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Cauliflower Rice Recipe

We all know we should be getting 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. But, if you are like many of my clients, this can seem a daunting task.

Fortunately, there thousands of ways to add more vegetables to your diet.

One of my favorites is cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice is easy to make and can be used in place of regular rice, pasta, or couscous in most recipes, making it a nutritious and lower carbohydrate option.

Even if you hate cauliflower, using it in this way minimizes the cauliflowery taste.

Don’t worry about making too much, cooked cauliflower rice can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and raw cauliflower rice can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Basic Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:
  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds); rinsed, leaves and stems removed
  • 1 Tablespoon rice bran oil
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Cut cauliflower into 1″ pieces
  • Divide into 2-3 batches
  • Place a batch of cauliflower into a food processor with a grating or shredding blade and pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice. Repeat with the remaining batches.
  • **If you do not have a food processor, you can use a box grater with medium holes to grate the cauliflower until it resembles rice
  • Place riced cauliflower on a paper towel and squeeze out any excess water
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and oil lightly with rice bran oil
  • Place riced cauliflower on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is softened. Stir 2-3 times to prevent sticking
  • Use straight from the oven in recipes or allow cauliflower to cool before putting it in the refrigerator

*If you don’t want to turn on the oven, you can cook the riced cauliflower in a skillet. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, add cauliflower, and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Your cauliflower rice can now be eaten alone or used in a variety of delicious and nutritious recipes. Be creative, experiment, and enjoy!


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Eat a Rainbow – Be Blue

Welcome to week 5 of our series, Eat a Rainbow. So far we have talked about the health benefits of eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables including: GREEN, RED, and YELLOW/ORANGE.

This week we are talking about foods in the BLUE and PURPLE category.

The fruits and vegetables in this group contain a variety of nutrients important for maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Anthocyanins are antioxidants. Anthocyanins can pass through the blood-brain barrier and therefore can improve brain functions like learning and memory. Anthocyanins are also known to help improve balance, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and cancer. They can also minimize skin damage due to sun exposure. Berries, grapes, eggplant, and purple cabbage are good sources of anthocyanins.

Ellagic Acid, found in berries, is a phytonutrient that may minimize the effect of estrogen on the growth breast cancer cells.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant and phytonutrient. Resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the build up of plaque in the blood vessels, known as atherosclerosis, which can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Resveratrol also helps prevent some cancers. Like anthocyanins, resveratrol can cross the blood-brain barrier making it an important nutrient for protection against Alzheimer’s and dementia. Good sources of resveratrol include: blueberries, cranberries, red/purple grapes, red wine, and raw cocoa.

The BLUE/PURPLE group is quite possibly the most fun and delicious group, with most of the selections being fruits like grapes (aka wine) and blueberries. Thankfully the foods in this group also pack a solid nutritional punch. In combination with foods from the other color groups, blue/purple foods can help round out a healthy diet.

Try these recipes to add more BLUE/PURPLE foods to your daily diet:

Ratatouille
Berry Delicious Avocado Toast


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Eat a Rainbow – Here Comes the Sun

This is week 4 in our series, Improve Your Health,Eat a Rainbow. So far we have looked at the GREEN and RED groups. This week we are exploring the YELLOW and ORANGE foods.

Foods in the orange/yellow group contain Vitamin C, alpha-carotene, and the phytonutrient, hesperidin.

Vitamin C is important for tissue regeneration, decreasing cholesterol and triglycerides, and strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can help prevent cancer. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron.

Alpha-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family, that also includes beta-carotene. Carotenoids are antioxidants that reduce free radical damage to tissues that can lead to cancer and heart disease. In addition, the body converts alpha and beta carotene to Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.

Hesperidin, found in citrus fruits, is a flavonoid with anti inflammatory properties and can improve circulation.

Orange and yellow foods can boost your immune system, protect against cancer and heart disease, and keep your skin and eyes healthy and beautiful. Adding 1 or 2 orange/yellow fruits or vegetables to your daily diet can help you reach your goal of 5-7 servings per day.

Try these recipes to add more orange and yellow foods to your diet:

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Pineapple Papaya Salsa

Are you ready to learn more healthy nutritional habits? Join my nutritional coaching program and learn how you can get in the best health of your life. Join now! Invest in your health and your life!


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Butternut Squash Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. Unfortunately, like most comfort foods it is loaded with fat and processed carbohydrates. Not the best option if you’re trying to be healthy.

