It’s BBQ season and though I love grilling the traditional burgers and hot dogs, I wanted to get away from the usual and do something different. These Blackened Fish Tacos are perfect with a Garlic Sriracha Aioli. A flavorful rub, crunchy carrot and cabbage slaw, the aioli to cool things down a bit and the jalapeños to add just a kick at the end of each bite is the perfect summer combination for me.
These fish tacos are a great example of a healthy-ish meal. I’ve made them so many times before and they are such a hit that by the time the fish is grilled and chopped, the tacos are made and I don’t have anything left to take pictures because it’s all eaten! I finally made some for a BBQ with my friend Michelle and her family but told them they had to wait after I made them so I could take pictures – seriously she is such an awesome friend to put up with me making her stare at her food while I’m clicking away!
WHAT FISH DO I USE?
I like to use white fish, usually tilapia or cod. When you are at your grocery store, just ask your fishmonger for their best wild caught (and sustainable is available) white fish. I’ve used both tilapia and cod for this recipe and both turn out delicious for the end result.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?
I keep the slaw simple to let the flavors of the rub on the fish and the aioli shine. All I did for the slaw is shred some carrots and mix it in with finely chopped purple cabbage, a little salt, pepper, some honey, and a squeeze or two of lime juice. So simple right?!
For the Aioli, I spent a little more time developing the flavors. I roasted garlic, used yogurt instead of sour cream to make it healthy-ish, mix in some lite mayo (this is the “ish” addition to the healthy part), add in a bit of sriracha, and again a squeeze of lime juice to pull it together.
For toppings, again, keep it simple with a garnish of chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeños.
So, don’t wait! For your next BBQ night, dinner party, or Taco Tuesday, try out these delicious Blackened Fish Tacos with a Garlic Sriracha Aioli.
Artichokes are abundant everywhere you go these days. My favorite are the ones from our local Farmer’s Market. You can taste the fresh quality and they are so much easier to cook than the store bought ones.
When I first starting eating these, my roommate in college introduced me to dipping them in butter. While they tasted good dipped in butter, I can only imagine all of the calories and cholesterol my body was ingesting. So I started using yogurt as a dipping base instead and I love it. The yogurt dip is so easy to change the flavor profile and I can keep it as simple or complex as I am in the mood for. This particular recipe, I kept it on the simple side with a little roasted garlic, cayenne, and salt mixed into the yogurt.
The traditional way of eating artichokes is by steaming them. I could (and actually have) eaten many whole artichokes all by myself. The husband used to eat them but eventually tired of steamed artichokes and stopped. I really wanted to him to share my love for artichokes so I’ve been trying many other ways to cook them. I’ve roasted (and burnt) them in the oven, stuffed them with various fillings that just didn’t hit the spot before I created this recipe.
All I can say is, you have got to try it! Oh man am I excited to share this stuffed artichoke recipe. Here are a couple of tips though when you are making these artichokes:
Get fresh artichokes from your local Farmer’s Market. Trust me it makes a difference. The time spent cooking, the quality in taste, and the ease of prepping the artichokes are worth it!
When you are prepping your artichoke, slice off the top quarter of the vegetable and make sure you trim off the ends of each leaf. Using your hands, gently push apart the leaves to create a wider space in the center for the heart to hold more of the stuffing.
Put some muscle into removing the choke. Having stretched the artichoke to be able to hold the filling, it will be easier to remove the choke and the hair-like filaments.
Well….. what is the stuffing? Oh man, the most delicious and easiest to make. I used:
red onion (the color comes out so pretty)
bread crumbs (a combination of Italian seasoned and panko)
garlic (of course!)
vegetable broth (though you could replace it with white wine – the taste would still be excellent)
a hint of pepper
Because I am stuffing the artichoke, I also did a 2 step cook. First, I par-steamed the artichoke while I made the stuffing, then I baked it all in the oven to finish cooking the artichoke and get that glorious color on the Parmesan cheese.
I really hope you get a chance to try this recipe out as it has become one of my favorites already!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Italian Stuffed Artichoke with a Garlic Cayenne Dip.
Italian Stuffed Artichoke with a Garlic Cayenne Dip
Fill a steamer pot with a 4 inches of water, and place a steamer basket on top. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp of the lemon juice in the steamer pot.
