Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb spaghetti, vermicelli, capellini, or angel hair pasta (whole wheat or gluten free pasta works great)

1 1/2 lbs broccoli heads, cut from stalks into small florets (about 1 lb florets)

3/4 cup pesto (with cheese or dairy-free)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Grated parmesan, pecorino, or vegan parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook to desired tenderness, stirring frequently. See pasta package for instructions – cooking time will depend on the type of pasta you choose.
  2. While pasta is cooking, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add broccoli florets to the pan and cover tightly with a lid.
  3. Let the broccoli steam for 2-5 minutes, or until tender and bright green.
  4. Remove from heat and drain in a colander.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water in a separate bowl, then drain the pasta in a colander.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, combine pesto, olive oil, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add additional pasta water to make the sauce more liquid, if desired. Season with salt to taste (if using dairy-free pesto, you may need more salt for flavor).
  7. Add the steamed broccoli to the pasta along with the pesto sauce. Toss the pasta and vegetables gently with the sauce to coat. Salt again to taste, if desired.
  8. Serve pasta topped with grated parmesan, pecorino, or vegan parmesan cheese. If you’re vegetarian, be sure to choose parmesan with a vegetarian rennet. You can also sprinkle on a few red pepper flakes for a touch of spice, if desired.

Cheater’s Power Salad

prep time: 5 mins

cook time: 15 mins

total time: 20 minutes

yield: 2-4

Ingredients

1 bag southwestern salad mix

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, cubed

¼ cup nuts or seeds (if not included in the salad mix)

shredded chicken, quinoa, or other protein of choice

Instructions

Cook the chicken (or other protein). For shredded chicken cook one pound of chicken breasts in the Instant Pot (15 minutes) or slow cooker (3-4 hours) with a jar of salsa or some taco seasoning.

Toss your salad ingredients together. Drizzle on the dressing and enjoy!

NOTES

The salad mix I use has lots of cabbage, carrots, kale, cilantro, green onions, as well as some toppings. A good salad mix (like this one) is very important for making this cheater’s salad worth your while. This is not an iceberg lettuce situation. It is fresh, nutritious veggies pre-chopped with some yummy extras to boot.

I don’t recommend making this all at once for one person – I just cook all of the chicken, keep it in the fridge, and then assemble salads throughout the week as I’m ready to eat them.

15 minute Cauliflower Fried Rice

prep time: 10 mins

cook time: 5 mins

total time: 15 minutes

yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

 

1 medium-sized head of cauliflower OR 1 10oz bag of pre-riced cauliflower

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 bag frozen peas and carrots

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup frozen edamame

2 beaten eggs (use scrambled tofu for vegan)

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (use tamari for GF)

6 green onions, minced

Instructions

PREP CAULIFLOWER: Shred cauliflower using the largest side of a grater OR by just pulsing some rough cut pieces in a food processor; the end product should resemble smallish grains of rice OR steam the pre-riced cauliflower according to package instructions.

STIR FRY: Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the carrots and garlic and stir fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, edamame, and remaining sesame oil to the pan; stir fry quickly to cook the cauliflower to a soft (but not mushy) texture.

FINISHING TOUCHES: Make a well in the middle, turn the heat down, and add the eggs. Stir gently and continuously until the eggs are fully cooked. Stir in the soy sauce and green onions just before serving.

NOTES

For the sauce on top, whisk equal parts soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and oyster sauce together and drizzle it over top with sesame seeds.

Sealants! What are they and why does your dentist recommend them?

Our molars are big, round teeth designed for grinding and chewing.  If you feel your teeth with your tongue, you will feel bumps on them.  These are called cusps, they are like the mountain tops of your teeth—they are sharp and pointy.

In between the cusps or mountains, there are grooves.  These grooves are very deep for some people, and they trap bacteria and sugars, causing cavities.  Sometimes, the grooves are so deep and skinny that your toothbrush bristles can’t reach into them.  For these teeth, dentists recommend sealants.

Sealants coat the teeth and fill in the grooves.  Imagine painting a molar with white fingernail polish.  Sealants coat the teeth for several years, preventing tooth bugs from hiding in the deep grooves and causing cavities.

 

Here are a few common questions parents ask:

  • What age children need sealants?
    1. We recommend sealants on permanent molars. At 6 years of age, children’s first permanent molars start coming in.  At age 12, the second set of permanent molars come in.  So, starting at age 6 and again at 11 or 12 years, your dentist or dental hygienist will check to see if your child needs sealants.
  • My child doesn’t eat candy or drink pop. Does she still need sealants?
    1. Even healthy foods like dried fruit can cause cavities in children with deep grooves. We still recommend sealants, as they last for years.  Sometimes, children’s diet changes at school—they start sharing treats with friends, or drinking juice or pop.
  • Do sealants hurt? Will my son have to get numb?
    1. Sealants are painless, no need for numbing! We will clean the surfaces of the teeth, then use a type of “tooth shampoo” to prepare the tooth for the sealant, then place the sealant.  If your child is very sensitive to taste, we even have products that don’t have any flavors and that minimize rinsing with water.  There are lots of options for sealants, and we highly recommend them.
  • Are sealants the same thing as fluoride?
    1. Sealants are a coating for your teeth, they do not contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral found in toothpaste, some mouthrinse and some water supplies.

by Dr. LaVonne Hammelman