TCAC salad August 2015 logo

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad

As registered dietitians, personal trainers, and veggie lovers, people automatically assume we live on salads. Umm, NO! Although we love a good salad, we certainly don’t live on them! In fact, we tend to eat a lot more of veggies that we’ve mixed right into our meals (like in our Veggie Frittata Bites, Veggie & Quinoa Stir-fry and our Turkey Fiesta Stir-fry then in the “salad” form. Plus we’re fans of a wide variety of foods, and include them in our diet—everything from all different types of produce, to whole grains, organic dairy foods, seafood, chicken, beans, nuts… and chocolate, just to name a few. 😉

 

That being said, we always encourage our clients to fill up on vegetables like salads before a meal (and we too do this whenever we can!).  When you do this before heading out to dinner, it’s easier to avoid attacking the basket of bread, oh yeah! :) .  This is a great weight loss secret. Eating a salad or veggies before having your meal takes an edge of hunger and can greatly reduce calorie intake of your meal. Although the salad or veggies adds a few calories, you’ll typically end up eating significantly less of your main meal and saving many more calories than your veggie appetizer adds! Try filling up on a salad or veggies before your meal and see!

TCAC salad August 2015 logo

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad

This salad is sure to fill you up but is light enough to do it without leaving you feeling bloated; it’s perfect for an appetizer or as a side dish. Super easy to throw together, with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and chickpeas, your tummy will be thanking you!

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients

1 cup sliced grape tomatoes

1 large cucumber

1/2 avocado

¾ cup chickpeas

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1.      Slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber and avocado, and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.

2.      Add the olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper.

3.      Mix together then enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts per Serving

Calories:  128

Carbohydrates: 13.5 g

Fat: 8 g

Saturated Fat: 1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 0 g

Trans Fat: 0 g

Protein: 3 g

Sodium: 49 mg

Sugar: 2.5 g

Potassium: 250  mg

Fiber: 5 g

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  • 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber
  • ½ avocado
  • ¾ cup chickpeas
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber and avocado, and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.
  2. Add the olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix together then enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 128 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Unsaturated fat: 1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 13.5 Sugar: 2.5 g Sodium: 49 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 0 g

 

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Rainbow Quinoa

 

We remember the first time we had heard of quinoa, a producer for the show, Good Day New York had called us to come on the show talk about some of the new foods that were hitting the market and asked us to talk about it. We hadn’t yet seen it, or even heard of it and we both remember reciting out loud “keen-wah, keen-wah” so that we wouldn’t mispronounce it on LIVE TV. Boy have times changed in just a few short years! Not only have we seen it, we’ve eaten it, cooked with it and gotten loads of requests to make even more creations. That’s why we made some of these healthy carb comfort foods like our Greek Quinoa Salad, our Quinoa & Veggie Stir-fry and our Breakfast Quin0a Nibbles just to name a few.

Quinoa’s one hot item — it’s a quality energy-providing carbohydrate, packed with protein (all nine-essential amino acids), fiber, and nutrients like magnesium that helps you to relax and manganese that mops up damage from free radicals! Plus, it’s pretty dang satisfying when you want some carb comfort ;), so dig in to our new creation! :)
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Got the blues? Not your mood, your food!

 

That’s right, start by making your plate bright, colorful and mood-boosting. While seeing reds, yellows, and other bright colors on your plate lifts your spirits, these bright colors also help to keep your body healthy, when they naturally occur in your food—and that’s enough to make us smile! :)

 

Phytonutrients are plant nutrients that are responsible for the bright colors in fruits and veggies and that help to protect the body from chronic diseases like cancer. This quinoa salad is full of beautiful flavors and colors, so it’s packed with disease-fighting nutrients. G’afternoon red-purple dried cranberries, yellow-orange butternut squash, deep green kale and asparagus! .

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Rainbow Quinoa

 

We suggest serving this delicious dish with a lean protein like grilled fish and with a side salad or steamed veggies. This easy side dish will last in the fridge for a week and it’s an easy snack that’s ready in your fridge!

 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced butternut squash
  • 10 chopped asparagus spears
  • 1 cup washed, and cut up shredded kale
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with foil. Spritz sheet with olive oil. Lay butternut squash over foil and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes. At the 20-minute mark, throw in the asparagus.
  3. Finally, in the remaining 10 minutes, add the kale to the mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, add quinoa, cranberries.
  5. When the vegetable mixture is cooked, removed from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Then add to the quinoa and cranberries and stir to distribute contents evenly and enjoy!

