Category Archives for "Vegetables"

Spanish Roasted Cauliflower


I love cauliflower. This one vegetable is full of antioxidants and phytonutrients. It boosts brain health, is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, has anti- inflammatory properties, and supports hearth health. This one recipe has the saltiness of olives and the zing of hot pepper flakes with the tenderness of the cauliflower. So let me hear from you. How does your family enjoy the benefits of cauliflower?



5 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 pound)

24 green Spanish olives, pitted and halved

8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small roasting pan. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with pepper and salt. Toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 22 minutes or until cauliflower is browned and crisp-tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.


To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Spaghetti Sauce that’s Easy

Its proven that to eat a healthier diet (and who doesn't want to do that?) you need to prepare more foods at home. But it doesn't have to be hard. This is an easy recipe to help get you started in the right direction. 

Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound ground beef

(can you ground chicken, turkey or pork)

1 large onion, chopped

1-2 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

½  teaspoon marjoram

¼ rosemary leaves

1 bay leaf

16-24 ounces tomato sauce

Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic. When the beef is no longer pink, drain excess fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.

We serve this spaghetti sauce over Vegetable Fettuccini or cooked spaghetti squash.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Hot And Sour Peanut Dressing

This is one of those recipes that the sound of it, makes your mouth water. I love peanut dressings and I'm always on the look out for my next favorite one. This is a Hunan recipe sent to me from a dear friend in Boston. To serve it, create a base of your favorite salad greens, add shredded chicken, thin-sliced cucumbers, shredded or matchstick carrots, and any other crunchy veggies you like (I've also served it on a bed of zucchini noodles). You can make it fiery hot or tone it down.

2+ Tbs. crunchy peanut butter (or more, if     you like things peanutty as I do)                      
2 Tbs. coconut aminos
4 Tbs. vinegar (I use rice vinegar but white vinegar would do, as well)
1 tsp. hot red pepper oil (can omit this if you don't have any, which I often don't)
1 tsp. hot red pepper powder (I use Cayenne)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. finely minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs. finely minced fresh garlic
1 Tbs. finely minced scallions
1 tsp. hot or Dijon mustard
3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth (I use less so dressing is thicker)

Mix all ingredients together. Shake or blend. Keeps well in the fridge. Note: I let each person pour on their own dressing on their own serving. If you drench a bowlful of salad with it, it loses its flavor and punch.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Homemade Salsa

My daughter Amy was fixing lunch for our family to have a picnic outside. Her heart was set on tacos. She worked hard to feed her family. She had to thaw the hamburger, cook it and then create a taco spice blend. She sliced the olives, mashed the avocado for guacamole, and she made homemade salsa. (her mom didn’t have a stash in the fridge)

I was so proud of her. She did all of this because she wanted too. We all enjoyed the Spring weather but most of all I enjoyed being the mom of this brilliant 11 year old.

Homemade Salsa

1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

1 fresh Jalapeno peppers, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons lime juice

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1teaspoon pepper

3 dashes hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 3-10 times.

If you have a child who loves to cook, allow them to the spread their wings and serve you lunch. They can very well surprise you.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Its almost grilling season. I know this week seems like it is far away but it will be here before you know it. Roasted Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite foods. Grilling them is a close second. 

Grilled Brussels Sprouts



1 pound Brussels sprouts, as uniform in size as possible

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and remove any yellowing outer leaves. Place the Brussels sprouts into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. Add the olive oil, garlic, mustard, paprika and salt and toss to combine. Allow the sprouts to cool until you can handle them. Skewer 4 to 5 Brussels sprouts onto each metal skewer with the stem ends facing in the same direction, leaving at least 1/2-inch in between each sprout. Place the skewers onto the grill with stem end closest to the flame. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the skewers over and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Serve as is or for additional flavor, remove the sprouts from the skewers, return them to the original mixing bowl and toss with any of the remaining oil and garlic mixture before serving.


Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

Do you remember playing this game when you were a kid?

If so, you are oooooold…like me!

Actually all three of those categories are vital in a balanced diet, but I want to talk about vegetables in particular.

We all have heard time and time again that’s it important to eat your fruits and vegetables, but how many of us actually do it on a daily basis?

The National Cancer Institutes encourages us to eat at least 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day. New research has shown that broccoli is one of many vegetables that can inhibit some forms of cancer. I know Coach Meagan  already loves broccoli, now she has another reason to love it even more. – check it out ​here.

The goal is to eat:

  • Five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables
  • A variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • High fiber fruits and vegetables
  • At least one vitamin C rich fruit or vegetable
  • At least one vitamin A rich fruit or vegetable

What’s a serving size? Not all that much, really…

Vegetables:

  • 1 cup raw leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup fresh or cooked vegetables

Fruits:

  • 1 medium apple, orange or banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh, canned or cooked fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit

The reason I bring the number of daily servings up is because we get asked a lot – Fresh, frozen, canned, organic – which should I eat?

To which are answer is “All of the above!”

You see it doesn’t really matter which of those choices you make if you aren’t eating enough.

For instance we get asked a lot about buying organic – it’s a hot topic right now, and it seems everything is organic. 

