Featured

Crispy Baked Tofu

How do you guys feel about tofu? It seems to be one of those foods that people either love or hate. Growing up, the only exposure I had to tofu was the little cubes floating in miso soup. Once I got to college, where my interest in health and nutrition blossomed, I began eating and cooking tofu. I’ve never disliked it, but I understand why somebody may have a bad experience with it. The texture is unique, and when eaten on its own is very bland. One thing I’m quite proud of is getting Ben to willingly eat tofu, and enjoy it! I always make a flavorful sauce, so it really just becomes a vehicle for that.

Soy based foods are some of the most controversial in the food and nutrition world. Why? Soy contains high concentrations of isoflavones, which are a type of plant estrogen (phytoestrogens). Phytoestrogens can have similar effects as human estrogen on the human body, but much weaker. The isoflavones in soy can bind to estrogen receptors in our bodies, causing very weak estrogenic effects OR anti-estrogenic effects. Because of this, there has been concern that soy foods may increase the risk of certain hormonal cancers. However, several studies have shown that soy consumption is associated with lower risk of breast cancer, both hormone positive and hormone negative. Studies also show that soy intake is significantly associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer in men.

I enjoy soy based foods such as edamame, tofu and tempeh, and based on the research, they are safe to consume! Soy has many health benefits, being a high quality source of plant-based protein. Unlike many other plant-based proteins like beans and legumes, soy is a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is low in saturated fat, so it is an excellent replacement for red and processed meat in the diet. It also contains valuable vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron. Also, I think it is notable to mention that the people of Okinawa, Japan regularly consume tofu – about 8 times more than we do in the US. This population is one of the worlds five “Blue Zones”, regions of the world where people live much longer than average. Following suit and including tofu, amongst other nutritious foods in our diets, like sweet potatoes and turmeric, may help us live longer!

This super simple tofu recipe has become my go-to. I used to pan-fry my tofu, but I found it would brown unevenly, and I would need to use significantly more oil to prevent it from sticking. By baking, I can just use spray oil! It gives the tofu that golden crispy exterior while still being soft on the inside. I usually make this recipe once a week to enjoy in a grain bowl or salad. I kept the seasonings minimal because I always add a flavorful sauce or dressing that the tofu picks up.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Drain the tofu and press between two plates lined with paper towels for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Spray the parchment paper lined baking sheet with avocado oil, then place the tofu cubes on the sheet.
  5. Add salt, pepper and adobo seasoning and another spray of avocado oil to coat. Toss with hands to evenly coat tofu cubes with seasoning.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Tofu should be golden brown and beginning to crisp on the edges.

If you guys try this tofu, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Featured

Roasted Veggie and Hummus Collard Green Wraps

Who else is ready for spring? Every year, when March rolls around, I always expect the warm weather to kick in. But in reality, it’s just another month of chilly temps and snowy weather. My first winter in Boston was pretty mild, but I can’t wait to pack up my puffy coats for the season! I notice my energy levels vary significantly based on the season. I have more energy and need a little less sleep during the warmer months, so I am ready to get out of this winter hibernation.

I tried to channel spring to come sooner by making the most colorful and vibrant meal I could imagine. I hadn’t made collard green wraps in FOREVER, so I decided to make some filled with lots of colorful ingredients, like roasted veggies and avocado. If you’ve never tried making collard wraps, don’t be intimidated! They are actually quite simple. Once my veggies were done roasting, I put these wraps together in 10 minutes!

The only issue I find with meals like collard wraps is they lack a substantial amount of protein. While I love including as many veggies as possible (hello, fiber!), it’s important that our meals also have adequate protein to keep us full and satiated. To up the protein content of these wraps, I used  in this recipe, and they were the perfect addition. The Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burger is part of Dr. Praeger’s Pure Plant Protein line and has 19 grams of plant-based protein per serving, adding them made this recipe into a filling meal, rather than a light appetizer. In addition to the generous amount of protein, these burgers contain real, whole food ingredients you recognize and can pronounce, just like all of Dr. Praeger’s products.

