Super Food Harvest Bowl

This bowl is a great make-ahead lunch that tastes even better if it sits in the fridge over night.  It is full of superfoods but the combination of the flavors and textures is satisfying and delicious when surrounded by this sumptuous balsamic vinaigrette.  Kale is healthiest when eaten raw.  It has fiber, protein and omega-3’s.  Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and one of the only plant based foods that contains all 9 essential amino acids.  Almonds help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, prevent alzheimer’s, boost energy and immune system and nourish skin.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which helps to fight colds and flu.  It also has vitamin D, Iron and Magnesium, which seem to be a common deficiency in many American diets.

Prep Time:  15 minutes               Cook Time:  20 minutes              Serves:  4

10 oz bag of washed and chopped Kale

1 small sweet potato chopped into small cubes

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup raw almonds chopped

1 cup of dry quinoa cooked according to package instructions

3 oz mild goat cheese (optional)

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground pepper

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp ground pepper

3/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Place the chopped sweet potato on a lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Place all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a mason jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until completely combined.

Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions and allow to cool.  Place the chopped kale in a bowl, add the dried cranberries, almonds, sweet potato, quinoa and cheese.  Pour most of the dressing over the top and toss to combine.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.  The hearty leaves of the kale will wilt from the vinaigrette and become even more yummy.  Enjoy!

 

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Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken

I was never a person who liked fruit or nuts on my salad, but I fell in love with the sweet and salty crunch of this satisfying and healthy meal.  The crunchy pecans compliment the chewy dried cranberries which provide a nice contrast to the sweet and tart apples.  The chicken adds extra protein to keep you full longer and the goat cheese is optional but adds a wonderful creamy texture.  Make this gem for dinner in under 30 minutes!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                 Cooking time:  15 minutes                       Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 oz of washed lettuce (romaine or mixed greens work well but if iceberg is your favorite then go for it!)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

1 cup of Nonni Netta’s Spiced Roasted Pecans or store bought roasted glazed pecans

1 cup of chopped apple

2 lbs of grilled or baked chicken breast

1.5 cups of Apple Cider Vinaigrette or your favorite dressing

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and either bake or grill until cooked through.  Slice the chicken into strips and set aside.  You can either serve all of the ingredients separately and have each person assemble their own salad or add all of the ingredients to a large bowl filled with lettuce and toss with vinaigrette.  Either way, you’ll be eating something different tonight that took under 30 minutes and it won’t be coming from a drive thru.  Yum!

 

 

Healthy Stuffed Peppers and Eggplant

This is the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold day and can even be prepared in advance.  It holds up well when frozen, so make extra.  The grated Romano cheese is optional.  (I find that I can tolerate Romano cheese because it is a sheep’s milk cheese, but it can be easily omitted.)  The Basmati rice has a much lower glycemic index than your typical white rice and the ground chicken or turkey means a lot less fat and cholesterol when compared to the traditional ground beef.  The addition of the veggies adds nutrients and flavor.  (My girls call it rainbow rice.)

Ingredients:

3 Cubanelle peppers (also called Italian peppers)

1 large (or two small) eggplant

3 tbs avocado oil

1 cup frozen spinach

1 celery stalk diced

1 carrot diced

1/2 red bell pepper diced

1 shallot diced

1 tbs salt

1 tbs ground pepper

3 tbs fresh chopped basil

1 lb of ground chicken or turkey

3 cups cooked basmati rice (1 cup of dried basmati rice prepared according to package instructions)

3/4 cup grated Romano cheese

4 cups of canned or homemade tomato sauce

Cut off the top of the Cubanelle peppers and remove the ribs and seeds inside leaving the body of the pepper intact.  Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the white flesh with a large spoon.  Reserve the flesh of the eggplant and chop into cubes.  Place the peppers and eggplant into a large casserole dish.  Set a saute pan over medium heat and add the oil and diced vegetables along with the spinach and eggplant flesh.  Add the salt and pepper and cook the veggies for approximately 10 minutes until softened.  Add the ground meat and cook through.  Once cooked, turn off the heat and add the grated cheese, 1 cup of the reserved tomato sauce and the cooked rice.  Stir to combine and then spoon the mixture into the eggplant and peppers.  Pour the remaining 3 cups of sauce over the stuffed peppers and eggplant.  Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Uncover after an hour and allow to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your peppers and eggplant.  Enjoy!

Fancy Roasted Brussel Sprouts (in under 15 minutes)

Are you looking for a fancy dish to serve to company or just want a quick and easy side dish for dinner?  This is the one!  This would also be a great addition to the Thanksgiving menu.  I like to add dried cranberries and balsamic syrup right before serving, but they are just as delicious with salt and pepper and so good for you!

Prep time:  5 minutes          Cooking time:  10 minutes          Serves 2 – 4

Ingredients:

1 lb brussel sprouts ends trimmed and outer leaves removed. (cut the larger ones in half for more even roasting)

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp avocado oil (or another high temp cooking oil)

A drizzle of store bought balsamic syrup (found in the vinegar section)

2 tbsp dried cranberries

Place halved brussel sprouts on a parchment lined baking sheet (for easy clean-up).  Add the oil and salt and pepper and toss lightly with your fingers to coat.  Place them in a 400 degree over for 10 minutes or until the edges of the spout are charred and crispy.  When they are cooked place them in a shallow bowl of plate and drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with the dried cranberries for a beautiful presentation with very little effort.

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Creamy Cole Slaw with Dairy-Free Dressing

Yes, mayonnaise is dairy free!  The good news is that you can use mayo to add creaminess to many recipes and dressings because the ingredients are typically eggs, vinegar and oil.  I usually buy a reduced fat version and my favorite is from Trader Joe’s.  Maple syrup is used in place of white sugar in this recipe because it contains important minerals.  This dish is best if prepared in advance and stored in the fridge so that the flavors can marry and the cabbage has time to soften.  Double or triple the recipe for cook outs or keep it on hand to top a turkey or pulled pork sandwich.  Yum!

Ingredients

12 oz package of cole slaw

1/3 cup of reduced fat mayo

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp white vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Start off whisking the wet ingredients in the bottom of the serving bowl.  Once combined, add the cole slaw and stir until coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.