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Tomato Quinoa Tabbouleh

 

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Life can get so busy. Between juggling work, school, family and relationships, eating healthfully sometimes slips through the cracks. Whether you feel you don’t have time to throw together a healthy meal, or maybe you are simply stuck in a salad rut- this is the recipe for you! It’s a play on the classic Middle Eastern tabouleh salad that is quick to throw together and will leave your taste buds singing! This is a perfect meal to make the night before and pack for lunch the next day- the already amazing flavors in this salad get even better after marinating overnight in the fridge.

 

Tabbouleh is typically made with couscous or bulgur, but we make this recipe with quinoa for an extra boost in protein and iron—and because most of you have requested more quinoa recipes :). And unlike traditional tabbouleh, this is great for those who are gluten free!

 

More reasons to munch on this salad:

 

  • It’s low in calories, but you’d never know it since it’s bursting with flavor.. While herbs like mint and parsley add a dose of freshness, the lemon brightens everything up with a zesty kick. you won’t feel like you need to douse the salad with high cal dressings..
  • Mint is anti-inflammatory–a tummy soother and allergy fighter (read more about it here in our recipe for skinny homemade strawberry mint ice cream).
  • Parsley is known to be a carminative, which means that it aids in relieving, ahem, gassiness. Needless to say, this quinoa tabouleh will leave your tummy feeling free from any ailments.
  • Tomatoes and cucumber are super hydrating, so they help to moisturize the skin, which is exactly what you need to get glowing skin.
  • Tomatoes are also a fabulous source of lycopene, a phytonutrient that protects the skin from the sun and has also been shown to reduce the risk of prostate, lung, and stomach cancer.

 

Clearly, this salad belongs in your lunch bag, ASAP– it looks beautiful, tastes fresh and is so satisfying, as any salad should be!

 

Tomato Quinoa Tobbouleh

 

Serves 2

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup mint, cleaned and chopped

¾ cup parsley, cleaned and chopped

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 medium cucumber

1 Tbs olive oil

½ tsp pepper

a pinch of sea salt

 

Directions

 

Clean and chop the mint and parsley. Dice the cucumber and cut cherry tomatoes in half. Toss herbs and veggies together. Add the cooked quinoa to the mix. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and the olive oil over the salad. Finish off with the salt and pepper. Toss to combine all ingredients. Eat as is, or refrigerate overnight for tomorrow’s lunch!

Tomato Quinoa Tabbouleh
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2 servings
  • Serving size: ½ of recipe
  • Calories: 217
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated fat: 7 g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 103 mg
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 7.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner, vegan, Gluten Free
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Total time: 

This tomato quinoa tabbouleh is simple to put together and bursting with flavor. Between the anti-inflammatory mint and hydrating cucumber and tomato, there are countless reasons to add this low- cal recipe to the lunch rotation.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of cooked quinoa
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup mint, cleaned and chopped
  • ¾ cup parsley, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • a pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Clean and chop the mint and parsley
  2. Dice the cucumber and cut cherry tomatoes in half
  3. Toss herbs and veggies together
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to the mix
  5. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and the olive oil over the salad
  6. Finish off with the salt and pepper
  7. Toss to combine all ingredients
  8. Eat as is, or refrigerate overnight for tomorrow’s lunch

Should You Try Juicing?

As seen on October 1st, 2013 on:

fitbie

written by The Nutrition Twins,

 

To juice or not to juice? Juice shops are popping up everywhere, and if you’re not dabbling in juicing, you probably have a friend who swears by it.

We get why trendy diets are tempting (“If it’s good enough for Kim K., it’s good enough for me!”), but it’s important to learn the facts before experimenting with any new way of eating—or in this case, drinking.

Read on for a liquid lesson that’ll help you decide whether you should get involved with Hollywood’s main diet squeeze.

Juice vs. Whole Produce
A juicing machine typically extracts the juice from whole fruits or vegetables, leaving behind the skin and pulp, which is packed with valuable nutrients. You miss out on fiber, in particular, which makes you feel full and stabilizes blood sugar, preventing junk-food binges. If you make your juice at home, you can add some of the leftover pulp back in your glass or use it to cook, but if you don’t end up consuming whatever the juicer removed, you’ll still need to eat plenty of fruits and veggies to enjoy all of their health-promoting benefits.

Top 3 Benefits of Juicing

1. Extra nutrients. If you don’t eat many fruits or vegetables but enjoy drinking the juice, you’ll add some important vitamins and minerals to your diet that you’d normally lack.

