Living a healthy life is supposed to be fun and filled with good food!

Tag: gluten free

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

The warmer weather is here, and so is guacamole season! For a fresher taste this spring try this Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole!   I think we can all agree that guacamole is absolutely delicious! Is it the rich taste of avocado or creamy texture that […]

Socca: Sweet, Savory, Simple

Socca: Sweet, Savory, Simple

Try a delicious, gluten and dairy-free flatbread for your next sweet treat or savory meal! If you’re craving a pizza, crepe, or taco shell, Socca is simply satisfying!   This delicious and versatile flatbread, originally from the regions of France and Italy, is naturally gluten, dairy, and nut-free.  Made […]

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Does your kitchen need spring cleaning? Try this simple and versatile recipe for Dukkah!

 

Move over fairy dust! Dukkah, a delicious Egyptian blend of nuts and spices is pure magic! This versatile topping combines a sweet, savory, and nutty taste all in one. Use it as a crust on on your favorite protein. Or, try it sprinkled on roasted vegetables, eggs, dips, or even popcorn! The options are endless!

 

Clean out your pantry!

Do you have any nuts or spices hiding in your back shelf just waiting to be eaten? Perfect! Even though Dukkah is most commonly made with hazelnuts and sesame seeds, other nut and seed varieties are also welcome. The most popular spices used are cumin and coriander seeds, which really come to life when toasted! For this recipe, I chose to use the original ingredient, hazelnuts for their amazing taste and nutritional benefits.

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Heart healthy hazelnuts are the main feature in this Dukkah recipe

Filberts, another name for hazelnuts, are an excellent source of good-for-you unsaturated fats, calcium, and magnesium.  Magnesium, in particular, is found mostly in leafy greens, whole grains, and of course, nuts, and many Americans are not getting enough of this magnificent mineral. The daily recommended intake for magnesium ranges from 320mg per day for women and 420mg for men. In just a one ounce serving of hazelnuts, you’ll get 46mg of magnesium!

Why fuss with getting enough? Long term research (such as NHANES, the Nutrition and Health Examination Survey) has supported the idea that magnesium can aid in muscle contraction, building strong bones, and lowering the risk for heart disease, but also has suggested that Americans are not getting enough magnesium.

Here are some other sources high in magnesium:

  • leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens
  • dark chocolate
  • avocados
  • other nuts such as cashews provides 82mg in a one ounce serving
  • bananas
  • legumes (peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans)

 

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Dukkah Crusted Salmon

 

This beautiful and exotic spice blend is usually served with olive oil and flatbread, but there are many other ways to use dukkah. Try it as a coating on your favorite meat, fish, or vegetable. Or, in the mood for a savory snack? Top it on popcorn or your favorite dip! This heart healthy recipe is simple and takes only 10 minutes!

 

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 cups total

Serving Size: 1/4 cup for topping

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a small or medium cast iron or non-stick skillet, using no oil, heat pan to medium high.
  2. Add the hazelnuts to the pan and toast them, about 3-5 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning. Empty into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, toast the seeds and spices in the pan, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of hazelnuts.
  4. Transfer the bowl of nuts and seeds to a mini food processor or high powered blender. Pulse until coarsely ground.
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Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and recent transplant to Boulder, CO. After working as an inpatient dietitian for almost five years in Boston, she is expanding her expertise in the health and wellness industry. Katie is passionate about cooking and food photography, sharing her culinary adventures on her food blog, One Hungry Bunny, and exploring her new Rocky Mountain surroundings. Follow Katie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

 

Roasted Mushroom Tacos with Pineapple Miso Dressing

Roasted Mushroom Tacos with Pineapple Miso Dressing

Try a plant based twist for Taco Tuesday! These King Oyster mushroom tacos with a pineapple miso dressing make a unique, Asian inspired meal the whole family will enjoy! Let’s “taco bout” it! Taco Tuesday has become very popular on social media lately and for good reason. […]

Crispy Baked Cara Cara Orange Tofu

Crispy Baked Cara Cara Orange Tofu

A new takeout alternative is here! Try this healthy and delicious Crispy Baked Cara Cara Orange Tofu for your next restaurant craving! Are you a fan of Chinese food takeout on the weekend?  Join the club! Making your own favorite recipe with healthy modifications saves you money […]

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier or eat more vegetables for 2017, try this delicious Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad!

Salads aren’t just a summer thing! These beautiful and delicate blends are good all year round. To keep up with the winter season choose vegetables such as beets, kale, and you guessed it, Brussels sprouts.  These members of the cruciferous family are usually seen roasted or sautéed. So, why not have it shaved or shredded as a Brussels sprouts salad with a blend of cider vinaigrette and protein-packed quinoa?

