By Guest Blogger Eva Rodriguez-Marienchild
Eva is a health and spirituality communicator: an author, editor, translator, poet, artist and teacher. Eva’s specialty is helping folks on the cusp of life-affirming choices. At BeHappyMum, she is helping new moms to design their diverse new lives alongside our apps FitMama and PlayMama; to discover quick, delicious and healthy natural recipes. Eva imparts positive information via voice-overs and in print in both English and in Spanish. (Her books are available under Eva R.-Marienchild.)
Salads are cool, scrumptious and filling!
There is nothing more refreshing than a well-prepared, nicely tossed salad with fresh herbs and spices.
Its many layers of complementary, succulent, healthy fruits and veggies – or, at times, of pasta – cleanse the palate and create anticipation for the main course – or to keep you going if your baby or kids are keeping you busy!
Speaking of succulent salads, let’s start with:
- Goat cheese – 4 oz.
- Watermelon slices – 2 oz.
- Olive oil – Extra Virgin – 3 tablespoons
- Balsamic vinegar – 2 tablespoons
- Sea salt – ½ teaspoon
- Arugula greens – 5 oz or 2 to 3 cups
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Cut goat cheese and watermelon into bite-sized pieces.
- Slice tomatoes.
- Slice onion – about 1/2 cup full.
- Mix oil and vinegar. Set aside.
- Arrange greens, onions, and tomatoes in a salad bowl.
- Add vinaigrette to greens; toss. Sprinkle goat cheese and melon.
- Add sea salt to taste.
This dish can be popped in the fridge for a few hours beforehand, but is a quick fix!
Whole wheat or spinach noodles -(Soba noodles may also be used.)
- Olive oil – Extra Virgin – ¼ cup
- Natural peanut butter* – creamy or chunky – ¼ cup
- Hot water – 1/2 cup
- Garlic powder
- Shoyu or tamari sauce
- Apple cider vinegar – ¼ cup
- Cayenne pepper
- Baby spinach
- Cook noodles until done. (Stir while cooking to keep noodles from clumping together.) Rinse under cool water. Transfer to large bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
- Mix liquids, olive oil and the rest of the ingredients, except for the fresh herbs and vegetables, in a bowl. Add spices to taste. Pour over noodles. Important: chill dish yet again. Even half-an-hour of fridge time will help the ingredients meld together nicely, and enhance the peanuty taste.
- After a few hours, remove dish from refrigerator and garnish with scallions, sliced cucumbers and spinach leaves.
Health Notes: *Let’s re-frame our favorite sandwich-as-a-kid- food. It’s NOT just for kids and it’s not necessarily fattening. Peanut Butter will actually help you lose weight. You’re not going to be eating spoonful after spoonful (which wouldn’t be healthy), but you ARE going to get fiber and protein. For the 180 to 210 calories per serving, you’re getting 2 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. As for vitamins, peanut butter is no lightweight. It’s packed with magnesium, potassium, the antioxidant vitamin E, and vitamin B6 (which boosts your immune system.)
Eating about 2 tablespoons 5 days a week can actually lower your change of getting diabetes…and peanut butter helps decrease your chance of getting heart disease. We keep talking about belly fat (keeping it off, that is), so let’s go there again.
Eating peanuts reduces belly fat, as it’s high in monounsaturated fats. A study showed that insulin-resistant folks who consumed more monounsaturated fats had markedly less belly fat than those who didn’t.
A word of caution – no need to opt for the reduced-fat peanut butter. The ingredients and calories are about the same. If anything, the reduced fat variety increases your sugar intake, as these varieties load up on sugar…not a good idea.
Now go munch…and remember…think positively new Moms!