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Lemon, tomatoes, and mint give a fresh taste to this easy-to-make dish. By Chris Campbell
This chilled quinoa salad makes for a perfect light summer dinner. Photographs by Chris Campbell.

In the dog days of summer, a heavy dinner is about as appealing as finding yourself in the hot car on Metro. For a light meal that’s still packed with flavor and nutrition, registered dietitian Cheryl Harris loves this chilled quinoa salad. It’s easy to whip together, offers plenty of fiber and protein, and relies on seasonal ingredients—tomatoes, lemon, and mint—for a bright taste. 

“It’s a perfect lunch pack-along, and since it’s gluten-free and vegan, it’s a great dish for sharing with friends at picnics or potlucks,” says Harris. 

Lemony Mint Quinoa

Serves 2

Nutritional information: 383 calories, 7 grams fat, 64 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 19 grams protein.

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, toasted
2¼ cups vegetable broth
Juice of ½ lemon
15 mint leaves, coarsely torn
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste


Directions

1) Toast the quinoa in a large skillet over medium heat until it smells toasty and browns a bit, about 10 to 15 minutes. This can be done in advance or skipped altogether, but toasting gives the quinoa a deeper flavor. 

2) Add the broth to the skillet, bring to a boil, and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Stir halfway through and add half of the mint leaves. Add lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper to taste. 

3) Let cool completely. Add tomatoes and the rest of the mint, and serve.

Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail us at wellbeing@washingtonian.com. 

Find Chris Campbell on Twitter at @campbler

Posted at 10:40 AM/ET, 07/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Nothing says summer like this refreshing marriage of produce. By Chris Campbell
Photograph by Emily Codik.

Whether packed up for an afternoon picnic or enjoyed at a weekend barbecue, tomatoes and watermelon are a delicious, healthy way to beat the summer heat. While they’re great on their own, they’re even better together, paired in a cool salad bursting with bright colors and tons of flavor. 

Food writer Emily Codik likes this simple recipe, which keeps the focus on the produce. “This salad is super-refreshing, thanks to the combination of chilled watermelon and ripe tomato,” she says. “And since it tastes somewhere between savory and sweet, it feels more indulgent than it actually is.”

Codik adds that the trick to the salad is letting it rest for a bit to allow the flavors to blend, with the watermelon picking up hints of tomato and vice versa. 

Tomato-Watermelon Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
1 pound chilled watermelon, cut into 1-inch chunks
½ pound tomato, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed pistachios
1 tablespoon crumbled feta
4 mint leaves, thinly sliced
Sea salt to taste

Directions
1) Combine watermelon and tomato in a bowl. Season with sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil and stir gently. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
2) Garnish with pistachios, mint, and feta. Add more salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail wellbeing@washingtonian.com for a chance to be featured on Well+Being.

Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 07/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Who says no to a guilt-free cookie? By Chris Campbell
Photograph by Kate Headley.

One of the saddest food myths out there is the idea that eating healthy means cutting out desserts. Here at Well+Being we’re all about the idea of everything in moderation, including sweets—especially when they involve nutritious ingredients, as in this recipe from registered dietitian Janis Jibrin and restaurant consultant Sidra Forman.

We loved their kale salad recipe so much, we asked the duo to dip back into their book, The Pescetarian Plan, for a healthy treat to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. These mild-flavored cookies will curb any dessert craving without the unnatural ingredients typically found in super-sweet junk foods.

“Especially this time of year, this is a perfect cookie to pair with pretty much any variety of summer fruit--stone fruit, berry, or melon,” Forman says. “The richness of sesame seeds, coconut, and olive oil make for a satisfying treat.”

Sesame-Coconut Cookies

Serves 8

Prep time: 5 minutes; total time: 20 minutes

Nutrition per serving: 114 calories, 2 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 5 grams sugar, 7 grams total fat, 2.2 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams total omega-3 fatty acids, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 17 milligrams calcium, 51 milligrams sodium.

Ingredients

½ cup whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
Dash of salt

Directions

1) Combine the flour, sugar, coconut, sesame seeds, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in the oil, tahini, salt, and 2½ tablespoons water. Combine thoroughly using your fingers.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the cookie batter into 8 parts, rolling each into a ball. Place cookies on the parchment paper and gently flatten with the palm of your hand.

4) Bake until cookies begin to turn golden brown, approximately 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail wellbeing@washingtonian.com for a chance to be featured on Well+Being.

Posted at 12:15 PM/ET, 06/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Transition from spring to summer with this easy-to-make salad. By Chris Campbell
Four ingredients make for a quick and delicious dish. Photographs by Chris Campbell.

As the temperatures continue to climb, on a steamy night it’s great to try out a fresh, light dish—especially when it takes just a few minutes to whip together. Registered dietitian Carlene Thomas created this vegetable dish as a new way to incorporate carrots and asparagus into your menu.

