Tag Archives: healthy

Quinoa, Corn,Spinach, & Sundried Tomato Stuffed Artichokes

quinoa stuffed artichokesOne of my favorite ways to enjoy the true flavor of artichokes is to just steam them and dip the leaves indulgently into melted butter with an added  squeeze of lemon–perfection. Stuffing artichokes  with buttery breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs is pretty hard to beat too. While both of these options are delicious, they aren’t exactly what you would categorize with  #light ,  #healthy , #SummerBeachBody tags.

quinoa stuffed artichokesThe  artichokes I’m sharing here today however, are something you can feel great about eating. They are low in fat, calories, and packed with a protein boost from the quinoa.

This recipe came together one afternoon when I was trying to figure out what I was going to make for dinner with the stuff I had on hand. Quinoa (ready in 15 minutes) has become kind of my go-to backdrop on these kinds of days, where often times I throw together a saute of whatever vegetables are in the fridge and toss it together with a few herbs or chiles.

On this particular day,  I spotted the artichokes and decided my usual saute would make a really nice filling. Why not? —-Dinner was saved and we all loved the artichokes. I hope you will too!

quinoa stuffed artichokes

Quinoa, Corn,Spinach, & Sundried Tomato Stuffed Artichokes
Serves: 4
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ finely chopped shallots
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes (oil packed--drained)
  • Kernels from 2 ears fresh corn
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto (good quality jarred or homemade)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 large artichokes, stems trimmed, thorns trimmed from leaves
  1. Heat water to boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer 1 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and sundried tomatoes; cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add corn and spinach, cooking an additional 2 minutes, until spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa to bowl with shallot mixture. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and pesto to bowl; toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Using a spoon, stuff about 1 teaspoon of filling into the bottom of
  4. each artichoke leaf. Place artichokes in a vegetable steamer or into a large pan with a steamer basket insert and steam artichokes 45-50 minutes or until artichoke leaves release easily when pulled.



Mother’s Day Oven Baked French Toast: A Recipe Your Kids Can Make

When Virigina This Morning asked me to do a cooking segment for Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted to demonstrate a quick, easy recipe that kids of all ages could make themselves, or with a little help from their dad.

I talked with some of my friends, and sent out some tweets asking what they would like their child (or children) to make them on Mother’s Day. Given the choice of breakfast, dinner, or a special cake, breakfast won by a landslide. One person voted for a Mojito, but that wasn’t in my line up, and I don’t think it would go over very well on TV…maybe dad can take care of that one.

So breakfast it is!

I have a recipe for baked french toast (caserole style), which I have lightened up, replacing cream for low fat milk, and using a combination of eggs and egg whites. I am also using a whole grain or whole wheat bread in the recipe. In this case, I used protein packed quinoa bread that I picked up from Whole Foods. Add toasted almonds and fresh berries and you are letting mom know she is very special to you, and you are going to show her by making her a healthy, delicious breakfast.

Want to know something even better about this baked  french toast? It is assembled the night before and popped in the oven on Mother’s Day morning.

The aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg will fill your house, and the accomplished smiles on your child’s (children’s) face(s) as you take your first bite, will fill your heart. To me, that’s what being a mom is all about.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there!

Here is the cooking segment clip from the show, as well as the recipe for you to print and pass along to the little cooks in your home.

1 whole-wheat baguette (13-16 ounces) – cut into 1-inch cubes

8 large eggs

8 large egg whites

2 cups lowfat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup toasted sliced almonds

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blackberries

1 cup strawberries

Spray a 9×13 baking pan  with cooking spray.

Place the bread cubes in a single layer in the baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and egg whites with the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the bread in the pan. Sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (at least 4 hours).

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Spoon onto plates and top with fresh berries.

6 servings