Turmeric Salmon

Everyday, we hear more and more stories about how good fish is for our health. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of fish and/or a type of fat in fish (called omega-3 fatty acids) is associated with improved body composition, cardiovascular health, and mental and cognitive status. 

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You might think cooking fish is difficult, but it's really easy - the key is to get fresh fish and avoid overcooking. Here is a recipe for perfectly cooked Turmeric Salmon:

INGREDIENTS:
• Two 4-ounce salmon steaks
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• 1/4 tsp paprika
• dash of cayenne pepper
• dash of salt and black pepper
• 2 slices of lemon


INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. 1. Place two 4-ounce salmon steaks on separate pieces of parchment paper.
  2. Lather each salmon steak in 1 Tbsp of coconut oil.
  3. Sprinkle each salmon steak with 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp paprika, a dash of cayenne pepper, and a dash of kosher salt and black pepper.
  4. Top each salmon steak with a slice of lemon.
  5. Fold the parchment paper around each piece of salmon so that a small envelope is created (for more info on how to wrap the salmon: search "salmon en papillote").
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
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Using the spices not only add flavors to the salmon, but may also add health benefits! For example, turmeric has been traditionally used for digestive health and some clinical studies also suggest its benefits. 

REFERENCES:

  1. Fish or n3-PUFA intake and body composition: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2014 Aug;15(8):657-65. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24891155
  2. Fish consumption and risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Public Health Nutr. 2018 May;21(7):1297-1306. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29317009
  3. Association between fish consumption and risk of dementia: a new study from China and a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Public Health Nutr. 2018 Mar 19:1-12. doi: 10.1017/S136898001800037X. [Epub ahead of print] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29551101
  4. Fish consumption and depression in Korean adults: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013-2015. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jan 17. doi: 10.1038/s41430-017-0083-9. [Epub ahead of print] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29339828
  5. Efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of digestive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Syst Rev. 2014 Jun 28;3:71. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24973984

Fruit & Nut Breakfast Millet

Millet is a group of several small-seeded grains like pearl millet and foxtail millet. Compared to wheat and other grains, millet is higher in nutritional content with high dietary fiber, protein and balanced amino acid profile. It is also gluten-free! Millet may have potential health benefits, such as controlling diabetes.

For your breakfast tomorrow, try our Fruit & Nut Breakfast Millet instead of those sugary cereals.

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INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup orange juice
• 2 - 2 1/2 cups water
• 1 cup millet
• 1 apple
• 2 Tbsp honey
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 cup almond flakes
• 1/4 cup raisins

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In medium saucepan, heat orange juice and water to boiling.
2. Add millet. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed and millet is soft. Remove from heat.
3. Cut apple into small pieces.
4. Add the apple pieces, honey, cinnamon, almond flakes, and raisins to the millet.
5. Stir and cover for a few minutes until the apple is soft.


REFERENCES:
1. Kam J, Puranik S, Yadav R, Manwaring HR, Pierre S, Srivastava RK, and Yadav RS. Dietary Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: How Millet Comes to Help. Front Plant Sci. 2016 Sep 27;7:1454. eCollection 2016.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037128/pdf/fpls-07-01454.pdf

Beet Linguine

Beet's dark red color is not only a great addition to various dishes, but it may also have health benefits! Its pigment called betalain is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and may be associated with lower risk of diseases.

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Not sure how to cook them? Try our Beet Linguine.

INGREDIENTS:
• 2/3 pound raw beets
• 1 pound chicken breast
• Salt and pepper
• 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 10 ounces of linguine
• 1 pound baby spinach
• Grated Parmigiano cheese (optional)
• Olive oil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 400-425º F.
2. Peel beets, slice them into ~1/4 inch thickness, and cook them in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.
3. Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in a frying pan with coconut oil (3-5 minutes on each side).
4. Fill 2/3 of a large pot with water, add 1 tsp salt, and boil.
5. Cook linguine for 5-7 minutes and drain.
6. Mix linguine with baby spinach, beets, and chicken.
7. Add Parmigiano cheese and olive oil to your preference and enjoy!

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REFERENCES:
1. Tom Clifford, Glyn Howatson, Daniel J. West, and Emma J. Stevenson. The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 2801–2822. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425174/

Peanut Butter Oat Balls

Having issues with your cholesterol? Try oats!

Whole grains are higher in fiber and overall better for health compared to refined grain. Furthermore, studies show that among the whole grains, oats are the most effective in lowering cholesterol.

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Oats are a good source of plan protein, fiber, thiamine, and iron. 

 
    *Data from the Asken Diet app

   *Data from the Asken Diet app

 

Having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is an easy way to incorporate oats into your diet, but if you want other ways to get more oats, try our delicious Peanut Butter Oat Balls for a snack!

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
• 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
• 1/4 cup honey or agave syrup
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, simply combine all the ingredients except for the shredded coconut
2. Once mixed, roll the dough into small ball shapes
3. Cover each ball in unsweetened shredded coconut
4. Cool in the fridge for 20 minutes, then serve

Peanut Butter Oat Balls

REFERENCES:
1. Harvard Medical School. Harvard Heart Letter: Whole-grain oats: Best bet for lowering cholesterol. Harvard Health Publications Web site. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/research-were-watching-whole-grain-oats-best-bet-for-lowering-cholesterol. Published: October, 2015. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Mashed Cauliflower (with Shrimp)

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and also contains other nutrients like vitamin K, folate, and potassium. It belongs to a group called cruciferous vegetables, which are thought to be helpful in preventing cancer.

