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Cauliflower Rice and Everything Spiralized
By Erin N. Melting MS, RDN
Have you noticed bags of riced cauliflower or broccoli and spiralized zucchini, beets or
carrots as you walked through your local supermarket recently? Have you wondered what you would do with them if you bought some and brought them home...? In case you haven't noticed, I am here to tell you that this is one of the latest food trends you should definitely try. Using these fun and colorful veggies can help you keep your meals fun, interesting and healthy!
Besides being tasty, cauliflower and zucchini have numerous health benefits including a plethora of antioxidants, phytonutrients, heart healthy properties and vitamins and minerals to provide you with optimal health. Z
ucchini is known to help eye health and has anti-inflammatory properties due to its high content of both vitamin C and Beta Carotene. And did you know that zucchini is a great way to get your Omega-3 fatty acids? As you may know, omega-3 fatty acids are important contributors to overall heart health- contributing to lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, and to brain health and decreased inflammation just to name a few. A fascinating tidbit about cauliflower is that is contains sulforaphane which is a sulfur compound that according to the National Cancer Institute, has been found to slow tumor growth and reduce oxidative stress from free radicals. Besides its cancer fighting powers, cauliflower is a good source of vitamin K, and a B vitamin, called choline which is known for its role in brain development.
Especially during the summer, I enjoy adding these veggies as a substitution for some of my typical dishes I make that tend to be a littler heavier and meant for fall/winter. The beauty of this trend is that anytime you see a recipe calling for rice or noodles, you can substitute them with these veggie alternatives, increase your fiber and overall nutrition intake and still enjoy a tasty meal. Summer is the perfect time to try out some of my favorite dishes below using these latest nutrition trends! Make one at home this week and let me know what you think!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Courtesy of damndelicious.net
For the Cauliflower Crust:
1 head of cauliflower chopped
2 large eggs
cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pizza sauce to taste
1 cup Shredded mozzarella
¼ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
Veggie tables of your choice (in the picture above I used summer squash, mushrooms and grape tomatoes)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside
- To make the crust, add chopped cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until finely ground (yields about 2-3 cups)
- Transfer to a microwave safe bowel. Cover loosely and place in the microwave for 4-5 minutes or until softened; let cool
- Using a clean dish towel or cheese cloth, drain cauliflower completely, removing as much water was possible
- Transfer cauliflower to a large bowel. Stir in eggs, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spread cauliflower mixture onto pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Top with pizza sauce, cheese and vegetables of your choice and bake until cheese is melted, about 3-5 minutes
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with basil.
Cauliflower fried Rice
Courtesy of Skinnytaste.com with some tweaks from me
(mainly that I added more vegetables)
while I am generally not a fan of the label "skinny", (for people, goals or foods), this website encourages all foods in moderation while emphasizing that healthy foods can taste great, and has some great recipes that I love!
1 medium head cauliflower
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 large egg
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
½ small onion, diced fine
½ cup frozen peas and carrots
½ cup mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 scallions, diced, whites and greens separated
3 tablespoons soy sauce or more to taste
- Chopped cauliflower into florets and place in the food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is small and has a texture of recipe or couscous - don't over-process or it will get mushy.
- Combine egg and egg whites in a small bowl and beat with a fork. Season with salt.
- Heat a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat and spray with oil.
- Add the eggs and cook; set aside
- Add the sesame oil and sauté onions, scallion whites, mushrooms, peas and carrots and garlic about 3-4 minutes or until soft. Raise the heat to medium-high.
- Add the cauliflower rice to the sauté pan along with soy sauce. Mix, cover and cook approximately 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside.
- Add the egg then remove from heat and mix in scallion greens.
