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6 Foods That are Better Than Botox For your Skin! Mornings with Maria Bartiromo

If you want younger looking skin, here is your food formula! We break it down for you with the amazing Maria Bartiromo!

 

It’s true, there are foods that can keep your skin looking young!  Buh bye botox, these foods are so potent that we refer to them as the skin fillers, plumpers, and Botox of the food kingdom. 🙂

Here are a few great skin beautifying recipes:

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Strawberry and Citrus Salad with Avocado

Ginger and Carrot Slim-Down Smoothie

Minty Lime Iced Green “Flat Belly” Tea

..and for beta carotene for a natural sunblock (protector against age spots and sun damage) Roasted Tarragon Garlic Sweet Potato Fries

Some more skin beautifying food tips?

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Healthy Back to School Bites with Cranberries

If you’ve read our other blogs, by now you know it’s no secret that although we’re veggie-loving twin sisters, registered dietitians and personal trainers who are lucky to like a lot of healthy foods, we both also have a wicked sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check.  Fortunately, we’ve got many strategies as wells as delicious, waistline friendly ways to satisfy our sweet canines that work for our clients, too!

One of our favorite, satisfying, healthy and most effective ways to squash a sweet craving is with treats made from fruit.  This actually is something we learned from our wholesome, plant-based, cook-everything-from-scratch mom, as she often served us desserts made from fruit and it worked like magic to quell our sweet cravings!  Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as we do the same thing for Tammy’s daughters.  We find this technique to be especially helpful when the kids go back to school, as they always seem to come home from school and want a sweet treat for a snack.  One of our most requested after-school snacks is a Cranberry Smoothie which is a cool, delicious and healthy guilt-free snack that feels like a super indulgent treat.

And our clients who serve this to their kids feel good knowing that this nutritious, sweet-tooth satisfying snack fits perfectly with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend choosing nutrient dense foods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other naturally occurring compounds that may improve health.  Cranberries, like in this Cranberry Smoothie, are the perfect example of a nutrient dense food, as they’re packed with naturally occurring unique health-promoting flavonoids called PACs.  Because of these nutrient superstars, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have made an exception for naturally tart, low-sugar foods, like cranberries, that may be sweetened to improve taste.  They explain that there is room in a healthy eating pattern for nutrient dense foods with added sugars, such as cranberries and rhubarb, as long as calories from added sugar are less than 10% per day.  In this smoothie, just a teaspoon of honey is added to each serving and it packs in the nutrients in just 150 calories—woot, woot!

 

 

 

 

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Cranberry Smoothie            

Serve this healthy, sugar-tooth satisfying alternative to sweets for an after school snack.  Or simply sip a serving of this for a healthy dessert.

Yield: 6 servings

 

Ingredients

2 cups frozen cranberries

2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt (try different yogurts, such as Greek yogurt)

2 cups 1% milk or almond milk

2 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth.

Nutrition Information Per Serving*: Calories 150, Calories From Fat 10, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 105mg, Total Carbohydrate 28g, Sugars 24g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 7g, Vitamin A 10%, Vitamin C 10%, Calcium 25%, Iron 0%

*With 1% Milk

Hungry for Cranberries at lunch? Your kids will gobble up this unique, sweet and savory sandwich!

Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee

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Cranberries can be a great fit as part of a healthy lunch – like in this tangy chicken salad!

Cranberry Chicken Salad on Flatbread

Makes 8 servings

Portion: ½ cup chicken salad on 1 flatbread roll

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 cup dried cranberries

⅓ cup 100% cranberry juice

½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (we suggest using nonfat Greek yogurt to keep the creaminess and up the nutrients and lower the fat)

⅓ cup fat-free poppy seed dressing

8 oz. grilled white chicken meat, diced

1 cup sliced celery

¾ cup thinly sliced scallions

2 cups shredded fresh spinach

8 flatbread rolls, split

 

Directions

  1. Place cranberries and cranberry juice in a saucepan and heat slightly. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Cranberries will absorb all liquid. Hold.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and dressing.
  3. Stir in diced chicken, celery and scallions. Toss well to coat. Stir in reserved cranberries and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  4. To Serve: For each serving, place ¼ cup spinach onto a split flatbread roll and portion ½ cup salad on top of spinach. Replace top and serve.

