Berry Fresh Smoothie

Healthy Fast Food
Berry Fruit Smoothie

Fresh fruit smoothies are an easy way to consume several servings of fruit at one time. I prefer to make my smoothies at home so I know exactly what’s in it. I purchase fresh berries, freeze them and use them throughout the week. This smoothie is high in folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamins C and K, antioxidants and flavonoids. Fresh fruit smoothies are also a great source of fiber. The berries are my smoothie staples, but I will vary the other ingredients. Sometimes I add a fresh banana, pineapple, oranges, grapes, cherries, peaches, etc. Be creative.

Ingredients

5-10 Strawberries
½ cup Blackberries
½ cup Blueberries
1 Kiwi
2-3 tablespoons yogurt (optional)
½ cup 100% juice

Combine in the blender until all ingredients have liquefied.

Fennel and Orange Salad

Fresh and crunchy salad
Simple salad high in vitamin C.

Ingredients

5 clementine oranges
½ cup sliced fennel bulb
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar

Directions

Gently peel the oranges carefully removing the pith. Separate the slices and place in a shallow bowl. Cut the fennel bulb in half and slice in whatever form you desire and add to the orange slices. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and drizzle over salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This lovely salad is delicious as is or served atop a bed of arugula or mixed greens.

Low Calorie Diets — Part 2 of 2

I went on my first ever diet a couple of months ago. It was successful, I lost weight, the scale reflected that, as did my looser fitting jeans. But soon, those same jeans began to fit a little tighter again. I did not gain more than a couple of pounds initially, but soon I was back up five pounds. I panicked and went back on the diet for two days. Eventually I lost the five pounds, but I didn’t look any different. I saw myself becoming one of those people who were completely obsessed with controlling their weight. At that point I stopped playing into the numbers game. My weight has always fluctuated and always will.

Nowadays I don’t check the scale everyday. I just doesn’t matter that much anymore. The truth of the matter is, I like my body, I like the way it looks. I have intensified my workouts though in an effort to increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat mass. I am more interested in my body fat than my body weight. I feel strong, healthy and energetic, but then again I felt that way at 152 pounds. I started following the Mediterranean diet a couple of months ago and it’s been great for me. I have always had the energy to exercise regularly, so who cares about what the scales says, I don’t.

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

This salad is very high in fiber.
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 garlic clove (more if you really like garlic)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 package spinach or arugula leaves

Directions

  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water for 1-2 minutes. Bring 2 cups of broth or water to boil. Add quinoa, stir, cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Check the quinoa after 10 minutes, you may need to add a little more liquid. Cook until it is tender.
  • In the meantime mince, mash or crush the garlic. Place in a bowl and stir in the lemon juice, black pepper and salt; whisk in the oil.
  • Add the cooked quinoa and the chickpeas, almonds, and bell pepper to the bowl and mix. Serve over the spinach or arugula leaves and drizzle with the dressing. Salad can be served warm or cold.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Ingredients

An excellent source of high quality protein.
  • 4 (6-ounce) cans albacore or chunk light tuna (in water), drained well
  • 6 ounces chopped artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell or piquillo peppers
  • 3/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2-3 tablespoons dried
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • Put all ingredients into a large bowl and gently fold together until well combined. Serve on sliced whole grain bread as a sandwich or spoon over a green salad.

Cauliflower Steaks with Spiced Corn

Ingredients

An excellent source of vitamins C and K.
  • 2 large heads of cauliflower, stems lightly trimmed
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 fresh red chile minced or red chili flakes
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375. Cut three 3/4-inch-thick center slices from each head of cauliflower to form “steaks.” Reserve the remaining cauliflower for another use.
  • In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the corn until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut the kernels from the cobs.
  • In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chile and cook over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Add the scallions and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the corn and capers and season with salt and black pepper.
  • In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add 3 cauliflower steaks and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side; transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and 3 cauliflower steaks.
  • Press the corn-scallion mixture into the spaces between the cauliflower florets. Bake the cauliflower steaks for 25 minutes, until tender and richly browned.

Spicy Salmon

Ingredients

Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 8 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless salmon fillets

Directions

  • Stir balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and soy sauce with salt, brown sugar, ginger, paprika, black pepper, and red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in garlic, green onions, sesame oil, and peanut/vegetable oil until well combined.
  • Pour marinade into a resealable plastic bag or glass bowl. Add salmon to marinade and gently toss to coat. Place into refrigerator and marinate 2 to 24 hours. Flip salmon every few hours, for even flavor.
  • This dish can be baked, broiled, or grilled.
  • Drain excess marinade from salmon fillets. Cook salmon until firm and opaque, about 4 minutes per side.
  • The excess marinade can be simmered, reduced and poured over the final product.