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

Tag: gluten free

Breakfast Polenta: Simple, Sweet, Savory

Breakfast Polenta: Simple, Sweet, Savory

Tired of oatmeal every morning? Try breakfast polenta as your next sweet or savory brunch alternative!   A-maize-ing Polenta Are you more of a sweet or savory breakfast eater?  Most days I crave eggs during the week, but on weekends I am ready for a […]

Creamy Peanut Butter Strawberry Chia Pudding

Creamy Peanut Butter Strawberry Chia Pudding

A new summer treat filled with healthy fats and protein! Try my new Strawberry Chia Pudding with a chocolate peanut butter topping!   I received free samples of the NuGo nutrition bars mentioned in this post. I was compensated for this blog post.   You could say […]

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 makes it so tempting? And I am not sure about you, but it is quite difficult to stop eating it after just a few bites! To give this popular snack favorite a fresh update for spring, I added in green peas!

pea guacamole
Peas are great fresh or frozen in this green pea guacamole!

Give peas a chance

I could write a whole post about the nutritious benefits of avocados. But, the bad can outweigh the good if you eat too much of a nutritious food. The same goes for nuts, another heart-healthy fat. In a recommended serving size, these healthy fats provide benefits, but too much leads to excessive fat and calories. Just this past summer, the newest guidelines released by the FDA states that 1/3 of a medium avocado is a serving size. This one serving provides 11% of the Daily Value for fiber! Previously, 1/4 of an avocado was the recommended serving. Seeing how beneficial these unsaturated fats were making an impact on our health, the guidelines were changed. This made Registered Dietitians (including myself) very happy!

Keeping in mind that 1/3 of an avocado is a serving, it is easy to exceed these portions in guacamole. This peas in this guacamole blend add in protein and fiber (just like avocados), and cuts down the calorie content. One cup of green peas provides 7 g fiber, 8 grams of protein (almost twice the protein in an avocado serving), and 1/3 the calories compared to avocados.

 

pita chips
Freshly baked pita chips in under 10 minutes!

 

 

pea guacamole
The perfect dip!

In this pea guacamole recipe…

This dish works great as a dip with the suggested pita chips or even your favorite vegetables! With leftovers that were not out for more than two hours at room temperature, store in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for three months. This dip also works as an excellent sandwich spread or even as a pizza topping. If you prefer an alternative to the avocado, feel free to use an extra 1/2 cup of green peas and one or two tablespoons of olive oil to add a source of healthy fats.

 

 

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

Ingredients

  • Green Pea Dip:
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed
  • 2 cups green peas (thawed if frozen)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1-2 scallions, chopped, stems removed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Crushed red pepper chili flakes for topping, optional
  • Pita Chips:
  • 3 large whole wheat pitas cut into wedges (about 8 wedges per pita loaf)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Spread the pita wedges on a greased on non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crispy.
  2. While the pita chips are baking, combine all of the ingredients for the pea dip into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are blended and a creamy consistency is formed. Transfer to a bowl. Serve with the pita chips or your favorite vegetables as a fun snack or appetizer.

Notes

Each serving mentioned in the Nutrition Facts includes 4 pita wedges.

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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 […]

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. Tacos are, as we know, delicious, but they are also extremely versatile.  Whether it is vegetarian, gluten free, or dairy free, tacos can meet your dietary needs. The basics of a taco include your choice of protein, vegetables, and toppings. Another plus? Taco dinners are affordable! This simple-to-make meal consists of tortillas that can average under $3 for a pack ranging from twelve to even thirty count. Any leftover tortillas can easily be frozen and used for a quick weekday meal. Did I mention these mushroom tacos took less than 30 minutes to make?

“Tastes Like Chicken”

Most traditional ingredients in tacos are of Mexican cuisine.  I wanted to try a fun take on tacos by using King Oyster mushrooms that I had recently purchased at the local asian market. If you are not familiar with King Oyster mushrooms, these are your new favorite meat alternative! Some will say they taste like chicken, or even scallops. I first tried them with pasta over the summer for a seafood substitute; let’s just say I fell in love.

King Oyster mushrooms look just as they sound:  they are a “king size” version of the oyster mushroom. Don’t let the funny appearance fool you, once sliced, they look like scallops or white meat. Unlike other mushrooms with a woody-textured stem, you can eat the entire king oyster mushroom. Try these delicious mushrooms in any dish you choose. Instead of tacos, they are excellent in pasta, stir fries, soups, and even as a side with your favorite meat dish.  The food blog, The Kitchn, has an excellent article for more about King Oyster mushrooms.

 

mushroom tacos
Is it sliced King Oyster Mushrooms or scallops?

 

Mushroom Tacos for a Plant-based Taco Tuesday!

Mushrooms are an excellent source of protein for a plant-based, meat free meal. Did you know these fabulous fungi rich in vitamins and minerals are also immune-boosting? High in Selenium and Niacin, mushrooms are being studied for their potential use in fighting inflammation and strengthening our immune defense system.

