MyPlate Meal: Asian Style Quiche

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Have you ever had quiche with wild-rice in it? Try this recipe out and you will be in love! This recipe will pump you up with whole grains, protein, low-fat dairy, and veggies! Make it a truly MYPLATE meal by adding a side of fruit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt (Greek is best)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup green beans chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots shredded or grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Bragg’s liquid Amino Acids or soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Pinch of black pepper

Instructions:

  • Prepare wild rice according to package instructions
  • Pre-heat oven to 425.
  • When oven is heating, add sesame oil to pan over medium heat and add carrots and green beans, Gradually add one Tablespoon at a time of rice vinegar and Bragg’s/soy sauce and continue to stir until beans and carrots are soft. Add the wild rice to the green bean and carrot mixture. Toss in garlic, ginger powder and sesame seeds and stir for three minutes.
  • When oven is heated, put the pie crust in until golden brown (usually 10 minutes)
  • While pie crust is browning, mix together eggs, almond milk and yogurt and black pepper.
  • Pull the pie crust out of the oven and spread the green bean/carrot/rice mixture to the bottom of the quiche, filling about 2/3 of the pie crust (you may not use all the mixture you made).
  • Next pour the egg mixture over the green bean/carrot/rice mixture until the pie crust is filled.
  • Reduce oven to 375 and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the quiche comes out clean.

 

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Chicken-broccoli-rice Bake

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I wrote about MyPlate in my last blog. To give you a basic overview, each meal you eat should include five food groups: whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and fruit. This Chicken-Broccoli-Rice-Bake is a one-pot meal that has all food groups, but fruit. Have a small bowl of berries with dark chocolate drizzled over it for dessert and you have one heck of a meal!

Enjoy!

Chicken-broccoli-rice Bake

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 5 cups of brown rice
  • 3 chicken breasts chopped in small cubes
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can of lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt divided
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Combine the rice, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 3 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes. You can do this quicker with a rice cooker or instant pot!
  • 15 minutes prior to the rice finishing, add chicken to a deep pan or Dutch oven, and pan fry for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. If the chicken or mushrooms are sticking, add a couple tablespoons of water.
  • 5 minutes before rice is finished:
    1. Preheat oven to 350
    2. Add remaining ½ cup of water to a pot with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil. Place broccoli in basket, cover and steam for 3 minutes.
  • When rice is finished, mix in pan with chicken mushrooms.
  • Toss in broccoli.
  • Mix in coconut milk, remaining sea salt. Italian seasoning, and cheese.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish and add ground pepper to taste.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Pack in the potassium with a Tropical Chia Parfait

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As Heart Health Month comes to a close, I am compelled to write about the mineral that is so important when it comes to your heart!

Potassium is the mineral I’m talking about. It is a mineral that cannot be produced by the body, so you have to turn to food for this important heart protector.

This mineral is also an electrolyte. You’ve probably heard that electrolytes are good for recovery after a hard workout. They also assist in a number of regulatory functions in the body like: water balance, Ph balance, nerve impulses, digestion, blood pressure, and muscle contractions.

Specific to the heart, eating a potassium-rich diet has proven to lower blood pressure, reducing your risk of heart disease.

If you get muscle cramps, there is a chance you are not getting enough potassium. Reach for a banana or another potassium-rich food if you find yourself coming down with a lot of muscle cramps or spasms.

Foods that contain potassium are those such as:

  • Fruits like bananas, apricots, kiwi, oranges, and kiwi
  • Veggies: leafy greens, carrots, and potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Lean meats
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Nuts

So let’s pull from that list to make you a delicious and nutritious, potassium-packed dessert!

Tropical Chia Parfait

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup/ honey or coconut sugar
  • ½ banana chopped
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Whole grain, low sugar granola

Instructions::

  1. Mix chia seeds, milk, vanilla, and sweetener in a bowl.
  2. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours – overnight is best
  3. Assemble: in a small bowl or mason jar spoon in ¼ of mixture then add fruit, granola, and coconut. Add another ¼ of mixture and top with remaining fruit, granola, and coconut chips
  4. Enjoy!

*recipe makes 1-2 servings. Chia pudding can remain covered in fridge for up to 5 days

 

 

Soak up some soluble fiber with Carrot Lentil Coconut Stew

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men; about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

Americans do not get enough fiber and this could be one contributing factor of the alarming rate of heart disease in our country. Fiber protects the heart!

One type of fiber is soluble; this type of fiber is found in beans, lentils, peas, oats, oat bran, and apples. Research has shown that fiber can lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, both of which reduce the risk of heart disease.

I have created a delicious lentil stew recipe that is loaded with soluble fiber. Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients, they are mostly  warming spices that will give your immune system a boost—perfect for this time of year! Enjoy!