While searching the internet for recipe inspiration, I mainly came across bacon and cheese as a topping. These are both delicious, but bacon was not an option for me. The sautéed shiitake mushrooms provide a meaty flavor and add the warm temperature to this salad. Toasted almonds give a nice crunch and nutty flavor to the mild Brussels sprouts leaves. If you prefer adding meat and/or dislike mushrooms, try pulled or roasted chicken in place of the mushrooms. Still just as good. The quinoa mixed in the recipe not only gives it a different texture, it also adds a protein boost to make this a balanced meal. This whole grain can be replaced with other fiber-rich winners like barley or beans if quinoa isn’t your favorite (or if like most of us, you are still learning how to pronounce it!).

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The main ingredient

Don’t forget about the dressing!

Besides a crunchy salad, my favorite way to eat these baby cabbages is roasted with a small drizzle of maple syrup and olive oil. From one of my favorite blogs, Serious Eats, I learned the basic ratio for salad dressing. Most culinary professionals recommend 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. The addition of cider vinegar gives this a sweet and seasonal taste. I had heard about this vinegar for a while and really wanted to finally try it out in a recipe. Besides being a great dressing for many foods, there are numerous health claims surrounding this little bottle of golden goodness. If you do not have this potentially beneficial ingredient in your kitchen, feel free to use red wine or balsamic vinegar to complete the vinaigrette for this brussles sprouts salad.

 

The many roles of Cider vinegar…

From banishing eczema to promoting weight loss, this vinegar seems like a superhero. For centuries, it has been used for numerous health remedies. Just recently, it has gained new fame for its claim to help you lose weight and lower cholesterol. To be clear, there is not enough evidence and further research is necessary.

The newest evidence out there, however, has shown its positive effects on regulating blood sugar levels. A CNN article written by Registered Dietitian, Cynthia Sass, just came out this week. She reported that subjects who drank a diluted mixture of vinegar and water at bedtime had lower glucose levels in the morning. Also mentioned, a different study found that consumption of this diluted mix paired with a starchy food item reduced their blood sugar levels compared to a placebo group. What’s most interesting, those with Pre-diabetes (a common condition in the U.S.) decreased their levels by 50%.

Another excellent article written by a dietitian for the Coloradoan also discusses these new health claims and states it best. No matter the claims, we must all caution the use due to its high acidity. This can cause side effects, such as throat irritation and increase in stomach acid. While further research is underway, use it in moderation. Some examples would be in a homemade stir fry sauce or as I did in this salad dressing.

 

brussels sprouts salad
Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Cider Vinaigrette

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Has roasting vegetables become too repetitive this winter? I highly recommend trying my new recipe for a Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad! Not only are the ingredients extremely versatile, this salad can be served as a main dish or side.

Now that the holidays are coming to an end, we are all focused on our New Year’s resolutions. No matter what you choose, take care of yourself! I hope these words by the great Maya Angelou finds you new meaning. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

This salad is great as a main dish with protein-rich quinoa, but can make an excellent side dish to meat, seafood, or pasta. If you prefer adding meat to this dish, choose a lean protein like chicken or turkey. Substitutes for quinoa can be brown rice, barley, or beans for added fiber and protein. However you choose, the brussel sprouts are the winner in this recipe packed with folate and Vitamins C & K.

Ingredients

  • Salad:
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (yields 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa)
  • 1 cup water for quinoa
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, shredded (cut sprouts in half then thinly slice crosswise), stems removed
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3-4 cups Mixed Greens, optional
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds for toasting
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms, such as shiitake or oyster
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, scallions, parsley
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus one tablespoon (three teaspoons) for sauteeing
  • 2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoons dijon mustard, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. If using uncooked quinoa or other grain, prepare as directed. For uncooked quinoa, bring water and quinoa to boil and simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, prepare the dressing mixing all ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Adjust ingredients to your taste preference and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the sprouts and cranberries and set aside.
  4. Heat one teaspoon olive oil In a skillet or non-stick pan on medium high, toss almonds for up to 3 minutes until browning (toasted). Remove from pan and add to sprouts.
  5. Use remaining two teaspoons olive oil and sautee mushrooms on medium high heat. Stir frequently to cook evenly, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and toss the mushrooms in with the sprouts mix.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add optional toppings if preferred.

Notes

The sauteed mushrooms and toasted almonds warm this salad. If you prefer sprouts to be warmed, simply toss at the end of heating the mushrooms and stir for up to 3 minutes to warm. The dijon mustard is optional, but acts as a great emulsifier for the dressing.

