Kale Salad with Quinoa & Cranberries

This delicious, hearty salad makes a satisfying meal in itself.

Adapted from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, center ribs removed, leaves shredded
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dressing:
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed, grated, or finely minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

This salad is also great with Almost Nonfat Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing

Directions

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing or place in a jar and shake well.
  2. Shred the kale as finely as possible. Place in a salad bowl and gently massage the kale with your hands until it starts to break down.
  3. Add the quinoa, almonds, cranberries, parmesan, and dressing, and toss well to combine.
  4. Allow to sit 5 minutes and toss again.

Overnight Buttermilk Oat Bran Muffins

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

These are the most tender, delicious bran muffins ever!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (113g) boiling water
  • 2 cups (43g) wheat bran (not flakes) I use Bob Red Mill’s Oat Bran
  • 1/3 cup (67g) vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (119g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose) I use King Arthur’s
  • 1/2 cup (99g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (283g) buttermilk (or plain yogurt thinned out with milk)
  • 1/4 cup (53g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup fruit (I like blueberries and banana chunks)
  • Chopped pecans to sprinkle on top (optional)

Directions

The night before:
  1. In a small mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over the half cup of cereal. When cooled, mix in the vegetable oil and egg.
  2. While the water/bran mixture cools, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the raisins.
  3. In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and brown sugar, and stir into the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in remaining cereal, then the softened bran mixture.
  5. Cover the batter and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F for 15 minutes.
  2. Line a muffin tin with papers, and spray the insides of the papers. Or just grease the muffin cups themselves, if you like a crustier muffin edge.
  3. If using blueberries, fold them into the batter along with the bananas. If not using blueberries, stir the bananas into the batter batter once or twice, then scoop a heaping 1/4-cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.
  4. Sprinkle pecans on top of some or all of the muffins.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven, cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.

Zucchini Parmesan (low fat)

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Adapted from NYT Cooking.

This is a delicious dish that will make a zucchini lover out of anyone. Serve alongside pasta to make it a complete meal.

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1-28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes (preferably SM brand pictured below)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

For the Zucchini

  • 2 to 2¼ pounds zucchini
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

For the sauce:

  1. To make tomato sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and basil sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high. When tomatoes are bubbling briskly, stir and simmer about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

For the zucchini

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.
  2. Trim ends off zucchini and cut in half crosswise, then into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.
  3. Place sliced zucchini in a bowl and toss with olive oil.
  4. Arrange zucchini slices on baking sheets in one layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the underside and tender (it’s ok if it doesn’t get browned).
  6. Remove zucchini from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.

To assemble:

  1. Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce over bottom of dish.
  2. Arrange a third of the zucchini in an even layer over tomato sauce.
  3. Spoon a third of remaining sauce over zucchini.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  5. Repeat with 2 more layers, ending with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  6. Drizzle on little bit of olive oil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
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This is my favorite brand for canned tomatoes

Baked Oatmeal Cups

I absolutely love this recipe for baked oatmeal cups! You can eat them on the go as you would a muffin, or enjoy them hot out of the oven in a bowl with milk.

Ingredients

A note about the sugar content –
When refrigerated, these muffins taste perfectly sweet. When they are hot, they tastes almost completely unsweetened.
To serve hot, place one or two muffins in a bowl and break them up. Top with brown sugar or maple syrup, raisins, and a drizzle of milk. Enjoy as you would any other ordinary bowl of oatmeal.
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries or chopped apple or 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup almonds, pecans or other

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with butter, oil, or cooking spray.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, except blueberries and nuts, in a bowl.
  3. Fold in the blueberries or mix in chocolate chips.
  4. Fill muffin cups all the way to the top.
  5. Sprinkle nuts on top (or any toppings desired).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  7. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack.
  8. Store in the refrigerator.

