Simply Baked Salmon

Simply Baked Salmon

As the weather gets warmer, I love buying fresh fish and making it myself. Fish is a light alternative to other animal proteins and offers a ton of nutrients for relatively few calories. Specifically, salmon offers up a hearty serving of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. This simple salmon dish is easy to make and great for beginners. Also, it’s super healthy and serves up a delicious plate of nutrients that you can feel good about eating!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

6 oz salmon fillet (*Note: Try to find wild salmon if you can!)

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

dash salt

dash cayenne pepper

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray and place salmon fillet in dish.

2. Drizzle olive oil over salmon. Add lemon juice and spices. If needed, take a knife to gently rub spices and marinade over salmon evenly.

3. Bake salmon in oven for 20-25 minutes, until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish should flake easily with a fork. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 398 calories, Total Fat 26 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 107 mg, Carbohydrates 3 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 38 g, Sodium 259 mg, Calcium 28 mg

I ate my baked salmon with quinoa and mixed veggies!

I ate my baked salmon with quinoa and mixed veggies!

 

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

Guilt-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, you just want a cookie. My favorite kind is peanut butter, but I prefer to bake my own, since I know this treat can actually be surprisingly guilt-free if made the right way. Using natural peanut butter and only a handful of ingredients, these cookies take no time to bake and are actually made with ingredients you can feel good about eating (minus the sugar – but they’re still cookies)! Who says you can’t have your cookie and eat it, too?!

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Ingredients (yield 20 cookies)

1 C natural peanut butter (*best when refrigerated – make sure it is stirred so all of the oil is not sitting at the top)

1 C sugarIMG_0902

1 lage egg, beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 C semisweet chocolate morsels

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Now give it a stir!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Add peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract to a medium-sized bowl. Stir well until all ingredients are combined. The batter should be mouse-like.

3. Fold the semisweet chocolate morsels into the batter.

4. Spray baking sheet (or tin foil) with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray.

5. Take small spoonfuls of batter and roll each spoonful into a ball before placing on baking sheet. Balls should be approximately 1 inch in diameter. Leave approximately 1-2 inches between balls on baking sheet.

6. Flatten each ball into a small circle with a fork – I like to make a decorative pattern with mine by either leaving the lines from the fork tongs or criss-crossing them back and forth (as shown).

7. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Let cool completely before removing from baking sheet, as these cookies fall apart easily if handled too much while warm. Enjoy!

Almost done!

Almost done!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 

*1 serving is 1 cookie

Calories 140 calories, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 9 mg, Carbohydrates 14 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 46 mg, Calcium 2 mg

Ready to bake in the oven - just a few minutes until peanut butter-y goodness!

Ready to bake in the oven – just a few minutes until peanut butter-y goodness!

 

 

Shredded Balsamic Sprouts

Shredded Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Okay, I promise after this I will post something about a food that is not in the cruciferous veggie family – but why not try one more recipe involving a member of this nutritious family?! These shredded sprouts take less than 15 minutes to prepare and are a sweet and tangy way to enjoy this vegetable. Also, onions, with their sulfur-containing compounds, boast some impressive health benefits as well and, paired with the sprouts and the balsamic, make for a tasty side dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold!

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Ingredients (serves 4)

3 C shredded Brussels sprouts (you can look for bags of shredded sprouts at your grocery store – I like Trader Joe’s! Or, if you prefer, you can cut your own sprouts!)

1/2 large yellow onion

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1/8 C water

1/8 tsp garlic powder

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

ready to add the balsamic vinegar, water and spices!

ready to add the balsamic vinegar, water and spices!

Directions:

1. Warm olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan.

2. Chop onion. Add onion to olive oil. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add shredded Brussels sprouts to onion and olive oil. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add water, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper to Brussels sprouts. Cover and cook 5-7 minutes, until liquid has mostly been absorbed.

5. Remove from saucepan – if there is a large amount of excess liquid then drain. Enjoy hot, or cold the next day!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 91 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 60 mg, Calcium 31 mg

 

Some Sweet Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pomegranate Arils

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In case you couldn’t tell, I’m on a cruciferous veggie kick. I try to eat seasonally when possible and cruciferous vegetables can grow throughout the cool, winter months. Also, cruciferous veggies offer a ton of health benefits and some studies suggest that increased intake of these veggies may be associated with a reduced risk of developing certain cancers.This sweet side dish is like wellness in a bowl –  walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, and pomegranate arils are rich in antioxidants. Make sure you make extra – you’ll want the leftovers the next day!

