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Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta

A big fat cooking rut.  I, Lyssie, was in one.  Yes, even this registered dietitian and one of The Nutrition Twins who loves to cook got stuck in one.  And thanks to two generous samples- #zesprikiwifruit and #organicgrain (organicgrains.com) and an urge to instantly marry the two in one dish, I’ve been set free!  Having these delicious and healthy ingredients forced me out of my healthy, in a hurry “go-to meals “and got my creative juices flowing once again and gave me the ammunition to make a new, quickie and healthy alternative!  And thank gosh, I’m B-A-C-K! 🙂

It feels great to be back in the “mode”, whipping up light, summer-inspired dishes that don’t require slaving over the stove.  After all, summer is my favorite season and fresh summer produce is so much fun to take advantage of.  Quinoa (the wholesome, protein and fiber-packed grain) is perfect for summer since it’s light and satisfying and makes me think of the Mediterranean and of olives.  I know olives aren’t necessarily a summer food for most, but for me, I immediately think “olives” and summer are a pair.  I live in New York City and I get my olives at Fairway or Zabars from the big barrels.  Shopping with winter coats and gloves and scarves are not how I envision shopping for olives, rather in a summery tank top and shorts scream olives to me! J

Tammy and I always say “O-live for olives”.  Translation: I live for olives. 😉  Olives not only a source of good-for-you, mono-unsaturated fats, they also contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that protect the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, immune system, inflammatory system, and digestive system—and help to prevent cancer!

Kiwi (in this recipe we used Sungold kiwi, which is a new, golden-fleshed variety.  It’s got a refreshing sweet taste with just a hint of sour—and just like other kiwi fruit, it’s packed with vitamin C that helps your skin to glow as it enhances collagen formation, making your skin more elastic so it can appear more youthful.  And it’s got fiber to help keep your digestive tract constipation and bloat-free!

Briny olives, sweet kiwi and chewy cranberries with salty feta and satisfying quinoa—this dish packs flavor with a nutritional punch.

Photo taken pre-feta

 

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta

Serve this light, satisfying number with a chopped salad of cucumber and tomato or with a side of steamed broccoli.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa or 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (we used Organic Grains from their generous mailing delivery)

1-1/2 cup water

3/4 Tbsp. olive oil

3/4 cup Kalamata olives

3/4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

3/4 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice (alternatively, you can substitute this for 3/4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar)

15.5 ounce can, chick peas, (ideally low salt, we use Trader Joe’s Organic chickpeas which are lower in sodium than most, 140 mg/serving))

Pink Himalayan sea salt, ground to taste, optional

 

1/4 cup dried cranberries

3 ounces fat-free crumbled feta

2 tsps. fresh ginger, finely grated, optional

2 Zespri kiwis, sliced and quartered

 

Directions:

  1. If using uncooked quinoa, prepare quinoa by adding to a medium sauce pan with 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Fluff with a fork.
  2. Mix olive oil, vinegar and lime juice (or lemon juice, if you opt for that) together.
  3. Pour over quinoa and stir in well. Drain about one-quarter of the liquid in the can of the chickpeas out and pour chickpeas into quinoa.  Grind salt to taste in quinoa and chickpea mixture.
  4. Stir in cranberries, feta and ginger. Gently fold in kiwi.  Serve warm or chilled! Enjoy!

Nutrition facts per serving:

355 Calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 g protein, 53 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 314 mg sodium

OrganicGrains.com and Zespri Kiwifruit both sent The Nutrition Twins samples that were used in the creation of this meal!

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa or 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (we used Organic Grains from their generous mailing delivery)
  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • ¾ Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ cup Kalamata olives
  • ¾ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¾ Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice (alternatively, you can substitute this for ¾ Tbsp. red wine vinegar)
  • 15.5 ounce can, chick peas, (ideally low salt, we use Trader Joe’s Organic chickpeas which are lower in sodium than most, 140 mg/serving))
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt, ground to taste, optional
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 ounces fat-free crumbled feta
  • 2 tsps. fresh ginger, finely grated, optional
  • 2 Zespri kiwis, sliced and quartered
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. If using uncooked quinoa, prepare quinoa by adding to a medium sauce pan with 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Fluff with a fork.
  3. Mix olive oil, vinegar and lime juice (or lemon juice, if you opt for that) together.
  4. Pour over quinoa and stir in well. Drain about one-quarter of the liquid in the can of the chickpeas out and pour chickpeas into quinoa. Grind salt to taste in quinoa and chickpea mixture.
  5. Stir in cranberries, feta and ginger. Gently fold in kiwi. Serve warm or chilled! Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 355 Fat: 9 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 53 g Sodium: 314 mg Fiber: 9 g Protein: 15 g

 

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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Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie

What’s the number one question you’ve been asking us about smoothies?