 

 

Nutritional Information:

Per 1 cup mix

Calories 100; Fat 1g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 20g; Protein 4g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 12mg; Fiber 4g

 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash
  • 10 chopped asparagus spears
  • 1 cup washed, and cut up shredded kale
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with foil. Spritz sheet with olive oil. Lay butternut squash over foil and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes. At the 20-minute mark, throw in the asparagus.
  3. Finally, in the remaining 10 minutes, add the kale to the mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, add quinoa, cranberries.
  5. When the vegetable mixture is cooked, removed from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Then add to the quinoa and cranberries and stir to distribute contents evenly and enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 100 Fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 20 Sodium: 12 Fiber: 4 Protein: 4 Cholesterol: 0

 

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Cajun Spice & Kale Popcorn

As you know, we’re registered dietitians, personal trainers, veggie lovers—and we have a sweet tooth. Yes, you know we have a thang for chocolate (remember these yumsters? Microwave Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie, Skinny Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Skinny Oreo Balls, and Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls. And growing up, although our mom cooked all of the meals she served us from scratch, using wholesome ingredients and she insisted that we had three nutritious meals daily, with vegetables, protein and high fiber carbohydrates, she also allowed us to have a small serving of dessert after dinner, daily. Phew—and thank goodness! Thanks for keeping us sane, Mom! :)

 

We still keep this habit to this day. We believe if you eat healthfully all day and leave a little room for a small treat, it’s perfectly OK to have one. It keeps us and our clients on track, prevents feelings of deprivation and it reminds us to savor and enjoy some of our favorite foods. Our mom would usually give us the choice of one of her homemade baked goods (she always baked and cut the sugar in half from original recipes—thank goodness they still tasted delicious), some ice cream, fruit or popcorn. With our killer sweet tooth, you may be surprised to know that we often chose her air-popped popcorn for dessert. We loved popping it in our mouth and the crunch. And apparently, we’re not the only popcorn fans. Our clients tell us that they love having popcorn for a snack and that it feels like a real treat. The truth is popcorn is actually really healthy—and we can’t wait to share this crunchster with ya! 😉

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Popcorn is delicious and kale is the hot kid on the block—and we’re huge fans of both. Since not everyone loves kale the way we do, we’ve got an intimidation-free way for you to get some of this nutrient-packed food into your life. We’ve put popcorn and kale together in this amazing snack! For those of you who don’t like kale, you might find that you will like it after trying this recipe. This is a unique way to get in your leafy greens and a great dose of fiber from popcorn. This smart snack is light in calories (only 126 calories in 3 cups!), but high in flavor.

Believe it or not, popcorn is a whole grain—so just like oatmeal and brown rice, it’s packed withfiber and antioxidants. Throw out those chips and cookies and bring on the popcorn! Recent studies have shed light on the multiple health benefits of this delicious snack. And just like other whole grains, including popcorn as one of your three daily whole grain servings helps to lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. (Just make sure your popcorn isn’t smothered in high calorie, artery clogging butter.

Another bonus? Most people have trouble getting their greens. The kale in this snack sneaks some vitamin C (plays a role in collagen formation–helps to promote healthy, younger looking skin) and vitamin A into your day. .

 

Cajun & Kale Popcorn

This crunchy yummy snack includes Cajun spice which is a great way to kick up the flavor, and it sneaks in kale which when roasted, loses the bitter flavor so it’s a great way to get your greens for those who don’t typically love them. This popcorn is a whirlwind of rich flavor.

 

Makes 1

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup popcorn kernels or 3 cups air popped popcorn (non-GMO)
  • 1 cup fresh
  • Olive oil in a spray container
  • 1 tsp. Cajun spice
  • 1 tsp. lime juice

 

Directions:

Put ¼ cup popcorn kernels in air pop popcorn maker and place prepared popcorn in a large bowl. (If you don’t have an air popper, buy Skinny Pop popcorn (it’s 35 calories per cup). Spread kale on a baking sheet, spray olive oil spray and lime juice over kale. Bake kale in oven at 350 for 10 minutes or until crispy–as if you were making kale chips. Add kale into the popcorn and add the Cajun spice. Isn’t that easy? Enjoy :)

 

Nutritional Information:

Per 1 Serving (about 3-1/2 cups)

Calories 126; Fat 1g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 26g; Protein 5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 30mg; Fiber 5g

Cajun Spice & Kale Popcorn
 
Author:
Serves: 1 serving

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup popcorn kernels or 3 cups air popped popcorn (non-GMO)
  • 1 cup fresh
  • Olive oil in a spray container
  • 1 tsp. Cajun spice
  • 1 tsp. lime juice

