Ginger Kombucha with Lime & Cilantro

Kombucha

Kombucha is fermented tea. It has a good amounts of probiotics and b-vitamins that has been shown to help digestion, detoxification, improve your immune health, and aids depression and calms you down when stressed. It can balance certain processes in the digestive system which helps the body to function.

If you are avoiding alcohol for any reason, know that kombucha does contain a small amount of alcohol naturally from the fermentation process. Most will contain 0.5% or less alcohol. If it’s any higher, they will be labeled as such. Just with anything you can always have too much of a good thing. This is a probiotic drink and it doesn’t take a lot for it to start helping and aiding your digestive system.

Now, if you are like me and love fermented foods and drinks, doesn’t like to drink sweet drinks, and enjoys something to sip on at the end of the day whether that’s tea, wine, or decaf coffee sometimes, try kombucha. It’s a probiotic drink that is fizzy, unsweet, and is low-calorie.

This is one of my favorite ways to “jazz up” my kombucha. I make a version of a moscow mule using kombucha, but I also add cilantro. I love cilantro in and on everything. So if you haven’t had it with crushed cilantro, give it a try!

Ginger Kombucha with Lime & Cilantro

  • Servings: 2 8-10 oz Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bottle of Gingerade Kombucha (I use Synergy)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup lime juice
  • Few tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Handful of ice

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients and mix together. Separate into 2 glasses.
  2. Serve immediately and enjoy on a hot day!

Nutritional Information

25 calories | 0 g total fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 10 mg sodium | 6 g carbohydrates | 0 g fiber | 0 g sugar | 0 g protein | 9% Vitamin C

Same as the nutritional information on the bottle of Kombucha, but with the lime juice will add a vitamin C kick!

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Simple 3-Ingredient Kale Salad

This is one of my favorite go-to lunches when I’m running around! 3 simple ingredients. That’s it! Using avocado as a dressing is something I learned from Engine 2. It makes perfect sense. Especially with kale. It’s so rough and hearty that massaging in the avocado into the leaves isn’t going to hurt it one bit and it’s easier to eat. I also love this salad because it’s great for inflammation.

Avocado

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats (good fats) which have been shown to lower inflammation. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels because of this. They also contain vitamin E, vitamin C, manganese, selenium, and zinc which is beneficial to help soothe inflammation.

Kale

Kale has a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which is a combo that is balanced so that it is anti-inflammatory. It’s high in antioxidants like beta carotene which is fat-soluble. Which means that it is broke down by fat. So the fat in the avocado in this salad will help break down and be better absorbed into your body. They work hand and hand.

Red Onions

Red onions are high in an antioxidant called Quercetin. You might have heard me talk about this before. It works as an anti-histamine so it’s one of the foods that is great for allergy sufferers. Along with that among other things, not just an allergic response, but it helps with inflammation in the body.

Here is my simple 3-ingredient kale salad that I use for lunch for busy weeks.

Simple 3-Ingredient Kale Salad

  • Servings: 3-4 Large Servings or 6-8 Side Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch curly kale, leaves torn into bite size peices
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted
  • 1 small red onion, about 1 cup
  • Optional
  • Juice of 1 large Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper, if desired

Directions

  1. Put washed and torn kale in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Take the flesh of the avocado and add to the bowl. I usually will cut the avocado into small pieces before adding. With your hands, press the avocado into the kale. Since kale is so hardy and rough, it can take being mashed. Massage the avocado into the kale until all the avocado is incorporated and kale is a little softer.
  3. Add chopped red onion and toss.
  4. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper if desired. I usually have these on hand always so I don’t see it as extra ingredients.
  5. Serve immediately, or later that day. It will keep in the fridge for a few hours.

Nutritional Information

For 4 Large Servings with Lemon Juice

139 Calories | 8 g total fat | 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat | 4.9 g monounsaturated fat | 1 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 43 mg sodium | 15.5 g carbohydrates | 7 g fiber | 3.6 g sugar | 5.5 g protein | 434% Vitamin A | 175% Vitamin C | 799% Vitamin K | 16% Calcium | 21% Magnesium | 10% Iron | 16% Potassium

Honey Dijon Chicken with Red Potatoes & Carrots (with Chickpea Version)

I love dinner recipes when everything goes in one dish! Easy to make, easy to clean, and delicious to eat! This is one of the recipes I make on a regular basis. Partly because my husband loves mustard. A little too much. And partly, because it’s a balanced meal and easy to make vegetarian/vegan. I usually make a pan for my parents and him, and then half the recipe to make a small version of it with chickpeas or garbanzo beans for me. I will be hopefully making more dishes like this for easy dinners with not a lot of clean up for weekday meals. You could also get this prepared the night before so that when you get home all you need to do is throw it in the oven.

