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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.

We’ve teamed up with Chef’d, the awesome home meal delivery service known for delivering fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to make amazing recipes right to your door (you never even need to sign up for a subscription!) and with California Prunes, the sweet, antioxidant-packed fruit we grew up loving, to create these scrumptious meals that will make your taste buds sing and your waistline look like you’ve danced the night away.

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.

Without further ado, here’s one of our three recipes…you could make it at home from scratch, but better yet, you can have all these ingredients, prepped and pre-portioned and delivered from Chef’d straight to your door!  Order yours here!

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!

Fresh Fruit Breakfast Crepes

Looking for a new, jazzier weekend breakfast?

Our clients often tell us that the weekday breakfasts that we give them work great for them on weekends too, but we always fear they’ll tire of their usual choices and we love giving them other weekend breakfast suggestions.  Plus, many of our clients have guests over for weekend brunch –and if you do too, then you probably love serving crepes since they are always a hit! (Personally, we love any food in a little blanket (who doesn’t? ;)).  Plus, we tend to be cold and being wrapped in a blanket makes us happy. :))

We’ve got a few crepe recipes that are so easy yet make anyone who eats them feel like they must have taken hours to prepare! 😉 Score! If you are fans of our Fruit and Cream Crepes , our Easy Fruit Crepes or our Whole Grain Strawberry Crepes, you’ll appreciate these lil’ yummy bundles!

 

fresh_fruit_crepe_collage

 

Pssst…. Looking for other crepe filling ideas? Try

Fruit and Cream Crepes

Spinach and low-fat Feta

Tomatoes and low-fat Cheddar

Blueberries and nonfat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese

Cinnamon and Sugar and applesauce …or anything you can think of.

Fresh Fruit Breakfast Crepes

This crepe comes wrapped in strawberries, blueberries, and bananas topped off with Greek yogurt and granola to start your morning out right! It’s a perfect sweet yet satisfying treat for a Sunday morning family breakfast or to serve at a brunch to impress your friends!  We suggest serving it with a veggie omelet or scrambled eggs (we used Eggland’s Best) because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs) for some protein and staying power!

Serves 1

Serving Size 1 crepe

Ingredients

1 crepe*

¼ cup strawberries

¼ cup blueberries

¼ of a banana, sliced

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp granola

*You can buy already-made crepes at the store, but it’s always better when they’re homemade! You can use whatever recipe you prefer, but we used our Skinny Easy Pease-y Basic Crepe recipe

Directions

Place the strawberries, blueberries, and sliced bananas in a line down the center of the crepe and wrap it like a burrito, then flip it over so the folds are on the bottom.

Spread the Greek yogurt on top of the crepe and sprinkle on the granola for a finishing touch, then enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 185

Carbohydrates: 28 g

Fat:  4.3 g

Protein: 8 g

Sodium:  36.4 mg

Sugar: 10 g

Fiber: 2 g

Fresh Fruit Breakfast Crepes
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 1 crepe
  • ¼ cup strawberries
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ of a banana, sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp granola
Instructions
  1. Place the strawberries, blueberries, and sliced bananas in a line down the center of the crepe and wrap it like a burrito, then flip it over so the folds are on the bottom.
  2. Spread the Greek yogurt on top of the crepe and sprinkle on the granola for a finishing touch, then enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 crepe Calories: 185 Fat: 4.3 Carbohydrates: 28 g Sugar: 10 g Sodium: 36.4 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 8 g

Fresh Fruit Crepes pic cropped

Raspberry Detox and Anti-Bloat Tea

If you’re trying to get fit, while flushing out bloat and some of the damaging particles from unhealthy overindulgences, this tea is your ticket!

Hot Raspberry Tea

This tea is absolutely delicious, plus it will help to quickly flush bloat and restore normal hydration. That’s right, thanks to the raspberries, lemons and orange—and water—this drink not only hydrates you, it also flushes your system while the potassium helps to counteract excess sodium—and the bloat that comes with it.

Plus, every ingredient added to the water to make the tea is a phytonutrient superstar—the raspberries, lemons, orange, cinnamon and cloves all fight damage and inflammation created by toxins that enter the body (including those from a few too many unhealthy overindulgences—food, alcohol, stress, pollution).

More reasons to sip?

