My name is Jared Hansen. I am a personal fitness and nutrition consultant and a certified personal trainer. This blog is dedicated to the support and education of anyone who wants to build a healthy, strong body.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Green Bean Casserole

As far as greens go, this is not a bad way to eat your vegetables.

4 cans cut green beans, drained
2 cans Healthy Request or fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup onions, diced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onions and mushrooms (can also be added to ingredients raw). Whisk soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper together. Mix together ingredients and spoon into a 3 quart (9x16) glass casserole dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbling.

Casserole can also be topped with shredded cheese before baking, or after 20 minutes of baking, topped with toasted sliced almonds or fat free croutons.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 65 Carbs- 10g Protein- 3g Fat- 1g

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ma-Ma-Ma-Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes for the holidays. Actually, I love mashed potatoes anytime! Just remember you can have too much of a good thing, so if you are watching your weight, control your portions.

12- 15 medium sized russet potatoes
4 cubes or 4 tsp chicken bouillon
3 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
3 Tbs margarine or butter (optional)

Peel the potatoes and dice into 1" cubes. Immerse cubes in lukewarm water. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain water and rinse off cubes. This will remove extra starch from potatoes. Next add potatoes and chicken bouillon cubes to a boiling pot of water. From this point, you can cook them one of two ways.
For thick potatoes:
Boil potatoes about 35 minutes. Boiling water will cloud, from potatoes breaking up. Drain excess water, and hand mash, adding pepper, salt, and margarine (leaving out milk).
For thinner potatoes:
Boil 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are barely tender. Drain water, and mash potatoes with a hand mixer, adding salt, pepper, margarine, and milk.

It is important to drain the boiling water before mashing potatoes because this will, again, remove extra starch from the potatoes.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 135 Carbs- 29g Protein- 3g Fat- 0g

Thanksgiving, Here We Come!

It's almost time for the holidays, which for many means an extra 10 pounds of holiday weight gained. Fear not! In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we'll be sharing tasty alternatives to traditional holiday dishes. If you are lucky enough (or unlucky, depending on how you see it) to be cooking for the holidays, you will have the opportunity to help yourself and your family avoid the extra pounds.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Make a Request

Our most recent post was for a client of Jared's who said that she is craving lasagna lately. We are more than happy to search for the healthiest option of your favorite dish. Feel free to send either of us an email with something that you would like to see a "Staylean" version of.

Lasagna Rolls

I am a big fan of super cheesy lasagna. I am not a fan of cooked spinach, but I actually found this recipe to be surprisingly tasty.

3/4 lb lean ground turkey or turkey sausage
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
2 cups frozen spinach
1/4 cup lowfat grated parmesan cheese
1 egg white
8 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest lasagna noodles (whole wheat)
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese (optional)

Cook lasagna noodles as directed. Season ground turkey with your preferred Italian seasonings. Brown turkey, drain fat and set aside. Cook spinach as directed and set aside. In a bowl, mix together egg white, cottage cheese, and parmesan. Mix in spinach and turkey. Spread mixture evenly over each noodle. Pour part of spaghetti sauce into a 8" glass square pan, enough to cover the bottom. Roll up each noodle and arrange in pan. Pour remaining sauce over rolls. Top each roll with mozzarella before cooking (if desired). Cover pan with foil and cook in oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Makes 8 rolls. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts:

Per Roll
Calories- 170 Carbs- 20 g Protein- 14 g Fat- 4.5 g

Per Serving
Calories- 343 Carbs- 41 g Protein- 28.5 g Fat- 9 g

Friday, October 16, 2009

Eating Out

One of a dieter's worst fears can be the invitation to a restaurant for a social gathering. Keep these few things in mind, and you wont stress about under- or over-eating.

Know before you go.
If you know where you'll be dining, you have the advantage of planning ahead. Many restaurants offer nutrition facts online. You can select a few dishes that will work in your diet and chose the one that sounds best when you arrive. Some restaurants also offer a low-fat menu on location that often has the nutrition facts next to each dish.

