Homemade Hummus

Did you know that hummus is made of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans? Studies show that people who eat chickpeas/hummus had higher intake of some key nutrients like vitamins and dietary fiber. Studies also show that chickpea/hummus consumption may be associated with better weight management and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Let’s make some homemade hummus today - it’s super easy!

Hummus

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 can chickpeas (drain and keep the liquid)
• 1 juiced lemon
• 3 tbsp tahini
• 2 garlic cloves
• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp ground cumin

DIRECTIONS:
1. Place chickpeas (you can save some to decorate on the top), lemon juice, tahini, garlic, olive oil, salt, and ground cumin in a food processor and process until smooth.
2. If the hummus is too thick, add the chickpea liquid, one tbsp at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Taste, adding more salt and lemon juice as needed.
4. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

Hummus can be a healthy alternative for a lot of things - replace mayonnaise in your sandwich, cheese on your cracker, or creamy dip for your veggie sticks. Our favorite dish is spreading the hummus on cucumber slices and topping it with half a sun-dried tomato, sunflower seeds and paprika!

Hummus

REFERENCES:
1. Wallace TC, Murray R, and Zelman KM. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients. 2016 Nov 29;8(12). pii: E766. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5188421/
2. O’Neil CE, Nicklas TA, and Fulgoni III VL. Chickpeas and Hummus are associated with Better Nutrient Intake, Diet Quality, and Levels of Some Cardiovascular Risk Factors: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2010. J Nutr Food Sci 2014, 4:1. https://www.omicsonline.org/chickpeas-and-hummus-are-associated-with-better-nutrient-intake-diet-quality-and-levels-of-some-cardiovascular-risk-factors-national-health-and-nutrition-examination-survey-2155-9600.1000254.pdf

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Looking for a delicious festive breakfast? Try these sweet potato pancakes!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 large sweet potato (steamed and mashed)
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup almond milk
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tbsp butter
• coconut yogurt, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and maple syrup to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix together the mashed sweet potato, eggs, almond milk, salt, and ground cinnamon.
2. Over medium heat, melt butter and cook the sweet potato pancakes for approximately 2 minutes per side (don’t flip them too soon so that they don't break!)
3. Top them off with some coconut yogurt, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and maple syrup.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not only delicious, but are also one of the best sources of beta-carotene, which are converted into vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A protects body from infections, supports cell growth, and is involved in eye and skin health.

Enjoy sweet potatoes for meals and snacks - the easiest way to cook them is to just rinse and bake in an oven until they are soft. You’ll be surprised how sweet they are without having to add any sugar :)


REFERENCES:
1. California Department of Public Health, Network for a Healthy California. Harvest of the Month. 2010. http://harvestofthemonth.cdph.ca.gov/documents/Winter/SweetPotatoes/Sweet%20Potatoes%20-%20Educator%27s%20Newsletter_Final.pdf

Carrot & Apple Soup

On a freezing day, coming back from a long day of work, how does a nice warm cup of soup sound?

Here is a simple, delicious soup recipe that can be made ahead to make your week easier!

Carrot & Apple Soup

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 onion (diced)
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves (minced)
• 8 cups vegetable broth
• 1 lb carrots (ends chopped off and sliced into 1/4 inch thick discs)
• 2 apples (peeled, cored, and diced)
• 2 tsp turmeric
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp salt
• milk or cream, fresh herbs (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Sautée the diced onion in olive oil.
2. Once onions are translucent, add in the minced garlic cloves and sautée for another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add in vegetable broth and the sliced carrots. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until carrots are tender.
4. Add in the diced apples, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, and salt. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until apples are tender.
5. Using an immersion (or regular) blender, blend the soup until smooth.
6. Top with a splash of milk or cream and fresh herbs.

Carrots

Carrots contain vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids, etc. Because of these nutrients, carrots may be beneficial in preventing cancer and enhancing your immune system. There are also some reports suggesting their effects in preventing diabetes, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

Apples

How about apples? There’s a saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” so they must be really healthy, right?

Unfortunately, a clinical study that compared people that typically ate at least 1 small apple a day vs. those who didn’t concluded that there was no evidence that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

However, many studies show an association between eating apples and a decreased risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and asthma. Apples contain various phytochemicals, many of which have antioxidant and/or anticancer functions.


