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, 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!

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