One of my favorite new tricks is to cook veggies in low sodium vegetable broth instead of oil. When cooking with oil, it’s easy to loose track of how much you are using, and the calories and fat can add up quickly. Olive oil contains about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon compared to Pacific low-sodium vegetable broth, which has 15 calories per cup and zero grams of fat. This is an easy way to lighten up your dish, but still get the same sautéed texture. Olive oil is heart healthy and has tons of other benefits, but I usually like to use it with recipes that do not require heating/cooking it.
Tofu & Wild Rice Stuffed Pepper
½ cup cooked wild rice
1/5 package tofu
1 large red bell pepper
¼ cup minced onion
¼ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup baby spinach (packed)
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ tsp minced garlic or garlic powder
½ tsp salt-free Italian herb seasoning
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cook the wild rice to package instructions and set aside. Cut the bell pepper in half and remove seeds, set aside. In a pan over medium heat, combine the tofu, onion, carrot, baby spinach, celery, and garlic and sauté in the vegetable broth until vegetables are tender and liquid has been absorbed. After vegetables and tofu have finished cooking, combine with wild rice and Italian herb seasoning. Pour the mixture evenly into the bell pepper halves. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. If needed, add foil over the tops of peppers to eliminate burning.
The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown
Produce: bell pepper, onion, carrot, spinach, and celery
Whole Grain: wild rice
Plant Based Fat: none in this dish
This is a healthier updated version of the traditional salad.
Instead of the usual mayonnaise based dressing, we have lightened it up with a healthy mixture of walnuts, Dijon, vinegar, apples, and raisins that keeps it’s classic creamy texture.
Kale Waldorf Salad
Serves 4 to 6
4 cups dinosaur kale (packed)
1 large red apple, chopped, divided
1/2 cup walnuts, divided
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp raisins, divided
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup shredded carrots
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp ground sea salt
Wash and dry kale. Finely chop into bite-sized pieces. Place kale in a large bowl. After chopping the apple, add to the bowl of kale along with half of the walnuts and ¼ cup of raisins, and celery. Put remaining apple, walnuts, 2 Tbsp of raisins, Dijon, water, vinegar and salt in a blender. Blend until well combined and slightly thick, adding water if needed to thin. Pour dressing over kale salad and toss to combine.
I’m a quarter Italian, so sometimes… I just need my pizza. Here, I have found a guilt free, low carb alternative to your favorite naughty Italian dish: pizza! Your taste buds will love this healthy personal sized crunchy creation. It’s important to never deprive yourself of what you really want, and this is proof that you can eat anything, as long as it’s properly portioned and balanced.
Light & Crispy Pizza
½ whole-wheat pita pocket – cut long ways around the outer edges/perimeter
¼ cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella
1 vine ripened tomato
1 cup spinach
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat over to 450 degrees. Cut the pita in half along the outer edges so that you have two full circles. Place ½ of the pita on a baking sheet (place the other half back in it’s packaging). Coat the pita evenly with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes until the pita becomes slightly golden and crispy. Remove the pita from the oven. Slice the tomato and place slices over the surface of the pita. Sprinkle mozzarella on top of the tomatoes and place back in the oven. Bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese starts to melt. Remove from oven, top with spinach, drizzle with balsamic, slice, and enjoy.
The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown
Produce: tomato & spinach
Whole Grain: pita
Protein: reduced-fat fat mozzarella cheese
Plant Based Fat: olive oil
My obsession with Chef AJ’s recipes is still going strong! I’m quite positive I will make everything out of her book.
Her “It’s Easy Being Green Smoothie” is on my top 3 list of green smoothies.
My obsession began with my first green smoothie called the “Glowing Green Smoothie” by LA Nutritionist Kymberly Snyder. After my first experience of blended green goodness, I tried countless different recipes varying from sweet to rather savory and well… green tasting. I think I’m going to have to do a comparison post with my favorite green smoothie recipes in the future!
The great thing about green smoothies is that they are filled with vitamins and minerals to keep you energized and healthy, but unlike a juice, the fiber from the fruits and vegetables still remains, which helps to keep you fuller longer!
This smoothie is more on the sweet side, which is a great intro smoothie for someone who wants to try, but is a little hesitant.
It’s Easy Being Green Smoothie:
Recipe by Chef AJ
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup almond milk
1 bunch kale
2 frozen ripe bananas (peel and freeze beforehand)
2 cups frozen mango
about 1 cup of mint leaves (start with less and add to taste)
Start off by combing orange juice and almond milk with kale and blend until smooth. Then add the frozen banana, mango, and mint leaves.
Blend until thick and smooth, pour into 3 glass jars and enjoy. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
After attending Chef AJ’s cooking class last Sunday, I was dying to try one of her recipes and definitely craving some kale.
I went for the “Hail To The Kale” salad, which was the original dish I had tried at Whole Foods before discovering Chef AJ!
Hail To The Kale Salad
Recipe by Chef AJ
2 large heads of curly kale
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup raw almond butter (unsalted/unsweetened)
1 cup coconut water (I use O.N.E.)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic
3/4 oz. fresh ginger (approx 1″)
2 tablespoons low sodium Tamari or low sodium soy sauce
4 pitted Medjool dates
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Chop the kale and set aside in a large bowl.
In a high powered blender, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
Massage about 1/2 cup of the dressing onto the kale (more or less depending on your taste).
Toss with slivered almonds and raisins and serve.
Store excess dressing in a jar and refrigerate.
Chef AJ’s recipe doesn’t call for raisins, but I thought they were the perfect chewy addition to this creamy salad.
As Chef AJ says “Like a woman, this salad gets better with age.” I have to agree, I love to let the kale marinade in the dressing overnight in the refrigerator. It is twice as good the next day!
This recipe makes a large amount of dressing.
I was able to coat my 2 heads of kale, and fill an entire mason jar for future salads.
This dressing is a great staple to have in your fridge for veggie dipping and quick salads.