Tag Archives: healthy

Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta

7 Feb

Do you like goat cheese?

If you do, you’ve got to try this recipe. It takes less than ten minutes and it’s absolutely delicious! Creamy, cheesy, thick, garlicky, yet not too heavy. If you are a goat cheese lover, it doesn’t get much better than this dish!

This recipe is an adaptation of Giada’s Penne with Spinach Sauce. I’ve made Giada’s recipe a few times, it’s amazing, but I decided to use what I had on hand to make this dish work!

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Ingredients:

1.5 cloves garlic

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 ounce goat cheese

3 ounces of spinach (I used a spinach mix since I didn’t have full spinach)

1/2 pound pasta (to make it healthier, I used organic brown rice pasta)

Grated parmesan to finish

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to its directions. Save pasta water!

2. In a blender/food processor, blend in all the ingredients together with 1/3 cup of pasta water.

3. Mix in the pasta and sauce. Top the dish with grated parmesan on top. THAT’S ALL!

It’s THAT easy! You try it now!

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Smoothies!

4 Feb

I noticed that I gain about 3-5 pounds throughout winter every year. It’s cold outside and despite my busy schedule, I still eat constantly and often don’t have the motivation or energy to work out like I do during other seasons of the year. Even when I do work out, I don’t see the results in terms of losing weight. It’s a struggle.

Another problem I’ve been encountering is that I don’t eat enough veggies. This is an all-year round problem.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make smoothies to lose a few pounds, and also to enhance my veggie intake. It’s not extreme. I make a green smoothie for breakfast and have it throughout the morning to keep myself full, I may occasionally have an additional smoothie at night or in the late afternoon when I am hungry for a snack. I have been consuming so much veggies and with working out, I have lost a few pounds!

The smoothie experience has been positive. I go to the local farm/grocery store and buy any veggies/fruit they have, preferably organic. I also bought ground flaxseed to add in extra fiber (be careful though, they add extra calories if you put in too much!). Blend with some almond milk, add a little agave nectar extra sweetness, and the smoothie is done! Veggies that I like to buy are- kale, spinach, mache, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers. In addition, I sometimes also add in frozen blueberries, banana, orange, or whatever fruit I have on hand. The fruits add sweetness so the smoothies are extra yummy!  I even add a few leaves of mint or parsley in the smoothies sometimes to brighten up the taste a bit.

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There really isn’t a recipe for these smoothies. The only problem I can envision people have is getting used to drinking the veggie smoothies. Someone I worked with said to me the other day, “it smells like a garden…” and I thought it was so funny because I absolutely have no problem consuming the green smoothie, but it may be something to get used to for other people who don’t like vegetables.

If you are one of those people who don’t like the smell of vegetables, you can certainly put a scoop of peanut butter or cocoa powder in your smoothie to get a creamier taste. Or if you want to go all fruit, they can’t go wrong either, you can still get good nutrition from an all-natural smoothie.

You see, I am not a nutritionist. I don’t fully know what makes a green smoothie good in terms of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, etc. All I know is that veggies are good for my body, and I feel great after drinking the smoothies. That’s enough for me! I hope to keep this good habit up for a while. You should try it too!

Healthy Hot Pockets

29 Nov

Before we discuss hot pockets, I just want to let everyone know that my fingers are so stiff from the cold… I type so much slower due to the stiffness… the joy of living in the Northeast…

Moving on. Let’s talk hot pockets! So how did I start this random craze for them? Well, I visited a friend a while ago and he offered me a Hot Pocket. Like, a real Hot Pocket with all the fakeness and “ham” and liquidy yellow cheese hot pocket. It.was.delicious.

I wanted more. I wanted more hot pockets. But, I don’t want the fake stuff. I am into whole foods eating, so I really try not to indulge in artificial processed food… Let me clarify… I am a fat kid at heart. Like, a very fat kid. If I could eat bacon and carbonara for dinner every night, I would. At the same time, I am not trying to die young. So I do indulge when I can, but I am mindful when it comes to everyday food.

So long story short, I decided that I am going to make my own hot pocket/Stromboli/calzone, whatever you call them. They were so easy, not to mention they are guilt-free. They’re awesome!

I went with the broccoli, mushroom, onions, and mozzarella combination.. .just because I had those things on hand. The basic broccoli and cheddar are next though. I can’t wait to make those.

Ingredients:

1/2 head broccoli, chopped

3 tbs cooking oil

1/4 cup diced onions

1/2 cup mushroom, cubed

1 cup mozzarella, shredded

1 pound pizza dough (I used whole wheat but you may use plain)

salt & pepper

egg wash from one egg

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, throw in the broccoli and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes, until semi-soften.

