4 Leafy Greens Worth Trying!

Fresh chard.

These four leafy greens are loaded with healthy benefits. Challenge yourself to try all four in the next week. I’ve provided you with some great-tasting recipes to get you started.

Swiss Chard

Not only is Swiss chard beautiful (I used it on the cover of my new cookbook), but it is packed with vitamin A and C. Swiss Chard is often sautéed but I also find it great for juicing. Looking for other healthy ways to incorporate Swiss chard into your diet? Check out my recipe for this Swiss chard Power Salad

Kale

Kale has become today’s most talked about leafy green for good reason. It’s loaded with vitamin A, C, K and B6. It’s also rich in folate, potassium and calcium. Kale is extremely versatile and can be used in everything from soups and stews to salads and omelets. Try making your own kale chips for a savory and healthy low calorie snack.

Spinach

This leafy green isn’t just for Popeye! Raw or cooked, spinach is rich in vitamin A and C. Use it as a healthy pizza topping or add it to soups, pasta sauce or smoothies. Try my Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe or my Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup recipe. Both are loaded with nutrient-rich spinach.

Collards

Collard greens are a great source of calcium and are rich in vitamin A, C and K. I love this Sautéed Collard Greens with Raisins recipe I found from Martha Stewart Living. Looking for another great way to incorporate collard greens into your diet? Take your favorite lettuce wrap recipe, and try swapping out the lettuce leaves for nutrient-packed collard greens.

Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup

Cutting back on or giving up wheat doesn’t mean you need to give up noodles in your soup. This Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup recipe uses rice noodles to make this soup a filling and satisfying meal.

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Ingredients

I always love using spinach in my soup recipes. Not only does it taste great but spinach has been called one of the world’s healthiest foods and is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, niacin, zinc and calcium to name just a few.

Peanut Oil

I don’t use peanut oil very often but it gives a rich and lightly nutty flavor to the recipe.

In Pot In Progress

Although I used vegetable broth, you can also use miso.

In Pot

Make sure your noodles are al dente and rinsed with cold water before you set them aside. Once you bring them back to the pot, only let cook for an additional minute or two just so they are warmed through.

Two Bowls

Although many of my soup recipes taste just as good the next day—some even taste better—this recipe is best served immediately as the rice noodle can become too soft if left overnight.

Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup
Servings
4
Servings
4
Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, prepare the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add vegetable broth and bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Add mushrooms and spinach and bring back to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add reserved noodles and bring back to a simmer.
  6. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Add sea salt to taste.
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4 Antioxidant-Rich Foods for Better Skin

These 4 foods are not only delicious, but they may help you look younger!

Broken chocolate bar  on wooden table.

Dark Chocolate: Rich in antioxidants, chocolate may reduce moisture loss in skin, improving skin hydration, leading to smoother skin and improved skin texture. Select chocolate that is at least 70% cacao and remember to keep your intake to just a small amount. Just one ounce a day is enough to reap the benefits without sabotaging your weight. Looking for a healthy dark chocolate recipe? Try my wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free Triple Chocolate Brownies.

 

 

Walnut kernelsWalnuts: High in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, walnuts may stimulate collagen improving skin elasticity. Enjoy a small handful every day for healthy cells. Get your dose of walnuts by adding to healthy cookie, muffin or bread recipes or sprinkle over your afternoon salad.

 

 

 

 

Organic cherriesCherries: With 17 different antioxidant compounds, cherries have been found to help slow down the skin’s aging process. Try adding a small amount of dried cherries to your salads or keep frozen cherries for a quick and healthy smoothie. Check out my Poached Pear recipe—the cherries make the recipe.

 

 

 

Pumpkin seeds in a wooden spoon.Pumpkin Seeds: These little seeds pack a healthy punch and can help maintain collagen levels, increase elasticity and stimulate new skin cell growth. Sprinkle over salad, cereal or yogurt for a healthy and satisfying crunch. My Kale and Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Pumpkin Seeds is one of my favorite recipes.

A True Farm-to-Table Experience

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Eating farm-to-table is all the rage these days and new farm-to-table restaurants are popping up all over the country.

Having lived in large cities like New York City and Los Angeles I know that smaller cities like St. Petersburg, Fla., the one I now live in, are often months or years behind the trends. My city has however finally started to embrace the farm-to-table concept and I’m thrilled.

So although I’ve dined in several farm-to-table restaurants in my state and others, last night I experienced what it means to truly eat farm-to-table by attending an Outstanding-in-the-Field dinner!