Place the artichoke, stem-end up, in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until it is tender, about 15 minutes.
Check for doneness by pulling off an outer leaf — it should come off fairly easily. Set them aside to cool.
While the artichokes are steaming, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat. Let it simmer until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Pour in the remaining lemon juice and the vegetable broth. Stir and let this simmer on low heat for about 4 minutes.
Add the bread crumbs, panko and parsley, mix well.
Remove from heat and season to taste with pepper and set aside to cool.
Place the artichoke, sitting on its base, in a baking dish.
Use a spoon and/or your hands to carefully fill the center of each artichoke with the stuffing -- fill it to maximum capacity! (If you think there's too much stuffing, don't worry just pack it in.) Then fill all of the spaces between the leaves as much as possible. Sprinkle the top of each one with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan.
Meanwhile, placet the garlic cloves in a double lined foil. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap into a ball.
Place the garlic and stuffed artichoke in the oven and bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese has melted, approximately 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let artichoke cool for a few minutes.
In a bowl, whip yogurt to a smooth, creamy consistency.
Add in the roasted garlic and mash into the yogurt. Add in the salt and cayenne pepper and mix well.
Serve the whole artichoke with the garlic cayenne dip for presentation. Slice in half to make 2 servings.
One of my favorite times of the year is the spring when the Farmer’s Market starts to get bigger with more and more farmers who start to bring a larger variety of produce and goodies. I’ve mentioned in the past that I like to make a menu for the week (more so my kids don’t complain they want something else than what is served), but what I haven’t mentioned is how I love going to the Farmer’s Market to do my weekly produce shopping. Sometimes, I will even tailor some of my dishes to include produce I find at the Market.
Recently, I partnered with our local Farmer’s Market (Danville Farmer’s Market) and I will be creating recipes for them a few times a month in the hopes that I can bring awareness to locally farmed produce at all of our farmer’s market. Having fresh, organic produce and supporting the local farms is a win-win.
This Spring Crudites Platter is so beautiful, we all had a bit of hard time digging in. No one wanted to mess it up. Ah well, our stomachs won that round. The beauty of this platter is that you are not restricted to the same produce I picked up. Pick up what your farmer’s market has, just make it colorful.
Here is what I used:
Purple Cauliflower (chop these into big chunks)
Rainbow Baby Carrots (trim the stems off and save to make pesto – be sustainable!)
Watermelon Radishes (slice these a little thick into rounds to give a beautiful effect)
Cucumbers (I sliced these on the diagonal for aesthetics. Feel free to slice into rounds or sticks to make them easier to serve)
As for the hummus, I chose purple sweet potato and red beets to be the base of each hummus. For the Red Beets, I roasted it with garlic, then pulsed it with a little tahini and a few other ingredients. This is by far one of my favorite variations on hummus. Paired with all that beautiful produce, it’s perfect!
For the Purple Sweet Potato, I baked it in the oven then pulsed it with tahini as well. Though the idea behind both hummus’ are the same, the flavor profile differ vastly. Yet both are addicting.
I hope you have a chance to make a beautiful Spring Crudites Platter like this for your next gathering. I promise you will love it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Place sweet potatoes, beets, and garlic in individual foil sheets. Drizzle beets and garlic with olive oil. Wrap each food tightly into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove and let cool before opening the foil wraps.
For the Sweet Potato Hummus:
Remove foil wrap and peel skin. Chop into rough chunks and add to food processor. Add roasted garlic cloves and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley, a drizzle of oil, and/or roasted chickpeas.
For the Roasted Beet and Garlic Hummus:
Remove beets from foil and chop into rought chunks.
Add into food processor with roasted garlic and the remaining ingredients.
Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes)
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with roasted chickpeas, toasted sesame seeds, and/or a drizzle of olive oil.
To Assemble the Crudites platter:
Place the bowls of the hummus in the center of the platter. Add the larger veggies first, i.e. cauliflower and carrots.
Fill in with medium sized veggies, i.e. cucumbers and snap peas.
Add the smaller veggies, i.e. radishes and cherry tomatoes.
Finally garnish with watermelon radish slices and edible flowers if you have any.
**Note: I used a whole bulb of garlic and divided between the two hummus dips as I knew I was making them at the same time (and a little extra garlic is always appreciated). If you are making only one hummus dip, follow the instructions of roasting cloves instead of the whole bulb.