This lasagna recipe uses butternut squash in place of traditional lasagna noodles, for a healthier take on this old favorite. Make this recipe your own by changing up the vegetables, spices, or using dairy free cheese.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and sliced into thin rounds
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, chopped, and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese or low fat cottage cheese
  • 32 ounces jarred pasta sauce or 4 cups Rustic Marinara Sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions:
  • Peel butternut squash and cut into thin slices using a sharp knife or mandolin.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy sauté pan, add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms and cook until vegetables a soft, stir often to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, spinach, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly oil a 9×13 baking pan.
  • Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  • Begin layering lasagna: butternut squash slices, 1/3 sautéed vegetables, 1/3 cheese/ spinach mixture, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup pasta sauce. Repeat layering 2 more times.
  • Cover with a lightly oiled sheet of foil.
  • Bake covered for 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 6-8 people

Leftovers can be frozen.

*To prevent the lasagna from being too lumpy, purée marinara sauce until smooth.


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Start Your Week with a Healthy Plan

Will you:

  • Take a walk after dinner every night this week?
  • Eat more vegetables?
  • Quit smoking?
  • Devote 10-15 minutes to your meditation practice each day?
  • Cut back on your alcohol intake?
  • Take a yoga class?
  • Eat slowly and mindfully?
  • Get 6-8 hours of rest each night?

Feel free to share your answers in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.


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Rustic Marinara Sauce

Whether it’s whole wheat spaghetti, rice penne, shirataki noodles, or spiralized zucchini almost everyone loves a bowl of “pasta” topped with tomato sauce. Sadly, most store bought sauces are full of sugar and preservatives. But, why buy from the store when making your own tomato sauce is quick and simple. This Rustic Marinara sauce is delicious, and it only takes about 1 hour to make. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and frozen for 3-4 months.

I love this recipe because it is hearty and full of vegetables. Roasting the vegetables, rather than cooking them down in a kettle, adds a caramelized flavor that sets this sauce apart.

No matter what you put them on, homemade tomato sauces are full of nutrition. Tomatoes contain lycopene, beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and folate among other vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Cooking tomatoes makes lycopene more available to the body, so enjoying a homemade tomato sauce is a great way to get this nutrient into your diet.

Rustic Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 pound yellow squash, chopped*
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine or water, if desired
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine tomatoes, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onion, garlic and basil in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Place all ingredients on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  • Roast vegetables in the oven for 10 minutes, stir and roast and additional 10-15 minutes until vegetables are soft and caramelized.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Place 1/2 of the vegetables in a food processor or power blender and process until smooth.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of wine or water to mixture and pulse to combine.
  • Remove to a bowl and add the remaining vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine.
  • Use over pasta, spaghetti squash, spiralized vegetables or on top of bruschetta.
  • Store extra sauce in the refrigerator or freezer.

This recipe produces a chunky sauce, so if you like a smoother sauce simply purée all of the roasted vegetables to your preferred consistency.

*If you are not a fan of yellow squash, try adding 3/4 cup of chopped carrot instead. Actually, feel free to experiment with any vegetables of your choice. I like spinach and eggplant in this recipe as well.


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Eat a Rainbow – Go Green

Last week I introduced you to the idea of “Eating a Rainbow“. As a brief review, eating the rainbow means consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables from 5 different color groups to ensure you get all of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients you need to keep you healthy.

This week we are exploring the GREEN group of fruits and vegetables.

Green fruits and veggies are loaded with health enhancing compounds including:

  • Lutein-an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and protect the eye from damage from the sun, blue light, cataracts, and macular degeneration
  • Folate-also known as vitamin B-9, an important factor in red blood cell formation, health cell development, treating depression, and preventing birth defects
  • Vitamin K-a vitamin necessary in the clotting of blood
  • Isothiocyanate-a group of phytonutrients that help fight the effects of carcinogens, cancer causing agents
  • Chlorophyll-a powerful antioxidant
  • Insoluble Fiber-helps support a healthy digestive system

It is important to remember that some vitamins, minerals, and other compounds found in these fruits and vegetables can interfere with certain medical conditions and medications, so it is best to talk to your medical professional about which green fruits and veggies are safe for you to include in your diet.

Fruits and vegetables in the green color group can help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation in the body, support healthy digestion, promote eye health, and boost the immune system. They are a delicious addition to your daily diet and add 1-2 servings per day can help ensure you meet the minimum daily requirement for 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Check out these recipes designed to help you add more green to your diet:

Bok Choy and Radish Coleslaw

Brussels Sprout, Kale, and Mango Salad


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Improve Your Health, Eat a Rainbow

You are probably familiar with the phrase, “Variety is the spice of life.” But when it comes to our nutrition, many of us avoid “spicing it up”. I am not talking about adding spices to your food (although it is a great idea), I am talking about including variety.

Take a moment to review your food choices over the past week. Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every morning? Does your daily salad consist of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, a slice of cucumber, and some shredded carrot?

If you are like most of my clients you are in a nutritional rut, eating the same foods day after day often prepared the same way. That’s why this month I am encouraging you to “eat the rainbow”.

What does it mean to “eat the rainbow”?