REFERENCES:
1. Silva Dias, J.C. (2014) Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 2014. 5;2147-2156. http://file.scirp.org/pdf/FNS_2014120411490798.pdf
2. Davis MA, Bynum JP, Sirovich BE. Association between apple consumption and physician visits: appealing the conventional wisdom that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 May;175(5):777-83. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2210883
3. Boyer J and Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J. 2004 May 12;3:5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/pdf/1475-2891-3-5.pdf

Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Halloween is coming up - what are you going to be this year?

Pumpkin's beautiful bright color comes from an antioxidant called beta-carotene. Diets high in foods with beta-carotene may be associated lower risk of certain types of cancer and heart diseases.

How about some Roasted Pumpkin Salad for dinner today? It’s full of different flavors and textures.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad

INGREDIENTS: (2 servings)
• 1 lb 5 oz cubed pumpkin
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp granulated sugar
• 1/2 tsp chili flakes
• Dash of salt and pepper
• 4 handfuls of spinach leaves
• 2 oz pistachios
• 3 oz feta
• Pomegranate seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix the pumpkin with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Place them in a baking tray and bake at 390º F for 30 minutes.
2. Rinse and dry the spinach leaves. Place spinach in a bowl, add roasted pumpkin, and top it with pistachios and feta.
3. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds for a crunch (optional).

Halloween

REFERENCES:
California Department of Public Health. Harvest of the Month. Published: 2012. Accessed: Sep 13, 2018. http://harvestofthemonth.cdph.ca.gov/documents/Fall/Pumpkin/Pumpkins%20-%20Educator%27s%20Newsletter.pdf

Salmon Crêpe

It’s almost the weekend!

What is your favorite brunch menu? Pancakes, waffles, omelets… It’s hard to just pick one, but one of our favorites is bagel + smoked salmon + cream cheese! If you also LOVE this combination, try our Salmon Crêpe. It tastes just as good (if not better!), and looks a little fancier to brighten up your weekend.

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INGREDIENTS:
• 1 egg
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 cup milk
• 3/4 cup flour
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• Smoked salmon
• Cream cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1. Add the egg, sugar, salt, milk, flour, and baking powder into a blender and blend until smooth. Wait for 20 minutes, then add vegetable oil. Mix well.
2. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Slowly pour a little scoop of the batter while holding pan off the heat and swirl the batter in a circular motion to get a thin layer. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes or until loosened from the bottom of the pan and lightly browned. Flip the crepe and cook for another minute until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on a plate and continue the process until the batter is gone.
3. To assemble the crepes, spread a small amount of cream cheese and some smoked salmon. Roll the crepe and cut into 3 parts. Enjoy!

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that has been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular and other diseases.

If you have some leftover smoked salmon, put it on a toast or rice cracker with some mashed avocado - a super easy breakfast/snack recipe!

Salmon Avocado

Banana Bread

Banana is such a versatile fruit. It's great on its own and it's also great in yogurt, smoothie, baked goods, etc.

When bananas get too ripe and the skin starts to turn dark... that's the perfect time for baking banana breads. Yes, we sometimes intentionally leave the bananas for a while so we can bake this banana cake!

Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS:
• 3 medium ripe bananas
• ½ cup light brown sugar
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• ¼ cup almond milk
• 2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp salt
• 2 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9"×5" loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas (don't mash them completely and leave some little chunks!).
3. Add brown sugar, vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract, and almond milk. Whisk to incorporate.
4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add chopped hazelnuts and mix with a wooden spoon.
5. Transfer the batter to your prepared pan, and top with some extra banana slices.
6. Bake for about 45 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a couple crumbs.

Bananas

One medium ripe banana is about 110 calories and provides about 450 mg potassium. Potassium is involved in various body functions like heart beat and muscle contraction. Potassium is also important for keeping the fluid balance in the body - when the body is low in potassium and has too much sodium, it can lead to high blood pressure.

In addition to potassium, bananas are also a source of vitamin B6, fiber, magnesium, vitamin C, and manganese.


REFERENCES:
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source: Bananas. Accessed: Sep 20, 2018. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/bananas/

Chicken Curry

Who thinks chicken breast is healthy, but dry and boring? That's not always the case!

Try our Chicken Curry made from scratch!

