Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Quinoa – Hard to Say, Easy to Cook!

Quinoa

Quinoa. Ever taken a stab at pronouncing it? Don’t worry; its’ a tough one. It is pronounced KEEN-wa. With or without being able to pronounce it, have you ever tried it?

Quinoa is a nutty brown grain that sounds intimidating, but is packed with nutrition and is as easy to cook as rice. Bring it to your next dinner party and impress your friends with your new, exotic (but oh so easy) ingredient.

Quinoa plants are colorful, flowering plants grown primarily in South America. In areas where it’s grown, people eat the leaves as well as the abundant seeds that we are more familiar with.

It is a great source of folate, manganese, B vitamins and zinc; however, the unique part of quinoa is its protein content. Quinoa includes all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Almost all other complete proteins in our diets are animal products. This makes quinoa a sound protein source for vegetarians and infrequent meat-eaters.

Cooking Quinoa

As previously promised, quinoa is simple to cook. As you make it more, feel free to experiment with adjustments and additions to the recipe. As you will find, quinoa is quite forgiving for even inexperienced cooks.

Basic quinoa recipe:

  1. Rinse Quinoa – If you do not have a colander with small enough holes, lay cheese cloth inside your colander to keep the quinoa seeds from escaping.
  2. Add one part quinoa to two parts liquid to a medium-size pot. (Chicken broth works well as a liquid over water for added flavor.)
  3. Bring to a simmer, and then turn on low. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Turn off the burner and allow to sit for five to 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve.

Serve as a simple side item; add to soups; or serve under stews, curries, or thick and chunky sauces. Refrigerate leftovers and add to your salad for lunch the next day.

Eating Right When Your Budget is Tight

Eating right on a budgetPacking your food lineup with nutritious choices doesn’t mean you have to go to the store with a big wallet. With a little strategy, you can eat right even when your budget is tight. In fact, here is a selection of tips to empower you to eat right, while still keeping an eye on your budget.

Shop Sales

  • Choose in-season produce to buy fresh. Out-of-season items tend to be more expensive. Opt for frozen on those.
  • Look for meat sales. Most grocery stores run specials. By watching out for these, you can cut down much of your meat costs.
  • Clip coupons. A $1.50 Sunday paper could save you a lot more than that during your weekly grocery trip. Plan your meals around what is on sale.

Waste Less

  • Freeze. If you think your fruits, vegetables, herbs or meats could go bad before you have time to eat them all, freeze them. Frozen fruits make great smoothies or compotes, and frozen vegetables are great for cooking.

Make Your Own

  • Cook your own sauces and soups rather than buying canned. It can be less expensive and healthier, because you have more control over the ingredients.
  • Shred your own cheese, which is typically less expensive than buying pre-shredded cheese.
  • Wash and cut your own lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc., rather than buying the pre-washed and bagged versions.

Buy Store Brands

  • Buy store brands instead of name brands. Check out the ingredients label. They’re usually almost identical.
  • Check the unit price (the price per oz/lb/gm) on the price tag of a certain item and compare across brands and item sizes.

Buy in Bulk

  • Buy in bulk and separate. Get the big bag of rice or pasta and separate.
  • Avoid single serving items, if possible. Buy the bigger item and split into bags or cup-size servings.

Make Things Last

  • Stretch your meats and cheeses. These items are usually the more expensive items in your basket. Think of them more as a garnish or side item than a main dish.

Dip Happily with Hummus!

Hummus RecipeAre you looking for  a healthy and inexpensive alternative to your average high-fat sour cream and onion dip? Try hummus! Hummus is a pureed blend of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, tahini (a sesame seed paste), garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. It is believed to have originated in the Middle East and has been consumed there for thousands of years. Recognized even in ancient times for its nutritional value, hummus is an excellent source of protein, iron, vitamin C, folate and vitamin B6. Furthermore, hummus contains a fair amount of fiber from the chickpeas, as well as healthy unsaturated fats from the olive oil and tahini.

Traditionally, hummus is served as a dip for flatbread, such as pita bread, and may be served warm or cold. However, it is a delicious dip that can be eaten with anything from pita chips to raw vegetables. Some people even use it as a spread on their sandwiches as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise.

Hummus is available at most grocery stores. However, it is also easy to make. There are many variations of hummus recipes, so you can decide which you like best. Add roasted peppers, garlic or jalapenos to put your own spin on this nutritious treat.

Basic Hummus Recipe

Ingredients
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup of tahini (optional)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.
  2. Spoon into serving dish and serve with crackers; raw dip vegetables, such as carrots or celery; or pita bread.

Makes about 3 cups (Recipe can be halved.)

Recipe adapted by Rachel Stroud, EHC dietetic intern, from http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hummus/

Think in Color for a Nutritious Diet

Colorful fruits vegetables for healthDo you ever feel overwhelmed by all the foods you feel you should or shouldn’t consume every day? Ever wish for a more intuitive way to recognize nutritious foods? Well, maybe it isn’t so hard after all! Often, just thinking about incorporating a variety of colors into your diet will put you on the right track. In fact, many of our needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are found in the actual coloring of a food.