*I use this recipe for a side dish with miso salmon or teriyaki chicken
Chicken with Spiralized Zucchini in a Spicy Peanut Sauce
Courtesy of skinnytaste.com with some tweaks from me (switched out noodles for zucchini noodles)
For the Sauce:
14.5 oz., reduce sodium chicken or vegetable broth
5 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon of Siracha chili sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the Chicken:
16 oz. chicken breast cut into strips
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sir aha chili sauce
Juice of ½ a lime
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoons soy sauce
½ tablespoons sesame oil
1 large zucchini, spiralized
¾ cup green onion, chopped
1 ¼ cup shredded carrots
cup shredded broccoli slaw
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
1 lime sliced
- For the peanut sauce: combine 1 cup chicken/vegetable broth, peanut butter, Sriracha, honey, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ginger and 3 cloves crushed garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until sauce becomes smooth and well blended, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, Sriracha, lime, garlic, ginger and soy sauce.
- Heat a large skillet or wok until hot. Add oil and sauté chicken on high heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
- Add 2 cloves crush garlic, scallions, carrots, broccoli sauce and/or bean sprouts and salt, sauté until tender, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same pan or wok add the zucchini noodles and cook until tender, about 1-2 minutes. Be careful not overcook or they will become mushy.
- Toss zucchini noodles and chicken with peanut sauce and a top with sautéed vegetables, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts and garnish with lime wedges.
Asian Style Shrimp Zoodle Bowl
Courtesy of Torie Lembersky of Torie's Kitchen
For the Salad:
4 large zucchini spiralized
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1 orange bell pepper cut into strips
1 cup sugar snap peas cut into strips
1 lb. of peeled, deveined shrimp
1 tsp canola or safflower oil
¼ -1/2 cup of scallions chopped (to your preference)
½ cup toasted peanuts
1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
¾ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1 lime cut into wedges
For the Dressing:
2 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoon mirin
1 Teaspoon grated ginger
½ Teaspoon grated garlic
2 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- In a large bowl add spiralized zucchini, shredded carrots, sliced peppers and snaps peas, set aside.
- In a small bowl add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk until blended.
- Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with 1 tsp of oil. Add cleaned, peeled, deveined shrimp and cook for 1 ½ minutes on each side until pink. Allow shrimp to cool for 5 minutes.
- Combine shrimp into large bowl of vegetables. Add dressing and toss.
- Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, scallions, toasted sesame seeds and peanuts.
Attention All Athletes: Are You Properly Fueling Your Workout?
It's not a
se that what you eat before your workout plays a huge role in your performance, right?! Fueling your workout with proper nutrition will help optimize the benefits of all your hard work, whether it be at the gym or training outside while enjoying the NYC summer heat. Preparing the right pre-workout snack will help ensure you have energy to complete your workouts as planned, which will not only help keep you on track with your exercise regimen but also maximize your workout.
So, how long before my workout should I eat?
Generally, it is good to eat in advance of your workout, to allow time to digest before your body needs to divert blood flow from our gut to the muscles you will be working as you train. Asking your body to simultaneously digest and workout, results in competing demands, making optimal performance challenging... and an upset stomach more likely.
Experiment with fueling your body one to three hours before your workout, in order to give your body ample time to digest before you head out to train. Typically, it is recommended for athletes to consume 1 to 4 g of carbohydrates along with 10-20 grams of protein, prior to exercise. Aim for 1 gram of carb per kg body weight if you have one hour, 2 gm of carb/kg if you have 2 hours between fueling and beginning your workout. Additionally, each of our bodies and digestive tracts respond a bit differently, therefore, it is crucial to test how your body tolerates food during your training period and not during your big race.
When it comes to pre-workout fuel, it is best to focus mainly on carbs plus add a bit of protein. The carbs will serve as the fuel for your "engine", as carbs get broken down into glucose, which then enter the muscle cells in order to give you the fuel you need for optimal performance. If you do not amply fuel with carbs pre-workout, you will feel tired and weak during the workout. Adding a bit of protein with your carbohydrate fuel will help to repair muscle damage and maintain muscle mass. Although protein contributes a much smaller percentage of your fueling needs during exercise, amino acids are broken down and converted to glucose to provide fuel. Consuming adequate protein pre-workout will help preserve muscle mass during exhaustive exercise and especially once carbohydrate fuel is depleted.