Let’s talk nutrition for a moment. Not only is this recipe low in fat and high in fiber, there are specific things that potatoes and carrots are good for.

Red Potatoes
  • Good Source of Iron – Oxygenation of Cells
  • Good Source of Vitamin C & Zinc – For Immune Health
  • Good Source of Potassium – Heart and Muscle Health
Carrots
  • Good Source of Beta-Carotene – helps slow down the aging of cells, including cells in the eye
    • Beta-Carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the liver
    • Vitamin A is converted in the retina to rhodopsin – used for night vision
  • Good Source of Vitamin A – protects the skin from sun damage

Honey Dijon Chicken with Red Potatoes & Carrots (with Chickpea Version)

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (depending on size)
  • OR 2 cans of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup honey or agave (plus more for extra sauce to dip)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup Dijon mustard (plus more for extra sauce to dip)
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 lb. bag of red potatoes, chopped
  • 12-16 oz. bag of baby carrots
  • Salt and pepper, if desired

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Make your sauce. Combine 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup mustard, rosemary, and olive oil. Whisk together.
  3. In a gallon size bag, add potatoes and carrots enough to almost fill the bag. If you are using the chickpeas, you can pour those in too. Pour sauce over top. Close the bag and toss for about 3 minutes to make sure the sauce is covering the vegetables.
  4. Pour vegetables in a prepared 9×11 baking dish. Add your chicken breasts on top. Make a smaller batch of the sauce – 1/8 cup honey + 1/8 cup Dijon mustard, and cover the top of the chicken breasts. If using the chickpeas, if you need to add a little extra sauce, drizzle some on top.
  5. Put the dish, uncovered, in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the vegetables start to brown on sides and chicken juice is running clear.
  6. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve! While it’s resting, if you need to whisk together extra sauce to dip or drizzle on top, do it now before serving.

Nutritional Information

With Chicken

555 calories | 8.5 g fat | 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat | 3.7 g monounsaturated fat | 2.2 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 204 mg cholesterol | 459 mg sodium | 59 g carbohydrates | 6.9 g fiber | 32 g total sugar | 64 g protein | 673% Vitamin A | 22% Vitamin C | 8% Calcium | 40% Magnesium | 38% Potassium | 33% Zinc

With Chickpeas

435 calories | 5.7 g fat | 1.7 g polyunsaturated fat | 1.9 g monounsaturated fat | 0.5 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 87.5 g carbohydrates | 15 g fiber | 37 g total sugar | 13.4 g protein | 673% Vitamin A | 22% Vitamin C | 13% Calcium | 29% Magnesium | 25% Potassium | 21% Zinc

Lemon Dill Brown Rice

Brown rice is one of those things you put with anything and has become a staple in my house for a long time. Here is one we use for lighter meals, perfect for spring and summer, to go with fish, salads, and grilled anything! It’s good to become creative with rice if you are not having anything over it since it can be bland and can get boring especially with how much we use it. Adding fresh herbs, garlic, onion, juices like tomato, etc. can really bring on the flavor! Let’s look at why brown rice is so nutritious.

Brown Rice
  • Good Source of Magnesium – Vital for Heart, Muscle, and Bone Health
  • Good Source of Manganese – Trace Mineral Needed for Vital Functions
    • Nutrient Absorption
    • Production of Digestive Enzymes
    • Bone Development
    • Formation of Blood-Clotting Factors
    • Immune Health
  • High Fiber – Weight Management, Good Bowel Health, Lowers Blood Sugar, and more.

