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Posts from the ‘Healthy Cooking’ Category

Recipe of the Week: Chickpea Salad

I don’t know why it took me six years to make this chickpea salad, but now that I did, I’m certainly not going to wait six years to make it again! This delicious blend of chickpeas, herbs, salty cheese and tangy lemon juice make for an addictive and versatile dish. Chickpeas provide filling protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates as well as potassium and folate. The ease of preparation makes this a quick side dish or a last minute afternoon snack to take to work or on a road trip. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator if you don’t eat it all the same day!

Recipe of the Week: Shrimp and Ginger Vegetable Stir-Fry

shrimp and vegetable stir fry These days I’m all about quick dinners. Besides the usual after work time crunch, who wants to spend extra time in the kitchen on these beautiful (and sometimes hot!) summer evenings? Stir-frys come together fairly quickly and are perfect for using all the veggies in your fridge. This recipe packs a fiber punch from the veggies, and the amount can be increased even more with a high fiber base such as brown rice. For this recipe I chose to use a Jasmine rice instead to add a layer of flavor. On the other hand, the canola oil is a neutral flavor and better for high heat cooking than olive oil, which is why I’m using it here. I’ve found shrimp to be a good, quick-cooking protein (~3 minutes and you’re done!) and makes any meal feel a little more fancy. The shrimp can easily be eliminated for a delicious and nutritionally complete vegetarian or vegan meal.

 

 

 

 

Shrimp and Ginger Vegetable Stir Fry (serves 2 adults and 1-2 pre-schoolers)

Ingredients

1/2 container baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

1-2 stalks of broccoli, cut into small florets

1/4 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 scallions, thinly sliced white and light green parts

2 large carrots, cut into thin rounds or matchsticks

1 inch peeled and minced ginger

1 tablespoon Canola oil (have extra on hand)

1-2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup dry jasmine rice

Salt and pepper to taste, red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you want to spice it up
Directions

1.  Heat the canola oil in a pan. In a separate pot cook the rice according to package directions.

2. Toss the carrots and broccoli into the pan with the oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper. After they begin to soften add the mushrooms and asparagus. Add more oil as needed to ensure the vegetables don’t burn.

3. When all of the vegetables are soft add the scallions, sesame oil, ginger and shrimp and cook until the shrimp are opaque white in the center, ~3 minutes.

4. Place the rice in a bowl, spoon the stir fry on top and enjoy!

Healthy Cooking: Frozen Vegetables

Straightforward frozen vegetables without added sauces can cut meal prep time (think frozen spinach instead of washing, chopping and cooking freshly bought greens) and bring variety to a meal without excess waste. If you don’t routinely use leftovers, everyone in your family likes different veggies, or you want to provide more than one per meal, it doesn’t get easier than cooking frozen vegetables.

To prepare, take a bowl of veggies, add a small amount of water and microwave for 30 seconds to two minutes depending on the amount you have, and before your 5 minute couscous is done your veggies are on the plate. For a child size portion your can pour steaming hot water on them to defrost them, steam them or boil them.

Two benefits to frozen veggies – they keep longer than fresh ones and may be even more nutritious as they’re frozen soon after harvest. Plus, they don’t have any added salt or calories from a sauce and are a blank slate for the flavors of your meal.

Healthy Cooking: Steaming

If you’re looking for a fast, all-age friendly way to cook vegetables and proteins, look no further than the funny pot with all of the holes on the bottom that fits in your go-to sauce pan. Until I had kids I rarely steamed foods, but it’s now my default for making soft veggies for young eaters.

The beauty of steaming is that vegetables can be cooked to varying degrees of tenderness in under 10 minutes, which is just enough time to prepare the rest of your meal (especially when you have hungry mouths to feed). Steaming is also a quick way to cook greens such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard. I typically bake my chicken or fish, but both can be steamed, as can shrimp, which means you’re only a few minutes away from making pasta, salad, or your veggies and grains a bit more fancy.

IMG_0025Looking for more ways to eat healthy? Check out the Healthy Cooking category, complete with techniques and recipes.

Kitchen Tip: How to Roast Tomatoes

pre-roasted tomatoes 1 When there are more tomatoes in your garden or in your CSA box than you know what to do with, it’s time to save some of that summer flavor for the cold months ahead! Roasted tomatoes can be frozen for a few months and it’s worth it to have that deep tomato flavor to brighten up soups and sauces on long winter nights.

Roasted Tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Wash and slice tomatoes into 4-6 pieces depending on the size

3. Spread evenly on the baking sheets and drizzle liberally with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper

4. Bake for ~1hr until they are a deep red color and are beginning to caramelize