Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Healthy Foods’

Recipe of the Week: Walnut Parsley Pesto

parsley walnut pestoDid you buy the wrong herb? Do you have most of a big bunch left over from a recipe? Don’t worry, there’s a pesto for that. This recipe from Simply Recipes is a good, cold weather pesto – heavy enough to have on steak (or steak sandwiches) and light enough to pair with roasted vegetables or with veggies and pasta. All in all it’s a good way to get in your greens from the herbs and healthy fats from the walnuts.

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.

Recipe of the Week: Black Bean and Corn Salad with Chipotle-Honey Dressing

Corn salad ingredientsThis perfect end-of-summer salad highlights plenty of summer favorites! It is packed with fiber, iron and vitamin C and pairs well with fish, chicken, burgers or anything you want to grill on these last weekends of summer.

The recipe is from Once Upon a Chef, and the only change I made was to the dressing. Instead of using canned chipotle peppers I used one teaspoon of smoked chipotle powder. It gave the salad a bit of heat, but even the non-spicy food lovers at the table enjoyed it. The salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for 1-2 days and was delicious as a salad with some added spinach and tomatoes the next day. Don’t worry that the recipe makes too much, because it will not go to waste!

In Season: Grapefruit

It’s citrus season, and this year I am all about grapefruit. And clementines. But that’s for another post. I always find citrus to be a refreshing counterbalance to heavy winter comfort foods.

Grapefruits come in many varieties, with the most popular (in my opinion) being the pink and ruby red. I had white grapefruits when I was younger, but I haven’t seen them in stores recently. I’m sure some people like grapefruit straight-up, but I’ve always put a sprinkle of sugar on top to take away some of the tartness and create the perfect balance. And, what is my favorite single-function kitchen tool? The grapefruit knife.

Grapefruits come in different sizes, but one half of a pink grapefruit provides ~50 calories, 2g of fiber, over 20% of the recommended daily value for vitamin A, and over 70% of the daily value for vitamin C. Adding to the health benefits, pink and red grapefruits obtain their color from lycopene, a phytonutrient that may have anti-tumor properties. When shopping, look for grapefruits that have smooth skin and seem heavy. As with most fruit, heavier = juicier (and more delicious).

While grapefruit can be a healthy part of your diet, if you take certain prescription drugs it can also be a serious threat to your health. Grapefruit can interact with over 85 medications and while not all have the potential for life threatening consequences, some do. A few of the more popular drugs it interacts with are Lipitor, Allegra and Zoloft.  One of the chemical compounds in grapefruit interferes with an enzyme that helps metabolize the drug, which then leads to an increased concentration of the drug in your bloodstream and potential adverse affects. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to see if grapefruit will interfere with any of the drugs you’re taking.

Ready to add grapefruit to your diet?  Check out these recipes:

Roasted Salmon with Shallot Grapefruit Sauce

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Ruby-Red Grapefruit Cocktail