Spinach and Quinoa Casserole

 

Winter time to us means casseroles for dinner. We love to play off foods our mom cooked when we were younger. One of our favorites was always a spinach noodle casserole. Although our mom did make a healthy version, we’ve tweaked it a bit to make it more our own and incorporate more food groups.

Spinach and Quinoa Casserole:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low-fat feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mint
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, cook the olive oil and the onions on medium heat until tender. Once tender, add the spinach and cook until the leaves are wilted. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, eggs, cheese and spices together. Fold in the spinach and onions. Pour into a gratin bowl (or a bowl that can be put in the oven). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, or until Parmesan is browned and crispy. Enjoy!
  4. Makes about 5 servings

Do you make a casserole that’s healthy that was inspired by your past?

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients from their food.

Spinach and Quinoa Casserole
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup low-fat feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mint
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (we use
  • Eggland's Best
  • because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, cook the olive oil and the onions on medium heat until tender. Once tender, add the spinach and cook until the leaves are wilted. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, eggs, cheese and spices together. Fold in the spinach and onions. Pour into a gratin bowl (or a bowl that can be put in the oven). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, or until Parmesan is browned and crispy. Enjoy!
  4. Makes about 5 servings

Thick and Chunky Black Bean Chili

chili

Monday is the second most popular day of the week to eat out or order in. We have a recipe for a yummy black bean chili that is so good you won’t want to order in or go out. And if you don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking, this soup is great because you can just mix the ingredients together and let it do its thing! Or if you have a slow cooker simply make this soup next Sunday and let it do its thing for next Monday.

We must admit the weather recently has made us want to snuggle up next to a fire and eat a steaming bowl or soup or chili. This black bean chili is low in calories, but doesn’t disappoint in the comfort level.

(Psst… looking for more lightened up recipes? Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to try…

Skinny Potato Skins

Skinny Mash

Comfort Food Reinvented Apple Pie  

Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies )

Thick and Chunky Chili-licious Black Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz thick & chunky salsa
  • 3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup sour cheese (optional) (if you add it, we recommend using low-fat to save fat and calories)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (optional) (again, we recommend using low-fat to cut fat and calories)

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker, combine salsa, beans, broth, bell pepper, onion cumin, chili powder and oregano. Mix well and cover; cook on low 8 hours. Garnish with sour cream and cheese (optional).
  2. Or if you don’t have a slow cooker combine all ingredients in large pot on stove and simmer for 30min-hour for the flavors to meld.

For a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan and more delicious healthy recipes like this, please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

If you love this recipe, you may also enjoy these fabulous recipes:

Banana Kiwi Weight Loss Smoothie

Skinny Deviled Eggs

Thank you to our intern Courtney Gossage for sharing this-it’s her mom’s chili recipe! LOVE!

 

 

Thick and Chunky Black Bean Chili
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 16 oz thick & chunky salsa
  • 3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup fat free chicken broth
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup sour cheese (optional) (if you add it, we recommend using low-fat to save fat and calories)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (optional) (again, we recommend using low-fat to cut fat and calories)
Instructions
  1. In a slow cooker, combine salsa, beans, broth, bell pepper, onion cumin, chili powder and oregano. Mix well and cover; cook on low 8 hours. Garnish with sour cream and cheese (optional).
  2. Or if you don’t have a slow cooker combine all ingredients in large pot on stove and simmer for 30min-hour for the flavors to meld.

Homemade Salsa

 

Who doesn’t love the salsa at Mexican restaurants?! We do! And if you’re like many, you have chips at home with not-so-healthy dips.  Why not swap them for this scrumptious salsa that just happens to give your body and skin a beautifying boost?

And if you’re looking for some other of our great dips check out these lil’ doo-woops! Skinny Artichoke Dip,  Red Pepper Hummus, and  Blueberry & Corn Salsa

salsa

Great news–salsa is packed with tons of antioxidants that help to protect your body from damage and keep you healthy so that your energy is revved and your immune system is in top shape.

Plus, this homemade salsa is the ultimate skin rejuvenation secret sauce. 🙂

Here’s why:

Tomatoes are packed with Vitamin C to keeps skin youthful and elastic by aiding in collagen formation.  They’ve got beta-carotene which helps give a healthy glow and hue while protecting skin from sun damage.  Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants to guard against premature aging by helping to prevent cell damage. They mop up free radicals, including those caused by pollution and other environmental toxins, stress, and the sun.  And tomatoes are water and potassium-rich so they keep skin hydrated and restore fluid balance so it doesn’t look wrinkled and withered.

Load up on tomatoes to help fight age spots, wrinkles, and blemishes.  An easy way to do it? Our delish Homemade Salsa!

 

And lucky for all of us–our recipe is a great way to make that restaurant-style salsa goodness at home… and there’s a BONUS—it’s super affordable too!

 

Homemade Salsa:

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded, skinned (or more for extra spice)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

If you don’t have chips for dipping—then good for you! This is great for dipping veggies, adding to top salads and with beans. YUM! What will you do with this salsa?

For more than 100 delicious recipes, a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, plus a GET HEALTHY plan please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.

Homemade Hot Chocolate!

hot_chocolate

If you’re like us, you love everything chocolate, including hot chocolate! It’s so soothing and it’s perfect for warming us up on a cold winter’s day. This recipe will quench your chocolate craving with some added bonuses!

First, you’ve probably heard about the health benefits of chocolate—especially dark chocolate. It’s rich in antioxidants and can help fight the body against free radicals that can cause cell damage. The darker the chocolate and the higher the cocoa content, the higher the antioxidants, which means the healthier it is!

