Recipes

Coach Leti chooses recipes based on flavor, ease of attaining ingredients, ease of cooking instruction, and the nutritional element offered. Some of the recipes are originals by her or her family, and others are from various resources that she has fallen in love with. So grab a glass of wine, light a candle, turn up the music, and head to the kitchen!!!

Fusion of Love and Flavor

I realize many people go to recipe pages and get frustrated by being presented with a huge story to read before getting to the recipes. I do, however, want to briefly share a piece of my background because the recipes chosen for you the readers and clients are done so for those with medical conditions, especially those with diabetes and inflammatory conditions.

Get ready to take out a pen a paper so you can create a chart to keep up with me, as I explain my background!

I am Colombian born, right from Bogota, the capital. At the age of approximately 18 months I was adopted into  Italian-American family and brought to the US and raised in NYC.  When I was a teenager, my friend introduced me to a Portuguese-Indian guy an who would become my husband a year later. Soon after, we started a family, which would eventually consist of  2 kids. Due to the diversity, I always joked that they were very confused ethnically! Do you have whiplash?!?!

This all translates into very diverse food in my kitchen! Your taste buds can travel the world in just a week if you stay over my house! Sunday may include antipasto or caprese salad followed by gravy, penne pasta with meatballs and pork braciola. A few days later, you may find Chana Masala (chick pea curry), and later on in the same week, you may be served Arroz con Coco y Lentejas (coconut rice and lentils).

I will admit since becoming a health coach, things have changed a bit! We still eat international but not quite as rich. We tend to lean more toward the vegetarian and healthier dishes as my husband does have diabetes. He is not currently on medication and it is my goal is to keep it that way! 

The health issues that have plagued my home have been the major motivators for our lifestyle change. I’ll be the first to admit, when you love food, change does not come easy but with love, the right attitude and time it has happened. Not every day is perfect and that’s okay, we live by the 80/20 rule and the motto that, “life isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress” by Brendon Bruchard.  This is a theory I strongly stand behind when coaching others towards a healthier lifestyle. 

Lastly I encourage all of my clients and you who are reading this to try to change your view of cooking if you’re one of those people that hate to cook. Yes, cooking for a family can be stressful, especially when everybody likes and wants something different or when you have a hectic schedule, BUT what I encourage you to do is maybe once a week, either by yourself, with the kids or even your significant other, make your dinner and prep a special event. What I mean, is make it a time to do an activity together. Here are some tips: 

  • put some music on….no TV
  • have a glass of wine if that is something you enjoy
  • light a candle or two (not scented)
  • break out the china, even if it’s just the two of you!
  • Dress the table up nice and fancy…get creative!
  • share the prepping, one washes the veggies, the other  chops
  • simply have fun, dance, laugh, taste with your fingers, smell the ingredients, and serve it pretty, like they do in the restaurants (doesn’t have to be perfect but try, put the effort in. Remember food is about the senses, smell, taste, look and yes, touch, even the texture is fun!
  • don’t worry about making it perfect, leave that up to the fancy restaurants. 
  • if prepping with kids, let them have fun.
  • let them get their hands dirty.
  • studies show if you rename the foods with fun names, kids tend to want to try it and will like it more as opposed to the same foods with the normal names.
  • let them explore and taste while they prep.
  • let them make their own combinations, even if you think it’s gross. Let them figure it out.
  • don’t yell if they spill or make a mess.
  • have them help clean up afterwards

Prepping a meal as a family even with preschoolers, teaches them more than you could ever know. It gives them self-confidence, it strengthens family bonds, it sends them a message that they are important, it teaches teamwork, it gives you a chance to teach about food while your prepping and it gives them a chance to ask questions about food and explore their taste buds. To this day I LOVE when my kids, now 30 and 24 years old, help me in the kitchen and I LOVE date nights when my husband and I prep our meal together! Hope I didn’t bore you and I hope you found some of these tips helpful! 

Coach Leti

"In food excellent medicine can be found, in food bad medicine can be found,
good and bad are relative"

an excerpt from De Alimento

by Hippocrates

Recipes

Most Popular

Avocado Toast

This is one of my favorites because it is quick and easy and completely heart healthy! Avocado is considered a healthy fat that scrubs the vessel walls! It is also leaves you feeling full for hours. You can have fun with this super easy recipe and alter it to your own liking. 

*Expert tip: squeeze a little fresh lemon or lime, you can even use it from the bottle to keep it from turning that ugly brown!

Avocado Toast
  • Depending on the size of the avocado you may only need half unless having two slices of bread.
  • For optimal health choose a good quality, whole grain bread.  Toast to golden brown. 
  • While toast is in the toaster, scoop your avocado from the skin with a spoon, mash with a fork in a plate or bowl, then squeeze a little fresh lemon or lime juice (it keeps the avocado from turning brown and adds flavor) to taste. 
  • Season with your favorite seasoning. Some examples are:
    • roasted garlic
    • everything bagel seasoning
    • fresh minced red onion, chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt and crushed red pepper (all optional and to taste)
  • Then add toppings for more variety!
    • fried egg
    • spinach
    • arugula
    • sliced tomato
    • grilled shrimp
    • sliced cucumber

The sky is the limit and you can tailor this to be a snack, or it can be any meal you need it to be, especially in the summer! 

