Category Archives: Entree

Buffalo Cauliflower

Buffalo Cauliflowerhealth, wellness, diet, dietitian, nutrition, nutritionist, michelle moreau, chef, healthy kitchen, healthcare, medical insurance, Portsmouth, NH, seacoast, celiac, cardiac, diabetes, diet, weight loss, recipe, couneling, healthcare, buffalo, cauliflower, vegan, vegetarian, superbowl, party food

It’s amazing how some foods seem to pair so perfectly with certain events – like that box of popcorn in the movie theater, the candy apples on a stick at the carnival, or the big tower of cake at any wedding. For many sports fans no gathering is complete without a batch of Buffalo Wings within the food mix. But with all that saturated fat and salt, traditional Buffalo wing recipes can be far from heart-healthy.

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The star of the table at your next sporting get-together.

This Buffalo Cauliflower recipe gives you the best of both worlds – a spicy, flavorful treat that is also more heart-friendly. There’s much less saturated fat (especially if you leave out the butter entirely), it’s and lower in sodium than traditional Buffalo wings. It’s also nice to have a homemade buffalo sauce on hand of which all of it’s ingredients you can pronounce.

I like to serve this dish with typical Buffalo wing sides: raw carrot and celery sticks and a bit of crumbled blue cheese. But even all on its own, this Buffalo Cauliflower is quite tasty. The Chili peppers give it a really nice heat.

If you want, make the Buffalo sauce ahead of time. Store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 6 days. Also, for this recipe you will need to use only about 1/2 of the sauce. So, there will be plenty leftover to turn just about anything Buffalo throughout the week! Toss the extra Buffalo sauce with more roasted cauliflower, or with chicken breasts, shrimp or tofu, or use it as a dip with your favorite corn chips or toasted tortillas.

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A few veggies perfect for use in homemade Buffalo sauce

INGREDIENTS
5 medium Plum tomatoes
1 medium Red bell pepper
1 medium Onion, peeled, sliced in quarters
2 large Garlic cloves, peeled
6-8 Cayenne pepper pods, dried
2 teaspoons +2 tablespoons Olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon Water
1/4 teaspoon Salt
*3 tablespoons Butter, unsalted
*(or substitute another 3 tablespoons Olive oil for butter)
2 large Cauliflower heads, cut to small “wing”- sized pieces

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add tomatoes, red pepper, onion, garlic and cayenne pods to a medium roast pan and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Cook for 1 hour, or until red pepper is soft. Peel and seed red pepper, discarding its peel and seeds. Add roasted veggies, water and salt to blender and blend smooth. Slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil while continuing to blend. Blend in the butter (or slowly drizzle in additional 3 tablespoons olive oil).

Toss the cauliflower with 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large roast pan. Lightly season with salt. Cook in oven 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is slightly softened.

Toss the cauliflower with about 1/2 of the Buffalo sauce. Roast the Buffalo Cauliflower another 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is al dente.

Serve alongside sliced, raw carrots and celery, plus blue cheese and/or blue cheese dressing.

Serves 8-12 people.

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Buffalo Cauliflower with Carrot & Celery Sticks, Blue Cheese and Blue Cheese Dressing

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa Black Bean Saladhealth, wellness, diet, dietitian, nutrition, nutritionist, michelle moreau, chef, healthy kitchen, healthcare, medical insurance, Portsmouth, NH, seacoast, celiac, cardiac, diabetes, diet, weight loss, recipe, couneling, healthcare, gluten free, quinoa, veggies, multiveggie, dairy free, gluten, salad, whole grains

This quick and easy salad is a tasty side dish for your next cookout. The quinoa and black beans together make a complete protein, making it a good vegan entree too. Try making this once and it and it will soon become a family staple, as it keeps well in the fridge for days, and it’s also is a delicious lunchbox option.

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Deliciousness in every bite

I made this batch with a blend of white and red quinoa. Black quinoa works great in the mix too. I recommend using a blend of quinoa grains for the variety of texture.

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Quinoa Black Bean Salad

INGREDIENTS
3 cups Quinoa, cooked
1 can Black beans, low-sodium, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup Red bell pepper, seeded, diced
1/2 cup Yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced
1/2 cup Orange bell pepper, seeded, diced
2 large Scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Parsley, flat leaf, chopped
3 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Honey
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
3 tablespoons Olive oil

PREPARATION
To a large bowl add the quinoa, black beans, peppers, scallions and parsley and toss to mix.

To a medium mixing bowl add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. As you continue whisking slowly pour in the olive oil to dressing.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes about 7 servings.
Serving size 1 cup.

