No Fail, Winning Guacamole Recipe

Award* Winning Guacamole Recipe

*Disclaimer – this recipe hasn’t actually won any official awards or titles. And it hasn’t been entered in any recipe contests or been featured on the Food Network.  So my guacamole is technically “award-less,” however it’s unofficially a “winner” (hence, Winning Guacamole) in my small circle of nearest and dearest. And I’m about to let you in on my not-so-secret recipe! But first, there are some things you should know.

Guacamole 101: What You Need to Know

  • Pick the Avocado – This is a big deal, so it’s imperative you get it right. How do you choose the right avocado? Depends on when you want to make your guacamole. If you don’t need it until a couple of days from now, it’s ok to buy the rock-solid avocado because it will continue to ripen. If you want it tonight, buy the one that gives just a little when you apply a light pressure to it. Skip the super soft ones and the ones with dents and dings.
  • Don’t Skip the Onion – So many people tell me they want to leave out the onion, but I encourage you not to do that. Instead, if onion causes you trouble, consider this little trick – chop it and then add it to a bowl of water. Let it sit there while you’re making the guacamole and then drain it and add it. Soaking the onion will help remove some of the bitter compounds, so you won’t have that pungent onion taste in your mouth.
  • Add salt – Every time I make this guacamole someone always asks, “why does this taste so good?” It’s not that I am an awesome guacamole maker or that I have a special guacamole secret, it’s just salt. Yes, you heard me, salt. If you don’t add the right amount, it’ll just taste like mashed avocados and onion. Add the salt, and you’ve become a culinary genius! Afraid of salt, it’s ok, I understand, but in this recipe I’m only using 1/4 teaspoon of salt and that equals to about 145 milligrams of sodium per serving. That’s a relatively small amount considering 2300 milligrams per day is your cutoff. 

There, now you’re armed and dangerous. Time to get to the store and stock up on avocados so you can make a big batch of my No Fail Winning Guacamole!

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No Fail, Winning Guacamole


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A recipe for delicious guacamole that works every time!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced in half and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons -1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped*
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped white or yellow onion**

Instructions

  1. Scoop out the avocado flesh into a bowl and gently mash. Stir in the lime juice and salt. Mix in the cilantro, onion and jalapeño.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • *If you prefer your guacamole less spicy, remove and discard the seeds and membrane from the jalapeño before chopping. Careful, those seeds are hot, so best to remove them with a spoon or knife.
  • **Do raw onions bother you? Try soaking them in water first before adding them to your guacamole.
  • Makes about 1 cup guacamole.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 339
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 608
  • Fat: 30
  • Saturated Fat: 4
  • Unsaturated Fat: 23
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 21
  • Protein: 5
  • Cholesterol: 0

Chickpea Hummus Wrap

“Simplify, simplify, simplify!” Henry D. Thoreau, eloquently and prophetically proclaimed in his famous work, Walden.

That demand to simplify seems even more relevant today than it likely was in 1854, when Walden was first published. How many of us challenge that decree everyday? Adding more things that instead “complicate, complicate, complicate!” Ugh.  Thoreau’s mantra is one I’m trying (somewhat successfully) to practice in my daily life. I’m not taking the easy way, but the smart, simpler way. Case in point, I recently got so frustrated with making healthy lunches for my family. PB&J was in the lunch box more than I would’ve liked. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that sandwich, but variety is a good thing.

Inspired by Thoreau, I decided to “simplify” lunch.

And with this Chickpea Hummus Wrap, I simplified on execution, but didn’t sacrifice taste or flavor! Yay! It all starts with a  whole grain wrap and continues with layers of flavor. Canned chickpeas and pre-washed baby arugula keep things easy and fast. Flavor boosters like feta cheese and pepitas add a simple, yet tasty addition.

Luckily, the Recipe Redux theme for this month was how to get out of our “lunch rut.” How appropriate! Fortunately I figured out just how to do that with this Chickpea Hummus Wrap!

And here are the pretty picture of my Chickpea Hummus Wrap:

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Chickpea Hummus Wrap

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Chickpea Hummus Wrap

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Chickpea Hummus Wrap

Chickpea Hummus Wrap


  • Author: Sara Haas
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Description

Time is of the essence! But don’t forget about good nutrition either! These simple chickpea hummus wraps make lunch easy, delicious and nutritious!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • pinch teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 (8-inch) whole wheat tortilla or wrap
  • 2 tablespoons plain hummus
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Toss the arugula with the lemon juice, black pepper and salt.
  2. Lay tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread the hummus down the middle of the tortilla and top with the chickpeas. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds and feta cheese, then the arugula mixture.
  3. Roll up and enjoy.

