In the Kitchen with Keri: Cooking with Spring Veggies

 

cooking with spring veggiesWe share heaps of healthy information on Nutritious Life’s blog every day, but “In the Kitchen with Keri” is your chance to spend some quality time with the wonder woman behind it all, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. It’s where she invites you into her space to share the ingredients she’s currently obsessed with, recipes she can’t get enough of, and other tips and tricks learned over many years of life as an always-ahead-of-the-curve nutritionist and wellness expert.


There’s nothing like the taste of fresh spring vegetables after a long, cold winter (unless you live in Los Angeles, in which case…we’re super jealous!).

I mean, I seriously love nutrient-dense, versatile sweet potatoes or a really good creamy butternut squash soup. But when the sun starts shining and the flowers are blooming, you just want lighter, brighter flavors and textures on your plate.

Eating in sync with the season literally does put a spring in your step (pun intended!). It’s also great for the environment, and Earth Day is fast approaching.

Here’s how I’m currently cooking with spring veggies.

cooking with spring veggies

Cooking with Spring Veggies

First, a top farmers’ market find: artichokes. They’re filled with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that are great for both your overall health and glowing skin (which is important as temps rise and you start to show a little more). I’ve been a big fan of their benefits for a long time—so much so that they were a daily part of my O2 Diet four-day cleanse. And while artichokes are fresh during spring, you can eat them all year long by using canned or frozen. I drizzle them with olive oil and roast them to get them just a little bit crispy.

RECIPE: Roasted Artichoke Hearts

cooking with spring veggies

The perfect meal?

Serve them alongside a piece of omega-3-rich salmon seared or broiled and served on a bed of arugula. The nutritious green is super zesty and flavorful when its first leaves sprout in spring.

RECIPE: Broiled Salmon

Another way to easily enjoy fresh produce? Make a grain bowl!

cooking with spring veggies

“Bowls” are all over Instagram for a reason—they’re simple to put together and you can basically throw in whichever grains and veggies you have on hand.

For this bowl I made recently, I made farro—an ancient grain filled with fiber—as the base. (Okay, you got me! I didn’t have the perfect sized bowl, so this time I put it on a plate—but it shows you how simple it is to improvise, right?)

Then, I sauteed fresh asparagus and mushrooms in a pan with olive oil until slightly crispy, and threw those on top of the grains with raw sliced radishes. I love mixing it up with cooked and raw veggies. I topped it off with a soft-boiled egg for extra protein.

Asparagus, by the way, is the perfect anti-bloating food, since it contains compounds that aid digestion by acting like probiotics. (Again, perfect for crop-top weather!)

cooking with spring veggies

And radishes are a great source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and immune-system strengthener. I also love them for snacking, as part of a crudite platter to dip in guac or hummus.

RECIPE: Pesto Hummus Dip

See you at the farmers’ market, soon?

The Easiest, Healthiest, Homemade Fathers Day Dinner

Father’s day is coming up and I can’t wait to celebrate the Dads I know and love. I always feel warm and fuzzy when I catch a man in a moment of parenting.

I turn to mush every time I see a father cut his child’s food or handle a scraped knee with the kind of empathy only a Dad could give.

Tempting as it is to succumb to honoring dad with a 1950’s style Father’s Day, this year I want you to avoid buying the giant steak, 12 pack of beer, trough of potato salad and dad’s dream dessert.

You can bring back the “Father knows best” sentiment and honor him with a manly fathers day dinner that also shows you care about his health and plan to celebrate many more Father’s Days together.

We don’t like to discuss it, but as men age and their testosterone levels decrease; their risks of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer increases.

Diet and lifestyle plays a huge role in preventing dad from getting these cooties.

Play a round of golf with him, take a long walk or help him in the yard, and then make him a meal that is as good for him as it tastes.

Here’s what to make dad for a manly, healthy, delicious fathers day dinner:

heart and choke saladHearts of Palm and Artichoke Salad

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If you know me at all, you know I adore artichokes. They are full of antioxidants, are high in heart healthy and colon cleansing fiber, great for the liver, protective of the heart and improve digestion. Eat them. Hearts of Palm are also a fave of mine.  They’re full of iron and calcium and low in calories. 

 

 

roasted pork tenderloin

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

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Pork tenderloin is a super lean cut of meat that cooks simply and quickly and is reliably delicious. 

 

 

 

 

spicy potato salad

Spicy Potato Salad

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Red potatoes aren’t just an aesthetic whim for the nutritional artiste. They contain anthocyanins, pigments that act as antioxidants, which are great at fighting cancer.

 

 

 

creamed spinachCarefully Creamed Spinach

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Iron rich and full of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, what’s not to love when it comes to spinach?

 

 

 

 

spiked berries and creamSpiked Berries and Cream

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Lower in sugar than most fruits, full of antioxidants and fiber, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are a perfect way to finish a meal.

 

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there! I hope you enjoy your easy, healthy, manly Fathers Day Meal and feel well celebrated this year.

 

 

Is the Spiralizer the Healthy Gadget Your Kitchen Needs?

Nobody has ever accused me of being a tech genius, but I am a great appreciator of modern gizmos. When nouveau gadgets find their way into my kitchen, I am a happy cook, nutritionist, and mom. Which is why I’m still taking about the spiralizer.

I put it to use the day I got it and the next night…and the following three nights. When something’s this good, I share.

If you haven’t heard about it yet (not on Instagram much?), the spiralizer is an uber cool tool that turns your favorite veggies into pasta like julienned works of art. Even if you failed finger painting in kindergarten, you’ll be a master at food styling with a spiralizer in your hands.

RELATED: 5 Expert Instagram Tips for Gorgeous Healthy Food Photos

Why Use a Spiralizer?

Regular pasta is flat out nutrient poor. There aren’t many health benefits lurking in the processed flour, eggs, and water that make it up. Still, it’s delicious and eliminating it seems extreme.

Enter the un-pasta of your dreams. You can spiralize zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and jicama (or even apples, beets, or whatever your heart desires) to make nutrient-dense, yummy pasta-ish creations.

Carrot Spaghetti

When you turn your veggies into spaghetti-shaped eats, you get to keep all of the amazing nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. You can slurp ‘em down raw, pan sauteed, or steamed, and dress ‘em up with everything from pesto or marinara to Pad Thai or curry sauce. The recipes and ideas are only limited by your imagination (and we all have a little Jackson Pollock in us, right?).

RELATED: 7 Easy, Creative Smoothie Recipes to Shake Up Your Routine

spiralizer

How to Choose a Spiralizer

I did the homework for you. If you are a New Yorker, like me, go for the spiralizer that fits neatly in your utensil drawer, stays sharp forever, and washes easily in the dishwasher.

If you have counter space and are looking for more varied shapes, try the countertop version, which offers changeable blades that will unleash your inner food-artist.

I love this gadget as an omnivore, but if you are looking for a gift for your gluten-free, Paleo, or raw foodie friend, it’s a perfect tool, because the un-noodle is a perfect ingredient for any type of eater. Happy spiralizing!