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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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  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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