*Nutrition Education

What role does avocado play in health? Avocado is loaded with those healthy fats that break down to HDL (High Density Lipoprotein). This is the good part of your cholesterol.

HDL clean the artery walls and blood by acting like velcro. They stick and bind to the LDL  (Low Density Lipoproteins), bad cholesterol and transport them back to the liver to be broken down and disposed of.   

Quick & Easy

HEALTHY

RECIPES

banana pancakes e1599373372297 Recipes
Healthy Banana Pancakes

This recipe is shared from https://amindfullmom.com/gluten-free-blender-pancakes/

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk any variety
  • 1 cup oats quick-cook or old fashioned work
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas broken into chunks

Instructions

  • Preheat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Grease pan with coconut oil, butter, or cooking spray.
  • In a blender add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Next add cinnamon, baking powder, and oats to the blender. Finally, add 2 ripe bananas, cut into chunks, into the blender.
  • Blend until the batter is smooth and no chunks of bananas remain. The batter should be thinner than traditional pancakes, but should not be runny. If you find the batter too thick, add in 1 teaspoon of milk at a time and blend; repeat until desired consistency is reached. If you find the batter too thin, add in 1 tablespoon oats and blend well; repeat until desired consistency is reached. 
  • Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the preheated skillet and cook until small bubbles form about 4 minutes. Flip and cook 2-4 minutes per side.
  • Top with your favorite pancake toppings and enjoy!!!

Notes

  • Be sure to use certified gluten free oats, if you need these pancakes to be gluten free. 
  • Use any variety of milk you like. Non-dairy milk works great. 
  • If using frozen bananas, be sure to defrost before adding to batter. 
  • To make Vegan Banana Oat Pancakes: In place of eggs, mix together 1/2 cup water with 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and let sit for 5 minutes. And use nondairy milk. I have made this variety many times with great success. 

 

My personal tip is that if you like the oat to be smooth then put it through the Ninja Bullet if you have one. 

My husband and I really enjoy these pancakes and they don't send his glucose levels through the roof.  

 

Arroz con Coco y Lentejas Recipes
Arroz con Coco y Lentejas

I'm proud to bring you this traditional recipe from my homeland of Colombia. This recipe itself originates from https://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/rice-with-coconut-and-lentils-arroz-con-coco-y-lentejas/

however, because my husband has diabetes and we try to limit the carbs I have altered this recipe just a bit from it's original. This way we can control the amount of rice we are putting into our bowls. 

My version is at the end!

This delicious rice with lentils dish makes a fabulous
accompaniment and could also be served as a vegetarian meal, perhaps with a green salad.

Ingredients

(4 Servings)
½ cup lentils
1 cup rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
Salt
Fresh cilantro for serving

Directions

1. Rinsed and soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic
and cook for 2 minutes more.
3. Add the lentils, bay leaf, salt and water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the
lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed.
4. Discard the bay leaf, add the rice and stir until combined. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce
the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and
serve.

My Version:

I do NOT add or mix the rice in with the lentils to cook.  

Ingredients

(4 Servings)
½ cup lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 cups coconut milk
1 cups water
Salt
Fresh cilantro for serving

*Cook rice separately.  If you have diabetes the best choices might be brown rice, basmati or jasmine rice. These down cause the same kind of increases to glucose levels as regular short grain white rice. 

If you don't know how to cook white rice follow this link for detailed directions:

https://www.spendwithpennies.com/make-perfectly-fluffy-rice/

Directions

1. Rinsed and soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic
and cook for 2 minutes more.
3. Add the lentils, bay leaf, salt and water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.  or until the
lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed.
4. Discard the bay leaf, add the and the cilantro, stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce   
the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. 

Add freshly squeezed lime juice and garnish with fresh cilantro serve. 

 

beet and arugula salad Recipes
Arugula & Beet Salad

https://www.thekitchn.com/arugula-beet-salad-22903071

YIELDServes 4 to 6

PREP TIME10 minutes to 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons 

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons 

    sherry vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon 

    Dijon mustard

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (8-ounce) package 

    steamed beets, chopped

  • 5 ounces 

    arugula (about 5 packed cups)

  • 4 ounces 

    goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper together in a large bowl. Add the beets and arugula and toss to combine. Add the goat cheese, toss again lightly, and serve.

Tips:

  • Skip cooking your beets and just chop them up into the salad to get a great nutritional benefit (cooking decreasing nutritional value in most foods and this is one that can be eaten raw).
  • If you are a runner, beets are excellent for the blood. 
  • They can help with blood pressure and blood sugar. 