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Serve alongside a leafy greens salad for your next meatless Monday dinner

A Lentil – Veggie Fest

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March is National Nutrition Month. One powerful, yet simple, way for many people to improve their diet is to include more veggies. The recommend goal is to consume 3 cups of veggies daily, yet the average American does not reach even half that amount.

Need to get in more veggies? This dish can deliciously help up your veggie intake throughout the week.  It stores well in the refrigerator, and reheats easily in the microwave. With so many veggie varieties included, it’s a festival of color and flavor. Serve it as an entree or as a side to your favorite protein.  Add a side of greens for  an even better, balanced plate.

In this recipe I used fresh turmeric. While it is very delicious (with flavor kind of like a spicy carrot when eaten raw), working with fresh turmeric is messy, as it can stain things yellow. Wear gloves and use a cutting board that does not have much sentimental value to you when preparing it (unless you find the color yellow on everything appealing). If you cannot get fresh ginger and/or turmeric, then substitute with a teaspoon each of the dried spice versions. Add the spice(s) when you add the onions to the coconut oil at the start of cooking.

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fresh turmeric, garlic and ginger

I prefer using fresh turmeric and ginger over their dried spice versions for several reasons. The depth of flavor is definitely greater in fresh turmeric and ginger than in the dried. Using the fresh root versions are also a safer bet when it comes to food allergies and intolerances. Depending on where and how processing is done, there is often risk of cross-contamination with possible allergens during manufacturing.  Always read spice labels and/or check with manufacturers first before using spices in dishes prepared for someone with a food allergy or intolerance.

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A Wok full of happy Lentils and Veggies

I love using coconut oil with lentils because lentil + coconut flavors are so amazing together. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute it with olive oil instead.

The Garlic Chili Paste can be found in most grocery and specialty stores. Don’t have any on hand? Then use 1/2 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon of salt as a replacement. Add the chili pepper flakes when you add the onions to the coconut oil, and add the salt the same time you add the lemon juice.

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A Lentil – Veggie Fest with sauteed baby spinach greens and roasted Asian chicken.

Try to cut the veggies into very small pieces, especially the sweet potato. The larger the dice, the longer you will have to cook the veggies to bring them to an al dente consistency.

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A Lentil – Veggie Fest

INGREDIENTS
1 pound Lentils, dried (about 2 cups)*
4 cups Vegetable stock, low-sodium*
1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup Water
2 tablespoons Coconut oil
2 cups White onion, peeled, diced small
2 cups Sweet potato, peeled, diced small
1 1/2 cups Carrot, peeled, diced small
1 cup Celery, diced small
2 tablespoons Turmeric, fresh, peeled, minced
2 tablespoons Ginger, fresh, peeled, minced
3-4 cloves Garlic, peeled, minced
1 cup Scallion, minced
2 medium Lemons, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Tamari, low-sodium*
1 teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce
3/4 cup Parsley, fresh, chopped

PREPARATION
Add lentils and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan on high heat. Bring to boil, then simmer until lentils are softened, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the dried tomato and water. Soak tomato for at least 15 minutes.
To a large wok over high heat add the coconut oil. Add the onions and saute 3 minutes.
Add the sweet potato, dried tomatoes and soak water to wok and saute another 5-6 minutes, or until sweet potato is softened.
Add carrots, celery, ginger, turmeric and garlic to wok and saute another 5 minutes, or until veggies are al dente.
To wok add the cooked lentils, scallions, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, Tamari, and Chili Garlic Sauce and saute another 3-4 minutes, making sure to stir well.
Remove wok from heat. Toss in the chopped parsley. Serve warm.

*Note: These food items may contain gluten; check label before using if preparing gluten-free.

Makes about 10 servings.
Serving size 1 cup.

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A Lentil-Veggie Fest: A delicious way to get in more veggies and fiber into your diet.

What will you serve with it?

Not Your Mama’s Porridge

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Recipe Redux: The Beef Checkoff

Every meal, every day it is a healthy idea to include some protein on your plate. Many people have a hard time accomplishing this at breakfast. With muffins, breads and cereals often taking center stage in the morning, the total protein amount can fall far short of the 20-30 gram amount that’s ideal for muscle maintenance and building. Anyone trying to control their blood sugars will find it easier to do so when their meals include a good protein source.

This recipe will surely put a fix to the morning protein dilemma…

Creamy grits + savory steak and mushrooms + fiery pepper sauce = total mouth party!!!

