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

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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 

Warm Kale, Beet and Feta Salad

Warm Kale, Beet and Feta Salad

This seasonal salad is packed with vitamins and minerals and will keep you warm in these chilly temperatures. Beets and kale are both vegetables that can be grown through the winter and bought at local farmer’s markets and grocery stores during this time when vegetables can seem scarce. The hearty, crisp taste of kale is balanced by the sweet taste of beets and creamy feta cheese in this warm salad, which is a cinch to make. As tasty as it is pretty, this winter-y salad will become your new favorite for entertaining – or just eating on your own!

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Ingredients (serves 4):

6 C kale, raw, chopped (wash thoroughly and remove large stems)

8 oz. baby beets (I like Melissa’s Ready-To-Eat Baby Beets, which are steamed, peeled and ready to eat. 1 package is 8 oz, which is about 5 baby beets. You can also roast your own beets! If you roast your own, you should do so before preparing this dish, as they should be ready to eat in this recipe).

1/4 C reduced- fat feta cheese, crumbledIMG_0567

1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon, freshly squeezed

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 C water

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat (I recommend using a pan with large sides, or a pot, as the kale starts out piled high in the pan before it cooks down).IMG_0566

2. Add kale to pan. Add water and cover. Allow kale to cook covered for approximately 5 minutes. The kale should be a bright green color and there should be some excess liquid when the cover is removed.

3. Remove cover and stir kale until it begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. The liquid should be mostly evaporated by now. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Cut beets into wedges and add to kale. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer from pan to serving dish. Top with feta cheese and serve warm. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 149 calories, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 6 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 235 mg, Calcium 176 mg

I served it with butternut squash ravioli!

I served it with butternut squash ravioli!

A Healthy Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad

This healthy take on a tuna salad replaces mayonnaise with olive oil and lemon juice, which cuts the fat content of this dish, adds healthy monounsaturated fat, and gives the tuna salad a lighter taste. Ideal for taking to work or eating right at home, this healthy lunch gives you protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals so you can be strong, focused and satiated!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 can (about 4 oz) solid white albacore tuna, packed in water (I like Trader Joe’s Half Salt tuna)

juice from 1/2 lemon (fresh squeezed is best!)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 C spinach

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 C sliced cucumber

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

a lighter tuna salad! dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice - hold the mayo!

a lighter tuna salad! dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice – hold the mayo!

Directions:

1. Drain water from tuna and pat dry with paper towel. transfer tuna to small bowl.

2. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice to tuna and mix well with fork. Set aside.

3. Place spinach on plate (or in bowl). Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber slices and chopped bell pepper. Add tuna on top. Dress with remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and red wine vinegar. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 436 calories, Total Fat 32 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 51 mg, Carbohydrate 16 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 28 g, Sodium 421 mg, Calcium 86 mg

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, so you can feel full while loading up on some plant-based foods, like veggies, lentils and grains. Using zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic, this staple packs in flavor, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals. Also, this dish is amazing to have as leftovers – serve it hot the first time and then serve it cold days later with some crumbled feta cheese. Craving some extra protein? I’ve also made this dish using tofu in combination with the lentils, for a heartier meal.

shown with tofu

shown with tofu

Ingredients (serves 5):

1 C quinoa, uncooked

3/4 C lentils, cooked (I like to use lentils that are pre-cooked and vacuum packed. These usually just require 2 minutes in the microwave, or can even be eaten out of the package, cold – just watch out for the sodium content!)

1 medium zucchini squash

1 red bell pepper

2 C spinach, raw

1 small onion (about 1 C chopped)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt (depending on how much salt you prefer)

dash cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp butter (or Smart Balance or other butter alternative)

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

I added yellow squash this time!

I added yellow squash this time!

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on box (*note: you may choose to replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth, which also tastes really good! If you do this, you do not need to add the 1 Tbsp butter – this is used to enhance the flavor when the quinoa is cooked with water)

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

3. Chop onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and mince garlic. Add onion to saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and spices (black pepper, salt, cayenne and garlic powder) and cook another 8-10 minutes. Add garlic.

4. Microwave lentils in microwave-safe bowl according to directions -usually about 2-4 minutes. (*note if you are soaking your own lentils you can omit this step).