 

Lemon Dill Brown Rice

  • Servings: 4-1 cup Servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, optional
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill

Directions

  1. Add butter or oil to a medium pan on medium heat. Heat through for a minute. Add in garlic, broth, and salt. Bring heat to high and cover until boiling.
  2. Add in rice and reduce the heat to low or medium-low for it to simmer, not boil. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  3. Add lemon zest and dill. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

291 calories | 8.5 g fat | 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat | 5.6 g monounsaturated fat | 1.3 g saturated fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 950 mg sodium | 48.5 g carbohydrates | 3.6 g fiber | 2.8 g total sugar | 5.1 g protein | 22% Vitamin A | 27% Magnesium | 16% Zinc | 100% Manganese

Green Chile Egg Muffins + Green Chile Garbanzo Flour Muffin Version (egg, soy, dairy, corn, gluten free)

An easy savory breakfast to prep is always something I love! And green chilies. Eggs have had some hype over the last few years and there is debate over whether they are something healthy to eat or not. Let me take a minute to talk about them and why you might not need to be so afraid to have them.

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Eggs have gotten a long and bad reputation for being bad for your cholesterol levels. True, eggs are high in cholesterol and there is no nutritional need to ingest cholesterol since our body, mainly the liver, makes it for us. However, eggs or other foods high in cholesterol are not necessarily the culprit when it comes to high cholesterol. Here is a peer reviewed study of egg consumption and the risk of increasing high cholesterol and stroke risk. They found there was no real evidence that eating high cholesterol foods, like eggs, resulted in high blood cholesterol or a greater stroke risk.

That being said, here are some tips on how to lower cholesterol which includes decreasing weight (even 5 lbs.), eating high fiber foods, and eating less saturated fats.

So now that we know eggs aren’t as bad as they might have seemed before, let’s look at the Green Chile Muffin recipe and nutrition!

Green Chile Egg Muffins

  • Servings: 6 Servings/Muffins
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Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 4oz can of chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup minced green onion
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Take a medium muffin tin and if not using liners or it’s not a non-stick tin, coat the insides with oil. I used a small amount of coconut oil.
  3. Put about 1 teaspoon of green chilies in the bottom of each of the 6 muffin molds, and about 1 tablespoon of the green chilies.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper until mixed together. Pour into the muffin molds until almost fill. Start with 3/4 of the way full and fill with what may be left.
  5. Cook for about 15 minutes. Top with cheese and cook for another 3-5 minutes
  6. Let rest for a few minutes before trying to move the egg muffins out of the tin.

To store, place in the fridge for about 3-4 days. For a more balanced breakfast, have 1-2 egg muffins with 1/2 cup of fruit.

Nutritional Information

1 Egg Muffin = 192 calories | 12.7 g total fat | 1.72 polyunsaturated fat | 5.37 monounsaturated fat | 3.89 saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 626 mg cholesterol | 8.27 g carbohydrates | 3.5 g fiber | 2.92 g sugar | 12.89 g protein

Now that we have the egg version, and after all this is Food Allergy Awareness Month/Week, here is an egg/soy/gluten/corn/dairy free version for a savory Green Chile Breakfast Muffin.

Tip: You might want to eat this with some green salsa since the garbanzo flour can make it dry.

Green Chile Garbanzo Flour Breakfast Muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened, plain plant based milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 4oz can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 c minced green onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 cup plant based cheddar shreds

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Take a medium muffin tin and if not using liners or it’s not a non-stick tin, coat the insides with oil. I used a small amount of coconut oil.
  3. In a medium-large bowl whisk together all ingredients, except for the plant based cheddar shreds if you are using, until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into the muffin tin. It will not rise very much so fill them to the top.
  5. Cook for 18 minutes. Top with the plant based cheddar shreds if using, and cook for 5 more minutes. 23 minutes total.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes before moving them from the muffin tin.


For a more balanced meal, have with a 1/2 cup of fresh fruit.
If the muffins seem a little too dry, have a small amount of salsa to eat with it.

Nutritional Information

1 Garbanzo Flour Muffin = 170 calories | 6.46 g total fat | 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat | 2.3 g monounsaturated fat | 0.9 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 21.5 g carbohydrates | 6.1 g fiber | 3 g sugar | 8.72 g protein

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto, Cannellini Beans, & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Because spring is here and the weather keeps heating up, having a lighter pasta alternative is a great thing to have. Plus spaghetti squash is already gluten free, low fat, and has fiber. There’s really no losing here.

This is one of my favorite ways to have spaghetti squash, other than regular marinara sauce with other veggies and a protein. This avocado pesto gives you good fats without oil and a creamy texture without dairy. Then adding the cannellini beans or another protein like chicken adds to it to make it a balanced meal. This is a very low calorie meal, so feel free to add in garlic bread, salad, soup, etc.