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Fire up your next breakfast with this savory dish

The creamy grits make for a comforting hot breakfast and pairs deliciously with grilled steak and mushrooms. This fiery pepper sauce recipe is one of my favorites. Feel good about eating as much as you want of it, as it’s made from pureed roasted vegetables. The recipe will make a big batch of sauce; more than is needed for this breakfast for two. Have the extra sauce with corn chips or another meal. You can cut the sauce recipe in half for less of a commitment, but don’t blame me if you make that call and then later find yourself upset when you run out of sauce so quickly!

This recipe is for two people. If cooking for more, you can easily multiply the porridge, beef and mushrooms. You don’t need to make extra sauce (unless upscaling for an army).

Just about any lean cut of beef will work with this recipe, including round, flank, tenderloin, ranch, sirloin or strip. I especially like using flank steak for this; if you choose it make sure to cut it against the grain. Whichever lean cut looks good and is on sale that week, I say that’s the one for you to use!

This dish would also work well with poached egg. If you decide to add eggs, use small sized and cut the beef portion in half.

Not your Mama’s Porridge

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Not your Mama’s Porridge

INGREDIENTS
(for the Fiery Pepper Sauce)
2 large Bell peppers, red
2 large Plum tomatoes
1 medium Onion, Peeled, sliced in half
2-4 small Cayenne pods, or other dried hot pepper
1+ tablespoons water
1 teaspoon White wine vinegar
To taste Black pepper, fresh ground

(for the Porridge)
1 1/3 cups Milk, low-fat
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch white pepper
1/2 cup Grits, yellow or white, coarse ground
(for the steak and mushrooms)
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups Mushrooms, sliced thick
2 tablespoons Parsley, flat-leaf, chopped
7 ounces Steak, lean cut, sliced into strips

PREPARATION
(for the Fiery Pepper Sauce): Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Place the peppers, tomatoes,onion and dried peppers into a small oven-proof dish and roast for an hour, or until the bell peppers lose all their firmness. Take dish out of oven and cover with aluminum foil for 5 minutes. Remove foil and let vegetables cool slightly. Peel skin from tomatoes and bell peppers and remove stems and seeds from bell peppers. Discard the removed skins and seeds.
Place roasted vegetables into a high-powered blender with a tablespoon of water, teaspoon of vinegar and some freshly ground black pepper. Blend on high for 2 minutes. If sauce is too thick, you can add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Note:If you accidentally make the sauce too thin, you can thicken it by adding a teaspoon or two of chia seeds and blending on high for 2 additional minutes.

(for the Porridge): Add milk, water, salt and white pepper to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the grits. Bring to a simmer again. Without stirring, cook until the grits float the surface, about 2 minutes.
Cover porridge with a tight-fitting lid and remove from heat. Let sit until all the moisture is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in a little extra milk if needed to reach a creamy consistency.

(for the Steak and Mushrooms): Lightly spray saute pan with cooking oil and heat pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to and saute 2-3 minutes. Add parsley and saute another 30 seconds. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside. Reheat pan. Season steak with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook to desired doneness (medium rare, medium, well-done).

To serve: Place 1/2 of the porridge onto a plate or bowl. Top with 1/2 the steak and mushrooms. Serve with fiery pepper sauce.
Makes 2 servings.

Disclosure: I received beef product mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Beef Checkoff and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

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Coarse grits make breakfast extra delicious


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Steak – it’s what’s for Breakfast!

Cucumber Shrimp Salad

Cucumber Shrimp Salad
Recipe Redux – July, 2015: Fresh from the Garden health, wellness, diet, dietitian, nutrition, nutritionist, michelle moreau, chef, healthy kitchen, healthcare, medical insurance, Portsmouth, NH, seacoast, celiac, cardiac, diabetes, diet, weight loss, recipe, couneling, healthcare, gluten free,  shrimp, cucumber, salad, herbs, lunch, brunch, appetizer, glutenfree dairy free, seafood

One of the best things about summer is shopping the farmer’s markets. It is such a treat to have so much local produce readily available. It’s especially nice when you live in a city like New York, where housing usually doesn’t leave much room for plant growing. Here, living spaces larger than a closet are considered expansive!  Alas, I do not live in such luxury… :/

Every Tuesday there is a lovely little farmer’s market that springs up right by NewYork-Presbyterian’s Columbia University Medical Center. During my lunch break I always make a quick stop over and pick up some freshly harvested goodies. (Someday I will have a little room to grow my own again – thank goodness for Farmer’s Markets until then!)

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Tuesday’s Farmer’s Market near NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Columbia University Medical Center, NYC

As fruits and vegetables age, they can lose some of their nutritients. So buying and preparing locally grown foods helps you get the most nutrition bang out of each delicious, healthy bite.

