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Steel cut oats (also known as Irish Oats) are a great breakfast choice! Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber and protein so it keeps you satisfied. The big difference between steel cut oats and instant or rolled oats is that steel cut oats are less processed. Instant oats or rolled oats are steamed, rolled and toasted. Steel cut oats are simply oat groats that are just chopped. They are coarse & hearty in texture and remain chewy after cooking.  They have a lower glycemic index which means your blood sugar will not spike as much after eating them.  Since they do take longer to make than rolled or instant oats, make a huge batch and enjoy it all week long. They reheat very well.


Ingredients:
1/2 cup uncooked steel cut oats
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp almond butter
1 apple, cored and chopped (keep peel on)

Directions:
In a medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add oats, apple, vanilla, flax seed and cinnamon. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down and simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat off and let sit covered for a few minutes. Mix in almond butter. Serve immediately or allow to cool and transfer into air tight container in the refrigerator.

*Double, triple or quadruple this recipe to have oatmeal all week!
 
Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition Facts (per 1 serving):
264 calories, 7 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 2 mg sodium, 43 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 8 grams protein, 1% Vitamin A, 5% Calcium, 7% Vitamin C, 12% Iron

 


 
 
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This recipe was slightly modified from the original, by Giada De Laurentiis. I first tried Chia Seed Pudding when I did a "mason jar" breakfast exchange with some girlfriends. We all made 6 mason jars of one type of make ahead breakfast to share and went home with 6 new ideas (and breakfast for the week!) This one was my favorite, made by my friend Lindsey.

Chia seeds are a healthy addition to your diet! They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They also contain protein and minerals including as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. They may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. The high fiber will be filling, so helpful for weight loss.  Chia seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in liquid making it easy to mix them into dishes.

I love this recipe because you can make it ahead in a mason jar and just throw the jar in your bag as you head out the door to work. No extra effort. You can double, triple or quadruple the recipe and have breakfast for every day of the week!

Ingredients:
½ cup unsweetened almond milk (could really use any kind of milk)
½ cup 0% greek yogurt (can also use 2%) - for more volume and a thinner pudding could substitute equal amount of milk for the yogurt if you avoid dairy
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 TB chia seeds
1 cup raspberries (any fruit works – strawberries, peaches, mango, pineapples, etc)
1 TB slivered almonds

Directions
In medium bowl, whisk together almond milk, yogurt and vanilla until blended. Whisk in chia seeds and let sit for 30 minutes. Stir to distribute seeds if they have settled. Put in glass or small mason jar, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning top with raspberries and slivered almonds. Voilà! Breakfast is ready to go!

Yield: 1 glass

Nutrition Facts:
298 calories, 13 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 138 mg sodium, 30 grams carbohydrates, 17 g fiber, 11 grams sugar, 19 grams protein, 6% Vitamin A, 54% Vitamin C, 55% Calcium, 19% Iron


 
 
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This turkey burger recipe is modified from it's original Whole Foods version and is so great! It's very easy to make and is a staple in my house. They are great to eat alone for snacks (cold or hot), to put on a whole grain or vegetable salad at dinner or on a whole wheat bun for a more substantial meal.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/2 cup bread crumbs (plain)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
2 eggs, beaten
3 TB chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Beat eggs in small bowl. Combine with remainder of ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Shape mixture into small patties and grill on nonstick skillet, flipping once, until just cooked through. 

Yield: 8 mini burgers 
Nutrition Facts (per 1 mini burger):
133 calories, 4 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 188 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 19 g protein, 2% Vitamin A, 0% Vitamin C, 10% Calcium, 7% Iron


 
 
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Here's a healthy and quick recipe for Caprese Salad with Pesto. The freshness of the ingredients (all from the Farmer's Market) — heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella and basil — makes this simple salad so delicious. 
It is super easy to make; the pesto took only 10 minutes and a great way to use basil. 

Tomatoes are rich in potassium and lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid, the pigment that gives vegetables their brilliant red, orange and yellow coloring. It's a powerful antioxidant that eliminates free radicals. Lycopene is linked to a lower stroke risk and lower risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene is best absorbed when combined with fat.  


Pesto

Ingredients:
2.5 cups washed, packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, quartered
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix and pulse until smooth. Use immediately.

Yield: 16 1 Tablespoon servings

Nutrition Facts (per 1 TB serving):
88 calories, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 1 gram carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein, 4% Vitamin A, 1% Vitamin C, 4% Calcium, 2% Iron


Caprese Salad with Pesto

Ingredients:
½ fresh tomato, sliced
1.5 ounces fresh mozzarella di bufala, sliced
6 basil leaves, washed
1 TB pesto (see recipe above)
Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Directions:
Layer tomato, mozzarella and basil leaves. Drizzle with pesto and Balsamic Vinegar (if desired).

Yield: 1 Salad

Nutrition Facts (per 1 Salad): 
217 calories, 18 grams fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 154 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 10 g protein, 27% Vitamin A, 16% Vitamin C, 19% Calcium, 3% Iron



 
 
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Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy quinoa salad. I slightly modified it from "Two Peas and Their Pod". It’s healthy, super colorful and delicious! Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate and one of the most nutritious foods - a good source of protein, fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, folate and iron. It has a low glycemic index which means it doesn't raise your blood sugar quickly. It is not technically a grain (it's a seed) so it is gluten free.  Combining the quinoa with the vegetables provides a well balanced meal (you don't even need to add meat - there is a good amount of protein in the edamame and quinoa!)
Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa **
2 cups water (you can also use low sodium broth - broth gives the quinoa a little extra flavor)
1 red pepper, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup carrots (2 large), thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup napa or red cabbage, shredded and chopped
1 cup cucumber, diced and seeded
1 cup edamame, shelled and cooked (I used frozen but any type works)  
(you can also add fresh corn off the cob or shelled pea pods)

** Check the box of quinoa you bought to see if it’s been pre-rinsed. If not, rinse the quinoa in a colander to remove the bitter coating.

For the dressing:

3 TB low sodium soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 TB rice wine vinegar
1 TB sesame oil
2 TB scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 TB black or white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ginger root, grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Juice from one lemon

Directions:

1. Add water and quinoa to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn heat down and cover and simmer for 15 minutes (or until water is absorbed). Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cool and set aside.

2. While quinoa is cooking, chop vegetables and combine in large bowl with the edamame.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.

4. Combine vegetables with cooled quinoa and pour dressing over to combine.

5. Toss, serve and enjoy! This salad keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.

Yield: 7 1-cup servings

Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving)
140 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 287 mg sodium, 18 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 7 grams protein, 77% vitamin A, 59% vitamin C, 5% calcium, 10% iron