Berry Greek Yogurt Popsicles

Happy summer!! All I can think about in this summer heat is cooling off with a creamy refreshing treat in my hand. Here is a recipe for my new favorite summer treat🙂 These protein-packed berry greek yogurt popsicles will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also keep you cool on a hot summer day. They are the perfect healthy treat and also super easy to make!

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Berry Greek Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 6 popsicles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
  • honey 
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of milk

Directions

  1. Combine the berries and a drizzle of  honey in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth, leaving small chunks of fruit behind.
  2. Whisk together yogurt and milk and a drizzle of honey for some sweetness. Look to make sure that the consistency of the yogurt is thin enough to be pourable.
  3. Spoon 1 teaspoon of yogurt at the bottom of each popsicle mold. Then add a scoop of the berry mixture and continue alternating until the molds are filled. Insert popsicle sticks into each mold and place them in the freezer. Freeze until solid and enjoy on a hot summer day!

Tip: Run popsicle molds under hot running water for a few seconds to easily remove them from their molds!

Happy Summer,

Joanna

Rosemary Chicken & Kale Farro Bowl

Whether you are looking to add some whole grains into your day or wanting to try a new one, farro should be on top of your list! It’s probably my favorite whole grain because of its chewy texture which reminds me of brown rice and risotto combined together (yum). It is easy to prepare especially if you get the quick cooking kind (thank you trader joe’s!) and also a winner when it comes to protein and fiber, the things you want in your grains! I love using farro to make fried rice, in salads and soups, and as a base for meals. Here is a very simple and hearty farro recipe!

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Serves 5
  • 5 four-ounce chicken breasts
  •  1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, chopped
  •  3 sprigs of rosemary
  •  juice of 1 small lemon
  •  1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups of kale, chopped
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute quick cooking farro)
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine lemon juice, 1 clove of the minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the chopped rosemary in a small bowl.
  3. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and lay chicken down, spaced evenly apart. Rub chicken with lemon juice mixture. Place 3 sprigs of rosemary on the pan and put the chicken on top. Season with salt, black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is roasting, combine 1 1/2 cups of dry farro with 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth in a medium sauce pan and cover with lid. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. After the farro is done, remove it from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid and fluff with fork.
  6. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the rest of the minced garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are softened. Add kale and stir around until kale is wilted.
  7. After the farro is done sitting, stir it into the vegetable mixture, add parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. To serve, divide farro mixture into bowls or plates and place one portion of chicken on top. Sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy !
Happy cooking,
Joanna

Spring Cleaning your Eating

Happy Spring!! There’s just something about this season that calls for freshness, newness, and cleanliness. It motivates us to get moving and to revisit those goals we may have put off to the side (like those New Year’s goals we set for ourselves in January..). Now is the perfect time to refresh, revamp, and tidy up those health goals!

Spring cleaning your eating
Many of us vow to eat better this year but it all begins in the kitchen. It’s time for a fridge and pantry makeover! Toss all the junk and questionable items (like those weird opened sauces that you forgot to refrigerate) away and restock with healthy foods to get started eating better. Here are the essential ingredients to have on hand to whip up a healthy meal in no time!
Pantry Essentials
  • Canned beans– can easily be incorporated into chilis, soups, salads and made into hummus. They make a meal hearty and add protein, iron, and fiber. Open, rinse, and use. Say bye bye to soaking and draining beans.
  • Nut butter– can be eaten with apple slices as a snack, spread on toast, or added into smoothies for a rich nutty flavor. A little goes a long way….
  • Quinoa– can be cooked and ready in 15-20 minutes. It is one of the easier grains to cook, it also provides protein, fiber, iron, and B vitamins. Cook a big batch and use throughout the week!
  • Low sodium chicken stock– to make sauces, soups, and even substitute it for water when cooking grains (like that quinoa in your pantry..). It provides flavor and really comes in handy in the winter time when it is soup season.
  • Nuts and seeds– Good to have on hand to add on top of salads for some crunch, munch on as a snack, in sauces, and who knows maybe you’ll even feel like making nut milk one day.
  • Canned Tomatoes– A staple for sauces, soups, and chili!
  • Whole wheat pasta– toss with homemade marinara sauce (made from those canned tomatoes) and frozen veggies and meat..ta-da!
  • Olive Oil– you need it for almost everything from roasting to sautĂ©ing to making salad dressings
  • Vegetable oil– for baking and cooking at higher temperatures
  • Balsamic vinegar – for salad dressings, braising meats, and marinades
  • Honey – drizzle onto plain Greek yogurt, use in baking, and in sauces
  • Spices – besides salt and pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cumin, paprika
Fridge Essentials
  • Eggs– super versatile ingredient in which you can use to make an omelet, a frittata, used in baking,  or hard boil them and eat throughout the week
  • Hummus– a great dip to have when you need a snack. Spread it on some crackers, pita chips, or dip in carrots.
  • Cut up veggies– carrot sticks, celery sticks, peppers dipped with hummus make a great afternoon snack.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt – for yogurt parfaits, smoothies, soups, and used as sour cream on potatoes
  • Milk– cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk. Something for smoothies, coffee, and maybe it’s just a cup in the morning with your breakfast.
  • Low-fat string cheese– Another great snack option
  • Veggies and Fruits– best to have at eye level to remind you to eat them🙂
  • Lean protein– chicken, turkey, fish is great to have in the fridge but store it in the freezer if you know it will be hanging out for a while

Freezer Essentials

  • Frozen veggies– they are a lifesaver and can be throw into anything from soups to pastas to a quick stir fry.
  • Frozen fruits- for smoothies and on yogurt. They are frozen at their peak so yes you can still make your smoothies in the winter!
  • Frozen meals– If you are cooking a meal, make a big batch and freeze the rest for later. Soups, burgers, and chili stay well in the freezer.
  • Frozen protein– chicken, fish, shrimp. They will all come in handy !
  • Bread– cause you will never know when you want some toast or some with soup. They defrost well and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months!

