Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables

Summer means simplicity. On a 90 degree day here in Chicago, the last thing I want to do is heat my house up with the oven. So, that means I need to be cooking creatively. For moments like these, I turn to the grill. Sure, it’s hot, but that heat’s outside, where it belongs.

While some people use their grill mostly for steaks, burgers and brats, I tend to use mine more for vegetables. Sure, I love a good flank steak or turkey burger, but grilled vegetables are just plain good food. Plus, they are the perfect addition to almost any meal.

Which brings me to my Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables. It’s a recipe that starts with a dual purpose marinade. Yes, it’s a marinade, first and foremost, adding tons of flavor to the vegetables, but it’s also used to season the quinoa. Who doesn’t love making something once and using it twice!?

Here’s the best part! This is a dish you can feel good about serving your family and guests. It’s a nutritious food gift from me to you. All wrapped up in vitamin-rich vegetables, fiber-rific beans and perfect-protein quinoa. So grab a bowl and fill it up and put a bow on it. Enjoy your gift (but don’t eat the bow!)!

 

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Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A simple summer meal that satisfies.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed seeded and cut into planks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into planks lengthwise
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into planks lengthwise
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch round slices
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 115 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, or about 1 3/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced

Instructions

To make the marinade

  1. Combine the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper and olive oil in a jar. Screw on the lid and shake well to combine. Alternatively, place the mustard, lemon juice, garlic and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil, whisking until fully incorporated. Pour half of the mixture into a re-sealable bag and add the pepper, zucchini, squash and red onion. Cover the remaining marinade and refrigerate. Re-seal the bag and massage marinade into vegetables. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

To cook the quinoa

  1. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about 15 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Set aside.

To grill the vegetables

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean grill grates and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Remove the vegetables from the bag. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook vegetables on both sides until grill marks form, about 5-10 minutes per side. Remove from the grill.

To make the dish

  1. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and toss with the reserved marinade. Chop the grilled vegetables and add to the quinoa, along with the lemon zest, chickpeas and basil. Stir and serve.

Notes

  • Makes 8 cups

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 378
  • Sugar: 7
  • Sodium: 176
  • Fat: 16
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 48
  • Protein: 13
  • Cholesterol: 0

Caramelized Onion and Fennel Pizza

Everyone has a favorite food, right? Mine just happens to be pizza. I mean, is there really another food that’s more perfect? Doughy crust, tangy, tomatoey (yup, I’m using that word) sauce, divine vegetables all topped with flavorful, umami-bursting cheese? Yes, please!!! Thus, the birth of the caramelized onion and fennel pizza.

As a food-lover, it’s a dish that constantly pleases me. From the myriad of toppings to the simplicity of a delicious pizza crust, it’s an ever-evolving food that can surprise, yet also elicit the feeling of familiarity and comfort. The dietitian in me, loves that pizza is the perfect platform for the wide assortment of delicious, nutritious foods out there. The combinations of those foods is almost limitless. I love whole wheat pizza dough topped with wild mushrooms or an array of broccoli, tomatoes, onions and peppers. Heck, you can even put fruit on top or what about grilled barbecue chicken or Thai-style pizza with cilantro, jalapenos, carrots and peanuts? See what I mean?

I’m always trying new things on my pizza and since I happened to have some extra fennel laying around, I decided to try that on my pizza. Caramelizing it with some onion, brought out a delicious sweet flavor and tasted amazing with fresh tomatoes and spinach. It turned out to be a winning combination that even my 2 1/2 year old loves. Try it now and let me know what you think!

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Caramelized Onion and Fennel Pizza


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Slow cooked onions and fennel make the perfect topping for pizza!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced)
  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup marinara/pizza sauce
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Coat a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray, remove dough from packaging and place inside. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and rest on the counter while you prepare the caramelized onions and fennel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 420’F and place the rack in the lowest setting of the oven. (Don’t skip this pre-heating step! It’s important that your oven is nice and warm before putting your pizza in there! If you have a pizza stone, use it!)
  3. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to low and cover with a lid or foil. Cook until onion and fennel are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 more minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt.

