Attention, Made Men. Grab your girl, get in the kitchen and let me help you get your grub on—the hot, healthy way! And no, I am not going to bore you with the typical tasteless health food that seems like it’s been sprayed with cleaning agent off a sanitized hospital floor. I’m proud to be a foodie, as I adore smelly cheeses, red wine and exotic seasonings and spices!
The three-course meal below packs protein, fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants while taking your taste buds on an instant exotic vacation to somewhere sexy and far, far away! So dig in and get thin. And, oh yeah, don’t forget to enjoy a glass of wine with this romantic meal, as a glass a day has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Cheers to your health!
Strawberry and Blueberry Spinach Salad
This is a super-easy, refreshing summer salad loaded with antioxidant-rich foods. It also packs plenty of fiber and Vitamins A and C. Add a handful of toasted nuts or seeds such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to boost protein and add healthy fats to this or any salad.
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach leaves
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 tbsp light poppy-seed style salad dressing
In a large bowl, toss the spinach with the strawberries and blueberries; pour the poppy seed dressing onto the spinach mixture and toss to coat. Serves 4.
Indian Style Beef Kabobs with Snappy Bulgur
The marinade for this dish is made with molasses, which is great for men as it helps reduce the size of the prostate. Bulgur is man’s oldest recorded use of wheat and is convenient, since it can be either soaked in water or cooked to be edible with the same nutritive value as whole-grain wheat. The bulgur here is called "snappy" because it’s got a sweet and spicy kick to it, and it also whips up in a snap! This low-fat dish boasts 31 grams of protein and is also an excellent source of iron, niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, selenium and zinc.
1 lb boneless beef tenderloin steaks, about 1-inch thickâ€¨
1/4 cup un-sulphured molassesâ€¨
3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice â€¨
2 cloves garlic, mincedâ€¨
1/4 tsp ground cuminâ€¨
1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking bulgur â€¨
1/2 cup waterâ€¨
3/4 cup diced dried apricots â€¨
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice â€¨
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spiceâ€¨
1/2 tsp ground cuminâ€¨
1 clove garlic, minced â€¨
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1. Cut the beef into 1 1/4-inch cubes. Whisk molasses with orange juice, garlic and cumin until well mixed; add the beef cubes to the bowl (making sure all the cubes are covered). Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. â€¨â€¨2. Snappy Bulgur: Combine the bulgur, water, apricots, juice, pumpkin pie spice, cumin, and garlic in small saucepan; bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until bulgur is cooked all the way through but not mushy. Fluff with a fork. Add the parsley and toss to combine.
3. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove beef from marinade (discard marinade). Thread the beef cubes onto pre-soaked bamboo or metal skewers, leaving a small space between cubes. Place the kabobs on the grill; cook, turning as needed until cooked to your preferred doneness. Serve over the warm bulgur. Serves 4.
Honey & Wine Poached Pears
The red wine syrup in this recipe can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week and drizzled over fruit, yogurt or waffles. For a sweet and savory combination, sprinkle pears with a little crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts before drizzling with syrup. This dessert features plenty of fiber and Vitamin C…and zero fat.
2 cups light bodied red wine
2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean pod, scraped (reserve pod)
4 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored
1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove two thin strips of peel from the lemon. Juice 1/2 of the lemon. (Save the remaining lemon half for another use.)
2. Combine the wine, cranberry juice, honey, lemon juice, lemon peel, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean scrapings and pod to a deep skillet. Bring poaching liquid to a boil over high heat and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes to let flavors develop. Add pears, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered and turning the pears often, for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pears from the poaching liquid. Increase the heat to medium. Simmer the liquid for 15 minutes or until it is reduced and thickened to a syrup. Taste and adjust for sweetness or tang by adding a little honey or lemon juice. Strain the poaching liquid. Arrange pear halves on dessert plates and drizzle with a little of the syrup to garnish. Serves 4.
(As featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Jennifer Nicole Lee is the best-selling author of The Mind, Body & Soul Diet and The Jennifer Nicole Lee Fitness Model Diet. Her much-anticipated follow-up, The Fun, Fit Foodie Cookbook, is for everyone who loves food and understands the lifelong benefits of eating healthy. It comes out in Fall 2011.)