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Savory Oats

By now you likely know how we feel about veggies—we’re obsessed!  As girls who also have a wicked sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check ;), these twin sister, registered dietitians and personal trainers, and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure are constantly working to help you to get more of these magical fat-loss and health-promoting pups. So, when it comes to breakfast—who’s got your booty, baby? Us! 🙂

And while we adore eggs packed with veggies like these faves:

Mexican Eggs in a Mug

Pesto Veggie Omelet

Skinny Eggs Benedict 

Mini Frittata Muffins

Sunny Side Eggs on a Portobello “Bagel” 

We, along with countless others, are exploring ways to make veggies at breakfast a little different. For those days when hectic mornings call for something a little savory and a little hearty we thought we’d jump on the oat-lover train and make some savory oats!

 

Not only did we make our oats savory with a pinch of garlic and onion powders, we got you those magical veggies with mashed up riced cauliflower, an antioxidant rich, vitamin C powerhouse of a vegetable to give our oats a little more texture and a lot more nutrients.

Haven’t tried riced cauliflower?

Say hello to one of your new besties!  Riced cauliflower has become an “it” food over the last year or so, you can find it in the frozen section or the produce section of many supermarkets now. It’s super versatile, so while in our book we have a pizza crust made with it, you’ll also find countless recipes nowadays that use it—and we’ll be sharing more on this site soon!  And now you can simply purchase it ready-to-use! Woohoo!

The fat-loss promoting, magical veggies don’t end there:

We also added:

  • mushrooms, phytonutrient rock stars that support our immune system in so many ways.
  • kale, (um, because how could we ever forget this baby? 😉 ) –the best friend to many of our meals, it’s quick and easy to sauté up and it helps the liver in its detoxification process and adds vitamin K and A and lutein which is great for eye health, not a bad thing to start the morning with!

Savory Oats

Guess what?!  You can customize this yumster based on the veggies you have in your fridge that are begging to be cooked before they go bad. And as an added bonus—consuming a variety of veggies throughout the week fulfills an assortment of nutrients our bodies need. Oh yeah!!

Makes 2 servings

Top this savory dish with an egg cooked to your favorite style for protein.

Ingredients:

Oats or any hot whole or multi grain cereal

1/3 cup mashed cauliflower rice*

pinch of garlic powder

pinch of onion powder

1 cup finely shredded kale

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 TBSP Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon of your favorite vegetable seasoning (we used Weber Veggie Grill)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Prepare ½ cup serving of oats according to package directions.
  2. As the oats cook, follow the directions on the packaging to heat the cauliflower rice. Once warm, mash the cauliflower further to get rid of any large chunks. (We found fresh cauliflower, riced, in our produce section and Trader Joes has a cauliflower rice in their frozen section. Either kind will do.)
  3. Saute the kale and mushrooms in 1 tsp of olive oil, seasoned with your go to vegetable seasoning, we like to try a variety. This time we used one called Veggie Grill by Weber. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix mashed cauliflower into the cooked oats with a pinch of garlic powder and onion powder.
  5. Top with sautéed mushrooms and kale.
  6. Finish with a topping of parmesan cheese for a savory and satisfying breakfast.

*The cauliflower rice will keep for a few days, so if you cook the whole bag per the instructions, you can use the leftovers in other meals or have another version of savory oats the next morning! Stay tuned, we also will be coming up with a sweet version for those mornings we want a little sweet but still need a hearty breakfast.

 

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving

152 Calories, 21 g carbs, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 88 mg sodium, 4 g fiber

Savory Oats
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Oats or any hot whole or multi grain cereal
  • ⅓ cup mashed cauliflower rice*
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of onion powder
  • 1 cup finely shredded kale
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite vegetable seasoning (we used Weber Veggie Grill)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare ½ cup serving of oats according to package directions.
  2. As the oats cook, follow the directions on the packaging to heat the cauliflower rice. Once warm, mash the cauliflower further to get rid of any large chunks. (We found fresh cauliflower, riced, in our produce section and Trader Joes has a cauliflower rice in their frozen section. Either kind will do.)
  3. Saute the kale and mushrooms in a tsp of olive oil, seasoned with your go to vegetable seasoning, we like to try a variety. This time we used one called Veggie Grill by Weber. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix mashed cauliflower into the cooked oats with a pinch of garlic powder and onion powder.
  5. Top with sautéed mushrooms and kale.
  6. Finish with a topping of parmesan cheese for a savory and satisfying breakfast.
Notes
The cauliflower rice will keep for a few days, so if you cook the whole bag per the instructions, you can use the leftovers in other meals or have another version of savory oats the next morning! Stay tuned, we also will be coming up with a sweet version for those mornings we want a little sweet but still need a hearty breakfast.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 152 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 21g Sodium: 88mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 8g

 

Why a Weight Loss Plateau is A Good Thing

As registered dietitians and personal trainers for over fifteen years, these twin sisters have seen our share of weight loss plateaus.  And while we’re well aware that a weight loss plateau is a good thing, we’ve seen how destructive and deflating it can be when someone hits one and doesn’t realize the benefits of a plateau.

