dinner

More Time Savers

Hello everybody, I hope you are having a great week so far. I'm keeping the same theme going as my last blog post...saving some time. I was talking about this with a client last week and she saw this same concept on one of the morning news shows. I love it! 

Making a double batch of roasted cauliflower that can be served at 3 meals with a different presentation each time saves us some time and gets us out of a rut.

Night one can be a simple side dish of roasted cauliflower. However with some unique spices, it doesn't have to be bland! 

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Night two use leftover cauliflower as part of a salad.

This salad is beautiful and so nutritious with lots of different flavors. That is where the extra roasted cauliflower can come in handy! This salad has a few steps so having the cauliflower done is a bonus. Click here for the recipe.

Lastly, for night three (or as part of a great lunch) soup is amazingly easy to make with leftover roasted cauliflower. Modify the recipe as needed depending on how much leftover veggies you have.

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Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Step one: Roast Cauliflower 

Cauliflower chopped into uniform pieces mixed with red onion, olive oil, cumin and turmeric makes for a great side dish for night one. Add 3 (whole slightly smashed) garlic cloves per tray of veggies (reserve for the soup recipe on the last night).

Step Two: Use leftover Cauliflower from Night one to add to salad for dinner tonight!

Although the salad recipe doesn't call for turmeric to be added to the cauliflower, it does call for it in the soup recipe so I just add it when roasting the initial batch of cauliflower. Tumeric contains curcumin a polyphenol with antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.

This salad calls for parsley as a green. Its a great source of Vitamins A, C and K, folate and Iron.  Give the parsley a try either as the sole green for the salad or in addition to other greens. I like using a variety of greens especially when you can use up what you have on hand. I love arugula, mixed greens and different varieties of kale in addition to the parsley.

The healthy plant based fats in the tahini dressing helps our body absorb the fat soluble vitamins found in the greens. Tahini (basically ground sesame seeds) gives a unique flavor to the salad. Sesame seeds are a good source calcium and magnesium. The dressing is quickly made in a blender or food processor with tahini, garlic, water, lemon juice and spices. If you don't like the heat, go easy on the cayenne pepper and add to taste. 

 Can of chickpeas drained and rinsed with some garlic powder smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and I added some chili powder as well. Saute' 5 minutes in a skillet with olive oil and add to the salad. A great source of soluble fiber to help with cholesterol lowering!

Can of chickpeas drained and rinsed with some garlic powder smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and I added some chili powder as well. Saute' 5 minutes in a skillet with olive oil and add to the salad. A great source of soluble fiber to help with cholesterol lowering!

Step Three: Use leftover cauliflower to make a flavorful soup.

I promise you the soup has very few steps and having the cauliflower already made, makes it a snap to get cauliflower in a different way. Basically chop onion or combo of onion, leek and celery, soften in a stock pot (5 minutes or less) with olive oil and the add vegetable or chicken stock and the leftover cauliflower, simmer 15 minutes and puree.

Don't worry about making the recipe exactly as it says. The recipe only calls for chopped onion but I love to add celery and the white part of a leek. After I made the salad the night before, I put the leftover cauliflower and chickpeas in one container in the frig. I wasn't then going to then pick out the chickpeas so...I added them all the leftovers to the soup. I left out the coconut milk since the chickpeas thickened it nicely. A little cilantro and cashews made a nice garnish for the soup. Click here for the recipe.

I love the variety of flavors and textures you can get from the same vegetable. I hope you do too!

 

Enjoy in good health!

Dinner Tonight and Another Favorite Thing!

Quick post for a quick meal. If you know me, you know I love a good one pot meal, less clean up and great way to get a lot of veggies in without making them separately. The nutrition pros: Vitamin E rich plant based fats, loads of veggies that range from vitamin A, B vitamins to vitamin C. Also, you have hit the jackpot when your teen says, "You have to make this often!" Not just a healthy dish but creamy and scrumptious too! 

You can use whatever veggies you like or have on hand but in my opinion the snow peas and red/orange peppers are a must. Garnish with cilantro and chopped green onion and serve with basmati rice or just as is!

  Thai Peanut Skillet Chicken, from  The Recipe Critic.  Click  here  for the recipe

Thai Peanut Skillet Chicken, from The Recipe Critic. Click here for the recipe

  Heres what you need... for a double recipe. 8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, a couple of carrots, 3-4 red and orange peppers, snow peas, garlic, limes, soy sauce, natural peanut butter, white vinegar and brown sugar and cayenne pepper (not pictured). I also added cilantro and green onion.

Heres what you need... for a double recipe. 8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, a couple of carrots, 3-4 red and orange peppers, snow peas, garlic, limes, soy sauce, natural peanut butter, white vinegar and brown sugar and cayenne pepper (not pictured). I also added cilantro and green onion.

  I doubled the recipe and used 8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs. I get in there with kitchen shears and cut out   as much of the yellow and white fat as possible. Brown 4-5 minutes on each side in a skillet with 2 Tbsp of oil.

I doubled the recipe and used 8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs. I get in there with kitchen shears and cut out as much of the yellow and white fat as possible. Brown 4-5 minutes on each side in a skillet with 2 Tbsp of oil.

  Add the carrots and peppers and cook with the chicken until chicken is done (165 degrees) remove from the skillet and set aside.