This week there was an amazing deal on cucumbers – 3 for $1.00! (Who says healthy eating is too expensive?!?!) I also grabbed a fragrant bunch of dill, parsley and purple spring onions. I was on my way to making one delicious cucumber salad.

 health, wellness, diet, dietitian, nutrition, nutritionist, michelle moreau, chef, healthy kitchen, healthcare, medical insurance, Portsmouth, NH, seacoast, celiac, cardiac, diabetes, diet, weight loss, recipe, couneling, healthcare, shrimp, cucumber, herbs, farmers market, salad, lunch, brunch, seafood, appetizer
local veggies prime for eating

The shrimp I used were not not natives to NYC . They came from Ecuador.  Says they were “sustainably” raised on the bag, but – who knows?!? Nonetheless, they co-mingled with the veggies quite deliciously in the mixing bowl.

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Ecuadorian Shrimp awaiting to mingle with the locals

 

With all the light pastel colors, this salad is very pleasing visually. I also like how the way the cucumbers are sliced mimics the curves of the shrimp. The light, lemony sauce makes for delightful dining on a hot summer day.

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Cucumber Shrimp Salad

Cucumber Shrimp Salad Recipe

INGREDIENTS
2 large cucumbers, peeled
1 pound Shrimp, peeled, deveined, boiled, chilled
1/2 cup Red onion, peeled, minced
1/4 cup Dill, fresh, chopped
1/4 cup Parsley, fresh, chopped
1/4 cup Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 teaspoon Honey
1/8 teaspoon Sea salt
1/4 cup Olive oil, extra virgin
2 cups Watercress leaves

PREPARATION
Slice the cucumbers lengthwise so you have two long halves. With a spoon, carefully scrape out all the seeds from the center of the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4″ slices and toss into a mixing bowl with the shrimp, onion, dill and parsley.
In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, honey and sea salt. Whisk the dressing as you slowly pour in the olive oil.
Pour dressing over salad. Toss to mix everything well.

Serve salad over the fresh watercress.

Serve chilled.

Makes 6 substantial salad servings, or 12 mini salad appetizers



Smokey Vegged-Out Chili

Smokey Vegged-Out Chilihealth, wellness, diet, dietitian, nutrition, nutritionist, michelle moreau, chef, healthy kitchen, healthcare, medical insurance, Portsmouth, NH, seacoast, celiac, cardiac, diabetes, diet, weight loss, recipe, couneling, healthcare, gluten free, chili, paprika, vegan, vegetarian, lunch, dinner, multiveggie, vegetables, black beans
Recipe Redux – January, 2015: Smoking in the New Year

Looking for a tasty, healthy dish to shake off that winter chill? Nothing heats things up better inside than diving into a hot, spicy bowl of chili. My version here is bursting with veggies and spices. It’s also great served over brown rice, quinoa, millet or any other delicious whole grain. This recipe is for about 10 servings, and, as long as you have an extra-large pan, you can easily double the recipe with success to feed a really large group.

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Smoky Vegged-out Chili

If you want to keep things mild, do not include the jalapeno seeds. For medium heat, through in about 1/3 the seeds of one jalapeno pepper. Want the painfully hot firehouse-hot chili? Then throw in even more jalapeno seeds and double the cayenne pepper- oh my, lookout!

 

INGREDIENTS
1 teaspoon Olive oil
1 large White onion, peeled, diced
1 large Orange bell pepper, cored, diced
2 medium Carrots, peeled, diced
1-2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded (or use for extra heat) minced
1 large Corn ear, shucked (about 1 cup kernels)
1 medium Zucchini, diced
1 pound Mushrooms, white or crimini, diced (two 8-ounce packages)
1 tablespoon EACH Chili Powder, Cumin (ground), Smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon EACH Salt, Cayenne pepper, Black pepper
15 ounce container Tomatoes, No sodium added, diced, in liquid
1/2 cup Water
2 1/2 cups Black beans, cooked (or about 1 1/2 cans, rinsed well)
5 tablespoons Sour cream (omit if preparing vegan or dairy-free)
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 medium Avocado, peeled, cored, sliced

DIRECTIONS
In a large pot heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot and jalapeno (plus the seeds if using) and saute over medium-high heat about 6 minutes, or until the onions become translucent. Add the spices and cook another 2 minutes, stirring well. Add the corn, zucchini and mushrooms and cook another 7 minutes, stirring often. Add in the tomatoes with its liquid, black beans and water and bring everything to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes.

To garnish, top with 1/2 tablespoon sour cream (if using), a few slices of avocado and 1/6 of the cilantro.

Makes 10 servings.