I have to admit, sometimes it is quite challenging finding new foods that we like and are also healthy for us. We stay tied to our traditional dishes as if all foods start and end with our cultural palates. Oftentimes some of our cultural dishes are not always the healthiest, but usually there is a healthy version, and while they may not taste the same, we can adapt and get used to the new taste.
As you get older, it is imperative that you adjust your eating habits, food choice and quantity to adjust to your aging body. Let's face it, your metabolism is not always functioning optimally that would allow you to burn calories quickly and not gain weight. Many people will say they gain weight just by looking at food (funny).
I am often asked for recipes so I am sharing some of my favorites with you. Which will you choose.
1 scoop protein powder
10 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup fresh baby spinach
/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 Tbsp chia seeds or 2 tsp Fiber
2 tsp matcha powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cultured coconut milk
In a blender, combine the protein powder, unsweetened coconut milk, frozen blueberries, spinach, avocado, chia seeds/ Fiber
Blend until smooth and enjoy
2 scoops Protein powder
1 cup fresh greens (kale leaves, baby spinach, or chard)
1/2 small avocado, peeled and pitted
10 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp coconut butter or coconut oil
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
dash ground cayenne pepper
4-5 ice cubes
Blend the ingredients together until smooth. Your shake can be thickened by adding ice cubes or thinned by adding cold water. Enjoy!
Millet Cereal with Apricot Apple Compote and Warm Coconut Milk
For the Millet
1 cup millet
2 cups water
For the Compote
1 apple (diced)
8 dried apricots (diced)
2 cinnamon sticks
Freshly grated nutmeg (about a 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 cup of boiling water Coconut milk (warm)
In a medium saucepan boil the water and stir in the millet, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for a half hour or until all water is absorbed and the millet is soft.
Leave the lid on the millet for at least five minutes after turning off heat.
For the compote
Dice the apple and apricots, put in a sauté pan, add the cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Lower heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or until all water is absorbed and apples and apricots are soft but not mushy.
There should be a little syrup on the bottom of the pan.
Spoon the millet into bowls and spoon the compote on top.
Serve with warm coconut milk drizzled on top.
For extra flavor, grate a little more nutmeg. Get your omega-3s and top with ground flax seeds
Blueberry Chia Porridge
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups cold almond/rice/other milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Place chia seeds in a pitcher and pour in milk. Stir chia seeds and milk until all seeds are fully immersed in the liquid. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Remove the pitcher from the refrigerator, stir in the maple syrup, vanilla and blueberries. Pour into bowls or mugs.
Nutty Morning Oatmeal
1 cup rolled oats (not the “quick cooking” or “instant” kind)
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts
Place oats, water, salt, cinnamon and raisins in a covered saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in walnuts and serve hot.
Cucumber Salad with Tomato and Onion
1 cucumber, quartered
12 kumato tomatoes, sliced in half
½ red onion, chopped
2–3 green onions, chopped
a chiffonade of 8 basil leaves
2–3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon himalayan pink salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Mix the dressing together in a small bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the salad ingredients.
Drizzle on the dressing, mix together thoroughly and serve.
Massaged Kale Salad
12 ounces organic raw kale
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt to taste
⅓ cup pine nuts
⅓ cup dried cherries
Add kale to a large bowl and massage oil, juice, and salt into kale until it becomes shiny.
Divide onto plates and top with nuts and cherries.
Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad
1 large head cauliflower
½ cup lemon juice
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch parsley, washed and chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Chop cauliflower then add to a food processor and pulse until rice-like consistency.
In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower and the lemon juice and stir well.
Add the olive oil and the parsley, green onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, stirring once each hour.
Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Kale
½ cup Cranberries
2 cups cooked quinoa
½ cup wild rice
1 cup chopped raw kale
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped raw or sprouted nuts-almonds, cashews or pecans
sea salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Soak quinoa for at least 15 minutes to remove the bitter coating.
Cook the wild rice in 3 cups of water over high heat for 15 minutes.
Drain the quinoa and add it to the wild rice.
Continue to cook for 15 minutes more just until the quinoa is done. It should be al dente, not mushy.
Drain the mixture.
Combine the quinoa and wild rice mixture, vegetables, cherries and nuts in a large bowl.
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper and pour over the salad.
Brown Rice Toss Salad
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 apple, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ cup walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
¼ cup coconut vinegar
3 tablespoons coconut oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a bowl, combine cooked rice with all ingredients. Mix lightly and serve.
Sweet Potato Hash
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garlic
½ teaspoon oregano
one pasture-raised egg, cooked any style
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add all the ingredients, using your hands to toss in the oil until well combined.
Cook for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
Add to a plate, top with egg, cilantro and hot sauce.
3/4 cup organic dry-sprouted green lentils
4 tsp coconut oil or red palm fruit oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Cook the sprouted lentils according to the package directions.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the lentils and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger
1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (smaller potatoes cook faster)
⅓ cup uncooked millet or quinoa (or 1 cup cooked)
1 cup old fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats if you are avoiding gluten)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked black beans)
½ small red onion, diced
½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked hot paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional, to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
High quality coconut oil
8 whole wheat hamburger buns (optional)
your favorite burger fixings (avocado or guacamole, tomato or pico de gallo, lettuce, sprouts, ketchup, hot sauce, mustard, pickles, cheese)
Roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the sweet potatoes down the center lengthwise. Place the sweet potatoes cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until they yield to a gentle squeeze, 30 to 40 minutes or longer. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin (it should pull off easily) and roughly chop the insides. Set aside to cool completely.
