Chilled Quinoa With Citrus, Cilantro and Sunflower Seeds

Chilled Quinoa with Citrus, Cilantro and Sunflower Seeds

I know I’ve given you all a lot of quinoa recipes, but this one is my favorite to date, and is sure to become my new go-to for summer! Not only is this chilled quinoa salad refreshing, but it’s hearty in all of the right places (offering a significant amount of protein and fiber) and low in all of the right places, since it is low in total fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium! Also, this vegetarian dish offers complete protein (i.e. all of the body’s essential amino acids) from quinoa and edamame, so it’s great as a main dish or as a smaller portion as hearty side or snack!

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Ingredients (yields about five – 3/4 C servings):

1 C quinoa, dry (rinsed and drained)

2 C water

1/3 C shelled edamame, unsalted (or rinsed and drained to remove excess salt)

1/2 C grated carrots

2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, shelled and unsalted

3 Tbsp cilantro leaves, washed, dried and finely chopped (optional: plus additional for garnish)

Juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 2 Tbsp)

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Combine quinoa and water in medium-sized pot and bring to a rapid boil, uncovered. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow quinoa to absorb the water (this should take about 15 minutes).

2. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring into a large mixing bowl. Add edamame, carrots, sunflower seeds, cilantro leaves, salt and pepper.

3. Whisk together lemon juice, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Drizzle over quinoa salad and mix all ingredients. Garnish with extra cilantro leaves (if desired) and chill in refrigerator until cold (about 2 hours) if serving that same day.

*This dish is great for quick grab-and-go leftovers and keeps well in the fridge for about 5-7 days if sealed in an airtight container!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving ~3/4 C)

Calories 194 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 28 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 9 g, Sodium 44 mg, Calcium 56 mg

A Different Way To Relax – Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad 

Kale has a ton of nutrients, including vitamins E, K, A and C. However, when eaten raw, it can be bitter and the nutrients are less available for your body due its tough cell walls. When eating raw kale, it is always best to “massage” the kale with an acidic marinade, which begins the breakdown process and also counteracts its bitter flavor. For this kale salad, I massaged the kale with fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and added avocado, tomato, cucumber and some salt and pepper. Simple, presentable and delicious!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

4 C raw kale, chopped (*Note: remove large stem from middle)

1/2 avocado

1 C cucumbers, sliced

1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

juice from 1 fresh lemon

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

dash salt (to taste)

dash ground black pepper (to taste)

kale - ready to be "massaged"!

kale – ready to be “massaged”!

Directions:

1. Wash kale and pat dry. Add kale to large bowl.

2. Squeeze lemon juice directly over kale (watch out for seeds!) and add olive oil. Gently massage kale with dressing for 2-3 minutes, until kale begins to wilt and turns dark green. Kale should be soft when finished.

3. Slice avocado into small cubes. Add avocado, tomatoes and cucumber slices to salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 228 calories, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 23 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 142 mg, Calcium 200 mg

Squeeze Some Flavor On To That Chicken!

Lemon Chicken with Spices

This simple dish is a staple of mine that I rely on when I’m too busy to make an intricate meal. With only a few simple ingredients, this dish manages to have a ton of flavor and skimps on fat. Even though very little oil is used, the chicken stays juicy because of the lemon juice and marinates in flavor while it cooks. Next time you’re in a time crunch, try this simple dish and fuel up with protein! Don’t forget to round out the meal with healthful sides, such as a salad or roasted vegetables, to amp up the fiber, vitamin and mineral content of this dish!

Don't you worry. That's not a pool of oil in the skillet - it's lemon juice!

Don’t you worry. That’s not a pool of oil in the skillet – it’s lemon juice!

Ingredients (serves 2):

8 oz chicken breast

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt

dash cayenne pepper (to taste)

juice from 1 lemon

IMG_0636Directions:

1. Heat oil in medium sized skillet over medium heat.

2. Place chicken in skillet. Slice lemon in half and squeeze the juice from each half over the chicken. A small pool of lemon juice will pool in the skillet.

3. Add spices to chicken. Place cover over skillet and cook for 10 minutes. Remove cover, flip chicken and replace cover. Cook another 5-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (it should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F). Serve.

*note: this dish can also be made in the oven by placing all ingredients in a casserole dish and baking at 350 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 191 calories, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 66 mg, Carbohydrates 2 g, Fiber 0 g, Sugar 1 g, Protein 26 g, Sodium 152 mg, Calcium 15 mg