You wanna know how to seamlessly get veggies into smoothies when you’ve been dabbling with fruits, seeds, almond milk, etc.

As registered dietitians, and authors of our most recent book, The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure, you can imagine how excited we are that you’re ready to dive in to the good stuff! Yes, veggies! Greens, specifically, are the number one food you can eat regularly to improve your health. And we’ve got some easy breakfast-friendly ways to help you to start your day off right–on the green foot! 😉

 

Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie

pomegranate_green_goddess_smoothie_crop_small

We’ve got some great news if you’re a bit fearful that your greens will overpower your smoothie… many greens become undetectable (like a chameleon!) when combined in a smoothie and they take just seconds to transform. Here are some tips for making the most of your smoothies and easy at-home ways to get your nutrients.
Create your green smoothie by following these green smoothie basics and then blend! 🙂 (If you simply want to try a green smoothie recipe that’s tried, true and delicious, try this Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie (recipe and how it does your-body-good below)!  You’ll also find many on our site, just search smoothie, or green drink, etc.  And we suggest some at the bottom of this blog!

 

Here’s the formula for making a delicious, green smoothie and how we created this Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie:

 

1.  Begin with your greens: In general, a few large fistfuls (about 2 cups) will do the trick. Spinach is one the mildest of the greens and is barely detectable, but all greens from kale, to romaine, and even parsley and mint are fabulous additions. Experiment and see what you like best. (In this smoothie, we started with 1 packed cup of spinach, which is similar to two fistfuls)

 

*** If you’re worried about your greens spoiling, check out our awesome solution for your busy mornings.

 

Kale_spinach_smoothie_cubes_stacked_smLOGO

 

Kale_spinach_smoothie_cubes_sm_logo

 

2. Toss in some fruit: Hello natural sweetness, fiber and phytonutrients for even more of a beneficial boost to your morning. (We often go for frozen fruits because they make the smoothie more refreshing and “dessert-like”.  Plus, they don’t spoil!)

  • In this recipe we use POM 100% Pomegranate Juice which adds a polyphenol and potassium punch with no added sugars, no artificial colors or flavors and no cheap filler juices. There’s the juice of 4 whole-pressed pomegranates in 16 ounces and its flavor is a little sweet and a little tart, which makes this smoothie so insanely delicious!
  • We also added frozen pineapple chunks (not frozen is fine) –you get a lot of sweetness with just a few pieces and we added some green grapes.  Note:  If you’re watching your calorie intake, the key is to keep the fruit portions in check (about half the portion or less, compared to the green).

 

darlingdownsouth13. Add your protein/ “satiety factor” (If you skip this, you’ll need to eat a source of protein with your smoothie to keep you powered, satiated and to provide for longer lasting energy). This Pomegranate Green Goodness Smoothie is so good as is, simply have some scrambled eggs with veggies or a nonfat Greek yogurt on the side. Other great protein options? Nuts or nut butters, hemp seeds or a scoop of protein powder. One to two tablespoons of a nut or seed add nutrients and healthy fat—but stick to just that portion (about 6-8 nuts), as the calories from nuts add up quickly and could cause your smoothie to contain a lot more calories than you bargained for.

 

4. Pour in liquid: Add ½ to 1 cup of either water, unsweetened nut milk or coconut water to make your smoothie. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk adds a nice flavor perk. (In this smoothie we need less water and simply add some ice cubes as we get fluid from the delicious POM 100% Pomegranate Juice.)

 

5. Ready to get fancy? The sky is the limit! Try adding grated ginger (a personal favorite of ours!) or spices like cinnamon and turmeric (this one has quite a bitter kick that will give you a real charge to start your day!) We couldn’t resist the ginger in this recipe!

Ginger_1teaspoon_ginger_lemon-detox

 

Pomegranate Green Goodness Smoothie

This delicious recipe contains nothing but fruits and veggies. POM 100% Pomegranate Juice, spinach, pineapple, and green grapes are blended with fresh ginger to make a zesty morning smoothie that fills you up. Pair this delicious day starter with scrambled eggs with veggies or with a nonfat Greek yogurt for protein.