  • The raspberries: Research suggests they actually may assist in weight loss (yahoo!) because they contain the phytochemical C3G that may increase production of both adiponectin (which enhances fat metabolism) and leptin (which suppresses appetite). Oh yeah!
  • The cinnamon has an added bonus of helping to regulate blood sugar.

Enjoy!

 

Raspberry Detox and Anti-bloat Tea

Serves: 14

 

Ingredients

3 1/2 quarts water

1 (12 oz.) package raspberries

1 orange, juiced

2 lemons, juiced

10 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

 

Directions

  1. In a large pot, combine water and raspberries bringing to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add juice from the orange and lemons, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Cover, and steep for 1 hour.
  4. Pour slowly into serving glasses with a soup ladle and enjoy!!

 

 

Nutrition Facts: 28 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 14 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 1 g protein

 

 

 

Raspberry Detox and Anti-Bloat Tea
 
Serves: 14 Nutrition Facts: 28 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 14 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 1 g protein
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3½ quarts water
  • 1 (12 oz.) package raspberries
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, combine water and raspberries bringing to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add juice from the orange and lemons, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Cover, and steep for 1 hour.
  4. Pour slowly into serving glasses with a soup ladle and enjoy!!

Healthy Apple Squares!

By now most of you know that we live for the summer time. After all, Tammy even named her daughter Summer after our love of the summer weather. So while the temperatures may be feeling seasonably cool we are happy to share that we are loving it! The leaves are changing, the sun is shining and the cooler weather actually feels great during our runs in the park. Plus, it’s National Apple Month! We love apples every time of the year (and we’ve eaten one almost daily since high school!), but autumn especially fits so well with delish apple recipes! Apples are packed with phytonutrients. One compound in particular, a flavonoid called quercitin helps to protect the body against oxidative damage and even has been shown to protect the brain against diseases like Alzheimer’s. Plus, they are a great source of fiber and are the perfect, healthy way to fend off a sweet craving.

 Apple Squares

So if you haven’t had the time to whip up any of your favorite apple recipes recently – give our Apple Squares a whirl! And if you’re looking for more “guilt-free comfort food” — a term we love and use often 🙂  — try our Skinny Potato Skins, our Skinny Mash,our Comfort Food Reinvented Apple Pie  and our Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, just to name a few? And now this pup!

 

Healthy Apple Squares

Serves: 14

 

Ingredients

 

1-3/4cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup sugar (or coconut palm sugar or 12 teaspoons stevia)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs—and only 60 calories/ egg. Other eggs have 70 calories/ egg.)

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup apple juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 medium-sized tart apples, cored, and coarsely chopped

 

Directions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly spray cooking spray on a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Beat in the eggs, applesauce, apple juice, and vanilla until well blended with an electric mixer or whisk very well until there are no lumps.With a spoon, fold in the apples Pour into prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake approximately 40-50 minutes (depending on your oven), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into squares after completely cool. Serve and Enjoy!!

 

Nutrition Facts with sugar: 142 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 97 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 3 g protein

 

Nutrition Facts with stevia: 86 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 97 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 3 g protein

 

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best but were not compensated for this blog.

 

Healthy Apple Squares
 
Serves: 14
Ingredients
  • 1-3/4cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sugar (or coconut palm sugar or 12 teaspoons stevia)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/42 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs—and only 60 calories/ egg. Other eggs have 70 calories/ egg.)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium-sized tart apples, cored, and coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly spray cooking spray on Coat a 9" x 13" baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Combine; all ingredients until well mixed. Beat in the eggs, applesauce, apple juice, and vanilla until well blended with an electric mixer or whisk very well until there are no lumps.. With a spoon, fold in the apples. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake approximately 40-50 minutes (depending on your oven), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into squares after completely cool. Serve and Enjoy!!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 142 Fat: 1 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 32 g Sugar: 19 g Sodium: 97 mg Fiber: 3 g Protein: 3 g

 

Basil Pesto

Who doesn’t need a little more spice in their life? We sure do, and in this case we want a little more herb in ours! 🙂

 

We’re continuing our Culinary Corner blog series on spices and fresh herbs to help you to easily, deliciously and healthfully flavor your food—and today we want to share some basic information about one of our favorites herb besties – basil!

pesto_pizza

Basil is a close relative to mint. You’ve probably tried it in tomato sauce and tomato based dishes, but it pairs really well with nearly every type of meat and especially seafood. Plus, it’s rich in phytonutrients to help your body fend off nearly every chronic disease and minimize age-related decline!

