Here's the Dish

healthy ANDI licious

Black-Eyed Pea & Parsley Dip January 2, 2012

Black-Eyed Peas are known to bring luck in the New Year. Eating fresh plant-based foods will certainly boost your health any day of the year.

Black-Eyed Peas & Parsley Dip
with garlic & lemon

Adapted from this recipe from Eating Well. I used frozen black-eyed peas instead of canned. It is best to use fresh or frozen vegetables when possible instead of canned to reduce possible exposure to BPA and salt added to processed foods. When it comes to beans and legumes, if fresh or frozen are not available dried versions are very economical and healthful choices. Many dried beans require soaking for at least 4 hours and boiling for an additional hour so be sure to check instructions and plan ahead.

Ingredients
-1 cup fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
-3 tsp lemon juice
-4 tsp olive oil
-5 cloves garlic (minced)

Optional
-Dash of lime juice
-Dash of salt
-Dash of ground black pepper
-Dash of cayenne pepper

Methods
Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If you are using frozen black-eyed peas leave in the fridge for several hours or heat in a microwave safe container for about 1 minute and 30 seconds before adding to food processor. Delicious when served with fresh whole-wheat pita chips or blue corn chips and fresh salsa. Keep the dip to chip ratio high to get more veggies in and less empty calories (chips).

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Breakfast: Cucumber Dill Cottage Cheese & Salmon Slices April 21, 2011

Ah Passover, a time to gather with family and friends, remember history, re-tell stories,  to celebrate freedom and to bring awareness to those who lack freedom today.  While it may not be a big part of the holiday, I do think that Passover is also a great time to celebrate creativity. Yes, you can do a lot with matzo during the eight-day bread-fast, but there are also plenty of great foods where no bread-substitute is needed.  This morning I wanted something fresh and filling.

The Dish: Cucumber Dill Cottage Cheese & Salmon Slices
Paired with: A raspberry, blueberry, banana smoothie

Ingredients
– Smoked Salmon
– 1/3 cucumber sliced & peeled
– fat-free (or low-fat) cottage cheese
1 pinch Parmesan cheese
fresh parsley
– fresh or dried dill

Methods
Cut off serving of cucumber (about 1/3 per person) and peel. Slice into thin bite-sized pieces and add a spoonful of low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese. Dust with Parmesan and fresh or dried dill. Top with parsley leaves and smoked salmon. Serve fresh.

I used a dusting of turmeric here but would replace this next time with a hint ground black pepper. Green onion shavings or capers would also be delicious with this dish. If you have fresh dill that would be more flavorful but dried works fine as well.

On a side note, kudos to Yuri at the TCS board meeting last night for playing “A Rugrats Passover” on her laptop while we waited for everyone to arrive!

 

Greek Yogurt Study Snack December 14, 2010

Greek Yogurt Study Snack

Greek Yogurt Study Snack

It’s finals week for me… which means I won’t pick up on regular posting until Saturday.

I couldn’t resist sharing my favorite snack of the day however: FAGE non-fat plain Greek yogurt scooped onto a bed of frozen strawberries (slightly thawed) and topped with a dusting of cinnamon and turmeric. The was the best not-guilty pleasure food I’ve had all day. I let the strawberries thaw for about 20 minutes at room temperature before adding the yogurt so they would be soft enough to blend with the yogurt when I stirred everything together before taking the first bite. It was so deliciously creamy and satisfying but (unlike some of the other things I’ve had today) was also a wonderfully nutritious, low cal study snack.

Nutrition Highlight: While non-fat, plain Greek yogurts are among the healthiest foods in the dairy aisle, the kinds with added fruit usually don’t add the fruit alone. Instead, these often add extra sugar and a fruit syrup of some kind. There are still plenty of healthy qualities (like high calcium and protein) to these fruity Greek yogurts but to optimize the nutritional value of your snack add your own fresh or frozen fruit to plain yogurt instead. You’ll get all the flavor without going too sweet.

 

100 Calorie Upgrade: Hummus, Fresh Salsa, & Baby Carrots November 12, 2010

Hummus, Fresh Salsa, & Baby Carrots: Filling, packed with nutrition and flavor and, if you stick to the serving size shown here (2 tbsp hummus, 1 tbsp fresh salsa, 7-8 baby carrots), ~100 calories.

What’s in Your 100 Calorie Snack?

The wave of 100 calorie snack packs have seen enormous sales in recent years and, to their credit, may help a lot people stick to a moderate serving size for their favorite processed snacks. On the run, stuffed in a lunch box, or given out in large groups I can definitely see their value: foods we like, controlled portions, conveniently wrapped.

The problem is that I have yet to find a packaged 100 calorie pack that actually makes me feel less hungry. I feel like I am just putting a taste that I like in my mouth for a few minutes, then it’s gone, and I’m ready to find something else to eat. If you’re on the run you will probably be too distracted by other things to fixate on this feeling. If you’re sitting (near access to the rest of your food) working on a stressful homework assignment, however, fixation on anything happens readily.

When your 100 calorie snack becomes a mere appetizer to more snacking on processed foods, the 100 calorie pack’s purpose has lost its value. To fix this, try to make your dorm, your home, or your apartment, a place where your snacks are mostly fresh, unprocessed foods. A 100 calorie pack of cookies is useful if that’s your means of restricting your cookie intake, but should not be considered a “healthy” snack because it doesn’t provide you with anything that does something for you by packing nutrients, fiber, or satisfying flavor.

Here’s one healthy snack idea to get you started: 2 tbsp of your favorite hummus, 1-2 tbsp fresh salsa, and 7-8 baby carrots. The trick is to actually dish out the portions, put them on a plate, and then put all of the extra ingredients away. Keeping out a full container even of a great, healthy food like hummus, will make it tempting to eat more than a serving and consume excess calories. Instead, only have your prepared plate within your sight and have water or unsweetened tea with your snack to make it more filling without adding calories. (Note that adding diet soda, even if it is calorie-free, is not such a great idea for your health. Look for an upcoming post to learn more.)