 

So we’re busting at the seams to tell them (and you!) that a weight loss plateau is actually a good thing!  If you’ve ever experienced this we want you to pay close attention and follow this advice as this will help you to succeed when faced with it again! First, don’t let a plateau derail your efforts or discourage you.  Although a weight loss plateau can often last for several weeks, it’s not the time to give up, and in fact, just the opposite!

 

Here’s why:

A weight loss plateau is a normal and healthy part of the weight loss process and it simply means that your body is recognizing that it’s a new smaller person—and it’s settling in and adjusting to being slimmer.  Your body is taking an assessment and acknowledging it no longer needs as many calories to maintain itself and it’s just taking time to recalibrate.  This recalibration is important; if your body never recognizes it’s smaller and doesn’t take time to stabilize, your body doesn’t know who it is and can easily change; bouncing back to a higher weight will be easy as it wouldn’t have set a new place at a lower weight that feels comfortable.  Think about it—if you constantly are losing weight, your body has no clue what to expect and it doesn’t yet know where it feels stable.  A few missed workouts, a few not so healthy meals could easily throw your body off kilter. On the other hand, if you hit a plateau, it’s recognizing your newer, smaller body.  It’s a sign that your body is taking notice of your new trimmer self!  Once you push past this, maintaining your new weight will be easier!  Feel proud and know this is part of the amazing successful weight loss process and you’ll push past it!

 

 

More good news?

There are ways to push past a plateau—and if you stick it out, they pay off big-time!

 

Here are 4 of our top ways to bust through a weight loss plateau:

 

  1. Eat more veggies. Yup, read THIS to see how eating more actually works.  By now you know that we love veggies, always encourage our clients to eat them, and we too, eat them like nobody’s business (despite having been super picky eaters in the past)—but that’s because they’re little miracle workers, and in more ways than one. (Pssst… we didn’t write The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure for nothin’!  😉  )

 

  1. Sip on THIS Toxin-Neutralizing, Bloat-Busting Bevvie throughout the day. It will keep you hydrated, flush bloat and wastes out of the body, fill your stomach so you eat less, and flood the body with antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals and pull toxins out of the body.

 

 

  1. Incorporate HIIT training into your workouts.   These periods of more intense exercise followed by less intense exercise burn extra calories and rev your metabolism.  Find out how to do it!

 

 

  1. Leave three bites behind at each meal. If you typically eat all of your meal, leave three bites on your plate; if you don’t typically eat all of your meal, make a conscious effort to eat three fewer bites.  Over the course of the day this will equate to a couple hundred calories, which over the course of the month can equal nearly two pounds or more!

 

 

  1. For the next few weeks keep a food log (if you don’t already). You may discover places where excess snacks can be cut—or you may realize that while you were on a weight loss roll that you weren’t quite as diligent as you thought and tightening the reigns will help you to push past the plateau.

 

 

The Nutrition  Twins’ Do Your Body Good Challenge—and your 5th way to bust through a weight loss plateau.

 

Swap Dry foods for Wet Foods:
Eat Water-Rich Foods.

  • Why? Dry foods, like baked goods and cookies, chips, crackers, candy bars and trail mixes, are light and airy and don’t fill you up but are high in calories. Instead go for water and fiber-filled foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains—these are generally full of water and fiber and not many calories. So your body feels the weight of these foods and it helps to satisfy you, as opposed to the dry, calorie-dense, light-weight foods.

 

How to do it:

 

 

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Blueberry Protein Weight Loss Breakfast Smoothie

As registered dietitians and personal trainers we feel lucky to work with so many awesome clients.  Most want to have some fun and enjoy indulging but also know when it’s time to get back on track and tighten the reigns– and trust us, these twin sisters get it!  Yes, it’s not just our clients who at times feel like they need to undo the damage from too much–we, too have times when we just want to undo the damage that we did over the last couple of days from eating too much, drinking too much or just falling off the healthy track…and we’ve got just the morning dazzler to get your mind and body back on the fast track to slim–while losing the bloat and feeling satisfied!

