Zesty & Savory Succotash

When we entered our freshman year of college we already knew what we wanted to do as career—become registered dietitian nutritionists, and possibly with a minor in kinesiology (the study of movement). This was the during same time that we were dabbling with vegetarianism and just as the dining hall food was turning us off and left us turning to meals that we could create ourselves in the dining hall, without relying on someone there to cook it for us. We were former athletes who knew that satisfying, delicious and healthy food was the key to having energy and to feeling great, and since we often found ourselves turning to the salad bar, we knew we couldn’t just eat vegetables to survive. And so it wasn’t long before one of our staple, hearty, delicious meals was born…succotash!

Pssst… here are a few other dishes inspired by our younger days:

Lentil & Chickpea Stew

Spaghetti Squash with Red Lentil Pumpkin Sauce

Black Bean Quinoa Chili with Avocado

Lentil Vegetable Soup 

 

This version below is a spin-off of our college saving grace—only this is amped up a notch! This colorful, fragrant, and delectable vegetable side dish is packed onions, colorful corn and edamame, and a sneaky little bite of crispy turkey bacon (this is optional but recommended to us by our amazing intern Kelly Robison who makes it this way!). This dish leaves you wanting more without fail, every time! With a simple and easy preparation in hardly any time, this colorful dish is one you’ll serve regularly to a crowd…or just make for yourself as a personal favorite! Enjoy!

 

Zesty & Savory Succotash

 

 

 

Serves 5

1-cup servings

 

Ingredients

1 red onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2/3 cup of sweet corn

3 cups shelled edamame

8oz can black beans, drained

4 pieces turkey bacon, nitrate-free

 

Directions

  1. In a pan (we use a 16-inch pan), cook four pieces of bacon over low .

2, Remove bacon from pan and set aside, drain grease from pan and place back on stove.

  1. Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add chopped bell pepper and sauté an additional .
  3. Add edamame, corn, and black beans to skillet and stir over medium heat until entire dish is heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Crumble bacon and mix into the dish.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Information

Calories 159, Carbs 20g, Protein 11g, Fat 3g, Fiber 4g, Sodium 181g

 

Zesty & Savory Succotash
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ⅔ cup of sweet corn
  • 3 cups shelled edamame
  • 8oz can black beans, drained
  • 4 pieces turkey bacon, nitrate-free
Instructions
  1. In a large pan (we use a 16-inch pan), cook four pieces of bacon over low heat.
  2. , Remove bacon from pan and set aside, drain grease from pan and place back on stove.
  3. Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add chopped bell pepper and sauté an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Add edamame, corn, and black beans to skillet and stir over medium heat until entire dish is heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Crumble bacon and mix into the dish.
  7. - Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 159 Fat: 3 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 20 Sodium: 181 Fiber: 4 Protein: 11

 

 

Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto

Do  the scents of certain foods take you back to happy days?  Oh the memories!  This Basil Pesto brings us back… 🙂

oil_free_basil_pesto_1_logo

As kids, every day after school we’d have a play date with our best friend and next door neighbor, Mary.  Our routine?  As soon as we got home, Mary would come over to our house for a snack.  Both our mom and Mary’s mom had super health-food filled homes.  The exception to the healthy rule? Our mom had cream cheese and Mary’s mom had Skippy peanut butter (vs. the pure crushed peanuts, where the oil often separated out, at our house).  So we’d have two snacks—first we’d stuff celery with cream cheese at our house, we’d giggle for hours as we always did when we were together, and then we’d go to Mary’s and stuff celery with Skippy peanut butter.  By the time we’d arrive at Mary’s it was closer to dinner time and her Mom always had something fragrant cooking on the stove that she was preparing for dinner.   One of the dishes that smelled the best—and that stole our attention away from celery with Skippy peanut butter was Mary’s Mom’s Basil Pesto.  Mary’s mom, Janet, would find us with our spoons in her pesto rather than in the Skippy jar where they were on other days.  We still dream about that pesto!  This Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto was inspired by Mary’s mom’s pesto.  But as registered dietitians, we’ve lightened up traditional pesto and had to share it with you!