Instructions
  1. Put ¼ cup popcorn kernels in air pop popcorn maker and place prepared popcorn in a large bowl. (If you don’t have an air popper, buy Skinny Pop popcorn (it’s 35 calories per cup). Spread kale on a baking sheet, spray olive oil spray and lime juice over kale. Bake kale in oven at 350 for 10 minutes or until crispy–as if you were making kale chips. Add kale into the popcorn and add the Cajun spice. Isn’t that easy? Enjoy :)

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3½ cups Calories: 126 Fat: 1 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 26 Sodium: 30 Fiber: 5 Protein: 5 Cholesterol: 0

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Tammy_Ab_Knee_Circles

Easy At-Home Ab & Core Exercise for Sexy Abs: Knee Circle Plank

Lately, Tammy’s eight-year old twin daughters are really into 6-pack abs.  After watching the American Ninja Warrior TV show and being impressed by the athletes strength, agility and speed, they want to one day compete on the show!  They’ve noticed the strong, muscular physiques of the competitors, both men and women.  They know they’ll need to be strong to compete and they love to flex their muscles and feel strong.  And recently, they even love to look at older boys who have great ab definition–oy! (this already makes us a bit nervous! Tammy tells them she’ll have none of that until they are 35! :)  )– and they want to know what they can do to strengthen their abs.  Showing them exercises has inspired us to work a little harder on our own abs.  After all, who doesn’t want sexier abs? Sign us up! :)

Here’s one of Tammy’s latest ab exercises (click on the bottom photo to watch the video).  She loves that she can do it anywhere, any time, no equipment needed!

 

Tammy_Ab_Knee_Circles

Another part about this exercise that Tammy loves is that it actually stretches and loosens her tight hips (her tight hips lead to a lot of her injuries and are one of her Achilles’ heels so this move kills two birds with one ab exercise! :) )

Watch the video below to see how to do it– or follow these steps for the Knee Circle Plank:
1. Get into a plank position with your palms on the floor, not your elbows.
2. Keep your arms straight and abs tight to keep your body straight like a board, and pull your right knee in towards your chest while you circle the knee in a clockwise and then counterclockwise in a slow controlled movement.
3. Complete seven times with one leg, and then switch to the other leg.

 

Is that you we see with a six pack?! :)

Psst… looking for more at-home exercises?  Try these!

Easy At-Home Shoulder Toner

Triangle Push-Ups

Leg & Butt Toner

 

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Grapefruit “Detox” Smoothie

We’re suckers for a sweet, red grapefruit.  Long before the days before becoming registered dietitians and personal trainers and before knowing how great grapefruits are for our skin, hair and for flushing wastes from our stomach, our Mom used to serve them a lot at breakfast—she’d cut the grapefruit in half and section out the little individual pieces.  And then we’d have fun scooping out the delicious insides and popping each piece in our mouths! :)

Then there was 2 year phase in Atlanta when we lived together after being reunited when we completed our nutrition internships and we’d split a grapefruit and an orange and we’d each have the other half nearly every day with our lunch—um, yum!  So when we recently had one of the sweetest ruby red grapefruits we’ve ever had, it inspired us to make this delicious little number! (Psst… if you want to check out some of our other grapefruit-inspired recipes, try our Grapefruit, Avocado and Kale Salad with Pepitas or our Roasted Asparagus and Grapefruit Salad. Or for more clean-eating beverages, try our Grapefruit Rosemary Detox Infusion or our Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink.

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Today’s recipe is a delicious, simple, and refreshing smoothie; it’s exactly what we look for when we want to feel lighter, less bloated and to get back on the healthy track. Juicing can be messy and by extracting the fiber, it’s a waste of valuable nutrients that are pivotal for fighting disease and aging and detoxifying the body. Fiber has a cleansing effect on the intestines—it flushes wastes, toxins and bloat out of the colon (hello, flatter stomach!) and counteracts a bloated stomach from constipation since fiber is not absorbed. Fiber also is really important when it comes to weight management (it fills your stomach for a small amount of calories), as well as lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, aiding regular digestion and elimination. This is why this isn’t a detox juice; it is more like a smoothie so we all can reap the benefits of the fiber!

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Other reasons to feel good about drinking this smoothie?

 

The apple contains phytonutrients that help to regulate blood sugar, as well as flavonoids like quercetin which also assist in regulating blood sugar. Additionally, these phytonutrients fight cancer and heart disease.

  • The grapefruit and lime–, and all citrus fruit for that matter, are rich in immune-boosting Vitamin C. Vitamin C also helps to keep skin more youthful as it plays a role in collagen formation. However, citrus fruits are rich in limonene, which may help to prevent cancer. To further the benefits of grapefruits, ruby red grapefruits are high in cancer-fighting lycopene. Lycopene also acts as a natural sunblock and protects skin from sun damage.

