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Citrus & Avocado Salad

When we were growing up, our health-conscious mom gave us some form of citrus fruit nearly every day, especially in the winter, since that’s when citrus is in season and when she thought we could use an additional boost of vitamin C to keep the cold and flu away.  Often she’d serve half a grapefruit at breakfast and we’d scoop out each section of the inside with a spoon.  If she didn’t serve us citrus fruit at lunch or breakfast, our mom would surely add it to our nightly appetizer salad. 🙂 As much as we appreciated all the healthy food she fed us as kids, now as registered dietitians we truly appreciate it!  We’re always whipping up dishes inspired by our Mom, and this Citrus and Avocado Salad is no exception.  Rock on Mom! 🙂

 

Looking for more healthy salad recipes? Here are a few to try!

Crunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloup

Watermelon Mint Detox Salad

Veggie Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette 

Spinach Berry Balsamic Glazed Chicken Salad with Raspberry Chia Vinaigrette

Whether the middle of summer or the thick of winter, what better than a bright citrus filled salad to brighten your day, while flooding your body with immune boosting vitamin C?   The sweet citrus fruit paired with the creamy avocado adds the perfect balance of sweet flavor with the creamy texture from the avocado, whose good-for-you-fat acts as a nutrient booster and enhances the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like carotenoids in citrus fruit.   Pair this salad with grilled chicken or fish for a delish lunch or dinner!  One of the best parts about this salad?  Use whatever citrus fruit you have in the house—or choose your favorite—or combine them all!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Salad

3  citrus fruit*

1/2 avocado

2 cups of lettuce, chopped**

*use your favorite; try something new—any sweet citrus fruit will work. We used blood orange, tangelo, clementines (or mandarins).

**we used a mix of spring greens and romaine this time, but we think butter lettuce would be a nice addition.

Dressing

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice*

1 1/2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, finely minced or grated

a pinch of both salt & pepper

*we used fresh squeezed navel orange juice (we originally bought every variety of citrus we could find 😉 so we figured we’d use fresh squeezed, bottled 100% orange juice works as well)

Directions

  1. First, prepare the dressing to give your ingredients time to mingle before pouring over the salad. Start by  mixing all of the dressing ingredients together in a small jar or dressing container and shake well. Set aside.
  1. Slice citrus and remove the peels and as much of the pith as possible. We sliced from the top down into thin slices. Once the peel is removed, gently pull the slices apart to make them bite size.
  1. Dice the avocado.
  1. Assemble the salad, and then divide into 4 equal portions.
  1. Drizzle a tablespoon of dressing over one serving and enjoy!

Serve with a side of your favorite fish, chicken or bean dish for a delish lunch or dinner!

89 Calories, 4g carbs, 1 g fat, 2g protein, 3 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

Citrus & Avocado Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 sections of citrus fruit*
  • ½ avocado
  • 2 cups of lettuce, chopped**
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice***
  • 1½ TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced or grated
  • a pinch of both salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the dressing to give your ingredients time to mingle before pouring over the salad. Start by mixing all of the dressing ingredients together in a small jar or dressing container and shake well. Set aside.
  2. Slice citrus and remove the peels and as much of the pith as possible. We sliced from the top down into thin slices. Once the peel is removed, gently pull the slices apart to make them bite size.
  3. Dice the avocado.
  4. Assemble the salad, and then divide into 4 equal portions.
  5. Drizzle a tablespoon of dressing over one serving and enjoy!
Notes
*use your favorite; try something new—any sweet citrus fruit will work. We used blood orange, tangelo, clementines (or mandarins).
**we used a mix of spring greens and romaine this time, but we think butter lettuce would be a nice addition.
***we used fresh squeezed navel orange juice (we originally bought every variety of citrus we could find 😉 so we figured we’d use fresh squeezed, bottled 100% orange juice works as well)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 89 Fat: 4g Saturated fat: 1g Sodium: 3mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 2g

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Growing up, every night, like clock work, at 6:00 pm, you could find our Mom whipping up one of her nourishing, home-cooked meals. We rarely went out to dinner except occasionally, for a treat.

