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

Quick and Easy Chopped Avocado Salad

Chopped Salad With Avocado, Cucumber, Tomato and Feta

I came up with this recipe as a part of my dietetic internship rotation in order to promote avocados (as if they need any extra promotion – I think they are having a moment right now). But, this recipe is so simple and delicious that I had to share it!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

1 avocado

3/4  tomatoes, chopped

1/2 C cucumber, diced

1/4 C feta cheese (crumbled or sliced into cubes)

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

Dash salt

Dash pepper

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients. How simple is that?!

*Note: If you want this salad to last a couple of days, squeeze some lemon juice over the avocado to prevent it from browning

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The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 182 calories, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 17 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 297 mg, Calcium 113 mg

This Spicy Dip Has A Hot Secret: Cauliflower!

Buffalo-Style Cauliflower Dip

I was inspired to make this after seeing so many amazing looking recipes for similar dips, but so many of them were laden with cream and calories. This spicy, hearty-tasting dip only feels like a treat! It packs in a heaping portion of cruciferous standout, cauliflower, along with its fiber, vitamins C, K and and many B-complex vitamins! And for 100 calories and only 4 g fat per serving, you can get your buffalo wing fix without all the extra calories and fat. Serve with veggies, pita, bread, crackers or chips, or eat it on its own!

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Ingredients (serves 10):

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (or about 6 C florets)

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 small vidalia or sweet onion, chopped

1/2 C Cholula hot sauce (or similar hot sauce)

1 can (15 oz) white beans (also called navy beans), rinsed and drained

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 C 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash table salt (to taste)

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Ready to bake in the oven! Got a little messy - I used my immersion blender!

Got a little messy – I used my immersion blender!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Lay cauliflower, onions and garlic on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Drizzle oil over vegetables and roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.

3. While vegetables are roasting, blend all other ingredients together (Greek yogurt, flour, beans, hot sauce, spices).

4. Once vegetables are roasted, add to blender. Blend or pulse for a few seconds, keeping chunks of cauliflower visible. Bake in oven 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, until dip is warm and set. Serve with veggies, pita or chips and enjoy!

*This dip stays really well in the fridge and is amazing cold as leftovers (or warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave). I like to keep it around as an alternative to hummus and pack it for lunch!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Calories 100, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 2 mg, Carbohydrates 13 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 248 mg, Calcium 63 mg

Ready to bake in the oven!

Ready to bake in the oven!

Rice-Free Salmon Teriyaki

Salmon Teriyaki

Craving take-out? I promise, this is better! This simple dish is a great way to fuel up with protein, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals without overdoing the carbs and calories. Load up on vitamins A, C, K and folate with this dish, as well as potassium and zinc. Also, salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends consuming at least two (3.5 oz) servings of omega-3 fatty acids per week, since omega-3 fatty acids may decrease inflammation within the body, which could lower your risk for developing heart disease. This dish supplies almost an entire week’s worth of these anti-inflammatory fatty acids. And the best part is it only takes about a half hour to prepare!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

5 oz wild salmon, raw

1 C broccoli florets, chopped

1/2 medium zucchini, sliced and sliced again into quarters

1/4 C carrots, sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 C white button mushrooms, chopped

1/4 C onion, chopped

3 Tbsp Teriyaki marinade (I like Whole Foods’ “Very Teriyaki Marinade” sold by the fresh fish or Newman’s Own Teriyaki Marinade)

1 tsp olive oil

Dash ground black pepper

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Ready to bake in the oven!

Ready to bake in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray casserole dish (or cookie sheet, or whichever you prefer to use for the salmon) with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Place salmon in dish and spread 1.5 Tbsp Teriyaki marinade over fish. Place in oven and bake until cooked through (approximately 25 minutes).

3. Heat olive oil in medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and zucchini and cook another 10 minutes.

4. Place chopped broccoli and sliced carrots in microwave-safe bowl and cover with wax paper. Place in microwave (on high) for 1-2 minutes, until vegetables are bright in color and softened (but not soft).

5. Add broccoli and carrots to skillet. Add remaining 1.5 Tbsp Teriyaki marinade and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

6. Transfer vegetables from skillet on to a plate. Top with baked salmon and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside? 

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 469 calories, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 84 mg, Carbohydrates 39 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 34 g, Sodium 1136 mg, Calcium 158 mg

Now just combine with salmon and serve!

Now just combine with salmon and serve!

