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Detox with Leafy Greens

Incorporating cooked or raw leafy greens into your diet is a requirement if one is serious about losing weight and increasing energy and immune support.

detox leafy greens rainbow chardLeafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine, especially in the Spring season.  Their color is associated with spring, which is a time of renewal and refreshing, vital energy.

Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun’s light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli.

detox leafy greens kale saladHow do greens benefit our bodies? They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.  In traditional Asian medicine, the color green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.

Leafy greens are the vegetables most missing from the American diet, and many of us never learned how to prepare them. Start with the very simple recipe below. Then each time you go to the market, pick up a new green to try. Soon you’ll find your favorite greens and wonder how you ever lived without them.

If you’d like further inspiration and support for incorporating these power foods into your diet, email me to set up an appointment to cook together in my office or your home.

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How to Party with a Low-Calorie Pomegranate

Enjoy the low-calorie pomegranate and its powerful punch of antioxidants

The pomegranate fruit and its treasured ruby-red seeds are only available about three months out of the year, and December is prime-time.  There are many uses for this fruit despite its limited availability. You can use it as a garnish, with a few seeds sprinkled in a fruit cup or rice pilaf to add some dramatic flare. Or, imagine the bright red seeds embedded in a green salad or guacamole, you’ll have a healthy and delicious holiday dish in a flash! You can also eat the seeds by the handful as a sweet & sour crunchy treat that packs a powerful supply of antioxidants, not to mention a low-calorie, which makes it a handy weight loss snack.

See the full recipe below.

Low-Calorie Pomegranate

6 Steps to open a pomegranate:

  1. Cut the crown and bottom end off the pomegranate.
  2. Lightly cut 4 lines from top to bottom of rind, creating four sections
  3. Immerse fruit in a bowl of cold water
  4. Hold fruit under water and break sections apart, separating seeds from membrane. Seeds will sink while rind and membrane float.
  5. Skim off and discard membranes and rind.
  6. Pour seeds into a colander; drain and remove any remaining membrane.

Warning: the juice makes a permanent stain, so protect your clothing with a bib apron.  If you don’t want to cut your own pomegranate, you can purchase just the seeds from most grocery stores and Trader Joe’s, but their shelf life is very limited.

You may also want to watch this YouTube video that demonstrates the above 6 instructions.

A Recipe to Prepare a Low-Calorie Pomegranate Guacamole Snack

guacamole-with-pom-seeds

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. of pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

  1. Mash avocados in bowl or food processor.
  2. Add other ingredients and stir gently.

Uses

  • As a dip with cut, fresh vegetables or inside tortillas & pita
  • As a smear on a fresh piece of gluten-free bread and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds on top
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My Favorite Seasonal Recipe for Chili

Prep Time

10-15 Minutes

Prep Notes

I like chili because it is dense and textured. Like many soups, chili provides an opportunity to add precooked or raw vegetables that you have on hand to complete the soup. You can add your favorite hot spices as well. Try a new variation of the original recipe every time you make it.

Cooking Time

20 Minutes

Yields

4-6 Servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

½-¾ lb. ground turkey

1 teaspoon salt

1 14½ oz. can roasted diced tomatoes

¼ cup tomato paste

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup carrots, sliced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 15 oz. can kidney or cannellini beans

3 cups water

2 cups shredded kale leaves, stems removed

Directions

1. Preheat a large skillet coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. Add the ground turkey and salt to the pan and cook, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and heat through on low heat.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large soup pot on medium-low heat. Sauté the onions and garlic for 3 minutes.

3. Add the carrots, chili powder and cumin to the soup pot, and sauté for 2 minutes.

4. Add the turkey and tomato mixture to the soup pot.

5. Add beans and water and cook on medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

6. Add kale and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes

Seasonal Recipe Variations

Celery, broccoli and corn could replace, or be added to the pot at the same time as, the carrots.

Collard greens could replace the kale.

Any precooked vegetables could be added to the pot at the same time as the leafy greens.

Ground beef could replace the turkey, or 1 additional cup of beans could replace the meat.

Credit

Sharon Goldner, The Recipe for a Healthy Life Cookbook

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Recipes

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My Favorite Snack Food