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Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and recent transplant to Boulder, CO. After working as an inpatient dietitian for almost five years in Boston, she is expanding her expertise in the health and wellness industry. Katie is passionate about cooking and food photography, sharing her culinary adventures on her food blog, One Hungry Bunny, and exploring her new Rocky Mountain surroundings. Follow Katie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

Winter is coming and so is soup season! Try this Creamy Tomato Lentil soup recipe to keep you warm and satisfied! This recipe for a creamy tomato lentil soup uses low fat coconut milk and lentils to keep you feeling fulfilled with energy-boosting MCT fats, […]

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Bites

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Bites

A quick and elegant recipe pairing vitamin and fiber-rich cauliflower and Harissa spice! Harissa, simply put, will add spice to your life!  This Middle Eastern and North African food treasure (found in a paste or powder form) consists mainly of chilies, garlic, varying spices, and olive […]

Stir Fry Makeover: Curried Tofu and Rice Noodles

Stir Fry Makeover: Curried Tofu and Rice Noodles

Curried Tofu and Brown Rice Noodle Stir Fry

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Healthy version of a classic noodle stir fry!

Ingredients

  • 8oz brown rice noodles, uncooked
  • 8oz, extra firm tofu, cubed
  • Coconut oil, 1 tablespoon
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • one medium sized mild green chile, chopped finely
  • one bell pepper, sliced
  • 4oz Oyster mushroom, sliced
  • Red Curry Paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Sauce:
  • Low Sodium soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten free), 3 tablespoons
  • Maple syrup, 2 tablespoons
  • sesame oil, 1 teaspoon
  • lime juice, 2 tablespoons
  • crushed or minced garlic, 3 tablespoons
  • minced ginger, 1 tablespoon

Instructions

  1. Cook rice noodles according to instructions provided on food package (usually soaking in hot water then rinsing in cold water while draining).
  2. While noodles cook, press tofu on paper towel to remove excess moisture and set aside.
  3. Prepare sauce before stir frying the produce to prevent overcooking as the food items cook quickly on such a high heat. Place sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Feel free to add more or deduct ingredients based on your taste preference for the sauce. Set aside.
  4. For the tofu, heat the oil on medium high heat and sautee the tofu until golden (about 5 minutes).
  5. Remove the tofu and set aside. Add in the vegetables, mushrooms, and curry paste to the wok or pan. Saute until tender and curry spice becomes aromatic, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add in the noodles, tofu, and sauce that are set aside and cook for a minute to coat and mix.
  7. Remove from heat and serve.
  8. Additional lime juice and scallions on top is optional.
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Healthy version of a classic noodle stir fry!

Every weekend after doing my long run workout, I always crave Thai food stir fry for my takeout dinner treat; I finally decided to tackle the secret to delicious stir fry noodles and rice. Asian cooking is such a mystery to me with the exotic spices and flavors out there, and I wanted to explore how to create a healthier version at home.

According to cooksmarts.com, the basics for this Chinese style of cooking simply includes: a protein, aromatics (such as garlic and ginger), vegetables, and your sauce. I found this website incredibly helpful for building your stir-fry foundation, including different varieties of stir fry dishes.

The sauce is really based on your taste preference and creating your own ratio of the following ingredients: soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and cornstarch (for thickening). I completely improvised mine since I did not have cornstarch and rice wine vinegar. I decided to swap lime juice (as used in many Thai dishes) for the vinegar and maple syrup for the brown sugar to give its sweetness in the sauce (and no, I am not trying to reenact the scenes from Elf even though I absolutely love that movie).  By watching the sodium, I used low sodium soy sauce and to make the sauce gluten free, I would use Tamari in place of the soy sauce.

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Organization is Key in Stir Fry

The key to the stir-fry cooking method is preparation. Make sure you have all of the produce readily chopped or sliced before throwing it in the wok/pan or else you will end up with an overcooked meal. The sauce was very quick to make, so I did quickly whip this together while the vegetables were cooking.dsc_0815

The rice noodles are very easy to make and can be done while sautéing the produce. Most packages instruct you to soak the noodles in hot water as the cooking method, and then drain and rinse under cold water to separate.

 

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In this recipe, the first step after preparing everything was to saute the protein and then remove from heat and set aside; this prevents overcooking.  Next, add in the vegetables and aromatics (ginger, garlic, etc); I chose to use curry paste with the vegetables to give them a little heat and flavor.  The recipe for Vegan Singapore Noodles by Minimalist Baker (one of my favorite blogs) gave me this inspiration for the curry addition.  After sautéing your protein and veggies you’ll want to add in the noodles and sauce at the end and let it cook for a little longer to mix evenly.  This dish took less than a half hour to make and can be agreat weeknight meal for its easy prep and fast cooking time!