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Looking for a super easy and delicious Instant Pot recipe? Look no further than my Instant Pot Picadillo (a.k.a. Cuban Spiced Beef) with Salsa Verde. It’s gluten free, high in protein and delicious served over brown rice or for a low carb or keto meal, serve it over cauliflower rice or on its own. This recipe freezes well so it’s fantastic for meal prep. I love the combo of the umami/savory and acidity – my husband loved this so much he wants a double batch next week!

Pin this recipe to save it and share it!

Have you ever made brown rice in the Instant Pot? I like to make a big batch on Sunday or Monday and then portion it out into freezer bags for a few meals so I don’t have to cook it for each meal. It makes getting dinner ready so much quicker!

We also bought a smaller second Instant Pot to make brown rice alongside the main dish on those nights that we aren’t so prepared. In the Instant Pot, brown rice only takes 15 minutes compared to the 45 minutes on the stovetop. Plus, my stovetop brown rice always boils over and makes a big mess. Not fun! Anything I can do to save on clean up and time is worth it, so loving our baby Instant Pot. Here are the ones I have and love:

The Best Instant Pots to Order

Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart 10-in-1 (for main meals)

Instant Pot Duo Mini – 3 Quart (for rice another side dishes)

Instant Pot Picadillo (Cuban Spiced Beef) with Salsa Verde – Gluten Free

Let me know if you tried this recipe – I’d love to see how it turned out and what you thought! Tag me on social media @80twentyrule and #80twentyrule and I’ll be sure to see it.

More Delicious Instant Pot Recipes

Healthy Jambalaya with Shredded Chicken Breasts and Brown Rice

Vegan Brown Rice Pudding – Gluten Free and No Refined Sugar

What type of Instant Pot recipes do you want to see? I’d love to create something new for you!


Picadillo (Cuban Spiced Beef) in the Instant Pot with Salsa Verde and Brown Rice - Gluten Free
This delicious Picadillo Instant Pot recipe combines extra lean ground beef with delicious spices, tomatoes, red bell peppers and capers for a healthy Cuban meal. It takes less than 25 minutes to make and freezes well.
Servings
8
Cook Time
20minutes
..
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A delicious bowl of soba noodles topped with delicious peanut sauce and loaded with colorful veggies and protein-rich shrimp. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! My gluten-free Shrimp and Soba Noodle Stirfry with Peanut Sauce is one of those surprisingly easy and amazingly tasty recipes you’re going to want to make again and again. You’re welcome!

–> Pin this recipe to save it and share it!

How to find gluten free soba noodles

If you haven’t tried soba noodles yet, it’s time to add them to your shopping list. Soba noodles are Japanese noodles traditionally made from buckwheat. And no, “buckwheat” does not contain any wheat. It’s gluten-free (confusing, but true)!

If you want this shrimp and soba noodle stirfry to be gluten free, you do want to check out the ingredients on your soba noodles, because some varieties will have wheat flour added. To save you some time, here are some brands I love that contain only buckwheat:

King Soba Gluten Free Organic 100% Buckwheat Noodles

Muso From Japan Organic 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles

There are also some other gluten-free soba noodle options that have buckwheat mixed with other healthy ingredients:

King Soba Gluten-Free Organic Buckwheat Sweet Potato Noodles

King Soba Gluten-Free Organic Buckwheat, Quinoa and Brown Rice Soba Noodles

If you can’t find soba noodles at your grocery store, you can also substitute with brown rice spaghetti noodles or  other thin pasta.

Now back to the bowl…!

I’m obsessed with noodles but it can be tough to control the portion size. That’s why I’ve added carrot ribbons into this recipe. They help to add nutrients and up the vegetable content in this dish, but they also help add fiber and bulk to your meal so you end up full on fewer calories. Win-win-win! If you can find heirloom carrots in different colors, your noodle bowl will be even more gorgeous. Plus, multi-colored carrots have a variety of different phytonutrients… the purple ones are my favorites!

