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

Tag: vegetarian

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Winter is here and so is the desire for comfort food! Try this healthier casserole version of a Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake!   Mash it up! Nope, not potatoes this time! Instead, I am talking about the nutritious and versatile cauliflower! Sneak in this cruciferous […]

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 […]

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Good things come in small sizes! Enjoy these inidividual mini cheesecake bites, bursting with berries and rhubarb, for under 200 calories!

 

More than a Pie Filling!

We may recognize rhubarb as the perfect pairing for strawberries in pies and jams. Its natural tartness balances out the sweetness of fruits like strawberries and blueberries. Besides delicious desserts, rhubarb can make an excellent addition to savory dishes such as a fish topping or even a fancy cocktail. Get them while you still can! Rhubarb season generally peaks between April to late June.

Ranging from light green to a gorgeous pink hue resembling colorful celery stalks, rhubarb is loaded with beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins C and K, and heart healthy potassium. In only a 1/2 cup serving, rhubarb contains at least 1 gram of fiber and only 13 calories. For more about the benefits on rhubarb feel free to visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Magazine.

 

 

mini cheesecake
Using granola as a crust adds in healthier fats and protein!

 

 

mini cheesecake
Mini cheesecake bites prior to raspberry topping!

 

 

Mini Cheesecake for One

These individual mini cheesecake bites are fun for a group or even solo! Each bite sized treat is less than 200 calories!  Thanks to the addition of greek yogurt and fruit, this cheesecake has much less saturated fat and sugar. Instead of graham cracker crust most commonly seen in cheesecake recipes, I used a granola with less added sugar. Many granola products can carry excessive amounts of added sugar, so always check the nutrition label and aim for less than 10 grams of added sugar per serving.  My new local favorite, Boulder Granola, carries only 2 grams of sugar per serving.

This cheesecake recipe took a few attempts to get the right consistency and flavor. Actually, this was my first experience making cheesecake. I guess you can say I go more for savory than sweet! Baking continues to be a mystery, but as long as I have my blog I will continue to share my adventures in the kitchen!

 

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 12 mini cheesecake bites

Serving Size: 1 cheesecake

Calories per serving: 191

Fat per serving: 11

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Ingredients

  • Granola Crust:
  • 2 cups granola
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Filling:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package of cream cheese (1/3 less fat version used in this recipe), softened at room temperature
  • 6 oz whole milk greek yogurt, strained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, finely chopped (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup rhubarb, finely chopped (thawed if frozen)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Prior to preparing the cheesecake filling and crust, set aside a greased 12 muffin tin ( I used parchment paper cupcake liners).
  3. In a large food processor, pulse together the granola and oil.
  4. Evenly distribute the crust mixture to the bottom of the muffin tins, about 1-2 tablespoons per scoop. Press down with your fingers or using the back of a spoon flatten out the crusts. Bake the mini crusts for 5 minutes in the oven or until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine, combine all of the cheesecake filling ingredients except the egg and fruits. Using a mixer, whip all of the ingredients until a smooth consistency is formed. Make sure there are no clumps of cheesecake. Add the egg and whip until incorporated (do not overmix the egg). Stir in the fruit. If you prefer pureed fruit, blend together the rasperries and rhubarb in a blender or food processor prior to baking.
  6. Spoon the cheesecake filling up to the top of the muffin tins. Gently transfer the muffin pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes (or until the middle of each cheesecake slightly jiggles).
  7. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool. Transfer the muffin tins to the refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours to let the cheesecakes set.
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Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

Try these protein-packed frittata muffins for your next brunch or meal prep for a busy week ahead in only 30 minutes!   Skipping breakfast due to a hectic work schedule? Or planning a summer brunch with friends? These vegetable frittata muffins are quick and guaranteed tasty!  […]

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 […]

Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade

Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade

This all-time favorite dip is getting a makeover for grilling season! Try this new recipe for my Grilled Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade!

 

I received free samples of Sabra Hummus mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the con- test. I was not compensated for my time.

Share the goodness!

