Wednesday, November 26, 2014

80---Butternut Squash Soup with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

This brothy soup will help to fill you up without weighing you down.  And it's super yummy and simple to boot.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
Serves 10

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped, divided
1 Tbsp brown sugar
8 -10 cups cubed butternut squash (I used two small-medium sized squash)
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
5 oz crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
Dashes of salt, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large souppot over medium high heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until coated.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to stir regularly until onions soften, ~5 minutes.  Add brown sugar and stir until incorporated.  Continue to cook onions until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 7-8 minutes.  Remove half of the mixture from the pot and set aside.

To the pot, add the squash, broth, and pepper.  Bring broth to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until squash has softened.  Use an immersion blender to puree soup.

To the remaining caramelized onion mixture, stir in sundried tomatoes and goat cheese.  Just prior to serving, stir the mixture into the soup, or you may add it to each serving dish.


Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 194 calories, 7 g fat, 12 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Sunday, November 23, 2014

80--- Vegetable-Loaded One Dish Stuffing

I received a phone call from a news reporter this week asking if I had tips for people for a healthier Thanksgiving.

I told her that I usually tell my patients to simply enjoy the holiday, because no one day of indulgence will throw off a healthy lifestyle.  

She said "Ummmm, okay, but what if people want to make healthier foods?"

So I relented.  I half-heartedly told her to tell people to mash up some cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes and add more veggies to their stuffing.

The conversation made me realize that people may very well be nervous about overindulging in the Thanksgiving meal and may want to make healthier choices.

So I took my own advice and made a veggie-loaded stuffing.  The result is lower-carb, higher fiber, lower glycemic index, more colorful, and just as tasty as the original.

Vegetable-Loaded One Dish Stuffing
Serves 8-10

1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped butternut squash
10 oz chopped cauliflower
8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cups vegetable broth, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
8 cups whole grain bread cubes, dried

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large oven-safe stoneware pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add fennel, thyme, and garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add remaining vegetables, stir to distribute oil, then cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until slightly softened. Add 2 cups broth, white wine, salt, pepper, and sage.  Cover and bring liquid to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Stir in bread cubes and gently fold until bread is moistened.  Pour remaining 1 cup of broth over the mixture.  Cover pot and place into the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes, then remove lid and bake for additional 20 minutes, or until top of stuffing is slightly crisp, but liquid has been absorbed.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per ~3/4 cup:  158 calories, 6 g fat, 6 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Things That I Know..... Pre Thanksgiving Edition

Rustic Pumpkin Tiramisu circa 2011
I am still working in a couple of new Thanksgiving recipes to share with you next week.

In the mean time, here are a few things that I know.....

1.  This Cranberry Mango Sauce looks like a sweet change from the typical.

2.  Mock Mashed Potatoes.  This combo is genius!

3.  I love the idea of an apple crisp served inside of an apple.

4.  Looking for something new to add to your Smartphone? For the tech-minded, here are a few apps that can support a healthy lifestyle:

- Foodtweeks can help you to shave calories off of restaurant meals, recipes, etc.

- Dirty Dozen- from the Environmental Working Group to help you make good decisions on organic produce

- Skin Deep- provided by the environmental working group (creators of the "dirty dozen" list) for helping you to choose skin care products wisely

- Nike Training Club- exercise routines at your fingertips focusing on your goal!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

80(ish)--- Chipotle Mushroom Breakfast Burritos

It's no secret that a large portion of the population is deficient in vitamin D.  This powerful antioxidant can be synthesized by our bodies when there is exposure to sunlight.  However, with all of the protection that we are taking from the sun's harmful rays, many of us need to get vitamin D from other sources.

Where can you get vitamin D from your diet other than from a supplement or fortified milk?  Mushrooms.  True, you would have to consume quite a few of them daily to get your vitamin D ration.  But every little bit helps!

Chipotle Mushroom Breakfast Burritos
Serves 8

8 tortillas (10")
2 tsp olive oil
12 oz mushrooms, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, finely minced
1/4 cup salsa
1 Tbsp flour
12 eggs (or you may use 6 whole eggs and 9 egg whites)
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and mushrooms and saute until they begin to soften.  Add salsa and continue to cook until soft, 4-5 minutes.  Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir until thickened.

Whisk together eggs, milk, and seasonings in a small bowl.  Pour mixture into the mushroom mixture and reduce heat to medium.  Use a soft spatula to gently scramble the mixture until cooked through, but still moist. Sprinkle mixture with cheese and stir until cheese is melted.

Scoop ~1/3 cup mixture onto each tortilla and roll into a burrito. Serve immediately. If freezing burritos, wrap each burrito in freezer paper or waxed paper, then place into a ziploc bag and freeze.

