dietitian, recipe, salad, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

Easy 5 Ingredient Pickled Japanese Cucumbers

Over the weekend, I went to one of the best burger places in the South Bay, The Standing Room. Instead of getting a delicious burger I got Korean marinated pickles.  I’m weird, but the pickles were delicious and instead of feeling full from a big burger, my gut microbiome was happily singing its way to digestion.

So when I was making my lunch last night, TSR’s Korean pickles were still on my mind. Fermented and pickled vegetables pack a hefty probiotic punch and I thought I’d amp up my gut health another notch with a homemade version.

The salty/sweet/crisp/tart combinations of pickled vegetables are mainstays in cuisines from around the world. Some of my personal favorites are tsukemono (a Japanese variety that I’ve eaten since I was a kid), curtido (Hispanic cultures), and kim chi (Korean)

Pickled and fermented vegetables have a history that dates back to the 7000 BC. Cultures from around the world have used this preservation technique and it has lasted the test of time.  Fermentation works by transforming organic substances into simpler compounds via enzymes. These enzymes release bubbly super powers that turn the flavor train up ten notches while building healthy probiotics along with it. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

This pickled Japanese style cucumbers are a tribute to my Japanese ancestry. My mom makes her own variation and my grandma makes a mean takuan (pickled daikon radish). I also like to add Furikake to my cucumbers. Furikake is a blend of sesame seeds, seaweed, salt and sugar. It is typically used as a topping on rice, but I love to add it to musubi, salads, marinades, salad dressings, etc! You can typically find it on the Asian aisle of most major grocery store chains.

Pickled Japanese Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Persian cucumbers (any variety of cucumbers will do), cut into spears and then diced
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Furikake
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions

  1. This recipe is one that I typically don’t measure anything. I add vinegar (~1/4 c) than oil (a TBS or so) and then will add furikake and salt to taste.
  2. To add some spice, I will add a Japanese chili pepper blend called Nanami Togarashi. If you can’t find it in stores you can add red pepper flakes.
  3. Let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Great as a snack, topping for salads, or a side dish. My favorite way to eat it is with my fingers straight from the tupperware! 😉  

#karionnutrition

 

breakfast, dessert, dietetic intern, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, salad, snack

Greek Yogurt with Blueberries, Watermelon & Basil

image-2

Summer in LA has brought warm temperatures and a plethora of summer produce. On a recent trip up north to Sacramento, California’s bounty was on full display. I picked up tree ripened nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums, and pluots of every variety along with okra and a sun ripened watermelon! (See our Instagram post last week for more info on how to choose a watermelon!)

I love taking a road trip to Northern California solely so that I can visit all the farms that dot the highways! They have some of the BEST produce I have every tasted and I love that I can meet the person who grew the food that I am about to DEVOUR! This recipe makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert! The basil adds amazing flavor without having to add extra granola or sweetener. Lots of filling protein from the Greek yogurt and antioxidants from the berries, this recipe is sure to please! Plus the colors are so pretty, how could you resist?!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt (LOVE Fage brand- absolute creamiest nonfat Greek yogurt around!)
  • 1/4 c blueberries
  • 1/2 cup cubed watermelon
  • 2 basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • honey or agave (if desired)

Directions

1) Scoop Greek yogurt into dish. Top with blueberries and watermelon. Sprinkle basil on top.

2) Can drizzle with a little honey or top with homemade granola!

dietetic intern, dietetic internship, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, RD2Be, recipe, salad, vegetarian

Greek Salad

Greek salad photo

Greek Salad

This hearty Greek salad gets even better as it marinates in the dressing. The bright and cheery colors combined with the freshness of the lemon and parsley make this salad a sure crowd pleaser! Pack this up in a to-go container to take with you to work for lunch or as a snack on a long road trip!

Ingredients

  •  1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  •  1 cucumbers, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  •  ¼ c red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • ½ c chopped parsley
  • ¼ c Kalamata olives
  •  ¼ c crumbled feta cheese

Dressing 

  • 2 lemons, juiced (about ¼ c)
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 TBS brown mustard
  • 2 TBS chopped red onion
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Directions

1)    Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.

2)    Add dressing ingredients to a blender, blending until the dressing is frothy.

3)    Drizzle about ¼ c of dressing over salad and toss to combine. You can add more or less dressing depending on preference.

4)    Eat and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts: Serving size= ¾ cup, 155 calories, 8 g fat, 6 g protein, 327 mg sodium

dietetic intern, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe, salad, vegan

Kale Avocado Salad

Image

Kale, the superfood de jour, is a way that you can add major nutrition brownie points to any dish.  Rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and beta carotene, this superfood is low in calories, good source of fiber, and a great substitution for lettuce.  One complaint is that the leaves tend to be bitter and tough.  Tenderize by massaging the leaves and you have a dark, leafy green that can be added to just about any dish.


This salad was created in honor of National Nutrition Month.  It incorporates unsaturated fats, dark leafy greens, and a variety of colorful vegetables.  Avocado is the main base for this dish- it provides that creaminess that we desire from most salad dressing without the saturated fat associated with that Hidden Valley ranch dressing.  

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and shredded
  • 1 ½ cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups fresh herb salad
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garlic and herb salt free seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  •  2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds

Directions

1)   Take 1 whole avocado (peeled and sliced) and sprinkle with garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Mash the avocado onto the shredded kale with your hands, evenly coating the kale with avocado.  Let sit for 30 minutes to help soften the kale.

2)   To make dressing- combine the olive oil, remaining lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and 1 TBS garlic and herb salt-free seasoning.  Whisk together to combine.

3)   Chop 1 whole avocado.  Add remaining ingredients to kale and combine.

4)   Drizzle dressing and top with chopped avocado.

5)   Eat and Enjoy!