easy healthy cooking

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts! Carb-free Recovery Meal

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts! Carb-free Recovery Meal

It's another episode of KYM'S KITCHEN where I teach you how to cook healthy as any capable 5yr old could.  One of my FAVORITE things since moving to LA is the fact that I can ride my bike to the local farmers market and pick up the freshest produce.  Today I got some Brussels Sprouts, and I am going to show you a really fast way to make them.  Today's recipe is my super-duper easy SWEET and SPICY brussels sprouts. 

Fast Kale & Cornbread Salad Recipe

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Make something insanely yummy with LEFTOVERS! One of my favorite salty/sweet salads is KALE + CORNBREAD. Try it. It's GOOD. And it only takes 3min!

Ingredients:

Kale

Red Onion

Lemon

Balsamic Vinegar

Sesame Oil

Hot Sauce of Choice

Salt

 

You Don't Need Another Recipe...

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…this Thanksgiving.  Even if you fill the table with healthy alternatives to your favorite dishes- the biggest danger remains: OVEREATING.  It won’t matter if it’s healthy if you still eat too much of it.

So this holiday, focus on PORTION CONTROL.  Read on for tips to help you through:

  • Think small - serve in smaller serving dishes to encourage smaller portions
  • Plan for leftovers to reduce the chance of over-eating- you’ll save time and have healthy meals planned for the coming week.
  • Make a low fat vegetable based soup as a starter
  • Limit starches such as potatoes, stuffing, and rolls, instead fill your plate with more vegetables. * Squashes are great replacements for potatoes and noodles. Zucchini is a very starchy vegetable.
  • DRINK WATER!  Sip the alcohol sparingly, when you aren’t eating a big meal and can truely appreciate it. Between meals, forego the wine and beer for water or tea.
  • Avoid seconds. If you can’t resist the second helping, focus on refilling your plate with vegetables and other lower calorie choices
  • Enjoy desserts however, slice your pie into 16 slices and share!
  • Use small plates or tea cups to reduce portion size when serving the desserts
  • Make social activities ACTIVE.  Choose touch football, dog walking, bike riding or even Pictionary or charades for family bonding time.

A Dirty Little Cooking Secret!

Barley and Mushroom Pilaf Recipe

OK- I love to cook food! but seriously, I’ll admit, I’m still learning.  And something I’m finding to be true about cooking alternative grains- like cous cous, polenta, barley, wild rice, quinoa, kamut- is (when in doubt) cook it like pasta!  I’m sure many foodies and chefs are cringing- but seriously, they’re probably not reading my blog. But for those of you working and/or raising children folk who stick to what they know is easy to cook but secretly wish they could make exotic-sounding dishes… um, just COOK IT LIKE PASTA!  I mean, boil a pot of water (or broth), add a dash of salt, and then add the grain and stir/cover/stir until that grain is soft and edible!  You can always drain excess water.

Not perfect, but damn, at least you got an alternative to sandwiches.  Besides, these healthy grains will keep you alive and kicking for a long time… long enough to learn how to cook them better!  ;) That said, read on for an easy barley recipe… EAT UP!

Easy Barley and Mushroom Pilaf Recipe: For a vegan barley pilaf recipe that is lower in fat and cholesterol-free, simply omit the Parmesan cheese, or, you could try adding a bit of nutritional yeast instead of the cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions (scallions)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Heat olive oil in saucepan; add mushrooms and sautee until limp. Add barley, vegetable broth, green onion and rosemary. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over barley pilaf and serve.

Makes 4 servings of barley pilaf.

Per serving: 242 calories, 7g protein, 7g fat, 40g carbohydrate, 4mg cholesterol, 11g fiber, 790mg sodium.

Polenta!

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I love to cook for myself. But I’m terrible at planning.  Being hungry by the time I start to cook means I want my food QUICK. This usually leads to eating a lot of cous-cous and polenta.   Both are super easy to prepare and give a welcome alternative to potatoes or pasta.

Polenta is cornmeal simmered in water or broth to create a thick, porridge-like, creamy mixture. The more finely ground the cornmeal, the creamier your cooked polenta will be. Try to find stone-ground whole grain cornmeal for your polenta recipes; it contains the entire grain of corn. If possible, avoid degerminated cornmeal; the process, which strips the grain of its germ layer, renders the cornmeal less nutritious.

One of my favorite ways to prepare it is topped with sauteed veggies, garlic, and onions.  Here’s a step by step:

1. Sautee onions and olive oil to a wok or pan

2. Add vegetable of choice: butternut squash, eggplant, zuchinni, peppers, etc all carry a nice flavor. Cover and leave the veggies to cook over a low to medium heat, until they are lightly tinged golden brown, about 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, add chopped garlic, so as to get the flavor but keeping it mostly raw (for maximum health benefits)

4. To prepare the polenta, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta (you want about 1/3 polenta to the amt of water) and continue whisking until the polenta absorbs all the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the polenta is thick, 5–10 minutes. Beat in the Parmesan cheese and oregano with seasoning to taste.

5. To serve, spoon the polenta onto plates or into large individual bowls. Top with vegetables. Optional cheese or chopped nuts or cracked pepper!

Ginger Honey Chicken

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Spicy, Flavorful and Lean.  Here’s another way to make your chicken!  (Ginger has also been shown to clean and thin the blood thus positively affecting the heart and almost every other organ in the body.)

