Showing posts with label low carb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label low carb. Show all posts

Monday, August 27, 2012

Splendid Salads: shrimp corn and green bean salad

Your freezer can be your best ally for vegetables.
  • vegetables are already chopped for you
  • they can be more affordable then fresh
  • they are often a blend of colors; what gives vegetables and fruits their colors also gives them some of their nutrition, so a variety of colors is a variety of nutrients
  • vegetables to be frozen are picked when they're ripe; many "fresh" fruits and vegetables are picked before they're ripe so that they don't spoil during shipping around the globe. This means not only were fewer vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals developed during the growth of the fruit or vegetable, more are lost as they degrade while traveling to get to your kitchen.

This salad is a complete meal. The fresh parsley makes the whole salad seem fresh, even though most ingredients came from the freezer. Keep a pot of fresh parsley in your window and use it year round! Olive oil and almonds provide healthy fats, the shrimp is lean protein and the corn is your whole grain. Complete with lots of veggies from the green beans and tomatoes, lunch is served!

This quick meal that can come together in five minutes. Really! Pop some green beans in the microwave and by the time they're done, everything else is ready.

On your mark, get set, go!

Shrimp corn and green bean salad

  • 1 7.5 ounce box frozen green beans with almonds
  • 3 ounces frozen shrimp, peeled and devained 
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  •  one handful of fresh parsley
  • Olive oil and vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Remove green beans from plastic packaging and microwave in a glass or ceramic dish for 5 or so minutes (I don't like to microwave in plastic. Ick.)
  2. Thaw shrimp and corn under running warm water in a colendar
  3. Chop tomatoes and parsley
  4. Check microwave. Done yet? You're ready!
  5. Toss green beans with shrimp, corn, tomatoes, parsley and almonds. Use the same dish you microwaved the green beans in, no need to make more dishes. Drizzle on a bit of olive oil and vinegar to taste and add a bit of salt and pepper. Dig in!
Microwave green beans until tender in glass or ceramic dish
Thaw corn and cooked shrimp
Chop parsley and tomatoes
Drain green beans, add shrimp and corn
Add everything else and dig in!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vegetable Ninja: homemade zucchini "pasta"

Vegetable Ninja: homemade zucchini "pasta"
Zucchini "pasta" topped with turkey meatballs and sauce

Prepare yourself for some real kitchen ninja action; we are about to turn zucchini into PASTA! This is a great way to satisfy your Italian taste buds without boiling water or going overboard with your carbohydrate intake. And if you're lucky enough to live near a zucchini plant? Here is a great new recipe beyond the usual zucchini bread.

There are a couple of ways to be a zucchini ninja; you can use your chefs knife to cut your zucchini into long planks and then cut those planks into thin strips; you get a rustic homemade zucchini pasta. You can take it up a notch using a julienne peeler; they're available at bit box stores and online for about ten bucks. If you really want to take it up a notch, you can also use a mandoline slicer if it has the julienne blade.

Once you have your zucchini in pasta-like shapes, all you have to do is sprinkle a bit of salt on top and let it sit for a few minutes. The salt will help draw out excess water creating an al dente pasta. This can be served hot or cold!

1. Trim ends from zucchini
2. Julienne zucchini using knife, peeler or mandoline
3. Place "pasta" in bowl and lightly salt; wait 10-20 minutes or until zucchini is softened
4. Quickly rinse "pasta" under running water and then squeeze to remove extra moisture

Your pasta is ready! You can quickly saute in a pan with sauce, serve cold or nuke in the microwave. I made turkey meatballs in marinara sauce on the stove and warmed the "pasta" in the microwave.

*Note: my taste testers were my two roommates; they both thought that this zucchini was mixed with real pasta; the zucchini is that close to the real deal! Try it!

*If you're trying to trick reluctant kids or a picky spouse, you could first peel the zucchini to remove the green color

Two small zucchini was enough for my dinner
Using the julienne peeler

Freshly julienned and salted

Salt drawing out water

Zucchini "pasta" topped with turkey meatballs and sauce

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Breakfast of champions: awesome greek yogurt parfait

Breakfast of champions: awesome greek yogurt parfait

Breakfast really is an important part of having a healthy day and the name comes from the original intention; breaking the fast from your night of slumber. It is important to jump start your metabolism so that your body is ready to use the nutrients and calories provided rather than trying to store them (ie build fat). 

Yogurt is a great choice as it is a rich source of protein and if you choose one with live and active cultures, you're also getting a nice dose of healthy bacteria, also known as probiotics, to keep your immune system strong and your gut happy. Greek yogurt is also a great choice because it is strained and therefore has a higher amount of protein per serving. 

The trouble is, most fruit flavored yogurts are LOADED with sugar. While some sugar is naturally occurring from both the milk and the fruit, labeling doesn't differentiate between that and what is added. Plain yougurt is lower in sugar, but in my opinion, a bit dull (and I'm a dietitian!).

Enter the parfait!

This is a great option because you can prepare your breakfast the night before; in a bowl if you're going to eat at home or in a glass jar if you're going to hit the road and take breakfast with you.

Greek yogurt parfait:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup berries, fresh or frozen (raspberries are the highest in fiber)
  • flavorings such as cinnamon, vanilla extract or nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons slivered almonds

  1. Scoop your yogurt into desired bowl or jar. Add seasonings to taste and mix it up!
  2. Pour fresh or frozen fruit on top
  3. Top with almonds
  4. In the morning, the fruit will have gotten juicy and when you stir up the parfait, the ruby red color is lovely (although perhaps defeating the purpose of layering the parfait...)

Plain yogurt spiced up with cinnamon and vanilla

Frozen fruit is often less expensive than fresh (but is just as nutritious)

Ready for the fridge!

Breakfast of champions!

In terms of minding your wallet, I also love getting the large containers of yogurt as they're usually less expensive per serving. This is also lighter on the planet because I reuse those containers. Other than starting seeds, I don't have much use for those individual yogurt cups and you can't always recycle them either.

Added bonus of the spices? Beyond excellent flavor, they're also loaded with antioxidants! You can also add them to your coffee grounds before brewing your morning Joe. Double dose of antioxidants in the morning? Double win!

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