Variations: Use additional fruits, including fresh mango, pineapple, melon, blueberries, peaches, pears, etc. in salad.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 390, Calories from Fat 100, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 12g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 800mg, Total Carbohydrate 57g, Sugars 17g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 13g, Vitamin A 20%, Vitamin C 15%, Calcium 10%, Iron 20%

Hungry for more recipes? uscranberries.com

The Nutrition Twins work with US Cranberries to help teach people how they can get more beneficial PACs in their diet.

 

Cranberry Chicken Salad on Flatbread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup 100% cranberry juice
  • ½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (we suggest using nonfat Greek yogurt to keep the creaminess and up the nutrients and lower the fat)
  • ⅓ cup fat-free poppy seed dressing
  • 8 oz. grilled white chicken meat, diced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 cups shredded fresh spinach
  • 8 flatbread rolls, split
Instructions
  1. Place cranberries and cranberry juice in a saucepan and heat slightly. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Cranberries will absorb all liquid. Hold.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and dressing.
  3. Stir in diced chicken, celery and scallions. Toss well to coat. Stir in reserved cranberries and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  4. To Serve: For each serving, place ¼ cup spinach onto a split flatbread roll and portion ½ cup salad on top of spinach. Replace top and serve.
  5. Variations
  6. : Use additional fruits, including fresh mango, pineapple, melon, blueberries, peaches, pears, etc. in salad.
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Top Late Night Snacks (our picks for weight loss)

Although we’re twin sister registered dietitians and personal trainers who nowadays absolutely love veggies, we admittedly didn’t always adore them.  In fact, we were very picky kids and the moment our mom would turn her back from the dinner table, we’d sneak our salads off to our best friend, Mary and her black lab, Buddy, who liked veggies! 🙂 Luckily, our veggie-snubbing ways have changed, thanks to many reasons —(you can read more about that here)– and you may know that we also reset our taste buds, which definitely was partially responsible for the love affair we now have with veggies.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is that we each have a killer sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check.  Although, resetting our taste buds has been very helpful in taming the beast 😉 (aka our killer sweet tooth), it doesn’t mean that we don’t adore sweets, because believe us, we do—especially when the evening comes around!

And when our clients tell us that on nights when they stay up late and they get a little bit hungry or want to nibble, we can relate, as this is when our sweet tooth calls our name, ah!

Thankfully, we’ve learned to make some pretty delicious, waistline-friendly frozen desserts that we can eat and prepare in the very comfort of our own home—and that we love but don’t overeat! Plus, they are a lot less processed and have much less sugar—in fact, ours are actually pretty good for you! Remember our Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream, Skinny Banana Ice Cream SandwichesDark Chocolate Banana Ice Creamand this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream?

As you settle in to watch your favorite television show after dinner, you may find yourself craving a late-night nosh. Do you cave in to chips or cookies and regret it later? Or maybe in your attempt to avoid junk food, you end up nibbling your way through the other food in your cupboard instead. If the late night munchies have gotten the best of you and your waistline, here are our top snacks to try.

 

They’ve all got less than 150 calories and really hit the spot.

 

Vanilla “Milkshake”

Two options:

  • Mix one scoop of vanilla or chocolate flavored protein with ¾ cup cold water, ice and 1/4 frozen banana and blend. (We’ve been using Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder lately)

OR

  • Mix a cup of almond milk (or skim milk) with one scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder.

