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Thursday, October 31, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN-- Homemade Chili on a Crisp Fall Evening

Homemade Chili Great for a Halloween Supper (photo by LivligaHome)

There is nothing like homemade chili served up on a crisp Fall evening. When the kids were little we had the fun tradition of inviting our single friends and couples without kids over for a Fall Supper of chili, cornbread and salad.  It was usually the weekend before Halloween. The purpose was not only to enjoy each other’s company but to also carve pumpkins. There is nothing more fun than watching adults come up with unique ideas for their soon-to-be-carved pumpkin a long side young, eager children full of anticipation. We did this for many years until our kids went off to college. Click here to read the entire article...

Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fill Up First On Vegetables

It is that time of year when we all want to fill up on foods high in carbohydrates. The colder weather and darker days make us want to hunker-down and fill up on our favorite comfort foods like pastas, potatoes and cookies. Regrettably, this comfort food diet is worse on our waistline.

We can certainly have and enjoy our favorite carbs but the trick, it seems, is to fill up first with tasty seasonal vegetables.

Here’s why vegetables are key to feeling full longer: “There’s strong research that shows people eat the same weight of food every day,” says nutritionist Beth Kitchin, RD, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham in a recent interview with This factor is crucial to your weight management strategy. When you get hungry, eat vegetables — which are low in calories — in place of higher-calorie food items. These high-fiber foods will help you feel full longer and stay slender. Salads are a classic filler, but you can also add extra veggies to cooked dishes for volume.

One of my favorite recipes that satisfies my carb craving yet adds the vegetables to help us feel full and not over indulge is a Cooking Light Overnight Lasagna (308 calories/serving). Another recent find is a Mediterranean Diet roasted vegetable lasagna (330 calories/serving).

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Friday, October 18, 2013

There is no “Singing the Blues” with Blueberries

Blueberries keep us the healthiest (LivligaHome)

A recent Harvard University study highlighted why we will never need to “sing the blues” if we eat blueberries. Blueberries have come out the clear winner in decreasing our chances of developing everything from heart disease, various cancers and diabetes.

I have been singing the praises of berries for a long time. They are a great way to add color to your plate. They are also very easy to prepare since there is no peeling or chopping required. Berries have the added benefit of being lower in sugar than other fruits and therefore per cup have fewer calories. The best is they provide a great pop-in-your-mouth snack for those of us who have to satisfy our oral fixations. Popping one blueberry in your mouth at a time takes more time and can help get over the hump of afternoon cravings. How great it is to know berries are also super healthy for us.

Doctors and Dietitians have been promoting the goodness of berries, all kinds of berries, in recent years for the antioxidants they contain and their anti-inflammatory benefits. Now this Harvard study shows that not all berries are made a like. In fact, the research showed that strawberries, as well as apricots, plums, peaches and oranges had no beneficial effect in reducing the likelihood of developing diabetes. The study tracked more than 185,000 people over 12 years.

Blueberries, grapes, apples and grapefruit, however, were shown to ward off the disease. In fact, blueberries were found to have the greatest effect on decreasing the risk of becoming diabetic. Researchers found that by eating at least 5 servings a week decreased a person’s chances of ever getting the disease by a whopping 26 percent. Eating only one to five servings a month was also found to be beneficial for avoiding diabetes, but to a lesser degree.

So the message here is we should be singing the praises of blueberries and making sure they are on the top of our grocery list each week. We will never need to sing the blues if we have a pint of them handy in our refrigerator.  Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yummy, Kid-friendly Lowfat Muffin-- Morning Glory Muffins

Low Fat Morning Glory Muffins @livligahome
These muffins are packed full of goodness. They are moist and flavorful. Because of the spices they also smell scrumptious. This Morning Glory muffin (203/cal) is great for breakfast, brunch, snacks and even a healthy dessert. It has grated carrots, crushed pineapple and raisins in it. The spices are ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. I used 1/2 whole wheat flour along with the unbleached flour and oatmeal. The sugar is minimal and is 1/2 cup only of brown sugar (way better than using refined white sugar).

This is a fun recipe you can do with your kids that all will enjoy. A definite favorite on the list of healthy muffins for this family.

To make it a meal check out my previous blog on Greek-Style Frittata.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Falling in Love with Corey Louchiey and James Thornton

Corey Louchiey and James Thornton presenting at Teaming Up to Tackle Obesity @livligahome

I went to a remarkable convention recently and fell in love with Corey Louchiey and James Thornton . The Obesity Action Coalition put it on. It turns out there is a surge of organizations providing help out there for people looking for support and resources related to weight management. I have to admit I had no idea there were so many organizations supporting people battling obesity. The conference is titled “Your Weight Matters.” I attended their second conference. Click here to read the entire article...

Re-posted from Sheila's Blog on

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins with Crystallized Ginger

Pumpkin Muffins with Crystallized Ginger Dough @livligahome
There is nothing like this time of year to get us motivated to bake again after the long hot summer months. And with Halloween and Autumn decorating upon us easy access to fresh pumpkins for baking makes homemade that much better.

A friend shared a recipe for Pumpkin Muffins with Crystallized Ginger which I have since modified. Here is my new version:

Pumpkin Muffins with Crystallized Ginger

1 can or fresh (15 ounces) unsweetened pumpkin purée
2 cups (packed) brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup egg substitute (Egg Beaters)
½ cup apple cider (or juice)
1½ cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
⅔ cup chopped crystallized ginger
Cooking Spray or paper liners

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins or place paper liners in 28 muffin cups. This recipe makes a lot of muffins but they are great to freeze and use later.
2. Stir the pumpkin, sugar, and butter together in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg substitute and beat until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the cider/juice.
3. Blend the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together in a bowl. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly mixed. Fold in the crystallized ginger.
4. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups, almost to the top of each cup. Bake until there is a nice top and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 28 muffins. Serving- 1 muffin. Calories per muffin- 196  .

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Serve up your muffins on right-sized, beautifully designed dishware. Livliga and Kidliga make great holiday gifts!