Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Perfect Portable Snacks

Everyone has days when they are constantly on the run.  What happens when you get hungry?  Most likely, you grab whatever is easy and usually it’s not the healthiest choice.  Keeping a healthy snack on hand helps you make better choices when you’re hungry.  Check out these easy on-the-go snack ideas. 

Fruit:  The ULTIMATE portable snack.  It comes in its own wrapper and can usually be eaten with one hand.

Trail Mix or Mixed Nuts:  Try a couple handfuls of raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, or pecans).  Mix with a few dark chocolate chips and a handful of raisins.  This handy little mixture can be kept in your purse or desk drawer.

Cottage Cheese with Fruit:  Top 1/2 cup cottage cheese with a 1/2 cup of your favorite fruit.  Mixed berries and peaches are delicious!

Pumpkin Seeds:  Just a handful is loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein.  

Lettuce Rollup:  Grab a large leaf of romaine lettuce, top with a slice of cheddar cheese, spinach, tomato and sprouts.  Use any of your favorite vegetables, the possibilities are endless.

Hard-Boiled Egg:  Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are a high protein snack.  Try hard boiling a half dozen at the start of the week.  Store them in a bowl in the refrigerator for a grab and go snack.  Remember, pastured is best!  Check with local farmers for the best deal.

Ants on a Log:  Remember this classic from kindergarden?  Try topping a few celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins.

Smoothies:  You can make this one your own!  All you need is a blender.  Combine a 1/2 cup of greek yogurt with a few handfuls of your favorite fruit and blend.  You may need to add a little water to get things moving.  For a nutritional boost, add a handful of spinach or kale.

Grapes and Cheese:  Dice a half inch thick slice of hard cheese into squares.  Place on tooth picks, like mini kabobs, for easy eating in the car.

Edamame:  Buy them in the freezer section and steam lightly.  Add a pinch of sea salt and chow down!  One cup is loaded with protein.

Veggies and Hummus:  Get out that travel mug and put a few tablespoons of your favorite hummus in the bottom.  Stick a handful of veggie sticks (carrots, celery and snow peas) vertically into mug and screw on the top.  This can be thrown into your purse or gym bag.

Apples:  Slice up an apple and toss with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.  Pack with a couple slices of cheddar cheese or a couple tablespoons of peanut butter for a nice little pick me up.

The Nutter Butter:  Classic comfort food with a twist.  Top a brown rice cake with two tablespoons of peanut butter and half a sliced banana.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Berry Parfait:  Top 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fresh berries and a small drizzle of honey.  Top with chopped walnuts or almonds.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Maple Glazed Salmon

Are you looking for quick dinner ideas?  This healthy dish can be made in 20 minutes!  Wild caught salmon is loaded with healthy fats, exactly the opposite is true for farm raised salmon.  Be careful, read packages closely and get to know your butcher.

1 1/4 pound wild salmon, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoons brown mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 cove garlic, minced
1 dash gluten-free soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.  Place salmon on a parchment paper lined pan.  Season with salt and pepper; roast for 10min.

In a small bowl, combine mustard, maple syrup, garlic and soy sauce.  After the 10 minutes of cooking, brush salmon with the mixture and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until salmon is just cooked through.  Serves 4.

For an excellent side dish, try this Herbed Quinoa recipe.

Click here to print.

Herbed Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a super grain.  This tiny, gluten-free grain is high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E.  It is a complete protein whose content is equal to milk!  Try this side dish with Maple Glazed Salmon for an easy dinner that is done in 20 minutes!

1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh minced curly parsley or 2 teaspoons dry parsley
1 tablespoon fresh minced dill or 1 teaspoon dry dill

In a medium saucepan, saute onions and celery in butter until soft.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add quinoa to boiling water and stir.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and add herbs.  Cover and allow quinoa to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork before serving.  Serves 4. 

Click here to print.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Raw Oatmeal Cookies

This is as close to a healthy cookie as it's going to get!  The finished product tastes more like cookie dough than a baked cookie, but that's probably why I love them so much.  Made with raw oats and no processed flour, these little buggers won't spike your blood sugar levels like a regular cookie would.  The nuts add protein and the coconut oil is full of fats that are actually GOOD for you.

1 cup raw rolled oats
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt 
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
Using your food processor, grind up the cashews and half of the oats into a fine powder.  

Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and up to a tablespoon of water, if needed.  Pulse until a paste like consistency is reached.  

Add the rest of the oats and pulse until combined.  Stir in raisins. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture (pressing against the side of the bowl) and drop by spoonfuls on a plate or piece of waxed paper.  Cool in the refrigerator until firm.  Eat & enjoy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Skillet Golumpki

It seems like every part of Europe has their version of a cabbage roll, our polish family members call them Golumpki.  The traditional version is delicious, but also time consuming.  Here is a simplified version that can be made in a skillet in under 45 minutes.  Peppers and carrots are not normally found in Golumpki, I just saw an opportunity to sneak in some extra veggies.

You may also notice that there isn't a picture of the finished product.  There is a good reason for that.  The pictures just didn't do it justice!  Seriously.  It is delicious.  Try it.

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 small green pepper
1 medium carrot
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
6 cups of coarsely chopped cabbage
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar or raw sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet, brown hamburger with the onions.  Pulse the carrot and peppers in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add peppers, carrots, brown rice, salt and pepper to the browned hamburger.

Notice how finely chopped the carrots and peppers are?
That's what you want... we're trying to hide them :) 

Whisk the egg and milk together in a small bowl.  Add to the hamburger mixture while stirring.  This is important because you don't want to end up with fried egg in the bottom of the pan, you want it sticking to all the delicious bits of burger.

Next, add the coarsely chopped cabbage, tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and worcestershire sauce.  Stir to combine.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serves 6-8.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Nothing says fall comfort food like pumpkin.  Here is a delicious and nutritious alternative to your everyday cupcakes.  Pumpkin puree helps slash fat while adding fiber and flavor!

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1 large apple, pulsed in food processor or finely chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix pumpkin puree in a large bowl with chopped apple, carrots and raisins.  Stir in raw sugar, eggs and oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.  Add to wet ingredients, then add walnuts and stir until blended.

Spoon batter into cupcake wrappers and bake for 30 minutes.  Let cupcakes cool in pan, then transfer to a plate.  Makes 12 super moist cupcakes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wild Rice Stuffing

2 cups wild rice, soaked over night
2 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery, diced medium
1 small onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/2 cup toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drain and rinse soaked wild rice.  Cook rice in boiling water until it starts to burst, about 20 minutes, then drain.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat.  Add celery, onion, and garlic.  Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add drained rice, pepitas, raisins, and broth.  Stir to combine and transfer to a 9-inch square baking dish.  Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.  Serves 8.