ASIAN BEEF NOODLE SALAD

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(Serves: 6)

3 c. spring mix salad

3 c. baby spinach

1 c. purple cabbage, thinly sliced

1 med. yellow pepper, thinly sliced

1 8-oz. pkg Udon Asian pasta

1 lb. 90% lean ground beef

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 T. low sodium soy sauce (divided)

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 lime, juiced

2 T. rice vinegar

1/2 tsp honey

3 T canola oil

In a large serving bowl, combine first four ingredients and set aside. Cook Udon Asian pasta according to package directions Rinse pasta well under cool water and then add to salad mixture. Brown ground beef in medium skillet over medium heat; drain off fat. Stir cayenne, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and lime juice into beef mixture; remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk remaining soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and canola oil. Pour over salad mixture and toss to coat. Serve salad and top with ground beef.

Nutrition Facts per Serving:

Calories 390, Fat 17g, Saturated Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 33g, Fiber 4g, Protein 27g, Sodium 420mg

Note: Udon noodles are wheat noodle with a neutral flavor found in the Asian aisle of most large supermarkets.

Adapted from: Bernadette Martineau, RD

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Grow fruits and veggies in your own garden! Kids are more likely to try something they’ve grown themselves.

Daily Inspiration 

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Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (Vegan)

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YIELD: About 11 medium/large muffin

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: About 18 minutes, note reduction in oven temp after 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: About 40 minutes + cooling

Baking with zucchini keeps everything so soft, moist, and you can’t taste it. The muffins taste like banana bread……though not like my mama’s! The one-bowl, no-mixer muffins are vegan and healthy. No butter, no eggs, the chocolate chips are solely sprinkled on top, and they’re made with coconut oil. It adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oils, but substitute if you’d like. Between the softening powers of coconut oil, the creamy bananas that add tenderness, and the moisture-enhancing powers of zucchini, these are some of the softest and moistest muffins. The continue to get softer as the days pass, and the flavors marry tougher and tasted better the second day. You’ll never complain about eating your veggies after these muffins!

INGREDIENTS: 

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (or substitute with vegetable or canola)

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or substitute with coconut, soy, rice, cow’s)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup ripe mashed bananas (about 2 small/medium naners)

1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini, measured loosely laid in cup (not packed in or squeezed; about 1 medium zucchini, to peel is up to you)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

pinch of salt, optional and to taste

About 11 teaspoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips divided, about 1 teaspoon for each muffin (regular sized chips can also be used)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a non-stick 12-cup regular muffin pan very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside (use liners if you choose).
  2. To a large bowl, add the first 6 ingredients, through cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the bananas and whisk to combine.
  4. Before adding the zucchini, put it in a paper tower and squeeze tightly for about 10 seconds to remove moisture. After squeezing, you should have about 3/4 cup of compacted shreds. Add zucchini to bowl and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, optional salt and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
  6. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4 cup measure or spoon, turn batter out into prepared pan, noting that the recipe yields 11 muffins. Adjust accordingly to your size muffin pans. Each cavity should about 3/4 full; do not overflow.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with chocolate chips, about 1 teaspoon each.
  8. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, reduce oven temp to 350F and bake for 8 minutes, or until muffins are set, domed, golden, and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they’ve firmed up and are cool enough to handle. It’s normal for muffin tops to flatten as they cool. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. They also tend to soften over time and taste better on days 2-3 after the flavors married.

Adapted from: Averie Cooks

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Cook with your kids! Don’t think of this interaction as cooking lessons. Rather, realize that teaching your kids to put together a meal is a lesson they can use for the rest of their lives.

Daily Inspiration 

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Tropical Chicken

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MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Serving size: 1 chicken breast half with 1/2 cup topping

Total time: Marinating time + 35 to 45 minutes

Hands-on time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

4 (5 to 8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 cup teriyaki sauce

Juice of 1 lime, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 small)

1 cup diced fresh pineapple (or 18 oz can chopped pineapple, drained and cut into smaller pieces)

1/2 cup diced jarred roasted red peppers

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Black pepper

Directions: 

Place chicken in a shallow bowl. Combine teriyaki sauce and juice of half the lime; pour over chicken. Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 4 hours to marinade. Remove chicken from marinade, then discard marinade. Sauté*, bake, or grill chicken. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for two minutes. Stir in the pineapple, red peppers, salt and pepper. Squeeze juice from the remaining half of the lime over skillet mixture; cook one to two minutes. To serve, top each cooked chicken breast with 1/2 cup of pineapple mixture.

*Sauté it: Place a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until warm. Remove skillet from heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray or lightly coat with oil. Return skillet to heat and add chicken. Cook chicken six to eight minutes on each side until cooked through.