 

Why our clients love it: This light version of a milkshake feels like a real treat, satisfies sweet cravings, but won’t weigh you down.  The protein keeps your blood sugar stable. Bonus: The calcium in the protein powder (make sure yours is calcium-fortified, many are) may help your muscles and body to relax before bedtime. To learn more about our tips for choosing a good protein powder, check out our 3-Ingredient Weight Loss Pancakes (scroll down to find out about protein powder).

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Frozen Cherry Poppers

OK, we admit it, we have many favorite summertime (well, anytime) treats, but this one really is one of our new all-time faves! Plus, it’s so healthy, easy and just two steps! And there is something about the chewy texture of frozen cherries that really hits the spot—super-satisfying! And all for a measly 6 calories per popper! Woohoo! 5 Cherry Poppers are just 30 calories! Find out how they’re easy to make here.

Why our clients love it: A guilt-free, refreshing way to satisfy a sweet tooth? Sign them (and us! 🙂 ) up!

Frozen Yogurt Covered cherry poppers

 

 

Berry and Greek Yogurt Parfait

Use six ounces of a plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt and one-half cup of halved strawberries or any of your fave berries. Layer yogurt in the bottom of the parfait cup, and then add a layer of berries. Alternate layers until you’ve finished ingredients.

Why our clients love it: It’s rich, creamy, and feels decadent. Plus it contains plenty of protein and fiber, so even if you didn’t eat enough dinner, you’ll go to bed feeling satisfied.

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Popcorn

Four cups of seasoned air-popped popcorn

Why our clients love it: You get a huge portion (4 cups = 130 calories!) that will last until at least the first commercial of your favorite show. Eat it one piece at a time, and it may even last you through the entire program. The fiber will fill you up, and you can use it to quench a sweet or savory craving by flavoring it with cinnamon, chili powder, smoked paprika, or grated parmesan.

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Baked Apple Crunch

Made with one small apple, 1- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon and one graham cracker. Cut the apple into half-inch slices and coat them with cinnamon on all sides. Microwave the slices on high for three to four minutes or until the apple is soft and juicy. Serve it on a graham cracker. Check it out here.

Why our clients love it: You can sink your teeth into this snack, and it’s sweet like the inside of an apple pie. Not to mention, the graham cracker adds a satisfying crunch (and it will make the house smell delicious!).

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Figs and Cheese

Three small figs (or dates!) and one small, light 30- to 35-calorie cheese round (which will bring your total to 125 calories).

Why our clients love it: The figs are sweet, and since they’re fibrous, you’ve gotta chew ‘em and can’t devour them in a split second. Paired with protein-rich, savory cheese, it makes for a filling but indulgent treat.  If you use dates, they may be slightly higher in calories.

Date surprise pic

 

 

Whole Grain Crackers with Hummus

Serve five whole-grain crackers with 2 tbsp hummus.

Why our clients love it: The crackers satisfy your need to crunch and the hummus adds the perfect creamy balance.

 

What are some of your favorite healthy late-night snacks?  Please share them!

 

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Roasted Tarragon Garlic Sweet Potato “Fries”

You probably know that we’re veggie loving twin sisters, registered dietitians and personal trainers who happen to a killer sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check, so it’s pretty much a given that if it’s sweet, creamy comfort food—and it’s healthy, to boot, we’ll be all over it!  J  And if you read our latest book The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure  you know that some of our favorite childhood memories include our family meal times centered around our Mom’s home cooking. Pssst…you may remember these meals were inspired by our mom’s weeknight dinners–

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese

Skinny Mash

Skinny Mac and Cheese

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce and Parmesan Cheese

Sitting down to Mom’s food always made us happy– it was soothing and lifted our spirits if we were ever upset and we each have memories of sitting at the table and enjoying one of our favorite comfort foods: sweet potatoes.
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Great news if you think you can’t eat carbs:

Anti-carb? Not these registered dietitian nutritionists! Whew!  We’re all for quality, high fiber, wholesome carbs in moderate portions at your meals (about half a cup) for health and for weight loss!  The moment our clients hear that they can eat a sweet potato, they light up.  The carbohydrates in sweet potatoes come with fiber, loads of phytonutrients and in a virtually fat free package (as long as you avoid those high-calorie toppings!).