If you guys are looking for an easy, nutritious and protein packed lunch, give these a try! This recipe makes 2 collard green wraps.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half crosswise, then lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large collard green leaves
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • ½ avocado, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 Dr. Praeger’s Pure Plant Protein Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burger
  • Handful of sprouts
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the zucchini and bell pepper to baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil plus salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Roast for 20-30 minutes until fork tender, flipping halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the collard greens by washing them and using a paring knife to shave off as much of the stem as possible. This will make it easier to fold.
  4. Prepare veggie burger according to package instructions. Slice in half when done cooking.
  5. Once veggies are done roasting, let cool enough for handling.
  6. To prepare the wraps: spread 1 ½ tbsp hummus in the center of each collard leaf. Layer sliced avocado, zucchini, bell pepper, half of the veggie burger, sprouts and mustard evenly on each wrap. Tuck in the sides and roll.
  7. Use a sharp knife to slice wraps in half. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate and enjoy tomorrow.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Thank you Dr. Praeger’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Whole Grain Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, Cranberries and Blueberries

Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite treats. I could eat it every single day! I have fond memories of devouring my mom’s chocolate chip banana bread with my college roommates when she would bring a loaf during visits. I’ve wanted to create a more nutrient dense version of banana bread for years. I absolutely love my blender banana bread baked with almond flour, but it doesn’t have the same texture as traditional banana bread! I wanted this recipe to be one that really mimicked a good old fashioned loaf of banana bread.

You guys know I have a major sweet tooth, and in my eyes, no ingredients will be able to seamlessly recreate baking with real sugar, butter and flour. But, as a dietitian, it makes me so happy to create recipes that are similar to traditional ones, but with more nutritional bang for your buck! I always view these “healthier” desserts as additions to my diet, rather than complete replacements for the real thing. Because you know I’ll never pass up a slice of Flour Bakery banana bread!

I’m so amped for this recipe, because it really is so similar to a traditional banana bread! The texture is spot on, and it’s just sweet enough thanks to the ripe bananas and maple syrup. This was my first time baking with spelt flour, and honestly I don’t know why I haven’t used it before! Spelt flour is still a 100% whole grain flour, but it’s much lighter and sweeter tasting than whole wheat flour. I can already tell I like it better for recipes than whole wheat flour because of this when replacing refined flour in recipes. I also used Greek style yogurt in place of oil for this bread, and it turned out wonderfully. I’m a firm believer that banana bread is best with some add-ins, so I decided on both chocolate chips AND berries. Definitely a winning combo!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups spelt flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup plain Greek style yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips + more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberry/blueberry blend + more for sprinkling on top (I used the Blueberry Blend by Cape Cod Select)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine spelt flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, milk and bananas in a bowl, whisking until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and frozen berries.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle the top with additional chocolate chips and berries.
  7. Bake for 50-70 minutes until edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely before slicing.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Featured

Baked Zucchini, Beet and Sweet Potato Fritters

February is American Heart Month - let’s show your ticker some love! Why is heart health so important? Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the US. When I worked in the hospital, I spent time on multiple units dedicated to patients with heart disease. It really can have devastating effects on your life and your ability to perform daily activities. There is some good news about heart disease, though, in that good lifestyle choices have a huge effect on preventing it! Some of the major risk factors for developing heart disease are smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and being overweight. Keep loading up your plate with veggies and exercising, and your heart will be in good shape.

As a dietitian, it’s my job to help you navigate the diet portion of the whole lifestyle picture. How can you optimize your diet specifically for heart health? The Standard American Diet (SAD) falls short in heart healthy foods. It is high in saturated fat, processed meats, refined grains, sodium and added sugar. Diets consisting of lots of red meat, butter, margarine, deep fried foods and processed foods can lead to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) and hypertension. On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet is a really great eating pattern to choose for heart health. This diet includes plenty of fresh produce, fish and seafood, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats coming primarily from olive oil. This eating pattern is naturally high in heart healthy nutrients like potassium and antioxidants, and low in sodium and saturated fat. Consume an abundance of these foods on a regular basis for optimal heart health!

While I don’t think it’s possible that eating a specific food can prevent or cure a disease, there are a few particular foods that are especially important for heart health. Try adding the following foods to your diet more regularly!