Often we try to get right back on track with our Kale Recharge and Detox Smoothie or our Detoxifying Green Tea Smoothie which both work magic. We also sip our Raspberry Ginger Detox during the day. Or we go for this awesome Blueberry Protein Weight Loss Breakfast Smoothie! Aside from it being the perfect way to reboot the body (see below), this smoothie tastes yummy, so it’s ideal when your mind and taste buds aren’t feeling like they’re ready to dive in to very bland foods that many people believe are the only foods allowed when they’re trying to cleanse the body from the damage of overindulgence.  Admittedly, especially when we just get back from a vacay, our minds are still a little in la-la land 😉 and our taste buds want to be tantalized (this healthy, cleansing number does the trick!).

Although your body is equipped to detox and cleanse itself on its own, naturally, certain health-promoting foods and drinks, assist it in its process.  And this drink does just that! 

 

This smoothie is a superstar when it comes to weight loss and flushing bloat and toxins from the body!  Here’s how it works:

For weight loss:

It’s super-satisfying– with just 224 calories, it will keep you satiated with it’s 20 grams of protein.  It will power you through your morning keeping your energy levels stable so you don’t experience an energy crash that would have you craving a quick sugar pick-me-up (this means you won’t find yourself diving into the vending machine mid-morning in search of an energy boost).

More reasons to sip this blue smoothie to assist in weight loss? 😉

The blueberries! Research suggests they actually may assist in weight loss (yippee!) since they contain the phytochemical C3G that may increase production of both adiponectin (which enhances fat metabolism) and leptin (which suppresses appetite). Oh yeah!

 

For flushing bloat:

Starting the day with this nutrient and water-filled smoothie helps to flush out excess salt and the bloated and puffy feeling that comes with it. The high water in combination with the potassium from the blueberry and lemon flushes bloat by restoring normal fluid balance so you can kiss puffiness goodbye.

The blueberries are loaded with fiber, which helps to flush waste out your colon (goodbye constipation and unsightly gut bulges from it–hello flatter belly. Oh Yeah!)

 

For mopping up free radicals and toxins that age and damage your body.  Here’s why we like to drink this smoothie in the morning:

There’s no better time to flood your body with nutrients that help to rejuvenate your cells and that help your liver to do its’ job of detoxifying invaders (chemicals, smog, toxins, alcohol, etc.) that could harm the body. However, you can drink this babe any time of day and it will still work is magic.

The blueberries flood your body with anti-aging and disease-fighting phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds as well as bloat-fighting potassium and water!

Lemon helps to promote the activity of a liver enzyme that converts harmful, toxic substances to less harsh chemicals (via the liver through a compound called d-limonene.). Lemon, is packed with vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant which mops up free radicals from environmental toxins, stress, alcohol, fatty foods and other toxins and helps to prevent them from damaging your body. 

 

Blueberry Protein Weight Loss Breakfast Smoothie

Enjoy this sipster for breakfast to take the edge off hunger, prevent overeating, flush bloat and help set your mind & body on the healthy track.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 tbsp almond butter

1/2 cup unsweetend vanilla almond milk

1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder (we use Vega One Plant Power or Amazing Grass)*

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (ok, if not fresh)

water to blend

 

Directions: Blend this all together and drink! Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 224 Calories, 4 g fat, 19 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 20 g protein

*Note: if you don’t have protein powder, substitute with 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt.

Pictured below with 1 teaspoon organic coconut flakes.

Blueberry Protein Weight loss Breakfast Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ tbsp almond butter
  • ½ cup unsweetend vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder (we use Vega One Plant Power or Amazing Grass)*
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice (ok, if not fresh)
  • water to blend
Instructions
  1. Blend this all together and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 224 Fat: 4 g Carbohydrates: 19 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 20 g

Sweet Potato Nachos

A calorie bomb of greasy chips smothered in cheese …not exactly what you’d expect to get from these veggie loving, registered dietitians and personal trainer twin sisters (who just happen to have a sweet tooth), now is it? Thank goodness, you’re (partially 😉 ) right about that. While this may taste like the real deal, this is the souped- up, caloried-down version! You know, more like some of our dishes that watch your waistline but that tantalize the more naughty side of your taste buds like our Smoked Paprika ChipsGuilt-free Kale ChipsSpicy Carrot Fries, and our Skinny Zucchini Fries… And now these yummy nachos nibblers!

 

Are you ready for a cozy comfort food that makes an ideal savory and crunchy lunch (or dinner) and that will keep you satisfied for hours? Then say hello to hot hints of savory chicken and beans and soft hints of sweet peas and scrumptious, crunchy sweet potato chips.

