Category Archives: Healthy Recipes

Healthy Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

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I absolutely LOVE pad Thai- but when you order a takeout you’re not only getting all the carbs from the noodles but also all the bad fats from the cooking oils that they use. Here is a healthier version, replacing noodles with spaghetti squash (which I also love!) and cutting back on the unhealthy fat and calories- Enjoy!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PAD THAI

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Carb Grams Per Serving: 25

INGREDIENTS
1 small spaghetti squash (1.5 to 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 14-ounce container extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 large eggs, whisked
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . Prick squash all over with a knife and roast on a rimmed baking sheet about 1 hour, or until tender when pierced.
2. Whisk together lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, jalapeno and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer; keep warm over low heat, whisking occasionally.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add cabbage and saute 1 minute. Stir in tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and pour in eggs. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir constantly until eggs are just cooked, about 2 minutes more. Turn off heat.
4. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Using a fork, scrape squash from shell. Place strands in a large bowl and gently untangle with fork; transfer to skillet and fold into egg mixture. Drizzle with sauce, stirring to incorporate. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 343 cal., 20 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 707 mg sodium, 25 g carb. (5 g fiber), 20 g pro.

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5 Food Choices to Make You a Happier, Healthier Person

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In an age where more and more people are looking to take the easy way out when it comes to health and nutrition, poor eating decisions have led to serious health problems, because bad eating can kill you just as starvation can.

People are trading “shelf life” for freshness, “cheap” for nutritious, and “quantity” for quality without ever really knowing what they are putting in their body.

Here’s a list of 5 food choices that can change your life from Women’s Health Mag:

There is a solution to this very complex and far-reaching problem: you. By making small changes to your own diet, you can not only improve your health but also become part of the collective force needed to re-create a healthy food system that feeds the world well. Start here.

1. OCCUPY YOUR KITCHEN
By deciding how much and exactly which types of salt, sugar, and fat we will use to make our fruits, veggies, meat, dairy, and grains taste delicious, we reclaim control over our health and our weight. Cook as often as you can.

2. WHEN YOU BUY GLOBAL, THINK FAIR TRADE AND LOW IMPACT
Global certification programs like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and Marine Stewardship Council ensure that foods are grown sustainably. They also reduce the impact of chemically intensive growing practices.

3. USE WORD OF MOUTH
School gardens are cropping up, which is encouraging kids to ask for veggies at home. Millennials are teaching their parents the joys of kale and the tastiness of a veggie burger. The next time you host family or friends, serve them a grass-fed burger on a whole-grain bun along with a plateful of local vegetables. Let them see firsthand that eating in a way that changes the food system for the better can be delicious—and fun.

4. GROW SOMETHING EDIBLE
City dwellers can plant herbs in pots on a windowsill. Suburbanites can cultivate garlic and asparagus, a perennial vegetable that keeps producing for decades. Encourage your kids, neighbors, and friends to do the same. Odds are, you’ll feel more connected to your food and to your community (many food banks accept fresh produce donations from individuals and farmers’ markets).

5. REMOVE HIDDEN CORN FROM YOUR DIET
It goes well beyond high-fructose corn syrup—processed corn ingredients include dextrose, corn syrup solids, and corn-based sweeteners, as well as meat, milk, and dairy from corn-fed cattle. Nixing those products from your kitchen may encourage manufacturers to find healthier alternatives, and it’s also a great way to remove junk foods from your cabinets and make room in your wallet and home for natural, whole foods.

Recipe of the Week! Quinoa Breakfast Bake!

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Bake up a pan of this healthy quinoa casserole for an easy hot breakfast on-the-go throughout the week. Add your favorite berries, nuts, seeds, and spices to make this recipe your own!

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 2 eggs
2 cups skim milk 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 1/2 cups frozen berries
1 apple or pear, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan, and set aside. (Note: a 9×11 works fine, too!)
3. In a medium bowl, stir together uncooked quinoa, cinnamon, and allspice to coat quinoa with spices. Pour quinoa over bottom of prepared pan.
4. In the same bowl used for the quinoa, beat the eggs until fully mixed. Whisk in the milk and maple syrup, and beat to combine.
5. Scatter the berries, apple or pear pieces, and nuts (if using) evenly on top of the quinoa.
6. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit. (The milk mixture will cook the quinoa to create a very soft texture on the inside, while creating a lightly crunchy crust on the outside!)
7. Bake for 1 hour, or until casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left. Serve warm, and refrigerate leftovers.

Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week!! Banana Tea Bread!

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I made this recipe the other week and it turned out so good I just couldn’t not share it with you all! All credit goes to the simple veganista.  This banana bread has a great texture, is not too sweet, and is super healthy!! I added some flaxseed to mine and it didn’t seem to affect the recipe whatsoever, I also chose to use whole wheat flour and opted for the coconut oil instead of grapeseed which gave it a subtle yet delicious flavor.  I definitely recommend trying this out when you have an extra hour to spare.

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups spelt flour, or flour of choice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup grapeseed or warmed coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup organic pure cane sugar or finely chopped dates
4 small or 3 large bananas (preferably overripe), mashed

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium/large size bowl and set aside. In a small bowl mix oil, sugar and vanilla. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix briefly, set aside. Mash bananas, you should have approx. 1 3/4 cups, add to batter and mix until combined. Pour or spoon into a well greased loaf pan…I used coconut oil to grease mine. I don’t use vegan butters, margarine’s or sprays as I don’t care for them. Bake for about 50 min to an hour. With my oven it only goes for 50 min. You can also do the toothpick test in the center of the loaf, if it comes out clean it’s about ready. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min.

Recipe of the Week! Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt

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These bars are healthy, vegan, and totally yummy.  Try experimenting by mixing in other fruits or nuts for a completely different type of flavor!

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, or your favorite nut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
Sea salt, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 × 8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips. Process until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and spread batter evenly in prepared pan with a buttered spatula. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons chocolate chips over top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and edges are very light brown.

Let cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt and cut into 16 squares.

Enjoy!

Recipe Thanks to The Comfort of Cooking

Recipe of the Week!! Butternut Squash and Tomato Posole

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Posole is a traditional Mexican stew most often made with pork and hominy (dried corn kernels that have been treated to soften the hull) cooked in a fragrant chile-based sauce. In this quick vegetarian recipe, we rely on the meatiness of pinto beans and butternut squash combined with hand-crushed whole tomatoes to make a satisfying stew.

Ingredients:
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably no-salt added
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 cups diced (1/2-inch) peeled butternut squash (see Tip)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can white hominy, rinsed
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
1 ripe but firm avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Method:
1. Working over a bowl, break apart tomatoes with your fingers one at a time, letting them drop into the bowl
2. Heat oil in a large, heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add squash, broth, hominy, beans and the crushed tomatoes (and juice). Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
3. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with avocado and cilantro.

Recipe of the Week!! Roasted Yam and Kale Salad!

Roasted Yam and Kale Salad

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Here is a quick and easy dinner salad that is quick to prepare and full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Enjoy! 

Ingredients:

2 Jewel Yams, Cut into 1-inch cubes

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Onion, sliced

3 Cloves garlic, minced

1 Bunch kale, washed well and torn into bite size pieces

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 Teaspoon chopped fresh time

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Toss the yams with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and arrange evenly onto a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until the yams are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion and garlic until the onion has caramelized to a golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the kale, cooking until wilted and tender. Transfer the kale mixture to a bowl, and cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.

Once all the ingredients have cooled, combine the yams, kale, red wine vinegar, and fresh thyme in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and gently stir to combine.

 

How to Eat Healthy and Maintain Your Budget

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Healthy eating on a budget is possible, it just takes a game plan and a bit of creativity.  In this article i’m going to discuss some tips on how to keep your meals healthy, nutritious and budget friendly.  

Tip #1: Go in with a Plan 

When you’re doing your food shopping go to the store with a plan of action and stick to it! Never go to the store hungry, this will make you more susceptible to the lure of the snack foods that will take money away from your healthy eating options.  Check the circulars before you head to the store, look for discounts on fruits and veggies and then build your meal plans around what you can get the best offer on.  

Tip #2: Buy Seasonal and Avoid the Exotic

If you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season they are likely to be more budget friendly than their non-seasonal friends.  In the winter, squash, broccoli, endive, sweet potatoes and cabbage are are in season, to name a few.  Winter fruits include pears, clementines and grapefruit.  Save the exotic fruits for special occasions, as these are usually much higher in price since they are shipped in from where they are grown.  

