Tag Archives: Healthy Eating

Healthy Holiday Travel Tips: Food for planes, trains, road trips… :)

The holidays are here! And for a lot of folks that means great food, no work, seeing family, and LOTS of travel! Because of that, I was inspired to write a post about tips on healthy snacks/food to eat while you’re traveling. 🙂 So here are some of my suggestions on how to avoid eating the overpriced, unhealthy, fast-food at airports when you can, and how to navigate those food courts when they’re your only option! Hope this is helpful to all of you in your travels, and I hope everyone has an amazing holiday!!

To start, I’d like to introduce my Healthy Holiday Travel Cardinal Rule: ALWAYS pack food and take it with you to the airport if you can! Don’t worry – if you can’t it’s not a big deal – you can still find healthy options at the airport. But if you can, this is a great way to guarantee your healthy meals and save money too! Here are some of my favorite travel snacks/mini-meals that I always pack for my trips 🙂

Peanut or Almond Butter Sandwiches on Sprouted Wheat Bread with Blueberry Preserves: This is a great one-dish meal that doesn’t spoil, travels well and is super easy/fast to make!

http://anotherbookjunkie.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html

Sandwich on sprouted grain bread made from 2 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges, 1 roma tomato (sliced), salt & pepper: another great go-to sandwich – slightly more perishable than the PBJ, but a good option for a shorter flight or if you know you’ll be eating the sandwich within a few hours of boarding the plane!

Fresh fruit: apples, bananas, berries: Any fruits that are easy to eat, not too messy and don’t get squished easily are perfect options. I usually stick to Fuji Apples because they’re high in fiber and filling as a snack – and they don’t spoil and don’t get squished!

http://thedavidwilsonproject.com/homemade-apple-sauce-rock/

Steamed Mixed Vegetables, seasoned with salt & curry powder or salt & freshly ground black pepper: This is a great snack and a way to make sure you’re eating veggies when you travel! I like to steam the veggies in the microwave, season them, and pack them in a disposable plastic container to take on the plane.

Packets of instant oatmeal (plain), or your favorite healthy cereals (I like Kashi Heart to Heart and Barbara’s Puffins Original) in a ziploc bag: This can be a great snack or breakfast – you should be able to find boiling water in any airport (or even on an airplane) to cook the oatmeal, or low fat milk to eat the cereal with.

http://livinlifeinthefablane.blogspot.com/2010/03/heart-to-heart-kashi-review.html

Lara Bars or other low glycemic protein bars (like dried fruit/nut bars): A great 150-200 calorie snack with at least 3-4g fiber and 3-4g protein!

Trail Mix: Make sure you get the kind without any added oils or sugar (I like a combination of raw cashews, raw walnuts, raw almonds and raisins in the “Go Raw” Trex Mix from Trader Joe’s). And I like to separate them out into mini portion sizes (1/4 cup each).

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds: Great for satisfying your sweet tooth, with a bit of protein, fiber and an anti-oxidant punch!

http://www.dark-chocolate-life.com/dark-chocolate-almonds.html

Now, if you aren’t able to pack food and have to rely on the maze of fast food options at the airport – here is my list of healthier restaurants at the airport!

  • Subway is a great pick (choose wheat bread, tons of veggies on your sandwich and go easy on the mayo/oil)
  • Starbucks is another good one – a non-fat tall latte has only 90 calories and tons of protein, and Starbucks also offers healthy meals – e.g. oatmeal for breakfast, whole grain wraps/sandwiches, etc.
  • Delis that allow you to customize your sandwiches are great – think of them as a good alternative to Subway
  • Au Bon Pain can be found at many airports, and they have customizeable sandwiches (think the Subway strategy here) or great salads / soups too
  • Taco Bell – opt for the bean burrito or anything on the “Fresco” menu
  • Mexican Restaurants like La Salsa or Baja Fresh have great options – look for soft corn tacos, or the “bowl” option filled with black beans, veggies, salsa for a satisfying treat (try to limit the sour cream/guac!)
  • Even McDonald’s and Burger King have been offering a few healthy options – you can get apple slices and salads (make sure to order the dressing on the side and use it very sparingly)
  • Some airports have all natural frozen yogurt – like Red Mango or Pinkberry. The small size of this with fruit mix-ins are a great option for a healthy snack or dessert!

I hope these tips and tricks are helpful for you during your holiday travels. This will be my last blog post until after the holidays – so before I sign off, I’d just like to congratulate Anu who won my last giveaway!

