dinner

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

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.

 

I’m Bringing Pumpkin Back. Yeah!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought we’d talk a little bit about pumpkin. And seriously, in the season of dry skin, what else is there to discuss as the temperature drops around us. I’m serious, these days my skin looks like I have a serious problem. No lie, I literally Googled ‘itchy arms’ today and went through a slide show titled, ‘The Ten Most Common Skin Rashes’ on WebMD. The good news: I am 95% sure I do not have ring worm. Fingers crossed. PS – when did googled become a verb?

Let’s get back to pumpkin. Boasting ~50 calories per cup (cubed), this little wonder should be a fall/winter staple in your kitchen. While it’s low in calories and fat, it also contains an ample, almost excessive, amount of vitamin A – a key nutrient in maintaining healthy skin, teeth, bone, retina and soft tissue. It is found in vegetables and fruits in the form of pro-vitamin A, beta carotene. If you did not know, beta carotene is an antioxidant crucial in protecting cells from damage.

For more benefits of the beautiful of pumpkin, click here.

In the meantime, here is one mean pumpkin recipe sure to provide you with warm comfort food during the week or please your Thanksgiving Day (Vegetarian) crowd.

Kale, Pumpkin and Chickpea Skillet

Serves 4-6 (entree)

1 bunch of kale, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh pumpkin
1 can chickpeas, partially drained
1 small jalapeño, minced*
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Olive oil
Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Heat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, add chickpeas and simmer for ~10 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add minced jalapano and continue to sautee until liquid is gone and pepper is slightly cooked.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LRN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LRN

Meanwhile, in a duct oven, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add pumpkin and continue sauté for ~15 minutes until pumpkin is fork tender.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Stir in kale and garlic cook for another 3 minutes until kale has wilted and garlic is fragrant, but not browned.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Remove from heat. Fold in chickpeas, walnut, parmesan and lemon juice.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Plate and serve!

Recipe Notes:

Jalapeño – I kept 1/2 the seeds from the pepper, feel free to adjust seed amount. The more seeds, the hotter this dish.

Eggplant Cannelloni

This one is an easy dinner that’s sure to impress should you choose to have (the dreaded) company over. It’s also a great summer meal for those hot nights when you don’t want to break your back in the kitchen. Sure, the oven may be required, but the run time is short! If you’re looking for a little more protein, feel free to throw some grilled chicken, seafood, pork or beef on the side. I prefer to serve these vegetarian eggplant cannelloni’s with a fresh, roasted vegetable. Pictured below with sautéed spinach and lentils.

 

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Eggplant Cannelloni

Serves: 4 main course

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 large shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jars (12 ounces each) roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
Cooking spray
4 ounces goat cheese
5 kalamata olives, pitted and minced
1 teaspoon drained capers, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat broiler.

Heat oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sauté   shallots and garlic until soft for 1-2 minutes, then reduce heat. Cook until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppers and juice; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside and cool. Place in a food processor and blend until pureed . Pour mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

Meanwhile, coat eggplant slices with cooking spray and broil on a baking sheet until golden on both sides, about 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 400°F. Combine goat cheese, olives, capers and 1 tablespoon of the parsley in a bowl. Place 1 tablespoon of filling at the end of each eggplant slice; roll up. Lay seam side down in dish. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Plate and enjoy!

Summer Barley Bowl

THR is back! Not that it went anywhere, but I’m sure a one week hiatus left you all pretty worried. It’s been a busy week for yours truly, what with a trip home and a nonstop work schedule for the last couple of weeks. In case you were wondering what my trip looked like back to the Midwest – please just see below.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Yeah, all I ate was BBQ. If you’re ever in St. Louis be sure to hit up Pappy’s Smokehouse. This fine establishment opens at 11am and closes when they run out of succulent smoked meat – seriously. So when I returned from my long journey home, there was only one thing to do: reintroduce myself to plant foods. Thus was born this beautiful Summer Barley Bowl.

Temperatures are rising out there and cool, light foods are where it’s at! This is a dinner that won’t heat up your kitchen or weigh you down as the summer nights get longer. In an effort to think outside the rice bowl, I used an alternative whole grain – barley. Do not be intimidated by this lovely grain, it cooks up just like rice and turns out a meatier product than its step sister rice. Feel free to experiment with this recipe. Enjoy my dear readers!

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Summer Barely Bowl

Serves 2

Lemon Yogurt
1 (6 oz) nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives
salt

Barley
3/4 cup dry quick-cooking barley
2 tablespoons fat-free ricotta
1 ounce light feta

1 can chickpeas, drained
Olive oil
Pepper

Toppings:
Pea shoots
2 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds
1 small avocado, sliced
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
Fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Combine lemon yogurt ingredients, cover and chill while you prepare the rest of the bowl components.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Place chickpeas in an 8×8 baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with pepper. Place in preheated oven and roast for ~30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare quick-cooking barley according to directions. Once cooked, fold in feta and ricotta cheese.

Divide barley evenly between two bowls. Top with chickpeas, cucumber, pea shoots, almonds, avocado and parsley. Top with a dollop of yogurt and serve.