Pass the Ketchup

ketchupFor the longest time, I feared ketchup would be the only source of fruit my children ingested. Unfortunately, most store-bought ketchups are laden with sugar (high-fructose corn syrup) and other ingredients that I shouldn’t want my kids ingesting at every meal (or any meal).

I found a recipe for homemade ketchup and I made a small batch to test it out. Truthfully, it did not go over well, but I continued to experiment and eventually found something that everyone likes. My kids now ask for my ketchup when we go out, as opposed to the regular stuff offered at restaurants.

And ketchup isn’t just a condiment used to hide the taste of food! It also has – or can have – many health benefits.  Continue reading “Pass the Ketchup”

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Dinner Tonight: Bean Salad

beansA study published in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that eating one serving of beans, chickpeas or lentils (pulses) daily can help with weight loss. Participants in the study were served approximately 3/4 cup of pulses per day and this resulted in an average loss of 0.75 pounds over a 6-week period, and without making an effort to reduce any other foods.

Not only are pulses high in protein and have a low glycemic index, but they can increase the feeling of fullness by 31%, and decrease levels of “bad cholesterol” by 5%.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Russell de Souza, says, “Though the weight loss was small, our findings suggest that simply including pulses in your diet may help you lose weight, and we think more importantly, prevent you from gaining it back after you lose it.”

So, in honor of this great news as well the fact that the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, here is a bean salad that is very easy to make and tastes even better the next day. For this recipe, you can use dried beans or canned beans. If you are using canned beans, look for low sodium options, and drain and rinse the beans well before using them. Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Bean Salad”

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Dinner Tonight: Zucchini Pancakes

zucchini-pancakesIn our family, the pancake is not just a breakfast food. Maybe it’s because we top them with local maple syrup, but pancakes are always a hit in this house. This is why I also try to make them as nutritionally dense as possible… from beet pancakes to pumpkin pancakes, there are a lot of delicious additions you can make to regular pancake batter. Get creative!

Zucchini is one of my favorites things to add to pancakes. It is a light-tasting vegetable that belongs in the squash family and is a late summer crop. Luckily, we have had a mild fall, so there are still some lingering in local gardens.

Zucchini has a range of nutrients including vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese, and with a medium-size zucchini containing only 30 calories, it is great for those who need to watch their calorie intake.

This recipe combines grated zucchini with ricotta for a high-protein meal that can be enjoyed any time of day. Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Zucchini Pancakes”

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Dinner Tonight: Quinoa Tabbouleh

cukeandtomatoMy parents’ garden is overflowing with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and mint – all ingredients that go into tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made of bulgur wheat, finely chopped herbs, and spices. Tabbouleh is thought to have originated in Lebanon, where it is the national dish, but it is now enjoyed all over the world, particularly in vegetarian or vegan cuisines or as a refreshing summer treat. Tabbouleh is one of those dishes that lends itself to improvisation, so I swapped out the traditional bulgar and replaced it with quinoa.

Quinoa is a seed and not a grain, and its high protein content and balance of amino acids make it an ideal addition to meatless diets, as well as gluten-free diets. Combined with the bounty provided by my parents’ garden (or your garden, or your CSA, or your farmers’ market!), this side dish is a vibrant, fresh-tasting salad, packed with antioxidants, protein and overall deliciousness. Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Quinoa Tabbouleh”

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Breakfast Tomorrow: Vanilla Chia Breakfast

chia-puddingLast week I wrote about chia and all the  wonderful things it can do. I got to thinking that I should try some recipes with it, aside from sprinkling it on cereal or adding it to shakes.

A friend of mine told me that she had been eating these chia seed puddings made by a local mom and they were to die for. So, of course I had to try it… and you know what? She was right. Although she was having them as a dessert, I thought this could easily be transformed into a chia breakfast meal.

This nourishing meal takes a little bit of prep work, but it’s easy and you can do most of it the night before, and when you wake up you will have no excuse to skip breakfast. Plus, it will give you tons of energy for a busy day.

Vanilla Chia Breakfast

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or raw honey Continue reading “Breakfast Tomorrow: Vanilla Chia Breakfast”

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December 2020
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