Beet and Avocado Salad with Feta Cheese and Basil

Beet and Avocado SaladCombining beets with avocado in the same salad recipe would never have occurred to this healthy home cook.

That is until I discovered The Flavor Bible. I happened upon this handy tool for the kitchen a few weeks ago, and I’ve been using it ever since. 

Beet and Avocado SaladAmazon’s describes this book as The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs,”  and I completely agree.

Home cooks love to be inventive in the kitchen, but it’s easy to get into a cooking rut. I often find myself using the same combination of ingredients over and over again.

The Flavor Bible takes a food like beets and tells you the season it can be found and methods of cooking. Then you can find the foods, spices and herbs that complement it best.

Beet and Avocado SaladTo make this healthy salad I looked up beets in the book to find a list of complementary ingredients, then headed off to the store with my grocery list in hand.

When it was time to create my masterpiece, I layered roasted beets, sliced avocado, slivers of spicy red onion, and fresh basil on a platter. After a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to add brightness, I topped the works with a crumble of salty feta cheese and a grind of pepper.

The flavors of my beet salad harmonized perfectly thanks to my new kitchen Bible!

I have the electronic version, but I purchased the hardcover for Grandma Karen. After thumbing through the book and feeling it in my hands, you can be sure it’s on my gift list. (Hint, hint Mr. Mike!).

Beet and Avocado Salad with Feta Cheese and Basil

Serving Size: 2

Beet and Avocado Salad with Feta Cheese and Basil

Shake It Up! If beets aren't your thing, you could replace the beets with sliced zucchini or cucumbers.

Ingredients

  • 4 small roasted beets, sliced
  • ½ medium avocado, sliced
  • 5 leaves basil, thinly sliced (Chiffonade)
  • ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons low fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sqeeze lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place whole and unpeeled beets in a foil packet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 1 - 1 /12 hours until just tender. You don't want mushy beets. When beets are cooled, peel off skin with your hands and slice.
  2. Layer beets, onion, basil and avocado on a plate. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Notes

Food energy: 193kcal Saturated fatty acids: 4.02g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 6.70g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.15g Total fat: 11.87g Calories from fat: 106 Cholesterol: 16mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 17.02g Total dietary fiber: 4.71g Protein: 5.39g Total lipid (fat): 12.83g Water: 163.63g Ash: 2.82g Total sugars: 10.98g Calcium: 122mg Iron: 1.29mg Magnesium: 40mg Phosphorus: 130mg Potassium: 544mg Sodium: 291mg

http://motherrimmy.com/recipe-beet-and-avocado-salad-with-feta-cheese-and-basil/

Beet, Apple, Grape SaladIf you’re a beet lover, this salad with beets and grapes in a walnut vinaigrette makes a refreshing summer side dish for your next grilling adventure. It’s another combination of ingredients I wouldn’t have thought to toss into a salad bowl, but we thoroughly enjoyed the mix of orange and red beets with sweet apples and red grapes.

Have a terrific week everyone and if you get a chance be sure and pick up The Flavor Bible. You won’t be disappointed.

~Kristi

eBook to Skinny Up Your Recipes

Chocolate Chia Pudding with NuNuturals Stevia

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Where do you side on the subject of sugar substitutes like Equal and Splenda? I’m not a fan, so I chose stevia as my sweetener of choice for this chocolate chia pudding.

If you aren’t familiar with stevia, let me give you fill you in. Stevia is a sweetleaf plant native to South America that is 300 times sweeter than sugar.

NuNaturals Lemon

I discovered this natural sweetener a few years ago when NuNaturals, a company in Portland, sent me a sampling of their stevia products. After researching this sweet leaf’s history, I’ve been using it ever since.

Dark Chocolate Chia Pudding

If you’ve been watching the news regarding sugar substitutes recently, you’ve probably noticed that it’s tough to determine the good from the bad. There are advocates on both sides of the fence when it comes to your abundance of alternatives like (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet’N Low).

Some experts believe that because these artificial sweeteners have been approved by the FDA to be safe for human consumption, we should have no problem adding them to the foods and drinks we consume.

Other experts, like Dr. Mercola want you to run the other direction as quickly as you can.

Brussels Sprouts with NuNaturals Lemon Vinaigrette

I’ve decided that FDA approved or not, I’ll stick with sugar or stevia as my sweetener of choice. There’s not enough evidence in either direction for me to opt for artificial sweeteners.