 

Here’s what makes this skinny comfort food work its’ magic:

 

  • Rather than traditional nachos that rack in the calories and bloating-sodium with their fried chips, these nibblers get their crunch from crispy baked sweet potato chips.

 

  • Sweet potatoes provide the quality carbs that your brain craves—this feels so indulgent but in just 4-4.5 ounces 328 calories, the comfort-food carb craving is met with bloat-busting magnesium, potassium and filling fiber. Plus, you get anti-aging, skin protecting beta-carotene!
  • Instead of gobs of greasy cheese, this skinny-cho (you read that right—“skin- nacho!” ;)) uses reduced fat cheese and a surprising creamy twist, from the peas. This works magic on your creamy-texture craving taste buds and on your waistline.

 

  • Adios fatty beef, hola savory chicken for lean protein that keeps you feeling full for hours.

 

  • Beans –rather than refried, these skip the added fat and keep the creamy texture, staying lean and filling!

 

Plus, these nachos actually work to fight off a muffin-top! Here’s how:

 

  • One plate regular nachos = More than 650 calories, one plate of these bad boys is only 328 calories.

 

  • Fewer calories IN = Less fat ON the body

Buh-bye unsightly gut bulges! Packed with fiber to flush waste and toxins out of the colon:

 

  • No constipation= flatter tummy

 

  • Less tummy poof: Hello magical bloat-busting combo of magnesium and potassium! Plus, they’re low in sodium to keep bloat at bay, flat belly ahoy!

Traditional nachos are loaded with belt-bursting sodium and an entire plate would set you back at least 2400mg, OURS SAVE YOU 2000 mg even if you eat the whole plate!

 

 

Savory Sweet Potato Nachos

 

This cozy comfort food is so healthy and filling you can make it your main meal! Or simply take this healthy spin on a fan favorite and serve it for guests!

 

Makes 3 Servings (entree sized)

Ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes

½ cup black beans

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup shredded chicken breast (or canned chicken)

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Rinse sweet and thoroughly clean potatoes and thinly slice (about 3 mm thick). This is most easily done using a paring knife and working slowly, and of course carefully!
  3. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place potato slices on the baking sheet to make a nice even layer of slices (it doesn’t have to be neat just even!). The potatoes can be overlapping and it doesn’t necessarily need to be one potato per layer! Place potatoes in oven.
  4. While potatoes are baking, prepare frozen peas as directed on bag, drain and rinse black beans, and pull apart and shred chicken breast OR drain and pull apart canned chicken.
  5. After about 20 minutes, take potatoes out and flip the chips (they should be a little crispy on the side that was facing up and soft and warm on the bottom). Bake for another 15-20 min.
  6. After the potatoes are baked and crispy on both sides, take them out of the oven, place them on a plate and top with peas, black beans, chicken, and cheese. Enjoy this scrumptious meal for lunch, for dinner or with friends! It serves 3!

 

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving

Calories: 328, carbs: 47.3g, fat: 6.3g, saturated fat: 2g, protein: 23.5g, sodium: 479.5mg, fiber: 9.8g

Sweet Potato Nachos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Serves: 3 4 oz. servings
Ingredients
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup shredded chicken breast (or canned chicken)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Rinse sweet and thoroughly clean potatoes and thinly slice (about 3 mm thick). This is most easily done using a paring knife and working slowly, and of course carefully!
  3. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place potato slices on the baking sheet to make a nice even layer of slices (it doesn’t have to be neat just even!). The potatoes can be overlapping and it doesn't necessarily need to be one potato per layer! Place potatoes in oven.
  4. While potatoes are baking, prepare frozen peas as directed on bag, drain and rinse black beans, and pull apart and shred chicken breast OR drain and pull apart canned chicken.
  5. After about 20 minutes, take potatoes out and flip the chips (they should be a little crispy on the side that was facing up and soft and warm on the bottom). Bake for another 15-20 min.
  6. After the potatoes are baked and crispy on both sides, take them out of the oven, place them on a plate and top with peas, black beans, chicken, and cheese. Enjoy this scrumptious meal for lunch, for dinner or with friends! It serves 3!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz Calories: 328 Fat: 6.3g Saturated fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 47.3g Sodium: 479.5mg Fiber: 9.8g Protein: 23.5g

 

 

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Speedy Skinny Cranberry Almond Cookies

These yumsters were created as part of a winter-holiday inspired recipe challenge.  Our sweet tooth wanted “in” but our jammed-packed schedules and our hopes of keeping our waistline in tact wanted “out”.  And guess which won?  Both of them!!  Yahoo!!