 

 

Grapefruit “Detox” Smoothie

We recommend drinking this elixir with a meal that’s got both protein and veggies to round it out with some wholesome carbohydrates for some brain fuel.  You’ll feel light, refreshed and satisfied.

(Yields 1 drink)

 

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup water
    • ½ Ruby red grapefruit
    • 1/2 Lime, skin removed
    • 1/2 Honey crisp apple, remove core
    • 1/2 kiwi, skin removed

 

Directions:

Put ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

 

Nutritional Information:

Per drink

Calories 102; Fat 1g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 31g; Protein 2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 5mg; Fiber 7g

 

**Nutrition bonus: this detox drink provides 177% of the RDI of vitamin C and 600g of potassium

Grapefruit Detox Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 1 smoothie

Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ Ruby red grapefruit
  • ½ Lime, skin removed
  • ½ Honey crisp apple, remove core
  • ½ kiwi, skin removed

Instructions
  1. Put ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories: 102 Fat: 1 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 31 Sodium: 5 Fiber: 7 Protein: 2 Cholesterol: 0

 

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Skinny Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Don’t let the fact that we’re registered dietitians and personal trainers fool you…

say the words “Chocolate” and “chunk” together and we’re not immune to our thoughts wandering, imagining how chunky that chocolate chunk really is 😉 … or to our mouth’s watering at the thought of it! :) As kids growing up in a healthy household where our mom made all the food from scratch and any treats in the house we had, she baked with a quarter of the sugar that traditional recipes called for, it still amazes us that she did keep chocolate chip morsels in the back of the freezer to use in some of her baking. And when she’d slip out to run errands, we’d often find ourselves sneaking a bunch…oops, we mean– just a few, really mom! 😉 .

Well, nowadays, we still are those little girls finding ways to steal those delicious chocolate nibbles without it getting the best of our waistline. After all, that’s why we created these lip-smackers—Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls, Microwave Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter CookiesSkinny Oreo Balls and these White Chocolate Drizzled Wild Blueberry Granola Balls just to name a few!

 

Now, for these lip smackers…if you love chocolate chunks the way we do, and you love ‘em in cookies…but don’t love how many calories come with them, don’t worry! Let this ooey gooey chocolate chunk cookie melt in your mouth without any feelings of regret. This delish recipe uses a small fraction of the sugar that a normal chocolate chip cookie recipe would use, AND it uses flour that is packed with protein and fiber—that actually makes the cookie so moist that you don’t need butter, or all the calories that come with it, woohoo! You won’t believe how irresistible these little numbers are.

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The secret behind these cookies:

These cookies use a combination of almond flour and quinoa flour, replacing all purpose flour that is used in most cookie recipes. The almond flour helps to add moistness, density, and binding to the cookies – so you don’t need butter! And as you already know, quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains that you can buy – so adding it’s ground up form to the recipe can never hurt!

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Skinny Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Instead of packing these cookies with sugar, we only used a small amount of brown sugar and applesauce. This combination keeps these cookies tasting sweet and the calories that get cut out is even sweeter!

Makes 18 Cookies (a little less than 3- inch diameter each)

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour

½ cup quinoa flour

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

2 eggs (We use Eggland’s Best eggs because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs)

½ cup applesauce

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – almond flour, quinoa flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients – eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture, and thoroughly stir.
  5. Add the chocolate chunks to the dough, and mix.
  6. Lightly spray a baking sheet.
  7. Using a spoon, place the cookie dough on the baking sheet. The cookie dough should be about 1.5 inches in diameter.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. When the time is up, put a toothpick through the middle of a cookie and make sure no residue appears. This will confirm that the cookies are done.
  9. Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack or baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. Enjoy!

cookie3The Nutrition Twins are spokespeople for Egglands Best eggs and love that the eggs have 25% less saturated fat, four times the vitamin D and double the omegas compared to other eggs.

Skinny Chocolate Chunk Cookies
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 18

Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs (We use Eggland’s Best eggs because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – almond flour, quinoa flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients – eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture, and thoroughly stir.
  5. Add the chocolate chunks to the dough, and mix.
  6. Lightly spray a baking sheet.
  7. Using a spoon, place the cookie dough on the baking sheet. The cookie dough should be about 1.5 inches in diameter.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. When the time is up, put a toothpick through the middle of a cookie and make sure no residue appears. This will confirm that the cookies are done.
  9. Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack or baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 104 Fat: 6 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 7 g Sodium: 110 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 20 mg