Plus I’ve added in some Chinese vegetables. The most common one you’ll see at a regular grocery store is bok choy or baby bok choy which will work perfectly. You might also see other Chinese greens such as choy sum or yu choy, Chinese broccoli, napa cabbage, watercress and more. Experiment with different types – they’re all packed with nutrition!

How does this shrimp and soba noodle bowl compare to restaurant versions? So happy you asked! Here’s how one serving of each stacks up:

Restaurant Shrimp and Noodle Stir Fry Bowl

  • 870 calories
  • Carbs: 115 grams
  • Fat: 43 grams
  • Sodium: 1660 mg

Yikes! Too many noodles and sugary sauces make this meal a blood sugar disaster. This is the carb equivalent of having 7 pieces of bread.

80 Twenty Nutrition Shrimp and Soba Noodle Stir Fry

  • 390 calories
  • Carbs: 32 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Sodium: 253 mg

–> See the comparison on Instagram!

Shrimp and Soba Noodle Stirfry with Peanut Sauce – Gluten-Free

Time to get cooking (and you know what comes after cooking, right? The eating and enjoying)!!!

Let me know if you tried this recipe – I’d love to see how it turned out and what you thought! Tag me on social media @80twentyrule and #80twentyrule and I’ll be sure to see it.

Looking for some other takeout-inspired recipes for healthy and quick dinners?

Check out my:

Kung Pao Cauliflower Chicken – Low Carb and Gluten Free

Pad Thai with Zoodles – Low Carb, Vegan and Gluten Free

Healthy Egg Fried Rice – Vegetarian and Gluten Free

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Moussaka is comfort food in a pan. Think of it as a Greek lasagna: creamy sauce, layers of deliciousness and the umami yum of tomatoes. Classic moussaka recipes use potatoes, but I left them out to make my Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole) keto and low carb. Plus, this recipe is gluten-free. It makes lots of leftovers so it’s a great Sunday meal prep recipe. It also freezes well so you can set some aside for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.

Now moussaka is not a quick recipe, but it is fairly easy. You do need time on your side, because you have to roast all of the eggplant before you assemble and bake the moussaka. Trust me, it’s totally worth it. I looked forward to eating this so much that I had it every day for a week. If you don’t have several hours set aside to make your moussaka, not to worry. You can make it in stages. I’ll explain more below!

Some recipes have you take some of the eggplant skin off, but I’ve tried it both ways and found that it’s just as delicious without having to do that. And I’m all about saving time and skipping steps you don’t need! How’s that for saving you time?

Mouthwatering Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole) – Keto, Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Get ready to have a new favorite recipe. Move over, shepherd’s pie. See ya later, boring casseroles. It’s all about the moussaka!


Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole) - Keto, Low Carb and Gluten-Free 
This authentic Greek Moussaka recipe is keto, low carb and gluten-free. It's the perfect comfort food and freezes well so it's a great option for meal prep.
Servings Prep Time
8 1hour
Cook Time
2hours
Servings Prep Time
8 1hour
Cook Time
2hours
Ingredients
Meat Sauce
Bechamel Sauce
Instructions
Roasted Eggplant
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Cut your eggplant width-wise into circles 1/3 of an inch thick. Cover two baking sheets with paper towels or clean dish towels. Spread the eggplant slices onto the towels and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for about 15 minutes so some of the moisture comes out. Rinse the eggplant slices in a colander and then pat them dry with more towels.
  2. Take the towels off of the baking sheets and cover with parchment paper. Make a single layer of eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheets (so they're not overlapping).
  3. Bake the eggplant for about 20 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown. Turn off the oven.
Meat Sauce
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the onion in avocado oil until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook about 12 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in the rest of the meat sauce ingredients. Cover and simmer on medium low for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bechamel Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking often.
  2. Whisk in the milk, stirring constantly. Whisk in the cream. Bring it to a boil and simmer on low for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and and add salt and pepper.
Moussaka
  1. Prepare a 8x13 inch pan by spraying or drizzling with avocado oil. Create a layer with 1/3 of the eggplant slices (it's ok if they overlap). Cover with half of the meat sauce. Add another layer of eggplant and the rest of the meat sauce. Then layer with the rest of the eggplant.
  2. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat lightly. Whisk the egg into the bechamel sauce and pour the bechamel sauce over the moussaka, spreading evenly with a spatula.
  3. Sprinkle the cheese over the moussaka. Bake in your preheated oven for 45 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

This moussaka freezes really well either before or after you bake it.

