Heart Healthy Quinoa Greek Salad

image.jpegJune is Stroke Awareness Month. As the Nutritionist for Sobeys, we are partnering with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to offer you Wellness classes every Monday night of June. Last night our first class topic covered the basic of eating healthy, cholesterol, and nutrition tips that may help reduce your risk of stroke.

image.jpeg

The recipe that I prepared for my Heart and Stroke class last night was a Quinoa Greek Salad that I had altered from the Heart and Stroke’s recipe online. This recipe is fresh, easy, and delicious for summer. It ensures to include all the heart healthy ingredients and can be used as a main dish or a side to any dinner.

I made sure to add in a few of my favourite items. For example:

Chickpeas: A great plant-based source of protein and fibre. The bean I’m sure you know by now is my ultimate favourite! This item has 13g of fibre per 1 cup. 

Avocados: A great source of heart healthy unsaturated fats and soluble fibre (6.7g fibre per 1/2 avocado).

Red & Green Pepper: Peppers have high antioxidant and vitamin C content. This means they will fight off pollutants (free radicals) in the body that can cause cell damage.

Black Olives: Are low in a cholesterol. A source of dietary fibre, iron and copper. However, olives are high in sodium. Make sure to rinse and drain the olives before using them in this recipe and don’t overdo it. Slice them in to thirds to make a smaller amount go a long way.

Heart Healthy Quinoa Greek Salad Recipe

(Serves 10 people as a side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cook and chill
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup green pepper, diced
  • ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onion, diced
  • ¼ cup black olives
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • ½ avocado, sliced, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese (reduced fat if available), rinse and drain to remove sodium.
  • Optional: Add a fibre and protein boost with ¼ cup rinsed and drained chickpeas or add a salted crunch with roasted chickpeas!

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp basil fresh
  • Ground sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, cook 1 cup dry quinoa as per package instructions.
  2. When quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in the refrigerator while you are preparing the rest of your ingredients.
  3. Prepare diced vegetables and crumble feta cheese.
  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir the veggies and cheese into the cooled quinoa.
  6. Pour the dressing over quinoa mixture and toss.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Take aways from our class: 

  • Choose foods lower in sodium (less than 15% Daily Value, always read the nutrition facts label!)
  • Choose healthy fats (UNSATURATED fats), avoid saturated and trans fats where possible.
  • Choose high fibre foods, soluble fibre has been found to have a greater impact in lowering cholesterol compared to insoluble fibre
  • Choose lean protein sources: fish, chicken, turkey, lean meats
  • Avoid highly processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Watch out for canned food items, they tend to be high in sodium
  • Limit added sugars: less than 12 tsp or 48g of added sugar a day!!

 

Thank you all so much to those of you who came out to our first Heart and Stroke Awareness Month Class at Stratford Sobeys last night! It was so much fun sharing my knowledge with all of you who are so eager to learn. We will be offering these classes every Monday night at 6:30 PM here. Please email me for more information if you are local and would like to attend! brooke@ateaspoonofbliss.com

 

Roasted Pear & Goat Cheese Salad

roasted pear and goat cheese salad.JPG

Ingredients (serves ~6):

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. brown rice syrup
  • 1-2 bartlett pears
  • 1 cup. fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup goat’s cheese
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • Nonna Pia’s  Classic Balsamic Reduction to taste– found at Costco

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, add in sliced pears and pecans, drizzled with 2 tbsp. maple syrup and 1 tbsp. brown rice syrup. Turn temperature to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil (when it starts bubbling). Lower to simmer and regular flip/mix the pears so they are coated evenly.
  2. Remove the pears and pecans from skillet and place on a piece of parchment paper to harden.
  3. In the same skillet, you can now add in the fresh cranberries, sliced onion, and drizzled with 2 tbsp. maple syrup. Again, bring this to a boil and then allow to simmer. The cranberries will “pop” when they are cooking. When they have all popped they will be ready to be removed from the skillet. The onions will become caramelized.
  4. Pour the cranberries and now caramelized onion onto parchment paper as well.
  5. In a clean small skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and add in your whole garlic cloves. Allow them to slowly roast on low-medium heat. When they have browned and softened, remove from the heat.
  6. In a large salad bowl, add in your spinach. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds, cranberries, onion, garlic and add the pears and pecans last for appearance. Crumble the goat cheese on top and drizzle with a Balsamic reduction when served! Enjoy 🙂

Vegan/Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This recipe is warm and filling for those cool nights ahead of us. It is packed with various sources of plant-based proteins: quinoa, red kidney beans, chickpeas, and textured vegetable protein (TVP). This recipe also passed the test with my dad (a meat-eater)… he absolutely loved it! I calculated the nutrition facts based on 12 servings and you will get ~170 calories per serving/bowl.

You can also make this recipe not vegetarian by removing the TVP and swapping for ground chicken or turkey. Why not ground beef? Ground beef is higher in saturated fats and calories and I do not consider this a lean source of protein. However, everything in moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle! 

Note: If you are swapping to add ground meat to your chili instead of plant-based proteins, cook in a skillet first and then add into the large pot when it in fully cooked. Also, you may need to add a bit extra broth so that it does not get way too chunky.

What you will need: (Serves ~12-14 bowls)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 1.5 cups sliced mushrooms

*Saute the above ingredients first.

