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Healthy Recipes Revamped, by Leoncio Alvarez

July 24, 2014

SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 8

Welcome to Week 8 of Summer of Well-Being! This week our emphasis is on the well-being dimension of eating, and making sure we eat healthier. As we get older we tend to start eating better. Slowly, the days of quick Pop Tart breakfasts and Ramen dinners disappear and are replaced by early morning green smoothies and late-night buckwheat Soba noodles.

Today, in honor of the Summer of Well-Being, we have Leoncio Alvarez from Munch This!  who has revamped three of his recipes to make them more health-conscious. Try them out and let us know how they work for you!


Vegetable Spring Rolls

Fried empanadas are swapped out for baked vegetable spring rolls that you can make with whatever veggies on hand. I had some sweet potatoes and corn and added some black beans. If you have zucchini, or carrots that would work. Just because a recipe says you have to use something doesn’t mean you have to. You’re in charge of your kitchen!

Ingredients:Spring_Rolls2

  • 15 spring roll wrappers (can be found at your nearest Oriental market)
  • ½ yellow onion (peeled, diced, finely chopped)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced, chopped)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (peeled, diced, chopped)
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil

Step 1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sweet potato and cook for 12-15 minutes or until sweet potato is soft but not mashed. Reduce heat if needed.

Step 2. After cooking veggies for 5 minutes add curry powder, turmeric and coriander powder.

Step 3. After 10 minutes add corn and black beans and combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 4. Crack egg into a small bowl and add a 1 Tablespoon of water. Whisk and set aside.

Step 5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place 1 spring roll wrapper on a cutting board. Add 1 Tablespoon of veggie mixture to top edge. Create spring rolls using this video as guidance. Repeat with remaining spring roll wrappers. Any leftover vegetables could be stored and used as a side for another meal.

Step 6. Place prepared spring rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crispy.


Chicken Meatballs

Cuban-style ground beef can get tiring in Miami. Chicken meatballs are 98 percent fat free and taste just as great. The addition of steel-cut oats adds fiber and makes these meatballs plump up in the oven. When buying oats make sure you get steel-cut compared to rolled oats. Steel-cut should have no added sugar and are less in calories. Serve meatballs with a drizzle of soy and honey.

Chicken_Meatballs2Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 small onion (peeled, finely chopped)
  • ½ red pepper (finely chopped)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced, chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of nonfat milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped sage
  • 3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients in order in a large bowl and combine.

Step 2. Use an ice cream scooper to make meatballs and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink in the center. You can test by taking a meatball and cutting through it with a knife to see how it is in the center.

Try these out with ground turkey too! You can serve with your favorite sauce.


Brown Rice Coconut Pudding

Grandma’s rice pudding is decadently creamy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t add some healthy ingredients to make it even better. Coconut palm sugar is being recognized more and more as a substitute for white sugar.  The effects of carbohydrates on your blood sugar are measured by the glycemic index. Regular table sugar  ranks between 60 and 75, while coconut palm sugar is just 35 on the glycemic index. Your blood sugar level could spike depending on how high the glycemic index is for the food you’re intaking.

This pudding is not as sweet as grandma’s, but cranberries and toasted coconut and pumpkin seeds add a delightful sweet-and-salty crunch.

Ingredients:
Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 11.43.54 AM

  • 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ¼ cup of coconut palm sugar
  • 1 13 ½ oz can of lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups of almond milk or skim milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup of toasted coconut
  • ¼ cup of toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • ¼ cup of cranberries

Step 1. In a large pot over medium heat add lite coconut milk, 1 cup of almond or skim milk and brown rice. Heat until boiling. Bring down heat and stir every two minutes to make sure rice never sticks to the bottom.

Step 2. Add cinnamon, ginger, coconut palm sugar and vanilla. Keep stirring every two minutes for about an hour.

Step 3. Add remaining milk, lemon zest and cranberries and continue stirring rice. Cook for another hour never forgetting to stir, until rice is soft and pudding is creamy. If rice pudding gets too thick, add a few spoonfuls of milk. Top with toasted coconuts and pumpkin seeds Enjoy!

 

Try out these and more recipes from Munch This!


Mary P
 Leoncio Alvarez
Founder/Chief Editor of Munch This!
Leoncio Alvarez is a Miami native who loves to share his passion for food and cooking with others. He has been munching out on Munch This! since 2010, developing and starring in his own Youtube cooking show in 2013. He is a graduate of Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Website: MunchThis.net

 
 
 

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