tasteovers by jackie

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spring “clean” orzo salad

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

spring “clean” orzo salad

It’s time for some spring cleaning! Don’t worry, the type of “housework” I’m talking about is not a chore at all. Just head on over to your kitchen where your tastebuds can actually benefit from this cleanup!

The theme of this month’s Recipe Redux is: “Spring Clean the Kitchen.” So, I created this whole-wheat orzo recipe using ingredients that I already had on hand. If you don’t have all of the same ingredients, make swaps based on what you do have in your fridge or pantry. Challenge yourself to not shop for anything new. For instance, use about 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or other pasta if you don’t have orzo; try white wine vinegar if you don’t have lemon; and try garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic. If you want a surprising hint of sweetness, use whatever fruit from your fridge or fruit bowl that needs to be used up quickly. (I know that might sound a bit odd, but it totally works if you use just a bit. I used grapes, FYI!) Then use any raw or cooked leftover veggie odds and ends you have on hand (I used raw zucchini, grape tomatoes, and scallions!). Don’t forget pistachios, pine nuts, or chopped walnuts to complete the recipe with a little nuttiness and crunchiness.

The result … a satisfying vegan salad that’s nutritionally “clean”—plus a fun and delicious way to do some spring cleaning. A win-win, for sure!

Calories saved: 38

Why it’s better for you? More fiber and whole grain goodness!

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spicy vegan lentil tacos with avocado whip

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

spicy vegan lentil tacos with avocado whip

The Recipe Redux topic of the month is to showcase my healthy take on tacos. So here you go! I swapped the taco “meat” with spicy lentils! I kept everything else in this taco recipe vegan to make it a 100% plant-based meal. And that avocado whip on top … it’s kinda addictive, in a good way! By the way, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy these tacos. Just do your best to eat these tacos as is rather than smothering with cheese and sour cream! Enjoy!

Calories saved: 140

Why it’s better for you? A whopping amount of dietary fiber!

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grilled hummus toast with middle eastern salsa

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

grilled hummus toast with middle eastern “salsa”

Sure, I’m a big fan of avocado toast. I know I’m not alone in that! But when I don’t have a ripe avocado, this is my toast of choice! It’s inspired by my heritage—-I’m half Lebanese. That means I’m pretty much going to enjoy hummus anything. For this recipe, instead of toasting bread, I grill it for extra interest and smoky flair. And yes, a pan grill works well. The salsa is inspired by Mexican pico de gallo, but it includes cucumber and the herbs are switched up a bit. (I enjoy this salsa anytime; but it’s especially delicious when tomatoes are at peak season, of course!) As for the hummus, make your own or take a shortcut and buy it. It’s completely up to you! What I especially love about this recipe is that you can have the salsa and hummus ready to go in the fridge and then simply grill up bread as you like—even if dining for one. Enjoy as a no-brainer pick for a Meatless Monday lunch entrée or a quick fix whenever!

Calories Saved: 205

Why it’s better for you? Both avocado toast and hummus toast are packed with good nutrition! Though hummus toast does have more protein when served as is!

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veggie & red lentil rotini pasta bowl

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

veggie & red lentil rotini pasta bowl

If you’ve got about 15 minutes, make this veggie pasta bowl! That’s what I often do when I’m short on time for dinner! But vegetarian pasta dishes don’t always provide enough protein for a complete meal. So, here’s what I like to do: Use a pasta made from red lentils. I love, love, love lentils for so many reasons, including that the little pulses are packed with plant protein and can help play a role in regulating blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels! (By the way, I chose Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Pasta here, which I picked up at Whole Foods Market.) Hope you try this meal-in-one pasta bowl on Meatless Monday–and beyond. It’s not fancy, but it’s flavorful! Enjoy!

Calories Saved: 380

Why it’s better for you? The pasta itself is “superfood-y” to start with since it’s made from lentils!

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pan-grilled portabella “steak” & egg & vegetable hash

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

pan-grilled portabella “steak” & egg & veggie hash

Sure, you can order steak ‘n eggs at your favorite breakfast spot and pay maybe 15 bucks! That’s not a good thing for your pocketbook or the planet! Or you can whip up this pan-grilled portabella “steak” with a crispy fried organic egg and a bell pepper-potato hash for about 3 bucks! I’ll take the 3-buck breakfast any day of the week! There’s no better time to share my breakfast-on-the-cheap since the Recipe Redux theme this month is “Budget-Friendly Eats!” By the way, if you’ve got a really tight budget, fry two eggs up in a pan and forgo the portabella. Either way, you’ll save loads of calories. And either way, my pick is organic eggs; the extra 10-ish cents per egg is worth it to me!

Calories saved: 516

Why it’s better for you: Half the calories + triple the fiber + plenty of plant-based nutrients

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simple lemony white bean salad with fresh herbs

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

simple lemony white bean salad with fresh herbs

My pantry is almost always stocked with canned organic cannellinis, chickpeas, and black beans! That’s because they’re packed with antioxidants, fiber, and protein. Plus, they’re notably filling and simple to fix. This recipe showcases all of the above—and is loaded with fresh herbs and flavor.

I based this super easy bean side salad on “Italian Cannellini Bean Salad,” which I found on page 160 of my very own The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition. That’s because the Recipe Redux theme of the month was to “Grab a Book & Cook,” selecting a recipe on a page using any combination of the number ‘2016.’ So, voila! I couldn’t resist putting a new twist on one of my own recipes. Of course, this version is good for you and great tasting, too.

Enjoy it anytime … and often!

Calories saved: 50

Hint: It’s just as healthful and delicious as the original recipe!

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lemony beet “hummus” with poached pistachios

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

lemony beet hummus with poached pistachios

Move over traditional hummus! This new twist on the dip uses white beans to allow all flavors to shine through. It’s prettier thanks to beets! (Hint: It’s okay to use the pre-packaged type to save time.) And it’s nutritiously intriguing thanks to poached pistachios, made simply by simmering shelled pistachios in water for 20 minutes. Pair with sliced cucumbers, jicama, or whole grain pita chips. Enjoy as a sandwich condiment, too.

Calories saved: 34

Why it’s better for you? Both traditional hummus and this version are good for you. What’s interesting about this recipe is that you’ll get lutein and zeaxanthin from the pistachios and betalain from the beets!

Disclosure: I developed this recipe for Wonderful Pistachios as part of an educational toolkit. The recipe is meant for sharing. Please share as you like! #client #ad @GetCrackin

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baba ghannoush with poached pistachio puree

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

baba ghannoush with poached pistachio puree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … if you’re a Christmas “geek” like I am! I love to entertain during the holiday season! There’s almost always going to be a dip available when I host a gathering. Every year I whip up one that’s new. So, here’s this year’s creation—an inspired take on baba ghannoush (Middle Eastern eggplant dip). Poached pistachio puree is what makes this recipe special. I use it here in place of tahini for a unique taste twist and velvety texture. And beyond just a dip, baba ghannoush makes a delightful bruschetta topping … including this version. Serve it as a festive (and Meatless Monday-friendly!) pick that all of your family and friends—vegetarian or otherwise—can enjoy! Happy holidays!

poached pistachio puree

poached pistachio puree

 

Calories saved: 15

Why it’s better for you? Both traditional baba ghannoush and this version are good for you. What’s interesting about this recipe is that you’ll get lutein and zeaxanthin from the pistachios!

 

Disclosure: I work with Wonderful Pistachios to help consumers make healthful snack choices.

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