Tuesday, March 29, 2011

spice up your life.

{easy-peasy cauliflower and potato curry}

guess what? I keep promises.

remember the time I told you I'd keep you posted with my attempts to recreate indian meals?  taaaa-daaa!

we all know I love lentils, but for those you not so keen on legumes, I've got just the dish for you.

{lentil-less indian}

if you're intimidated by ethnic cuisine, fear not:
1.) this is very quick and easy to prepare.  
once you have the spices on hand... BAM.
2.) spice up your life?  
check out the 'what your body will like section' to find out how giving your taste buds a jolt will keep you fit and fab.  

this is another versatile meal that you can:
1.) have in a big bowl for lunch or dinner
2.) serve as a side dish as part of an indian feast
3.) enjoy on a bed of spinach for a tasty salad
4.) add some crunch by sprinkling with your favorite roasted chickpeas

indian potatoes and cauliflower.

adapted from: epicurious
serves: 4

the goodies:
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 lb of potatoes, diced
- 1/2 medium sized onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, diced
- 1 tbsp. ginger, finely grated
- 1 tsp. tumeric powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/2 c. peas

the fun part:
#1.) heat olive oil in a large, non stick skillet.  add the onion and garlic and sautee for about 2 minutes.
#2.) add the potatoes and ginger and sautee for around 3 minutes, or until slightly browned.  add the spices and cook for another minute.
#3.) add the cauliflower and water, stir and then cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
#4.) stir in peas and cook for another 2 minutes.
#5.) serve individually seasoned with salt and pepper, or as a side dish to a delicious indian feast.

what your body will like:
a.) metabolism: I have a fun nutrition lesson for you today.  as some of you know, energy balance is one of the keys to weight maintenance.  energy in (calories from food) = energy out (calories burned).

the three factors leading to energy expenditure, or calories burned, are:
1.) physical activity: the energy required for activity.  this can be anything from daily chores to purposeful exercise.
2.) basal metabolic rate: the energy required to maintain all your internal physiological functions when you're at complete rest.
3.) thermic effect: the energy required to eat, digest and metabolize the food you eat.

spicy foods affect the thermic effect. to put it simply, the spicier your foods, the more calories your body will burn on its own to digest them!  so be brave and burn some bonus calories!

b.) resistant starch: leftovers are delicious served cold over a bed of spinach.  cold potatoes = resistant starch. click here if you need a friendly reminder of all the health benefits!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

overnight oats.

I know kefir can be a bit daunting, so what better way to entice you to try something new than:
a.) add chocolate
b.) give you the opportunity to catch some more shut eye

some mornings you have time to sauté veggies and make an omelete, or ferociously whisk up a bowl of fluffy banana oats. and sometimes [most of the time], you don't.

so why not let the overnight oat fairies do the work?  
no cooking.  no stirring.  no waiting on an empty stomach.  

just delicious oats, soaking up all the goodness you've added to them.  this time, it's [chocolate-y] kefir.

{kefir + chia seeds + cocoa = fluffy mousse.}  
it's science.

try it.  I double dog dare you.

overnight chocolate banana oats.

serves: 1
the goodies:
- 1/3 c. old fashioned oats
- 1/3 c. kefir
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. cocoa powder
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1 tsp. sugar or sweetener (optional*)
*cocoa powder has a bit of an astringent, bitter taste, so more doesn't always mean better.  the banana does a good job at adding some sweetness, but if you'd like a little more, sprinkle on some sugar.

the fun part:
#1.) mix all your ingredients together in a pretty bowl, cover and put in the fridge over night.
#2.) set your alarm clock for 10 minutes later than usual, go to sleep and wake up to a stress free, delicious morning.
#3.) enjoy your oats cold, or put them in the microwave for 30 seconds to take the edge off.

what your body will like:
cocoa: chocolate in the morning?  I know, right?!  perhaps a little too rich to enjoy every day, but this might be a good incentive to get some of you to start eating the most important meal of the day... breakfast!  now, lets do some distinguishing: cocoa is the result of drying, fermented and grinding cocao beans which grow on cacao trees.  chocolate is what's made from cocoa when sugar, and cocoa butter are added.
cocao contains: magnesium, iron and chromium.  these impressive minerals have been shown to shut off your appetite.
on the contrary
chocolate contains: added sugar and fat.  these additives are the addictive properties in manufactured chocolate that make us crave more once we take our first bite.
see the difference?

curious about kefir? let me remind you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

[patty's] pesto potatoes.

{potatoes + green = happy st. patrick's day!}

between missing pi day earlier this week (march 14 = 3.14) and getting grief for not including a recipe in my last post, I was left with no other option than to completely redeem myself with a holiday appropriate meal for st. patrick's day. 

included are all things festive:
the color green.
possibly even a pint of green beer at your own discretion.
go ahead, make this meal, and claim that you're irish just like everyone else.  
[just don't run around wearing a 'kiss me I'm irish' shirt.  
no one likes to kiss green beer and pesto.]

pesto potato salad

adapted from: smitten kitchen
serves: 4
the goodies:
- 1 lb purple majesty potatoes, cubed
- 1 lb yukon gold potatoes, cubed
- 1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/3 c. chopped green onions
- 2 tbps. pesto
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
- parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper

the fun part:
#1.) bring a large pot of salted water to a boil while you wash, and cube the potatoes.  when the water is ready, add the potatoes and cook until tender - about 10 minutes.  add the green beans and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
#2.) drain, transfer to a large bowl and cool in fridge*.  when ready, toss the beans and potatoes with pesto.  stir in the vinegar, green onions and season to your liking with salt and pepper.  
#3.) if you are serving it as a side in a large bowl, shave large flecks of parmesan and sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top.  or, serve into individual bowls and garnish separately.

