Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Healing Power of Tumeric!

       Tumeric, a spice from the root of the Curcuma Longa plant, is best known for its use in curry and has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian medicine. Tumeric, or curcumin has become a recent hot health topic for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
       Research studies have found that curcumin may help treat inflammatory diseases including IBS, crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis. Other research has also found powerful benefits in preventing cancer and decreasing cancer cell growth. Curcumin may also provide cardiovascular protection by helping lower "bad cholesterol" or LDL and preventing oxidation of cholesterol, reducing risk of stroke and heart disease. Tumeric or curcumin alone has low bioavailability, but with the addition of black pepper your body is able to absorb more. So whenever using tumeric in cooking, add some black pepper to the dish!

Easy places to Add Tumeric:
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Soups/Stews
  • Rice (add to water when cooking rice)
  • Meat marinade
  • Homemade salad dressing
  • Sauted or Roasted Vegetables
  • Toss with roasted vegetables 

 Chicken Tikka Masala

Servings: 4
 Total Cooking Time: 40 minutes


  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 28-ounce can low sodium plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/3 cup low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Stir together garam masala, pepper, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.)
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in milk. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
  5. Serve over brown rice (sprinkle in additional 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric to water while rice cooks)


Per serving: 310 calories; 14 g fat (5 g sat, 6 g mono);85 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 3 g fiber; 641 mg sodium; 676 mg potassium.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cool Summer Recipes

Summer is finally here! I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to do when it's over 80 degrees out is turn on my oven or eat anything hot. Here are a couple of my favorite healthy and easy to cook summer recipes that will keep you cool and feeling satisfied during these hot summer months! My other favorite part about these recipes is that they are great make ahead dishes.

Black Bean Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Servings: 4

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • salt/pepper to taste
1. Over medium heat in a medium sauce pan cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water or broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for ~ 15 minutes or until no liquid is left. Then let cool.
2. Once quinoa is cooled add in diced tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro and mix together.
3. Then add in remaining ingredients (olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper) and stir to combine.

Nutrition Information per serving: 405 calories, 16 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 50 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 300 mg sodium, 12  g fiber

Cool Avocado Cream Soup

Servings: 6

  • 3 Avocados, peeled, pitted
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 28 ounces (3.5 cups) of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  •  1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toppings: cilantro, plain Greek yogurt

1. Put the avocado flesh in a food processor with the onion and half of the lemon juice. Process until smoothly pureed, stopping a few times as necessary to scrape down the bowl, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of the chicken broth and the cream until thoroughly blended. Season with salt, pepper to taste and more of the lemon juice. Cover; chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.
2. Taste the chilled soup; adjust the seasonings if necessary with a little more salt, pepper and lemon juice. If you prefer it thinner, stir in some of the remaining chilled chicken broth. Serve in chilled bowls, garnished with cilantro and greek yogurt.

Nutrition information per serving(not including toppings): 200 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 12 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 300 mg sodium, 7 g fiber