Chicken Curry

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 3/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp + 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
• 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 medium yellow onion (finely chopped)
• 4 garlic cloves (minced)
• 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
• 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
• 1 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tsp sugar
• 1/4 cup plain low fat (2%) Greek yogurt (do not use nonfat)
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cut the chicken into 1/4-inch strips. Sprinkle the chicken pieces evenly with 3/4 tsp salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1 tsp curry powder.
2. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned but still pink in spots (~3 minutes). Transfer the partially cooked chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
3. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to the skillet and set heat to medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (~5 minutes). Stir in the minced garlic, grated fresh ginger, and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp curry powder. Cook until fragrant (~1 minute more).
4. Whisk the low sodium chicken broth and cornstarch together to dissolve the cornstarch. Then add to the skillet along with sugar and 1/8 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sauce is nicely thickened (~5 minutes).
5. Add the partially cooked chicken to the skillet, turn the heat down to low and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in Greek yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
6. You can serve the curry with basmati rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower has been gaining popularity as a lower-calorie alternative for starchy foods like rice, pizza crust, and mashed potatoes. You can get cauliflower rice at many grocer stores (either in the produce or frozen food section). It goes well with saucy dishes like curry so if you’re watching out for your weight, definitely try some cauliflower rice with our curry!

Cauliflower

Green Quinoa Salad

Preparing your lunch and/or dinner on weekdays is not an easy task, but it’s definitely worth it. It is so much easier to control your weight when you’re preparing your own meals. Here’s an easy healthy recipe for a weekday meal – Green Quinoa Salad.

Green Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):
• 1 cup dry quinoa
• 3.5 oz edamame (frozen or fresh)
• 3.5 oz peas (frozen or fresh)
• 12 asparagus spears
• 1 carrot
• Grated zest and juice of half lemon
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
• Handful of coriander
• Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook the dry quinoa as per package instructions and spread it on a wide plate to cool.
2. Boil edamame and peas for 4 minutes.
3. Cut asparagus spears in half, blanch for 2 minutes, and leave to cool.
4. Using a vegetable peeler, shave carrot into ribbons.
5. In a small bowl, make the dressing by mixing grated zest and juice of lemon, olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar.
6. In a separate bowl, mix the quinoa, vegetables, and coriander (chopped), add the dressing, and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Quinoa contains higher amounts of protein than other grains (~8g protein per 1 cup cooked quinoa), and unlike some plant protein, it is a complete protein (i.e. contains all 9 essential amino acids). It is also rich in fiber, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, and thiamine.

Quinoa can be used as a substitute for rice and pasta in many dishes. You can also try making a breakfast quinoa cereal with some fruits and cinnamon!

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REFERENCES:
Harvard School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source: Quinoa. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/quinoa/. Accessed Aug 9, 2018.

Mint Watermelon Salad

August 3rd was National Watermelon Day!

Did you know that there are 1,200 cultivars of watermelon worldwide!?

This beautiful summer fruit is mostly (92%) water, but also contains lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin C, flavonoids, etc., which may have beneficial health effects against oxidative stress, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.

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Chilling it in the fridge and slicing it up is a delicious way to eat it, but if you have some leftovers, try our Mint Watermelon Salad! As it gets hot outside, your appetite might get affected with the heat. This refreshing dish with an aroma of mint leaves may stimulate your appetite.

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 large watermelon
• 1 package raspberries
• 3 mint leaves + 5 mint leaves
• Juice of 2 limes

DIRECTIONS:
1. Remove the rind of watermelon, chop it and place in a large bowl (preferably a Tupperware container that seals).
2. Rinse raspberries. With a mortar and pestle (or in a small food processor), muddle 3 mint leaves and 5-6 raspberries with the juice of 2 limes. Finely chop 5 mint leaves.
3. As evenly as possible, pour the mint-raspberry-lemon juice over the watermelon.
4. Add in the chopped mint and remaining raspberries. Toss until well combined.
5. Allow to chill, covered, for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight. Enjoy!

Mint Watermelon Salad

REFERENCES:
1. Naz A, Butt MS, Sultan MT, Qayyum MM, and Niaz RS. Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims. EXCLI J. 2014 Jun 3;13:650-60. eCollection 2014. d some extra drizzles of honey.

Whole Wheat Pancake with Applesauce

Looking forward to the weekend?

LOVE going out to brunch and getting those pancakes?

Eating out and experimenting different restaurants is definitely fun, but making your own pancakes from scratch is also a lot of fun! It's also a great way to make it healthier so you don't have to feel guilty afterwards. 😊

Whole wheat pancake with applesauce

Try our Whole Wheat Pancake with Applesauce.

INGREDIENTS (~10 pancakes):
• 1 cup and 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 1 tbsp honey
• 6 tbsp applesauce
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• Oil or butter for the pan
• Fresh seasonal fruits

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix the whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
2. Add unsweetened almond milk, honey, applesauce and vanilla extract to the bowl. Mix to incorporate.
3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Brush a bit of oil or butter and cook the batter until bubbles form. Flip and cook the other side.
4. Serve them with fresh seasonal fruits and some extra drizzles of honey.

applesauce

In this recipe, applesauce is the secret ingredient, preventing the pancake from being dry without having to add extra fat/oil. This secret tip works for many other recipes - when you're baking a muffin or a cake, try replacing 1/3 to half the fat/oil with applesauce.

