Yep, non-recipe. I’ve been super busy lately and struggling to find time to cook. Definitely no time for fancy recipes and thus I’ve been slacking on my blogging and specifically recipes of the week. So today I bring you the first in a several part installment we’ll call non-recipe of the week.
Before I begin I want to specifically call out the fact that I am not in any way subsidized by any company, I just happen to like Trader Joe’s for healthy grab and go options.
My go-to quick lunch as of late has been all Trader Joe’s. At the start of the week I put 1 cup tri-color quinoa + 1 cup lentils + a chicken bullion cube (switch to vegetable bullion if you are vegan or vegetarian) + 3 cups water in my rice cooker. I let that cook in the morning and it’s good for about a week. Please note what a great protein source this is for my gluten free vegans and vegetarian friends 🙂
When it’s time to eat I throw some asparagus spears in the microwave as I heat up the chicken on my stove. Add the quinoa and lentil mix (put a dab of coconut oil on this and the asparagus for some healthy fats) and you have a delicious, quick and easy protein packed, well rounded meal!
I love this article**!!! Precision Nutrition has hit the nail on the head again, especially with the awesome graphic I copied below. This is why I coach like I do and why I chose to be certified by PN – no calorie counting, advanced metrics, too much planning, etc. It’s all habit based. Build healthy habits that you can apply in any situation and enjoy your life 🙂
**One caveat though, a personal concern of mine – I don’t agree with their suggestion to “get a dog that needs walking”. Do not, I repeat DO NOT get a dog with the sole purpose of helping you lose weight. Dogs are living beings and are not a responsibility to be taken lightly. My dog is the love of my life and means the world to me but even so it’s not always easy and getting a dog for the wrong reason means a trip to the pound for the poor pup.
Craving Alfredo sauce but don’t want all the calories? Then check this recipe out! The addition of the cauliflower helps us get in extra veggies as well. Pair it with zucchini cut into noodles or spaghetti squash and we have a gluten free,veggie packed pasta-like treat! This can easily be made vegetarian or vegan using vegetable broth, coconut oil & almond milk. It is also Paleo friendly that way 🙂
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (~ 1 lb/450 g)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon butter (or coconut oil)
- 5 cups (1.2 L) vegetable or chicken broth
- ¾ cup (175 ml) milk (or almond milk)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cut the onion and garlic into thin slices. Melt the butter in a skillet on low heat, add onion slices and garlic and saute covered on low until the onions are golden and caramelized (about 20 minutes).
- Bring vegetable or chicken broth to a boil. Cut the cauliflower into florets and cook in broth until tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of broth, drain the rest.
- Place the tender cauliflower into a blender or food processor together with the caramelized onions, garlic, ½ cup of broth, milk and salt. Puree until smooth.
- Store the sauce in a container with a lid (like a mason jar) and place in the fridge, if not using right away.
- Depending on the size of you blender, you can also double the recipe.
I love this new article debunking detox diets from Precision Nutrition. Juice cleanses do not work but they do a much better job off explaining why than I ever could. Especially scary that they both got so sick from this popular detox.
The take-away? Eat your fruits and veggies, eat sugars in moderation and save your money by staying away from expensive juice cleanses. Your body and bank account will thank you!
We already know the main dietary risks in North America, which include excess calories, processed sugars, fats, and salt. Simply cutting down on these would improve our health and functioning.
We can do this by eating the highest quality, freshest food possible, paying attention to body cues, and not overeating.
I am so excited to try this recipe! I can’t even tell you the last time I had lasagna, I was diagnosed with my food allergies almost 6 years ago and it was long before that. It used to be one of the few recipes I knew how to cook. My allergy diagnosis forced me into the kitchen to learn how to cook and I have never even thought about a gluten free lasagna substitute. Now that I’ve seen this I can’t wait to try it. If you beat me to it, let me know what you think! For my vegetarians out there, this would be very easy to make vegetarian friendly (though not so easy to make Vegan) by just using a meat free sauce. I almost always make my lasagna vegetarian so I imagine it would be good with this recipe too. Because I haven’t tried it yet I have no updates to the original recipe found here: http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2014/08/healthy-low-carb-zucchini-lasagna-spicy-turkey-meat-sauce/
- 4 large zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
- 1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 – 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- handful of basil, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- handful of parsley, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- red pepper flakes, if desired
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 15 oz part skim ricotta
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 12 oz reduced fat or part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place sliced zucchini on large baking sheet coated with non stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes to help dry out the zucchini a bit. This is a critical step.
- While the zucchini noodles are roasting, you can make the turkey meat sauce. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, and peppers and cook a few minutes until onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant; stir occasionally so that you don’t burn it. Add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until sauce REALLY thickens up! Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine egg white, ricotta, and Parmesan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add in 1/2 cup of the slightly cooled meat sauce and stir to combine.
- To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the turkey meat sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place zucchini slices evenly over meat sauce, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on. Repeat layers again starting with the meat sauce, zucchini slices and ricotta mixture and finishing with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake for 15 minute longer uncovered. Serve with a side salad. Makes 8 generous servings.
Ok, maybe these aren’t fully healthy but using zucchini instead of bread cuts down on the calories and carbs of pizza. And who doesn’t need a healthier pizza alternative in their arsenal? I found this recipe here and it looks delicious! I may just enjoy these for lunch early next week 🙂
- 6 small zucchini (2 1/2 lbs)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup marinara sauce (I used Classico Four Cheese)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
- 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1.4 oz)
- 1/2 cup mini pepperoni slices
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, set aside.
- Cut each zucchini into halves through the length (if they don’t lie flat trim a thin portion from bottoms so that they will lie mostly flat. I only had to do this with one of them). Pat insides dry with paper towels (cut portion). Align on prepared baking sheet. In a bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic then brush lightly over tops of zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste then brush a slightly heaping 1 Tbsp marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated. Sprinkle tops evenly with mozzarella cheese then with parmesan cheese. Top with pepperoni slices (placing them more near centers as the cheese will melt and spread). Bake in preheated oven 12 – 18 minutes (bake time will vary depending on how thick your zucchini are and how crisp/tender you want them).
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh oregano. Serve warm.
Full disclosure, I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I am always on the lookout for gluten free vegan recipes. Being gluten free with vegan friends is not an easy mix for dinner parties! If you choose gluten free veggie stock, this recipe will fit the bill and looks yummy! I’m going to provide the recipe and picture exactly as it was found here since I haven’t had time to play with it and make any changes. I do love the quinoa + various beans for a great source of protein. And the addition of all sorts of vegetables makes me anxious to try this one 🙂
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 Yellow Onion, diced
- 2 Poblano Peppers, seeds removed and diced
- 2 Carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 2 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Granulated Onion
- 1 Tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Oregano
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
- 3 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 15 oz. Chopped Tomatoes
- 15 oz. Red Kidney Beans
- 15 oz. Black Beans
- 15 oz. Garbanzo Beans
- 15 oz. Sweet Corn Kernels
- 2 Cups Quinoa
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- In a large pot, preheat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red bell pepper, onion, poblanos, and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes– or until some color has developed and they have cooked down slightly.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the spices and tomato paste, stirring for about a minute.
- Add all the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour and a half.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with some fresh scallions over quinoa.