“Creating vegetable ‘noodles’ will brighten and lighten your meal,” says Thomas. “Vegetables such as asparagus are full of fiber, and pairing them with goat cheese, a good source of protein and calcium, as well as pistachios, this recipe will keep you satisfied.”

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 bunch carrots
1 bunch asparagus
8 ounces goat cheese
Shelled pistachios

Directions:

1) Wash carrots and asparagus. Peel carrots, and cut spears off asparagus. Using a peeler, thinly shave the carrots and asparagus stalks, setting aside the asparagus spears. Give pistachios a rough chop.

2) Freeze the goat cheese for 15 minutes. Then scoop 1 tablespoon-size portions and roll them between your palms to form balls. Roll the balls through the pistachios to coat them.

3) Layer bunches of peeled carrots to create a salad bed. Garnish with goat cheese balls and asparagus spears.

Posted at 11:05 AM/ET, 06/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Six ingredients and ten minutes is all you need to make this delicious, nutrient-packed salad. By Chris Campbell
Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Kale often makes the lists of nutritionists’ favorite superfoods, but finding a tasty preparation of the hearty greens can be challenging without hiding its flavor behind a bunch of other ingredients.

The salad makes for a perfect side dish, particularly with a hearty protein such as grilled salmon. The total prep time is ten minutes or less, which makes it a perfect go-to salad whenever you need to add some color to your plate.

This recipe comes from the recently released book The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight & Love Your Food, written by registered dietitian Janis Jibrin and restaurant consultant Sidra Forman, both of whom are based in DC. Forman says baby kale, which is more tender than fully grown kale, is in season, so finding it at farmers markets should be easy. Jibrin adds that just one cup of kale provides two and a half times the daily requirement of vitamin A and six times the daily requirement of vitamin K.

Serves 4

Nutrition per serving: 84 calories, 4 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 1 gram sugar, 4 grams total fat, 0.6 grams saturated fat, 200 milligrams total omega-3 fatty acids, 102 milligrams calcium, 177 milligrams sodium.

Ingredients:

4 cups kale, very finely chopped and stems removed
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

1) In a large bowl, mix tahini, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth.

2) Add kale and mix thoroughly with your hands. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail wellbeing@washingtonian.com for a chance to be featured on Well+Being.

Other kale recipes:
Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup
Kale Pesto

Posted at 12:16 PM/ET, 05/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield offers up this quick treat featuring a seasonal favorite. By Chris Campbell
Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Rhubarb is one of spring's finest gifts for cooks. It pairs well with strawberries, but many lovers of the rich, red stalks are always on the lookout for ways to feature it on its own. For a simpler take, registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield offers up this quick treat that works for breakfast or dessert.

Scritchfield says when shopping for rhubarb, “choose deep red colored stalks which contain more vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant and mineral that is beneficial to eye and skin health.” Scritchfield also notes that rhubarb is rich in fiber, vitamin K, and B-complex vitamins that can help relieve digestive issues. The leftover sauce made below can be used as a tangy topping on ice cream, French toast, or pancakes.

Rhubarb Yogurt Parfait

Serves 6

Nutrition per serving: 262 calories, 32 grams carbohydrate, 23 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 3 grams fiber, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 143 milligrams sodium, 570 milligrams calcium.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

1 pound or 4 cups of fresh rhubarb 
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
6 cups Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Fresh mint for garnish (optional) 

Directions

1. Wash rhubarb and cut into half-inch pieces.

2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 

2. Stir in rhubarb; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender and slightly transparent.

3. Remove from heat and let cool.

4. In a parfait glass or decorative bowl alternate layering yogurt and rhubarb sauce, using 1 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup rhubarb sauce per parfait. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig. 

Note: Rhubarb can vary in sweetness, so you may add more sugar based on your taste preference.

 

Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail wellbeing@washingtonian.com for a chance to be featured on Well+Being.

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 05/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The chef’s granola bars are packed with nutrients to get you through a long run. By Melissa Romero
Poste Moderne Brasserie’s chef Dennis Marron’s granola bars are filled with exotic ingredients that make the granola bars a nutritional powerhouse. Photographs courtesy of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Poste Moderne Brasserie’s chef Dennis Marron spends most of his time in the kitchen, but when he’s not whipping up delicious meals he’s pounding pavement to train for marathons.

To supplement his training for his next race in Pennsylvania this May, the chef came up with his own nutrient-stocked granola bars. Filled with exotic ingredients such as goji berries, hemp hearts, and acai powder, Marron’s Marathon Bars are hearty snacks that will fuel you through your next grueling training run.

Makes 4 dozen bars

Nutrients per bar: 342 calories, 16.5 grams fat, 36.6 milligrams sodium, 45 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 36 grams sugar, 4.8 grams protein.

