You probably already know the many benefits of eating fewer animal products and adding more plants to your daily diet. Maybe you’re like me and are always on the lookout for more vegetarian meals but aren’t sure where to find … Continue reading
The poor potato has gotten a bad rap in the health world because of it’s high position on the glycemic scale. But potatoes are actually a very good source of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. Eaten in moderation and without gobs of butter and sour cream, potatoes can be an important part of a healthy plant-based diet.
This potato salad is lighter and better for you than the traditional version. Olive oil replaces mayonnaise and lots of vegetables are added to increase the nutritional value and improve the taste! Serve room temperature or cold.
8-10 red bliss potatoes (organic is best), cut into quarters or bite-sized chunks
2/3 cup corn
1 celery stalk, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, julienned (excluding seeds)
3-4 cups mixed greens
10 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (plus a few small ones for garnish)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon honey-Dijon mustard
To a medium saucepan add the potatoes and cover completely with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to cook the potatoes at a simmer. Cook for 8-12 minutes until they’re soft, tender, and creamy; until just tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat, drain and set aside in a large bowl.
While the potatoes are cooking make the dressing. Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl or large measuring cup and whisk til thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and season with cumin, sea salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring just enough to keep the corn from sticking to the pan but allowing it to brown. Once the corn is golden brown set aside to cool then mix with the potatoes.
Once the potatoes and corn are slightly cooled add the celery and about 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Mix in the basil then do a taste test and add more dressing and seasoning if desired. Be sure to save some dressing for the greens.
Arrange the Salad
Place a ring of the greens around the outside of the bowl leaving a hole in the center. Then make a small bed of the zucchini strips in the center of the greens. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes over the greens. Arrange avocado slices around the circle of greens. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with the remainder of the dressing.
Add the prepared potato mixture to the center and sprinkle with a few small basil leaves. Enjoy your beautiful creation!
Before serving mix the greens and potatoes together.
The only thing I really miss about winter is chili. It’s one of those super versatile meals you can eat almost any time of day. The best thing about this late spring/summer recipe is the tons of vegetables you eat … Continue reading
This vegan sweet potato and white bean soup delivers all the goodness of a hearty, creamy soup without any of the heaviness to bog you down. It’s easy to prepare and has a simple ingredient list. Don’t sweet potatoes make almost everything taste … Continue reading
Every winter when I enjoy my first bowl of lentil soup I’m reminded again how delicious and satisfying it is! Yesterday, while looking through my cupboards for ingredients to make a quick lunch I found a bag of red lentils, so I got to work creating a big pot of soup. Once you learn how to make soup from scratch you can make just about anything taste good…if you have the right mix of herbs and spices on hand. Simple ingredients, simple to make, simply delicious!
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ disks
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped sweet potatoes
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup red lentils
5-6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 bay leaves
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
In large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped vegetables and saute 6-8 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add spices and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, broth and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes until all vegetables are soft. Remove bay leaves. Add beans and heat through. Turn heat to low. Use Immersion blender to blend soup to desired smoothness. Stir in lentils and cook 10-15 minutes. If soup is too thick add more broth. Serve with a nice green salad. Top with a dollop of creamy, plain yogurt if desired.
This vegan stew with peanut butter, ginger, cumin and coriander is so delicious and very easy to prepare. I love the combination of spices and the creaminess of the peanut butter makes it irresistible! Serve with a nice green salad.
From a New York Times recipe by Julia Moskin
- 1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- pinch cayenne
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons cup tomato paste
- 1 small (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably roasted
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup natural unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 medium-size zucchini, 6 to 8 ounces, cut in quarters lengthwise, then sliced 1/2 -inch thick
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
- ⅓ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Chopped roasted salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
- In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt; set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne; set aside.
- In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fry, stirring often, until soft, crisp and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a large bowl, leaving oil in pot. Raise heat to high and add eggplant. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shallots.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and jalapeno and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add onion and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Add diced tomatoes, stock, eggplant, shallots and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl, add one or two ladlefuls of hot soup, and stir until emulsified, then pour mixture back into soup.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, add zucchini, cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with rice, garnished with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.
Aside from the super-rich delicious flavor, this soup is loaded with a very impressive list of health-promoting vitamins and nutrients!
Chickpeas are prized for their high protein and fiber content, and also contain potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B-6 to support heart health.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also chock full of vitamin C, manganese, copper and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.
Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas).