Spaghetti Squash

Oh spaghetti squash! The vegetable that doesn’t require a spiralizer to make vegetable noodles. I always say, the easier the better, and the less kitchen appliances the better! Or at least it will be more likely that I’ll do it. I enjoy cooking and cooking healthy recipes. However, there is a thing called life and a lot of time it’s the time that gets in the way. So the easier a recipe is, the less time intensive it is, and the less appliances you have to clean after is very important.

You do have too cook spaghetti squash, so it’s not a raw “noodle”, but it’s simple. It makes a lot and you can freeze it or have it as part of a meal prep for the whole week. It does take time to cook, but not a lot of your personal time. If you have never cooked a spaghetti squash before, check out my “How To Cook Spaghetti Squash” post.

Avocado Pesto

This pesto is something you can use on toast, with pasta, as a dip, etc. Usually pesto you find at the store has unnecessary oil and will add cheese to it. Which for here and there is not a bad thing, but if you want a healthier option to make sure the fats you are having are your healthy fats, and if you are trying to stay away from dairy but still want your pesto, check out this recipe!

Avocado Pesto

  • Servings: 1 cup, 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, raw
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, you can use parmesan if you want dairy

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add 1-3 tablespoons of water to it while blending.
  2. Use right away or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Nutritional Information

1/4 Cup Serving

77 calories | 3.9 g total fat | 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat | 2.5 g monounsaturated fat | 0.5 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 535 mg sodium | 6.6 g carbohydrates | 2.9 g fiber | 0.6 g sugar | 5 g protein

Making a Meal or Side Dish

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto, Cannellini Beans, & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium size spaghetti squash, baked
  • 1 Avocado Pesto Recipe
  • 4 Sun-Dried Tomatoes, dry not packed in oil, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can or 2 cups cooked Cannellini Beans (you can use another protein like chicken if you’d rather)
  • Italian seasoning, if desired
  • Salt and Pepper, if desired

Directions

  1. Heat up the cannellini beans, if not already warmed. You can add Italian seasoning and salt and pepper if you’d like to season them for extra flavor. If warming on the stove, keep the juice from the canned beans and heat them with the seasoning.
  2. Place about 2 cups of spaghetti squash noodles in a serving bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of avocado pesto on top.
  3. Sprinkle with Sun-dried tomatoes & cannellini beans or chicken.
  4. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

1 Serving with Cannellini Beans

153 calories | 5.3 g total fat | 1.1 g polyunsaturated fat | 2.6 g monounsaturated fat | 0.8 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 568 mg sodium | 23 g carbohydrates | 7.4 g fiber | 6.3 g sugar | 7.4 g protein

Caesar Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Homemade Croutons

I don’t know of too many people who don’t like Caesar Salad. It’s lettuce, a creamy dressing, and then the crunch of flavorful croutons. I originally had a recipe for a cashew dressing to make it dairy free, but since have made a yogurt version (using plant-based yogurt or dairy-based) so that it is low fat but still creamy, delicious, and not so heavy. But first, I want to share how I make my own croutons.

Home-Made Croutons

Croutons can be expensive for how much you get, and almost always have dairy in the ingredients. Here is how I get around that. This recipe will fill about a 1/2 gallon bag when you’re done. Half the recipe if you need to.


Homemade Croutons

  • Servings: 1/2 gallon size bag, enough for 12 salads, 6 croutons each
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Ingredients

  • 6 slices of bread of your choice
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper (if desired)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take 6 slices of bread and cube them. About 9-12 cubes each. Slice twice one way to make ribbons, and 2-3 times the opposite way.
  3. Spread on a cookie sheet (prepared with aluminum foil or parchment paper).
  4. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning and salt and pepper.
  5. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the bread starts to brown. You might want to shake the pan around or flip them about half way through to make sure they get dry. Let cool. Add to salad or store in ziplock bag for about a week.

Nutrition Information (Whole Wheat Croutons Only)

1/2 slice worth of croutons per serving

84 calories | 5 g fat | 0.7 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 323 mg sodium | 7.9 g carbohydrate | 1 g fiber | 0.8 g sugars | 1.8 g protein

Energy Sources

38 g carbohydrates | 54% fat | 9% protein

Dietary Servings per Portion

0.4 Grain

 

So simple and easy that I always make my own croutons now. No added flavors or seasonings I don’t want. No hidden allergens. And it can be a healthy whole grain bread that I like.

