Things I love…
February brings thoughts of Valentine’s Day and to pay tribute to love, I decided this month to share some foods, recipes, websites and lifestyle ideas that I love. As a foodie, I am always on the hunt for new products that will work for many of my patients. I am often asked about suggestions to replace more processed choices that seem to taste good but are actually inflammatory and hard on the body. In that search, the short list of requirements includes gluten-free, dairy-free and low-sugar or processed ingredients. Here is one of my new favorites- Grain-free chips/tortillas. The brand I found locally is Siete Foods (https://sietefoods.com/). The ingredients they use are coconut & cassava flour, almond meal, chia seeds and avocado oil. While eating whole foods should be our mainstay, these types of products satisfy the need for crunch and “bread-like” options for wraps. This is a great way to avoid packaged and processed foods and add some variety of texture.
Simply Easy Tip:
My other new favorite is food bowl meals. Combining greens and other veggies, whole grains, animal protein or legumes and a dressing on top is a great way to make a simple meal (see recipe below).
I love Vitamin D as a basic supplement as it supports blood sugar balance, immune health and bone strength just to name a few. Generally, most adults do well with 2,000 IUs per day and it’s important to pair it with Vitamin K for optimum absorption. To order Synergy K which is a combined Vitamin D + K supplement, you may contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or email Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or click on the link below.
Simply Delicious: Warm & Roasted Winter Salad Bowl
For the Salad:
1 cup uncooked rainbow or regular quinoa + 1.5 cups water
3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
2 extra-large or 3 large garlic cloves (peel left on)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup stemmed and finely chopped kale (I used lacinato, but curly works fine too)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons pepita seeds (I added a handful of sesame seeds at the last minute too)
For the Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F and line one extra-large (or 2 large) baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the chopped potatoes, green beans, and garlic cloves (leave the peel on) onto the baking sheet. Toss with the oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Spread into an even layer.
Roast for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and flip, and continue roasting about 10-20 more minutes until the potatoes and beans are tender and golden. Watch closely during the last 10 minutes to avoid burning.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa by adding the quinoa into a medium pot along with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid, and cook for 13-17 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and leave the lid on to keep warm.
Prepare the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Chop the kale and green onions.
When the vegetables are finished roasting, remove garlic cloves and set aside. Spoon the potatoes and beans into a large serving bowl. Stir in the quinoa and the other chopped vegetables.
Trim the end off each garlic clove and push the roasted garlic out. Finely chop or mash the garlic. Whisk the garlic into the dressing until combined. Pour all of the dressing onto the vegetables and toss to coat.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. Leftovers can be reheated in a saucepan with some oil and the salad will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Tip: To boost the protein even more, try adding chickpeas, adzuki beans, great northern beans, or lentils. Roasted chickpeas would be nice too!