Archive for Healthy

Butternut Squash Stuffed Mushrooms

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

This healthy vegetarian dish is easy to make and makes a great side dish for your fall or holiday dinner.  Substitute with smaller mushrooms for the perfect appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoon sage (chopped)
  • 2 cups butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms, stemmed
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • Optional garnish: Goat cheese, parmesan cheese or sage

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat butter in a saucepan Add in sage and stir for a couple of minutes over low – medium heat until butter has turned light brown and has a nutty aroma.  Set aside

In a large bowl, add the butternut squash, garlic, salt, pepper, pumpkin pie spice, honey and butter/sage mixture (reserving some to coat mushrooms) and toss well to combine.

Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, until slightly soft.

Brush the inside of the mushrooms with the remaining butter/sage mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill with butternut squash and top with goat cheese. Bake until mushrooms are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Garnish with goat cheese and sage. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Risotto

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

By swapping cauliflower for rice and adding goat cheese, this recipe recreates the creamy texture for a healthier risotto option.

Bonus: You will be out of the kitchen in under 30 minutes as the cauliflower cooks quicker than rice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 head cauliflower (4-5 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sage (chopped)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup chicken broth (or more as needed)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( can or fresh)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup goat cheese or parmesan cheese
  • Optional garnish: sage, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, et

Directions

Using a cheese grater, grate cauliflower until it resembles rice grains (or use a food processor)

Heat butter in a skillet or saucepan Add sage and stir for a couple of minutes over low – medium heat until butter has turned light brown and has a nutty aroma.

Add in onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes or until onions are translucent Add in cauliflower, half of the broth and stir for about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Add in remaining broth and continue to cook until cauliflower is softened.

Stir in pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice (if using), salt, pepper and goat cheese and stir until goat cheese is melted and cauliflower has a creamy texture.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish as desired.

Quinoa Pizza Crust

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Quinoa pizza crust is a great gluten-free alternative to pizza dough. It has a nutty taste and holds together perfectly when sliced.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (soaked for at least 8 hours)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon. salt
  • cooking spray
  • Toppings desired: tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms, tomato, meat, etc

Directions

Place quinoa in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse with water.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place quinoa, water, garlic, baking powder, salt in a food processor and mix until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. 

Line a round cake pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. 

Pour in batter and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 15 minutes. Flip crust over and bake for 10 more minutes ( you can remove parchment paper).  Add toppings desired and bake for 5 minutes (more or less depending on toppings) 

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Strawberry Gazpacho

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

As strawberries are in season,  try this refreshing version of the classic Spanish chilled vegetable soup.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cucumber, peeled 
  • 1/2  red bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1 tomato 
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic  vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional garnish:  diced strawberries and mint 

Directions

Roughly chop cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, red onion  and strawberries. 

Add  vegetables and strawberries into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to mix. 

Add in balsamic vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper  Process/blend mixture until pureed into desired consistency. 

Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more flavor it develops. Can be refrigerated overnight.

Before serving, garnish with diced strawberries and mint, if desired. 

Roasted Beets and Swiss Chard Salad

Friday, March 24th, 2017

On my recent trip to Tanaka Farms in Irvine, I picked up some beautiful Swiss Chard and Beets which was perfect for a colorful salad.

For this recipe, carrots and bean sprouts were added to the salad and topped with walnuts. Feel free to add other ingredients as desired.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 beets, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 Swiss chard, chopped ( or spinach, arugula, or kale)
  • Optional vegetables: carrots, celery, red onion, radish, tomatoes, avocado, etc
  • Optional: goat cheese, crumbled
  • Optional nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds, etc

Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Peel beets and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add to prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and  1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Toss together and spread evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until soft.

To serve: add Swiss chard and any other vegetables into a salad bowl and toss together with dressing. Top with roasted beets, cheese or nuts.

 

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With the amazing produce spring brings, one of the best ways to enjoy it is in a fresh salad. From  asparagus to radishes to strawberries, this colorful and delicious salad can be served  as a meal or as side with  your Easter brunch.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup  balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of  salt
  • 4-5 stalks asparagus, ends cut off and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 5-6 cups spinach, chopped or baby spinach
  • 4-5 radishes, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus additional for garnish
  • 4 oz soft goat cheese

Directions:

To make the balsamic vinegar reduction: add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce until syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch for few minutes. Remove from boiling water and immerse in iced or cold water.  (This stops the cooking process to preserve the asparagus’ crisp texture and color). Once cooled, lay on a paper towel and pat dry. Set aside.

To make dressing:  whisk together balsamic vinegar reduction, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

In a large platter or bowl:  toss together all vegetables and strawberries. Top with goat cheese.  Drizzle dressing on top and garnish with more strawberries, if desired.

 

Loaded Mash Cauliflower

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

This recipe was created when I had ingredients leftover from the Mini Pull Apart Bread recipe. I already had the ingredients chopped, meats cooked and I had cauliflower in my refrigerator.  It dawned on me that this recipe would actually be great for your party for those who are gluten free and couldn’t enjoy the pull apart breads.

Ingredients 

  • 2 heads cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1  cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 stick of butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( or other  cheese) 
  • Any toppings desired

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place cauliflower in a large pot and  add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 12-15 minutes or until very tender. Drain water and transfer back to the pot.  Using a potato masher, mash cauliflower with milk, parmesan cheese, butter and seasonings.  Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.  Transfer to a greased baking dish. Top with cooked meats, cheese, vegetables or herbs. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is golden brown.

 

Southwestern Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

You won’t miss any of the flavors of a traditional taco. This recipe has got it all except the carbs!   Perfect as an appetizer, lunch or dinner.

Feel free to change the spice levels to suite your own taste.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 Chicken breasts ( can use ground chicken)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1-2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Lettuce leaves ( romaine, napa, iceberg, etc)
  • Optional garnish: tomato, red onion, green onion, avocado, cilantro

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 avocado, pit removed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro
  • 3 Tablespoons water ( more as needed)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

In a bowl, combine salt, pepper,  oregano, garlic powder,  turmeric, cumin, chili powder and coriander.  Rub chicken breasts with oil and coat with spice mixture on both sides.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and cook chicken until no longer pink in the middle. Set aside. When cool, cut into small strips or bite size pieces.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in the same skillet.  Sauté bell peppers, onions and garlic for a few minutes.  Add in chicken and sauté until  chicken is cooked through.

To assemble: Place chicken and vegetables on top of lettuce leaves.  Top with desired garnish and drizzle avocado cilantro dressing on top.

Dressing: Combine all ingredients together a blender and process until smooth, adding more water as needed.

Creamy Green Smoothie

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

A creamy, delicious and refreshing green smoothie made with kale, avocado, banana, strawberries and orange.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
  • 1 cup kale (or spinach)
  • 1 banana (preferably frozen)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 cup strawberries

Directions

Blend milk and kale together. Add in rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

This was one of the favorite dishes at our recent clean eating cooking class.

By replacing traditional bulgur wheat with cauliflower, this makes a healthy and delicious salad perfect for lunch or side dish for dinner.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/2  head cauliflower
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup mint, chopped
  • 1-2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced

Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Place cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until it resembles rice grains.  (Or use a cheese grater to grate cauliflower).

Add cauliflower to a large bowl and add parsley, mint, tomato and cucumber.

For the dressing: In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together.

Drizzle dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.