Add the carrots and peppers and cook with the chicken until chicken is done (165 degrees) remove from the skillet and set aside.

  Make the sauce: Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, brown sugar, water and garlic. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add cayenne pepper to your liking.

Make the sauce: Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, brown sugar, water and garlic. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add cayenne pepper to your liking.

  I add the snow peas here instead of steaming separately. Otherwise, it's not a true one pot meal!!

I add the snow peas here instead of steaming separately. Otherwise, it's not a true one pot meal!!

  Add the chicken and veggies back to the skillet and simmer 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken and veggies back to the skillet and simmer 3-5 minutes.

Lastly, enjoy your yummy, easy, healthy creation while sipping on my new favorite flavor of sparking water. I love this mango pineapple sparkling water. I am not paid to say that! :) I just really enjoy my sparkling water. And if you know me, you know that is so true!

This dish could easily be made with tofu as the protein and I will likely try that next time!

Enjoy in good health!

-Brenda

 

** Blog content may not be applicable to your condition. Please discuss individual nutritional needs with Brenda during scheduled visits.

 

A New Favorite Thing and a Quick Dinner Idea

Hi everyone, hope you have been enjoying the summer! I have a new favorite thing, well actually a couple, but I'll post more later. This gem is a wonderful convenience item you can feel good about eating...shaved brussels sprouts. I've always loved brussels sprouts and make them often. I'll probably love my new find even more in the winter months but I found some cool enough mornings and even a few evenings to roast these guys in the oven. If you can't imagine turning on the oven in mid August, this product can work well raw in a salad or a slaw as well or sautéed with other veggies.

 Trader Joes Shaved Brussels Sprouts.

Trader Joes Shaved Brussels Sprouts.

A quinoa or rice bowl makes for a quick, nutritious dinner.  You can vary the vegetables you add to the bowl and can vary the whole grain base. For my clients with diabetes, you can go heavier on the vegetable part of the base of the bowl. This is my own concoction and I have made it both with quinoa and with my favorite texmati brown rice.

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Quinoa bowl

with shrimp, fish, garlic, lemon, dried oregano, mushrooms, green onion, roasted broccoli and roasted shaved brussels sprouts.

Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package, takes about 15-20 minutes. I use chicken broth for the liquid for more flavor. You can also toast the quinoa before cooking as highlighted in a previous blog post here.

Roast shaved brussels spouts and small pieces of broccoli florets at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure broccoli is cut in size similar to the brussels sprouts to ensure even cooking.

While the quinoa and vegetables are cooking, saute sliced mushrooms in a small skillet with a little olive oil. I like them best when they are browned a bit.

 Mushrooms will give up their liquid so no need to use too much oil here.

Mushrooms will give up their liquid so no need to use too much oil here.

Slice 3-4 green onions and reserve for later.

For the protein I used 12-16 ounces of raw, deveined, shrimp and a 4-5 ounce piece of white fish cut in pieces sprinkled with some dried oregano and pinch of salt. Heat a skillet or grill pan that has approx 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1/2-1 Tbsp butter, add shrimp and pieces of white fish (I used cod here) and a couple cloves of minced garlic. The protein cooks quickly, maybe 5 minutes. If the shrimp you use is small (mine were larger size) you may want to add the fish first so they are done at the same time. Shrimp is done when it is pink and fish, when it flakes. I add lemon when it is done cooking.

To assemble the bowl, first add 3/4-1 cup cooked quinoa, then the sautéed mushrooms and fresh green onion. Add the broccoli and brussels sprout mixture and then shrimp/ fish on top. Add more lemon to taste. 

You can make this your own with different vegetables, grains and proteins. The raw green onions add a nice fresh texture and compliment to the other cooked veggies.

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Brown Rice bowl

with shrimp, fish, garlic, roasted cauliflower and red onion topped with roasted shaved brussels spouts and kale.

For my brown rice bowl I used shaved brussels spouts and chopped kale as a crunchy topping and roasted separately cauliflower and red onion for part of the base of the bowl. The shrimp and the fish are prepared as mentioned above in the quinoa bowl.

For more tips including how to add more flavor to the rice, check out a previous blog post about the rice and the quinoa. 

In the picture below I chopped some kale to roast with the shaved brussels sprouts for my rice bowl. Since the brussels sprouts are pretty fine, you need to cut whatever vegetable you are using pretty small so they are done at similar times. The crunch of the brussels sprouts and kale mixture help provide a different texture and flavor to the other vegetables and rice.

 Sliced kale with some shaved brussels sprouts, along with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Sliced kale with some shaved brussels sprouts, along with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

The nice thing about the size of the shaved brussels sprouts is that they are very quick to cook. Keep an eye on your oven so not to burn them.

 Topping for the rice bowl, DONE!

Topping for the rice bowl, DONE!

 Extra vegetables for the base of the bowl! Roasted separately at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Extra vegetables for the base of the bowl! Roasted separately at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

 Brown rice bowl with shrimp, fish, garlic, roasted cauliflower and red onion with kale and shaved brussels sprouts as a topping. 

Brown rice bowl with shrimp, fish, garlic, roasted cauliflower and red onion with kale and shaved brussels sprouts as a topping. 

Best in health!

-Brenda

** Blog content may not be applicable to your condition. Please discuss individual nutritional needs with Brenda during scheduled visits.