Nutrition Info for one burrito: 218 calories, 10 g fat, 15 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

80--- Sweet Potato, Farro, and Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Are you looking for something healthy and different to serve at Thanksgiving?  

This salad makes me think of the diet of the pilgrims.  Whole foods and simple ingredients combine to provide big flavors. No need for marshmallows (likely not something pilgrims ate).

Sweet Potato, Farro, and Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Serves 6-8

2 yams or sweet potatoes, cubed
Olive oil spray
1/4 tsp salt
Ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup farro, rinsed
1 cup kale, chopped
1/4 whole red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place sweet potato cubes onto a baking sheet and spray with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast sweet potatoes for 12 minutes, or until cooked through (but not mushy).  Remove from oven and place sweet potatoes into a bowl and refrigerate.

Bring vegetable broth to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook for 30 minutes, or until all broth has been absorbed.  Transfer farro to the bowl with the sweet potatoes and chill for 30 minutes.

When sweet potatoes and farro have cooled, toss with onions, kale, and pecans.  Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour dressing over the salad.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately, or chill for 3-4 hours prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per 2/3 cup: 164 calories, 7.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber

Monday, November 10, 2014

20--- Pumpkin Hand Pies

In testing out a Thanksgiving dessert recipe this weekend, I also made my first ever pie crust!

I know!  What has been keeping me from it?

I think I have just been avoiding crusts all together.

The verdict? WAAAAYYY easier than I expected.  I can honestly say that there is NO reason to purchase the processed, pre-made crusts from the grocery store.  As far as expense, ease, and ingredient control, you win with making your own.

Trust me.


These sweet little pies are just enough goodness to follow a hearty Thanksgiving meal.

Pumpkin Hand Pies
Serves 8

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter, chopped
3-4 Tbsp cold water
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white sugar
Additional flour for rolling

2/3 cup pumpkin puree
3 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp half and half
1 egg
Additional ground cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

FOR CRUST: place flour into a large food processor, then add chopped butter.  Mix until a coarse mixture is formed (do not overmix).  Add 3 Tbsp of water and mix until combined.  Remove the top of the processor and feel the dough for moistness.  Dough should stick together, but should not stick to your fingers.  If needed, add additional 1 Tbsp of water and mix until combined.

Roll dough into a ball and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for one hour.

FOR FILLING:  whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie seasoning, cinnamon, and half and half in a bowl.  Set aside (or in refrigerator) until ready to use.

FOR ASSEMBLY:  preheat oven to 425 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough with a rolling pin until ~1/8" thick.  Use a 4- 4 1/2" round cookie cutter to cut out 16 circles (I used a water glass- no joke) (you may need to roll out dough additional times to get 16 circles. 

Place 8 of the circles onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Roll out remaining circles slightly so they spread a bit.  Place ~1 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin mixture onto the center of each of the 8 circles on the baking sheet.  Place remaining 8 circles onto the tops to form covered pies.  Press down gently to remove an excess of air from being trapped in the pie (careful to not squish out the filling).  Use a fork to seal the edges of the dough to form a complete pocket.  

Beat the egg in a small bowl and use a pastry brush to brush each of the pies.  Sprinkle each with a small amount of cinnamon and sugar.  Use a toothpick to prick the tops of each of the pies a couple of times.

Bake on the center rack of the oven for 12-14 minutes, until pies are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature (or transfer to the refrigerator to chill) prior to serving.  


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nutrition Tip: Holiday Outlook {Repost}

So you've made it though Halloween....but the holiday season that stretches from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day brings many folks lots of anxiety around the food situation.

You know, the abundance of food situation.

The abundance of tasty but not so healthful food situation.

So how do you handle the situation when you are trying your darndest to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

In my opinion, you have two options:

1)  You can make health-ify holiday foods, eat smaller portions, fill up on vegetables, fruits, and healthy salads, skip the desserts, drink sparkling water, etc. etc. so on and so forth.  In other words, try to go 80 as MUCH as possible.


2) You can treat your holiday meals and parties like the celebrations that they are.  Treat them like a 20! Indulge in the pie at Thanksgiving, have a cheeseball or two at the dinner party, celebrate with champagne at New Year's.  AND THEN........then........the very next chance you have to make a healthful choice without feeling like you are missing out, get back on track and make good choices.  No one meal, or one day of unhealthy choices, will ruin your healthy lifestyle.  What will ruin it is going off track day after day, which, in my opinion, is more likely to happen if you skip your favorite foods time and time again, resulting in frustration and anxiety.

The choice is yours!

Keep in mind that the holidays should be a HAPPY time!  

Whatever your choice, stick to it and get in some extra exercise when you can!  Yes- shopping counts as long as you don't stop moving and keep your heart rate up!