|High Protein Miso Soup|
with a sprinkling of garlic, salt, and pepper
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
|Black Rice Breakfast Pudding|
* Black rice contains 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene and vitamin E; as well as high amounts of fiber and protein. It's dark, almost purple color is primarily due to its high anthocyanin content, the same antioxidant found in blueberries. (from my March 17, 2014 post)
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
|Honey Berry Granola|
Friday, March 21, 2014
|Coconut Trail Mix Muffins|
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
|Cilantro and Lime Dressed Salad|
with Polenta Croutons
If you are like me, there are nights when you want a wonderfully delicious dinner, but don't want to slave away in the kitchen for hours. This simple meal takes care of that by using store cooked chicken and bagged salad as the base for a healthy homemade meal you can serve up as your own. Rotisserie chickens are a quick, convenient and inexpensive way to add quality protein to your diet without a lot of extra work. I pulled apart the chicken earlier in the day and while the polenta was broiling in the oven, quickly reheated the chicken on the stove with some lemon juice, so that every bite tasted as if the chicken had been marinating for hours. Obviously a simply dressed salad with fresh organic vegetables is a fantastic base for any nutritious meal, but sometimes you need a little more than vegetables and protein. That is where the organic polenta comes in. A perfect, gluten free source of carbs, the polenta roasts up into crunchy and chewy croutons unlike any you have ever tasted before. My son and my husband couldn't get enough of them and I cannot wait to try them again with all sorts of other dishes. So get cooking!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
This granola literally tastes like a tropical vacation in a bowl. With a bit of crunch. It is a variation on the more basic Maple Cinnamon Granola recipe I posted last week, but using coconut oil for the fat, coconut nectar for the sweetener and incorporating the tropical flavors of dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut flakes and raw macadamia nuts. The result is a very rich and hearty breakfast cereal that I would especially recommend for anyone who plans to work out post breakfast and wants something that will keep their energy levels high and their hunger at bay without feeling weighed down. Because macadamia nuts are very soft and buttery I would not recommend roasting them along with the oat mixture (pecans and walnuts seem to withstand the roasting process a bit better). I know that macadamia nuts can be pricey, but I found a good brand at my local store for less than $5, probably because they are completely unprocessed and have no added oil or salt. So they are perfect for this recipe. If possible, try to find dried pineapple with little or no added sugar as well as unsweetened, hopefully organic, coconut flakes. The macadamia nuts alone are the nutritional all star in this recipe, with high amounts of mono unsaturated fats, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium. They also contain many important B-complex vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). So although you may feel like you are eating a bowl of paradise and indulging in something too good to be true, rest assured that this colorful granola is the perfect way to treat yourself at the beginning (or end) of a long, hopefully productive, day.
Monday, March 17, 2014
|Pistachio Encrusted Salmon|
with Black Rice and Broccolette
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I know that a salmon, rice and broccoli meal is not what you might normally think of eating on St. Patricks Day. But I grew up in a family with no Irish ancestry, and a mother whose birthday falls on March 17th, so for as long as I can remember, this holiday has a lot more to do with my mom than it does with leprechauns, four leaf clovers or corned beef and cabbage. And although my mom might be making a delicious corned beef, boiled potato and cabbage meal for my dad right now, she herself does not eat any meat, and will probably be cooking herself a nice piece of healthy fish to go along side. (Hopefully my dad will take the time to bake her a cake since I live too far away to do it myself!) So when I made this meal the other night for my family, I immediately thought of my mother and how much I knew she would have enjoyed eating it with us. So this, mom, is for you!
Of course everyone knows that wild caught salmon is one of the healthiest sources of protein out there, full of healthy omega-3 fats and amino acids. But it is also an excellent source of vitamins B3, B6, B12 and D, as well as selenium and phosphorus. Pair that with the tender and sweet taste of broccolette (a cross between broccoli and a Chinese form of kale, both rich in vitamins C and A as well as calcium and iron) and you have a multivitamin on a plate. I am sure some of you reading this may never have heard of black rice, or maybe you have heard of it, but have never tried it before. Hopefully this dish will encourage you to add it to your list of pantry staples. Like brown rice, it is high in fiber and cooks up easily in about 30 minutes on the stove, but it is honestly milder and almost sweeter in flavor (which is why I plan to try a breakfast porridge out of it soon). Black rice contains 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene and vitamin E; as well as high amounts of fiber and protein. It's dark, almost purple color is primarily due to its high anthocyanin content, the same antioxidant found in blueberries.
I added an Asian flare to this dish, inspired by both the black rice and the broccolette, and because I have always loved the combination of soy sauce and salmon together. The pistachio topping I made is slightly salty, because all I had in my pantry were salted pistachios, so if you are trying to cut back on the sodium content I would recommend using the unsalted variety when making this dish. Make sure not to salt the rice when cooking it either, whether you boil or steam it, so that it can fully absorb the flavors of both the fish and the broccolette. I suppose with the green vegetable side and the green pistachio topping, this dish does have a slight St. Patrick's Day flare. And I know my mom would approve!
Thursday, March 13, 2014
I recently had to make a dish for my daughter's preschool international dinner. Last year I made my favorite Czech Christmas Bread because my mother's paternal grandmother was born in the former country of Czechoslovakia. By heritage I am Ukranian, German, Czech and English, and my husband is mostly Scottish, Irish and English (and all Canadian) so the options were endless. But a lot of the famous dishes from those countries contain meat and I don't like to cook meat that often and wanted to make something simple and easy that kids might like, and would be convenient to bring to a pot luck.
Traditionally, scones are made with white flour and white sugar, but since those are two of the major reasons for all of the health problems our country faces, I had to make mine slightly different. I still use regular wheat flour, but it's my favorite organic whole wheat pastry variety, and the white sugar is also organic (GMO free) cane sugar. There is still tons of butter to make them flaky and delicate, and the add in options really are endless. About half of the scones that I made were eaten at the dinner, which was fine with me because I brought the rest home and stuck them in the freezer to enjoy as breakfasts and snacks for weeks to come. They make a perfect addition to a kids' school lunch or snack and will keep in the freezer, if well sealed, for a couple of months.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
|High Protein Pasta Dinner|
with Sun Dried Tomato Paste
I was not planning on even writing this "recipe" up in my blog, but the result was so delicious, and so simple to throw together, that I thought it was worth sharing, especially after receiving this morning's Dr. Oz newsletter which listed both sun dried tomatoes and green peas as "surprising sources of protein." I honestly had no idea. I knew that they were both highly nutritious, but I didn't know that a cup of each one contains a remarkable 8g of protein! Green peas are also really high in fiber and one cup provides 100% of your daily vitamin C.
As for the sun dried tomatoes, they are truly one of nature's healthiest foods. As stated above, one cup contains 8g of protein, in addition to 7g of fiber and half of the potassium that your body needs in a day. They are also high in iron, the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, as well as vitamin K. Sun dried tomatoes also contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as other highly important antioxidants. Honestly, they are amazing, and the perfect way to add some super nutrition to any pasta dish you are making. I did use pesto filled ravioli, but this paste would be good with any type of pasta, rice, chicken or fish meal, or even as a spread on a sandwich. I definitely plan to make it again soon and will share how I incorporate it into my next culinary adventure. Buon appetito!
Monday, March 10, 2014
|Chocolate Trail Mix Muffins|
Friday, March 7, 2014
|Maple Cinnamon Granola|
* I like to top my serving of with a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds for an extra nutritional boost.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
|Southwest Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing|
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
|Cheddar and Chive Muffins|