If you don't have time to make the whole recipe in one stretch, make the eggplant and meat sauce one day and then make the bechamel sauce and assemble your moussaka another day.

Nutrition Facts
Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole) - Keto, Low Carb and Gluten-Free 
Amount Per Serving
Calories 497 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 139mg 46%
Sodium 493mg 21%
Potassium 604mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 8g
Protein 41g 82%
Vitamin A 14%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 15%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The post Mouthwatering Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole) – Keto, Low Carb and Gluten-Free  appeared first on 80 Twenty Nutrition.

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Got a hankering for some cornbread? It really is comforting and the golden color is super appealing. I wanted to create a healthy cornbread recipe that can be your go-to every time that cornbread craving hits. This recipe can be made vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free depending on your needs and preferences. I’ve also included more readily available ingredients to make it easy on you!

To help bring down the calories and bump up the nutrition, I’ve used whole grain flour and replaced some of the fat with nonfat Greek yogurt (you can also use coconut yogurt if you want it to be vegan or dairy-free). Plus, this  can easily be made gluten-free. Here’s how this healthier cornbread measures up compared to the restaurant version (and yes, it’s just as delicious and satisfying)!

Restaurant Cornbread:

  • 340 calories per piece
  • 21 grams of fat
  • 8 grams of saturated fat
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 540 grams of sodium

Consider that you’d probably add fat to this or eat it with something else to round out a meal and this can add up pretty fast!

80 Twenty Nutrition’s Healthy Cornbread:

  • 95 calories per piece
  • 3 grams of fat (so you can add your butter or vegan margarine and enjoy!)
  • 1 gram of saturated fat
  • 3 grams of filling fiber
  • only 171 mg of sodium (a third of “theirs”).

Note that this cornbread won’t be oily like you’re used to because we’ve cut the fat big time. And if you’re making the vegan version, the addition of coconut oil will give it more of a tropical aroma and flavor (which actually works really well).

Healthy Cornbread – Vegan and Gluten-Free

Ready to get your bake on? Let’s do this!

Let me know if you tried this recipe – I’d love to see how it turned out and what you thought! Tag me on social media @80twentyrule and #80twentyrule and I’ll be sure to see it.


The Best Healthy Cornbread - Vegan, Gluten-Free and Delicious
This cozy and comforting cornbread is lower in calories, fat and sodium and higher in fiber than your typical cornbread. It's extra delicious served warm with some butter or vegan margarine.
Servings
12
Servings
12
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8" square pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  4. Pour the cornbread mixture into your pan and smooth with a spatula so it's even. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden.
  5. Let your cornbread cool and cut into 12 pieces. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
The Best Healthy Cornbread - Vegan, Gluten-Free and Delicious
Amount Per Serving
Calories 95 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2g
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 171mg 7%
Potassium 27mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 2%
Calcium 6%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The post Healthy Cornbread – Vegan, Gluten-Free and Delicious! appeared first on 80 Twenty Nutrition.

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You don’t have to wait until Taco Tuesday or National Taco Day to enjoy one of America’s favorite foods! As a country, we consume an estimated 4.5 billion tacos a year. Many of those might be chicken or pork-filled, but anthropologists believe that the first tacos were actually fish tacos, because they were first eaten in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico. Get my tips for healthier tacos whether you’re making them at home or dining out. Plus, I rounded up the best healthy fish taco recipes. You’re going to love them!

Disclosure: this blog post is a collaboration with GOED. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Tips for a Healthier Taco Night  1. Pick a Good Protein

photo: istock

When it comes to tacos, it’s what’s inside that matters most. Fish is a high-quality protein, and fatty fish like salmon and trout also have omega-3s – the good fats. Even pollock, the white fish often used in fish sticks, is a source of omega-3s.

