green beans vinaigrette with blue cheese

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

Let’s ring in 2015 with something green, shall we?

It’s a total cliché, I know. But December wasn’t all cookies and egg nog either – things were actually quite healthy around here. Waldorf Salad, Veggies with a Charred Onion Dip, Blueberry Baked Oatmeal and not a single cookie or candy insight! (Well, I was eating them but not making them.)

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

It’s no secret that I love green beans. (Always haricot verts actually, and there is a difference, albeit small.) Richie gets sick of them because week after week, I prepare them in the same exact way: lightly steamed, finished in a pan with a touch of (usually) butter, garlic salt (YES, the stuff that comes in a big green bottle) and red pepper flakes. On the nights that he makes them, they’re always much better! His secret?

Skipping the garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Butter, salt and pepper. That’s it.

Green Bean Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

But this idea for green beans basically fell into my lap (it was on the back of the package) and since I’ve been loving the blue cheese + nut +vinaigrette combo lately I had to make it immediately. I need a life – I know!

It couldn’t be easier to make. Steam the green beans, whip up the vinaigrette (which honestly, is something I think you should always have around) and toss everything together. Dinner vegetables get an upgrade!

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

 

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup toasted and chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Lightly steam green beans. (I microwave mine!)
  2. While the beans are cooking, whisk together shallot, mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper.
  3. Toss green beans with about ¼ cup of dressing. (You'll have extra dressing.)
  4. Top with blue cheese and chopped nuts.
  5. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

 

waldorf salad

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

I love this time of year. The lights, the cheer – everyone seems so happy! And I can’t forget the constant stream of sweet treats. I don’t know about your office, but between the gift sweets and homemade sweets, it’s hard to stay away from the kitchen. And then there’s my own kitchen…which has seen its own constant stream of sweet treats lately. Dessert > Wine. (Only while pregnant.)

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But with all of the extra treats, it’s also a time of year when cutting back elsewhere needs to happen. Cookies > Other Carbs.

It’s not something that I actively keep track of, or even stress out about, but I make sure that salads are a staple for lunch and dinners are built around protein and vegetables. For me, it feels easy (and honestly, salads at lunch are the norm) but painless. I still get to enjoy the treats and while I’ll be gaining weight this year no matter what, at a minimum, I can feel good about fitting in some nutritious foods into each day.

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But it’s not the time to cut-back too much – meals still need to be filling! This salad, though pretty light in calories, still packs a protein and fiber punch, and it will keep you satisfied until your cookie snack! :)

Need more convincing? This salad is:

  • high in protein (32 grams!)
  • full of fresh produce (crunchy romaine and celery + sweet apples!)
  • healthy fats from almonds
  • light and tasty yogurt-based dressing

Enjoy every cookie. And every salad!

Waldorf Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-lb chicken breasts
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through.
  2. Let cool and thinly slice. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, yogurt and mayonnaise.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
  5. Layer lettuce, celery, chicken, apples and almonds on each plate.
  6. Drizzle with dressing.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 19 grams Sugar: 12 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 32 grams

How do you balance things this time of year?  

charred triple-onion dip with crudités

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

You know what every holiday party needs? A beautiful platter of vegetables served alongside a delicious dip.

But not just any ranch dip served with baby carrots. Oh. No.

A dip full-of-flavor and vegetables that are anything but expected. Like where I’m going here?

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

I took three types of onions: green, leeks and shallots. I charred them in the broiler. And then I turned them into a delicious dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Instead of serving it with the usual carrots, celery and pepper strips, I served it with baby boiled potatoes, mini romaine leaves, roasted brussels sprouts and fresh carrots with tops. (Technically speaking, crudités are raw vegetables, but there’s no need to get technical today.)

It was a welcome change. Other unexpected crudité ideas: roasted cauliflower or winter squash slices, thinly sliced beets or fennel, lightly steamed broccolini or haricot verts and any baby lettuce that’s sturdy enough to stand up to a dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

If you are trying to eat more vegetables (who isn’t!?) try this dip. It’s reminiscent of the classic onion dip, but it’s made from real onions (not dehydrated ones) and the flavor will have you grabbing for vegetables like you never thought was possible!

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités
 
Author:
Serves: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 small leeks, cleaned and cut lengthwise
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 small bunch of green onions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • few drops of worcestershire
  • salt & pepper
  • crudités for serving
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat broiler.
  2. Drizzle leeks, shallots and onions with olive oil.
  3. Broil for about 10 minutes, until slightly charred.
  4. Let cool a bit and chop all onions, removing roots of green onion.
  5. Stir together remaining ingredients and let chill for at least two hours before serving.

 

slow cooker paella

slowcookerpaella6softlight

Is this week over yet? Between having my parents in town (SO fun!), some big projects at work, a work trip to New York this weekend AND looking for someplace to live, I’m ready to collapse.

Which is precisely the time to bring out the slow cooker. (Or, actually collapse…which might happen.) So let’s pull out the slow cooker, slow things down a bit and enjoy a nice, easy dinner. And please drink some wine for me. At minimum, a glass – preferably more.

Paella. In. The. Slow. Cooker.

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

This isn’t really authentic paella. It’s more like the paella for those of us who don’t have a paella pan. And don’t really have the time to spend an hour and a half on dinner. And don’t really have the money for dinners that include not only chicken and chorizo, but clams, shrimp and lobster tails.

I like to think of us as normal people. Real people. And people who sometimes need to collapse. :)

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.comThis slow cooker paella takes a half hour of prep work and two hours in the slow cooker. (And NO clams or lobster tails!)

And after it’s finished in the slow cooker, and you’re ready to eat, you must promise me three things:

  1. You’ll squeeze some fresh lemon over each plate
  2. You’ll sprinkle fresh parsley over each plate
  3. You’ll season (each plate) with some (hopefully high-quality) salt if it needs it

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

Slow Cooker Paella
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ lb (skinless, boneless) chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups short-grain rice (I used arborio)
  • 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 oz cured chorizo, roughly chopped (I found this in the packaged deli meat section)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of saffron
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped parsley for serving
  • lemon wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pan.
  2. Add chicken and sprinkle with half of paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Transfer chicken to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add rice to pan and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to slow cooker.
  6. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Cook on high for 2 hours, until rice is soft.
  8. Stir in peas and let sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with parsley and lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 467 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 58 grams Sugar: 8 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 27 grams Cholesterol: 81 milligrams