Crisp, cold watermelon tossed with tangy feta and fresh mint is the perfect summertime salad to have on a hot day. This refreshing salad is a great side to have with grilled chicken, steak, and even hamburgers! Continue reading “Summertime Watermelon Salad”→
If I had to choose any other fruit besides mango, figs would definitely take second place. The soft exterior, the honey sweet flesh, and the crunch of the seeds as you eat each one is just heaven. Pair it with chia pudding topped with fresh baked granola and garnished with a sprig of mint, well, you just won’t want anything else for breakfast! Continue reading “Fig and Chia Pudding Parfait”→
Vibrant, fresh, mildly spicy, and packed with flavor, this Cilantro Chutney is a necessity in Indian cuisine. This particular chutney is made using fresh cilantro, mint, curry leaves, green chilies, cashews and spices. Continue reading “Cilantro Chutney”→
This one pan salmon is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. Ready in 15 minutes, it’s a nutritious meal the whole family will enjoy!
I love the idea of using just one pot or a pan. Not only is cleanup easy but you don’t spend forever in the kitchen cooking after a long hard day of work. Don’t get me wrong, the kitchen is my happy place. But weeknights are crazy when the kids are hungry and don’t have the patience to wait for me to cook an elaborate dinner.
My favorite part is that the girls eat the rainbow veggies I add on the side. The colors look so pretty and the girls love their rainbows as much as I do. Chopping the veggies and seasoning them doesn’t take very long and adding that glaze on the salmon with a little honey and mustard mix is perfect to brighten up the salmon.
I kept the seasoning for the veggies pretty simple – salt, pepper, and a little dried oregano. Why? Because I want the salmon to shine too. The veggies have their color that attracts you to them so the salmon should have something too, right? The glaze is very easy to make. Just mix a little dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and of course fresh squeezed lemon juice. Brush it on to the salmon and voila! All that is left to do is bake!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious One Pan Salmon with Rainbow Veggies!
Line up all the veggies on a sheet pan as well as the salmon filets.
Drizzle the oil over all of the veggies, and then season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Gently mix to make sure the seasonings have evenly coated the veggies.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the glaze and whisk well to emulsify.
Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze onto the salmon (if you are using skinless salmon, make sure to brush both sides of the salmon).
Bake for 13-15 minutes in the oven then remove.
Let cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Notes: *I prefer to use fresh salmon for this recipe, however, if you are using frozen salmon, make sure to thaw it at room temperature to allow for even cooking time. *If you would like a crispy crust, stop baking 1-2 minutes early, change oven setting to broil and keep in oven for another 2-3 minutes after the baking time is over. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to eat any vegetable. Having several different colors and cooking them together is the best in my book! You get plenty of vitamins and minerals and the different colors are just so pretty to look at! These Roasted Rainbow Veggies are the perfect way to serve your veggies for adults and kids, making them fun, easy, and healthy.
Rainbows have always been popular in our home, with me always telling my girls to eat their colors and the girls loving anything to do with rainbows, unicorns, and princesses. Roasting the veggies in a rainbow on a sheet pan is about the easiest recipe I have ever made. The vast array of vitamins and minerals that we get to eat with our dinner makes this one of my healthiest recipes.
For my colors, I chose beets, carrots, yellow squash, asparagus, and purple potato. You don’t have to stick to those same colors. Honestly, go for what you find in your fridge. Here are a few ideas to get you started for your own Roasted Rainbow Veggies:
RED: beets, tomatoes, red bell pepper
ORANGE: carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin
YELLOW: yellow squash, yellow bell pepper, golden beets, yellow onions
GREEN: zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts
BLUE/PURPLE: purple sweet potatoes, purple carrots, eggplant, purple onions
So now that you have options, how do you make your own Roasted Rainbow Veggies? All you need is a good chopping board, a sharp knife, and a sheet pan. As to the flavors, my standard is to add a little dried oregano for taste with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (times do vary based on the type of veggies you choose), and serve it up with any dinner.
I can’t wait to see what veggies you chose to make your rainbow. Be sure to let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram or Facebook!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these quick, delicious, and healthy Roasted Rainbow Veggies!
