dinner, healthy, paleo, recipe, side dish, vegan, vegetables

Roasted Delicata Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce


Roasted squash in the middle of August may not sound exactly tempting, but when I saw these squash at Whole Foods, I couldn’t resist. After cooking, the skin of the delicata squash softens and you can eat it! Meaning, no need to peel the skin, just trim and cook! I love anything that saves me an extra few minutes in the kitchen and so I braved the oven and got cooking.

What sets this recipe apart from other roasted squash is the to die for lemon tahini sauce! Tahini is one of the main ingredients when making hummus but this sesame seed paste is super versatile. It goes great in sauces and dressing to top pasta, vegetables, salad, and more. I love making a tahini dressing paired with a spinach salad and summer berries ūüôā

Delicata squash is rich in beta carotene (which converts into Vitamin A). To help your body better absorb this valuable antioxidant, the addition of a healthy fat source (tahini sauce!) can help your body maintain it’s carotenoid and Vitamin A stores.


Roasted Delicata Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 delicata squash, de-seeded and cut into half circles
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBS tahini
  • juice from half large lemon
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place cut squash in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Stir squash with your hands to ensure they are evenly coated with olive oil and spices.
  2. Bake in oven for ~30 minutes until squash is softened and caramelized. Halfway through cooking, flip squash allowing them to cook evenly on both sides.
  3. While the squash is cooking, prep the tahini sauce. Add tahini, lemon juice, water, herbs de provence, and fresh cracked black pepper to a dish and whisk together with a fork to combine. I also added a drizzle of olive oil to bring the dressing together.
  4. Remove squash from the oven and drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve immediately.
  5. Dressing will last in the refrigerator in a mason jar for 3-5 days.
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!¬†ūüėČ ¬†

#karionnutrition

 

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 ¬Ĺ 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!

baking, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe, vegan

Blueberry Banana Muffins

We made these muffins late one night while craving a sweet snack, that wasn’t packaged or filled with cups of sugar (though the thought of a homemade muffin from Primo Passo Coffee¬†in Santa Monica, CA sounds delicious and very needed as we work on our grant proposals!) ¬†The recipe for these muffins were adapted from the blog The Minimalist Baker. ¬†They use minimally processed ingredients and have recipes that meet a variety of dietary needs and preferences. ¬†These muffins were first made on a snowy, day before Valentine’s Day baked good for boyfriend who was flying in the next morning (It was during one of the worst 2014 polar vortex storms- the California intern just about died!). ¬†The simplicity and ease of the recipe makes these muffins great for anyone who is new to the kitchen!

They can be made gluten free, vegan or paleo by switching a few ingredients. ¬†This batch were vegan and were delicious! ¬†We’re still modifying the recipe but thought we would share our modifications and tips with you!

Blueberry Banana Bran Chia Seed Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBS flax, 5 TBS water)
  • 3 TBS agave nectar
  • 1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 med ripe bananas
  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 3 TBS almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/2 c plus 2 TBS wheat bran
  • 1/4 c chia seeds

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with liners (recipe makes about 10 muffins)

2) Prepare flax egg.  Add flax and water and let sit for a couple minutes.

3) Add banana and mash. ¬†Add blueberries agave, baking powder, vanilla, applesauce, and almond milk. ¬†During this step we began eyeballing the ingredients. ¬†The muffins aren’t super sweet so you can be flexible in how much agave you add. ¬†Since there are no raw eggs, you can taste the batter for sweetness!

4) Add almond meal and wheat bran and stir.  Be careful not to over mix batter as this can lead to tunneled muffins! (Thank you food science class!)  Depending on how dry or wet your batter is, add more liquid (applesauce/almond milk) or bran.  You can also adjust sweetness here.  We added a little honey at this point.  Add the chia seeds and give one final mix!

5) Fill muffin cups to the top and bake for 30-35 minutes. ¬†Check for doneness by pressing the tops of the muffins. ¬†We found that they were still fairly liquid at this point (still experimenting with the baking temps and ratios of the recipe…will keep you updated!) and turned up the temperature to 450 and baked for an additional 10 minutes. ¬†This did the trick!

6) Enjoy with all natural almond or peanut butter!  Delicious and nutritious!  Great way to Get Your Nutrition On!

 

We will continue to experiment with this recipe to perfect it!  To make the recipe gluten free, omit wheat bran and use Gluten Free flour (The Minimalist Baker used ground GF oats!) of your choice.  To make paleo, use almond meal flour.

 

Check out our Instagram feed for photos of the the muffin!  @getyournutritionon