Coconut Curry Tofu Salad and Spa Giveaway

 


This is a wonderful salad to enjoy for tasty lunch, dinner or a mid-afternoon snack scooped into hollowed-bell peppers, zucchini boats and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (6 oz.) container Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. organic salsa
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Dash of Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Press firmly on tofu to remove all excess water.  Place a heavy object such as a book or a brick atop a clean paper towel and the block of tofu.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Remove tofu and slice into 1 inch cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Gently toss to combine.
  3. Serve chilled.
  4. Enjoy!

 

And Now…For my Spa Giveaway

The contest, “Social InSPAration,” is running from  today, August 2nd thru August 6th. This is a fun and easy way for your chance to win a 90 minute spa treatment at The Spa  at The Surrey, which is the only Upper East Side Manhattan location to  receive the highly regarded Darphin scrub.

It just takes three easy  steps to be entered to win:

1. Follow The Surrey on Twitter @SurreyHotelNYC
2. Become a fan of the Spa at The Surrey on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Spa-At-The-Surrey/141275545883553?ref=ts)
3.  And lastly, post on the Spa at The Surrey’s Facebook wall which  treatment on their spa menu you want to experience most and why.

Zesty Macadamia Bison Balls

Earlier this week, I met with one of my clients and I decided to introduce her to bison…we purchased freshly ground bison from Whole Foods Market and went back to her apartment to create some tasty bison balls! After scouring her fridge, I came across freshly ground nut butter and opted to add that to the ingredient listneedless to say, I was yearning for a bison ball and decided to whip them up in my little kitchen last night! I used freshly ground macadamia nut butter and a few other fabulous ingredients that I had in my fridge…the result: Amazing.

Moving forward, I will always make a note to add nut butter to my bison balls, hehe…it added the perfect texture and taste…it was beyond delish!  Just be sure the nut butter is softened before you create these balls as the softness of the nut butter combines perfectly with the other ingredients.

Now I can’t wait to try this recipe with other nut butters…almond, peanut, cashew…O My! I’ve got some exciting ideas for other nut butter balls…coming soon!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. ground bison
  • 2 Tbsp. natural macadamia nut butter (softened)
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Optional Toppings: Nutritional yeast, salsa, Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Using hands, mix well until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Spoon bison mixture into balls (or patties) and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes; flipping the tray after 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
  • Serve warm with salsa and Greek plain yogurt for dipping.
  • Enjoy!

In The News This Week…

Bloom is off organic grains; Prices down, but growers optimistic

SONY boss asks theater owners for healthier snacks

Celiac Disease: What Foods Are Allowed, How To Shop, Dine Out

Food To Fuel Your Workouts

Not All Power Bars Provide Good Nutrition

Seaweed Fights Obesity

10 Secret Stressors

6 Natural Remedies That Really Work

And, the best news of the week: Congrats to my Mother for earning the Teacher of The Year award at her school!  I love you, Mom…Happy early birthday!



Lucious Leafy Greens

greens

Many of my clients considered ‘leafy green veggies’ unappetizing before they came to me for counseling.  The first thing that came to their minds when I mentioned ‘leafy green veggies’ was “Well, I eat Iceberg Lettuce”! O boy, I thought…we’ve got some work to do and this is going to be fun.  This is what I love about being a Nutritionist.  I truly love making a difference in the way my clients eat and make them realize that this pale lettuce, once so ubiquitous in restaurant salads, does not have the power-packed goodness of other delicious greens.

Before my clients came to me for counseling, they either forgot about these nutrient-rich, flavorful foods or got scared off by the idea of preparing them.

Learning to cook and eat greens is essential for creating lasting health.  It is a simple, easy way to boost your daily diet.  The next time you are at the farmers market or in your local food store, be sure to add some of the following greens to your shopping list: Arugula, Bok Choy, Broccoli Rabe, Cabbage, Collards, Chicory, Dandelion, Escarole, Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Watercress and many other varieties of lettuce.

Leafy green veggies help strengthen our respiratory and circulatory systems.  They are high in magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.

Leafy green veggies are packed with folic acid, chlorophyll, fiber and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.  Moreover, they help with blood purification, cancer prevention, improving circulation, strengthening your immune system and improving gall bladder, kidney and live function.  They are also a great ally in the Fall when cold season begins because greens can help clear congestion and reduce mucus.

Surprisingly, greens are not as complicated as they may appear  Try a variety of cooking methods such as boiling, sauteing in olive oil, steaming, blanching, roasting or chopping up for salads and snacks.  Chopping raw veggies for salads and snacks takes only a few minutes to rinse and prepare.  Cooking greens takes a couple of minutes of prep time and about two minutes of cooking time.  You can experiment with cooking your greens with seeds, nuts, beans, butter, tofu, seital, tempeh, chicken, turkey, fish, ground meat, eggs, etc.  Green veggies are easy to add to homemade or prepared soups or stews right before serving.

Try to get into the habit of adding these green veggies to your diet as often as possible.  While veggies are the scarcest food in the American diet, leafy green veggies area is lacking most of all.

Give some of these green leafy veggies a try and see how you feel!  Let me know what you think about the different flavors and textures of these delicious greens…I’m interested to hear!