And while Nunaturals products are refined, I trust the quality of their stevia products, and have used them in dishes like these brussels sprouts in a lemony vinaigrette

Nunaturals Chocolate Stevia

The other day, I whipped up this delicious chocolaty chia pudding with a cocoa syrup made with stevia.

I’ve been so happy with this cocoa syrup, it’s been appearing in my cup of coffee every morning along with a splash of milk to make a low calorie mocha. Delicious!

Thank you for sharing NuNaturals. You can be sure I’ll be back for more!

~Kristi

NuNuturals Chocolate Stevia and Chia Seed Pudding

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 6 tablespoons chocolate stevia
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • 6 tablespoons whipped topping

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl add chia seeds, vanilla almond milk, and chocolate stevia. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Place a blender with the banana and blend well.
  3. Top with quartered strawberries and whipped topping.

Notes

Food energy: 202kcal Saturated fatty acids: 1.41g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0.74g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 6.08g Total fat: 8.23g Calories from fat: 74 Cholesterol: 2mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 23.51g Total dietary fiber: 11.28g Protein: 7.22g Total lipid (fat): 10.08g Water: 135.48g Ash: 2.16g Total sugars: 6.87g Calcium: 282mg Iron: 0.57mg Magnesium: 23mg Phosphorus: 265mg Potassium: 284mg Sodium: 43mg

http://motherrimmy.com/nunuturals-chocolate-stevia-chia-seed-pudding/

eBook to Skinny Up Your Recipes

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned above for free in the hopes that I would write a review on this blog. I only recommend products or services I use and believe will be beneficial for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Summer Fresh Apricot and Blueberry Green Smoothie

Apricot and Berry Green Smoothie

Interesting photo angle. My smoothies appear to be leaning a tad to the left.

The first time I served Mr. Mike a green smoothie, I watched with satisfaction as the expression on his face turned from doubt to pleasure.

Mike was completely convinced the handful of kale I’d stuffed into the blender’s jar would overwhelm his smoothie and he’d be slurping a salad. I insisted he wouldn’t taste the “green,” so he reluctantly gave it a shot.

With complete surprise, Mike finished his smoothie and headed off to work. As much as the words “I told you so!” were on the tip of my tongue, they never escaped my lips.

Apricot and Berry Green Smoothie

I have specific criteria for my smoothie recipes. I want a smoothie to pack in a serving of greens, protein, healthy fat, fiber and lots of antioxidants.
  • Greens like kale and spinach add fiber and phytonutrients that have an antioxidant effect on the immune system.
  • Protein in the form of Greek yogurt or whey protein powder keep me satiated for more than an hour or two.
  • Healthy fats like ground flax seed or chia seeds have an abundance of fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids. They also help the body absorb the nutrients in the greens and fruits.
  • Fruits like bananas, berries and stone fruits for their antioxidant properties and essential nutrients like potassium, Vitamin C and folic acid.

All this gets pulverized in my Magic Bullet, then served in a fancy glass just for the fun of it.

Apricot and Berry Green Smoothie

 I have all my bases covered don’t I?

The only trouble I sometimes encounter is calorie bloat, so I follow the recipe below to keep them in check. This smoothie recipe uses apricots because they are so fragrant and in season, but often times I’ll use 1/2 a banana when summer fresh fruits aren’t available.

Give this green smoothie a try and you’ll be amazed at how energetic you’ll feel!

~Kristi

Summer Fresh Apricot and Blueberry Green Smoothie

Serving Size: 2 large

Summer Fresh Apricot and Blueberry Green Smoothie

Shake It Up! You can replace the fruit in this recipe with any fruit you choose. Spinach makes a good swap for kale.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby kale
  • 2 ea apricots, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups 30 calorie unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons flaxmeal or chia seeds
  • 2 packets stevia if smoothie needs sweetening

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Notes

Food energy: 292kcal Saturated fatty acids: 1.86g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 1.29g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 2.44g Total fat: 5.60g Calories from fat: 50 Cholesterol: 11mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 43.95g Total dietary fiber: 5.73g Protein: 19.36g Total lipid (fat): 6.14g Water: 478.10g Ash: 4.96g Total sugars: 31.32g Calcium: 843mg Iron: 2.08mg Magnesium: 104mg Phosphorus: 523mg Potassium: 1199mg Sodium: 244mg

http://motherrimmy.com/summer-fresh-apricot-blueberry-green-smoothie/

eBook to Skinny Up Your Recipes

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Turkey Breast Tenderloin with Garlicky Chard

Turkey Tenderloins and Garlicky Chard

I’ll bet you’re thinking to yourself, “Why is she posting a turkey recipe in June?”