Plant food sources of omega-3s do not contain EPA and DHA, since these fatty acids come from the sea (also known as “marine-based”). The only way to get these omega-3s are by eating fish or by taking an omega-3 supplement. For people who don’t eat fish, there are vegan supplements sourced from marine microalgae (marine plants). That’s the only plant-based source of EPA and DHA.

EPA and DHA are among the most studied nutrients, with more than 30,000 published studies on their impact on health. EPA and DHA support heart health in that higher intakes of these fatty acids are linked to healthy triglyceride and blood pressure levels. These long-chain omega-3s also support brain health, and DHA in particular has been associated with eye health.

Fish and Seafood Highest in Omega-3s

Wondering which types of fish and seafood are the highest in omega-3 fatty acids? As a general rule, any oily fish will be higher in EPA and DHA.

I love this chart from Seafood Nutrition Partnership for an at-a-glance look at the amount of omega-3s in various types of fish and seafood:

Another key point about choosing a healthier protein source for your tacos…

2. Go Grilled or Baked

photo: istock

Whether you’re making fish tacos or ordering them in a restaurant, make sure you get your fish baked or grilled rather than fried. That way you’re getting the benefits of the naturally-occurring omega-3s and avoiding the types of fat you don’t want that are soaked up during the frying process.

Now that you’ve picked some healthy fish, let’s make sure the rest of your taco is healthy and delicious too!

 3. Have Whole Grain Tortillas

The type of tortilla could turn your taco night into a high fiber meal or one that’s lower in fiber. Choose whole grain tortillas made from corn or whole wheat flour. Check the ingredients list and look for words like “stone ground” or “whole grain”.

Some tortillas will have hydrogenated fats added to them. These types of fats, also known as trans fats, aren’t good for your heart. Pick tortillas that don’t have “hydrogenated” in the ingredients list.

4. Load Up  On Veggies 

Photo: istock

Load up your tacos with plenty of shredded cabbage, lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, onion, cilantro… the possibilities are endless! Think of your taco as a hand-held salad to help you fit in more vegetables and plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Find cabbage too bland? Check out my taco recipe below for a zesty slaw you’ll love!

5. Select Smart Sauces

Photo: Peter Roberts Jr via Unsplash

Restaurant tacos can be swimming in sour cream, cheese and mayonnaise-based sauces that are high in calories and saturated fat and low in nutrients. Switch out your sauce for some low calorie but flavorful salsa or pico de gallo, or add some guacamole or fresh avocado for some heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. You can always try plain Greek yogurt as a healthier substitution for sour cream.

The Best Healthy Fish Taco Recipes

Fabulous Fish Tacos with Tangy Slaw

photo: istock

Other delicious fish and seafood tacos you’ll love:

Easy Salmon Tacos from Edwina Clark

Blackened Trout Tacos from Jessica at The Novice Chef

Trout Tacos from Fresh Fish Kitchen

And taco relatives:

Tuna Tomato Rosemary Burrito from Vicki Shanta Retelny at Simple Cravings Real Food

Sheet Pan Salmon Fajitas from Kara at The Foodie Dietitian

So now for the ever-important question: tacos or burritos?

photo: Unsplash

The post Tips for Healthier Tacos – and the Best Healthy Fish Taco Recipes appeared first on 80 Twenty Nutrition.

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She came into my office with tears in her eyes. My new client told me about all of the distress she experienced based on how she felt about her weight and weight bias she’d experienced over the past 20 years. “All of that time, effort, money and suffering, and I’m still obese,” she lamented.

It pained me to see her struggling and we spent part of our next few visits discussing the discrimination she encountered based on her size. I’m angry at every person who treated her with disrespect. It’s time for a shift in how society views obesity. People aren’t obese because they’re lazy, unmotivated or don’t have will-power. These negative stereotypes are not only untrue, they’re damaging.