Hope this helps you spring clean and de-clutter your kitchen and gets you back to eating healthy! A kitchen stocked with nutritious foods makes eating healthy easier🙂

Happy spring,

Joanna

Turkey Lentil Chili

It is finally feeling like winter in NYC! A hearty bowl of turkey chili is just what you need to stay warm  :) Chili is a year-round kind of meal for me because not only is it easy to cook, but it also makes for a satisfying lunch, can be made in big batches, and tastes great even after being frozen. I also threw in some lentils in there to show some love to one of my favorite legumes! These protein and fiber powerhouses are super versatile and easy to cook. You can add it to any soup or chili, and curry! Here’s a recipe for a healthy, veggie-packed turkey chili.

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Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 can black beans, drained

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or large pot. add garlic, onions, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. stir around for 3 minutes until the onion and garlic soften. Add turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add peppers and mushrooms, sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, lentils, and bay leaves.
  3. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add kale and beans, and let it continue cooking until the kale has wilted and lentils and vegetables are tender. Serve in bowls and with bread if desired🙂

Stay warm and happy cooking,

Joanna

Lemon Almond Biscotti

With the holidays coming up, the treats at the office and holiday parties just don’t seem to stop! While it is absolutely fine to indulge, how about a treat you won’t feel so guilty about eating or bringing to a cookie swap? Here’s a recipe for a healthier biscotti- sans butter and oil, and is easy to make, transport, and definitely a favorite for many!

Lemon Almond Biscotti

Makes 16

Ingredients

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup toasted almonds

Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Heat a skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the almonds, stir frequently, until nuts are slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed (you can whisk together too).
  4. Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and beat until well mixed together. Stir in the toasted almonds.
  5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper) and spread dough out to an 8 x 10 rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough in half and separate the two. Cut each diagonally into 1/2 inch wide strips. Let some room in between the cookies and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Happy and healthy holidays,

Joanna

Staying healthy during Thanksgiving

Trying to stay healthy and enjoy Thanksgiving without the guilt? From stuffing to pumpkin pie, things can get pretty stressful at the dinner table when you’re trying to stay healthy. Don’t let turkey day sabotage your weight! Follow these tips for a guilt and stress-free Thanksgiving.

  1. The half plate rule
    • This rule is easy to follow and one that I have found most people tend to remember best. When serving yourself at the dinner table, fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter with starch (mashed potatoes, rice) and a quarter of it with protein (turkey, ham). Digging into the veggies first will fill you up, leaving less room for seconds.
  2. Be picky!
    • Of course we all want to try EVERYTHING. But let’s face it- you don’t need to try 4 different kinds of cookies and 3 variations of mashed potatoes. Before diving into the food, look around the table first and ask yourself what you REALLY want to try. Decide in your head what you actually want. If you prepare yourself ahead of time and plan what you intend on having, you will be less likely to put a little of everything on your plate, which can often times get out of control (remember the half plate rule)!
  3. Choose your treat
    • I am an avid believer that we can all have a little treat, especially during the holiday! So yes, there is room for a treat. Whether it’s the booze, dessert, or cheese platter, go ahead..pick one and indulge. Slowly. P.S. If you stick to just one it will actually feel like a treat…
  4. Prepare ahead of time
    • NEVER go to a party hungry. It’s just like going to the supermarket hungry; you end up buying much more (in this case, consuming much more) than you anticipated. Before you head out, nibble on a small snack (ex: string cheese, handful of nuts, fruit, hard boiled egg, yogurt) and drink a glass of water so you are not arriving to the party ravenous and ready to attack the table.
  5. Be a social butterfly
    • One of the best things about holidays is of course, the food! However, let’s not forget that holidays are for catching up too. Walking around and chatting with others while you eat can help slow the pace of your eating down and also helps you tune into your fullness level. You will be surprised how distractions can make you forget about those seconds or thirds.

Try these tips out tomorrow on Turkey day and enjoy the holiday…guilt-free!

Happy healthy Thanksgiving,

Joanna

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

During cold fall and winter nights, I just want to stay in and get cozy with a bowl of soup or stew. A warm bowl of this cauliflower chickpea curry is just what you need to get through those chilly days!

cauliflower curry

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 14 ounces of coconut milk (canned will produce creamier texture but the boxed works well too)
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and curry powder, sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add cauliflower and stir around to coat cauliflower with curry powder mix. Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and chickpeas.
  3. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes or until sauce is thickened. If you see that after 45 minutes it has still not thickened, don’t worry you will see it will thicken up when it is cooled down.
  4. Add frozen peas, cook for 2 minutes and season with salt to taste. Serve with brown rice and enjoy!

Stay warm,

Joanna