Eating sweet potatoes doesn’t cause your energy to come crashing down as many other carbohydrates do.  The fiber in the potato causes the glucose from the carbohydrates to enter your blood stream at a slower and more gradual rate, helping keep your energy level stable and aiding in the prevention of mood swings and cravings that come with energy highs and lows.  The fiber also allows for a longer, more sustained serotonin (i.e. happy) surge.  One small sweet potato contains nearly 4 grams of fiber, and the fiber in sweet potatoes keeps you regular, light and happy. Thank you fiber!

We’re so excited about these “fries”—if you’re a “lov-ah” of fries, these are a waistline-friendly, healthy version– so enjoy these! Simply sub a serving of these for the other carbs at your meal.

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Some more health bonuses in these bites? You bet!

 

Sweet potato:  You may see these called yams at the store, and if so, it’s likely a sweet potato as that’s what they typically sell at most markets in the US. Sweet potatoes with ‘gold’ or ‘red’ in their names typically have orange colored flesh.

 

Your face won’t be the only part of you smiling when you eat these pups!  Sweet potatoes:

  • contain two very potent antioxidants– carotenoids (including beta carotene) and sporamins which fight everything from the negative health consequences that come with aging to almost all types of disease.
  •  fight inflammation. Eat a sweet potato and research shows that inflammation in the body immediately decreases, especially in the brain and nerve tissues throughout the body.
  •   offer great promise when it comes to Type 2 Diabetes.

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Other super stars in this recipe:

Tarragon (Mexican Tarragon) has a somewhat licorice-like flavor (should’ve known Lyssie’d be a fan with her fennel love—that is often described as tasting like licorice!) and has a light flavor compared to French Tarragon, either can be used.

  • Great source of poly-phenolic compounds—plant nutrients that help to fight inflammation and that help to achieve optimal health
  • help lower blood sugar

 

Garlic. You’ve  probably heard that this great-smelling (when you’re cooking it!) show-stopper is beneficial for the cardiovascular system.  So it keeps your ticker healthy and your blood pressure, too.  And it helps to calm your body internally as its got powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

 

You’ll flip for these “fries”!

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Roasted Tarragon Garlic Sweet Potato “Fries”

 You can make these pups into fries or if you prefer them as a side dish you can make ‘em into nips (aka cubes, see directions below).  Serve with lean protein like grilled chicken breast, with other roasted non-starchy veggies (or with steamed ones, or veggies in a salad if you prefer.)

 

Serves 2

Ingredients

 

1 large sweet potato

1 ¾ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon minced garlic

Pinch dried tarragon

Sea salt to taste, optional

Sprig of fresh tarragon, leaves for garnish (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place parchment paper on baking sheet.
  1. Combine olive oil, garlic and tarragon. Set aside while preparing sweet potato.
  1. Cut sweet potato into French fry shaped spears, about 3 inches long by ¼ inch wide or evenly sized cubes—we call these golden nuggets, nips (if serving as a side dish).
  1. Toss cut sweet potato with olive oil, garlic and tarragon mixture.
  1. Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes, turning potatoes, at 10 minute intervals to prevent burning. Roast until golden brown on all sides.
  1. Remove from oven, sprinkle with dash of salt, if using and fresh tarragon leaves (optional).

