I’ve said this before, but the best thing about coming home is mom cooking dinner 🙂 Last night we finally got to have dinner with everyone before putting up the tree and we tried a new cabbage casserole, which turned out to be delicious! We paired it with a roasted chicken, so we eliminated the meat from the original recipe and used butter for browning the onions and rice instead of bacon grease. It still turned out delicious! Here’s the original recipe from the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.
“Stuffed Cabbage” Strata
Olive Oil Spray
8 slices of bacon, cut into 2′ pieces
1 1/4 cups minces yellow onions
1 cup of instant rice (preferably brown)
6 cups of shredded green cabbage
1.5 Lbs extra lean ground chicken breast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 (8-ounce) cans of no-salt-added tomato sauce
3/4 c. water
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 8 x 8 deep baking dish with olive oil. Line a dinner plate with a paper towel.
- Place large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 4 – 6 minutes per side, or until bacon is cooked and crisp. Transfer bacon to lined plate and remove all but 1 tbsp of grease from the skillet.
- Add onions and rice to the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook in the bacon fat, stirring, until the onions are tender and the rice is just starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes.
- Spread 3 cups of cabbage in the bottom of the baking dish and top with the rice mixture, forming even layers.
- Add chicken, salt and pepper to the skillet and place over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. About 3-5 minutes. Once fully cooked, transfer with a slotted spoon into baking dish to form another layer. spread the remaining cabbage over the chicken layer.
- Clear the skillet of any remaining liquid and then add the tomato sauce and water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Carefully layer the tomato sauce evenly into the baking dish. Lay the bacon pieces on top of the cabbage.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 additional minutes. Once done, let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Go For It
I don’t usually do this, but I want to take a second to share some exciting news! To begin with, I want you all to know that my dream position as a dietitian is a mix between a family counselor dietitian and school dietitian. I want to be able to teach nutrition education classes and work with families who have obese children. The only problem is that this position does not exist at this point in time. Dietitian positions in school systems are more of a food service job, working with the school breakfast and lunch programs. While this job is important, it’s not the one I want. If I am going to get my dream job, I am quite simply going to have to create it.
Knowing this can be daunting, but, as my mom always says: the worst thing they can do is say no and if you don’t ask you’ll never know. Keeping this idea in mind, I was trying to think of places I could work over winter break while I am home. I ended up having this great idea to contact the gym in my area. Where I am from is a very small town, and the first commercial gym has not been there for any extended time. While they offer different workout opportunities such as boot camp, spinning, Zumba and yoga, they have nothing for nutrition.
What else could I do but call them to suggest that they employee me to fill their gap?!?! In taking the chance and calling, I now have a new job teaching nutrition classes and doing individual consultations at two gyms! I get to start right in time for New Years, so hopefully I can influence some smart, healthy nutrition changes! (Hopefully I will also have enough money to pay my credit card off from gift shopping now too)
The Fattest Time of Year
We are now in the midst of the slowest time of the year in the fitness business. With the holiday and change in weather the number of people going to the gym and focusing on their health is at an all time low. Traveling to see family can also impact the resources and time we have to get in a workout. It’s pretty ironic when you think about it since, come the new year, the gyms will be absolutely packed. While this is a time of celebration, it’s important to minimize the extent that we slack off during the holidays. Here are some tips for the last couple weeks we have left in this year:
- Anything is better than nothing! If you are only able to get in part of a workout, or just 2 days instead of 4, it’s better than none at all.
- Do Strength Exercises. Your strength level can be maintained in as little as one workout a week. While you won’t be gaining muscle at this rate, it will make it easier to once you can workout more frequently.
- Exercise at the Same Intensity. Doing cardio less often can lead to a decrease in respiratory endurance. However, if you workout at the same intensity each time you get the chance to, you can maintain similar respiratory endurance. This means if you’re use to running at a 7 mph pace for 30 minutes at least 4 days a week you can maintain your fitness level by doing the same workout (7 mph pace for 30 minutes) 2 days a week.
- Decrease What You Eat. This is a tough one to do during the holidays, but it’s very effective. When you are working out less, your body need less calories. Adjusting your portion sizes to reflect a decrease in activity will help you maintain your health.
Happy Holidays! Only 1 week until Christmas!