To make the pizza

  1. Dust your counter or other clean work surface lightly with flour (any flour will do). Remove dough from the bowl and place on your work surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, shape dough into a 12-inch circle.
  2. Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Spread the pizza sauce over the crust and top with the spinach, caramelized onions and fennel, tomatoes and the cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  3. Keep the pizza on the parchment and either transfer it to the oven directly onto a pizza stone or set it on an inverted cookie sheet before placing in the oven.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust turns golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven, cut and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 349
  • Sugar: 8
  • Sodium: 1101
  • Fat: 17
  • Saturated Fat: 5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 39
  • Protein: 11
  • Cholesterol: 13

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Parsley Marinade

When it’s warm outside, I want to grill. I grew up in a household where summer meant almost every meal was made on a hot charcoal or gas grill out in our backyard. I never got much experience manning the grill as a kid, but I did have a nice moment where I backed into one in a swimsuit. Ouch! That’s one way to discourage you from grilling!

Flash forward and now I am officially my father’s daughter. While I could never top his grilling skills, I sure do try. I’ve grilled just about everything and you know what, so many things just “work” on the grill. It’s a great little cooking tool, one that can handle lean cuts of meat as well as vegetables and even fruits. I love it’s versatility which allows me to create healthful meals for friends and family.

I’ve created this Grilled Chicken with Lemon Parsley Marinade as tribute to all of those early grilled chicken meals. And I opted for a marinated chicken that could serve many purposes. This one does just that, because it’s great on top of salads, as a filler for pitas and wraps and even just enjoyed as it is.

The marinade serves two functions. The first function of course is flavor. Chicken breast is pretty bland and this marinade packs loads of flavor. The second is that it helps protect against some of the harmful carcinogens that can form when grilling meat.  I’ve also recommended to pound the chicken thin. This creates a chicken breast that’s uniform in size, which allows for even cooking, preventing underdone or overcooked chicken. Don’t skip that step!

Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

 

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Grilled Chicken with Parsley Lemon Marinade


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A quick, simple marinade that adds just the right amount of flavor to any piece of chicken.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 cup parsley, leaves and stems, washed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken until it’s a 1/2-inch thick.
  2. Combine the garlic, oil, parsley, water, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour marinade, along with lemon slices into the bag with the chicken and seal the bag. Toss to coat. Remove any excess air from the bag and place chicken in the refrigerator to marinate. (I recommend putting the chicken in another vessel, like a bowl or dish, to prevent any cross-contamination in your fridge.) Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Clean the grill thoroughly and brush grates lightly with canola oil.
  4. Once the grill is hot, add the chicken. Grill until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165’F, about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Let rest before slicing.

Notes

  • This chicken is delicious on top of salads or pastas. It can even be used as a base for chicken salad, gyros or other sandwiches.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 319
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 241
  • Fat: 18
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 3
  • Protein: 36
  • Cholesterol: 96

Turkey Burgers with Cherry Chipotle Ketchup

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I somehow had the good fortune of having a lot of extra cherries in my refrigerator. It has a little something to do with the fact that I love cherries and I can’t help myself when I see them on sale. So, to make a long story short, I may have bought more than I really needed. No way was I going to let them go to waste. I was on a mission and I knew I had to do something with them fast. I had just made dessert with cherries (see my Phyllo Cherry Pie Tartlets recipe), and I felt like I needed to make something savory instead. But what?

Turkey burgers were on the menu for dinner. Usually I keep those pretty simple, topping them with ketchup, mustard, lettuce and tomato. But then I started thinking about ketchup and that got me thinking cherry ketchup. Could it work? Well, of course it could. But I wanted it to be spicy, so what else could I use? Right! The chipotle chiles I had in my freezer would be perfect. And that, my friend’s is how Cherry Chipotle Ketchup came into my life.