It's all about portions, portions, portions.
Remember that the average portion size for a piece of meat is 3-6 ounces; the average for a pasta/carb dish is one cup. Many dishes at restaurants will be served with double this amount, so don't be afraid to eat only half your plate, and take the rest home to enjoy at another time. If you are not in a position to harbor left-overs, consider asking for a lunch or half portion. Most restaurants will offer their lunch portions during dinner hours, upon request.

Keep it simple.
The more components a dish has (i.e. a casserole), the harder it will be to account for your calories, carbs, etc. Also, try to stay away from the bread bowls and dessert carts. When you have eaten enough healthy food, your appetite should be satiated.

Don't be afraid to ask.
Believe it or not, asking for something off the menu is more common than you think. A menu may not specify steamed vegetables, but may have them available. Your salad dressing can be served on the side. You can ask how an item is prepared, to determine if you wanted to ask for something grilled instead of pan-fried. You'll never know until you ask.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Maple-Dijon Chicken With Sweet Potatoes

A Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe Perfect for Fall

"Anything with the word "dijon" in the title instantly sounds exquisite and marvelous, even though it's only a $2.99 condiment. Dijon is the show-off in the mustard family. The chicken was
tasty and quite moist, and paired nicely with the sweet potatoes.
My kids ate two servings of chicken and some of the sweet potatoes. We didn't have any leftovers."
-Stephanie O'Dea

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 bay leaves

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into the stoneware and toss with the onion, garlic, thyme, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Place the sweet potatoes on top of the chicken. Pour in the broth and add the bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or on high for 3 to 5 hours. The chicken is done when it is cooked through and the vegetables reached the desired tenderness.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories: 333 Protein: 37g Carbs: 29g Fat: 7g

Slow-Cookin' Mama's Maple-Dijon Chicken With Sweet Potatoes
From the Kitchen of Stephanie O'Dea
Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mango Curry Chicken

I really like this recipe with a sweet, simple flavor, but Jared can never get enough pepper. So, depending on your tastes, the bell pepper and paprika in this recipe are optional.

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes*
1 ripe mango, cubed
1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbs curry powder
1 tsp paprika (optional)
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups brown rice, cooked*

*Instead of a meal, this can also be prepared as a sauce with whole chicken breasts.

To prepare as a meal:
In a large frying pan, on medium high heat, lightly brown the cubed chicken. Add in soy milk, green onion, pepper, and curry powder, stirring all ingredients together. When the mixture reaches a light boil, add in mango and cilantro, and turn down to low heat. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on top of rice.

To prepare with chicken only:
Brown chicken breasts on high heat (center should still be pink, but this will keep the chicken moist through the rest of cooking). In a frying pan, on medium high heat, add together all ingredients, stirring frequently as it comes to a light boil. Turn heat down to low and add chicken breasts to the pan. Cover and simmer for 5 mintues. Flip chicken breasts, cover, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

As a meal
Calories- 300 Carbs- 40 g Protein- 28 g Fat- 4 g

Chicken only
Calories- 150 Carbs- 7 g Protein- 24 g Fat- 3 g

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Banana Bran Muffins

Jared and I purchased some All Bran that for the life of us, we could not get around to eating. So I searched for a recipe that we could finish it off with. This is what we came up with.

2 large bananas, mashed
1 cup skim milk
1 egg white
2 Tbs light margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup All Bran or Fiber One Original
1 cup whole wheat flour
6 packets Splenda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raspberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray paper muffin cups with Pam. Combine All Bran, milk, egg, margarine, vanilla, and bananas in a bowl. Let sit for at least 5 minutes (I let mine sit for close to 10 minutes, to really soften the cereal). Mix together other all other ingredients, except raspberries in a separate bowl. After letting All Bran mixture sit for allotted time, mix together with dry ingredients. Fold in raspberries and spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 25- 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 180 Carbs- 42 g Protein- 7 g Fat- 2 g

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Most of us are familiar with the butter/applesauce exchange. Here are a few others to help maximize the nutrition of your meals.

