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In previous posts I’ve advocated for prepared vegetables like mushrooms and kale make your quickest [and holy moly delicious] recipes possible.  This vegan kale and mushroom taco does just that!  It also highlights the main ingredient in taco seasoning– chili powder, while ditching the rest of the salty packet (major sodium savings).  Here’s how it goes: Total time: ~30 minutes Servings: ~4 servings   Ingredients: 10 oz (~2 ½ cups) pre-washed, sliced mushrooms 2 cups chopped kale leaves 1- 15 oz can low-sodium or organic black beans, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon plant based oil (e.g.: olive or grapeseed oil) ½ teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon chili powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 4 small corn tortillas (3-4 inches) 1 avocado, sliced Directions: Heat a medium sauce pan over medium high heat with tablespoon of oil. Add mushrooms and kale leaves sauté on medium heat for ~8 minutes until kale is softened and mushrooms are cooked through. Add black beans along with salt, pepper, teaspoon chili powder and garlic powder; cook for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile heat 2 corn tortillas per person in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until softened. Fill tortillas with the taco filling, top with avocado and optional toppings as desired. Fold over and enjoy! Pro Tip: Top with cilantro and lime for extra fresh toppings.
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My childhood consisted of juicy beef kabobs almost every Sunday, whether from our backyard’s grill or the neighborhood Persian restaurant.  Unfortunately, my NYC apartment does not have access to a charcoal grill, but a grill pan– YES! Add some extra-lean meat and savory ingredients (some traditional Persian flavors, some not) and an indoor kabob is on.  Here’s how it goes– Prep time: 15 minutes                            Cook Time: 15 minutes                            Total Time: ~30 minutes Servings: ~4-5 Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef 1 small onion, finely diced or grated 1/2 jalapeno, minced (remove seeds for more mild kabob) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 table spoon canola, or other plant based oil Directions: Add all ingredients except the oil to a large bowl; combine with clean hands until ingredients are well distributed (you can also let this kabob meat marinate for 1-2 hours, or overnight to enhance flavors) Form the meat into mini kabobs, about 1/3 cup each Heat a grill pan or large skillet to medium high heat Coat a grill pan (or skillet) with the oil, until it is glistening Cook kabobs for 5-6 minutes on both sides until they are brown in the center
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Pre-washed, ready-to-eat veggies, like kale, carrots, or sliced mushrooms, are the biggest time saver of all time.  This recipe intentionally uses ingredients that require no washing and minimal prep.  The sesame lime dressing is tangy and savory and tastes good all week long. Hello, meal prep.  Basic, yes! But seriously, who doesn’t love an easy kale salad! Total time: ~20 minutes Servings: ~4 servings   Ingredients: For the Salad: 4 cups pre-washed and chopped kale 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts 1 avocado, diced 4 steamed vacuum packed beets, diced For the dressing: Juice of 1 lime 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon sesame oil 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon honey Directions: Toss together in a large salad bowl– all of the prepped salad ingredients In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients for the salad dressing, until well combined Drizzle salad dressing over the salad and toss to combine Pro Tip: Keep the salad in an airtight container for 4 days to maintain freshness!
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Current state: I’m basking in all new things- a new husband, new apartment, new Le Creuset and almost as important is a new Chana Masala recipe (maybe don’t share that part with my new husband, ah!).  While everything has seemed to change in the last two weeks (did I say #blessings?), I’m advocating for the same rockin’ plant based proteins, but in a whole new way. We can chat about 101 reasons why we should all incorporate plant based proteins in our diets (swapping plant based proteins for animal proteins can promote heart health and weight management, all while boosting nutrient intake- like fiber and potentially disease fighting phytonutrients). While that’s all great, here’s why you’ll actually love this recipe- 1- Building this meal in one pot makes this recipe super easy to cook and makes clean up a breeze 2- Using canned beans, which are already par-cooked, helps cook up this meal in about 45 min 3- You will impress your husband, friends, neighbors, booty calls, old and new, with this seemingly exotic dish Side note, other plant based proteins you can swap for animal proteins are… beans, nuts, seeds, whole soy foods like edamame and tofu, peas and lentils. Ready to whip up this recipe? Let’s go! The Acrobat’s Chana Masala Total time: ~45 minutes Servings: ~6 servings Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced (or use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder as a time saver) 1 inch ginger, minced (optional) 2 teaspoons prepared curry powder 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (look for low sodium or inherently low sodium organic chickpeas; check the label and aim for less than 150 mg, ideally more than 100) 1 28-oz can low-sodium crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup water 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed in microwave 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) Directions: Heat a large pot (ie: dutch oven) over medium-high heat; add olive oil, onions and garlic; sautee for 5 minutes until onions begin to brown Sprinkle in curry powder and black pepper; combine with onions and garlic until onions and garlic are coated with spices and curry fragrance intensifies (about 2 minutes) Add to the pot- chickpeas, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water and spinach; mix to combine and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for ~20 minutes until sauce thickens Season with salt, if needed *Ideas for serving: serve 1 cup Chana Masala over 1/2 cup brown rice or over 1 cup roasted cauliflower!
