Monday, January 20, 2020

Easy Greek Vegetarian Bowl

I'm really into Greek/Mediterranean food lately, and luckily, more of these types of restaurants are popping up all over. As far as eating out or getting takeout, Greek is the way to go. Greek salads are one of the better salads to order at restaurants since you actually do get some decent vegetables and not (m)any "bad" toppings. Nova Grill in Villanova is great because they even have salmon on their menu and whole wheat pitas. The Simple Greek in Wayne also has a lot of veggie options and whole wheat pitas to choose from. New Wayne Pizza in downtown Wayne has some Greek offerings as well, but I just like them because they have plentiful salad options.

Anyway, after having bought several Greek salads when eating out the past few months, I decided I should just buy these key ingredients to keep on hand. This led me to experiment and come up with new recipes. I have found one of my laziest meals, or for days I don't "have time" to make an omelet for lunch, is this Mediterranean bowl below. This bowl is full of veggies and protein, and is a good hit of fiber. It's quick, it's cheap, it's easy, and it's nutritious:

Kelly's Simple Greek Mediterranean Bowl
1/2 cup chickpeas, washed and drained
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese (like Nancy's or Daisy Brand)
5 Kalamata Olives
2 tbsp Feta cheese
>2 cups vegetables (raw for salad, cooked for warm bowl)- I like spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, or whatever I have around

Optional toppings: lemon juice, balsamic glaze, sun dried tomatoes, parsley

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. For a salad, eat as is.
2. If you are feeling cold and want a warm bowl- heat in microwave or on pan on top of stove until the cottage cheese melts.


Nutrition facts: The analysis was done using Diet Master Pro software based on 1 c cooked + 1.25 c raw vegetables + 1 tsp balsamic glaze as an optional topping. The sodium can be lowered by using a no/low sodium cottage cheese.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

My Healthy Pick at: Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA

It's been a long time since I last blogged, so I thought I was due for a "Healthy Pick" to help my local readers navigate food choices in the area. This healthy pick I've been meaning to write about for months (I am now 9 months pregnant, so obviously have not eaten this meal in the past 9 months due pregnancy rules and the tuna being partially raw). But, back in my non-pregger days, I would get this dish quite often. It's filling, delicious, and healthy!

What is it? It's the Teresa's Next Door Tuna Burger. All of their burgers are served with a mixed green salad, which I give high praise. The waiter/waitress will always give you the option of adding pommes frites, but be careful because that is a lot of extra calories and an extra cost! I recommend you eat the tuna burger with the salad and go sans bun (it is buttery and delicious, but refined grain + butter= bad for health). If you want to doll up the burger, you can add any assortment of toppings from avocado to portabella mushroom.

Teresa's Next Door Tuna Burger & Mixed Greens salad
I highly recommend this burger if you are into seared tuna and want to eat something healthy at Teresa's... since finding a healthy dish takes some work in these types of establishments. Be sure to drink your water and try to skip some of the heavier beers. Remember, my general rule of thumb is the higher the ABV= higher the calories. Teresa's is always a good time and one of my favorite local joints (even when pregnant!), so I know from experience you don't need to overindulge in the food or alcohol to have a good time. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Recipe: Turkey & Quinoa Halupki (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves)

Growing up in a family that is part Eastern European (Ukrainian & Hungarian), I have been lucky to have become exposed to some of the foods traditional to that area of the world. This past Easter as my relatives were eating Paska (Easter Bread), my aunt brought up Halupki, which is traditionally cabbage stuffed with ground beef/pork and rice, and topped with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. It is also known as Gołąbki in Polish. I haven't had Halupki in years, but I remember that I liked it, mainly because I am a big fan of cabbage and this is a tasty and unique meal. So, this inspired me to come up with my own recipe that is somewhat healthier by cutting out the red meat and rice, and replacing with ground turkey and quinoa. I realized that this is actually a very well balanced meal since it has the vegetable (cabbage), protein (turkey), and grain (quinoa). While I can't say that my grandparents would approve of this recipe modification if they were still alive today, I would think they'd be proud that I am at least still interested in cooking somewhat in a traditional way. This recipe makes several Halupki, which is great for meal prepping for the week and an easy thing to heat up for lunch the next day. Enjoy!
Cooked Halupki


1 small head of cabbage (or half of a very large head)
water to cover
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar

1.      Place the cabbage in a large pot with enough water to cover.
2.      Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the water and cabbage.
3.      Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn cabbage every few minutes and remove leaves that separate from cabbage and place in a strainer to cool. Boil until all the large leaves pull off and middle is somewhat soft.
4.      Reserve 10 fl oz. of cabbage water.
5.      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6.      Cut off the tough stem of each cabbage leaf.
7.      In a large bowl thoroughly mix together, ground turkey, quinoa, chopped onion, parsley, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Turkey Onion mixture

8.      Lightly pack a small amount of turkey quinoa mixture and place in the center of the cabbage leaf.
9.      Roll the cabbage leaves with filling like a burrito, making sure the sides are closed tight.
10.  Cut the leftover cabbage parts from the pot into pieces and place into the bottom of a roasting pan.
11.  Layer the stuffed cabbage rolls over the chopped cabbage parts in the roasting pan.
12.  In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce, reserved cabbage water, white vinegar, and white sugar.
13.  Pour the tomato vinegar sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls.
Halupki before cooking

14.  Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil.
15.  Bake in preheated oven until the turkey mixture is no longer pink in the center, about 2 hours. Baste stuffed cabbage rolls every 30-60 minutes to keep moist.
16.  If rolls are not browned, broil on high for 2 minutes.

Nutrition determined by DietMaster Pro software