Archive for March, 2020

RED RICE AND BEANS

Here’s a lovely little dish that you can easily make at home now, as you probably have most of these ingredients!  Personally, I can eat this hot, cold or in between!  It’s a great meal, side dish or, do I dare say, a nutritious breakfast?? Why not??!! Enjoy!
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ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 large cloves garlic, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade and minced

1 large red onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 red pepper, stem and seeds removed and small diced

2 (1-pound) cans red kidney beans

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 ½ cups chicken stock

1 cup white rice

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves

directions

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Sauté garlic, onion, celery, and pepper until tender. Stir in kidney beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and let mixture simmer slowly while you cook the rice.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil and stir in rice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes without removing the lid. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Fold rice and beans gently together and transfer to a serving dish. Serve garnished with cilantro.

(Adapted from a recipe found on https://www.foodnetwork.com/)

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHICKPEA AND LENTIL MOROCCAN STEW

Boy is this delicious!! I read the comments posted about this recipe and many people said that the lentils didn’t cook in 20 minutes. I decided to soak the lentils as I was chopping the squash, onion, garlic and cilantro and that did the trick! This is warm, comfort food packed with nutrition! A good thing for us to be eating now!! 

ingredientsmoroccanstew-4-725x725

1 tbsp olive or coconut oil

1 white or yellow onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp salt

½ t black pepper, freshly ground

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric, ground

2 tsp cumin

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1, (28 ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes

2½ cups vegetable or chicken broth, organic low sodium

4 cups Butternut squash, chopped into cubes (*see note below)

1, (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup green or red lentils, rinsed

½ lemon, fresh juice of

1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped

directions

Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Add cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and cayenne pepper to the onion mixture and stir to combine.

Stir in  tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper, and chopped butternut squash. Then add lentils and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils and squash are soft. Add lemon and stir. Garish with cilantro and serve.

*NOTE: If you don’t have any butternut squash you can add sweet potato or any potato of your choice!

(adapted from a recipe found on https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/)

 

 

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CORONA VIRUS: KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR!

The other morning, I went to my local Stop & Shop to get some food. Mind you, I didn’t need anything urgently, and yet I felt compelled to go.

When I entered the store, I was shocked to see how little food there was—especially in the produce section. Shelves were empty and what was left looked sad. I couldn’t believe my eyes and so I panicked. I grabbed (wait for it) a giant 4 ½ lb butternut IMG_1515squash. Why? I actually don’t know!

As I was driving home , I started to laugh at myself.  What was I thinking? The laughter felt good.  These are very rough times for all of us. But we have to take a deep breath and not panic. I promised myself that I wouldn’t do that again!

I will be searching for recipes to do something with this monster. Stay tuned and be healthy!

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CORONAVIRUS: KEEP MOVING!

Isn’t it crazy how the news of the coronavirus seems to change from hour and hour? There is so much information swirling, and so much negative news—it’s really easy be paralyzed with anxiety. Recently, a client of mine came down with flu-like symptoms and the minute I heard that, I decided to close down my business until I know what’s going on with her. We all have to do our part in trying not to spread this virus.

So, just like many of you, my life is very different right now. I made the decision, this morning, to stay positive. Staying positive doesn’t mean that I think everything is going to be fine. I’m staying positive merely to protect my sanity.

If you’re feeling well, the best thing you can do for your mind, body and soul is to exercise. Step outside into the crisp air and walk. You can stroll, you can walk briskly, you can walk up hills, you can walk with hand weights. You can 1800ss_getty_rf_woman_walking_with_hand_weightsmake a phone date and walk with a friend! Spring is coming and you’ll be amazed at what’s starting to happen in nature. If it’s raining out, have no fear. As long as you have internet access you can search for any type of home exercise from dancing to stretching. Moving will let you burn off frustration and will get those endorphins flowing!

Or course we’ll be watching more news and more Netflix but as long as we’re feeling well, we don’t have to let the coronavirus stop us from being active!

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SPICY WHITE BEAN STEW WITH BROCCOLI RABE

Given that  many of us are homebound, this is a wonderful bean stew that will make you feel great! We might not be able to do many things, but we CAN cook!! So happy cooking! ❤️

ingredientsmerlin_162384363_89ca756b-53f5-4676-a253-cb4adffffba5-articleLarge

1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) broccoli rabe or kale, thick stems separated from the leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons harissa or tomato paste

Red-pepper flakes (optional)

3 (15-ounce) cans large white beans, such as cannellini, butter or great Northern, drained and rinsed

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced, or 1 lemon, halved, for squeezing

2 ounces feta or other salty cheese, such as queso fresco or pecorino, crumbled

1 cup parsley or cilantro, leaves and tender stems

Fried or medium-boiled eggs, for serving (optional)

directions

Tear broccoli rabe or kale leaves into bite-size pieces and set aside. Chop the stems into about ¼-inch pieces; set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and sizzled at the edges, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add harissa (or tomato paste and a pinch of red-pepper flakes), and stir to coat in the oil. Cook until the harissa is a nice brick red color, the sugars start to caramelize and the oil turns a nice vibrant fiery orange color, about 2 minutes.

Add beans, and season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, crush a few beans to release their creamy interior.

Add the broth and reserved stems, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until you’ve reached your desired consistency (less time for a brothier soup, more time for a thicker stew), 15 to 20 minutes.

Add broccoli rabe or kale leaves and preserved lemon or lemon juice, and stir to wilt the greens. Season with salt, pepper and more red-pepper flakes if you want it spicier.

Serve with feta and parsley, and with eggs, if you like.

(Adapted from a recipe found on https://cooking.nytimes.com/)

 

 

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COME ON, BUBBA!

A client of mine has a childhood nickname, Bubba. I discovered this during our workouts. Every time she gets to the point where it gets REALLY challenging (about the last 2 reps of an exercise), she says, “COME ON, BUBBA!”

I can’t tell you how much joy I feel hearing this. She is being a self-cheerleader and cartoon-cheerleading-clip-art-hand-drawn-cartoon-cheerleader-girlalways does this just when she needs that extra push. It seems to work! I encouraged her to do this with her diet, too. Instead of beating herself up if she goes off track, I want her to pull out the “COME ON, BUBBA!” so that she can give herself some encouragement to eat healthier at her next meal.

We are currently living in a world spewing vitriol. There is so much nastiness everywhere we turn–I can’t stand it. Maybe that’s why my heart skips a beat when I hear,  “COME ON, BUBBA!” I see over and over again that a little bit of encouragement and kindness goes a very long way.

To all of you reading this: Show yourself a little kindness. Be your own cheerleader. You will be surprised at how much it makes a difference!

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