Food Feature Friday: Lettuce

This week’s Food Feature Friday was inspired by something I’ve been getting a lot of in my CSA lately: lettuce! I’m not the biggest salad person, but there’s something to be said for perfectly fresh in-season lettuce. It’s crispy, crunchy, has a ton of flavor and is super hydrating!

Food Feature Friday: Lettuce // Naturally Lindsey

But did you know that lettuce is also really healthy? Now yes, I know, it’s not like you’d really ever think of lettuce as unhealthy but it’s actually quite the powerhouse, packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate. In addition, it’s a good source of fiber, potassium, and manganese. Who knew, right?

Needless to say, with all this lettuce coming around I’ve needed to find something to do with it. A girl can only eat so many salads (and lettuce wraps…) Though they were a bit tough to find, below are a few recipes I’ll be trying soon:

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Food Feature Friday: Broccoli

Happy Friday! Today’s post is about a vegetable I’ve always loved: broccoli. Yes, that’s right, I was never one of those kids who had to be told, “Eat your broccoli!” because I did so happily and willingly every time.

Broccoli

Yet another healthy cruciferous vegetable (the same family as cauliflower), broccoli is high in vitamins K, C, and A, and is a great source of chromium, folate, and fiber. It has many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and benefits your digestion, cardiovascular health, and vision. Broccoli is also a great food to eat while cleansing, as it contains phytonutrients that help the body detox. Better yet, its unique combination of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detox benefits make it the perfect food to include in your diet for cancer prevention . You can find out more about the health benefits of broccoli here.

Now on to the recipes…

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Food Feature Friday: Cacao

Happy Valentine’s Day! When I was trying to come up with this week’s post, I wanted to theme it around love. I don’t know about you, but when I think of love I think of chocolate! However, chocolate in it’s modern form is hardly chocolate at all. It has a whole bunch of ick in it, like corn syrup, hydrogenated soy bean oil, and GMOs. No thanks! So instead, I chose cacao.

Raw Cacao Beans

Cacao is, in essence, chocolate before it becomes chocolate. Virgin chocolate, if you will. And the best part? It has so many health benefits. Most people know that cacao is high in antioxidants that help remove free radicals and fight inflammation. But there’s so much more! Cacao is derived from Theobroma Cacao beans, which literally means “Food of the Gods” — how cool is that? According to Natural News, Cacao contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium, being an amazing source of the latter with 272 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. Talk about nutrient-dense! Plus, just one ounce of raw cacao has 9 grams of fiber, 36% your RDA. It’s also thought to have anti-cancer benefits, lowers insulin resistance, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and stimulates neurotransmitters in your brain to release a euphoric feeling when you eat it. So… do you want some chocolate?

Full disclosure: I must be sick in the head or something because I cannot have chocolate of any kind (including cacao) while I’m on this anti-candida diet. I’ve been all up on Instagram with the #glutenfree and #paleo hashtags looking at all the amazing stuff everyone is making for Valentine’s Day, I want it all! I cannot wait to shove some chocolate in my mouth once this thing is gone. No shame. All glory.

Now for this week’s recipes: Continue reading

Food Feature Friday: Cauliflower

If you can’t tell by now, I’m totally obsessed with cauliflower. It’s highly nutritious and incredibly versatile, and as a longtime fan of this cruciferous vegetable I’m so excited that it’s finally getting the attention it deserves! It can be used for savory recipes, sweet recipes, and can be made into healthy substitutes for everything from potatoes to pudding. I’ve used it in a number of ways, and recipes like this and this just prove how versatile cauliflower really is.

Food Feature Friday: Cauliflower // Naturally Lindsey

So here’s the deets: 1 cup of cauliflower contains 73% of the RDA for vitamin C. That’s seriously impressive. It’s also a very good source of manganese and contains high levels of antioxidants. Cauliflower helps your body fight inflammation in other ways, too, with vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, two important nutrients. Plus, it’s good for your digestive support system! Not only does cauliflower have 3 grams of fiber per cup, it contains a sulforaphane made from glucosinolate called glucoraphanin (say that 3 times fast) that’s thought to protect the lining of your stomach by preventing bacterial overgrowth. And while I tend to focus on a food’s nutritional content as opposed to its calorie content, it’s good to note that a cup of cauliflower contains only 23 calories! It’s also very low GI, so go ahead and gorge on this gorgeous veggie all you want.

Now on to the recipes!

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Food Feature Friday: Coconut

I’m constantly looking for recipes ideas, though I hardly ever follow one recipe to a T when I cook. Needless to say, I come across a lot of amazing ones (I have a whole email folder devoted to them!) that I never have a chance to make. Every Friday I’m going to feature 5 recipes from different blogs and sites based around a certain ingredient that I’m totally digging. Just think of it as a little bit of healthy food porn before you start your weekend.

This weeks recipes all feature coconut! Mildly sweet and slightly nutty (aren’t we all?) coconut contains essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, manganese, selenium and potassium, with the oil containing medium chain fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol, decrease abdominal obesity, enhance your immune system, and even protect against STDs – pretty impressive, right? It’s delicious and wholly nutritious, so try it out!

Munch and Chew: Pumpkin Coconut Quesadillas
You read that correctly. I stumbled across these babies today and knew right away they needed to be shared. These are vegetarian and gluten-free (with corn tortillas) and can be made vegan/dairy-free if you omit the cheese and sour cream. She also has a ton of other great recipes, so check it out!

The First Mess: Vegan Coconut, Almond + Quinoa Breakfast Cakes
These vegan breakfast cakes look like perhaps the best kind of pancake I’ve ever seen. They can be made gluten-free by using all-purpose GF flour. With healthy quinoa, bananas, cacao, and 3 different coconut-derived ingredients, your belly is going to be just as happy as your taste buds.

Food and Wine: Carrot-Ginger Soup with Coconut-Roasted Shrimp
Spring brings gorgeous aromatic bunches of carrots to the farmers markets here in Southern California, and this combination of the sweet carrots, spicy ginger, and tropical coconut shrimp  seems perfect for the transition from spring into summer.

Honest Cooking: Coconut Milk and Honey Pops
I could have included coconut milk ice cream, but I don’t have an ice cream maker so I included something a little easier– pops! This frozen treat uses three ingredients max and includes no added sugar!

This Chick Cooks: Chicken Bites Fried in Coconut Oil
If you’re like me, there’s a good chance you get a craving for some fried chicken every now and then. Frying with coconut oil is probably the healthiest (and tastiest) way to accomplish this (and they’re gluten- and dairy-free!)