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Nutrition Facts Per 2 Serving: 92 Calories, 4 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 36 mg Sodium, 13 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 3 g Sugar, 1 g Protein

Roasted Tarragon Garlic Sweet Potato “Fries”
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Pinch dried tarragon
  • Sea salt to taste, optional
  • Sprig of fresh tarragon, leaves for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place parchment paper on baking sheet.
  2. Combine olive oil, garlic and tarragon. Set aside while preparing sweet potato.
  3. Cut sweet potato into French fry shaped spears, about 3 inches long by ¼ inch wide or evenly sized cubes—we call these golden nuggets, nips (if serving as a side dish).
  4. Toss cut sweet potato with olive oil, garlic and tarragon mixture.
  5. Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes, turning potatoes, at 10 minute intervals to prevent burning. Roast until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with dash of salt, if using and fresh tarragon leaves (optional).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 potato/ 2 servings Calories: 92 Fat: 4 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 13 g Sugar: 3 g Sodium: 36 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
 

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Minty Lime Iced Green “Flat Belly” Tea

As veggie- loving, twin sister, registered dietitians and personal trainers, you probably think that we eat healthy foods all of the time and must never battle the bloat or even have days of feeling puffy in the summer heat!  Ha! If only!  First, we do eat healthy foods most of the time, but you likely know by now about our killer sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check 😉 , and there are times when we feel as if we overdid it on a sweet and just want to flush the bloat!  And as much as we love summer, we’re the first to admit that we do swell in the heat a bit too, and with even a tad bit of sugar, we swell even more- ah!   With such long, hot summer days we’re always looking for a healthy little something that will power us through our days—and that makes us feel lighter and helps to flush the tummy bloat too!…

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This easy refresher hits the spot. From the moment you cut into the lime and pinch off the leaves of mint their refreshing and invigorating scent instantly revitalizes our mind. On top of whisking us away on a little mental vacation the ingredients in this  Minty Lime Iced Green “Flat Belly” Tea have some great health benefits, making us feel lighter and bloat-free to boot!

Psst… looking for more “Detox” drinks?  Please feel free to search our site—and here are a few to try:

 

Cool Citrus Cucumber Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar & Lime “Detox” Drink

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush

Lemon Ginger Detox Drink

Mixed Citrus Ginger Flush

This drink works its magic, thanks to its healthy ingredients:

 

Green Tea  (Want more green tea, check out our Detoxifying Green Tea Smoothie and our Matcha Green Tea smoothie.)

Here’s why we included it in this drink:

The fluid in tea helps to flush excess water weight, minimizing your middle.

  • Typically, when you’re bloated, you’ve eaten too much salt compared to the amount of potassium in your body. When your sodium level is too high (so easy to do since most people far exceed salt recommendations), your tissues hold on to fluid and simply drinking will help your body to flush the salt and restore the normal fluid balance! And if you’re bloated due to constipation, water helps to get things moving through your digestive tract to push waste out of the body. Both mean Buh bye puffiness!
  • More bloat gone? Yup! Green tea has a small amount of caffeine (35- 80 mg compared to coffee’s 100-400 mg in the same size cup). The caffeine contained slightly increases the amount of urine your body expels as it also gives you a slight energy boost.  This gentle boost from green tea is invigorating
  • Caffeine along with the amino acid L-theanine, in green tea have an anti-anxiety effect along with providing energy that is considerably steadier (vs coffee), so you feel light and refreshed.
  • Green tea’s antioxidants, catechins fight cell damage and have been associated with everything from reducing cancer and blood pressure to protecting your brain against aging. As you calm your insides, this means that less damage and inflammation helps to reduce puff, particularly in the long haul.

Lime

We made sure this drink was packed with vitamin C…and lime is a superstar when it comes to neutralizing free radicals and mopping up the damage caused by pollution, smoking, stress and unhealthy food and beverage choices.  Limes also keep your skin looking young (wahoo!) thanks to their vitamin C that assists in collagen formation. .

Mint

We like to think of mint as a peacemaker in the body. It eases indigestion and calms the stomach, possibly by improving the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion. Thanks in part to its anti-inflammatory antioxidant rosmarinic acid, it “calms your insides” to ease the havoc inside your body!  Buh bye indigestion and bloat!