Carrot Lentil Coconut Stew using Crock Pot/Slow Cooker

      Ingredients:   

  • 2 Cups of Dry Red Lentils
  • 1 Cup of Medium Spiced Salsa (I like Newman’s!)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vegetable Oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped.
  • 3 Large Carrots, cut in half length wise and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons of Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fenugreek
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of lemon pepper
  • 6 cups of Vegetable Stock
  • Korean Chili sauce (you can purchase at any Asian Market)
  • 1 can of lite coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
  • Chopped Cilantro and Unsweetened Shredded Coconut for topping/garnish

 

                Directions:

  1. Rinse lentils and soak overnight in 5 cups of water
  2. In a big soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring them until they are soft.
  4. Add the garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, salt and lemon pepper and stir for one minute.
  5. Add the salsa and bring to a boil.
  6. Stir in the lentils and vegetable stock.
  7. Transfer this concoction to a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or LOW for 8 to 10 hours.
  8. Stir in coconut milk and lemon, cook for 15-20 minutes on HIGH.
  9. Add a couple of squirts of the Korean Chili sauce. Mix Well.
  10. Serve in soup bowls. Garnish with cilantro and coconut.. or a swirl Korean Chili sauce.

 

 

Make friends with monounsaturated fats

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Fats get bad media! Yes, it’s true that you should reduce the amount of saturated fats and trans fats that you get in your diet, but you absolutely need unsaturated fats for your brain and your heart.

In this entry I want to give a shout out to monounsaturated fats. Did you know that monounsaturated fats can help lower your LDL cholesterol, which will reduce your risk of having a stroke or heart attack? These awesome fats also usually contain vitamin E, which most people need more of.

The best sources of monounsaturated fat are: olive oil, sesame oil, and safflower oil. Monounsaturated fats are also found in most nuts and seeds.

So befriend these healthy fats. One easy way to do so is by making your own salad dressings. Here are a few that use olive oil.

Very Basic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Italian Vinaigrette

Add ½ teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes to the Very Basic recipe.

Honey Mustard Recipe

Add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons of raw honey to the Basic recipe (it may help to melt the honey first in the microwave for 20 seconds).

Lemon Heaven Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic

Enjoy these dressings!! Your heart will thank you! Homemade salad dressings make salads so much more exciting!

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Whatever you Want Bark

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Move over sugar-laden box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day!  I have a recipe that your sweetheart will swoon over! Dark Chocolate Whatever you Want Bark.

But first, let me tell you why you should fall in love with dark chocolate!

Did you know that chocolate actually comes from a plant? Crazy, right?! Chocolate is derived from that cacao plant. Cacao is rich in flavanols which can help lower your blood pressure and prevent blood clots. It’s also rich in antioxidants which helps the “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls.

To receive these benefits, it’s best to get cacao in its purest form. This includes cacao powder or cacao nibs. Cacao powder can be mixed in to milk or with your oatmeal to get a rich chocolate flavor. If that doesn’t quite curb that chocolate craving, the next best thing is dark chocolate. When you’re reaching for a chocolate bar, opt for ones that are at least 70% cacao. If you’re sticking to the dark chocolate, studies have shown that daily consumption can reduce the chance for nonfatal heart attacks and strokes for people with a higher risk for these problems.

Milk chocolates and other candies are usually processed much more than dark chocolate and much of the nutrients are lost in this process. In addition, there’ are a lot of added sugars and other additives mixed in. Sugar (processed sugar) is evil; remember my blog entry last week where i go into detail about how too much sugar in your diet leads to an elevated risk for heart disease.

Say goodbye to added sugar and enjoy this recipe that is super easy and quick to make!

Dark Chocolate Whatever You Want Bark

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Whatever toppings you want…Suggestions:
    • Goji berries
    • Almond/ peanut butter
    • Pomegranate seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Shredded coconut
    • Chopped nuts

Instructions:

  • Melt chocolate and coconut oil in microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring until completely melted
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Pour melted chocolate over sheet and spread to edges with a spatula
  • Add your toppings
  • Place in freezer for one hour
  • Take out and break into pieces

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter for Dinner?

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Are you as obsessed with peanut butter as I am? I love, love, love it and it is so healthy for you! This week, we observe National Peanut Butter Day, but I am turning it into a week of peanut butter yumminess. In my last blog entry, I included my recipe for Peanut Butter and Honey Power Muffins. Tonight, we are having a vegetarian friend over for dinner so I came up with this delicious recipe using peanut butter.

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp siracha sauce
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk (not canned)

Mix all ingredients together and add to cooked vegetables and rice or soba noodles.

This will last about five days in a closed container in fridge