Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Butternut squash (about 2.5 pounds), peeled and seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks or 2 pounds of precut butternut squash (see photo below)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Pepper as desired

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the squash in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss well. Arrange the squash in one layer on a sheet pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the squash is tender, turning once with a metal spatula.

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Pomegranate Tabouli Salad

Quinoa can be substituted for the freekeh cracked wheat.

Pomegranate Nutrition

Not only delicious, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods you can eat! They are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, and low in calories.
Like blueberries, cranberries and green tea, pomegranates are thought to be healthy because they are loaded with antioxidants, which protect cells from damage by compounds called free radicals.

Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of polyphenols, a potent form of antioxidants. The three types – tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid – are present in many fruits, but fresh pomegranate juice contains particularly high amounts of all three.

Pomegranates in the store have been picked when ripe, so they are ready to enjoy as soon as you buy them. A good, ripe pomegranate should feel heavy. Surface abrasions do not affect the quality of the fruit.

Whole pomegranates keep well at room temperature and away from sunlight for several days and up to 2 months when refrigerated in plastic bags. In October when the fresh crop arrives buy several and store them in the refrigerator.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Cracked Wheat

Tabouli is traditionally made from bulgur which is cracked wheat. Bulgur wheat provides various nutrients and is an especially good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and fiber. I like to use freekeh. I link to the bradn I buy on amazon. It is wheat but it is harvested when it is young and then roasted. The flavor is delicious smoky and nutty. If I don’t happen to have any, I also us regular bulgur and have even used quinoa.

Parsley

The herb parsley is loaded with nutrition: Lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and is the richest source of Vitamin K which is essential for bone health. 1 cup chopped parsley only has 22 calories so using parsley in this salad reduced the caloric density.

parsley1

Cook’s Note: Wash your parsley (and other produce) in a clean pan in the sink. Your sink provides a place for bacteria to thrive. Food particles in the sink serve as a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. To prevent food illness bleach your sink every night.

 

 

 

 

 

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NOTE: Another option to the freekeh is to use quinoa instead of freekeh. I  used 4 1/2 c. cooked quinoa in this recipe recently and it was wonderful.  

1.5 cups raw freekeh + 3 cups water equals 4 cups cooked (Freekeh is Cracked wheat) I buy Freekeh at amazon or if you want to use Quinoa buy it here on Amazon
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil I like this olive oil because it is packaged in glass. Plastic can contain obesogens
5-6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups (about one large bunch) Italian parsley, washed, spun and chopped. Use more if omitting the mint.
¼ cup mint leaves, washed, spun and chopped –optional. I=
3 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup (or all the seeds from one pomegranate) pomegranate seeds*
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sliced toasted almonds

Cook the freekeh, bulgur or quinoa according to package directions and place in the refrigerator to cool.

To make the dressing combine and whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a bowl and whisk. I love my mini whisk for this purpose.

When freekeh or quinoa is cool, add chopped parsley, mint leaves, scallions and pomegranate seeds and dressing. Stir gently to mix ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.

Top with toasted pumpkin seeds when serving.

*How to remove the seeds from the pomegranate. To seed a pomegranate, cut the skin vertically in quarters, then pull it apart. Hold it in a bowl of water and gently pull the white structures apart, dropping the seeds in the bowl. Skim the white bits out. Drain and pat dry to use. To view a video demonstrating how to seed a pomegranate.

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How To Track Saturated Fat and Fiber on MyFitnessPal (MFP)

The default MFP settings allow you to see you many Calories, grams of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat in your daily diet.

It is advantageous to also track Saturated Fat intake and Fiber intake.

Go to Food< Settings<Change Nutrients Tracked. In the controls on the left choose Saturated Fat and Fiber, then click "Save Changes" on the bottom.

Track this for a few days and look at how you did.

The saturated fat goal for a 1200 calorie diet is less than 10 grams and 12 grams for a 1500 calorie diet. “Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke”. (American Heart Association).

How did you do with your fiber intake? Everyone should be getting 35 grams of fiber daily. Why? A high fiber intake indicates you are eating a lot of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. According to a recent report on the largest study of vegetarians and vegans to date, those eating plant-based diets appear to have a significantly longer life expectancy.

How much longer life expectancy? Nearly a decade of extra life — that's what you get when you move away from eating animal foods and toward a plant-based diet. This is really exciting science for anyone seeking a healthy long life.

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