A Practical Guide To Healthy Living
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Category — Sides

On the Side: Kale & Apple Saute

kale saute

This simple but delicious kale prep was a hit alongside Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig - I mean, everyone knows how well pork and apples go together, right? [Read more →]

January 16, 2014   No Comments

Late to the Spinach Party – But Let’s Celebrate Anyway!


What? How could I not know this? March 26, 2012 is National Spinach Day?? Did you know that my Baby Spinach Salad, 7 Ways is one of the most popular posts of all-time here on Semi-Sweet? Check out scads of other delish spinach recipes right here, right now! Let’s party down, Sweeties.

Spinach is a superfood that’s ridiculously easy to incorporate into your repertoire – whether you like it cooked, raw or both. Baby or mature, it comes pre-washed and pre-bagged for EZ daily use. I “eat” about 4 cups of organic baby spinach every a.m. in my green smoothie . . . what’re your favorite ways to enjoy this lovely leafy?

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March 27, 2012   No Comments

Get Your Greens

I’m sure you’ve read the news: Dark, leafy-green veggies are great for you. I’ve heard them described as the “LBD of the vegetable world” (that’s “little black dress,” as in, they go with EVERYTHING).  [Read more →]

December 5, 2011   No Comments

Corn You’ll Want to Bathe In

Oh, my goodness. Run – don’t walk – to your local farmstand and grab some sweet corn before it’s too late. You must, must try this recipe. [Read more →]

August 23, 2011   6 Comments

Citrusy Chicken Quinoa Salad

recipe box full size

Today’s recipe is a simple, hearty  and healthy dinner salad that boasts high protein and high fiber.  If you skip the added chicken, you could serve this as a pretty and creative side dish.  Or sub tofu for chicken, and create a vegan one-dish meal.  In any case, this’ll cost you only 30 minutes of your time, counter to table.

Orange Chicken Quinoa

1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt
1 bunch scallions (approximately 12 scallions)
1 large navel orange
Juice of 1 lemon
3 T. plus 1 t. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 c. baby lettuce
1/4 c. unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped

Boil 1 1/4 c. water in a small saucepan.  Add rinsed quinoa, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for approximately 12 minutes, or until the water is absorbed by the quinoa.  Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff.

While the quinoa is cooking, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.  Trim the scallions and cut into 1-inch pieces.  Saute the chicken and scallions in a skillet with 1 t. of olive oil, until the chicken is no longer pink inside.

Meanwhile, make the dressing.  Cut 1 inch off each end of the orange.  Squeeze the orange ends into a small bowl, to get about 2 T. of juice.  Whisk together the orange juice, the lemon juice, 3 T. olive oil, salt and pepper.  Peel the remainder of the orange and slice it very thinly.

Add the chicken mixture, the dressing, sliced orange and the pistachios to the quinoa and toss.  Taste for seasoning – add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper if desired.  Arrange 1 c. of salad greens on each of four plates, garnish each with 1/4 of the chicken mixture.

Serves 4.

Adapted from the Nutrition Action Healthletter, April 2009

Tip: Are you using non-stick cookware?  It’s more than suspect from a health-standpoint, it could be downright dangerous.  Did you know that a properly seasoned cast iron frying pan is virtually non-stick?  The secret is to heat it up before you begin cooking your food.  The 1 teaspoon of oil in this recipe more than coated my cast iron frying pan and created a non-stick surface for my chicken – all for only 10 extra calories per serving.  And bonus!  If you use cast iron cookware, you’ll get a little extra iron in your diet.

Quinoa on Foodista

February 18, 2011   4 Comments

Expandable Side Dish: Kale & Chard with Tomato and Garlic

Like I said a week or so ago, I’m trying harder with the cooked veg.  This recipe showed up in the January Everyday Food magazine and I knew at once I’d have to try it.  I’ve been trying for a while to get D. to eat kale.  He’ll eat Swiss chard and other greens, and enjoys kale in soups (um, with sausage, and really who can blame him?), but he’s not a fan of kale for kale’s sake. [Read more →]

February 10, 2011   3 Comments

Quickie Side: Broccoli With Toasted Cashews

I’m back on the healthy – finally got rid of the myriad viruses I was fighting, finally rid the house of buttery, sugary treats and now I’m back to clean, sensible eating. And you know what? Despite the pang of longing I still get for my old friend, Sugary Dessert, after dinner, I feel so much better.  I always tell people, and I’ll say it to you here – if you can get yourself off the hooch for a week or two, you’ll stop craving the hooch, and the uptick in energy and sheer pleasure of feeling your body run more smoothly will start to reinforce your healthy eating habits.  Really.  Trust me.  Don’t even get me started on how you can be addicted (in a healthy way) to exercise as well. I was smiling as I ran on the Arc trainer the other day at the gym. It’s great to be back.

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January 28, 2011   2 Comments

Greens & Ricotta Salata

swiss chard

I got a lovely head of Swiss chard in my CSA box last week, and since I was closing in on my next share, I had to think up a way to use it . . . I’m done with soups for now, done with the sausage/greens combo – I needed a fresh take.  This recipe is it . . . buttery braised chard, onions, salty ricotta salata all make a fab side dish, or, if you’re like me, your main course!

Greens & Ricotta Salata (adapted from the Food Network)

1 bunch Swiss chard
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 oz. ricotta salata cheese

Wash the chard and pat it dry (leave some water clinging to the leaves).  Coarsely chop the stems and leaves and set them aside.

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute longer.  Add the greens, broth, soy sauce, and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until the greens have wilted, the stems become tender and most of the liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked greens to a serving plate and crumble the cheese over the top.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

June 23, 2010   3 Comments