Tag Archives: protein

Red Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Loving this delicious Red Buddha Bowl that I just through together with the ingredients I had in my garden and fridge. I had made 4 cups of red quinoa ( which if you have ever made quinoa you know that makes A LOT of quinoa!!) so that I can have it throughout the week. I grabbed some ripe tomatoes, basil from the garden, and beets I had roasted for when my daughter comes to visit. She recently just discovered them and loves them and I love them too so wahlah!! roasted a quick batch real quick. I found the easiest  Roasted Beets recipe on Pinterest.  Try this healthy and delicious vegetarian recipe.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup cooked red quinoa or regular quinoa( directions in link above)

4 cherry tomatoes

1/3 avocado

2 roasted beets (follow the how to link above)

3-4 basil leaves

broccoli sprouts

crumbled feta cheese

1/4 tsp of “everything but the bagel”

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  1. add all ingredients into your favorite bowl ( arrange however you please)
  2. sprinkle with everything but the bagel seasoning, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. enjoy!!

Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Feta

Doesn’t it feel so easy to cook this time of year?!? I wouldn’t even consider this salad cooking if you ask me.

I don’t know about you, but I take one glance at the rainbow of beautiful summer veggies available at the farmers market ( and my garden) feels like .. Wham! .. an instant inspiration to want to run home and cook something fresh and healthy!  Don’t you?

With all of the fresh greens in season lately, I’ve been making kale and spinach and spring greens salads galore, which always feel so good.  But for something different tonight, I decided to make a refreshing cucumber salad.  I have cucumbers and tomatoes in abundance lately, so I grabbed some from the garden and tossed it with some fresh basil, ( also from the garden) red onion, and feta I had on hand.  And then added in some quinoa for extra protein, and tossed it all with a simple lemony vinaigrette.Screenshot 2017-07-23 at 4.34.15 PM

 

The result?

fresh, fun, and fantabulously flavorful salad that I already can’t wait to make again!

 

CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it’s SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. Perfect for a side dish but it’s my dinner tonight!

 

INGREDIENTS:

CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups chilled* cooked quinoa (see this tutorial for how to cook quinoa) I usually make a large batch to have throughout the week.
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup julienned or roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)

LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS:

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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Trader Joes “everything but the bagel” seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
  • pinch of Himalayan salt and black pepper or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Serve immediately.

TO MAKE THE LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

Banana Split Chia Bowl

Mexican Fiesta Skillet

This Baked Eggs Skillet with Avocado and Spicy Tomatoes is Low-Carb, Keto, low-glycemic, Gluten-Free, dairy-free, Paleo, Whole 30, and South Beach Diet friendly, and it’s sooo DELICIOUS!!! 

Today,  I made this just for me so I used a non-stick skillet and just one egg. This recipe is for up to 4 eggs

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I’m always looking for new low-carb breakfast ideas, and recently when I had avocados in the fridge that needed to use, I came up with this MEXICAN FIESTA!  If you’re wondering why my avocados were in the fridge, it’s because a long while ago, I discovered if you put ripe avocados in the fridge they will stop ripening and last longer.

This would make a delicious Meatless Monday meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.If you don’t care if it’s gluten-free or low-carb you could eat it with something like Ezekiel tortillas or Ezekiel toast, but I just ate it alone this morning.

Before you start simmering the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 400F/200C and break 4 eggs into individual dishes and let them come to room temperature on the counter.  (This is important or the yolks will get too done if you start with cold eggs.)

I used these Red Gold in Cilantro lime juice tomatoes to make this recipe. I will say that it’s not too spicy, but if you’re making this for kids I might use plain tomatoes.
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I recommend using a cast iron skillet to make this. Even if your pan is well-seasoned, spray it thoroughly with non-stick spray or brush with extra virgin olive oil.  Then drain tomato juice, add to skillet and simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated.

While the tomatoes simmer, slice the avocado.

After 4-5 minutes on medium, the tomatoes should look like this, with the water has mostly evaporated.

 Turn heat to low and arrange the avocado slices over the tomatoes, whatever way looks appetizing to you.

 Then gently put each egg into a spot between the avocado slices.  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

 Put the skillet into the preheated oven and bake 10-12 minutes, or until egg yolks are as done as you like them.  Serve hot!

Ingredients:

2 mushrooms sliced
1 can (14.5 oz) Red Gold diced Tomatoes in lime juice and cilantro
1 ripe avocado, sliced lengthwise into 10 slices
Himalayan salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
4 eggs

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Break eggs into individual ramekins and let the eggs come to room temperature while you proceed with the recipe.

2.Spray a medium-sized ovenproof frying pan with non-stick spray or brush with extra virgin olive oil, add the tomatoes, and start to simmer over medium heat, and I highly recommend using cast iron for this if you have it.

3.While the tomatoes and mushrooms simmer, peel the avocado, cut in half, and then cut each half into 5 thin slices. When all the liquid has evaporated from the tomatoes (about 4-5 minutes), turn the heat to low and arrange the avocado slices like spokes of a wheel in the pan.  Gently put each egg between two avocado slices, spacing them evenly apart.  Season to taste with Himalayan salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

4.Put the skillet into the preheated oven and bake until whites are completely set and the yolks are done to your liking, about 10-12 minutes for runny yolks.  Serve hot, with Ezekiel tortillas or Ezekiel toast if desired.  I eat mine plain.

5.ENJOY!!

Blueberry Coconut Chia Pudding

The fun thing about this recipe is you can serve it different ways. It’s great for breakfast or a snack and you will feel full for hours. It has all kinds of nutrients so you can’t go wrong with this deliciousness!

Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients. Rich in Fiber, Vitamin C & K, and Manganese. Perfect brain food to get you going!

Chia seeds are rich in Fiber, Protein,Omega 3’s, Calcium, Magnesium, & Phosphorus. Low in calories.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) I like fresh
  • 1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream if you like it thicker
  • 3.5 T chia seeds
  • Toppings of choice: coconut flakes, blueberries, cacao nibs, raspberries, etc…

Directions:

  1. Add blueberries and coconut milk to a blender and blend until well combined.
  2. pour into your favorite Jar or bowl and stir in chia seeds.
  3. Place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight so chia seeds expand and get soft.
  4. Add toppings of choice and serve cold.

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A Journey to Functional Nutrition, Part 1

Food is important in our lives and critical to our overall well-being. Consider healthy eating as a journey, one that has been shaped by many situations in your life. These factors include your stages of life, preferences, access to food, culture, family traditions, and the personal decisions you’ve made over time.The important thing to remember is that all of your food and beverage choices count. That being said, don’t beat yourself up if you have been less than stellar in your food choices because you can always improve.

And that brings us to the meat of this blog. 🙂

When it comes to nutrition, focus on your diet quality. That means enhancing your functional foods intake, which are foods that have a potentially positive effect on your health beyond just basic nutrition. Functional foods promote optimal health and help reduce your risk of disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. One example of a functional food would be oatmeal because it has soluble fiber that can help lower your cholesterol levels. Begin to think more about what you eat each day and avoid eating on the run, which is when we’re more likely to make poor choices. Try to plan ahead and provide the quality of the nutrients your body needs: protein, good carbs, good fats, vitamins, and minerals.

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You should try to get about 40 to 60 percent of calories from good carbs, 25 to 40 percent from fat, and 15 to 30 percent from protein. Of course,  no single diet is perfect for everyone, foods that are low in saturated fat with a moderate amount of protein is good, as you probably already know. Include plant-based foods such as nuts, soybeans, and legumes into your daily diet, as they are super important sources of protein, according to nutrition experts at Food Matters.

A nutritionally balanced diet may have moderate amounts of fish, and poultry. You may want to explore some of the benefits of reducing if not eliminating red meat and reducing or eliminating poultry and sugar. Most vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which is associated with a reduced risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer. If you decide to go the vegetarian route, however, make sure that you don’t become deficient in vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy brain function. Eggs, wild caught salmon, nutritional yeast, and sardines are all good examples of foods that contain B12.

I will definitely get into more functional foods at a later date because there are so many more to explore.

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Importance of Protein

Protein is very important in our diet since it’s is the main building block of our body. It is used to build muscles, tendons, organs, and skin. Proteins help build enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various molecules that serve important functions in our bodies. Proteins are made out of smaller molecules called amino acids, and they link together to form long protein chains. Some can be produced by the body, while we have to get others from our diet. The ones we can’t produce and have to get from the food we eat are called the “essential amino acids.”Soybeans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, brown rice, whole wheat, corn and nuts such as almonds and cashews are good sources of branched-chain amino acids. Of all the plant-based foods, beans have the highest amount of total protein, so they’re the best choice. One cup of vegetarian baked beans has about 1 gram of each of the BCAAs.  According to nutrition experts,  Protein has 4 calories per gram. The optimal amount of protein in the diet is up for debate, but most experts suggest that adults get a minimum of 7-8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight.

The recommended daily allowance of protein for women is 46grams and 56 grams for men. Your specific protein needs can vary, especially if you are exercising intensely on a regular basis. In that case, your protein intake needs to be higher. Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein and a huge staple in my diet. You’ll notice I have eggs in a lot of my recipes. Recent studies show eggs do not affect Cholesterol. So feel free to eat them.

Not to much Dairy

Where milk, cheese, and plain yogurt are good sources of protein. I prefer to stay away from the white stuff and get a lot of my protein from plants. Try to be creative and consider other ways to get additional calcium, including broccoli, spinach, swiss chard and any dark leafy greens.

Carbs for fuel

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Carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source, and they help make an overall healthy diet. They provide energy, protect against disease, and can help you control your weight. Again, quality matters. The type of carbs in your diet is more important than the amount of carbs in your diet. Some sources of carbs, like vegetables (not potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans, are healthier than others. You should be shooting for 200 and 325 grams of carbs a day.

As we all know eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help you control your weight. The bulk and fiber content helps weight control by helping you feel full on fewer calories. Choose whole grains such as steel cut oats rather than refined grams. Eat more legumes, which include beans, peas, and lentils. They are low in fat and high in folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium, plus they have beneficial fats and fiber. Legumes are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.

I can’t cover all nutrition facts in one blog ( or we will be here all day) but you can enhance your health by making sure you are focusing on quality nutrients.  Even if you haven’t had good nutritional habits in your past, your body can adjust quickly to new healthy habits. So don’t’ beat yourself up….Just move forward. Tomorrow is a new day!!

 

 I am going to leave you with a few tips! Don’t do them all at once. Crowd out the bad and add in the good at your own pace.

1.Choose healthier protein sources such as fish, broccoli, nuts, and legumes

2. Eat foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids (polyunsaturated fats) such as Salmon, flax seed oil and spinach
3. Avoid sugary beverages and get rid of all sodas, including diet ones
4. Shoot for quality ingredients, locally grown and organic when possible

5. Crowd out processed plant foods (eat raw when possible)

6. Drink plenty of clean and safe water, ( I like to add lemon to mine for taste and vitamin C) and be mindful of proper hydration when you are working out
#9: Use healthy oils and grass fed butter.

WISHING YOU A HEALTHY JOURNEY!

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