simply nutrition

Peach Burrata Caprese Salad

Peach Burrata Caprese Salad

Peach Burrata Caprese Salad

Busy days call for simple - yet delicious - dinners! This Peach Burrata Caprese Salad is a perfect side dish for dinner. Plus you don’t even have to turn on the oven.

If you haven’t had burrata before, it’s definitely worth a try! Burrata is cheese that has an outer layer of solid mozzarella and the inside the inside is filled with cream. It has a rich creamy flavor and is perfect with a fresh flavors like peach and tomato - or even a traditional caprese salad. Typically burrata is about 2 - 4 oz in size and will serve 2 - 4 people because it is so rich, a little goes a long way. Look for burrata in the cheese section of your grocery store.

This salad is simple to make, you need: fresh peaches, cherry tomatoes or your other favorite type of tomatoes to slice, burrata, fresh basil, and balsamic glaze. Slice the peaches and tomatoes. On a serving plate arrange the peaches and tomatoes around the plate. Top with torn basil leaves and place the burrata in the center. Then before serving, finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Peach Burrata Caprese Salad

Peach Burrata Caprese Salad

Peach Burrata Caprese Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 fresh peaches
1 cup cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
1 piece of burrata cheese
balsamic glaze

Directions:

1. Slice peaches and tomatoes. Arrange on serving platter.

2. Top with torn basil leaves. Place burrata in center of serving plate. If you are going to wait to serve this, cover and refrigerate until serving.

3. Immediately before serving, finish with drizzle of balsamic glaze.

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I Love Beets!

beets.jpg

I love beets! They are truly a favorite. Plus they are loaded with nutrition benefits. Specifically beets are rich in nitrates, betaine, and the B-vitamin folate; these nutrients in beets can help your health in many ways!

Nitrates in your body are converted into nitric oxide which helps to relax and dilate blood vessels which in turn can boost blood flow. Betaine (a plant compound found in beets and other foods) has been shown to protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, and enhance performance. While folate helps to drive down levels of homocysteine in the blood, which can reduce the risk for artery damage and heart disease. 

When you are short on time to peel and cook beets, Love Beets has you covered with packages of cooked, ready to eat beets (pictured above). Look for them in a refrigerated area of the produce section of the grocery store. Also look for delicious baby beets too in flavors like honey + ginger and sweet chili. 

Check out this delicious Greek Cucumber Beet Salad recipe (See below) and some other favorite picks like: Beet and Salmon Nicoise Salad, Strawberry Rhubarb Beet Scones, or Beet Caprese Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Note: This isn't a sponsored post, just products I love! 

Photo from LoveBeets.com 

Photo from LoveBeets.com 

Greek Cucumber Beet Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced (2 cups)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ red onion, thinly sliced (1-½ cups)

1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced

1 ripe (but firm) avocado, peeled and diced

1 (8.8-ounce) package Love Beets Cooked Beets, chopped

⅓ cup fresh feta cheese, cubed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1-½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Add the first 8 ingredients to a mixing bowl.
2. Whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients in a bowl.
3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss everything together until well-coated. Taste the salad for flavor and add more sea salt and/or vinegar to taste.

Click here to visit Love Beets.com for more recipes and information.

References:

Betaine in Human Nutrition, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/3/539.full, Accessed August 15, 2017

Homocystine Lowering with Folic Acid and B Vitamins in Vascular Disease, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa060900#t=article, Accessed August 15, 2017

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Simple Summer Tasty & Quick Recipes

When it comes to hot summer nights you're in need of quick and tasty recipes! Here are some of my go-to super simple favorites for summer.

Crispy Parmesan Broccoli

Toss 4 cups broccoli florets with 1/4 cup whole wheat panko brad crumbs, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes at 425 degrees F. 

Toss 4 cups broccoli florets with 1/4 cup whole wheat panko brad crumbs, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes at 425 degrees F. 

Roasted Summer Veggies

Slice a zucchini, summer squash, and add 1 cup green beans, 1 cup broccoli florets, 5 cloves of garlic minced, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss together and roast for 25 - 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. 

