Reinvent Your Food: The Real Egg Salad Sandwich

A while back, THR’s Instagram account introduced you to The Real Egg Salad Sandwich. Well, yours truly thought it was high-food-craving-time to give you the details!

Look, I HATE when people try to make unhealthy recipes into healthy ones. It’s like, dude, if I want to eat tuna noodle casserole, let me eat the shit out of it. I don’t need a ‘tuna noodle casserole’ recipe which contains almond milk, non-fat greek yogurt and tofu shiritaki noodles. Ew. I’m an 80-20 girl at heart: give me a solid effort 80% of the time and spend the remaining 20% as you desire.

Me during my 20%:

ummm….moving on

Today I present to you The Real Egg Salad Sandwich. Not for the sandwich, but rather the idea. We can reinvent the foods we love in another form and they can be just as delicious, without being made up from an insane ingredient list. I promise.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

The Real Egg Salad Sandwich

Makes 1 sandwich

Ingredients:
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons hummus (your favorite)
10 leaves of baby kale
1 radish, thinly sliced
2 slices of red onion, broken apart
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
2 slices of tomato
1/4 avocado mashed with 2 pinches of crushed red pepper

Directions:
This part is ridiculous. Um, assemble ingredients into a sandwich. I started with hummus, then kale, radish, onion, egg, and tomato. Slather avocado on other slice of  bread and form sandwich.

Yeah. These directions were dumb…

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

The seventh Star Wars has me freaking out and in that same, excited spirit I bring you pesto. Pesto is truly is one of the most versatile sauces. It can made with a variety of herbs and/or nuts. The basic mixture is always the same: herbs, nuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and maybe some pecorino or Parmesan cheese. Boom. So simple, so flexible.

You can go traditional and use your pesto to coat pasta noodles.  I’ve taken it to new levels using it as dressing on salads, making it a base for tuna, chicken or egg salad, or mixed into scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, rice, or polenta. I love this Kale and Walnut Pesto previously featured here on THR. Take home message: Pesto is awesome and feel free to experiment!

THR’s Pumpkin Seed Pesto

2 cups fresh bail leaves, tightly packed
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (raw is fine, but roasting provides deeper flavor)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

To toast pumpkin seeds, place raw pumpkin seeds in the a dry sauté pan over medium heat. Toast and toss frequenlty for about 10 minutes. Once slightly browned and fragrant, place in a bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Seeds should look something like this and smell way more delicious, see below.

Photo by Kimberly Sabada

Photo by Kimberly Sabada

Combine basil, pumpkin seeds, garlic, salt and lemon juice together in a food processor, pulse a few times. With food processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until well blended, about 30 seconds. That’s it!

End. Game. Pic.

Image by Kimberly Sabada

Photo by Kimberly Sabada

The Newest Craze: Sprouted Grains

(Because whole grains suddenly aren’t good enough)

Well much like that long lost ex of yours, traditional whole grains are about to resent you. Just when you thought you were doing everything right, sprouted grains come on the scene and you are left wondering where it all went so horribly wrong. I’m chalking sprouted grains up to a (legit) fad food, one equivalent to Salute Your Shorts. Sure you remember it, but then you realize it only ran for two seasons.

So what’s the deal with this new grain fetish? Look all grains start out as seeds with the potential to sprout into new plants with proper watering and sun light. Below is a comparison of wheat berries (aka kernels without the hull) and sprouted wheat berries.

Sprouting enables certain changes to occur in the seed and thus the final baked good. Benefits include…

  • Milder glycemic (blood sugar) response
  • Improved bioavailability of minerals (think calcium and iron)
  • Higher folate levels
  • Increased antioxidants
  • Insoluble fiber decreases (stuff that makes you poop)
  • Soluble fiber increases (stuff that forms your poop so it’s not just water and food debris)
  • Gluten decreases

The key with sprouting grain is the sprouting process must be stopped before the seed has time to start rotting or breaking down. Ew. Side bar – sprouted grains, specifically wheat, barely, rye, and their derivatives, are not indicated for those with Celiac disease despite their lower levels of gluten.

If you like sprouted grain products, by all means, go nuts. If you don’t, my tried and true stand by rule is to read your whole grain product’s ingredient list. The first ingredient should contain the word ‘whole’. If it doesn’t, your label is lying to you.

Satisfied?

 

*Reference: Whole Grain Council

How Much is Too Much Caffeine?

(And an aside on pumpkins)

To be honest I have no idea how much is too much caffeine. No, no, no – I do. I’m just not sure I TOTALLY agree with the generally recognized recommendations. Be that as it may, I am here to inform your sweet, knowledge-seeking buns.