When it comes to hummus, many of us think of it as the delicious and creamy dip that it is. Served with pita bread, vegetables, and even pretzels, hummus has always been a snack favorite! And just in time for National Hummus Day this May 13th, why not try it as a marinade?

This all natural hummus by Sabra makes a great alternative to your favorite marinade. Instead of coating your favorite protein food in oil, replacing it with hummus will actually provide more plant based protein and fiber, thanks to chickpeas as the main ingredient. In fact, hummus packs in almost 10g protein per 1/2 cup serving in addition to 8 grams of fiber! Even better? Hummus is naturally lower in fat (compared to most cream dips) and provides heart healthy plant-based fats.

 

 

hummus marinade
Delicious Sabra hummus is about to become a marinade!

 

hummus marinade
You can never go wrong with the Classic hummus flavor!

 

For the hummus marinade…

In this recipe, I marinated the tofu cubes and shrimp in the hummus blend overnight. The Sabra hummus comes in many flavors, ranging from Roasted Red Pepper to a delicious Basil Pesto, however I ended up using the more subtle Classic and Roasted Garlic versions. Hummus is very thick for a marinade and if you prefer a thinner consistency, I would recommend mixing some of the hummus with plain yogurt or additional olive oil.  There are so many excellent choices for fresh herbs to mix in the hummus marinade, and the same goes for spices. Next time, I will have to try adding sumac or harissa in the marinade for a little more bite! The protein choices in this recipe are versatile too; if you are more of a chicken or steak fan then go for it!

Besides the ingredients, different cooking methods using the hummus marinade are also doable. Coating your favorite meat or tofu prior to baking or sauteing can also work here. The options are endless, and so are the reasons to include this plant based protein in your next meal!

 

hummus marinade
Tofu and shrimp coated in a hummus marinade

 

 

 

Hummus Marinated Tofu and Shrimp Skewers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Hummus Marinated Tofu and Shrimp Skewers

Thanks to living in an apartment with no backyard, I used a grill pan for grilling these skewers. If you prefer a gas grill, make sure to heat the grill to medium heat for at least 15 minutes before cooking to allow the grill to heat up properly.

Ingredients

  • Hummus Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup Sabra Classic Hummus (or other flavors)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 10-12 medium or large shrimp, previously frozen and thawed (can be raw or cooked)
  • Optional: Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of plain yogurt for a thinner consistency
  • Optional: Sliced peppers and mushrooms, or other vegetables of your choice for grilling.

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the hummus, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs until well combined. Set aside the hummus marinade.
  2. Coat the tofu evenly with the marinade and store in an airtight container. Place the marinated tofu in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to several hours).
  3. Coat the shrimp with the remaining marinade and store in an airtight container. Place the dish in the refrigerator just like the tofu and keep chilled for at least 30 minutes to several hours.
  4. Once the tofu and shrimp are both ready for grilling, using the sharp end of the skewer, thread the skewer through the tofu and shrimp (and vegetables if using in this recipe).
  5. Using a grill pan, spray a non-stick cooking spray evenly on the pan prior to use. Heat on medium-high and grill the tofu and shrimp until browning, about 5-10 minutes while flipping over frequently for even grilling. If cooking with raw shrimp, make sure the shrimp is completely opaque and pink.

Notes

* The garlic and fresh herbs were finely chopped in a food processor prior to preparation. If preferred, finely chop the herbs and garlic by hand.

I kept the shrimp and tofu separate for the marinade to prevent food contamination and for vegetarians in my household.

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Roasted Fennel and Citrus Barley Salad

Roasted Fennel and Citrus Barley Salad

This light, yet hearty roasted fennel and barley salad paired with a citrus dressing will keep you feeling satisfied this spring season!

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Put those nutritious vegetable scraps to good use this Earth Day! Try this Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna and learn more about ways to reduce food waste!   I am very happy to introduce you to a new colleague of mine in the food blogging world! Jenna Gorham, a […]

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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Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

For a healthy take on a traditional favorite this Passover, try this vegetarian matzo ball soup with inflammation-fighting turmeric and fresh dill! It turns out that matzo ball soup, one of the most traditional and simple dishes at Passover, is not so simple!  There are many […]


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