Main Meals

Asian Chicken and California Prunes Lettuce Wraps

Aww, snap!  Now THIS is a wrap! 🙂 This meal is one of our all time faves! This creation hit the pan after we had spent time visiting our besties in our hometown city in Maryland and then headed “downtown” to Washington DC, where we had one of the most delicious appetizers. EVER.   Yup, an oh so delish Asian style chicken lettuce wrap app 😉 that couldn’t have been more crispy, crunchy, sweet and salty –(and juicy!) and downright delicious– inspired us to make this rendition of it.  We knew it was so good that we had to make it into a full meal! After all, eating that appetizer portion simply left us wanting to order more and to make it our full main-meal! And thus, these wraps we’re reinvented and born in our kitchen!

And of course, as registered dietitian nutritionists, as we whipped these yumsters up, we had more than just flavor in mind–we had your (and our!) waistline and health.  And we’re so excited to say we packed in major nutrients —antioxidants and fiber and just 280 calories per serving- with 23 grams of satisfying protein!

Psstt….if you’re looking for another kind of wrap, check out these healthy “wraps” -also waist-line friendly numbers “wrapped” in a taco!:

Gluten-Free Tilapia Tacos with Zucchini Tortillas

Mediterranean Fish Tacos

Avocado & Lentil Vegan Tacos

Spicy Tuna Tacos

Salmon Tacos

 

California Prunes are one of our favorite ingredients for healthy meals – they’re sweet, juicy, high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, and they make these lettuce wraps absolutely amazing!

We love the sweet-savory flavors found in lots of Asian dishes, but that often comes alongside lots of sugary ingredients. That’s where California Prunes come in – California Prunes are full of sweet flavor, but each naturally sweet serving has 3 grams of filling fiber and antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep your heart, brain, and immune system healthy. They pack a powerful punch of flavor in the chicken mixture, which is so easy to whip up and stuff into lettuce leaves for a nutritious dinner!

We hope you love it like we do, admittedly, we’re OBSESSED with it! 🙂

Asian Chicken and California Prunes Lettuce Wraps
 
Lettuce wraps are our go-to quick dinner for busy weeknights. Just sauté chicken breast with Asian-inspired seasonings and wrap in lettuce - it’s that simple! They’re protein-packed and wrapping with lettuce and topping with extra veggies means you’re getting plenty of veggies in a way that even kids will love. Chopped California prunes add a rich sweetness to the filling that’s similar to the flavor of traditional hoisin or plum sauce, but without all the additional sugar and sodium. The sesame green beans on the side add even more savory, satisfying flavor and veggies to round out the meal!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
  • ½ inch fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 6 oz green beans
  • ½ Persian cucumber
  • 1 radish
  • 3oz California prunes
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 lime
  • 1½ tsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • ½ tsp tamari sauce
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 head butter lettuce
Instructions
  1. STEP ONE
  2. Peel and finely chop the ginger.
  3. Thinly slice the garlic cloves and green onions.
  4. Cut the ends off of the green beans and discard ends.
  5. Cut the radish and HALF the cucumber into thin matchsticks.
  6. Chop the prunes into 1⁄4-inch diced pieces, add to a medium bowl. Shred the chicken into 2-inch pieces and add to the bowl with the prunes.
  7. Cut the lime in half.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, teriyaki sauce, tamari sauce, the juice from HALF of the lime, and 1½ tsp sesame seeds.
  9. STEP TWO
  10. Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add HALF of the green onions and HALF of the ginger and sauté for 1 minute.
  11. Add the diced prunes and chicken mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
  12. Add the teriyaki and tamari mixture, and sauté until liquid is evaporated.
  13. Remove the mixture from heat; set aside for plating.
  14. Carefully wipe the sauté pan clean and return to medium-high heat.
  15. STEP THREE
  16. Add remaining sesame oil and increase heat to high.
  17. When hot, add the green beans and a pinch of salt.
  18. Cook for 2 minutes, turning and moving beans so they cook quickly and evenly.
  19. Add remaining ginger, and 1 tablespoon of water and cook for 2 minutes.
  20. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute or until beans are crisp-tender. Stir in remaining sesame seeds.
  21. Keeping the leaves whole, separate the lettuce leaves.
  22. STEP FOUR
  23. Divide the lettuce leaves evenly between two plates.
  24. Fill each leaf with the chicken mixture and garnish with the cucumbers, radishes, and remaining green onions.
  25. Serve the lettuce wraps with the green beans.
  26. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ of recipe Calories: 280 Fat: 7 mg Saturated fat: 0.5 mg Carbohydrates: 34 g Sugar: 8 g Sodium: 670 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 23 g Cholesterol: 55 mg

