You may have heard that March is National Nutrition Month. This year's slogan is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right". To kick it off, here is a healthy recipe for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get you started on your nutritional journey this month! Each recipe contains a main "superfood" and what I call "supporting foods" (They haven't gotten their super powers yet, but are still very important).
Stay tuned on the blog this month for more healthy eating advice.
Anything you want to know about specifically? Leave your questions in the comments or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
BREAKFAST: POWER GREEN SMOOTHIE
A great way to start your day is with this nutrient-dense smoothie.
Kale is high in fiber, iron, vitamin A, C, and K, and calcium and packed with powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids that help protect against various cancers.
Supporting foods: Chia seeds provide anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids, coconut oil provides satiating medium-chain fatty acids, and the almond butter provides a good combination of protein and fat for sustained energy.
1 1/2 cups kale, packed
1 cup almond or rice milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
Directions: Super simple: blend in blender until smooth and drink immediately.(note: if you don't have a high-power blender, remove the stems from the kale to avoid stringy texture)
LUNCH: QUINOA SALAD WITH CILANTRO AND PEPPERS
This is a great recipe to make a day or two ahead of time and pack it for work or school the next day. Enjoy with a side of apple or berries for extra nutrients and fiber.
Quinoa is loaded withprotein, fiber, and minerals, but doesn't contain any gluten. It also contains all of the essential amino acids and some B vitamins, making it a perfect meat alternative.
Supporting foods: Peppers are a good source of potassium and vitamin C, cilantro is an excellent source of antioxidants, and cumin aids in digestion and helps stabilize blood sugar.
1 cup quinoa (rinsed and dried on a towel if not pre-rinsed)
1½ cups water
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/2 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced (for spicier salad leave in the seeds. If you don't tolerate spicy, leave out the peppers altogether)
2 Tbsp minced red onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
In a large saucepan over medium heat, toast the quinoa. Stir it often, until it's lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer until quinoa has absorbed most of the water and is nearly tender, about 12 minutes. In a rimmed baking sheet, spread the quinoa out and set aside until tender and cool, about 20 minutes.
When cooled, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Stir in the bell pepper, jalapeno, onion and cilantro. In a separate bowl, whisk the lime juice, oil, mustard, garlic and cumin, then pour it over the quinoa tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Prepared salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days; season with salt, pepper and lime juice to taste before serving.
DINNER: SWEET POTATO AND GREEN BEAN SALAD
Superfood: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are relatively low in calories, high in fiber, and provide tons of vitamin A to boost eye health and support a healthy immune system. Plus they're a great source of manganese and potassium (and they're delicious).
Supporting foods: Green beans are great sources of folates as well as fiber, vitamin K, C, and A. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and copper.
· 4 sweet potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced
· 1 tsp cinnamon
· 2 Tbsp olive oil
· 1 tsp sea salt
· 1 tsp thyme
· 8 oz fresh green beans
· large handful dried cranberries
· large handful toasted walnuts
· 5 oz (about one bag) baby lettuces or spring mix
· Maple Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 450F. Toss sweet potatoes with cinnamon, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt and thyme. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and just beginning to brown. Set aside to cool slightly.
While potatoes are roasting, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add green beans and cook briefly, 1-2 minutes or until beans are bright green. Remove and immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking and set color. Cut beans in half lengthwise if desired. (Now’s a good time to make the dressing, too.)
Combine greens, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries and walnuts in a large serving bowl. Toss with dressing to taste.
· 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
· 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
· 2 Tbsp maple syrup
· 1 Tbsp spicy mustard
· 1 tsp sea salt
· freshly ground black pepper
Combine vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and salt/pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Adjust for seasoning. (Alternatively, shake ingredients together in a jar.) Store for up a week in the fridge.