2. In another pan with oil, cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Put in the mushroom and saute for about 4 more minutes. Add in salt & pepper, toss in the cooked broccoli and stir.

3. On a floured surface, divide pizza dough into four balls. Roll out each ball to about 1/2 inch thick.

4. Scoop out the broccoli/mushroom mixture and layer on top of pizza dough, about 1/2 cup,  leave about 1.5 inches around the edge. Top the mixture with 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.

5. Seal the edges of the pizza dough on all sides. Turn the pockets over and brush with a thin brush of egg wash. (Feel free to sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of the pockets at this point if you wish).

6. Bake in the preheated 375 degree oven for about 18 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden.

Kale and Onion Pasta

17 Nov

It’s been almost two weeks since I last posted. My apologies, I have been SWAMPED with school and work!

I’ve been wanting to cook with kale for a while now, since it is one of the most nutritious veggies around. I wasn’t really sure what kale would go well with, but I figured that onions and mozzarella is always a good choice when it comes to pasta. No surprise here. The pasta dish was absolutely delicious! I could not believe how creamy it tasted despite the fact that I didn’t even add any cream!

It’s a quick, easy, and healthy meal. Just because of this dish, I love kale so much now.

Ingredients:

3 tbs olive oil

1 tbs butter

1 stalk of kale, rinsed and cut

1/2 small onion, diced

1/4 cup chicken stock

salt and pepper

1 pinch of nutmeg

red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup mozzarella, cubed or shredded

1/2 pound pasta, whole wheat. Cook based on directions.

Directions:

1. In medium heat, add olive oil and butter in pot. Stir until mixed and butter is melted, and add onions. Cook for about five minutes, until union turns translucent.

2. Add in the kale to the mix, add in chicken stock, salt and pepper, nutmeg and red pepper flakes (optional) and stir. Cover the pot for about 3 minutes. Keep stirring until kale is cooked down. About 3-5 minutes.

3. Stir in the mozzarella cheese as well as cooked pasta.

SO simple, guilt-free, and fast! This absolutely delicious sauce with the nutty whole wheat pasta cannot go any better.

Asian Bean Sprout Salad

17 Oct

Looking for a new dish to add to your salad rotation??

How about this Asian bean sprout salad? It’s incredibly easy. By incredibly easy, I mean it only has four ingredients. Yes, four.

It’s so healthy, crunchy, refreshing, and if you like the Asian taste, you would love this dish!

Ingredients:

3 cups mung bean sprout, washed and dried

3 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Direction:

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Add bean sprouts into the dressing. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, and serve!

*If you’d like, you also have the option of steaming the bean sprouts.

naked bean sprouts.

bean sprouts, dressed.

In case you didn’t know, you can find mung bean sprouts at Asian supermarkets.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad

6 Oct

This is kind of a dish that I call, Summer Don’t Go- Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad.

If you live in a year-round sunny and warm region, you’d love this, and I envy you. If you don’t live in a year-round sunny and warm region, you can still try it. If you want to wait for another 10 months to make this dish, I don’t blame you.

This salad is just perfect for a nice picnic outside, or a BBQ. It’s vegetarian friendly, too!

Ingredients:

1 lb orzo pasta

1 yellow squash, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 small eggplant, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 small red onion, diced

4 tbs olive oil, for roasting

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for dressing

lemon juice from one lemon

1 tbs Herbs de Provence

salt & pepper

everyday seasoning

Key players

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place diced vegetables on a pan.

2. Mix vegetables with herbs de provence, olive oil, splash of salt and pepper, and everyday seasoning. Place mixture in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

3. Cook orzo according to the package direction. Drain.

4. Secret ingredient to brighten a dish up-

5. Once the vegetables and orzo are both done, add in the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and mix.

Simple, right? Ready to go outside for the barbecue!

Easy Pesto

10 Aug

What’s easy, fast, and comforting?

Pesto!

With penne, with grilled chicken, with fish, with veggies, with chips, or just plain. Pesto is always the winner.

So let’s take a look at how to make the ultimate pesto…

Ingredients:

2 cups basil leaves

2/3 cup walnuts, toasted

2 cloves garlic

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

shredded pecorino romano

Directions:

basil in food processor

Add toasted walnuts

add garlic, salt and pepper

have extra virgin olive oil ready

let the food processor do all the work while drizzling in olive oil

Layer a big scoop of pesto on top of a good hearty bowl of whole wheat penne, add pecorino on top

stir and indulge!

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

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