Before we get started, can I just say this whole pumpkin shortage thing is very alarming. This is coming from a girl who stockpiles canned pumpkin. If there was a show devoted to people who hoarded canned vegetables, I think I would be the host. Welcome folks, today we meet Becky from Rhode Island who has so much canned rutabaga in her basement, her house is actually sinking! *Cue enthusiastic eye roll* Just FYI – the pumpkin shortage is coming from too much rain in the Midwest. Libby’s, the largest producer of canned pumpkin, gets most of their pumpkins from Illinois. I’m sorry. If you don’t believe in global warming now, you never will. Pumpkins man. Pumpkins.

So what is the deal with caffeine? Please repeat that question as Jerry Seinfield would. Do it. Now. 

The going recommendation for healthy, older adults is 400mg of caffeine per day, that is about four cups of joe. Adolescents, you get 100mg per day. The Caffeine Informer can provide you with more information on the caffeine content of various drinks, all the information you do and don’t want to know.

Boom end of post. But seriously, if you experience insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach aches, rapid heart beat or muscle twitching this may be a sign of too much caffeine and you need to tone it down.

Basically, too much caffeine feels a lot like this…

 

Yes. We know.

Please drink responsibly.

*Pumpkin knowledge gathered from NPR.

Canadian Bacon Your Face Off

People are the most moronic morons these days. It’s mind blowing, isn’t it? For example. I’ve been having all this lower body joint pain recently. And by recently I mean 14 months and counting. So I finally tell my doctor about it and she directs me to see a rhuematologist. You know, like the guy diagnosing old cripply people with arthritis. No offense old cripply people. So I go and you know what he tells me? I need to stretch more. I’ll allow you to let that sink in. STRETCH MORE. Are you kidding me? You just charged my insurance company what I can only reasonably estimate to be $3,000 for this 15 minute FaceTime of an appointment and poof, just stretch? Do you know what’s not a good sign? When you walk into the doctor’s office and he says, ‘Let me see if I can make this worth your while’. Uhhhhhh. So if you haven’t caught on by now, I am the moronic moron mentioned above. Be right back, need to go stretch my achilles. My stupid, tight, over-paid-for achilles.

In the spirit of giving my few, but feverish readers their money’s worth today, we’re going to talk about bacon.

Is this you?

Nailed. This. Segue.

 

Canadian bacon. I’ve long since been accused of being a liar when I tell people they can not only eat it, but do so relatively guilt-free. K-dawg, do I look like I was born yesterday? You want me to eat a food that has the word bacon in it? Did you secretly just take out life insurance in my name as well? No. No. I didn’t and here’s why.

1. ) I am not organized enough. I mean to take out life insurance in someone else’s name sounds like a boatload of paper work, commitment (you know, to the fraud) and research.

2.) Canadian bacon is ham’s leaner, sexier cousin. It’s like if a pig and turkey (white meat only) made a baby. Boom. Canadian bacon. It’s meat from the back of the pig which is then cured.

Now then, because it’s cured means you can’t eat it in piles for days. Curing is a flavoring and preservation process often involving salt. Ew. But let’s look at the big picture. Big picture today will be focused on calories and fat and sponsored by Gillette. We can’t compare one piece to one piece because canadian bacon is much larger and more dense than traditional bacon. So we’re working in grams as a reference point in addition to pieces folks. You gotta be kidding me, the metric system? Why don’t you just write the rest of the post in Russian too? Chill. I will translate.

So 2 pieces of Canadian bacon (57 grams) and contains 89 calories, 4g total fat and 1g saturated fat. Four pieces of bacon (32 grams) contains 176 calories, 12g total fat and 4 grams of saturated fat. Say what? Oh hell no. Let’s face it, no one is eating one slice of regular bacon. Oh and the only reason I didn’t compare equal gram servings is because who is really going to eat eight pieces of bacon?! I am looking at you. 

As you can see the average serving of bacon compared to Canadian bacon has almost double the calories, triple the fat and quadruple the saturated fat. Aim to purchase a nitrate-free brand of Canadian bacon. The caveat to Canadian bacon as mentioned before is the (dun dun duuuuuuun!) sodium. One serving of it has roughly 800mg, while 4 slices of bacon has 700mg. So C.B. isn’t a total ten, but she’s a pretty good substitute overall. Sorry I just added a pronoun to a dead pig. Makes it too real, right?

Happy oinking everybody.

Nutrition information above pulled from Self.com nutrition database. 

 

 

 

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

As promised! See? You can rely on me…at least for the past week. We are playing this reboot day-to-day. Very, very touchy go-go.  Sadly, I do not have many pictures from this righteous culinary endeavor. To be honest, the plan was not to put it on the blog. To be even more honest, I have zero pictures. But hey! I am here delivering the promised goods like your Denver-based, 7-11 parked pot dealer. Gnarly…(swear to God, had no idea that word contained a ‘g’).