We are honored to have partnered with Chef’d and California prunes to create these meals!

Healthy Bruschetta Hotdogs (Organic!)

Growing up, we were raised in a very health-minded house where our mom cooked everything from scratch and was often found whipping up her homemade granola (you may have read our other blogs where we often describe our parents as having been hippies—minus the drugs!). You’d assume that since our parents would be all for a lean cooking method like grilling or barbecuing, that we’d have done it often. Surprisingly, we were not that family you’d see grilling in the back yard every gorgeous summer evening. Instead, when we smelt the grill in our back yard, it was something special. It meant a big party and lots of guests. It meant, carefree days of running off into the woods in our back yard to play with the guests who were children- and with food in hands!— all grilled-up and delicious.

As you may imagine, our barbeques had a lot of vegetables, veggie burgers and some organic lean beef burgers, but our mom, being the health-conscious lady that she was, didn’t serve up hot dogs on the barby, as she admitted that although she loves the flavor of hot dogs, she just didn’t want us having preservatives and nitrates, and other additives, etc. that were added to them, so she didn’t buy them.

Now, as registered dietitian nutritionists, we find that for that very reason, we have followed in her footsteps and our barbeques are much the same as hers were. We also find that many of our clients grew up loving barbecues as we did and now realize that some of the traditional potato salads, hot dogs and Kool-aids, weren’t so healthy-and they ask us how to make their grilling healthy and delicious, without ruining the flavor.

If you’re like our clients, we’d love to help and we’ve got a lot of healthy barbeque tips  like these on this blog—and maybe you’ve seen some of our recipes like Tangerine Chicken Skewers and Moroccon Grilled Shrimp Skewers and Grilled Peach Salad and Sweet Summertime Grilled Veggies to help!

And now, in addition to our usual summer festive foods that we eat and recommend, we’re so excited about an amazing, scrumptious and healthy find that no one can complain about! (Here’s looking at you, mom! 😉 ). OK—and maybe it’s not just our mom that we’re talking about!  As you’ve likely noticed, we’re pretty particular about the quality of food that we put in our body and that we recommend to our clients to satisfy their taste buds, to look and feel amazing, and to keep their insides rocking with energy and health and to keep them free from disease.  So, we never imagined we’d ever find a hot dog that we’d be grillin’ up.  But thanks to Applegate, the nation’s leading natural and organic meat brand, we have—and in fact, we’re so over the moon about this find, that we’ve partnered with Applegate to tell you about it! The “Cleaner Wiener!” 🙂 Drum roll please…

The revolutionary hot dogs is Applegate Organics® The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog™, which is Non-GMO Project Verified and made with humanely raised, 100% grass-fed beef. This wiener is made without hard to pronounce ingredients like Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrate and Maltodextrin—the chemicals our mom wanted us to avoid. Applegate keeps it clean– we’re talking about 4 simple ingredients that don’t take a food science degree to recognize, just grass-fed beef, salt, water and spices.

