Why Your Fridge Should Change With The Seasons

Eating Seasonally

Last week, I developed and promoted a seasonal recipe at Disney ABC as a part of my internship rotation. The recipe was simple, fresh, healthy and most importantly, it was delicious. In fact, it sold out at the company’s cafe that day! While most people were drawn in by the free samples, I got to chat to a number of employees about the benefits of eating seasonally and locally and it was so great to connect with individuals and learn about how other people prioritize nutrition and our environment to promote clean eating (for your body, as well as our home).

Serving up some free samples at Disney ABC!

Serving up some free samples at Disney ABC!

Spreading Local News

Since the recipe and the nutrition news were such a hit, I thought I would share it with all of you! Below are some of the reasons why eating locally and seasonally can be beneficial:

  • Eating seasonally means produce is often more nutritious, since it is at its nutritious peak, and less expensive, since it grows more abundantly  (a win win!)
  • Produce often tastes better when it is in season (which is why that watermelon tastes so amazing in July!)
  • Eating locally is often “greener”, since food spends less time in transit (meaning it takes less fuel to get it to its destination)
  • You can try all of the tasty treasures the season has to offer and learn how to prepare a new food that you wouldn’t typically purchase (bonus – if you purchase from a farmer’s market, they will often answer any questions you may have and explain how to prepare the food)
  • You can grow your own! Summer is a great time to grow cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries!
A close-up of the samples!

A close-up of the samples!

Local Kale Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette:

Kale is a nutrition powerhouse that grows well throughout the year in locations near New York City, since it can thrive in cooler environments, as well as during the summer months. This means that kale is widely available year-round near New York City. Since kale can be grown and sold locally, it is truly a GREEN veggie!

Kale offers a ton of nutrition packed in to each leaf, and comes in a variety of kinds! Make sure to try each variety, including Curly Kale, Ornamental Kale and Dinosaur kale (also known as Tuscan Kale)

Kale is a significant source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as calcium and potassium. Also, kale offers a hearty dose of fiber and is nutrient dense – meaning it contains a lot of nutrition for a small amount of calories.

All of the fresh ingredients for this salad (including the kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and lemon juice) were purchased locally – and this salad was a local hit!

IMG_3641

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 C Raw kale leaves, large stems removed

1/4 C cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 large cucumber (about 8″ in length)

1/4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 Tbsp)

2 Tbsp lemon Juice

½ Tbsp extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp red Wine Vinegar

Dash salt (to taste)

Dash pepper (to taste)

 Directions:

  1. Wash and dry kale. Place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Slice cucumber and cut slices into quarters. Set aside.
  3. Cut tomatoes into small pieces (approximately 1” in diameter). Set aside.
  4. Combine lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oil in a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until ingredients are well combined. Pour over kale and use gloved hands to massage the dressing into the kale. The kale should begin to look slightly wilted after about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese to salad. Sprinkle salt and pepper over vegetables and use gloved hands to mix ingredients. Serve chilled.

The Goods: Whats Inside?

Nutrient Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 87 calories, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 6 mg, Carbohydrates 9 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 175 mg, Calcium 96 mg

What Else Is In Season Near NYC In The Summer?

Below is a list of other fruits and veggies that will be fresh for summer – so have your pickings!

  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash (zucchini, yellow squash)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Many Herbs

Source:

GrowNYC. What’s Available. GrowNYC Website. 2015. Available at: http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/whatsavailable. Accessed June 8, 2015.

Two Bean Baked Chicken

Baked Chicken with Green Beans, Navy Beans and Tomatoes

This dish offers protein, fiber and a ton of vitamins and minerals for minimal calories (and minimal prep time)! Tomatoes offer lycopene, beta carotene and vitamin C, while green beans are a rich source of vitamins K, C, folate and manganese. Navy beans add even more protein to this chicken dish, as well as heart-healthy fiber, to keep you feeling full. I like to make this dish at the beginning of the week so I have healthy, easy leftovers for the beginning of the busy week.

IMG_2084

Ingredients (serves 4):

16 oz thin-sliced chicken breast, raw (4 pieces weighing 4 oz each)

1 1/2 C navy beans, rinsed and strained (I like Eden Navy Beans, No Salt Added)

1 1/2 C green beans, sliced into small pieces (about .5 inches)

1 1/2 C grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

3 Tbsp olive oil

dash salt

3/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp onion powder

dash cayenne pepper

Ready to bake in the oven!

Ready to bake in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Place chicken in casserole dish.

3. Evenly distribute the salt, cayenne pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper among each chicken breast. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over chicken breast and place in oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through – approximately 25-30 minutes. the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Steam green beans until brightly colored and soft but still tender. *This can be done either by using a steamer or by placing cut green beans in a microwave-safe bowl covered in parchment paper for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds.

5. Remove chicken from oven. Add navy beans, tomatoes and green beans to casserole dish and distribute so toppings gather around the sides of the casserole dish. Add remaining 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp onion powder. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over dish and place casserole dish in oven.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!

I served mine with a side salad of spinach, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, avocado and a handful of walnuts!

I served mine with a side salad of spinach, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, avocado and a handful of walnuts!

 

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 328 calories, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 66 mg, Carbohydrates 22 g, Fiber 8 g, Protein 33 g, Sodium 169 mg, Calcium 97 mg

Yum!

Yum!

 

Baked Halibut with Pineapple Salsa

Baked Halibut with Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa will spice up any plain fish dish – and add a hearty serving of fruits and veggies! This fresh, homemade salsa offers lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, along with the heat of a jalapeno pepper and the sweetness of pineapple. Although I used halibut in this recipe, any white fish will do. I’ve made this before using sea bass and prefer the less oily texture of the halibut with the salsa. My main suggestion? Try to opt for a wild-caught fish!

IMG_0887

Ingredients (serves 2):

12 oz wild-caught Halibut (or any other white fish of your choice), divided into two, 6-oz portions

1 tsp olive oil

4 roma tomatoes

1 C cubed pineapple

1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeds removed if you don’t want the salsa very spicy)

1/2 small red onion

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, stems removed (about 5 sprigs)

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

IMG_0878

Fresh pineapple salsa!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Place halibut in casserole dish and drizzle olive oil over fish, distributing it evenly. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over each fish fillet. Set aside.

3. Dice tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and pineapple. Combine in bowl.

4. Rinse cilantro leaves and pat dry. Finely chop cilantro and add to salsa. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste. Combine well and set aside.

5. Bake fish in oven until flakey and opaque, approximately 25 minutes. The internal temperature of the fish should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Remove fish from oven and top each fillet with salsa. Make sure to save some salsa on the side to scoop up with veggies and/or tortilla chips! Enjoy!

 

 

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

*1 serving is 1 6 oz fillet with half of the salsa

Calories 340 calories, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 70 mg, Carbohydrates 20 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 48 g, Calcium 138 mg, Sodium 206 mg

Baked halibut - ready to top with the pineapple salsa!

Baked halibut – ready to top with the pineapple salsa!