Sugar Snap Peas With Sesame

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Sugar snap peas are the perfect snack since they are lower in carbohydrates than regular peas, and they are  high in fiber, Vitamin C, K, B, and minerals. They are also less starchy than regular garden peas, so crunch away, free of guilt!

Here is a delicious way to get all the health benefits from sugar snap peas

1 pound of sugar snap peas
Dark sesame oil
Black or regular sesame seeds

Pick through the sugar snap peas to remove any that aren't perfect. Remove and discard the stem end and the string from each pod. Toss the sugar snap peas in a bowl with sesame oil and sesame seeds to taste. Serve at room temperature. 

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Asian Slaw

I was watching the Today Show this week, and saw Al Roker and a top chef make this Cole Slaw that accompanied a turkey burger. It looked easy, so I tried it out this week. It is delicious and can be made in minutes. Just allow at least 30 minutes for the dressing to fully absorb. The green apple is what makes it a standout!

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Ingredients:

  •  

    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 large green cabbage
    • 1/4 medium red cabbage
    • 2 carrots, peeled
    • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
    • 6 scallions, white and light green parts chopped
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

 

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, peanut oil, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, lime juice, salt and red pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days for the flavors to blend.

2. Using a sharp knife, core the cabbages. Finely shred with a sharp knife or shred in a food processor using the slicing blade. You should have about 5 cups of green cabbage and 4 cups of red cabbage. Shred the carrots in the food processor or on the largest hole of a box grater.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage, carrots, apples and scallions. You can do this several hours ahead of time. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

4. At least 30 minutes before serving, pour the dressing over the coleslaw, add the cilantro, and toss.

 

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Watermelon Sorbet

 INGREDIENTS  3 1/2 cups fresh seedless watermelon chunks, (about 1/2 medium watermelon)  2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice  1/4 cup warm water, as needed  raw honey (optional) to taste.*  * I did not use anything to sweeten my sorbet.     INSTRUCTIONS  Freeze watermelon chunks overnight. I lay mine out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the frozen watermelon chunks in a food processor or heavy duty blender, along with lime juice, and allow to sit for 5 minutes to slightly thaw.  Blend until smooth.  You may need to add some of the warm water and press down with a spatula to help the process along.  Eat immediately for a softer texture, or transfer into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 3-4 hours or until firm.

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups fresh seedless watermelon chunks, (about 1/2 medium watermelon)

2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup warm water, as needed

raw honey (optional) to taste.*

* I did not use anything to sweeten my sorbet.

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Freeze watermelon chunks overnight. I lay mine out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place the frozen watermelon chunks in a food processor or heavy duty blender, along with lime juice, and allow to sit for 5 minutes to slightly thaw.

Blend until smooth.  You may need to add some of the warm water and press down with a spatula to help the process along.

Eat immediately for a softer texture, or transfer into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 3-4 hours or until firm.

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Red, White and Blue Fro-Yo Bark

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This is super delicious and super low in calories The recipe is taken from one of my favorite low calorie food blogs, Hungry Girl. I insist that you make it immediately for a guilt free snack!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup natural light whipped topping (I use Cool Whip light)
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 packets no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia)
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
 

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (If it won’t fit in your freezer, use an 8" X 8" baking pan instead!) 

In a medium-large bowl, combine all ingredients except berries. Mix until smooth and uniform. 

Spread mixture onto the baking sheet in a thin layer, about 1/4 inch thick. 

Top with berries, and lightly press to adhere. 

Lightly cover with foil and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. 

Slice or break into 6 pieces. 

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

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Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies

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Ingredients:

Coconut oil for pan

1 cup creamy unsweetened, unsalted almond butter

1/2 cup pure grade A maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup of raw, cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, regular or decaf (optional)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini (about 2 small)

1 cup of chocolate chips

1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees f.

2. Grease an eight or nine inch square pan with coconut oil. 

3. In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, coffee powder (if using), egg, vanilla and baking soda until smooth.

4. Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts (if using).  Pour into prepared pan and bake until just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs.  Do not overbake.  A nine inch pan will take about 30 minutes; an eight inch pan will take about 35 minutes.

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Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad

 Here is an easy and light chicken dish,  perfect for an al fresco dinner this summer!

Here is an easy and light chicken dish,  perfect for an al fresco dinner this summer!