We can hardly believe how awesome these hot dogs are—and as girls who honestly don’t remember eating a hot dog before as we’d never want to eat all of the junk that came with it, we can proudly say, we love these 100% organic, grass fed beef dogs—and so much so that we’re having a blast cooking up some recipes with them. These dogs leave your taste buds so happy and your body feeling satisfied and light! Cheers to these Applegate wieners and to our newest recipe– Bruschetta Hot Dogs!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, crushed, grated, or very finely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
dash of salt and pepper
4 Applegate Organics® The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog™
4 100% whole wheat hot dog buns

Directions:
1. Mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and let marinate while you prepare the hot dogs.
2. Place hot dogs on a hot grill or skillet and cook until the outside is charred and the inside is heated through (about 5-6 minutes).
3. Toast buns if desired, then place the hot dogs in the buns and top with the tomato mixture and enjoy! Or simply place hot dog in lettuce leaf, top with tomato mixture and wrap the leaf around the dog!

Nutrition Facts: (Wrapped in a lettuce wrap, the way we do it! 🙂 )
125 calories, 8 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat, 2 grams fiber

Nutrition Facts (served on a whole wheat bun):

255 calories, 14 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 6 grams fiber

We partnered with Applegate Farms to bring you this blog. This is a sponsored post but all opinions are our own.  And don’t forget to check out Applegate’s Instagram, facebook and twitter

Healthy Bruschetta Hotdogs (Organic!)
 
Nutrition Facts: (Wrapped in a lettuce wrap, the way we do it! 🙂 ) 125 calories, 8 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat, 2 grams fiber Nutrition Facts (served on a whole wheat bun): 255 calories, 14 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 6 grams fiber
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, grated, or very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 4 Applegate Organics® The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog™
  • 4 100% whole wheat hot dog buns
Instructions
  1. Mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and let marinate while you prepare the hot dogs.
  2. Place hot dogs on a hot grill or skillet and cook until the outside is charred and the inside is heated through (about 5-6 minutes).
  3. Toast buns if desired, then place the hot dogs in the buns and top with the tomato mixture and enjoy!

Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa

As picky little kids who’d only eat our beloved PB&J sandwiches, you’d probably be surprised to know that when asked where we’d like to go to eat for our birthday dinner that we’d pick a Mexican restaurant—spices and all. We’d always order a taco salad and just loved it. So now, as girls who love the rich spices in all ethnic foods, we’re not surprised that by the time we got to college and were cooking our own meals, that one of our favorite go-tos were chicken tacos. They were easy to make, delicious and healthy and at least once a week we’d meet one of our best friends to make them with her (although we loved them so much we would have eaten them nightly!)

In fact, our love for tacos, inspired these scrumptious, waist-line friendly numbers!:

Gluten-Free Tilapia Tacos with Zucchini Tortillas

Mediterranean Fish Tacos

Avocado & Lentil Vegan Tacos

Spicy Tuna Tacos

Salmon Tacos

And now, our taco love affair has inspired a new yum-ster. And we’re especially excited about these because you can make them from scratch, or have the ingredients pre-portioned and ready to cook right at your house!

 

California Prunes are the sweetest and juiciest prunes out there, making them the best way to beat a sugar craving! Plus, they’re packed with these health benefits:

  • A serving of four to five dried plums packs 3 full grams of fiber. About half of that is soluble fiber, which helps improve satiety, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health.
  • Prunes are loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that support your immune system, heart and eye health, memory, and more.
  • California Prune growers provide the highest quality prunes in the world.
  • A serving has just 100 calories and no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

 

  • Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This twist on classic chicken tacos explodes with sweet and savory flavors! Chili powder and cumin add a savory warmth to the baked chicken breasts, while California prunes add sweetness to an easy, fresh salsa. The combination of spiced chicken, sweet prunes, fresh tomatoes and cilantro, and zing from lime juice all wrapped up in a tortilla creates a fiesta with every bite! The refried black beans also got a healthy upgrade: we cut back on the fat while bumping up the flavor with spices, fresh cilantro and lime juice for a flavorful side dish that’s low in fat and high in protein and fiber. This dinner is hearty and filling, yet light enough to feel good about serving any night of the week.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Serves: 2 servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 Roasted poblano
    • 3.5 oz Black beans
    • 1 Roma tomato
    • 2oz California prunes
    • 2 Shallots
    • ¼ oz Fresh cilantro
    • 1 Lime
    • 2 Chicken breasts (4oz)
    • 2 tsp Cumin spice blend (equal parts cumin & chili powder)
    • 2 oz Roasted corn
    • 4 Corn tortillas
    Instructions
    1. STEP ONE
    2. Preheat the oven to 350°.
    3. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
    4. Thinly slice the poblano and set aside.
    5. Drain and rinse the black beans.
    6. Cut the prunes into ¼-inch pieces. Place the prunes in a small bowl.
    7. STEP TWO
    8. Cut the tomato and shallots into ¼-inch pieces. Add HALF of tomato and shallots to the bowl with the prunes; reserve the remaining shallot for step 4 and tomatoes for step 5.
    9. Remove and discard the stems from cilantro, rough chop leaves and add only HALF to the bowl.
    10. Cut the lime in half. Squeeze HALF the lime into the small bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Toss well and set aside. Set aside remaining lime for step 5.
    11. STEP 3
    12. Pat dry chicken with paper towels. Add to a medium bowl. Add ONLY 1 teaspoon cumin spice blend, ½ teaspoon olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well and place the chicken on the prepared sheet pan.
    13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through.
    14. Heat a small nonstick sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray, add the poblano and roasted corn and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes until warmed through. Set aside for plating
    15. STEP 4
    16. Heat a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the tortillas one at a time and heat for 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm for plating.
    17. In the same pan over medium-high heat, spray lightly with olive oil in a spray bottle. When hot, add remaining shallot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until softened.
    18. STEP 5
    19. Add the drained black beans and remaining cumin spice blend. Cook for an additional 1 minute.
    20. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 2 tablespoons of water and lightly mash beans with a fork. Cook until the water has been evaporated then add remaining chopped tomato. Add remaining cilantro, juice from the remaining lime, to the beans. Stir to combine, season to taste, and keep warm for serving.
    21. STEP 6
    22. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch pieces.
    23. Place two tortillas each on two plates.
    24. Divide the chicken and poblano and corn mixture between the tortillas.
    25. Top with the prune salsa and serve the tacos with refried beans on the side.
    26. Enjoy!
    Nutrition Information
    Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 430 Fat: 6 g Saturated fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 63 Sugar: 8 Sodium: 450 mg Fiber: 11 Protein: 34

Chicken Tacos with California Prune Salsa | The Nutrition Twins

We are honored to have partnered with Chef’d and California prunes to create these meals!

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

It’s no secret that we grew up in a healthy, veggie-centric household.  Sweet potatoes were a veggie that our mom served us on the reg, typically as a carb to many of our meals on a winter evening.  We always loved the creaminess of the potato, it felt like a real comfort food– and the sweetness helped us to curb our wicked sweet tooth.  Now, as registered dietitians, we’re always creating new, healthy recipes that feature our orange fleshed lover, the sweet potato.  This baby packs in 21.5 grams of satisfying protein and 15 grams of fiber for the ultimate satisfaction!

A few more of our faves:

Sweet Potato Nachos

Roasted Tarragon Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt & Chocolate Drizzle

Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash

and…

Mexican Sweet Potato Salad, Cherry & Pistachio Sweet Potato Medley  and our Sweeeeeeeet! Potato Pie

 

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato -so satisfying with 21.5 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber!

Other than the fact that there is something so satisfying about a creamy, fiber filled sweet potato, there are so many benefits! Check them out below!

Sweeeeet potato!  This sweet potato may be loaded with delish goodies, but the sweet potato itself is packed with mega benefits including:

  • 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.
  • Fighting 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.