Southwestern Salad

Spinach Salad with Black Beans, Grilled Chicken and Avocado

This simple salad is a must-try for summer. I am always trying to make my salads interesting by using different textures and flavors. Black beans and chicken add protein and flavor to this bed of veggies, while avocado adds satisfying texture. Also, this Southwestern-style salad has a kick to it – perfect for the summer heat!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

3 oz grilled chicken breast, grilled with spices (chili powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper) *This is a great use of leftovers. No leftovers and don’t feel like cooking a chicken breast for lunch? I like Applegate Farms Fully Cooked Southwestern Style Grilled Chicken Breast  strips

2 Tbsp cooked black beans (*If canned, look for Low-Sodium or No Salt Added varieties and rinse in a colander)

1/4 avocado, chopped

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 C cucumber slices

2 C spinach, raw

2 Tbsp sweet corn kernels (*I like to use frozen sweet corn kernels and simply microwave them or thaw them before use)

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp roasted red pepper dressing (I like Greenway’s Organic Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette)

Directions:

1. Place spinach in medium-sized bowl. Add avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, corn and red bell pepper.

2. Warm black beans in microwave (about 25 seconds). Add to salad.

3. Warm chicken in microwave (about 1 minute) and chop. Add to salad.

4. Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 342 calories, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 56 mg, Carbohydrates 30 g, Fiber 11 g, Protein 29 g, Sodium 362 mg, Calcium 114 mg

A Very Veggie Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Veggie Black Bean Quinoa Burger

A veggie burger is a great meatless alternative for summer days, but they can sometimes be loaded with breading, fillers and oil and actually be less healthy than other burger options. This version is made with good-for-you ingredients and is held together with red quinoa – a tasty whole grain. Fill up with protein, fiber and a handful of vitamins from this lightened-up veggie black bean quinoa burger!

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Ingredients (serves 8):

1 C red quinoa, dry

1 zucchini, sliced and sliced again into quarters

1/2 C chopped white button mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1 can (15 oz) black beans (*Note: Try to find a “No Salt Added” variety and drain beans under water in a colander.)

1 large garlic clove, minced

1.5 Tbsp olive or canola oil

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

IMG_1305Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to box directions (you will likely need 2 C tap water to boil with the quinoa). Once quinoa is ready, set aside 3/4 C (cooked) for this recipe. Store remaining quinoa in an airtight container and use leftovers within a few days (quinoa is great in salads, as a side dish or combine it with sautéed veggies or fruit!)

2. Warm oil in medium pan (it helps to have one with sides, since it will get full) over medium heat.

3. Add onions to pan and cook 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic, 1 C black beans and spices to pan. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Place veggies in food processor. Add 1/2 C quinoa. Process mixture until pureed, about 15-30 seconds. Add mixture to large bowl and fold in remaining quinoa (for this recipe) and black beans.

7. Spray two 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Take 1/4 C dry measuring cup and scoop mixture into hands, forming balls and pressing down to form patties. You should be able to fit about 4 patties in each dish.

8. Bake patties 15-20 minutes on each side, until the outside is browned and crispy. Serve over bed of greens or a bun and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

I put my burger on a bed of greens with tomato, cucumber and pepper - just  top with patty and dressing!

I put my burger on a bed of greens with tomato, cucumber and pepper – just top with patty and dressing!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving = 1 patty)

Calories 165 calories, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 25 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 7 g, Sodium 301 mg, Calcium 43 mg

 

Unwrapped Shrimp Burrito

Unwrapped Shrimp Burrito

In this hot weather, I like to lighten things up. For this dish, I went tortilla-less and made a mixed plate filled with burrito-y goodness. Spicy shrimp, onions, peppers and black beans offer a ton of flavor for minimal calories. Plus, the only grain on this plate is brown rice – a whole grain. This dish lets you spice things up while staying light and cool in the heat.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

1/2 lb. large, uncooked, shrimp

1 C brown rice (*Note: I like Trader Joe’s frozen, microwaveable brown rice – it’s ready to serve in just 3 minutes.)

1 green bell pepper

3/4 large onion

1/2 C black beans (*Note: If canned, use a “no salt added” version and rinse under water using a colander. If not using canned beans, beans should be ready to use for this recipe.)

1/4 C salsa (I like Whole Foods Medium Salsa – it has all fresh ingredients and skimps on sugar and salt)

1/4 C guacamole (Try making your own using my simple recipe – here!)