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Our table literally sat on the fields of the farm where the food had been picked and prepared especially for our group of about 150 diners.

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The night started with a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres while the main table was being prepared. And although I wasn’t brave enough to try the frog legs the rest of the offerings were amazing.

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After the cocktail reception, we received a tour of the farm and then with our plates in hand (you bring your own) joined the other guests at one long white table in the field.

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As the sun began to set behind the trees, the Outstanding in the Field staff brought small candles to the table and we finished dessert by candlelight.

My husband and I are already committed to attending one event a year. Who knows, we may even travel to an event in another state. Both the Maine and Sonoma, CA events pique my interest.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience that will also make you more intimate with your food, I would suggest signing up for a true farm-to-table experience. I have to say that the Outstanding in the Field event that I attended with my husband was one of the most unique experiences we’ve ever had. It will definitely be a date-night to remember.

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What I learned from eating on the farm:

Actually eating “on” the farm is spectacular. Just being out with nature—tractors in the field, chickens in the coop, cows in the pasture—makes the experience like no other.

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The number of incredible recipes you can make with only ingredients coming from the farm is more robust than even I anticipated.

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Dining with 150+ people you’ve never met before provides a welcome opportunity to make new friends.

I should thank our farmers—especially our organic ones—for all their hard work. Farming isn’t an easy job and being on the farm and meeting those that do it was a nice reality check. I felt lucky to have farmers that care about our food and our environment.

If you’re interested in attending a true farm to table event, check out Outstanding in the Field—you won’t be sorry! And maybe we’ll see you there!

 

Kale Chips

Some people crave crunchy/salty foods while others crave sweets. I definitely crave the latter more often. Give me dark chocolate, cookies, cake or ice cream and I have a hard time stopping myself from eating the entire box, bag or container.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t crave savory snacks on occasion and when I do, these kale chips are the perfect healthy alternative to curb my craving for something crunchy and salty.

Kale Bunch Edit

I like using curly leaf kale as I think it makes for a crunchier chip—not to mention it’s visually pleasing.

Kale Fresh_Edit

Remember to dry the kale thoroughly before tossing in the olive oil. A salad spinner is great for this but paper towels can also do the job.

Kale Chip on Tray 2

 

This 3-step kale chip recipe is quick and easy and makes the perfect mid-day snack.

Kale Chips

 

Kale Chips
Servings
4
Servings
4
Kale Chips
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry the kale.
  3. Remove the rib and cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. Toss kale in olive oil and place on a baking/cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Check the kale often to ensure the leaves don’t burn. Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!
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Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

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Earlier today, someone asked me what is my favorite recipe from my new book, The Healthy You Diet. This should be a question I’m able to answer without hesitation but I wasn’t.

Every time I developed a new recipe for my book, I would always say, “This just might be my new favorite recipe!” It became somewhat of a joke in our office.

The truth is, I only put recipes that I love in my new book so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. There is however times where I prefer one recipe to another just because I’m craving a certain flavor at that time. Right now I’ve been on a sweet potato kick so I thought I’d share ONE OF MY FAVORITE recipes, my Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette.

If you’re looking for a filling salad that burst with flavor, this Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato salad is simply perfect. The sweet potatoes and the dates curb my craving for something sweet and the pumpkin seeds give just the right amount of crunch and texture to satisfy me.

I know many people who claim they don’t like kale but I believe they’ve just never had it in the right recipe. Since Kale can be tough and bitter, there is a little trick to make it more tender and enjoyable: simply massage the leaves with a little olive oil or salad dressing for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will soften them and have them ready to enjoy. You’ll be amazed at this difference this makes.

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I cook sweet potatoes often but roasting them with a little maple syrup, olive oil and lemon makes this recipe special.

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Roasting the sweet potatoes is so simple and makes the entire house smell wonderful.

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You can use raw pumpkin seeds but I think toasting them really brings out their flavor. A simple two minutes in a skillet over medium heat is all it takes to turn them golden brown and give them that extra burst of nutty flavor.

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The finish product is vibrant and irresistible. This is definitely “one of my favorite” recipes! I hope you enjoy it!

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Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
Servings
4
Servings
4
Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, oil, lemon juice, and salt. Add the sweet potatoes and toss to coat with the maple syrup mixture. Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds for 2 minutes, or until they turn golden and begin to pop. Shake the pan often during toasting to make sure they don't burn. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the vinaigrette. With clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale for 1 minute.
  4. Divide the kale among 4 serving plates and top with the reserved sweet potatoes, reserved pumpkin seeds, and dates.
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