Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ginger-Sesame Chickpea snacks

Need a healthy crunchy snack.  Try roasted chickpeas.  Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber which will help satisfy your hunger and make you stay full longer.  Fiber has benefits in lowering your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).  It also helps your digestive tract and immune system by aiding in the elimination of toxins and waste out of the body. 
This snack is a great alternative to many savory snacks from chips, to crackers, to even corn nuts.  The flavor of the roasted chickpeas may be most similar to corn nuts, however the plus side is that these chick peas are not fried.  You can roast a few cans at a time and save the chick peas in little containers for a snack to munch on throughout the week.  The recipe was modified from Maria Tadic's Ginger-Sesame Roasted Chickpeas found in March/April's 2015 Food and Nutrition Magazine.
2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. canola oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2  tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp. sesame oil
Begin by rinsing and draining the chickpeas in a colander.  Please allow them to dry completely be for moving on.
While the chickpeas are drying in a small bowl mix canola oil, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, and all the seasonings together in a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
Spread the chickpeas  on the cooking sheet.
Drizzle the oil mixture over the chickpeas and mix.
Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring the chick peas ever so often.
In a small bowl add the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil.
Drizzle the remaining oil mixture on the chickpeas.  Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Allow to cool and then enjoy.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna is a great way to get a meal packed with protein, and vegetables.  This delicious recipe can be used to help your children get in the vegetables they need for the day.  The flavors work so well together that it will not taste like you are eating a vegetable.  This meal can be altered to meet the needs of vegetarians by simply removing the ground meat in the recipe.  I tired it with and without meat and it tastes just as good without it.  With the added tofu you do not need to worry about whether the meal will supply enough protein.  Soybeans are considered complete proteins and are full of minerals such as potassium, zinc, calcium, and iron.  It is rich in antioxidants vitamin A, E, and C.  Soybean has been known to protect your heart, liver, and defend your body against cancer.
Spinach Lasagna

½ lb lasagna noodles
1 lb of ground turkey (optional)
2 10 oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and pat dried
1 lb of soft or firm tofu
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup milk (soy or almond is fine)
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tbs lemon juice
3 tsp minced fresh basil
2 tsp salt
4 cup tomato sauce
1-2 cups Mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to package, drain
Brown turkey meat. Mix about half of the tomato sauce with the meat.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor or blender, blend tofu, milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt. Stir in spinach.
Cover the bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
Place 3 noodles, half of the tofu blend, ground meat, cheese,  repeat.
On top layer of noodles place remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 25-30 minutes

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Very Berry Banana Smoothie

Try this delicious smoothie to jump start your day.  This recipe is easy and delicious.  It is a great option for breakfast or for post workout.  This smoothie is jam packed with nutrients from strawberries and blackberries.
Strawberries are full of vitamin C and trace minerals including chromium, zinc, and selenium.  They are full phytochemicals that fight cancer and heart disease.  It contains ellagic acid which deactivates cancer compounds in the body.
Blackberries, also called brambleberries, dewberry, and thimbleberry, are really high in fiber and antioxidants.  The dark color indicates a large amount of antioxidants. One serving of blackberries provides half of your daily requirements of vitamin C.  It also contains potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.  Blackberries are good for building blood.  It is beneficial for females to slow down excessive menstruation.  The boron content in blackberries help prevent bone disorders such as osteoporosis.  Blackberries have also been used to help with indigestion, heartburn, colitis, and urinary tract infections.

Very Berry Banana Smoothie
In blender add:
1 cup frozen strawberry
1 cup frozen blackberries
1 banana
½ cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk
2 scoops of protein powder

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mushroom Stroganoff

Need  a meatless meal that still satisfies your savory craving.  Mushroom strogranoff is just what you need.  Mushrooms are a great choice because they are packed with many nutrients.  Even though it is not a plant it is considered vegan friendly and has added benefits of being one of the few vegan sources of vitamin D, iron, and vitamin B12.  It is also packed with other B vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin.  It also contains minerals such as copper, selenium potassium, and phosphorus.  

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cup of diced mushroom (Portobello and or button)
1 tbsp flour
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup fat free sour cream
1 tbsp ground mustard
Parsley as garnish

Begin by heating oil in your pan.  Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile chop your mushrooms of choice.  I choose portobello mushrooms.  

Add mushrooms to pan and cook for about three minutes.  Add flour to form a paste.  Add cream of mushroom and vegetable stock.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add sour cream, and mustard and heat until warm.
Serve over noodles, and garnish with parsley if desired.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Fish tacos have become popular in many sit down restaurants. It is a great way to get in one of your two servings of fish needed in the week.  Fish provides essential omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.   Unfortunately though in many cases they are made with excess fat and sodium.  Even  when purchasing grilled fish tacos you still have the risk of dealing with the extra fat from added butter and oils and excess sodium.  You can easily make your own fish tacos at home and customize it to your liking. 
I decided to make my fish tacos with a mango salsa to give it a slightly  sweet flavor. Instead of adding sauces or sour cream that are loaded in fat, salsa is a great alternative to providing extra flavor without excess calories.  Plus it is easy to make and deliciously nutritious. 

Ingredients for Fish
4 fish fillets of choice (salmon, flounder, tilapia) (I used flounder)
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil
8 corn tortillas

In a small bowl mix your spices.

Place fish in baking dish and drizzle olive oil on the fish.  Sprinkle seasoning over the fish.  Bake on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until fish is flaky.

You may have leftover spices.  You can store them in a storage bag to use with a future recipe.

While the fish is cooking prepare your mango salsa.

1 1/2 cup diced tomato
3/4 cup diced mango
3/4 cup diced avocado
1 cup diced cilantro
Zest of one lime
3 tbsp of lime juice

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.

Once the fish is ready cut the fish into thin strips.  Warm tortilias in a pan and assemble your yummy tacos.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Purple Rain Blueberry Smoothie

Purple Rain Blueberry Smoothie

How about you start your morning of right with a healthy smoothie that will leave your tongue dancing for joy.  Smoothies are a great way to start your day full of nutrients.  It is a balanced meal in a cup!!  This smoothie contains 3 of the 5 major food groups. The main ingredient is the blueberries. Blueberries are considered a super food becare they are full of vitamin C,  potassium,  phosphorus,  and iron.  They contains more antioxidant power than most fruits and vegetables.  Antioxidants work by protecting our cells from damage from the environment.

1 cup of frozen blueberries
6 oz of low fat or fat free vanilla or plain yogurt
1 cup of white grape juice
1/2 banana
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I used Muscle Milk) 

Blend in blender and serve

We loved drinking the smoothie and didn't feel guilty about drinking it.  Because of the fiber and the protein it satisfied our hunger and kept us full longer.  This is a smoothie I will definitely be making again in the future.  It's quick, easy, and  yummy for my tummy.