I love preparing batches of salads during the warmer months so I can enjoy them in light lunches throughout the week. Since quinoa is a complete source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids, you don’t have to worry about adding extra protein, unless you really want to. Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, providing both good carbs and protein.
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When I was growing up in the South, almost every event and family gathering would include a large bowl of banana pudding: homemade custard, sliced bananas, Nilla wafers and a mountain of freshly whipped cream. The sweet, gooey dessert was one of my favorites, and I often asked for a side of extra wafers to dip into the layered pudding. With those delicious memories, I set out to create a lightened-up, tropical spin on my beloved banana pudding.
Crisp, versatile and exceptionally rich in vitamin A, carrots are a strong ally on busy weeknights, well worth utilizing all year long — not just in the throes of winter, when root vegetables dominate the produce scene. A few additional items like cheese, toasted nuts and fresh herbs can help to break the crunchy orange veggie out of its overplayed role as a garnish or crudite-platter staple and elevate it as the star component of flavorsome spring dishes. Whether glazed, roasted, pureed or shaved into ribbons, these quick carrot sides are great in a pinch, no matter what entree you’re planning to serve.
Carrot, Date and Feta Salad
Carrots add natural sweetness and, most importantly, antioxidants to this fresh, low-calorie salad. Toss the delicate orange ribbons with feta and chopped dates for a salty-sweet element, then let it rest so that the flavors marry while you prepare the main course. Don’t forget to toss in some toasted almonds, for crunch.
Making nut milk at home can be a lengthy process, but it means you can control the additives like sweeteners or dates. But just how can you get your nut milk to be as creamy as something you’ll buy in the store? Just ask Executive Chef Kelly Boyer, who started juice and alternative milkshake company Paleta in her kitchen in 2005 after surviving breast cancer. Her pressed magic milkshake really does taste creamier than most nut milks, thanks to the inclusion of organic Thai coconut and cashews.
Gone are the days when pesto was just a popular Italian condiment made with six classic ingredients: basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic and salt. While there’s nothing wrong with cooking it the old-school way, there’s plenty of reason to break down pesto into its basic flavor components (herb, nut and salt), swap in some different ingredients and give your recipes a whole new twist.
During the Jewish holiday of Passover, foods that contain wheat are eliminated from the diet for eight days. That means no bread, pasta or traditional wheat-based cereals. The only exception is matzo, which is made by combining wheat and water. You can almost think about it as a week of (mostly) gluten-free meals. This can become a problem when dealing with dessert, as cakes, cookies and pies are typically made with wheat flour. Several food companies do make packaged desserts that can be eaten during Passover, but they tend to be high in calories and fat. Here are eight guiltless Passover desserts you can whip up at home.
We associate asparagus with hollandaise sauce the way we associate peanut butter with jelly. But it’s high time we divorced these tender green spears, rich in antioxidants, fiber, thiamin and iron, from an exceedingly caloric topping that only serves to mask their fresh, vegetal taste. Fresh herbs, lemon juice, and salt and pepper alone can do wonders to cut through the intense earthiness of asparagus without drowning it out completely. For your next spring soiree, consider one of these light and wholesome methods for preparing this quintessential spring vegetable:
Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles
Rosemary-laced asparagus finds its ideal flavor and textural counterpoint in the form of tender smoked salmon. Bundle each individual spear in a slice of the smoked fish — or bundle several spears together.
Some muffins you find at your local bakery, supermarket or even in your own recipe box should really be labeled “cupcakes.” But there’s no reason why muffins can’t taste good — and be good for you. Take your pick from the recipes below for protein (Banana-Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins), mood enhancement (Triple Chocolate-Maca Muffins) or an Omega boost (Seeds-n-Roots Farmer’s Muffins).
If you’ve visited your local farmers market lately, you may have noticed a spike in arugula, bok choy and other salad greens. The return of these leafy vegetables signals the end of produce purgatory, a period otherwise known as winter, when the only produce available to us seems to be root vegetables and cabbage. If you feel your diet’s been lacking in fiber these last few months, then grab these springtime vegetables and start pairing your dinners with leafy green side salads. Here are five recipes that require little time and effort, but a whole lot of in-season produce.
Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
You can find spinach year-round at most grocery stores, but the tender green peaks in freshness during the spring. Skip the saute pan for a change, and serve fresh spinach in its tender uncooked state with a red wine vinaigrette, chunks of tangy goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Add some grilled chicken for a simple yet balanced weeknight dinner.
Here’s a one-pan chicken recipe for dinner to add to your arsenal. It’s complete with plenty of protein and gives you a double serving of dark leafy greens, which are loaded with beta carotene and also plentiful in vitamin C, folate and iron. You can prep and cook this dish in under 30 minutes, not counting the time for marinating, which tenderizes the chicken and infuses it with a bright and mellow lemony flavor.