By now you likely know that as identical, veggie-loving, registered dietitians, personal trainer twin sisters with a wicked sweet tooth that we work hard to keep from getting too unruly 😉 , we do all that we can to let our sweet tooth live a little while also preventing it from getting the best of our health and our waistline.  We believe that we all deserve to have a little bit of fun without deprivation and without sacrificing our favorite pants–skinny jeans and all!  Amen to that!  So we’re constantly creating little treats that are so delish that we can turn down some wildly decadent desserts that we’d pay for later because we’d RATHER eat our delicious, waistline-sparing goodies! 🙂

If you like our Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Skinny Speedy Walnut Oatmeal Cookies,  our 5 Minute Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and our Wild Blueberry Cookies –you know just what we’re talking about!  And thanks for telling us that you love how quick and easy they are to make, perfect for when you want to indulge and need a quick alternative to heading face first into a tub of ice cream.

You’ll never believe that these new sweet treats have no sugar added, boast only 82 calories per delicious cookie (plus, they’ve got fiber and nutrients!)—and they take just 5 minutes to mix and 5 minutes to cook in the microwave!  We gotta admit, we’re pretty smitten with these lil’ numbers.

cranberry_almond_cookie_stack_logo2

 

One of the things we love about these cookies is how truly easy they are to whip up!

 

cranberry_almond_cookie1

 

Serves: 4 small cookies or 1 large cookie

Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana, mashed

3 Tbsp. rolled oats

1 Tbsp. almond butter

1/8 -1/4 tsp almond extract (use the higher amount if you like it more almond-flavored)

1 Tbsp slivered almonds

2 Tbsp dried cranberries

 

Directions:

  1. If using an oven rather than microwave, preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, smash banana. Add almond butter, almond extract and oats, stirring until thoroughly combined. Stir in cranberries and almonds.
  3. If using microwave: For one large cookie, simply spread mixture in bowl and microwave on high for 4-1/2 minutes. If you are making four cookies you can spray a plate, 4 small bowls or 4 ramekins. (The ramekins are nice to keep the cookies contained and perfectly round.)
  4. Scoop out about 2-1/2 tablespoons each, and flatten on the plate or in ramekin. Repeat for each ramekin.
  5. Place the four ramekins or the one plate in microwave on high for 4 minutes. Depending on the strength of your microwave cooking time may vary. Simply use a toothpick or a fork and poke cookie the whole way through. *If wetness comes off on fork or toothpick, continue to put back in microwave in 30 second increments until cooked.

If making one big cookie, you may want to place plate in fridge or freezer to help “congeal” for a minute after cooking.

*If using oven: Place 2-1/2 Tbsp of mixture on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven when cooked completely through.

Makes 4 Cookies.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (1 Cookie): 82 Calories, 12 g carbohydrate,3 g fat, 2 g protein, 25 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

One large cookie: 327 Calories, 49 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 8 g protein, 2 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

Speedy Cranberry Almond Cookies
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 cookies
Ingredients
  • Speedy Cranberry Almond Cookies
  • Other than the fact this cookie has no added sugar and tastes insanely delish and perfectly sweet, it’s packed with wholesome goodness. They serve up protein, nutrients and fiber.
  • Serves: 4 small cookies or 1 large cookie
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 3 Tbsp. rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • ⅛ -1/4 tsp almond extract (use the higher amount if you like it more almond-flavored)
  • 1 Tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. If using an oven rather than microwave, preheat to 375°F.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, smash banana. Add almond butter, almond extract and oats, stirring until thoroughly combined. Stir in cranberries and almonds.
  4. If using microwave: For one large cookie, simply spread mixture in bowl and microwave on high for 4-1/2 minutes. If you are making four cookies you can spray a plate, 4 small bowls or 4 ramekins. (The ramekins are nice to keep the cookies contained and perfectly round.)
  5. Scoop out about 2-1/2 tablespoons each, and flatten on the plate or in ramekin. Repeat for each ramekin.
  6. Place the four ramekins or the one plate in microwave on high for 4 minutes. Depending on the strength of your microwave cooking time may vary. Simply use a toothpick or a fork and poke cookie the whole way through. *If wetness comes off on fork or toothpick, continue to put back in microwave in 30 second increments until cooked.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie (when making 4) Calories: 82 Fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sodium: 25 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 2 g

 

 

speedy_skinny_cran_almond_cook_collagespeedy_craberry_almond_cookiescollage

 

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.