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Even after making the zucchini casserole yesterday, we were left with extra zuchinis. Here’s what I threw in the blender today:

1 zucchini

7 ice cubes

1 banana

1 cup orange juice

1/2 avocado

It turned really yummy and the yield was 2-3 servings.

Next time, I will try this interesting smoothie.

What else can I do with zucchinis?

 

I was browsing through some blogs last night and stumbled upon a post about a really delicious, easy and healthy bean spread. Oh,and the spread is supposed to be placed on a sandwich with some kale on top. I was hooked. First of all, I am all about quick and easy, healthy cooking. Secondly, I could feed this spread to my twin babies, who’d love a little extra protein, so that they can finally grow up and take their toys back from their big brother. Thirdly, I could feed the kale to my oldest, who thinks that eating kale makes you grow big enough to drive a real car ( ok, I taught him that.)

I tripled the bean spread recipe and we had the leftovers for lunch today. The babies had the spread with some celery sticks and avocado chunks and we had  baked potatoes with bean spread, avocado , kale and chives. 

After playing with the  original recipe a bit, here’s the spread and the sandwich:

 

 

Rustic White Bean Spread

  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 heaping cup of cooked beans)
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 1 Tbs water (or more for desired consistency)
  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Process everything until smooth.

 Kale

 Heat a bit of olive oil and water in a frying pan. Add a small garlic clove, minced, stirring a minute until fragrant. Add 1-2 tbsp. of Bragg’s amino acid sauce. Toss in a couple handfuls of kale (stems removed, chopped). Sautee until wilted. Add a few drops of tobasco, if desired.

Sandwich

 Place a generous dollop of warmed white bean spread over two pieces of toast. Top with cooked kale. Squeeze a splash of lemon over everything and put a slice of lemon on top (optional). I also put a tomato slice on top.

 

I know, the name spells:  “The Weirdest Cake On The Internet,” but it tastes awesome! I found this delicious raw cake recipe about a month ago and never found time to make it. Too bad, because it only took me 30minutes today! If you like lemon flavor, feel free to also add a  few drops of lemon extract. The original recipe asked for jicama. I used something simpler and more readily available.

 

 

 

Cake
1/2 cup finely grated white turnip
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith Apples, pealed and grated finely
2 cups almond flour (almonds, ground in a food processor)
4 tbsp.  flax meal  (flax seeds, ground finely)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients well. Separate into two halves. Take the first half and form in a shape of a cake.

Frosting:

1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
Juice of 1 lemon  ( zest opti0nal)

Beat/Whip the coconut oil with beaters! Whip again and add the agave. Then, add the lemon juice.

Assembly:
Top the first layer of the cake with Frosting. Form the second half of the dough into another layer on a  separate plate. Flip the plate to place another layer on top of the frosting.Frost the whole cake: top and sides. Sprinkle Poppy Seeds on the sides and maybe on top, as well. Top with Lemon zest curls or slices. Refrigerate for an hour or more. Serve at room temperature.

  1. Plantains contain high levels of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber. They are also low in sodium, have no cholesterol and contain natural mood enhancers. Nutritionally, plantains are similar to bananas. I like plantains as an interesting potato alternative once in a while. I buy black plantains (they are sweet inside) or let the plantain ripen and turn black on my windowsill.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat the baking dish with some olive oil. Slice the plantains lengthwise into skinny strips that are about 3 inches long. Place the plantain slices in the baking dish, sprinkle them with some more olive oil  and  place them in a hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the fries over and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the fries are crispy. Lightly salt the plantain the minute it comes out of the oven. You can also sprinkle the plantain with spices, such as curry, cayenne or garlic on these fries.

    Salsa and lime juice work well as an accompaniment.

    photo credit: healthbent

My friend just asked me what do I do with kale.  I love this simple soup: it is light and full of flavor and nutrients. Ginger, curry and kale are the key ingredients: everything else can be altered. This soup works well with lentils, sweet potatoes, chick peas and zucchinis.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound fresh ginger root, grated with peel
7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

6-8 cups of water
1 bunch of kale, rinsed, stalks thrown out and leaves  chopped
1 tbsp Curry powder
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Braggs
1/2 block tofu, cubed

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup carrots, grated

1/2 cup scallions, diced

optional: 1 cup of frozen edamame

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

In a large soup pot, saute the garlic and ginger in the oil on medium heat.  Add 4 cups of water and (optional edamame and/or optional potatoes) and curry and bring to a boil. Add more water. Add kale and Braggs. Lower the flame, cover the pot and allow the kale to get softer. Add the carrots and the celery.  Stir in tofu.

Let the soup stand for an hour before serving.

This recipe is great for those nights when you need to have dinner ready (preferably something healthy,) but your brain is fried and you have no time for anything.

3 cups of any veggies, suteed in olive oil and Bragg’s amino acids or soy sauce (see below)

2 eggs or 1 block of silken tofu, processed, until smooth

1 cup grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or a vegan variety)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Mix all of the ingredients together together. Pour into a lightly oiled up baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is starting to turn darker.

 

re: 3 cups of sauteed veggies:

I believe that tomatoes and onions are a must to make this casserole a success. Everything else is up to you. Use any vegetables you have in the fridge at the moment. You can make this casserole seven days a week and it will always be new:  you can add shitake mushrooms on Monday and broccoli on Tuesday. Wednesday can be the day of frozen veggie mix (never tell anyone I said that:  after having twins I actually started buying organic frozen veggies.) Carrots work well in this casserole and so does squash and cauliflower. Sweet potatoes give it an interesting sweetness.

Serve with a big salad (ask your kids to peel the cucumbers with the peeler -it beats destroying the house, while mama is cooking and is definitely better than being glued to the TV.) If you feel adventurous, a  bowl of brown rice should complete your healthy dining experience.

 

There is always something low-fat, low-calorie happening in the world of “healthy” snacks. I prefer foods that are natural, especially, since my oldest kid is likely to want to nibble on what I am eating. I found this amazing alternative to potato chips: roasted seaweed. It’s low-calorie , nutrient-dense and cheap!  What else can a healthy mama ask for? Oh, for her two year old to stop devouring her seaweed!

green healthy leavesDark leafy greens are perhaps the most concentrated sources of nutrients. They provide minerals,  like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients ,  including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

However, when most Americans hear “leafy greens” they automatically think “spinach.” Spinach is one of the least nutrient-rich green leafy vegetables. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of raw spinach contains only 1 mg of iron.  Spinach also contains oxalic acid, which binds with iron, hence inhibiting its absorption.  Raw kale, for example, contains 1.1 mg of iron per cup, but the iron in kale is a lot more likely to be absorbed by the body, because kale is very low in oxalic acid.  And as far other minerals and vitamins, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, arugula, watercress, mustard greens, and turnip greens all appear to be more nutritious salad choices than spinach. Plain old lettuce, while still healthy, is not as nutrient-dense as are darker leaf vegetables.
To make your next salad more nutritious, try decreasing the amount of spinach to about 50%, substituting the other half with a new leafy green.
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