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Minty Lime Iced Green “Flat Belly” Tea

Ingredients

8oz, 1 serving

 

1 bag green tea

8 ounces of water

1/2 small lime, juiced

2-3 mint leaves

Ice, to chill

 

Directions

  1. Prepare green tea according to package directions. (We heated water, just until it bubbled, not a rolling boil., Then we poured it over the green tea bag, let steep for 5 minutes and then removed the tea bag. For stronger tea you can steep longer).
  1. While tea is steeping, juice 1/2 of a small lime in a small dish.
  1. Add the mint leaves into the lime juice and muddle (press the leaves into the dish to release their healthful oils) slightly to release their oils.
  1. Once tea has cooled slightly, pour tea over ice, add in lime/mint juice. You can include the leaves or leave them out, either way you will get their minty effect.

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Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 8 Calories, 0 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 1 mg Sodium, 3 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Fiber, 1 g Sugar, 0 g Protein

Minty Lime Iced Green "Flat Belly" Tea
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • 1 bag green tea
  • 8 ounces of water
  • ½ small lime, juiced
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • Ice, to chill
Instructions
  1. Prepare green tea according to package directions. (We heated water, just until it bubbled, not a rolling boil., Then we poured it over the green tea bag, let steep for 5 minutes and then removed the tea bag. For stronger tea you can steep longer).
  2. While tea is steeping, juice ½ of a small lime in a small dish.
  3. Add the mint leaves into the lime juice and muddle (press the leaves into the dish to release their healthful oils) slightly to release their oils.
  4. Once tea has cooled slightly, pour tea over ice, add in lime/mint juice. You can include the leaves or leave them out, either way you will get their minty effect.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 oz Calories: 8 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 3 g Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 1 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
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Vegan Quinoa & Kale Power Protein Bowl

Vegan-chickpea-quinoa-kale-zucchini-UPCLOSE…and the quinoa-palooza has officially begun!  🙂 These twin sister, registered dietitians and personal trainers are fans of this healthy comfort food and we’ve gotta give a girl (and a guy!) some carbs!  Yup, we’re all for healthy carbs (phew! ) like quinoa –a wholesome, high protein, high fiber, healthy carb that prevents your energy from dipping, preventing sugar cravings!  The truth is, if you have a moderate portion (about 1/2 -3/4 cup cooked of a wholesome carb (hello quinoa!)  you’ll avoid the nasty cravings for the unhealthy carbs because you’ll give your brain and muscles carbohydrates, the fuel they need, so you won’t crave energy!  That means you won’t be looking for an energy boost or a quick pick-me-up—buh bye sugar cravings!

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Not only have you been requesting lots of recipes with quinoa, (that’s why we’ve given you lil’ numbers like our:

One-Pot Quinoa Chickpea & Avocado Bowl

Coconut Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

One-Pot Black Bean Quinoa Chili with Avocado

Quinoa Breakfast Nibbles

Choco-nilla Oats & Quinoa Swirl

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…but we knew it was time to make some more since the clamoring has continued! Quinoa is warm comfort food in the winter—and makes cool, comfort food in the summer.

And since summer days beg for a cool dish,, this spiced summer bowl filled with summery greens like zucchini and kale and protein packed heroes like quinoa and chickpeas can be made ahead of time and only gets better as it waits. What more could you ask for!? Oh except that you can prepare this without the added olive oil for an even lighter meal with even fewer calories for the same great taste!

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Vegan Quinoa & Kale Power Protein Bowl

Have one delicious serving as a side to grilled fish or chicken and veggies, or make a whole meal of it by having three servings.  

Makes 5 servings (approximately 1/2 cup each)

Ingredients

Dressing: (2 tbsp added 48 calories/ serving)

1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp paprika

small pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tsp minced garlic, plus ½ tsp for oil dressing (you may want to add more garlic if you’re a garlic lover!)

sea salt to taste

Salad:

½ cup quinoa, cooked (we used a mix of red and white just for fun!)

