of anything you like:

Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal
Low-fat Granola w/Raisins
Great Grains w/almonds, dates and raisins
White chocolate chips
Almonds or peanuts
Chocolate chunks
Pretzel sticks or nuggets
Craisins or chopped dates
M&M’s or Reeses Pieces
Chopped apricots or pineapple
Dried banana slices

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and then divide into sandwich-sized plastic bags and place one in pocket or easy-access hiking pouch, the others in top of pack for snacking along the trail. Be sure to include some fat (like chocolate) and protein (nuts are great for that) or take some turkey or beef jerky along with you. My theory on climbing is you’re working so hard that you need the fuel, so climbs aren’t the place to be worried too much about whatever “diet” you’re on at home. Live a little. Take foods that you enjoy.

PBC Sandwich

Peanut Butter and … Chicken?? Yes, you heard correctly. This combination is for any fan of Thai food or spicy Oriental foods that include peanuts or peanut butter as one of the ingredients. Hopefully most of you are not allergic to peanuts! I use this as my first-lunch sandwich on any multi-day hike. Very satisfying, and it’s a great way to get rid of a little extra weight in your pack.

Ingredients: for 1 person
1 chicken breast (3-5 oz.)
2 tsp. peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (we use Adam’s All Natural with one ingredient: peanuts)
1 or 2 slices Sourdough bread (depending on whether you like a more traditional “in the hands” sandwich or an open-faced sandwich with fewer carbohydrates.)

Heat chicken breast in skillet until browned on both sides or, faster yet, in the microwave for about 6-8 minutes. Spread peanut butter (for flavor) on slice of bread (or both, if you like, though be aware that every Tablespoon of peanut butter is another 100 calories coming primarily from fat) and top with chicken. Eat hot, or wrap in tin foil or a Tupperware container to take with you on the trail.

Court’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies

If you’ve hiked or climbed with me at any time over the last five years, you’ve probably had a chance to try my favorite cookies. This recipe fits in with our philosophy of “include one day a week when you can eat whatever you are really craving, then get right back on your plan the next day.” This recipe is our own modified version of the original Nestle Tollhouse Cookies recipe that you can get on the back of any chocolate chips. Over the years, we’ve morphed it into our own favorite. Caution: these are addictive and not for “daily consumption.”

½ c. butter or margarine, softened to room temperature (nuked 15 seconds can help)
½ c. skim milk (for richer, more buttery cookies, use 1 c. butter or margarine and delete skim milk)
¾ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 egg whites (if you like the amino acids in the yolks and don’t worry about cholesterol, use 2 whole eggs)
2 ¼ c. white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. quick-cook oats
12 oz. (1 pkg) Nestle chocolate chunks (substitute white chocolate chips or 1 c. chopped dates if preferred)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. As to the first ingredient, it’s really your choice; butter is higher cholesterol but has great flavor; margarine has trans-fats that are shown to be potentially more harmful than the fat. I try to reduce risk by cutting the fat in half – to replace some of the lost moisture I add egg whites and skim milk.) Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add egg whites and stir thoroughly. You can use a beater; I like using raw stirring power, as it reminds me of baking cookies with my mother (maybe she didn’t want me to hurt myself with the mixer. Plus mine doesn’t work on thick doughs!)

Sift together the flour and baking soda, add oats, then mix into moist ingredients. Stir in chocolate chunks and dates (optional) and drop by large teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet to bake as traditional cookies. To save time, spray an 8x11” baking dish with Pam and pour whole bowl of ingredients into dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately run knife around edge for easier removal from pan. Serve hot with a scoop of ice cream for a treat from childhood you never outgrow.


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