Friday, March 29, 2013

Foodie Friday: Creamy Avocado Sauce

Creamy Avocado Sauce - Copyright 2013 - Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RD, CSSD - Go Wellness
If there is one food I love above most others, it has to be the avocado.  I love it so much so that I will often order a dish in restaurants almost solely because there's avocado in it.  It's just that appetizing to me.  In the not-so-distant past, people feared avocados because they feared the fat contained within them. However, the fat in avocados is nothing to worry about as avocados are rich in health-supportive monounsaturated fats that help lower the body's cholesterol levels.  Avocados also contain phytosterols, which offer anti-inflammatory properties.  One of those phytosterols, beta-sitosterol, also promotes heart health by helping to lower cholesterol.  They're also chock full of a host of carotenoids, including lutein, which promotes eye health.  Finally, avocados are loaded with a variety of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins K, C, B5, and B6, folate, and potassium.  

Creamy Avocado Sauce - Copyright 2013
Michelle Loy, MPH,  MS, RD, CSSD - Go Wellness

I'd seen this creamy avocado sauce floating around on Pinterest, and I just knew I needed to try it.  My son is sensitive to cow's milk, so this is a perfect alternative for a creamy pasta sauce.  The flavor reminds me a bit of pesto with the addition of basil, so if you enjoy pesto, you may fall in love with this, too.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!  Enjoy!

Creamy Avocado Sauce - Copyright 2013
Michelle Loy, MPH,  MS, RD, CSSD - Go Wellness
Creamy Avocado Sauce

4 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon 
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe avocados, pitted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c fresh basil (or ~2 Tbsp dried basil)
Zest of 1 lemon (for garnish)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

1.  Place all ingredients except the lemon zest and black pepper into the food processor and process until creamy and smooth.  Toss the sauce with cooked pasta.  (Whole wheat spaghetti pasta is pictured, but this could be tossed with other pastas as well as zucchini ribbons.)  Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper as desired.  Enjoy immediately!

Creamy Avocado Sauce Tossed with Whole Wheat Pasta - Copyright 2013
Michelle Loy, MPH,  MS, RD, CSSD - Go Wellness
Serves: 4
Nutritional Information: (for sauce only)
Calories:  270   Carbohydrate:  15 g   Protein:  3 g   Fat:  24 g   Cholesterol:  0 mg   Fiber:  2.5 g   Sugar:  1 g (natural)  Sodium:  304 mg   
Excellent source of:  vitamins B6, C, and E
Good source of:  omega 3 fatty acid, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A, potassium, and zinc    
Adapted from:  Oh She Glows,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Foodie Friday: Healthy Shamrock Shake

Healthy Shamrock Shake - Copyright 2013 - Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RD, CSSD - Go Wellness
Happy St. Patrick's Day!  My family has been getting into the spirit with a few festive crafts, but something that I wanted to tackle myself was a healthier version of the Shamrock Shake that I've heard so much about.  I have to admit that I've never actually tasted THE Shamrock Shake, but I think that's a good thing! My taste buds won't be tainted.  I will admit that I tried three different recipes before finally getting it right with this version.  This has also passed the kid-friendly and husband-friendly tests, too!  I was a bit skeptical of the mint flavor as I'm not a huge fan of mint, but I really find it refreshing.  Try it and let me know what you think.      Slainte!

Healthy Shamrock Shake

1/2 c coconut milk (canned)
Juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (You may want to add more or less depending on your taste. You could also use 2 Tbsp of fresh mint.)
1 c kale (about 2 leaves, stems removed;  You could use other greens, such as spinach, too.)
2 c fresh or frozen, unsweetened pineapple chunks (If using frozen pineapple, you may want to add a few extra tablespoons of water to thin out the shake a bit.)
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
*3 ice cubes, if using fresh fruit only

1.  Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Servings:  2
Nutritional Information:
Calories:  207  Carbohydrate:  39 g   Protein:  3 g   Fat:  7 g   Cholesterol:  0 mg   Saturated fat:  5 g   Fiber:  4 g   Sugar:  23 g (natural from the fruit)   Sodium:  20 mg 
Excellent source of:  Vitamin C, B6, A
Good source of:  thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, and potassium
Adapted from:   

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