Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Best Fresh Vegetable Substitutes

Let's face it, fresh vegetables are not always looking their best at the grocery store, and if our of season they are ridiculous in price. You can't just stop eating your vegetables, what would your mother say?

I've come accross two fresh vegetable substitutes, and they are quite possibly the next best thing, and with NO prep time.

1. Pacific Shores - Stir Fry Vegetables

What's in them? Chinese pea pods, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, green soybeans, water chestnuts, carrots, and mushrooms.

What a blend, especially for a stir fry (hence the name.) I got them at Trader Joe's but I'm sure they are also available at other whole food store type places.

Per serving = 7g of carbohydrates, 10g of protein and 45 calories

2. Acme Brand - Fiesta Blend Vegetables

What's in them? broccoli, carrots, white beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, Italian style green beans, and red peppers.

Vegetables with a twist, so tasty in so many ways. A nice variety to get away from just eating broccoli.

Per serving = 10g of carbohydrates, 3g of protein, and 60 calories

Friday, September 26, 2008

Honey Mustard Ginger Cinnamon Roasted Yams

Such a healthy side dish, and tastes great!

First, honey mustard dressing can be tricky. Sometimes it's too sweet, sometimes it's too spicy, so for this recipe you need to find the honey mustard recipe that suits your taste. Once you have it, you'll need to add in ground ginger and ground cinnamon to taste.

Peel and chop 2-3 large yams, be sure that the cut pieces are all uniform in size.

Place inside a large ziploc bag.
Coat with Honey Mustard Ginger Cinnamon dressing.
Let set for 4-6 hours.

Spray cooking/baking sheet with olive oil.
Set oven to 350 degrees.
Evenly place yam pieces on cooking/baking sheet.
Rotate pieces until lightly browned on all sides.

Serve warm with dinner, or cool as a snack.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Arugula and Gluten Free Pasta Salad

I know, I know, gluten free anything has to taste not so good, but it is!! The Ancient Harvest Quinoa brand has quite possibily the best tasting gluten free pasta I have ever had. Trust me.

For 2 servings...

Cook half a box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta as per directions. Set side to cool.

You'll need...
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup goat cheese
2 cups arugula
fresh ground white pepper to taste

Once the pasta has cooled, add in the sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and white pepper, and mix.

When ready to serve add in arugula.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Brunch Omelette

Typically omelettes could be an excellent choice for any meal, usually breakfast. This one I recommend saving for later in the day, as the more intense flavors might not sit well in a weak, morning stomach.

1/4-1/2 cup sliced baby portobella mushrooms
1/2 cup diced asparagus (thin ones, and discard the bottom ends - not the tips)
2 egg whites
1 egg
blue cheese

Warm the baby portabella mushrooms and asparagus in a frying pan, use extra virgin olive oil, not too much. Low heat about 2-3 minutes.

Mix the 2 egg whites and 1 egg in a bowl with a fork. Pour egg on top of mushrooms and asparagus.

Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top of egg. Fold omelette in half and cook.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Warm Almond and Bean Salad

As much as I love a good salad, I can also get disgustingly sick of them. I once had grilled romaine at a restaurant and thought it was fantastic, so this idea came into my mind and it's very tasty.

You'll need...
One head of Romaine Lettuce
16oz can of drained Light Red Kidney Beans
1/2cup of Slivered Almonds
Buttermilk Spice

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Chop the Romaine Lettuce and place in a rectangular baking dish.
Sprinkle with Penzey's Buttermilk Spice.
Once the lettuce starts to brown slightly add the Almonds and Light Kidney Beans.
Sprinkle with Oregano.
Cook in oven for 4-6 minutes longer or until the kidney beans start to split.

Serve Warm. Yum!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Cool Summer 'Pasta' Meal

I found a pasta made from soy beans. There is no enriched white flour and there isn't even any whole wheat flour, all soy beans, organic, and gluten free. It's made by Nutrition Kitchen and I've found it at Whole Foods and Giant Supermarket.

What you need:
One box of Whole Soybean Pasta
One 9oz bag of Baby Spinach
One medium sized cucumber, diced
Five Vine Ripe Tomatoes, diced
Feta Cheese
Olive Oil to taste
Oregano to taste
Penzey's Buttermilk Spice to taste

Cook one box of Whole Soybean Pasta

Once the Soybean Pasta is cooked, drain and set aside for a few minutes to cool.