 

To get you started with a simple basil recipe – we want to share our Basil Pesto (it ups the ante even more by replacing traditional pine nuts with walnuts (so it’s got more omega 3’s than your typical pesto sauce!)!

 

This Basil Pesto is incredible—you can spread it on your bread instead of butter, on sandwiches rather than mayo, toss with pasta, spread on pizza. This is also great tossed with steamed green beans and the juice from a lemon or mixed with champagne vinegar and tossed on a salad. Enjoy!

 

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
Serves: 4

 

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
1 garlic cloves
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions

1. Place basil, walnuts, vegetable stock and garlic in food processor bowl and puree to desired thickness and until all ingredients are mixed evenly.
2. Add oil, Parmesan cheese and salt. Process until mixture is well blended.
3. To make this into a meal, toss with pasta or use a sandwich spread or dip bagel chips for a dip as well!! Enjoy!!

 

Serves 4, 2 Tablespoon serving

 

Nutrition Facts per serving: 142 calories, 14 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 175 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 4 g protein

Basil Pesto
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup walnuts, crushed
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup vegetable stock
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Place basil, walnuts, vegetable stock and garlic in food processor bowl and puree to desired thickness and until all ingredients are mixed evenly.
  2. Add oil, Parmesan cheese and salt. Process until mixture is well blended.
  3. To make this into a meal, toss with pasta or use a sandwich spread or dip bagel chips for a dip as well!! Enjoy!!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tablespoon Calories: 142 Fat: 14 g Saturated fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 2 g Sugar: 0g Sodium: 175 mg Protein: 4 g

 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.

 

 

Spring Lemonade -Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade Flush

You know how we feel about spring and summer–we LOVE it!  Tammy’s daughter being named Summer, was no accident ;).  And with spring officially here, it’s time to kick things into high gear and get ready for summer!  This means out with the heavy foods and in with lighter foods in the fridge and the pantry– and also squeezing in a bit more activity in your day.  And let’s face it, afterwards, there’s nothing better than a delicious, healthy and refreshing drink to kick back and relax with or to cool down and hydrate with after a tough workout!  We love any fruity combination (like our Cool Melon Virgin Mojito Smoothie or our Vanilla Pine-ana Strawberry Smoothie) —and especially healthy  twists on lemonade.  And any lighter twist on the traditional lemonade is a win in our book too.

Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade

We tried combining strawberry and kiwi and totally scored!  Plus, both fruits are both packed with potassium & water—the perfect combo for restoring the body’s normal fluid balance, flushing out excess sodium and the bloat that comes with it. And both fruits are fiber fiends, so they help to keep you regular and flush out any bloat and puffiness from constipation—so this fruit combo makes us all feel a little more confident to get into our swimsuits!

 

Another bonus? Strawberries contain immune boosting phytonutrients and are a great source of vitamin C.  Kiwi’s also are loaded with vitamin C. We created this Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade Flush so that it would be the perfect way to get your morning or afternoon rolling—it’s light and sweet but not overly sweet and heavy!

 

Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade Flush

Serves: 6

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups cold water

6 cups strawberries, leaves detached

4 cups kiwi, without skin

1 cup chilled lemon seltzer

Lemon slices, for garnish

 

Directions

  1. Puree all fruit into a blender or food processor until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add water to the blender and blend until smooth and liquidy.
  3. Pour seltzer in and then lemon slices for garnish.
  4. Enjoy!!

 

Nutrition Facts: 123 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 2 g protein

 

Note: If you prefer a sweeter lemonade, add less liquid compared to fruit.

 

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.

Spring Lemonade
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 cups cold water
  • 6 cups strawberries, leaves detached
  • 4 cups kiwi, without skin
  • 1 cup chilled lemon seltzer
  • Lemon slices, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Puree all fruit into a blender or food processor until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add water to the blender and blend until smooth and liquidy.
  3. Pour seltzer in and then lemon slices for garnish.
  4. Enjoy!!
Notes
Note: If you prefer a sweeter lemonade, add less liquid compared to fruit.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 123 Fat: 1 g Saturated fat: 0 g Sugar: 18 g Fiber: 7 g Protein: 2 g