Spring is almost here. I can feel it in the air and I’m so excited! It’s one of my favorite seasons when all the flowers bloom, the grass is luscious green, and the weather is perfect! This amazing lentil salad is a nod to that feeling and to welcome spring in my life because I cannot wait a moment longer.
Perfectly cooked, tender lentils, crisp and juicy bell peppers, fresh mint, sweet pomegranates, sharp onions, the crunchy cucumbers all drizzled with a fresh basil vinaigrette. How can you say no to that? While the lentils are cooking, you can chop the veggies and make the vinaigrette so all you have to do is toss the salad together when the lentils are done. Make this on the weekend as part of your meal prep, have it for lunch, or even serve it for dinner as a side. It’s so versatile, quick, easy, and delicious.
Not only does this wonderful lentil salad taste good and is quick to make, it is packed with protein and nutrients. Check it out:
Great source of protein – 13 gm per serving
23% DRI of Fiber
30% DRI of Iron
24% DRI of Phosphorous
77% DRI of Vit. C
127% DRI of Folic Acid
60% DRI of Vit. K
In addition to how nutrient dense this salad is and delicious it is to gobble up, I love how versatile it is. Add in some goat cheese for a little decadence, change out the mint to parsley if the mint is too strong for you, add in a few more veggies for more crunch or even toss in some nuts if you please.
So… try out this delicious Springtime Lentil Salad and welcome the new season with me!
If you have been following me then you know how much I love my bowls. Experimenting with different flavor profiles, playing around with new dressings, and oftentimes using whatever vegetables are left in the fridge waiting to be saved from their last moments are the best part of creating my new bowl.
My brussels sprouts were facing a similar fate as mentioned above. I had enough left that I could create a whole new dish with just them, but so few that I didn’t want to waste them either. Grain bowls are perfect for these types of situations especially if you are using a variety of different ingredients.
This one turned out so delicious that I actually went out and bought more brussels sprouts even though I am trying to move on to spring veggies! We’ve now had this bowl 4 times in the last 2 weeks and no one in my household minds – in fact, they love it !
I added in some sweet potato for a little starch, sweetness, and fiber, and avocado for protein. As for the dressing, keeping it simple was the best route. I made a honey dijon dressing that worked wonders. The tang from the dijon and the sweet honey are a perfect balance to the bowl.
So…what are you waiting for? Try this delicious Brussels Sprouts Grain Bowl and become a fan too!
Growing up, my Mom would make these sprouted moong beans for dinner often. I remember my brother and I were not big fans and would hate eating them. Now that I’m an adult, maybe a switch has flipped? I don’t know but I definitely love this recipe and could easily eat this dish 2-3 times a week. Thanks Mom!
WHAT ARE SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Sprouted moong beans are basically moong beans that have been soaked in water then left in a warm place to germinate. They are very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking though many people across the globe are starting to embrace this food more and more.
Some of the more popular ways to eat sprouted moong beans is to add them in to salads and sandwiches, however, some of the more traditional ways to make them is to make a curry, a sabzi, and even dosas out of these delicious babies.
WHY SHOULD I EAT SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Because they are a powerhouse of nutrients. These legumes are one of the best sources of plant based protein providing ~14gm in 1 cup cooked. Take a look at some of these other benefits:
Fiber: 15.4 grams
Folate (B9): 80% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Manganese: 30% of the RDI
Magnesium: 24% of the RDI
Vitamin B1: 22% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 20% of the RDI
Iron: 16% of the RDI
Copper: 16% of the RDI
Potassium: 15% of the RDI
Zinc: 11% of the RDI
WHERE CAN I GET SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Moong Beans are easy to sprout at home (I love this method provided by Piping Pot Curry) or you can find them at your local Indian or Asian grocery store.
So now that you know what I know about these delicious and nutritious legumes, let me tell you how to make them. This particular recipe is my mom’s (I’ve not made a single change to it because it’s so perfect the way it is!) and I love the simplicity of it as it carries a depth of flavor too.
There are two methods of making this dish. One is in the instant pot and the other over the stove. I’ve given both versions in the recipe card below so feel free to try both to see which you prefer!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Sprouted Moong Beans as much as we do!
These skewers are by far one of my favorite snacks! Often times, if I am hosting a party, they usually make an appearance. The best part, my girls love to eat them too (minus the basil and glaze)! Super easy to assemble, healthy, and 5 simple ingredients. You really can’t beat that!