We distinctly remember after our piano competition when we were 11 years old, we were allowed to pick the restaurant of our choice.  We picked Chi-Chi’s, a Mexican restaurant. We loved the crispy chips that they served before the meals and the amazing salsa for dipping—our mouths still water for it! We always ordered the taco salad and poured the salsa all over it.  (We also were crazy about the fried ice cream that came out with sparklers! Who wouldn’t be? 🙂 ).  And when Chi-Chi’s started selling their salsa at the grocery store, the great news blew our 11-year old-minds–we couldn’t believe we could actually get the stuff without dining out and we begged our Mom to buy it so we could have it at our disposal.

Now, as registered dietitians, we appreciate a good salsa even more as it’s a great way to keep calories down when compared to traditional creamy veggie dip and we always suggest making this swap to our clients who want to lose weight!) and we make our own salsa, but we always try to recreate that flavor we love from Chi-Chi’s!

Fresh Tomato Salsa from The Nutrition Twins

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

We’re obsessed with this salsa and we couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you!  Sweet tomatoes, crispy bell peppers, tart lime juice, and a touch of heat from jalepenos makes for the perfect sweet, savory and spicy combo.  Yep, it’s the perfect salad topper, chip or veggie dip and it’s delish over most proteins, and we confess—it’s so good that you may even catch us eating it with a spoon on  its own!

 

Fresh Tomato Salsa from The Nutrition Twins

 

Plus, it’s packed with vitamins.  The peppers, tomatoes and lime juice all add boost of vitamin C to help keep your immunity up, while also laying the foundation for healthy, beautiful skin (vitamin C plays an important role in collagen formation)—so hello, soft, supple and youthful skin!

And the olive oil acts as a nutrient booster and helps absorb the beta carotene from the tomatoes and peppers. This means that the olive oil enhances beta carotene’s sun protective (beta carotene acts as a natural sunblock!) and anti-inflammatory qualities, helping to keep you even healthier!

Fresh Tomato Salsa from The Nutrition TwinsFresh Tomato Salsa

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalepeno, seeds removed, finely chopped

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir to combine, and enjoy!

Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Nutrition Information per serving (about 1/2 cup servings):

Calories: 47 Fat:  4 g Cholesterol:  0 mg Sodium:  149 mg Potassium:  62 mg Carbohydrates: 4 g Fiber: 1 g Sugar:  1 g Protein:  1 g

Fresh Tomato Salsa
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A fresh and easy tomato salsa full of vitamins and nutrients. It's perfect with your favorite dipper!
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Stir to combine, and enjoy!
  3. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe Calories: 47 Fat: 4 g Carbohydrates: 4 g Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 149 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Fresh Tomato Salsa from The Nutrition Twins

Savory Green Beans

Having a hard time getting your veggies? Or if  you’re looking for a new, more interesting way to get your greens, you’ll want to check this out…

We love green beans.  And surprisingly, although our Mom always served veggies with dinner, she rarely served green beans (and for no particular reason!).  So to this day, they’re still a treat for us!  We love them simply steamed, or prepared in many different ways– and we have an absolutely delish dish in our Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure book  that’s made with dates and almonds—and it bursts with flavor!

As you may know, we weren’t always besties with our greens! If this is news to you, you can read more about how and why we made the switch and that’s why we know it can be challenging to get your share and why we’re always whipping up new veggie dishes to help make it easier for you to get more veggies!  That’s why we made these veggie recipes last week– our Strawberry and Citrus Salad with Avocado  and our Baked Zucchini Boats and our Smoked Paprika Zucchini Chips and recently we’ve gotten several requests from our Paleo pals and meat-eating friends 🙂 for veggie and meat side dishes.  We don’t eat ham, ourselves, so we had our awesome intern, Angelina make this green bean and ham recipe—and she tells us it’s delish! (For our Paleo peeps, we don’t have to tell you to go organic, etc, as you know what to do! 🙂 )
Savory greenbeans pic 2

Savory Green Beans

This side dish incorporates crispy ham and toasted almonds for a salty and nutty flavor. It’s super easy to make and you’ll be looking for excuses to eat your green beans!

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 16 oz package of frozen green beans

3 oz of sliced deli ham*

½ cup sliced almonds

1 tsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1.      Prepare the frozen green beans either by steaming, boiling, or cooking in the microwave. Instructions to do each should be on the bag and you can pick your preference.

2. While the green beans are cooking, place the slices of ham in a medium pan and cook on the stovetop until the ham is crispy, making sure to flip the slices until each side is done.3.

3. Spread the sliced almonds on a baking sheet and place them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees until they are a light brown. Be sure to keep an eye on them, as they burn easily!