 
    *Data from the Asken Diet app

   *Data from the Asken Diet app

 

The most common cauliflower has white flower buds, but there are other varieties that are orange or purple. There is also a light green variety called broccoflower, which is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.

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Because cauliflower is low in calories and fat, it has been used as a substitute of various foods, such as cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza crust. How about some mashed cauliflower as a healthy alternative to more starch-filled mashed potatoes?

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 minced shallot
• 1 Tbsp of butter
• 10 ounces of cauliflower rice
• 1 cup of vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a medium saucepan, sautée one minced shallot in 1 Tbsp of butter
2. Once translucent, add in 10 ounces of cauliflower rice. Sautée for approximately 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly
3. Add in 1 cup of vegetable broth and cook for 8-10 minutes, until cauliflower is tender
4. Using an immersion blender, mash the cooked cauliflower until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency
5. Serve with grilled shrimp or salmon

Mashed Cauliflower

REFERENCES:
1. University of the District of Columbia, Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health. Cauliflower. University of the District of Columbia Website. https://www.udc.edu/docs/causes/online/cauliflowersm.pdf. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Pitaya Smoothie

Dragon fruit, also known as red pitaya, is native to tropical forest regions of Mexico and Central/South America. Recently, it is gaining popularity worldwide due to its vibrant color and antioxidant property. Dragon fruit contains several antioxidants like betalains, polyphenols and ascorbic acid.

Animal studies suggest that dragon fruit may have some health benefits, such as increasing oxidative defense and promoting would healing.

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If you are always busy in the mornings, try making smoothies for breakfast. Smoothies are an easy nutrient-packed way to start the day!

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 banana
• 1 packet of puréed pitaya (Açaí can be used as an alternative)
• 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 1/2 tsp of bee pollen
• (For topping: Sliced banana, shredded coconut, bee pollen)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Blend banana, puréed pitaya, yogurt, almond milk, and bee pollen
2. Top with some sliced banana, shredded coconut, bee pollen, or whatever else you choose

Pitaya Smoothie

REFERENCES:
1. Anand Swarup KR, Sattar MA, Abdullah NA, et al. Effect of dragon fruit extract on oxidative stress and aortic stiffness in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010 Jan-Feb; 2(1): 31–35. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.60582.

Lentil Soup

Even if you are not a vegetarian, it may not be a bad idea to have occasional meatless nights.

Recent study shows that high plant protein intake was associated with lower overall and cardiovascular death risks while high animal protein intake was associated with increased cardiovascular death.

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As we reach the end of the summer, it’s time to start enjoying warm soups! How about trying some plant-protein filled soups like lentil soup?

Lentils are a good source of not only plant-protein, but also complex carbohydrate, thiamine, iron, and other nutrients. 

 
 

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 diced onion
• 1 Tbsp butter
• 1/2 cup red lentils
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 2 Tbsp of fresh chopped parsley
• Dash of pepper
• 1/4 cup milk or almond milk

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large pot, cook the onion in butter until it's translucent, but not browned
2. Add red lentils and vegetable broth. Simmer the broth until the lentils are cooked through (if the soup is too thick, add more broth as necessary)
3. Add in fresh chopped parsley and a dash of pepper
4. To make the soup smoother, use an immersion blender and blend until the desired consistency is reached
5. To top it off, mix in milk or almond milk. Serve and enjoy

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REFERENCES:
1. Song M, Fung TT, Hu FB, et al. Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Oct 1;176(10):1453-1463. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182.
2. USAID. Lentils Commodity Fact Sheet. USAID Web site. https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/agriculture-and-food-security/food-assistance/resources/lentils-commodity-fact-sheet. Updated: November 14, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Avocado Smoothie

Whether it's in a salad, on a toast, or as a guacamole, who doesn't LOVE avocados?

Avocado

Some people are concerned that it's high in calories, but 1/2 avocado is 76 calories -  lower than 1 tablespoon of butter (~100 calories).

And the fatty acid composition of avocado is much healthier than butter! Majority of the fat contained in avocado is a type of fat called monounsaturated fatty acids. 

With this healthy fat and other nutrients, avocado consumption has been associated with cardiovascular health and healthy aging. 

 
 

Avocado goes well with pretty much anything, but if you're looking for something different, how about trying our creamy Avocado Smoothie?

INGREDIENTS:
• 1/2 avocado
• 1 banana
• 1/2 cup packed spinach
• 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 1 Tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp flax seed
• 1 tsp bee pollen

DIRECTIONS:
1. Add all the ingredients in a blender
2. Blend until smooth
3. Enjoy it with a spoon (this smoothie comes out extra creamy and is often difficult to drink with a straw)


REFERENCES:
1. United States Department of Agriculture. Basic Report: 09038, Avocados, raw, California. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2157
2. United States Department of Agriculture. Basic Report:  01001, Butter, salted. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/1
3. Mark L. Dreher and Adrienne J. Davenport. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013 May; 53(7): 738–750. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/