 

oil_free_basil_pesto_2_logo

 

 

 

Pssst… looking for more healthy recipes?  Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to try…

 

Lime Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Greek Quinoa Salad

Smoked Paprika Chips

Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls

Breakfast Quinoa Nibbles

Coconut Fruit Pops

 

oilfreebasilpestocollage

 

Typically, pesto contains a lot of oil and dairy, and adds mega calories.  To make this zippy condiment a bit more nutritious and lower in calories, we removed the oil and cheese, added lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and spinach (we promise you can’t taste it!)—and you won’t believe how delish it is!

 

Wondering what nutritional yeast is and why we add it? We actually learned about this vegan, cheese alternative months ago and curious what it tasted like, we gave it a whirl, and we were hooked! We’ve been sprinkling it on everything we eat since! 😉 It’s got a cheesy, nutty flavor and looks like a yellow powder that is actually an inactive form of yeast.  It’s the same strain of yeast that bakers use to leaven bread, but bakers use the active form.   It’s a vegan source of protein and vitamin B12 (so it really hooks a plant-eater up!) and provides a savory quality to dishes it is added to and has zero sodium.  Yes please!

oil_free_basil_pesto_3_logo

Other star ingredients in this Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto:

  • Walnuts | Omega 3 Fatty Acids (hello, gorgeous, moisturized skin and a healthy heart!), Copper, Manganese, Biotin
  • Spinach | Vitamin K, Vitamin A (goodbye damaging free radicals, beta carotene from vitamin A mops up these trouble-makers and fights cancer, aging and inflammation), Iron, Manganese, Vitamin C
  • Basil | Vitamin K (hello healthy bones and proper healing from cuts and blemishes), Manganese, Copper

 

Add this flavorful and nutrient-packed condiment to your summer (or spring, fall or winter, for that matter!) meals!

 

Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto

This is one of our favorite ways to add flavor to just about any dish (think chicken, shrimp, salmon, zucchini noodles, veggie dip…)!

Makes 16 Tbsp Servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup basil leaves, gently washed
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts pieces
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chives, optional
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp water

Directions:

  • Using a steel blade in the bowl of a food processor (or a high-powered blender), add the basil, spinach, walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, chives, and salt.  Blend until evenly ground.
  • With the machine running, slowly add 1-2 Tbsp of water to the mixture and blend until smooth.

Nutrition Information per Tablespoon:

  • Calories:  20 Fat:  2g Cholesterol:  0mg Sodium:  8mg Potassium:  37mg Carbohydrates:  1g Fiber:  0.5g Sugar:  0 g Protein:  0.7g

 

Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto
 
Nutrition Information per Tablespoon: Calories: 20.2 Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 8mg Potassium: 37mg Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: .5g Sugar: .1g Protein: .7g
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup basil leaves, gently washed
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts pieces
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chives, optional
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Using a steel blade in the bowl of a food processor (or a high-powered blender), add the basil, spinach, walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, chives, and salt.  Blend until evenly ground.
  2. With the machine running, slowly add 1-2 Tbsp of water to the mixture and blend until smooth.

Fresh Figs and Feta With Toasted Walnuts

Long before we were registered dietitians, personal trainers and even before we were veggie lovers, we were twins with a sweet tooth…

 

So while we may have skirted the salt tooth, this sweet tooth requires a lot of attention to keep it in check and we’re constantly creating healthy, delicious ways to squash it without all the sugar. Remember these yumsters?

Strawberry Raspberry Lime Sherbet

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

5 Minute Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

and our Strawberry Mint Ice Cream.