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained

1 medium zucchini, cut into evenly sized, small chunks

1 cup curly kale, leaves chopped into small pieces, stems removed (measure 1 cup of chopped kale leaves)

 

This dish can be made without any oil for a lower fat meal. (See below)

 

0006_NutritionTwins-chickpea-quinoa-kale-zucchini-garlic-paprika-tumeric-cumin_logoDirections with oil.

  1. Place olive oil in a small bowl and mix the cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes (optional), ½ tsp minced garlic and a pinch of salt into the olive oil, set aside to marinate.
  1. Before cooking the quinoa according to the package, we toasted ours slightly for 1 minute by lightly spritzing olive oil in a spray jar in a pan to bring out more flavor. You can omit the olive oil and toast briefly, too, just stirring over the heat for 1 minute.. After toasting, cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  1. Next spritz the same pan you toasted the quinoa in with a little olive oil and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, the 2 tsp minced garlic, chickpeas, zucchini and kale. Just until the garlic releases it aroma and the zucchini begins to sweat. Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.
  1. Toss sautéed vegetables and chickpeas with quinoa. Let sit for a few minutes, the heat will further soften the kale.
  1. Give the oil and spice mix a stir, drizzle over the entire bowl and stir. . . Salt to taste.

This can be eaten immediately and also tastes great chilled– and if you put it covered, in the fridge for a little while to chill, the flavor’s will also mingle and increase!

 

Directions without oil.

Mix cumin, turmeric, paprika, optional red pepper flakes, ½ tsp garlic and salt together, dry.

Skip step 1 and begin with Step 2.

After Step 4, sprinkle sparingly, mixing and tasting, the dry spice mix over combined quinoa, chickpea and vegetable bowl until the flavor suits you.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (With Olive Oil):

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 106 Calories, 3 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 21 mg Sodium, 16 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Fiber, 2 g Sugar, 5 g Protein

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (Without Olive Oil)

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 94 Calories, 1 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 21 mg Sodium, 16 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Fiber, 2 g Sugar, 5 g Protein

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Vegan Quinoa & Kale Power Protein Bowl
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Ingredients
  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • small pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic, plus ½ tsp for oil dressing (you may want to add more garlic if you’re a garlic lover!)
  • sea salt to taste
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked (we used a mix of red and white just for fun!)
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into evenly sized, small chunks
  • 1 cup curly kale, leaves chopped into small pieces, stems removed (measure 1 cup of chopped kale leaves)
Instructions
  1. Directions with oil.
  2. Place olive oil in a small bowl and mix the cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes (optional), ½ tsp minced garlic and a pinch of salt into the olive oil, set aside to marinate.
  3. Before cooking the quinoa according to the package, we toasted ours slightly for 1 minute by lightly spritzing olive oil in a spray jar in a pan to bring out more flavor. You can omit the olive oil and toast briefly, too, just stirring over the heat for 1 minute.. After toasting, cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  4. Next spritz the same pan you toasted the quinoa in with a little olive oil and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, the 2 tsp minced garlic, chickpeas, zucchini and kale, Just until the garlic releases it aroma and the zucchini begins to sweat. Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Toss sautéed vegetables and chickpeas with quinoa. Let sit for a few minutes, the heat will further soften the kale.
  6. Give the oil and spice mix a stir, drizzle over the entire bowl and stir. . . Salt to taste.
  7. This can be eaten immediately and also tastes great chilled-- and if you put it covered, in the fridge for a little while to chill, the flavor’s will also mingle and increase!
  8. Directions without oil.
  9. Mix cumin, turmeric, paprika, optional red pepper flakes, ½ tsp garlic and salt together, dry.
  10. Skip step 1 and begin with Step 2.
  11. After Step 4, sprinkle sparingly, mixing and tasting, the dry spice mix over combined quinoa, chickpea and vegetable bowl until the flavor suits you.
Notes
*Nutrition shown for recipe using oil, see blog for nutrition facts without oil.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 106 Fat: 3 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 16 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 21 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 5 g Cholesterol: 0 mg