 

Makes 1 serving

Work time: 5 min

Total time: 5 min

Ingredients:

½ cup POM 100% Pomegranate Juice

½ cup green grapes

½ cup pineapple pieces

1 cup packed spinach

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled

4 ice cubes

 

Directions:

In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts Per Smoothie: 167 calories, 40 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 2 g protein, 3 g fiber, 22 mg sodium

Bonuses:  162% Daily Value vitamin A, 111% DV Vitamin C, 11% DV calcium, 17% DV Iron

pom_green_goddess_smoothie_bottleThe Nutrition Twins work with POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice to help people to enjoy it’s delicious flavor, get more nutrients in their day without any added sugar or artificial flavors. 

 

And here are a few more smoothies to try:

 

 

Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ cup POM 100% Pomegranate Juice
  • ½ cup green grapes
  • ½ cup pineapple pieces
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  2. Nutrition Facts Per Smoothie: 167 calories, 40 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 2 g protein, 3 g fiber, 22 mg sodium
  3. Bonuses:  162% Daily Value vitamin A, 111% DV Vitamin C, 11% DV calcium, 17% DV Iron

 

Smoothie Photo and Recipe credit: POM Wonderful.

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

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

 

Veggie Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

As registered dietitians, one of the most fun things for us to do is bust myths that many people have in their head when they think of healthy eating and weight loss. In fact, when we give seminars, we often have participants shout out what comes to their mind when they think of healthy eating for weight loss. Guess what words repeatedly come up? “Boring”, “deprivation”, “hungry”, “Celery” and “rice cakes”. Really?!!

 You betcha! That’s what people think! The great news is that these twin, veggie-loving registered dietitians (who also have a big sweet tooth! ;)) and who pride themselves in their healthy eating habits, haven’t eaten a rice cake since they tried one (we found them tasteless and boring!); don’t eat celery that often (there are so many awesome veggies so we’ don’t have so much room to squeeze celery in ;)), and don’t deprive themselves of small portions of their favorite indulgences (a small piece of chocolate is something we enjoy most days!). So, if you follow us around for a day, you’d know that healthy eating doesn’t equal “boring”, “deprivation”, “hungry” and “rice cakes”. And in fact, it’s quite the opposite. And just to give you a taste of what we mean, we’ve created our

Avacado and Lentil Vegan Tacos

Lime Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Grilled Cheese on Crispy Cauliflower Bread

and now this non-ordinary, super satisfying salad!

 Fresh_Bean_Salad_Logo

Looking for a salad that actually feels satisfying and that reaps mega health benefits without feeling like your chowing on a mound of lettuce? Then this recipe has your name written all over it! Bursting with more flavor than your typical bean salad, this recipe has hints of balsamic vinaigrette and Dijon mustard to spice things up. It’s also packed with an assortment of veggies, not to mention a lot of protein to keep you feeling satisfied.

 

Veggie Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Veggie Bean_2 

This makes the perfect satisfying snack that can be made in a large batch, stored in the fridge, and saved for later to eat “on demand” 😉 and on-the-go because we know you are busy and will love having a scrumptious, healthy snack to grab!

 

Makes 8 servings (1 cup each)

Ingredients

1, 15.5 ounce can black beans

1, 15.5 ounce can white kidney beans

1, 15.5 ounce can kidney beans

1 stalk of celery, diced (1/2 cup)

1 cup cucumber, diced

1/2 cup red pepper, diced

1/2 cup orange pepper, diced

1/2 cup carrots, cut in coins

 

For dressing:

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp pomegranate juice

 

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse beans thoroughly and place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the peppers, cucumber, carrots, and celery to the beans in the mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl mix balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mustard, and pomegranate.
  4. Add the dressing to the veggies in the large bowl and mix gently until the mixture is uniform.
  5. Enjoy and save the leftovers for an on the go snack!

 

Nutrition Information Per serving

102 calories, 28 g carbs, 5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 194 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

Veggie Bean Salad_1

Veggie Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1, 15.5 ounce can black beans
  • 1, 15.5 ounce can white kidney beans
  • 1, 15.5 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup orange pepper, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, cut in coins
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse beans thoroughly and place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the peppers, cucumber, carrots, and celery to the beans in the mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl mix balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mustard, and pomegranate.
  4. Add the dressing to the veggies in the large bowl and mix gently until the mixture is uniform.
  5. Enjoy and save the leftovers for an on the go snack!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 102 Fat: 5 g Saturated fat: 0.5 g Carbohydrates: 28 g Sodium: 194 mg Fiber: 8 g Protein: 8 g