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 C raw Brussels sprouts (I like to use Brussels sprouts that are on the smaller side)

1/4 C chopped walnuts, unsalted

1/2 C pomegranate arils

1 Tbsp olive oil

Dash salt

Dash ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

ready to go in the oven!

ready to go in the oven!

2. Wash Brussels sprouts and dry thoroughly with paper towel. Cut the Brussels sprouts in halves or quarters, depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts.

3. Place Brussels sprouts on baking pan or in casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil over Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

4. Bake Brussels sprouts in oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, remove Brussels sprouts from oven and add walnuts. Stir Brussels sprouts and walnuts together and place back in oven. Bake another 10 minutes-15 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are slightly crispy on the outside. Stir occasionally.

5. Remove Brussels sprouts from oven and add pomegranate arils. Mix all ingredients together and place back in oven. Bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 239 calories, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 101 mg, Calcium 52 mg

yum!

yum!

Salmon and Cabbage Salad With Grated Ginger

Salmon and Cabbage Salad with Grated Ginger

This salmon salad will shake up your salad routine and get you excited for a plate full of veggies – and hearty salmon! Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and can grow in cool temperatures, so this salad is perfect for the fall and winter months, when vegetables can seem scarce. Plus, consuming at least two 6 oz portions of salmon per week supplies your weekly recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in reducing inflammation. Fresh ginger and a light drizzle of dressing spice up this salad and give it a distinct flavor that is anything but boring!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

6 oz salmon fillet

1/4 small head cabbage (doesn’t matter which color- whichever you prefer!)

1 large carrot

2 Tbsp ginger or miso dressing (I recommend 365 Ginger Soy Vinaigrette)

Non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp fresh ginger, grated (I use a cheese grater)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Place salmon fillet in casserole dish.

3. Season salmon with spices (garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper and grated ginger).

4. Place salmon in oven. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through (reaching an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit).

5. While salmon is in oven, chop cabbage. Place cabbage in strainer and rise. Dry thoroughly. Transfer cabbage to plate.

6. Skin, wash and dry carrot. Shred carrot over cabbage using a cheese grater.

7. Remove salmon from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes.

8. Place salmon on top of salad. Drizzle dressing over salad. Serve.

The Goods: What‘s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 371 calories, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 114 mg, Carbohydrates 21 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 47 g, Calcium 139 mg, Sodium 511 mg

*note: If you are concerned about your sodium intake, try to look for a low-sodium salad dressing. Also, you can make your own dressing using low-sodium soy sauce and mustard!

Cancel Your Take-Out Order!

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry with Brown Rice

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Why order in greasy food when you can cook your own stir-fry with only ingredients you know are wholesome? This stir-fry can be made with any lean protein  – I’ve replaced the tofu with shrimp before, as well as chicken, and it’s always been amazing and authentic tasting. Also, depending on which veggies I find at the farmer’s market or grocery stores, I’ve switched up the components of this dish to reflect seasonality and local offerings when possible. This healthy stir-fry will fill you up with fiber and protein and give you a hearty dose of antioxidants. Wok not included!

Ingredients (serves 2):

8 oz extra firm tofu

1/2 C sugar snap peas

1 C broccoli florets

2 baby bok choy

1/2 onion, diced

2 large carrots, sliced

1 C mushrooms, sliced

1 C brown rice

1/4 C corn (off the cob – I like to buy frozen corn!)

1 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil

1/4 C low-sodium soy sauce (or you can try a different stir-fry sauce – just try to avoid products with ingredients such as caramel color and high fructose corn syrup!)

This time I used baby corn!

This time I used baby corn!

Directions:

1. Steam carrots in microwave until soft (approximately 5 minutes).

2. Steam broccoli florets in microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

3. Steam corn in microwave for 45 seconds.

4. Cook brown rice according to directions on package (I find it easiest to buy fully cooked frozen brown rice and steam it in the microwave).