Anu – just send me your mailing address and your chocolates should arrive soon! And with that, I’d just like to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a great new years!! Happy eating, and I’ll see all of you in 2011! 🙂


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Tips for Eating Healthy on Thanksgiving: Enjoy the holiday without ruining your diet!

The holidays are always my favorite time of the year – you get to take time off work, spend more time with family and friends, and of course – there’s the amazing food that goes along with it! J But for many people, especially those watching their weight, Thanksgiving can be a real challenge. Most people think they have to deprive themselves if they’re going to stay on their diet come Thanksgiving. That’s a myth! You can totally enjoy the wonderful Thanksgiving treats without depriving yourself – if you follow my 10 Tips for healthy eating on Thanksgiving. Hope they are helpful!

1) Don’t go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry – eat normally all day! A lot of people starve themselves all day to “make room” for Thanksgiving dinner. DON’T do that! You’ll end up overeating like crazy during dinner and you’ll do more damage. During the day, eat small, light meals that keep you feeling satisfied (like fruit and low fat cottage cheese, and egg white omelet, a bowl of oatmeal with nuts, etc.).

2) Plan out your portion sizes – don’t plan to go back for seconds and don’t eat like this is your last meal on earth! First of all, there are always leftovers – so if you couldn’t get enough of those mashed potatoes, you can always take a bit home and eat it the next day. Remember – for all the “goodies” – it’s all about portion control! One taste of pie will not ruin your diet, but three slices will.  So, to avoid the pitfalls, plan to eat all the goodies that you enjoy – just eat them in moderation. For example: fill your plate ¾ with veggies, lean meat, and salad. The remaining ¼ of the plate you can fill with the fun stuff (mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.). For dessert, I like to take tiny bite-sized portions of each of the options – that way I get to taste a little of everything but I don’t end up eating a 500 calorie slice of pecan pie!

3) Drink plenty of water, and stick to wine/beer over high-calorie cocktails. This one’s a no-brainer. What would you rather have – a 500 calorie cosmo, or a 500 calorie slice of pie? You do the math – to me, the dessert is more worth it J

4) Work out before the big meal! My husband and I usually like to go for a run on Thanksgiving morning. That way, even if we do overdo it a little bit, we have a couple hundred calories to play with on Thanksgiving day .

5) Turkey can be good for you! Just make sure you go skinless (takes away some of the fat/cholesterol), and make sure you go for the white meat – which is the best lean protein. And stick to a 4 oz portion (about the size of a deck of cards)

6) Veggies are definitely good for you Squashes, salad, green beans, potatoes – these are all are great side dishes that have tons of fiber and can fill up your plate without adding too many calories. BUT – sometimes these dishes can end up being calorie laden (e.g. mashed potatoes are usually made with butter & milk, green bean casserole is made with cream of mushroom soup, cheese, milk, and fried onions, and candied yams are loaded with cream, sugar, etc.) – so if you didn’t make the dish and you don’t know exactly how it was cooked, just eat a much smaller portion than you normally would.

7) If you are the Thanksgiving dinner chef, make healthy substitutions without losing any of the flavor! For example: For sweet potatoes, instead of cooking them with tons of sugar/cream, try sprinkling them with a tsp of honey and a bit of brown sugar, and bake them in the oven.  Make your own fresh cranberry sauce rather than using the high-sugar canned version. For stuffing, switch out white bread for whole wheat, or even substitute veggies for bread. For all recipes, substitute skim or 1% milk for whole milk or heavy cream, use light butter vs. regular butter, low fat cheese for regular cheese, 2 egg whites for one egg, low fat sour cream vs. regular… you get the picture J

8 ) Try going vegetarian! There are some really healthy, flavorful, Thanksgiving vegetarian dishes out there. Some of my favorite sources include: Cooking Light, Health.com, and the NY Times Food Section

9) If you do go “rogue” on Thanksgiving, restart your diet IMMEDIATELY the next day. Don’t use the fact that you went overboard one day as an excuse to completely ruin your diet. Create a plan for yourself to get back on track. Even if you ate 2000 calories during the Thanksgiving dinner, if you go back to eating healthy the next day, you won’t end up gaining 5 extra pounds from one meal.

10) Enjoy yourself! At the end of the day, Thanksgiving really is about being with friends and family and spending that time together. Don’t be so stressed out about the food that you aren’t able to enjoy the holiday! Stressing yourself out will only make you feel discouraged and will likely make you end up eating more. Just relax, and if you can’t remember all of these tips –just remember two things: Don’t go back for seconds and thirds, and eat everything in moderation! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Saturday in SF & Dinner at The Plant Cafe!

