Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bringing Your Food Focus to Summer Freshness

Enjoying a taste of summer extends beyond ice cream, hot dogs and barbeque. There are many ways to partake in the season’s healthiest flavors, and the best place to get nutritious inspiration is your local farmers market.

If you want to fuel your summer activities in a healthy way, there are tools to help you get there. After all, the best meals are the ones that taste great and make you feel even better – so where should you start? Whether your focus is on mindful eating in general or if you are trying to eat low-carb or reduce sugar, there are a rainbow of options available to you.

Maintaining a low-carb lifestyle includes a colorful variety of seasonal produce picks. There is a fresh low-carb option for every taste, all summer long, if you know what to look for. Some of the best choices to add flavor to your summer menus include berries, cantaloupe, honeydew and vegetables such as salad greens, cucumbers and fresh herbs. A reliable low-carb option available through the entire season is summer squash, which can be prepared in a variety of ways - including being used as an alternative to pasta for a light summer meal.

Zucchini Pasta with Almond Pesto

Preparation Time  5 minutes
Cook Time  10 minutes

  • 1/3 cup whole roasted and unsalted almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    1. In food processor, process almonds until finely ground. Add garlic, parsley and cheese; pulse 4-6 times. Add in 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and pulse again a few times. Set aside.
    2. Spiralize zucchini or use grater with zucchini lengthwise for longer strands. Preheat large skillet or wok over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook zucchini 4 minutes using tongs to stir and rotate until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
    3. Toss warm zucchini with pesto, sprinkle with pepper flakes (optional) and divide into pasta bowls. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

    Notes, Tips and Suggestions
    To roast raw almonds, heat oven to 350°F, toss nuts on sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes. Cool before using.


SOURCE: Atkins


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