Some easy and on-the-go carb+ protein ideas include apple slices with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with berries or banana, trail mix with a ratio of two parts dried fruit to one part nuts, a few slices of turkey with some fruit or even half a sandwich. Here are some pre-workout fueling option to help keep your "engine" going.
***The following recipes are pre-workout snacks we enjoy and hope you will too. They have been modified from their original versions by our Nutrition Energy Dietitian team, in order to suit the dietary pre-workout needs of athletes.
Spicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas
Makes 7 (1/2 Cup) Servings
Serving Size: 1-2
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes.
**Add to your trail mix, pair with Greek yogurt or turkey jerky, (or protein of your choice), to get the
recommended 12-15g protein and 30-50g carbs pre-workout.
No-Bake Sweet and Salty Energy Bites
Makes 36 Bites (1 Serving = 3 Bites)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup peanut butter (look for/choose an all natural brand if possible)
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup milled flaxseed
- 1 cup pretzels, salted of course!
- ¼ cup Dried Egg White Protein Powder
- In a stand mixer (or a bowl), combine the coconut oil, honey and peanut butter until they are well combined and the mixture is smooth.
- In a blender (or food processor), measure out ½ cup of pretzels. Pulse until they are half crumbly and half small pieces, about 5-6 rounds. You basically don't want large chunks of pretzel, but you don't want teeny tiny crumbs either. Using the markings on the outside of the blender (or a measuring cup), measure out ½ cup of crushed pretzels. Repeat this process with more pretzels if you don't quite reach ½ cup. Add the pretzels to the bowl with the wet ingredients.
- Without rinsing out the blender, add the oats, shredded coconut, dried egg white protein powder and flaxseed. Pulse until the oats and coconut are crumbled together in small pieces, about 5-6 rounds. Pour dry ingredients into the stand mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low and mix all the ingredients together until they are well combined and sticky.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop out balls onto a cookie sheet. When the cookie sheet is full, pick up each ball with your hands, squish the contents together and shape into a ball. Place the ball back onto the cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Store in the fridge or freezer, although the freezer is preferred if you'll be packing these in lunches.
Product Review: Perky Jerky
Perky Jerky was a great find when exploring Whole Foods in Arizona for items to pack for Lauren Antonucci's two day Grand Canyon hike with her friend Erica Agran (
). For someone who doesn't love meat, Lauren not only enjoyed the flavors offered, but also the tenderness of Perky Jerky. While the meat is softer than most on the market, it still has that toughness most jerky lovers expect.
This is an all-natural product and their ingredients list does NOT include nitrates, preservatives, or MSG. Guarana is what makes the jerky 'perky' and also gives the meat a little additional sweetness. At less than 100 calories per serving, this jerky is packed with protein and low in fat - a great product for those on-the-go!
Check out the products yourselves - it is sold at many retail locations, including Whole Foods, as well as online!
A Note from Lauren...
With the heat and sweltering humidity setting in around the city, the last thing we want to do is intentionally sweat more through exercise - we're already sweating enough, right? NO! Peel yourself off that park bench, get up from the couch, and back away from the freezer! The weather is not an excuse to become complacent. You have goals! You can't hold off working out until the weather changes - which may not be until September or even October!
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results" - Kenneth Blanchard
Use this quote to motivate you. Find a workout regiment that fits your lifestyle and schedule that allows you to be active during the summer months. Maybe it's getting outside in the early or later hours when it's cooler, moving your outdoor workout to an indoor gym, or instead of taking a cab, bus, or subway - walk home from work when you don't care if you get sweaty.
Of course, hydration is very important during this time of year, especially if you are working out. However, you also need to focus on recovery nutrition. Make sure you are fueling your body with additional nutrients during these warmer months, not only to recover from your workout, but also for replenishing the nutrients you lose from sweat (like sodium!).
Be smart and exercise safe!
Have questions regarding safely exercising in the heat? Tweet us
or let us know on
. Need some summer motivation? Come see the dietitians at Nutrition Energy and we'll help you stay on track with your goals through the heat of summer - and hopefully you can answer the tough question...are you committed, or just interested?
Lauren Antonucci, Director