* this recipe is intended to be a cold potato salad, but if you'd prefer to have it warm, feel free to forgo the refrigeration step and toss with pesto immediately.  

what your body will like:
restistant starch: unlike regular starch, these guys aren't digested in the small intestine and pass through your gastrointestinal tract for fermentation rather than digestion.  resistant starches can occur naturally, or they can be formed when starch containing foods are cooked and then cooled... see, now you know why I made you cool your potatoes in the fridge!  the benefits?  
- protection of the colon
- increased absorption of minerals like magnesium and calcium: hello bone health!
- improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance: let me remind you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

tea party.

yipee for tea!

a.) green tea is full of goodies your body will like
b.) although not caffeine free, green tea is lovely on these rainy days for those of you who have given up coffee for lent

{take a nice good look at where this delicious tea is from}

c.) surprise... I'm going to kenyaaa!
(so when you all decide you love green tea, I'll be able to get you some more when I fly through nairobi this summer!)

the goodies:
- green tea bag/loose leaf green tea
- water

the fun part:
1.) boil water
2.) add to green tea
3.) boil more water, add to same tea bag (I'll tell you why!)

what your body will like:
catechins: (cat-uh-kins) are a class of flavonoids which means they deserve a big fat A+: anticancer, antiatherogenic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.  these antioxidants love to protect your body from the nasty free radicals that roam our systems and like to destroy good guys like vitamins E and A. secondly, they enhance your immune system and can contribute to weight loss.

the bad news is we often don't get the benefits of catechins because we don't steep our tea long enough.  we generally don't steep it for a long time because:

a.) the tea gets too strong (astringent)
b.) we are impatient

there are no problems, only solutions:
keep your kettle simmering while you enjoy your tea. continue to add hot water to the same tea bag as you sip away. the more times you do this, the less astringent your tea will be, and the more catechins you will be able to leech out. problem solved, body happy.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

spaghetti [squash].

this last week I had a conversation regarding my blog with a friend.
k: "wait a minute.  you mean to tell me that your blog isn't for school...?"
h: "no.  it's a hobby."
k [dumbfounded]: "this changes everything."

 it's true.  my blog is for fun, and something I love.  
but the truth of the matter is, at this point, if it weren't for my sweet friends I'd be have no picnics, a full pantry and zero followers.

so this one is for all my friends and their dietary idiosyncrasies:
gluten free + dairy free + vegan 
{and all of you who just love delicious food}

I think I managed to find a meal that all of you can eat.

so now go ahead, make this delicious meal and shamelessly promote my blog to everyone you know.   

spaghetti [squash].

adapted from: eat clean
serves: 2

the goodies:
- 1/2 spaghetti squash (I cooked the whole thing and saved the rest for later)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 c. veggie broth
- 1/4. tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1/4 c. almond slices
- s & p

the fun part:
#1.) preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
#2.) spray or foil a deep baking sheet and place squash face down, put in the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.
#3.) when your timer goes off, your squash won't be done, but it's time to rotate it in the oven, and set your timer for another 20 minutes.  this also gives you the perfect amount of time to finish the rest of your "pasta sauce".
#4.) on low, heat the 1/2 tbsp. of the oil while you get your kale ready: this involves cutting the leaves off and discarding the stems.
#5.) now that everything is ready to go, add the chopped garlic to the oil and sautee for 1 minute.  next add your broth to the skillet along with the crushed red pepper.  toss in the kale, give it a stir, and then cover it with a lid to let the steam soften it up.
#6.) play switcheroo and take your squash out of the oven, and put the almonds in to toast them slightly while you get the rest ready.
#7.) using a large spoon, scoop the cooked squash out of its shell.   use a fork to separate the strands, and mix in the remaining 1/2 tbsp. of oil.  transfer to your bowls or plates, top with your delicious garlic-y kale, and then sprinkle your newly toasted almonds on top to garnish. mmmm.

what your body will like:
#1.) kale: this delicious leafy green is chalked full of nutrients that your body will love.  vitamins a, d and k, along with with the mighty micronutrient calcium!  fun fact: kale contains 7 times the amount of betacarotene than broccoli, and 10 the amount of lutein - both of which help maintain good vision.  now you can see why I love kale so much.
#2.) spaghetti squash: when you compare the glycemic index (GI) of spaghetti noodles to spaghetti squash, you'll see a big difference.  the pasta variety measures in at around 59, while the squash alternative is <20.  the lower the GI, the longer it takes for your body to break down carbohydrates and absorb them.  what does this mean?  it means, lower GI foods result in: increased satiety, prolonged physical endurance, improved sensitivity to insulin and improved diabetes control.  win!