Full of fruit, these cupcakes are a healthier option for satisfying your sweet tooth.
For a recent post-bike ride BBQ lunch party, we grilled up cilantro-lime marinated shrimp and veggie skewers, enjoyed some nicely blackened grilled asparagus (I swear it’s best that way!) had a simple green salad packed with tomatoes from our garden and local avocados, and finished up our simple meal with the most sumptuous, seemingly-indulgent cupcakes…
…but traditional cupcakes these are not: each bite is packed with nutrient rich fruit, vegetables (carrot are veggies, ok?), and beneficial spices. Even the frosting is “healthy” or at least relative to its usual butter-filled frosting friends. Bottom line is, don’t feel guilty about devouring these carrot cupcakes, because the “sprinkles” on top are antioxidant rich pecans and beneficial coconut. Better than the other Sprinkles!
Printable PDF here: Tropical Carrot Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
–Abby Gould, Sage Wellness Intern
Summer weather is finally starting up, and accordingly, the grill needs to get fired up, too! In the spirit of summer, keep your kitchen cool and enjoy the fresh air while grilling some burgers. But not just any burgers– lean, vegetable laden, grass-fed lamb burgers! In one of my favorite better-burgers recipe, spicy curry is balanced by a cool, minty yogurt raita sauce and loads of grilled veggies. At a visit to my Sunday Farmer’s Market, a local farmer convinced me that his grass-fed lamb would be perfect for grilling, and it sure was! I picked the mint, cilantro, tomato, and limes from my garden, making for a fabulously fresh and healthy Sunday night dinner. Enjoy!
- 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lime peel
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Coarse kosher salt
Burgers and vegetables:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/4 cups chopped onion (red, white, or I prefer a mix of the two)
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
- 1 3/4 pounds ground lamb
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, divided
- 3 medium zucchini (about 12 ounces), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 6 green onions, trimmed and cut into inch long sections
- 1 fresh poblano chile, quartered, seeded
- 6 small whole wheat pita breads
- ¼ cup sun dried tomato
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
- Prepared hummus (I like Trader Joe’s tomato and basil hummus)
- Mix yogurt, mint, cilantro, lime peel, and lime juice in small bowl. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Cover; chill until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Burgers and vegetables:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in curry powder and stir 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool onion mixture to room temperature, at least 15 minutes.
- Place lamb in large bowl. Add onion mixture, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon cracked pepper. Blend mixture gently; shape into six 1/2-inch-thick patties.
- Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).
- Combine zucchini, green onions, and chile in another large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon coarse salt, and ½ teaspoon cracked pepper; toss to coat. Place vegetables and burgers on grill. Cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. Turn vegetables and burgers over. Then, cook vegetables until tender, about 3 minutes. Cook burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes for medium-rare. Cut zucchini and green onions crosswise into 2-inch-long pieces. Cut chile into thin strips.
- Place pita breads on plates, slice open the pita open around about 2/3 of its edge to make a pocket. Spread hummus inside the bread, then top with burgers and tomato slices. Mound vegetables on burgers, top with sun dried tomatoes, and spoon a dollop of raita over. Fold bread up around burgers and serve with remaining raita.
- For a delicious vegetarian version, substitute Portobello mushrooms for the lamb patties. Brush each mushroom, gill-side up, with a teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ½ tablespoon of cilantro. Grill, gills up, for about 12 minutes, or desired doneness. Top with onion mixture and toppings.
Printable PDF here: Curry Lamb Burgers with Grilled Vegetables and Mint Raita
–Abby Gould, Sage Wellness Intern
Dried Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms have antimicrobial and anti-inflamatory properties that are needed to strengthen our immune system. They are also high in protein which is what helps make this dish so filling. Grown in summer and autumn they are perfect to try during the month of November. Besides the health benefits, this recipe is delicious and easy to make. Plus, you can sit back and relax while the rice is cooking!
1-2oz package of dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup long grain brown rice
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1/8 cup finely chopped italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
A sprinkle of grated fresh parmesan (optional)
A sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Rinse the dried mushrooms and soak in vegetable broth for 15-20 minutes or until soft
2. Remove mushrooms from broth
3. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil
4. Add rice and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until rice has absorbed most of the broth
5. Over medium heat saute the onion with the olive oil until onion is translucent
6. Cut the mushrooms into bite size pieces and add to onion saute, reduce heat.
7. Once all of the broth has been absorbed in the rice, remove from heat, and fluff
8. Add onion saute to rice
8. Garnish with parsley
9. Sprinkle with parmesean and/or red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
For more recipes and healthy tips go to SageWellnessLA.com