Because turkey breast tenderloins were on sale, and chard is in season. It’s as simple as that.

Turkey Tenderloins

It was a breeze to keep this meal low calorie since turkey breast is a lean source of protein, and chard has virtually no calories to speak of.

chard

Did you know that according to WebMD (I’m a fan of this site for quick health advice) chard provides more than 300 percent of your vitamin K needs for the day?

This sounds like a good reason to eat it while it’s fresh from the garden to me.

Turkey Tenderloins

And this chard makes a perfect side dish for my cost friendly turkey breast tenderloins. We spread them with a mixture of spicy Dijon mustard and lemon, then dredged them in an herby flour mixture before they were roasted in the oven.

Did I tell you that I’m training to run a 5K at our local winery for a children’s charity with daughter Rimmy? I decided on my 54th birthday in May that I needed a new fitness goal. I’m not a runner, so this is a stretch for me.

My turkey and chard recipe came in under 300 calories, making it a good training meal with lots of lean protein and veggies. Now I just need to get this running thing down. Wish me luck!

~Kristi

Turkey Breast Tenderloin with Garlicky Chard

Serving Size: 2

Turkey Breast Tenderloin with Garlicky Chard

Shake It Up! This recipe works equally well for chicken breasts or pork tenderloin. Kale or spinach could easily replace the chard.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces turkey tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon water
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic, finely minced
  • 8 cups chard, chopped
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take a large oven proof skillet and spray generously with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, thyme and rosemary on a plate.
  3. Combine mustard, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and water in a bowl.
  4. Brush one side of tenderloins with mustard mixture, then press into the flour mixture. Turn the tenderloins over, then brush with remaining mustard. Press that side into the flour mixture.
  5. Preheat the skillet over medium high and add tenderloins. Sear on one side for two to three minutes, then spray the tops with cooking spray and flip. Sear the second side for another two to three minutes, then place the pan in the oven.
  6. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until turkey is no longer pink at the thickest part. Do not over cook, or turkey will be dry. Remove just before you thinks it's done and cover with foil.
  7. Place pan with turkey drippings onto the stove over a burner set to medium high.
  8. Add chicken broth, garlic and onions. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes to soften onions, then add the chard. Cook for another 3 - 5 minutes to wilt the chard, then toss with remaining lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve chard with turkey tenderloins.

Notes

Food energy: 292kcal Saturated fatty acids: 0.60g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0.53g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.61g Total fat: 1.74g Calories from fat: 15 Cholesterol: 105mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 21.21g Total dietary fiber: 4.28g Protein: 47.42g Total lipid (fat): 2.21g Water: 378.77g Ash: 5.24g Total sugars: 3.84g Calcium: 135mg Iron: 6.05mg Magnesium: 178mg Phosphorus: 463mg Potassium: 1218mg Sodium: 618mg

http://motherrimmy.com/recipe-turkey-breast-tenderloin-with-garlicky-chard/

Quinoa Salad with Kale, Watermelon, Grapes and Feta Cheese

Quinoa Salad with Watermelon

Sad to say, but watermelon is not my thing. It’s  just too clingy sweet for my taste.

I know that colorful melon is good for me, and most people think it’s crazy that I avoid it. In fact, World’s Healthiest Foods states that “Alongside of tomatoes, watermelon has moved up to the front of the line in recent research studies on high-lycopene foods. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health . . .”

Sounds like a good reason to get over my aversion to it, so I decided to tone that clingy sweetness down by adding it to my favorite salad ingredients – quinoa and kale.

Sound like a good reason to add watermelon to my diet to me!

Along with the pile of grapes on the counter, a lovely bunch of tarragon and a few crumbles of feta cheese, I was able to mellow out that watermelon and turn it into a salad I was completely happy with.

Quinoa Salad with Watermelon

I must admit, this is definitely a colorful dish!

Watermelon and Feta Salad

As I was digging through my recipe archives, I discovered this earlier version of a watermelon salad with chickpeas and red onion.  The chickpeas add a nice protein boost, making it a meal in a bowl. But alas, my pantry was bare.

Let me know what you think of this easy salad combination. With just a handful of ingredients and watermelon readily available this time of year, it’s really a fun combination of flavors. Even this watermelon avoider loved it!

