5 4th of July Ideas

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Having a party for your 4th of July celebration? Try some of these recipes - we have some fresh-fruit popsicles and a ‘berry’ good parfait to help you cool down. Best of all, each of these recipes have something red, white or blue to make for a more festive feast!

Need to cool down? Check out our 5 drink ideas.

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Simple Kale & Quinoa Salad

Simple Kale & Quinoa Salad

Preparing kale and quinoa has never been so easy! Try cooking up a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week so you can add it to your favorite salads for a protein-packed punch. Here, it was tossed with torn kale leaves, grape tomatoes, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

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Shrimp & Kale Pesto Naan Pizza

by Chung-Ah Rhee for NatureBox

Kale pesto is perfect on pastas, sandwiches and even pizzas. Here, it’s spread on a fluffy, garlic naan crust, topped with shrimp, zucchini, red onion and a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan.

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Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices whole wheat garlic naan bread
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced and quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the kale pesto:

  • 1-1/2 cups kale leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. To make the pesto, blend the kale, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan in a food processor.  With the food processor on, stream in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, or to taste. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread 2-3 tablespoons kale pesto evenly over the top of each naan bread, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with shrimp, zucchini, red onion and Parmesan, and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until the crust is crisp and the shrimp is pink, firm and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Want more kale? Download our cookbook: 7 Hearty Kale Recipes 

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

Chung-Ah, the author behind Damn Delicious, loves to take simple ingredients and transform them into sophisticated and elegant meals.

Our Cookbook: 7 Hearty Kale Recipes

from the NatureBox staff

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If you love kale as much as we do, you might be looking for new ways to dish up this fiber-rich leafy green. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with seven different recipes so you can get your kale fix every day of the week.

Download our cookbook: 7 Hearty Kale Recipes

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3-Step Recipe: Kale Chips

by Amanda Natividad, NatureBox Editor

Crispy kale is my absolute favorite homemade potato chip substitute. It’s savory, salty, and oh-so crunchy. It can be made in minutes and, when stored in airtight container, keeps for up to a week! 

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More details:

1. Rinse, dry and oil the kale leaves: Tear the leaves from their stalks into bite-sized pieces. After you rinse them, be sure to dry them well to ensure maximum crunchiness. Toss them in some olive oil!

2. Roast at 375 degrees for 10 minutes: Add the kale leaves in a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges start to brown and crisp up, about 10-12 minutes. Every oven is a little different so if you feel like your oven tends to run a little hot, you can try roasting at 325 or 350 degrees F.

3. Season, let cool and serve: Season the chips with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. For an added spicy kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper as well. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving!

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

Amanda really wants to help you cook delicious foods and sustain a healthier lifestyle. When she’s not goofing around on Twitter she’s probably noshing on the pile of NatureBox snacks at her desk.

Gotta Love... Kale

by Amanda Natividad, NatureBox Editor

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It’s high in fiber, low in calories. Each 1-cup serving has just 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat.

It has tons of nutrients. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is important for transferring oxygen to other parts of the body, for cell growth and for liver function. Kale is also high in vitamin K and antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids, which may help protect against cancers. It’s also high in vitamins A and C, and calcium.

It has the good fat! With a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, kale acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, fighting arthritis, autoimmune disorders and asthma.

It’s sustainable. Although this winter crop thrives in cooler temperatures (even below 0 degrees!), kale can grow in most climates, so it’s easy to find year-round!

It’s versatile in the kitchen. Neutralize the bitterness of raw kale while keeping its fresh bite by rubbing it with lemon juice and olive oil. For an earthy, savory flavor, saute it on the stove. Craving chips? Toss kale leaves with olive oil and bake at 375 for 10 minutes until the edges crisp up.

Plus, check out our tasty kale recipes.

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

Amanda really wants to help you cook delicious foods and sustain a healthier lifestyle. When she’s not goofing around on Twitter she’s probably noshing on the pile of NatureBox snacks at her desk.

Sweet Potato Kale Frittata

by Chung-Ah Rhee for NatureBox

I had a big bag of leftover kale sitting in the fridge, so I threw some ingredients together to make this frittata. With that kale, along with caramelized onions, tomatoes, and sweet potato goodness topped with melted mozzarella, you’ll want to make this for breakfast every single morning!

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Serves:
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs until combined. Add milk, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes have softened and onions have caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add egg mixture and tomatoes, and cook until the eggs start to set, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

4. Place into oven and bake until the top is set and cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

5. Slice the frittata into wedges and serve immediately.

Want more frittata? Check out Chung-Ah’s other recipe for "Clean Out the Fridge" Veggie Frittata.

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

Chung-Ah, the author behind Damn Delicious, loves to take simple ingredients and transform them into sophisticated and elegant meals.

Kale Mac 'n Cheese

by Amanda Natividad, NatureBox Editor

I love kale just as much as the next person. It’s low in calorie and high in iron and fiber, and you can prepare it a number of ways: raw, sautéed or even in chip form. But you rarely see it utilized in comfort food. Here, I lightly sautéed and baked it into a mac ‘n cheese that uses almond milk rather than whole milk. The result? A slightly-nutty, lighter-on-your-tummy and oh-so-gooey dish. Try it out!

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Serves: 4-6

Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon and 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 10 ounces kale, leaves torn into 1” pieces (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 2-3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set aside an 8 x 8 inch or 7 x 11 inch baking dish (1.5-quart or 2-quart baking dish).

2. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain, add to the baking dish and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook until slightly wilted and bright green, about 3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, or to taste. Stir in the minced garlic, turn off heat and set aside.

4. In a medium saucepan (use the same one you used to cook the pasta!) over medium heat, mix the flour and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir frequently until the smooth mixture is light tan and smells slightly nutty, about 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in the unsweetened almond milk and bring to a low simmer, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Turn off heat.