It's time for a shift in how society views #obesity.
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I’m excited to partner with Novo Nordisk to bring this important issue forward. As always, I write about topics I’m passionate about, and all opinions are 100% my own.

What is weight bias?

The stigma around obesity is significant and negatively impacts social life, mental health and more. One in three Canadian adults live with obesity and face widespread weight bias and discrimination from strangers, educators, employers, health professionals, the media and even friends and family. As a result of this stigma, obese individuals have more difficulty securing employment and getting the education and the healthcare they need. This is unacceptable.

Sadly, my client’s experience is shockingly common. Dealing with weight bias often leads to feelings of guilt and shame, depression and unhealthy weight control practices such as extreme dieting. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and weight regain, creating a vicious cycle that’s destructive to a person’s physical and mental health. There is a better way.

#Weightbias can lead to guilt and shame, depression and extreme dieting. There's a better way.
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Let’s look at 6 myths surrounding obesity and what we can do to combat them in our society.

Obesity is a choice.

False.

According to the Canadian Obesity Network, the Canadian Medical Association and the World Health Organization, obesity is a chronic disease. That means obesity is in the same category as type 2 diabetes and heart disease and people living with it deserve care and attention rather than blame. No one chooses to be obese.

Obesity is caused by lack of will power.

False.

I’ve done hundreds of news interviews about obesity and am asked about what causes it every time. My answer? Obesity is a multifactorial disease. In other words, obesity is caused by complex interactions between societal factors, environmental factors and more. A person’s genes can affect the risk of obesity, and so can medical problems, some medications, emotional health and sleep. We’re only beginning to unravel how gut hormones and the gut microbiota play a role in obesity.

Think #obesity is caused by a lack of willpower? Here's what the research says:
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You have to lose lots of weight to be healthier.

False.

This is a common trap that people fall into and we have the weight loss industry to thank. It has led many people to believe that extreme weight loss results are the only results that matter. Not true. Losing large amounts of weight may not be necessary for everyone who is overweight.

Stopping weight gain over time or losing as little as 5-10% of your weight and keeping it off can result in health benefits – especially when you compare these benefits with the harms caused by yo-yo dieting.

You’re not healthy unless you’re slim.

False.

Pop quiz: who is healthier? A thin person who eats junk food and never exercises, or an obese person who eats plenty of vegetables and fruit and other nutritious foods and is active?

If you said the thin person, you’re wrong.

It is true that obesity is a risk factor for other chronic diseases. Getting to a healthy weight for you and maintaining that weight is key to lower disease risk and boost overall health.

But to achieve overall health and well-being, achieving a number on the scale or a pant size isn’t a great goal (and is an example of weight bias). Plus, it doesn’t consider the habits that got you there. Maybe you lost weight by cutting foods out of your diet that you really love. As soon as you add those foods back in, it’s common to go back to the weight you were at before (or gain even more weight).

Instead, focus on getting to your “best weight”. That’s the weight your body will stabilize at when you’re leading an active, healthy life you enjoy.

Eat what your skinny friend eats and you’ll look like that person.

False.

If only it were that easy. Our genetics, age, height, frame size, sex, activity level and more affect our metabolisms and where we carry extra weight. You could do the exact same workout plan and eat exactly what someone else does and get completely different results. That’s why nutrition needs to be individualized to each person. Treat your body well and it will let you know what weight it wants to be at. It’s up to you to love it and listen.

If you want to lose weight, you should buy a (detox/low carb/personal training) program.

False.

Don’t try to figure this out on your own or trust someone who isn’t a regulated health professional. Asking for support from your doctor is a good place to start. Your doctor can refer you to a registered dietitian for help with your nutrition plan.

How to talk to a doctor about #weightloss (it isn't easy):
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What to ask your doctor if you want to lose weight

If you want to talk to your doctor about weight loss, here are some questions to help get you started:

  1. Do you believe that obesity is a chronic disease?
  2. Are you willing to work with me to help treat this like a complex chronic disease? If not, can you recommend someone who might be better..
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