2. More greens. Leafy green vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense produce options around, so if you’re not besties with kale and spinach, juicing is a way to reap some of their unique rewards.

3. Less junk. If you opt for juices instead of your usual processed snackfoods, you’ll save calories and boost your diet’s nutritional profile overall.

The 5 Golden Rules of Juicing

Rule #1: Go cold, or go home. “Cold-pressed” juices are made in a machine that doesn’t produce as much heat as traditional juicers. Heat destroys some of the nutrients and enzymes, so cold-pressed juices are more nutritious.

Rule #2: Think before you shop. A decent juicer (read: one that doesn’t require a ton of cleaning) costs at least $150, but often several hundred dollars. That’s a hefty price tag if you’re not in it for the long haul. Consider starting with store-bought juices to make sure you’re invested.

Rule #3: Don’t be too friendly with fruit. The average piece of fruit will provide just 4 ounces of juice, which means you may have to use 4 pieces to get 12-16 ounces of juice, which will contain at least 240 calories and upwards of 40 grams of sugar—the same amount in a can of soda! That said, most people find they have to ease into the flavor of vegetables juices, so you might want to add a piece or two of fruit to appease your taste buds.

Rule #4: Veggies are your friend. The calories in vegetables add up much less quickly—3 cups of leafy greens contains about 25 calories compared to 60-80 calories in a single piece of fruit.

Rule #5: Don’t fast. Simply drinking fruit and vegetable juices won’t provide the protein that you need to maintain your muscle tissue and is not recommended, especially for any longer than a few days. Adequate muscle mass is essential for weight loss, and good health in general.

Ready to juice? Toss these ingredients into a juicer, shake, and serve:

5 large handfuls of spinach
1 large or 2 small cucumbers
2 small lemons (peeled)
1 red apple or 1 pear
1 small carrot
*Makes one serving

Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dieticians, certified personal trainers and authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.

For more healthy eating tips, visit nutritiontwins.com.

Edamame Hummus

For more nutrition guidance and a ‘get healthy’ plan, please check out the “The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure

Published on Fitbie on October 1, 2013

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The Danger of the Desk Job

We have some pretty startling news, but trust us, you aren’t going to want to sit down for this. Studies have shown that for every two hours of sitting at work, your risk of obesity increases 5%, and your risk of diabetes increases 7%. That’s major!

 

How could sitting contribute to such serious health issues?

 

For starters, we are sitting too long. Think about it- we live in a very sitting-centered society. A typical day might go something like this: wake up, and drive to work (sitting), work at desk in the office (more sitting), come home and watch television (even more sitting—and we don’t even have to get up to adjust the volume, etc. eeks!) With all this sitting down, we’re hardly even moving a finger more than to control the remote control–it’s no wonder obesity and diabetes rates are climbing through the roof! And these extended periods of sitting are sending us into unhealthy territory.

 

Now, before you quit your day job to become a professional mountain climber, we have some good news.

 

Standing up every 20 minutes, for as little as one to two minutes, can actually help fight off brain fog, weight gain, and risks of diabetes and heart disease. Research shows that standing gets those major leg muscles activated, which actually releases enzymes designed to break up fat in the bloodstream. How cool is that?

 

Standing sure does seem to have serious perks! If something as easy as standing can help us fight disease, increase productivity, and keep extra weight at bay, we are all for it!

 

What are the best ways to get standing up every 20 minutes?

 

Kevan Lee of Buffer has a great article with some fun ideas,  like playing “workstation popcorn”, where you switch from working at your desk, to the coffee shop, to the conference room. The added bonus to this bouncing around is the exercise you get walking from place to place. It all adds up to more activity during the day, which is never a bad thing.

 

Technology also does us a huge favor with the 20 minute challenge. There are tons of apps that encourage users to move more, which would lead to standing up often. Even a basic pedometer is a great investment in standing (and walking) more frequently. And we can tell you that all of our clients who get pedometers end up getting a lot more movement in their days! You can even get competitions going in the office to see who can sit down the least, or get the most steps in every week. Having people engage in a little friendly competition is a great motivator to get up and move.

 

A hydrating way to get up out of your seat at the 20 minute mark is to sip some fruit and herb infused water. Make a big pitcher and keep it in the office fridge. Every time you step away from your seat, grab yourself a glass, and enjoy the fact that you are drinking and standing for your health—and feeling the energizing effects of being properly hydrated, to boot!