For the skewers, I kept the Basil in the caprese, but the addition of rosemary gives it a little boost. Rosemary can be strong which is why just the hint from the skewers is perfect here. Bite sized, creamy mozzarella, tangy grape tomatoes, sharp basil, the sweet balsamic glaze finished off by fresh rosemary is definitely going to be one of the best foods I eat today!
Making the balsamic glaze is pretty simple too! I used to be nervous about making the glaze because it seemed too daunting. Then one day, I figured, I’ll try it and see what happens. I can’t believe I was ever so nervous! Literally I’m boiling balsamic vinegar with a little brown sugar and that’s pretty much it! Oh.My.God. It tastes so good, I could drizzle this glaze on pretty much anything!
So what are you waiting for? Try out these delicious skewers and impress your guests with a fancy-ish appetizer!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Rosemary Caprese Skewers with a Balsamic Glaze.
The holidays this year have been as non-traditional as possible but that hasn’t kept many of us from cooking and baking our favorite foods. I have definitely been doing my share of baking, cooking and eating massive amounts of desserts, drinks, and carbs. As always, this leads me to making New Year’s resolutions which have standards that are set too high. Instead of setting impossible standards and going on an extreme diet, one of my resolutions is to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods. Less processed, more home made where I can control the ingredients, especially the salt and sugar.
To help “reboot” our bodies and cleanse it of the all the heavy (and mostly unhealthy) foods eaten over the holidays, I’ve compiled a list of 21 Healthy Recipes to Kick Start the New Year. It is my sincere hope that this list will help you eat healthier without having to sacrifice great taste. Welcome to 2021 everyone!
Breakfast Oat Muffins
An easy make ahead, these delicious oat muffins are versatile and fun to make with kids. Grab one on your way to work, school, or your home office!
Almond Coconut Porridge
A delicious porridge that you can make ahead the night before and add so many healthy toppings to, this Almond Coconut Porridge is the perfect healthy start to your day!
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Steel cut oats cooked with apples and cinnamon to give you a creamy apple pie taste are one of our favorite types of oats. Try them out and you will want a bowl of this Apple Pie Oatmeal over and over again!
Breakfast Soufflé Bites
These easy egg bites filled with fresh and healthy veggies. Perfect to make ahead, freeze and reheat for busy mornings.
Sweet Potato and Beet Hash with Fried Eggs
A superfood dish that can be used for breakfast or brunch, this delicious meal is the perfect start to any day. Packed with fiber, non-dairy calcium, beets help fight inflammation, detox the body, and boost energy!
Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad
The perfect winter salad that keeps you full, nourished and packs a punch with a variety of flavors and textures, this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great lunch or dinner option!
Rainbow Fajita Bowl
Filled with colorful and fresh veggies, this healthy bowl is low on carbs and calories but provides a good source of nutrition.
Paneer Cabbage Cups
A fun healthy option with a bit of Indian fusion, these Paneer Cabbage Cups are light and filling.
Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles
Who says waffles have to be for breakfast only? Or that they have to be sweet? These savory lentil waffles are filled with 4 different types of lentils and lots of veggies. Have a couple with a side of Masala Salsa or Chutney, you can’t go wrong!
15 minute Masala Pasta
Make a batch of this pasta sauce filled with veggies and delicious spices to freeze and use for any meal. Combine it with your gluten free or fresh pasta and you will have a veggie loaded pasta that even fussy kids will eat in less than 15 minutes!
A light and healthy salad, this Carpaccio is very simple to make and disappears just as quickly! A great afternoon snack or side salad, you must try this!
Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad
Packed with protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruit, this delicious salad is perfect to take to work or have on the side with a meal!
A nutrient-dense salad that is light to eat and will make you wanting more, it’s very simple and quick to put together.
Roasted Masala Chickpeas
A healthy snack that will keep you going when you have munchies in the afternoon. Store these in an air tight container and enjoy whenever your tummy desires!
Roasted Chili Almonds
Another great snack to have or one to add to a cheese board, these Roasted Chili Almonds take only 5 minutes to make. Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.
Rainbow Lentil Stew
This stew is filled with fresh, colorful veggies that are packed with nutrition and flavor. You can make it in a dutch oven or slow cooker and enjoy it for one of the many rainy days ahead this winter and spring.