Slice a zucchini, summer squash, and add 1 cup green beans, 1 cup broccoli florets, 5 cloves of garlic minced, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss together and roast for 25 - 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. 

Garlic Green Beans

Wash and trim green bean. Then place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. Roast for 13 - 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. 

Wash and trim green bean. Then place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. Roast for 13 - 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. 

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Kefir - What is it & Recipe Idea

What is kefir?

I first learned about kefir from a European hockey player I was working with about 9 years ago! At the time I didn't know much about kefir, since then I have learned a lot about kefir and enjoy it as a regular part of my eating routine. 

Kefir is a probiotic rich, cultured milk beverage. Kefir comes for the Turkish word keyif, which means “good feeling”

I enjoy making my own kefir at home, it's relatively simple to make (see step by step instructions and resources in Drink Your Way to Gut Health) or you can buy store bought kefir that is plain or flavored, like Lifeway Kefir (pictured left).

Each cup of kefir (8 fl oz/240mL) provides 11 grams of protein, vitamin D, and calcium too!

Work kefir into your daily routine by adding to smoothies, using plain kefir to pour over cereal, or just enjoy a glass of flavored kefir. Do use have kefir in your eating routine? Share with me in the comments your favorite ways you enjoy it!

Here is one of my personal favorite kefir recipes: 

Tart Cherry Kefir from Drink Your Way to Gut Health

Tart Cherry Kefir

Tart Cherry Kefir

Serves 2 (1 cup each)

Tart cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory impact on the body. Researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University presented a small study of 20 women with inflammatory arthritis (osteoarthritis); it showed that having 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for 3 weeks led to a reduction in inflammation markers. Similar inflammation reduction has been found among athletes who added tart cherry juice while training for long distance running, and the runners experienced less pain. When shopping for tart cherry juice, opt for 100 percent tart cherry juice to gain the maximum health benefits.

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen dark cherries
1/2 cup plain kefir
1/2 cup 100 percent tart cherry juice
4 or 5 ice cubes

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until icy and smooth.

2. Divide between 2 glasses and serve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 110 calories, 1/2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 4 g protein, 4% vitamin A, 8% calcium, 10% vitamin C, 4% iron

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What is Freekeh?

Recently I discovered freekeh! It's a deliciously different grain. Freekeh has a unique, toasted and slightly smokey flavor. It is made from green wheat and then roasted (pictured left). 

How to prepare: In a sauce pan, combine 1 cup of freekeh, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer on low for about 25 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.

Nutritional benefit: A perk of freekeh is that it provides fiber plus delivers minerals including: iron, potassium, and magnesium. In fact one 1/4 cup serving has about 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

Where to find: Look  for freekeh in the specialty food sections of grocery stores or check on-line retailers like Nuts.com.

Because of the toasted/smokey flavor, this grain tastes great paired with barbecue flavors, here is a quick recipe to try out!

BBQ Freekeh Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked freekeh

1/2 cup BBQ Sauce

4 ounces grilled chicken or tempeh, diced

1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl combine the cooked freekeh, bbq sauce, grilled chicken or tempeh, and onion. Toss to combine and serve hot or chilled.

Disclosure: Nuts.com is a client of Creative Nutrition Solutions.

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Recipe Round Up!

here's a Few delicious and nutritious recipes For You to Try!

Freekeh, Kale, and Peach Salad

From Alex Caspero MA, RD, click here for the recipe (shared with permission)

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar, Pesto, and Tomatoes

From CabotRD, click here to view the recipe (shared with permission)

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers 

A twist on my Skinny Chicken Fingers from The Skinny Rulescheck out the recipe below.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders

1 cup pretzel crumbs*

4 egg whites (whip with a fork)

*Pulse the pretzels in a food processor or blender until crushed and crumbled

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place whipped egg whites in a dish and the pretzel crumbs in a separate dish.

3. Dip ti chicken fingers into the egg mixture and then into the pretzel crumbs.

4. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then flip each of the chicken fingers, and back for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. 

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