  • Salmon or fatty fish: These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Aim for about 8 oz of seafood a week, or consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber, which can help decrease the amount of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. Aim for 5-10 grams per day.
  • Beets: Beets are rich in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in your body, which helps lower blood pressure. They are also rich in antioxidants and fiber. I love to keep a few packs of Love Beets in my fridge to quickly throw into salads or grain bowls!
  • Beans: Beans are an amazing source of plant based protein. They also contain resistant starch, a nutrient that is fermented by your gut bacteria and may lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Try replacing meat with half a cup of beans for one meal next week!
  • Olive Oil: This is a staple ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, and is one of my favorite cooking oils. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, high in monounsaturated healthy fats and low in saturated fat. Choose olive oil when cooking to replace butter, lard or margarine, and drizzle it over salads with vinegar for a simple dressing.

I made these delicious fritters to add to my lunches over the week! I picked up a big package of Love Beets at Costco, and wanted to experiment with using them as an ingredient for a heart healthy recipe. This recipe features lots of good-for-your-heart nutrients, like nitrates, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. I also baked these fritters with olive oil spray, rather than deep frying them to  keep them light and limiting added fat. They’re delicious on their own, or spread with a heart healthy dip like guacamole or hummus!

This recipe made 9 large fritters, but might vary for you based on the size of your veggies.

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 package of Love Beets organic cooked beets
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Half of 1 large white onion
  • 1-2 eggs
  • ¼ cup spelt flour (or all purpose)
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray.
  2. Grate the zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, garlic and onion using a grater or food processor with grater attachment. Use a clean tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid with your hands. I grated each vegetable and squeezed out the liquid individually (because the zucchini and beets have more liquid than the others), then combined them in a large bowl.
  3. Scramble 1 egg and add to the bowl of veggies, along with flour, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. If you are unable to form loose patties with your hands and ingredients are not sticking together, add another egg to help bind ingredients.
  4. Form round patties, about 3 inches across, using your hands, squeezing out extra liquid once more in the process. Place each patty on the prepared baking sheet. Give the patties a quick spritz of olive oil spray on top.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until patties begin to brown and crisp up, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. I served these with a simple avocado mash with lemon juice, salt and garlic powder.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Thank you Love Beets for sponsoring this post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Mixed Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

I’ve been wanting to make a recipe like this for a while. With the snow on Monday and lots of frozen fruit in my freezer, it seemed like the perfect day for a baking experiment! I’m so glad I went for it, because these will be such a treat to munch on all week.

I’m usually more of a chocolate person when it comes to dessert. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies are irresistible to me. But, if there is a fruit based dessert with a warm, cinnamon crumble situation going on, then you’ve got some competition! I absolutely love crisps and cobblers with whatever fruit is in season.

I had an unopened bag of mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) which sounded like the perfect blend for a winter crumble. I highly recommend using this blend if you try these bars, as the cranberries add bold flavor and a little tartness. They also add a big boost of antioxidants! In addition to heart healthy oats, I used almond flour and almond butter to add healthy fats, fiber and protein to these bars. With less than ½ cup of added sugar, these bars are nutritious enough to have for breakfast or a snack, and will keep you fuller for longer than a traditional dessert bar.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tbsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries (I used Cape Cod Select Power Berry Blend)
  • 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add almond butter and use your hands to mix it into dry ingredients. Mixture should be cohesive but crumby.
  4. Add about 2/3 of the crumble into the baking dish. Use your hands to press down firmly into a single layer.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. While crust is baking, make the filling: heat berries in a shallow pan on medium heat until berries are soft and break to release their liquid. Stir in maple syrup and chia seeds. Heat for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally then remove from heat to thicken.
  7. Remove crust from oven and spread the chia jam in an even layer on top. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top of the jam layer.
  8. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, until crumble starts to brown.
  9. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Featured

Zucchini Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ben and I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend to visit our family and friends. We went to the Guggenheim and out for dinner and drinks with a group of our NYC people. I love Boston and I know this is where I am meant to be right now, but a piece of me will always belong to New York. The energy there is palpable and unmatched to any city I’ve ever been to. We both have close friends there, and we’ve kind of made a promise to each other to visit when we can so we don’t lose touch with them. Even though we were there for less than 48 hours last weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine for a workout class and coffee date and it was like no time had passed. Those couple of hours we got to spend with each other meant a lot to me, and reiterated the importance of keeping in touch!