 

To make fruit and herb infused water: Simply slice up all your fruit, add your herbs and add them to a pitcher, and muddle. Once your ingredients are slightly mashed and incorporated at the bottom of the pitcher, add water, and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate. Ta-dah! Amazing, flavorful water at your fingertips.

 

Some absolutely scrumptious options are:

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Refresher: cucumber, strawberry, mint

Energizer: lemon, lime, orange

Relaxer: lavender, * 1 vanilla bean pod, peach (*for the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out and add seeds to pitcher in the first step)

 

The possibilities are endless, so get as creative as you want and go wild with your own creations!

Remembering to get in the habit of standing up every 20 minutes—it’s essential for your health and longevity, and with a few little motivators like office competitions and anything-but-boring water, you will be popping out of your seat like it’s second nature!

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Ginger Cinnamon Apple Chips

Cinnamon_Ginger_apple_slices.com

Since Fall is just around the corner, now is the perfect time for using juicy apples while they are at the peak of freshness! Nothing says “Fall” like biting into a crisp apple- especially when it is paired with its’ fragrant and sweet BFF, cinnamon. Apples and cinnamon are a match made in taste bud heaven. When apples and cinnamon get together, magic happens, but this combo doesn’t have to stay in the realm of plain old apples sprinkled with the warming spice or in our Comfort Food Reinvented Apple Pie . Apples make the perfect fruit for turning into healthy baked chips! We all get a craving for a crunchy snack from time to time and these are the perfect swap for chips which aren’t the healthiest snack for your heart (or waistline). Instead, these apple chips are low in calories, and provide the added bonus of some serious nutrition power!

 

Here are some nutritional perks you’ll get with each crunch:

 

Apples are a great source of Vitamin C and phytonutrients, so they are a key beauty food. Vitamin C helps with collagen formation to keep your skin looking youthful and bright, and we all need a phytonutrient boost to help stave off diseases like cancer. These apple chips are also spiced up with cinnamon and ginger, which have their own amazing benefits, too!

 

Cinnamon: Studies have found that cinnamon may help to reduce inflammation, and a number of small studies have found improved blood sugar levels associated with cinnamon intake. Although more research is needed, it can’t hurt to aim for ½- 1 teaspoon of this delish spice daily.!

 

Ginger: Ginger is also great for reducing chronic inflammation (the kind that’s linked to many chronic diseases), and is a total tummy soother, which means it may just keep you free from nausea or stomach discomfort!

 

These chips are so simple to make, and they are the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, zesty and crunchy. Apples have always been a great skinny snack, and this recipe takes the amazing apple above and beyond. With these apple chips in your snack rotation, you will be munching yourself skinny in no time-without having to ignore the chip craving!

 

 

 

Baked Cinnamon Ginger Apple Chips

 Cinnamon_Ginger_apple_slices.com

Serves 1

 

Ingredients:

 

1 apple (Granny Smith is a variety that adds a subtle zing)

½ tsp of powdered ginger

1 tsp of cinnamon (plus more for garnish)

 

Directions:

 

Slice a washed apple very thin, either with a knife or mandolin slicer (easy!) and place slices on a baking sheet. The thinner the apple is sliced, the crispier your chips will be. Sprinkle slices with cinnamon and ginger. Bake at 200°F for 2.5 hours, until golden and crisp. Garnish apple chips with more cinnamon! Enjoy this guilt-free snack whenever you want a crunchy pick-me-up!

 

Ginger Cinnamon Apple Chips
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 serving
  • Serving size: 1 apple
  • Calories: 97
  • Fat: .3 g
  • Saturated fat: 0
  • Unsaturated fat: 0
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Sugar: 16 g
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Fiber: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0

Recipe type: snack, vegan, gluten free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

This recipe is a healthy alternative for regular chips. You still get that satisfying crunch, with the added bonus of the disease-fighting apple. The flavor comes from the spices, ginger and cinnamon, which are great for reducing inflammation. Apple Chips are easy to make, and are the perfect snack for Fall!
Ingredients
  • 1 apple
  • ½ tsp of powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon (plus more for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Slice a washed apple very thin, either with a knife or mandolin slicer
  2. Place slices on a baking sheet
  3. Sprinkle slices with cinnamon and ginger
  4. Bake at 200°F for 2.5 hours, until golden and crisp
  5. Garnish apple chips with more cinnamon!

