Tzatziki with Home Baked Pita Chips - by Susan Arruda

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YIELD: 4 servings


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt (must be strained overnight or a minimum of 4 hours)
½ cucumber, peeled and finely grated; squeezed of excess water or pressed against strainer
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
¼ tsp. each sea salt and black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
 
100% whole wheat pita bread (1 pita yields 16 wedges/pita chips) and is approximately 200 calories.

PREPARATION:

Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Add the yogurt into the strainer and set aside (covered) in the refrigerator for at least 4 hrs., or overnight.
 
Transfer the strained yogurt into a serving bowl.
 
Grate the cucumber and squeeze the excess water with clean hands or press against the fine strainer.
 
Add the remaining ingredients to the yogurt and mix/stir to combine.
 
Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
 
Serve with the pita wedges or use as a vegetable dip or spread.

Tzatziki is great served with chicken, pork or lamb and is a Greek mainstay.
 
PITA CHIPS INSTRUCTION

Use food kitchen scissors to cut your whole wheat pita into ¼ slices and then 1/8 (cut the ¼ pieces in half). Open and pull pita apart (front from back) at the seams and spread evenly on a baking sheet.

Bake in a 200 Degrees Fahrenheit oven for approximately 20 minutes or until crisp.

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Susan's Over The Top Oatmeal

If you are looking for a morning boost that lasts for hours with the power of serious nutrition, this recipe is my own creation! Chia seeds, flaxseeds, blueberries and more!
 

YIELD:1 serving

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INGREDIENTS     

¼ cup rolled oats (Not instant! Quick or 1 minute oats work well.)
½ serving size scoop (approx. 3-4 tbsp.) of vanilla flavoured protein powder (I use whey isolate)
1 serving scoop (1.5 tsp.) powdered glutamine
1-4 tbsp. unsweetened pumpkin
¼ cup frozen blueberries or fresh fruit of choice
½ - 1 tsp. ground flax seed (and/or wheat germ)
½ - 1 tsp. brewer’s yeast
½ - 1 tsp. chia seeds and/or amaranth seeds *
½ - 1 tsp. cinnamon
Water, milk, or coconut water, or combination - several tbsps. to desired consistency.
If desired, sweetener of choice to taste: Stevia, Splenda, Agave Nectar (agave has a lower glycemic index, is more slowly absorbed  & does not cause the same rapid increase in blood sugar as white sugar), maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.

OPTIONAL: Add 1 egg white  or 1-2 tbsp. free run/free range egg whites (for additional protein; great for pre-contest)
Ensure adequate cooking temperature (160 oF) is reached when using eggs.

MORE POWER OPTIONS:

Coconut water - Zero fat, gluten free, low calorie and loaded with electrolytes and potassium.
Greek yogurt - High in protein!
Maca root powder - Gluten free; native to Peru. Packed with vitamins and essential minerals and thought to increase stamina and combat fatigue.
Lecithin - Lecithin is also regarded as brain and nerve food. It helps the brain cells develop, is important in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain, and plays a role in the neurotransmitters that govern short-term memory. Even though lecithin is largely composed of the B vitamin choline, it also contains linoleic acid and inositol.   It has been nicknamed "nature's emulsifier" because of its detergent-like effect on fat, keeping it suspended in the bloodstream and preventing it from settling on membrane walls. Lecithin acts as a solvent for cholesterol, triglycerides, and other fats. Therefore, it helps to prevent such ailments as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, etc.

* If you dislike the small seeds because they get stuck in the crevices of your teeth, use a high powered blender to grind them into a powder.

PREPARATION
 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. I whip this up in no time and generally I just eyeball the measurements. I have continued to fine tune and up the ante of nutrition on this powerhouse breakfast over the years and I'm happy to share it! Mornings are rushed and I’m often pressed for time. Measure the ingredients in the beginning to get a visual idea of the amounts required. Add enough liquid to create a medium to thick, soup like consistency. Too thick or too watery is not the desired outcome. Be careful not to overcook it, as it can become too clumpy.  If you’re choosing to use a banana or other fresh fruit, be sure to add it after cooking. This comes together in less than 60 seconds and I microwave it for 60 seconds (can vary depending on microwave wattage power).  This meal is nutrient dense, delicious, power packed and makes for a great way to jump start your metabolism for the day!

When traveling, I like to ensure I have a healthy breakfast to start my day and I opt to pre-package and prepare my oatmeal (minus the wet ingredients) combining all the dry ingredients into a ziploc baggie. I add 1 tbsp. dried fruit/cranberries or raisins to the dry mixture. When preparing, I add yogurt instead of pumpkin to the mixture.

