Monthly Archives

May 2017

Spicy Sofritas Tacos

Posted in Recipes
on May 28, 2017

I decided to do a mash-up on Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday for this meal.  If you haven’t tried sofritas before I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  It even passed the meat-loving BFs taste test!

Sofritas is the term Chipotle coined for their delicious, savory scrambled tofu.   It’s  based on the word Sofrito which is a type of flavorful sauce used in Spanish and Latin American cooking.  The sauce is typically a combo of sautéed garlic, peppers and onions and is often used as a base for meat dishes, stews, and rice and beans.  For my sofritas sauce I decided to use pineapple salsa as I find the sweetness really balances the heat of the chili peppers.  I like to top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream, or even better, this guacamole.  It pairs well with an ice cold Coronita ;).

{Ingredients}:

2 tablespoons adobo sauce

2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

3 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 cups salsa

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch of brown sugar

2 handfuls of chopped fresh cilantro

16 oz extra firm tofu

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup minced red onion

6 whole wheat tortillas

~Extra cilantro, greek yogurt, lime, avocado/guacamole, queso fresco and red onions for toppings.

{Directions}:

  1.  For the sofritas sauce: pop the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, salsa, olive oil, garlic, salt and brown sugar into a food processor/blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Slice the block of tofu into about 10 slices and press with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Heat some oil over medium high heat and stir fry the tofu until it’s starting to get a little bit golden. Once slightly golden, use a whisk to mash and scramble the tofu into small bits
  3. Once scrambled, add in the sofritas sauce and simmer for 15 mins and then remove from heat
  4. Fill tortillas with black beans and sofritas mixture.  Top with onions, avocado slices or a dollop of this guacamole.  Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco and extra cilantro on top. Enjoy!

 

Greek Yogurt Guac

Posted in Recipes
on May 28, 2017

 

OK guys, you might be thinking- “Yogurt?! In guacamole?! No way Jose!”  I promise this unlikely combo is a good one.  Once I started adding greek yogurt to my guac I haven’t gone back.  The addition of greek yogurt makes this guacamole oh so creamy and adds a healthy dose of gut friendly probiotics.  It also packs a powerful protein punch.  Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot better folks.

 

 

{Ingredients}:

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 cup plain 2% greek yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 teaspoons cumin

4 ripe avocados

{Directions}:

Halve and pit the avocados then scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl. Add the lime juice to the bowl then use a fork to mash up the avocado until it reaches your desired consistency.

Stir in the Greek yogurt, red onion, cumin and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with chips or veggies. Store covered securely with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Spotlight on: Olive Oil

Posted in Nutrition + Health
on May 13, 2017

Did you know that May is National Mediterranean Diet Month?   If I had to pick one “diet” for my patients the Mediterranean diet would be it.  There is strong evidence that following the dietary pattern of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea can lower your risk of many chronic diseases including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.  The traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by high consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish and unprocessed grains, and low consumption of meat and meat products (maybe two to three times per month).  One of the biggest staples of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil.

Olive oil is rich in the heart healthy type of fats, monunsaturated fats or MUFAs.  These types of fatty acids are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and help to reduce the a amount of bad (LDL) cholesterol while helping to boost your good (HDL) cholesterol. In addition to MUFAs, olive oil is also loaded with powerful antioxidants.  These work to lower oxidative stress which is the root of many chronic diseases.  And although just 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains about 120 calories and 14 g of fat, observational studies do not show a link between high olive oil consumption and weight gain or obesity.  Score one for olive oil!  So now that we’ve established how great olive oil is-  which one to pick? With all the choices out there nowadays, choosing which olive oil to buy can be a bit overwhelming.  A good rule of thumb: go for quality.

The quality of olive oil is based on its acid content.  As acid content goes up, quality goes down.  The best olive oils come from the first pressing and range from golden yellow to almost bright green in color.  Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has the lowest acid at less than 3% and is therefore the highest quality. Extra virgin olive oil is also the only olive oil that contains all the beneficial antioxidants and bioactive compounds since it is minimally processed.  Unfortunately, there’s some fraud in the olive oil market.  There are some olive oils that are labeled as extra-virgin that may actually be diluted with refined oils.  Be sure to check the bottle for a label from the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), a trade group that tests olive oils to see if they measure up to the manufacturer’s claims. The trade group tests olive oils to determine if they are what the labels say they are and not adulterated or a mislabeled product.

Since light and oxygen can effect the quality of EVOO  be sure to look so look for containers that contain the sell-by date or harvest date.  Keep in mind that olive oil generally has a shelf life of about 12 months so the newer the better (note sell-by or harvest dates are not mandatory so you may have to do a little searching). Also, look for opaque or dark glass containers and choose bottles toward the back of the shelf, where no direct light reaches.  Since EVOO is the typically the most expensive I recommend to use it in dishes where you can really appreciate the flavor.  A great way to incorporate EVOO into your diet is to drizzle on raw foods such as salad greens, ripe tomatoes or green beans.  You can also use it as a base for a homemade salad dressing like the one here.  Mangia!

 

Garlicky Lemon Vinaigrette

Posted in Recipes
on May 7, 2017

 

The addition of garlic adds an extra dose of cancer-fighting antioxidants to this fresh, summery vinaigrette.

{Ingredients}:

1 glove garlic, minced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp fresh thyme

1/2 tsp lemon juice

{Directions}:

Mix the garlic, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl.  Using a whisk, slowly add the oil.  Stir in the thyme and lemon juice.  Pour into a glass cruet or mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.   Bring to room temperature and shake well before using.  Enjoy!

 

Garlickly Lemon Vinaigrette- From A To Zucchini

Quick and easy summery vinaigrette.

CSA {Community Supported Agriculture}

Posted in Nutrition + Health
on May 2, 2017

I recently attended a tour of a local farm for our monthly dietetic association meeting.   This farm happened to operate a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership program.  I had heard the term “CSA” thrown around a lot but have to admit I wasn’t quite sure what being a part of one entailed.   A quick background: Community supported agriculture (CSA) was introduced in 1985 to promote fresh, locally grown food and foster both social and ecological responsibility.  A CSA is a concept designed to encourage relationships between both consumers and growers and for consumers to become more knowledgeable about the way their food is grown.   One of the main benefits of a CSA is that it addresses the concern of the distance the food travels from farm to consumer.  I was shocked to learn that in the US the average distance from farm to consumer is 1300 miles!   In addition to decreasing the amount of emissions from long travel time, obtaining the food locally ensures that the money stays within the local community.

After learning about the benefits of a CSA program I decided to take the plunge.  I have had a great experience so far and have so many different veggies that have forced me to get creative in the kitchen.  This has inspired so many dishes that I will be sharing them weekly for the next few months in a series called “Farm Fresh Friday”.  Stay tuned for some delish, unique recipes!