Spices like curry, coriander and turmeric all have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Your body will thank you for making this soup!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large beet, peeled and chopped into 1/2” chunks
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
15 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons raisins
1 cup cooked rice, optional
3 to 4 cups baby spinach
In a Dutch oven or heavy pot heat the oil and cook the onions 5 to 8 minutes until slightly golden. Add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring.
Add the spices: curry powder, coriander, turmeric, nutmeg, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook over medium-low heat for one minute, stirring.
To the pot add the crushed tomatoes, beets and sweet potatoes. Mix well, then add the broth and chickpeas. Add more broth if the soup is too thick. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the raisins and spinach and rice if desired and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remember that soup always tastes better the next day. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving is one of those days we’re allowed to eat whatever we want. It’s tradition and we feel responsible for keeping it alive!
Sometimes, though we don’t feel so good at the end of the day and even the day after.
Here are a few tips to help you feel your best on Thanksgiving and to help you stay on track after the feast.
#1-Exercise Before You Eat– Start the day right by getting out for a run or power walk or enjoying your favorite fitness class before the feast. You’ll feel energized and invigorated for the rest of the day. If weather permits go for a nice leisurely walk with your family or friends after the meal. This not only helps with digestion but also helps you connect more closely with those you might have missed in all the confusion.
#2-Enjoy The Foods You love-Go ahead and enjoy the Thanksgiving day dishes that you look forward to and that you really love. Don’t waste energy on feeling guilty about eating these once-in-a-while foods. But be sure to get back on track the next day. The biggest mistake people make at the holidays is making Thanksgiving a week-long feast instead of a one-day indulgence.
#2-Be Creative With Leftovers Instead of indulging over and over…..and over again with the same leftovers why not put a healthy spin on your traditional Thanksgiving leftovers this year? Be creative! Check out the recipe ideas below to see how you can turn your leftovers into healthful, delicious meals.
Spice up your leftover turkey by creating these fajitas that everyone will love!
4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
8 tablespoons sweet potato hummus (recipe below)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 cup caramelized corn
¼ cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups shredded roasted turkey breast (approximately 7 oz.)
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 medium ripe avocado, mashed
4 teaspoons fresh cilantro
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a medium saucepan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute onion and tomatoes for 2-3 minutes. Then added the turkey, chili powder, cumin and salt and continue cooking for another minute, stirring to coat. Add the spinach to the pot and cook just until slightly wilted, about one minute. Set aside to cool slightly.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet. Add the corn and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until corn is golden brown.
Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and spices together in a small bowl.
Spread the tortillas evenly with sweet potato hummus to 1/2″ of edge. Divide turkey and vegetable mixture evenly among tortillas and top with mashed avocado and chopped cilantro. Serve with a dollop of the spiced yogurt if desired.
Sweet Potato Hummus
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (save liquid)
1/3 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup cooked sweet potato cubes
Combine all ingredients except sweet potatoes in food processor and process until smooth. Add bean liquid or water if mixture is too thick. Add sweet potatoes and continue to process until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if desired.
Turkey and Brussels Sprouts Frittata
Here’s a great idea for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast. Frittatas can be cooked ahead of time and are a great, super-nutritious meal for any time of the day..including lunch and dinner!
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
3 cups chopped fresh Brussels sprouts-use leftover cooked if you have on hand
Pinch sea salt
1 cup chopped roasted turkey breast
1/2 avocado, cubed
Preheat oven to broil.
Combine eggs and salt, pepper and parsley in a medium mixing bowl; whisk to blend. Add avocado to egg mixture.Set aside.
Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick oven safe skillet over medium-low heat.
Add shallots and Brussels sprouts; cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent.
Pour egg mixture and turkey into skillet with vegetables; cook, stirring frequently with rubber spatula, 4 to 5 minutes, or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set on top.
Place skillet in oven. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fluffy. Watch carefully!
Cut into 6 servings. Enjoy with your favorite fruit!
A Warm Salad For Cooler Days
The best way to lighten up a meal and get more nutrition bang for your buck is to add your favorite vegetables, including greens. Naturally, we don’t always feel like eating cooling salads on cold days but adding warm vegetables and vinaigrette to a big green salad creates an easy, nutritionally dense satisfying winter meal. Here’s another great idea for your Thanksgiving leftovers but you can make this salad with chicken or chicken sausage anytime!
6-8 cups mixed greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and roasted
8-10 thin slices red onion
2 cups 1/2″ cubes butternut squash, roasted
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
2 cups leftover turkey cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup oven-roasted walnuts
1/2 avocado, cut into small chunks
Sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cup goat cheese crumbles, optional
3-4 tablespoons sherry vinaigrette
Preheat oven to 425º. Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/2″ chunks. Place in medium bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix to coat. Put squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the squash with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven.
