lunch

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

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.

 

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.

Kale and Quinoa Patties

It’s time for THR’s highly anticipated quinoa blend recipe! This one does not disappoint, but then again, when do they? These little patties got rave reviews from my test kitchen rats. Five stars across the board and the prep was a breeze. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Kale and Quinoa Patties

Serves: 6 (2 patties per serving)
*See recipe notes below

Ingredients:
½ cup dry tri-blend quinoa (I use Ancient Harvest’s Quinoa Harmony)
1 cup water
1 cup steamed kale*
3 eggs, beaten
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
Olive oil

Rinse quinoa and place in a medium size sauce pan with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for ~20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed.

Mix together steamed kale, cooked quinoa, garlic, green onions, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mixture should be moist, but not runny. Form into  12 patties and set aside.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4-6 patties (depending on the size of the pan) at one time. Cook for 8-10 minutes per side or until browned. Remove cooked patties from pan and finish remaining batches.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Serving Recommendation

Feel free to eat these patties atop mixed greens or a roasted vegetable. I chose to get a little fancier when I made them the first time around with a mixed toasted+raw kale salad, homemade Parmesan Lemon Dressing and a runny poached egg. See below for all the pretentious details!

Kale and Quinoa Patties with Toasted Kale Salad and Poached Egg

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 Kale and Quinoa Patties
4 poached eggs
4 cups chopped, fresh kale
Cooking spray

Parmesan Lemon Dressing:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1-2 teaspoons honey
Salt/Pepper

Whisk together Parmesan Lemon Dressing ingredients*. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 2 cups chopped, fresh kale on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray, toss. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

In a large bowl, combine remaining raw and toasted kale with the Parmesan Lemon dressing. Divide between 2 plates, top with quinoa patty and a poached egg. Finish with some fresh cracked black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Happy eating!

Recipe Notes:
Dressing: the dressing was thrown together by myself a little haphazardly. Take that as a warning, but the measurements are close. Feel free to play around with it!

Steamed Kale: I placed a steaming basket in a large saucepan, filled it with water to just below steaming basket. Place kale in steaming basket, bring water to a boil and steam until kale is tender; about 10-15 minutes.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

(Money Shot)

Recipe adapted from Yummy Supper

 

Red Lentil Cashew Burgers

This recipe gets a mad shout out to Eating Well Magazine. I stumbled upon this recipe a few years back and while it may be a touch labor intensive, I promise you the efforts involved will be rewarded. As I mentioned in last week’s lentil post, cooking lentils can be a bit dicey. This recipe should put your mind at ease if it turns out to be your first lentil cooking experience. Why? You cook the red lentils until the point of mush – failure approved! These burgers are packed with flavor. If you don’t like curry, please select another post to read from the archive (to the right) because that little spice is a big player in this recipe. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short, but full 26 years of life it’s to never force feed people curry…or demand fortune cookies from a BBQ food truck…or start a football tailgate in the parking lot of a zoo. I suppose that’s more than one thing.

Red Lentil and Cashew Burgers are easy to prepare in advance. Frozen in patty form prior to pan searing makes them an excellent freezer staple with no pre-thawing required. I lay out how to make them in advance below the recipe in the notes section. Don’t let that little sweet heart of yours think I am leading you on.

Enjoy these burgers any time of year because no grill is required. Just fresh, honest, whole ingredients are combined to make your diet and kitchen more simplified. Got other lentil ideas? Please leave them in the comment section below.

Happy cooking!

Red Lentil Cashew Burgers

Adapted from Eating Well

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1 cup peeled and diced carrots, about 3 medium carrots
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 whole wheat pitas
6 cups baby spinach
1 red pepper
1/2  English cucumber, sliced into 1/4 inch half-moons
Olive oil
Hummus*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 2 cups water, carrots and lentils in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover saucepan and simmer until the lentils are tender and falling apart, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain through mesh strainer pressing out any extra liquid with a spatula. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place cashews on prepared cookie sheet and bake until toasted, about 15 minutes or until golden brown. If you can remember, shake pan halfway through baking to get a good toast on the nuts. Set aside and let cool.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder and the remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lentils and the onion mixture; pulse until mixture is combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs. *See below for blending note.

Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Form the mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each. Cook 2 to 4 patties at a time until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.

Cut tops of whole wheat pitas off; put a good healthy layer of hummus inside, followed by a cup of spinach, the red lentil cashew burger and slide in english cucumber slices and red pepper strips.

Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

Make Ahead: Prepare burgers as directed, stop before pan searing. Wrap ‘raw’ burgers in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and store in freezer up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, remove from freezer and once unwrapped, these little guys can go straight into the searing pan! Cooking time will increase by a minute or two per side.

Blending: I only have a small food processor. To accommodate the space issue, I blend the cashews, lentil mixture and onions all separately – I place the three blended parts in a medium-size mixing bowl, add breadcrumbs and stir to combine.

Hummus: I prefer the roasted red pepper flavor for this recipe, but feel free to experiment as you like

 

Lentils Are The New Beans

I hope we all enjoyed the Mini Turkey Parmesan Meatloaves. I know you all made them over the past week. Don’t lie, it’s unbecoming. As Spring settles in and beach season approaches, if you’re like me, there’s one thing on that fine mind of yours: How can I eat more lentils? No? Oh that’s just me then. Let me put it to you this way, if lentils were ingestible self-tanner, I’d be Snooki.

Clearly lentils have nothing to do with beach season, but rather everything to do with finding an alternative, non-meat protein. I will not lie to you. I love a good piece of steak or salmon just as much as the next red-blooded American, but damn, can we ease up on the animal flesh? I don’t boast being a vegetarian, but I do try to limit animal proteins to one meal per day (excluding eggs, those things are absolutely delicious).

Lentils are one such example of a solid vegetarian protein source. They house themselves in the legume family along with their sister, beans. Little known fact, lentils are actually seeds originally harvested in central Asia. Grown in pods, you can find these little guys in either the whole or split variety. I prefer the whole lentils; I find them to be a bit meatier. Lentils are also available in a range of colors, but the green and brown varieties tend to hold their shape best during the cooking process. Readers take note: lentils can deteriorate under heat. Choosing the proper form and cooking technique are essential to avoid eating colored mush for dinner. Prepare as directed and trial and error are my two best recommendations when it comes to cooking lentils. Alas, I am not a cooking expert on everything.

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Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins and iron. You menstruating or pregnant? You’re going to love these little suckers! Sorry boys. Lentils also carry a sizable fiber punch – one half cup serving contains 8 grams of dietary fiber. I’m talking the good stuff, the fiber that helps lower your cholesterol. Just dare me to take care of my heart! I’ll do it too, don’t test me dude! Lastly, as mentioned above, they are well endowed in the protein department with 9 grams (a little over 1 ounce) per half cup.

While lentils are loaded with nutrients, one to not ignore is their carbohydrate content. Lentils are what we dietitians call a ‘dual food’. Yes they pack the protein, but they also carry carbohydrate. Not a bad thing, but something to be conscious of nonetheless. If we return to the half cup portion example, lentils have about 20 grams of carb (equal to an average slice of bread). This doesn’t make them off-limits. Just don’t fool yourself eating them with a load of brown rice, a few potatoes and peas smothered in yellow curry sauce. Easy does it young grasshopper.

I have a few lentil tricks in my wheelhouse. Throw them onto salad or into a broth based soup. A favorite post-run snack of mine is lentils atop steamed broccoli and a little marinara. See below for picture-based knowledge.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada

In closing, if you want to get a little fancier, I really enjoy lentils in vegetable marinara. Free (hidden) recipe alert! Oh wait, this is all free for you. For 4 people, I’ll sauté 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 chopped yellow pepper, 8 ounces of chopped button mushrooms, a few minced cloves of garlic and some chopped fresh herbs. Stir in marinara and precooked lentils. Serve over some whole-wheat pasta, top with a little shaved Parmesan cheese and BAMB! You got a mighty tasty din-din at your fingertips.

Come back next week for my all-time favorite lentil recipe. Clue – they are delivered in patty form and incorporate cashews. Get so freaking excited. I mean it, right now!