This weekend, the weather was GORGEOUS, so my husband and I decided to take a trip to SF to see The Social Network (which yes, we STILL hadn’t seen yet) and have dinner at The Plant Cafe which is an all organic, healthy, veggie/vegan friendly restaurant in SF. I hadn’t eaten there before but I had heard good things, and on both fronts (the movie + the dinner) we were not disappointed! Since the weather was so nice, we decided to be green and take BART into the city. After a 45 min train ride, we arrived at Powell street!

I love how my husband uses a Yahoo backpack when neither of us work there (although I used to so I guess that’s his excuse 😛 ). Right after we got out of the station we came across these street performers who were doing some amazing things with popping & locking (and borderline contortion-ism)

We headed down Market Street to our first destination – The Metreon!

While my husband was buying tickets, I took pictures to entertain myself…

We saw the 4:40 show! And it was awesome. Really really interesting and entertaining movie – totally worth the crazy price of movie tickets these days. When we got out of the theater, the weather was still gorgeous! At times like these, I love SF at night. We walked to our dinner destination which was on the Embarcadero

SF at night really has a charm to it that no other city does

I love the Ferry Building!! 🙂 Soon after the Ferry Building, we made it to dinner

This restaurant had a wonderful, warm, organic, rustic feel to it. Because the weather was so nice (and they had heated lamps!) we decided to sit outside where we waited for my brother to join us for dinner.

We were sitting right next to the water at Pier 3! And we had awesome views from our table…

So after basking in the warmth of the heat lamps, and catching up with my brother a bit, we decided to order. Everything on the menu looked sooo good – it was hard to decide! But we finally settled on 3 different juices to try (this place has amazing, fresh squeezed, organic juices with inventive ingredients like kale and broccoli in them!), an appetizer, and 3 entrees. When our drinks came out we were really excited because they were so colorful!

My husband’s orange drink is the Immune Builder – carrot, apple, ginger and lemon

My green drink is the Good Start – it had kale, celery, broccoli, apple and ginger

My brother’s magenta drink is the Healthy Sunrise – carrot, beet, orange, apple and lemon

All three were absolutely amazing – you could tell that they literally just ground the ingredients to a pulp and made our juices – and that nothing else was added to them. All were super refreshing in their own ways, but if you like drinks on the sweeter side – my brother’s was probably the sweetest of the three. Now, on to our appetizer course!

We ordered the Grilled Flatbread with cumin carrots, pickled beets, garlic hummus and hung yogurt!

We were all hungry by this point, so of course we were excited to get our appetizer 🙂 It was the perfect way to start out the meal! The flatbread was warm and freshly baked, with the perfect balance of a crispy outside with a soft and fluffy inside. The dips were all different in their flavors – the yogurt was thick and creamy, reminded me of Greek Yogurt; the beets were slightly tart but the pickled flavor wasn’t overpowering, and the cumin carrots were really creamy and had a smoky flavor. But I think my favorite was the garlic hummus. It was spicy but not too hot, had the great garlic flavor running through each bite and was just a little chunky which made me think it was made from scratch!

For our entrees, we ordered: The California Plant Burger…

The burgers are house made from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews and bulgar wheat. The California version has avocado and white cheddar cheese added to it, and you have the option to get it served on whole wheat bread instead of the bun (which usually has more calories than 2 slices of bread!) It’s also topped with roasted onion, lettuce, tomato, and aioli (which I got on the side of course!) and served with roasted potatoes and mixed greens. The burger was spicy and full of flavor, and the meal overall was excellent – probably my favorite dish of the night!

Next up… Pumpkin Seed and Corn Meal Crusted Tempeh served with coconut mashed yam, sauteed seasonal vegetables, and avocado and tomatillo salsa verde!

I was really impressed with the Tempeh in this dish. Usually I don’t even like Tempeh – but this was cooked so perfectly and with the combination of the salsa verde + sweet potatoes in each bite – it was divine! The sweet potatoes were equally impressive – they were so creamy I could have sworn there was cream in them – but they were vegan so of course they didn’t have cream in them 🙂

My brother ordered the market fish of the day which was the halibut – it was served on a bed of kale with some sort of a lemon sauce underneath

I can’t speak to the flavors – but I think he was pretty happy with it…

And of course, we couldn’t leave without ordering dessert! We got the cranberry sorbet with pumpkin sandwich cookies – which were gluten free and vegan!

The sorbet was nice and tart, and provided a really great complement to the sweeter, soft, creamy cookies. It was a great, light way to round out our meal. Thanks Plant Cafe for a great meal – we’ll definitely be back again!

Needless to say, we were really happy and relaxed after we were done, and the weather was still super nice outside! So I had my brother take a picture of my husband and me with the pier in the background.

