recipe, side dish, vegetable

Shaved Fennel and Parmesan Salad


I made the mistake a few nights ago of making a dinner using only the oven…in the middle of summer…when it’s hot…and my apartment is small. So to move past my momentary lapse of judgement, I made dinner the following night and refused to even turn my stove on!

This fennel salad is cool, crisp, and refreshing – perfect for warm summer days when the mercury is rising with no end in sight. I had an AMAZING fennel salad at Love and Salt in Manhattan Beach and since then, I’ve tried my best to recreate it.

Fennel can seem intimidating- the fronds! How do I cut it? I hate black licorice! However, once you learn how to cut the bulb (here’s a great how to video from Martha Stewart) and find a great recipe, you’re ready to incorporate fennel into your diet.

Want more fennel info? Check out Cooking Light for more details and to find some recipes.

Shaved Fennel and Parmesan Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 bulbs fennel, de-cored
  • 1/4 c shaved parmesan
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • fresh cracked sea salt and ground black pepper
  • fennel fronds, minced

Directions

  1. Using a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife, thinly slice or shave fennel. For best results, aim to cut the fennel nearly paper thin
  2. Add parmesan, a healthy drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle with minced fennel fronds and stir to combine
  3. Let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Tastes even better the next day.
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

 

dietitian, dinner, instagram, main dish, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, vegetable

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Greek Yogurt Dressings, and Other Musings

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Since moving back to LA and with more time on my hands (thank the lord!), I’ve been able to work out more and COOK more! Both the cooking and working out are helping me build back the good habits and back to my previous not-constantly-stressed-out-about-the-internship-life (post about the internship coming soon!). In between studying for the RD exam and job hunting, I have been able to focus on myself and my passions- running, working out and cooking.

With a little less than 3 months until the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, I have been trying to run, tone up, and eat healthy to lose a couple extra pounds that I gained during my dietetic internship (oh, the impact of stress!). While I like to focus on progress not perfection, I know that over the last month of my internship and the road trip back to LA, I did not make any sort of progress. So with that here I am, half marathon training and making stuffed peppers and Greek yogurt salad dressings!

Stuffed peppers are an easy go-to meal, incorporating all the food groups. I first made them while working at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake as a food service intern. Then while living in New Hampshire, fellow my fellow intern (and roommate!) would make them for our house! Since being back  in LA my boyfriend has been the gracious recipient of my recipe experimentation and on the menu was stuffed bell peppers and salad with creamy green chile dressing! This recipe was also a use-up-all-the-leftovers-in-the-fridge kinda meal too!

I love using Greek yogurt as a dressing. Its creamy and tart texture imitate sour cream and the added dose of protein ain’t too bad either. I will add it to everything- tacos, tuna, watermelon (see my previous post!) and will make salad dressing out of it too! I’ll typically add an acid (think lemon juice/apple cider vinegar) and then spices and seasonings depending on the theme I am going with (cumin and cayenne pepper for Mexican, basil and garlic for Italian, etc). I love experimenting to create something new that will tantalize the taste buds and you typically can’t go wrong with doing it yourself! Much cheaper and healthier than buying a bottle of salad dressing!

Without further ado (thank you for reading this far!) here is the Stuffed Peppers recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 green bell peppers, tops sliced and seeds taken out (dice the tops to use with the meat)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (this was leftover quinoa pilaf that had carrots, celery, and mushrooms in it)
  • 1/2 pound grass fed ground beef (8o % lean)*
  • 1/2 c green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 c shredded cheese
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Hit a pan over medium heat. Add a swirl of olive and bring to temp.
  3. Add onions and let them saute until fragrant then add the garlic.
  4. Add the cumin, pepper tops, and tomatoes and  cook down, allowing some of the juices to release and the vegetables to release some of their water and cook down (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Throw in the quinoa and enchilada sauce and heat through.
  6. Remove from heat. Spray a baking dish and the outside of the peppers with nonstick spray. Fill the hollowed peppers with the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese.
  7. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.
  8. Serve with a side salad and avocado! Yum!

* You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken, or crumbled tofu for the stuffed peppers. This truly is a super versatile dish!

dietitian, gluten free, instagram, paleo, recipe, snack, vegetable, vegetarian

Oven Baked Okra Bites

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When I drove across the country to move to New Hampshire for my internship last summer, I was obsessed with Cracker Barrel. We don’t have it in California and it litters the highways from Utah to New Hampshire. So I did what every road trippin American should do – I stopped at Cracker Barrel!

Low and behold, I was surrounded with country decor like no other and a menu that had me salivating at every star, puzzle, plowhouse, and dog (a little food service menu design terms a la RD exam studying!). Cracker Barrel was no joke and I was in heaven.

The first time I tried okra was at CB. They were fried (of course) and I may or may not have eaten a few too many. Since this initial introduction to the Southern staple okra, I have been obsessed. During my food service rotation, they served them steamed and I loved their gelatinous but crunchy texture.

When I moved home this summer, I bought some beauties at the farmers market, marinated and skewered them on the BBQ – DELISH.

And now bringing me to today- wanna be Cracker Barrel – oven baked okra fries. I made these paleo, but you can certainly regular flour, buttermilk, add some cornmeal, etc.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound okra, ends trimmed and sliced into coins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the almond flour with the spices in a shallow dish.
  3. Whisk the 2 eggs in a separate dish.
  4. Create a breading station. Add a few pieces of the okra to the egg wash, remove, and toss in the almond flour mixture. Spread breaded okra evenly on a baking sheet.
  5. Once all okra had been breaded, spray with cooking spray. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. You may need to rotate the pans to ensure even browning.
  6. Remove when okra is golden brown and crisp. I dipped mine in Frank’s Red Hot! YUM!

Do you like Cracker Barrel? What are your favorite treats? Surprisingly my favorite is the chicken and dumplings…random but they grow on me every time I get them!