5. Drain excess water from tofu and gently squeeze dry with a paper towel. Cut into small cubes.

6. Pour oil and half the soy sauce (about 2 Tbsp) into skillet and warm over medium heat.

7. Place onion and mushrooms in skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Slice bok choy into large pieces and add to skillet.

9. Wash sugar snap peas and pat dry. Add steamed carrots, corn and broccoli to skillet. Add tofu and sugar snap peas. Add remaining soy sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

10. Place brown rice on plate and pour mixture over rice. Serve hot and enjoy!

the Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 377 calories, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 46 g, Fiber 9 g, Protein 19 g, Calcium 194 mg, Sodium 739 mg

Cauliflower Power

cauliflower200-73fa7e31835d86c2f092faa660cc370112350a0f-s6-c30Why Eat Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and  therefore joins the likes of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy and other veggie powerhouses. Even though these veggies are personal favorites of mine, many people seem to dislike this veggie family, even though they have powerful antioxidant properties. So, I have made it my mission to create tasty recipes that incorporate these vegetable superheroes in an effort to spread the love – and the deliciousness. Cauliflower can grow in cool temperatures and therefore can be a staple throughout the fall and winter months at farmer’s markets and seasonal markets. So, next time you’re at your local market, give cauliflower a chance!

What Do I Do With Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is an easy vegetable to begin your cruciferous vegetable tasting, since it can actually be prepared to taste just like an all-time favorite: potatoes! Lower in calories and carbohydrates, but similar in consistency, this alternative can be swapped into many potato recipes! The two recipes below are kid-friendly ways to introduce your family (or anyone) to cauliflower – I promise you won’t even have leftovers!

Recipe #1: Cauliflower Breadsticks

yum!

yum!

I adapted this recipe that was given to me by a friend and slimmed down traditional cheese sticks. All of the flavor for less than 50 calories per “bread”stick? That is true cauliflower power!

Ingredients (serves 12):

1 large head cauliflower (approximately 6” diameter)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 oz low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

½ tsp onion powder

Dash salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Non-fat vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and dry cauliflower and chop into florets. Steam (either in microwave or over boiling water) until soft (approximately 10-15 minutes).
  3. Place cauliflower in food processor and blend until pureed. The cauliflower should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix eggs, 2 oz cheese (2/3 of the cheese), spices (garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper) and pureed cauliflower.
  5. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower mix into casserole dish and spread into a thin, even layer with spatula.
  6. Bake in oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown. Remove from oven, add remaining cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted (another 5 minutes).
  7. Cut into squares (3×4) to yield 12 cauliflower breadstick squares. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

*1 serving is 1 square

Calories 43, Total Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 36 mg, Carbohydrates 3 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 4 g, Calcium 72 mg, Sodium 86 mg

Recipe #2: Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

just like mashed potatoes!

just like mashed potatoes!

This recipe is a true favorite of mine – so easy to prepare and tastes just like your favorite comfort food – only take even more comfort in the fact that it contains less saturated fat, less carbohydrates and fewer calories than the traditional potato version with cream.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 large head cauliflower (approximately 6” in diameter)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp butter or margarine

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
  2. Wash and dry cauliflower. Cut cauliflower into florets and transfer into pot of boiling water. Boil until soft (approximately 5-7 minutes).
  3. Strain water from cauliflower and transfer cauliflower into food processor. Blend until pureed (it should be the consistency of mashed potatoes).
  4. Transfer cauliflower into serving bowl. Add butter and spices and stir until well combined. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 63, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 8 mg, Carbohydrates 8 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 3 g, Calcium 35 mg, Sodium 210 mg

*raw cauliflower photo courtesy of: http://media.npr.org/kitchen/2008/04/cauliflower/cauliflower200-73fa7e31835d86c2f092faa660cc370112350a0f-s6-c30.jpg 

No-Muffin-Top Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

I know I haven’t written in awhile, but I will make it up to you with these amazing pumpkin muffins that only taste decadent. These muffins are under 150 calories each and are just sweet enough to satisfy that craving, while not being too sweet to have with breakfast. These muffins taste and smell every bit like fall and offer a comfort-food feel with an extra-comforting fact: they are unlikely to give you a muffin top of your own! Whole wheat flour, honey, 0% fat plain Greek yogurt and pumpkin puree slim down these muffins so you can fuel up and feel good about it!