5. Add spinach and sauté  until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and lentils to saucepan and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot (or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold!)

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The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 320, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 51 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 42, Sodium 70 mg

me leftover lunch - served cold with feta!

my leftover lunch – served cold with feta!

No Lettuce? No Problem! Edamame, Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad

Edamame, Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad

This simple salad is a cinch to put together and is a great salad to use for entertaining, or to pack for the day to load up with good nutrition on-the-go. Edamame contains soy protein, helping to to fill you up without filling you out. Also, tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant. But you won’t even be thinking about how good this salad is for you when you’re eating it- you’ll just be thinking about how good it tastes!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

1/2 C cooked, shelled edamame (*tip: try to find a brand that does not add salt to lower the sodium content)

1 C cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 C sliced English cucumber (with skin)

1/4 C reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

dash salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

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

*If your soybeans are salted, you may choose to skip the extra salt -this can make your salad taste too salty and also makes the sodium unnecessarily high.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 150, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 13 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 10 g, Sodium 284 mg, Calcium 131 mg

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

This healthy, vegetarian twist on the classic chicken parmesan will have you fueling up with lighter fare! Eggplant is a hearty vegetable that will fill you up with fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Add sauce and cheese you and you will be eating a decadent Italian dish that tastes fresh, whole and hearty, without overdoing it on carbs or saturated fat.

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Ingredients (serves4):

1 eggplant (approximately 2 lbs.)

12 oz low sodium tomato sauce

4 oz shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese

2 Tbsp olive oil

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions:

1. Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch-thick slices (or as desired). Remove skin from eggplant at this step if you choose (or you can leave the skin on to reap extra nutrients!)

2. Spray nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray on medium or large, non-stick pan and add olive oil. Warm over medium heat.

3. Add eggplant slices and cook until browned (about 5-7 minutes on each side). While eggplant is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Remove eggplant slices from pan once cooked and place on plate covered with paper towel to drain excess oil. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Layer eggplant with sauce and cheese on top and repeat as necessary, depending on size of casserole dish.

5. Bake in oven until cheese is melted, approximately 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 211, Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 7 g, Sugars 9 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 230 mg, Sodium 237 mg

A Healthy Game Day Menu That Is Sure To Score!

Superbowl Sunday

Game day usually means super sized portions, fried, greasy food, heavy dips, beer and a whole lot of couch sitting. Don’t let cheering on your team mean falling into these common traps. Defend your right to eat healthfully and serve up some grub that is sure to score this Superbowl Sunday!

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A Healthy Alternative to Hot Wings

IMG_0609Baked chicken breast with hot sauce has all the taste of hot wings without all of the fat! Fuel up with protein and hot sauce and resist the urge to to overeat – lean protein will leave you feeling satiated, so you won’t feel the need to reach for extra snacks. Also, some research suggests that eating hot, spicy foods cuts food intake. Simply marinate chicken breasts in Tabasco sauce (approximately 2-3 Tbsp per 16 oz. of chicken breast depending on how spicy you like it) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Cut into easy-to-eat strips and serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing, or enjoy plain! Serve with light beer to cut the spice and keep calories in check.

Nutritional Score Per Serving (1 serving = 4 oz chicken breast with 1/2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce)

Calories 124 calories, Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 66 mg, Carbohydrates 0 g, Fiber 0 g, Sugar 0 g, Protein 26 g, Calcium 12 mg, Sodium 118 mg

Dip Into Some Healthier SnacksIMG_0604

Guacamole is a healthy dip that serves up tons of vitamins, minerals and healthy, unsaturated fats. Just be mindful of portion size – one serving is equal to 1/4 of an avocado. Nonetheless, this dip offers up satiating fiber and healthy fats that will take the edge off your hunger so you can focus on the game! Use this recipe from a previous blogpost to score some major points with your fellow game watchers:

Ingredients (serves 6)

2 avocados, soft

1/4 red onion

1/2 medium sized tomato

1/2 lime

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1/2 jalepeno pepper, cut lengthwaise

Directions:

1. Cut each avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove large pit from each avocado. Remove inside of avocado with spoon and place in large bowl. Discard skin of avocado.

