Fresh Recipe: Grilled Vegetables with Basil and Pea Puree

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 9:32 AM comments (0)

basilDo you have a garden in the backyard or a few herbs growing in pots on your patio or balcony? Are you looking for healthy recipes that will put the delicious flavors of your harvest at the forefront of every meal? If basil happens to be one of your summer crops this year, you’re in luck.

Katrina Herrejon, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator, Adult Endocrinology Group, shares a vegetarian-friendly recipe that makes basil a star:

Recipe makes 5 servings

For the puree: 
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2c pine nuts
3/4c basil, chopped
1 1/4c frozen peas
1/4c olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 

For the grilled vegetables:
5 large (1/2” thick) tomato slices
5 medium portabella mushroom caps
5 medium (1/4” thick) jicama slices
2 tbsp of your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

5 basil leaves


To prepare the puree: 

  • Place the garlic cloves, pine nuts, and basil in a food processor and blend until finely chopped.
  • Heat frozen peas according to the package instructions.
  • Add peas to the food processor and blend.  While blending slowly add the olive oil until the mixture becomes creamy.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and blend.

 To grill the vegetables:

  • Heat grill to medium/high heat.
  • Brush the vegetables with the salad dressing and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place jicama and mushroom caps on the grill and cook until tender (approximately 5-7 minutes on each side).
  • Place tomatoes slices on grill and only cook until grill marks appear (approximately 1-2 minutes on each side). 

To assemble dish:

  • Place one slice of grilled jicama on each plate.
  • Spoon 1 tbsp of the puree onto the jicama.
  • Layer with 1 slice of grilled tomato.
  • Spoon 1 tbsp of the puree onto the tomato.
  • Layer with 1 portabella mushroom cap.
  • Top with 1 tbsp of puree and garnish with a basil leaf. 
  • Serve immediately while puree and vegetables are warm.

Nutrition Information (per serving) : 

Calories: 255
Fat: 19.5g
Carb: 15
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 5g

Do you have a favorite recipe that includes fresh basil as an ingredient? 


Best and Healthiest Meal Choices – Know the Do’s and Don’ts

Thursday, August 02, 2012 9:05 AM comments (0)

Healthy-MealJust as athletes need to properly stretch and hydrate before and after a workout or event, they also need to be making smart meal choices. What you eat—regardless if you are an athlete or not—will greatly impact your health.

It can often be hard to determine which foods are best, especially with the myriad of options available at most grocery stores. A good place to start is learning how to make smart nutritional choices when it comes to fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

Michael Rakotz, MD, Family Medicine physician at Northshore, gives advice on the best meal choices for both athletes and non-athletes alike:

  • Focus on eating “good” fats. These include vegetable oil, olive oil and foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (such as seeds, nuts and fish).
  • Avoid transfats and limit your consumption of saturated fats.
    o    Transfats (think commercially baked goods) can be deadly. Try to avoid anything that says “partially hydrogenated” on the label. Make smarter pit stops – skip the fast food whenever possible.
    o    Saturated fats should be consumed on a limited basis. These include fatty cuts of red meat, pork (bacon) and whole fat dairy products (whole milk, yogurt and cheese). Choose leaner cuts of beef and pork, and if possible, eat meat and eggs from cows and hens that are grass fed.
  • Skip the white, choose whole wheat. Selecting the most enriched carbohydrates can be confusing. It’s always better to choose a whole grain bread (whole wheat, whole oat or whole rye should be the first ingredient); you’ll get more fiber and less of a rise in blood sugar. Processed white bread provides very little nutritional value and contains higher amounts of sugar. It’s best to choose whole wheat over white; this applies to rice (brown is better than white), pasta and most baked goods. Choose sweet potatoes over white potatoes, and make sure to eat the skin (which contains much of the fiber).
  • Pass on any sweetened drinks (made with either sugar or high fructose corn syrup).  In moderation, natural sugars (like those that come from fruit) are best. Check labels carefully and try to limit the grams of sugar in anything you buy.
  • Eat nuts in moderation. A handful a day is a good serving size since nuts are very high in calories. Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber and good fat. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, those who eat a handful of nuts a day lower their risk of heart disease. Some good options include: almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts.
  • Make smart protein choices. Eat lean meat, pork and poultry. Eat fish twice a week and limit you consumption of red meats to no more than two times per week.

What smart meal choices do you make to maintain your health?

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