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Ingredients: (yields 24 muffins)

2 C whole wheat flour

1 C all purpose flour

1.5 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2.5 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

2/3 C 0% fat plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage, it gives the pumpkin batter a fluffy texture)

2 large eggs

1 large egg white (*note: the 3 eggs total can come from 3 eggs using 2 eggs and 1 egg white or from 2 eggs and the equivalent of one egg white from a carton of egg whites)

2 C canned pumpkin puree  (or bake your own!)

1 2/3 C honey (*note: this amount is used to make the batter lightly sweet. If you prefer your muffins to be sweeter, you may want to use 1 3/4 C honey. Just note that this will increase the calorie and sugar content of these muffins)

Wet Batter, Beaten

Wet Batter, Beaten

mousse-like batter, ready to be baked!

mousse-like batter, ready to be baked!

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Add all dry ingredients ( cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda) to a large bowl. Stir with spoon until well combined.

3. Combine pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt and honey in separate, large bowl.

4. Crack 2 eggs into separate, small bowl. Use remaining egg to separate egg white (or, if you’re using a carton of egg whites, pour the equivalent of 1 large egg). Scramble with fork until yolk and white are well combined.

5. Add eggs to wet ingredient mixture (large bowl). Beat approximately 30-45 seconds, until well combined and fluffy.

6. Add half of the dry ingredients into wet mixture and stir. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir until batter is well combined. The batter should appear mousse-like.

oven-ready!

oven-ready!

7. Line muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners and fill each liner with batter, using a spoon. In order to get a big muffin top, the batter should come close to completely filling the liner.

8. Bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 25-30 minutes. (*note: oven cooking temperatures and times may vary. Make sure that your muffins are cooked by placing a toothpick in each muffin once baked and making sure that the toothpick comes out clean.)

9. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside? (nutritional analysis is for one muffin)

Calories 147, Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 195 mg, Carbohydrates 33 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein  3 g, Calcium 27 mg

Fresh, out-of-the-oven pumpkin muffins!

Fresh, out-of-the-oven pumpkin muffins!

Slimmed-Down Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Craving pasta? No problem! This recipe uses lean ground beef (95% fat free) and whole wheat pasta, so you can fuel up without filling out! I slimmed down this classic and pumped it up with some extra nutrition, including a hefty serving of fiber and protein, with only a modest amount of fat. Another secret? Use whole-wheat breadcrumbs to hold the meatballs together, instead of the refined stuff. Make this dish even healthier by using unseasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs and adding your own spices and herbs (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, parsley, etc.). Remember the fundamental values of nutrition: moderation, balance and variety. Enjoy this favorite as part of a balanced diet and keep fueling your body with whole, real, nutritious foods!

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Ingredients (serves 4):

16 oz (1 lb.) lean ground beef (95% lean, 5% fat)

8 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti

2 C tomato sauce (look for a low sodium brand, or make your own!)

1/3 C whole wheat breadcrumbs, seasoned (note: if using unseasoned, season them up yourself with whichever spices and herbs you’d like)

2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 large egg, scrambled, raw

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or you can use another oil, such as canola oil)

IMG_0538Directions:

1. Pour oil into large skillet and warm over medium heat.

2. Boil water in large pot over high heat.

3. Combine ground beef, scrambled egg, breadcrumbs, spices (garlic powder, ground black pepper), parsley, and parmesan cheese in large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix ingredients well. Form small meatballs and place in skillet. (note: this recipe should yield approximately 20-25 meatballs)

4. Add pasta to rapidly boiling water and cook approximately 7-10 minutes. Continue to turn the meatballs in the skillet so they brown.

5. Drain water from pasta in colander. Place pasta back in pot (with no water) and add sauce. Warm over low-medium heat. Remove meatballs from skillet once cooked (they should be brown in color throughout) and place on paper towel over a plate to drain excess oil. Add meatballs to pasta, mix and warm another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot. 

The Goods: What’s Inside?IMG_0541

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 488 calories, Fat 23 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 150 mg, Carbohydrates 32 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 42 g, Sodium 617 mg, Calcium 130 mg

*note: the sodium content is analyzed using seasoned breadcrumbs and a tomato sauce that is not low-sodium.