Nutrition and Fitness with Randa
17Jul/104

Zesty Potato and Edamame Salad

What do you do when you have leftovers of a few different ingredients and don't know what to do with them? You throw them all together!

That is what I did with a handful of edamame and some leftover black beans, and as I looked around the kitchen my eyes landed on some red potatoes. There came my Aha! moment, and the creation of this deliciously fresh summertime salad.  This salad was gobbled up in the first hour of making it!

Watch my video to learn how to make it with the on-hand ingredients listed below:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup edamame beans
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 6 small red potatoes, cut up
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (optional, from Trader Joe's. If you cannot find this delightful vinegar, substitute 1 tbs orange juice blended with 1 tsp organic sugar or splenda)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
Just a little F.Y.I: 1/2 tsp of dried oregano contains the same amount of antioxidants as 3 cups of raw spinach! It is also a surprising source of fiber (1 tsp has 0.8g) and bone-building vitamin K.

Serve as a side dish with chicken or fish, or on its own as a meal with a small piece of crusty bread drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Nutrients per serving (6 servings): 286 Calories, 8g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 45g Carbs, 9.7g Fiber, 4g Sugars, 12.5g Protein

Feta cheese adds a burst of flavor

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8Jul/105

Homemade Tortilla Chips

I was asked to bring chips and guacamole to a party one day, and we were out of tortilla chips. As I grabbed my keys to go to the market, I had an idea: I had corn tortillas in my freezer, why not use what I already have and make my own?

Homemade tortilla chips are so simple to make and can be adapted to any desired flavor - I love a brush of olive oil with a  sprinkling of kosher salt, garlic powder, and fresh grated parmesan cheese over the top. Toast them under a broiler, and you have just made your own tortilla chips! (I love to keep them in the oven just long enough so they get crisp on the outside, but still stay a little soft on the inside)

Until I moved to California, I had only ever bought store-made guacamole - so the freshness of avocados right off the tree is a real treat! Combine with fresh tomatoes, chopped garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice and lots of black pepper, and you've got yourself a guacamole loaded with flavor and freshness!

I have also drizzled smart balance butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon and demerara sugar (natural brown sugar) for a sweet treat!

If you have ideas on other seasoning options, make a comment!

Tortilla Chips Ingredients:(Serves 4)

  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

Nutrients per serving-16 chips (makes 64): 286 Calories, 9.2g Total Fat, 1.9g Saturated Fat, 44g Carbs, 5.9g Fiber, 0.3g Sugars, 7.5g Protein

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21Jun/105

Quinoa, the Forgotten Superfood

Before we begin, let's get this great pseudo-grain's pronunciation down! Quinoa is pronounced kinwa. Say that 5 times and you will never stumble over how to say it again!

Commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas" and of great nutritional importance.

Today, quinoa has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

We use quinoa often in meals, and so does my friend, Mari, who contributed the great recipe below. (Thanks, Mari!) Red quinoa lends a beautiful color to any dish, if you want some variety.

If YOU have a favorite quinoa recipe, or concoct one as a result of this post, please leave a comment below so that others can benefit from your recipe!

Herbed Quinoa
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' recipe)

Quinoa (regular or red quinoa):
2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the quinoa: in a medium saucepan, add the chicken stock, lemon juice and quinoa. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 12 to 15 minutes.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the quinoa until all the ingredients are coated. Transfer the quinoa to bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Great with chicken, fish or veggies. (I like the leftovers with cut up chicken, slivered almonds and dried cranberries!)

Or, for breakfast, quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food, mixed with honey, almonds and berries.

I hope you enjoy this under-utilized, high protein food as much as I do! (And don't forget to post your quinoa recipe for all of us to enjoy.)

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