Notes

  • Want more? Just multiply ingredients by desired serving size and divide everything evenly among tortillas.

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French Lentil Salad with Spinach and Feta Cheese

Easy.

That’s what everyone wants right, for everything in life to be a little easier? No lines at the post office, no red lights on the way to work or perhaps someone around who can clean your house and do your laundry? Well, sure that would be fine and wonderful, but it’s just not possible. The good news though? There is one area of your life that I can assure you can be easier, and that’s meal preparation.

“How?” you ask.

Just ask my friends at the Recipe Redux. The theme this month is simplicity and simplicity to them means recipes that contain less than 7 ingredients. Brilliant! My recipe for this month is super easy. I start with French green lentils, which are earthy and delicious and hold their shape and texture well. Then, I add fresh veggies in the way of bell peppers, cucumber and spinach. I jazz it up with a little fresh parsley and feta cheese and then use simple vinaigrette-based salad dressing to put that exclamation point on EASY! And there you go, in just about 30 minutes, you’ve made an amazing lentil salad that is not only delicious, but nutritious. Bravo!

And when you’re done making this recipe, check out the recipes below for more inspiration. They’re all super delicious and nutritious, less than 7 ingredients and EASY!

And Here are the Pretty Pictures of my French Lentil Salad:

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French Lentil Salad with Spinach and Feta Cheese


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A simple, yet elegant salad made with green French lentils, fresh spinach, cucumbers, parsley and feta cheese.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green or French lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup seeded, diced cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, cleaned, dried and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing

Instructions

  1. Place lentils in a medium-size pot and add water to cover by about 2 inches. Set pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in salt and continue to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Spread on a sheet pan to cool or, rinse in cool water.
  2. To a large salad bowl, add the cooled lentils, spinach, bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, feta cheese and cooled lentils. Drizzle dressing over the vegetables and lentils, then toss to combine. Add salt and black pepper, if desired.

Notes

  • Makes 4 1/2 cups

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 175
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 307
  • Fat: 5
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 23
  • Protein: 10
  • Cholesterol: 7

Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette


It’s time to break out the salad bowl!

And it’s time to switch things up a bit. Yes, romaine is good and so are tomatoes and all of the other “usual” salad suspects, but why not try something new? What would you say to Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette?

“That’s too fancy!” Is that perhaps your answer? I sure hope not because that’s just not true. Yes, it may sound fancy, but the ingredients are simple and the recipe is easy. See, not fancy at all!

My new salad obsession just happens to begin with my favorite green, baby arugula. There’s just something special about that little green leaf. It’s just so….spicy and interesting. And I like my food spicy and interesting! When you pair arugula with dried chopped apricots (for a little sweetness), sliced apples, pistachios, feta cheese and champagne vinaigrette, you’ve got a unique salad that is incredibly interesting (and nutritious).

So bust out that bowl and salad tongs and get mixing!

The Pretty Pictures of My Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette:

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Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Arugula tastes divine tossed with dried apricots, pistachios, fresh apple and a crisp champagne vinaigrette!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 4 cups baby arugula, washed (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium apple, cored and sliced into thin strips or julienned (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, diced (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios, roughly chopped (1 ounce)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey and vinegar. Pour in the olive oil and whisk until combined. Stir in the dried thyme.
  2. To a large salad or mixing bowl, add the baby arugula along with the apple, apricots, feta cheese and pistachios. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  3. Portion onto plates and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make it meal! Just add sliced chicken or garbanzo beans.
  • Recipe makes about 3 tablespoons dressing.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 175
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 171
  • Fat: 12
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 14
  • Protein: 4
  • Cholesterol: 8

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Besides waffles, I love cookies.

I always have, and I likely always will. In fact, I’m convinced I’ll be the old lady at the nursing home hoarding cookies and scarfing them down in my rocking chair, collecting a pile of crumbs on my nylon pants. Hopefully it’ll be a nursing home with a good housekeeper. 😉
But, I digress. My point is, besides tasting awesome, there’s just something special about a good cookie. It evokes happy childhood memories and can make a day that wasn’t so great, pretty awesome. While my heart belongs to the chocolate chip cookie, I also have a big place in my heart for the oatmeal cookie. Oatmeal and chocolate is actually a favorite of mine too, go figure. But, because a certain someone in New York said she needed an oatmeal cookie recipe, I wanted to be creative and “think outside the box” with this recipe. It didn’t take long for me to come up with Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies. No chocolate, but still so delicious.