In a large salad/mixing bowl place a layer of

Soybean Pasta

Sprinkle with Olive Oil, Oregano, and Buttermilk Spice

Add one more layer of

Soybean Pasta

Again, sprinkle with Olive Oil, Oregano, and Buttermilk Spice

Toss and serve. Add feta cheese to the top of each dish. Can be served warmed and cold.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dessert or Breakfast Treat

1 cup fresh, sliced strawberries
1 cup 2% or 5% greek yogurt
1 tbsp dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut

Mix strawberries (or other berries) with greek yogurt.
Sprinkle coconut on top. Sprinkle cinnamon to desired taste.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stuffed Squash Variation

Thought I'd try to mix some flavors up a bit. This variation is fantastic. Again I'm using Morning Star Meal Starters Crumbles, feel free to substitute in any lean protein of your choice.

To speed up the cooking time slice the acorn squash in half, spoon out the seeds and pulp, place in a baking dish, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamin, and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. (This was a little faster than gutting it like a pumpkin.)

Brown the Meal Starters (or whatever other lean protein you desire) in olive oil in a frying pan. Sprinkle sweet yellow curry on top and mix in. This should be done to taste, but I covered the surface with sweet curry. Once browned sprinkle about 1/4 cup of dry unsweetened coconut, 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries, and 3/4 cup of almonds. Once mixed in, place contents inside each half of the baking acorn squash. Bake for 8-10 more minutes.

Great to eat right away or as a snack the next day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spaghetti Squash, A Pasta Alternative

Althoug nothing beats a nice large bowl of freshly made pasta in the middle of winter, there are several food items that can replace pasta in most dishes and serve it's purpose. (Mind you I am not saying spaghetti squash tastes like pasta)

Spaghetti Squash
Spinach, 3 cups
Tomato, 1-2 large
Lean Protein Source, Quorn Meatballs in this case
Parmasean Cheese, freshly grated

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and spoon out the insides (just like you do with a pumpkin)
Place squash in oven, cook at 350 degrees for about an hour. Depeding on the size of the squash cooking time might be longer or shorts.

With about 20 minutes of cooking time left for the squash, cook the lean protein source in light olive oil, add in the spinach at the end and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Dice the tomato and set aside.

Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, carefully remove from oven with an oven mit or towel. Take a fork and start and shread the squash away from the outer shell.

Place 1 cup of squash on a plate, add the spinach and lean protein, then the tomato to the top, sprinkle with parmasean cheese.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Roasted Vegetables

Side - Roasted Vegetables

The Vegetables

2 Yams, peeled and chopped
1 Butternut Squash, chopped
1 Eggplant, quatered and speared
2 Cups Grape Tomaotes
3 Cups Portobella Mushrooms, sliced

The Marinade

6 TBSP Extra Virin Olive Oil
8 TBSP Balsamic Vinagrette
1 TBSP Brown Mustard
Sprinkle Basil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

After cleaning and cutting all of the above ingredients, put into a 1 gallon zip lock bag. Drizzle the marinade over the cut vegetables inside the bag. Let sit for 45-60 minutes. Places vegetables in oven at 325 degrees until browned. Flipping vegetables occassionally.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cranberry Citrus Chicken

This one takes literally no more than 10 minutes to prepare and cook. Very fast, very tastey.

1TBSP Extra Light Virgin Olive Oil
6 oz Quorn Chik'n Tenders (not breaded)
1/3 cup Whole Dried Cranberries
1/3 cup Whole Blanched Almonds
Juice from 1/2 of a Medium Lime
A Sprinkle of Basil

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
Lightly brown the Quorn Chik'n Tenders.
Squeeze the juice from half the lime into the skillet.
Add cranberries, almonds, and lightly sprinkle with basil.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, mixing occassionally.

Be careful not to cook the cranberries too long, so they don't start to carmelize.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snack / Appetizer - Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus -Ellie Krieger, The Food Network

-2 cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions
-1 cup silken tofu, briefly drained of excess liquid
-1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
-3 cloves garlic
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/3 cup lemon juice, plus more, to taste
-1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, plus more, for garnish

Set 1 tablespoon of edamame aside for a garnish. Place the rest of the edamame, tofu, salt, garlic, oil, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, plus more lemon juice, if desired. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with reserved edamame, and some cumin.

Thanks for another great find Mara!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stuffed Squash

Post Training Stuffed Squash

Taken from the Performance Menu, slightly adapted.