Benefits of Over the Top Oatmeal

Glutamine
Glutamine is the most important component of muscle protein, and helps repair and build muscle. Studies have shown that L-Glutamine supplementation can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.
Flax
A top source of alphalinoleic acid (ALA); an omega-3 source that improves the workings of the brain’s cerebral cortex (an area that processes sensory information). Flax also contains the plant compound called lignans which act as antioxidants and may help boost immune function by fostering healthier gut bacteria. A tbsp of whole seeds contains 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.
Chia seeds
Super, power source seeds are nature’s perfect foods, containing essential fatty acids (an excellent vegetarian source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid), protein, soluble fiber, protective antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, and potassium.
Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer's yeast is a rich source of minerals, particularly chromium, an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels; selenium, protein, and the B-complex vitamins. The B-complex vitamins in brewer's yeast help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which provide the body with energy. They also support the nervous system, help maintain the muscles used for digestion, and keep skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver healthy.
Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, vitamin K  and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
One cup is loaded with iron (essential for hemoglobin transport in red blood cells), vitamin A (vital for retinal functions), 7 grams of fiber, vitamin K (research from Tufts University found that vitamin K helps keep insulin levels in check) and more!
Amaranth Seeds
Few grains can compete with this powerhouse. High in fiber, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and a “complete protein” which means it has all eight essential amino acids. Studies have also shown it to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Cinnamon
Rich in antioxidants that inhibit bacterial growth (includes the bad breath bacteria) and blood clotting and helps to control blood sugar, improves insulin response and cholesterol levels.
Isolate Protein powder
High in protein and amino acids necessary for muscle and repair. Look to a protein isolate powder as opposed to a whey concentrate. It’s a much purer form of protein because it has less additives and is less processed (contains between 90-94%) and gets to the muscles faster as a result, and it is easier for the body to digest.
Rolled Oats
Whole oats are an excellent source of thiamine, iron, and dietary fiber. Fiber is helpful in reducing cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Whole oats are also the only source of antioxidant compounds known as avenanthramides; these are believed to have properties which help to protect the circulatory system from arteriosclerosis. Oat products also contain beta-glucan which may have significant influence in controlling blood glucose levels and may also help stimulate the immune system to fight off bacterial infections
Egg whites
The white of a large egg has only 16 calories, 3 g of protein, 2 mg of calcium, 4 mg of phosphorus, 55 mg of sodium, 45 mg of potassium, a small amount of riboflavin and no fat, cholesterol, or carbohydrates.

Tuna Casserole Supreme

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cans 170 g solid white tuna
1/2 juice of half lemon
green onion stalk, chopped - approx. 1/4 cup
1 celery stalk, finely chopped - approx. 1/2 cup
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream, light (or more Greek yogurt or mashed, ripe avocado)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. cilantro
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. dill
a dash of crushed chili flakes, if spice is desired
Season with salt & pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, Swiss cheese, provolone, or light cheddar cheese

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl with the exception of the zucchini. Place tuna mixture in 2 quart casserole dish safe for oven. Slice the zucchini and spread evenly over top of the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with cheese of choice, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle top with 1 chopped tomato upon serving, if desired.

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Avocado Lime Scrambled Eggs or Omelette

By Marco Girgenti

By Marco Girgenti

YIELD: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs or 3 liquid egg whites and 1 whole egg
1 tbsp. EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Small clove of minced garlic
1/2 stalk of green onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper
3 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 avocado, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lime

 

 

PREPARATION:

Add the oil in a hot pan over medium heat.

Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 mins.

Add the green onion, mushrooms, peppers and cook for 3-4 mins. stirring occasionally.

Whisk together the eggs and/or egg whites in a separate bowl.

Season with a dash of salt and pepper, or to taste.

Pour the whisked eggs into the pan around the vegetables, making sure to cover the entire cooking surface.

Cook for 3-4 minutes.


Add the sliced avocado, resting them on top of the eggs
and sprinkle with juice of 1/2 lime.

Cook for another minute or two and serve.

For scrambled eggs: Mix the egg mixture using a spatula or mixing spoon after adding eggs into pan as eggs cook through.

For omelette: After pouring eggs into pan around the vegetables, being mindful to fill in all spaces, let cook through. When the eggs have set, fold one half of omelette over and add the avocado as outlined above.

Sweet Green Goddess Smoothie

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YIELD: 4 Servings (approx. 750 ML total yield)

INGREDIENTS:

Kale - 1/2 blender, packed down (approximately 4 cups, lightly packed)
1 -1/2 cups cubed pineapple, fresh or frozen
Kiwi, washed, scrubbed, with skin
1/2 granny smith green apple
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 banana
1/2 small avocado
1/2 cup filtered cold water
Honey to taste, if desired
Ice cubes, if desired

Power add ons: Spirulina or Chlorella powder

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
Add ice or more liquid for desired texture, if required.

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Chick-a-Boom Chick Pea Salad

YIELD: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (16 oz./540 ml) chick/garbanzo beans (be sure to rinse the chick peas thoroughly)
1 to 1-1/2 cups chopped curly parsley
1 cup chopped tomatoes or grape tomatoes
2 stalks chopped green onions
1 clove garlic minced
2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste


PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients together and toss.

Prepare ahead of time and chill for a few hrs to allow flavors to combine, although not required.

If chopping the tomatoes, add them just before serving, unless using cherry tomatoes.

Susan Arruda Chick-a-Boom+Chick+Pea+Salad nutrition