We felt like we were on vacation! All in all, it was the perfect day. Great food, wonderful company and amazing weather – we couldn’t have asked for anything more. 🙂

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Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup! (and the Amazing Race..)

Sunday nights are always warm and cozy in our house. Usually we stay in (because I have dance class all day and come home super tired, and of course – it’s a “school night”) and I cook something we’ve never had before, and we watch The Amazing Race together!

Did I mention we’re, like, totally obsessed with The Amazing Race? We discovered it last season and totally got hooked on the show… not to mention the two coolest contestants of all the Amazing Race seasons – Jet and Cord (the Cowboys) who were so much fun to watch. Anyway – so after last season we rented most of the other seasons and watched them during our trip to Spain and Portugal.. yeah… that was like 10 seasons watched during one trip 😛 … and now we’re watching Season 17! (live of course). Yeah, we’re Amazing Race nerds, what can I say 😛

Anywayy, so tonight – I decided to try this recipe for Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup from Dave Liberman on the Cooking Channel. I was really excited about this recipe because it’s super healthy: chickpeas have tons of fiber and protein, and the tomatoes/spinach give you a healthy dose of veggies, fiber, and antioxidants! And it seemed like it would taste good. But, after an hour of cooking – it ended up being kind of bland. So I had to figure out a way to jazz it up a little… and I found one secret ingredient that totally did the trick! So here is the recipe (my modified version and notes are in purple) And I’ll tell you what my secret ingredient was at the end of this post!

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup … with a kick!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish (Ok people, you totally do NOT need this much oil. I used 1 heaping Tbsp and it was more than enough!)
  • 1 large onion, medium diced (I used a red onion)
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, pressed (I used 8 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I probably ended up using closer to 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (5-ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach (I actually used a 10 oz bag of organic frozen spinach)
  • My Secret Ingredient! (to be used upon serving – and you can click on the link to find it if you can’t wait until the end 🙂 )

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions begin to turn translucent; lower heat if browning starts to occur.
  2. Add spices and saute a minute or so. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and sugar. Season with a couple pinches of salt and 10 grinds fresh pepper. Stir well. Chickpeas should be just covered with liquid. If level is shy, add some water so the chickpeas are just covered.
  3. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to low and gently simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove soup from heat. Use a potato masher to mash up some of the chickpeas right in the pot. (I actually used a hand blender to make the soup a nice chunky consistency). Stir in the spinach and let heat through until wilted, just a couple minutes.
  5. Season again, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle into bowls. The Secret Part: Add 1 Tbsp of Masala Lentil Dip to the bowl and stir into soup until combined through. The dip gives the soup an amazing flavor and really adds a kick to it! It totally amped up the flavor of what was otherwise a pretty average tasting soup. You can add a drizzle of EVOO on top if desired. I also served the soup with toasted pita chips which tasted great. You can also serve it with Greek Yogurt or a creamy cheese – I think both would taste good. Enjoy!

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Thursday Night Dinners with my Dad!

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than eating food with family in the house you grew up in. 🙂 A lot of people don’t get the luxury of doing this very often (because they don’t live close to their families, etc.) And most of the time, I sort of take my Thursday night dinners for granted, because they’re such a routine part of my life. Every Thursday night since I got married, my husband and I go to my dad’s house and he cooks dinner for us! It’s always an amazing home-cooked Indian meal and is such a nice end to the week. Every Thursday, I walk into this kitchen…

… which is the same kitchen I walked into for 23 YEARS before I got married and moved out of my dad’s house. Crazy huh? And we always have a warm meal waiting for us – this week, my dad cooked us moong daal and cauliflower sabji – sooo good!

Moong Daal Ingredients: EVOO, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, curry leaves, salt, 1/2 green mirchi (green chili pepper), pinch of goor (which is like Indian brown sugar), cilantro, moong daal

And the cauliflower…

Cauliflower Sabji Ingredients: EVOO, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, cumin powder, salt, cilantro, cauliflower, potatos & peas, 1/2 green mirchi

We serve ourselves in the plates I used to eat in when I was a kid… how funny is it that I still eat Indian food out of compartment plates?? 😛

And it’s so cute how my dad buys us special treats that he knows we’ll enjoy but won’t buy for ourselves – like these ice cream cookie sandwiches from Trader Joe’s that he bought for my husband…

If you haven’t tried these they really are super yummy – and perfectly portioned so eating one won’t ruin your diet!