As such, try using the following colors to liven up and enhance your diet:

White

White foods contain powerful antioxidants that have been shown to help respiratory health, heart health and thyroid function.

  • Key Nutrients: Xanthines, Selenium
  • Examples: Garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, parsnips, bananas, brown pears

Orange/Yellow

These foods contain nutrients important for maintaining healthy vision, immune function and wound healing capabilities.

  • Key Nutrients: Carotenoids (Pre-Vitamin A), Flavanoids, Vitamin C
  • Examples: Carrots, pumpkin, squash, apricots, lemon, mangoes, oranges, peaches

Red

Red fruits and vegetables help lower the risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

  • Key Nutrient: Lycopene
  • Examples: Tomatoes, watermelon, beets, cherries, pink grapefruit, red peppers

Green

Green foods contribute ingredients that help digestive health and help keep you feeling full longer. They also contain vitamins that influence the production of new cells and prevent changes to DNA that can lead to cancer.

  • Key Nutrients: Fiber, Folate
  • Examples: Asparagus, leafy greens, avocados, broccoli, artichokes, brussel sprouts, green beans

Blue/Purple

This color group contributes another antioxidant shown to have anti-aging, memory and urinary tract health benefits.

  • Key Nutrient: Anthocyanins
  • Examples: Blackberries, blueberries, grapes, plums, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple potatoes

So, if you find yourself feeling intimidated by all the vitamins and minerals, don’t. In the end, you don’t need to know the chemical names of all the different nutrients; you just have to know your colors!

Less is More to be Thankful For

For many of us, Thanksgiving is one of the most meaningful and special holidays of the year. We all get to spend time with our family and loved ones, gathered around a table, sharing stories and reconnecting. Thanksgiving also brings around some of the best (and most!) food of the year. We often over indulge during the holiday season, which is the reason many of us vow to make New Year’s resolutions to lose the winter weight. But, Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

We’ve prepared a line-up of Thanksgiving recipes that bring as much nutrition as they do flavor and variety to the table. Check out or Thanksgiving dinner menu below, full recipes for each item are available on our website by using the links below:

Pomegranate Berry Cup RecipeDessert – Pomegranate-Berry Crème Cups

Both pomegranates and fresh berries bring lots of antioxidants and nutrients to any dessert, the benefits of which range from fighting cancer to preventing heart disease. Try our Pomegranate-Berry Creme Cup recipe in place of one of the traditional Thanksgiving pies to save calories and add a dessert to the menu that’s as tasty as it is nutritious!

Cornbread Crusted Turkey RecipeMain Course – Cornbread-Crusted Turkey

This recipe is great for Thanksgiving, but also consider incorporating it into your dinners year round! It calls for healthier ingredients such as low-sodium chicken broth and skinless turkey fillets to cut down fat and excess salt. It also includes carrots and sage for an extra boost of flavor. Try incorporating other healthy vegetables such as sweet potato.

Healthy Cornbread RecipeSide dish – Good-For-You Cornbread

This healthier twist on the classic cornbread recipe means you can have your comfort food and eat it too! With only 178 calories per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about adding this good-for-you cornbread as a Thanksgiving side item.

Top 5 Reasons to Try Avocado Spring Rolls

The Emory Facial Center periodically shares new recipes that are good for the skin and overall health. This month, try our Avocado Spring Roll recipe. It’s easy to make, and avocados bring lots of great health benefits to the table. Below, you’ll find our top five reasons to give this delicious recipe a try!Avocado Spring Roll Recipe

1. Good Fat

We’ve all heard of good fats and bad fats, but rarely do we hear information about what foods we can get our good fat from, and what the benefits of doing so are. While they do contain a substantial amount of fat, the fat in avocados is monounsaturated or “good” fat. Monounsaturated fatty acids can actually help to reduce cholesterol levels. In addition, oleic acid, one of the monounsaturated fatty acids present in avocados, has actually been shown to help fight breast cancer.

2. Fight Prostate Cancer

The combination of high levels of vitamin E and carotenoid lutein in avocados makes them a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fighting prostate cancer. In a recent study, when prostate cancer cells were exposed to avocado extract including these two components, the extract was shown to inhibit the growth of these cancerous cells.

3. Support Eye Health

The carotenoid lutein found in avocados and mentioned above provides substantial eye health benefits. Lutein helps protect the eyes from eye diseases such as cataracts and macular generation.

4. Support Heart Health and Prevent Stroke

Those who consume diets rich in folate demonstrate a much lower rate of heart disease than those who don’t. Avocados are packed with folate. In fact, one cup of avocado has almost 25% of the recommended daily value for folate. Consuming folate rich diets is also shown to lower the risk for stroke.

5. Regulate Blood Pressure

Avocados are a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Most foods high in potassium (such as potatoes) are eaten cooked. Cooking these vegetables removes about 30% of their potassium content, giving the avocado, which is eaten raw, an extra leg up on the potassium competition.

We hope this gives you an even better reason than just their taste to incorporate avocados into your diet. Let us know what you think of our spring roll recipe in the comments below!