Tag Archives: vegetables

Get it While it’s Hot: Cauliflower is THE Vegetable of 2014

A delicious new trend has been popping up everywhere lately, and I am all for it: Cauliflower is having a moment, sprouting up in all sorts of recipes and proving that it is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. (It’s a side! It’s a main dish! It’s probably even a dessert somewhere!)


Have you noticed this trend? We’ve been spotting cauliflower recipes all over the web and cauliflower dishes on restaurant menus, sort of like Brussels sprouts circa 2007.

So what are the best things to do with this hearty veggie, which is low in fat, but high in fiber, water, and vitamin C? I’m so glad you asked! With no further ado, the best cauliflower recipes to try out ASAP:

Mock Potato Salad
Like the mashed potato idea you may have heard of but with a summery twist! This recipe for “mock potato salad” is brilliant. There are no potatoes in this salad, but cauliflower instead. Everything else you will recognize from your favorite potato salad recipes: eggs, mayonnaise, celery, mustard, dill. Warm weather friendly!

Cauliflower Tater Tots
There is not a potato in sight in this phenomenally addictive recipe. Only (spoiler alert!) cauliflower! Served as a side dish or even the main course, the recipe calls for not much more than cauliflower, coconut oil, and seasoning. Yum. (more…)

Chef Secrets: 11 Kitchen Essentials for Easy Cooking and Healthy Eating


By Team Best Life

Some kitchen setups support weight loss efforts while others sabotage them. (The one pictured above looks like a good start to us!) Luckily it’s easy to make over a less-than-healthy cooking and baking space. If you have the right gadgets on your counters and fill your fridge and cabinets with the right foods your kitchen can be a weight loss haven, says Best Life chef Sidra Forman. Here are her 11 healthy kitchen essentials:

Must-Have Gadgets
1. A peeler
A good peeler opens up a whole world of fresh vegetables that might otherwise seem like a huge amount of labor to get through.

2. A salad spinner
Greens are low in calories and loaded with fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients, plant chemicals that protect against disease. A salad spinner makes it easier to incorporate them into your diet. Whether you’re cooking with them or creating a salad (like this tasty Peach Salad with Balsamic Dressing), you’ll want to start with clean and dry greens.

3. A roasting pan or heavy bottom skillet
Roasting is a cooking method that doesn’t require a ton of fat and brings out the flavors in all sorts of foods. If you do a lot of roasting, you’ll need a heavy bottom skillet. These allow you to cook over high heat—they distribute the heat nicely throughout the bottom of the pan—so food cooks properly without burning. A larger size pan is a good buy because you can use it for a lot of different foods. (more…)

The Secret Health Benefit of Cruciferous Veggies


By Team Best Life

All vegetables are good for you, but certain groups may pack a greater nutritional punch than others. Take cruciferous vegetables, the family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and more. They’re loaded with antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals, which offer protection against a number of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, according to research.

Now, experts say they may have figured out why these veggies are so beneficial: They seem to reduce inflammation, which plays a role in many of these diseases. In the study, people who ate the most cruciferous veggies had the lowest levels of three different inflammatory compounds—as much as 25 percent less—in their blood compared to those who ate the least cruciferous veggies. (more…)

The $3 Beef, Veggie, and Noodle Dinner: Backpacking Around the World and Still Eating Well on the Cheap

In the middle of March, I packed what I could carry on my back, headed to the airport, and took flight for New Zealand. I’ve never been out of the U.S. before; I could only hope I knew what I was in for. I’m not a wealthy trust fund baby, I’m not a young guy from Europe whose parents are funding a “gap year,” and I still have bills to pay back home. All that being said, traveling on the cheap was my primary objective. I stay in hostels, I use public transportation, and for the most part, I make my own food instead of eating out. The average meal here costs $12-14 NZD (that’s about $10 to $12 USD).


I’ve been in New Zealand for a few weeks now (flew out to Vietnam last night), and wanted to share with you one such quick, easy, and cheap meal many backpackers are familiar with. While the context here is eating cheap while traveling, you could do the same thing at home.

