Tag: healthy recipe

“Upgraded” Kale Waldorf Salad

I almost had the privilege of staying at the renowned Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City when I was a senior in high school.

Unfortunately, due to lots of picketing and some sort of boycott, my classmates and I had to change locations and stay at a different hotel during our senior class trip to the Big Apple. Oh well!

The salad I’m sharing today originated in the Waldorf Hotel in the late 1800s and is often a potluck favorite due to the combination of creamy dressing, crunchy celery and walnuts, and sweet, crisp apples.

A bunch of healthy ingredients go into this salad recipe

A bunch of healthy ingredients go into this salad recipe

One of the things I like to do when preparing meals is make some upgrades. “Upgrades” are little changes that basically boost the nutrient score of a particular food or dish. The more nutrients we get in our food, the more our bodies will thank us by staying well and feeling energized!

I made this salad, which puts a healthier spin on the class Waldorf Salad, for a friend’s baby shower last summer, and it was a big hit.

The sweetness comes from apples and raisins instead of the white sugar used in the traditional recipe, and the Dijon mustard, apples, and walnuts blend together to create a creamy dressing without using mayo.

The main “upgrade” to¬†this recipe is¬†the addition of dino kale (a¬†superstar vegetable!). This is a great way to introduce friends and family to kale. It has lots of different textures and great flavor. Bring it to your next potluck!

“Upgraded” Kale Waldorf Salad¬†

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups packed finely chopped raw kale, preferably dinosaur kale
  • 1 large red apple, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raisins, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water, more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

The dressing will be pretty thick, but I just massage it into the kale. If you find that you need more than 2 tablespoons of water to thin it out, feel free to add in one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice instead of adding more water.

Click here for the full recipe from Whole Foods Market Recipes (one of my favorite recipe apps!).

Green Goddess Guacamole!

Think of a food you dislike.

Maybe you’ve tried it before, maybe you haven’t. Either way, you know you don’t like it, and there’s no way anyone can get you to try it…right?

Until about 4 years ago, guacamole was one of those foods for me. Why? Because I was CONVINCED that guacamole¬†had mayonnaise in it…and I’ve always disliked¬†mayonnaise.

One day at work, we had a healthy cooking demo taught by a health coach like me, and we were learning to make none other than…guacamole! ¬†I had all but made up my mind that I wasn’t going to try it.

Fortunately, it didn’t take long before I realized¬†that it was NOT made with mayonnaise and that everyone else was trying it, so…

I gave in to peer pressure and was shocked to find out I LOVED IT!

What had I been missing??

Ever since that day, I’ve been an avocado and guacamole lover.

Delicious, fresh, and seasonal ingredients for this delicious guac!

Delicious, fresh, and seasonal ingredients for this delicious guac!

Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat AND are known as a beauty detox food. Here are just a few of their awesome health benefits:

  • Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals promote moisturizing from the inside, which means¬†healthy, smooth, radiant skin (a true beauty food!)
  • The healthy fat helps our bodies better absorb antioxidants from other fruits and veggies
  • The antioxidant they contain – glutathione – is a powerful¬†cancer-fighter
  • The combo of good fat and fiber helps control blood sugar

My favorite ways to use avocados are in dips, soups, desserts, mixed in to salads, and (of course!) in guacamole. I found a super simple recipe that used a slightly different combo of ingredients than the usual ones, so I thought I would test it out.

Two of the other ingredients in this guac Рcilantro and scallions (AKA green onions) Рare also great for you. Cilantro helps the body detoxify and onions are one of the top anti-cancer GBOMBS foods, so enjoy them all you want!

Green Goddess Guacamole

Creamy guacamole goodness

Creamy guacamole goodness

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled (here’s how to cut and peel an avocado)
  • 1 tablespoon FRESH lime juice (don’t sub the¬†bottled kind)
  • 3-4 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced¬†(also called scallions)
  • 2 tablespoons¬†fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†sea salt (add more to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mash with a fork or potato masher until you reach your¬†desired consistency. We like ours to be a bit chunky, so we don’t mash it too much.

We love dipping fresh veggies like carrots, cucumber, celery, red peppers, and sugar snap peas into our guac, along with these tortilla chips!

Super Simple Curry Roasted Potatoes

For most of my life, I ate a pretty bland diet.

Sauces, spices, and condiments? No, thank you. I will have it “plain.”

“Plain” was safe, familiar, predictable.

My seasonings of choice were, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray, parmesan cheese, and black pepper…and maybe a pinch of oregano or basil every now and then. That was it.

As I’ve gotten more comfortable exploring new foods, I’ve been exposed to dozens of flavors and tastes that I never knew existed. Food used to be boring, but now it’s exciting and filled with variety!

One of the cuisines that I resisted eating until very recently was Indian food.