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Marinade:
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 clove minced garlic

     

  • Salad:
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 cups trimmed arugula
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Add all ingredients to list

Directions

 

  1. Pound chicken breasts on a work surface using a meat tenderizer or heavy pan to 1/4-inch thick. Whisk wine, juice of 1 lemon, shallot, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and garlic together in a shallow bowl. Add chicken breasts; marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk juice of 1 lemon, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lemon zest together in a large bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add arugula and tomatoes; toss to combine.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate, or heat a skillet over high heat.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade; season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  5. Cook chicken on preheated grill until golden brown and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Plate chicken with arugula salad on top.

 

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Blondies

Looking for an easy and delicious alternative to the chocolate chip cookie and brownie. Look no further. I have tried many a "blondie" recipe, and this one leaves the all in the dust!

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Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Other add-in options: walnuts, pecans, coconut or heath bits. 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 ℉
2. Line a 9X9 inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease, then set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
4. Place the butter or margarine into a large pot over low heat. Gently melt it. Remove from heat and, using a wooden spoon, mix in the light brown sugar and stir until mixed well and the sugar is melted. Cool for 5 minutes. Quickly whisk in the egg. Add vanilla and whisk again. With the wooden spoon, slowly add the flour mixture, stirring to incorporate. Mix the chocolate chips or any other add-ins, such as nuts, heath bits or coconut.
5. Scrape the batter into the  prepared pan, using a small spatula to smooth it evenly ito the corners. Level the top. 
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
7. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Don't over bake or the blondies will lose their signature chewiness!

 

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Szechuan Noodles

These noodles hit all the marks! They are delicious, good for you and kid friendly! You can turn this into a main dish by adding either gilled chicken or salmon, or for vegetarians, grilled tempeh.

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Ingredients:

1 box regular or protein enriched linguini
water as needed
kosher salt
1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons roasted or toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
15 snow peas, each sliced in half lengthwise
5-6 shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, stems discarded, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced into very thin 1/8 inch strips
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 scallions, roots trimmed and discarded, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:

1) Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
2) In a small pot, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, vinegar, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce, honey, garlic, salt and ginger. Heat over medium heat and whisk until smooth and warm.
3) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the veggies for 5-6 minutes until shiny and slightly limp.
4) In a large bowl toss the linguini with the peanut sauce and vegetables. Serve hot or at room temperature. If served at room temperature the sauce will thicken.

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Pea Pesto and Burrata Crostini

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Ingredients:

1 (10 ounce) package of froazen peas, thawed, or 10 ounces fresh peas, blanched and cooled
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

For the Crostini:

1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic

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For assembly:

6 ounces Burrata cheese
Pea tendrils or extra basil and/or mint

To make the pesto:

In a large food processor, combine the peas, basil, mint, garlic, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Pulse for 45 seconds until the peas are broken down and chunky.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

To make the crostini:

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium high heat>
Generously drizzle the baguette slices with oil on both sides. Using tongs, transfer the slices of bread to the hot griddle and toast for a few minutes, until golden brown. Flip and toast the bread on the other side for a minute more. Remove the griddle and set aside. Carefully rub the garliciver the tasted bread.

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To assemble:

Slather 2 tablespoons of the pea pesto on top of each crostini. Add a tablespoon or two of burrata cheese and garnish with the pea tendrils, mint or basil leaves.

 

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Raw Date Bars

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If you're anything like me, you are constantly on the go. These raw date bars are full of so many good things that I pop a small one into my mouth whenever I need a quick pick me up, without the guilt!

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Ingredients:

1 cup Quick Oats
4 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
10-12  Dates, Seeded and Chopped
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
Unsweetened Coconut Flakes for Topping

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
2) Mix the oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds,  sunflower seeds and coconut oil together in a bowl, evenly coating the granola mixture with the oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3) Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake for 10 minutes more, or until golden brown.
4) Let cool for five to ten minutes.
5) To create the bars, mix the warm granola with the chopped dates in a large bowl and stir with a large wooden spoon, cutting the mixture together until it is completely combined. Add the walnuts for extra crunch if desired. 
6) Line an 8x8 glass dish with parchment paper, and evenly press the date and granola mix into the prepared dish. Sprinkle coconut flakes on top.
7) Cover the top with plastic wrap, and freeze the bars for two to three hours.
8) Slice and serve.
9) To store, wrap the bars in parchment paper and store in the refrigerate.

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