Sweet & Spicy Harvest Bowl
Just as it’s name implies, there are plenty of sweet and spicy notes in this bowl. Beets, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, and pears over a bed of quinoa is just the beginning of the deliciousness here. The veggies are roasted with chipotle powder to give it hints of spicy and smoky that bring together the perfect amount of pepper.
On a consistent rotation in our home, this Spinach Dal has becoming popular. Taking only 10 minutes to make, you can’t go wrong with this delicious Indian lentil dish.
Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
This Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash is filled with fruits and veggies and topped with a delicious Apple Cider Vinaigrette, every bite will burst with a multitude of flavors.
Easy Chicken Ramen with GF Noodles
For those rainy nights, this Ramen is the perfect way to cuddle up and enjoy a warm broth filled with veggies and gluten free fresh pasta noodles. The best part, it takes less than 30 minutes to make!
Tandoori Gobi (Cauliflower) Zucchini Boats
A fun fusion dish that is filled with the traditional Tandoori flavor. Roasted in the oven then broiled, the cauliflower give hints of the charred smoky flavor combined with the Tandoori marinade. Serve it with a side of cooling Mint-y Pomegranate Raita and be prepared to have your taste buds take a trip to India!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this list of healthy recipes to kick start your New Year! I’m going to be adding more to continue our journey of healthy eating. In the meantime, tag me when you make a recipe of mine on Facebook or Instagram or feel free to leave a comment below. Let me know what recipes you would like to see also.
I wish all of you a Happy New Year filled with lots of healthy eating (and a little not so healthy eating).
This fall and winter season I have been obsessed with acorn squash and pomegranates. It only made sense that I find a way to combine the two together. The girls love the rainbow shape this takes on when cut so I wanted to create something fun for them too.
The great thing about acorn squash is that it is a little sweet naturally but it will still take on any flavor you give it. If you haven’t tried them yet, I made some Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos recently with acorn squash part of the filling. It took on the spices really well so I wanted to go on the opposite spectrum this time and season it with something a little more mild.
I chose mostly fresh herbs that would bring out the more earthy flavors. To help give it a little crust, I also added a little Parmesan.
Anyways, here are a few fun nutrition facts about acorn squash:
A nutrient dense food, acorn squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber yet is comparatively low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Great source of phytonutrients, particularly carotenoids which have antioxidant properties.
Acorn squash is a starchy fruit, however, because it is so nutrient dense, there’s a good balance to eating this squash. The high fiber content slows down digestion which helps you stay full longer and slows down the release of glucose in your blood. This process helps in maintaining weight and stabilizing your blood sugar.
So now that you know about my favorite squash this season, let’s move on to my favorite fruit of the season.
Pomegranates are known as one of the healthiest fruits on Earth!
High in fiber (7gms in 1 cup of arils), they also contain an impressive amount of protein (3gm in 1 cup of arils), and 16% of DRI of Folate (also in 1 cup of arils)
A great source of antioxidants which help with anti-inflammatory properties.
they improve exercise performance by delaying fatigue and increasing blood flow.
Basically, this is one healthy dish that you can have this winter season and enjoy every bite of it! Try it out and tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios.
Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios
I think hands down, these are one of my favorite holiday foods. I’ve had so many and I don’t think I can tire of them. Snacking is one of my favorite activities. These delicious tostadas make it so much easier as they are low in calorie, healthy, and guilt-free.
High in fiber, antioxidants, a good source of protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals, these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas definitely pack a punch!
Between the Serrano peppers and the watermelon radish, there were some strong flavors. I knew I wanted to use the pomegranate arils to give it a sweet note (and make it look pretty).
But it needed depth so I played around with a few options before settling on the hummus and avocado. And yet the radish was still giving off a bit of a pungent taste and therein comes the smear of pesto.
There are so many random flavors that they work despite wanting to prove the opposite.
Make these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas this holiday season and you won’t be able to stop eating them. From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy them!
We are a taco loving family. I started the kids out simple with the basic filling of either ground meat or refried beans and some veggies and lots of cheese. Though we love the basics, which often times provide a sense of comfort and nostalgia, I wanted to try something new.
Definitely no beans or meat.
