A healthy lifestyle is not a diet! All experts agree dieting does not work. However, making healthy choices will achieve excellent results that last a lifetime. For example, substitute your “go-to” snacks with healthy ones like seeded oat crackers and you’ll be surprised how good you feel. In addition, eight or nine toasted almonds or pistachios are the perfect substitute for potato chips. Air-popped corn is delicious without butter. For faultless nibbles, keep carrot and celery sticks on the first shelf you see in the refrigerator!
Here are two ideal healthy choices for a hearty lunch or an easy supper dish. Try this Mediterranean influenced celeriac (aka celery root) “spaghetti” topped with broccoli rabe, carrots, and black olives. If you like Mexican flavors, this white bean and quinoa chili is hearty and fits the bill. You’ll wonder why Chipotle hasn’t offered it on their menu!
It’s easy to make healthy choices. Bon appétit!
Celeriac Pasta With Broccoli Rabe(Serves 4)2 to 2 1/2 pounds celeriac (celery root) peeled
2 carrots, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
Sea salt to taste
1 pound broccoli rabe or broccolini, ends trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
About 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or less to taste
About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
About 2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan CheeseTo prepare:Working with a spiralizer or food processor fitted with the shredder blade, shred celeriac through the feeding tube.
Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice.
Shred carrots and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water over high heat to a boil and add sea salt.
Add broccoli and cook until fork tender, immediately transfer with a strainer or slotted spoon to a bowl of cold ice water to stop the cooking process.
Drain well and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Keep the cooking water on the stove.
Bring water back to a boil, add carrots and cook until crunch tender, about two minutes.
Drain well and set aside.
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, add oil, stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until aromatic, about one minute.
Add broccoli and carrots and stir-fry about one minute until lightly coated with oil.
Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Bring water back to a boil, add celeriac and cook about two minutes or until done according to personal preferences.
Drain well, toss with Broccoli and carrots, add olives, and toss well.
Transfer to warm pasta bowls and pass cheese at the table. White Bean And Quinoa Chili(Serves 6)2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large leek, white part only, chopped
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
Two 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
3 cups chopped escarole or kale
1/2 cup uncooked white quinoa
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, parsley, or cilantro
For garnishes: Diced jalapeño, red and green bell peppers, sour cream, sliced black olives, and guacamole, etc.To prepare:Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Working in a heavy casserole ovenproof dish over medium heat, add oil, stir in onion, leeks, garlic, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring until the vegetables are tender, about eight minutes.
Stir in beans, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and cook stirring often until fragrant, about four minutes.
Add stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and quinoa, cover, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender, stirring every now and then, and the mixture has reached the desired consistency. (Uncover if too thin or add more stock if too thick.)
Add fresh chopped herbs, taste and adjust the seasonings. Can be done ahead.
Garnish the chili with snipped chives or scallions, diced peppers, sour cream, olives, and guacamole. Seeded Oat Crackers(Yields 6 cups crackers)1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raw or toasted and salted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds or chia seeds
1 teaspoon salt
Few grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grape seed or avocado oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
3/4 cup room temperature waterTo prepare:Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy, and flax seeds.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add oil, maple syrup, and water.
Mix well and let stand for 10 to 20 minutes until moisture is absorbed.
With your hands, gather the mixture into a ball.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a wide baking sheet; place the ball of oats/seeds in the center.
Press another sheet of parchment paper on top and flatten the ball with your hand.
Using a rolling pin, roll the ball out until it is one-eighth-inch thick (the odd shape does not matter.) It will cover most of the baking sheet.
Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper.
Bake the cracker until golden brown around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, place another baking sheet lined with parchment paper over the “cracker,” invert the pans, once again, carefully “peel” off /remove the top parchment paper.
Bake the cracker until firm and the top is golden brown on the edges about 15 to 20 minutes.
Watch carefully not to burn.
Let cool on baking sheet, and then break into pieces.
Store in airtight container at room temperature for a week or refrigerate up to three weeks.