Beaming Rockstar Smoothie Copycat (my favorite smoothie)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Almond milk
  • Coconut water (at the end if needed for thinning)
  • 1/2 frozen banana or (1/4 Avocado to make low-glycemic)
  • 1 date or (1 teaspoon Yacon syrup to make low glycemic) (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Beaming *Protein Powder
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 teaspoon coconut butter (optional)
  • 5 cubes of Ice
  • Add: blue spirulina, adaptogenic mushroom blend (I skip this)

My additions – sometimes I throw in a spoonful of cacao nibs or 2 tablespoons of granola

*A comparable protein powder substitute that is much more affordable. I use 1 scoop of the unflavored whey plus 1/2 scoop of MRM Vanilla Veggie Protein with Superfoods (see image below).

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a high speed or regular blender. If adding cacao nibs, blend a bit first and add at the end to maintain crunch.

My sub for Beaming Protein Powders. Veggie one found at Sprouts. Unflavored on Amazon.

Beet & Carrot Salad with Black Rice & Kale

This salad is inspired by Mendocino Farms’ Healthiest Side Dish in the World.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup uncooked black (aka forbidden rice)
  • 1/2 pound raw beets, peeled & shredded (about 3 small)
  • 1/2 pound shredded carrots, shredded (about 3 medium)
  • 2 cups packed shredded kale (about 3 stems)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (I also like chopped pecans)
  • a few tablespoons chopped, fresh mint
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper

Dressing

Adapted from recipe found here

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Directions

  1. Boil the black rice in about 1 1/3 cups of water until tender, approximately 45 minutes (or follow package instructions); drain.
  2. Shred the beets and carrot (I use the shredder attachment for my food processor).
  3. Remove the stems from the kale and shred or chop finely.
  4. Meanwhile, place all ingredients for dressing into a jar with a tight fitting lid.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and toss with about half of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing as needed.

Overnight Oats (Swiss Bircher Muesli)

My new favorite breakfast! Delicious, Bircher Muesli is a Swiss recipe that precedes overnight oats. It’s basically the same thing, but almost always includes yogurt and grated apples. Traditionally, the oats are soaked overnight in apple juice, but I prefer to soak them in milk, along with all the other ingredients.

Inspired by Pret a Manger

2- 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (or granola)
  • 1 cup milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 large apple, coarsely grated (I use a large grater)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1.5 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon honey, more to drizzle on top
  • Pumpkin seeds or sliced almonds and pomegranate seeds for topping

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients (except toppings) in a bowl.
  2. Allow to soak overnight or at least 3 hours.
  3. Top with pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of honey.


Egyptian Barley Salad

Original recipe by Americas Test Kitchen

When I made this I found it needed additional dressing than the recipe called for.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups pearl barley (do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ cup)
  • 6 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Cook barley according to package instructions, as brands may differ; or try ATK’s instructions: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain barley, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk oil, molasses, cinnamon, cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Add barley, raisins, cilantro, and pistachios and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread barley salad evenly on serving platter and arrange feta, scallions, and pomegranate seeds in separate diagonal rows on top. Drizzle with extra oil and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 41g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 7g fiber, 320mg sodium


Horseradish Coleslaw

Light, crisp, tangy horseradish coleslaw. My mom had a salad like this while visiting Prague recently and it’s become a new family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Shredded Green and Red Cabbage with Orange Carrots
  • 1/2 apple, chopped

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper, to taste

Directions

Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a jar and shake well; taste. If it’s too tart, add a teaspoon of mayonnaise, or a little more olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss.


Turkey & Black Bean Chili

Adapted from Matt Martinez

One of my favorite one-pot meals. This is a quick and incredibly flavorful turkey chili with vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt (I use 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 3/4 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sweet white onions
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped green chilies
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole stewed tomatoes (I drain the tomato juice into the pot and then chop up the tomatoes into smaller pieces before adding them to the pot).
  • 2 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (I use one pepper and remove the seeds)
  • 1 cup fresh corn (I use frozen)
  • 1 cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chicken stock (add additional broth or water if using black beans, approximately 3/4 cup, to desired consistency)
  • I like to add 1 can black beans, drained and barely rinsed

Directions

  1. Preferably using a cast-iron skillet, brown the turkey in the oil.
  2. Add all the ingredients, except zucchini and chicken stock; saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetables and stock; cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve immediately.

I like to serve this with fresh baked corn bread crumbled on top

*tip – Since you only need one chipotle pepper, separate the peppers in a ziplock bag and freeze for next time.