I know, but trust me! This is amazing! You want to know why I say this? I had to make it 5 times before I was able to get a single photo of it taken. The first time I made it, these tacos flew so fast, I didn’t even realize what happened. This also happened the second, third, and fourth time. The fifth time, I made it well in advance so no one could get into them and I could actually take a photo to share with you my enthusiasm around these tacos.
So, I fire roasted the poblanos to give it a more earthy, smoky flavor. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can totally do this on your BBQ grill or even in the oven. You will still get that amazing smoky flavor, I promise!
Instead of beans or meat, I chose to use acorn squash to roast with ancho chili and chipotle powder. These peppers give it a kick without making it too spicy and also enhance that smoky flavor, especially from the chipotle pepper powder.
I’m not done though! Making this go one step further, I made a Habanero Crema with avocados, roasted garlic and a little yogurt to balance out the habaneros.
Serve it with microgreens instead of lettuce or cabbage, and top it off with a little salsa verde, and you have what I think is one of the most amazing tacos of the year!
Seriously, I’m just going to stop now and give you the recipe. You really have to try it.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos.
4 habanero chilis, stems removed (remove seeds and ribs to cut down on spice)
8 cloves garlic, whole
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Double line aluminum foil and add the 8 whole garlic cloves for the crema. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the pieces of foil in to cover the garlic cloves and create a ball. Place on one side of the baking sheet.
On the other side of the baking sheet, line the acorn squash, drizzle it with 1 Tbsp olive oil, season with ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Massage gently to make sure each cube is coated.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly coat the poblanos with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Turn the stove on to high flame and roast the poblanos to get a nice black char. When they are done, place in a paper bag for 2-3 minutes to steam them.
Take them out of the paper bag and with a paper towel, gently rub the charred skin off. It's ok if there are some remnants. This will just enhance the flavor. Slice the poblanos into strips, including the seeds. Set these aside to use later.
On medium flame, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and add the onions and salt. Cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
Add in the minced garlic and oregano and saute for another minute.
Add corn and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the poblano peppers, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Mix well and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
When the acorn squash is done, add into the Poblano filling.
Mix then set aside.
For the Habanero Crema:
In a blender, add the roasted garlic, habanero, lime juice, avocado, yogurt, salt and pepper. Blend into a thick crema. If it is too thick, Add 1 Tbsp water at a time to thin it out.
Warm street taco tortillas over the stove
Spread about 1 Tbsp of the Habanero Crema on the tortilla
Add a handful of microgreens then top with the poblano filling.
Sprinkle a little feta crumble over the top
Drizzle with salsa verde
Add a lime wedge to the side and serve right away.
I’ve made zucchini boats a few times so far. Each time has been to use up leftovers from our Skinny Skillet Enchilada the previous night. They turn out really good and Sanaya loves them but it’s the same flavor profile so as much as I love it, I still crave something a little different.
I knew I wanted to create a different filling and haven’t done much with Indian food lately so I played around with my options. I kept circling back to this one idea of Tandoori Gobi as the stuffing. I’m not sure where I thought of it but it wouldn’t go away so I decided, ok, let’s give it a try.
I have a great Tandoori marinade recipe that I have been using with chicken so I decided, to use the same for the cauliflower. I treated the cauliflower as the chicken substitute and marinated it overnight also.
The cooking part was a little tricky as I didn’t want a soggy Zucchini Boat and the marinade definitely looked like it would promise a lot of liquid. Simple trick, I baked them separately, then stuffed the zucchini with the cauliflower and broiled it on high for 5 minutes to get a good char. Can I just say, Oh so delicious!
Also, please don’t throw out the flesh of the zucchini when you scoop it out to create the cavity for the cauliflower. Let’s be sustainable here and make some Zucchini Bread out of it!
One more thing I love about this recipe is that it is totally a weeknight meal. So the time on the recipe card may be a little daunting, but it’s the ease of it. And most of the time you spend is waiting for the flavors to marinate. It really takes maybe 15 minutes to put the marinade together, then the next day, 5 minutes to shell out the Zucchini and the rest of the time, you are waiting for it to finish baking. Honestly, it can’t get any easier for a weeknight meal.
Add in the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Mix well to combine all of the spices.
Toss in the cauliflower florets and stir to make sure each floret is coated completely.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and preferably, overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim ends of zucchini and slice in half. Scoop out flesh and save to make Zucchini Bread.
