Friday, January 21, 2011

Healthy Foods

This week I got to teach a nutrition class for our Tuesday night Relief Society meeting (or the-meeting-formally-known-as-enrichment). My focus for the class was on increasing fruit/vegetable and whole grain intake, and so we had a little sampling of some foods that are easy to prepare, healthy, and high in either fruits or vegetables or whole grains :) Here are the recipes that I shared.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

2 red potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
1 sweet potato, cut into 1” cubes
20 baby carrots
½ red onion
1 TB olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 handfuls of green beans

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine prepared vegetables in bowl (leave out the green beans). Pour olive oil over vegetables and stir until all are coated. Stir in salt. Spread the vegetables onto a jelly roll pan (baking sheet with raised sides) in one layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in green beans. Add a little more oil if the vegetables seem to be sticking to the pan, stir and spread the vegetables out again. Bake for 40 more minutes (stirring halfway) or until desired tenderness is reached.

Vegetables are so delicious roasted like this! This is hands down my favorite vegetable side dish. I've included my favorite combination of vegetables, but really any combination of veggies you like will do. This is how I always cook asparagus and I LOVE how it brings out the sweetness of the carrots. Hmmmm, and the red onion tastes sooooo good - nice and crispy. I actually crave this dish! Weird, I know.

Tomato Feta Quinoa Pilaf

1 TB olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped shallots (about 2)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups broth – vegetable or chicken
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TB fresh parsley
¾ cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 TB chopped basil
1 TB lemon juice

1. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and when warm add in the shallots. Cook for two minutes and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, around 30 seconds. Add rinsed quinoa and sauté for two minutes. Add broth, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and allow to simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for five minutes.
2. Stir in parsley, basil, lemon juice, tomatoes and feta. Enjoy!

This recipe also works well the next day turned into a cold salad. I just add a few more grape tomatoes and a bit more feta. Delicious!

Spinach and Fruit Smoothie

1 cup apple juice
4 cups fresh spinach
½ - 1 banana
3 cups frozen fruit and/or fresh fruit
1 TB ground flaxseed

Add apple juice and then spinach to blender. Blend until smooth. Add banana and blend til smooth. Add frozen fruit and blend again until smooth. Add flax and blend to incorporate. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

When I make this I use 2 different fruit blends from Costco for my 3 cups total of frozen fruit. I use 2 cups of the Kirkland brand berry blend (marionberries, raspberries, and blueberries) and 1 cup of the Wawona brand Spectrum fruit blend.

You may be tempted to cut out the apple juice, but this smoothie really isn't sweet enough without it. Of course you could make some other substitution for sweetness, but apple juice is what I usually have on hand so that's what I use.

Nutritional Information for ENTIRE smoothie (without added flax):
450 calories
~18 g fiber

1 Tbs ground flax adds:
35 calories
~2 g fiber

If you were to split this smoothie in half you would each get about 240 calories and 10 grams of fiber! As well as 1 serving of vegetables and over 2 servings of fruit! And it contains NO added sugar. Can't say the same for those fast food smoothies that are popular right now!

Bulgur Chickpea Salad

1 cup bulgur
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup olive oil / vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 cup chopped green onions
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
½ peeled, chopped cucumber
1 cup grated carrots

1. In a heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over bulgur. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature.
2. In a small bowl, beat together oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over bulgur; and mix with a fork.
3. Place bulgur in the bottom of a nice glass serving bowl. Layer vegetables and garbanzo beans in this order on top of the bulgur: green onions, garbanzo beans, parsley, cucumber and carrots on top. Cover, and refrigerate. Toss salad before serving.

This is very light and fresh tasting. It is easily prepared before hand, and I really like it the next day as leftovers because the flavor is a bit stronger.

About 2 years ago I posted about how I was going to put my degree to good use and do a nutrition related post every Friday. Ha! This has been the first one since then :)


Kendra said...

And what a fabulous job you did and the food was delicious! That's really funny that you wanted to do a food post every week and this is your first one. :P

Janelle said...

Thanks for posting these recipes Bridget. I am always looking for new vegetable recipes in an attempt to get Will to eat them. I'm excited to try your oven roasted vegetables and the smoothie because they look delicious and I think he might actually eat/drink them.