These were absolutely delicious and very easy to prepare. Veggie side-dishes can get boring at times but these definitely balanced out the meal to make it healthy and fun. I served them with fish and roasted sweet potatoes and they were a big hit!
4 large zucchini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with foil, set aside.
2. Cut off ends of zucchini, then cut in half and place on baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic.
4. Brush olive oil mixture onto zucchini, making sure to get the garlic evenly dispersed on each zucchini piece.
5. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and salt/pepper if desired.
6. Bake for 11-13 minutes then switch to broil and cook for a few more minutes until the cheese is golden brown and serve!
These are a great alternative to packaged granola bars and they can last about a week in the refrigerator. I suggest putting one in a ziplock bag to bring while on the go so you can have something filling to eat instead of turning to junk food. They are loaded with protein and fiber to help keep you full longer.
· 3 cups old-fashioned oats
· ½ cup peanut butter (all natural version with just peanuts as ingredient)
· 1 cup skim milk
· 4 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
· Dash of cinnamon
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until a sticky batter is formed. With non-stick spray, coat a shallow baking dish and spread the mixture out over the dish.
2. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Cut into 8 equal bars. Can also be cut into 16 bars for a lighter snack or rolled into balls instead of placed in baking dish.
Servings: 8 Calories per serving: 278 Protein: 20 grams Carbs: 27 grams Fat: 11 grams
These are super refreshing and delicious! Although they can be a bit messy they are fun to eat and a nice alternative to a typical salad.
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup diced chicken breast
1 cup coarsely chopped spinach
½ cup diced avocado
¼ cup chopped celery
½ cup crumbled feta
1/3 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
Dash of salt and pepper
12 butter lettuce leaves
For the dressing
1) In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil slowly until the dressing is thick.
For the salad
1) In a large bowl, combine the chicken, spinach, avocado, celery, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
2) Add the dressing to the salad and toss until coated thoroughly, fill the lettuce leaves with the salad mixture.
This can make a great breakfast or even dinner meal and is really easy to prepare. It is full of protein to help keep you full for a long time and you can add even more veggies if you have them on hand. It can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator for later, so Is great to prepare the night before for a healthy breakfast on a busy morning. Enjoy!
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch glass or metal baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
2) Put quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse/drain well.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and quinoa. Stir in spinach then pour mixture into prepared dish.
4) Cover tightly with foil then jiggle dish gently from side to side so that the quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer.
5) Bake until just set, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle top evenly with cheese.
6) Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp, 10-15 minutes or more.
7) Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.
Some of you may heard there is a proposed change to the nutrition facts label. Although I prefer people to look at the ingredients in a food product before the nutrition facts I am a big fan of this. The label has not been changed in 20 years and I think it’s about time to make it more user friendly and have more beneficial information for the consumer. Here is a summary of the proposed changes and my thoughts on it…
1. Serving information is more prominent-this is great because manufacturers often try to trick consumers by putting multiple servings in a product so the consumer looks and thinks they’re eating 150 calories for a small bag of chips when in reality it is 300 calories if both servings are consumed. They are also proposing that serving sizes be changed to a more realistic size so that for example a small bag of chips would be just 1 serving rather than 2. By law, serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what people “should” be eating.
2. Calories are in large, bold, print.
3. Daily value percentages are placed first- I wish they would get rid of the % all together because it is based on a 2,000 calorie diet which many people do not follow and I find that most of my clients are just confused by them.
4. Added sugars are shown - I think this is awesome, there are natural sugars found in things like dairy and fruit and this would help people that aren’t used to looking for “hidden” sugars (like maple, brown rice syrup, cane juice, honey, agave) in ingredient labels.
5. Calories from fat are removed- consumers should be focusing on the type of fat they are consuming rather than how much of the item is fat (i.e. the monounsaturated fat found naturally in almonds vs the trans fat added to baked goods)
6. Vitamin A and C have been removed and Vitamin D and potassium have been added. This is because research has shown that most Americans get enough vitamins A and C but are lacking in potassium and vitamin D.
If these changes are approved it could take about a year for them to start appearing on products. I fully support these changes, what do you think??
Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, I figured passion fruit would be the perfect food to spotlight from the market. Passion fruit cocktails and juices are popular but not many people have tried the real thing and they are delicious! It has a sweet and tart flavor and the seeds are crunchy and provide a great texture.
When to Buy: In California, they are currently in season so go to the market and pick one up to try. Store ripe passion fruit in the fridge to preserve. Smooth, unripe passion fruit will ripen in a few days at room temperature. The fruit are ripe when the skin is deeply wrinkled.
How to Prepare: The fruit is very easy to prepare, just cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp with a spoon and enjoy!
Passion fruit is a good source of iron and potassium, antioxidants (Vit A and C), and the seeds are high in fiber.
Happy Valentine's Day!!
I don’t know why it took so long for me to discover persimmons but they are definitely part of my diet now. There were 2 different kinds of persimmons at the market and they are different in several ways. The first is the Fuyu Persimmon and these are short like a flattened apple and more mild in flavor. The second is the Hachiya Persimmon and they are longer and similar in shape to a Roma tomato; these are much sweeter.
When to buy-
Fuyu- these will be slightly firm and are a light orange to red color.
Hachiya- best when eaten very soft. It will have a jellylike texture which may not seem appealing because we are used to this happening with fruits gone bad. If you eat them before this stage you will be sorry! I ate one before it was ripe and had to immediately spit it out. The fruit’s tannins need to break down to change it from astringent to a sweet and sugary flavor. The farmer I bought them from told me to place them in the window sill for a week to help them ripen.
How to prepare-
Fuyu- just cut off the leafy top and chop into desired size. These are great in salads, baked in items or just eaten plain as a snack
Hachiya- since these are so soft when ripe, you can either spoon out the flesh to eat them or they are great for making jams or baked goods
They are ~100-120 calories per medium size fruit and an excellent source of fiber, Vit A, Vit C and manganese
This recipe is really quick, easy and delicious! If you’re not a broccoli fan you can substitute in lots of other veggies. It’s a great side dish paired with a lean protein.
Pineapple guava is my new Farmers’ Market Find! They are currently in season and a great fruit to try. They have a green skin and cream colored flesh and have a texture similar to a pear. Pineapple guava has a tropical flavor with slight papaya and pineapple undertones.
When to buy: Pineapple guava are ripe when the skin is green and they are slightly soft. It can last in the refrigerator for about a week.
How to prepare: To eat, simply cut in half and scoop out with a spoon (similar to how you would eat a kiwi). They are small and really easy to transport so great to take for snacks at work. They would also be great in a fall fruit salad.
Each fruit is about the size of a large egg and contains ~25 calories, 2.5g fiber and 30 mg Vit C.