Rub oil over all 4 Zucchini boats, then season with the remaining 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp black pepper.
Bake separately but at the same time, the cauliflower and zucchini boats for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and stuff the Zucchini Boats with the Tandoori Gobi.
Broil on high for 5 minutes or until you get a slight char on the cauliflower.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chaat masala over the the boats.
Serve hot with your favorite raita!
**Bake the cauliflower and zucchini boats in separate baking sheets if possible. When you stuff the boats and return the baking sheet to the oven to broil, the remnants of the tandoori paste will burn on the pan if you are using the same pan.
Warm foods during the cold winter days just makes so much sense. And I don’t just mean temperature but the actual foods and their properties.
When you eat warm foods, they take longer to digest because they are higher in healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates which in turn results in increased body temperature (thermogenesis). Root veggies, fruits such as coconut and apples, and herbs and spices are a few examples of these types of foods.
This Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great combination of many of those warm foods and the fact that it’s filled with flavor, texture, sweet, and spicy makes this that much more of a delicious dish.
This is perfect to make as an entree or a side dish, or serve it up in mini bowls/plates as an appetizer. A small amount will take you a long way as the salad is very filling.
I honestly think this is one of the most nutrient dense recipes I have. Here are a few healthy benefits from this one:
Rich in Fiber and Protein
Packed with antioxidants
Boosts Immune System
Good source of Vit. C, E, and B6
Good source of Calcium, Iron, and Folate
Good source of omega 3 and carotenoids which have anti-inflammatory effects beneficial to all types of arthritis (Butternut Squash)
Boost in energy level (Lentils)
The list can literally go on about how healthy this salad is, which only adds to the deliciousness of it.
From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad.
1/4 c salad topping mix or a combination of pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-3 sprigs thyme
5 Tbsp oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 tsp salt, divided
1 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
For the lentils, bring to boil 4 c water. Add in 1 tsp salt, ginger, onion, turmeric, thyme sprigs, ground coriander, and cinnamon. stir well to combine. Add in the lentils and give it a good stir. Cover and reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 40 minutes.
When the lentils are cooked, remove branch of thyme, and drain any remaining water. Set aside.
Line the baking sheet with the squash and brussels sprouts. Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and paprika. Gently massage through to make sure all the veggies are coated evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallot, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
To assemble, toss the brussels sprouts and butternut squash with the lentils. Add in the dijon dressing and toss gently.
Divide evenly in bowls. Top with apples, avocados, salad topping, feta, and pomegranate arils.
**Salad topping mix is available in most grocery stores. If you are not able to find any, don't stress. Replace it with 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds and 2 Tbsp craisins.
The year was 2013, I had been married only a couple of months and was hosting this grand Thanksgiving for my in-laws. My mother-in-law is vegetarian as am I and so I wanted something special for a veggie dish at the table instead of roasted veggies.
No offense to roasted veggies, I love them. In fact I eat them all the time and therein lies the problem. I wanted something “fancy”, something different that I don’t have on any given night.
So I scoured the internet and landed upon this gorgeous picture of Ratatouille and thought, I can make this! And I did. It didn’t look so pretty but hey, that’s ok, I hoped it would taste delicious though. It was bland. There literally was no flavor profile to it and safe to say, both my mother-in-law and I were disappointed.
She was nice enough to pretend it was good but I couldn’t even do that!
So ever since, I’ve been on a mission to create a Ratatouille that has layers and dimensions of flavor. Safe to say, I think I found it!
Here’s the secret!
Make a sauce that keeps everyone wanting to lick it off the plate
Season the top of the veggies and not just with salt and pepper! With actual herbs!
Make enough sauce so that veggies are half drenched in it and the rest will cook in the steam of the boiling sauce in the oven.
I have been playing with the recipe for a while now and when I made the final version, I was satisfied aesthetically. The question was, would my girls eat the eggplant in it?
Recently, they’ve become very finicky eaters and it can be a real struggle to feed them even their favorite foods sometimes. But they both ate all the veggies and I couldn’t have been a prouder Mama!
Try this out for your next Holiday dinner, weeknight surprise, or Sunday dinner. It’s easy to make ahead, stores in the fridge and freezer well and is fairly simple to make!