5. Stir the kale-onion mixture into the macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce over the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

Amanda really wants to help you cook delicious foods and sustain a healthier lifestyle. When she’s not goofing around on Twitter she’s probably noshing on the pile of NatureBox snacks at her desk.

Quinoa, Kale & Chickpea Salad

By Amanda Natividad, NatureBox Editor

This is my go-to recipe for every purpose. I make a large batch at the beginning of the week then portion it out into mason jars for a quick sack lunch for the work week. When friends ask me for a deliciously easy, healthy recipe, this is the first one I jot down on a piece of paper.

To make this salad easy to shop for, I made sure it calls for whole quantities like one can of chickpeas and one whole lemon. 

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Serves: 6
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch kale leaves, torn (from about 5 stalks)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Over medium heat, add the quinoa to a saucepan and toast until it pops steadily and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil and loosely cover until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water, about 12 minutes. Turn off heat, stir, cover and let sit about 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside to cool.

2. Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauté pan. Add the kale and shallots and cook until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes. 

3. Transfer the cooked kale and shallots to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes and basil. Add a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Toss until well combined.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/3 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add 3/4 of the dressing to the salad and toss. Add additional dressing to taste.

Note: Sautéing the kale eases the bitterness often associated with this hardy green.

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Sign up today to get 50% off your first box!

Amanda really wants to help you cook delicious foods and sustain a healthier lifestyle. When she’s not goofing around on Twitter she’s probably noshing on the pile of NatureBox snacks at her desk.

Lean Green Power Salad

Lean Green Power Salad

Why not whip up a kale salad packed with fresh avocado, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pecans and crumbly goat cheese along with a wonderfully tart Meyer lemon vinaigrette? It’s the perfect dish for a light but substantial lunch or dinner. 

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Massaged Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Recipe by McKenzie & Lisa of Nourish RDs

This salad is delicious as an appetizer or side dish and as a great lunch option topped with chicken, salmon, or a whole grain (such as farro or quinoa). Massaging the kale with salt makes it more tender and sweet but since it is such a hearty green, you can make this salad one day and even enjoy it again the next day without the salad going soggy.

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Serves 6 - 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches kale, washed, stemmed and cut or torn into small strips
  • Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces aged goat cheese (such as goat gouda) or hard ricotta or pecorino romano, thinly sliced
  • NatureBox Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Seeds or Smoky Pumpkin Seeds (for garnish)

 For Lemon Vinaigrette:

  •  3 TBSP lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, parsley, salt and pepper. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil.

To make the salad, begin by massaging the kale. Place the washed, stemmed, and cut kale into a very large bowl. Sprinkle with salt (about ¼ teaspoon). Take your hands and crush and massage the kale leaves between your hands, until you see the kale turn a dark, shiny green.

Toss the massaged kale with the slice fennel, sliced radishes, and aged goat cheese. Pour vinaigrette over and toss again.
Sprinkle with Pumpkin Seeds.

McKenzie Hall and Lisa Dixon are Registered Dietitians and authors of the Nourish RDs Blog on a mission to inspire others to eat real food, love their bodies, and laugh a lot! Their food philosophy is simple, “Eat
real food, and share it with those you love.”

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

 

Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

by Alex London-Gross, MPH, CHES

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Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetable-based carbohydrates. They are packed full of vitamins and fiber, and are incredibly versatile. Stuffing them with dark greens and chickpeas makes for a satisfying side dish or meal. I like the additional protein from chickpeas and Greek yogurt makes the base a little creamy without making it too heavy.

Adding little bits of cheese on top helps to cut calories while still lending to a traditional stuffed potato flavor. Any leftovers make a great lunch the next day and can easily be reheated in a microwave.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ bunch of kale (about 3-4 large stems)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 oz. goat cheese or feta
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash the sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork in several places. Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave for about 8 minutes, until they are soft to the touch.

While the sweet potatoes cook, remove the stems from the kale and chop into bite sized pieces. Add to a medium pot and steam over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, cut in half length wise and scoop out the inside “meat” into a large mixing bowl. Save the skins. Add the steamed kale, Greek yogurt, and drained chickpeas. Mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the sweet potato skins with the mixture and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and crumble the cheese on top, bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code NATURE for 25% off your first month subscription!

See more of Alex’s clean and clever eats over on her blog, Quarter Life Cupcake.

All the Rage

What’s so special about kale?

by NatureBox Nutritionist Kat Brown, MS RD RYT

Nutrient dense foods are all the rage, and for good reason! Research suggests that eating foods that are unprocessed and naturally high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and perhaps have effects on aging.  This week, we’re highlighting four popular “superfoods” and their benefits- as well as some suggestions to include them in your diet.

Kale

Kale- not just a garnish any more. A cruciferous vegetable, kale has enjoyed a heyday recently- and no wonder! Kale is particularly high in beta carotene, vitamins K and C, lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as other nutrients. These nutrients are in part responsible for eye and bone health, decreasing oxidative stress, and normal blood clotting. As with other members of the Brassica, cruciferous veggie group, kale is a source of sulforaphanes, a nutrient with powerful anti-cancer abilities.

So, are those kale chips looking a little more appetizing? If you’re ready to try this popular and delicious way of eating and enjoying kale, we recommend Snack Girl’s Kale Chip recipe. If not, there are a myriad of ways to include it- kale makes a great addition to soups, stir fries, and salads or in place of lettuce on sandwiches.

What is your favorite way to eat kale?

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Kat Brown MS RD RYT is a San Francisco Bay Area based Registered Dietitian and Yoga Teacher. As a nutrition counselor, writer, cook, and yogini she seeks to inspire others to nourish themselves and live balanced, fulfilled lives.