I did what I had done many times before and made up my mind that I didn’t like Indian food, even though I had never tried it. I made the assumption that all Indian food was spicy and the funky colors and strange-looking dishes were not appealing to me as a picky eater.

I had no idea what I was missing!

Though it likely started as a combination of ginger, turmeric and garlic, the origin of a signature Indian spice blend, curry, has been traced back thousands of years to the Indus Valley Civilization in modern-day India. Most likely rooted in the South Indian term for sauce (kari), British traders adopted the more familiar word curry to categorize these spice blends. It has evolved and been adopted by other cultures since then.

curry

Curry spice blends vary widely, depending on which region they’re from and based on people’s personal tastes, but some of the most common ingredients include¬†turmeric, ginger,¬†fenugreek, coriander, and cinnamon. Other varieties include cayenne pepper, cumin, mustard seed, and cardamom.

Many of these spices are highly anti-inflammatory, and many health experts agree that¬†inflammation is at the core of a lot of disease and our struggles to lose weight. In addition, curry is full of warming spices, so it’s perfect for this cold weather we’ve been having.

After learning which spices were actually in curry (and realizing that I liked all of them),¬†I’ve been on a huge curry kick, adding it to recipes to completely change the way they taste. You can find curry powder in the spice aisle at your grocery store. Bill and I are absolutely loving it!

We used the red potatoes and onions we got from our weekly delivery of produce and made curry roasted potatoes and onions. This recipe is so simple and delicious, it will become a staple at our house.

Curry Roasted Potatoes & Onions

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400¬į F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Let stand, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes so flavors can be absorbed.
  3. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (I used parchment paper, so they wouldn’t stick).
  4. Toss every 15 minutes for even browning and to prevent burning.
  5. Bake potatoes and onions until golden brown, 30‚Äď35 minutes.

Want to change it up? Try subbing in sweet potatoes or cauliflower florets instead of red potatoes!

Why Broccoli Is Awesome…and The BEST Roasted Broccoli Recipe

When I was a kid, I put parmesan cheese on EVERYTHING.

One of the fun things I used to do at dinner was pretend it was “snowing” on the “trees” and coated my steamed broccoli with a generous helping of Kraft parmesan cheese. I wouldn’t eat broccoli without it!

Since then, I’ve discovered that cheese and other dairy products were the key triggers for my ear and upper respiratory infections as a child and young adult and¬†can wreak havoc on the body…so no more snowy trees for me. The good news is that¬†I’m feeling so much better now¬†and¬†have gotten¬†rid of those issues completely. I’ll be writing more about my personal experience with the¬†downsides of dairy in future posts (If you’re interested, start watching the video on the link at around minute 5:00).

Fortunately, I’ve learned how to enjoy broccoli without cheese.¬†One of my favorite ways to prepare broccoli is roasting it. If you grew up eating overcooked, canned, or steamed-to-death vegetables, give them at least one more chance and roast them. You will be amazed by how delicious and flavorful they are!

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Broccoli is an incredibly healthy food and is also one of the GBOMBS. Here are just a few reasons why broccoli is awesome and we should eat more of it!

  • It’s anti-inflammatory and detoxifying. Inflammation and toxicity are the two main reasons we are so sick and holding on to extra weight, so we want to do as much as we can to reduce them!
  • It’s rich in fiber. Fiber keeps us full, so we eat less, and it keeps things moving in our digestive system.
  • It contains lutein, which helps to fight heart disease by preventing the thickening of arteries.
  • It’s rich in calcium. Calcium strengthens and promotes bone growth and health, which helps prevent osteoporosis.

Broccoli retains the most nutrients when eaten raw or lightly steamed or cooked, but most of us aren’t eating enough vegetables anyway, so it’s better to eat them roasted than not eat them at all, so roast away!

Now that we’ve established how great broccoli is, let’s talk about what to do with it.

This week in our Hometown Harvest bag, we got a hefty bunch of broccoli, and when I got home from a four-day business trip, I was ready to play in the kitchen and try a new recipe. 

This¬†garlicky broccoli recipe¬†is going to become a staple in our house. It’s SUPER simple and tasty. You are going to LOVE it.

It’s more fitting to call it what it really is…Crack Broccoli.

Seriously, it’s that good…you¬†may have to stop yourself from eating the whole darn tray. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Garlicky Roasted (AKA Crack) Broccoli

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I made a few modifications to the original ingredient list and point them out below.

Ingredients

1 pound broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil (or coconut oil!)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (we substituted raw apple cider vinegar because we didn’t have rice vinegar)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
Red pepper flakes
Lemon wedges, to garnish

Here is the full recipe from one of my favorite recipe bloggers, The Kitchn! (and, nope, that’s not a spelling error ūüôā just a cool name for a website!)

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