Nutrition and Fitness with Randa
25Aug/1011

Lentil Bruschetta

This is an incredibly easy and versatile dish to make, not to mention fast! I have used this Lentil Bruschetta in a variety of ways - as an appetizer spooned over crusty baguette bread or crackers, mixed in with rice for a complete vegetarian meal, and as in this healthy dinner, combined with pasta.

What makes it so quick to create is both the pre-made bruschetta sauce and the pre-cooked lentils; of course, you can boil your own lentils and make your own homemade bruschetta, but when in a hurry nothing beats a few shortcuts!

With 15 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving (this pasta meal serves 6), you don't even need to add anything else (except maybe a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts - yum!) However, it would also be outstanding with a small side of grilled chicken, fish or shrimp.

If you come up with another way to use this Lentil Bruschetta, let us know!

"Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family.This tiny nutritional giant fills you up--not out."

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10Aug/105

Healthy Chocolate Raspberry Parfait

Parfait is a French word literally meaning "perfect" that began referring to a kind of frozen dessert in 1894.

So what do you eat when you want something chocolatey but want to feel good about making a healthy choice? Being summer, I wanted something cool, refreshing and light, but also rich with chocolate goodness. What I created was so good I decided to serve it at a party I threw, and it was a big hit! And what chocolate dessert can you eat that is low in fat, sugar and calories, and high in protein (at least 20 grams!)?

Dessert so delicious and fun to serve!

Oftentimes, I believe we do well making healthier choices for ourselves, but when it comes to our family or friends, we give them food we know isn't healthy. Maybe because it is cheaper or takes less time and thought, but I have come to realize that is makes ME feel good when I share health with others through food. My 'tagline' is "Sharing health, one person at a time", and this is one great way of doing so.

As always, you can modify this dessert according to your tastes, but here is my recipe for 20 individual servings. You could easily make this as a snack for you or your kids on a smaller scale.

Healthy Chocolate Raspberry Parfait

  • 64 oz. plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Chocolate protein powder (up to 60 grams of protein total) or 2 cups of powder
  • Splenda, stevia, or organic sugar for sweetening (optional based on sweetness preference)
  • 2 bags frozen or fresh unsweetened raspberries or other fruit of choice
  • 1.5 small bars of dark chocolate* (Choose dark chocolate with at least 60 % cocoa content - this ensures less sugar. If you don't know what the cocoa content is, choose a chocolate that is highest in fat compared to sugar or carbohydrates.)

1. Blend together yogurt and chocolate powder until very smooth and creamy. Mix in sweetener of choice until desired sweetness is achieved.

2. Place berries or fruit on bottom of cup or glass, and layer chocolate yogurt blend on top.

3. Grate dark chocolate bar and sprinkle shavings on top of yogurt.

4. Enjoy!

*Trader Joes sells a variety of great dark chocolate - try their organic dark chocolate truffle bar!

LOVE THIS! Nutrients per serving (20 servings): 167 Calories, 2.5g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 10g Carbs, 1.5g Fiber, 6.9g Sugars, 25.8g Protein


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23Jul/100

White Bean Quinoa Burgers

Quinoa, a great alternative to rice

Okay, so maybe I am on a quinoa kick right now, but it is such a versatile, easy, healthy food! So if you haven't tried it, I encourage you to do so!

A friend of mine, Allyson Buice, is a great cook and concocted these amazing white bean quinoa burgers. According to her mother, they taste just like turkey burgers - but without the meat!

Serve with a whole wheat bun or inside a whole wheat pita, or for a bread-free meal, wrap in crunchy lettuce pieces or atop a bed of lettuce with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) white cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa rinsed and cooked according to package
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cooked spinach/other veggies (I used leftover sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon juice, but you could use sauteed onions/shallots, whatever you like/have)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, chives and parsley)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts (very fine or in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan/romano blend
  • 1 slice multigrain bread, pulsed into bread crumbs - or panko (omit bread for GF recipe or use GF bread)
  • 1 egg white (or whole egg) beaten
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Mash the beans with a wooden spoon leaving some partial beans in tact but mostly all mashed. Add the rest of the ingredients except the egg and combine well (I used my hands to get everything mixed well). Add the egg and mix just until completely combined (don't overmix). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Form into 4 equal- size patties (or smaller if you want sliders or smaller burgers). Chill in the fridge for thirty minutes or longer so they are hold together more easily while cooking (this is great if you want to prep in the morning and prepare for dinner in the evening).

When you are ready to eat, generously coat a non stick skillet with olive oil spray or lightly coat with a tablespoon of oil and heat for a minute or so, then place the patties in the pan. Cook over medium/high heat for 4-6 minutes on each side. Placing a cover on the pan will keep the burgers moist.

You can make changes to ingredients based on what you have on hand and sub different beans and flavors to your taste.

Thanks, Allyson!

Nutrients per serving (4 servings): 287 Calories, 13g Total Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 30g Carbs, 8.6g Fiber, 1g Sugars, 15g Protein (does not include bun, lettuce, or condiments)

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