~Kristi

Quinoa Salad with Kale, Watermelon, Grapes and Feta Cheese

Serving Size: 4

Shake It Up! Baby spinach and cantaloupe would be a terrific combination in place of the kale and watermelon.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • 4 cups watermelon, cubed into smaller pieces
  • 2 cups grapes, halved
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 1 cup low fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 squeezes lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently toss together to combine ingredients.

Notes

Food energy: 333kcal Saturated fatty acids: 6.18g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 4.28g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.81g Total fat: 11.27g Calories from fat: 101 Cholesterol: 33mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 44.16g Total dietary fiber: 4.29g Protein: 11.73g Total lipid (fat): 13.76g Water: 294.37g Ash: 3.81g Total sugars: 18.51g Calcium: 262mg Iron: 2.71mg Magnesium: 94mg Phosphorus: 306mg Potassium: 592mg Sodium: 441mg

http://motherrimmy.com/recipe-quinoa-salad-kale-watermelon-grapes-feta-cheese/

Appetizer Recipe: Shrimp with Spicy Chili Garlic Peanut Sauce

Shrimp with Spicy Chili Garlic Peanut Sauce

When unexpected company arrives, there’s nothing like an appetizer you can make in less than 10 minutes, is there?

Thus the reason that I keep frozen cooked shrimp in the freezer. It thaws quickly, and I can honestly say that I haven’t had a guest turn down those delectable offerings of seafood goodness.

[Read more...]

Sunshine Muffins with Orange and Chia Seeds

 

Orange Chia Seed Muffins

If you’ve signed up for my weekly newsletter, then you know that this past Sunday’s theme was Muffin Madness.

In my excitement to share my family’s start the day right muffin recipes, I was disappointed to realize I’d missed out on these mini Sunshine muffins with fresh orange and chia seeds.

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

I’m not a master baker or dessert maker, and have no inclination in that direction. Baking requires precision to create melt in your mouth treats, and I’m afraid I’m more of a chop and drop cook.

But I consider muffins a different thing. I can dump ingredients (okay, I do measure the baking powder and flour) in a bowl to turn out a healthy snack that won’t break the calorie bank, and satisfies my sweet tooth.

I want my muffins to be tender, packed with fruity goodness, and have lots of diet friendly fiber like the banana and peanut butter muffins you see above, so I have a few tips to share with you that work for me to that end.

Sunshine Muffins with Orange and Chia Seeds

The key to making a tender higher fiber muffin is dried or fresh fruit, and whole wheat pastry flour. It has the same nutrition profile as whole wheat flour, but turns out baked goods with a lighter texture.

You can find a terrific explanation of the difference between whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour at The Gracious Pantry.

Sunshine Muffins with Orange and Chia Seeds

You can see the orange zest, dried cranberries, and bits of walnuts floating in my mini muffins, along with spicy cinnamon.

Sunshine Muffins with Orange and Chia Seeds

But this go around I wanted to pack more nutrition into my breakfast muffins so I tossed in chia seeds to add extra fiber and those brain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

I won’t try to convince you that my Sunshine muffins are light and airy like those you buy in the bakery aisle at your local grocery store. However, they’re low in sugar, high in fiber, and naturally sweet enough to enjoy with your morning cup of coffee. They’ll stick with you a whole lot longer than their high sugar, low fiber cousins from the grocery store too!

It’s time to head off to work this Monday morning. If you give my muffins a try, be sure and leave a comment to let me know what you think!

Have a happy, healthy week everyone.

~Kristi

Sunshine Muffins with Orange and Chia Seeds

Serving Size: 20 mini muffins

Sunshine Muffins with Orange and Chia Seeds

Shake It Up! If you don't like to use stevia to reduce sugar in your recipe, simply replace with 1/4 of sugar.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg whites
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4 packets stevia
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. reheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Combine orange zest and juice, eggs, almond milk and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until blended.
  4. Pour into a mini muffin tin and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until muffins are cooked through. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Notes

Food energy: 82kcal Saturated fatty acids: 0.31g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0.67g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.62g Total fat: 2.60g Calories from fat: 23 Cholesterol: 10mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 12.16g Total dietary fiber: 2.26g Protein: 3.17g Total lipid (fat): 2.93g Water: 32.43g Ash: 0.82g Total sugars: 4.43g Calcium: 76mg Iron: 0.56mg Magnesium: 23mg Phosphorus: 91mg Potassium: 109mg Sodium: 62mg

http://motherrimmy.com/recipe-sunshine-muffins-orange-chia-seeds/