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

 

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 small sweet potato (about 4.5 oz)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons low fat or fat free mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Directions:
1.Microwave or bake the sweet potato until tender. While it is cooking, prepare the filling.
2.Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat with a spritz of olive oil in a spray bottle. Add the onion, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli and sauté until tender, about 6-7 minutes.
3.Add the black beans, turmeric, and cumin, and cook until heated through.
4.Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise and split open. Mound the filling onto the sweet potato (there is a lot of filling – it will not all fit tucked into the sweet potato, but that’s okay!)
5.Sprinkle the cheese on top of the filling, then microwave or bake the whole thing until the cheese is melted.
6.Dollop the Greek yogurt on top and serve.

Nutrition facts:  344 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 187 mg sodium, 65 grams carbs, 15 grams fiber, 21.5 grams protein

 

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Skewers with Toasted Chickpeas, and California Prunes & Quinoa Salad

You’ve probably figured out by reading our blog that we love our home cooked meals. After all, our website wouldn’t be packed with thousands of recipes if we didn’t!  As registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers, we love the flavor we create and how good we feel while we eat them—and how great we feel after—completely satisfied, yet light and energized.  And there’s an added sense of happiness and satisfaction knowing that our recipes meet our nutritious, waistline friendly standards and we know exactly what is going in them. What’s probably not so obvious is that as much as we love cooking, there are many times when we’d rather not bother with the meal prep that is required.  Yup, sometimes, we’d like our yummy, wholesome meals without having to do a thing except assemble the ingredients.  In fact, many of our clients have asked for just that, our meals in delivery kits dropped off right at their doorstep. And that’s why we’re so excited to share with you the launch of 3 of our meals that you can fully enjoy in the comfort of your own home, knowing that they meet all of our nutrition criteria to keep you fueled, beach-ready and completely satisfied.

 

An added bonus-

Prunes (We used California prunes because we find them to be the sweetest and juiciest):

Our mom always kept a jar of stewed prunes in the fridge when we we’re growing up and anytime we were craving something sweet, we’d reach for them.  They’re the best way to bust a sugar craving!  Who knew we were also getting these benefits:

  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health.
  • Prunes are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep many parts of your body healthy– ranging from your heart to your eyes to your memory and your immune system.
  •  California Prune growers provide the highest quality prunes in the world.
  • A serving has 3 grams of fiber and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol at just 100 calories.



Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Skewers with Toasted Chickpeas, and California Prunes & Quinoa Salad
 
This simple dish is packed with flavor thanks to all the Moroccan-inspired spices! Smoked paprika, cumin, and a hint of cinnamon spice up the shrimp skewers, which are so quick to cook. The quinoa salad still takes on traditional flavors thanks to the combination of spices, dried fruit, parsley, and lemon, but we added a few fun twists! Traditional Moroccan cuisine uses a lot of couscous and dates, but we swapped those ingredients out for gluten-free, high-protein quinoa and fiber rich California prunes. This dish is filling, flavorful, and unbelievably easy - perfect for any weeknight! EQUIPMENT: -- Rimmed sheet pan -- Small sauce pot with lid -- Medium bowl -- Strainer -- 2 Small bowls -- aluminum foil --4 bamboo skewers
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS:
  • Olive oil (in a spray container)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • 1½ oz Matchstick carrots
  • 1 oz Red quinoa
  • 2 oz White quinoa
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground cumin
  • ½t sp Ground cinnamon
  • 12 Jumbo shrimp
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 oz California prunes
  • ¼ can Chickpeas
  • ½ oz Fresh parsley
  • ¼ oz Fresh basil
  • ¼ oz Fresh cilantro
  • 1 Garlic clove
Instructions
  1. STEP ONE
  2. Preheat the broiler to high.
  3. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
  4. Finely chop the shallot and chop the carrots into ⅛-inch pieces.
  5. In a small sauce pot with lid, heat 1 teaspoons of olive oil for 1 minute. Add the shallot and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the quinoa and stir for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water and ONLY 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Pat dry shrimp with paper towels.
  7. Cut the lemon in half. Add the juice of HALF a lemon to a medium bowl, discarding any seeds.
  8. Rinse and pat dry produce prior to use.
  9. STEP TWO
  10. Recommendations for salt and pepper are optional. Please season to taste.
  11. Add remaining paprika, cumin, and cinnamon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to the medium bowl. Stir to make a loose paste. Add the shrimp; toss well.
  12. Cut the prunes into¼-inch pieces; set aside.
  13. Drain ONLY half the can of chickpeas and pat dry with paper towels. Store remaining chickpeas in a separate container for personal use.
  14. Remove and discard stems from parsley. Finely chop the leaves and place HALF of the leaves in a small bowl. Set aside remaining leaves for step 3.
  15. Remove and discard the stems from the basil and cilantro. Finely chop the herbs and add to the bowl. Add garlic, juice of remaining lemon, discarding any seeds, and 1 teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  16. STEP THREE
  17. In a small bowl, combine the drained chickpeas, 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Place chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet and broil for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside for plating.
  18. Thread 3 shrimp each per skewer and wrap the ends of each skewer with a small piece of foil. Place on the same sheet pan and broil for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir prunes and remaining parsley into the quinoa.
  19. (FDA recommends cooking shrimp to a minimum 145°F)
  20. STEP FOUR
  21. Divide the quinoa between two plates.
  22. Top with the toasted chickpeas and lay the shrimp skewers on top.
  23. Serve with the herb sauce on the side.
  24. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 servings Calories: 460 Fat: 9 g Sodium: 290 mg Protein: 32 g

