Thanks so much to Doug from The Kitchen Professor my guest blogger today for some great tips about how to make your own vegetable stock. This tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store!
I don’t know about you…
But I always seem to be out of vegetable stock whenever I need it.
There are some big advantages to making your own vegetable stock:
1. You won’t feel silly when you don’t have it and need it.
2. You can control the amount of salt, i.e. sodium, in your meal.
3. It is much cheaper to make your own stock than to buy it premade.
One of my detox breakfasts: oatmeal with frozen berries, pumpkin and chia seeds with a swirl of almond milk
I completed my Fresh Start 10-Day Cleanse at the beginning of this year with a group of clients and it was the perfect timing for me – after a non-stop party and holiday season with definitely too much sugar, carbs and alcohol. I love working with clients to do a gentle seasonal detox at the beginning of the year as it can shake up your diet, hit the reset button and help you lose a few pounds and feel more energetic and ready to tackle anything at the beginning of a New Year.
We had a wonderful week in North Carolina for Thanksgiving and we fortunate to be able to stay in a beautiful lake house in Lake Norman (thanks, Allison and family!) which had a huge and fantastic chef’s kitchen. I absolutely love cooking for crowds so I was in my element all week long.
The night before Thanksgiving, I decided to try out this recipe. Many members of the family are on a low-carb diet and I always like to try something new. When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light magazine, I knew I had to try it. I have a bit of a thing for spaghetti squash right now! This is a low carb and low fat meal.
I love how everything is piled into the spaghetti squash “boats” so that you can exercise some portion control (although you may be tempted to steal a bit from your neighbor’s plate during the meal) and you can serve it with a light side salad. It does take some prep work but it can easily be prepared for the family as a weeknight meal. You can make them vegetarian by simply omitting the ground turkey and replacing with some portabello mushrooms or eggplant for extra texture. Here’s my take on the recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again this month!
- 2 small to medium spaghetti squash (one half for each person)
- 1 pack lean ground turkey
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms – preferably baby bella
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- (You can prepare the squash in advance if you’d like) Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.
- Place squash halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands.
- Wrap strands on a clean dish towel and squeeze until barely moist. This is a necessary step or the spaghetti squash boats will be really watery. Place spaghetti squash halves (or “boats”) onto a baking sheet.
- Heat a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Make the spinach-mushroom topping. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the spinach and cook briefly (1 minute) until it wilts.
- In a medium bowl, combine the spinach and mushrooms with the spaghetti squash strands, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, and half of mozzarella cheese.
- Make the tomato sauce: add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the turkey and cook until browned. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add the can of tomatoes and oregano and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Increase oven temperature to 425°.
- Spoon tomato-turkey sauce evenly into the bottom of each squash half. Top evenly with squash-spinach-mushroom mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.
- To brown the tops of the squash, broil/grill squash for 1-2 minutes under a high broiler/grill.
Last Friday, my friend Laurisa and I hosted a healthy breakfast event at Real Simple magazine in Manhattan. We were up bright and early to serve Green Beauty smoothies with chia seeds for the editorial and marketing teams. The staff oohed and aahed at the beautiful smoothies and tried to guess all the delicious detoxing ingredients (hint: avocado, spinach and coconut anyone?) in the smoothies. As readers of this blog will know, I’m a big smoothie aficionado and try to start my day with them throwing in all sorts of fruits and veggies into the blender as well as protein powder and my homemade almond milk.
We were also at Real Simple to present the next 5-Day Reset Challenge starting on June 23. It’s a mini program that will help you lose weight, get rid of carb and sugar cravings and back into your skinny jeans in time for summer. It’s completely healthy, nutritious and delicious.
• Lose up to 5 pounds in 5 days
• Get better eating habits
• Control cravings for carbs and sugar
• Improve your nutrition
• Look and feel fabulous
• Recipes from Anneka for smoothies, healthy dinners and snacks
• Vegan protein powder for up to 3 smoothies per day
• Daily support
• Access to private Facebook group
Join the Real Simple team and sign up today by emailing me and I will send you all the information!
Vegetable Frittata in four stages: sautéing the vegetables, covering with eggy mixture, cooking until brown on the top and serving with a spring salad.
We’re celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend in the U.S. and I always think a delicious and healthy brunch is the best way to relax, spend time with your family and celebrate mamas everywhere. I love frittatas and serving them as a brunch dish is perfect: they are filling, nutritious and you can add in all sorts of extra special ingredients for a special occasion. Using seasonal ingredients like asparagus and leeks makes this frittata perfect for springtime too. I like to use lots of different colored vegetables to make the whole frittata look like a big bouquet of flowers! This frittata goes perfectly with my massaged kale salad and a delicious glass of champagne or a mimosa. Happy Mother’s Day!
Note to mamas: please do not make this on Mother’s Day. You should have a lie-in and get someone else to make this for you!
Vegetable Frittata (serves 4 for brunch)
1 red pepper, diced
4 asparagus spears, chopped into small pieces
1/2 bunch broccoli rabe or broccolini
1 red or white onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 medium leek, washed thoroughly and cut into thin slices
Goat’s cheese – about 1/3 cup
6 free range eggs
Salt and black pepper
1-2 teaspoons herbes de provence
In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Add all the chopped vegetables and sauté, stirring occasionally until they are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes until bubbles appear. Add small pieces of the goat’s cheese to the top of the frittata.
- Meanwhile, heat up your broiler or grill in your oven.
- Transfer frittata to a broiler and broil for 7-10 minutes until the top of the frittata is golden brown. Remove from oven and slice into quarters.
This frittata is part of my clean eating and detox program. If you are looking to lose weight, feel healthy and lighter for spring and summer, contact me today to sign up for the next detox group!
Writing out my weekly meal plan
What’s for Supper, Mama?*
It’s late on Sunday night and if you are looking at the tomorrow’s diary and thinking what the *heck* am I going to feed myself/kids this week – calm down, sit down and read this. This is a new series I’ll be writing for my blog so you can see my ideas behind meal planning and what I’m going to be feeding my own family too.
In order to bring a little bit of sanity into my home during a very busy week, I try and create meal plans every Sunday night. It takes just 15 minutes to make and helps me visualize what we’re going to be eating every day. I also include some ideas for lunch and breakfast too but for the sake of this particular blog post, let’s just focus on dinner.
Weeknights in my house with my two children often end with the simple plea: what’s for dessert?
During the holiday season, we got stuck in a bit of a rut. With the house full of chocolate, cookies and ice-cream, I suddenly realized that my two little ones were munching their way through a lot of sugar every night. I needed to find a healthier option. My kids adore ice cream so I knew that frozen fruit popsicles would be a big hit. I also wanted to be in control of the ingredients for dessert: no more artificial additives or sweeteners!
Determined to get some healthier dessert options for our weeknight meals, I bought some bright colored popsicle molds and pulled out my blender to make some delicious flavor combinations. First up: pineapple and spinach which was a huge hit with my son who doesn’t even eat green vegetables. Score!