4. Mix the olive oil in with the green beans, then crumble the crispy ham and sprinkle it over the green beans along with the toasted almonds. Then add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

*Angelina used applewood smoked uncured ham specifically, and the smokiness ended up adding a lot of flavor so she would highly recommend using ham similar to this!

 

Nutrition Facts (per ¾ cup serving)

Calories: 109

Carbohydrates: 6.5 g

Fat: 8 g

Saturated Fat: 0.5 g

Trans Fat: 0 g

Cholesterol: 7.5 g

Protein: 5.3

Sodium: 95 mg

Sugar: 1.8 g

Fiber: 2.7 g

Savory Green Beans
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz package of frozen green beans
  • 3 oz of sliced deli ham
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare the frozen green beans either by steaming, boiling, or cooking in the microwave. Instructions to do each should be on the bag and you can pick your preference.
  2. While the green beans are cooking, place the slices of ham in a medium pan and cook on the stovetop until the ham is crispy, making sure to flip the slices until each side is done.
  3. Spread the sliced almonds on a metal panbaking sheet and place them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees until they are a light brown. Be sure to keep an eye on them, as they burn easily!
  4. Mix the olive oil in with the green beans, then crumble the crispy ham and sprinkle it over the green beans along with the toasted almonds. Then add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¾ cup Calories: 109 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 0.5 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 6.5 g Sugar: 1.8 g Sodium: 95 mg Fiber: 2.7 g Protein: 5.3 g Cholesterol: 7.5 g

 

Cranberry Almond Quinoa

Are you feeling like you’d like some more quinoa in your life?  Well, thanks to your requests and those of our clients, we’ve been whipping up and creating quinoa dishes like our Quinoa and Veggie Stir Fry or our Greek Quinoa Salad and our Choco-nilla Oats and Quinoa Swirl.  And if you want to start your day off with this healthy quality carbohydrate, try our Breakfast Quinoa Nibbles (we couldn’t resist making them since our Quinoa Quiche Tots seem to be a fave!) Thank you for letting us know–you made our day! 🙂

And now, if you’re looking for a delicious twist on traditional quinoa, this Cranberry Almond Quinoa is just the dish to tantalize your taste buds! Made with spinach, butternut squash, and zucchini, this brightly colored dish boasts abundant disease-fighting antioxidants, including beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Heart healthy olive oil and nuts not only add delicious flavor, but they enhance the absorption of and absorbance of the fat-soluble nutrients and antioxidants.

Cranberry Almond Quinoa

This nutty and sweet nutrient powerhouse dish is guaranteed to dress up any plate with color, zest, and nutritional benefits—a triple threat side dish.

 

Cranberry Almond Quinoa

Makes 7 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked quinoa
2 teaspoons olive oil
Olive oil in spray jar
4 diced zucchinis
1 peeled and diced butternut squash
2 cups finely chopped spinach
2 bunches chopped green onions
1/3 cup dried and diced apricots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup unsalted almond slivers
a squeeze of lemon, optional

Directions:
1. Boil 4 cups water; add the quinoa and return the combination to a boil.
2. Lower heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes—until quinoa absorbs water.
3. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, sauté zucchini and butternut squash using 2 teaspoons olive oil and adding several spritz of olive oil until slightly seared.
4. Add spinach and cook until steamed.
5. Combine vegetables and quinoa.
6. Stir in onions, apricots, cranberries, parsley, and almonds. Add a squeeze of lemon, if you like. Toss again. Enjoy chilled for best results!

Nutritional Information per 3/4 cup serving:  189 Calories; 5 g Fat; 0g Saturated Fat; 33 g Carbohydrates; 7 g Protein; 10 mg Sodium; 5 g Fiber g

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Almond Quinoa
 
Author:
Serves: 7
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Olive oil in spray jar
  • 4 diced zucchinis
  • 1 peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups finely chopped spinach
  • 2 bunches chopped green onions
  • ⅓ cup dried and diced apricots
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup unsalted almond slivers
  • a squeeze of lemon, optional
Instructions
  1. Boil 4 cups water; add the quinoa and return the combination to a boil.
  2. Lower heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes—until quinoa absorbs water.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, sauté zucchini and butternut squash using 2 teaspoons olive oil and adding several spritz of olive oil until slightly seared.
  4. Add spinach and cook until steamed.
  5. Combine vegetables and quinoa.
  6. Stir in onions, apricots, cranberries, parsley, and almonds. Add a squeeze of lemon, if you like. Toss again. Enjoy chilled for best results!
  7. Nutritional Information per ¾ cup serving:189 Calories; 5 g Fat; 0g Saturated Fat; 33 g Carbohydrates; 7 g Protein; 10 mg Sodium; 5 g Fiber g
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¾ cup Calories: 183 Fat: 4g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 33g Sodium: 10mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 7g Cholesterol: 0mg