Nutrition per serving: 277 calories, 8g total fat (2g saturated fat and 0g trans fat), 157mg sodium, 42g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 7g sugar, 39g protein

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Don’t fear fat – but don’t go overboard! Fat has more calories than other nutrients, but it has multiple benefits. If you watch your portions, you can enjoy its decadence.

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Chicken Veggie Stew

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(Serves: 8)

2 T. olive oil

3 lg celery stalks, cut into bite size pieces

3 lg carrots, peeled, cut into bite size pieces

1 med Vidalia onion, chopped

Pepper to taste (optional)

2 1/2 c. tomatoes, chopped (can substitute 14.5oz can organic low-sodium chopped tomatoes)

32oz reduced sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 14 large leaves)

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp ground thyme

6oz can tomato paste

1 1/2 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

1 1/2 cup green beans, cut into bite size pieces

1 15oz can kidney beans, drained

1/2 cup pastina (mini-pasta), uncooked (I used quinoa noodles)

Heat oil in heavy 5 1/2 qt cast iron casserole over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Season veggies with pepper if desired. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, spices and tomato paste. Add the bite size chicken pieces, press to submerge. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to med-low, add green beans, kidney beans, and pastina and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is done. The liquid should reduce to a stew consistency. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle the stew into serving bowls.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 

Calories 290, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 2g, Carbohydrate 38g, Fiber 6g, Protein 17g, Sodium 650mg

Note: To boost the nutrients in this recipe add 2 cups of chopped collard greens. Collard are loaded with vitamins K, A, and C as well as many other health promoting phytonutrients. Sodium can also be reduced by rinsing kidney beans and using low sodium tomato paste. Make it a meal by serving stew with toasted multi grain cheese bread!

Adapted from: Jill McCoy, MS RD LD

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Eat More Whole Plants!  No matter what your eating style, you can gain more health benefits by filling up your plate with at least three-fourths plant foods, such as beans, lentils, whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, and farro), vegetables, and fruits. This eating pattern is also a health benefit for Mother Nature!

Daily Inspiration 

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

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This amazing recipe has no added sugars and it’s meaty, thick, full of Italian flavor! It makes a great sauce served over traditional pasta or spaghetti squash for a low-carb meal.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 15

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef (lean beef is recommended)
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 can tomato puree 29 ounces each
  • 2 can dices tomatoes, with juice 14.5 ounces each
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef along with the garlic. Drain.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring often.
  3. Once the sauce is heated through and at a low boil, reduce the burner temperature to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately or allow the sauce to cool, the package it in freezer-safe containers for easy storage.

Nutrition Label Facts: 

Calories 163, Calories from fat 99, Total fat 11g Cholesterol 32mg, Sodium 439mg, Carbohydrates 7g, Fiber 1g, Protein 9g

Adapted from: Taste of Lizzy T

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Rate your food based on a scale of one to 10, and don’t bother finishing foods that rank below a six. How many times have you taken a bite of a stale pastry or a tasteless entrée and complained about its flavour? It’s a waste of calories!

Daily Inspiration 

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Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie

Time: 6 mins;  Yield: 2 servings

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What You’ll Need

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 very ripe medium-sized banana

3/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt

1 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup crushed ice

How it’s Done

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, making sure the ice is completely crushed.

Per 8-10oz serving: Calories 167, Calories from fat 5, Total Fat .7g, Cholesterol 2mg, Sodium 74mg, Carbohydrate 34g, Fiber 3.1g, Protein 6.6g

Nutrition Tip of the Day

We are one superfood nation so stay in touch with what’s local, and think outside the traditional garden. Kombu is the easiest sea veggie to add to the diet. It’s very high in iodine and can be added to water when cooking rice, soup or stew. You don’t even have to eat it.

Daily Inspiration 

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Lemon Garlic Chicken

(Serves: 4)

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2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (6 oz each)

Juice of one lemon

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Grill Mates Spicy Steak seasoning or Lemon Pepper seasoning

Slice chicken diagonally 1/4” thick. Marinate chicken for at least one hour in the remaining ingredients. Sauté chicken in iron skillet until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and juices run clear.

Nutrition Facts per Serving:

Calories 140, Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 0g, Fiber 0g, Protein 26g, Sodium 210mg

Adapted from: Felecia Mathews, MS RD CDE

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Shake things up and create a little adventure with friends or family by trying a food that might seem weird and unusual to you. Consider trying prickly pear, jackfruit, teff, Job’s tears, wheat berries, edamame, wakame seaweed, hemp hearts, turmeric, walnut oil, or salmon jerky. And remember, the uncommon can become common. It is funny to think that in the early 1950s, bananas were a weird and wonderful new food to most North Americans.

Daily Inspiration 

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