For this recipe, I roasted the mushrooms to bring out more flavor. If you prefer not using your oven, sauteeing makes them just as tasty.  For an asian inspired meal, I topped the mushroom tacos with antioxidant-boosting red cabbage and carrots. Regular green cabbage can also work here to give it a crunchy texture with additional nutrition benefits. I used a miso dressing balanced with sweet pineapple instead of avocado. Miso gives it a nice umami taste, but if you do not have miso, feel free to use more plain yogurt for a creamy texture. Personally, I absolutely love mushrooms.  If you can’t stand mushrooms (I know you are out there!) feel free to try it with beans or tofu as a lean protein and plant based substitute.

 

Roasted Mushroom Tacos with Pineapple Miso Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 2-3 tacos

Roasted Mushroom Tacos with Pineapple Miso Dressing

Ingredients

  • 8-12 ounces King Oyster Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (or any mushroom variety of your choice)*
  • Olive oil to taste
  • 10-12 small corn or flour tortillas (if gluten sensitive, make sure certified gluten free)
  • Optional toppings: red cabbage, carrots
  • Pineapple Miso Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (if gluten sensitive, use Gluten Free certified Tamari)
  • 1 tablespoon Miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (replace with dairy alternative if vegan preferred)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the sliced mushrooms on a sheet pan or cookie sheet. Toss with olive oil and black pepper. Do not add salt just yet because it will cause the mushrooms to shrink. Feel free to add salt after cooking.
  2. Roast for 20 minutes or until desired level of roasting.
  3. While the mushrooms cook, place all of the ingredients of the dressing in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  4. Warm the tortillas in the oven while the mushrooms have a few minutes of cooking remaining.
  5. Once the mushrooms and tortillas are ready, fill the tacos with the mushrooms and add any toppings of your choice (I used cabbage and carrots) and the dressing.
  6. For a complete and balanced meal, serve with a side salad or non-starchy vegetable of your choice.

Notes

* King Oyster Mushrooms do not require removing the stem. If you are using other mushrooms, I would recommend removing the stems as other types have a woody texture.

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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 […]

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, plant-based proteins, and fiber! With all of the packed nutrients, the soup still contains way less calories than its creamy counterparts!

As the temperatures drop, the cravings for these comforting and hearty soups start to rise! Cream-based or cheesy soups, such as Clam Chowder and Baked Potato, might look delicious this time of year. The empty calories and sodium might not be so pretty. Thanks to heavy amounts of fats and excess salt, these soups can serve up to 300 calories and 800mg sodium in just one 8oz serving. Yeah, I’m all set thanks!

tomato lentil soup
Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup Ingredients

 

Wait, isn’t saturated fat trendy again?

Since the release of conflicting reports on the link between saturated fat intake and heart disease risk, the mention of fat consumption in the media have skyrocketed. Research and health professionals, such as myself, still advise consumers to eat saturated fats in moderation. The current guideline is an aim of 10% or less of your total calories. Even the American Heart Association suggests to aim at 5-6% of your calories from saturated fats found in foods such as butter, meats, and dairy. Saturated fat is not our enemy. It even helps raise our HDL (good) cholesterol. Overall, keeping saturated fats in moderation and replacing the majority of our total fat intake (25-30% of our daily calories) with plant-based unsaturated fats gives the greater benefit for heart health. There is even research discussing the type and size of fat particles and not so much the cholesterol numbers, but that is a whole other topic.

Coconut milk and coconut oil are another craze thanks to their source of MCT’s. Again, there is not enough research to back up the claims of MCT (medium chain triglyceride) fats for heart health and other preventions for disease risk. Currently, MCT oil is used for people with GI issues as it is easily absorbed.   It is used more rapidly as energy instead of being stored which could be great for athletes and fitness buffs. Besides the discussed benefit of MCT’s in coconut milk, also be aware that it includes high amounts of saturated fat. Just because these products are a trend doesn’t mean to go and replace it with all of your food products. Consuming everything in moderation remains the motto.

In this recipe…

The flavors in this delicious and hearty soup are slightly spicy and smoky. If spicy isn’t your thing, cut out the red chili pepper flakes. The smoked paprika and cumin enhance smokiness to the lentil soup, but if you like a sweeter or more savory taste, try basil or oregano for an Italian style dish.

The tomato lentil soup is vegan and gluten-free friendly. For those strictly vegan, I would recommend sprinkling nutritional yeast as a topping to sneak in more B12 as this vitamin is mainly available in animal sources. Feel free to try the Braggs nutritional yeast seasoning blend (I also top it on popcorn for a different taste).

 

tomato lentil soup

 

This recipe also includes a handheld immersion blender to puree the chunky soup. If you do not have one, no worries! You can pour the soup in batches into a blender and then return to the pot.

I hope you enjoy the rich and tasty soup during the cold winter months ahead. Most importantly, remember it is the quality of foods that matters most!

 

 

Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup

Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetarian broth (or substitute with chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes, No Salt Added
  • 1 14oz can Lite Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup dried red lentils

Instructions

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil on medium high. Add the onions and garlic; saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender.
  4. Remove from heat and take out the bay leaf.
  5. Using an immersion blender, pulse and puree the soup to your liking. If you don't have a handheld immersion blender, pour the soup in batches into a blender and pulse until pureed soup.
  6. Top with additional parsley and red pepper flakes (optional).
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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 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.

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 […]


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