Roasted Carrots with Ricotta Cheese

Looking for a delicious side dish to impress your friends or significant other with? Try our Roasted Carrots with Ricotta Cheese. You don't need to buy any fancy ingredients, but the dish will still be delicious and impressive!

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INGREDIENTS:
• 1 whole bunch of carrots
• Olive oil (enough to coat carrots + 1 tsp)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 1/4 cup pine nuts or silvered almonds
• 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
• Balsamic vinegar (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Chop the stems off the carrots and lay on a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat the carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Roast for 20-30 minutes in the oven until carrots are browned.
5. While the carrots roast, in a small frying pan, add in olive oil and pine nuts (or slivered almonds).
6. Roast in the frying pan for 2-3 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted.
7. On a serving plate, spread the ricotta cheese. Layer the roasted carrots on top, and then top with toasted pine nuts. If desired, add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top. Enjoy!

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Carrots contain vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and flavonoids that may prevent cancer and enhance immune system. They are available all year round, inexpensive, and lasts longer than most veggies so it's a great vegetable to always have in stock. 


REFERENCES:
1. João Carlos da Silva Dias. Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2014, 5, 2147-2156. http://file.scirp.org/pdf/FNS_2014120411490798.pdf

Hazelnuts & Basil Pesto

Nuts may be calorie dense, but they are rich in healthy unsaturated fat and plant protein. They also contain vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, fiber, and various other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Eating more nuts have been associated with lower risk of heart disease. Some studies also suggest beneficial effects on hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc. 

A smart way to incorporate nuts into your diet is replacing chips and other unhealthy snacks with nuts. That way, you're not adding extra calories to your total daily intake, but can get all the healthy benefits from nuts.

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Another way to increase your nut intake is to incorporate them into your meals. Sprinkling them onto your salad or roasted veggies is an easy way. You can also try our Hazelnut & Basil Pesto for dinner. It's super easy and great for a meatless night. 

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup dry couscous
• ~3 oz basil
• 3 cloves garlic
• ~3.5 oz hazelnuts
• 3 Tbs olive oil
• 1 Tbs lemon juice
• Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook couscous as per packet instructions (makes 2 cups).
2. In a food processor, add basil, garlic cloves, hazelnuts, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste. Pulse several times.
3. Incorporate the pesto with the cooked couscous.
4. Serve it with baked sweet potato, avocado and pomegranate seeds or any side veggies you like!
*The pesto-couscous will sit perfectly in the fridge for a few days, ready for a lunch on the go!

basil and hazelnut pesto

REFERENCES: 
1. Ros E. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients. 2010 Jul;2(7):652-82.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/pdf/nutrients-02-00652.pdf
2. Nuts for the Heart. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Web site. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nuts-for-the-heart/. Accessed May 4, 2018.

Mango Mousse

You may not be able to go to a tropical place right this moment, but you can enjoy a tropical food! Grab some mangoes on your way home- they're delicious, and also high in vitamins A and C!

Because of the large seed in the middle, some people don't know how to cut it, but it's really easy once you know the trick: place a mango on a cutting board with the stem end facing down. Then, place your knife to ~1/2 inch outside the center and cut down. Repeat for the other side. Without cutting through the skin, make long slices down the length of the mango, then cut crosswise to form cubes. Gently press the skin up from underneath to turn the mango inside out.

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Ripe mangoes are delicious on their own, but if you want to treat yourself with a nice dessert, try our mango mousse. Here is the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:
• 4 ripe mangoes (but and peeled)
• 1 1/3 cup condensed milk
• 2 tsp of unflavored gelatin (dissolved in ¼ cup of water)
• 2 ½ - 3 cups of light whipped cream (such as Cool Whip Lite)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Add the mangoes to a blender and puree for a few seconds.
2. Add in condensed milk and the gelatin dissolved in water. Blend until well combined.
3. Place light whipped cream in a bowl. Add the mango puree into the whipped cream and fold until well incorporated.
4. Place into the container of your choice. Keep it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
5. Top with your favorite fruits and whipped cream as desired.

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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

DIRECTIONS:
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

DIRECTIONS:
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)

DIRECTIONS:
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

DIRECTIONS:
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.