Posts Tagged ‘nutritional content’

Tasty Tuesday: Broccoli Quinoa

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Pregnant and nursing mamas need to be sure to include lots of healthy foods choices throughout the day. This Broccoli Quinoa dish is a nice option for lunch time because it is a quick and inexpensive meal that is packed full of nutrients for mama! There are only two main ingredients; broccoli and quinoa. If seasoned right these two foods can be combined to make a yummy (and uber-healthy!) meal. Be sure to use fresh, not frozen, broccoli as the taste is much better and the nutritional content is higher. Serve with a side of seasonal fruit for a little bit of sweetness and added vitamins/nutrients.

I¬†actually made this for¬†dinner tonight because the day escaped past me; suddenly it was 5:30 and¬†I had yet to¬†start dinner!¬†After examining the contents of my fridge/pantry I decided Broccoli Quinoa¬†was my best option. I knew¬†it would come together super fast and that my kids would eat it. When I put Abraham’s (age 3) plate in front of him at the dinner table¬†he said to me “you made my favorite!”. That boy LOVES broccoli AND quinoa. Putting them together is a definite winner with him. I hope you will enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

3 cups water (or veggie stock)

1.5 cups quinoa

2 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning

1 head of broccoli, chopped

garlic powder to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

sprinkle of nutrional yeast, optional

Directions:

Bring 3 cups of water to a full boil. Add quinoa and all purpose seasoning. Once it starts to boil again, turn the heat to low, cover, and allow to gently simmer for approximately 15 minutes (or until all the water has been absorbed). In a separate pot, add enough water to create a very thin layer of water across the entire pot. Heat the water and once it starts to bubble, add in chopped broccoli. Cover and allow to steam for approximately 3-5 minutes. You will know it is done when the broccoli turns a bright green color. Serve broccoli over the cooked quinoa and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to taste.

-Sarah

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Popsicles

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

As the warm weather arrives so does the thought of yummy,¬†icy cool treats! But who wants to consume¬†all the artificial colors and flavors found in many of the popular brands of popsicles? Not to mention the high sugar content of most popsicles. There is a great alternative that offers the same cooling satisfaction, without all the junk, plus some added vitamins and nutrients…making your own!!

It’s soooo easy to do! Basically pick a fruit or combination of fruits and a liquid such as water, almond milk, coconut milk, cow’s milk, soy milk, or fruit juice (even breastmilk would work). Just throw¬†it all¬†in a blender and then¬†pour the¬†mixture¬†into popsicles molds. Toss the molds into the freezer and a few hours later you have delicious homemade popsicles! So simple and so good. Plus they are tons cheaper than the “organic all fruit” popsicles sold at the store…and no packaging to dispose of!¬†Additionally if your child has any allergies or food sensitivities you can make popsicles specific to their dietary needs.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

 

Here are a few of our favorite combinations:

  • Strawberries, bananas, and coconut milk
  • Mango, pineapple, and coconut milk
  • Banana, cacao powder, honey, and almond milk

Want to kick things up a notch and boost the nutritional content of your popsicles? Add some raw¬†greens such as spinach, romaine, or kale into your¬†mixture¬†just like you would when making a green smoothie. Most fruit blends taste just fine with a handful of¬†greens added to it. I know I was skeptical about adding greens¬†to my smoothies but the sweetness of the fruit truly masks the flavor of the greens. Just be sure to blend it long enough to “liquify” the greens. Spirulina powder would be another fun add-in that would also turn the popsicle into a beautiful emerald green color. You might also consider adding in hemp seeds or flax seeds for some added protein and omega 3. Coconut oil, avocado, or nut butters could be blended in for some added fat and nutritionally-dense calories.

Most of the time the fruit is sweet enough all in its own and no added sweetener is needed. However if you are¬†making “fudgsicles”¬†with cacao powder, you’ll probably want a bit of sweetener to off-set the bitterness. Healthy options for sweeteners (besides fruit) include honey, maple syrup, stevia, or soaked/stoned dates.

The possibilities are endless¬†which makes¬†creating your own favorite concoctions a fun experiment! Involve your kids in the process and let them choose what fruits they want to combine together. Often when kids are involved in the food prep process it provides them with a sense of ownership and pride. They are more likely to enjoy the finished product when they are a part of the process. So if your blender has been sitting in a cupboard collecting dust, pull it out, dust if off, and start blending…so many fun, healthy foods can be made with this simple kitchen tool. Enjoy!! :)

What’s your favorite homemade popsicle recipe? Would love to hear from you!

-Sarah

 

Powerhouse Salad Recipe

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Spinach is definitely a favorite of mine! I enjoy it raw, cooked, steamed, or juiced.

I am always looking for tasty ways to increase my intake of greens. I usually do a a green smoothie with breakfast and a salad with dinner. This recipe¬†is my current favorite salad. It incorporates several of the powerhouse foods (meaning high nutritional content) thus I named¬†it “Powerhouse Salad”.

Ingredients:

1 bunch (or about two generous handfuls of spinach) of washed, dried, and cut spinach

1/2 of the seeds from a pomegranate (here’s one easy way to remove seeds and here’s another simple method)

1/2 of an apple or pear chopped

1/2 cup of blueberries

1/4 cup chopped walnut

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Sprinkle with hemp seed

Toss with your favorite ‘sweet’ dressing such as a honey mustard, raspberry vinaigrette, or poppy seed and enjoy!

We are fortnate to have an abundance of healthy foods available to us and when we chose to honor our bodies with nutritious foods we have prepared for ourselves, often feelings of joy, delight, and satisfaction follow. While eating your powerhouse salad, chew slowly and deliberately while consciously focusing on the flavors. Try having an awareness, appreciation, or even gratitude for the nourishing foods you are enjoying. I have been trying to slow down (I know this is really, really difficult with small children) when I eat. Not only to savor the flavor and texture, but to create a mental awareness for the nutrients the foods are providing. Creating positive associations with healthy foods can be an important step in dietary changes. By practicing mindfulness, you can significantly influence your food choices. :)

If you make this salad for yourself or your family, let me know what you think or what alterations you make. Also if you practice mindfulness while enjoying, would love to hear your experiences with that.

-Sarah