Posts tagged ‘cooking’

November 27, 2013

Holistic Holiday Nourishment

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‘Tis the season to pick up an inspiring, captivating book about 100 successful, goal-oriented women who overcome hurtful, heartbreaking and, in my case, life-threatening obstacles to achieve their personal and professional goals. Aspiring toward a position of influence is the driving force behind most young ladies who compete in pageants. In chapter 45 of the new book, Real Talk, Real Women, I discuss the ups and downs of competition and how entering a stressful environment with a foundation of self-esteem and confidence is imperative. Without first defining who you are and what you stand for, competition can consume you like a hungry lion, without mercy.

ImageLearning how to properly nourish my body propelled me into a healthier level of, well… life, quicker than I could say, “super foods!” I’ve never looked back.  Now, although I’m still fine-tuning my internal domestic goddess status, I enjoy creating healthy alternatives to some recipes. With a little creativity, I think I’ve created a good mix of healthy and favorite holiday fare for my family. Here are two dishes I’ll be making this Thanksgiving, and I’d like to share them with you. Tweet me @LaceyWPruett and let me know how yours turn out. It’ll be like we’re celebrating Thanksgiving together, from a far.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan 

Ingredients

            12 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads)

            1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

            1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

            2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

            2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

            3 garlic cloves, minced

            1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

            2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

            1/2 teaspoon salt

            1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place cauliflower in a large roasting pan or jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with oil; toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring every 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, thyme, tarragon, and garlic. Bake 5 minutes. Combine cauliflower mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to combine.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples

Ingredients

            1/2 cup diced apple

            8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

            2 tablespoons apple cider

            2 teaspoons olive oil

            1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

            1/4 teaspoon salt

            1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine apple and Brussels sprouts in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Add apple cider, olive oil, minced fresh thyme, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; toss well. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are tender.

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On stage during swimsuit competition at the 2012 Mrs. United States Pageant in Las Vegas, NV.

It wasn’t until I ran for Mrs. Texas United States title that I felt I was a healthy pageant competitor. I guess it worked to, because I won the title on my first try, and went on to place 4th runner up at the Mrs. United States pageant. Learning to nourish my body, mind, and spirit is probably my greatest educational experience to date, as without it, I may not be alive. This was the motivation behind obtaining my certification as a holistic wellness coach. I want to continue helping other young women understand the importance of looking inward to achieve overall beauty and success. It was also my main motivation behind leaving my 12-year corporate career to pursue a full-time career as a spokesperson for health and wellness. Now, I joyfully remind people that: “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.” It’s not that food is the enemy, but in a world consumed by emotional eating and corrupt body image, it’s a kind reminder that no food item can fill an emotional void or need. Being mindful of this fact is one of the healthiest ways to celebrate the holiday season.

For more about my story and perspective on the healthy side of competition, check out the book at http://www.realtalkrealwomen.net/lacey-pruett/ and order your own copy this December on Amazon.com. Pre-sale opportunities and digital copies are available now at the link above.  Happy healthy holidays! Lacey

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September 30, 2013

Delicious Kitchen Magic

cooking magic

The weather’s turning cooler, and there’s magic in the air! Or wait—maybe that’s dinner! When I was younger, I used to run with my dad around our neighborhood as my mom fixed supper. The times I remember most are the night runs we would do when the evenings were sharp, cold, and cloaked in darkness. And, as a teenager, I was starving right before dinner (and almost every other moment). So, when we would pass by one house in particular on our route, the most beguiling smells of dinner permeated the darkness, driving me almost insane with hunger. I was very dramatic back then! Supposedly, scents are some of the most potent conduits to our memories, and I believe this to be true. So true that I am instantly transported back to that cold winter night 20 years ago if I pick up the scent of dinner cooking as I meander around my own neighborhood.

Now You Can Do It Too!

Well, if you want to drive your neighbors crazy with the scents coming from your kitchen, I have the perfect solution for you. I stumbled upon this easy spaghetti recipe 10 years ago, and I’ve yet to meet a soul who doesn’t love this dish. And let me tell you, it’s most assuredly the recipe that people adore, not my cooking skills. J

Reasons to Love This Dish

  1. It’s amazingly delicious.
  2. It’s packed full of heart-healthy, cancer-fighting antioxidants and healthy fats.
  3. It’s really easy.
  4. It requires pantry staples you probably already have or can easily acquire.
  5. You’ll have leftovers for days (that is, if you are without children, like we are—otherwise, you may just have 1 meal)
  6. People will think you are a much more talented chef than you really are—just enjoy it!

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Pasta

Prepare 1 lb spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair noodles as directed on package. Amount of noodles per person varies. Feel free to use whole-wheat pasta, protein-rich pasta, or even spaghetti squash!

Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes—not drained (can be regular diced tomatoes, but I like the texture of petite diced)
  • 2 Tbsp black olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp capers (drained)
  • ½ tsp (or a nice dash) red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • dried or fresh parsley, good dash for color (most of the time I omit this)
  • parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Serves 4, conservatively

Directions

Heat large skillet until hot, then add the olive oil to the skillet. When oil is hot (thins out like water and sizzles if you flick water at it), add minced garlic and watch it closely. This is the time your kitchen starts smelling heavenly! You want the garlic to get slightly golden-brown but not burned.

When the garlic is golden-brown, add the can of tomatoes (both tomatoes and juice) and turn heat down to medium or so. Make sure you watch your bare feet when you add tomatoes—oil tends to pop a lot until tomatoes have blended with the oil.

Then add the black olives, capers, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and stir to blend. Turn down the heat to low-medium, and allow the sauce to simmer for about 12-15 minutes—you’ll stir occasionally, and you’ll cook until most of the sauce liquid has been cooked away. Make sure sauce is not cooking at too high a heat or it will stick to the skillet. When sauce is done cooking, take off of the heat and add parsley, if desired. When I serve it, I put noodles in bowl, then a spatula or two of sauce, then some parmesan cheese over it. Yummy!!!

A Few Notes: For 4 people who love this recipe, I’d double the sauce recipe, because the sauce is pretty chunky and not runny. I also keep the noodles and sauce separated and put them together as I serve them, even as leftovers—but you can combine them if you like. As far as
noodles and sauce go, I like to prepare a bunch, so I have leftovers for a few days. And these are killer leftovers!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Brooke