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.
main dish, recipe, side dish

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

I’ve been majorly MIA but when I’m not blogging you can most definitely find me ‘grammin on @kari_on_nutrition. However, I am trying to post more deliciousness on my blog.

What’s eaten up all my time? I recently started a new second job! Every Friday I head to Westwood and work in the radiation oncology department at UCLA. I’ve always been interested in oncology and the opportunity to work at the 5th ranked health system in THE COUNTRY was something that I couldn’t pass up. Never have I felt more challenged or learned so much in such a short amount of time. I often question if I’m the right fit for the job, however if it scares me that much than maybe it’s a right fit!

How does my job at UCLA relate to my Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa salad? I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch last week and bought a delicious albeit expensive bowl of kale, nectarine, and quinoa salad. As I was eating it, I realized I could spend WAY less money if I made said quinoa salad myself. So last night after soccer, I brought this baby to life.

It’s protein packed and full of veggie goodness. Plus as a bonus, it includes homegrown tomatoes from my parents garden, local kale, and California avocados. Sustainable eating= happy Kari. I ate it over a bed of more kale and added some sliced chicken. It is great as a main dish or a side dish and would go great at a 4th of July BBQ (just sayin….)

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used tri-color quinoa)
  • 3-4 leaves of lacinto kale, Julienned into strips
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • juice from 2 limes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz feta cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Add first 9 ingredients to a bowl and combine.
  2. Drizzle with ~ 1-2 TBS olive oil. Add spices little by little, tasting to see if it needs more. I don’t typically measure my spices- I just add and taste until it’s perfection ūüôā

Enjoy!!

blogging, dietitian, dinner, gluten free, running, training

Superfood Wild Rice

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Happy New Year and happy new domain! I took the plunge and went all in! I have made it my goal for 2015 to blog more and dedicate some time to learning about WordPress, developing my blog, and web design! I want to develop Kari On Nutrition into a forum for all things nutrition, dietetics, cooking, working out, with some of my life sprinkled in between. So, with that being said, let me know what you are looking to see!

Another goal for 2015…..drumroll…..

About to cross the finish line at the 2013 LA Marathon!
About to cross the finish line at the 2013 LA Marathon!

I want to run another marathon! If I keep it to myself, there is no one holding me accountable. However, if I share it on the internet there’s the world wide web holding me accountable, which if I do the math has the potential to be a lot of people! The last marathon I ran was the LA Marathon in 2013. I decided to run 26.2 miles for my 26th birthday and I had one of the best experiences! The course ran through my favorite city and the weather was the most perfect running day ever recorded. I also exceeded my expectations and kept on pace, running it in ~4:24 (chip time). After my lackluster Nike Women’s Half performance in October, I knew I wanted to run another race. What better way to ring in 2015 than with a marathon. I’m still deciding what race to run but am leaning towards staying in California. However, I¬†can always be convinced to travel somewhere fun! ūüôā Any recommendations?

The second part of this goal is that I want to PR! More on that to come in another post though…

My very first marathon! Buzz Johnson Trail Run!
My very first marathon! Bizz Johnson Trail Run!

In thinking about marathons and blogging and New Years resolutions and goals comes a pretty amazing and versatile recipe that’s can make any goal seem just a little be easier to accomplish! I was inspired by a recipe I found on Chow and modified to include some superfoods for extra nutrition power!¬†Full¬†of Vitamin E¬†rich pumpkin seeds, cruciferous power house brussels sprouts, and dried tart cherries rich in anthocyanins (anti-inflammatory properties that can help with muscle recovery¬†and¬†improved sleep,¬†among others) this versatile¬†whole grain/fiber friendly¬†dish¬†goes great stuffed in acorn squash, topped on a salad, or eaten¬†as a¬†post workout recovery snack! Plus, you can custimize it with whatever tickles your fancy!