Organic is great, but what matters more is that you are getting enough fruits and veggies first, then worry about super high quality.

I also understand that fruits and vegetables can be expensive, and there is nothing wrong with choosing economical options. Personally my preference would be fresh (organic or not), frozen, and then canned. 

Tomato Plants

You know what may be even more important than organic? Buying your produce locally. A vegetable picked from the farm down the road is going to be tastier and healthier than organic produce shipped halfway across the globe.

Pretty soon Farmers Markets are going to start popping up here in NH, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are also gaining in popularity. A CSA is where you buy a share of a local farm and get a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly delivery of the farms crops, depending on the agreement.

Look, I am not trying to tell you it is easy to integrate more vegetables and fruits into your eating plan, if it was easy we would all do it all the time! What I am saying is it is worth the effort.  The health and disease prevention benefits are well documented and reliable.

So do what mom said – “Eat Your Vegetables” – she knew what she was talking about!

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Homemade Ketchup

“Help I forgot to buy ketchup and dinner is going to be ready in 15 minutes.”

Imagine me watching my hamburgers cooking and going to the fridge to realize I was missing a crucial ingredient – ketchup. My family enjoys ‘Naked Hamburgers’ as a staple at dinner time. (Naked Hamburgers are burgers served without a bun.)  

I thought about using salsa and calling them Mexican burgers or laying a bit of pasta sauce under the burger and laying a slice of avocado and piece of basil on top for Italian burgers. I just wasn’t feeling the love so I did what all of us would do, I made my own ketchup. It was fast and my family loved the fresh taste this ketchup offers.

Homemade Ketchup

4 chopped pitted dates

1 6 -ounce can tomato paste

1 14 - ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup broth or water, add this in little at a time

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Store in mason jars or similar jars in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Kitchen Sink Soup

Its been snowing quite a bit lately and I have been in the mood for soup more than usual this winter. This recipe is a favorite because it makes such a large batch of soup, but also because it uses up just about anything I have in my fridge. Bonus is my kids love it.

Kitchen Sink Soup

3 pounds ground beef

3-4 cups chicken broth

3-4 cups water (or more if needed – less if you want yours more “stew like”)

2 cups diced tomatoes

1 large sweet potato, diced

6 carrots, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

2-3 cups shredded green cabbage

3 small shallots, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 teaspoons ground cumin

1-2 teaspoons coriander

2 teaspoons chili powder

1-2 tablespoons dried basil

About 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a large soup pot add the sweet potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, and water and bring to a boil

In a separate large pot or skillet, brown the 3 pounds of ground beef, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper, and set aside. You can also use ground chicken, turkey, or lamb.

After the soup pot comes to a boil, add the shallots, garlic, diced tomatoes, celery, and bell pepper and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the browned ground beef and shredded cabbage and continue to simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

Season with all of the spices. Taste, and add more seasoning if desired.

Stir in the fresh cilantro and serve.

*Tips: Garnish with more fresh cilantro if desired, diced green onions, minced jalapeños and more shredded green cabbage. With your leftovers, eat a bowl of soup for breakfast topped with fried or poached egg!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Spaghetti or Orangetti?

Last time I was shopping I went to pick up a few spaghetti squashes. I was not sure where they went. In there place was a familiar shaped squash but not the same color. What, could it be an "Orange" spaghetti squash? Yep. 

I'm not sure what they did or how they did it but they made a spaghetti squash that usually has a yellow hue to orange. I just had to try it. Actually I picked up three of them. 

Here is what I did with one of my Orangetti Squash. 

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta"

You can take the long way to prep it:

Preheat your oven to 325.

Pierce it (the squash, not the oven) with a sharp knife all around the skin.

Roast it on a pan (you don't need any water) for about 1 hour.

Remove from oven, slice in half long ways, remove the seeds and take the flesh out with a fork.


Or the short way:

Just pierce the squash as suggested above, then microwave it for 8 minutes (flipping it over at 4) and it tastes the same.



That’s as quick as you can cook pasta…

It looks just like spaghetti, yet has a ton less calories and carbs, but a lot more nutrients.

Top it with your favorite pasta toppings and you're good to go!

It doesn't quite taste like pasta, but resembles it and has a great taste in and of itself.

Here is the sauce I made today:

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 Tablespoon dried onions

5 cooked Italian sausage cut into bite size chunks 

I heated this on the stove and let it simmer for ½ hour. It was delicious!

To your best Health,

Coach Nancy


Creamy Chicken Skillet

One pan meals are my favorite. While I like doing dishes, I don't like looking at a sink piled high with them. This one dish wonder helps me to keep my sanity in more ways than one. 

If you have one dish dinner meals, pass those along by replying with the recipe in the comment section. 

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Creamy Chicken Skillet

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 slices bacon

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

6 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 14.5-oz. can coconut milk

2 cups fresh kale, stems removed and shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble. Set aside. Discard the bacon fat from the pan except for one tablespoon. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft. Push the onion to one side and add the chicken to the pan. Lightly brown the chicken, and then stir in the bell peppers and mushrooms. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon. Add the white wine vinegar to the pan to deglaze. Add the coconut milk and kale. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted and the sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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