Besides friends, another part of NYC I miss is the FOOD. There are an endless number of amazing establishments I would kill to have open in Boston. We didn’t have time to hit up all of my favorites, but I got in plenty of good eats, including Levain cookies. When you’re staying 4 blocks away from the bakery, it’s a sin not to go! After a weekend indulging in cookies and wine, I was craving something light yet filling and super flavorful this week. We both love Mexican food, so I decided to try a lightened up version of enchiladas! These babies are stuffed with some of my favorites (sweet potato, black beans, spinach and red pepper) and wrapped in zucchini! Using zucchini in place of tortillas, the veggie filling and dairy free avocado cream sauce makes these enchiladas quite filling, but not to the point where you want to unbutton your pants and take a nap. There’s a time and a place for those decadent meals, but this recipe is totally what my body was craving!

You can absolutely use tortillas in place of zucchini for this recipe – it will just make fewer total enchiladas because the zucchini ones are smaller than usual. This recipe makes about 20 three-four inch long zucchini enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (red or white are both fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store bought or homemade. I made my own, adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 ½ avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. If making enchilada sauce: Heat oil over medium heat and stir in corn starch until mixture starts to thicken. Add spices, stir to mix and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth and salt. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add diced sweet potatoes, return water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender, then drain.
  4. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel zucchinis into long strips. The first couple strips might be too thin to roll, so you can discard them or use them for another recipe.
  5. For the filling, heat avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cooking another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, sweet potatoes and black beans and cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in heaping ½ cup of enchilada sauce, then remove from heat.
  6. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
  7. Prepare the enchiladas: take 3 zucchini strips and lay them together on a clean cutting board, so that they overlap with each other and make a rectangle. Place about ¼ cup of the veggie filling and roll up to enclose filling. Place in baking dish, with the seam side down.
  8. Repeat until pan is full – I made 2 rows of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is a little bubbly.
  10. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the avocado cream sauce: add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time as needed to help blend.
  11. Remove enchiladas from oven. Top with avocado cream sauce before serving, along with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

If you guys make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Featured

Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps

Let’s talk party snacks. Just like pretty much everyone in America, I love me some good finger foods. Chips and guac, cheese and crackers, bruschetta and mini quiches – I’ll take them all! I’m not really into football, but I’m always down for a Super Bowl party to scope out the snack scene. Sometimes it’s fun to have a whole bunch of mini foods to munch on instead of a formal meal!

The problem with these mini foods is that they are usually not very nutritious. They are often high in sodium, saturated fat and pack more calories than they let on. Looks can be deceiving – one pig in a blanket packs almost 100 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat and 200 mg sodium. These little snacks add up fast!

As you guys might know, my philosophy surrounding nutrition and eating is never about strict calorie counting or taking extreme measures to eat healthier. I focus on eating whole foods (mostly plants) that are nutrient dense a majority of the time, but still leave space to enjoy less nutritious foods. I always want eating to be pleasurable for you, and restricting yourself from enjoying a food you love will likely backfire in the long term.

Tackling situations like Super Bowl parties, where decadent food is in abundance, can be one of the most challenging scenarios to navigate if you are trying to stick to certain health goals. Here are some steps I like to go through with myself in these situations. They help me stay in tune with my body and ensure that I don’t overeat to the point where I am uncomfortably full (and believe me, I’ve done this before and it is no fun)!

Right before the party, I take a second to really check in with myself. I assess how hungry I am. Rating your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 can help! This will help guide my eating choices during the event. Once arriving, I say my hello’s, offer to help out, and do a quick survey of the snack scene. I like to see all the creative recipes people made, and see if any snacks really jump out to me. I usually find 2-3 treats that I’m salivating over, and know I’ll want a taste of those! When it’s time to eat, I fill half my plate with some nutrient dense, lighter options, such as salad, veggie sticks and hummus or grapes. More often than not, your party will have some sort of crudité platter, so load up on these foods freely! Then, I save the other half of my plate for moderate portions of those less nutritious snacks I’m eager to try  (Spanakopita! Mozzarella sticks!) I try to eat slowly and enjoy each bite of food. Before running back for seconds, I check in with myself again to see how hungry I am, and this helps determine how much, if any, extra food I’ll take.