So recently when we received an amazingly delicious delivery from California figs, we got figgy with it, and came up with a guilt-free creation that satisfies those with a sweet tooth–and those with a salt tooth!  This number gives  ya a lil’ sweet, a lil’ savory and a lil’ crunch–and we’re in love! All for less than less than 50 calories per serving!! Woohooo!

fresh-fig-container1

  There's something so satisfying about sinking your teeth in to a fresh, juicy fig.  It's meaty texture hits the spot. We decided we better have a figgin party as we couldn't keep these babies to ourselves! And it was a hit!
fresh-fig-logo
Welcome our FIGnature dish! fresh-fig-and-feta-with-toasted-walnuts4_logo   Fresh Figs and Feta With Toasted Walnuts   Serves 5 figs Ingredients: 5 fresh Figs 2 tbsp fat free feta 5 tsp chopped walnuts   Directions: Slice figs and drizzle with crumbled feta and walnuts.  Enjoy!   Makes 5 servings
Nutrition Facts for one serving (1 fig with toppings):  46 Calories, Total fat 0.2 g, 10 g Carbs, 1.5 g Fiber,  8 g Sugar, 1 g protein
  fresh-fig-and-toasted-walnuts_crop-copy
fresh_figs_toasted_walnuts_collage
Fresh Figs and Feta With Toasted Walnuts
 
Author:
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 5 fresh Figs
  • 2 tbsp fat free feta
  • 5 tsp chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Slice figs and drizzle with
  2. crumbled feta and walnuts. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 fig Calories: 46 Fat: 0.2 g Sugar: 8 g Fiber: 2 g Protein: 1 g

 

Crunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad

0006_NutritionTwins-cucumber-melon-cantaloupe-lime-mint-serrano-pepper-salad-summer_logoAs you may know by now, although we grew up in a healthy household surrounded by fresh produce, the truth is we didn’t always have all kinds of produce throughout the year at our fingertips, as you’d likely expect.  In fact, there were only a few weeks during the year when we’d have some of our favorite fruits and veggies.  Yup, our mom was ahead of her time—buying local and “in season” before it was cool and trendy.  You could tell what season it was by opening our fridge. This meant that most of the year, we didn’t have some of our favorite fruits—like melons!  We’d wait all year for our favorite season—summer, which just happens to be when some of our favorite fruits are in season. As hard as it is to believe, some of our favorite recipes that we make today, we would have only had a few months of the year.  Recipes like our:

Watermelon Frosty,

Watermelon Snow Cone

Watermelon & Mint Detox Salad

Strawberry Milkshake

cucumber-cantaloupe-salad-summer7cropped

 

And we can’t help but smile with our latest creation.  It’s the summer dish that we would have waited all year for—and we’re feeling a bit spoiled thinking that we may just keep eating it this one, even when it’s a bit out of season. 😉  When it’s too hot to turn on the stove and you’re looking for a thirst quenching, refreshing side dish (with an optional kick!), this salad with hydrating fruits and veggies and cooling culinary herbs is about to be your new bestie!

Added bonus: Phytonutrients found in cucumbers (cucurbitacins, lignans and flavonoids) may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Cucumbers have a high water content and are a great source of fiber to help prevent constipation and the unsightly gut bulges that come with it.

Fun fact: Cucumbers are technically fruits!

Cantaloupes are a great skin beautifier thanks to being high in vitamin C (necessary for the formation of collagen, which keeps the skin pliable and elastic) and vitamin A helps to promote healthy cells and skin. Also since it’s gota high water content, 90 percent, it helps to hydrate the skin, making it appear moist and supple!

Fun tip: To find a great tasting cantaloupe, do a sniff test, if the melon smells delicious it’s sure to be tasty.

We visited the farmers market over the weekend and came across a variety of cucumbers (common salad/garden cucumber, white cucumber, lemon cucumber and Armenian cucumber) and decided why not try them all! You can certainly use just one type of cucumber and it can be any type.

0001_NutritionTwins-cucumber-melon-cantaloupe-lime-mint-serrano-pepper-salad-summer_logo

Just a word of warning, once you start you may not be able to eat just one serving!