Switch out white flour for whole wheat flour. The less processed your food is, the longer it will take your body to metabolize it, thereby helping to boost your metabolism. The same goes with white rice compared to brown rice, whole grain pasta, etc.

For lower fat in your meals, ditch your mayonnaise for plain yogurt. This is a great substitution especially in salad dressings.

If you find applesauce too runny for your recipes requiring butter, use lowfat or fat-free cream cheese instead.

Some of these substitutions may change the texture or taste of your dishes, so don't be afraid to experiment a couple times, until you find what works for you... and your diet.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Herb Crusted Salmon

Jared and I tried this salmon at a corporate cafeteria a few years back and the chef was nice enough to give us the recipe. We have rarely prepared salmon any other way since then.

1 lb skinless salmon fillet*
2 Tbs fennel seed
2 Tbs coriander
1 tsp salt
pico de gallo (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (can also be cooked on the grill at medium heat). Crush fennel seeds and mix together with coriander and salt. Pat mixture evenly on all sides of the fillet. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with Pam. Lay fillet on foil and cook in the oven or on the grill for 15- 20 minutes, or until fillet is cooked through. Top with pico de gallo and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

*Can also be used with chicken breasts, but the rub has the best flavor with salmon.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories 150 Carbs- 0 g Protein- 25 g Fat- 5.5 g

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

1/2 lb cooked boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes

1 can black beans, drained
1 cup salsa verde (found on the mexican aisle with other jar salsas- I like Herdez, but La Victoria also makes a good one)
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 tortillas (for a lower calorie tortilla, I recommend Mission's Extra Thin Yellow Corn Tortillas)
fat free sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together salsa verde and water. Spread 1/2 cup of salsa mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 casserole pan. Evenly distribute chicken, beans, onion, and cheese (saving some cheese for topping), also adding 1 Tbs salsa mixture in each tortilla. Wrap up tortillas and arrange in pan. Pour remaining salsa mixture over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese on top is melted. Serve with a dollop of fat-free sour cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 290 Carbs- 33 g Protein- 23 g Fat- 5.5 g

Monday, September 14, 2009

Easy Green Beans

These beans replaced our corn on the cob for a grilled summer veggie, but can also be prepared on a stove top during colder months.

4 cups frozen cut green beans*
1 Tbs dried chopped onions
2 Tbs light margarine or butter
salt and pepper to taste

To Grill:
Divide ingredients evenly into 4 sheets of aluminum foil. Fold up each sheet and throw on the grill on medium-low heat, turning every 5 minutes, until beans are steaming and margarine is melted.

On the stove:
Heat frying pan to medium. Add in margarine and onions. Melt margarine and then add beans and salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until beans are steaming.

Makes 4 servings.

* Canned green beans can also be used. Drain 2 cans and prepare as instructed, with only 1 Tbs margarine.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 50 Carbs- 5 g Protein- 1 g Fat- 1.5 g

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

As with most of the recipes, this is yet another way to disguise your plain chicken and brown rice! It may sound like a spicy dish, but in reality it's no hotter than a stir fry.

4 cups cooked brown rice (I use Minute Rice)
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbs lite soy sauce
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder*
1 Tbs brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat stove top to medium. In a wok, or large frying pan, pour in oil. Add in chopped pepper and chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to brown. Add in chicken, soy sauce, minced garlic, and chili powder. When chicken is almost cooked through, add in cilantro and brown sugar, turning up heat to medium-high. Ingredients in the pan should become quite hot, but don't forget to stir ingredients frequently, so they don't burn. Once everything in the pan is hot, pour over egg and whites, stirring frequently. This will fry the egg, while incorporating it with the rest of the ingredients. Turn down heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over rice or add rice directly to the pan to fry with other ingredients.

