Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simple Sauteed Kale

This has recently become my family's favorite side dish. So easy to prepare and chocked full of nutrients!


 * Note: I often double this recipe and make 2 batches back to back since the raw kale takes up so much room in the pan initially

6 packed cups torn or coarsely chopped kale leaves
¼ cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
toppings- salt, pepper, grated parmesan cheese (optional)


Wash and pat dry the kale (if it is damp that is ok because a little water will help the steaming process.) Remove the ribs and tear or chop the leaves. Add 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil to coat a large pan and warm on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Throw in the kale, pour the broth over, cover and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally as it starts to soften. Remove cover, add the remaining 1.5 teaspoon of olive oil, mix well and heat for another 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to taste. 

Makes 2 cups, 4 servings

Serving size: ½ cup Calories 90 Protein 5 g Carb 10 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 0 g Fat 4.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 55 mg

* Note: the nutrition analysis will change a bit if salt or parmesan cheese is added


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Recipe ReDux Post # 23 Strawberry Watermelon Popsicles With a Hint of Rose

“Floral Flavors” is the June Recipe ReDux theme and the challenge was to develop a recipe using edible flowers or products made with them. Now this was totally foreign territory for me and I was definitely intrigued and a bit intimidated to say the least!  Rose extract seemed like a fun ingredient to try so I decided to go with it and create a healthy popsicle recipe to celebrate the start of summer.  This recipe is clean, easy, delicious and super low calorie! Plus the hint of rose goes a long way to add a unique, almost royal flavor.  Try it out and check out these flowery creations made by the awesome Recipe Redux folks!


1 generous cup of cubed seedless watermelon
1 heaping cup of sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1/8 teaspoon rose extract (optional)
6 3-4 ounce popsicle holders


Add the watermelon, honey, lemon juice and rose to a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds. Then throw in the strawberries and blend another minute or so until a smooth mixture is formed.  Add about 1/3 cup to each popsicle holder for a total of 6 popsicles and freeze for 6-8 hours.

Makes 6 popsicles, six servings

Serving size: 1 popsicle Calories 30 Protein 0 g Carb 8 g Fiber 1 g Sugars  7g Fat  0 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 0 mg


Saturday, June 14, 2014

In The News... Protein Intake and Risk of Stroke

Protein, in terms of optimal type/source and amount is always a popular subject in nutrition research.  One recent study has investigated protein intake as it relates to stroke- it is intriguing and I thought I'd share it with you.

The meta-analysis, published in Neurology this month,  looked at protein intake and it's potential to reduce the incidence of stroke. Chinese researchers reviewed all of the available studies checking out the relationship between protein in the diet and the risk of stroke. Seven studies (with a total of 254,489 participants who were followed for an average of 14 years) were included in this analysis.
The results? Overall, the participants with the greatest amount of protein in their diets were 20 percent less likely to develop a stroke in comparison with those that had the lowest amount of protein in their diets. (Their results controlled for other factors that could affect the risk of stroke, such as smoking and high cholesterol.) Every additional 20 grams per day of protein consumed reduced the risk of stroke by 26 percent! 
The scientists did point out that the analysis did not support increased consumption of red meat, which has been associated with elevated stroke risk. Two of the studies were conducted in Japan, where fish intake surpasses that of red meat, in comparison to westerners. (And fish intake has been associated with decreased risk of stroke.)
In conclusion the results indicated that stroke risk may be reduced by replacing red meat with other protein sources, such as fish.  The mechanism?? Protein intake can lower blood pressure, which may play a role in reducing stroke risk. You can check out a summary of the research HERE
You can pump up the protein in your diet with some of my protein bar recipes, and the majority of my entrees are protein rich as well!!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower with Dates and Pistachios

This is a Mediterranean inspired side dish that has an awesome combo of unique flavors!


7 cups cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
¼ cup pitted and chopped medjool dates
¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the cauliflower in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey and vinegar. Add the vinegar mixture to the bowl with the cauliflower and toss to coat. Then place the veggies on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and roast for 20 minutes, (turn/toss them half way through) until lightly browned and tender but firm when pierced with a fork. In last few minutes of roasting sprinkle the dates and pistachios over the cauliflower to lightly toast.

Makes 4 cups 8 servings

Serving size: 1/2 cup Calories  85  Protein  3 g Carb 13 g  Fiber  2.5 g Sugars 8 g Fat 4 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium  45 mg


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