Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Quinoa Breakfast BarsHave a love-hate relationship with breakfast? The earlier the alarm sounds and the greater the rush, the more tempting it is to skip it. But, research shows the importance of “breaking the fast” for better energy, cardiovascular health, weight control and healthier food choices throughout the day [1][2]. Quinoa Breakfast Bars to the rescue. These gluten-free, protein-packed and only slightly sweetened bars are a healthy, grab-and-go breakfast or snack item. This recipe is not only easy, but endlessly customizable, or what I call a “kitchen sink” recipe. Dried, fresh or frozen fruit, coconut, seeds, nuts… throw them all into the mix! You can’t go to wrong, as long as you don’t add so many extras that the mixture is as dense as wet concrete. These bars can be made ahead and last for days in the refrigerator. Try the Vegan Quinoa Bars as well! Continue reading “Quinoa Breakfast Bars” »

Hudson Valley Weekend

Culinary Institute of America

Photo credit: Culinary Institute of America

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Henry Hudson and his explorations were my only association  with the Hudson Valley. But, as a New Yorker (going on eight years -is it official yet?) I now realize why the 150-mile stretch above Manhattan is revered for more than its epic place in history and a verdant New York City escape. It is also a culinary mecca, considered by many to be the ‘Napa of the East’ as quoted in CIA alum, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. In fact, National Geographic Traveler proclaimed the region as ‘one of the top 20 destinations in the world’ in 2013. Two words: Road trip. Continue reading “Hudson Valley Weekend” »

Lentil and Spinach Stew with Roasted Garlic

Lentil Stew

Lentil soups are known for being both comforting and simple. These terms describe this lentil stew recipe as well. That is until you add the final additions. Roasted garlic and balsamic vinaigrette transform plain-Jane legumes into a dinner party-worthy dish. As my mother would say “hold the phone”! This is my new favorite lentil recipe. Continue reading “Lentil and Spinach Stew with Roasted Garlic” »

How to Clean and Prepare Leeks

How to Clean LeeksLeeks are not a mainstay of American cooking. Mellow in flavor and known for their subtlety, leeks are overshadowed by onions and garlic, their more assertive cousins. But, perhaps there is more to their underutilization than their demure nature. They can seem like a bit of effort. Grown in sandy soil, leeks require very thorough cleaning. But, according to David Lebovitz, culinary American-in-Paris, it is worth the effort to cook with leeks and break out of the onion routine.

“They do require a bit more preparation, but you don’t have to deal with those papery skins flying all over your kitchen, which I think is a pretty decent trade-off.”

David Lebovitz

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Eggs Diablo

Eggs DiabloEggs Diablo is a healthier version of the classic Deviled Eggs with Greek yogurt and avocado replacing mayonnaise. If you are not a deviled egg fan, give this version a try. If you like guacamole, you will love Eggs Diablo! Green eggs. Perhaps Dr. Seuss was on to something!

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Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup

Broccoli "Cheddar" Soup

This recipe is, of course, a healthy make-over of the classic full dairy Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It is a perfect after work soup recipe; fast, easy and nutritious. Yet, you will find yourself thinking “I can’t believe it’s not cheddar!”

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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Oatmeal

Oatmeal Upgrade

As we covered in “Why Are Oats an All-Star Grain?”, oats are arguably one of the most nutritious grains you can eat. Oats, oatmeal and oat bran lower cholesterol, provide cardiovascular protection and immune boosting properties. But, does the idea of a hot, steaming bowl of oats makes you want to yawn? If so, here’s five ways to upgrade your bowl of oatmeal. And the best part, these upgrades are low glycemic and will not only make the bowl more satisfying, they’ll take your breakfast nutrition to the next level. Continue reading “5 Ways to Upgrade Your Oatmeal” »

Why Are Oats An All-Star Grain?

Steel Cut Oats

Believe it or not, grains are not evil! Among all grains, oats are a morning comfort food all-star and can also be used extensively in baking. While oats have a similar amino acid profile as wheat, they retain more of their original nutrients than refined wheat products as only the outer inedible husk is removed during milling. According to research, it is the bran component of oats and all whole grains which contain the most important bioactive constituents. But, the nutrient-rich bran is removed during processing of most other grains. Also, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, resulting in slower digestion, a feeling of satiety and appetite suppression. Continue reading “Why Are Oats An All-Star Grain?” »

How to Make and Use Basic Cashew Cream

Cashew CreamCashew cream has long been a staple in the vegan world —and for good reason! It just may be the queen of dairy-free alternative toppings. Cashew cream, it is rumored, can make even non-vegans forget about  everything from mayonnaise to sour cream, cream cheese, full-fat diary cream and cream sauces. Can you imagine?! It is as versatile as it is easy to make. Simply soak the cashews, drain, blend, then add seasoning.

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‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’ Giveaway for National Nutrition Month

TVFBWelcome to the virtual book tour for THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, by Karen Page. I am proud to take part in this event, which celebrates Registered Dietitians and National Nutrition Month. Keep reading to find out how you can win a copy of Karen’s latest masterpiece!

Don’t be fooled by the title. This is not a book solely for vegetarians. This is a book for anyone who wants to enjoy a greater range of plant-based whole foods, anyone who wants to improve their health, anyone who tends to go “improv” in the kitchen. It is for anyone tired of the same salad or steamed vegetables. Continue reading “‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’ Giveaway for National Nutrition Month” »