Spiced Oven-Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

“They’re like French fries but without as many of the calories and fat,” said LifeVest member Laura Meier.

Bingo. Laura’s description of rutabaga fries sounded great to us, and it didn’t take us long before we set out to discover its truth.

Rutabaga

Since joining the program, LifeVester Laura is over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds, and now has a new goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long run.

“We’re going to keep encouraging each other and thinking smarter so we can remain feeling good,” says Laura who set out on her journey to health in partnership with her husband. “You have to think long-term. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Why go back when you could feel good for life?”

Laura told us she loves finding new ways to transform some of her favorite recipes into healthier versions. It keeps her feeling both satisfied and excited about continuing on.

She has always loved french fries, and we do too, so we were thrilled to hear about her latest version that enables her to remain on the right track toward her goals.

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabagas have just 1/2 the calories and 1/2 of the carbs that potatoes contain. So, inserting them into the standard oven-baked fry equation sounded like a genius idea to us.

Often mistaken for a turnip, the root veggie has that same sweet bite of a turnip with the starchiness of a potato. This makes them perfect for slicing up into flavorful fries, ones that luckily come without too much detriment to your diet.

Rutabaga Fries

At just 65 calories per cup, the winter veggie (in season Oct. – March) has become no small fry in our recipe book. Rather, thanks to Laura, it’s our new fry-making go-to.

We were thrilled with the crispy results upon our first batch, and are excited to experiment with other spices and herbs. We’d encourage you to do the same after first trying the chili powder version below.

Chili powder

As Laura shares, “It makes us, especially my husband, think we’re having a burger and fries.” She serves her ruta-fries alongside turkey burgers with lettuce swapped for the bun, a combo we can get behind.

Let us know in the comments, how do you make your favorite comfort foods healthier? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to transform some of your favorite recipes, and thank you to Laura for sharing this idea with us!

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“Turnip For What?” These 5 Turnip Recipes

In a video-gone-viral, Michelle Obama says, “Turnip for what?” We’re responding to that question with this roundup of healthful turnip-central recipes.

The late autumn crop is particularly low in calories among the root vegetable kingdom – just 34 cals per cup vs. 116 per cup of diced potatoes – and is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. This makes it a great filler and addition to lighten up traditional starchy dishes, like Turnip Mashed Potatoes (swap 1/2 the potatoes with turnips), and some of the recipes you’ll find below.

Both the turnip’s greens and bulb can be eaten. Each provide a nice bitterness that pairs well with sweeter veggies, meats, and spices. See for yourself as you turnip some music and your stove, and dive into one of the recipes below.

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup via InFine Balance Read the rest of this entry »


Meatless Monday: Curry Harvest Soup

Curry Harvest Soup

Fall has fallen upon us, which means sweater, sweet potato, and soup season have all officially arrived! We love all three, especially that latter one, which we encourage you to add into your eat-clean-toolbox.

With the temps cooling down, it’s easy to slide away from light summer fare into heavier winter territory. However, jumbo sweaters are no excuse to add another layer to your diet or your tummy. Luckily with an arsenal of soup recipes on-hand, you can stay warm and satisfied without needing to take that path.

This particular recipe from our food blogging LifeVester Grace calls on an array of hearty harvest veggies to create a soup that’s both robust, yet light. That’s exactly the combination we recommend employing to stay slimming down and feeling good all throughout the season.

Perfect for both Meatless Monday and late October days when you want something a little warm and brothy, head on over to Grace’s blog for the recipe.

Then, as you continue to add more soup recipes to your eat-clean-toolbox, please share them with us! We’re suckers for soup, and would love to hear what’s filling your bowl.


Meatless Monday: Tofu Bahn Mi Collard Wraps

Tofu Bahn Mi Collard Wraps

 

The LifeVest office has been eating well lately, and we want you to join in with us!

For our last company lunch, our food blogger and LifeVester Grace brought us these Tofu Banh Mi Collards Wraps. Banh mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, generally filled with some type of protein, and layered with cucumbers, cilantro, pickled carrots, and sometimes various other veggies. In its translation, the word “Banh mi” actually means loaf, or slice of bread, so generally, you’ll find all of those ingredients encompassed by an airy baguette. Grace’s version, however, is obviously a bit different — and healthier, too!

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Meatless Monday: Ratatouille with Summer Herb Corn

Summer ratatouille

When summer produce reaches its prime, we’re all about packing it all together in a bowl and calling it dinner. This naturally generates a meal that’s simple, healthy, and never fails to be full of flavor. Ratatouille is the classic definition of that.

A traditional French dish, ratatouille consists of vegetables stewed together so that their flavors meld. It’s generally composed of zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, onions and peppers, all items that meet together around the same month of the year in the garden. For today’s Meatless Monday version, our LifeVester Grace at FoodFitnessFreshAir calls upon one other summer veggie to add to that mix – corn – for a mildly sweet and crunchy topping.

As Grace says:

“When veggies are fresh and local, you really needn’t do much to them but put them together and let their flavors swim free. Ready in 45 minutes or less (depending on your grain choice), this recipe lends itself well to a weeknight meal that’ll leave you feeling great. Pair with a side of protein, or sprinkle some toasted walnuts on top and call it a meal.”

Gather up some veggies, choose a whole grain to pair with them, and then head on over to Grace’s blog for the recipe and get cooking!


Meatless Monday: Sesame Soba Noodles with Cucumbers and Roasted Eggplant

Sesame Soba Noodles with Cucumbers and Roasted Eggplant

Packed with vitamin C and containing 95% water, cucumbers are a LifeVest summer favorite. Thinly sliced with some onions, and a splash of oil and vinegar, and they easily become a refreshing side that won’t weigh down the rest of your meal. Make that same plate a snack, and it won’t weigh you down either.

Luckily, cukes run rampant in gardens this time of year, so there’s plenty of them to both snack on and lighten up pasta recipes like this. Here, their crispness compliments creamy, roasted eggplant that gets tossed with an Asian sesame sauce over soba.

Soba is a type of noodle made from buckwheat flour, which gives it a nutty flavor and also boosts it with protein. Lower in calories than traditional pasta, we love it as a way to add some variety to pasta night, especially when working with Asian flavors. Be sure to look for “100% buckwheat” on the package to get the most nutritional benefits. We recommend Eden, our go-to brand.

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