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Secret Pomegranate Seeding Trick

I’ve seen other tricks, but this is king!

Puréed Vegetable Soup

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I’ve been missing gazpacho.  I love getting a hit of lots of vegetables in the afternoon - so much better than that cookie that’s always calling my name! But it’s been way too cold for gazpacho.  Therefore, I present to you Puréed Vegetable Soup. This recipe was adapted from Chef Danilo Alfaro and yields six 8oz. servings at 95 calories a pop!

ingredients

2 medium carrots, peeled
2 large celery stalks
½ medium turnip
1 cup shredded cabbage
½ cup chopped leek (white part)
1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp white wine vinegar
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth 
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

directions:
  1. Cut carrots, celery and turnip into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick. Don’t worry about precision — the soup is going to be puréed anyway. We just want the pieces to be of uniform size so that they cook evenly.
  2. Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the other vegetables.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the butter over a low-to-medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.
  5. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.
  6. Add the vegetablestock, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the potato. Simmer another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don’t let them get mushy, though.
  7. Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary.  Tip: Use care when processing hot items in a blender as the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed.
  8. Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary.
  9. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper.
Variations:
  • Or, after puréeing, add 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves before bringing the soup back to a simmer.
  • Or, stir ¼ cup hot cream into the soup just before serving.
  • Or, garnish each individual soup bowl with a dollop or swirl of hot cream just before serving.
  • The soup can be thickened with rice instead of potato. Just substitute about 1/3 cup of uncooked rice for the potato, and simmer the soup until the rice is soft.

cal: 95  fat: 3.6  protein: 2  fiber: 3.5

Summer Sidekick

The twist to this gazpacho is to replace the olive oil with avocado. It’s my favorite thing to eat all summer! It tastes amazing even if it just looks okay :)  

ingredients
3 large tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1 bunch green onions
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch parsley
1 serrano or jalepeño pepper 
1 large avocado
3 cups Very Veggie juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt (or less)
½ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper

ALWAYS use organic when possible!!

directions
Wash and chop all vegetables into large pieces and set aside.  Stir together juice, vinegar, salt + pepper and set aside.  Add a variety of veggies with the liquid mix and puree in food processor - just put in as much liquid as you need in order to get the veggies moving.  Otherwise don’t worry too much about the veggie to liquid ratio.  This makes a large batch which is why you have to do it in a few steps instead of mixing all at once.  Pour each batch into a large bowl.  Stir well and refrigerate for a few hours. I love this recipe; it’s a great one to experiment with.  Try it with a dollop of tzatziki :)

Good Morning Smoothie

I drink one of these almost every morning.  It feels so good to start the day with fruit AND vegetables!  Use strawberries and it’s just under 200 calories!  

Ingredients
1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries have less sugar)
1 handful of chopped organic kale 
1 tbsp chia seeds - benefits of chia seeds
1 scoop vanilla whey powder - I like 
7 - 8 oz diluted 100% cranberry juice: 1 part cran + 7 parts water

Blend and drink!

Swift + Skinny Pasta

I almost never eat pasta, but every once in a while you just have to.  This dish is incredibly fast, pretty darn healthy (it’s still pasta) and tastes so good!  I might have to start eating pasta more often!

ingredients
4 oz. wild salmon filet
2/3 cup whole wheat angel hair pasta
3/4 cup fresh organic broccoli, chopped
1/2 T butter (seriously, it’s ok)
1-2 t Sriracha

directions
Boil water and heat grill.  Grill salmon for 3 minutes on each side.  Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.  After 2 minutes add the broccoli.  Cook for 2 more minutes and drain.  Do not rinse.  Pour back into pot, add butter, sriracha, and salt and pepper to taste.  

nutrition
cal: 516,  fat: 21,  protein: 34,  fiber: 7 

Balsamic Mushrooms with Kale

This was supposed to be a side and I almost ate the whole thing by myself!  In other news, I really need to stop using my phone to take pictures…

ingredients
1 large purple onion sliced
1pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 bunch organic kale, washed, chopped and dry
1 cup good balsamic vinegar

directions
Saute onions with a little olive oil in a large pan until golden.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add balsamic and reduce until the consistency of honey. Add kale, cook until wilted. This dish is hard to overcook and you can always add more balsamic and reduce again for extra flavor. SO GOOD!!