For the next few hours, we eat together, chat, catch up on the week and sometimes watch Larry King or a movie or whatever happens to be on TV at the time. It’s seriously one of my favorite parts of the week – totally relaxing (because my dad is like the most relaxed, calming person on the planet – and we have an amazing relationship which I am so grateful for!) and it’s nice to not have to cook at the end of a long week too 🙂 I’m so lucky to have an awesome father (who also happens to be a great cook) who lives only 30 min away from my husband and me. Thursday night dinners will definitely be a tradition for many years to come.

Do you have any special traditions you do every week or month? I’d love to hear about them from you! 🙂

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Indian Inspired Dinner: Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji” with Lentil Stew!

Last night, I was really in the mood to COOK. Normally, I’m more of a 30 minute meal kind of girl (not to be channeling Rachael Ray) – but I really like to be efficient in the kitchen and have a one pot meal ready to eat soon after I’ve started cooking. But with the weather changing, and the days becoming a bit shorter, I just felt like taking some time to make a warming, spicy meal for our Sunday night dinner. I came across two recipes – one from VegetarianTimes.com and one from Cookingchannel.com, and thought they would go great together. Here are the links: Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji” and Lentil Pilaf Stew. Both of them turned out super flavorful and ended up being a really balanced meal (sweet potatoes have tons of antioxidants and fiber, and the lentils/rice combination made a complete protein!) My modifications to the recipes are below, enjoy!

Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji”

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (Note: I just used 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil – honestly you don’t need 2 Tbsp for this recipe! Omitting 1 Tbsp saves 120 calories 🙂 )
  • 1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (Note: This adds great flavor, but this is a LOT of coriander seeds – I think it was a bit much for me and my husband. Next time I’ll probably use half the amount)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets

Directions

  1. Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, and salt and toast for 15 seconds and then add the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower and stir well to combine. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and cook until the cauliflower is crisp- tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Lentil Pilaf Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted (Note: I used the already cooked/steamed brown lentils from Trader Joe’s – cut down on the cooking time and still tasted great!)
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil (Again, I only used 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups) (I used red onion)
  • 2 large carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup basmati rice (I actually used 1/4 cup of brown rice. The reason was – I wanted to make this more like a stew or “dal” so I wanted some of the liquid to remain in the pot instead of getting absorbed by the rice)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • cilantro for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. [If you are using dry lentils, follow this step. Otherwise start at step 2]. Bring lentils and 4 cups water to a boil in large pot or Dutch oven. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until lentils are firm-tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking water (only reserve the water if you are planning on making a pilaf instead of the stew), and transfer lentils to bowl.
  2. Wipe out pot; heat oil over medium high. Sauté onion in oil 4 minutes, or until just golden.
  3. Add carrots and rice, and cook 3 minutes, or until rice is toasted and fragrant, stirring constantly.
  4. Add garlic, ginger and garam masala, and cook 1 minute more.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, broth, reserved lentil cooking water (omit this ingredient if you are making the stew) and lentils, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper (mine didn’t need any additional salt or pepper). Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
  7. [This step only applies if you’re making a pilaf] Fluff with fork , then spoon pilaf into shallow bowls, and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve hot.

Pictures!


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Rajma (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Chili)!

I found this recipe for “Rajma” on FoodNetwork.com a while back, and decided to try it out this past weekend. For those of you new to Indian food, Rajma is basically a North Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick curry with lots of Indian whole spices – it’s usually served with rice or naan. When made without tons of oil/butter/cream, Rajma is actually a super healthy one pot meal – think of it as vegetarian chili with lots of yummy Indian spices! This recipe is especially healthy because in addition to the kidney beans (which have tons of fiber, protein and are low in calories), there are tons of veggies to round out the meal as well. The recipe with my notes are below – it only took about an hour to make and that’s including cutting all the veggies, heating the naan and waiting for the curry to simmer and cook through!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Note – I only used 1 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it was enough. Save the extra 120 calories and only use 1 Tbsp!)
  • 1 cup minced onions (I used a red onion, and probably used more than a cup – I just used 1 small red onion and cut the whole thing)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I actually used 4 cloves for more taste/flavor)
  • 4 firm, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (Roma tomatoes work great here. Note: Make sure you use all the seeds and pulp from inside the tomato, it makes a great base for the curry!)
  • teaspoons minced gingerroot, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I ended up using closer to 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional) (I would highly recommend adding this in – gives the curry a nice kick without being too spicy!)
  • 2 cups drained kidney beans (19-ounce can)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, add the oil, onions and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, gingerroot, cumin seeds, Garam Masala, lemon pepper, and dried red pepper flakes, if desired, and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. (Note – I ended up cooking it for 10 min) Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro (and then I let it heat through for 1-2 min)

Pictures!


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