I have to say, posting a recipe without pictures is a lot like a blind date. I don’t think I need to explain that simile. Soooooo, let’s look at some pretty things I’ve chopped or cooked up for THR recipes in the past. Whoot Whoot! Consider yourself catfished. No wait, don’t. These stuffed peppers are the tits. 

Hey look. This is stuff. Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Hey look. This is stuff.
Image by Kimberly Sabada

More Stuff. Image by Kimberly Sabada

More stuff! Image by Kimberly Sabada

Oh man. Even more stuff!! Wait, that's quinoa. PERTINENCY ALERT! Image By Kimberly Sabada

Oh man. Even more stuff!! Wait, that’s quinoa. PERTINENCY ALERT!
Image By Kimberly Sabada

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6 (1/2 pepper per person)
1/3 cup dry red quinoa, cooked
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion, small chop
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces ground turkey breast
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2-3 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 small graffiti eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 ounce goat cheese
3 bell peppers, cut in half and seeds removed

Cook quinoa according to directions. Set aside and let cool.

Place steamer basket and ~1 inch of water in a small sauce pan, heat water to boiling. Add eggplant and steam until soft. Set aside. Once cool enough to handle, dice the soft, steamed eggplant into a consistency better known as mush.

Meanwhile, in a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until garlic becomes fragrant, not browned (about 1-2 minutes). Add turkey to pan and continue to cook, breaking it up until turkey is cooked through. Add herbs and stir mixture together ~30 seconds. Finally, add tomato sauce, eggplant and goat cheese. Stir to heat through and cheese is melted. Remove turkey mixture from stove stop and stir in cooked quinoa.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9×13 with non-stick cooking spray.

Evenly fill each pepper half with turkey mixture. Place 6 filled halves in prepared 9×13. Bake for ~30 minutes, uncovered until heated through.

EnJoYs.

I have no clue what’s coming next week, but it’s sure to be informative and sarcastic.

Talk Turkey to Me

I know, I know. I’ve treated you all so poorly these past few months. The drought of nutrition information has been appalling. My posting has been about as frequent and abundant as rain in California. Well, let’s try to rectify that. Like right meoooow.

I have always been more of a boob chick than a big booty lover. Yes, even in the era of this non-stop Kardashian reign. Before you go getting any naughty ideas, I am talking about poultry and not female human beings. Kim – seriously, The Healthy Revival was finally getting interesting…exit screen. 

The funny thing about eating turkey, especially ground turkey, is how misleading it can be in terms of the nutrition. We all know poultry has white and dark meat. The breasts are the white meat of the bird. The dark meat consists of the legs and thighs.  Why the difference? It all has to do with how much the bird uses the muscle. Muscles used more frequently have more myoglobin in them, a compound which enables activity.  Muscles used less, breast and I suppose wings because chickens are flightless birds,  have less myoglobin in them. That’s all you need to freaking know because if I have to launch into a discussion about oxygen right now, I might just stop writing for another 6 months.

People fall prey to cooking with simply ‘ground turkey’. OMG dude, these tacos are amazing! Can’t believe you made them with turkey meat brah. Let’s go post something on Facebook about being healthy. 

So why is ‘ground turkey’ so bad? It is usually made from the dark meat. Let’s compare the dark to white, shall we? Oh. Oh. Oh. We shall! And just to make it MORE informative, I have added 90% lean ground beef to the comparison chart. Nutrition information below was pulled from Self.com nutrition database and Jennie O Poultry websites, based on 4 ounce servings.

Most boring chart ever made and viewed. Created by the talented Kimberly Sabada

Most boring chart ever made and viewed. Created by the talented Kimberly Sabada.

As you can see, ground turkey is much higher in calories and fat compared to ground turkey breast. The ground turkey product above is the 85% lean variation too. Not that impressed now, are we? The ground turkey is comparable to the 90% lean ground beef.  I am not promoting red meat over ground turkey either. I am saying two things: 1) if you’re looking to cut calories and lose a few pounds (which let’s face it, most everyone is) or 2) watching your cholesterol levels – ground turkey breast might be the best option.

Dark meat has plenty to offer. Compared to white meat, it has more B vitamins, iron and zinc. Awesome, if you’re deficient. Yeah, that is about all I got. So the next time someone makes you turkey tacos and you see an 85% lean ground turkey container in their trashcan, I hope you feel like this…

Go eat some ground turkey…breast.

Ground turkey breast recipe coming soon. But honestly, I think we both know better than to get your hopes up. The last post I gave you was 6 months ago. Fingers crossed.