Tip #3: Meatless Mondays

Lean meat, such as chicken, is a fantastic protein, but can also be on the expensive side especially if you are buying organic.  Legumes and grains can be a fantastic source of protein and will leave you with some extra cash in your wallet.  Quinoa is a complete protein, is easy to make, and matches well with a vegetable stirfry.  A three bean chili is a great winter warmer that is delicious meatless, and will satisfy even the biggest carnivore.  

Tip #4: Leftovers Are Your Friends

When you’re cooking, think about what you can make that will allow enough for leftovers for lunches for the week.  If your craving soup, make a large batch.  Put the remaining into individual containers and take it to work for lunch.  Try  and overnight crockpot oatmeal.  Steel cut oats are cheap, healthy and in hardly any time at all you have made yourself breakfast for the entire week.  

Tip #5: Stock Your Freezer While Your Favorite Fruits and Veggies are in Season

Going back to tip #2, if you see a great deal on fresh berries during the summer, buy in bulk! Place them into freezer bags and save them for the winter.   Same rule goes for vegetables.  Before you freeze your veggies, blanche them first (submerge in boiling water for a brief interval, then place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process).  Be sure to dry them thoroughly and then store in a freezer bag.  Some vegetables that freeze well are broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, peppers and peas.  

With a little pre-planning, you can be a healthier eater on a budget.  You can enjoy a greater variety, avoid deprivation, and gain a hipping strategy that is both easy on your waistline and  your wallet.

Recipe of the Week: Vegan Cherry Almond Pudding Parfait

Cherry Almond Pudding Parfait

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Ingredients:

1 cup cherry puree*
1/2 cup cashews
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Method

Blend all but the butter and oil in a high speed blender until smooth.
Add the last two ingredients. Blend again to incorporate.
Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

*Cherry Puree

Blend just over 1 cup cherries on the lowest speed in a high speed blender (not sure how it would work in a regular blender).
Pour into a bowl and pick out the pits.
Pour back into the blender and blend again (doesn’t have to be smooth but must be pit free).
*Alternatively, pit each cherry and then puree briefly in a blender or food processor.

Assembly

Layer the cherry pudding with cherry puree, and chopped nuts. Almonds would be nice here to compliment the almond extract in the pudding.

Recipe by SweetlyRaw

Raw Vegan Chocolate Avocado Pudding

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If you love chocolate pudding, you’re going to adore this recipe for a delicious but healthier version of your favorite dessert. Creamy, rich, and bursting with sweet chocolate flavor, this pudding takes only a few minutes with a blender to put together.

The avocados — full of vitamins and healthy fat — give it the smooth, thick consistency while honey and dates sweeten it. The mild flavor of the avocado allows the chocolate flavor to stand out front and center. Topped off with favorites like sliced bananas and chopped walnuts, or perhaps fresh strawberries and mint leaves, and you have a guilt-free dessert!

Adjust the amount of almond milk (or whatever vegan milk substitute you choose to use) to adjust thickness. Remember that it will thicken up in the fridge so don’t be too worried about adding more milk than you might think it needs.

In fact, by using less almond milk, you can make this into a fantastic thick, structured frosting for vegan cupcakes.

Inspired by This Rawsome Life.

Ingredients:
2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or coconut oil, or avocado oil
1/3 cup agave or maple syrup (or honey for a non-vegan version)
3 dates soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and chopped
1/2 cup cacao powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 cup non-dairy milk, such as almond milk

Toppings:
Chopped pistachios
Sea Salt
Chopped walnuts
Chopped fresh strawberries
Raspberries
Fresh mint leaves
Sliced bananas
Shredded coconut

1. Add ingredients to a blender or food processor in this order: oil, dates, honey, vanilla, half your non-dairy milk, avocados, cocoa powder.

2. Blend until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add additional non-dairy milk until the pudding is the consistency you want. A little on the thin side is best since it will thicken after chilling in the refrigerator.

3. Spoon into ramekins or bowls, cover and chill.

4. Top with your favorite fruits, nuts, or other yumminess, and enjoy!