I added some great aromatics, like onion and garlic to mix along with a little acid (apple cider vinegar) and some fresh thyme. A little hit of sweetness from honey was the perfect balance for the heat. It all simmered in my pot while I made the turkey burgers. Fast and homemade ketchup in no time! Plus, you’ll get less sodium and more nutrition! Cherries are packed with nutrition, containing plenty of potassium which helps with managing blood pressure and are loaded with antioxidants to help fight off those big, bad free radicals to lead to cancer and other diseases.
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Turkey Burgers with Cherry Chipotle Ketchup


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A flavorful turkey burger topped with a spicy, sweet ketchup made from cherries and chipotle peppers.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup pitted, sweet cherries, chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup water

For the burgers

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 small, whole wheat buns, split and toasted
  • 8 green leaf lettuce leaves, washed and torn

Instructions

To Make the Ketchup

  1. Add the oil to a small saucepot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring often until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute. Add the cherries and cook about 3 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook the cherry mixture uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the thyme stem and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Allow to cool slightly, then puree mixture (allowing a place for steam to escape if mixture is still rather warm) until smooth. Alternatively, puree the mixture in the pot using a stick blender.
  3. Return the mixture back to the sauce pot and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from pot and allow to cool before serving.

For the burgers

  1. Preheat the grill and clean well with a grill brush.
  2. Shape the ground turkey into 8 equal-sized patties, about 2-3 tablespoons each. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly brush the grill grates with canola oil. Place burger patties on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Use a food thermometer to ensure burgers have reached 165’F.
  4. Place cooked burgers on the buns and top with chipotle ketchup and lettuce.

Notes

  • Need to turn down the heat? Simply add less chipotle pepper.
  • Want to jazz it up? Add a dash of cinnamon or cardamom.
  • Want a little more sweetness? Add 1-2 more teaspoons of honey

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8
  • Calories: 337
  • Sugar: 8
  • Sodium: 215
  • Fat: 11
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 40
  • Protein: 23
  • Cholesterol: 60

Freekeh with Black Beans and Avocado Dressing

In the quest to be the best dietitian I can be, I have been working diligently to incorporate more, “new” whole grains into my (and my family, friends’ and clients’) recipes. I have to admit, for a while I was stuck on quinoa. It’s simple and versatile…it was a love affair for sure. That love affair continues, but I am opening my mind to new, wonderful grains like freekeh. It’s just as easy to cook and just as easy to love. In fact, it’s a lovely platform for this freekeh with black beans and avocado dressing recipe.

Read more and get the recipe on The Cutting Board!

Homemade Marinara Sauce – Recipe Redux

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Pizza and pasta are staples in my house. You can safely assume then, that I’ve purchased more than my fair share of jarred marinara sauce. Blown away by the cost of a jar of organic pasta sauce, I decided there was no reason I couldn’t make my own. So after some trial and error, I was finally able to come up with one that I really liked and it’s been a staple in my kitchen ever since.

This month’s Recipe Redux theme invited us to share our recipe for something that we once purchased, but now make from scratch. I am happy to share this marinara recipe, a healthy, low-sodium alternative to the jarred stuff. Don’t worry if you can’t eat it all at once, it freezes amazingly and also makes the perfect gift.

 

Simple ingredients are the key to this marinara.

Simple ingredients are the key to this marinara.

 

Peppers, onions and garlic add layers of flavor!

Peppers, onions and garlic add the right touch of sweetness and complexity.

 

Bay leaf is a perfect, flavorful addition.

Bay leaf is a perfect, flavorful addition.

 

This marinara can be blended right in the pan, but be careful with the hot liquids!

This marinara can be blended right in the pan, but be careful with the hot liquids!