Are cookies a health food?

Oh no, no they’re not. But here’s the deal. Cookies exist because of that special-ness I mentioned above. So, you must enjoy them on occasion. How can I say this as a dietitian? Well, because I am a real person. I know that we all need to treat ourselves and I know that we can do it in a way that won’t destroy all of the other good things we’ve done to nourish our bodies. So, here’s the deal. Use some whole wheat flour, get rid of some of the sugar and keep the portion small.
Now treat yourself by making and enjoying these Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies!

And here, the beauty shots of my Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies:

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Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A classic oatmeal cookie made with dried apples and plenty of cinnamon.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (75g)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (77g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I used salted butter)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apple (about 1 ounce)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (183 grams)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350’F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, whip the butter until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Blend about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined, about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, then add the flour mixture. Blend on low speed until just combined. Add the apple, oats and pecans and mix until just combined.
  4. Drop dough by the rounded spoonful (about 20 grams per cookie) on the prepared cookie sheets, a couple of inches apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool slightly on the pan before moving to a rack to cool.

Notes

  • Makes about 30 cookies.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 2401
  • Sugar: 165
  • Sodium: 1369
  • Fat: 120
  • Saturated Fat: 62
  • Unsaturated Fat: 49
  • Trans Fat: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 310
  • Protein: 31
  • Cholesterol: 430

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

What? Another quick bread recipe? Oh yes, yes it is.

You know why? It’s because my family loves a good snack, so I’m always looking for new ways to nourish them. Since pumpkin season is officially over, I’ve moved on to bananas.
Like pumpkin, bananas are incredibly versatile and add great moisture, interest and natural sweetness to baked goods. I love them for that and for the nutritional goodies they supply.

Read More

WGN Lunch Break Segment: The Recipes

Stock your freezer with some delicious foods you made yourself.

These recipes aren’t just simple, they’re tasty and nutritious! 

When life gets busy or hectic, you’ll feel good about reaching for these awesome freezer foods!

 
Freezer Waffle Beauty

Click here for the Basic Whole Wheat Freezer Waffles recipe

 

Easy Freezer Burrito Beauty

Click here for the Easy Freezer Burritos recipe

 

Click here for the Freezer Quinoa recipe

Easy Freezer Burritos

Do you have 15 cents?

Of course you do!

Here’s the deal, you could spend 50 cents on a lackluster burrito, or you could spend half that and have a tasty burrito loaded with nutritious ingredients. If you’re like me, you’ll choose the 15 cent burrito. Not sure how to make this amazingly inexpensive, delicious burrito? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. My Easy Freezer Burritos recipe is below and some pictures in case you need inspiration or instruction.

The Pretty Pictures of Easy Freezer Burritos:

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Easy Freezer Burritos


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Don’t buy burritos anymore! Make them yourself with delicious, nutritious ingredients to fill you and nourish you.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup prepared quinoa*
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 12 whole wheat or sprouted whole grain 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, black beans, corn, salsa and cheddar cheese.
  2. Lay tortillas out onto a clean work surface then spread 1/4 cup bean mixture down the middle of each tortilla.
  3. To roll: Fold one end of the tortilla to meet the other. Gently push back the tortilla and ingredients so they are tight. Fold outside edges inward, then roll until burrito is closed. Repeat the process with the remaining burritos.

To freeze

  1. Tear 12 sheets of foil. Place a burrito in the center of each piece of foil and tightly roll up. Place foil-wrapped burritos in a freezer bag. Label and date them before storing them in the freezer.

To enjoy

  1. Remove burritos from foil and place on a microwave-safe plate. Cover and cook on high heat for about 1 minute. Check and add more time if necessary. If you’re unsure, use a food thermometer and cook until internal temperature reaches 165’F.

Notes

  • Makes 12 burritos
  • *Of course I wouldn’t leave you hanging! Here’s how you prepare the quinoa: https://www.sarahaasrdn.com/freezer-quinoa/

Nutrition

  • Calories: 2886
  • Sugar: 10
  • Sodium: 1271
  • Fat: 46
  • Saturated Fat: 20
  • Unsaturated Fat: 21
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 503
  • Protein: 115
  • Cholesterol: 89