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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 ()
This protein-rich soup will keep you full and satisfied for hours. By Melissa Romero
This kale and cannellini bean soup is packed with protein to leave you full for hours. Photograph by Alexe Colbus.

With the weather back to being chilly, we’re all about warming dishes that really satisfy. That’s why we were so pleased to come across this kale and cannellini bean soup recipe by Alexe Colbus, the local blogger behind Keys to the Cucina

The nutrient-dense kale and diced tomatoes add a wealth of vitamins and antioxidants to the meal, and the recipe makes enough for plenty of leftovers. Vegetarian? Just skip the bacon.

Serving size: 4 to 6

Nutrition per serving: 116 calories, 4.4 grams fat, 418 milligrams sodium, 11 grams carbohydrate, 3.5 gram fiber, 1.8 grams sugars, 8.8 grams protein.

Ingredients

¼ pound bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 can cannellini beans
1 can diced tomatoes
4 large kale leaves, torn
3 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons crushed pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
1½ cups vegetable stock
¾ cup water
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1) Dice the bacon and add to a pan over medium heat.

2) Cook until the fat renders out, and remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, keeping the fat in the pan.

3) Add the onion to the bacon fat and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, until translucent.

4) Add the tomatoes and cannellini beans, and season with salt, crushed pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes.

5) Add the vegetable stock, water, and Parmesan cheese, and cook for an hour on low. Add the kale during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

6) Serve with the crispy bacon you set aside and a dash of Parmesan cheese on top.

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

Posted at 11:44 AM/ET, 03/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Add a healthy twist to brownies, cookies, and more. By Melissa Romero
Using flax and chia seeds as baking substitutes give desserts a healthy kick by adding antioxidants, protein, and omega-3s. Photographs by Ali Eaves, Betsy Ramirez, Melissa Romero, and Carlene Thomas.

We’ve long raved about the health benefits of chia and flaxseeds. Just one spoonful of either comes stocked with nutrients. Flaxseeds are higher in antioxidants than blueberries, and chia seeds are a great source of fiber and protein.

But downing a spoonful of dry seeds doesn’t exactly sounds appetizing. That’s where these simple healthy recipes can help. Flax and chia seeds both make for great baking ingredients, and can usually be used interchangeably. However, if you’re substituting chia seeds for flax, registered dietitian Cheryl Harris recommends using half to 2⁄3 the amount because chia seeds are a “more powerful binder.”

Blueberry-Almond-Flax Cookies

These cookies are so rich in protein, fiber, omega-3s, and antioxidants you can eat them for breakfast.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs

Forget fat- and calorie-loaded Cadbury eggs. These DIY chocolate treats use chia seeds to add nutrition without losing the flavor.

Vanilla Almond Porridge

A piping hot bowl of porridge (with flaxseed, cinnamon, applesauce, and fruit) will soothe you on those cold winter mornings.

Apple Pie Smoothie

It’s like apple pie in a glass—but several hundred calories lighter.

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

A healthy chocolate chip cookie? It exists, thanks to this genius recipe that swaps regular flour for quinoa flour. (Use chia seeds in place of the xanthan gum.)

Chia Seed Brownies

By swapping oil for chia seed gel, you add omega-3 fatty acids and a subtle crunch to these tasty brownies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Oats, peanut butter, honey, flaxseeds, and chocolate chips are all you need to make this healthy, addictive treat.

Posted at 12:04 PM/ET, 03/07/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Whether your date is vegetarian or gluten-free, these easy dishes are sure to please. By Melissa Romero

So you and your significant other have decided to forgo a jam-packed restaurant this Valentine’s Day and opt for a nice meal at home. The only problem: Your date is gluten-free. Or vegetarian. Or a food snob.

We’re here to help with this handy guide to five delicious meals that are as simple to make as they are nutritious. From a ten-minute pizza to a flavorful salmon dish, there’s something here to please every taste bud.

For the pescetarian: mustard-glazed salmon with creamy pesto topping

Don’t let the words “glazed” and “creamy” fool you. This healthy recipe swaps all the sugary and high-calorie sauces for protein-rich Greek yogurt and spicy mustard. Bonus: The salmon only takes 30 minutes to bake.

For the vegetarian: eggplant and tofu with curried tomato-mint sauce

The vegetarian in your life will appreciate this hearty meal, packed with bright flavors.

For the pizza lover: ten-minute pita and pepper pizza

This recipe lets the two of you play with your food. Grab a bag of pitas, a can of tomato sauce, and your favorite cheese and pizza toppings. Then get to work—in just ten minutes you’ll have personal pizzas to enjoy together.

For the foodie: baked chicken with apples

Prove to your food-loving significant other that a delicious meal doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe only requires six main ingredients: chicken, chard, apples, blue cheese crumbles, shallots, and apple cider vinegar.

For the gluten-free: easy shrimp and asparagus with grits

Give dinner a touch of Southern charm with this gluten-free twist on a classic comfort food. The shrimp and asparagus add protein and vitamins.

Posted at 01:25 PM/ET, 02/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Baked chipotle chips, spicy edamame dip, and more for healthy snacking during Sunday’s big game. By Melissa Romero

Chips and dip are a party staple, especially on Super Bowl Sunday—but it’s easy to overeat and derail your healthy diet. Here’s the good news: You can nosh on your favorite snacks guilt-free this Super Bowl Sunday with the help of these healthy chip and dip recipes. Not only will these help you avoid oversalted chips and cheese-loaded dips, but they’re also crazy-quick to make, so you won’t miss any half-time antics or commercials. Happy snacking!

1) Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Offset the cheese in this dip by upping the amount of vitamin-rich artichokes and spinach.

2) Zucchini Carpaccio

This recipe packs a satisfying crunch thanks to the raw zucchini slices topped with Parmesan and pine nuts.

3) Heirloom-Tomato-and-Avocado Salsa

The healthy fats in the avocado help the body absorb the antioxidant lycopene from the tomatoes.

4) Asian Edamame Dip

This spicy dip gets its addictive flavor from Sriracha, ginger, and soy sauce.

5) Salt-Free Tortilla Chips

Chipotle seasoning adds flavor to these baked chips without upping the sodium.

6) Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

This dip is rich in fiber and potassium and tastes great on chips, crackers, or—even better—raw veggies.

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 01/31/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
From fennel pizza to kale pesto, eat your favorite comfort foods without the guilt. By Melissa Romero
Healthy, cleansing foods aren’t only found in salads. Add artichoke to this tasty dip or kale to your pasta to create satisfying, detoxifyng meals. Photograph by Ali Eaves.

Earlier this month we shared five foods that help cleanse our bodies naturally. Now, here are eight delicious dishes that incorporate those cleansing veggies into your meal plan. Think beyond salads—from pizza to soup, there’s something here for every occasion.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 01/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The classic dish gets a more nutritious update. By Melissa Romero
This meatloaf recipe swaps out fatty ground beef for turkey and provides extra nutrients with oats and veggies. Photographs by Melissa Romero.

Meatloaf is a classic comfort food. It’s simple, hearty, and—since its main ingredients are ground beef and bread—not exactly healthy.

That’s why we’re big fans of this updated recipe, which replaces the beef with ground turkey and Italian turkey sausage, and adds oats and veggies for way more fiber and nutrients than the traditional recipe.

If the thought of oats in your meatloaf sounds downright odd, don’t worry—you and your dinner guests won’t even know the difference.

Serves: 8

Nutrition per serving: 403 calories, 8.2 grams fat, 723 milligrams sodium, 26 grams carbohydrates, 3.9 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 18 grams protein.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey
1 pound spicy or sweet Italian turkey sausage (remove from casing)
1½ cups oats
1½ cups grated carrots
1½ cups chopped bell pepper (yellow, orange, red, or green)
1½ cups chopped onion
1 cup milk
1 jar tomato sauce
2 eggs
2 tablespoons parsley
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions:

1) Sauté pepper and onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft.

2) Meanwhile, mix ground turkey and sausage in a large bowl. Add oats, ground pepper, and parsley.

3) Add cooked pepper and onion and grated carrots. Add two beaten eggs and milk, then one cup of tomato sauce.

4) Move mixture to an oiled casserole dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour to allow ingredients to set.

5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split mixture between two 9-by-4-inch loaf pans. Cover loaves with tomato sauce and lightly score the top in diamonds. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese if desired. Pour at least one cup of water around the loaf to keep in moisture while baking.

6) Bake uncovered for one hour. Add more water during baking if loaf appears dry.

7) Let cool slightly, then slice and top with additional tomato sauce.

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 01/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Time to bust out the juicer and detox. By Melissa Romero
These easy juicing recipes allow you to make delicious juices in the comfort of your own home. Photographs by Gena Hamshaw, Sweetgreen’s Facebook page, Alicia Sokol, Nour Zibdeh, and Elise Museles.

Overdo it on the holiday cookies and cocktails this season? Yeah, us too. Now that juice cleanse doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. 

But buying a juice cleanse may not be an option for our lighter wallets at the moment. So we rounded up five super simple juice recipes whipped together by local nutrition experts that you can make in the comfort of your own home. Instead of reaching for those holiday leftovers to snack on, gulp down some healthy veggies and fruits instead. 

1. Blueberry Basil Lemonade Recipe
You don’t need a juicer to make this Sweetgreen lemonade. Even though it’s not blueberry season, you can stock up on the antioxidant-rich fruit in the frozen section of the grocery store.

2. Choosing Raw’s Festive Sweet Potato Vegetable Juice 
Gena Hamshaw’s juice is rich in vitamins C and A, thanks to the sweet potato, red bell pepper, and carrots. 

Read More

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 01/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
They make the perfect appetizer for two. By Melissa Romero
This healthy appetizer comes stocked with nutrients such as vitamin A, and makes for a sweet treat for two during the holidays. Photographs by Melissa Romero.

We may be well past fall, but there's still time to stock up on crisp apples and sweet potatoes during the holidays. We whipped together a super simple recipe that makes use of that delicious produce before they go out of season. 

All it requires is one tater and one apple—plus a little bit of playing with your food to make the final tasty treat. 

Serves 2
Nutrition per serving: 290 calories, 12 grams fat (7.3 saturated), 12.7 milligrams sodium, 261. 7 milligrams potassium, 48 grams carbohydrates, 1.6 grams protein. 

Ingredients: 
1 large sweet potato
1 large apple, cored
Honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Slice sweet potato into skinny slices using a mandolin or knife. 

3. Slice apple the same way. 

4. Coat a small casserole dish with cooking spray. Then, alternately line the sweet potato and apple slices side by side, with a slight overlap. 

5. Drizzle the slices with cinnamon and honey. Drop two tablespoons of butter into the dish. 

7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until slices are tender. 

8. Using a fork, carefully pile the slices to make two stacks. Drizzle with more honey and serve warm. 

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 12/20/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()