healthy

Roasted Beets with Lemon Harissa Yogurt Sauce

I adapted this recipe from one for grilled beets with a yogurt sauce. I could not find za’atar seasoning, so I went with harissa and sumac for my yogurt sauce. I also used goat milk yogurt, because I do not eat dairy from cows.  I like that in the original recipe they grilled the beets, a great way to prepare them during the summer months when it can be too hot to turn on the oven. This recipe is bursting with flavor, and with minimal ingredients and steps I hope it becomes one of your favorite dishes as it has become one of mine!

Ingredients

Yogurt Sauce

  • 3/4 cup goat milk yogurt, plain
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1-1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbs parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil

Beets

  • 6-8 small beets, cleaned and quartered
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs parsley, minced
  • pinch of harissa and sumac for plating

Method

1.Place quartered beets on a baking sheet with parchment. Coat beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 425°F for 40 minutes.

2. While beets are roasting combine all ingredients for yogurt sauce. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Once beets are done cooking top with yogurt sauce, pinch of harissa, sumac, and 2 tbs parsley.

Easy Sweet Potato Pad Thai

I love pad Thai and am often disappointed by the lack of vegetables in the dish. This recipe interested me because they use sweet potato noodles. I do not have a spiralizer, instead I did a julienne cut on the sweet potatoes and the dish turned out well.

Ingredients

For the dressing: 

3 tablespoons unsweetened and smooth peanut butter

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

3-4 table spoons vegetable stock

For the pad Thai: 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

2 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled and spiralized (or julienned)

1 medium zucchini, grated

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Optional garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1-2 stalks of green onion, white and green parts chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lightly salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Method

Dressing: Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl, cover,  and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

Pad Thai: 

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes.

2. Add the bell pepper and zucchini, cook stirring frequently, 6-7 minutes.

3. Pour the dressing over the “noodles” and stir, coating noodles with dressing. Cook additional 2-3 minutes.

4. Off the heat, stir in chopped cilantro.

Serve immediately, divide pad Thai in to 4 dishes and garnish accordingly.

Additional Options:

  • Adding protein of choice: Tofu, Tempeh, Chicken, shrimp…

I also tried adding steamed shrimp and it was really good!

 

 

Healthy Personal Southwestern Skillet

I recently got a cast iron skillet and have been so excited to make some skillet dishes. My dish was inspired by this recipe.  If you’re like me and love Mexican food, you will love this dish! It has all the Southwestern flavor but is much lighter than traditional Mexican.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 small or 1 medium sweet potato, chopped

1/2 cup black beans, cooked (I used dry beans; soaked overnight and cooked before adding to this dish) you can also use canned

1-2 cups Cruciferous Crunch or any leafy greens

8-10 grape tomatoes, cut in half

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 oz cheese of your choice, grated

cilantro and avocado, for garnish

Method

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in small oven proof skillet. Add sweet potato and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potato is slightly tender, 10-13 minutes.

2. Add black beans, greens, and tomatoes, stir to combine. Cook until greens begin to wilt.

3. Turn oven broiler to high. Top skillet with cheese and place under broiler for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts.

4. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro and avocado. Serve immediately.

 

Coconut Curry Kale

I saw this recipe and had to make it because it contains 3 of my favorite things coconut, curry, and kale! What I like about this recipe, besides being simple and quick to prepare, is that you can use a variety of leafy vegetables to make it. This is a tasty side dish paired with salmon, chicken, tofu, or tempeh. It also goes well in a macro or Buddha bowl. What follows is a slightly modified version of the original recipe.

Ingredients

2 tbs coconut oil

2 shallots, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ginger, minced

6 cups kale, chopped

2 tsp curry powder

1/2 cup coconut milk

salt to taste

Method

1. Heat pan over medium heat and add coconut oil, shallot, garlic, and ginger.  Cook for 2-4 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add kale, curry powder, coconut milk, and salt. Cook until kale is tender.

3. Serve immediately.

 

Mini Eggplant Pizza

I don’t know if it’s related to being a foodie or a dietitian, but I love cute food! (This even extends to non-food items that look like food.) When I saw this recipe for mini eggplant pizzas I had to try it I like this recipe because you can get creative with the toppings.

Ingredients

1 large eggplant (or 2 medium)

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/4 cups marinara sauce (I ended up using bruschetta sauce)

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I made a few using chev goat cheese)

1/2 cup torn basil leaves

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut the ends off the eggplant(s) and then cut into 3/4 inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets and brush both sides of each slice with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast the eggplant slices until nearly tender, 10-12 minutes.

4. Remove baking sheets from the oven and spread 2 tablespoons of sauce on top of each piece. Top generously with cheese.

 

5. Return the pizzas to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted, 5-7 minutes more.

6. Serve the pizzas hot, garnished with basil.

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower

I feel like cauliflower is often overlooked because it doesn’t have a distinct flavor. I think this is a reason to love it because it can take on other flavors so well. I saw this recipe from Pure Wow a while ago and finally got around to making it.