I hope these tips help! It can take a while to get to the point where you are comfortable listening and acting on your hunger cues, but it really is a freeing feeling! Thanks for reading, but now it’s time for the real reason you came here – buffalo cauliflower lettuce wraps!

Ben and I hosted our friends for the Super Bowl on Sunday, and I overestimated the amount of buffalo cauliflower to make, so we had a lot left over. I also had some fresh butter lettuce in the fridge, and thought the combination would be perfect! The warm and spicy cauliflower bites, paired with the cool crisp lettuce works sooo well. A little tangy goat cheese, pickled red onions and creamy guacamole really took these to the next level. To make these cauliflower bites a little more nutritious, I used whole wheat breadcrumbs and almond flour as the coating, baked them instead of frying in oil, and found this sauce that uses pineapple juice as sweetener! The less processed, the better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Avocado oil spray
  • 1 12 oz bottle buffalo sauce (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese, guacamole and pickled red onions for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, almond flour, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
  4. One by one, dip each cauliflower floret into the egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Space out evenly on baking sheet and spray with avocado oil spray.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Combine buffalo sauce and avocado oil in a small bowl. Dip each cauliflower floret into mixture to coat, and return to baking sheet.
  7. Bake for another 15 minutes. You can broil for a minute or so at the end to get them extra crunchy, just be careful and watch that they don’t burn!
  8. While cauliflower is baking, pull off whole leaves from lettuce head, wash and pat dry.
  9. Top each lettuce leaf with 2 cauliflower florets, a dollop of guacamole, a sprinkle of goat cheese and a few red onions. Enjoy warm!

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Featured

Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Chana Masala

I rarely go for Indian food, but a craving hit this week! I absolutely love all the warming flavors and spices in Indian cuisine, and I felt a hot and cozy meal would be perfect for the low temperatures this week in Boston (although, I really can’t compare Boston to what the Midwest is dealing with right now)! Ben won’t be home for dinner for three nights, and when he’s out, I like to have a super easy meal prepped to eat so all I need to do is reheat it when I’m hungry. Gives me more time to catch up on my solo shows 🙂 We watch a show together when we are both home most nights, but we also have our own separate ones! Right now, I’m into Riverdale, but definitely need some suggestions!

Chana masala is an Indian dish comprised of chickpeas cooked in a spicy, tomato-based sauce. I wanted to make a veggie-heavy, one pot meal with inspired by these flavors, so I added butternut squash, cauliflower and spinach in addition to chickpeas. This recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger and turmeric, as well as antioxidant vitamins A and C. If you’re feeling a cold coming on, make yourself a batch of this to load up on these nutrients! This recipe ended up more than enough for three meals, so it would be perfect to serve your whole family or a larger group.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, grated and finely minced
  • 3 serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • Large handful of cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for serving)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • 1 whole head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 cans low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3 large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp garam masala

Instructions:

  1. Add avocado oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  2. Mix together garlic, ginger, chilies and lemon zest in a small bowl. Add to the pot and stir to combine with onions.
  3. Add salt, pepper and spices to the pot and stir to combine. Let cook for 1 minute until fragrant so the spices can bloom.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, chickpeas and enough water to just reach the top of all the veggies. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butternut squash is fork tender.
  6. Add fresh spinach, lemon juice and garam masala and stir to combine. Add more salt to taste as needed.
  7. Serve warm with more cilantro to garnish. Can be served over rice (I used short grain brown rice), with bread or naan, or on its own!

This recipe made 6-8 servings.

Can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days. Tastes great cold or reheated.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂

 

 

Featured

Maple Roasted Carrots with Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce

When your boyfriend willingly chooses to snack on carrots straight out the fridge, you know you’ve made a winning recipe. As a dietitian, few things give me more satisfaction than seeing people genuinely enjoy eating vegetables. When prepared thoughtfully, vegetables can easily be the most delicious part of your meal!