We are honored to have partnered with Chef’d and California prunes to create these meals!

7 Hacks to Make Healthy Eating a Cinch

We’re suckers for a quick-fix.  Not the kind you may be thinking (no fad diets here!), rather if something saves us time, we can’t wait to give it a whirl.  And if it’s healthy and makes us more efficient, we’re all over it! 🙂  As registered dietitians and girls who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we’ve done our share of experimenting so you don’t have to—and today we’re sharing our 7 healthy eating hacks –a.k.a., tricks to make healthy eating easier & faster!

1. Frozen Vegetables: Yup! You knew as authors of The Veggie Cure, a veggie hack had to take the #1 spot for us! 🙂

 

Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones. In fact, in some instances, frozen are even healthier. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen immediately, nutrients intact. Fresh vegetables may lose nutrients during shipping and storage or when on store shelves as nutrients are lost when vegetables are exposed to light, heat and air. You’ll notice that several of our recipes call for frozen vegetables. This not only ensures nutrient retention, but it also helps to make meals quick and easy to prepare. You can keep frozen vegetables in your freezer for months (nearly up to a year!) so you never have to worry about not having vegetables if your fresh ones go bad. They’re already cleaned and cut, so you can even defrost them in the fridge during the day before using them at night, toss them in a tomato sauce, soup, casserole or whatever you’re cooking and it’s ready to go in minutes!

This hack is for you if you:
• Often find veggies spoiled in your fridge
• Don’t find the time to wash, chop or prepare veggies
• Find a lot of excuses for not eating veggies 😉
Spicy Fried Broccoli
Orange Banan-apple Smoothie

INSIDER SCOOP: If you’ve tried a frozen veggie in the past and didn’t like it, try a different brand. We’ve noticed a huge difference between brands when it comes to flavor and quality!

 

2. Spray bottle: We use these for everything!

 

 

As registered dietitians we’ve witnessed that one of the healthiest foods has also resulted in the accumulation of unwanted pounds. Olive oil. Just a tablespoon (of any oil) has 120 calories. That’s a little less than 1/10 of the total calories many women should get in an entire day if they’d like to drop a few pounds—and that’s before even eating! It’s easy to pour several tablespoons of oil onto your salad. That’s why we suggest putting your oil in a spray bottle. This will disperse the oil, so you can use a lot less. You still get the flavor and texture while sparing your waist, hips and thighs. Also use a spray bottle for any of your favorite dressings—save time by spritzing oils and dressings rather than trying to mix to disperse the flavor.

