The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Ginbgerbread & Squash 062_Edited

Author: The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (uncooked) quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  • cheese of your choice for sprinkling; Gruyere is recommended
Instructions
  1. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
  2. Place the squash cut-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. While the squash bakes, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the red pepper and green onions until softened, about five minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, quinoa, and sage and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for five additional minutes.
  7. When the baked squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out most of the pulp and place in a bowl. Leave about ¼ inch of squash along the shell to keep it intact enough to hold the filling.
  8. Mash the removed pulp with a fork, then stir in the cooked quinoa and red pepper mixture.
  9. Stuff all of this back into the two butternut squash shells and sprinkle with as much cheese as you would like.
  10. Return the now stuffed and cheese covered shells to the oven and broil for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

About the Author: LeAndra is the author, cook, photographer, and chief dishwasher behind the blog Love & Flour. She is learning to like quinoa almost as much as she likes chocolate chip cookies.

Spring Produce Guide

Spring-produce-guide-2015
After a long winter who doesn’t enjoy the first signs of spring? Along with longer days, spring brings a whole new crop of vegetables and fruits for us to enjoy! Spring clean your diet with the best of this season’s fresh produce. We are sharing our favorites, and why we like them in the list below.

Apricots

Smooth and sweet, apricots are related to peaches and should be a rich orange color. They’re delicious on their own and taste wonderful in a green salad. They’re a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as numerous antioxidants.

Artichokes

Did you know artichokes are actually the buds of a purple flower? Choose tight buds for the best taste. They are rich in folate, fiber, vitamins C and K. They are also number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list!artichoke-580696_1280

Asparagus

Asparagus is at its peak now! It has folate for heart health as well as vitamins E, A and C. They should be bright green, show no signs of shriveling and have a tight and firm tip.

Grapefruit

Tangy and tart with a hint of sweetness grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C and lycopene. Serve grapefruit at breakfast, serve with chilled cooked shrimp and avocado or chop with cilantro and chili peppers for a salsa.

Lettuce

Choose dark leafy greens, such as romaine. Romaine contains large amounts of vitamin K and is a good source of vitamins A and folate. It is always delicious in a salad or green juice but it also tastes amazing when grilled!

Peas

Green peas for shelling should have green, glossy pods that feel firm and full. Snow pea pods should be flat with almost no visible lumps of peas inside. As for the health benefits, peas provide us with key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Radish

Radishes are of spring’s first and finest treats, peppery in taste and vibrant in color. They are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and have a mere 9 calories per ½ cup. Throw them in a salad raw or cook them for a more mild taste. radishes-322830_1280

Ramps

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are popular with chefs and foodies. These vitamin and anti-oxidant rich vegetables are only around for a short time during the spring. They taste like onions and garlic and can be cooked similarly to leeks and scallions. Here’s a recipe round up that will make you fall in love with ramps.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb has a sour flavor and pairs well with strawberries, grapefruit and orange. It’s very popular in many Middle Eastern and Moroccan dishes. Choose thick, firm stalks with no wrinkling or other signs of drying and trim any leaves. It’s low in calories and high in vitamins A, C and K.

Spring Onions / Scallions

Part of the onion family, spring onions have a milder taste than their counterparts and don’t overpower dishes. They are high in the phytonutrient polyphenol and are a good source of biotin and manganese. Don’t over peel the spring onion or you’ll lose its nutritional benefits. They’re delicious in salsa, guacamole, soups, rice, vegetable dishes and salads.

Strawberries

Look for bright red, firm berries that have bright green cap, are free of mushy spots and mold. Strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges and are a good source of manganese and potassium. They are the most popular berry in the world.strawberries-499118_1280

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is high in a number of vitamins, antioxidants and contains the more rare phytonutrient belatian. Choose crispy bright looking leaves with unblemished stalks. Chard can be used in place of spinach and similarly cooked.

Visit your farmers market or the produce section of your grocery store and try something new along with your seasonal favorites.

What is your favorite spring vegetable or fruit? Tweet to us @eatsmartscales.

 

P.F. Chang’s-inspired Chicken Endive Wraps

chickenendive wrap recipe

INGREDIENTS

ENDIVE:

  • About 1 pound Belgian endive

COOKING SAUCE:

CHICKEN:

  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) untoasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) minced ginger
  • 1 pound ground chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup (57 grams) reserved hard, white endive ends, finely chop (optional)
  • 2 – 3 scallions/green onions, finely chop white and light green parts for chicken, thinly slice green tops and reserve for garnish

For cooking directions, click here.

About the Author: Heather Sage is a gluten-free recipe developer, writer and Brit + Co freelance food editor living in Orlando by way of the Silicon Valley.  Her website, A Sage Amalgam, is dedicated to sharing gluten-free recipes inspired by all the places she’s been and those she hopes to travel to in the future!

Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas for People “On The Go”

You know that breakfast is important but you’re short on time and just want to grab something quick. We get it – mornings are hectic but breakfast doesn’t have to be a sugary pop tart or calorie-laden deli muffin. Back away from that doughnut! We have 12 healthy breakfasts that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized instead of full and sluggish.Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Yogurt Parfait

Pair plain Greek yogurt with fruit of your choice. Frozen fruit works too! Sweeten it up with a little honey and sprinkle your favorite granola on top.

Overnight Oats

Mix ½ cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of berries or ½ a banana – sliced, 2 tablespoons of nuts, a dash of cinnamon and 3/4 cup of milk in a container with a lid. Refrigerate overnight and you’ll have breakfast ready to “grab and go” in the morning. blueberries-531209_1920

Peanut Butter and Banana Roll Ups

Take a small whole wheat or corn soft tortilla, spread with 1 – 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and place a small banana in it.

Quick Microwaved Eggs

Beat 2 eggs, throw in a microwave-safe container, add 1 handful of your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes and spinach leaves work well), and a sprinkle of cheese. Zap the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, and cook another 30 seconds, or until eggs are solid.

Sweet Cheese Waffles

Mix ¼ c ricotta cheese and ¼ c blueberries with 1 tsp sugar. Top two whole grain toaster waffles (preferably organic) with the cheese and berry mixture for a sweet filling breakfast.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Heat ½ c of leftover cooked quinoa and ½ c unsweetened almond milk, top with fruit of choice.

Apple Bowls

Cut an apple in half, remove the core and fill each side with 2 tsp almond butter. Top with a tablespoon of granola.

Coffee Smoothie

Blend ½ cup of cold coffee, ½ cup of milk, 1 small banana, 1 tablespoon of nut butter and a few ice cubes for a quick breakfast with a kick.

“Instant” Oatmeal

Make your own oatmeal packets. Portion out ½ c rolled oats with 2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds, 2 tablespoons of raisins and cinnamon into baggies. Grab a baggie and heat oatmeal with 1 cup of almond milk in a large microwave safe bowl on medium power for 5 minutes.

Avocado Toast

Top 2 slices of toast with ½ a mashed avocado, sprinkle with salt and top with a sliced hard-boiled egg.

Sweet Potato with Peanut Butter

Microwave a small sweet potato for 2.5 minutes, top with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter and sprinkle with granola for a little crunch. Drizzle with honey if desired.

No time to put anything together? Here are a few more to literally “grab and go”: a string cheese, an apple and whole grain crackers; a banana, an individual packet of almond butter (we like Justin’s Natural) and a plain yogurt; a hard-boiled egg and an avocado.

Share your favorite quick and easy breakfast recipe with us, @eatsmartscales.

Healthy Blueberry Banana Bread with Oatmeal and Flax

blueberry banana bread
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Heart Healthy Bisquick
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 tbsp finely ground flax meal
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 3 tbsp
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fat free half and half, almond milk, soy milk or skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, make sure you drain them well)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For baking directions, click here.

About the Author: We at Skinnysweetsdaily.com feel you can have your sweet treat and still stay on a healthy eating plan. By cutting down on fat and calories but bringing up the flavors and textures of our recipes. You can have a great tasting dessert and enjoy every single bite without the guilt. Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Roundup

StPaddysDay Recipe Roundup2Everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day, right? However, traditional Irish cuisine and beverages (yes, all that beer), can be tough on our waistlines. We want to provide some inspiration on how to have a healthier celebration this year. Whether you are cooking for your family or attending a party, we’ve compiled a roundup of some festive treats. Why not start your day off with a healthy Minty Green Smoothie?

Mango Avocado Smoothie

mango-avocado-smoothieGet the recipe from Upstate Ramblings


St. Patrick’s Day BreadScreenshot 2015-03-10 11.52.19

Get the recipe from Skinny Mom


St. Patrick’s Day Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding 1.2Get the recipe from Susi’s Kochen und Backen Adventures


Shamrock Chips

shamrock chips 6Get the recipe from Zakka Life


Lightened Up Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

d-Mint-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-Healthierholidays-011 (1)Get the recipe from Peanut Butter and Peppers


Mint Chocolate Chip Glazed Popcorn

Mint-Chocolate-Chip-Glazed-Popcorn-1Get the recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips


Mint Shake

MintShakeGet the recipe from The Empowered Plate


Do you have a healthy twist on a traditional St. Patrick’s Day treat? Tweet us at @EatSmartScales!

Mason Jar Carrot Noodle Salad w/Sweet Chili Vinaigrette

mason-jar-salad-all-mixed-up-noshThe key to a great mason jar salad is the layering and packing it in tight, so things don’t move around.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai sweet red chili sauce
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dark Amber Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Carrot (spiralized, or julienned)
  • 1 roasted bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp seeds
  • 1⁄3 cup cashews (plain or flavored, like Asian Sesame)
  • 2 cups Spinach (or sub your favorite greens)

For instructions, click here.