 

 

Egg_Salad_Stuffed_Cherry_Tomatoes

Egg Salad Tomato Poppers

Whether you’re trying to impress your party guests and want to serve an appetizer that you know will kill it, or if you just want to spoil your taste buds, these bad boys are sure to please. Enjoy!

Egg_Salad_Stuffed_Cherry_Tomatoes

Egg Salad Tomato Poppers

Ingredients:
8 on-the-vine ripe tomatoes
3 Tablespoons non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons red bell pepper, finely chopped
Dash ground pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped (optional)
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)
4 Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs (We use Eggland’s Best eggs because they have 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs)
Salt to taste

Directions:
1. Wash tomatoes and cut a thin slice along the top of each tomato, not cutting completely through so the tomato top can be placed back on the tomato after it is stuffed. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/2-inch shell.
2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, bell pepper, pepper, basil and chives, if you are using them.
3. Finely chop eggs. You can do this by using an egg slicer, cutting the eggs several times. (This is a great step to get the kids involved, they love using an egg slicer.)
4. Gently stir the eggs in the yogurt mixture. Salt to taste.
5. Use a spoon to stuff the tomatoes with the egg salad. Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later!

 

Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition Information (per stuffed tomato): 82 Calories, 3g Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 6g Carbohydrates, 5g Protein, 1g Fiber, 4g Sugar, 57mg Sodium, 123mg Cholesterol

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people make healthier choices.

Stuffed Sausage Mushrooms

National Mushroom Month –Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s September– National Mushroom Month! We love mushrooms—and buy them by the pound (yep, literally!)! They are a great source of potassium so they help to relax the body starting with the vessels and arteries so you release tension from the inside out. Plus Mushroom’s potassium helps to flush excess sodium from the body and the bloat that accompanies it. Oh yeah!

Stuffed Sausage Mushrooms

One of the best things about mushrooms is sinking your teeth into their meaty caps! They’re one of the few veggies that really gives you a meat-like mouth feel, which is why you’ll often find them on grills for the meatless burger option! So if you truly want to feel satisfied, dig into some mushroom dishes—particularly, our Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Mushroom ;)

Fun Mushroom Fact: While there are over 14,000 types of mushrooms, only about 3,000 area actually edible!

In honor of our beloved mushrooms, we wanted to share a delish mushroom recipe!

 

Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms make the perfect dinner party appetizer—or scrumptious snack!

 

Makes 12 Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Oil in a spray jar
  • 12 baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced tomato
  • 2 cups baby spinach, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 4 ounces fat free crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Clean mushroom by rubbing with damp cloth, don’t rinse. Remove stems from mushrooms and dice.

3. Add oil to a medium-sized skillet, heat to medium-low, saute onion, mushroom stems and red pepper. If they start to stick, add a splash of water to the pan or spritz pan with oil.

4. Once the veggies start to get tender (after about 4 minutes) stir in the tomato and garlic and continue to stir for about a minute more. Add the spinach and saute just until the spinach has wilted.

5. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients but only 3 tablespoons of parmesan.

6. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, and put on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops with remaining tablespoon parmesan, and heat for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

Note: These can be served warm or cold! If you serve them warm, allow them to cool for several minutes as they will be very hot. Also, the mushrooms may release liquid, so when you take them off the cookie sheet you can gently dab them with a paper towel before serving.

 

Nutrition Facts: 73 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 162 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 5 g protein

 

Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12
  • Calories: 73
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 162 mg
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Ingredients
  • •1 teaspoon olive oil
  • •Oil in a spray jar
  • •12 baby Bella mushrooms
  • •1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • •2 cloves garlic, minced
  • •1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
  • •1/4 cup finely diced tomato
  • •2 cups baby spinach, torn into pieces
  • •1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • • 4 ounces fat free crumbled feta cheese
  • •1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Clean mushroom by rubbing with damp cloth, don’t rinse them. Remove stems from mushrooms and dice.
  3. Add oil to a medium-sized skillet, heat to medium-low, saute onion, mushroom stems and red pepper. If they start to stick, add a splash of water to the pan or spritz pan with oil.
  4. Once the veggies start to get tender (after about 4 minutes) stir in the tomato and garlic and continue to stir for about a minute more. Add the spinach and saute just until the spinach has wilted.
  5. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients but only 3 tablespoons of parmesan.
  6. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, and put on a cookie sheet., Sprinkle tops with remaining tablespoon parmesan, and heat for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.