Ingredients:

1 cup John McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal 
1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1 cup dried goji berries, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded unsweetened dry coconut
½ cup hemp hearts
½ cup blanched almonds, chopped
½ cup nonfat dry milk
½ cup toasted wheat germ 
½ cup agave syrup
½ cup honey
¾ cup raw sugar
1¼ cups chunk-style peanut butter
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
Olive oil pan spray, as needed
2 cups semisweet chocolate baking chips 
4 ounces acai powder
3 ounces paraffin

Directions:

1) Spread oats in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan. Bake in a 300-degree oven until oats are toasted, about 25 minutes, stirring frequently. 

2) Pour dried fruit, coconut, almonds, dry milk, hemp hearts, and wheat germ into a large bowl; mix well. Mix hot oats into dried fruit mixture.

3) In a frying pan, combine agave syrup, honey, and sugar; bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and quickly stir in peanut butter, orange extract, and orange zest. Pour over oatmeal mixture and mix well. Quickly spread in greased pan and press into an even layer, then cover and chill until firm, at least 4 hours or until next day.

4) Cut into bars about 1¼ by 2½ inches.

5) Place chocolate chips, acai powder, and paraffin into a metal mixing bowl. Place over simmering water until melted; stir often. Reduce heat to low. 

6) Using tongs, dip 1 bar at a time into chocolate, hold over pan until it stops dripping, then place on wire racks set above waxed paper.

7) When firm and cool, serve bars, or wrap individually in foil. Store in the refrigerator up to 4 weeks; freeze to store longer.

Posted at 12:54 PM/ET, 04/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Try this nutrient-packed drink for a healthy sweet treat any time of day. By Melissa Romero

We’re back this week with another delicious smoothie recipe, courtesy of local registered dietitian Carlene Thomas of Healthfully Ever After. Her recipe for a cantaloupe concoction with strawberries, spinach, and chia seeds makes for a refreshing spring treat.

Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamins C and A, and you’ll get double the dose with the strawberries. Spinach adds a boost of phytonutrients that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. And just one tablespoon of chia seeds packs in healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

Serving size: 1

Nutrition per serving: 128 calories, 4.8 grams fat, 24.1 milligrams sodium, 6.5 grams carbohydrate, 2.1 grams sugar, 6.5 grams fiber, 4.1 grams protein.

Ingredients:

1 cup spinach, loosely packed
1 cup cantaloupe, cubed
¼ cup strawberries, chopped
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions:

Toss all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth.

More smoothie recipes:
Amazing Arugula Smoothie
Fat-Free Banana Split Smoothie

Posted at 03:23 PM/ET, 04/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Registered dietitian Danielle Omar shares how to make her favorite healthy smoothie. By Melissa Romero
Local registered dietitian Danielle Omar’s Amazing Arugula smoothie contains greens and tropical fruits for one nutrient-rich concoction. Photographs via Shutterstock.

Last week we shared how to make a delicious banana split smoothie, and now here’s another one to try: the Amazing Arugula smoothie, courtesy of local registered dietitian Danielle Omar.

“It’s my favorite smoothie that I never get sick of,” Omar says of the greens-packed recipe.

Arugula adds a bit of spice and a kick of vitamins C and K to the mix, while the mango and pineapple promote lower blood pressure and healthy immune systems, respectively.

Serving size: 1

Nutrition per serving: 289 calories, 1.6 grams fat, 23 milligrams sodium, 74.1 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams fiber, 60 grams sugar, 3.5 grams protein.

Ingredients:

2 to 3 cups arugula
½ cup pineapple
1 apple, cored
½ cup mango
juice of ½ lemon
cold water

Directions:

1) Blend arugula and cold water until smooth.

2) Add pineapple, mango, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

Posted at 11:56 AM/ET, 03/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get the taste of the classic dessert without the extra calories and fat. By Melissa Romero
Local registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield’s banana split smoothie is rich in vitamin C, manganese, potassium, protein, and electrolytes. Photographs via Shutterstock.

We can’t say enough about our love of smoothies. They’re a great breakfast option when you’re in a pinch, and they’re an easy way to get in a serving of fruits and vegetables.

But while we all have our favorite smoothie formula, it’s always fun to add a new option to the arsenal. We asked local registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield for her all-time favorite smoothie recipe, and her response did not disappoint.

Scritchfield promises her banana split smoothie is a “balance of delicious and good-for-you.” It’s packed with immunity-boosting vitamin C, as well as potassium, electrolytes, and manganese from the banana and pineapple.

Check back next week for another expert-recommended smoothie recipe!

Serving size: 3 (1 cup) servings

Nutrition per serving: 235 calories, 43 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams sugar, 17 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 1 milligram cholesterol, 260 milligrams calcium, 95 milligrams sodium.

Ingredients:

½ cup pineapple (fresh, frozen, or canned)
½ cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 ripe banana, sliced (fresh or frozen)
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt, fat-free or low-fat (or dairy alternative yogurt)
½ cup fat-free milk (or dairy alternative milk)
1 tablespoon chocolate sauce
1 cup ice
chopped peanuts

Directions:

1) Place all ingredients in blender and mix well.

2) Garnish with 1 tablespoon of chopped peanuts.

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 03/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()