Jicama & Mango Salad

Dave and I had dinner at my cousin Karen and her husband Shaun’s place a few weeks ago in Vancouver. They prepared an unbelievable dinner for us including this light crunchy tangy sweet salad. Who knew 4 ingredients could make such a delightful dish! Make it as a side dish or throw in some chicken, shrimp or fish and make it a meal.

Dave and I were even thinking it’d even make a great popcorn substitute if we cut the jicama and mango a little larger, and if we ever get around to watching a movie…

I had never cooked with jicama (a.k.a. yambean) before and I’m really sorry I’ve been missing out! This stuff is awesome! I’d call the texture a cross between a raw potato and an apple – though more like an apple in terms of water content. It’s ever so slightly sweet and PACKED with fibre. Here’s how it stacks up to 120g each of apples and potatoes:

Jicama   Apple       Potato

Calories                  46             62             83

Carbs                   10.6g       17.2g       18.9g

Sugars                   2.2g        13.3g         1.2g

Fibre                      5.9g          3.9g         2.0g

Protein                  0.9g             0g          2.2g

Most people have trouble getting enough fibre into their diets, but this salad contains nearly all of your recommended daily intake (25 g in a 2,000 calorie diet) in one serving. For sure a new staple in my house!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 mangos, julienned
  • 2 large jicama, julienned
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix in a large salad bowl, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 203 calories, 48 g carbs, 1 g fat, 3 g protein, 21 g fibre

Chicken Feta Fajita Salad

Hot summer days call for light summer salads! We were totally craving Mexican food yesterday to go along with all the heat, but figured we’d replace the carbs from the fajita tortilla shells with a couple of Coronas 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chicken breasts (450 g)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 10 drops tabasco sauce
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 60 g light feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime

DIRECTIONS

  • Slice chicken into long strips.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large frying pan.
  • Add chicken strips and stir until all sides are cooked, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add in chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, pepper and tabasco.
  • Add bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Stir and cook until vegetables soften. Remove from heat.
  • Divide baby spinach among serving plates and top with chicken and veggies, followed by avocado, feta and cilantro.
  • Serve with lime wedge on the side and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 386 calories, 18 g carbs (4 g sugar), 14 g fat, 43 g protein, 8 g fibre , 334 mg sodium

Zucchini Pizza

Yesterday I biked ALL the way to the grocery store (okay, it was only 15 minutes) to find they didn’t have the large whole wheat pitas I was excited to use as pizza crust. So what’s a health nut to do? Not compromise with white flour pitas, that’s for sure! Nope, they actually got a whole lot healthier and lower calorie (only 100 per piece) with zucchini!

I had remembered seeing a zucchini pizza go by on my pinterest feed, so I figured it was a good time to check it out. The verdict is: total winner!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 4 sticks turkey pepperoni (120 g)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 120 g light mozzarella, shredded
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut zucchinis lengthwise into four slabs.
  • Place on baking sheet covered in parchment paper and spray lightly with olive oil.
  • Broil on high until they just start to brown, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cover with toppings.
  • Broil on high until cheese browns.
  • Sprinkle on red pepper flakes, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 8 “slices”.

Per slice: 100 calories, 8 g carbs, 5 g fat, 8 g protein, 2 g fibre

Pork Tenderloin Gumbo

Gumbo is pretty healthy as it is, with all those onions, tomatos and other stewed veggies, but I figured why not make it even healthier?! So I cut the sausage and substituted it for some lean pork tenderloin! Though one serving is only 337 calories, I couldn’t even finish my plate with all the spice, super filling veggies and lean protein. Super comforting and super healthy – this is my kind of meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in large pot. Add pork and stir until cooked on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, celery, onions and garlic. Stir until veggies soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, oregano, chilis, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sweet potatoes and zucchini and simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once sweet potatoes are soft, remove from heat, stir in cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 337 calories, 39 g carbs, 6 g fat, 32 g protein, 8 g fibre

Lemon Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

This was one of those use up the leftovers in your fridge kind of stir frys. I wanted to keep it really light and low-calorie as I had eaten about half a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (thanks for nothing, Mom) yesterday afternoon and was feeling pretty guilty…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and cook in olive oil over medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger and leeks and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Add bok choy and peppers and cook until softened.
  • Turn heat off, squeeze in lemon juice and grind in pepper (I like to hammer it with TONS of pepper).
  • Serve over quinoa, rice or any other grain you like!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 293 calories, 21 g carbs (8 g sugar), 11 g fat, 30 g protein, 3 g fibre

Braised Pork Tenderloin with Baby Bok Choy

I’ve never been a huge fan of pork, but figured I’d give it another try since I’ve been reading it is one of the leanest meats out there. At 143 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated) and 26 g protein per 100 g (3.5 ounces), pork tenderloin is a very healthy source of protein.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 lbs (600 g) pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tsp coconut palm sugar (or white/brown sugar)
  • 4 baby bok choy

DIRECTIONS

  • Warm half of olive oil over medium heat in frying pan. Add pork, seasoned with salt and pepper, and saute until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Place pork on a plate and set aside.

  • Add remaining oil to frying pan with garlic, ginger and leeks. Sautee until leeks soften, about 4 minutes.

  • Add water, wine, soy sauce, sugar and pork. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let braise for roughly one hour, stirring occasionally.

  • After hour has elapsed, lay bok choy over pork and leek mixture, cover and let cook until bok choy softens, about 7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, plate with steamed rice and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (excluding rice):  350 calories, 11 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 12 g fat, 40 g protein, 1 g fibre

Nut-Free Vegan Pesto Sauce

I happened across nutritional yeast at the grocery store over the weekend and remembered seeing it featured in a recent Women’s Health Magazine article. So I grabbed it, did a quick Wikipedia search and decided to give it a whirl as a parmesan and pine nut substitue in pesto sauce! I absolutely love pesto sauce and though it is nutritious it is quite high in calories. Nutritional yeast sports a cheesy and nutty flavour making it the perfect substituting for parmesan and pine nuts, slashing the pesto’s calories and fat.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend into a smooth paste.
  • Throw it over pasta, pizza dough or on a sandwich and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 1 cup.

Per tbsp: 37 calories, 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 3 g fat, 1 g protein, 0 g fibre