2. Mash avocado until soft and slightly chunky  (I like to use a potato masher)

3. Dice red onion. Add to bowl with avocado.

4. Dice tomato. Add to bowl.

5. Remove seeds and wash jalepeno pepper. Mince pepper and add to bowl. Mix all ingredients together.

6. Add salt and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over guacamole. Mix and chill until cold (approximately 20 minutes or longer). Enjoy!

Nutritional Score Per Serving:

Calories 114, Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 7 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugar 1 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 55 mg, Calcium 11 mg 

IMG_0606Other great dip ideas?

Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream in recipes such as onion dip, spinach and artichoke dip, or any other creamy dip you desire! Greek yogurt contains less fat and more protein than sour cream, but offers a tangy, creamy taste so your friends won’t even notice the difference. Use crudite to scoop up the guac and the Greek yogurt dips, or substitute chips for baked chips, which contain less fat. These tricks will help you to fill up with protein and fiber, while cutting back on unwanted fat!

The Sweet Taste of Victory

Celebrate your team with a sweet taste of dessert, but don’t fear that has to mean sabotaging your healthy day. Some tips? Make brownies by substituting either applesauce or Greek yogurt for canola oil. Offer a fresh fruit salad, cut up dark chocolate bark, or make a dark chocolate fondu and use strawberries, bananas and other fruits to scoop up the chocolate-y goodness! Also, keep healthy grab-able snacks out throughout the day, such as almonds, pistachios or other nuts so guests can nibble without the fear of extra jiggle!  Don’t let game day food stress you out – relax and enjoy the day with these healthy tips that are sure to score major points with your fellow fans!

Roasted Potatoes and Onions

Roasted Potatoes and Onions

This healthier twist on home fries is simple to make and tastes every bit like comfort food! Potatoes are a great source of fiber, potassium and the skin contains a ton of nutrients! Enjoy this side dish as a snack, or paired with a lean protein (I love eating this with grilled chicken) to round out dinner! The best part? Leftovers taste amazing with eggs the next morning!

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Ingredients (serves 3)

5 small (2″ diameter) yukon gold potatoes (red potatoes also work!)

1 small onion, chopped

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

dash salt (to taste)

dash cayenne pepper (to taste)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

IMG_0512Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash potatoes. Dry thoroughly with paper towel. Chop into eighths.

3. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Add potatoes.

4. Add chopped onions and olive oil. Mix.

5. Add spices. Mix.

6. Bake in oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, mixing every 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 301 calories, Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 49 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugar 5 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 70 mg, Calcium 38 mg

Squash Those Pasta Cravings!

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Olive Oil

Craving pasta, but wishing you didn’t love the starchy stuff? While whole wheat pasta is fine in moderation, it is understandable to wish you were craving something a little healthier. This is where spaghetti squash comes in- tastes like pasta, looks like pasta, but is actually a winter squash that packs in a ton of nutrition with every bite! Spaghetti squash is rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. The healthy fat in the olive oil aids in the absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin. Also, spaghetti squash is a rich source or vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium! Make enough for seconds – you’re going to want them!

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Ingredients (serves 5):

1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs)

4 cloves garlic

1 medium zucchini squash

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C grape tomatoes, halved

1 C reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled

2 basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise. Remove pulp. Place on baking sheet (skin facing upward) and bake for 45 mins- 1 hour.

3. After spaghetti squash has been cooking for approximately 30 minutes, dice zucchini and mince garlic.

4. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add zucchini and garlic powder. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add minced garlic, chopped basil leaves and halved tomatoes to skillet with zucchini. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat.

6. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pull squash with a fork. It should be easily removed and appear as long, thin, soft strands of spaghetti. If this is not the case, continue to cook squash and resume once squash is finished cooking. Add squash to skillet with vegetables and warm over low-medium heat.

7. Add remaining olive oil, salt and ground black pepper. Add chopped basil leaves to skillet. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Mix in feta cheese and cook 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 312 calories, Fat 26 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 578 mg, Carbohydrates 15 mg, Fiber 3 g, Sugar 6 g, Protein 5 g, Calcium 166 mg