Cook the millet: In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Stir in the millet, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender (about 25 minutes). Drain off any remaining liquid and set aside to cool. OR cook the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander, then combine with ⅔ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to boil, then cover and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 5 minutes. Then drain off any excess water and set aside to cool.
Grind the oats: Use a food processor or blender to grind the oats until the flakes are broken up, but not as fine as flour.
Mix the burgers: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the cooled sweet potatoes and millet, black beans, onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, chipotle or paprika, cayenne (optional, add to taste for spicier burgers) and salt. Use a potato masher, big mixing spoon or the paddle attachment of your mixer to mix really well. It’s ok if the black beans get smashed in the process.
Mix in the oats: Sprinkle the ground oats over the mixture and mix well with a big spoon until the mixture holds together when you shape a portion into a patty. If possible, cover and refrigerate the mixture for best results (the patties will hold together better during cooking if they are chilled first).
Shape the burgers: Use a measuring cup to measure out ½ cup of the mixture. Gently shape it into a patty about 3 ½ inches in diameter. Use your hands to gently flatten the burgers and smooth out any jagged edges. Repeat the process for each patty; you should end up with 8. If you would like to toast your hamburger buns, preheat the oven to 350 degrees now.
Pan fry the burgers: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, place several burgers in the pan, leaving enough room to flip them. Cook each patty until browned and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet for each pan of burgers you fry.
Toast the buns (optional): Place the buns on a baking sheet, cut sides up, and bake until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Sweet Potato Chickpeas Burger
1.5 cups cooked mashed sweet potato
15 oz can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
15 oz can of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2-1 cup of diced bell pepper
1 medium-large jalapeno diced
1 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup finely diced white onion
3 cloves garlic minced
3 flax eggs
1.5-2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
2-4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, parsley, and red pepper flakes, to taste
To start, prep your flax eggs by adding 9 tablespoons of water to 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds.
Whisk together and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes to set.
Bake or microwave your sweet potato and remove/discard the skin. Set aside.
Drain and rinse beans, then add to the sweet potato.
Next saute your onion, bell pepper, and jalapenos in approx 2-4 tablespoons of oil with a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle or two of red pepper flakes.
After about 7 minutes or so, add garlic and continue to saute until the veggies are translucent and tender.
While they cook, use a large wooden spoon or potato masher to partially mash the beans, but not fully. You can also lightly chop them in a food processor or blender if desired, but the texture from the beans is great so try to keep them chunky. They whole beans give the burgers a meaty texture that makes me feel like I'm eating a traditional burger. Only they're healthier... and more flavorful... and yes, just plain awesome this way.
For the oats, they can be left whole or "chopped" by grinding them in a blender or food processor. If you're sneaking them past a picky friend or family member, pulsing is the way to go, if you're pressed for time, toss them in whole! I've had luck both ways!
Once your veggies are ready, transfer to a large bowl with the beans, sweet potato, flax eggs, and raw oats, and then add your herbs/spices to season. I usually taste and sniff as I go and adjust the spices along the way. A little extra garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes made their way into these bad boys! YUM! Let your senses be your guide =)
In order to gauge how much of the oats to add, start by adding 1 and 1/2 cups and mix thoroughly.
Next take a look at your mixture. It should be a little on the chunky side and slightly sticky. If it feels too wet to form into proper veggie burgers you'll want to add an extra half cup.
Good to go? The next step is to form the bean and veggie mix into balls.
12. Cup each ball in your hands and squeeze, pressing it into a compact disc. Think of it as stress-relief!
Form into 8 patties, cover, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
Feel free to prep these overnight for the following day.
Ready to eat? Pour a teeny bit of oil in a skillet, heat to high, and cook for a few minutes on each side until you're left with a golden crust and a warm center. Cook a few at a time, trying not to overcrowd the skillet, it'll be easier this way.
Drizzle with yellow mustard and/or sriracha chili sauce and serve on a fluffy bun, wrapped in fresh lettuce, or atop a big bed of veggies. Empty out your crisper and have at it!
I typically make one burger right away and then leave the remainder in the fridge overnight. The following day I cook up the rest of the burgers and split the batch between the fridge and freezer. To freeze: simply cook the burgers as indicated above, allow to cool a bit, and then freeze [spaced] on a plate or cookie sheet. Once they've had a chance to partially freeze you can pile them in baggies or your favorite airtight container for fast food without the freaky ingredients.
Chicken Breasts With Tomato, Basil & Arugula/Spinach
4 organic, skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1.5 to 2 pounds)
1/4-1/2 cup thinly sliced packed fresh basil leaves
1 pound ripe tomatoes (plum, beefsteak, whatever looks fresh and preferably local) diced into 1/2 inch cubes.
4-6 cups baby arugula or spinach (or a combination of both-washed and air or spun dried)
5-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Wash and pat dry chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just shimmering.
Cook chicken on one side for 8-10 minutes (depending on how thick breasts are) until golden-brown then flip and continue to cook on the other side another 8-10 minutes, scraping together any brown bits. (Add a little extra olive oil if needed and cook a few minutes longer if needed at a medium heat–always check to make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly!)
As the chicken is cooking:
In a medium size bowl, combine and toss together tomatoes, basil, garlic, vinegar, 3 tablespoons of oil and about 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper (to taste).
Let the chicken cool a few minutes then slice into 2 inch strips (or you can serve the breasts whole, whatever you fancy!)
On a large platter make a bed with the arugula or spinach mixture.
Arrange the chicken on top and spoon on the tomato mixture and drizzle the juice over all.
In Good Health,
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide medical advice. The purpose is to provide education and broader understanding to my readers. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I do not recommend or prescribe, or recommend changing dosage or discontinuing, any prescription medications or pharmaceutical drugs.
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