1 small acorn squash
7oz Morning Star Meal Starters, Crumbles
1/2 cup whole dried cranberries
Paprika to taste

1. Cut around the stem end of the squash and remove, much like how you would start if carving a pumpkin. With a spoon, dig out the seeds and pulp. Cut a flat spot on the bottom of the squash, so it will stand up. Place the squash on a baking pan, bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

2. Brown the Meal Starters Crumbles in a skillet, adding the cranberries and paprika. After 25 minutes, remove the squash and fill the cavity with the above cooked mixture. Return the squash to the oven for 15 more minutes. Allow to cool before eating!

I haven't tried the original recipe from the Performance Menu due to it containing ground turkey, but I do like the cranberry substitution from the suggested fruit of pineapple or raisins.

Chili Con Tempeh

Chili Con Tempeh

Taken from Gary Null's Power Foods, slightly adapted. Very hearty, very tasty.

2 16-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
1 3-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup of frozen white corn
1 zucchini, chopped
1 large sweet potato, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 TBSP chili powder, more or less to taste
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 package tempeh, crumbled
1 15-ounce can kidney, pinto, or black beans, thoroughly rinsed

1. In a large pot, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, zucchini, sweet potato, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.

2. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

3. Add the tempeh and beans and simmer for 30 minutes more.

4. Can be served as is, or with brown rice.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Appetizer - Olive and Eggplant Dip

2 Italian eggplants (10 ounces each) halved lengthwise
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup, pitted Kalamata Olives
1/2 cup, Pitted green olives, Sicilian or Picholine
1 tsp finely chopped, fresh oregano
1 tsp finely grated, lemon zest
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 yellow red bell peppers, cut into even slices

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplants, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet, and brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Scatter garlic over tops, and sprinkle with salt. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Remove eggplant seeds; spoon flesh and garlic into a food processor. Puree; transfer to a medium bowl.

3. Add olives to processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add to bowl with eggplant mixture. Stir in chopped oregano, lemon zest, red-pepper flakes, and remaining teaspoon oil. Garnish with oregano leaves and lemon-zest strips. Serve with bell peppers.

Submitted by Mara, from marthastewart.com

Curry Ginger Tofu

Sweet Curry Ginger Tofu

1lb Soft Tofu, cubed
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
20 Fresh Brussel Sprouts, skinned and halved
2 cups Fresh Spinach
2 TBPS Extra Virgin Light Olive Oil
1 tsp Sweet Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground White Pepper

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add Sweet Curry Powder, Ginger, and Ground White Pepper.
Cook Tofu and Brussel Sprouts until lightly browned.
Add in Red Bell Pepper and Spinach, cook for 2-3 more minutes until red bell pepper and spinach are just warmed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Breakfast - Hearty Oatmeal

Prepare one serving of Old Fashioned Oats as instructed.

Once cooked, add in

2 TBSP of Natural Peanut Butter
1/3 cup of Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup of Sliced Almonds

Once the above ingredients have been mixed in with the oatmeal, serve.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Appetizer - Chili Con Queso Style

Appetizer - Chili Con Queso ~ Rich's Favorite

(meatless and they'll never know)

Morning Star Crumbles, 1 package
Diced Tomatoes, 16oz can
Cubed Light Cream Cheese, 1 block
Chili Powder
Hot Paprika

Brown the package of Morning Star Crumbles.
Add Cumin and Chili Powder to taste.
Add Diced Tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Add Cubed Light Cream Cheese until melted.
Sparingly sprinkle Hot Paprika.
Simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

Serve Warm with Celery Sticks or Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips.

Veggie Stir Fry - An Unusual Combo

Veggie Stir Fry - An Unusual Combo

Extra Vigin Light Olive Oil
Fresh Brussel Sprouts, 10, Halved
Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms, 1 cup
Dark Red Kidney Beans, 1 cup
Fresh Baby Spinach, 2 cups

Heat the frying pan with olive oil over medium - medium high heat.
Place the halved brussel sprouts in the pan flat side down, allow to brown.
Add Mushrooms, cook until almost translucent.
Add Kidney Beans, to warm.
Add Spinach, keep over heat until spinach is cooked.

Serve Warm.

(If you aren't worried about sodium, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt)


Recipes for Performance & Fitness is a complimentary listing of recipes that are all vegetarian friendly. All the recipes on this site can substitute any lean protein source where desired. Some recipes listed may contain nuts, milk, soy, eggs, wheat, and gluten. Any recipes borrowed from another source will be acknowledged.