The following link is to an article that explains the many benefits:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277432#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

swapnil potdar ZXqG 0Z3iS4 unsplash scaled e1599372857120 Recipes
Mango Nice Cream
 

https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-3-ingredient-mango-nice-cream-258324

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds 

    fresh mangoes (2 to 3 medium), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 heaping cups)

  • medium banana, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

  • 1/8 teaspoon 

    kosher salt

  • 2/3 cup 

    unsweetened nut milk or other non-dairy milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the mango and banana on prepared sheet in a single layer. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

  2. Transfer the fruit to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the salt. Process until the fruit is crumbly, about 30 seconds. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. With the motor running, pour in the milk and blend continuously for 1 minute. The bottom portion of the mixture will start to become smooth, while the top is still crumbly. Stop the processor, scrape down the sides, and stir. Process until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes more.

  3. Serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency, or transfer to a lidded airtight container or a loaf pan and freeze until solid, approximately 2 hours. (If using a loaf pan, place a piece of wax or parchment paper over the surface of the nice cream, then wrap the pan in plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming).

RECIPE NOTES

Substituting frozen mango: If using frozen mango, use 10 ounces.

Storage: The nice cream can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

NOTE

This general recipe can be done with any fruits, the SKY IS THE LIMIT! 

 This is the recipe we use in our house due to my husband's diabetes. Mango is a very sweet fruit so only a cup on nights when dinner was lower carb. BALANCE is key!

 
quinoa salad resized e1599371066138 Recipes
Quinoa Salad

https://cookieandkate.com/best-quinoa-salad-recipe/

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion (from 1 small red onion)
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro or flat-leafed parsley (from 1 large bunch)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To cook the quinoa: Combine the rinsed quinoa and the water in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes, reducing heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes, to give it time to fluff up.
  2. In a large serving bowl, combine the chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and parsley. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt. Whisk until blended, then set aside.
  4. Once the quinoa is mostly cool, add it to the serving bowl, and drizzle the dressing on top. Toss until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Season with black pepper, to taste, and add an extra pinch of salt if necessary. For best flavor, let the salad rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  5. This salad keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 4 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Nutritional Benefits:

Though quinoa is a carb it is nutrient-dense meaning a food that offers lots of nutrition/vitamins, vs candy. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, quinoa offers fiber, protein, magnesium, manganese, and more. 

Brazilian Chick Pea Stew resized e1599370683483 Recipes
Brazilian Chick Pea Stew

https://www.recipetineats.com/brazilian-chickpea-curry/

Chickpea Curry:

  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red capsicum/bell peppers , cut into 3 x 0.75cm / 1.25 x 1/3"" strips
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained (Note 1)
  • 400ml/14oz coconut milk, full fat for best flavor (Note 2)
  • 400ml/14oz can crushed tomato
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable stock/broth, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust the spiciness to taste)
  • 1.5 tsp sugar (any type)
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 50g / 2oz baby spinach leaves (or kale)

Finishing & Serving:

  • 3 tbsp coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more for serving (Note 3)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice, plus extra wedges for serving
  • Yogurt (optional)
  • Rice - or something to soak up the sauce (Note 4)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pot or large deep skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute.
  • Add capsicum, cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent and slightly golden on edges.
  • Add remaining Curry ingredients except for baby spinach. Stir, bring to simmer then lower to medium-low so it's simmering gently.
  • Simmer 12 - 15 minutes until it changes from pale pink to an orangey-red color.
  • Stir in spinach until just wilted, then stir in coriander and lime juice. Add more salt if needed.
  • Serve over rice with a dollop of yogurt, an extra sprinkle of coriander, and a squeeze of lime (don't go overboard, I often do and it's too sour!)

Notes

1. Chickpeas - can use any canned beans, I've made this often with black beans, cannellini beans, and even lentils!
 
Dried chickpeas - Note 5 below.
 
2. Coconut milk - full fat best for flavor because the fat is where the flavor is. But light is ok too.
 
3. Coriander haters - sub with chives! Still tasty but will be missing the coriander flavor which is in traditional Brazilian Fish Stew.
 
4. Serve over something to soak up the sauce. Plain white rice, lime rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potato, couscous, polenta, or even pasta.
 
If I don't have something to soak up the sauce, I usually bulk it out with another can of beans, corn, or diced fresh veg and serve it as a chunky stew ie, not over rice or anything.
 
5. DRIED CHICKPEAS - 1 cup dried chickpeas (200g / 6.5 oz) - once cooked it will be around the amount of chickpeas in 2 x 400g/14 oz can. Cook using stove or pressure cooker:
 
  • STOVE: soak overnight in lots of water. Pick out anything that doesn't look like chickpeas that float to the surface. Place in a saucepan with 3 cups of water and simmer on medium for 40 - 50 minutes (depends on chickpea size) until they are very soft. Skim off any skin that floats to the surface. Drain, proceed with recipe.
  • PRESSURE COOKER: No soaking required, cover with 3 cups of water, and cook 45 minutes on high.
6. Storage and make ahead - keep 5 days in the fridge and freezes near perfectly! Thaw and reheat using the chosen method, might need a splash of water to thin sauce.