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Homemade Marinara


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A simple homemade tomato sauce that’s perfect for pizza or tossed with pasta.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red (or yellow) bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil a deep-sided sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and the peppers and cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are slightly tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the tomato paste, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the diced tomatoes (entire can with juices), water and vinegar. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift off any of the brown bits stuck to the pan. Add the Italian seasoning, bay leaf and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Remove the bay leaf and add the salt. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the mixture until smooth. Alternatively, work in batches using a blender or food processor for pureeing, exercising caution with the hot mixture (follow manufacturer’s instructions for pureeing hot or warm ingredients).
  3. Use immediately or allow to cool then refrigerate or freeze.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 4 1/2 to 5 cups of marinara.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 402
  • Sugar: 35
  • Sodium: 1325
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 66
  • Protein: 9
  • Cholesterol: 0

 


Mexican Shredded Chicken on The Cutting Board Blog

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There is something magical about the slow cooker. The idea that you can simply place ingredients in a vessel, touch a button and hours later you have an entire meal is mind-blowing. I love it! For anyone that’s time-strapped (OK, that’s everyone, right!?), the slow cooker is your savior. With a little forethought, you can create beautiful, almost effortless meals that your family will love.

 

In need of a new slow cooker recipe? Try my version of Mexican Shredded Chicken. It’s a flavorful dish that can feed a crowd…

 

 

Click here to read more from The Cutting Board Blog and to get the recipe.

A Simple Turkey Recipe

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Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away? Me neither! It’s seems to have shown up unexpectedly like it always seems to do. If you’re anything like me, you always try to do way too much during the holiday season. Cramming every moment of free time with some kind of activity. With all of the things you have to do, why not make the cooking of the Thanksgiving turkey just a little bit easier and a lot less stressful? Sound good to you? Then follow this link to my Whole Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Fresh Herbs found on TheCuttingBoard.org blog.

Cooked to Perfection, En Papillote

Looking for a new way to cook fish?  What if I told you it was easy and almost fool-proof?  You wouldn’t believe me, right?  But, it’s true.  The trick is to cook fish “en papillote” or in little parchment packets. This method cooks the fish using steam (produced by whatever liquid you introduce into the packet) which keeps fish moist and perfectly flaky.  Another bonus to this type of cooking?  You can infuse so much flavor!  This means you can take almost any mild fish, add herbs, wine, vinegar, and other aromatics and turn it into a delicious masterpiece!  Check out the recipe below I created for Food and Nutrition magazine.  And if you want to learn more about parchment, read more about it here!

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Barramundi En Papillote with Almond Gremolata


  • Author: Sara Haas RDN, LDN

Description

Perfectly steamed barramundi fillets topped with lemon juice and freshly chopped herbs and almonds


Scale

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup chopped sliced toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 small lemons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • 6 sprigs, parsley, cleaned
  • 6 barramundi fillets, 5 oz each, skinned and boned
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup dry white wine

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400’F.
  2. Cut parchment paper into sheets, approximately 12×16-inches, then fold each piece in half lengthwise. Trace a half of a heart onto each piece, using the fold as the center of the heart. Cut along the traced edges. (You did it correctly if you open the folded paper and see a full heart)
  3. To make the Gremolata: Combine the almonds, chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Toss the onion and peppers together in a bowl. On one half of each parchment heart place approximately a ½ cup of the vegetable mixture and a sprig of parsley. Top with a piece of fish and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the fish with the gremolata, evenly distributing among the packets. To seal the packets, begin by folding over the heart. Starting with the pointed end, begin making small folds up the open sides of the parchment. Before fully sealing, fill each packet with 2 tablespoons of white wine. Fold closed.
  5. Place packets on a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145’F for 15 seconds.
  6. The dish can then be served either within the packets or portioned onto plates. If desired, serve with lemon slices or a splash of lemon juice prior to serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 352
  • Sugar: 4
  • Sodium: 133
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 8
  • Protein: 40
  • Cholesterol: 119