Onto the salad!

Caesar Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Homemade Croutons

  • Servings: 6 servings
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Ingredients

  • 3 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, optional
  • 1/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt, I used Kite Hill’s Plain Almond Milk Yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tbsp miso paste, for soy free I use chickpea miso
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup Homemade Croutons
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan or my Nut Parmesan

Directions

  1. Add washed and chopped romaine hearts to a large bowl.
  2. In a blender add yogurt, garlic, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, miso, capers, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
  3. Add red onion if using, croutons, and parmesan to the romaine and toss. Right before serving, add in the dressing a small amount at a time and mix together until lightly covered.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

124 calories | 3.3 g total fat | 1.1 g saturated fat | 0.8 polyunsaturated fat | 1.0 g monounsaturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 4.5 mg cholesterol | 379 mg sodium | 16.5 g carbohydrates | 7.3 g fiber | 4.7 g sugar | 7 g protein

Macro Sources

53% Carbohydrates | 24% Fat | 23% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.2 Grain
  • 0.1 Milk Alternative
  • 5.3 Vegetables

Okra with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Nothing says spring vegetables better than asparagus and okra to me. Although both are used in the fall too! Okra is one of those things that people either love or hate. If you are a texture person, more than likely you don’t like okra. At restaurants you’ll usually see fried okra, not fresh. I wanted to give you a fresh okra recipe to switch up your sides this spring. Since I was limited when I was younger to what I could have, I’m all about variety now!

Let’s take a minute and talk about okra.

Okra

1 Cup of Okra

  • 33 Calories
  • 0.2 g Total Fat
  • 7 mg Sodium
  • 299 mg Potassium
  • 7 g Carbohydrates
  • 3.3 g Fiber
  • 1.5 g Sugar
  • 1.9 g Protein
  • 38% DV Vitamin C
  • 14% DV Vitamin A
  • 14% DV Magnesium
  • 8% DV Calcium

This vegetable is good for lowering cholesterol, maintaining a good blood glucose level, supports your immune system, and helps to promote a healthy pregnancy due to the vitamins and minerals including folic acid, that it provides. Okra has also been shown in a study to help prevent kidney disease, which is good news for those with diabetes.

On To The Recipe

Okra has been paired with tomatoes since forever, but I like using fire roasted tomatoes for the flavor. Season however you’d like but I like adding a Cajun seasoning mix to mine and fresh garlic. You can have this as a side or make it into a main dish by adding chicken breast and brown rice. If you are vegan or vegetarian, add black eyed peas or butter beans instead of the chicken. Either way, it’s a great dish!

Okra with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

  • Servings: 6 side servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, optional
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5-2 lbs. raw okra, sliced
  • 2 15 oz. cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp Cajun seasoning

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet. Add in the yellow onion and cook until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in your okra, canned tomatoes, and creole seasoning. Let simmer on medium-low for about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve as a side alone, or over rice.

Nutrition Information

Per Side Serving

114 Calories | 4.43 g total fat | 2.0 g monounsaturated fat | 1.2 g polyunsaturated fat | 0.6 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 328 mg sodium | 14.7 g carbohydrates | 7.5 g fiber | 6.5 g sugar | 4 g protein | 65% Vitamin C | 23% Folate | 16% Calcium | 29% Magnesium

Okra with Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Butter Beans

Yum! I just added a can of small butter beans to the mixture and heated it through and ta da! I had my dinner.

 

Dairy Free Parmesan

This is one of those things I keep in my cabinet all the time. It’s great to use as a topping like parmesan for pastas, salads, and anything else. The other good thing is that you can store it in the pantry for a few weeks since it’s all dry ingredients. Simple, dairy-free, and soy-free alternative to parmesan cheese that’s nutritious. Yes please!

Nutritional Yeast

The main ingredient is nutritional yeast. If you have dabbled into vegan cooking you most likely have heard of it. Let’s talk about what it is and what it is not and then look at why it’s nutritious.

  • Nutritional Yeast IS
    • the same type of yeast that’s used to bake bread and brew beer.
  • Nutritional Yeast IS NOT
    • Active yeast
    • Baker’s yeast and Brewer’s yeast is bought as an active ingredient to leaven bread and to brew beer. Nutritional yeast is what is left over after the yeast cells are killed.

