Archive for October, 2010
Fall is my favorite season…but pumpkin is one of my favorite carb choices year round.
This antioxidant rich winter squash is full of potassium, as well as vitamins C, K and E. It’s low cal and with only about 13net carbs (7g fiber) it’s a Dr Brooke and Ultimate You optimal carb choice. While ¼-1/3 cup (i.e. 4-6 bites) of pumpkin with a dash of cinnamon are a quick and easy carb paired with any meal, below are some yummy, interesting ways to enjoy pumpkin.
Canned pumpkin is the easiest but if you’re up for it roasting your own is always an option. If you roast your own you can make yet another healthy, delicious, on plan food: roasted pumpkin seeds.
To roast, remove seeds from pumpkin and pull away any remaining pulp. Spread out on brown paper bag overnight to dry. To bake, preheat oven to 160-170 degrees and toss pumpkin seeds in 1-2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp sea salt. Add a dash of cayenne, chipotle or black pepper if desired. Spread evenly on cookie sheet (spray cookie sheet lightly with olive oil) and bake 15-20 minutes. Baking at this low heat of 170 degrees you’ll preserve the healthy fats in the seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are a crunchy, tasty addition to salads or stirfrys and a small handful make a quick snacks and they are loaded with zinc. Zinc is great for the immune system, for perfect skin and for a healthy sex drive…so eat up!
Protein Pumpkin Muffins
15 oz canned or cooked pumpkin
½ cup egg whites
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup chopped walnuts
3 scoops whey
4 packets Truvia or ¼ cup honey (if not following low carb)
1.25 cups almond flour or hazelnut flour (I mix the two)
Mix all ingredients in bowl, bake at 350 for 20minutes.
These make an excellent snack and perfect when you are on the go – and they freeze easily so make a bunch!
Pumpkin Coconut Curry (Sound strange? It is sooo yummy!)
4 chicken breasts, diced
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small purple onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 can pumpkin or 15 oz cooked pumpkin
2 cans coconut milk
3.5 tbsp xylitol or brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2-5 tbsp red curry powder
2tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp cinnamon
Dash cayenne pepper, optiona
Chop small purple onion and garlic finely or puree in food processor and set aside. In small saucepan combine coconut milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, xylitol or brown sugar, and red curry paste to taste (start with 1-2 tbsp and add more to get desired spiciness). Bring to boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes, reducing volume.
When sauce has cooked for at least 5 minutes, add coconut oil, garlic, onion and chicken to large pan. Cook over medium to high heat until chicken is nearly completely cooked. Next, add pumpkin-coconut milk mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes and then serve over a few handfuls of baby spinach.
Perfectly on Plan Pumpkin Custard
¼ cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1.5 tbsp low fat ricotta
Xylitol and cinnamon to taste
Put all ingredients in small bowl and mix – yum! Makes a great snack or dessert.
Pumpkin Pie Recovery Shake
1 scoop whey protein powder
½ cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
Xyltiol or truvia to taste, if desired
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Mix all ingredients in blender and drink within 1 hour post workout. A great departure from berries in your shake!
White meat turkey is one of the leanest proteins around with a 4oz serving packing 32.5g of protein and typically less than 1g of fat. It’s also high in super nutrients like selenium, B6 and niacin.
Selenium is crucial for healthy thyroid metabolism, necessary for a good immune system health and it’s a potent antioxidant. Niacin is important for turning proteins, fats and carbs from our food into energy. B6, like niacin, is also important for energy production – especially breaking down stored sugar (called glycogen) from your muscles and liver between meals, during workouts and while you are sleeping. B6 is also needed for a process called methylation which is a crucial reaction that protects blood vessel walls and maintains healthy hormone balance. Extra B6 is needed whenever we’re taking exogenous hormone medications (including birth control pills).
Roasted turkey breast is a great protein source, but here are a few more interesting turkey ensembles that make great meals…and great protein based snacks. Enjoy!
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and drained (press all water out)
½ chopped purple onion
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp Herbs de Provence or 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbsp crushed red pepper, if desired
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form into patties (makes 8-10 turkey burgers). Cook stovetop or in George Forman Grill. These are great cold – so they can be eaten on the go as a quick protein, as well as reheated…and there’s green veggies baked right in! Served here with sliced avocado and Red Swiss Chard dressed in olive oil and lemon juice.
No time to make and cook individual patties? Put into greased 8 x 10 baking dish and cook as a meatloaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 40minutes or until cooked through.
Turkey Meatballs (gluten free)
2 pounds ground, hormone free, organic, free range turkey
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper, if desired
Mix all ingredients into a bowl and then roll into 2” balls and place on cookie sheet (cover pan lightly with spray olive oil or coconut oil). Makes 14-16 meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until they are cooked through.
Serving suggestion: Place 2-3 meatballs atop a large handful of spinach and top with ½ cup marinara sauce. Top with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese if desired.
2 of these make a great protein snack – have with raw bell pepper slices.
Laura’s Hearty Tuscan Soup (variation on recipe from Ultimate You
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium purple onion, chopped
2 pounds ground turkey breast (also can be made with ground chicken)
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 zucchinis, diced
1.5 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp black pepper
8 cups organic chicken broth
1 can rinsed and drained cannellini beans
1 cup fresh basil leaves
4 slices precooked turkey bacon
1 cup organic cream or coconut milk
Sauté garlic and onion with ground turkey breast in olive oil for about 10 minutes (until turkey is nearly cooked). Add mushrooms, zucchinis, sea salt, pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and drained canellini beans, bring to a simmer. Next add fresh basil leaves and 4 slices precooked and crumbled turkey bacon and if desired, add 1 cup organic cream or coconut milk. Simmer 5 more minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.