You can also make a larger portion, by doubling the recipe, to eat the next day. The lime juice helps preserve the freshness overnight.

0004_NutritionTwins-cucumber-melon-cantaloupe-lime-mint-serrano-pepper-salad-summer_logoCrunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad

Makes 4, 1 Cup Servings

Serve this easy to make, juicy summer salad with a Mediterranean dish, falafel, grilled fish, fish tacos, grilled chicken or another lean protein.

 

Ingredients

2 cups cantaloupe, diced* (about ¼ medium cantaloupe seeded)

2 cups cucumber, diced* (roughly 2 medium cucumbers), peeled (optional).

1 tsp serrano pepper, (about ¼ small sized pepper) seeded and minced (optional)

1 – 1 ½ Tbsp lime juice,

4-5 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade

Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Combine cantaloupe and cucumber in large bowl.
  1. Pour 1 Tbsp of lime juice over the melon/cucumber mix. Stir to coat the produce in the juice.
  1. Add a pinch of salt to taste to contrast to the sweetness.
  1. Add ½ tsp of the minced serrano pepper, andmix throughout. It can have quite a kick so add more to your liking. This can be omitted if you’re simply looking for a cool and thirst quenching salad without a kick.
  1. Top with slivers of fresh mint leaves.

* Diced pieces can be any size, we liked a small dice in order to get a variety of flavors in one bite!

**A note about the serrano pepper. The oils will linger on your hands, even after washing them. Be aware to not touch near your eyes especially after cutting. You may have to wash your hands a few times before it begins to fade. (I only noticed because I stuck my finger near my mouth while taking a bite of left over cantaloupe and my mouth started tingling! Long after I had finished cutting and washed my hands!)

 

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 47 Calories, 0 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 87 mg Sodium, 12 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 9 g Sugar, 1 g Protein  

Cucumber_Cantaloupe_Salad_Collage

 

Crunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, diced* (about ¼ medium cantaloupe seeded)
  • 2 cups cucumber, diced* (roughly 2 medium cucumbers), peeled (optional).
  • 1 tsp serrano pepper, (about ¼ small sized pepper) seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp lime juice,
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine cantaloupe and cucumber in large bowl.
  2. Pour 1 Tbsp of lime juice over the melon/cucumber mix. Stir to coat the produce in the juice.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to taste to contrast to the sweetness.
  4. Add ½ tsp of the minced serrano pepper, andmix throughout. It can have quite a kick so add more to your liking. This can be omitted if you’re simply looking for a cool and thirst quenching salad without a kick.
  5. Top with slivers of fresh mint leaves.
Notes
*Diced pieces can be any size, we liked a small dice in order to get a variety of flavors in one bite! **A note about the serrano pepper. The oils will linger on your hands, even after washing them. Be aware to not touch near your eyes especially after cutting. You may have to wash your hands a few times before it begins to fade. (I only noticed because I stuck my finger near my mouth while taking a bite of left over cantaloupe and my mouth started tingling! Long after I had finished cutting and washed my hands!)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 47 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 87 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

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.
0005_NutritionTwins-sweetpotato-tarragon-garlic-fries_logo

 

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.

Roasted_Taragon_Garlic_Fries_Collage

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.

0003_NutritionTwins-sweetpotato-tarragon-garlic-fries_logo

 

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”!

0004_NutritionTwins-sweetpotato-tarragon-garlic-fries_logo

 

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).

0001_NutritionTwins-sweetpotato-tarragon-garlic-fries_logo

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

 

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!

0005_NutritionTwins-chickpea-quinoa-kale-zucchini-garlic-paprika-tumeric-cumin_logo

 

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

Vegan_Quinoa_Kale_Collage

…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!

0002_NutritionTwins-chickpea-quinoa-kale-zucchini-garlic-paprika-tumeric-cumin_logo

 

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

0003_NutritionTwins-chickpea-quinoa-kale-zucchini-garlic-paprika-tumeric-cumin_logo

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