Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Southwest Quinoa Burger

My husband found this recipe in Men’s Health magazine and we tried cooking it together.  It was very easy to make and turned out way better than we expected.  It did actually look and taste very similar to a real burger.   And, the southwest flavoring made for exceptional taste.  You can consider it husband approved (a very manly vegan burger for the carnivore in your life).

This burger is high in fiber and protein without any saturated fat like beef burgers.  Quinoa is one of the main ingredients so you know you are getting a complete protein, fiber and important nutrients.  Plus, it is a great way to incorporate antioxidant-rich, heart-healthy black beans into your diet. 

  • 2/3 cup quinoa dry (Men’s Health magazine suggests using black quinoa so your patty will look more like beef)
  • 2/3 cup oats (you can use gluten free oats if you are keeping a gluten free diet)
  • 1 ¾ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

Southwest Flavoring
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely

  • Can opener
  • Food processor
  • Medium sized pot
  • Measuring tools
  • Colander
  • Nonstick skillet

  1. Cook quinoa in 2 cups of water until all liquid is absorbed and the seed pops
  2. Combine all ingredients and flavoring in a food processor
  3. Form the mixture into patties
  4. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on your nonstick skillet
  5. Sear patties for 3-5 minutes on each side (they should be crispy on the outside)

Serving Suggestions
  • I recommend adding a slice of tomato, sprouts, lettuce and thinly sliced avocado to your whole wheat buns before enjoying.
  • If you are following a gluten free diet you can enjoy the burger on its own with freshly sliced tomato and avocado on a bed of lettuce and sprouts.
  • Another fun idea is to add homemade guacamole to your patty.

Nutrition Facts
According to Men’s Health magazine, each patty is:
170 calories, 7 grams (g) of protein, 28 g carbs (6 g fiber), 4 g fat, 150 mg sodium

This recipe was adapted from: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/hold-meat

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sensational Summer Salad

Flavorful, healthy ingredients, refreshing – this salad has it all!  Summer is not over yet!


The Star
  • Grilled sockeye salmon (wild not farm raised and fresh not frozen is best)

(season salmon with extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and onion powder then grill)

The Lettuce
Grilled Salmon

  • Arugula
  • Frisee
  • Spinach

(mix together in large bowl)

  • Fresh basil, cut into thin strips
  • Jicama, sliced
  • Radishes, thinly sliced

Peach and Mango Salsa
  • 2 yellow peaches and 1 mango, diced
  • Red onion, diced
  • Avocado, chunked
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic, pressed
  • 1 lemon, squeezed

(mix all ingredients together in bowl and let marinate for 15+ minutes)

Salad Dressing
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balmasic vinegar
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, fresh squeezed
  • 5-10 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed

(blend all ingredients in mini food processor until smooth)

How to dish it
  1. Add desired amount of salad dressing to the lettuce in large mixing bowl and toss
  2. Place mixed lettuce on large plate and add toppings around perimeter
  3. Place salmon (fresh off the grill) on the center of the plate on top of lettuce/toppings
  4. Spoon the peach and mango salsa on top of salmon

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries

This undercover vegetable is a fun and nutritious appetizer that is great to snack on before or during dinner.

  • 1 12 oz. bag of sweet potato spears (peeled, cut and ready to cook)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Throw the spears into a large zip lock bag and mix in all ingredients to evenly coat
  3. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil
  4. Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet
  5. Bake for 20 minutes
  6. Turn spears over and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until crispy and brown
  7. Serve immediately (makes approximately 4 servings)

Health Benefits
Excellent source of vitamin A (one serving has 240% of your Daily Value) and a good source of fiber (one serving has 3 grams). 

Remind me why I need vitamin A?
Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and bone growth.  Vitamin A also helps regulate the immune system, which helps prevent or fight off infections.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Pasta with Wild Shrimp & Fresh Herbs

Spring is here and that means fresh herbs and fresh produce.  Spring is a wonderful time for light dishes like this refreshing pasta dish that gains all its flavor from fresh parsley, dill, basil, a splash of white wine and sweet wild shrimp.  Plus, it features asparagus which peaks this time of year.  This recipe has earned me rave reviews and is truly a healthy option.  It makes for a fantastic lunch on a nice spring day or a light dinner.

Serves 4

  • 1 pound whole-wheat pasta (or brown rice pasta for gluten free diets) – linguini works well as the noodle is flat and does a great job of holding the flavors of this dish
  • 2 tbsp white wine (pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc works well)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10-12 spears of asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 inch chunks
  • 5 sprigs of spring onions, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chunked
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pound fresh, wild shrimp (tip: ask for them peeled, deveined and tail removed)
  • 1 cup fresh dill, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil, rinsed and chopped

  1. Strainer
  2. Large pot
  3. Large sauté pan
  4. Knife
  5. Cutting board
  6. Measuring tools

  1. Boil water in large pot and add pasta.  Pasta should be cooked al dente for this recipe.  Drain pasta and set aside.
  2. Cut the asparagus and add to a large sauté pan with olive oil.
  3. Add tomatoes, spring onions, shrimp and wine and let simmer on medium heat.
  4. Add garlic, pepper and sea salt as the dish simmers.
  5. Once the shrimp turn pink*, add the pasta and stir to distribute the ingredients evenly.  You want the noodles to be covered in the sauce.
  6. 1-2 minutes before serving, add the fresh herbs.  The herbs are best added at the end so they don’t wilt and lose their flavor.

Health Benefits
This dish is high in fiber from the whole grain pasta and the veggies.  Plus, both the asparagus and tomatoes are rich in vitamin A and C.  This dish also offers up lean protein from the shrimp.  Eating seafood like shrimp will help meet the USDA recommendation of including at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood to your diet each week.

*Be sure not to overcook the shrimp or they will get rubbery.

This recipe was modified from the wonderful Giada.  Her original recipe can be found here.

Fresh Juiced Orange Juice

What is better than fresh squeezed orange juice?  Fresh juiced orange juice (using a juicing machine).  Juicing a full orange is frothier and more flavorful than its squeezed counterpart.  Oranges contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that strengthens our immune system while neutralizing toxins in the body. 

Try a cold glass of fresh juiced orange juice for an invigorating and healthy way to start your day! 

Serves 2

  • 2 whole navel oranges
  • 2 strawberries for garnish (optional)
  1. One knife
  2. Cutting board
  3. Juicing machine
  1. Put ice in juicing cup (so juice is immediately chilled once dispensed from machine)
  2. Using a knife, cut off the orange peel (but leave as much of the rind as possible for a frothy texture)
  3. Turn juicer on low and juice the two oranges
  4. Pour into two glasses (leaving ice behind) and garnish with an orange slice

Health Notes
  1. Fresh juice should be eaten soon after preparation.
  2. Juicing fruit removes the healthy fiber which aids in digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer.  Juicing is not necessarily healthier than eating the whole fruit.  In fact, there is no scientific evidence that your body absorbs more nutrients from fresh juice.  That being said, it is still a fun treat and a great way to incorporate fruit into your diet if you are not a fan of eating whole fruit.