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It’s the tail end of summer which means the time is now to take advantage of all of summer’s bounty.  And this zoodle salad does just that.  The recipe makes enough sides for about 6 people- or 4 lunch portions for your most prized tupperware– just add a booster or two to make it into a meal- i.e.: sunflower seeds, avocado, tuna, chicken or tofu.  Noodles as a vegetable side? Get. It. Now. Total time: ~20 minutes Servings: 4-6 servings Ingredients: 2 large zucchinis, spiralized (this hand held Oxo spiralizer is great for small kitchens!) 2 large scallion thinly sliced 2 ears of corn 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half For the dressing: Juice of half a lemon 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon mustard 1/2 teaspoon honey 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper   Directions: First, prepare the corn: Add 2 inches of water and 2 ears of corn to a deep skillet or pot; bring water to a boil, cover and cook for ~10 minutes until corn is a bright yellow hue. Run the corn under cold water and slice it off the cob. While the corn is cooking, add the zucchini, tomatoes and scallions to a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the salad dressing Put it all together: add the corn and salad dressing to the salad bowl.  Toss to combine.
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Summer is fun, but sometimes, it can be too fun. And if you can relate to this then a little structure and sobriety is exactly what you’ll need after the rose and BBQ rendezvous of summer! You’re invited to rehabilitate your habits and get ready for fall with a 7-day Wellness Rehab!  I’m partnering with a kick-ass Registered Dietitian and friend, Brigitte Zeitlin, of BZ Nutrition to bring you this rehabilitating program! This program is email-based so you can join from anywhere and get the ultimate accountability and motivation daily!   You’ll put your food first for 1 week with our delicious recipes, all encompassing grocery list, daily emails from us plus nightly individual check-ins. And by the end of the the week you’ll feel energized, focused, cleaner and leaner as head into the fall! *Check yourself into Wellness Rehab for $475.  Space is limited. Sign-up here by Labor Day!
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  Join me for a summer hangout, online!  Do you have a burning nutrition question, want to learn more about nutrition counseling or just want to say “hey”?  Chat it to me honey!  Here is the 411 below:   Time: Wednesday, July 25 2018 Place: Google Hangouts How to Sign Up: Shoot me an email at daniela@acrobatnutrition.com with your gmail address and I’ll take it from there   In the meantime, contact me with any questions using the email above and I can’t wait to hang with you!
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  Join me for a summer hangout, online!  Do you have a burning nutrition question, want to learn more about nutrition counseling or just want to say “hey”?  Chat it to me honey!  Here is the 411 below:   Time: Wednesday, July 25 2018 Place: Google Hangouts How to Sign Up: Shoot me an email at daniela@acrobatnutrition.com with your gmail address and I’ll take it from there   In the meantime, contact me with any questions using the email above and I can’t wait to hang with you!
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At this point you’ve heard that you should “eat more fish“- specifically salmon because it is high in omega 3‘s and other nutrients like B vitamins, selenium and zinc, while low in saturated fat.  But let’s get a little deeper- should you “get wild” or “go for the farmed”?  As a consumer, I see the biggest difference between the two is really the price (wild is twice the price, hello!), but as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist — I see the potential differences in quality, nutrient content and sustainability too. While I can go into the great debate between wild vs. farm raised salmon, here are some key differences between the two…  Wild salmon is leaner, meaning it is lower in fat and calories (about 140 calories less per ~3.5 oz serving- which is significant!)- this is because (for the most part) they are running free in the ocean, getting more exercise than their farmed counterparts and eating more natural/less caloric food sources (smaller fish, algae..).  Farm raised salmon on the other hand, are raised in closed quarters outside of their natural habitat.  This means that 1- they aren’t getting as much exercise as the wild guys and 2- instead of consuming natural foods (fish, algae…) they are fed more caloric, man-made protein pellets, — both of which will lead to fattier fish (and more caloric for us to eat) but also more omega 3’s than the wild varieties.  Also, since, farmed fish get less exercise their flesh often turns grey so pink coloring is added to their feed to maintain their pink color (not au natural, but doesn’t necessarily counteract the benefits of eating salmon!).  To complicate things further, some wild salmon are farm raised for part of their lives and then let into the “wild”– which you wouldn’t know without asking a fish monger.  Also, depending on how your fish is raised there are concerns about sustainability practices, water pollution, all of which may matter to you. Have I confused you quite yet? Truth is it is a complicated matter and you can learn more about wild vs. farmed fish in this very dense article to help you make a decision that’s right for you! Bottom line is this- both wild and farm raised salmon are nutrient dense protein source with high levels of omega 3’s, selenium, zinc, and others- so either is a go! I mean, you gotta eat something, amiright? In general follow the recommendation to include seafood in your diet twice a week (8 oz total per week)- salmon or otherwise– and note that this recommendation varies for pregnant and lactating women. On to the recipe!… Baked *Sabzi Salmon *Sabzi- in Farsi, this means fresh herbs, which is what makes this recipe a win! Active time: 5 minutes                  Total time: ~25-30 minutes Servings: 4 servings (5 oz each) Ingredients: 1 salmon filet (1.25 pounds- this feeds about 4 people or 3 hungrier people!) 1 large scallion finely sliced 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon capers, chopped finely 1 large garlic cloves (or 2-3 smaller ones) 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F Lightly grease a baking sheet with 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil Place salmon skin down on the baking sheet, dab with paper towels to remove any extra moisture and set aside (optional: season salmon with a light sprinkle, ~1/8 teaspoon, of salt at this point- but note that the topping has salt added to it as well) To make the fresh herb topping, mix together in a small bowl: scallions, parsley, dill, capers, 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper Spread the herb mixture over the salmon filet with a spoon until the top is evenly covered (cover the sides too if you have enough) Bake salmon for 20-25 minutes until easily flaked with a fork Note: Side dish picture is a simple stir fry: I sauteed 1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice and 3/4 cup peas (used frozen for both), 1 scallion, salt and pepper to taste.  It cooks in about 10 minutes!
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