Creamy Ginger Carrot Mash

We are huge fans of ginger and we toss it in everything–from smoothies, and stir-fries to salad dressing—to give any dish a delicious kick! Recently we mentioned this to our friend, a New York City chef who said “that makes perfect sense–ginger is like you—a spicy little energy burst!” We must admit we were flattered and smiling ear-to-ear to be compared to ginger and in that light! Plus, we love that ginger has been known to have amazing anti-inflammatory benefits (read more about this below). And we believe ginger makes anything tastes delish with its’ warm, pungent flavor! So whip up these carrots—we hope you love ‘em as much as we do!

Psst… we’re always whipping up new veggie recipes and we have hundreds on this site! Here are just a few to start…

Strawberry and Citrus Salad with Avocado

Baked Zucchini Boats

Smoked Paprika Zucchini Chips

Creamy Ginger Carrots

A few facts about ginger:

 

Ginger has awesome anti-inflammatory benefits.

If you read about health often, you probably know that inflammation is the talk of the town and that chronic inflammation, also known as low-grade or systemic inflammation, can play a long-lasting role in the body. In fact, research is linking chronic inflammation to disease–and everything from diabetes, heart disease, depression, and cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. And ginger has the powerful ability to provide anti-inflammatory benefits! So dive in! 🙂

Fresh vs. Powdered Ginger:

We love ‘em both! Lyssie lives for fresh ginger and in Tammy’s extremely time-crunched household she has several go-to-meals that call for powdered ginger. We find the flavor to be very different from one another, and find fresh ginger to be the one with the real kick–so experiment with both.

 

Creamy Ginger Carrot Mash

Say hello to this beach-body friendly creamy comfort food!

Serves: 6

Ingredients

6 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 Tbsp. plant-based organic natural butter spread

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp. ground ginger or 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar

Directions

  1. Boil carrots in hot water until firmly cooked. Add the brown sugar and mash until all the lumps are gone.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently for about1 minute.
  3. Stir the carrots into the mixture, mixing well until thoroughly combined.
  4. Heat through on low heat for about 2 minutes to keep warm.
  5. Enjoy!!

Nutrition Facts: 59 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 28 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 0 g protein

 

Creamy Ginger Carrot Mash
 
Creamy Ginger Carrot Mash
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. plant-based organic natural butter spread
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger or 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Boil carrots in hot water until firmly cooked. Add the brown sugar and mash until all the lumps are gone.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently for about1 minute.
  3. Stir the carrots into the mixture, mixing well until thoroughly combined.
  4. Heat through on low heat for about 2 minutes to keep warm.
  5. Enjoy!!
  6. Nutrition Facts: 59 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 28 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 0 g protein

Peach and Mango Salsa – National Peach Month!

It’s officially National Peach Month! This is the time of year when peaches are so deliciously sweet and juicy that we simply can’t get enough of them. In honor of our peach obsessions, here’s a scrumptious Peach & Mango Salsa recipe that compliments just about everything—from chicken to fish to tortilla chips!

 Peach & Mango Salsa

“Image” reprinted with permission from “www.mementobracelet.com” and www.healthyaperture.com.

 

Peach & Mango Salsa

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients

2 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and diced

1/2 red onion, minced

1/2 red bell pepper, minced

1/2 green bell pepper, minced

1/4 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1 clove garlic, grated

1/2 lime, juiced

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 mango, peeled and diced

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Gently toss all ingredients until everything is mixed evenly with juices and fruit.       Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
  3. Enjoy!!

 

Nutrition Facts: 83 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 7 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 2 g protein

 

Peach and Mango Salsa
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • ½ red bell pepper, minced
  • ½ green bell pepper, minced
  • ¼ cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Gently toss all ingredients until everything is mixed evenly with juices and fruit. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
  3. Enjoy!!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 83 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 21 g Sugar: 16 g Sodium: 7 mg Fiber: 3 g Protein: 2 g