Uproot from the Green Basics

While everyday veggies such as broccoli and spinach are great for your health, be adventurous and try these other dark greens that pack a flavorful and nutrient-dense punch.

  • Kale- This leafy green is easy to grow and thrives in cold temps.  The beautiful leaves provide an earthy flavor and excellent nutritional value.  I love making ‘kale wraps’ where I wrap kale leaves around my fish and chicken for a fun finger food!
  • Collard Greens- A staple of traditional Southern cooking, this nutritional powerhouse provides vitamins A, C, calcium, iron and magnesium.  Collard greens are delicious to bake with and I love adding collards to my baked fish recipes.
  • Bok Choy- This veggie has a light, sweet flavor and a crisp texture.  Toss some bok choy into stir-fries, Asian dishes or soups.
  • Escarole- This curly Italian green has a bitter taste.  As you remove the leaves, you will experience different degrees of flavor! As the leaves are peeled back, they continue to lighten in shade and bitterness.

Tasty Tortillas

These babies are tasty enough to knock your little socks off, I just couldn’t get enough of them last night and after one bite, I was in tortilla heaven.

I love experimenting in my tiny Manhattan kitchen with odds n’ ends that I have in my pantry. It keeps my meals exciting and my taste buds curious… to say the least.  Last night, I simply reached for a jar of salsa, refried beans and tortillas-the rest was left to my imagination, which always seems to run wild with condiments and mix-ins.  I had a nice pint of strawberries in my fridge, which added a perfect touch of sweetness to my dish.

I hope you enjoy this warm n’ tasty tortilla; the best part is the melted soy cheese- a the perfect way to warm up on a chilly September day.

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Ingredients

  • Tortillas (Gluten Free/ Whole Wheat)
  • 1 can Amy’s Organic Refried Beans
  • Fresh strawberries, sliced
  • Fresh or Frozen Spinach
  • Slivered Carrots
  • Greek Yogurt
  • SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cheddar Cheese
  • Fresh Scallions, chopped
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh Avocado, sliced
  • Amy’s Organic Corn and Bean Salsa

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place tortilla onto center of plate and spread re-fried beans over the entire surface.
  • Add sliced strawberries, carrots, scallions, avocado slices, cilantro, cheese and spinach atop of the beans.  Top with another tortilla.  Press down on the tortilla gently.
  • Place tortilla in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.
  • Finish off with a few dollops of salsa, mashed avocado and Greek yogurt.
  • Enjoy!

Pear n’ Sage Turkey Burgers with Orange Yogurt Spread

Gotta love the fiber in the fresh pears and flax seed, as well as the antioxidants in the orange and sage…these tasty turkey burgers pair perfectly with my yummy yogurt spread. The addition of freshly squeezed juice from an orange adds a juicy touch to the burgers while the zest adds a sweet touch to the yogurt spread.

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Pear n’ Sage Turkey Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe pear, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper
  • Toppings: Fresh spinach, Fresh tomatoes
  • 4 Gluten Free/ Whole Grain buns

Orange Yogurt Spread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper
  • Zest of 1/2 orange

Directions

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, sage, pear, flax, cranberries, juice from orange, Nu-Salt and pepper.  Mix well with hands and mold into 4 patties.
  • In a small bowl, combine all yogurt spread ingredients.  Mix well.
  • Grill patties for 4-5 minutes per side or until fully cooked.
  • Toast buns and spread each side with the yogurt mixture.
  • Place burger on the bun and top with spinach and tomato.
  • Enjoy!

Savory Parsnip Bulgur Pilaf

This savory bulgur is hearty enough for a side dish and pairs well with chicken, tofu or fish.  The summertime is a great excuse to add a touch of anti-oxidant rich garden herbs such as fresh mint and basil…Each bite is sure to lend a surprise to your taste buds.  You can easily enjoy this dish served chilled or warm.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Bulgar (cooked)
  • 1 cup Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp. Cumin
  • 1 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Spinach (cooked)
  • 1 cup Shredded Yellow Squash
  • 1 cup Shredded Parsnips
  • Nu-Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Mint (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts (toasted*)
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

* Toast Pine Nuts in a dry skillet for 4 minutes until browned.

Directions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet until hot.  Add onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until golden brown (15 minutes).  Add garlic,bulgur, cumin and turmeric. Continue to stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add vegetable broth, parsnips, spinach, yellow squash and salt.  Bring to a boil and stir.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes; do not stir.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add fresh mint, basil and lemon juice.
  • Top with toasted pine nuts.
  • Enjoy!

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Cranberries

This is a perfect side dish to bring to your Summer BBQ…The sweet combination of fresh mango, dried cranberries,  spinach and agave nectar  will be the hit of the party!

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked spinach
  • 4 tsp. pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp. Nu-Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup apples, chopped
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

Directions

  • On the stove top, heat oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add cooked spinach, cranberries, Nu-Salt, pepper and pine nuts.  Gently stir to ensure even cooking.  Add in apples and continue to gently stir.
  • For the Dressing: In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, orange zest and Greek yogurt.  Mix well and set aside.
  • Remove spinach mixture from the heat and place into a large bowl.  Add fresh mango pieces and Greek yogurt mixture; toss gently.
  • Serve and enjoy!