Monthly Archives: August 2016

Healthy & Delicious

Try these healthy and flavorful dishes!

Curried Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

½ cup quinoa, dry
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 ½ lbs raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed and rinsed (you can use pre-cooked, deveined, peeled shrimp)
1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 cups arugula (you can use spinach, kale, mixed greens, lettuce, etc. if preferred)

Instructions

Add quinoa and broth to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, and shallots and sauté for a few minutes until golden brown. Add shrimp and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Do not overcook, as shrimp will become tough and rubbery. Add tomatoes and curry, and stir gently until combined. Divide arugula between salad plates and top with ¼ cup quinoa and two large spoonfuls of curried shrimp mixture.

Chicken Tikka Masala

6 ounces plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 ½ tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 large white onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
1 cup no-salt-added stock, chicken or vegetable
1 can (15 ounces) unsalted tomato puree
¾ cup reduced-fat or soy milk
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

Optional garnishes: ½ cup chopped cilantro, ¼ cup chopped scallions

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice and garlic. Dice chicken into 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces and toss in mixture. Marinate for 20 minutes. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Remove chicken from marinade and discard excess marinade. Sear chicken on all sides until golden brown. Don’t worry if small bits of meat accumulate in the bottom of the pot while searing.

After chicken is seared, add coriander, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, paprika, turmeric and cayenne. Toss spices with chicken for about 5 minutes. Add butter, onion and ginger. Continue cooking until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add stock, tomato and milk. Use a wooden spoon to release the sticky bits from the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook until reduced; the consistency should be that of gravy. Season with salt. Garnish and serve hot with cooked basmati, jasmine or brown rice, or alongside warmed naan bread.

Fantastic Flax

Most of us have probably heard of flax as it has become popular due to its high omega-3 fatty acid and fiber content.

Flax is packed with nutrients. One tablespoon provides:

37 calories
1.28 g protein
1.9 g fiber
2 g carbohydrate
1,597 mg omega-3 fatty acids
414 mg omega-6 fatty acids
Thiamin (8% of daily value)
Magnesium (7% of daily value)
Manganese (9% of daily value)

Flax also contains a lot of other beneficial compounds, such as phytoestrogens, phenolic acids, flavonoids as well as lignan SDG, that have been studied for their antioxidant properties. Additionally, flax has been shown to have positive benefits with regards to cardiovascular disease, cancer, blood glucose control, weight management and mental health.

For most healthy adults, the American Heart Association recommends an intake of 500 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids and as you can see, just 1 tablespoon of flax can meet this recommendation.

You can have flax as oil, in whole seed form or as a ground meal. However, it is best to have it as ground meal as this makes all of the nutrient benefits more readily available for absorption.

Adding flax to your diet is a simple change that can make a big difference. It has a nutty flavor and can be incorporated into many food items such as cereals, baked goods, oatmeal, smoothies/shakes, yogurt, etc.

Delicious Water!

We all know that drinking water is good for us, but not all of us drink enough water. Maybe adding some flavor to your water would help.

You can start by adding one or more of the following to your glass of water or water bottle:

• Lemon
• Lime
• Orange
• Cilantro
• Strawberries
• Blueberries
• Blackberries
• Raspberries
• Cucumber
• Mint
• Peach
• Watermelon
• Pineapple
• Rosemary
• Grapefruit
• Your favorite tea bag

Or, you can try these infused water recipes to have a gallon batch on hand. Drink up and enjoy!

Chocolate!

chocolate-1

Most of us have heard that chocolate can be good for us, but what kind of chocolate?

The reason that chocolate is said to be beneficial to our health is because of the cocoa beans’ high flavonol content (a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, apples, tea, and peanuts) that is said to promote heart health, cognitive function and enhance your mood. However, it is important to note that the cocoa bean itself has a very bitter, strong flavor that chocolate companies try to make more palatable by roasting the beans and adding milk/sugar which can decrease its beneficial properties.

Because of this, not all chocolate is created equal, and the chocolate that most of us eat does not have a high flavonol content.

White chocolate contains no flavonols at all. Ordinary plain chocolate has 43% flavonol containing cocoa. Milk chocolate typically contains only 30% cocoa and the average candy bar only 15%.

The key to finding quality chocolate is to look at the cocoa content and it is best to choose those chocolates with at least a 70% cocoa. Keep in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the more flavanol benefits you will be getting. You can also buy cocoa powder and add it to your favorite smoothies/shakes for an extra antioxidant boost.