What You’ll Need:

  • Fantastic Noodles / Ramen Noodles / 2 Minute Noodles
  • Cubed beef / chicken / tofu chunks
  • Vegetables of your choice

I went with beef, broccoli, potato, carrots, and fresh green beans. Everything you see in the picture below cost about $12 NZD (about $9 USD), and is easily enough for three meals for one person. At $3 bucks each, you’ll be hard pressed to beat it, especially for a meal as filling as this.



6 Health Habits to Take Home from Japan


Recently I was  lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:



Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!


4 Easy Ways to Fight Cellulite at Home

I was perusing the internet recently when I came across something that has been haunting me lately: The C word. You all know it, and you all don’t love it. That’s right: cellulite. Everyone hates cellulite, and as I have gotten older, I have certainly grown to be just like everyone else. Cellulite may be natural, but it is the worst!

Here’s what it looks like up close. Basically, when your fat is pushed up against your skin, it sometimes presses through fibers in your tissue, giving it a wrinkled, dimply appearance. It’s the same fat as anywhere else on your body, but because of these fibers it looks totally different.


But there is good news! There are ways to combat cellulite, and it’s not just about exercise. 

AVOID: Alcohol, foods high in sugar, foods high in salt, fried foods, sugary alcohol beverages, and packaged snack foods. I hate to break it to you, guys, but these things that we already know are bad for us really, truly are bad for us. Especially in regards to cellulite. If you don’t want cellulite, don’t give in. (more…)

It’s Spinach Season: 5 Ways to Take this Green Beyond Salads

By Team Best Life

Sure, you could throw a bunch of spinach in a bowl, toss in some standard salad toppings, cover it all in dressing and call it a day. But why not find other more creative ways to use the green, which offers a number of health perks? It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K, plus beta carotene, calcium, fiber, and folate. And it contains antioxidants that protect your eyes and may also fight diseases, such as arthritis and some forms of cancer.

spinach dip

Below, we’ve offered five recipes that don’t require a bowl or dressing! But before you dig in, use these strategies to get the tastiest greens:

• Look for crisp green leaves when shopping.

• Be sure to get rid of any yellow or wilted leaves before using. (more…)

Veggie Variety a Must for Good Health (AKA: Why We’re Glad Dr. Oz’s Kale-Only Diet is a Prank)

Dr. Oz recently asked his fans to play a prank. The hoax: Tell a loved one they’d be joining you on a one-year kale-only diet. Kale, kale, and more kale. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 8.31.08 AM


Funny, but some people sort of do become singularly focused on certain veggies, eating a lot of kale, or broccoli, or spinach, and not much of anything else. We were curious: What type of variety should we be aiming for when it comes to produce?


Eat Your Way to Better Eye Sight

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist

Which of your five senses is most important to you? If you said “sight,” you’d be in the majority—four out of five baby boomers chose sight in a survey by the Ocular Nutrition Society.

eye health

So be proactive about protecting your sight: Eating to ensure your eyes stay healthy is as easy as following these three steps:

Choose antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E protect your eyes from free radicals, damaging compounds that can cause cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. A recent study of Swedish women found that those who consumed a diet with the most antioxidant power (one that featured antioxidants that worked best together to protect health) were 13 percent less likely to develop cataracts. Fruits and vegetables topped the list of main sources of antioxidants with 44 percent, followed by whole grains (17 percent) and coffee (15 percent).


Do Baked Beans Count as a Veggie? Sorta, Says R.D.

It seems like Jay Bush and Duke the Dog are always on TV hocking cans of Bush’s Best Beans. We love beans as much as the next person—especially with some barbecue!—but a recent commercial gave us pause. At the end of it one mother, who’s watching her kids eat baked beans, says something along the lines of, “Isn’t it great to see them eating vegetables?”

baked beans

Now, there’s no denying that beans are plants–after all, the navy beans used for most varieties come from a plant that looks a lot like a green bean. But, when you add bacon, salt, and sugar to beans, do they still really qualify as a vegetable?

Here’s what Mary Hartley, RD, our in-house nutrition expert had to say:

“As a plant food, beans are technically in the vegetable group. Like all vegetables, they are loaded with fiber, potassium and folate. Dried beans can also fill in for meat because they have more protein, iron, and zinc than other vegetables.  (more…)