What’s left?

A nutty, cheesy flavoring. Most nutritional yeasts on the shelves are fortified with B vitamins and can be a very rich source. Not only that but as a cheesy flavoring that is natural, take a look at the nutritional value.

1/4 cup serving

  • 60 calories
  • 0.5 g fat
  • 5 g carbohydrates
  • 3 g fiber
  • 0 g sugar
  • 8 g protein
  • 980% Thiamin (B-1)
  • 750% Riboflavin (B-2)
  • 290% Niacin (B-3)
  • 350% B-6
  • 460% Folate
  • 730% B-12

Good news, B vitamins are water soluble and is not stored in the body, so taking high amounts of b-vitamins is not a concern. They are known to help with energy by aiding in digestion, they are neurotransmitters so they help reduce the chance of stroke, helps with memory, hormone production and health, building blood cells, and maintaining healthy nerve cells.

I can’t say your regular cheesy topping can do all of that.

 

So here is my recipe for a flavorful cheesy topping with some major added nutritional benefits!

Dairy Free Parmesan

  • Servings: Makes 1/2 cup, 1 tbsp per serving, 8 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt, optional
  • Dash of pepper if desired

Directions

  1. Pulse all ingredients in a blender or food processor until combined
  2. Store in an air tight container and store in the pantry for a few weeks. Top everything with it!

Nutritional Information

43 calories | 1.8 g total fat | 0.1 g saturated fat | 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat | 1.3 g monounsaturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 22.5 mg sodium | 2.9 g carbohydrates | 1.9 g fiber | 0.5 g sugar | 3.8 g protein

Energy Sources

26% Carbohydrates | 38% Fat | 36% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion

N/A

Greek Chickpea Salad or Pita Filling

This is a great recipe to add to your meal prep for lunches. I always look for lunches that won’t “bring me down” come the mid-afternoon slump. Sometimes you just can’t avoid it, but I do notice that whatever I eat for lunch can directly effect it. Easily digestible carbohydrates and raw food always keeps me running! Not all people are the same, but for me this recipe truly does the trick for busy days. Whether I have it as is, a bean salad, or I have it in a whole wheat pita – this is something I keep in mind for lunches.

Let’s talk a little about why this recipe is nutritious.

Chickpeas
  • High in Fiber – Good for Weight Management and Bowel Health
  • Can Help to Reduce LDL (bad) Cholesterol
  • Omega-3 Fats – Reduce Inflammation
  • Good Source of Protein
  • Rich in Minerals for Bone Health
Low-Fat Yogurt
  • Good Bacteria for Gut Health & Immune Health
    • Relieves bloating and cramping
    • Combats bacteria in the stomach and intestines that can cause infection.
    • Helps prevent yeast infections by balancing pH levels
Cucumbers
  • Promotes Detoxification by Helping the Liver
  • Balances pH in Body
  • Balances Blood Sugar
    • A hormone in cucumbers helps the pancreas to utilize insulin
  • High in Vitamins & Minerals for Eye, Bone, Teeth, and Nail Health

Meal Prep Tip

If you are making this in advance, make sure to pat dry the chopped cucumber and tomatoes before adding them to the bowl. This will dry up excess water/juice so that the salad doesn’t become watered down the next day or two when you eat it.

Greek Chickpea Salad or Pita Filling

  • Servings: 4 Servings
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain yogurt
  • juice from 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, if desired
  • whole wheat pitas, if using

Directions

  1. Take the chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, and cherry tomatoes and stir together.
  2. In a small bowl make the yogurt sauce. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, fresh dill, and garlic and combine.
  3. Add the yogurt sauce to the chickpea mixture and taste. If desired, add salt and pepper.
  4. Serve immediately as a bean salad, in pitas, or store for later.

Nutritional Information

349 calories | 5.5 g total fat | 0.5 g saturated fat | 2.1 g polyunsaturated fat | 1.1 g monounsaturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 1.2 mg cholesterol | 484 mg sodium | 56 g carbohydrates | 15.5 g fiber | 11.2 g sugar | 19.1 g protein

Macros

64% Carbohydrates | 14% Fat | 22% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.3 Fruit
  • 1.2 Meat Alternative
  • 0.2 Milk Alternative
  • 2.8 Vegetables