This hack is especially for you if you’d like to lose some body fat and:
• Enjoy dressings and condiments
• Cook with oil or butter
Try it with this recipe: Parmesan Eggs in a Bell Pepper Ring
And these Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers 

 

3. Lemons: Make your kitchen a lemon-palooza!  

A squirt of lemon replaces bloat-causing salt in recipes (we learned this from some well-known chefs), adds immune boosting vitamin C and helps cut down on clean-up. Spritz lemon over a meal rather than using salt for seasoning and place lemon slices under fish for cooking—it prevents fish from sticking to the pan (i.e. bye-bye long clean up time!) and it adds delicious flavor without calories- so you don’t need calorie loaded-sauces or salad dressings. Place wedges in water and you’ll drink more and stay hydrated—and eat less. Many people think they’re hungry and they’re actually thirsty!

This hack is your jam if:
• You add salt, dressings and sauces to your food and want to be less puffy or want to lower your blood pressure.
• Need a little encouragement to drink more water.
• Don’t cook fish enough because of the clean-up.
• Lemon-ginger detox drink
Colorful Detox Salad

 

4. Frozen fruit: As girls with a mega-sweet tooth and who are also no stranger to moldy berries in the fridge the same day we’ve brought them home, these have saved us from falling under sugar’s spoon (sword! ;)). Similarly to frozen veggies, frozen fruits are a delicious, easy way to get antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals without worrying about produce spoiling—plus, they’re an amazing alternative to added sugar.
Simply blend in smoothies, toss on yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or hot chocolate—and allow frozen sweet to add natural sweetness to foods rather than buying sweetened items.

This hack is for you if:
• You like fruit but tend not to eat it.
• Add sugar to (or buy pre-sweetened) cereal, yogurt, oatmeal and smoothies.
• Make smoothies (frozen fruit makes them like a milkshake and no washing or chopping is required).
Skinny DIY Strawberry Mint Ice Cream
Blueberry Banana Smoothie

 

5. Sheet pans: These rimmed baking sheets make healthy ‘meals in a jiffy’ a reality. A sheet pan is so simple, yet brilliant since it allows you the convenience having a meal in 30 minutes by just tossing healthy items on it and popping it in the oven. Clean-up? Just one sheet– that you can always line with foil or parchment paper—that makes cleaning the pan nearly non-existent. Try this on your sheet pan: Toss vVeggies or a veggie blend, fish and a spritz of olive oil, garlic and lemon. Keep your “meal-in-minutes” creative by simply mixing and matching different veggies, spices and proteins to keep your taste buds tantalized. You don’t need rich sauces or loads of oil and the short cooking time minimizes nutrient losses.

This hack is your hot pan if you:
• Want to make healthy meals but don’t want to slave over the stove
• Prefer meals with simple preparation
• Would eat more veggies if they were roasted
• Want a hands-off dinner (and fast!) and to create a meal all on one pan!
• Try this recipe: Sheet Pan Roasted Salmon with Kale & Golden Beets

 

6. Lyssie’s pick: A swivel grater. Lyssie: In under a minute, I can completely boost the flavor and health of what I’m eating. I grate a bit of ginger or turmeric over the top of a meal for awesome flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits without fat, salt or calories. And I’ll also grate beets, turnips or carrots over a salad for extra crunch and flavor. This takes moments with a good quality grater. I love the OXO one—and you can get it for under $10!

Try this: Ginger Mint Turmeric Green Tea Flat-Belly “Detox”

 

7. Tammy’s pick Tammy: An orange peeler. Tammy: This is my new fave find! One of my daughter’s, Summer, requests an orange in her lunch every day. I was peeling it by making incisions with a knife, until I found this inexpensive little life-changing number on amazon—the orange peeler! I can literally peel an orange in 15 seconds and there’s NO mess. And for just over $4 for 6 of them, you really can’t go wrong!