Buffalo Chicken… Salad

I took a bite of a buffalo wing at happy hour the other day and knew I had to make this for dinner.  It has all the flavor of buffalo wings and none of the guilt!

Ingredients
1 small organic chicken breast, grilled
2 big handfuls of organic romaine, chopped
2 organic celery stalks, chopped
2 organic carrots, chopped
1/2 oz organic blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons blue cheese dressing (you need this dressing)
Franks RedHot Buffalo Sauce

directions
Grill chicken.  While chicken is cooking, wash and dry lettuce (dressing sticks better to dry lettuce and I find I use less), set aside in a large bowl.  Chop carrots and celery.  Toss dressing and a splash of Frank’s with lettuce, carrots, and celery.  When chicken is finished cooking, slice and toss with more Frank’s.  Plate salad, sprinkle blue cheese crumbles, top with chicken, and enjoy! 

nutrition
cal:  280,  fat:  3.75g,  protein:  31g,  fiber:  4.5g


Waffle of Insane Greatness

Sometimes you just shouldn’t compromise - Behold, the Waffle of Insane Greatness!  Makes 8 waffles at 153 calories each!  

Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately and enjoy!

original recipe

Emerald City Salad

Gotta love the Emerald City!  This is my most favorite salad of all time (thanks PCC!).  Make a batch and eat it for days!  Dress ahead - it won’t wilt!

ingredients
2.5 cups wild or black rice, prepared
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bunch chard, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

directions
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to make dressing. Cook rice according to instructions, cool, and toss rice with dressing. Remove tough stems and ribs from greens and chop. Combine with peppers, fennel bulb and chopped green onion. Toss veggies with dressed rice. 

What's The Difference? Red, White, and Yellow Onions.

Ever wonder which color onion to use?  So many recipes don’t specify.  Now you don’t have to guess! 

Tangerine Mint Green Tea

I need to gear up for the New Year with some HEALTHY drinking!

For a powerful metabolism-boosting drink, try Dr. Oz’s Tangerine Weight-Orade. It contains: green tea, shown to boost metabolism 12% by drinking just one cup; tangerine, with a chemical composition that increases sensitivity to insulin and stimulates genes that help burn fat; mint, a calorie-free flavor enhancer.

In a large pitcher, combine:
- 8 cups of brewed green tea
- 1 tangerine, sliced
- A handful of mint leaves

Make the night before so the flavors fuse well. Drink 1 pitcher daily for maximum metabolism-boosting results! Be sure not to drink it too late in the day if you are sensitive to caffeine 

Steamed Clams

Winter is here! Skip the soup and have clams instead!

ingredients
2 lbs. fresh manilla clams, washed
3 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, sliced thin
1 12oz can of PBR (any lager will do)
1 small lemon
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalepeno, chopped fine
big pinch of salt

directions
Heat butter in a saute pan.  Cook garlic and onions until translucent.  Add beer and bring to almost boiling.  Cut a few thin slices of lemon, quarter them, and add to the pot with remaining lemon juice (no seeds!).  Add tomatoes, cilantro, jalepeno, and clams.  Cover and cook for ten minutes.  Serve with your favorite baguette (to dip in the broth) and enjoy!

They Never Said It Was Ice Cream

But at 150 calories for the whole pint, I needed to taste it!  I’ll give them props for trying.  It was… interesting, but there is no way I could eat a whole pint of this stuff.  Strawberry may have been the way to go; the only cookies here were the ones printed on the container.  If you need ice cream, I highly recommend this:

Mmmminty, chocolatey, deliciousy.  And that’s my scoop on ice cream.

Delicious Dahl

This incredibly tasty soup is a natural anti-inflammatory immune system booster!

ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed & drained
1 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp clarified butter
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup cilantro (2 if you love it)
4 roma tomatoes, diced

directions
In a heavy soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for five minutes. Add ginger and half the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Pour in broth, lentils, and tumeric, stirring well to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, heat the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat until melted.  Add cumin, garam masala, cayenne and saute, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook another two to three minutes. Remove from heat.

When the lentils in the soup mixture are tender, whisk the mixture until it has a thick, creamy consistency. Stir in butter/spice mixture until thoroughly combined. Add tomatoes and cook uncovered from another 10 minutes. Top with chopped cilantro before serving. (This soup is even better the next day!)

Recipe adapted from: The Healthiest Meals on Earth

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