We all know we should be eating 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-4 servings of vegetables every day in order to meet the minimum requirements for a healthy diet. But, did you know that we should also be eating a variety of different colors of fruits and vegetables?

You probably know that fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy, but they also contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are chemicals made by plants to protect them from diseases, insects, and other harmful agents. Fortunately, they can do the same for us! Phytonutrients can help prevent certain cancers, support the immune system, and fight inflammation, among other things. Different colors have their own unique set of phytonutrients. For example the phytonutrient, Lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, macular degeneration, and certain cancers, is what gives tomatoes, watermelon, and strawberries their red color. Fruits and vegetables generally fall into 5 color categories: green, red, orange/yellow, blue/purple, and white/brown. Over the next 5 weeks we will explore each color in more detail.

Why “eat the rainbow”?

There are several benefits to “eating the rainbow”, including:

  1. Improved nutrition– As I mentioned earlier, different colored fruits and vegetables have different types of phytonutrients which benefit our health.
  2. It’s easy– Just 1 serving of each color guarantees you get at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies which means you are effortlessly getting the minimum requirement for the vitamins, minerals, and fiber these foods contain.
  3. Prevents boredom– Let’s face it, eating the same foods over and over can get boring. Boredom can lead to skipping vegetables or replacing them with less healthy choices like, sugar laden juices. The “eating the rainbow” method encourages you to try different foods within the color group, for example trading your romaine lettuce for arugula or bok choy. Also, different cooking methods affect the availability of nutrients within a food, cooked spinach provides more nutrients than raw spinach.
  4. Supports the local economy– Another part of the eat the rainbow plan is to eat seasonally. This means buying fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Often the best place to do this is at your local farmers market.
  5. Can help you save money– It may seem like buying all of these different colors of fruits and vegetables can get expensive, however produce that is in season is often less expensive than an off season option. Think of the difference between buying blueberries in the summer versus in late winter. Also, filling up your diet with healthy fruit and vegetable options means you will be less hungry for expensive snacks. Think of the money you will save by taking an apple to work for mid afternoon snack time rather than dumping money into the vending machine for chips or a candy bar.

It is important to remember that “eating the rainbow” is not a diet, but rather a handy tool to help ensure you consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. It helps ensure you get plenty of important nutrients without getting bored or having to think too much about what to eat.

Next week’s post will explore the the nutrients and types of foods found in the GREEN category. Until then, here is a game you can play to see how well you, “eat the rainbow.” The game works great with kids, but many of my adult clientsenjoy it as well.

Eat The Rainbow Game

What you need:
  • A picture of a rainbow
  • A magic marker or sharpie
  • A box of gold stars or small stickers
How to play:
  • Print out your picture of the rainbow.
  • Use a marker or sharpie to divide the rainbow into seven sections and label 1 section for each day of the week.
  • For each serving of a color group you eat, place a gold star/sticker on the corresponding color.
  • Repeat the process every day for a week.
  • At the end of the week, review your results. How did you do? Did you get at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies each day? Were you lacking in any particular color group? Do you avoid one color all together?
  • Challenge yourself to improve your eat the rainbow performance the next week.

Have fun, be adventurous, and until next time, have a happy healthy day!

If you want to learn more simple and effective nutritional habits, join my online nutritional coaching program that starts September, 9th. Learn more at: https://procoach.app/wellnessphx


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Ratatouille

Ratatouille

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups eggplant, chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut length-wise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Instructions:
    • Heat olive oil over medium-high in a large sauté pan.
    • Sauté onion, garlic, and bay leaf until translucent. Stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.
    • Add eggplant and continue cooking 8-10 minutes until eggplant is soft.
    • Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, and salt.
    • Cook an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
    • Remove from heat, add basil, and pepper to taste.

    Serve Ratatouille alone or over steamed rice, eggs, or tofu.


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    Pineapple and Papaya Salsa

    Salsa is a fun and delicious way to add fruits and vegetables to your diet. Whether they are made with tomatoes, peppers, or tropical fruits like the recipe today, salsa can be eaten alone, with tortilla chips (in moderation of course), or used to garnish fish, meat, tofu, or eggs.

    This pineapple and papaya salsa is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and enzymes that can help support and improve digestion.

    Pineapple and Papaya Salsa

    Ingredients:
    • 2 cups pineapple, cut into 1/2″ chunks
    • 2 cups papaya*, cut into 1/2″ chunks
    • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons pepitas
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon lime zest
    • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Instructions:
    • Combine all ingredients in a nonmetal bowl and mix well.
    • Cover and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours to allow flavors to mingle.

    Serving size= 2 Tablespoons

    Serve over chicken, pork tenderloin, grilled tofu, or a green salad in place of dressing.

    * If papaya is unavailable try mangos. Yum!