I did not have all the ingredients in the original recipe, below is what I did.

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Ingredients

1 head cauliflower

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

2 tsp chile powder

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1 tsp black pepper

Method

1.Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Remove any green leaves and stem from cauliflower.

2. In a small bowl combine yogurt, lemon zest and juice, chile powder, garlic, curry powder, salt, and pepper.

3. With cauliflower on baking sheet cover with yogurt mixture, evenly over entire surface.

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4. Roast cauliflower for 30-40 minutes, until surface is dry and lightly browned. The yogurt will form a crust in the cauliflower.

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5. Let cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting in to wedges and serving.

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Black Lentil Soup

Compared to their traditional counterparts black lentils are tiny spherical black legumes also known as beluga lentils because they look like caviar. Due to their smaller size they cook quicker and make a great side dish, salad addition, or soup. I like this soup because the spices make it a warming dish, great for chilly winter weather.

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Ingredients

1 cup Black Lentils

1-1 inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced, plus 2 Tbs minced

3 Tbs Unsalted Butter

1 medium Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 Tsp ground Coriander

1/2 Tsp ground Cumin

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Tsp Gram Masala

2 quarts Low Sodium Chicken Stock

1 cup Crushed Tomatoes

Salt to taste

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Method

1. In a medium pot cover lentils and sliced ginger with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until lentils soften, about 10 minutes.

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2. Drain lentils and set aside, discard sliced ginger.

3. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the pot. Add onion, garlic, and minced ginger. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes.

4. Reduce heat to low and add spices, cook stirring, until fragrant about 4 minutes.

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5. Add stock, tomatoes, and lentils bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils soften further and soup has thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt portion in to bowls and serve.

 

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Considerations

  • Make this soup vegan buy using vegetable stock and olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter.
  • Top soup with avocado, which adds richness to the final product.
  • Add chopped kale or spinach just before serving.

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Pizzadilla

When I’m craving Mexican food this is my go to recipe. It is incredibly easy, tasty, and satisfying.

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Ingredients

1 Ezekiel Whole Grain Tortilla

1 oz grated Manchego Cheese

2 oz Chicken Breast Lunch Meat (or your preferred protein)

1 handful of Kale (or another leafy green)

1 medium Tomato, chopped

1/2 small Avocado, chopped

Optional garnish: cilantro and sriracha sauce

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Method

1. Heat tortilla in a pan over medium heat and sprinkle half of the cheese on it.

2. As cheese melts top with meat and greens. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover pan with a lid.

3. Once cheese has melted transfer tortilla to a plate and top with tomatoes, avocado, and any additional garnish you choose.

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ENJOY!

Snack Time

Snack time is as important as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks are something to keep you satisfied until your next meal. The composition of your snack is important because you want to avoid low blood sugar and feeling hungry. For example eating an apple and 1 oz of almonds is a good snack. It has carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar levels plus fat, protein, and fiber for satiation.

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Another great option for a snack is fruit/vegetable juice and chia seeds. The juice provides the carbohydrate and the chia seeds provide healthy fats, protein and fiber. You can also add avocado to vegetable juice, in stead of chia seeds for fat and fiber. Or to make this snack more hearty/satisfying try adding protein powder. Because it is a snack I would only add 10-15 gms of protein.

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One of my favorite snacks when I’m craving something sweet is non-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with pistachios and drizzled with honey. Again there is the combination of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. This snack will satisfy your sweet tooth so you don’t reach for the cookies.

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Bran Muffins

Bran muffins sound healthy and are seemingly harmless, though many commercially prepared versions are loaded with fat and refined sugar. I found this recipe that did not have too much fat or sugar. It is one of my favorite muffin recipes.

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Ingredients

1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar (could use honey)

1-1/2 cups Crushed Bran Flakes

1 tsp Cinnamon

1-1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups Chilled Applesauce

1/2 cup Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

(You can also add 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit and/or chopped nuts)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400°F, line muffin tins with paper cups, and crush cereal.

2. In a medium mixing bowl add brown sugar, crushed cereal, cinnamon, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and combine.

3. In another mixing bowl combine eggs, chilled applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is moistened, use as few strokes as possible. (If you are adding fruit or nuts now is the time to add them)

5. Spoon batter in to muffin cups, 2/3 full. Let stand for 10 minutes. This step ensures your muffins will be moist.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

I like to enjoy these with almond or peanut butter spread on top.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 Muffin

Calories 77

Total Fat 1 gm

Saturated Fat 0.2 gm

Cholesterol 21 mg

Sodium 99 mg

Carbohydrate 17 gm

Fiber 3 gm

Sugar 5 gm

Protein 3 gm

*Nutrition information is for plain muffins that have no additions. Adding fruit or nuts will change the nutritional values.