Flower Power: Quinoa with Orange Blossom Infused Strawberries

 

Meet the new darling of my kitchen, orange blossom water.

I have the Recipe Redux to thank and the June theme, Floral Flavors:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons orange blossom infused water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted dry toasted sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. 1.Place strawberries in a pie plate. Sprinkle with sugar and orange blossom  water. Allow to sit.
  2. 2. Rinse and drain quinoa. Place quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and grain appears soft and translucent and the germ ring is visible along the outside edge of the grain. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 20 minutes.
  3. 3. Add quinoa to strawberry mixture. Add coconut flakes and almonds and gently toss to combine.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 584kcal Calories from fat 178
% Daily Value
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Transfat 0g
Sodium 976mg 41%
Carbohydrate 90g 30%
Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
Sugars 23g
Protein 18g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g


Romancing the ‘Whole Diet’ Approach for Heart Health

Mejool Date & nut stuffed chicken

In honor of heart month I am happily sharing some of my favorite heart-healthy foods. As a registered dietitian, my primary focus is on nutritious foods, and I sincerely believe food is meant to be a pleasurable experience! Much of my professional time is spent helping individuals find foods they SAVOR that will also help them meet their health and fitness goals. It is far easier to embrace a lifestyle that you enjoy!

The meal I am sharing is a perfect example! There are three reasons why I relish this meal. First of all, it’s centered around foods that are heart-healthy, not just designed to eliminate those that are not. Secondly it has taste appeal! This meal will delight your taste buds and open your heart to some old and possibly new foods and/or flavors.  Finally, it’s a healthy model for nearly everyone with benefits that extend far beyond your ticker! So take heart, this mouth watering meal promotes well being for the entire family!

As you would expect, this meal is low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, and low in salt/sodium. But equally important to what is excluded, is what’s included! As a matter of fact, a recent study published in The American Journal of Medicine, conclude that the ‘whole diet’ approach has more evidence of reducing cardiovascular risk than strategies that focus exclusively on reduced dietary fat.1 So please take note- this meal contains substances that are cardio-protective including: healthy fats, fiber, phytonutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids.

My taste for scrumptious food and my affection for good nutrition collide in the this heart -healthy meal consisting of 3 dishes:

1. Main Dish: Medjool Date & Nut Stuffed Chicken.

2.  Side Dish: Brown Rice  &Pumpkin Risotto

3. Salad: Spring Mix & Spinach Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette.

1. Medjool date and nut stuffed chicken. Starting with a very lean protein source, this dish gets a boost of flavor with sweet delicious medjool dates, fresh parsely and a bit of crunchy nuttiness from walnuts. Extra virgin olive oil, a heart healthy, monounsaturated fat, is used for sauteing the stuffing mixture and brushing chicken.  The dish is finished with Za’atar, a Mediterranean spice blend, eliminating the need for additional salt and adding woody and nutty accents. This dish is baked, keeping both the calories and fat to a minimum.

Mejool Date & Nut Stuffed Chicken

Serves (serves 6)     adjust servings

Ingredients

(serves 6)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + more for brushing chicken
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsely
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon za'atar

Instructions

  1. 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 2. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add dates, bread crumbs, nuts and parsely to the onions and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. 3 Pound chicken to a ¼ inch thickness. Spread with onion nut mixture and roll up tightly. Secure with toothpicks.
  4. 4. Brush each chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle with za’atar.
  5. 5. Place chicken breasts in shallow baking dish. Add wine.
  6. 6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until chicken is browned and juices run clear. Remove toothpicks .
  7. Powered by Recipage

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 310kcal Calories from fat 86
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 129mg 5%
Carbohydrate 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 14g
Protein 33g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

Brown Rice & Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1-Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1-cup brown rice, short grain
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock(use Pacific Natural Foods Free Range Broth for Gluten Free)
  • 1 /4- teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. 1.In a medium saucepan, heat oil and gently cook onions until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. 2. Add rice and heat until fragrant, stirring often to prevent scorching.
  3. 3. Add pumpkin, broth, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and cook for 45 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking as needed.
  4. 4. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley. Fluff with a fork to combine
  5. IMG_7839 copy
  6. 3. Spring Mix & Spinach Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette. A salad made with dark leafy greens is one of the foods you can eat regularly to improve your health.  Spinach and red leaf lettuce are brimming with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (plant based substances that may protect you from not only cardiovascular disease, but diabetes and some cancers). Celery and apples add crunch. The tartness of the fresh lemon vinaigrette pairs well with the sweetness of the fresh and dried fruit. Its’ citrus notes are also a nice complement to the za’atar used on the chicken, helping to not only enhance but unify the taste experience.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 1240kcal Calories from fat 258
% Daily Value
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 1072mg 45%
Carbohydrate 210g 70%
Dietary Fiber 16g 64%
Sugars 32g
Protein 37g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

Spring Mix & Spinach Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients

for the salad

  • 4 cups spring mix
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 Pink Lady apple, quatered and chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons craisins

for the lemon vinaigrette

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Monk Fruit in the Raw
  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola oil

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, vinegar, water, salt, sugar and monk fruit. Whisk in shallots and canola oil.
  2. Arrange salad greens in large bowl. Top with craisins, sliced celery and chopped apple slices. Pour lemon vinaigrette over top and toss gently. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 467kcal Calories from fat 262
% Daily Value
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Transfat 0g
Sodium 1089mg 45%
Carbohydrate 53g 18%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 35g
Protein 5g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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