1 oz reduced-fat, shredded Mexican Blend cheese

1 Tbsp olive or canola oil plus 1 tsp

dash salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

dash cayenne pepper (optional – depends if you like your food spicy!)

IMG_1287Directions:

1. Warm 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. Warm remaining 1 tsp oil in separate, small skillet over medium heat.

2. Wash bell pepper, remove stem and seeds and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into thin slices. Set aside.

3. Cut onion into thin, lengthwise strips. Add to large skillet. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. On a separate cutting board, cut or pull the tails off of each shrimp. Remove the long vein that runs along the center of each shrimp. Cut each shrimp into thirds.

5. Add peppers and spices to large skillet with onions. Cook another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add shrimp to small skillet. If desired, add extra spices to shrimp skillet. Cook until shrimp are cooked through and no longer translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally.

7. Cook brown rice as directed (if using Trader Joe’s Frozen Brown Rice, pop in the microwave for 3 minutes and let stand 1 minute.)

8. Add cooked shrimp and black beans to large skillet with vegetables. Combine. Add cheese, stir and remove from heat.

9. Place 1/2 C brown rice on each plate. Cover each plate of rice with half the shrimp and veggie mixture. Top each plate with 2 Tbsp  guacamole and 2 Tbsp salsa. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?IMG_1289

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 495 calories, Total Fat 20 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 180 mg, Carbohydrates 46 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 35 g, Sodium 700 mg, Calcium 316 mg

*Note: Sodium content will vary greatly depending on brands used for guacamole, cheese, salsa and beans. This estimation uses varieties with sodium in order to account for a possible range. 

 

 

Grill Up A Summer Steak Salad!

Steak Salad with Roasted Broccoli and Pine Nuts

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile. My computer was out of commission but now it’s working and I have a ton of amazing recipes and food and fitness tips to share with you – starting with this amazing summer steak salad. During the summer, I like to lighten things up – but that doesn’t mean I want to eat plain lettuce for dinner. This salad has all the taste of summer – grilled steak, fresh veggies, roasted broccoli, pine nuts and a citrus-y vinaigrette – for a satisfying way to eat your veggies and use your grill! Perfect for a warm summer night, this steak dish puts veggies center stage and offers up nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

Salad:

8 oz lean cut of steak of your choice (I like New York Strip and I prefer to trim the fat around the edges once it’s cooked)

*Note: This salad is also an amazing use of leftover steak if you happen to have any from a previous barbeque!

4 C chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 C cucumber, sliced

2 crowns (fresh) broccoli (about 2 C broccoli flowerets)

1/8 C pine nuts, raw, unsalted

3 Tbsp olive or canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

Dressing: (*Note: Dressing serves 8. Serving size is 2 Tbsp. Store the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for later use.)

1/4 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

dash ground black pepper

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Roasted broccoli – good on its own or in a salad!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash broccoli, pat dry and chop crowns into small pieces. Spread on baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over broccoli and toss with a spoon to coat evenly.

2.Turn on grill to medium heat. Prepare steak with 2 Tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Transfer to grill. Cook steak as desired.

*Note: All grills cook differently, but I typically cook steak for about 5-7 minutes on each side in order to achieve medium doneness. Let steak sit covered (i.e.: do not cut into it) for about 5 minutes once you remove the steak from the grill, as the steak will continue to cook due to residual heat. The steak should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place broccoli in oven. Roast for approximately 7-10 minutes, until broccoli is slightly browned. You may need to mix broccoli occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. While broccoli is roasting, heat pine nuts (dry) in small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until browned, approximately 5-10 minutes.

5. Quarter each cucumber slice. Divide lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber among two plates.

6. Slice steak in half. Divide each half into slices and place on top of lettuce. Add roasted broccoli and pine nuts.

7. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette of your choice (or make your own from the recipe below – super easy and healthy!). Enjoy!

To Make The Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing: 

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

1. Add each ingredient into a large bowl or salad dressing container.

2. Whisk or shake well until all ingredients are well-combined.

3. Chill in refrigerator until cold (approximately 30 minutes or more). Shake well before using and store in refrigerator.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 497 calories, Total Fat 35 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 58 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 38 g, Sodium 251 mg, Calcium 96 mg

*One serving is half of the salad ingredients listed above with 2 Tbsp of the lemon dijon dressing. This will vary based on dressing used (if substituted) and different steak cuts.

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

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!