This recipe is a unique twist on the traditional hot chocolate since the egg boosts protein content in addition to the skim milk so it can make for a satisfying snack. Cinnamon, which is packed with antioxidants, may help to fight diabetes while adding a delish flavor. And it uses semi-sweet chocolate which is dark chocolate!

(And if you’re inside with snow outside, you may want to whip up these easy, healthier, fun treats too–nspired by some of our other popular dessert balls like our Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls, our White Chocolate Drizzled Wild Blueberry Granola Balls and Chocolate Coconut Chia Balls!)

A fabulous winter-time dessert! Sip up!

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 3 cups non-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, grated (Semi-sweet chocolate is dark chocolate! Woohoo!)
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar or sugar substitute of choice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp ground cayenne if you prefer more of a kick!)
  • 1 egg or equivalent egg substitute
  • 3 teaspoon fat free whip cream (optional)

Directions

  • Pour milk in microwave-safe container.
  • Place in the microwave and cook on high in microwave for 2 minutes.
  • Add chocolate, sugar and cinnamon and mix.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg. Once smooth, add chocolate mixture and stir well.
  • Place mixture back in microwave.
  • Cook on high for approximately 3 minutes. Remove when foamy, being very careful that the mixture is not too hot.
  • Whisk well until smooth.
  • Divide into 3 mugs and add cinnamon and a teaspoon of whip cream to each mug if desired.
  • ENJOY!

Each serving of this scrumptious winter-wonderland dessert contains: 172 calories, 5.5 grams fat, 12 grams protein, 19 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber and 40% DV for calcium

For a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan and more delicious healthy recipes like this, please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

If you love this recipe, you may also enjoy these fabulous recipes:

Banana Kiwi Weight Loss Smoothie

Skinny Deviled Eggs

Apple, Peanut Butter and Granola Sandwich!

ApplePeanutButter

Who doesn’t love peanut butter?! We both do! Peanut butter has a healthy combination of fiber and protein. Protein is important for muscle repair and also helps to keep your blood sugar level stable so you stay energized throughout the day! It’s packed with other important nutrients like vitamin E, folate and heart-healthy; monounsaturated fat!

Mixing peanut butter with other healthy high-fiber carbohydrate foods such as bananas, oatmeal or whole-grain crackers are great after a workout to help you to refuel and to fight muscle fatigue! The fruit or grain provides the energy-revving carbohydrates while the good-for-you fat and the protein extend that energy boost even longer. Try this simple and easy snack to refuel and get energized mid-day!

(And remember: Be careful when shopping for peanut butter. Reduced-fat peanut butter has the same amount of calories or sometimes higher than regular peanut butter because of added ingredients such as sugar to replace the fat. So be sure to look at sodium and sugar amounts on your next purchase of peanut butter.)

Apple, Peanut Butter and Granola Sandwich

Ingredients:
– 1 apple, cored
– 2 tbsp. peanut butter
– ½ cup low-fat granola

Directions:
First core the apple and slice the apple horizontally into several slices to make “bread.” Spread two apple slices with 1 tbsp of the peanut butter and sprinkle with granola. Top each slice of peanut butter and granola apple with another slice of apple.

What other heart-healthy peanut butter recipes have you tried?

Recipe from: http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes/10-healthy-peanut-butter-recipes?page=5

Homemade Lemon Basil Detox Tea

 

This Tea Rocks!

It’s cleansing (and soothing!) and it’s not only inexpensive to make, but it’s also quick and super easy and a great way to wake up your digestive tract, get the juices flowing and get your body regular!  It flushes out the system–goodbye constipation and all the bloat and sodium that comes with it!

PLUS, whether you need to warm up when waking up on a chilly morning or not, this tea helps to pacify you whenever you drink it (so drink it throughout the day!) so you aren’t ravenous and can fight off cravings.  *See below why this tea works all it’s magic.

Added Bonus: You can make it in a dash!

Homemade Lemon Basil Detox Tea

Ingredients:

  • One cup hot water
  • 2-3 Basil leaves, washed
  • 2 pieces of lemon rind, washed well– when we use the rind we like to use organic lemon (each about 1 1/2 – 2 inches long)


Directions:

We just add the basil leaves and lemon rind to a cup of hot water.  Let it sit for a few minutes and enjoy!

This tea works it’s magic for several reasons!

1) The warm fluid that wakes up your digestive tract and helps to keep you regular.

2) The potassium in the lemon and basil helps to counteract bloat from sodium and restore normal fluid balance (goodbye puffiness!)

3) It’s packed with antioxidants that help to protect your body from damaging particles like environmental toxins and cigarette smoke

4) It keeps you satiated so it helps to stave off cravings so you don’t overdo it at your next meal! Hello Slim! 😉

It’s fun to experiment with tea! There are endless flavors to try and depending on the blend, it can give you a boost for the day or help you calm down at night.  Sometimes we even make our own tea with leftover herbs and spices from around the house.

 

*We took this photo using peppermint instead of basil– it tasted delicious but peppermint isn’t quite as good of a source of potassium as basil, so we shared the basil recipe. 🙂

 

For a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

If you love this recipe, you may also enjoy these fabulous recipes:

Banana Kiwi Weight Loss Smoothie

Skinny Deviled Eggs

Homemade Lemon Basil Detox Tea
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • One cup hot water
  • 2-3 Basil leaves, washed
  • 2 pieces of lemon rind, washed well-- when we use the rind we like to use organic lemon (each about 1½ - 2 inches long)
Instructions
  1. We just add the basil leaves and lemon rind to a cup of hot water. Let it sit for a few minutes and enjoy!