Monthly Archives: March 2014

RECIPE: 15 or 16 Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bagged beans (15-16 types)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey (90% fat free)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, diced ( or 1 tablespoon minced garlic, purchased)
  • 1 large onion, peeled, sliced into chunks (2 cups)*
  • 5 large carrots, cleaned, peeled, sliced into chunks (2 cups)*
  • 6 celery stalks, cleaned, sliced into chunks (2 cups)*
  • 4-8  cups kale leaves, washed, loosed packed, cut into thin strips
  • Optional: jalapeno or serrano pepper, de-seeded and sliced (or canned)
  • 2 quarts of chicken broth
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 14.5 oz  can diced tomatoes
  • 3  tablespoons Greek seasoning
  • 1  teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (add at end)

* You could also use a frozen veggie mix.

Directions

1. Night before: Sort beans in colander and rinse to remove dirt.  Transfer to a large pot and soak beans overnight in a large pot of water.

2. Next morning or night before: Clean and cut all vegetables into similar sized chunks, so they cook evenly.  Throw out soaking water and retain beans to transfer to a  crockpot.

2.  In a crockpot,  cover bottom with oil (to prevent food from sticking). Add all ingredients and beans.

4.  Stir and simmer 6-8 hours.  During last 15 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to add a zesty flavor.

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RECIPE: Hummus Primavera

Check out the following recipe for a healthy entree, side dish or dip. This dish has 8 colors and food types, magnifying the nutrition of just plain hummus. It makes for a nutritious light meal for just 200 calories.

Ingredients and Directions:

Layer the following in a serving bowl, starting from the bottom, up:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lettuce or spinach leaves, sliced into narrow strips
  • 1/4 cup hummus, any flavor

Layer the following mix on top of the hummus:

  • 6 red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons cucumbers
  • 1-2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 1 mini orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 mini yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 olives, sliced

Enjoy as a side dish or serve as a dip with raw celery and carrot sticks.

Boost Flavor, Boost Nutrition: Flavor-Boosting Tips for Healthy Meals

Ingredients - Version 2

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” This month we remind ourselves that healthy foods don’t have to be bland or boring; taste and nutrition can be a winning combination. As my Mom always said, “the secret to nutritious is delicious!” Following are a few of my simple tips to help you perk up the taste, flavor and nutrition of any meal.

Add Crunch

Add a bit of crunch to your meals by adding nuts and seeds to vegetables or grain dishes, fruit salads, hot dishes, salads, yogurt and snacks. To make their rich flavor even more powerful, consider toasting your favorite nuts and seeds. Pine nuts, almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are great options and provide protein, too. Toasting releases natural oils and reveals new, delicious flavors.

Boost Aroma

Taste and smell work together in ways you may not even realize. Smell not only influences flavor, but is an integral part of how we taste and experience foods. Elevate the taste of your meal by perking up the aroma. Add crisp and tangy notes at mealtime by squeezing a lemon, lime or tangerine over vegetables, greens or fish. Try citrus juices in place of salt on chicken, steak or beans to brighten the smell and flavor. Cooking with sautéed onion and garlic also fill a room with irresistible aromas.

Explore New Flavors

Herbs are a great way to give your meals a flavor boost. Experiment with new herbs and try new combinations. Top eggs or potatoes with rosemary and thyme or fresh sage. Toss vegetables with tarragon and lemon rind. Replace your typical seasonings with something different like marjoram instead of oregano or cilantro instead of parsley. For beef dishes, add a little cinnamon or cumin. When slow-cooking, add herbs or spices at the end, within the last 45-60 minutes of cooking. For dry herbs, consider soaking them in water that has just boiled as the heat can release even more flavor.

Perfect your Cooking Technique

Cooking techniques can really bring out the natural taste of foods, and mastering a few techniques can help add layers of flavor. Learn how to brown, roast, deglaze and caramelize your foods. These techniques help unlock rich flavors, give more depth to your meals and heighten the taste of all the ingredients.

Think Seasonally

The freshest produce will give you the most flavor satisfaction. Check out your local farmer’s market to see what’s local and in season this month.

For more ideas on healthy eating and quick meals, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009) or contact me for individual counseling.  My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating more enjoyable and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia Kostas Nutrition and visit:http://www.georgiakostas.com.

This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs. 

 

Four Color Stir-Fry

stir+fry
Ingredients
  • 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons grape seed oil (divided use)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup onion, sliced into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, strings removed
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Greek seasoning
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Asian stir-fry sauce, such as Kikkoman
  • Brown rice

Directions

Dissolve chicken bouillon cube in water for 30 seconds on High (100 percent power) in the microwave. Set aside.

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil and heat over high heat.

Brown chicken quickly, stirring constantly until cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In the skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and all the vegetables. Cook over high heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the bouillon water, then the chicken, peanuts and seasonings. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stir-fry sauce.

Serve over brown rice.

Makes 4 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 348 (47% fat), Fat 18 g (3 g sat), Cholesterol 63 mg, Sodium 529 mg, Fiber 5 g, Carbohydrates 19 g, Protein 30 g

For more ideas on healthy eating and quick meals, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009) or contact me for individual counseling.  My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating more enjoyable and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia Kostas Nutrition and visit:http://www.georgiakostas.com.

This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs. 

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