GINGER HONEY CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tbsp freshly ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 4 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray.
  2.  

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together next six ingredients, creating a marinade.
  4.  

  5. Place chicken into prepared baking sheet and brush with marinade. Bake chicken for about 30 minutes or until no longer pink in center.
  6.  

  7. Serve chicken on a bed of brown jasmine rice and your favorite steamed vegetables.

NUTRIENTS per serving:

  • Calories: 152
  • Total Fat: 1.5 g
  • Sat. Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Sugars: 4 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Sodium: 376 mg
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg

Gazpacho Recipe

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My client Brendan gave me his little trick to clean eating in the summer: Gazpacho. Great ideas lead to great bods.  Show us the way, Brendan!

Nothing beats gazpacho—a traditional summer soup from the Andalucia region of Spain—on a hot summer day.  Not only is it delicious, but

it’s super healthy, too!  Now, this isn’t a totally “authentic” version.  The real deal calls for day-old bread, but this is a great low-carb alternative.  For a thicker, chunkier gazpacho, coarsely chop up the veggies in a food processor as directed in the recipe.  If you prefer a creamy, more soupy version, throw it all together in a blender.

I will sometimes double all the ingredients and make a HUGE bowl that I can share with tons of friends.  Just remember: the more it sits in the refrigerator, the better it tastes!

1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded 4 plum tomatoes 1 red onion 3 garlic cloves, minced 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups) 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor and pulse until it is coarsely chopped.

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large non-metallic bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving.  Ideally, let it sit overnight before serving.

RECIPE: Citrus CousCous and Arugula Salad

Citrus CousCous

Here’s a tasty, super quick (and of course healthy!) recipe.   Couscous is a good low-fat source of complex carbohydrates…And it takes only boiling water to make! Instant gourmet.

One serving (1 ounce, about 3 tablespoons dry) contains: Calories 95.0 Carbohydrate 20.0g

Cholesterol 0.0mg Dietary Fiber 1.0g Fat (Total) 0.1g Potassium 49.5mg Protein 3.2g

Arugula Salad Orange Couscous and Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 cup water 2/3 cup couscous 2 large oranges divided AND/OR 1 medium mango diced 2 tablespoons basil chopped fresh 2 tablespoons chives chopped fresh 1 teaspoon cumin 3 tablespoons pine nuts toasted 2 bn arugula cleaned

Citrus vinaigrette: 1 large orange 1/4 medium grapefruit 1/2 medium lime 1/2 medium lemon 1/2 cup olive oil, extra-virgin 2 tablespoons champagne or white vinegar 3 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon hot chili sauce 20 each pink peppercorns 1 teaspoon ginger finely chopped fresh 5 tablespoons cilantro fresh leaves 1 teaspoon salt optional

Directions (Make the vinaigrette first, see below) Measure water into a 2-cup glass measure.  Heat on high 3 minutes, or until boiling. (or just boil the water in a kettle) Stir in couscous, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Peel orange, reserve half for garnish.  Squeeze juice from other half into a large bowl. Add mango, basil, chives, cumin, pine nuts and couscous; toss to combine. Serve on a bed of arugula. Garnish with reserved orange sections. Drizzle with Citrus Vinaigrette.

CITRUS VINAIGRETTE:

Peel orange and/or grapefruit.

Cut orange and grapefruit into segments over a large stainless steel bowl to catch excess juices. Carefully dice segments, cutting not crushing them.

Cut lime and/or lemon and squeeze into bowl

Add oil, vinegar, soy sauce and chili sauce to fruit juices in bowl; whisk to blend.  OPTIONAL: Add peppercorns, ginger, cilantro, diced fruit and salt; stir to combine. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

BEAT THE HEAT: Mint Tea for Cooling and Cleansing

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Ok, this heat is outta control. I can’t seem to stay adequately cool and hydrated and I’m just sick of water and coconut water!   Today I brewed a giant pot of mint tea, added a lil agave, and then a TON of ice.   Lastly grabbed a bunch of mint, ground it up and threw it in. Voilà- a cool beverage with taste, minimal calories… and guess what?  I found out mint is used to cleanse the stomach and eliminate toxins from the body.

BONUS!

RECIPE: GRILLED SEA-BASS

seabass

Recipe: Marinated Grilled Seabass – This perfect for the BBQ recipe for marinated seabass is very moist and light tasting. Lemon and capers are the promonient flavors of the homemade marinade, which highlights the fork tender seabass to perfection. So simple to make and only a 10 minute cook time!

Cook Time: 8-12 mins Servings: 4-6

Ingredients to make Marinated Grilled Seabass

6 pieces sea bass, thawed if frozen Marinade: 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup olive oil 1-2 tsp. lemon zest (grated lemon peel) 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 3 T. small capers, rinsed 1 T. fresh garlic puree or garlic powder 2 T. Chopped fresh shallots 1 T.  parsley 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper 1-2 lemons sliced, for serving (optional)

Directions to make Marinated Grilled Seabass

Step 1:

Mix marinade ingredients together. Put fish in single layer in ziploc bag, pour marinade over and marinate 2-3 hours in refrigerator. (Don’t increase the marinating time much more than this or the lemon juice will start to ”cook” the fish.)

Step 2:

To cook, oil grill grates with olive oil, then preheat grill to medium high. Grill fish until firm to the touch and slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Serve fish with sliced lemons