Many people I’ve talked to grew up having pretty boring vegetables! If I were served a plate of plain steamed or boiled broccoli, I wouldn’t be too excited about things either. When teaching people how to prepare vegetables they enjoy, I have two big tips. The first is to change the way you are preparing your veggies. My favorite way to cook veggies is roasting them in the oven! The high dry heat coaxes out the flavor, caramelizes them, and adds an irresistible crispy texture. Also, try roasting veggies at a higher temperature than you are used to doing. Instead of 350 degrees, try 400! I generally roast in the 400-425 degree range to really maximize flavor. My second tip is to master a few sauces to drizzle over cooked veggies. A good sauce transforms even steamed veggies into something really delicious. Some of my favorites I have in my back pocket are peanut sauce, sesame ginger sauce and pesto! Sauces may seem intimidating, but they are actually quite simple and come together quickly.

These carrots are both roasted and topped with a new favorite sauce recipe – packing DOUBLE the flavor punch! I added some maple syrup to the carrots before roasting, which really elevates their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness. This ginger beet tahini sauce is super creamy, zingy and versatile. It would be great served with other vegetables, drizzled on a grain bowl, or as a creamy salad dressing!

Ingredients:

Carrots

  • 2 small bunches of carrots, tops removed and scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and ¼ cup crushed pistachios for garnishing

Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 small Love Beets organic cooked beets + juice from package
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add carrots to baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat carrots evenly.
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes until carrots are fork tender and beginning to caramelize, turning carrots halfway through.
  4. While carrots cook, prepare the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time as necessary to aid blending.
  5. Arrange carrots on a serving platter. Drizzle with beet tahini sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley and crushed pistachios. Serve warm. These carrots are also delicious cold, so if you have leftovers, save them to munch on or throw into salads!

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

What’s your favorite take-out cuisine? For me, I’ll always choose any restaurant that offers fresh summer rolls. When I lived in Providence, there was a great Thai and sushi restaurant down the street. They had the most delicious summer rolls with the best peanut dipping sauce. Honestly, give me anything drizzled with peanut sauce and I’ll be happy!

I love to experiment with healthier alternatives to my favorite restaurant and take-out meals in my cooking. By preparing food for yourself, you have total control over all the ingredients you add. Restaurants liberally add salt, oils and other fats to their cooking because, well, it makes their food taste delicious! But, you can still enjoy the vibrant flavors without taking in a day’s worth of sodium or saturated fat. I really love Asian cuisine, so I’ve developed some delicious sauces, like a stir fry and sesame ginger sauce.

I think I’ve finally perfected a peanut sauce I’ve been working on for a while, so I had to share it with you guys! I was also craving summer rolls and decided to just make a meal out of it! Why must we limit them to appetizer course? I paired these vegan rolls with some steamed + lightly salted edamame for a better-than-take-out meal. This sauce is not just for dipping; you can use it as a salad dressing, drizzled over avocado toast or tossed in a stir fry.

Ingredients:

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Summer Rolls

  • 1 block firm tofu, water pressed out for 10 minutes
  • 2 tsp Trader Joe’s Mushroom & Company seasoning (or just salt and pepper)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup baby spinach, stems removed
  • Large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 7 spring roll brown rice paper wrappers
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise, or peeled with julienne peeler
  • Half an avocado, thinly sliced
  • Half a small cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice tofu into thin steaks, season with TJ’s Mushroom & Company, toss in avocado oil and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned and crispy.
  2. While tofu is cooking, prepare peanut sauce. Whisk together avocado oil, sesame oil, tamari, lime juice, vinegar, chili paste, honey, garlic and ginger. Then whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Add more chili paste if you like heat!
  3. Prepare veggies and avocado as outlined.
  4. When tofu is done cooking, slice each piece in half lengthwise.
  5. Set up a little assembly line on your countertop: start with rice paper wrappers, then spinach and mint, veggies, avocado and tofu.
  6. Fully submerge 1 rice paper wrapper in water, then place on a clean plate.
  7. Arrange about 5-7 spinach leaves and 2 mint leaves in the center of the wrapper, and then top with the remaining ingredients.
  8. I found it easiest to fold in the sides of the wrapper first, then roll the front edge away from you to form the wrap.
  9. Place finished rolls on another clean plate. You can leave them whole or slice in half with a sharp knife.
  10. Serve with peanut dipping sauce!

These will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days, just bring them to room temperature before eating so the wrappers soften.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