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (500 mL)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp TVP (found at bulk barn)
  • 1.5 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups red kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn niblets
  • 3.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Ground sea salt to taste
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Saute the top bundle of vegetable ingredients in a skillet on medium-high heat first (with regular mixing).
  2. While your vegetables are cooking, prepare a large pot. Add you tomatoes, veg broth, uncooked quinoa, and TVP. Let this sit on medium heat to begin to cook the quinoa and TVP.
  3. After ~10-12 minutes of sauteeing of the vegetables, when they are finished, you can add them to the large pot. Stir in with the other ingredients.
  4. Add in the rest of your seasonings and beans to the large pot.
  5. Lower the burner temperature to low after ~10 more minutes of cooking everything together.
  6. Allow the chili to simmer for at least an hour to bring all the flavours out.
  7. You can eat immediately, store in the refrigerator or freezer for later consumption. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts per serving (based on 12 servings): 170 calories, 3.9g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 8g protein. 

 

 

9-Bean Veggie Soup

veggie 9 bean soup

Beans are a great way to increase fibre and satiety in vegetable based meals. This soup is packed with flavour from the various veggie ingredients and spices… ohhhhhhh I LOVE soup. Such a great way to warm up in the cold weather that is coming our way. It is also great to make a large batch like this and freeze individual serving sizes to heat up for lunches or dinners throughout a busy work week. This will help you avoid snacking while preparing dinner… because it will be ready for you when you are home 🙂

This recipe serves ~6 people.
In a large soup pot on low-medium heat, combine the following:
1 carton Campbell’s vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 carton full of water
1/3 cup 9-bean mix from Costco (substitute for one can of rinsed/drained can of mixed beans if you cannot find the bean mix!)
1 can (796mL) diced tomatoes
1 small cabbage, chopped/diced

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, saute the following in 2 tbsp olive oil:
1 red onion, diced/chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1 large carrot, chopped
1 butternut squash (microwave to soften for 4 minutes – then dice and chop into cubes)
1 garlic clove, crushed

After the vegetables have been softened/sauteed for ~10 minutes, add them into to the soup pot.

Add spices:
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
+ground pepper and salt
+ 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (substitute for parmesan cheese if you do not have this ingredient).

Bring soup to a boil. Then allow to simmer on low for ~4 hours. The longer it simmers – the more the flavours come out!

Enjoy 🙂

veggie 9-bean soup

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

 
1.5 cup COOKED red/white quinoa
1 large cucumber, peeled, chopped/diced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup black olives
1 small red onion, chopped/diced finely
1/3 cup crumbed feta (add more if you are a feta lover!)
Pinch ground pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
Add FarmBoys Greek dressing to taste.

Directions:
1. Follow quinoa package directions – make 1.5 cups cooked quinoa.
2. Once cooked, chill quinoa in the fridge for a few hours.
3. Prepare/chop other ingredients.
4. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and store in the fridge.
5. Serve chilled – the longer it sits, the more the flavours come out… it is good either way but best when prepared in advance as it can sit longer 🙂

I choose Farmboy’s dressings as they are all natural and have no added refined sugars and preservatives. Choose dressing that you can pronounce and know what every ingredient is! Farm boy is a reliable source for these types of products 🙂

Kale Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

Sweet Potato Kale Chicken soup

Ingredients:
1 package lean ground chicken
1 carton Campbell’s chicken broth
1 carton of water
3 garlic cloves
1 red onion, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, chopped/diced
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed/drained
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 small white onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1 tsp italian
5 kale leaves, chopped off the stem
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme

Directions:
1. Soften the sweet potatoes in the microwave to save cooking time. (puncture with a fork and microwave for ~2 1/2 minutes…until softened).
2. In a large skillet, saute the onion, sweet potato, and carrot in ~2 tbsp olive oil and 2 crushed garlic cloves for ~10 minutes (until softened).
3. While this is cooking, in a large soup pot – add in the carton of chicken broth, carton of water, and chickpeas and turn onto medium heat.
4. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and add them to the pot after they have cooked for ~10 minutes.
5. Now in the large skillet, add 1-2 tbsp olive oil, 1 crushed garlic clove, and the lean ground chicken. Cook the chicken until browning (no pink throughout) ~15 minutes with regular mixing.
6. Add the chicken to the pot when it is thoroughly cooked.
7. Add the spices, parmesan, and fresh thyme to the pot.
8. Bring the soup mixture to a boil.
9. Once boiled, add the chopped kale leaves and allow to simmer for at least one hour.
10. Add pepper and salt to taste… and enjoy 🙂

xo
B

Protein-packed Quinoa Salad Mixer (GF) 

  
I find that salads always turn out the best when they are unplanned. I tossed this mixture together on the weekend…. It was deadly 😍 

Combine:

1.5 cup quinoa, cooked

1/2 cup chopped spinach 

1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 a red onion, chopped

1/3 cup red cabbage, chopped

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

1/3 cup roasted almonds 

1/2 garlic clove, crushed 

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled 

Dressing: I used my homemade balsamic dressing (recipe below). However, I only added about 2 tbsp. Minimal dressing is needed because it already has tonnes of flavour! 

Dressing:

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

4 tbsp natural honey

1 tsp of lemon juice