Superfood Wild Rice

Ingredients

  • 8 oz wild rice, cooked
  • 1 1/2¬†cup¬†roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and brussels sprouts (Toss in olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes-great second meal use for leftover roasted veggies!)
  • 1/4 cup¬†dried tart cherries
  • 2¬†TBS roasted (unsalted) pumpkin seeds
  • 2 medium zuchinni, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 TBS Herbs de provence (I’m obsessed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook wild rice according to directions on the package. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook until golden brown and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Throw in zuchinni and herbs de provence and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add cooked wild rice, roasted vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries. Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Eat and enjoy!
Acorn squash roasted and stuffed with superfood wild rice! Topped with goat cheese of course!
Acorn squash roasted and stuffed with superfood wild rice! Topped with goat cheese of course!

#karionnutrition

dinner, instagram, recipe, side dish, vegetables

Best Damn Green Beans

Green beans pre-roasting
Green beans pre-roasting

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I had a relaxing holiday, filled with some indulgences (I made Hershey’s Kisses Christmas blossoms…..) and great time spent with family.

My parents just purchased a house in Chico, California. Chico is a cool, college town an hour and a half north of Sacramento. When I moved to New Hampshire for my internship last year, I envisioned Keene being very similar to Chico. It wasn’t anything like Chico (probably due to the fact that Chico was Los Angeles compared to Keene) but living in Keene has made me appreciate Chico much more. If you are every visiting Northern California, it is definitely worth a stop. Bidwell Park has something for everyone –¬†biking, hiking, swimming, nature and the town has great shopping and dining. Some of my personal favorites are Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe¬†and Three Sixty Ecotique.

My meal from Tea Bar! Tofu bowl with Chipotle Sundried Tomato Hummus!
My meal from Tea Bar! Tofu bowl with Chipotle Sundried Tomato Hummus!

Why do I bring up Chico? Well while in Chico I happened upon an AMAZING farmer’s market. I love going to the farmer’s market and checking out the different stands, discovering new produce and striking up conversation with the farmers. It is one of the BEST ways to support your local economy and the small farms. My dietetic internship¬†at Keene State College had an emphasis on food systems and sustainable agriculture. I was fortunate to work with some very passionate local foodies/RD2Be’s who were very knowledgeable about food systems and I was really able to learn and be more conscious of what I was eating and where it was coming from.

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Anyway, at the Chico farmer’s market I blacked out and spent all the cash I brought with me. My senses were overloaded with so many of my favorite things. There were stands of pickled vegetables, homemade lavender almond milk, walnuts that had been picked and shelled FIVE days ago, tons of winter squash, I really could go on. However, the one thing I bought that brings me to some damn good green beans is a small jar of crushed tomatillo peppers. I love all things spicy and stumbled upon a stand where the guy was selling homemade pepper blends. Talk about my kind of place. He had every kind of pepper spice blend a pepper lover like myself could want. I bought one without even sampling and am regretting that I didn’t buy more!

The pepper stand!
The pepper stand!

The spice blend is called the Zing Mix and it is a blend of dried tomatillo and peppers. It is perfect on just about anything. I have a batch of Zing Mix spiced tempeh marinating (recipe on the blog soon!) in the fridge and my green beans were pretty much amazing.

Zing Mix pepper blend
Zing Mix pepper blend

BTW this recipe is my favorite for green beans. Once you make them this way, I guarantee you won’t want to steam, saut√©, microwave, etc again! The key is the squeeze of fresh lemon when they come out of the oven!

Best Damn Green Beans 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound trimmed¬†and washed green beans
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp Zing Mix (or any mix of dried spices- I love no salt seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne, ground chipotle, don’t be afraid to experiment!)
  • 1/2 of fresh lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spread green beans in an even layer on a baking sheet
  3. Drizzle olive oil over green beans
  4. Sprinkle generously with fresh cracked black pepper and add a pinch of sea salt. Sprinkle spice on top
  5. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing green beans half way through. I like my green beans slightly more crispy so I will cook them a bit longer.
  6. Remove from the oven and squeeze half a lemon over green beans