About the Author: Kelly is the author, recipe creator, and food photographer behind the blog Nosh and Nourish. She incorporates nourishing superfoods into every meal for her husband, adorable toddler, and herself (think quinoa, Greek yogurt, chickpeas, kale, eggs, etc..) and manages to keep everything tasting absolutely delicious! Learn more by visiting her blog, at http://noshandnourish.com/, or check out her new cookbook “Superfoods at Every Meal” here.

Charity of the Month March 2015 – The Last Resort

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2015. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011.tlr-header

About The Last Resort Rescue:

The Last Resort Rescue is a 501c3 foster based no-kill rescue located in Northern NJ. We rescue mostly dogs from kill shelters down south where the methods of euthanasia are extremely inhumane, for example, the gas chamber and heartstick. We also try and help the dogs locally where the economy is a huge factor and many more people are sadly, having to give up their pets. Since we started our rescue in the latter of 2008, we have saved over 1700 animals. We have just a few core volunteers who pretty much run the entire rescue, 4 to be exact. We have grown tremendously since we started so we are in desperate need of more volunteers to continue growing and the save many more lives.

Herc home8-1Our mission is to provide permanent re-homing for all the animals that we rescue. Thousands of beautiful creatures each year are abandoned, neglected, abused and left to die by the people they trusted. Our team of rescuers, vet techs, trainers, foster homes and volunteers work diligently to bring these animals to safety where they can learn to love and trust humans again. Through fund raising, education and community support, we can all make a difference in the lives of these beautiful creatures. They need our help!!! We are animal rescuers, this is our burden and our blessing!

Click here to view some of the “Happy Tails” rescued by The Last Resort.

We will be donating 50 cents for every new Facebook follower during the month of March. (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate: FaceBook_512x512

If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

Toasted Almond + Quinoa Salad

Toasted Almond + Quinoa Salad - Luci's Morsels-3Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 Cup almonds, chopped see note
  • 1/2 Cup dried cranberries
  • 1-11oz can mandarin oranges, mostly drained
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon1
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Instructions:
Combine quinoa (hot or cold) with melted coconut oil. Add in cinnamon and ginger. Add is almonds, cranberries, and mandarins. Mix well. Refrigerate to keep or serve warm. Serves 8-10.

Note: When chopping almonds, use a serrated knife. Can also use slivered almonds.

About the Author: I’m a California girl with her PhD. I love jeans, iced coffee, homemade food, and smart humor. Luci’s Morsels is about fashion, food, and frivolity – all from an approachable and fun perspective…

Link: http://www.lucismorsels.com/2013/12/toasted-almond-quinoa-salad.html

6 Travel Tips for a Stress Free Spring Break

stress-free-travel-tipsSpring break is on the way, have you started making your travel plans? It’s a good idea to make plans in advance so you can get the best deals at the destination of your choice. We put together a list of tips to help you plan a stress free vacation. After all, your get away should be about making memories.

  1. Do Your Research – Whether you’re looking for something family friendly or to hang out with friends, you want a destination that suits your needs. Do you want a relaxing week on the beach or more of an urban atmosphere? Should your hotel be in the center of town or on a quiet beachfront property?
  2. Book Early – The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get the best prices and deals. Hotels book up quickly so make sure you have one in advance. Book activities, such as surfing or parasailing, in advance as well. You will be happier knowing your spot is guaranteed.
  3. Pack Wisely – Tourist destinations will charge top dollar for bathing suits, towels and sunscreen. It’s easier to bring everything you need rather than hunt around for it on vacation. Use our 3 Piece TravelWise Packing Cube System to maximize space in your luggage and keep you organized. It will also keep your clothing safe from any lotion bottles that might open mid-flight!social top-travel-tips-for-flying-1for posts(7)
  4. Road Trip Smart – Planning on driving to your vacation? Make sure to have another driver to share the miles and to help keep you alert. Plan time for stretch stops and meal breaks. Don’t forget to bring along a map as a backup since GPS and cell service can be spotty in some locations.
  5. Money Saving Ideas – The local Chamber of Commerce and sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon can help you plan free and low-cost activities. Still a student? Be sure to bring your Student ID, which may be useful for receiving discounts at various places of interest. Avoid incurring unwanted baggage fees by bringing along our Precision Voyager Luggage Scale. It reads luggage weight quickly and is small enough to toss in your suitcase for the return trip!voyager-2
  6. Share a Copy of Your Itinerary – A family member or friend should have a copy of your travel itinerary. It’s just smart to let someone know where you will be and how to get in touch with you other than your smartphone, especially when traveling internationally.

Where is your favorite Spring Break destination? Do you have a Spring Break travel tip that you’d like to share? Tweet to us, @eatsmartscales – we would love to hear from you!

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