*If you can find it, I recommend 1 Tbs sweet chili sauce, in place of powder.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 350 Carbs- 39 g Protein- 32 g Fat- 7.5 g

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Turkey Burgers

Just because you can't have the real thing on your diet, doesn't mean that you can't eat anything at a BBQ. Try out these turkey burgers for a lite, summer lunch.

1 lb lean ground turkey (Jennie-O makes a great ground turkey breast)
1 egg white
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp seasoned salt

4 whole wheat buns (I recommend Sara Lee Soft & Smooth Wheat)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, mixing with your hands. Form meat into 4 patties. Grill as usual. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 245 Carbs- 22 g Protein- 33 g Fat- 3 g

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Broccoli Chicken Bake

Who can resist an all-in-one meal? Try out this recipe for a classic chicken dish.

6 4oz. chicken breasts
1 cup broccoli
2 cups uncooked Minute Brown Rice
1 can Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup
1 packet Lipton's onion soup mix
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp garlic powder*

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss together rice and onion soup mix. Spread rice mix evenly in a 9x13 casserole pan. Pour one cup of water over rice mix. Sprinkle garlic powder over chicken breasts (also salt and pepper to taste). Place chicken breasts and broccoli on top of rice. Mix together remaining 1 1/2 cups water and cream of mushroom soup until smooth. Pour over casserole. Bake for 1 hour, checking that chicken is well done.

Makes 6 servings.

*For a bolder chicken breast, sprinkle with mustard powder or paprika. You can also top the casserole with grated cheese before baking.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 250 Carbs- 29 g Protein- 27 g Fat- 4g

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Light Quiche

Egg whites can be as bland as anything. To get a better experience with your protein, try out this quiche.

1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 Tbs light butter/ margarine softened
2 Tbs skim milk

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients with a hand mixer until large lumps start to form. Press dough into a pie pan evenly. Cover with tin foil and set in oven while preheating, until egg mixture is ready.

8 egg whites plus 1 yolk
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
8 oz chopped lean ham (omit for Vegetarian option)
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk all ingredients together. Remove crust from oven and take off foil. Add mixture into pie pan. Cook for 45min to an hour, or until top of the quiche pops up.

Other variations- Add 1/4 cup broccoli, chopped spinach, or asparagus.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 255 Carbs- 16g Protein- 23g Fat- 7g

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Herbed Brown Rice

If you are having a hard time eating plain brown rice day after day, try out this recipe for a little pizazz.

4 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tbs light margarine
4 cubes (4 tsp.) chicken bouillon
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder (half if using garlic salt)
1 tsp onion powder

Crush bouillon cubes and parsley flakes. While rice is still warm, fluff in margarine and then add the herbs. For an extra kick, add 1/2 tsp paprika.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories- 180 Carbs- 35g Protein- 4g Fat- 3.5 g

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jared's Favorite Protein Pancakes

Ever thought to your self, "I wish I could get the protein I need in the pancakes I love" ? Me neither. But Jared has! So here is his favorite recipe for a complete meal of carbs and protein.
1 container (1lb) Fat Free cottage cheese
12 egg whites
2 cups plain oatmeal (uncooked)
1 tsp cinnamon
Blend all ingredients with a hand blender or mixer until it is a smooth batter. With a small ladle, drop the dough onto a pan/ griddle heated to 350 degrees, or medium heat on a burner. With the back side of the ladle, smooth out the dough, until it becomes a circular shape (Dough is thick and will not flatten on its own). Cook until small bubbles appear in the dough and flip to cook the other side. Serve with margarine and sugar-free maple syrup.
For variety, add 1 cup of fresh blueberries or sugar-free chocolate chips to the dough after blended.
Makes about 16 4in. pancakes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories- 280 Carbs- 32g Protein- 33g Fat- 2.5g