At the same time the squash is cooking, add the halved cherry tomatoes to a glass pie dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
Turn heat to 350º. Place walnuts in a single layer in a small oven-proof dish and roast in oven for 5-10 minutes, tossing the nuts around occasionally to ensure even cooking. Nuts are done when they appear a shade darker and smell toasty. Remove from oven and set aside.
Assemble the salad: Put the greens in a large bowl. Add the turkey, figs, squash, tomatoes and onions. Top with walnuts, avocado and goat cheese if desired. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat all ingredients evenly. Serve with warm whole grain bread.
Turkey and Squash Chili
This recipe combines the best of your Thanksgiving leftovers to make a delicious meal for a cold winter night!
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cans twenty eight-ounce crushed tomatoes (I prefer Cento)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups butternut squash, cubed into 1/2″ pieces and roasted
2 cups cooked turkey
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon lime zest
Salted plain yogurt
Heat the oven to 425. Peel and cut the squash into 1/2″ pieces. Place 2 cups of the squash in a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Arrange squash on a baking try in a single layer and season with a generous pinch of salt. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the squash with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven.
In a large pot or Dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to low and pour in the 2 cans of tomatoes. Stir in about 1 cup of broth to reach desired thickness. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes at a low boil.
Add turkey, beans and squash and continue cooking for at least 30 more minutes, covered on low heat. Cook longer if possible.
Serve with lime zest and salted yogurt.
I’ve tried so many veggie burgers I’ve lost track. The vast majority fall apart when I try to cook them or have way too many ingredients, so preparing them is a tremendous undertaking. I came across this recipe for the Green Monster Veggie Burger in a book I was reading about slowing down the aging process…a topic most of us are interested in!
I made just a few small changes and was delighted to discover that this burger is really delicious. I love that it’s made of mostly green veggies as opposed to the traditional veggie burger that often has beans as the main ingredient. My batch made eight burgers and I’ve been enjoying them ever since!
Green Monster Veggie Burger
2 cups frozen baby peas
5 ounces baby kale (one of the small bins)
1/2 broccoli head, cut into florets
1 large celery stalk or 2 small, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian spice mix
2 teaspoons tamari
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or more to taste
1 small eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1 avocado, mashed
Salted plain Greek yogurt
Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Put in the kale, then after two minutes add the frozen peas and cook for seven minutes. Two minutes before time is up add the broccoli florets. Drain and set aside to cool slightly before transferring to a food processor.
In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook the veggie patties over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Serve them with or without bread ( I like this Fitness Bread) with grilled veggies or your choice of toppings. Enjoy!
Tempeh is a wonderful meat-free alternative that marinates nicely and has an amazing nutritional profile. It’s a fermented soy food that originated on the island of Java in Indonesia and is closest to soy in it’s whole food form. According to Whole Foods experts at whfoods.org “fermentation is desirable because it increases the digestibility of soy (especially its proteins), nutrient absorption from soy (including absorption of phytonutrient isoflavones like genistein and daidzein), and the concentration of bioactive peptides (formed during the breakdown of soy proteins during fermentation).”
Tempeh is a very good source of manganese, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron and calcium. It also provides good fiber and protein.
You can usually find tempeh near the produce section.
This recipe was adapted from 101 Cookbooks. You can use any healthy, whole grain bread but I like it with this thinly sliced Mestemacher Fitness Bread .
I served these open-faced sandwiches with a large green salad of chopped apples, red onions, avocado and sherry vinaigrette dressing. My judge gave this a score of 8 out of a possible 10!
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup tamari
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
1 eight-ounce package of tempeh cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
large pinch sea salt
About 3 cups greens cut into ribbons
1-2 avocados, mashed with a pinch of sea salt
6-8 pieces thin, whole grain bread
Preheat oven to 350º
Whisk together the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, tamari, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and adobo sauce. Pour one-third of the marinade into an 8 X 8 baking dish or one that is just big enough to hold the tempeh in a single layer. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the tempeh, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until ready to use.
While the tempeh is marinating, roast the tomatoes. Add tomatoes to a medium bowl and coat them with the olive oil and salt. Place in an oven-proof baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and sweet.
When the tempeh is done marinating uncover the dish and place in 350º oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
To make the sandwiches generously slather 3-4 pieces of bread with mashed avocado. Top with a bit of shredded lettuce, a few tomatoes, 2-3 slices of tempeh and a few more tomatoes.