Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Healthy Habits: The Best Salad You Will Ever Consume

Lately, I've become quite the fan of arugula.  I love the spicy bite that it carries, along with its nutritional benefits as well.  Arugula contains eight times the calcium, fives times vitamin A, C and K, and four times the amount of iron as an equivalent amount of iceberg lettuce.  Furthermore, it contains beta carotene and plays a role in preventing cancer through its cruciferous properties.

There are various ways to consume arugula, but I enjoy it as an alternative to your average lettuce in salads.  Therefore, I whipped up this beauty late last night.  For some reason, I tend to eat late due to my hectic schedule.  When I do eat late, however, I prefer lighter options for my meals.  Needless to say, this salad is by far the most delicious salad I have consumed.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Side note: I don't really like to measure items out, but rather prepare proper proportions.

What you need:
Arugula
1 square slice of watermelon
English cucumber
Bell pepper (I chose to use yellow)
Red onion
Cherry tomatoes
Cooked shrimp marinated in garlic, lemon juice and olive oil
Fat free feta cheese crumbles
Slivered almonds
Extra virgin olive oil
Dijon mustard
Lemon juice
Pepper to taste

1) To begin, gather all of your ingredients that you will be using to build this wondrous salad.

1) Also, gather your ingredients to mix up your vinaigrette.  I like to make my own because I know exactly what I'm putting in it.

2) Mix together about 1 Tablespoon of dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, the juice of half of a lemon, and pepper to taste.

3) Now, it's time for the fun part: Building your salad.  Place a square block of watermelon on a plate.

4) Add a layer of arugula on top of the watermelon.

5) Place thinly sliced English cucumbers on top of the arugula.  I prefer to use English cucumbers because they have the seeds removed.






















6) Add your julienne chopped yellow bell peppers (or any bell pepper that you prefer).

7) Cut up some red onion and place it on top of your pile of goodness.  Place 5-6 cherry tomatoes around the square piece of watermelon.

8) Sprinkle the salad with a small palm full of fat-free feta cheese and some slivered almonds.  Add the marinated shrimp on top of it, and dinner is served! 



Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Favorites: Healthy Snack Choices

Although my diet is rather healthy, that doesn't mean that I don't have the urge to snack sometimes.  What I found about working out is that I actually become hungrier the more active I am.  Instead of grabbing something filled with fat and calories, reach for a snack that is equally crunchy or sweet.  Another tip that helps curb my cravings is to eat small meals throughout the day versus eating two or three large meals.  What are some of your favorite snacks?

Here are some of my favorite healthy snack choices:

1) Hummus and Carrots | Carrots are nutrient-rich and delicious with a side of hummus.  I like this roasted red pepper hummus from Whole Foods.  Next time you're craving something crunchy, grab some of these.

2) Sauteed Spinach and Shiitake Mushrooms | When I'm craving something savory, I like to whip up this quick dish.  Simply sautee some garlic in a pan, add the mushrooms with a few handfuls of spinach and a drizzle of low-sodium soy sauce and you have a yummy dish that is good for you!

3) Raw Almonds and Dried Cranberries | This is the best of both worlds because I get something crunchy and sweet at the same time.  When I'm on-the-go, I grab a handful of these and I instantly have a boost of energy.

4) Mediterranean Crunch Salad | This is light and packed with crunchy vegetables that are good for you - garbanzo beans, fennel, cucumber, parsley, kalamata olives (very few), onions, red pepper, kale, cherry tomatoes, mint, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.  It's perfect for a late afternoon snack.



Monday, February 13, 2012

Healthy Habits: A Twist on Chicken Soup

When I'm cooking, I typically like to put a twist on the usual dish by adding something unique that makes it my own.  Since it's been a little chilly lately, I decided to feature today's "Healthy Habits" post with this hot and delicious chicken soup I whipped up.  It's healthy, full of vitamins and whole grains, and it will keep you satisfied.  For those of you who are vegetarian, feel free to simply omit the chicken that I've added and opt for vegetable stock rather than chicken stock.

Another healthy tip that has helped me lose and keep off my baby weight is by incorporating organic foods into my diet.  I've used organic chicken and vegetables, along with whole wheat pasta for this particular recipe.  Check it out after the jump!

1) Chop up all of your favorite vegetables.  I'm using onions, mushrooms, carrots, fresh green beans, and sweet potatoes (1/4 cup of onion and 1 cup of the other vegetables).  Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C.

2) Gather all of the ingredients needed for your dish; Any whole grain pasta (I'm using rotini), your fresh vegetables, spinach, roasted red peppers, and cooking spray.

3) Spray a stock pot with cooking spray and toss your vegetables in to saute for about 5 minutes or until translucent.

4) Gather together your seasonings.  I don't cook with salt very often, but I use plenty of various spices to intensify the flavor of my dishes.  For this soup, I'm using: 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of sage, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.  Add about 1 gallon of chicken stock.  Don't worry about adding too much liquid because it will condense as the soup cooks through.  Add your bay leaf and seasonings.


5) Add half of a chopped up roasted red pepper.  You can roast your own, but I just buy mine at the market. I also added a splash of white wine to intensify the flavor.

6) Let the soup combine and cook through for 30-45 minutes.  Season to taste.  Add 1 cooked and diced chicken breast.  I seasoned mine with garlic powder, black pepper and lemon juice.  Top it off with 1 cup of fresh spinach.  Remove the bay leaf from your stock pot once the soup has finished cooking.

7) Enjoy your delicious and HEALTHY chicken noodle soup!